Mastin Labs: Inspired By | Ep. 4 Kirk Mastin / Diane Arbus, Lauren Greenfield and Annie Leibovitz

“… Mastin Labs founder Kirk Mastin shares a few female photographers that inspire him including Diane Arbus, Lauren Greenfield, and Annie Leibovitz.”

Commentary

I have yet to try out Mastin Labs’ film matching presets that are made by scanning real analog film with a Fuji Frontier scanner, but the results look amazing and more accurate than any by other companies.

I am not a big user of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop these days, but I could certainly be convinced to go back to Photoshop sometime soon if Mr Mastin keeps adding more presets that are as amazing and as accurate as his Kodak Everyday pack as well as others such as Fujicolor Pushed, Portra Pushed, Fujicolor Original, Portra Original and Ilford Original.

If I were back shooting editorial portraits for magazines again then I would most certainly seriously consider, well, all of Mastin Labs’ presets and would also hope that some of my other favourite films would appear there one day soon.

 

Links

Advertisements

Alex on RAW: Capture One Pro 11, All the New Features Overview

http://alexonraw.com/capture-one-11/

“… Capture One Pro 11 is something totally new. Today Phase One re-invented RAW processing and undermined all the competitors on the market.

Now, let’s discuss how Capture One 11 plans to redesign your workflow completely….”

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Phase One Capture One Pro 10 (Download)B&H – Version 11 of Capture One Pro will be coming soon to B&H.

Image Alchemist: Capture One Pro 11 Review

https://imagealchemist.net/capture-one-pro-11-review/

“This Capture One Pro 11 review learns [sic] you what is new and how you benefit. Are you doing all the edits yourself and in Capture One only, or do you have a retoucher to whom you need to pass along your instructions? Either way, you will enjoy the new tricks Capture One 11 has on its sleeve….”

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Phase One Capture One Pro 10 (Download)B&H – Version 11 of Capture One Pro will be coming soon to B&H.

Macphun: Let Your Aerial Photos Come to Life with Luminar

https://macphun.com/luminar/aerial-photography

“Do you yearn for a bird’s eye view? The latest version of Luminar for Mac features powerful and dedicated tools that help aerial photographers create their best photos ever….

… The new workspace instantly reveals the key photo filters you need to fix and enhance your aerial photos, from Dehaze to Accent filter, powered by artificial intelligence….”

Link:

Think Tank Photo Releases SKB Series Hard Cases with Think Tank Photo Soft Interiors for Photographers and Videographers

At long last, a company has recognized an issue that has increasingly been coming to the fore for travelling photographers and cinematographers, and has come up with a thoughtful, well-designed and well-made solution to it. Or rather, two companies in close collaboration, Think Tank Photo and SKB, and that issue is the increasing demand by airlines that we agree to stashing our precious, costly gear in the cargo hold instead of carrying it on as cabin luggage.

Think Tank Photo, a company whose soft camera bags and accessories I have used for some years, has collaborated with a maker of hard cases, SKB, a company new to me until now. Think Tank lists the products of this collaboration on its website under the SKB Hard Cases moniker and SBK has them on its website as the SKB Flyer Series.

There are similarities and differences between the two companies’ listings of the products of their collaboration, with SKB adding some video-oriented Flyer cases and a very useful long logistics hard case for carrying lighting and other production gear while Think Tank Photo appears to be  concentrating more on the stills side of things.

Think Tank Photo was a pioneer in supporting hybrid stills/video photographers/cinematographers with its brilliant but discontinued Wired Up Multimedia soft case range that I use to this very day. Think Tank Photo seems to have passed the hybrid thing by now, focussing on pure cinematography with a fourteen soft case-strong collection of video transport cases illustrated carrying RED, Canon Cinema EOS and DJI drone cameras.

A subset of Think Tank Photo SKB Hard Case photographs

Think Tank Photo has recently begun illustrating its products with Fujifilm X-Series mirrorless cameras in a hat-tip to the ever-growing popularity of APS-C and, one assumes, Micro Four Thirds hybrid stills/video cameras for professional photography and moviemaking, especially in the self-funded independent documentary and feature sector, a refreshing relief from their former concentration on 35mm format DSLRs from Canon and Nikon.

I do not use the inane and inaccurate “full frame”, “full format” and “crop sensors” terminology in reference to digital sensor sizes. Fujifilm’s GFX 50S medium format camera makes such olde worlde 35mm absolutism appear ridiculous, especially given that its body is about the same size or just a little bigger than the average DSLR but with a much larger sensor, establishing a new standard for image quality to be judged against if one is so inclined.

Although M43 cameras are not shown in the product shots, it is safe to assume that a case that can carry Fujifilm X-T2 and X-Pro2 Super 35 APS-C cameras, lenses and accessories can also hold Panasonic or Olympus Super 16 M43 cameras, lenses and accessories.

That is good news for those like me who would prefer to transport our Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, DMC-GH4 or DMC-GX8 fully rigged and ready for fast camera case egress going straight into shooting documentary footage minus fussing about attaching microphones, recorders, monitors, cables, cages, rigging and the like.

The same assumptions should apply to transporting the GFX 50S for stills photography given its DSLR size but bigger and better sensor.

The Think Tank Photo cum SKB Flyer hard case cum soft internals series could not have come at a better time as I am currently having to radically rethink how to carry my stills and video production gear during shoots, going to and from shoots and, when this interminable subdivision process is finally completed so we can refinance our projects including Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success, travelling intercity, interstate and overseas.

I am on the verge of a major camera case cleanup, reducing my reliance on shoulder bags and even some backpacks unduly straining permanently damaged spine, shoulders, arms and back.

Another clean-up factor is leather now that Sydney’s weather veers towards sub-tropical with ever-advancing climate change and the danger of leather-loving, lens-destroying mould taking up permanent residence in most Australian homes. Add to that the cruelty and environmental impact aspects of leather production.

I want to see all camera bag and accessory makers abandon the use of leather and follow the examples of companies like Cosyspeed that use kinder, safer materials like synthetic leather as used in the automobile industry.

Meanwhile I am looking at the specifications of all ten of the SKB Hard Cases at Think Tank Photo’s website while remembering scenes I witnessed in the days when I carted aluminium hard cases and soft logistics cases around the deserts of Western Australia and the odd foray to the eastern states for corporate assignments.

Watching luggage handlers hurl bags on and off their trailers, topple them onto the ground or sling them into luggage chutes made me cringe every time. It is great if you can get away with carrying your gear into the cabin but best to be prepared for that odd stroppy ticket or gate attendant who disputes that your “airline carry-on approved size” really is the approved size or rejects it for breaching said size by a millimetre or two.

Think Tank Photo SKB iSeries 3i-2011-7BP Backpack & Rolling Case

The 3i-2011-7BP is the one hard case in the SKB Hard Cases collection that combines a removable backpack with a rolling case, for use in a way not unlike the one that Deanne Fitzmaurice demonstrates in her How to Pack Gear for a Regional Jet video.

I have been considering something similar for safely transporting a future mostly-video documentary production kit based around the GH5 and its predecessors the GH4 and GX8. I just need to determine whether the set-up illustrated above will carry everything I need for short and feature documentary projects. Time to make a list!

I will need a second camera bag for cabin-only documentary stills gear, to complement the cabin or cargo hold mostly-video case, as well as a safer way of carrying tripod, lights and lighting stands for my coming new travelling kit to be complete.

It would be terrific if a vendor turns up at the SMPTE 2017 at Darling Harbour mid-July with a massive collection of Think Tank Photo camera bags so I can work out some optimal carrying combinations.

The steady reduction of photography retailers in this part of the world and the ending of photography trade shows here makes seeing, trying and selecting the right gear even more difficult than before. Guessing which camera bags you need based on product shots with cameras, lens and accessory systems you don’t use can be a challenge!

Links:

Image Credits:

  • Header image made from product photograph kindly supplied by Think Tank Photo and SKB Cases, processed with Macphun Luminar Neptune using a preset from the Tintype Looks collection, in remembrance of Khadija Saye,  the emerging British artist tragically killed in the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Macphun Luminar Raw Processor/Image Editor Updated, More Speed and Power, Hot Deals

The Luminar all-in-one raw processing and image editing application by Macphun, makers of a suite of other great products including Aurora HDR 2017, is my default, go-to software for photography and image resizing and exporting duties. Luminar has just been updated to version 1.1.1 and it continues to get better every single time. 

macphun_luminar_version1-1-1_updater_screen

Luminar’s version 1.1.1 update arrived shortly after an X100F review loaner was kindly delivered by the folks at Fujifilm Australia and after processing my very first shot with the X100F, camera plus processing software feels like a match made in heaven.

Both outwardly appear stripped-down, simple even, but their unassuming interfaces hide real power. I am impressed by how well Luminar 1.1.1 handles X-Trans raw files from the X100F.

Most software companies take ages to get around to supporting the very latest cameras. Macphun is already on the ball with the X100F and I hope will be just as fast to support two other soon-to-be-released new cameras, Fujifilm’s GFX 50S and Panasonic’s GH5.

I made the above three snapshots with the Fujifilm X100F at lunch earlier today then quickly and minimally processed them in Luminar 1.1.1 using the Smart Image Enhancer preset from the Photo Essentials preset pack available for purchase from Macphun. The photograph at left was cropped while the other two were full-frame.*

I was after a naturalistic though richly coloured, dark-toned image reminiscent of slow transparency films from the analog era. The light is always challenging in this location, its centre lit with dark amber and with bright sunlight at both ends. Digital noise is not a concern with these types of images especially now that contemporary mirrorless cameramakers are doing such a great job making it appear organic.

This quick and dirty test showed that Luminar 1.1.1 has gained speed in loading raw files and when processing using filters. I have a heavy image processing session coming up later this week and that is when this latest Luminar update will really be put to the test.

Meanwhile, colour me impressed. The Macphun team published a list of coming updates to Luminar and this latest update has me looking forward to what is coming next. Right now Luminar is Mac-only but will be coming to Windows sometime this year.

Macphun Luminar Special Offer:

Macphun has a terrific hot deal going on at the moment for Luminar, so get in now!

Footnote:

* I have been noticing the term “full-frame” being applied to the 35mm digital photography format as if that sensor were some kind of yardstick by which to judge other sensor sizes. These other sensor sizes such as APS-C and Micro Four Thirds are being described as “crop sensors”. Really?

The photographs above have been made with an APS-C sensor camera. That camera has a full-frame sensor, one utilizing the full frame of the APS-C sensor. In one photograph above, the image is not full-frame but has been cropped. The sensor has not been cropped, only its output in this case. The other two images can be described as full-frame though.

The “full-frame” and “full-format” aficionados need to get over this misuse of terms that make the 35mm film format appear to be some sort of unassailable standard. It isn’t. It never was.

Throughout much of the history of analog photography, the 35mm format was regarded as “miniature”, and was often adversely compared to larger formats like 6×4.5cm, 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x8cm, 6x9cm and larger on 120 film, or sheet film in the 4″x5″ size, 5″x7″, 8″x10″ and larger sizes. The digital 35mm format is no more the standard or benchmark than 35mm film was.

Zack Arias has a terrific article and video on the subject at DEDPXL, Crop or Crap :: Math or Moment.

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 Image Editor Released, Now Available for Tryout or Purchase

This year, 2016, really has been a bumper year for great photographic hardware and software and now it has become even better with the long-awaited release by On1, Inc. of On1 Photo RAW 2017, an integrated raw processor and image editor replete with presets, filters and other functionality. 

On1 Photo Raw 2017 combines the best of On1, Inc.’s other image editing products into one expansive, feature-packed browser-based interface.

So now On1 Photo RAW 2017 joins Macphun’s Luminar as the latest of the two completely new raw processing-cum-image editing products of this year, to complement major upgrades of popular established software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, Affinity Photo 1.5Alien Skin Exposure X2, Aurora HDR 2017, Capture One Pro 10, DxO Photo Optics 11, Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera and more.

Nobody can complain about not being spoiled for choice or not having the possibility of different raw processing and image editing paradigms and workflows.

On1 Photo Raw 2017 – I am dropping the capitalization of raw to RAW for the clear and obvious reason that RAW is not an acronym – along with Luminar are banging the nails in the coffin of separate software for raw processing and image editing and not before time.

The familiar On1 colour and monochrome (aka black and white) film simulation and printing effects presets are included in On1 Photo Raw 2017. Here, a mix of platinum printing, split-toning and a favourite analog film.

I am well over the idea of halfway processing images in a raw processor, then exporting them half-done to an image editor then finishing them off destructively or non-destructively before exporting them to a web-centric format for publication.

The more I can do non-destructively inside a raw-savvy application the better, in my opinion, and ON1, Inc. and Macphun clearly have got the message. Both their applications’ appearance in the latter part of 2016 can only be a good thing for competition, choice and plenty of terrific new features to come.

I have barely had time to skim the surface of what On1 Photo Raw 2017 can do, and it has been far long since I last used any of On1, Inc.’s other products, so best I keep it short, or shortish.

More conventional raw processing and image editing is a breeze in On1 Photo Raw 2017 too, as in this photograph made on the same day and camera as the monochrome image above.

The first big standout feature of On1 Photo Raw 2017 is its speed. It is FAST and clearly it makes plenty of use of the powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) of contemporary computers like the Apple iMac Retina I am using right now.

Secondly On1 Photo Raw 2017 belays the often time-consuming process of importing images into catalogs or sessions and is browser-based, enabling you to jump right in without delay.

Third, so many of the presets I came to appreciate and rely on when using other On1 products in the past are right here right now in On1 Photo Raw 2017, ready to add to a stack of filters, tools and adjustments that On1, Inc. tells us will only be growing over the coming months.

_1040811_on1_1920px
An uncropped image shot for square format. Optical correction is coming to ON1 Photo Raw 2017 next year.
_1040811_on1_dxovp_1920px
Optical correction and applied in DxO ViewPoint 3 then cropping, resizing and exporting to JPEG applied in Affinity Photo.

I am looking forward to automatic lens correction, workspaces, versioning, in-camera profiles as looks or film simulations, the portrait filter and background processing all of which are slated to arrive from January to May 2017.

Software updates, camera updates and bug fixes are distributed throughout that list, exciting and very necessary given we are expecting the arrival of Panasonic’s GH5, Fujifilm’s GFX 50S and X100F, and more in the first part of 2017.

In common with other contemporary image editors, On1 Photo Raw 2017 works as standalone software and as a plug-in for host applications like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and Apple Photos. Conversely, On1 Photo Raw 2017 acts as a host to other image editors and plug-ins such as, for example, Google Nik Collection.

On1 Photo Raw 2017 is available right now as a freely downloadable 30-day trial version along with a great set of free product training videos and the best advice I can give you right now is to watch as many of them as appropriate. (Advice I have yet to follow as our Internet access here has been even slower than usual lately.)

On1, Inc. is offering terrific upgrade and full version deals expiring on December 31 so get in fast if you want to take advantage! Even better is that the customary 2 computer limit does not apply for installing ON1 Photo Raw 2017. It can be used on up to 5 computers.

Stories: The Sirius Building, The Rocks, Sydney

The Sirius building is an inner city social housing project in the heart of Sydney’s historic The Rocks district, under threat of destruction. 

It is a rare, iconic example of the Brutalist movement in architecture, extant from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Brutalist architecture, like Brut champagne, is form derived from function, unsweetened with needless ornamentation, constructed with concrete cast into moulds often lined with roughened timber….