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About MDM

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  • Joined Alamy
    29 Apr 2009

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  1. You can learn so much about light and tone using black and white as it actually simplifies everything taking the colour out. Well worth delving deeply into I think. The stuff I learned (taught myself) back in the days of black and white film and the darkroom has been invaluable in this digital age. Not nostalgic or wanting to go back in time at all I should add but I still love monochrome, particularly for portraiture. I think I have only ever submitted one black and white image to Alamy though so not really recommending that.
  2. That is no longer the case (Alamy and Flash that is). I don't even have Flash installed anymore on my Mac. The web upload problems were resolved several months ago (before the summer) as far as I know. Edo's problem might be something to do with upload restrictions or poor upload speeds from his internet provider.
  3. No problem with those Lightroom/ACR local adjustments Betty. Made for the job. Not that I am suggesting you touch them though 😁.
  4. Yes I was surprised when I got the F4 as I thought F2.8 was essential for low light shooting. It is also exceptionally good wide open. I think when it comes to longer telephotos the weight advantage of mirrorless gets wiped out as the lenses are much heavier than the bodies anyway. A medium telephoto macro lens that doubles as a portrait lens is always a good one to have in the bag. The Sony 90 sounds good. Tamron and Nikon have excellent macro lenses in this range as well. It is hard to be really objective on a question like Shergar's as most of us don't have access to more than one system so people tend to say what their own favourite is. I don't know about Sony and US prices which are always way better than this side of the Atlantic but Nikon have dropped their prices massively at the moment - often 30% less than they were earlier in the year.
  5. There is nothing worth talking about it seems between the Sonys and the Nikons in terms of image quality at equivalent MP size so decisions on which to go for should be made on other criteria. His older lenses appear to have been through the mill (repaired many times) so probably still usable but not a decision criterion on what to buy I would say. Also if going for mirrorless on the basis of weight, sticking an old 24-70 2.8 on is going to negate the advantages of the weight loss. While an F2.8 is highly desirable on a DSLR if shooting in low light, with mirrorless the wide aperture is not so important because the electronic viewfinder will brighten things up a lot. The Nikon 24-70 F4 that comes as part of a kit with the Z6 and Z7 is an astoundingly sharp lens.
  6. I didn't consider the Canon mirrorless cameras in what I said above as the general view from detailed reviews is that they lack some important features of the Nikons and Sonys. The lack of in-body stabilisation is a really big one and the sensors are regarded as not being as good as the Nikons and Sonys in terms of dynamic range and noise. See the conclusions to this review for example. For somebody with existing Canon lenses then that might outweigh some of the negatives but the fact that his lenses are very old and have been repaired many times would seem to negate any advantage to staying with Canon. Sony are still leading the way in full frame mirrorless, Nikon are breathing down their necks but Canon still have a lot of catching up to do it seems.
  7. The requirement for sport would probably rule out Fuji and Olympus I think. These cameras may be capable of doing sports photography but they are not ideal as far as I can see - no direct experience with either system I have to say. For such general purpose (sport, wildlife, landscape and anything else that comes to mind) I would not consider anything but a full frame system. Definitely consider a high MP camera as well - the advantages are very significant. Therefore I would suggest that it comes down to a straight battle between Sony and Nikon. If it doesn't have to be mirrorless then the D850 does all of the above and does it all incredibly well (and the prices have come way down as well). If mirrorless is a requirement then Sony are currently in the lead in the action arena but Nikon are breathing down their necks. The next mirrorless offering from Nikon will likely make up for the current shortcomings in terms of rapid AF tracking. There is nothing between them in terms of image quality (sensors).
  8. Don't mention it Steve. I didn't read anywhere about doing local adjusments to try and get acceptable skin tones - it is just a natural progression from my general workflow. I am a perfectionist though and happy to be that way. You can't beat doing your own prints with a decent printer to really focus the mind on the issues as you have total control over the process whereas if you send stuff to a lab you might never learn unless you ask them not to do any colour correction. I do a lot of portrait photography (not for stock) and it is most important to flatter people as much as possible if you want satisfied clients so you definitely don't want to make them look red-faced. Nor do you want to make them look too yellow as they start to look jaundiced. Actually a lot of people like black and white which gets around the problem nicely. As I said above I tend to use the radial filter in LR more than the freehand adjustment brush as it is very suitable for making quick modifications to circular or elliptical areas such as faces and eyes. So a quick colour modification works really well using the WB and saturation controls (desaturation works great for red faces) together with the other controls for lightening (great for brightening eyes) or darkening and so on. The advantage of the radial filter is that it can be synchronised rapidly across a group of similar pics and moved on individual pics after that if necessary. Finally, if those pics were mine I would darken the hands a bit using a local control as they are still a bit washed out - take down the highlights and maybe the exposure as well. The hands are also still too red for my liking as well. That tip on the link I posted from the Adobe forum where green should be around half way between red and blue actually works very well.
  9. Interesting and it certainly seems to work there. However, I think experience and practice is the key though in getting accurate skin tones in developing the raw file. You can't beat a grey card really although it is important to remain aware of the colour of the light source - do I want to retain warm colours if the light is warm for example. And of course we go back to the issue of how an image will appear on different monitors and the colour space thing again. And then there is printing and the light used for viewing the print. A difficult area.
  10. I think you are missing the point here. I am not trying to annoy or upset you, simply making a point and taking issue objectively with the idea that this is subjective. It is not a matter of opinion. White skin tones fall within a certain range of RGB values that can be objectively measured on a computer. To be clear, if one was to include a neutral grey card in the shot in the same light as a hand or face and use the eye dropper tool in Lightroom to get an accurate white balance, then the skin tones should be within a narrow RGB range. In the case of the photo above, the strong red - magenta cast on the hand in the original is due to lighting, not medical issues (or a very cold environment). The hand was in a different light to the main scene.
  11. You might find this interesting
  12. It was the statement "On my monitor that's a reasonable colour for skin particularly if it's a bit chilly." that I was arguing about. Skin that colour would be entirely unnatural. It is not a matter of opinion - this is something that can be objectively measured within certain parameters. I download Steve's image with a right click which might be more accurate than a screenshot.
  13. It all comes down to intended and potential usage as well as what you are intending to spend. Horses for courses and all that. Here are a few thoughts. Word on the street is that the DSLR's days are numbered but not for some years to come. Probably the biggest attraction of mirrorless cameras is the body size but that is literally outweighed by the size of the lens. If you are going to stick a big telephoto on a tiny body, then you lose that weight advantage obviously. So when I use a biggish telephoto it is on a DSLR and it is very happy on there. I can't speak for Sony although they have many advocates and evangelists. I am embedded in Nikon but happy to be there and that they have finally taken the big step forward into mirrorless as it guarantees their future. The first mirrorless offerings are not perfect but they are exceptionally good in many ways, not least in terms of image quality.. But for a really high quality carry round camera, the Z7 with the 24-70 F4 is incredible. The in-body stabilisation means I can shoot confidently at 1/50 of a second and even down to 1/20 if I am very careful which is amazing for a 45MP camera. I used to always carry a tripod when out and about in the countryside but the ability to shoot at slow shutter speeds in low light (great high ISO performance) has allowed me to leave the tripod in the car far more often. The F4 rather than 2.8 is not a big issue as the electonic viewfinder makes it a lot easier to see in poor light. It is not great auto-focusing in low light and it is lacking in the action department in terms of focus tracking in comparison to the D850 which is incredibly good in both departments. It would be a big step up if you went for a 45MP camera but there are some real benefits, not least the ability to crop very significantly and still get a decent sized image - very useful for sport among other things. Those who have never used such a high MP camera sometimes scoff but those of us who use them know the benefits. But you also need to consider whether your computer can handle large files. I think probably the biggest advantage of Nikon over Sony is that they are still making DSLRs and have a huge range of secondhand lenses and other kit available. There is not a lot if anything between the sensors as far as I know. Until recently Sony were making the Nikon sensors but that has changed apparently. I see from your Instagram that you do a lot of surf photography which presumably explains the need to get your kit repaired so often. Pro level kit with good weather sealing would seem to be sensible as it might be false economy to go for prosumer kit which may not be as good in that department and you spend a fortune getting it repaired.
  14. From your profile pic you look more southern European or maybe just well-tanned so you could probably add more yellow and bring back some saturation in the adjustment brush than I was suggesting. I speak as a ruddy one with fair celtic complexion that goes red at the mere thought of sunshine, wind or cold. People don't like to look red so I tend to desaturate ruddy skin tones a bit as it is a lot more flattering. If I take pics of a couple and one is ruddy and the other has a nice tan or just normal white skin, then I will tend to use a local adjustment with desaturation on the ruddy one - not so much that it is noticeable but just a touch can be good.
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