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Bill Brooks

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Everything posted by Bill Brooks

  1. Some of the routines in photoshop and other programs will use the faster video memory, if it is available. So you may want to add more than 2 GB video memory for the ultimate machine. I do a lot of Canon 5D11 many layered still photoshop work quickly and without incident, with much less Mac than you are contemplating. I think your specs are on the overkill side. Your propose Mac would be more geared to heavy hauling procedures like editing video, or rendering 3D stills.
  2. Ed: Here is an idea. Set yourself up in Central Park in front of some colorful trees. Enlist the aid of a passerby to collect some leaves and throw them up in the air just in front of you. Click the shutter as the leaves descend. Depending on how selective you are about choosing the passerby, it can be a great way to meet girls !!!! This is the idea done with Cherry Blossoms, although in this case the wind came up and the falling blossoms are natural.
  3. The important thing is to show your audience something they have never seen before. All of the classic big subjects have been well covered. Therefore when we shoot the classic big subjects make sure we see, and then shoot them, in a way that that audience have never seen before. The role of the real photographer is to have a unique vision of the world, and be able to communicate that unique vision to the rest of humanity through his/her photography. If photographers can do that, they can change minds, and therefore change the world. Shoelaces or images of war are all valid subjects, if shot in a way that the viewer has never seen before.
  4. Images of mundane subjects sell because photo editors have trouble finding them. Photographers take images of spectacular subject matter, so there are too many images of spectacular subject matter, chasing too few buyers. For instance search Alamy for "Bird Banding" - 484 images. Search for "Bird" - 813,110 images. "Tree nursery" -2,103 images. "Maple Tree" - 33,217 images. "Tree" - 1,740,796 images. The "Tree Nursery" and "Bird Banding" images are pretty mundane, but you have a lot less competition if an editor is looking for that particular subject matter. It is very important to photo editors that their primary sources have images of EVERYTHING. One day you are looking for "Grand Canyon" the next day you are looking for an image of shoelace aglets (tips on the end of shoelaces that keep them from unraveling) Alamy search "Grand Canyon" -34,289 images. Search for "aglets" only 1 unique image, and the aglets are not on a shoelace How many bird photography specialists out there have participated in a bird banding, but never taken a picture of same?
  5. Nikon DF should be very hot with any photographer over 80 years old. Look at the age of the paid to comment photographers, who are featured in the technical marketing videos. I think Nikon is going the way of Hasselblad and Leica with their collector cameras. Fashion statement for old guys, but not for real photographers. I have an old battered 6X7 film camera on display in my office. Serves the same purpose, very cool. Here is some commentary on the DF from a respected source http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20131105_2-NikonDf-thoughts.html Bill Brooks
  6. I put all the images in the set in one jpg like this. Bill Brooks
  7. I think it has a kind of humor about the traveller abroad, so would sell well for stock if it was in colour. Black and white eliminates most stock clients. If a client wants a black and white they can always convert a colour shot to black and white
  8. Getty sold about $850 million per year. Shutterstock sold nothing when it was formed in 2006, but will sell about $500 million this year by selling cheap. Shutterstock's lower priced sales are having a negative effect on the entire industry, but especially Getty. Shutterstock did not increase industry gross sales. It took market share away from other libraries and forced them to lower prices. This is a price war between Getty and Shutterstock. The rest of us are collateral damage.
  9. Good advice, except I always include complete location information in the caption, even if the subject could be anywhere. I spent 5 years as photo editor and when we did books on, for instance, the province of Ontario Canada every image had to be taken in the province of Ontario. Even if it was a bird like the Canada Goose that could be found and photographed anywhere in Canada. We were always concerned that readers would spot some vegetation in the background that would place the image in a different province. A flower may have minor differences between east and west ends of the country . A textbook would have to be recalled. The other thing is that an editor may be dealing with thousands of images at a time and wants the location information to follow the image in the caption. We would also pin the image locations to a map of the province to make sure that we covered the entire province with our images. Therefore exact location such as the nearest town was important. Local bookstores wanted to point out that the generic image of a flower was taken near their town so that information might be included when the author wrote the captions in the book. You also have to consider that the photo editor may lack local knowledge and get confused. I would caption an image of the island of Hawaii as "The Big Island of Hawaii in the State of Hawaii USA". This is because you have many islands in the state of Hawaii such as Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau, Kahoolawe, and finally Hawaii which is called "The Big Island" locally. Captioning something as Hawaii (state of) will not cut it, if the book is about the the island of Oahu only.
  10. A great shot. The light streaks give the image a 3 dimensionality, and the most important members of the group have more light on them. This downplays others, as it throws the others slightly in the shade. I wonder if the photographer charged for "extra heads". That is when one or more smiling heads are cloned out of rejected photographs in order to make one final single photograph with everyone smiling. In order to get the assignment, the Palace would have to trust you to not publish the single bad image where the Queen was inadvertently showing too much leg. Photographer Anthony Armstrong Jones married the Queen's sister, and got the royal photography business for years. He was a great photographer, and he was trusted.
  11. Changing colour balance can add noise to an image. When you change colour balance in software you may be mixing in noisy information from a darker channel, and we all know that darker channels contain more noise. JPG from the camera or adjusting a RAW in software. Makes no difference. Also noise is more obvious in areas that lack detail like the sky. Noise is still in areas with the high detail, but the high detail makes the noise harder to see.
  12. I have been using big desktop tower MACS to run Photoshop since 1992. Macs are plug and play, and allow you to get on with the photographic work without becoming an IT expert. When your computer, or the operating system, or your programs, are upgraded, or you plug a new external device into the network, everything works. No downtime, therefore Macs are cheap. The problem with Macs is you can get dependent on software that ends up abandoned. I have had this problem with Nikonscan, Bryce (3D), Quicken (accounting), and recently Portfolio (image database). I have 15,854 finished digital images in a Portfolio database and use it constantly.
  13. Why didn't I after every shoot. It is the best way to improve your photography
  14. Good thing you checked Paul. Always be careful of making assumptions when you write captions. I have a Canadian friend who was born in Canada, and whose family immigrated to Canada generations ago. She is therefore not an immigrant, but she is of asian descent. Canada's national magazine identified her as an immigrant when it used a stock photograph of her snapped in the street, without her permission, to illustrate a story on immigration.
  15. Paulette I have lots of images that are hard to keyword, because they do not communicate or describe anything very well. This image fails because there is confusion on the viewers part, as to what it means. This is why this particular image is hard to keyword. Images that are hard to keyword do not sell as stock photos. A different version of this image could have communicated "funny hat"; "angry women"; demonstration; ivory; "New York"; USA However to communicate all of that, the hat should be more readable, the women should look angry, the women should be carrying signs and marching, there should be a real elephant tusk, there should be a New York landmark, there should be an american flag. Were these women looking at someone jumping around in an elephant costume? If they were, then that was the picture, and would be easy to keyword. I delete about 95% of my images because they fail to communicate or describe in a strong enough fashion. Makes keywording the remainder very easy. Bill
  16. I would overexpose the entire image, without raising the levels of the saturated color channel over 255, in the hope of raising the dark not saturated color channels above the low level where noise would occur. Then there is no noise because all channels are higher. When I pull the overexposure back to normal in post processing, I am working with a raw file with no noise in any channel. Pulling the overexposure back to normal does not introduce noise. Therefore I get a noise free saturated image. This is called expose the histogram to the right, and there is a more complete explanation here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml
  17. I think most english searchers would use the non english location name used by the locals. Names you would find on a map of Italy. You are also not sorting out keywords by importance. A typical Tuscan alley should be "Tuscan", "alley", in the important keywords section, with "typical" in the all other not important keywords section. This way you would have more room in the important keywords section for a more important keyword like "architecture". Your photographs are taken in a heavy overcast non directional light. I think some direction to the light would bring out more texture in the subject matter. Not necessarily bright sunshine with blue skies, but some direction to the light. A light, but not heavy, overcast still has some direction to the light. Stormy skies are also great, but heavy overcast is like a lead balloon. If I have to take images in a heavy overcast, I avoid the sky entirely. Move in on the subject matter and eliminate the sky. Wait for dusk and get some light direction from the city lights. I do not try to darken the sky in post processing, because I think it looks unnatural. Like your night shots, where the artificial light gives a texture and direction to the light.
  18. Many members asked for a lower payment threshold, so this change comes under the category of "be careful what you wish for". The change costs me more money, because I always got paid at the end of the month, even when the threshold was $350. Because the threshold was lowered for photographers that have trouble taking pictures that sell, and because I reside in Canada, I will have an extra charge at the end of the month. I am sure that Alamy is not profiting from this change, but Alamy has to keep the overall cost of paying all photographers at the same level. Hence I have an extra charge at the end of the month so Alamy can pay poor sellers faster. There should be a provision for non US non UK "foreigners" to opt for a higher payment, no charge, threshold. Alamy should stop listening to some people on this forum.
  19. Ed: The sky problem is mainly the high natural saturation, and not underexposure. Any highly saturated colour will have noise problems in the other colour channels. I usually overexpose by 2/3 stop over the exposure set by the camera. I then pull back the exposure to normal, in post processing. At the time of exposure, I keep an eye on the 3 individual colour channels in the camera histogram to make sure I am not overexposing the most saturated colour channel. If you overexpose blue super saturated skies in camera, you run the risk of blowing the blue channel. IE blue channel at 255. This gives false colour, (for true colour the blue channel should have been 275 but the raw file is not capable of that), and no room to maneuver in post processing. This often happens with the colour yellow. Even at normal exposure, yellow has very high values in the red and green channels and very low values in the blue channel. There are two factors. The level of exposure for all channels combined (lightness), and the relationship of the exposure between the 3 channels (saturation and colour hue). You have to keep both factors in mind for a correct exposure you can work with in post processing.
  20. The super saturated blue in the sky is causing the problem. You will have this problem with any saturated colour, not only blue. You know that when you try to brighten dark shadows you get noise. A super saturated blue sky is bright only in the blue channel. The red channel is very dark. Therefore when you try to globally lighten the sky you lighten the very dark red channel as well, and get noise in the red channel. A medium DARK blue super saturated sky will probably read 200 in the blue channel, 50 in the green channel, and 5 in the very dark red channel. When you lighten the saturated blue globally you might get 250, 100, 55. The red channel has gone from a dark noisy 5 to a brighter noisy 55 and this causes the noise to become obvious. Your software may have already tried to lighten the corners of your image because of underexposure in the corners caused by your lens. Particularly if it is a kit lens or you used a good lens at a wide aperture. This only exacerbates the red noise problem in the corner. The solution may be to lighten the Blue and Green channel but not the Red. At the same time you may want to darken the red channel so that all of the red noise from 20-0 zeros out. This will change the overall colour, but is the new colour still pleasing ? Do the none sky colours read ok? Another solution may be to run a median filter on the entire red channel, if the red channel contains no important information. Another solution may be to select the sky and run the median filter on the sky part of the red channel. If the noise is only in the corners, select the corners and run the median filter on the corners of the red channel. When you lighten a saturated colour, be sure you do not push any channel beyond 255. If you push beyond 255 then you lose information in the highlights and you get banding. This is one of the arguments against using a polarizer to saturate a blue sky. It will add noise to the red channel.
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