A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Reviews of photography products that enhance the enjoyment of taking pictures. Published frequently but irregularly.
5 April 2013
Rain has been passing through the last two days. We made our way down to Warm Water Cove with a Nikon D300 yesterday to enjoy it. Today we're firing up the Epson R3000 to make some prints on Ilford's Galerie Prestige papers.
Like other dSLRs we've known, the D300 doesn't indulge in aspect ratio options. You shoot 3:2 or you don't shoot. As if, you know, film was still making the rules.
But this shot cried out to be 16:9, so we took matters into our own hands.
We managed the crop in Adobe Camera Raw 7.4 (after straightening the image), where we also made the black and white conversion (tweaking the reds and blues a bit). A custom curve salvaged the rocks under what's left of the dock before we took a closer look at the image in Photoshop CS6.
By the way, we've noticed that Camera Raw 7.4 has made it through the Adobe product line, including Elements this morning.
We did two more things to the image in Photoshop.
The first was to create a highlight mask (we have an old action that does just that) so we could darken up the cars and the buildings behind them while preserving our hard-won shadow detail.
The second was to sharpen the image. We like using Nik Sharpener for this but these days our images serve multiple purposes (like leading this story) so we needed a more flexible sharpening option.
For some time now Photoshop has offered a Smart Sharpen tool with a Lens Blur option designed to sharpen digital photos without introducing artifacts. Unlike Unsharp Mask or Nik Sharpener, Smart Sharpen is non-destructive.
You convert your image into a Smart Object first, then apply the filter.
Yesterday we used one setting for the printable image and today, after resizing the image for this story, we double clicked on the filter in its layer and revised the setting before exporting the smaller image.
We've shot at Warm Water Cove before, testing the Nikon V1. There's something about the place that resonates with us. The industrial decay. The bay. The small signs of creativity here and there. A cairn, a woman's face spray-painted on an abandoned wall. The mix of businesses. The revitalized residences. It speaks to us a little more eloquently than the cable cars and cathedrals about where we are today.
This image rolls a lot of that into one shot. Worth a nice print, we think. We'll let you know how it goes.