Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

Ginormous Image Files

February 29th, 2008

Here’s a follow up to a comment I made about 800 MB files in a previous posting (see Canon 1Ds Mark III Workflow).  There were a few incredulous responses along the lines of, “How could anyone have an 800 MB image file?”  The answer was pretty straight forward.  Start with a 20 MB RAW file, convert it to tiff (now you’re around 100 MB), add a few layers and presto, an 800 MB gorilla.

But I have that one topped.  Give this one a try.  Shoot a 360 degree panorama.  Now at 15 degrees between shots it takes 24 images to make the full 360.  Let’s see, that’s 1680 MB of RAW files.  To make life simpler, convert the RAW files to JPEGs.  Then stitch them together in CS3 using Photomerge.  Don’t flatten the layers; just save the file as a PSB (you have to use Adobe’s large file format) and there you have it – a 2 GB image file.

Here’s an interesting tidbit for the Lightroom version of Trivial Pursuit:  LR can’t import the file – too big.

All I can say is, “It’s a good thing they now have 1 TB external drives.”  And to think my very first computer had a 90 KB single sided, single density 5 1/4″ floppy drive.  Yep, just one of them.  Come to think if it, with its 4 MHz Z80 CPU it would have taken about a week (maybe more) to stitch together the 24 images assuming I could have found enough storage to hold the file once it was done.  We’ve come a long way baby. (241)

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DxO Impressions 5

February 22nd, 2008

I want to set the record straight on my experience with DxO.  In the interest of fairness, it appers that the troubles I was having was a result of .NET issues that existed on my machine before I tried to upgrade DxO.  How do I know this?  Well, the process I had to go though to fix the problem caused by the DxO upgrade fixed some other problems I was having with my computer.

So here’s my final conclusion:

The .NET problem, it was lurking in the bowels of my computer waiting for something to come along.  The DxO upgrade was just that thing.  Now the .NET problem is resolved.

I’ll wait before giving DxO another try but when they come out with their upgrade for the 1Ds Mark III I probably won’t be able to resist.  The concept behind the product is still fascinating. (289)

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DxO Impressions 4

February 20th, 2008

Well, I’m very pleased to report that I heard back from DxO.  They expressed regret for the problems I was facing and hoped I’d reconsider.  I was impressed they responded.  So often companies don’t bother with a disgruntled customer.  So I’ll keep an eye on the product and if it appears it is stabilizing I just may give it a go again.

Read the final posting in this saga to see how it all turned out. (180)

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DxO Impressions 3

February 19th, 2008

The plot thickens.  Now, since the failed installation of DxO, not only does it not work but at least one key program no longer works.  It tries to launch and then just disappears with no error message or anything.

 Several Hours Later….

Everything is back up and running again – except DxO.  I uninstalled it after reinstalling it and it still didn’t work.  A little research for the other program that wasn’t working suggested .NET 2.0 was corrupted.  Fixing it required using a utility to uninstall it as the Windows Add/Remove Programs wouldn’t touch it.  If you run into the same situation, here’s the link to the Microsoft support site.

That fixed the problem.  But I’m afraid I’m not going to risk going through this again by reinstalling DxO.  I got along fine without it in the past and I’ll get along fine without it in the future.

Read the final posting in this saga to see how it all turned out. (183)

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Canon 1Ds Mark III Dynamic Range

January 16th, 2008

It’s time to do some controlled testing with the III.  The sensor’s dynamic range is always something of interest and very important.  So I set up a test and came up with some results.

The test consisted of shooting an inside door this evening.  The door has a bit of a pattern so it’s not flat.  The high exposures show was adjusted so it just barely produced clipping.  Then the exposure was decreased by one stop until just before the detail disappeared into black.  The results are in; the sensor captures 7 or 8 stops of dynamic range.  From what I read Velvia is about 5.

But wait; there’s more.  There’s a feature called Highlight Tone Preservation that’s supposed to give you more on the high end.  And it does indeed, adding another 2/3 to 1 stop to the top end.  So the grand total is 8 or 9 stops of dynamic range.

 Click here to see my photographs. (367)

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Canon 1Ds Mark III Live View

January 13th, 2008

Last night I did some shooting with my 70-200 on a tripod.  I wasn’t pleased with the sharpness with that lens when shooting hand held.  Duh!  So I set everything up and snapped a few shots.  A quick review last night and I still wasn’t satisfied with the sharpness when shooting at 200mm.  Now, I must confess, one of the problems could very well have been that I was taking 2 min exposures.  It was getting late and I wanted to shoot at f/11 or better.  There was probably enough of an evening breeze to move the subject (shrubs about 400m away). 

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Canon 1Ds Mark III Workflow

January 12th, 2008

Got a chance to work on some images last night.  Had to pull myself away at midnight.  Here are a couple of thoughts.

RAW file size is about 20 MB as expected.  The TIFF file with just the Background layer is 120 MB.  That’s about four times larger than I’m used to.  I worked on one image using my regular workflow and it ended up at over 800 MB.  A second TIFF was over 500 MB.  File size has become an issue overnight.  And I just added a 1 terabyte external drive to my workstation.

Now, my normal workflow begins with a PS action that does three things –

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Canon 1Ds Mark III Sensor Clean

January 11th, 2008

I have a question for anyone that reads this post.

One of the exciting features of the new generation of Digital SLRs is a function called sensor clean.  Every time you power up or power down the camera, it vibrates the sensor at an ultra-sound frequency to shake off any dust that may have accumulated when you change lenses.  My understanding that, in addition to the vibrating sensor, there is a statically charged plate below the sensor that attracts the dislodged dust particles.

My question is this – Does the orientation of the camera have an effect on how well the sensor is cleaned?  Is it better to have the camera sitting on its base (lens pointing horizontally)?  What if you’re holding it in your hand and pointing the lens down; is sensor cleaning still as effective?

If you have a thought on this, please feel free to leave a comment.

See the photographs on my website. (373)

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Canon 1Ds Mark III

January 10th, 2008

Well, there’s not a whole lot new to report tonight.  I took a couple of shots out the back today and really like the RGB histogram.  Have you ever had a shot that didn’t look like it was clipped but ended up clipped in one of the channels?  Well, now you’ll know and can do something about it while you still have a chance.

I also played around some with exposure bracketing.  In addition to planning on doing HDR I also plan to try out Uwe Steinmueller’s High Speed HDR technique.  That’s where you do HDR hand held.  At 5 frames per second it’s a good bet the 1Ds Mark III will be fast enough to do hand held HDR (although it’s only half as fast as it’s little brother the 1D Mark III which Uwe shoots).  Well, it turns out that to do High Speed HDR you need to turn off High ISO Speed Noise Reduction.  It turns out it cuts the buffer to about 1/4 its size.

No photographs uploaded to the computer yet but we’re making some progress.  So,…

Stay tuned. (201)

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Canon 1Ds Mark III

January 10th, 2008

It arrived yesterday, my new Canon 1Ds Mark III.  Graduating up from a 10D is like graduating from a slide rule to a computer (does anyone still remember slide rules or have I limited the people who will understand that analogy to pre-baby boomers?)  I spent about two and a half hours last night going through the instruction manual.  Yes, there are people who still read the manual, at least in some situations and this was one.

There are so many things that amaze me just from first impressions.  The first thing I noticed was that it was actually much lighter than I expected.  But my first impressions were made before the battery was installed.  icon wink Canon 1Ds Mark III  But even with the battery installed it was lighter than I expected.  Then I put my 24-70 f/2.8L on it and it got heavy.

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