Appreciation through Understanding
In November/December 2014 my wife and I took a trip with Overseas Adventure Travel to "Patagonia and the Wilderness Beyond." I expected this to offer great opportunities for photography, and I was not disappointed. Besides the wonderful national parks in Argentina and Chile, we had four days on a small boat cruising the Chilean Fjords to Cape Horn. I have put together a journal of this trip with photographs. To see this journal please click the link below:
Patagonia (4,919 KB)
Suppose a 17th century artist sets out to create a highly realistic, or shall we say high resolution, painting of a scene. He would want to achieve correct perspective along with perfect hue, saturation, and luminance at every point. That is a tall order, but apparently the Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer (1632-75), did just that. His small oeuvre languished after his death, but when his work was rediscovered in the 19th century, artists and art historians marveled at the photographic realism of his paintings. The wide angle field of views with perfect perspective were striking enough, but the tonal values made the paintings almost supernaturally realistic. You can find the complete text here:
Photoart_Vermeer2.pdf (594 KB)
If a nature photographer wants to be prepared to shoot any kind of subject, a lot of equipment will be required. By shoot I mean to capture high quality images that can stand a lot of enlargement. There are two ways to cut weight from the travel kit. One can either limit the objectives or compromise on the equipment. For example I like landscapes, but I also want to be able to photograph wildlife and sometimes even birds. That means I need both telephoto and wide angle lenses. This year my ideal kit contains a Canon 6D camera for landscapes and night sky shots. The lenses are a Canon 24-105mm standard zoom and a Samyang 14mm wide angle lens. For wildlife I include a Canon 70D equipped with a Canon 100-400mm lens. You can find the complete text here:
Too_Heavy (279 kb)
In post processing photographers spend a lot of time adjusting colors. We also profile cameras, displays, and printers in an attempt to obtain the same appearance of an image on all of our devices. All of our tools are based on the concept of the standard observer who represents an average of individuals with normal color vision. Unfortunately, up to 10% of the male population and 0.5% of the female population have color vision anomalies. This is seldom, if ever, mentioned in articles on color adjustment. To fill in this gap, I have prepared an essay on the topic. You can find the complete text here:
Coloranomalies.pdf (726 KB)
I am writing a series of articles on science for the curious nature photographer that may eventually be part of a book. The first few have to do with the operation of the eye/brain system. In particular I am concerned with how we see the world around us. What is real and what is illusion? The article, "What We See and How We Photograph It: There is No Reality, Get Over It," was published on www.luminous-landscape.com. You can see the article (pdf, 653 kb) here. An article on color management and color vision anomalies has been completed and will be published soon.
According to Google, Circle of Confusion is a song, an entertainment company, and the name of a website. It also has some connection with photography. In this article it is all about CoC in photography, and why it is important. Of course, you can look up discussions of the CoC concept, its history, and associated calculations online. However, in a few paragraphs I think I can clarify the concept for photographers and show why it is useful.
The complete (476 KB) article can be found here.
We are bombarded with images from television, computer screens, newspapers, and magazines. There are advertisements, illustrations for news stories, snapshots from social media, and on and on. From time to time there are news stories expressing outrage about manipulated photographs in advertisements and, heaven forbid, enhanced photos in news stories. There are rants about fake photographs, and prestigious publications such as the New York Times proclaim their purity. In the nytco web site1 we find, Images in our pages that purport to depict reality must be genuine in every way.
The complete article (507 KB pdf) can be found here.
Also, the article has been published on Luminous-Landscape.
I recently purchased a Samyang (Rokinon, Bower, Walimex) 14mm lens after reading glowing reviews of it. For example: It is insanely great Tim Ashleys Blog, I think its an insane bargain for a very sharp lens Roger Cicala of Lensrentals, and may be the surprise product of the season. Photozone.de. Overall this is a great lens, and similar lenses from the big name manufacturers cost five times as much. However, one should be aware that the Samyang beast is strictly mechanical. One must get used to that. There is no electronic contact with the camera for focus or exposure. Fortunately, focus is manageable given the large depth of field; and exposures are sort of automatic on my Canon camera in the aperture priority mode.
The complete article (414 KB PDF) can be found here.
I am doing macro photography with focus stacking again and that has forced me to revisit depth-of-field calculations as well as diffraction broadening effects. In both cases the effective F-stop of the lens is an essential parameter. So what is the effective F-stop of my macro lens?[Read More]
I like to photograph the night sky in such a way that the stars appear to be bright points of light and not lines or streaks. This is possible if the exposure time is adjusted so that the images of the stars move on the camera sensor by amounts that are not evident in enlarged images. My calculations of the required exposure times are described in the following pdf document.
Science for the Curious Photographer is now being shipped with the corrections that I have reported. Also, I am happy to note that photographs, illustrations, and tables have been appropriately improved. I did not see any indication that this is a second printing. One way to check that you have a corrected copy is to look at Table E.1 in Appendix E. In the latest printing, the table contains a left hand column giving numbers 1 17 for the rows.
You can find all of the reported errors listed in my December 6, 2012, blog entry. There is also a link to high resolution copies of the photographs.