About a week ago, on a cold, dreary day (sounds like “once upon a time” or “it was a dark and stormy night”!), I went out with my Yashica D and a roll of color negative film, Fuji Pro 400H. Colors everywhere were muted, more so as it was in the latter part of the afternoon. I guestimated all exposures, and found that I had been too conservative in my estimates as many of the pictures were under exposed. Fuji Pro 400H makes for beautiful colors in the sun, but perhaps Ektar would be better suited for a cloudy, dull day. Perhaps, too, colors would have been better rendered with more light? Hard to judge at this point – the more I use film, the more I have to think about beyond exposure!
I’ve been doing a “silent 365” in black and white this year, but I want to make a comment here. The camera which I used to take this picture is a 1935 box camera, a pseudo-TLR, the Voigtlander Brillant. It’s an interesting camera – has a few quirks – but I was really pleased with the results. This is an image taken on Ektar 100, 120mm, and converted to black and white for th is project.
I felt like a tourist when I headed out to the botanical garden a few weeks ago. I had my Olympus XA4, my Kodak Retina IIIc for its maiden voyage, and the Perkeo II loaded with Fuji Neopan 400. I am so impressed with this film – the blacks are black, and the whites are white. I didn’t have an orange or red filter with me, so some pictures were not what I would have liked to see; still, the detail and beauty of the film is seen here (and the Perkeo is no slouch, either). Sadly, Neopan in this form is no longer made – the C-41 form – although Acros is available.
Today is the very, very first day that On1 Photo Raw is available for usage. I think the original idea was to have a product ready to roll in October 2016, but rather than have a “finished” product full of bugs, they realized they had more on their plate, and held off until today, November 23. I’m glad they did – and I am glad, too, that they realize that this really is a “work in progress” as it stands.
Personally, I love On1, and have been using them since version 8, which was a while back. I use it with Lightroom. What makes On1 great as a company is their support, ongoing consistent development, tutorials, and so on. On1 products are sophisticated, and while they do not rival Adobe Photoshop for complexity, On1 products are far easier to use. I prefer their brushes, spot and blemish removal tools, as well as the fact I can create presets which I can store. At this point, the presets from On1 Photo Suite 10 cannot be used in On1 Photo Raw, but I expect they will have the ability to port them later on. The one-up that Photoshop has is its “content-aware” fill.
The image above, Waiting for Lovers, was edited using On1 Photo Raw. It is a film image using Kodak Ektar 100 in a 1930s Welta Weltur rangefinder. The lens is an uncoated Xenar – probably about 75mm – which has an ethereal quality to it that I really love. Scanning the image with my rather dirty Epson V600 (I have since cleaned it), I ended up with a blue streak across the entire image. On1 took it out quite nicely. Spots and threads were also easy to remove. I think On1 did something to their processing algorithm (or whatever), as the spot removal works very quickly.
This image is a pano stitched together in LR, and consists of two images taken with the Olympus XA4 and Lomography 100 film. The only thing I did was perk it up a bit with some detail, in LR and in Photo Raw. It is nearly identical to the SOOC image.
Finally, the above image was really pushed in On1 Photo Raw. Spot removal, brush usage, presets, whatever. This was an overall high-key, pale image, but I set it up to be contrasty and bright – possibly too much so – but wanted see what I could do. This was also taken with the XA4 and Lomo 100 film. Both of these two images were scanned using a Pakon 135 scanner.
There is so much software out there for photographers, that competitors to Photoshop seem to come and go. My favorite and most consistent programs are Lightroom and On1. I also use DxO v. 11, and while it is good for some things, it lacks the diversity of On1. Capture One is good, too, but it makes me crazy as it does not make sense to me at times . . . but I admit, I have not put in time to using it as it has a higher learning curve, and is not, for me, very intuitive. So, two thumbs up to On1 for its Photo Raw software – I think it will prove to be a real winner as they continue to develop it.
These weeds – oat grass? – are typical grasses in open areas of southern California. The seed heads are sharp and stick into your socks and shoes and work their way in. Pity the poor dog who doesn’t get these removed . . . Mother Nature’s way to ensure a new generation is propagated someplace!
This was taken late in the day, and really underexposed. Cleanup was not the best, nor composition, but I rather like it despite that. Roads leading into the horizon are always fascinating.
Lizard’s Mouth is a promontory toward the eastern edge of the park, and as the sun rises in the west, it begins to glow.
While this is a pretty bleak looking landscape, it also shows you how the heat of summer dries the winter grasses. One match, and whoosh! Too many fires already in California.