Winter musings re: post-processing.

Yesterday in addition to a new image (here), I posted a few from 2016 (here and here) that I’d never gotten around to sharing (so in a sense they were new too).

This all came about because the winter here has really decreased my photo opportunities lately and in my restlessness to do something creative I decided go back and revisit some old images of mine.  As an aside, this is a good thing to do from time-to-time because it inevitably leads to some form of insight (though I must admit that I haven’t been good about engaging in photographic self-evaluation lately).

Specifically, I was looking at this image from last summer:

↑ Nikon D500 + Nikon 200mm f/2 G ED VR II.

… and realized that, in my haste to post-process it along with 100 other images from that day, I had probably not optimally processed it.

Post-processing has been on my mind lately because a reader of this blog recently shared a photo with me (taken by another photographer) that he considered “over-cooked”.  I have written about such over-zealous post-processing in the past and I heartily agreed with him.

In looking at the photo above, I wondered whether I had shown too much restraint — whether I had, in fact, under-processed it.  I subsequently fired up Lightroom and played with the settings to arrive at this alternate version:

The two versions are not drastically different (remember, I’m still trying to be cautious) but I believe the re-worked version is better than the original.

I will take what I learned from experimenting with this image and most certainly will apply that knowledge to my images this year, and it will probably make a bigger difference to my output than any gear-related change I could potentially make.  I’m therefore glad that the winter weather forced me to pause and reflect.

As a second aside, I can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can use this combination of gear (D500 and 200mm f/2) again; I only had one chance to use the lens before the baseball season ended.

For those interested in a how sharp the Nikon 200mm is @ f/2, I’ve provided a crop:

Did I mention that I can’t wait for spring?

—Peter.

 

Winter Run, 2016.

↑ Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART.

Winter Portrait, 2016.

I was going through some old images and realized I never posted this.

How time flies.

—Peter.

↑ Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART.

Sunday.

↑ Nikon D850 + Nikon 28mm f/1.4 E.

Saturday.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

Lean on Me.

Normally I avoid tilting the frame as I’ve done here.

Of course, I didn’t have the instant feedback of digital to guide me (besides, this was the shot anyway — there was never going to be a do-over).

I only became aware of the problem after developing and scanning the film.  Correcting it would’ve resulted in cropped edges and an altered composition.

So, it remains as it was photographed, with the lean.

—Peter.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

Sisters.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

A micro review of the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E.

I’ve been using the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E for almost 6 months now and it has become my favourite lens of any focal length, from any manufacturer.

It renders in both a sharp and smooth way and achieves the perfect balance between the two for environmental portraits (and this is my main use for it).  I’m sure it is also more than capable for landscape photography, but I haven’t used it for that purpose yet.

Contrast and micro-contrast are excellent.

Colours are saturated and rendered with great clarity, for lack of a better word.

Distortion is limited.

The lens vignettes at f/1.4 in a very pleasing way; I will rarely correct for it during post-processing because I find the photos are better with it than without.  In fact, I will rarely correct for anything with this lens.

My particular copy required 0 (zero) focus adjustment with my Nikon D850; it worked perfectly right out of the box.

Lastly, this is one of those lenses that imparts a je ne sais quoi quality to its images.  Most lenses that are technically proficient tend to render in a very sterile fashion (perfect for photographing brick walls, not so good for photographing people) but the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E is one of the few lenses I’ve encountered that gets both the technicals and intangibles right.

Highly recommended.

I’ve included a few sample images below, mostly from indoors.

I can’t wait to photograph with it outside when the warm weather arrives.

—Peter.

 

 

Stud Earrings.

Leica M3 fitted with metal flash socket plugs.

Camera jewelry, yes.

But…

The metal plugs are inexpensive, smaller, and nicer than the standard plastic white ones that tend to catch on clothing/bags and turn yellow over time.

—Peter.

Pivot.

↑ Nikon D850 + Nikon 28mm f/1.4 E.

Love, 3.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

She, revisited.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

Fear and Apprehension in Fairytale Land.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

The Winter Evening Portrait.

1/15 sec in the faintest of light.

—Peter.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

The Glasses Portrait, revisited.

The last image from the roll of film I photographed The Glasses Portrait series.

—Peter.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

Laugh.

↑ Nikon D850 + Nikon 28mm f/1.4 E.

Tracks.

More snow today.

Canada.

—Peter.

Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.

Current Nikon Gear.

What do you do on a cold winter’s day when the light is bad and you have nothing to photograph?  Well, if you’re a geek like me you take photographs of your cameras of course!

In the image below, you will notice that all Nikon logos (and identifying gold rings on the lenses) have been taped over.  That’s because I don’t want to be a walking billboard for Nikon.  The gear is still recognizable to most enthusiasts but not necessarily at first glance (LOL, with the possible exception of the cartoonishly large 200/2).

They say DSLRs are a dying breed but the inevitability of their demise has increased their appeal to me after all of these years of shunning them in favour of rangefinders.  It also helps that Nikon produced something special in the form of the D850 and D500.

I’ve often photographed my Leica gear as it came and went, but never cared enough about my Nikons to do the same… until now.

—Peter.