D-Noc Photography

Going nowhere no more

This blog has existed since 2004 in various incarnations. I actually started blogging a couple of years earlier, from a sub domain provided by my Internet Provider back then, but d-noc.dk started back in 2004.

In the beginning I wrote in danish, and about all kinds of topics but over time it turned into a photography blog.

I had trouble making the site grow, and decided that I would be able to reach a bigger audience if I wrote in English. Now, some years later, I must admit that it did little difference, if any.

It has been very frustrating to try so many things and still end up feeling like I were going nowhere. I ended up thinking about the big "why?" and came to the conclusion that in order to make this blog really shine, I would have to put a lot more work into it than I am willing to do. When you do something, you must consider the effort, and the reward. What is the reward for me?

I don't want to be a blogger, so no reward there.

I don't want to make a living of my photos, so no reward there.

So.. all work, no reward. Why bother then?

Until now, for the fun of it. But now, things have changed. I do not have unlimited time in my spare time, so I have to consider if wasting time on this blog is really worth it. To be honest, it is not. Not right now at least.

So the blogging will be turned down to an absolute minimum. It will be a place for me to post my photos every week, and most likely that will be it.

But judging by the limited audience on this blog, I don't think it will be a big loss.

Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and get on with better things...

Finalizing pictures in Lightroom

When I first started using Lightroom, the ways of Non-Destructive workflows were nothing new to me.

I had already used Canons Digital Photo Professional (DPP) and Corel Aftershot (the first version, which had its share of quirks).

I understood that you did not alter the RAW files at all, you were just creating a sidecar file, containing a "recipe" for how the RAW file should be developed.

This way of working is excellent as it allows you to experiment with multiple versions of the same photo, without having to have multiple versions of the photo lying around. You would only have multiple "recipe" files, which take up only a small fraction of the actual photo file.

But one thing annoyed me. There were no way of making a photo "Final" or "Read only".

An example: You import a photo and give it your default treatment. Next, you creat a Virtual copy and try another preset to it. Then you mess around with the various slider, to get the perfect look. Once you are done, you export the photo as a jpg and that's about it.

But now that you have reached a point where you are satisified, there is no way of marking the Virtual Copy "Read Only", which means that it is possible to ruin you fine work by accident if you at some point copy some settings to the final version you exported.

Of course you have the History panel, in which you can roll back to previous steps in the development, but you would have to roll back on step of the time until you are back where you should be. This works, but it is not a very elegant way of doing it.

Instead, Lightroom provides a Snapshot feature, which sort of, but not entirely, do what I want:

In the Snapshots panel, click the '+' icon and enter a name for your final edit in the dialog. You should now see an entry with that name in your snapshot panel. If you continue to work on the photo but wants to revert the changes you made since the last Snapshot, you can do this by simply clicking the snapshot. You can create multiple Snapshots for each photo too, if you want.

In some ways this solves the Final / "Read Only" issue, but there are still some minor issues to be aware of:

  • It is still possible to make changes to a photo that you consider final. This is not really a major issue anymore, as you can now revert to the Snapshot.
  • You can still accidentally delete the Virtual Copy you are working on.
  • You can't do a search for all photos that have one or more snapshots on it.
  • You can't create Snapshot for all selected photos at once, if you have multiple photos selected. You have to create one snapshot at the time.

Still, Snapshots solves the main issue of accidentally messing up your work and having to figure out how it looked when you considered it done, and Snapshots seems to be the generally accepted way of dealing with final versions.

I still think there is room for improvement, but at least now I have a safe way to revert to my final state.

Also, snapshots can be used if you want to experiment with different exposures, crops or sharpening settings, as you can always go back to the snapshot of your choice.

Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD G2 rumoured to be announced this week

Oh my.. The competition in the 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens segment seems to be extremely busy at the moment. Sigma should have an 24-70mm ART lens announced any day now, and now Tamron is rumoured to announce a new 24-70mm G2 this week too, according to canonrumours.com. (also here)

Interesting enough, both are rumoured to start shipping with an initial price tag of 1299 USD.

I guess I will have to wait for some real life test and reviews before deciding then. I used the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC a lot on my 60D, and it was an excellent lens. If the new Tamron proves to live up to this, I might be interested.

Additionally, Sigma released some MTF charts that people "wise" in such things seems a bit disappointed about. I never decide on lenses based on MTF charts, so my advice: Wait for some real reviews by trusted sources.

Canon EOS 6D mark II to be announced in two weeks

Back in the fall of 2015 I were looking for a replacement for my 60D and were considering my options. I could buy the 6D then and there, keep saving and buy the 5D mark III or wait for the 6D mark II. I ended up buying the 6D and a second hand 24-105 f/4 L and haven't looked back since. I bought it on a hunch that the 6D mark II would not be announced for a while. I were right...

Now, a year and a half later, the rumors seem to indicate that the 6D mark II might get finally be announced in two weeks time.

I look forward to reading the specs for the new camera. It seems to be a decent upgrade to the original 6D, and apparently it will fix the only major flaw of the original: the lack of a flip screen. My 60D had this and I used it a lot. After switching to the 6D it were the only thing I really missed.

It seems like a lot of people complain about the lack of 4K, but I think they misunderstand the 6D and the 6D mark II. They are a photographers camera, not a videographers camera. It is a simple no nonsense camera. To me it is not important at all and I wouldn't care if the 6D mark II didn't have video capabilities at all.

Will I be out buying the 6D mark II as soon as it is released? No, not likely. It's not that I am disappointed, it's more that I already have a nice camera, a camera that I know like the back of my hand, a camera that fits my needs.

I think it is a mistake to switch cameras all the time. I like knowing how my camera acts, how to operate it without thinking about it and its forces and weaknesses. 

Yes, having a 6D mark II would be awesome, but would it improve my pictures? Not likely. Well, except for the flip screen perhaps. Despite the bad reputation of the autofocus system of the 6D, it is very precise and very fast. I think most of the crap talk comes from Internet "experts" who hasn't ever tried the 6D.

I will, at least for a while stick to my 6D. It still has plenty of shots left in it and as the mark II is more an evolution than a revolution, there is now need to upgrade here and now. Maybe in a couple of years, or obviously if anything should happen to my camera. Or maybe I will skip the mark II and wait for the mark III.

Who knows.. maybe Canon will release a mirror less camera the size of a DSLR, with EF mount by that time. That would be interesting too.

 

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 ART to be available next month

I am not really the type who gets all excited about new gear, and I think i more or less got my GAS under control, but no rule without exceptions.

According to the rumours all over the Internet, Sigma is finally going to make their promising new 24-70mm f/2.8 ART zoom lens available next week.

I currently use the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L when I need more than just my Canon 35mm f/2, and even though that is a pretty good zoom as well, I sometimes think the aperture of f/4 is a bit too limiting. Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing lens, but when it starts to get dark I would love to have a larger aperture available.

I then obviously considered the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, but it is rather expensive, and the cheaper Tamron 24-70mm does not seem to be as good as the Tamron 17-50mm i used on my 60D.

So, I am excited about this new release, because I hope that the reviews will reveal that the image quality is in the same class as Sigmas other ART lenses. If it is, and the price is not too astronomic, I will be all over this lens.

Hopefully prices will be available soon too, so that I can make a decision...

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