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Dealing with Social Media & Lightroom.

It seems every year there is a new photo sharing social media site that photographers have to deal with. I have had my photos on Flickr for as long as I can remember, before it was purchased by Yahoo. During that time may photo sites have come and gone, but a few have persisted and in this short article I will discuss what I use and how I handle my workflow.

I like many use Lightroom (LR) for post editing and to catalogue my photos, so it makes the most sense to publish directly from LR if I can. Firstly there are a number of features built into LR that you should be using beyond the basic editing. Two important concepts that can save you a lot of time and effort are collections and metadata.

Bottlebrush, Red, Tasmania, TreeCollections are a way of sorting images based on criteria, either automatically through a smart collection, or a unique selection of images you desire. Smart collections allow you to automatically create a collection based on information or metadata about an image, such as a lens or body. A general collection is just a bunch of images you want to have grouped.

In any given year I shoot thousands of photos, some years tens of thousands. Of course I’m not going to publish them all so whenever I do publish an image I add it to a collection I created for that year, i.e. “2015 Publish Images”. This allows me to quickly go back and find images I have published from any given year. No one wants to go and search though thousands of images to find it. After you have created a collection all you need do is drag the image(s) into it (NOTE it does not move the image, it’s just a reference to the image).

Metadata is additional information recorded about an image, your camera records some metadata and adds it to the image by default, such as camera settings, location, date, time etc. LR allows you to build upon this and add additional metadata to make it easier for you in the future, for locating, sorting and publishing. Trust me a little time spent here will save you later on down the track….

Addition metadata you should add:

  • Check the defaults (Metadata menu->Edit Metadata Presets), i.e. copyright info and default keywords. You should be adding these all the time.
  • Always add additional metadata on EVERY import, if you add a few hundred shots from a shoot the least you can do is select them all and add a few additional keywords, such as the location, the model, the event etc.
  • For each shot that you are going to publish you should add additional keywords, Title and a Caption.

 

Once I have edited an image for publishing I add the additional metadata mentioned above, and then I place it into any useful collections, including a publishing collection for that year. From here I can publish to many locations. This is done my dragging the image into a publishing services, the same you do with collections. then publishing it with the publish button. Here are the publishing services I use:

LR has Facebook and Flickr built in, all you need to is configure them:

  • Facebook: This is pretty straight forward to setup / link to Facebook and all the export settings are pretty standard, the Title you added to the metadata will be used as the text when it posts to your account.
  • Flickr: Again this is pretty straight forward to setup. Title will again be used as the text, and if you have export all metadata enabled in the plug-in settings then the keywords should also carry across as well.

External Plugins, downloaded from 3rd parties and added to LR via the Plug-ins Manager.

  • Instagram: https://www.lrinstagram.com/, Pretty straight forward to setup and link to your Instagram account. In the plug-in settings change the Instagram Caption to be a custom template and add “{title} {caption} {#keywordTags}”. This will ensure that your title, caption and keywords (as hashtags) are used in the post.
  • WordPress: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wplr-sync/, This one is slightly more complex to setup as it requires a plugin in both WordPress and LR. In WP you can find the plug-in via the plugin search and install it, you need to make sure you change the permalinks as recommended. In LR download and add the plug-in and link to your WP blog. In the LR plug-in settings I use the ‘Alt. Text’ box to pass the keywords.
    NOTE: this plug-in does not create a new post in WP, it only added the image to your media, but it will have a title, caption and keywords, which are all a handy for a new post you are writing. Also If you update an image and LR you can re-published and the WP site will also update accordingly.

Some important stuff to keep in mind:

  • Get your metadata right at the start, this saves you additional work later on.
  • Start using collections to improve your workflow.
  • Get the export settings right for each publishing service, such as image size and watermarking. What is right for one service will not be right for another.

If you are publishing your images on other sites chances are they will have LR plug-in, heres some I found fairly easily:

  • GETTY: http://www.gettyimages.com.au/resources/plugins
  • iStockPhoto: http://www.berman-photo.com/lrplugins
  • ShutterStock: https://www.shutterstock.com/lp/adobe-photoshop-plugin-shutterstock

Happy Publishing 🙂

YES! Sigma 14mm f1.8, Full Frame, Yes. Really.

When I first heard that Sigma were making a 14mm f1.8 Art my initial reaction was one of resentment, why are sigma creating more crop sensor ART lenses?
What about us poor sods waiting in the full frame (FF) world?. It seemed to good to be true to be a FF lens. But there was still the hope deep down, that just maybe, Sigma has been able to do something magical and bend the laws of physics and light to pull off the first 14mm f1.8 lens. After all companies are innovating in this space all the time right?, look at Canon with their fancy 11mm lens.

Then a few weeks ago the chatter started across various tog sites, rumours so wonderful they seemed to good to be true. The new 14mm was indeed going to be FF. At this point I like many others were hanging out on the edge of their seat, waiting for an official press release. Had Sigma done the impossible? Well it appeared they had when the offical word was given from Sigma. Since then specifications have been released, as well as sample pictures.

However, the story is not over. Possibly the most important piece of information is missing. How much is it going to cost? Surely bending the laws of physics and light comes at a cost? Now we wait, stuck in a holding pattern until Sigma release offical pricing. Oh course it does not stop people of speculating, so far I’ve seen people quote the lens as cheap as $800, and as much as $3000. Oh course I know a few people who are familiar with Sigma pricing, and they believe it should be around the $1500 mark (AUD).

So my name is number one of the order list (well at least here in my local town), and you can be assured that I will be testing it as soon as humanly possible. So until then, let us all keep calm and make sure your name is on a list somewhere, or you can wait for my review 🙂

Better than sliced bread, the Nikon D700, Sensor DB Update.

When the Nikon D700 was introduced nearly 9 years ago it was the best thing since sliced bread. It was the camera to have for low light. It’s colour and tone output was nothing short of outstanding. In many respects it made it’s brother, the D3 look a bit underwhelming in regards to noise, and it wasn’t until the release of the D3s where we saw the big brother take back the trophy.

Morning Light (Nikon D700)

At the time it’s main competition was the Canon 5D mark 1, and yes it was a great camera in it’s day, but there was a lot of people jumping ship when they saw what the D700 could do. The features of the D700 9 years ago were well ahead of its time, and the rivals. Even the 5D mark 2 with it’s 21MP was not enough to put it in it’s place when it was announced later the same year.

Looking back now and viewing the sensor data I have built up over time it’s clear that the D700 was the winner when compared to any of it’s rivals at the time. But it’s also important not to get too nostalgic if your considering this camera for low light work today, especially long exposure. Sure it will work and give you pretty good results, but there are much better options.

The D700 by todays standards performs about the same as a Canon 6D at 30 seconds which is no slouch, but it is 20MP. At 300 seconds it falls somewhere around the D800 or 5Ds, 36MP and 50MP respectively.

If you would like to get nostalgic, or just to know how your D700 compares to some of the new models, it has been added to the Sensor Database.

Fuji X-T2 Added to Sensor Database.

I’ve had a few requests now to have the X-T2 added to the Sensor Database. Well without further adieu here it is. It’s worth noting that I still personally believe Fuji are heavily processing noise in camera, and again we see the noise mean reduce as the exposure time goes up (eh). Considering the X-T2 is using a crop 24MP sensor the results are pretty good, but again there is some processing going on.

 

Canon 5D Mark 4 (IV) Sensor Results.

…….Drum Roll…….

And the winner is…. Well not Canon, sorry but the 5D mark 4 is still behind a few of it’s peers. The results show that it is better than the 5D mark 3, the D610 and D810 as well as the 6D. But it’s still behind not only the 1Dx models, but numerous models from other companies such as the D750, K1, D4, Df and the A7S.

Considering the MP count and the fact that the sensor is dual pixel requiring a lot more wiring it’s probably a very good result. With this in mind there are possibly only two camera models than can currently rival it*, the Nikon D750 and the Pentax K1.

You can check out the results here.

*That I have tested to date.

Canon 5D mark 4, Hurry up Adobe.

Hi All,

So I have in my hot little hands the 5D mark 4 samples for long exposure / high ISO. But I’m stuck in a holding pattern until Adobe releases the new version of Camera RAW. Once Adobe have a new version available supporting the Mark 4 I will release the results. In order to be consistent all samples need to go through he same testing procedure. Hopefully we will not be waiting to long.

The Flagship, Canon 1DX Mark II, No. 50!

The Canon 1DX Mark II results are now in the Sensor DB, and it’s our 50th camera to be added. WOW 50. It’s taken a few years, but the list is now becoming quite substantial, giving the community some good insight into the level and treatment of noise.

The results are good and there is a significant improvement at 5 mins compared with the 1Dx, which, I think is reflective of the new ISO range, allowing up to 409600 ISO. There has obviously been a sensor change from 17.9MP in the old model compared to 20.2MP in the new model, with the original 1DX slightly better with noise at 1 and 30 seconds. However the 1DXm2 gives very respectable results, and the difference could easily be attributed to the additional megapixels.

Of course the 1D series of cameras is not intended for astrophotography, and it would be hardly the camera to recommend for that task. But it’s nice to see it’s a solid performer none the less.

Again, a big thank you to Walch Optics for providing access to many of the models we test.

More Models Tested: Canon 1300D, 760D & 80D. + Olympus PEN-F

We have added 4 more models to the Sensor DB today. Including the Canon 80D and Olympus PEN-F.

Some interesting results, and worth a look if you are considering one of these models for long exposure low light work.

Pushing to +5EV, Pentax K1 & PetaPixel

I have been working hard on the Sensor DB, add new features and models. As part of the process of adding newer and better models I have re-processed all of the samples to +2.5EV and +5EV. This allows the noise to be more visible in the samples for comparison. It was getting tougher to determine visually how samples were comparing. With this problem in mind I also added some statistical data to show the RGB noise characteristics and the mean, median and standard deviation are now shown.

New models added include bodies from Fuji, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax, including the new K1, along with the Fuji XPro2. I’m also hoping to add new search features soon to allow searching by sensor size. This will make it easer to compare common models.

I’d also like to thank Michael Zhang at PetaPixel for the great review of the Sensor Database on their site. Thanks for the write up, I’ve had a lot of positive feedback, and it certainly seems to have caused a lively debate.

 

Sensor DB Update

SensorAd1For some time now I have been building and maintaining not only the biggest archive of Aurora observational data and realtime forecasting (The Aurora Forecast Service), but I have also been building a database of sensor profiles for long exposure / high ISO.

Recently I performed an update to the The Sensor Noise DB, allowing you to compare camera models more easily. I hope you find this update useful. I also plan to have the Nikon D5, Pentax K1 and Canon 1D mark II test shots available soon, so stay tuned.

I’d also like to thank Walch Optics for there support, and recommend them as your first point of call for photographic equipment in Hobart.

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