Good times ahead

With the basketball season almost over it seems I’ll finally have some time to pursue photography again. I know I have been really lacking in this department, not only due to being a coach, but also due some stuff in my personal life. Selling the house and moving into a new place takes up more time than planned. But all is well now and I do have some fun photo projects planned.

It seems the Giro d’Italia is starting in Amsterdam this year and will come through most of the province of Utrecht on May 9th. I’ll probably will try to get a good spot near the route and will take some pictures.

After the Giro we have a couple of weddings ahead, but before that we have the bachelor parties. These should not only be loads of fun but hopefully will provide some decent shots as well. To top things off I have a small trip planned to Paris, France so as you can see there are more than enough photo moments throughout the upcoming weeks.

RAW vs JPEG: my take on this issue

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Just the other day I had a lively discussion with a friend of mine about photography. One of the points we discussed is the RAW vs JPEG issue, which is haunting so many people out there. Well, here is my take on the whole RAW vs JPEG issue.

I shoot RAW, it is an essential part of my preprocessing. At the early stages I shot primarily JPEG, but I found I was limited in my preprocessing using Adobe Photoshop. With the arrival of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom working with RAW files became so much easier and allows me to really push it to the limit in terms of preprocessing. Learn more about RAW @ Wikipedia.

Let me make it clear, I’m not against JPEG. If you’re the type of guy/girl that only wants to make nice pictures and do not care about preprocessing then JPEG is definitely the way to go. However, in my humble opinion (and I’m sure people will hate me for saying this): don’t use a fancy DSLR just to shoot JPEGs. It will be like using a Ferrari to do grocery shopping at the store just around the corner. Sure, it works (depending on the amount of groceries, there isn’t much space left in a Ferrari) but you’re not using the car to its full potential.

One of the major arguments of my friend to not use RAW is the space it occupies. This a non-argument, prices of both storage cards and hard drives are really low. Space is not an issue anymore. Another argument he had is more or less valid. Processing RAW, especially when you have a lot, it time consuming and the effects are not always eminent.

My feeling and experience is that shooting RAW puts lots more control at your fingertips than using JPEG. Instead of letting the camera decide what is good, you can make you’re own decisions. Perhaps you don’t know this, but if you use JPEG your camera makes some predefined decisions about boosting colors and other preprocessing steps and save the image in a lossy compression file format. Besides loosing perhaps valuable information you need if you do want to edit your image, you have to live with what the camera thinks is right. And to be honest, on average the camera will get it right. But there are some situations the law of averages does not work out well.

But to each his own, I’ll just continue shooting RAW and by doing so, spend a considerably amount of time doing preprocessing. It is, after all, my choice.

Scott Kelby’s Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital PhotographersI’m an avid fan of the work of Scott Kelby and a frequent visitor of his blog. I purchased the 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 book he wrote to set up a workflow for Adobe Photoshop. In that particular post I also mentioned I needed to setup a good workflow for Lightroom as well.

With the release of Lightroom 2.0 Scott has updated his book to the latest version of Lightroom. So I decided to buy this version and have a stab at setting up the workflow. It finally arrived in my mail today and I’m pretty excited to get started on it.

Read more about the book over at Kelby Training. I consider it a must-have ever since reading the 7 point system for Photoshop.

Release candidate Lightroom 2.1

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Over at Adobe Labs there was an announcement yesterday detailing the immediate release of the new RC2.1 (release candidate) for Lightroom to the community. They feel it is stable enough but it could use some more testing by the community.

This update fixes some issues I was having with Lightroom (I didn’t blog about them because they were well known).

  • Memory leaks in the Library and Develop modules decreased Lightroom performance.
  • Folder synchronizing could experience significant performance decreases.

Read more about this release over at the Adobe Labs page.

Nice surprise

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Today one of the other members of the Pixelpost development team contacted me. He has added my photoblog to the “Featured Sites” section on Pixelpost. This was a very nice surprise. It is nice to see my site listed with some of the best Pixelpost sites on the web.

Featured Site

I have to admit, I could have added my site if I wanted to. But I choose not to do this as I feel the section has to be a realistic selection of amazing Photoblogs. It would have lost credibility if all members of the team added their own site and those of their friends.