Monday, October 12, 2009

iPhone - my dSLR replacement (kinda)

I love the iPhone. I love the camera. For only a few megapixels, it's capable of some nice images and video too. I recently grabbed Chase Jarvis's new iPhone application, Best Camera.

And I'm loving every
moment of it. Definitely worth checking out and having a play with. I find myself out at lunch time and on the way to work photographing most little things I see, then processing and uploading straight to Facebook and Twitter.

Here's a selection of images we've all been taking of later. You can follow us on our various Facebook and Twitter accounts:

Matt: Twitter
J.P. - Twitter

Kane - Facebook

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hiatus for J.P.

Hey there followers, J.P. here,
So for the last few weeks (years really) I've been sitting around the house, being very very idle and not really motivated to do anything useful, I only go to work because I have to and because I need the money, but there's no excitement or passion about it. I find myself very... bored. I'm placing the blame partly on the Internet and my computer, I really am addicted to both.

This next week I'm going away to help lead on church camp for school kids during their holidays, I'm going to be running some photography workshops, I even made a short vid to get the kids into it. Hopefully I can instill some long lasting respect and know-how into them about our beautiful art, but when I come back from that, I'm going to be taking a 1 month hiatus from the Internet and even from my computer, except where I need either to run paid photography jobs. Don't get too stressed though, I'll still be out taking photos and doing videos, and driving to weird places at silly hours of the morning. I just won't be processing or posting anything.

So that is where I am at for now.

Take care, and I'll see you all upon my triumphant return,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brisbane Dust Storm

As seen on TV and online, there was a huge dust storm today in Sydney and Brisbane.

I could see the dust building up during the morning and I thought it was very cloudy or simply, foggy.

As it got closer and closer, I started hating myself for not bringing in the 50D to work. Doh!

Anyway, I headed out during lunch with the trusty iPhone and even managed to go out late with Kane to Wilson's Outlook for the potentially superb sunset. Alas the sky did not play ball, but we did get some nice Sun stock photos in it's incredibly bizzare blueish white orb later in the day.

Here's a selection of shots from today and a few videos of the event and shoot in the afternoon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009



Some my find this strange, but until today I've not had a backup system!

Here I am, a retired IT geek, turn footwear merchandiser (we all have day jobs), without a system in place, to save me in the event of disaster!

Well that all changed today...

I’ve gone from running 3x 80GB internal drives (the last two years), to the same 3 drives with a 1TB WD ext drive, (last two years to current) and now I've finally bought a 2nd TB drive for my drive caddy, so now my system is as follows;

3x 80GB (boot and programs etc)
2x 1TB drives (both external, both on USB 2.0)

Main TB drive for saving, and my new caddy drive for backup, runs daily overnight using MS Sync Toys 2.0.

I now have a USB 2.0 hub, which controls my iPhone charger, a CF card reader, and my backup drive caddy!

Welcome me to the future.

Backup? Do you run one? It’s a must these days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Overpowering the sun, a look into my free-time.

Hey Hey Hey! I do hope that ya'll be well!

Ok, so I set myself up as a bit of a flash guru way back in my first post, guru is way too strong a word, as I'm very much still learning the ropes of how the whole flash thing works. So today I present to you quick video on my 2 light outdoor setup, as well as the resultant pic, along with a before/after look at my processing. Not to mentional all the tiny little mundane details that alot of people forget about.

Ok, first things first, the video:

Good yeah?

Like the pic at the end?

Yeah, me too.

If you didn't catch all the gear in the video, or can't see the video, here's my light setup:

Ok, so that was a pretty quick and dirty look into my light setup, now onto the processing, followed by the results!

Not too shabby eh? And now to explain my Post procedure:
- Import into Lightroom
- General preset - Punch
- Pulled the clarity right down to -14 (this makes the image look softer, very very effective for females)
- Increased the black clipping upto 8
- Sharpening (+50)
- Noise REduction (+46)
- Vignette (-100)
- Exported to *.tif, and into my favourite Image editing program (just to remove a few stray leaves from a nearby tree)
- Imported back into Lightroom
- Sharpening (+50)
- Noise Reduction (+50)
- Clarity down to -19
- Upped the Blue saturation (+33)
- Pulled the Blue Luminance down (-31)
- Upped the Vibrance to +55
- Pulled the Saturation down to -29

And now for the Final Result...(click through the photo to see a higher-res image)


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Come close, I must tell you something.

How are we all? Doing rather well I hope. Sorry about the incredible amount of time between posts, but I know that we have all been extremely super busy, but now that I've a little time up my sleeve, I thought I would share these few things with you.

Presenting, for your consideration, a Timelapse:



"That's a bit of alright!"

"Yeah, it's pretty cool."

You may have said something like that, or not. Your response may have been a little more like "It's so slow!"

And for that, there is a reason, and that reason is best explained by the following 2 videos. (taken for your consideration!)

And that's how I got the pics for my timelapse.

Interesting? maybe.

Quite silly? more likely.

The photos were loaded into Lightroom, in their own catalogue, and I grabbed the first image and tweaked, using autotone and punch presets, as well as a darkening gradient filter on the sky, and a lightening gradient filter on the land. I also applied some noise reduciton, sharpening, and a light vignette. Once I was happy with the first image, I copied and pasted those setting to all the images.

The time consuming element came in exporting the images, when you've got 5688 images (the number I quoted in the video was wrong!), Lightroom doesn't like exporting all that at once. I ended up having to export them in 500 image lots. Collating them together didn't take long, dropping the exported shots into Microsoft Movie Maker, setting a frame interval of 0.03sec, and BINGO! a timelapse video is born.

A boring, BORING timelapse video, in dire need of some sweet tunes. For musical inspiration I turned to the In B Flat project.... where I ended up recording my music from.

and that, as they say, is that.


Please enjoy, and don't forget to visit Kane's, Matt's, Mel's and My Flickr Streams!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

So you think you know what we've been upto...?

From whence it came, so too shall it return.

Ok, finally time for a bit of an update, this time with a video!

So it's been a little over a week since our Epic Missions southwards to the region near Coffs Harbour, Australia. And the going through of photos and videos has been time consuming, but enjoyable, and after much deliberation, I've decided to show you a video of the making of the above shot, Post-Processing excluded. If you want PP details, click through the above pic, and read the details on the associated Flickr Page, email me...or read on...

I apologise for my extreme Australian accent/drawl. I was quite tired while making this video. I also apologise for the Quality of the Video, I'm yet to find a free video editing program that will let me handle the *.mov files off the iPhone 3Gs. (if you know of any, let me know!)

If you didn't catch the equipment in the video or can't see the video,
Here's the equipment I was using:
  • Canon 40D + Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 DC EX HSM
  • Cokin P-Series Slimline Filter + Grad 8 filter (P.121s)
  • Manfrotto 488RC Ball Head on Manfrotto 055XPROB Legs

...and the Settings:

  • AV Mode @ ISO100, f/22.0

The Post Processing Work flow for this shot went a little like this...
  • Imported the Canon RAW files directly into Photomatix3.2 64-bit Edition
  • Applied Tone-mapping (Detail Enhancer) with settings that made this shot look like pure awesome.
  • Processed and saved resultant image in a 16-bit *.Tif Format
  • Imported *.Tif into Lightroom
  • Applied the Auto-Tone and Punch Presets
  • Added a slight Vignette (-40)
  • Sharpening (+55) and noise reduction (+45)
  • Gradient filter to the sky, with -0.40 Exposure, +20 Contrast, +22 Saturation, +87 Clarity, and a slight green colour cast to counter-act the purple from the Cokin Filter
  • Gradient filter to the ground with -1.00 Exposure
  • Spot removal (because my Sensor is dusty as!)
  • Borders were added using the Mogrify Lightroom plugin, available here.

And that is what went into making that shot. Hopefully you've gained something from that.

We'll see you in the future with some more Videos!