Wednesday 28 October 2009

Capture One 5 - High 5!

Capture One 4 has been replaced by the rather predictably named Capture One 5

I have been using it for a little while as a beta tester and while my excitement upon down downloading was followed by being rather underwhelmed initially at least, because it does, at first glance look exactly the same as Capture One 4

In addition to a host of new and improved features I can tell you that even in beta version this software is SO stable, not a single crash or hiccup, ever, once.

You can read about the full feature set here

And Michael Reichmann's review here

I'm just going to share with you my very own personal highlights, but there are many, many more!

1. The Focus Mask

This is a killer feature, enabling you to quickly and easily cast your eye over a gallery of hundreds of RAW images and tell at a glance which images are sharp (the green area denotes sharpness)

Out of Focus......

In Focus..........

I have been using this feature extensively, saving myself a whole ton of time, works amazingly well on a two monitor set up

2. Spot Removal

As it would imply, gives the user the ability to remove spots, wether they be dust, gloop or whatever, and apply the correction to lots of images. Other competitor have boasted this for a little while now, but Phase have done an especially good job of implementation

Here we have an image marked for correction

3. Enhanced Colour Editor and skin Tone adjustments

Just brilliant control of skin tones, better and more accurate than ever before, yes folks, the best in my opinion.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, try the 30 day free download though here

Now, god knows I cannot think of a trade which moans more than photographer's, and I should know!

But in answer to the question 'is it actually worth buying?'

I can say a whole hearted YES! Upgrade from Capture One 4 is only $129 or €99

(Actually I got it wrong! It is even cheaper than I thought $99 or €69, so a real no brainer)

You get a whole host of improvements and new features which have transformed it into a joy to use

So congratulations Phase One, it took a little time to get there but I feel this is the BEST version of Capture One yet, not to mention the king of RAW software

Thursday 15 October 2009

Science IS fun!

I was recently commissioned to photograph the opening of the Young Science centre at the Royal Institute in London.

Now as you can see it looked like it was an awful lot of fun and indeed it was.

Just look at the faces of the kids!

It was another reminder to me of just how vital it is to get the first response, expression or emotion when you have set up a shot, keep the subject hanging around and take the picture again and again and again and it does wear thin, they get a frozen expression, no matter how good one is at direction, so the shots you see here are, needless to say amongst the very first frames shot, I'm not quite sure what the 'foamy' experiment was, but it did involve liquid nitrogen.
And of course we have the photographers trusty favourite the Vandergraph generator, which is an electro static charge

Now for the lighting.....

The Young Science at the Royal Institute is a great facility but the room is, from a photographers lighting point a bit ordinary, we have all been there before haven't we? relatively low ceiling with fluorescent lighting great for experiments and education but a bit bland for the likes of 'us'

So to add a bit of drama and excitement I gelled up an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra with red and blue gels to give a groovy mauve background, placed the backlight behind the pillar to conceal it, this time using a Speedlight zoomed to 80mm (ish), and then of course the lighting the girl an Elinchrom Ranger with a Chimera Medium softbox all triggered with pocket wizards

Try as one may it is impossible to lose the reflection with retouching but I decided to embrace it, and ended up quite liking it

I used a very similar lighting setup on the bubbles pic but i had to use lower output on the gelled light at a slightly different angle, as it was spilling onto the kids in the background

My blog has been a bit thin of late. I have had quite a lot going on in my life but normal service has now been resumed, whatever normal is?