Lars van den Brink and his hidden object images


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I hardly know anybody who wasn’t enthusiastically looking for Walter as a kid. Children (and adults like me ;)) all over the world are fans of the red- and white-striped, dressed up character with the typical bobble cap and the black glasses.

Staring for several minutes at one and the same image and still discovering something new in it – no doubt that hidden object images have a particular fascination for many people.

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A somewhat different kind of hobby for father and son


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Adrian Sommeling and his son practice a hobby of a special kind. For many years Adrian has been working in the marketing industry. According to his own statement, he’s cooperated for many national and international campaigns. For some months he’s been focusing on more personal sorts of projects.

These projects combine his profession with photography and image editing and composing in particular with the free time he spends with his son. Both create extraordinary and unique scenarios. Thanks to these photos, Adrian discovered his great passion for the combination of photography and digital drawing.

I can only recommend all Photoshop fans to check out his YouTube channel on  . In his numerous videos you can still learn a lot – for instance about the topic of composing. And those of you who’d like to deepen their knowledge are advised to look at his homepage where he offers additional tutorials: http://www.adriansommeling.com/

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Comparing the Sigma Photo Pro 6.3 vs. 6.3.2


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I read in the dpreview forum that even pictures which were taken with older firmware-versions, will benefit from the more accurate automatic white balance and the more realistic colour rendering of Sigma Photo Pro 6.3.2. To see for myself, I developed six pictures that I took with my DP2 Quattro with SPP 6.3 and 6.3.2.

To guarantee a fair comparison, I used the same adjustments for both versions of the raw-converter: all settings in the tonal correction module were set on 0, except of sharpness, which was reduced to -0,8. Image noise reduction, both, Luma and Chroma, were deactivated and the white-balance was set to “auto” and the color mode “portrait”.

Then I imported the 12 pictures, which got exported as 16-bit-TIFFs, in Lightroom. This is where I created the following screenshot. You can find the full resolution JPEGs in the respective Flickr set.

Left: SPP 6.3; Right: SPP 6.3.2

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Snickers advertises with intentionally poorly edited photos


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Poorly edited photos belong to those kinds of things that photographically skilled web users like to make fun of in particular. Because hardly anything else can delight a photographer’s heart as much as unmasking a bold Photoshop fake and deriding the responsible person. 😉

There are quite a lot of examples for such images. Hardly a week passes without a particularly poorly edited photo being spread all over the internet. The latest example is the photo of a plane taken by a photographer from Singapore, which was on everyone’s lip end of January and which even resulted in an official apology from Nikon Singapore.

Now Snickers jumps on the bandwagon with a funny advertisement, claiming that the only reason for such poorly edited fake images is hunger. 😉

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Image source: adweek.com

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Workflow: Less noise through sharpening with the adjustment brush tool


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In the past I almost always sharpened the entire image. Sometimes right in Sigma Photo Pro (SPP), sometimes also in Lightroom after I’d developed the X3Fs and exported them as 16 bit TIFFs. However, since I started taking pictures of birds with the 150-600mm Contemporary lens, I’ve been sharpening increasingly with the adjustment brush tool in Lightroom. The reason for this is the short exposure times that are essential for shooting fast moving motifs without motion blur. Short exposure times also require higher sensitivity ranges, especially if the lens is relatively slow.

Ideally you’d want to use ISO100 with the SD1 Merrill in order to get a razor-sharp and noiseless picture. But as you often have to use ISO200 and ISO400, you want to avoid increasing noise any further with the sharpening at all costs. And this is exactly where the adjustment brush tool comes into play; by using it you can limit the sharpening to the image areas that will benefit from additional sharpness.

Now I would like to explain my workflow to you on the basis of the following image – which belongs to the sharper ones I’ve taken with the 150-600 C and the SD1M.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary & Sigma SD1 Merrill (volle Auflösung - full resolution)

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Hilarious: Nikon Singapore awards prize to a blatant photoshop fake


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As reported by Petapixel a few days ago Nikon Singapore has announced the winner of its latest photo competition. The winning photo, which looks impressive at first glance, was submitted by a photographer called Chay Yu Wei. It shows an airplane while approaching to land, framed by a fire ladder. This photo would have been a very nice example of the importance of timing in photography, were it not for the fact that it’s a blatant photoshop fake. 😉

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Interesting Look: Tokyo at Night by Masashi Wakui


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Japan’s capital city is one of the largest and most exciting cities in the world. It is a Mecca for photographers, who have a preference for shooting street, architecture and cityscapes.

One photographer whose images stand out from the masses is Masashi Wakui, a photographer based in Tokyo. He photographs only at night and mostly in backstreets. Afterwards he processes his photos, in order to make them look like tinged, oversaturated scenes form Japanese anime.

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© Masashi Wakui

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Foveon workflow: Blue Channel trick for Quattro cameras by using X3F Tools?


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Since the blue channel trick doesn’t work with Quattro X3Fs, I tried to find out last week if there’s an alternative to SPP and that particular workflow. Just as a reminder: The blue channel trick is a workflow in SPP used for the conversion of Marrill X3F into black-and-white in order to reduce noise. This workflow, in which only the image information of the surprisingly noiseless blue channel is used, doesn’t achieve the desired result with Quattro X3Fs. As expected there’s a change in the tonal range, however, noise won’t be reduced.

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Foveon workflow: Looking for the Blue Channel trick for Quattro cameras


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The “blue channel trick“ is a workflow in Sigma Photo Pro (SPP) that clearly increases the usable sensitivity range of Merrill Foveon sensors. The “trick” is actually not a trick as you use the tools that are included in SPP anyway and that you can find easily. The only thing you’ve got to do is to click the color circle on the outer edge of the blue area in the black-and-white mode of the converter – in the color mixer tool, to be precise – so that B 100% appears on the display. However, all this will only work if you convert the images to black-and-white.

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How to deal with a huge amount of images? With FastStone this goes fast and free of charge!


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I’ve been trying many workflows to find the right one for myself which would make it possible for me to sort and manage my images fast and easily. Finally, I settled on switching my cameras to the X3F + JPG mode. Right after inserting the memory card and before copying on to the hard drive I could go through the JPGs and delete the ones I didn’t like along with the corresponding X3Fs. For some photographers for whom free space on the card or in the buffer is particularly important as, for example, they often use the burst mode, RAW + JPG is not an option. Usually programs like Lightroom, which try to combine the functionality of a photo archiving/management application with that of a RAW converter, are too slow for this task and therefore not a solution.

The application FastStone Image Viewer is an excellent solution. It isn’t complicated to use, it works incredibly fast even on slow hardware, plus it’s free of charge. More than that, it’s not particularly choosy and it can, for instance, even display embedded JPGs with exotic file formats such as X3F.

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