On Feb. 1, this blog will disappear. It may reappear in the future but don’t hold your breath. It’s been fun.
In the most recent version, Photoshop introduced “Sky Replacement.” Skylum’s Luminar 4 has Sky Replacement also. I thought it would ‘fun’ to compare the two. Since we’re Sheltering-In-Place, it seemed like a reasonable project to help pass the time. Here’s my test image. For the details of how it went, see here.
I have, for a long time, been interested in a fast 35mm lens. At various times, I’ve tested the Fuji f/1.4 35mm and the Fuji f/2 35mm lens. Both are extremely good. One advantage to the f/2 version is that it is weather resistant. The other advantage is that it is $200 less than the f/1.4.
One problem – for me – is that I didn’t think I would use a prime lens enough to justify the cost of acquiring one. I did purchase one of the fast, inexpensive 35mm lens but returned it after two hours. I couldn’t get a sharp image in controlled conditions. Not naming the maker because I’m still not sure it was the lens or the photographer. One problem with the third party lens was that it was completely manual. Still think that would be OK but couldn’t make it work for me.
Fuji recently changed the game by introducing the f/2 XC35mm lens which is ‘only’ $200. Reviewers seem to agree that the XC35 optics are the same as the XF35mm f/2. While I can’t say that I can say the XC35 seems to be sharp as the XF35. Here’s the downside – it’s a plastic housing without weather sealing.
I have been using the XC35 on my X-T1 as a ‘street photo’ setup. Works great. It’s fast, light and, with the XT-1, makes an unobtrusive package for street work. See this page for more samples.
Recently Adobe updated the version of Lightroom Classic…again. Since then, I’ve seen a couple of videos showing how to develop your images using LR. Just for fun, I thought I’d do something similar but with Capture One. In this example, I’ve used C1-20 which, if you check the version, is 13.x.x. Go figure. I’m not pushing C1 here – not connected to the company in any way – and, honestly, if I wasn’t a Fuji shooter I doubt I’d use it. It’s rather pricey. One more thing: I do subscribe to Adobe’s Photography plan. OK, so let’s cut to the chase.
This is an image of Alcatraz from a recent shoot. You are seeing the before/after view along with some layer info in the upper left corner. Click on the image for a larger view. The left side is the RAF out of the camera displayed in C1. The right side is my development; that’s what I felt when I captured the image. One feature of C1 that I like are the layers. In this case, I’ve named the layers for the part of the image I wanted to change. I used a color adjustment to adjust the sky and clouds. Then, in the next layer, I wanted to enhance the dark levels on the island. I used a luma mask to select the parts of the image I wanted to darken. Finally, I used another color adjustment to enhance the water in the foreground.
All of these adjustments were done directly in C1 – no trips to a third party image processor. I find the layers and selections in C1 very useful and think it saves me a lot of time when processing images. So now I can answer the question we all get: “Was this processed in Photoshop?” with a “No, not at all.” I note C1 20 has updated the clone/healing functions but I’ve not used them as of now. If you are a Fuji, Sony or Nikon shooter, C1 has an Express version that is free. Doesn’t have all the functions of the paid version but, for the money, it’s pretty good.