Monday, May 29, 2017

Bookmark and Share

NiSi "Natural Night Filter" Tests & Review





I recently purchased a NiSi Natural Night Filter, a filter designed to block certain wavelengths of light, namely those produced by sodium vapour and mercury vapour lamps. Sodium vapour city streetlights are what cause night shots in the city to have such a dominant yellow/orange colour cast. In the animated GIF image above, you can see what a dramatic difference the filter makes. For simplicity sake, I will refer to this filter as the NNF from now on...

I am working on a detailed review of this fascinating new filter, and will update this post once I do, with more images and a full image gallery with comparison shots taken with and without the filter. There will be twilight and night shots of Vancouver, as well as some taken well away from the city, including tracked night-sky shots and some Aurora Borealis shots too! Until this review is complete, let me present a handful of comparisons, with all image pairs processed identically in Adobe Lightroom (same white balance, same exposure adjustments, same vibrance and clarity etc.), in order to illustrate the tremendous difference the filter makes. You can click on each image and it will open larger in a new window. First, larger versions of the above animation...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bookmark and Share

UBC Botanical Gardens w/Fujinon XF50mm f/2R WR




Gallery (30 images): 2017/05 - UBC Botanical Gardens

A wonderful day in the sun, shooting out at the UBC Botanical Gardens. All photos were taken with my new Fujinon XF 50mm f/2R WR lens. It focuses fairly closely on its own, without extension tubes and all the shots in the gallery were taken with just the lens itself.

Originally, I was going to write a review on this lens in conjunction with this posting, but the review will follow in the next few days and I will link to it from here, as well as from my other 50mm f/2 gallery, 2017 Spring has Finally Sprung! There will be one more gallery with some more shots from the 50mm to follow then as well.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bookmark and Share

2017 Spring has Finally Sprung!



Gallery (25 images): 2017 Spring has Finally Sprung!

After a long lazy lull in my blogging, I am finally back and plan on trying to post on a more regular basis! I have a backlog of work that I am going through, from previous years of trips, to new lens tests, filter tests, and more. In addition, I was down in southern California for a week to photograph the incredible wildflower "super bloom" they had, and another posting will come with photos from that trip too.

So... we have had many months of abysmal weather here in Vancouver, Canada. First there were months of cold weather with surprising amounts of snowfall that stuck around for weeks and weeks. Then we had a month plus of continuous rainy days, with seldom a hint of any sun. It has been a depressing few months, weather-wise, which probably contributed to my lack enthusiasm. In any case, recently the weather has warmed up and we've had a few fantastically beautiful days, so I've finally got out and started shooting again.

The above gallery are simply shots from a nice evening walk home from work the other day. Flowers and trees are in full bloom, and there were many great photo ops, just walking along one of my usual routes. All the photos were taken with Fujifilm's superb new XF 50mm f/2R WR lens, a light, compact prime that is weather and dust resistant, focuses quite close, is very sharp and renders out-of-focus backgrounds with nice smooth bokeh.

Notably, this is also one of the first galleries in a very long time where I have only relied on Adobe Lightroom for processing my Fujifilm X-Trans sensor raw files. Recent updates to Adobe's Creative Cloud apps have finally allowed Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw to very nearly catch up to the image quality available from third-party raw converters like PhotoNinja or Iridient Developer. While those raw converters still have Adobe beat for the absolute best low-ISO fine detail rendition, the differences are now slight enough that I no longer feel it necessary to step away from Lightroom unless I am making really big prints. So, the shots in this gallery were 100% Lightroom-only processed. Enjoy!