how I use categories on chromasia

All the entries on chromasia are placed into one of seven primary categories: six to reflect the aspect ratio of the image, and the seventh to indicate that an image isn’t available as a print. Additionally, each photograph may be assigned to one of more additional categories or subcategories, e.g. my travel category, children category, and so on.

about the ‘children’ category

Most of the photographs in the 'children' category are shots of our own kids, but there are one or two of their friends and other children too.

I thought that I was done with the sugar skull portraits of Rhowan but thought I'd try something slightly different with this one, i.e. combining two separate RAW conversions: one for most of the image, the other for her eyes. The first has a clarity setting of -48, which is why this one is a lot softer than the other two I posted, while the second had the clarity set to around +20.

Let me know if you think this approach works better.

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2.54pm on 4/5/13
Fujifilm XT-1
XF 56mm f/1.2 R
f/11.0
1/180
manual
n/a
evaluative
200
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RAW
Camera Raw
Photoshop CC
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This started out as an alternative to the shot I posted yesterday, and I had intended it would be in colour. The more I played with it though the less I liked it, so it ended up in black and white too.

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2.32pm on 4/5/13
Fujifilm XT-1
XF 56mm f/1.2 R
f/9.0
1/180
manual
n/a
evaluative
200
yes
RAW
Iridient Developer
Photoshop CC
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minor

I posted some shots of Rhowan back in November when she first tried sugar skull makeup (here, here and here) but we thought we'd try it again today: a) because I think it makes for a good portrait, and b) because I wanted to shoot some more images using the 56mm lens on the XT-1. We shot a whole bunch of stuff and ended up with two that we both like: this one, and a colour version that I'll post tomorrow. We both prefer tomorrow's shot.

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2.36pm on 4/5/13
Fujifilm XT-1
XF 56mm f/1.2 R
f/9.0
1/180
manual
n/a
evaluative
200
yes
RAW
Iridient Developer
Photoshop CC
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18 April, 2014 // tilt #2comments & reactions

Here's the second shot taken with my new Kipon M42 Tilt and Shift adapter along with an Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4. Like yesterday's it's largely experimental, but I think it has a bit more creative merit than the last one.

Let me know what you think.

17 April, 2014 // tilt #1comments & reactions

Here's the first of what I hope will be many shots taken with my new Kipon M42 Tilt and Shift adapter along with a Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 that I picked up on eBay recently.

If you're not familiar with tilt shift lenses take a look at this link. It explains the basics of camera movements and how these affect the appearance of your images.

For those of you who are more familiar: this shot was taken with 8 degrees of horizontal tilt at an aperture of f/4. Having taken a closer look at it - i.e. on a decent screen rather than the back of the camera - I think I probably overdid it a touch: there's just too much blur on the right, and the outer edges of both of Rhowan's arms are a bit soft. Next time, if I'm shooting a similar shot, I think I'll try somewhere around 5 degrees instead.

As always, let me know what you think.

26 March, 2014 // untitled #170comments & reactions

A great reminder that it's better to shoot kids before they get bored, not after: shot during my recent trip to Oman with Issa.

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8.51am on 22/11/13
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T*
f/5.6
1/80
aperture priority
+1.0
evaluative
1600
no
RAW
Camera Raw
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2x1
3 January, 2014 // untitled #166comments & reactions

A couple of Bedouin kids that Issa and I photographed during our trip to Oman. I guess that the two fingered gesture has a slightly different meaning there :)

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8.59am on 22/11/13
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T*
f/4.0
1/1000
aperture priority
+0.7
evaluative
100
no
RAW
Camera Raw
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1x1

This is the third and final shot from our Halloween shoot yesterday afternoon, and as you'll see if you take a look at the original it's the most heavily processed of the three. I think it's probably also my favourite, but I'm pretty pleased with how all of them turned out.

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3.29pm on 31/10/13
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss T*
f/14.0
1/200
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
yes
RAW
Camera Raw
Photoshop CC
none
minor
-
-

It's very rare that I blog two images in a day, but I thought this one was worth posting too.

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3.29pm on 31/10/13
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss T*
f/14.0
1/200
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
yes
RAW
Camera Raw
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-
-

Happy Halloween :)

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3.34pm on 31/10/13
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss T*
f/14.0
1/200
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
yes
RAW
Camera Raw
Photoshop CC
none
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-
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9 September, 2013 // Harmony (Summer 13 #1)comments & reactions

I had great plans for posting loads of shots while we were in Bulgaria this summer but, what with one thing and another, it didn't happen. I'll catch up over the next week or so.

In the meanwhile, here's a shot of Harmony, taken while visiting friends.

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1.44pm on 31/8/13
Sony DSC-RX1
f/5.6
1/80
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+0.7
evaluative
100
no
RAW
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CS6
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1x1

The third and final portrait of Rhowan from this first set of the summer, and my definite favourite from the ones I've posted so far.

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1.06pm on 7/8/13
Sony DSC-RX1
f/5.6
1/80
aperture priority
+0.3
evaluative
160
no
RAW
Camera Raw
CS6
none
minor

You'd be forgiven for thinking that we put some thought into this shot, but in reality it was just a quick snap, taken while we were waiting for the train to Veliko Turnovo. The train didn't arrive, but at least we got an interesting shot: the second of three portraits I'll be posting of Rhowan. Of the three I think my favourite is the one I'll be posting tomorrow, but let me know what you think of this one.

And in case you're wondering about the processing: most of it was done in RGB but I switched to Lab Color to tweak the colour. The way I did this was to work on the image in RGB while creating a separate Lab Color version. My reason for doing this was because if you switch to Lab you need to flatten your document, losing any adjustment layers. What I now do is copy the background into a new document, convert to Lab Color, tweak the colours with a curve, then paste the copy merged image at the top of the layer stack of the RBG image. I then switch the blend mode of that layer to colour. The best of both worlds :)

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1.26pm on 7/8/13
Sony DSC-RX1
f/2.0
1/400
aperture priority
+3.0
evaluative
100
no
RAW
Camera Raw
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none
minor

It's been quite some time since I posted any shots of the kids so I thought I'd spend some time over the next few weeks shooting their portraits, and who better to start with than Rhowan :)

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11.18am on 7/8/13
Sony DSC-RX1
f/5.6
1/80
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+0.0
evaluative
100
no
RAW
Camera Raw
CS6
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For most of the shots I take I think it would be fair to say that I'm borderline OCD when it comes to noise, camera shake, and so on, but for images like this I really don't care: a shot of Tabby, Tiggy and Harmony, just as they were waking up one morning back in January.

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7.40am on 29/1/13
iPhone 4
Pro HDR
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1/15
1000
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3x2
14 May, 2013 // Untitled #156comments & reactions

I'm just putting the finishing touches to my initial review of the Sony RX1, within which I stress the quality of the images this camera can produce – it's a truly awesome camera. It's not quite so great for this type of shot though.

Typically, when I'm shooting on the beach I shoot from as close to the ground as possible, especially when I'm shooting reflections. When the sand is dry, that's OK, but if it's wet it's not so much fun with the RX1. It's fine with my A99, which has a flip-out screen, but with the RX1 you either need to commit yourself to getting soaking wet, or guess. In this case I guessed.

And if you've taken a look at the original you'll see that I didn't quite get it right on this occasion :)

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3.20pm on 6/5/13
Sony DSC-RX1
f/5.6
1/2000
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100
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2x1

When you first looked at this image I would guess that quite a few of you attributed the 1970s like retro look to the processing. If you've taken a look at the original though, most of the effect is down to the lens: the Flare Factory 58, produced by the oddly named company, Dog Schidt Optiks.

I'll write more about this lens in a separate blog post at some point soon but, in the meanwhile, the Flare Factory 58 is a modified and re-engineered Helios 44-M 58mm f/2.0. The lenses are reconditioned, the coatings from the lens elements are removed, and a unique tint is added to one of the elements. For my lens this is a red/amber tint.

It's an odd and difficult lens to shoot with, but I have a feeling that I'm going to be able to produce some truly unique images once I get the hang of using it.

As always, let me know what you think.

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6.35am on 1/11/12
Sony SLT-A99
Flare Factory 58
58mm
f/2.0
1/2000
manual
n/a
evaluative
50
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N5352.255'
W302.892'
18 March, 2013 // Untitled #151comments & reactions

I still have a load of shot to post from both Venice and Dubai but, in the meanwhile, here's a portrait of Rhowan I shot yesterday afternoon.

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5.23pm on 17/3/13
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss T*
f/4.0
1/80
manual
n/a
evaluative
400
yes
RAW
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CS6
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30 December, 2012 // Nadezhda #2comments & reactions

My penultimate post for the year, another shot of Maria and Todor's daughter Nedezhda.

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4.16pm on 19/12/12
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T*
f/6.3
1/160
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
Sony HVL-F60M + Lastolite softbox
RAW
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relatively minor
22 December, 2012 // Nadezhda and Tiggycomments & reactions

It's rare that I post more than one shot in a single entry but these go so well together that it didn't make any sense to post them one at a time: Nadezhda on the left, and Tiggy (our youngest) on the right.

All three shots were lit in the same way - a flash bounced off the ceiling then reflected up from the white table cloth and place mats - and all were converted to black and white using either the Channel Mixer or Black and White tool (biased towards the red channel). They were then adjusted using a number of masked curves to up the contrast and brighten them.

As always, let me know what you think.

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7.35pm on 18/12/12
Sony SLT-A99
Sony 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T*
f/4.0
1/250
manual
n/a
evaluative
100
Sony HVL-F60M (bounced off the ceiling)
RAW
Camera Raw
CS6
none
no
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COMPUTERS AND HARDWARE
17" MacBook Pro
15.4" MacBook Pro
Apple 24" LED Cinema Display
Wacom Intuos3 Graphics Tablet
4TB Infrant ReadyNAS NV+
500GB MirrorDrive RAID

CAMERAS
Canon 1Ds Mark II
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D
Panasonic Lumix GF-1
Ricoh GR Digital III

CAMERAS (previously owned/sold)
Canon 20D + BG-E2 battery grip
Canon PowerShot G9
Canon PowerShot G5
FujiFilm FinePix 40i

LENSES
EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM
EF 135mm f/2.8 soft focus
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Lensbaby Composer

FILTERS
Lee Filter system
105mm Circular Polarizer
P105 Wide-Angle Lens Hood
Graduated ND Soft Filter Set
Graduated ND Hard Filter Set

OTHER EQUIPMENT
Speedlite 580EX II
Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2
TC-80N3 timer remote control
Gitzo GT3540LS tripod
Really Right Stuff BH-55 PCL-1 panning clamp
055XPROB tripod with 484RC2 head
Manfrotto 681B monopod
Manfrotto 322RC2 grip head
WhiBal™ G6 Balance Card

BAGS/CASES
Thinktank Airport International v2.0
Pelican 1510 hard case
Lowepro Apex 60 AW
Lowepro Mini Trekker AW
Lowepro Mini Mag AW

SOFTWARE
OS X
BBEdit
Transmit
Capture One Pro
DxO Optics Pro + FilmPack
FDRTools
Lightroom
Photomatix Pro
Photoshop CS5
PTgui Pro
RAW Developer

PHOTOSHOP PLUGINS
Noise Ninja
LensFix & Panorama Tools

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David J. Nightingale


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