2021-04-04: Panorama Route

Even though it is the start of spring, it is still fairly colourless around my house, and still some sizeable snowbanks that are stubborn to fully melt. The last few days I have felt desperate for a bit of colour, so I tried to find a little in the images I still have left to edit.

I worry a bit that I will run out of images before I have the opportunity to travel or find something of interest locally to photograph, but I will cross that bridge if I get to it. Given how little time I can dedicate to photograph currently, it probably won’t be a problem any time soon.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

2020-12-27: Trying out Capture One Express

I had an email from Fuji a couple of days ago advertising a new version of the free Capture One Express software, and decided to download it and give it a try. Since I can’t go anywhere to take photos, playing around with new software at least gives a different spin to what I have already been looking at for some time.

I’ve been pretty unsettled with my photo workflow; I used Lightroom for years, then switched to On1 Photo Raw, and then switched back to Lightroom. I have other photo software as well, such as Topaz Studio and Luminar, but found that neither suited my purposes as my basic editor, though both have their place as a secondary editor through Photoshop.

I’ve watched a 7 minute quick start video on Capture One and then decided to edit a couple images using that as my starting point, and a couple others from the same area in Lightroom to see what the difference would be. While the Capture One Express lacks some key features such as spot removal and watermarking capabilities, there are other options to do those tasks. What I was really interested in was what software made the images look the best they can. From my very brief test, it looks like it will be worth the time to explore Capture One in much more depth.

These images were all taken at the Potholes on the Panorama Route in South Africa. It’s an area with beautifully red tinted rocks and lots of small waterfalls. We were there just before noon so there were lots of deep shadows in areas and very high contrast.

One of the canyons, edited using Capture One Express.
A very similar image, edited using Lightroom. I personally think the depth of colour is more pleasing in the Capture One version.

These next two images weren’t in the exact same area, so there were actual differences in the colour tone of the rocks, it is not just an element of the processing software.

This image was edited in Capture One, and again the colour tone seems more vivid and true to life. Note I didn’t add any additional colour saturation to this image.
This image was edited using Lightroom, and the tone of the rocks here is naturally more subdued, but I still feel like the Capture One software brought more to the image than Lightroom did.

Comparing only two sets of images is definitely not enough to formulate any type of solid opinion on a new (to me) software product, but the results have me really excited to play around and see what I can create. Capture One Express, at first glance, has a much larger selection of Fuji film simulations compared to Lightroom, and I really like the look they give an image to start the editing process. For both of these images, I selected “Film Standard” curve in conjunction with the ICC profile that was pre-loaded for my camera.

2020-08-16: Panorama Route

This week passed by quickly, mostly with rainy weather, so I didn’t get out with my camera at all. Wanting to have something to share for my usual Sunday post, I opened up my catalogue of unedited images and landscape shots from the Panorama Route in South Africa caught my eye, so that’s what I have to share today.

This was a lovely day trip that we took from our base in White River at the tart of our last trip to South Africa. We decided to have a few down days before heading into the bush, to get over jet lag and relax a bit. This was a great way to spend a relaxing day, learning about the history of the area from our awesome guide while watching beautiful scenery pass us by, interspersed with a few stops with short walks to see the sites.

Initially we were a little concerned as one of our party had limited mobility and couldn’t join in any walks to sights, but the rondavels, and the waterfalls were easily visible right from the car parks. Unfortunately the portholes wasn’t something that could be seen from the vehicle, but we shared images in the evening when back at our hotel. So even if you can’t get out and walk around all the sites, its still a very worthwhile and enjoyable day out.

The three rondavels.
A canyon in the portholes.
Berlin Falls
Lisbon Falls
Some small waterfalls at the portholes.

Wishing you a fantastic week!

2020-04-26: The only constant is change

A few years ago I moved away from Adobe editing products, and started using On1 Photo Raw as my main tool for organizing and editing photos.  At the time it felt like a good idea to try something different, and I was able to use the tools I wanted in a fairly efficient manner.

Fast forward to today, and I have made the choice to move back to Lightroom and Photoshop.  I have been having a few issues with On1, especially strange instances of the program getting stuck searching when filters are turned on, sometimes for a half hour or more.  Which granted isn’t that much time, but I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to editing, so having my flow interrupted was irritating.  Mostly though, as various companies make changes to their software to have it run as a standalone option, I was missing having Photoshop as an efficient go-between.  My workflow over the last 6 months or so has definitely lacked the flow aspect, so now, I begin the process of relearning Lightroom and Photoshop.

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to start revisiting different tools and plugins that I haven’t had an efficient way to use in months.  From a cost aspect, I don’t see that being back in the Adobe subscription model will have me financially any worse off either.  I ended up purchasing each new version of On1 as it was released, since they promised great improvements, etc. etc, so in the end my annual software costs should be about the same.

I enjoy the opportunity to mix things up and learn new things, so in another year or two I may decide to change again.  Only time will tell.

For images this week, I was drawn to work on a few pictures I took along the panorama route in South Africa.

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2019-09-02: Monochrome Monday

Today I wanted to share a few of the images that I captured while driving the Panorama Route in South Africa earlier this year.  It’s a beautiful scenic drive with lots of opportunities to stop and take short walks to view waterfalls and breathtaking vistas, like the three rondavels.  If you are travelling to South Africa, it is definitely a day trip worth taking.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day, and wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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The three rondavels under stormy looking skies (not a drop of rain fell during the entire time I spent in South Africa though).

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Some of the small waterfalls at Bourke’s Luck Potholes, another stop along the panorama route.

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Berlin Falls