Senior Perspectives on Photography on PL

A new article, Senior Perspectives on Photography, was just published on Photography Life. Readers interested in viewing the article and viewing the selection of images contained in it can use the above link.

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4 thoughts on “Senior Perspectives on Photography on PL”

  1. Thank you Tom for a very detailed and generous reply. Not often that I get so selfless help. I do have the software you’ve mentioned and will try diligently. Your blog on postprocessing difficult images was also tremendously useful. Your comments on lens quality is probably the most relevant and makes me think very seriously to invest in a J5 system. Your superb images are just too tempting.

  2. Dear Thomas,
    As an 82 years oldie I much appreciated your article and as always much admired your magnificent images. I am particularly impressed with the incredible detail and sharpness in your processed images. My efforts are very inadequate in comparison. Is it the no “low pass filter” in the J5 or the post processing? I am using a Sony A6000 with a 3.5-5.6/18\135 SAM lens with E mount adapter, and was quite happy until I stumbled onto your amazing images,
    It would be incredibly useful if you could describe your “standard” processing in an article!
    Just to add a footnote to the “Seniors”; I am an one eyed with MD in the other, 82 year young designer/photographer and an avid digital fan. The flexibility and forgiveness it offers is amazing even if I miss the smell of fixer sometimes. Using a screen magnifier also helps.
    Looking forward to your book and thanking you for all the very useful advise in your articles,
    All the best,

    1. Hi Waldemar,

      Thank you very much for your comment and sharing your passion for photography as it will be an inspiration for many people!

      In terms of image sharpness a number of factors come into play. Cameras that lack a low pass filter can produce slightly sharper images. A significant factor is the optical qualities of the lens used as this will have a direct impact on image quality. If you visit the DxO web site and look at the lens testing done by DxO you’ll discover that the same lens can perform differently depending on the camera body used with it. For example, older lenses that have not been designed for newer, higher resolution camera bodies do not perform very well on them, but do a good job with older camera bodies.

      Post processing is also a very important factor. I have written a number of articles that are found under the post processing section of my photography blog. I use a rather unorthodox process and I wouldn’t want to suggest to readers that they use my approach as they may find it a bit odd. I use a combination of three software programs to process my RAW files: DxO OpticsPro 11 (this is the only software that I regularly update), CS6 which is a discontinued software program published by Adobe, and Nik Suite which also is an older plug-in program that I believe may still be available.

      For my Nikon 1 J5 files I begin with OpticsPro 11 and other than reducing highlights (often between -10 and -20) and applying PRIME noise reduction to each file, I use the standard auto settings in OpticsPro. I find my Nikon 1 files respond very nicely in OpticsPro as the program makes a lot of lens corrections etc. based on DxO testing. I then export a DNG file into CS6. Most of my adjustments there are limited to the basic sliders although I do, on occasion, use Curve and/or Hue to adjust colour in an image. Depending on the image I finish them off in Nik Suite normally with Vivenza 2 and/or Color Efex 4.

      I don’t apply any additional sharpening to my J5 files. Instead I pay more attention to contrast as well as the black and white sliders to try to bring out edge acuity. I also tend to make smaller adjustments in the three programs mentioned rather than try to do everything in one program. For whatever reason I find this works best for me. As I work with an image it can look terrible in mid-process as I usually try to ‘thicken up’ my RAW files to get the most out of them. For example, I usually ‘double bump’ the highlights, i.e. bring them down in OpticsPro 11, then bring them down even further in CS6. Often it is the final adjustment that I make with Brightness or Levels in CS6 that brings an image to where I ultimately want it to be. While all of this may sound complicated I typically don’t spend much time on an image, usually no more than about 3 minutes.

      I don’t have a standard approach other than the flow from one software program into another.


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