PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 64: Creativity Is Problem Solving, with David duChemin

A few months ago when we invited David duChemin to return as a PhotoActive guest to talk about his new book The Heart of the Photograph, we had no idea it would be at the disruptive beginning of a global pandemic. We talk with David about being creative in this new situation, and how creativity can translate into resiliency. Then we focus on his book, and the questions it raises for how we approach making and working with photographs.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode #63: Sharing Photos

Photos are meant to be shared, but with digital photos the options multiply. In this episode, Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Carlson look at several ways to share photos with friends and family.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 62: Photos App Extensions with Nik Bhatt

Gentleman Coder Nik Bhatt returns to help explain a complicated topic with Apple’s Photos app: Photos Extensions. If you want to use another tool to edit images beyond what Photos offers, you can load that software’s editing tools within Photos. It seems straightforward, but soon gets tricky if you want to go back and adjust some of your edit settings or even if you perform a minor edit in Photos first. If you’ve ever been confused about the differences between Photos Extensions and the “Edit with” feature (which do two very different things), especially for raw files, this is the episode for you.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 61: Choosing What to Photograph

A listener in the PhotoActive Facebook group asks a great question, “How do I choose a subject to shoot?” In this episode, Kirk and Jeff explore how they approach a scene, with groups of photos from deliberate photo shoots that seek to answer that question.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 60: Machine Learning with Andrius Gailiunas and Pixelmator Pro

On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Andrius Gailiunas of Pixelmator to talk about machine learning and how it powers some of the features in Pixelmator Pro. In particular, we’re impressed with ML Super Resolution, a way to enlarge photos beyond their original dimensions while retaining quality and crispness.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Why Don’t More Manufacturers Make Monochrome Versions of Their Cameras? – Fstoppers

With Leica having just released the beautiful but insanely expensive M10 Monochrom, there’s a good question why other camera manufacturers don’t do the same. Would you buy a Sony a7M III, a Fuji X-M3, or even a Canon EOS Rm?

I’ve been wondering this myself.

A more obvious (affordable) monochrome camera would be something from Fuji, and there have been rumblings about this in the past. With the compact bodies and slightly more hipster leanings, I’d certainly be tempted by an X30m, an X100Fm, or an X-Pro3m.

My thought has long been that an X100M would be a killer camera. Lots of people use the X100 series for street photography, and a monochrome version would be ideal for that.

It would be a very niche product, but I have a feeling that there are enough people who shoot black and white that it could attract photographers who want the constraint and quality of a monochrome camera.

Source: Why Don’t More Manufacturers Make Monochrome Versions of Their Cameras? | Fstoppers

Leica M10 Monochrom review – Amateur Photographer

Leica is a company that plays by different rules to everyone else. By building cameras in low volumes and charging a premium for them, it’s able to pursue different avenues from the mainstream Japanese makers. It’s maintained a healthy market for its M-series rangefinders, despite this type of camera having generally fallen out of favour in the 1960s, and it also makes cameras dedicated to black & white shooting, with its M Monochrom series.

So how, and why, would you do such a thing? The basic principle is simple: conventional cameras sense colour by arranging red, green and blue filters over the light-sensitive photodiodes of their sensors, with the recorded data being converted to a visually-meaningful photograph through a complex process of demosaicing, noise reduction and sharpening. While this works very well, it delivers less detail and introduces artefacts compared to recording full colour data for each pixel. To produce a black & white image, the colour has to be removed again, but you’re still stuck with the after-effects of the processing. In contrast, by doing without a colour filter array (CFA) over the sensor, the Monochrom cameras are capable of recording black & white images directly. This gives visibly superior tonality and detail, along with higher sensitivity and lower noise.

Leica has announced a new version of its Leica M Monochrom camera, one of the only cameras available that only shoots black and white. With a new sensor, going from 24 Mp in the previous model to a whopping 40.9 Mp, this unique camera gives photos that are like shooting black and white film. The detail, and the low noise at high ISOs, are extraordinary. The above explains what is so special about this sensor.

This is one of the best reviews I’ve seen, explaining the specificities of this camera, as well as those of a rangefinder.

I don’t generally have gear lust, but I definitely lust after this camera. I prefer black and white photography, and I like the way this camera strips the process to its essentials, all while providing a quality that is simply unavailable in other cameras when converting from color photos to black and white.

The images below are those supplied by Leica as JPEGs. Both are downsampled; the first was 6467 x 4267, shot at ISO 160. The second is 7692 x 5086, shot at ISO 12,500! (Full resolution of this camera’s files is 7692 x 5086.) I’ve downsampled both for use here, but see the link in the last paragraph of this article to download the full-resolution files.

Monochrom1

Monochrom2

As you can see, the strength of this camera seems to be a high-contrast, Tri-X Pan-ish look. But that second photo, shot at very high ISO (12,500), also shows that the sensor performs really well in low light. The photo was shot at f/4.8, 1/180 sec.

But it costs £7,250; and that’s without a lens. Yes, you can get “cheap” lenses to use with the camera, but at that price, you really do want a good lens. About a year ago, there were promotions where you could get the previous model Leica M Monochrom and a good Leica lens for less than £7,000, and I was seriously considering getting a 0% interest credit card and paying it off over a year. But it would be overkill; I don’t take enough pictures to justify this, and it would be nothing more than a (late) mid-life crisis camera.

Nevertheless, I would love to own this. I wish other camera manufacturers would make affordable monochrome cameras. The ideal candidate would be Fujifilm, who could make an X100M, perhaps, which would be very popular among street photographers.

You can learn more about the Leica M Monochrom, and especially a great explanation of what is unique in its sensor, in this video.

If you’re into this sort of thing, you can download some sample DNG files here. And there are a bunch of sample JPEGs provide by Leica here. When I had seen sample DNG files from the previous model, they tended to be washed out, because that’s the way the sensor worked. With these, it only takes a few adjustments to make the photos look very filmic. For one of the files, in Apple Photos, I just clicked the Auto adjustment for curves, and for another, I adjusted the curves, then made some tweaks to contrast, shadows, and highlights, to bring out the contrast. It’s very interesting to play around with these files.

Source: Leica M10 Monochrom review – Amateur Photographer

How to remove GPS location data from photos on iPhone or Mac

It’s great to have location data stored in your photos. This allows you to sort through your photo library and find all your photos from your last vacation, or from favorite sites you like to visit. For some photos, like that one of the Eiffel Tower, it’s obvious where you’ve taken them. But you may not want people to be able to figure out where all your photos were taken. For example, you probably don’t want location data in photos you’ve taken in your back yard showing up on social media, allowing people to find exactly where you live.

It’s easy to remove location data when sharing photos from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 59: Luminar 4 and Its AI Emphasis

We’ve talked about several photo editing applications in the past, and in this episode we turn our attention toward Luminar 4 (and not just because one of us has a forthcoming book about it). Skylum has overhauled Luminar in significant ways for version 4, with an emphasis on AI features that save a lot of time and effort on your part.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 58: Rule of Turds

At several points when recording the PhotoActive podcast, Kirk has said that the “Rule of Thirds” does not exist. Most books and articles about photography insist it does, that positioning objects at approximately one third distance from the edge of the frame leads to better composition. So in this episode, we get into it: Does the Rule of Thirds exist, and why?

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.