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Photo Editing - Five free Tips

This is a fun picture to show my first point about editing. The message is: Focus your image on your subject! To illustrate this, have a look at the original image below. There are some subtle changes and an obvious one, the crop. In many images of many photographers, including myself, I see this one error repeated: Not cropping the image . The reasons are rarely rational. We might fancy that something is lost, while in fact more is gained by a crop. Or we might feel the strange desire to stick with one format for all images. Cropping the image to the subject can change the aspect ratio. For a print, you might have to find a compromise if a specific format is needed. Thus, I keep the original files to be able to juggle a bit. But for a screen, you should not fill the frame with distracting elements just to fill the screen. If you are making a video out of your image, feel free to zoom and move inside your image. You can take any format for that. When I go through my old images, I find
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RAW or JPEG? - Out-of-Camera or Lightroom?

Are you a fan of Out-of-Camera (OOC) images? Do you aim to "get everything right" on scene? Are you out with a single prime lens and use the film emulations inside your camera, preferring the black-and-white ones? Or are you the type of photographer that finds joy in developing each and every image? The discussion comes up every week in social media. Now, that more and more photographers restrict themselves to smartphones, it gets even a new twist.  My answer is clear. I shoot RAW. So let me explain a few reasons, why I do that. I will, by no means, try to convince you to do the same. If you are happy with what you do, and it works, do it! First, it is clear that images need to be processed. The transfer from RAW to JPEG has to be done somewhere. You can leave that to the camera, slightly guided by a few settings for saturation, sharpness etc., or you can do it yourself. Obviously, the latter provides a lot more control. But it also needs more control.  I also like to have tw

Nikkor 24-200mm - More Pictures

I promised some more pictures using the 24-200mm F4-F6.3. Since it is not a fast lens, I had to rely on higher ISO numbers. Using a full frame camera like the Z5, that isn't an issue at all. The image above is sharp enough. You can almost read the yellow digits on the signs at the train stop, but not quite. I think, the lens blurs the pointy lights a bit more than the 50mm F1.8 at F8.0 would do, but I am not sure. The image is carefully edited in Lightroom to enhance the blue hour, and to remove noise without destroying details. F8, 1/100, 47mm, ISO100 Does this image have to be sharp? Not really. There is also no need for more contrast. In fact, this is one of the images where I tend to decrease clarity. Bokeh is also not needed here. You could zoom in a bit more for a more abstract image. After all, you have a zoom. As long as you are aware of the effect of your focal length, use it! F14, 76mm, 1/125, ISO100 Here is an image with more contrast. The lights have been reduced with t

Nikkor Z 24-200 travel lens - Examples

That is maybe not the best example for this lens. I just liked it so much that I put it upfront here. It is a panorama stitched from three images in Lightroom all taken at 35mm F8 which is the sweet spot of the lens. You need good dynamic range, which is more a matter of the camera than the lens, and the Z5 delivers here. Here is a better example, taken at the long end. You can open up the lens to F6 or so and still get good sharpness. It is nice to have a reliable work horse for a variety of ranges. For these autumn images, I lift the colors and the contrast quite a bit in Lightroom. This is at F8 again with a background blurring just a bit already. That is the kind of background blur you get. I did not want more for this image. You can go closer and you will get twice the blur if you prefer. Sharpness of the foreground figure is just perfect. Again a photo in the telephoto range. The unsharpness is due to the fog. Sometimes I decrease the clarity for this effect, but not in this imag

Nikon Z system -Tips and Tricks for the Z5

This is a collection of tips that I found while using the Nikon Z5. Most are from my perspective and support my workflow. Some are a backup reminder for me, since it is so easy to forget how a rarely changed setting works. I hope you find something here you had not yet discovered before. Note, that this posting will be growing over time, as I plan to add more tips to the list. Let us start with some settings for buttons and displays. The monitor mode button on the left side of the EVF cycles through the modes of the monitor and the EVF. You should take a look at the settings option " limit monitor mode selection" . I have only "automatic display switch" and "monitor only" active. This limit makes it easier to use this button.  I found that the automatic monitor switch stops working sometimes. In this case, you need to fix the eye approximation sensor above the ocular. In most cases, pulling the rubber eye piece to the sides helps so that it stretches abo

Nikkor 40mm - Night Shots

That's, where the full frame camera and the 40mm lens shines. All are at approximately F2.8, since the lens is not exactly sharp at F2.0.

Getting a Nikon Z5 - compared to the Z50 or Z6

The Nikon Z5 was Nikon's attempt to make the Nikon Z full frame line attractive for amateurs. They had this 24MP full frame sensor which was already used in DSLRs and the Nikon Z mirrorless body. Why not try to make an attractive package from that? I think they did a good job. The package is sold with a kit lens, usually the 12-50 F4.0-6.3, for around 1200€ in Europe. Nikon seems to have supply problems currently, like most manufacturers. But the camera is in stock in many places. As an example of the problems, the lens hood for the kit lens is not available since months. I got myself a replacement from a third-party source. The Z line currently consists of the Z6, Z6-II, Z7, Z7-II and the Z9 full frame bodies, and the ZFC and Z50 APS-C sized sensors (DX versus FX). You can use the full frame lenses on the DX bodies. But the other way around, you experience a 50% crop, which reduced the Z5 to 12MP. The full frame bodies have in-body-stabilization (IBIS), and the ZFC and Z50 rely on