Tag Archives: quality

Blue Angels at Oceana (And High ISO)

I have only been to the Oceana show once.  I headed down there with my friends Ben and Simon.  We weren’t terribly lucky with the weather.  There was flying during the show but things were overcast and deteriorated as the show went on.  The finale of the show was, naturally for a big Navy base, the Blue Angels.  I was shooting with a 1D Mk IIN in those days and that was a camera that was not happy at high ISO settings.

The problem was, the light was not good and the ISO needed to be cranked up a bit.  Amusingly, if you were shooting today, the ISO levels would not be anything that caused concern.  Current cameras can shoot at ISO levels without any noise levels that would have been unthinkable back then.  However, I did learn something very important with this shoot.  The shot above is one that I got as one of the solo jets got airborne.  I used it as a test for processing.

I processed two versions of the image, one with a lot of noise reduction dialed in and one with everything zeroed out.  I think combined them in one Photoshop image and used a layer mask to show one version in one half of the image and the other for the second half.  When I viewed the final image on the screen, the noise in one half was awfully apparent.  It was a clear problem.  However, I then printed the image.  When I did so, things were very different.  If you looked closely, you could see a little difference.  However, when you looked from normal viewing distances, there was no obvious difference between the two.

My takeaway from this is that viewing images on screens has really affected our approach to images.  We get very fixated on the finest detail while the image as a whole is something we forget.  We print less and less these days and the screen is a harsh tool for viewing.

Lightroom Furor Missing the Point?

Adobe recently updated Lightroom and introduced a new version of the import dialog. This move caused consternation in the online photo world and they are currently planning to revert back to the previous version. So much of the focus was on lost functionality in the new version. I have struggled to see how bad the losses were. Everything I needed before was in the revised dialog and from what I can see, the bits that went away were not exactly game changers. Of course, different people have different uses so it might matter to them.

What I am surprised about is that far less attention is being given to the fact the new release is horribly buggy. The new import dialog is a prime example. You have the import presets as before but if you change to a new preset, the location that is shown for where the files will be copied is the previous one. If you click to change it, you see that the correct folder for the new preset has been selected. It actually sends them where it is supposed to but it shows a different location. This is annoying but not impossible. The import dialog presets have been buggy for as long as I can recall with certain elements impossible to get rid of once selected.

Overall, the program is a lot less reliable. I have had develop screens lock up when it gets tired with a blue block replacing the image in question. If I leave it open long enough, it locks up completely. Sometimes, when I go to the Open Recent tab, the arrow appears but no recent catalogs are on display.

So, while everyone has been getting really messaged up about the import dialog, I am not that bothered. I think they should have been focusing on how Adobe released an update to Lightroom that seems to have a ton of problems with doing the basic stuff it is supposed to do. That seems far more worrying to me.