PC-12s are a common aircraft in the North American aviation scene so this one is nothing special. Seeing one on approach, albeit in nice light, is not cause for much celebration. However, it does mean that, with the light on the nose and a prop spinning up front, it is worth dropping the shutter speed and getting some prop blur. If I try and fail, I haven’t lost a shot of something that I wanted desperately to get and, if it works, it’s a bonus.
A holiday visit to Paine Field saw that something interesting was heading for departure. It was unlikely I would get across the field in time to catch it and I didn’t. However, since I was there, I thought I might as well hang around for a bit and shoot some departures. There were a few piston types heading out as well as a PC-12. Since none of them were too important to me, I decided to play with shutter speeds around 1/100th of a second. With the 500mm, this doesn’t result in a high keeper rate.
It does provide a lot of prop blur which was the point since, with no background, you aren’t getting any sense of speed. It was more a case of seeing what I could get and having some panning practice. When looking at the shots on the computer, some of them are clearly junk without much inspection. Others look okay until you get zoomed in. A few of them are sharp even zoomed right in and they are the ones that don’t get culled.
While hiking through Moran State Park, we came up to a road. As we got there a vintage car of some sort was coming towards us. Annoyingly, I had changed the camera to its base ISO to photograph some waterfalls and hadn’t reset it to auto ISO. It was dark in there so, when I shot the passing vehicle, the shutter speed was way too low. It means the shots were blurred but it actually wasn’t as bad as I had expected.
My main cameras have two card slots. One is a CFast and the other is Compact Flash. I use the CFast all the time but the Compact Flash is a handy backup. Occasionally, if I have the camera on with the CFast out of the slot, the camera reverts to the second slot and, if I don’t notice, it continues to use it when I next shoot. This isn’t a particular problem except when it comes to downloading. I have USB3 card readers for both CFast and Compact Flash. However, the speed of card technology has moved on dramatically. When I download the Compact Flash cards and import to Lightroom, I am reminded of just how slow they are. I used to do this all the time but, once I started using CFast, I got used to the better speed and now, when I revert to the old tech, it feels positively glacial!
While walking along the Sammammish River Trail, a couple of Mallard Ducks flew by me at low level. I pulled the camera up at short notice to get a shot. No time to change the settings so this is what I got on the spur of the moment. As it happens, the shutter speed did a nice job of blurring out the background and making them look super speedy. I kind of like it!
My cloudy Vancouver shoot also gave me the chance to play around with some lower shutter speeds. I have done this for the turboprops before but this time I decided to play with some of the jets. A really low shuttle speed can blur out the background and give a nice impression of movement but it is a problematic shot to make. You don’t want to do it on something that you are keen to get in case you get nothing! It is also something that results in very small apertures if there is much light which can make for a lot of dust spotting in post! A cloudy evening is a good time to try and a bunch of boring regular jets are good targets for a trial!
I was waiting for some visitors at the airport. At SeaTac, you stand at the top of the escalator waiting for people to come out from the shuttle station. I was starting at the escalator for quite some time and decided to see just how slow a shot I could take with the cellphone. Using ProShot, I have a lot of shutter speed control but the brightness does eventually overwhelm things a bit. However, it was still possible to play with some interesting effects with the steps blurring out along with anyone standing on them!
You’ll often hear the phrase “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?”. In the case of WordPress, this definitely seems to be relevant. I have been using WordPress since the blog started and with good reason. It is a simple and straightforward editing tool that allows new posts to be created easily and quickly. I prepare the images in Lightroom and export them directly to the blog and text is generally – including this – created in Word and then pasted into the blog editor.
WordPress rolled out a new editor form with blocks for elements of each post. I don’t doubt that the intent of this was to create a more flexible editing environment and one that probably achieves things that previously required plugins. However, the result does not seem to have been very well tested or not be a wide enough group of users with differing requirements. Here are some of the shortcomings I have experienced.
The biggest issue is speed. The new format is unbelievably sluggish. When I am making edits, sections of the page seem to be really slow and when it decides to auto save the latest work, it seems to be stuck doing so forever. Then, there are some familiar sections now in new formats at the side. Collections is still there but clicking on it seems to require tons of time to think about stuff before it shows up – if it does!
Collections might be slow but tagging is now horrible. I create my tags in Word and paste them into the field but this no longer can be relied on to work. Sometimes they just vanish. Other times they disappear and then reappear. I can write some in to the box directly and then they vanish in front of my eyes. I often ignore this section and add the tags later in the Quick Edit view of the post lists.
Adding media is no longer so simple, While the new blocks for images and galleries have some nice elements they are slow to create. Now you have to select the source each time rather than defaulting to the media gallery. This extra click each time gets annoying fast. Also, in the old editor, if you scrolled down the media page to get to the shots you wanted, adding another image would bring you back to the same spot so you didn’t have to scroll again. That is gone. Media is added as a new block. There is no obvious way to add a block at the bottom of your post. Instead you add one and see where it shows up and then move it down as required. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the page there is a Sharing box which seems to do little other than get in the way.
Even editing the publishing date is a pain. They have moved that around a bit in keeping with the other changes but now, when you tab between fields, your cursor is at the end o the current data. Previously, tabbing would move you to the next box and select it. This facilitated rapid changes to the entries. Now you have to manually delete each entry and then type a new one. One more step for each entry which is not a big deal initially but soon becomes a nuisance.
The legacy editor is still available. However, it isn’t hard to imagine that, over time, this will become obsolete and won’t provide functionality until it is deleted so I am working with the new format to see what I can do to get to grips with it. However, it is testing my patience. It has significantly slowed down my process and made post creation more difficult than it used to be. I have got the hang of bits of it but getting used to something does not make it useful. Pull your finger out WordPress and sort this out. There are so many users of the system, it is important that it works or they will soon migrate to another platform.
In quite a few previous posts, I have mentioned the troubles I have had with Lightroom recently. This was all triggered by an update a while back and subsequent updates have not solved any issues. The problems just continued and I was unable to get anything to address the sluggish behavior. The program would respond better when I was working in the Develop module but it was very difficult in Library and when importing.
I recently had a bit more success. I contacted someone who, while not working for Adobe, does have a business based around Lightroom and has good connections with the company. I was able to send this individual a copy of my catalog. They had a play with it and had similar issues with memory overuse so it wasn’t a hardware issue. They were able to pass on the catalog to an Adobe engineer to investigate further. I feared there was some corruption in the catalog and hoped they would find a solution.
It transpires that there is not any corruption. Instead, it is in the nature of the catalogs that I have created that the problem lies. A long time ago I posted about my approach to processing a shoot. I would use a Collection Set for each shoot in which I would use smart collections to take shots with the right combination of keywords and dates. They would split out rejects from non-rejects and put HDR, panorama shots and videos in separate smart collections. This made processing the shoot more efficient.
As a result of this approach, I have, over the years, accumulated a large number of these collection sets with smart collections in them. This is what is causing the trouble. The program is getting bogged down with all of them. This leaves two ways forward. In the short term, I am going to go through these smart collections and turn them into simple collections. Hopefully this will reduce the processing burden. I don’t need the smart functionality any longer so I can just take the selected images and make simple collections out of them.
The longer term action is that Adobe is now aware of this issue. Hopefully they can investigate a way to address this in a future update so that it isn’t constrained in the same way. It happened suddenly so there was something in the coding that changed to cause the issue so maybe it can be similarly quickly fixed. In the early days of Lightroom, it was limited in the number of images it could have before things got sluggish and that was resolved so hopefully this can be too. We shall see. If it is, you’re welcome!
I was killing some time at Boeing Field and the light was dropping fast. There was a variety of traffic inbound but nothing that counted as terribly unusual and not, therefore, something I desperately cared about getting a good shot with. As a result, I decided to play around with low shutter speeds to see how it changed the look of the shots at a familiar location, to see how the sharpness varied across the airframe and to see just how badly may panning skills have degraded. Needless to say, the results were pretty mixed. The worst of the lot will clearly never see the light of day but here you can see some of the shots that I was okay with. The conclusion from the output is that I should go a bit lower in shutter speed to increase the sense of speed.