Cape Hauy by Luke O’Brien

Luke O’Brien is one of the very best Tasmanian landscape photographers. This is one of his images of Cape Hauy, Tasman Peninsula, one of the three southeast capes of Tasmania that we rounded last week when Adagio sailed back to Tassie.

Check out Luke’s work at — it’s really easy to order prints!

Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

Jeffrey Friedl, author of our favorite Lightroom export plug-in (for Smugmug), has developed a remarkable online-learning page on the topic of JPEG quality. The context is specific to Adobe Lightroom, but if you spend a bit of time with his “Sunset and Bird” Quality-Inspector you will see what I mean. E.g.,

(…) Quality-Inspector Features

In visually comparing one quality level to another, it’s very helpful to swap back and forth quickly between the two samples, as it hyper-highlights differences, revealing details of the difference that one would never otherwise notice. While this is useful, it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective about what viewers will eventually see and actually notice on their own. Don’t let yourself get carried away by raw pixel-peeping alone.

Comparing quality levels:

Comparing adjacent quality levels — Comparing adjacent quality levels is as simple as panning the mouse back and forth between the adjacent quality buttons.

Comparing a quality level versus perfect — Bringing the mouse just below a button reverts the display to the “lossless” perfect-quality version, so sweeping the mouse up and down into the button then below it toggles between the view for that button and the perfect-quality version.

Comparing any two quality levels — Selecting the small circular checkbox below a quality button makes that button the one reverted to when the mouse is brought under a button, so you can select the checkbox for one quality, then move to the button for the other and pan up and down to toggle between the views.

Read more » I can almost guarantee you will be surprised and rewarded.
NOTE: Jeff is developing (may have already released) a Lightroom plug-in similar to what you see on the linked web page. So you can evaluate the appropriate JPEG compression for your own specific images.

Why do we make home videos?

“The unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates. And what I’ve learned from my video-transfer project is this: You can’t examine your life if you can’t remember it.

We’ve been through multiple generations of sunset movie tech — from 16mm film to 8mm video to Hi-8 to MiniDV. Each transition orphans the earlier content — absent a lot of work and money to convert formats. Now MiniDV is dead, so our library (in storage, no room on the boat) of LOTS of content will be orphaned just like our library of Hi-8.

David Pogue has been struggling with this latest sunset problem — and along the way he discovered why the Pogue family takes the videos in the first place. Enjoy…

Photoshop and Photography: When Is It Real?

David Pogue does a nice job examining the question

… where would you draw the line and say “That’s not photography anymore?”

I think you will find the answer isn’t as obvious as you might think. Bottom line is that I think David is correct in his view that where the line is depends on the application and context. E.g., compositing is OK for advertising, but definitely not OK for new photography. A photography competition is another set of values — where I would say absolutely no compositing, unless it is a special category for such digital products.

I think you will find the way David lays out a progression from “raw image” to “3D modeling” a useful prod to your own thinking.

"Chicken VS Penguin" wins Nikon video festival

Nikon received a LOT of submissions to their “A Day through your Lens in 140 seconds or less”.

So what’s it like to be you? Capture the essence of your day in a video of 140 seconds or less. It can be funny, touching or profound. It can be about everything you did, everything you didn’t do, the day’s biggest dilemma or its most telling detail.

Upload your video here and instantly share it with your social media networks rather than sending the same old updates. How? When you upload your video you can automatically share your video with your Twitter followers and place it on your Facebook feed, so your friends can also view your day and vote on your video.

Although you’re not required to use a specific camera, your video will be judged on image quality, originality and the ability to capture a day through your lens in 140 seconds. So get as creative as you want to be when capturing your day.

The winner is “Chicken VS Penguin”. Enjoy… story telling in extremely short exposures is very challenging. Some of the best we’ve seen are the Pixar shorts. But this winner certainly deserves the recognition.

Polar Perfection: Paul Nicklen takes extreme images in extreme conditions

The remarkable National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen is interviewed in a recent DAN Alert Diver by Stephen Frink (subscribers only, sorry). The interview is worth the price of a subscription to Alert Diver. And do not miss Paul’s public website and his new book Polar Obsession.