Tag Archives: photography

Some fashion and portrait work

In my country they say: “Better later than never”. According to this piece of wisdom, I proudly present you my latest, 5-months old work, with the young Bulgarian model Ivilina Zhozhgova.

The shoot was released in mid-October 2014, but since I never have enough time, I upload the photos some 5 months later.

The main goal of this shoot was to achieve some beautiful photos for Ivilina’s book.

MUA: Petya Koleva; assistant: Martin Petrov – Marto.

Beauty fashion portrait

Fashion portrait with Coca-Cola

Vintage photography

Vintage portrait

Fashion editorial

Model portrait

Vintage styling

Vintage-style black and white fashion editorial photography

Posted in Shooting Photos Also tagged , , |

How to prepare photos to upload on Facebook

Do you upload your own photography samples on Facebook? If you do so, and you are not pleased with the quality, you should read this article.
Facebook applies a very strong compression on all photos you upload. A great looking photo on your desktop could be completely destroyed in therms of quality when you upload it on FB.

Optimize photos for Facebook

But here are the good news! If you prepare the photos carefully and with the right size, they could look on FB almost as good as in your Photoshop workspace.
There are three key specs for the photos you prepare for FB:
1. Size
2. Sharpening
3. Compression

 

Size

Lets start with the size. This is the most important spec of your photograph. Some time ago, FB used to resize large pics to a small common size. Now it’s different. FB stores the original uploaded photo and shows it non-altered in its picture viewer.. Well not completely non-altered, but with some stronger compression. So, the larger photo you upload, the better the quality? Not exactly, but close. I don’t know why, but computers usually show better pics with size to a multiple of 1024 pixels. So, if you make and upload on FB your photo 1024 pixels the longest side, it should look better like the same photo at 1000 or 1100 pixels. Strange, but true. But is 1024 pixels enough? I would say: no! With common large monitors, 2048 is a better choice. It renders even better and usually fits the screen very well.

 

Sharpening

Sharpening is the second important factor when you prepare photos for Facebook. If you make your photos 2048 pixels wide, I suggest that you over-sharpen a little bit. It will make the photo look better when resized to fit smaller monitors and this is the most common case with this size at the time I write this. A smart sharpen filter with Amount 180 and Radius 0.3 will be enough, but sharpening is a personal choice and depends on your taste and of course – of the type and the content of the photograph.

 

Compression

Using small compression amount is not a solution, while FB applies its own, I would say very strong, compression on all the photos you upload. If you use Photoshop, saving a JPEG with the Quality set to 9 will be quite enough.

 

How do I do it

I resize with a simple Photoshop action, you can record it and use it with a single click in the future.
Choose |File-> Automate-> Fit image| and input 2048 for Width and 1536 for Height. Click OK.
Notice: If you resize a smaller image, it will be interpolated to fit the above size and the quality will be lowered.
After I have the resized image, I do the sharpening. If needed, I do local sharpening to pop-up some areas of the image, while keeping the rest or the photo artifact-free. I usually use Smart Sharpening, but depending on the photo, I sometimes do a Low Pass sharpening, which is better for larger images, but is slower to apply and sometimes returns strange results.
After the sharpening, I save the image, using the File->Save For Web and Devices plug-in in Photoshop.

 

Some other little things to consider

Always upload your images with embedded sRGB color profile.
Always put your watermark somewhere on the image. It is not a good protection against image piracy, but sometimes helps, especially if you go in court.
Don’t be afraid of image piracy. It will always be out there, but it’s far more important that visitors of your FB page or profile see the real beauty of your photography work.
Have in mind that the bigger size, the better all these lens and editing flaws are seen. So, upload only perfect images.

Posted in Utilities Also tagged , , |

Color issue: Leaf Capture vs. Capture One Pro

I am testing some RAW files from Leaf digital backs and especially the Aptus-22 since I plan to purchase a medium format system – better detail, better dynamic range and true 16-bit color.

It is not easy to find RAW files from MF digital backs on the Internet. Fortunately, there are some on the Leaf website. I downloaded almost all files and registered to be able to download the Leaf RAW developing software – Leaf Capture.

I do own PhaseOne’s Capture One PRO, and since Leaf is owned by Phase, as you can guess, Capture One Pro opens all Leaf RAW files. The two programs are quite different, but they share exactly the same color profiles and curves presets. As the two companies belong to one family, I was thinking their processing algorithms are the same. So, it is normal that they produce the same color, if I use the same color profiles and curve presets. But, as you’ll see, not exactly…

Bellow is a sample from a RAW file I downloaded from Leaf’s website and processed with both Leaf Capture and Capture One PRO with the same presets: color profiles and curves, all other settings at default. The big picture is the whole frame, bellow it are two 100% crops from a shadow area. At first look, images from LC and C1 look the same (excluding sharpness), but after I examined the shadow areas, I noticed a very strange (and not expected) behavior of Capture One: shadow areas have increased reds.

Leaf Digital Back test image

Click to enlarge (opens a new window)

This is not the first time I notice increased reds in Capture One PRO… I shoot with a Nikon and I develop NEF files with C1 Pro. To obtain correct color in dark images, I have to cut the left side of the red channel by 1 or 2 levels. Yes this is not too much and it is not something to worry about, but it is present and I see it. With images containing less dark areas it is not a issue, but with dark images it could be, especially if you work some color-critical project.

Finally: The Leaf RAW files files, processed in Leaf Capture look absolutely flawless, with superb dynamic range, correct natural colors and great detail. I have to say that I’m really impressed with the image quality from all Leaf back, even the quite old Aptus 22. I will probably buy one in the near future.

The file I used for this “test” is shot with the Aptus-II 6 on a Mamiya AFD system (© Alex Amengual) and is publicly accessible as a RAW file from the Leaf website HERE

Posted in Photo Gear Also tagged |