Mar 25, 2010

Adobe Impresses with: Content-Aware Fill :: Photoshop Future

Bryan O'Neil Hughes shows off some rather eye-popping (if we may say so) technology for synthesizing texture inside a future version of Photoshop:
John Nack on Adobe 

This is really something for those who likes cloning, moving and removing stuff. If it turns out this fast, its quite a tool. 


Mar 23, 2010

Adobe releases Beta 2 of Lightroom 3

Since yesterdays rumors about Lightroom 3 Beta 2 release, and the incertainty from several web pages about wurther these rumors were true or not they withdrew the news. Among them were

Early today Adobe annouced the next step in the process of building a complete version of Lightroom 3.
The "Beta 2" has a few new functions built in. The most wanted: Luminance noise reduction is now reality, and it turns out to be as good as noise reduction can get after some tests. Some other news are the compability to add videos intro the library. No post processing is available on videos, yet. There are also some big changes under the hood of Lightroom 3, quicker loading, better overall raw image convertion and much much more. It's free to download at

Here follows a quick comparison with Luminance noise reduction turned on and off.

The last one is with Noise reduction turned on.
You probably don't see much difference on the web, but try it out yourself. You'll be surprised.
Remember that the preview doesn't show in fit view on normal screen mode. Press Ctrl+Shift+F to hide sidebars or just zoom in to a 100% to see the result.

Mar 21, 2010

Action Does Not Always Require Fast Glass

As an amateur you most likely already have purchased or are going to purchase a tele-zoom lens.
The most common telephoto lenses are the most affordable 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 ones. They often come in a bundle with the body and a standard kit zoom lens. They are not very expensive, especially not lenses manufactured by Sigma or Tamron. I can highly recommend both as an alternative to Canon or Sonys standard telezoom lenses.

You often hear that if you're going to shoot sport or other fast action you will need a professional fast lens, for example a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. The wider aperature (lower f-number) serves the camera with a bigger intake of light, wich also means that the shutterspeed can be a lot faster. On a sunny day or cloudy mid-day you wont need this since the shutterspeed probably will be 1/500 sec. at f/5 and that is more than enough if you are shooting motorsport or soccer. But if you notice any motion blur in your pictures, just crank up the ISO, Most modern cameras will withstand a fair quality and low noise even at ISO 800 or higher.

The optical quality in these cheaper lenses are often very good, especially at f/8 and between 100-200mm.
Such a lens also do good as a portrait lens, at f/5 and 180mm you will get that nice blurred background but still have great sharpness at the subject.

The price of a cheap telephoto lens could be anything from $30 on ebay, or $200 brand new.
A fairly cheap f/2.8 telephoto lens costs about $1200. Before you decide, think trough what youre going to shoot and when. Of course if you're a indoor sport photographer you should consider getting the faster lens.

Mar 6, 2010

Star Trail Photography: how to

Imagine you take a single exposure, 1 hour long at the night sky. This will of course capture stars with a trail since the earth is spinning around its own axis. But with this method you will most certainly have a too bright foreground and the amount of noise on a single long exposed frame is terrible with any camera. Even at ISO 100.

Instead you could do this in more steps, a hundred to be precise for this shot. I shot 100 frames, 30 seconds long each with an aperature of F4.5 and ISO 400. There are ways to blend these shots together later on, you could use Photoshop with "screen" overlay, but a more convenient method is to use the application "Startrails" wich will blend all your images together in one simple step.

Using more frames will also reduce noise since noise appears randomly from frame to frame. That means that it will even out with enough frames. You could easily shoot at ISO 1600 and still get a decent looking image.
I recommend that you shoot one image with correct exposure at the foreground, then you take as many shoots you like with correct exposure on the stars, and finish of with a dark frame. The application will automaticly load in the foreground and dark frame. The dark frame reduces the noise level even further. 

How do you take 100 frames or more? Well of course you will need a tripod and the camera should be still at all time. A shutter release will do if you have the patients to sit there and press the button every 30th second. An optional way to do this is to get a Timer shutter release (aka: intervalometer) that you program to to do this for you. Check them out on ebay.

Feb 27, 2010

Link: Afghanistan February 2010

Increadable photography in war. Picture nr 29 is something for our Swedish readers.

Canon Released Firmware Update for EOS 500d / Rebel T1i

Canons Live View shooters might like this. Remember that firmware updates must be carefully done step by step. Remember to have a fully charged battery before you beging.

Firmware version 1.1.0 includes improvements on Live View and Language fixes in English and Swedish menus.

Download from:

Feb 18, 2010

Adjust for Better B/W

A thing to remember when working and converting images to black and white is to adjust blackness. Contrast is the base in a gray scale photo, but only adjusting the Contrast setting in post processing will get those whites burn out. By adjusting Blacks you will just correct the dark end of the histogram to even darker. wich will make the contrast between gray and black much better. How to adjust is of course a sense of taste. I prefer subtle whites, hard grays and hard blacks. 

Those stubborn out there who shoot in-camera B/W. I don't think you're stupid anymore, since I discovered recently that atlest Sonys Raw format stores the RGB information in the image, and Picasa automaticly turns it to color again when loading. Nice feature if you like to see the B/W result right away. 

Feb 17, 2010

21 Amazing Photos of Mars

This post will feature 21 unbelievable photographs of Mars, captured by telescope and by space probe.  You’ll get to see up close what another planet in our Solar System looks like.  Hope you find it interesting!

Feb 16, 2010

Macro Lens Substitute

A magnification of something really small has always facinated us. If you're into photography you have probably heard of Macro photography. You have probably also encountered the heavy price tags of macro lenses. There are some substitutes to these lenses. The cheapest and most handy of them are Close-up lenses. You simply screw them onto the front of your lens and this takes your focal distance down, meaning you can get much closer to the subject and still focus correctly. There is also a magnification factor of these lenses and the numbers to look out for is a number called dioptri. standard is from +2 to +10 dioptri. +4 is about as high as I go, with a 150mm lens. Any higher and there is absolutely no sharpness left due to heavy light distortion. You can overcome a set of three at ebay for around $15

Pros: Cheap, lightweight, no light loss, fun to play around with, combineable, often comes in a set of three.

Cons: Different filter ring-size for different lenses, not that sharp

The above picture was taken with a dioptri of +4 and a focal length of  70mm, The object were 15mm in size

Feb 15, 2010

The Beginning

Today’s date is February 15, 2010. I’m Joakim and this is an attempt to spill out some of my creativity into the tips of my fingers. FanaticVisions will be a photography blog, mainly providing tips & tricks in the digital photography era. My goal isn’t to provide only that, but News, Facts, Thoughts and more. All within the subject frame of photography as an art and technology. My Vision is to get this site running and hopefully providing you with good quality photo-related articles and other fun stuff.

Welcome Aboard