Creative Cloud finally up and running.

I decided to take advantage of the “Photographers’ Bundle” on Adobe CC. £8 per month for the first year for LR and PS.

But alas, it turns out that you can’t use LR5 on OSX 10.6.8, it requires at least 10.7.

In the short term I could use DXO Optics Pro 9 to convert to DNG, or indeed the Adobe DNG converter and still run LR4. But as we’re paying the subscription I wanted LR5.

No problem I thought, the upgrade to OSX 9.x Maverick is free. But no! Our MacPro is too old (by a couple of months) to take the newer versions of OSX. But an upgrade to 10.7 Lion should be possible. After much seeking on the Apple website it turned out it was possible to buy via download for £14. Well that’s a lot cheaper than a new system, so wait for a code via mail, redeem from the store, run the download…

No that didn’t work very well. After many hours on the support line with Apple eventually the download happened. Upgraded to Lion (took quite a while but eventually completed and seems to be running fine).

Installed LR5 via the cloud control panel. Upgraded the catalogue, which took a couple of hours.

And now finally voila! I can import the ARW files from the A7R directly into LR, and will only use DXO where it seems necessary.

It was long and a bit painful, but it should mean we can get another 12-18 months out of the MacPro system before we need to get a new Mac/PC. At the moment I have to say a PC looks a lot more likely, although the new MacPros are technological works of art it’s possible to get a Dell Precision Workstation which will be just as fast for photography work (we really don’t need 4K video editing) at maybe 50% of the price of the Mac.

iMacs are nice, but top out at i5 processors! And the monitors are rubbish for colour accuracy.

Anyway, all is good for now.

A7R image processing workflow…

I’m still running on V4 of Lightroom at the moment, I haven’t upgraded yet because I’m not sure what kind of CC subscription (if any) to go for.

So in the meantime, processing the ARW files first through DXO Optics Pro9, outputting as DNG. Files look good.

But using the PRIME noise reduction and letting it do its thing with highlight recovery, etc. it takes hours to process the files. I don’t mind this particularly.

I had to do a lot of housekeeping on the old Mac Pro yesterday, clearing space on both the home drive and the media drive in order to be able to get the processing done and cope with a large influx of 40Mb files.

Loving the new DXO Filmpack v4 – used it to make a nice first A3 BW print of a picture of Lauren that I took on Saturday morning with the FE35. Will post in the link here. Of course there was nothing in either the shot or the print that really required a 36Mp image, but this I know. Most of the time a 12, 16 or 22Mp image is more than adequate. The 36Mp is for the edge cases where I need a very large print. Even so, there was some impressive detail in the centre of the frame.

Will upload the image later.

A7R first thoughts…

So I’ve now had my new A7R for a weekend and made maybe 250 shots.

I’ve been a Canon DSLR user (20D, 5D, 5DMkII) for the last 9 years, so the A7R is going to take quite a lot of adjusting to.

Main impression is that it’s a device for the enthusiast consumer, not the professional. That suits me fine because I am an enthusiast consumer, not a professional.

It’s nice and small and comfortable in the hand. I’m not mad keen on the overall button placement and so on, but it’s okay.

Menus and default button configuration is fine. Internet pundits can go overboard on this – the basic idea seems to be that if for some reason the engineers and designers haven’t done it exactly the way that the pundit thinks they should have, it’s because they are stupid and not photographers, rather than that they have thought about it and come to a different conclusion to the pundit who couldn’t possibly be rather opinionated and set in their ways.

The only thing I’ve done immediately is to disable the Control wheel <-> ISO mapping. The rest I think I can see why they’ve set it up as they have, and am going to try to adjust myself before adjusting the camera.

I’m not a technical specialist but the centre-resolution using the FE35@ISO100 is completely unlike anything I’ve ever seen before at 100% zoom – combination of a great lens and no AA filter I guess. And this is a 36Mp camera, so it’s certainly looking like the camera will be capable of very large prints from this compact setup. Main job done. Too soon to tell definitively of course, but looking very promising at the moment.

So complicated…

Lauren is so easy, so photogenic, so simple to make nice photos of. She poses. A natural model, actress, dancer.

Frances is so much more difficult to understand.  Such a complex character. So full of interesting things in her private world. Only occasionally do we get a glimpse of what’s going on in there.

And so much harder to photograph.

Anyway, here she is on her 4th Birthday. The mirror of my soul.


After rather a long hiatus, during which time very little photography has been done.

The most miserable English summer in a hundred years.

The best Olympics ever.

Lots of swimming.

Personal time down to almost nothing.

Oh well. A few pictures at least.

North Devon

Well we had high winds and rain for most of the time we were there. But we did get one good day, one good afternoon, and a few decent hours here and there.

Went swimming in some pretty heavy seas with Stuart, who’s in training, and needed to acclimate to the cold water.

A few pics from one of the brief trips to Rockham Beach.

An hour of sunshine

It’s been raining a lot in London over the last 6 weeks or so.

Managed to get an hour of sunshine last Friday before work.

Some City Horizons shots.

I got a new lens for my birthday…

The delightful Samyang 14mm.

With a download to correct distortion in LR4, it’s good to go. Pretty sharp – actually amazingly so for such a reasonably priced lens – both DXOMark and agree, it kicks the butt of lenses nearly 10x the price.

Just set the camera to M, and the focus distance to 3m, (everything from f2.8 – f16 will be fine at 3m) and adjust your shutter speed and ISO to get the exposure you want.

Very cool. I love the way suburban London looks so big, great building separation.

Ribena and Cider

Both very old and going down the drain. Used Macro mode for the first time.