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Latest posts of: Felicity Martin
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1  General / Photo Blogs / Total eclipse of the moon on: March 04, 2007, 11:35:49 AM
I thought some of you might like to see photographs of the lunar eclipse I photographed last night from Perthshire, Scotland. Clear skies meant good views of the lovely red moon. They are at,%20freelance%20writer%20and%20photographer/News/938FC9E0-CA6C-11DB-B35C-000A956B2F84.html on a news page of my website. You can see a slide show with a sequence of photos showing the progress of the shadow.

Felicity Martin
2  DAM Useful Stuff / DAMuseful Software / Re: RapidFixer & Elements 4 on: February 15, 2007, 10:38:07 AM
Thanks for the tip on defragmentation. No, I don't leave the computer on overnight, but I'll try doing so. Do you need to also remain online, or are these utilities internal to one's own Mac?

A search on the DAM site only came with three references to ImageIngester, but I googled and found then had more of a look around the ImageIngester site. Sounds like powerful software, but it says that it's only supported on OS X 10.4 and above (I'm on 10.3.9).

I think while I'm experimenting with my DAM system, I'll go back to using iViewMedia as my first port of call to rename RAW files, insert metadata etc. It would be nice though to automate processes more, so I'll bear ImageIngester in mind for the future.

There's so  much changing so fast at the moment, that I think it'll take me a while to evolve a stable system. The important thing that your book has helped me recognise is to follow certain consistent principles.

3  DAM Useful Stuff / DAMuseful Software / Re: RapidFixer & Elements 4 on: February 14, 2007, 12:10:44 PM
This has taken a while, since I tried (for the first time) to use Import from Camera script to ingest the snow scene images from a folder into Bridge. However, I got an 'Import incomplete' message and the images were not put in my destination folder. I thought I'd made a mistake by having this as a subfolder of the source, so I started changing things around and got Bridge in thorough twist. Had to go back to square one, with a new folder name and forget about IFC for now.

I tried to use RapidFixer with a lean machine (I suspected having the Quicktime movie open in a window could have helped steal space). However, the response didn't seem much different to before when clicking buttons (up to 5 secs for the image to change and the same again for the numbers to change). The good news is that doing changes to multiple selections took very little extra time to doing them on one photo. (I know my computer has slowed in recent months - I possibly need to defragment the disk (which would be another learning curve)).

These photographs were very high contrast, as I'd shot in the last of the evening sunshine and many images included lying snow and stone buildings/gravestones (with parts of both in sun and shadow). My norm is to shoot outdoors in ever-changing light using Auto white point. I find the camera gets the white balance pretty close to what I remember most of the time.

As I couldn't start the adjustments from the 'As shot' temperature and tint - for instance to marginally warm them up - I found that many clicks were usually needed to make satisfactory changes to white point.

RapidFixer seemed much more useful in adjusting the exposure type settings, particularly brightening the midpoint where the stone walls of buildings were coming out too dull in Auto. Note that my limited version of Bridge hasn't allowed me to save my own Camera Raw defaults, so I've initially been seeing the images as Auto everything. (Obviously, I can take Auto off with RapidFixer, though the default seems good on the less tricky photos).

So, in summary, it's still slow for one image, but will change several in about the same time. I'm generally finding it too fiddly for white balance changes, but it's good for recovering sets of photographs with poorer exposure or tricky lighting that Auto hasn't rendered so well.

4  DAM Useful Stuff / DAMuseful Software / Re: RapidFixer & Elements 4 on: February 14, 2007, 08:40:17 AM
Well, I’ve had an interesting morning trying out RapidFixer – here’s some feedback.

First of all, I thought the RapidFixerButtons2 movie was excellent – such a quick and easy way to pick up how to use a bit of software. In fact, the whole of the DAM website adds another dimension to the paper book.

Secondly, I need to tell you what my computer set up is: an iMac with 17-inch screen (1GHz PowerPC G4) and 1GB of RAM, running under Mac OS X 10.3.9. I’m increasingly feeling the age of this system as software becomes more powerful. No doubt I’ll upgrade before too long, but my priority at the moment is trying to sort out my workflow (applying much of the comprehensive advice in your book). Up till now I’ve been doing all my editing and selecting in iViewMedia Pro 3 while looking at RAW files (only a few of which I process in Capture One). However, I can see the value of making decisions based on corrected images (and then having embedded jpegs immediately available for contact sheets etc.).

The overall impression from my (fairly unscientific) trial with a couple of folders of images is that 85 percent of RapidFixer is working in my Photoshop Elements 4 version of Bridge, but that it is so slow as to be barely worthwhile. (No doubt it would run faster on a more powerful computer).

Top row
The White Balance; Blue/Yellow; Green/Magenta and Saturation buttons appear to work as intended. However, as with all the buttons, when I press one it takes about 5 seconds to make the change and another 5 seconds to update the Camera Raw Metadata panel. I sometimes had to click a button twice before I got a response, but learnt to wait ten seconds in between in case the first click was actually doing something.

The Curves buttons would not respond (stuck on Medium, presumably the default), but this is not surprising as my version of Camera Raw does not have curves controls. The Saturation and Settings buttons worked. Also the Sharpness and Noise buttons did appear to work (the numbers changed in the panel) though I couldn’t perceive much happening on screen.

Bottom row
The Boost/Recover; Highlights; Midtones; Shadows and Contrast buttons all worked. The Vignette buttons stubbornly refused to do anything, again probably because my version of Camera Raw is missing this tab. Strangely though, the Flash Compensation did seem to be changing the Vignette and other settings (but I wasn’t sure what changes were actually being applied to the photos).

Multiple files
My version of Camera Raw will only open one photo at a time, but RapidFixer would apply changes across a selection of images.

General comments
The script seems to be quite robust, even though running with a version of the software for which it wasn’t written.
I know the accepted wisdom is that daylight is 5500 degrees, but here – especially in winter when the sun is low – it seems to be in the range 4500 to 5000 degrees. From my point of view, it would be useful if RAW processors had a ‘warm light’ button that was less than 5000, so it wasn’t necessary to start at 5500 and press lots of minus buttons just to warm up the image slightly from As Shot.

Further testing
I’ve got some snow scenes I’ve yet to download, so I’ll try RapidFixer on them and see if it’s any smoother second time round when I’m familiar with it. Would you like me to do any specific tests, or to send you any ‘before’ and ‘after’ images? I shoot photos on a Canon 20D, so you should be able to view them in the RAW state.

I hope the above is helpful.

5  DAM Useful Stuff / DAMuseful Software / Re: RapidFixer & Elements 4 on: February 13, 2007, 02:46:56 PM
Sorry about the delay in replying - I've been unwell and offline.

Yes, I do get the 'Reveal Scripts in Finder' button and have already (apparently successfully) downloaded the 'Import from Camera' script, which now appears in my Bridge Tools menu.

6  DAM Useful Stuff / DAMuseful Software / Re: RapidFixer & Elements 4 on: February 10, 2007, 10:56:37 AM
Having just read the DAM book, I'm looking at possibly using Adobe rather than Phase One for RAW file conversion. Since, I currently have Photoshop Elements 4.0 rather than CS2 or 3, I'd also like an answer to this question.

My guess is it might work - my version of Bridge seems fully functional, though Camera Raw 3.4 (the most up-to-date) for Elements 4.0 for Mac only allows one photo to be viewed at a time and has fewer tabs/functions (only Adjust and Detail).


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