Samur forest and Caspian shore

Caspian Sea shoreline
Caspian Sea shoreline. EF 17–40mm f/4L USM, , ƒ/9 ISO, 200, 1/200″.

We all could not wait the trip to Samur forest. Wildlife photographer Valery Moseykin, “Photo Expedition” leader and the author and guide of the first eco-tour in Dagestan, was talking about this wonderful forest with admiration since the very beginning. So with expectations that high, the long way from Mahachkala to Samur river actually looked not that long at all. In addition, we saw endless water space of azure and calm Caspian Sea to the left, and Caucasian foothills to the right. Finally we found ourselves at the southernmost point of Russia, almost at the border with Azerbaijan.

Ophrys oestrifera, botfly orchis
Ophrys oestrifera, Ophrys oestrifera. EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM, , ƒ/11 ISO, 200, 1/13″.

Looks surprising, there is an asphalt road through the south-eastern side of the Samur forest. Locals take it to get to Primorsky settlement which is in 350 meters from Azerbaijan. And this road led us right to the heart of the forest.
As soon as we got out of the car, we saw adorable orchids, a species from Orchis genus. Two other species were hiding in the forest next to the glade.

Saturnia pyri, giant emperor moth Sturgeons at the fish breeding farm
Saturnia pyri, giant emperor moth. Sturgeons at the fish breeding farm. EF 17–40mm f/4L USM, , ƒ/9 ISO, 200, 1/200″.
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Erythronium in the wilds of space-time

Эритроний в дебрях пространства-времени | Erythronium in the wilds of space-time
Erythronium in the wilds of space-time. Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8, , ƒ/2.8 ISO, 100, 1/100″.

The Spring in Mountains of Caucasus is bright and very dynamic season. While the snow is thawing, snowdrop flowers appear above it, and other primrose species impatiently follow. When you step down on a knee, you feel admired with these graceful adder's-tongue flowers. They silently explode like a white flock through last year's grass together with some subtle fresh stalks. Flowers are truly lost in spring turbulence of space-time. To further underline this, I use to wait for an interesting light angle and make the picture with a vintage triplet lens from post-war Germany.
These Erythronium caucasicum species are endangered plants and belong to The Red Book. However, adder's-tongue flowers may appear locally abundant in places which are unfavorable for agriculture and other human activities, such as these thorny thickets along a mountain slope.

Iris flowers in Yamskaya Steppe

Iris flower
Dwarf iris flower, Iris pumila. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG HSM, , ƒ/4 ISO, 500, 1/200″.

The great thing about places you are already familiar with is that you are always aware of what to photograph once you get there. Nevertheless, these places continue to surprise.
It was like that in Yamskaya Steppe this time. Feather grass hasn′t yet started to flower, while all the primroses were gone, but lots of splendid dwarf iris flowers appeared here and there in the steppe.

Iris in Yamskaya Steppe Iris in Yamskaya Steppe
Iris at sunset in Yamskaya Steppe. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG HSM, , ƒ/4 ISO, 200, 1/100″.
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Orchids in a spruce forest

Cypripedium calceolus, lady's-slipper orchid
Cypripedium calceolus, lady′s-slipper orchid. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG HSM, , ƒ/11 ISO, 200, 1/160″.

Every creature was glad for such a hot summer weather in the very end of May. Most important, orchids were glad, too! I haven′t photographed them for such a long time, especially not far from St. Petersburg.

So today are some photos of lady′s slipper, Cypripedium calceolus, which likes spruce forests on soils rich in carbonates.
The number of these orchids in that particular location is absolutely incredible! And I′m very happy with that, because our orchids are all endangered and in general very subtle and susceptible to human barbarous approach to nature.

Cypripedium calceolus, lady's-slipper orchid Cypripedium calceolus, lady's-slipper orchid
Lady′s-slipper orchid. Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8, , ƒ/2.8 ISO, 400, 1/100″.

Little pink cuties at a nowhere lawn

Розовые чудики
Little Pink cuties. Cyclamen coum subsp. caucasicum. Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8, , ƒ/2.8 ISO, 100, 1/200″. stock 264649646.

These guys have just appeared at a lawn. Weird propeller shapes on thick stalks, nice pink color and an elusive scent—their features are pretty strange. They dance in early spring, then hide and disappear. I eager to meet them again. Until then, their music is the only thing I retain in my mind.

Jraah Mraah by Dvar, Album Cover
Kroom Kroom – from Jraah Mraah album by Dvar.

Viewing photos on iPad: profiles for accurate color


iPad accurate color rendering test: butterflies | macro | landscape

Many photographers use Apple iPad to show their portfolios or photo shoots to clients. The screen of iPad has a great specs including bright back-lit, high resolution, and color display that surpasses lots of laptop dislays. But even the iPad screen has its own peculiar properties which are subject to correct to get the best color display for your photos.

You may get an iPad display profile as described here, by ordering its calibration and profiling, or by downloading the profile here:

Color profile for: iPad | iPad 2 | new iPad


Colors that could be rendered on the iPad screen (black triangle) in comparison to the AdobeRGB color space gamut; the photograph opened in Adobe Photoshop for color conversion.

Assume that you have the right color profile of your iPad. Now you want to convert colors of your image to iPad display profile in Adobe Photoshop. To do that I advise you to rely on Relative Colorimetric intent with black point compensation.
So you should select the menu item Edit > Convert to Profile... that will display the dialog window.


Menu item for color conversion in Adobe Photoshop | Convert to Profile options.

Relative colorimetric intent preserves colors from the source image intact if they can be displayed on the target device (mean iPad), and shifts the colors that are outside of the target device color space. Thanks to that all iPads have an IPS matrix of a high quality, iPad delivers a rich palette of colors. So the quality drop of the converted images should be small.
In the opposite, application of perceptual intent leads to the proportional compression of the source color space to the target one. This could potentially result in surprisingly dimmed colors.


iPad + AdobeRGB | iPad + AdobeRGB + photo
Comparison of iPad and AdobeRGB color spaces gamut; Color transformation while converting image from AdobeRGB to iPad. Blue ovals mark colors that will be adjusted because they are beyond the iPad color displaying capabilities.

For now you have converted an image to the iPad color profile. It's time to save the file to folder that serves as a source of images to sync. Then synchronize your iPad with iTunes, and it's done.

It's possible to create a simple Action for Adobe Photoshop that will perform with your images all color conversion steps automatically in batch.
There are only three color spaces available in Lightroom: sRGB, ProphotoRGB и AdobeRGB. So, if you would like to export images and convert them to iPad color profile simultaneously, you'll need the print module to select from different color profiles installed in your system and then save your photo(s).

Photos placed above the text as illustrations are adapted for viewing on the original iPad (I cannot afford upgrading my tablet after each release :). So the photos here may look inaccurately on the iPad 2 or the New iPad, and will definitely look wrong on other devices.


Below are pairs of images converted to the iPad color profile and their originals in sRGB. Color distribution of original images is plotted on graphs as well as AdobeRGB (rainbow triangle) and iPad (black triangle) color gamuts.