The righteous way to reduce the archive

That black day came. I am out of storage space on my file server, and have no more room to store photography.
One would suggest just buying another one disk, or replace current disks with ones with larger capacity. But I should not take this extensive way. The increase of storage space will not empty the excessive data, and hgst drives are too expensive. The righteous way seems to be to systematically reduce the number of photos and to cease, at least temporarily, its replenishment. So this way is kind of no-photos vow. So some photography which will appear in my blog was created in some time in the past.

Rising above the Steppe

These touching pasqueflowers, which appear in abundance above the dry grasses of Yamskaya Steppe, call for an individual approach. No doubt, you are going to photograph them counter-lighted to highlight their fur-like downiness.

Pasqueflowers with trees in the background, highlighted by setting sun in Yamskaya Steppe
Eastern pasqueflower, or prairie crocus (Pulsatilla patens), with trees in the background, highlighted by setting sun in Yamskaya Steppe. Our first Macroclass in Belogorie, 2013. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG HSM, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX flash unit, tripod, focusing rails. , ƒ/10 ISO, 200, 1/60″.

To make the picture more complex and more diverse than made by macro lens on its own, I have put a teleconverter coupled with an extension tube between camera and the lens. That brought more air into the frame and made the bokeh deeper. In addition to that, I have installed a macro flash, which I rarely do. However, its lights were directed not to the flowers, but to grass in the foreground, to highlight a few bright spots there, and therefore add more volume to the scene.

Remove from EXIF – removal of lens and camera info from an image file

It happens that you would like to avoid leaving information about which camera body and lens were used to create a photograph. These data could be removed from EXIF while keeping all the other metadata like location, aperture, shutter speed, etc. – with help of exiftool, a command-line utility to manipulate EXIF.

To make life easier, I created a small service application for macOS available from context menu. You right-click the image and select which information to remove from EXIF:

Remofe from EXIF...
Remofe from EXIF... options window

To have the same thing on your Mac, create an Automator Service named Remove from EXIF....workflow in the following folder:
Let it be applicable to image files only or to both files and folders – it′s up to you.
Continue reading "Remove from EXIF – removal of lens and camera info from an image file"

Image Geotagger

Ladoga lake, Karelia, Russia. Open in new window.

I have been using GPSPhotoLinker for years. I become bored recently with its dependance on old Perl libraries which were no longer shipped with OS X. Some workaround suggested on manufacturer's forum helped to deal with problem for the next two OS X releases. Nevertheless, GPSPhotoLinker started to crash with Fujifilm X100T RAF files and with large Canon CR2s as well.

Internally GPSPhotoLinker uses Exiftool to complete geotagging tasks. So I decided to develop my own solution which would essentially run Exiftool console utility with carefully adjusted parameters.

Geotagger context menu

The solution is made as OS X workflow and appears in Finder context menu. So it's very easy to georeference your fresh or old images. You have not even to remember the app name :)
Basically, it is straightforward and self-explanatory, however, I'd comment on the workflow logic.
Continue reading "Image Geotagger"

Meet the new style of Macroclass

Анонс Макрокласса в Агрии, февраль 2016
New Macroclass logo

First I used to put my own logo with altered text (namely, Macroclass) over images that were taken during our Macroclass workshops, authored either by me or by Yulia Vtyurina, just because lack of time. In background, however, I continued thinking of the way to develop a dedicated style for our joint project.

I wanted the new logo to be clean, yet more complex than my own one, and ideally to convey what we share in style and approach to nature macro photography.

Macroclass logo sketches
Macroclass logo sketches

I came to an idea that letter elements of the logo should resemble different kinds of close up photography subjects – living creatures, and the logo as a whole to be of irregular shape or, better word, asymmetrical.

Letters of the word Macro (Russian equivalent: Макро) were drafted as: a snail, a dew droplet on a grass, a male beetle antenna, Polytrichum common moss spore holder, and a sundew leaf. Making the final draft, I've rejected sundew leaf for its complexity (hence, low scalability) and just put a general floral pattern.
The word “class” (Russian equivalent: класс) is rendered in a school handwriting style, since our Macroclass workshops are both creative and educative.

Macroclass logo (vector)

The last step was to choose the brand color, and that was the easiest thing to do. Considering that our Macroclass is devoted to nature macro photography, I decided to pick up a natural color from one of our photographs. Green would be too obvious, and its hue was already taken by my logo as well, so color had to be bold, calm, and peculiar. Just as one of our favorite subjects in Belogorie – fluffy pasqueflower, for which some of our participants joined workshop for the second time. After reviewing color samples from several candidate photos, we've ended up with this one:

Pasqueflowers by Yulia Vtyurina
Pasqueflowers by Yulia Vtyurina

And color extracted from the highlighted area is:


Hex: #751171
sRGB: R 117, G 17, B 113
CMYK: C 63, M 100, Y 22, K 9
Munsell: 7.5P 3/8
Pantone: 3515 C

We like this new style very much, and hope you will too.
And as a kind reminder, check the schedule of our upcoming workshops in the wild nature here.

And one more thing,

Official Macroclass wallpaper

«Little pink cuties on a nowhere lawn», official Macroclass wallpaper for iPad
Little pink cuties on a nowhere lawn“, official Macroclass wallpaper for iPad. Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8, , ƒ/2.8 ISO, 100, 1/200″. stock 264649646.

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.