Photos from December 15, 2007
The end of my much-beloved Aperture and the start of a new year means a migration to Adobe Lightroom CC is in order. The Python developer who coded the Aperture import plugin for Adobe was clearly underpaid as it is underperforming and crash-prone when you have an Aperture Library as corrupted as mine.
So after a week of failure upon hard disk failure, upon Aperture Vault recovery, upon backups and more backups (lesson learned). I’ve resigned myself to moving one project at a time into Lightroom. But which project?
For that, I wrote a simple Applescript that selects a random project. And then I move it, verify the map, redo the face detection, and fix the keywords. As a reward, I process and post an image from it and hopefully write a little something. You’ve noticed a few over the last week, and this will continue for…
(If I manage a project a day, it’ll be a couple years before I’ve fully migrated. Such is what happens when you’ve been shooting digitally for over 16 years.)
Jonathan Abrams kindly invited me to the christmas party of his startup at a bar he is the co-owner of. For some reason both my main camera (Nikon D200) and event photography lens were broke at the time. I think I was attending so many events and doing so much traveling, I was extremely hard on my equipment.
That day I dug up my old Nikon D70, and my landscape photography lens, try to put the biggest flash diffuser I could find, and started shooting anyway. I really tried to push the camera and lens for all it was worth. Slide is a really great venue, but pre-D3 ISO range and a small aperture lens can’t really do it justice. Oh well, just focus on the subjects lit by the flash and ignore the rest, because who can see anything else?
I found this photo buried in the outtakes of a popular photo of mine that I wrote about before. I thought I’d use it to understand how Lightroom handles RAW round-tripping with DxO OpticsPro. I couldn’t get the look to come close to the originals which I had macro’d out and long since lost the formula, so I also pushed it to Photoshop CC to emulate the glow and vignetting via nik Color Efex Pro.
The first major thing I noticed, was I forgot that my D70 has a hot blue pixel. It’s so hot that the CCD readout in certain situations will make a blue streak across most of the RAW file. Luckily a heal tool is no different in Lightroom as in Aperture so delta not knowing the keyboard shortcuts, it was a pretty easy fix. I am so glad Nikon eventually went to CMOS.
I still couldn’t the effect the same, but that’s because I didn’t notice back then, I used the CHLomo photoshop script which actually creates a lot of detail loss because of the parts that try to emulate a cheap film camera. For instance, here is the image processed in 2007:
And here is the same image run through an updated DxO Optics Pro and nik Color Effects glamor glow and vignetting (I also used another filter along with some control points to remove some of the background).
The details is there, but the bright center spot has the wrong saturation and contrast. On the other hand, you’ll notice the distortion effects for super-wide angle lenses are now easier to modify in DxO so the girl no longer has “man hands” as a commenter put it. So yeah for that!
I don’t know if the newer processing make the photo better or worse, but one thing is for sure: I was a much better photographer back then with a 6 megapixel APS-C sensor camera than I am today with a 36 megapixel full-frame one.
The is no way this introvert can be brave enough to go to an event and pull out a camera, let alone ask four pretty girls I’ve never met before if I could please take a photo of them.
Then have the two on the right tell me that they’ll give me something really worth photographing.
Here is the modern processing on the last photo. Distortion correction makes a noticeable difference. I wish I had that back then. Trying to take photos remotely flattering in a crowded underground bar is not easy.
I guess we all have something to aspire to, even if it is to become the slightly braver person you once were.
And to these four strangers all those years ago, thank you for reminding me that even the shyest photographer can break out of his shell, if even for a moment.