Friday, September 4, 2009

Crombie McNeill Review -- Kintail Workshop

And once again we all descend upon the Aylmer Marina to share our results -- this time from the Mill of Kintail shoot. Quite a few turned up this time, something like 10. Nice.

I arrived a bit early to grab some food. Nick was in the back yard, partying with his buds, and Jon was munching away on a biggie sized Wendies nuggets meal ... mmmmm ... so I was superfluous to the action at home. This left me no choice but to do what I wanted to do anyway and go see everyone's work.

As I walked from my car, I noticed the warm, inviting tones as the sun began to set. I grabbed some nice shots of the boats in all their glory.

I went in and ordered some dinner, chatting away with some of the guys about the new F70EXR ... the cam that shot all these images. Crombie is interested in something that can shoot at high ISO and record a decent image while fitting in your pocket. I shot an image of Crombie while we were chatting ... I used 3200iso, a ridiculous ISO for a tiny megazoom camera before this one was launched ... and the result is pretty darned good.

Anyway ... my dinner arrived (club sandwich if you care) and we began the show. We were halfway through the first set when the power went out in the building.

After a while, we wandered outside again and I started shooting the sunset some more. The colors were getting pretty spectacular by now ...

I shot the above at a moderate 400iso, but the shutter speed was only 1/10s and this was too much of a pain to get good exposures, so I cranked it back up to 1600iso for the next few.

Those last two were both shot at 1600iso and 1/15s. That's low light ...

One more stunning image of the sunset over the beach ...

I realized at this time, that no one else was out there any more, and when I looked at the building, the power was on. :-) .... I'd shot through the resurrection ... when I got back in, my seat was free and the room was full.

We went through all the images from all the people ... it was a very good show. I saw some great light and some very good processing. Some really nice sculpting of skin using shadow and some lovely eye processing. All in all, another very good shoot.

My own images did not excite me over all this time ... I liked them a lot while I was processing them, but processing the Balderson blackj and whites left me with a new appreciation of how much good lighting and contrast contributes to the visceral reaction people get to an image. And I had processed too many of the Kintail images with flat contrast.

Anyway ... we got through the projected images and then went through the printed images, as shown here.

These images are shot indoors after dark by the light of some overhead lamps 12 feet or more in the air. So the fact that they are usable at 3200 iso continues to amaze me from such a small sensor. At this point, I do use Neat Image on some of the images ... but not on all of the images.

While the review was happening, some people gathered around a Wacom Intuos tablet, an awesome piece of kit. Beautiful in every way.I have the dirt cheap toy version of this, the Wacom Bamboo Fun!, and I must admit that it does a great job. I can never go back to editing with only a mouse .... no more stone knives and bear skins for me.

Edwin seemed particularly interested ... here he is with Crombie looking on. This was shot from across the room at 270mm and 3200iso.

Meanwhile, there was an ongoing discussion on Costco printing and the Dry Creek Photo site's printer profiles for our local printers. Turns out that their current profiles do not quite work. so Kyle has been working with Dry Creek to update them. He brought test patterns and test images with all sorts of tweaks so he could isolate the issues for Dry Creek. That's taking one for the team!

And that about did it. We adjourned outside because it got too hot to stay in. We chatted for another hour before everyone split up to go home (most were already gone ... in fact only 4 of us hung around.)

I walked over to the boats to try to capture them again ...

This color rendering is not very appealing ... so I tried the rest in black and white, which worked much better. Now remember again that I am shooting a tiny sensor at 3200 ISO in dark conditions. The lighting is awful, to balance it you need to push the blue channel way out of whack. So B&W is a much better choice.

Some decent images there ... this little cam is a hoot.

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