Animal beauty

Last weekend we went to the animal park Planckendael. It’s a park located near Mechelen in Belgium and it’s a mix of nature park with animals and kids play grounds. Very nice for a family day πŸ™‚

So last weekend we where there again and I took some pictures. One I had to share… because there are only a few creatures I admire and one of them was in a good mood to get photographed πŸ˜‰
I’m talking about the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) !

Those big cats do have something mystical and powerful and with this picture it gets captured very good. Enjoy… it’s a wallpaper version πŸ˜‰

Cheetah

[Tags]Cheetah, Planckendael, Photography[/Tags]

Nikkor 18-200mm – Nikon World Wide warranty

I have some dreadful news but also some comforting news…
First up the bad stuff !

Well it seems our beloved AF-S Nikkor DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR stopped working, to be correct it will not auto focus anymore !
Don’t ask me how this could happen, but it’s not working anymore and because I didn’t get a D40x kit, I’m currently stuck without a lens.

But up for the good news, it was still in warranty !! Even though I haven’t bought it in the country I live, I was fairly easy able to get it shipped for free to the Nikon repair center in my own country. Just one mail with the question how to do this to Nikon itself and I got a detailed response the day after.
This speaks in favour for the support and world wide warranty Nikon gives it’s customers !!

I hope I’ll get it back soon, because now I can’t take any pictures…

Nikkor 18-200mm

[Tags]Nikon, Nikkor, 18-200mm[/Tags]

Photo blog

Well I was thinking of setting up a Photo blog… this because my current Flickr account holds to much ‘family’ related pictures to give other persons a view on my favourite shots.

I didn’t want to set up a new blog, so I wanted to add a viewer inside my current theme.
Thanks to PieterC he pointed me to the direction of PictoBrowser ! It’s a nice viewer that lets you select Flickr pictures based on Keyword, Sets or Groups.
So thanks to the keyword feature I can now select the pictures I want to show to the world through my photo blog.

Well have a look here and enjoy !

[tags]Photo blog, PictoBrowser, Flickr[/tags]

From zero to hero – amateur photography learning ( Lightroom workflow )

lightroomlogo.jpg Lately I’m enjoying my Nikon D40x a lot ! But using it, has several issues that need to be addressed…
I’m still at a low level of photography, so the input I’m getting is huge and sometimes hard to grasp. Sometimes, I even have several good solutions for a given problem that I don’t know what to use.

Let’s illustrate with a current example !
I’m a bit stuck on how I should ‘manage’ my photos and workflow.
Please feel free to give comments on my workflow and how you are currently managing it !!

First start with how I was working ( bare with me, because I know this has to improve πŸ™‚ ).
When I find the time, I’ll put my SD card inside my laptop card reader and it will fire up Lightroom. Inside Ligthroom I’ll choose to import all files and let Lightroom do his work concerning the location and order of the hard disk folders.
After I’ve done my photo processing, I’ll do an export from RAW to jpeg of the collection. The export is also done in Lightroom and here I’ll select an appropriate location on the hard drive and I’ll also use the naming template feature to give a good name with sequence number.
And that’s it !! Everything done… but lately I’ve been using Lightroom more and I’m aware that it has more potential to facilitate my workflow and photo management !

So what are the things that got improved after I’ve been reading on how to use Lightroom and photo workflow in general…

  • During import select to convert the RAW files to DNG files !
  • Try to rename during the import ( not always possible because I tend to shoot several things before I import that are generally not group able )
  • Try to add keywords ( also not always possible because of the same problem as listed above )
  • Keep the base set of DNG files managed inside Lightroom, no more need for exporting sets to jpeg ! Only showpieces are exported to be shown on Flickr
  • Create collections inside Lightroom to keep an overview of events I’ve been photographing

So there you have it, my new workflow ! And I’m kinda happy with it… except for one detail ( remember the more solutions available thing I mentioned above ) !!
I’m a bit stuck on how I would be storing my photographs on my hard drive. So like I said I currently keep a base DNG set inside Lightroom and group them in collections, this means I don’t alter Lightrooms way to keep them ordered in folders base on the date taken.
But this has a big disadvantage, you can’t locate your pictures anymore by just looking at the folder structure of your hard drive ! Call me old fashioned, but that is actually something I still prefer ! So why didn’t I change this, well because I’m trying to bend/mend my mind not to use this old way of storing. All because of the fact that some pictures could possibly be categorised into several locations, depending on the subject. The other reason is because my heavy use of internet, I’m all in favoure for Tag/Keyword based systems, I’m just an addict of Del.icio.us and Flickr tags, so why don’t I use the same system inside Lightroom !
And if I need to group things, I’ll just create a collection inside Lightroom.

So now I’m using this system and have done several imports… but I still see some problems with it that I hope will be solved soon :

  • Even though I now can create collections to group my pictures, I don’t really like the collections management inside Lightroom… It’s just a list of all collections inside the left hand bar. I’m not a heavy shooter, but I think that after a long time use of Lightroom this collection overview will actually not be maintainable nor oversee able anymore. So my suggestion will be to have a separate collection window where you can use filters on the collections.
  • Use of collections is just great to group pictures, but looking at the not yet grouped pictures is just a mess inside Lightroom !! I still can’t understand why there is no filter to filter out all pictures that are already inside a collection ! This would help my workflow, because I tend to do several imports before I’ll do any post processing… this means I have to use the All photographs overview ( with a date filter ) to get my pictures ( Previous import is no option ), but just one filter on ‘Not yet in collection’ would just do the trick !
  • Adding metadata and keywords just slows down the working process ! Even though I just love the use of it, it means I have to think longer ( about what keywords to use ) and I have to enter everything.

But even with these side effects of my current workflow, I still love Lightroom very much and I hope they keep improving it so that I can work faster in the future πŸ™‚
Because I’ve not even talked on how and where to physically store your pictures ( local hard drive, external hard drive, network hard drive ) and how to maintain a good backup system !!

If you would like to change your workflow here are some links I find are mandatory reading for any serious Lightroom user :
http://blogs.oreilly.com/lightroom/2008/02/organizing-your-images-before.html
http://www.beardsworth.co.uk/news/comment.php?id=1140_0_1_0_C
http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/lightroom/articles/lir1at_orgsystem.html

And if you don’t like doing all the ‘importing’ stuff yourself, just use this beautiful tool I found here !

[tags]Lightroom, Adobe, Nikon, D40x, Workflow, Photography, ImageIngester[/tags]

Small art

It has been a long time that I posted something that catches the eye !!
But here is one again πŸ™‚

Not so much drawing art this time, but creative art in congestion with photography…
One guy ‘slinkachu’ from London, UK has found a brilliant kind of art, it consists of ‘little people’ in normal real life environments. But these little people are also feature their own life and the pictures slinkachu takes are snapshots of this life !

Actually, it’s difficult to describe it through words, so just have a look at his blog here and see for yourself !

Now some examples :

nuart-blog.jpg

nuart9-blog.jpg

Technorati tags: , ,

Musee de l’Elysee’s

I just got the following mail !! I entered 3 pictures and guess what, all of them where shown. ( Am I famous now ? πŸ˜‰ )

Dear Photographer,

Your images were shown in the Musee de l’Elysee’s exhibit Γ’β‚¬ΛœWe are all photographers now!Ò€ℒ in the last few days. Enclosed you will find some installation views of your images that show them in the wall.

The visitors to the exhibit are fascinated by all the different photographs that are being shown from participants like you from all over the world. Thank you again for participating and please feel free to upload more images to the site allphotographersnow.ch.

We also sincerely hope you will visit the museum. The dates of the exhibition Γ’β‚¬ΛœAll photographers now!Ò€ℒ are from February 8th, 2007 to May 20th, 2007.

From the team at the Musee de l’Elysee

Buddha also was one of the lucky guys πŸ™‚

Technorati tags: ,
Currently listening to: House Of PainPut On Your Shit Kickers ( House Of Pain )

Photo skills II

Well… after some LightRoom tweaking and human filtering/censorship :). I’ve managed to get my first Nikon D40 set together !!

I’ve received a BBQ and some tools for my birthday recently and guess what, the sun was shining and we had a nice evening with a lot of meat πŸ™‚

So without any further rambling, here are the D40 pics !!

Complete set here…

  

 

 

Technorati tags: , , ,
Currently listening to: David BowieLet’s Dance ( Let’s Dance )

Photo skills

People who know me, know that I’m still looking to buy a ‘good’ entry level digital slr ! To be specific, I would go for a Nikon !

And guess what, the misses has got herself a Nikon D40 through her work !! So technically it’s not ours and it normally has to stay at work, but because she just got it, we have to test it, not πŸ˜‰ ??

So expect to see some nice pictures in the future, taken with this beauty !! But first I’ll have to read some docs to get a hang of the RAW processing… thank god for LightRoom !!

 

 

Technorati tags: , ,
Currently listening to: 
Beastie BoysSo What’cha Want ( Check Your Head )

Product overview – photography

Recently I got myself an iPod Nano… ( I’m cool, I belong to a trendy group of people LOL )

To be honest I like the design of it ! I like it so much, that I was fooling around with my photocamera to get some nice shots. But unlike others I lack the experience and the material to get something decent ! Most of the time I just love to have some nice shots up on my windows desktop…

But it didn’t work out this time, but behold what did I see in Flickr, there is an iPod nano group !! Let me tell you that some of the people in there did what I was trying to pull off.

Some of my favourites !

 

Technorati tags: , , , ,
Currently listening to: Talk TalkHappiness Is Easy ( The Very Best Of Talk Talk N )