What lurks in the shadows.

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The more time I spend with my Fujifilm X-T2 the more impressed I’ve become with it and the X-Trans sensor inside. One of the things I’ve been most amazed by is the amount of detail I’m able to recover from shadows that seem to have gone to black.

With about 20 minutes before the sun would crest the horizon off the New Hampshire seacoast it was still pretty dark when I made the above photo. So it was no surprise to find the shadow side of the monument rendering as black in the image. Even the histogram in Lightroom indicated there was no detail to be recovered.

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Histogram indicating no detail in the shadows.

Or so it seemed.

While I’m happy with the photo the way it is I was curious as to just how far I could push the shadows and what if any detail might be revealed.

Below is an approximate 100% crop taken from the original photo. Just for the heck of it I pushed the shadow slider in Lightroom as far to the right as it would go.

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100% crop from the original image.

Much to my surprise there was a lot more hidden in those shadows than I thought possible. This is the same crop, only this time with the shadow slider pushed all the way to the right.

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The same 100% crop with the shadow slider pushed all the way to the right.

The real surprise, I wasn’t pulling all of this hidden detail out of a RAW file. All of this detail was hidden in the shadows in the straight out of camera jpeg. The second part of the surprise, there was virtually no noise introduced into the image after boosting the shadows.

Add this to the growing list of reasons why I continue to be happy  with my decision to switch from Canon to Fuji.

WPC: Green

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Yes, it is spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Weekly Photo Challenge theme is indeed Green, but there are some of us who aren’t quite ready to let go of winter!

Comprehensive firmware upgrades for X-T2 and X-Pro2

Going hand in hand with last nights post, Fujifilm just announced a major firmware release for its two flagship models, the X-Pro2 and the X-T2. Thats 33 new or improved features!

The Fujifilm Blog

Great news for Fujifilm X-T2 and X-Pro2 owners. Thanks to two new firmware upgrades – one at the end of this month, the other by the end of May, your cameras are about to get even better!


This latest round of upgrades further underline our ‘kaizen’ philosophy of continuous product development and rather than package these in a new model (like some manufacturers) we’d rather make them available to you immediately, free of charge. We’re nice like that.

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Why Choose Fuji?

Because they listen.

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I mean really listen.

When customers request new features, they listen by releasing a constant stream of firmware updates to both new(er) as well as existing older model cameras.

I’m not just referring to adding these new features to future models either. Besides image quality, one of the things Fuji is known for is the constant release of firmware updates. More often than not these firmware updates are designed to add new features such as better and faster autofocus performance to existing models.

Not just for current models either, they are known to add new features or improve performance in older models as well.

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Who else does that?

When most other manufactures seem hell bent on forcing you purchase the newest model in order to get the latest list of features, Fuji is content keeping their customers happy by improving older models as well as the newest high end models. My guess is they know that by treating their customers right and keeping them happy those customers are highly likely to upgrade to the newer models at some point anyway.

Case in point the camera that started my journey with Fuji, the Fujifilm X-Pro1.

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I purchased mine used back in October, roughly four years after its initial release. Known for great image quality though having autofocus performance that can generously be described as glacial, the X-Pro1 was and still is a great camera. However even with the release of the much improved X-Pro2 on the immediate horizon, the engineers at Fuji still saw fit to release at least one more firmware update in an attempt to improve the autofocus performance of this great little camera.

Even my current camera, the Fujifilm X-T2 which shares top of the line billing with its rangefinder style sibling the X-Pro2, has received two firmware updates since I bought it back in October.

Looking back to my time with Canon I can think of only one or two times, if that, that a firmware update was released, not one of which added a new feature of any kind to the cameras.

So if great image quality in a small package that’s built like a tank isn’t enough for you to consider buying one of the many great Fujifilm cameras, getting a few new features added to it long after you bought it just might.

Oh yea, those firmware updates, they’re free!

Waterfall Photography Workshop #1


As we welcome spring I’d like to announce the first of several waterfall photography workshops I’ll be leading throughout this spring and into early summer.

From the afternoon of Friday May 19th thru Sunday evening May 21st I’ll be taking a limited number of participants to some of my favorite waterfalls located throughout the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Each day we’ll start off bright and early photographing at least 2 waterfalls each morning. Following the mornings outing we’ll take a mid day break for lunch and some image review.

If time allows during the mid day break we will also go over some post processing tips to ensure your finished images are works of photographic art you’ll be proud to show off.

Then in the afternoon we’ll head back out for some more flowing water action.

What’s Included. 

Guiding to some of the most spectacular waterfalls New Hampshire has to offer.

Instruction and tips on composing your waterfall images as well as camera settings to help achieve the silky ethereal look of the flowing water sought after by most waterfalls enthusiasts.

Image review and post processing tips using Lightroom and the Nik Collection of creative plugins(available for free HERE).

What’s Not. 

Meals and lodging.

Transportation to and from the North Conway, NH area.

What To Expect, What To Bring. 

The workshop will take place rain or shine, with overcast drizzling weather my preferred weather for photographing waterfalls due to the nice even lighting that will make achieving good exposures a breeze. With that in mind, keep your fingers crossed for cloudy days!

All the waterfalls we’ll visit will require some walking and light to moderate hiking, so comfortable and supportive shoes with good traction are recommended.

Bring several layers, including a rain jacket, as the weather conditions can vary greatly in the mountains.

Recommended Gear List. 

Camera and wide-angle zoom lens.

Circular polarizer.

Tripod.

Lens cloth.

Spare batteries and memory cards.

Investment – $750 (payable via check or PayPal invoice) 

A $150 deposit is required to reserve your spot with the balance due at least 30 days prior to the first day of the workshop.

Space on this workshop is limited. By limiting attendance to a small number of participants I’m able to provide the maximum amount of individual attention. 

CONTACT me should you have further questions or to reserve your spot. 

DISCLAIMER:  Workshops are held rain or shine with no refunds given due to inclement weather. However should the weather be severe enough to warrant cancellation full credit will be given towards a future workshop. Credit based on amount of time lost due to weather. Loss of at least one full shooting day required to receive credit. 

CANCELATION POLICY: Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the scheduled start date receive a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start date will receive no refund unless the space can be filled. 

I do realize that sometimes life gets in the way, so should a last minute cancellation be necessary on your part you’re not out of luck. Your workshop fee(less the $50 cancellation fee) may be applied to a future workshop. 

The Art Of Seeing Differently. 

Been There, Done That. 

Now do it differently.

The world is full of iconic locations that have been photographed extensively, Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire, especially as seen from this bridge, is one of them.

The challenge for me was to come away with an image that wasn’t a cookie-cutter copy of many of the other images, including many of my own,  taken at this scenic, very recognizable, and oh so often photographed place.

To do this required seeing differently.

How could I capture the essence of this beautiful view, ensureing the recognizability of one of  New Hampshire’s most iconic scenic vistas? Composition, choice of aperture and focus point, thus affecting the depth of field and final image, were all questions I had to answer prior to pressing the shutter.

With this image I believe I’ve captured one of the most recognizable and most often photographed mountains in New Hampshire in unique way. Has a similar photo been made? I have no doubt there has. As the saying goes, “there’s nothing new in art.” My goal was not to reinvent the wheel, my goal was to see the mountain in a way I had never seen it before.

See the mountain, then, see it differently.

 

Below is are several ways I’ve seen the mountain in the past.