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Category : Photography Software

Luxury home with pool

Linear Curves; How Making Your Images Look Really Dull Might Be the Way to Go

Luxury home with pool

This is the title for my article about linear curves and HDR in Capture One Pro 8/9 on the website PhotosApps.Expert

Read the full article here

Fashion shoot, Barcelona

My latest article about Capture One Pro

Fashion shoot, Barcelona

Bohemian beach fashion, Barcelona

Where Oh Where Will All My JPEGs Go… Apple Photos or Capture One Pro?

This is the title for my latest article about Capture One Pro 8 on the website PhotosApps.Expert, It was meant as a jokey working title but it seems to have stuck.

Read the full article here

Barcelona Hair Academy workshop

Barcelona Hair Academy

Barcelona Hair Academy workshopI have been getting my hair cut for a couple of years now by Emma,  she has now set up with Cecilia a new venture, the Barcelona Hair Academy.

Cecilia asked me to do some publicity shots at the new location, a very cool space in Gracia, an old industrial building now housing various start ups and the like.

The session was a male grooming workshop, beards were obligatory. The kind of events are fun to do as they have a certain glamour, the space is great with lots of light and you kind of have ‘carte blanche’ to do you please and no one can complain, kind of reportage without repercussions.

The natural light was very good and I augmented it with a flash mounted facing the windows for some crosslight and fill, I experimented with gels and colour balance as well.

This job was originally imported into Apple’s Aperture, but as they have seen fit to discontinue development, I have started working with Capture One Pro 8 and this project has ended up in both; I wanted to try out some images in it and these were the ones.

I find situations like this work best if you stay detached, so people are natural and get on with their business, it has some of the benefits of doing interiors in that you don’t need to worry about interaction so can get in a zone and concentrate, it can be very zen-like at times and the the time can fly by; I often stay longer than intended or was commissioned to, but if 3 hours feels like 2 why worry about it?

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Your Aperture Files Imported into Capture One Pro 8; the Good, the Bad and the Missing

(1) C1 OrginalThis is my second article for www.photoapps.expert, This time dealing with what happens to Aperture Library images in Capture One Pro 8, writing these articles has been an enlightening experience and is teaching me to be a lot more methodical, especially when asserting what is or is not possible (I am expecting to get pulled up sooner or later on some glaring error!)

The full Article is here

Hairdressing, Classes, BHA, Barcelona, Academy

Using Aperture Libraries in Capture One Pro 8

Hairdressing, Classes, BHA, Barcelona, AcademyI recently was invited to write about my experiences using Capture One Pro 8 for another site, I was pleasantly surprised and got to work, it turned out to be a lot more work than I imagined as I found I had to be a little more ‘scientific’ in my approach and actually test out things before committing to it to a post!

 

You can find the article here:

Using Aperture Libraries in Capture One Pro 8 | PhotosApps.Expert.

Carlos Leon B&W

Capture One Pro 8; Some Initial Likes and Dislikes

Dona Berges wearing  Oscar Leon fashionI have started to immerse myself in the programme, but a short trip interrupted the flow and I feel like I almost need to start again!

As an Aperture user in the process of migrating a couple of things I like and dislike have become apparent; If you liked Aperture’s interface then C1 with kind of look similar, but 10 times more complicated, though what I quickly learned is that you can customise it almost completely and I mean way beyond the usual toolbar configuration that is system wide in OS X.

This is really important and such versatility makes the learning curve a little easier as you can, in effect do what you might do with your modern digital cameras interface and hide away anything you don’t want.

 

We Aperture users are probably comfortable with the 3 tabs GUI:

 

 

 

 

And here is how Capture One Pro 8 looks:

Default Capture One Pro GUI

Kind of daunting isn’t it?

I tend to be a purist with my cameras and software, so love to strip things down to the minimum, when I saw this the first time I thought ” Oh crap!” I knew I was not going to need half of it, luckily it soon became obvious you could not only kill off some of these tabs but the tools within each could be assigned any which way you liked!

So I set to work on my first draft and it now looks something like this:

Customised Capture One Pro GUI

I may well change this and this leads me onto the next thing I really love; being able to save the workspaces (Windows Menu) and overwrite the ones you have as you refine them! Brilliant…

I have now got three; one for basic edit/ratings on first import, another for Black and White images and of course  my Personalised one

Another cool little feature is that ‘Q’ icon, you can create a ‘Quick Menu’ where you can have copies of any tools handy, this is great when you have a new image uploaded and you want to apply some basic adjustments, key-wording, or whatever, before going deeper into image refinement, of course these tools are in essence just references to the originals so any changes here will show up across all the other Tabs.

You could, if you wanted to, recreate almost entirely something akin to Apertures layout, save it and then, as you progressed add the tools you like, thus easing yourself into the new GUI…

…And now  a couple of things to look out for.

I really, really hate how you cannot just hit a key and see the files sans corrections! Instead you have to make a ‘Variant’ and then flip between the 2, I cannot find any easy way to even assign some kind of keyboard shortcut to fix this either (you can map out, to a degree, shortcuts via the ‘Capture One’ Tab in the menu).

Seriously, I am waiting for a logical explanation for this but none has yet appeared.

Another thing I noticed today and may just be down to my ignorance is trying to delete the ‘Spot Tool’adjustments I made, I have yet to figure how to get rid of them, but as I said this is something I am messing around with as I write.

One other minor thing an Aperture user needs to be aware of, when importing, is that it uses exactly the same Icon and name ‘Project‘ for its file structure,  but unlike in Aperture you cannot store images directly in it, so when you import you end up with an extra Album, which is in essence the entire contents of the original Project you had in Aperture. This is not too big an issue but just make sure you do not erase it if the images are not also included in at least one other album, as they maybe not be so easy to find (They are not deleted but will probably only show up in the ‘All Images‘ section which has everything in it).

Barcelona Hair Academy

Goodbye Aperture; Hello Capture One Pro 8

Barcelona Hair Academy

Experimenting with Capture Pro One 8

Well, we finally got the confirmation recently that the Photo app from Apple would not be any kind of new Aperture; it’s aimed squarely at iPhoto users and a lot of them might be unsure if it’s even fit for purpose for some of their workflows.

Apple, it would seem, is no longer interested in real pro software and prefers to cater for a kind of ‘beige’ demographic.

Quite a few apologists/optimists argue that it is early days and maybe with upgrades more features will be added, all well and good, but I for one do not want to use more time than I have to learning new software and I don’t want to start using something , incorporating a bunch of temporary workarounds in the hope that I can ditch them later.

I have been trying Light Room but I just don’t want to go there; the interface seems wrong and perhaps a little out of date, further more I don’t want to aid Adobe in its monopolising of all things creative.

So I have started playing with Capture One Pro 8 and after an initial “whoah! That looks complicated!” I am starting to really like it, aesthetically (to a degree it follows Apple’s new ‘flat’ GUI, in terms of looks), but more importantly it just is so capable… It seems to surpass LR in so many ways, from my experimenting and also from reading what other people say and when I look at Aperture now, it looks like a relic, a sketched out beta…

The trouble is C1 is way over-priced, especially these days and they are certainly missing out on a lot of possible clients, because most will just blindly go to LR, once they compare prices.

Right now I will keep using Aperture because it is easy to have C1 use its library, so I can experiment and learn on the same images I have to process quickly for clients.

New Website for Lee Harris

My New Website

New Website for Lee HarrisI woke up one morning last week and just erased my old website ( http://leeharris.eu/ ).

I then checked out some templates on WordPress and got to work on a new one. I am not au fait with coding as such, so customising took some time and eventually, in exasperation, got some help from my friend Piper, when it came to sorting out fonts, she is a CSS wizard and in 5 mins did what it might have taken me 5 hours to figure out.

I quite like messing with this stuff though, but if you don’t do it often it is quickly lost to you; whatever I learnt doing this blog is long gone!

So, apart from the technical stuff, the next headache is finding the images and then editing them. I don’t feel like I have been taking that many pics since moving here, but the sheer amount I have found and am still finding, that might be worthy of use is crazy. Some of the pages were created with what was close to hand at the time, just so I could test the layout and these images will probably be retired once I have been through the archives. I am seriously thinking of enlisting someone with relevant skill to act as an editor.

I am leaving out anything I did before arriving in Barcelona in 2007, but I may do a blog entry for the images I still like or still have some meaning.

Any comments would be welcome of course, via email might be more efficient…

iPhone Hipstamatic: girl reading

On using retro camera apps on smartphones

For complete story: http://blog.leex.co.uk/I have decided to do a post dedicated to retro style images usually caught on todays smart phones using special apps. I use hipstamatic quite a lot and love the effects it can produce, I started using it maybe 2 years ago. After experimenting I soon found a combination of camera and film type I liked and have stuck with it, I also learned through trial and error what works and what does not, so that nowadays I can usually decided before taking a shot whether the normal camera or the ‘effects’ camera is best suited for the job.

For me there is first the issue of technical limitations, the effects app is fairly limited in its ability to deal with extreme light conditions and does not fair well in overly contrasty situations or where it is too dark. Also there is the subject matter and this is somewhat more subjective but having seen innumerable posts on face book and other places think it is not too hard to figure out what works and what does not.

Unfortunately a lot of people do not discriminate and the end result is a web saturated in mediocre subject matter rendered with a patina of faux nostalgia curtesy of these apps. I think they are diluting and ruining the potential for  people to encounter worthwhile images, This is a shame and in many ways reflects the trouble with digital photography and the modern web; the tsunami of images posted these days means anything of worth has little chance of staying afloat for long in the consciences of web users assuming they ever manage to surface at all.

Recently I saw a newspaper article about war photographers and it included someone who used his iPhone, nothing wrong with that I guess, except the shots were all shot using some faux affect app like hipstamatic! I was incensed, since when did something like a war need dressing up, surely such images serve the world better being as realistic as possible, instead of being rendered in the hues of some nostalgic bygone era. Once again I was apoplectic with incomprehension, not least because these apps also slow down the picture taking process and have a pretty limited capacity as I mentioned earlier. I also thought the images were mediocre even with the effects added.

So, in short, this is a blog that I doubt will get read that much but it makes me feel better having written it and to reiterate I would like to say stop using the effects without rhyme or reason!! Also a crap shot still is a crap shot using these effects, the only difference is that it looks like an old crap shot.

 

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: Couple kissing

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: Marble stairs

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: Graffiti

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: bycicle shadow

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: balcony shadow

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: sculpture

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: brick wall

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: girl portrait 1

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: girl portrait

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: boy portrait

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    iPhone Hipstamatic: cat on red sofa