Daily Blog Post

Fuji X-E1 v’s Sony NEX-6

A head to head battle…

I was hoping to do a comparison between the NEX 7 and the X-E1 as I know many people are wondering how they compare. Now Sony has released the NEX 6, the specs of this camera are very close to the specs of the Fuji X-E1 but can it come close to the image quality that Fuji has created?

The Camera Store TV has put these two cameras head to head in the Fuji XE-1 vs Sony NEX-6 Shootout…

Today’s iCandy – Up…or Down?

I worked on this one for a while, and I did a lot more than I would normally do… sometimes I get inspired and carried away when I am processing a photo and use a bit of creative license. I usually have my iTunes playing in the background and just get into a rhythm and in most cases, something good pops out the other end. I don’t normally share any before pics with you, but today I am going to so you can play spot the difference, Here you will see that sometimes, Photomatix doesn’t do a great job… I ended up not using the photomatix image in my final version and just used Photoshop and Topaz Adjust to create the final image. I have also included my “the aliens are coming” version of the pic below (I have no idea what possessed me to make an aliens version… maybe it was the aliens!) – So… that only leaves the question… is this lift going up, or down?

The Before Photo

This is after I had used Photomatix to create my HDR image

This is after I had used Photomatix to create my HDR image

And After…

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

And of course… the one the Aliens made me do…

The Aliens are coming....

The Aliens are coming….

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post Processing Workshop Online

Learn how to make your photo’s pop!

I threw the question out there on social media and overall had a resounding ‘yes please’ to an online post processing workshop. I am thinking sometime in the new year and I am going to make this one FREE… I know, sounds crazy… everyone else is charging… consider it an xmas gift from me to you! It will be around one hour and I will share my screen, you will get to see exactly what I do, in fact, I will pick an image from my library that I have never processed and we will play together… keep an eye out for the invite, it should be FUN!

Today’s iCandy – Xmas in the Strand

I went for a wander around the city and wanted to grab a few shots capturing the xmas fever! Here shoppers are running around before the real crowds descend on the shops… this is the Strand Arcade in the city and is very tripod friendly from what I understand, I have never heard of anyone having a problem with security in here… maybe they don’t have any!

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You can do HDR

Photomatix Tutorial

I get asked about how I go about creating a HDR image. And whilst there are a lot of options when it comes to software, I have tried a few and can’t find anything better then Photomatix. I created a couple of videos, one is showing you how, when I am on location, I capture the bracketed shots with my camera, then, in the second video, I show you a screen capture of exactly what I do with photomatix to create the HDR image on my computer.

HERE is the link to the videos

Today’s iCandy – Stairs to Nowhere

On the recent photowalk we came across these stairs, there were sever sets of them in this building, and some were really nicely restored, whilst most were neglected and had a lot of character…

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydra Pro 3.1 Review

Is this the HDR software for you?

Let me start by saying that if you own a Windows PC then it isn’t for you… for no other reason than this is a Mac only app, and according to worldwide sales only 10.8% of you are mac users… so for one in ten of you, read on…

mac-vs-pc-user-profiles

As a writer for HDR one, I was asked by the editor to do a review on Hydra Pro 3.1, his reason for giving it to me to do… he is one of the 89.2% that don’t own a Mac! I haven’t done many software reviews so this was going to be fun. I loaded the app onto my iMac and straight away I had some challenges… There were some things that Hydra Pro does REALLY well, and some other things it struggled with… time for me to redirect you to the FULL review with screen captures and a quick summary at the bottom for all of you that can’t be bothered reading the full review… Here is the full review on the HDR One Magazine Site.

Today’s iCandy – Fan Fair

When I was in China I visited many of the parks, and in the mornings, a lot of these parks let the locals in for free to do there daily excersize and the likes. They played all sorts of games and would dance to Chinese music. It was nice to see that they did this every day!

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Beijing, Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are you on Pinterest?

I am starting to like it!

I find it hard to stay up to date on all the social media tools, and I am very active on Facebook and google+, recently I have also been posting a daily photo on Instagram and now I am working on mastering Pinterest! I like the way Pinterest works and have started several boards… rather than my posts (or pins) slowly going missing on some long and selective timeline, each board is easy to look through, to me it is like compiling some sort of album I can go back and look through from time to time. Anyway, you can find me over there with this link http://pinterest.com/benfewtrell/  – I hope to see you there!

Photomatix Coupon Code – Save 15%

The nice people over at Photomatix have given me a code for you to use if you want to get their HDR Software. I have tried lots of HDR software and find Photomatix the best. I use Photomatix Pro, use the Coupon code ‘ON3LEGS’ for a 15% discount, you can get it from here -> Photomatix DOWNLOAD

today’s iCandy – Beijing Harley

There are a lot of scooters, mopeds and motorbikes in Beijing. To me this guy just looked like a dude as he rode past on this cool looking scooter.

Beijing Harley

Beijing Harley

Categories: Beijing, Daily Blog Post | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

10 Tips to Better Photos

Brand New eBook Launched

I am pleased at the response in the first 12 hours of this being launched. I announced it last night on my Facebook page and there has been dozens of downloads. It is nice to know that after many hours of compiling my tips and tricks that a lot of you are keen to take a look inside!

Taking better photo’s starts with you making the decision that you need to learn something new… as the old saying goes “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”. I decided to write this eBook hoping I would help you understand how to take creative control over your camera. The camera is a marvellous tool and used properly, you can create images that will not only impress your friends and family, but even you will sit back and stare at your photo’s in awe!

I see so many people that leave their camera on auto, and in some cases, that is just fine, but if you are wondering why you’re not getting the results you want then this eBook could definitely be for you!

My journey in photography has been one of a stop start nature, sometimes it is easy to make excuses and let ‘life’ get in the way. I decided to just ‘capture life’ and stop making excuses and rarely a day passes where I don’t take a photograph. At the very minimum I will post one on my blog and other social media pages every day.

In this modern day it is as easy as it ever has been to take and share your photo’s with the rest of the world, you probably carry a camera with you every day cleverly integrated into your mobile phone.

It’s now time for you to take creative control over your camera… Enjoy the journey!

Final PhotoWALK for 2012

The final photowalk for 2012 has over 50 photographers registered with over 30 confirmed. The last photowalk was a great success and I am hoping this one will be just as good, if not better! The photowalk is this Sunday Evening kicking off at one of Sydney’s premier photo locations,  Observatory Hill. We will end up in The Rocks once the sun has set and there is a good chance there will be a cold beverage or two enjoyed at this time!

If you’re keen to find out more or come along, visit the Facebook Event Page and register your interest… I hope to see you there!

today’s iCandy – Turimetta Star

If you have been following me for a little while you will know that my favourite sunrise location on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is Turimetta Beach. I get a lot of questions to the exact location of this beach, it is basically North Narrabeen. On the southern end of the beach there are some wonderful rock structures that create all sorts of interesting foreground to shoot… enjoy!

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nikon S800c Android camera thingy

I wonder if Nikon are barking up the wrong tree?

I understand the temptation for camera companies to try to come up with something that with rival the smartphone, I can imagine the boardroom conversation of Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus… etc. “How do we create a camera as popular as the iPhone?”… the R&D departments of these manufacturers would be in overdrive, whilst Apple and android developers have this market pretty well stitched up…

Nikon have released a camera, sorry, no, they call it an ‘Android Camera’. The idea is you can get better quality pics on the go and post them to all the social sharing sites… the only problem is it isn’t a phone, so it does not have cellular connection and only works on a wifi, so you need your smart phone with you as well if you want to post pics on the go

It looks like the Nikon Marketing department have done extensive research (not) and seem to think that using this new ‘Android Camera’ over your smartphone will result in more likes for your photo’s, making you more popular and helping you justify carrying the S800c and your smartphone everywhere you go!… watch the video if you like lame stuff…

todays iCandy – Smokey Sunset

Smoke always deepens the colours of a sunset or sunrise. I was on my way home from the Gold Coast and decided to stay overnight at Coffs Harbour. What a great place for photography! The harbour has many vantage points and it is one of the few where you can capture sunset, and sunrise… this was at the end of a rock wall that must have been built to protect the marina, and as I was watching the sun set with my family dolphins were frolicking in the water around us… perfect!

Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Coffs Harbour, Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydra Pro 3 review

My thoughts…

Recently I was asked to review the Hydra Pro HDR software for the HDR one online magazine. The software itself has a sexy User Interface and is very ‘Mac’ like. I have been using Photomatix for some time now and so I can give you a direct comparison and say that I would still choose Photomatix over Hydra. I am sure that as time goes on the Hydra software will become better but for now it is suffering from a couple of issues, the main being that it struggled to process larger files from my D800. The second issue that I found is that you have a lot of ability to control the final output image, and some of you would say this is a good thing, and I agree, but it is only good if it is easy to use and in the case of Hydra it starts to get confusing when you start making more advanced adjustments.

I think that all HDR software developers stop trying to be the one stop shop and just focus on making a program that is really good at tone mapping, aligning and de-ghosting. We can use Photoshop and a host of other plugins to add the final touches… just my thoughts!

Make sure you head over to HDRone.com and check out my full review… it should be published in the coming weeks…

Today’s iCandy

‘Fire in the Sky’ – Sometimes the sunrise doesn’t look like it going to be that great, this particular morning there was a storm off the coast and the cloud on the horizon was thick and heavy… this moment as the sun broke through lasted less that 2 minutes… it pays to be ready!

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review, Gold Coast | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fuji X-E1 and HDR

Your questions answered…

A lot of people must be considering the X-E1 as their next camera… maybe you are too! I get over 100 hits a day on my blog with the X-E1 in the search term and I have had over a dozen requests to test my X-E1 out doing HDR and to post my findings here. Finally… I have done just that.

The X-E1 is a great camera, and the only short fall that I can see at this stage is to read the .RAF RAW files the Fuji creates you need Photoshop CS6 (which I don’t have) or use the Fuji supplied RAW editing software (and it sucks!).

For me, I have my D800 for shooting raw and wanted the Fuji as an everyday walk around camera. It is much lighter than the D800 and the image quality is damn good… I don’t need to shoot RAW for everyday snaps so the whole .RAF RAW file issue doesn’t bother me too much.

I have a page dedicated to the X-E1 that I am always updating and adding photo’s to… you will find it HERE

How does the X-E1 perform when it comes to shooting HDR?

On my recent trip to Fiji I decided to test it out, here is the original photo, this is taken with ‘Average’ metering. Given the dynamic range of the scene the camera is not going to be able to capture all of the detail with the limited dynamic range of the sensor.

The Correct Exposure using ‘Average’ metering

To take the different exposures I need for a HDR image the Fuji is limited in the way that you can do this. You could use the auto bracketing but would need to fiddle with the EV comp dial anyway to get the desired range in the exposures so I like to just use the EV comp dial and forget about the Auto Bracketing function. Maybe they will have a software update like SONY did that will make the Auto Bracketing more HDR friendly. Until then, the EV Comp dial is very easy to access and use.

Selecting +2 on the EV Comp dial

Selecting -2 on the EV Comp dial

After processing the image with Photomatix pro, here is the final HDR image, I used Photomatix Pro, I have tried lots of HDR software and find Photomatix the best. Use the Coupon code ‘ON3LEGS’ for a 15% discount, you can get it from here -> Photomatix DOWNLOAD

The Final HDR image

Categories: Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review, Fiji | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am Back… more news on the Fuji X-E1 soon!

back from Fiji..

Sorry it has been a bit quiet around here lately, I have just spent the last 2 1/2 weeks on vacation in Fiji… I took 3 camera’s, My D800, My Panasonic Lumix mostly used in an underwater housing and my Fuji X-E1. This trip really gave me an opportunity to give the Fuji X-E1 a true workout and can say I am really loving this camera! I am slowly transferring the hundreds of photo’s and images I took across to my iMac and as will start posting some soon. I will also update my X-E1 review page with more of my learning’s about the camera, and I am going to do a quick write up on the Lumix too for those of you thinking about underwater photography… so stay tuned!

Categories: Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review | Leave a comment

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