One Hundred Thousand

I’m extremely proud to announce that we had reached a major milestone in our app development business.

100k-downloads

One hundred thousand paid app downloads from 110 countries around the world. It’s hard to find the right words when so many people buy and use the stuff you make. It’s flattering. It’s a responsibility. It’s a great honor.

I know some of them personally and seeing how my apps changed their lives and improved their work is one of the most rewarding experiences one can wish for.

THANK YOU!

Why iPhone RAW is a Big Deal

iOS 10 brought the capability to get the RAW image data from the camera and save it as a DNG file. It elevates the quality of iPhone images to a whole new level (for those who care). The following image tells it all.

Click the image for actual pixels display on non-Retina screens

Click the image for actual pixels display on non-Retina screens

On the left is how the iPhone renders the image, on the right my version converted from DNG and tweaked to taste in Capture One. Both show the actual pixels (100% magnification). Red areas are the overexposed parts. The images were captured as RAW+JPG in the upcoming Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder 5.0, so they represent the exact same moment.

With shooting RAWs you can avoid most of the pitfalls of iPhone image processing (I know them from experience):

  • Over-sharpening, which ruins images with already high contrast edges, such as tree branches against the clear sky.
  • Excessive noise reduction – usually on an unnecessary level, even at ISO 25. You know, the blotchy look at 100% which looks downright ugly.
  • Unrealistic color. Apple processes the images for punch, which is good for making your friends envious on social networking sites, but is a problem when you want to actually use them (the images, not your friends) as real photographs.
  • Sometimes overdone light falloff correction. You know, when the sky is brighter in the corners than in the center.

You also get more headroom for recovering overexposed areas (they are also better by default because of the lower contrast), but on the other hand you need to correct corner light falloff by hand.

To my eye the difference is so large that I won’t use JPGs any more when I’m photographing with the iPhone (which happens a lot, since it’s always in my pocket). No, they are not challenging DSLR (or even large sensor point and shoot) quality, but are way more usable than the JPGs.

A Year with Zeiss Lenses

More than a year had passed since I started migrating to Zeiss lenses – and I still couldn’t be happier. This, together with the Canon 5DS R completely transformed how I approach my subjects. The resulting files reflect what I see and how I see it. Every time. No additional frills that need to be edited out in post.

Fall Morning

Fall Morning

No matter if I work slowly and deliberately under a dark cloth, tethered to a MacBook Air, or – as it was the case with the above image – shooting handheld from a moving boat. The images are always stunning. I’ve never been so satisfied with any photographic equipment. These words shouldn’t be taken lightly – I’m an extremely hard-to-please man.

The only thing I miss with this setup is movements. A few degrees of tilt/swing here and there, plus a couple of millimeters rise/fall/shift could save the day sometimes. Well, if you think that I’m exploring the possibilities in this area, you are right. But more on my findings later.

Stranded and Breaking Up

The photo below is a good example of when endurance pays off. Following a rather spectacular sunrise weather slowly turned miserable. After a while my shooting companions gave up, and I was walking the beach alone in the cold drizzle. Camera and lens wrapped in a plastic bag. Wiping water off the LEE Big Stopper every 30 seconds or so.

But suddenly everything came together. Forms, colors, patterns. I’ve explored this composition quite a bit, taking roughly 20 frames with slightly different angles and of course to have several wave formations in the background to choose from.

Stranded and Breaking UP

Stranded and Breaking Up

And yes, a cup of hot tea in the car was priceless… Photographed with the Canon EOS 5DS R and Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 lens.