Damien Lovegrove

A guide to perfect panoramas using nodal shift | Damien Lovegrove

By using the latest software like Lightroom 6 (cc) with built in RAW photo merge we can create stunning multi image panoramas. No matter how good the software is it needs great source images to work with. Here is my guide to making great panoramic photographs using Nodal shift. In days of old, roll film cameras with panoramic proportions 6×17 or even 5″x4″ cameras were used to create negatives large enough to make immensely detailed prints for display. Nowadays we can use carefully shot multiple exposures of a scene taken on a small easy to carry camera and stitch them together however there are problems to overcome. When you shoot multiframe or sweep panoramas with the camera panned on a standard tripod the side swipe of the lens introduces parallax errors at the image join points. The post production software tries to fudge these irregularities and often delivers panoramas that look great at a distance but suffer at the detail level where the individual frames join. It doesn’t have to be this way because with the rotation of the camera around the nodal point of the lens such distortions are completely eradicated leaving perfect joins. This even works for the panoramas created in camera with the panorama function……..

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

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Fuji X-T1 settings | Damien Lovegrove

There are several ways of shooting with digital cameras. With SLRs I used to set up my LCD to mimic a simulated final processed image. This was punchy, vibrant with deep blacks and peaky whites. The image on the back of the camera was very different from that of the real world projected on the focussing screen in the viewfinder. However I have adopted a completely different approach to setting up my viewfinder and LCD with my Fuji X system. I have established the optimum camera jpeg settings to give me a viewfinder image that shows exactly what is recorded in the raw file. The jpegs produced with my settings are somewhat flat or calm and are not always representative of my finished photograph. Anyone who has shot raw video footage will know just how it looks prior to grading. That’s what I like in my stills camera too as it allows me to accurately assess the image exposure while I’m setting shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Here are my settings and why I’ve chosen them……..

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fuji X-T1

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Zoom or Prime lenses for portraits with Fuji X? | Damien Lovegrove

This is my real world comparison between the Fujifilm XF16-55mm zoom with the XF16mm f/1.4, XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/1.4 and the XF56mm f/1.2 prime lenses. I often hear statements like prime lenses are better than zoom lenses. Is that so? Let’s find out… Size matters when it comes to lenses. The larger lenses are generally easier to operate especially if you are controlling the aperture, zoom and focus. The 16-55mm lens feels just the right size and the zoom function is super smooth too. Take away the need to zoom and the size of the fast prime lenses seems right too. If you really want compactness in your lens system you can opt for the pancake primes to cover the wide end. These are the 18mm, and 27mm. Pair these up with the 35mm and 60mm and you have a sub f/2.8 prime set up. These lenses offer stellar optics but have traded a fast maximum aperture for size and weight. The apertures are still larger than the zoom so these can be a real choice if size really does matter……

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Fujifilm XF16mm lens – picture samples and first thoughts |
Damien Lovegrove

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple of copies of the new Fujifilm XF16mm prime lens so far. The first was a pre production unit I picked up in Japan back in February and I later swapped it out for a newer version at The Photography Show last month in Birmingham. My latest copy has serial number 00029 from the final production run. It came boxed and is in full retail guise. I’ve shot over 1000 frames with XF16mm lenses so far and I love this lens. I’ll be linking the shots here in this blog post to their full size counterparts as soon as I’m allowed to do so. The full res images sparkle with clarity and will delight the pixel peepers among you. My idea of lens evaluation doesn’t dwell on the microscopic but uses a more holistic approach. I choose a lens because of the way it translates the three dimensional world into a two dimensional image. The overall look and feel of the images a lens captures are of utmost importance. I love to print my work too and the process of producing prints is the most telling step in image quality evaluation……

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4

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Window Light portraits – A complete guide | Damien Lovegrove

Top tips:

Shoot at 90º to the light source for a dramatic portrait. The light and shade glancing across your subject will reveal shape and features beautifully. When you include the window in your shot let the highlights go. Concentrate on the mood and vibrance of the picture. Make a holistic exposure judgement while viewing the whole image. Don’t try and recover the highlights in post production it will look unnatural.
 
Kit list:
 
Use a camera with a fast prime lens. A standard prime lens with an aperture of f/1.8 or better is perfect for interior portraits lit by window light. I use a Fujifilm X-T1 with 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and 56mm prime lenses. I also have a 50-140mm zoom with OIS that I’m about to start using. Zooms are good too especially if they have optical image stabilisation. You may still need to use a higher ISO though to compensate for the smaller maximum aperture that a zoom lens usually has especially if your subject is laughing or animated………

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fuji X-T1

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Fuji X series portrait lenses compared inc. 56 APD and 50-140 zoom |
Damien Lovegrove

Out of curiosity I have done a mini test with six Fujifilm X series lenses to better understand the characteristics of their images and the differences between them. I wanted to see how the clarity, contrast and bokeh compares. This is not laboratory science, it is a real world A/B comparison where the results are subjective and open to interpretation. I’m not one to read MTF graphs and I believe all professional lenses made today should be reasonably sharp so my attention as always turns to how pleasing is the rendering of the scene? I want to asses both the in and out of focus bits. So I went off to the cold, dark, woods with my friend Charlotte and set up a tripod. I used a Fuji X-T1 camera. The images were downloaded and the file names changed to represent the exif info. They were normalised for exposure but other than that there were no other tweaks. The sharpening settings were 25, 1, 25 and there was no noise reduction. I used the Pro Neg S camera profile and synchronised the white balance across the files. Note: Clicking on the picture will bring up the corresponding full res jpeg……….

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.8

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What Fuji X camera and lenses should I buy? | Damien Lovegrove

Why I find the Fuji X system is faster to use than an SLR: With an SLR I used to either use aperture priority AV, A or manual M mode depending upon what I was shooting. Either way required me to take a test picture, assess exposure then adjust the settings or exposure compensation as required. I could then start shooting. If I missed out the review and adjustment stage I’d come back from a wedding with some strings of shots that were too dark or light. With the Fuji X system I shoot in M manual mode and it shows me the exact exposure and white balance I’m going to get before I press the shutter. I can tweak it as required and voila I get perfect exposures every time. No more exposure variations or test shots when I get back to the studio. The time saved at the shooting stage more than makes up for any difference in focussing speed……..

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2

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A night at the museum ~ Lighting sets | Damien Lovegrove

A recent phone call from a client for a rush photoshoot led to a great opportunity to use the lighting skills I learned many years ago at the BBC. All I knew was we had the Bristol Museum available for 2 hours and we needed a couple of wow shots for an event campaign. I suggested a few models and together with designer Molly Mishy May, we worked out the plan. Vicki was to do Victoria’s hair at my studio ahead of the shoot to save time on set and while I rigged lights she was to work with Donatella. It was a great plan and it worked perfectly. You have to start with the end in mind. As soon as I was on set with my clients I established the fact they wanted one shot with portrait orientation for a poster and leaflet campaign with space at the top and on the left for text and one landscape orientated shot for body copy. Both shots needed to show the museum as a classic building suitable to hold functions. The models were to be in dramatic poses as if playing roles in a performance rather than just looking pretty……….

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fuji X-T1

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Cambodia part 2 ~ Temples | Damien Lovegrove

Touring Cambodia at the start of the rainy season was definitely the right thing to do. There are far less tourists to the point that just off the tourist trail there were none at all. Tours were often led by official guides following arrows that took in the main parts of the temples but from one side only. I chose to ignore the arrows and found myself in an identical symmetrical half of the temple but without any tourists. Perfect ……

Source: www.prophotonut.com

Cambodia Part 1 ~ The Kingdom of Wonder | Damien Lovegrove

Nowhere has quite touched my soul like Cambodia. Four weeks of travels in ‘The Kingdom of Wonder’(The Cambodian tourist board slogan) has left me wanting more. The friends I made, the sheer fun of the place and the opportunities for photography yet fulfilled will ensure I return. Here is part one of a photographic diary of my adventure captured on the Fuji X-T1 and X-Pro1 cameras. Camera kit: Fuji X-T1 with 10-24 and 55-200mm zooms plus 14mm, 23mm, 35mm, 56mm and 60mm primes. I used the primes for my portraits (mainly featured in the next blog posts) and the zooms for landscapes……..
 
Source: www.prophotonut.com

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