Covid has been rough. One silver lining is the arrival of my first grandson, Ellison Ryan Sayles. It’s hard to explain how awesome it is being a grandfather. It’s even harder to describe how much joy this little guy has brought to our home. So instead of trying, I’ll just post some pictures. It’s what I do.
Pexels has an active photo challenge called Windows and Doors. I decided to head downtown and see if I could get some shots to submit. To spice it up a bit, I decided to use a vintage Hexanon 57mm f/1.4 on the walk. I’m not a big fan of prime lenses for street photography, but I am a big fan of getting out of my comfort zone. A while back I grabbed a Fotodiox adapter that would allow me to attach my Konica AR mount lenses to my Nikon Z6ii. It’s really been fun to use the old lenses on my modern camera!
Here are the photos from the walk. To enhance the vintage feel of this awesome lens, I did most of the editing using profiles from DxO’s Filmpack 5. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go. When you’re stuck for inspiration in editing, nothing gets the juices flowing like throwing an old Agfa profile on a photo…
Last night I had the opportunity to document special service at Calvary Boise. It was a powerful worship & prayer service. At times I found it difficult to concentrate on the camera work. I was part of the worship team there for a several wonderful years. I’m losing my hearing and had to step down. It was a sad time for me, but being able to use my eyes brightens things up a bit. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to save your memories.
I hate presets. I have hundreds of presets. Don’t get me wrong, they’re handy, but I really only use them to get an idea of where I want to go with an image. If I apply one, I still have to spend a ton of time working through the settings to get the image right.
I’ve found that I really enjoy using LUTs/profiles much more. It’s probably more of a mental thing, but being able to apply a profile and yank one slider to adjust the effect is awesome. Once that’s done, all of the individual sliders are a blank slate. Oh the joy! I guess I’m saying that I can apply a color grade as a starting point, adjust its overall impact, then get to work on the image. For me, this is where it’s at.
What’s been driving me crazy for a while is not knowing how to create one. I figured out how to create a LUT .cube file, then find that Lightroom CC uses .xmp files…
Back to digging…
Then I found an article that pointed me toward this strange beast called the ACR and Lightroom Profile SDK. Oh the humanity! It even had a tutorial! I’m working through learning how to do this mysterious thing and decided to practice by taking some photos from my favorite Pexels Heros and creating profiles based on some of their photos. I’m not trying to copy or steal their edits, it just seems like a cool theme to use as I figure out the process. Hopefully they don’t get mad at me 🙂
Here, let me show you.
One of my favorite photographers is Ylanite Koppens. She’s a great photographer, but better yet, she’s a great human. Do yourself a favor and check out her profile on Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/@nietjuh
I love this photo. I think it’s the crushed, purple/blue shadows and the slight wash effect. Wouldn’t be cool to have a profile that did that? The answer is yes. So to start with, I needed to find a brown leaf on a grass background. I found this great shot by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash.
This isn’t a tutorial on the process, but if you want to learn, send me a message and I’ll get you a link to the SDK. I popped Steinar’s photo in Adobe Camera Raw and got to work on the photo using Ylanite’s color grading.
This part isn’t so easy, but after working on it for a while (and a bit of headache) I was fairly happy with the result. I exported the profile to an xmp file and imported it to Lightroom CC.
Now I can just click on Profiles, navigate to Ylanite and apply it! The amount can be adjusted with a single slider and serves as a starting point for further editing!
I don’t think I nailed the color grading, but I certainly learned a lot. Here are some before/after shots with Ylanite’s photo as a reference.
As you can see, I haven’t masted the art of profile making yet, but I’ll get there! I should have some pretty cool profiles to use when I’m done. I apologize in advance to my Pexels Hero friends if I don’t do justice to their edits… 🙂
I ran out and met a gentleman to look at the cameras. They were in pretty rough shape, but the price was right. Of the four cameras, only one was in working order. I went for a drive to test this one after three failures. I got home and developed the film and was quite happy! Below are my test photos.
I find it exhilarating to shoot a 40 year old camera and actually get photos out of it. I’m happy to say that I have another great camera added to my bag!
My friend Andrew’s pigs had babies and he invited me out to get some photos. Prepare yourself for cuteness overload!
Around the country, things are burning. I’ve seen things burn before. I was in southern California in April of 1992 and I’ve decided that riots don’t help anyone. They seem to always hurt the wrong people. I’ve also experienced what it’s like to have a run in with bad cops. Just like people in general, there are good ones and rotten ones. Before I start getting preachy, I’ll say that I attended the Boise protest and took some photos. There were some great people there. Both the protesters and the police were respectful and during the time I was there, nobody was burning anything. That’s how Boise rolls.
So… On the way back from photographing pigs, we ran into some turkeys. It was just about sunset when we spotted them. I jumped out of the Jeep, figuring that I’d get some photos of them as they ran away.
They didn’t run away. They ran to me.
That made for some good photos. They were on the other side of a barbed wire fence about two feet away. They paced back and forth like they were posing. I got some shots and decided to hit the road.
That’s when they decided to get grumpy.
They plowed through the fence and started smacking me with their wings. What is the proper response to attacking turkeys? Get some video! Nikon Z6 in one had, my phone in the other, while getting beat up by turkey wings. What a day!
Some might not consider this an exciting shoot, but those people must never have spent quality time with pigs. They’re friendly and not a single one of them shared any political views. It was glorious!
The rules were simple. Don’t get between the big guy and his gals. I was then immediately set upon by one of the girls. All was well, she just wanted to sniff my camera and get a back rub.
Special thanks to Andrew at Indian Creek Homestead for letting me hang out and get some photos!