Since I have discovered Lab color space in the excellent blog of Roger Cicala (of Lensrental), I’ve been experimenting with it a lot. The biggest benefit I see with Lab is the separation between luminance (and the related high resolution details) and colors. I can edit and change colors with little effect on artifacts and a change in color doesn’t affect all the colors (blue-yellow and pink-green). I’ve tried doing this with RGB and find that changing colors impacts white balance a lot.
Anyway, here are just some samples. The flowers and strawberry have been edited to unnatural colors but all the rest of the things in the picture can be believable as they are of the natural color (green leaves in pic 2, dried leaves in pic 1 and black table with white sticks in pic 3).
Being stuck at home and not being able to shoot outside has its perks!
From Samsung S3, I am now using Samsung S4 (company phone). Great phone with a pretty nice camera.
Only thing is that the pictures are JPEG only and not very good at being pulled/pushed (exposure) or color shifted without using a stronger noise reduction.
Anyway, two pictures of my current office building (edited in LR5).
The days of using my Samsung S3 are numbered. Our company phone, now Samsung S4, just arrived last week so I’ll be using it instead of the S3 (which will go to my sister). Before that happens, here are some of the latest pictures taken with that phone. The first two are fish sold in the supermarket I buy stuff from and the last one is the vehicle of the owner of a famous restaurant in Baguio City.
Slow day this week. We went to Gaspar Island in Marinduque. The island has clear water and is perfect for snorkeling, except we didn’t bring any snorkling gear and the boat we hired doesn’t have life vest. Unfortunately for me, the island is photographically uninspiring. We were confined to a small area of the beach (as the island doesn’t have much beach to speak of – mostly rock faces that drop steeply to the sea).
So instead of the usual weekend getaway pictures, I’ll be posting some pictures taken with Samsung S3 and edited through Lightroom.
This first one was taken during my cigarette break. We were still in our old office and the smoking area is on the balcony of the 8th floor. The floor is tiled which provided a very strong pattern to the picture. The pattern is broken by the discarded coffee cup – broken in terms of color and shape. The breaking of the pattern and the punchy red color of the cup are the reasons why I love this picture. It looks good when printed, even at A4 size, it looks nice.
This one was probably taken during lunch hour or when I was in the pantry as I can’t remember anywhere where there would be a white table/counter top. A very simple photo of a can of Coke.
Now this one was taken last weekend. On our return trip (via boat) from Marinduque, the sun dropping to the horizon is magnificent. My Canon 7d is inside the camera bag, which is inside my very big backpack so taking it out to take photos is a huge effort. Good thing that the light is still good and the picture can be taken by the S3 at base ISO (80).
This was also taken last weekend on the boat. Picture taken at ISO 80 but the higher dynamic range meant that I had to pull the highlights (the sky in the background) and push the shadows (the life preserver and almost everything else). Hence, not as good or as clear as the previous one.
Finally, this one was taken during a visit to a house and lot that we thought we could buy (too expensive). The owner of the house was into orchids before she migrated to the US and there are pots on one side of the garden – abandoned but seemingly hopeful that they would be used once again. This was taken at ISO 640 so noise reduction had to be done. The noise reduction resulted in the surface of the pots looking smooth.
That’s it for now, I’ll just post some more pics tomorrow.
Things happen everyday. And sometimes, we just want to photograph things that we remember. I don’t always carry my camera or sometimes too lazy to bring the camera out so a cellphone camera makes a wonderful tool. (Plus, there is very easy upload to facebook and other photosharing sites).
Eman’s aunt arrived from Hong Kong and she brought some chocolates and some wallnuts. Wallnuts are available here in the Philippines but they are already shelled so this is my first time to see wallnuts in their shells.
Harp Players in SM
As it is Christmas season (where many people go in malls to buy gifts), SM Makati has a pair of harpists playing in the mall (a mother and son pair (I think). Sounds very relaxing and we stopped for three or four songs before continuing with our errands.
A Christmas tradition here in the Philippines is Kris Kringle or Secret Santa. Basically, you give gifts to a person (who doesn’t know who’s giving the gifts) on specified days based on a theme. Then on the Christmas party, there is one main gift of higher value.
For our second gift giving, the theme was “smelly but satisfying” and my generous secret santa gave a kilo of cashew nuts and I think 1/4 kilo of danggit (dried fish). Very very nice and very satisfying too. (Cashew nut is not smelly but the fruit is).
Buying Indian Costume
Christmas parties are very common (most Filipinos are Christians so Christmas is a big celebration – no Hannukah or other holiday celebrations). To give flavors to these parties, there is usually a theme.
For our company Christmas party (to be held next Thursday), the theme is Bollywood so I went to Market Market to buy an Indian costume. This is a display of the costumes showing the costumes for both kids and adult. The one I eventually bought is a maroon kurta with a black embroidered hat.
Back in 2006 or 2007, an explosion from the basement of Glorietta destroyed most of Glorietta 1 and 2. The explosion was determined to be coming from methane that seeped in the basement (I think noone was held accountable for this accident that led to the loss of several lives). I was supposed to go to the mall (in the exact area where there was an explosion that fateful day. Thankfully, I got lazy and did not push through with my plans during the lunchtime that the mall exploded.
After several years of building, Glorietta 1 and 2 is now ready for reopening. The structures are all ready and the stores are now being readied for moving in of new and old tenants.
J. Co Pops
High end (expensive) donuts are becoming common here in Manila. Beginning with the arrival of Krispy Kreme, there are more and more specialty donut stores opening, including J. Co. These are the so-called J. Pops, small versions of the donuts.
When I was a kid, the donuts available then are only from Dunkin Donuts and another donut stores were the main competitors. (I still love Dunkin Donuts and go there regularly for coffee and their newly offered premium donuts).
Male and Female Toilets
Signage on male and female toilets in malls and fastfoods tend to be very bland. They’re usually of the blocky staid male and female with rectangles for bodies and circles for a head.
These are the doors to the toilets in McDonalds in Bonifacio Global City. Pretty fun and creative.
Before the explosion of expensive donuts here, designer coffee came first, led by the international coffee chain Starbucks. Now I like coffee – a lot – but I’m not gonna shell out money for expensive coffee if I can get a coffee in the office (we have a delicious pressed coffee) or in Dunkin Donuts of McDonals. Coffee is coffee no matter where you buy it. The only times I go to a coffee shop is when I’m meeting a friend.
This coffee is cappuccino from UCC in Glorietta. Nice design on the sprinkling of cocoa powder on top.
I already have a Benro camera backpack which can pack my 7D with battery pack and all my lenses (except for the Samyang 650-1300mm). But it’s too big for everyday use. Then I saw a wonderful messenger-camera bag from Ona called the Ona Brixton in antique cognac leather. What a beautiful bag! But also at a wonderfully high price.
Luckily, there are similar bags for sale at a cheaper price. This one is a Junie Cambridge bag that Eman gave me. I use it everyday when going to the office (it carries my ipad, Fuji X10 and a small folding umbrella). Ona will have to wait.
These are cute little heads that you water and grass grows on top. They kinda look like the troll dolls. I bought them in Divisoria and gave three to my co-managers in the office. We named them Rufo (Princess’, the one with the green glasses), Groucho (mine, which is named after Groucho Marx – red glasses with grass hair), Papa P (Irene’s, black glasses) and Bogart (Espie’s, red glasses with little grass hair).
Some silhouettes during sunset while we were waiting for our bus trip. Shot with Samsung S3 and edited with Lightroom.
Smartphones are great devices. In addition to taking calls and sending text messages, they can also be used as PDAs, web browser, gaming console… and cameras. In two of my previous posts (here for SII and here for SIII), I posted some pictures taken with cellphones. Here are some more taken last week.
If you can’t beat them, join them.
I’m not a big fan of instagram but the filters really do make some for interesting pictures.
Our aging dog (Keana) who’s now 7+ years and has cataract. * My female shih tzu, Kylie. * Yellow leaf caught in a net.
The camera app of S3 has inbuilt filters and effects that can be used, including black and white, HDR, panorama and even cartoonization.
Same with instagram, they can be fun and effective if used sparingly.
Cartoonized version of Dunkin Donuts restaurant.
The Best Camera…
IS THE ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOU. If my cameras are not with me (or even if they are but are inside the bag), the smartphone with a camera can be the best camera.
I recently bought a Galaxy S3 as my Motorola Defy+ is slow. The S3 has a better camera than both the Defy+ and the S2 but I haven’t tried it much yet. Here are three pictures all taken today. It is extremely wet the past few weeks so the pictures are all of water and water drops from the rain.
As someone said, the best camera is the one you have with you. This maybe my best camera yet. (I can now leave the Fuji X10 which I bring to office daily but rarely shoot. The Lumix TS3 will only be for beaches and the 7D for outdoors and special occasions).
Time to post pictures taken from a cellphone. This time it’s my wonderful Samsung Galaxy SII – now broken due to water damage. The camera is actually nice and has 8mp. Of course, low light is still bad and purple fringing is a problem (see picture of the seatbelt).