Group 93 Bulletin Board


9 threads - 40 total comments

This page is dedicated to the discussion of 'scapes in general, beyond the dialogue on individual member images.



Thread Title: The "2.35:1" (so-called iMax) aspect ratio

Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
In a comment today, I made mention of the iMax 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I was asked to elaborate here. In my comment I was referring to the use of an ultrawide format. Turns out I misspoke a bit, but I'll explain.

An aspect ratio is simply a expressive formula that describes the ratio of the width of an image to its height.

We're all pretty accustomed to several conventional aspect ratios. For example, a "1:1" aspect ratio is the same width as height; it's square. Standard non-high-definition television screens use a "4:3" format; HDTV uses a "16:9" format. Many of our cameras capture the image in a "3:2", "4:3" or a "16:9" aspect ratio.

A very common format used by digital projectors is 1400 pixels by 1050 pixels, which is a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Note that it's common to express an aspect ratio in terms of two simple integers, such as "16" and "9", but the same aspect ration can be expressed as "1.78:1" (that is 16/9). The advantage of this way of expressing the ratio is that it's relatively easy to visualize the shape (in this case, almost twice as wide as tall).

While we can, and often do, crop our images to whatever aspect ratio suits our purpose, there are numerous "standard" aspect ratios. What makes them standard? Basically, nothing more than that they're commonly used by manufacturers of equipment: often film and cinema equipment. Most modern digital video for home consumption uses either "4:3" (1.33:1) or "16:9" (1.78:1) format.

Cinema often uses very wide formats to increase the immersion ("you are there") experience. I've heard other folks speak of the IMAX format as 2.35:1, and without questioning it, perpetuated that notion. After doing a (small) bit of research, though, I gather that IMAX movies use a 1.43:1 or 1.89:1 aspect ratio. There does exist a standard format, "Widescreen Cinemascope", which is often described as using the 2.35:1 format, but in actuality uses a 2:39:1 format.

So, now I'll editorialize a bit. Why do we even care about specific aspect ratios? After all, we can and do crop to suit out purpose. In my opinion, it's more important to fit the image to the subject than to an arbitrarily selected format. On the other hand, certain formats just tend to feel more "comfortable". I don't know whether this has to do with something inherent in the geometry and the way our brains are wired, or perhaps it's just a matter of familiarity. There can be practical considerations: if we intend our images to be projected, and we want to make maximal use of the visual space available to us, we crop to fit the aspect ratio of the projector (i.e., "4:3" or "1.33:1"); if we intend to print we may crop to a conventional 5:4, 4:3, or 3:2 format. On the other hand, there are also artistic considerations. Some folks feel that the square format conveys a sense of calm, of stability and solidity, and one often sees it used for woodland imagery. I happen to like the wider 16:9 or 2.35:1 (or similar) format for "epic vistas" and panoramic images.

When I'm cropping my image to fit my subject, I'm primarily paying attention to removing the part that's not essential to the story, then paying attention to where key visual elements end up in the frame. Once I find a framing that I like, I'll check to see if it approximates a common format. If so, I'll experiment with changing it to use that common format, and if I'm not displeased, I'll likely use it.




  Posted: 03/28/2022 17:53:58
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Excellent   Posted: 03/29/2022 10:41:14

Thread Title: Searching for images using Keywords

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
I currently store the images I want to edit and save on a remote hard drive, by year and quarter. My interest is in categorizing, then retrieving select images ( horses, barns, granddaughters, et al) using keywords to "search" each of those years and quarters by keywords. It works if I point the search at one particular year, but I want it to search Everywhere on the hard drive ! How do I do that...please?   Posted: 09/15/2021 12:19:56
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
You'll need a DAM (Digital Asset Manager) to be able to search by keyword - Lightroom, Capture One, On1 Photo Raw, DxO Photolab, etc. They all work from a database that stores the information about each image so that you can search through the entire "catalog" of images quickly. Setup is a bear, but there are lots of advantages once you're done.   Posted: 09/16/2021 00:01:12

Thread Title: Thank you, Tom Pickering

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Tom, what group are you in...and can you recommend a Tutorial that explains setup of Lightroom as a "D.A.M." Many thanks   Posted: 09/16/2021 07:50:12
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
I'm the administrator for group 53 and the DD webmaster. d;¬{D

Here's Adobe's Intro to Lightroom: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-cc/how-to/get-started-lightroom-cc.html   Posted: 09/17/2021 00:01:01

Thread Title: Photo convention Rapid City

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I was wondering if anyone from this group is heading to Rapid City for the PSA Convention in October. I will be arriving the 3rd of October and leaving the 10th of October. Would love to get together.   Posted: 09/13/2021 15:09:26

Thread Title: Including Originals

Ed O’Rourke   Ed O’Rourke
Now that I'm an administrator I found a few more toys to play with. Turns out we can submit an original image with the photo we want reviewed for a month (actually we can include 3). I've gone ahead and included the original with my Sept entry If anyone else wants to submit an original with your final entry just include them both when you send them to me, but be sure you let me know which is which.

Ed   Posted: 08/25/2020 10:58:19

Thread Title: New Page For Comments

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Does anyone know how to start a NEW PAGE of comments. This board has become cluttered   Posted: 08/03/2020 16:04:28
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Paul, that is not possible at present, nor is it planned for the near future.

What I have done is better organize the existing comments in this bulletin board into threads. You should find that the discussions are much more cohesive. Now there are only 6 threads that contain a total of 15 replies. That's not very many, really. Some of the groups have a lot more.

The problem I've found is that some folks reply to a comment without clicking the black [Reply] button before, and the reply ends up becoming a separate thread.   Posted: 08/03/2020 23:58:41
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Tom, I need a good "Canon"guy...someone I can query about Canon h/w. Can you recommend someone...someone open to my asking for guidance?   Posted: 10/30/2020 15:32:48
Jeff Coyle   Jeff Coyle
Hi Paul,

I'm a Canon user. What questions do you have?
  Posted: 11/01/2020 10:04:19
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Thank you, Jeff, for reaching out. I have a Canon 90D. My first question pertains to shooting moving objects...getting those moving objects in focus via auto-focus!! Over the summer, I was trying to shoot a young lady on water-skis, moving at a good clip. I used a Tamron 150-600 mm lens. At times, the skier was coming right at me. I pressed my "back camera" focus, leaned on my high speed drive...and every shot was 5- 10 feet out of focus.
I see photos of birds in fight, some coming right at the photographer at high speeds. Those shots perfectly focused. What focus "matrix" should be used in such a situation? What advice would you offer to shot these moving objects? Thanks   Posted: 11/01/2020 10:52:33
Jeff Coyle   Jeff Coyle
Hi Paul,

Since you didn't mention it, is your AF option set to Servo? It should be. I would pick a somewhat larger AF matrix to make it easier to synch up with the moving target.

I've never found it terribly easy to track moving subjects in sports, but the AF technology has been getting amazingly good lately. The R5/R6 makes it very easy to track people and animals. Not that familiar with the 90D, but I'd make sure you have the latest firmware, as there is a good chance it has been improved from the baseline version.   Posted: 11/01/2020 20:12:57
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Thanks, Jeff! Yes, I was set to Servo, but I was also set to a narrow AF matrix. I will make the adjustment...and thanks again
...   Posted: 11/02/2020 11:14:43
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Thanks, Jeff! Yes, I was set to Servo, but I was also set to a narrow AF matrix. I will make the adjustment...and thanks again
...   Posted: 11/02/2020 11:14:44

Thread Title: Polarizer Advice

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Friends...I am asking advice regarding "polarizers". I do Not own one. That said, I am about to tour the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone... grasslands, very little water, I'm told. How would a polarizer help me in such a circumstance? Thanks   Posted: 06/11/2020 10:35:43
Jerry Paskowitz   Jerry Paskowitz
Hi Paul, I have used polarizer filters with both film and digital. For digital, you need a circular polarizer. The benefit is that will cut down on REFLECTED glare, that is from water or automobile chrome trim. The only to tell if you're getting an advantage by using it - is to use it and see if there is a reduction of the glare. You can expect to lose at least 2 stops when using a CP filter. If you do get one, don't go cheap. The best quality glass is from B+W; Heliopan and Tiffen. I always carry one in my bag. 77mm with a couple of reducing rings so I can use it with 72mm or 67mm lenses.   Posted: 06/11/2020 12:50:27

Thread Title: Cody/Powell, WY Photo-Guide

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Can anyone recommend a "Photo-Guide" to show me around the Cody/Powell area of Wyoming...a rancher, a PSA member, a local camera club member, et al .
I want to hire someone who can direct me to better spots, so when I arrive, I can hit the streets runnin' !!   Posted: 05/29/2020 10:15:35
Andrew Hersom   Andrew Hersom
PSA has a Travel Advisory Service to help you find volunteers who may be able to help. It's in the Member's services section of the main website. If I am going to a new state I tend to investigate travel guides like Lonely Planet beforehand.
  Posted: 06/02/2020 09:01:22
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Thank you, Andrew. What Group(s) are you in?   Posted: 06/02/2020 09:27:41
Andrew Hersom   Andrew Hersom
Sorry, 18 & 40   Posted: 06/02/2020 12:08:05

Thread Title: Canon 90D HDR Advice

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Dear PSA's groupees, I am a Canon 90D guy, wishing to shoot HDR. I have set my camera to "Disable" alignment...I want to do this in PS. That said, shouldn't I see 3 separate, -3, 0, and+3 images when I load into PS? Right now, I am getting only 1, out-of-alignment image? Please help   Posted: 05/25/2020 10:33:21
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
After a bit of research, I can answer my own question!! The Canon 90D does NOT offer 3 different HDR images. They are "automatically" joined into a single JPG.   Posted: 05/25/2020 14:17:51
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Oh, yes, Paul. You definitely should not be doing your HDR in camera. Just do exposure bracketing. I typically bracket 5 images, but if 3 is all your 90D offers, that will do. Then render your HDR through LR, Photomatix or Aurora. You will get more control and your image file will be whatever your prefer - Tiff, PSD, etc.   Posted: 05/25/2020 14:54:20
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
"Exposure Bracketing"?? Is this a substitute for HDR? And are your 5 brackets set one at a time, manually, or does the camera shoot them automatically...I'm unclear with this!   Posted: 05/25/2020 15:01:22
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Sorry for the delayed reply, Paul. Bracketing is not a substitute for HDR. It's the method by which you make an HDR image. On my camera (Canon 5D MK III) I can set the number of shots taken in a bracket sequence - 3, 5 or 7. Although I don't do much HDR, I regularly bracket. The purpose is so I have a variety of exposures. I often do compositing of different exposures.   Posted: 05/29/2020 10:23:27

Thread Title: Smart Layers

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
I would like to get some understanding on Smart Layers. Why would I use a Smart Layer and what is the technique? Many thanks.   Posted: 05/18/2020 14:07:33
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
I personally don't use smart layers. As for why and how, try to find a copy of "Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers" by Martin Evening (see pages 476 thru 479). It is my go to manual for all editions of Photoshop.

The main plus is that you can edit a Smart Layer as though it is a separate image without degrading the layer. When you are done editing the Smart Layer, Photoshop then updates the layer itself in the original image with all your changes.   Posted: 05/18/2020 14:28:32
Jean Wu   Jean Wu
Are you referring to 'smart object' under layer dropdown? Is 'smart layer' for older version?

Hope this video help
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u99Ryu1lKwg   Posted: 05/18/2020 15:25:25
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
I believe they are the same thing. You can use "Convert to Smart Object" from the layer drop down menu or the "Convert for Smart Filters" under the filter drop down menu. Once the choice is made, what is produced is then referred to as a Smart Object. Diction aside, the results are equivalent - you can edit the Smart Object as though it is a separate image. When the editing is finished the layer is then updated.

The video Jean references demonstrates this extremely well and is very easy to follow.   Posted: 05/18/2020 20:23:20
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thanks Michael and Jean. Okay, say I want to use a plug in filter. It requires me to first make a 'Layer Stamp'. After that Layer stamp is made, all layers below can not be adjusted. I don't know, but my impression is that converting the layer stamp to a Smart Object will fix that and allow me to go back and adjust the layers below (?) Thanks again.   Posted: 05/19/2020 11:15:55
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
Dan, Smart Objects are great for when you want to apply a filter that is not supported as an adjustment layer (sharpening, etc.) so it can remain as a nondestructive layer. When you apply such filters (or a plugin like Topaz), a blank layer mask is created, so that you can "mask out" part of the effects, if desired. Also, you can go back anytime to the the original adjustments and make changes to this filter, something that is not possible without a smart layer. So if you already have a bunch of layers going, instead of having to make a stamped copy, you can select all the layers, and choose to make as smart object. Anytime you then want to readjust any of these now hidden original layers, just double click on the smart object, and another tab opens with your original for additional adjustments. Smart objects don't work for every situation- you can't run Content Aware Fill on it-, and sometimes there is not a need, but I find them useful in my workflow in PS about half the time.   Posted: 05/19/2020 13:10:19
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thank you, Bob. Your reply is very informative. I will give this a try. Much appreciated.   Posted: 05/19/2020 14:31:09
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Some plugins don't play well with Smart Objects, so a stamped layer is a better choice (consult the help from the plugin to be sure). As an example, some plugins, when used on a Smart Object, will relaunch when you go to edit that Smart Object in the future, which can be really annoying - I've had that happen with some of the newer Topaz AI plugins, so be aware of possible unexpected results.   Posted: 05/19/2020 17:15:48
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thank you for taking the time with your insightful reply. The plug-in I use is NIK. On occasion I go into ACR and have to create a layer stamp to do that.   Posted: 05/22/2020 10:57:35
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Dan, I recently uninstalled, then re-installed photoshop (it's a long story). In that process, my Topaz and Skylum plugins went away. Have you any experience with re-installing 3rd party plugins?   Posted: 03/05/2022 15:03:15
Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
Paul, I don't know about Skylum but you should be able to reinstall the Topaz plugins for each product from that product's "Help" menu.   Posted: 03/05/2022 17:01:41
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Stay tuned...   Posted: 03/06/2022 11:39:17
Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Mark, your suggestion was "the spark". I went to Topaz HELP, where they directed me to a tutorial which mentioned "M1" and "Rosetta". Using blind faith as my guide, I followed the instructions and "Voila". I have my plugins back. Many thanks   Posted: 03/07/2022 11:22:08

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