Welcome to the Richard Brown Photography Blog
This is a weekly blog of my photographic activity. I post the shots that I took but didn't find interesting, or good enough to add to a gallery. I make comments about the location, content and the quality of the photos. I encourage comments on my Blog to help me improve both the quality and diversity of the content.
From time to time, I will post interesting web links and PDF's of photo techniques or reviews that I found useful.
Thanks for your interest.
When: 4th June 2018
Where: Richmond West Dyke Trail, BC, Canada
How: Canon EOS 60D with EF L 70-200 mm F4.0 1/1250 sec and F5.6 1/500 sec
Focal stacking is normally associated with micro photography. Because of the extremely shallow depths of filed achieved with photographing very near to small objects such as jewellery, in order to achieve a sharp image of the whole object, it requires many images taken at small increments of distance from the object, usually using a micro adjustable rail to hold the camera. Then in post processing, the multiple images are merged, using only the pixels considered to be in focus. This is called focal stacking. This technique can be used in landscape photography, by taking images of foreground objects (e.g. flowers) with a large aperture, and shooting the background at a distant focus point with a suitable aperture for the available light. By merging the two or three images with software like Helicon Focus, , one can produce an image with both the foreground objects and the background in equally good focus (see above attached example).
Now the computational power required for focal stacking can be found in recent smart phones and could be included in compact cameras. So now a smart phone or compact camera,, can incorporate multiple fixed focal length lenses and produce near simultaneous images of varying depths of field. The first consumer example of use of this technique is with Portrait Mode on the Apple iPhone X. But the potential exists to use even more lenses with different focal lengths and perspectives, to create an image file with a user selectable depth of filed. This would eliminate the need for a real time decision on what focal length and aperture to select at the time of taking an image. The use the computational power in the device potentially could replace optics to provide creative images that utilize depth field in the same way traditional DSLR has been used with its large, expensive optical exchangeable lenses. Both Google and Apple are investing heavily in exploring the use of computational photography. So perhaps we may see more interesting mainstream innovation for photography on Android and Apple devices. Who knows, maybe Canon and Nikon might finally decide to be more technically innovative.
Where: Steveston, BC Fishing Harbour
Comments: In a previous post, I showed how much difference there is in the field of view on a full frame camera versus an APS-C DSLR. I decided to do more tests using my Canon film SLR to compare against my Canon EOS 60D SLR. I have two high quality Canon EF L series lens that are designed for a full frame sensor. They cover the range of 24-70 mm and 70 - 200 mm. I did a studio set of images at various zoom levels, and repeated this with four landscape scenes. The image shown here was shot at 24 mm on both cameras. Once again it clearly shows that the APS-C crop factor reduces the image coverage substantially. New full frame sensors are typically over 30 MP compared to my current 18 MP. So any loss of definition at full 200 mm zoom is made up in the ability to crop to the same level of detail as one gets at the effective 300 mm range with the APS-C sensor.
So if you own only full frame lens, your going to get fifty per cent more image with bigger pixels (i.e. better quality). The full frame also gives a bigger range for depth of field for any given distance hence in low light and small spaces you have more flexibility to get the right focus with good bokeh. So overall it gives a lot more flexibility to frame the shot you want whether in a studio or outdoors. With better quality at high ISO levels, you also get more flexibility to get sharper images with a range of light conditions. If you are Canon user, you just have to come up with the $2000 for the rumoured Canon EOS 6D MK II coming out in June.
The iPhone camera has undergone major changes over tha last 8 years. The iPhone isn't the only phone with a camera nor was it by any means the first. But the iPhone has so much global market share, that it is deserving of this word to describe a major world-wide phenomenon in mass photo / videography. Ever since Apple opened up the camera interface with iOS 8 on the iPhone 4S, there has been a transformation of the image taking capability into a highly optimised platform for creative still and video image capture. Its more than a camera. It is a whole new mass image taking and publishing capability. It doesn't replace any existing specialised cameras. It is unique thing like iTunes that Apple uses to make you keep on spending money with them. As long as they keep making it better and keep it affordable, then it will continue to succeed.
When: 9th Feb 2016
Where: My garage studio
Comment: Since the bike gets more attention than my photos, I decided to check out all my studio gear using it as a subject. I used a couple of strobes with softboxes, the white backdrop and a remote trigger on a Canon EOS 60D with a Canon EF L f2.8 24-70 mm lens. The pictures were shot at f4 and 1/125 sec. The next time I shoot the bike I will try using back lights to increase the backdrop f stop so I can cut out the image with Photoshop
When: 5th Dec 2009
Where: West Dyke, Richmond, overlooking Vancouver Island
Comments: This is a video produced from a thousand images taken every 2 seconds by a Canon EOS 6oD on a tripod using a trigger app on an iphone. The images were processed by Apple Quicktime, and a soundtrack added. Quicktime was used to convert the HD version to a reduced quality MP4 to make it suitable for uploading.
The soundtrack is aptly Vivaldi's Winter Largo from Four Seasons.