Macro-Season About to Start

I am looking forward to my official start of macro season. Looking around in nature for beautiful patterns and colour combinations is rewarding. Here a few sample shots taken on my trip to Tadoussac.

I use my Nikon D500 mounted with the TAMRON SP 90mm F2.8 Di Macro VC USD F017N Macro lens.

Featured Image:

Exploring Tadoussac

Pinecone Captured at Pointe de l’Islet Tadoussac on 25 May 2018 by Karl-Heinz Müller

Disclaimer: Products and services of all brands mentioned in this post have been purchased by myself and they are not mentioned here because I recommend them but solely because at the moment when I acquired them they looked to me as the best option for the available budget.

New Words: Pinecone – Tannzapfen, Lichen – Flechte

I Did It – New Workflow

I did it. I cancelled my Adobe Subscription. As nature photographer, why would I do such a thing and cancel my Adobe Subscription? It is not because I have any issues in using their products and my workflow using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop has been quite efficient. Providing monthly subscription fee with a yearly contract and a penalty when cancelling before makes no sense to me as customer and I consider it as bad business practice and my only power against companies with bad business practices is not paying for their products.

Photo Shooting

Geo tagging of my photos is very important. For that I usually run SnapBridge [I have a Nikon camera] while taking photos to make sure that the photos are geo tagged in spite of draining my iPhone battery which I cannot replace in the field.

Import and Selection

Done with Photo Mechanic [thank you Conradin]. The 150 USD have hurt me but it not only allows me to rename the files and store them in a logically way on import, I also can efficiently remove trash shots. I import into an external drive as my laptop has limited hard drive capacity [backed up].

Editing

From Photo Mechanic, I pull the photos which I want to edit and publish into Apple Photos App. For most of the shots, the Photo App editing features are enough. If needed, I always can edit a raw file in Affinity Photo.

Disclaimer: All equipment and software have been purchased. I don’t endorse any of the products used. I bought them because at the time when I needed them, they looked like the best options for my purpose and budget.

Featured Image: Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) taken in Tadoussac. Nikon D500, Nikkor 300mm f/4, TC 1.4, Photo Mechanic, Apple Photo Apps

Exploring Tadoussac

On Land & In Water – The Mammals – Tadoussac

It was no suprise to see squirrels, they are everywhere, and beluga whales, frequently to be seen from the coast at Tadoussac. Minke Whales and Grey Seals are already more rare. Minke whales can be seen from the beach though but because of their colour difficult to spot.

Finally, the Porcupine was a complete surprise. I saw it on a hike to the dunes about 5km from Tadoussac.

Featured Image: My favorite of these photos. Three Grey Seals relaxing a bit up the fjord of Saguenay

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

The Little Ones – Tadoussac

It was a joy to walk around in the woods and look out for all the busy small birds collecting food after their long migratory voyage. Some more colourful than others, some better hidden than others.

I saw these 7 within a few hours. Four of them, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler and Palm Warbler are all birds of pages 208/209 of my indispensable guide “Le Guide des Oiseaux du Quebec et des Maritimes” which I use to id then back at the hotel.

Back to Tadoussac

I visited Tadoussac in 2013 with the main goal to see some whales. I returned this year in the hope to get more photos and not only of whales. It’s early into the season and there are still snow patches here and there. Temperatures are reasonable though and migratory birds have arrived.

Here the link to my previous post about Tadoussac

It was a very fortunate day today, with many birds species I see the first time. I also saw a few belugas and a porcupine.

Featured Photo: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, difficult to spot and even more difficult to photograph. It hides within the bushes most of the time and flies fast and erratically.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

 

Post-Production – New Workflow

It is about time to add another post about my current post-production workflow. I shared my experience with using “free software” in very details but this was back in 2015 with two smaller updates in early 2016. Now in 2018, many things have changed.

Hardware

Post-production happens now on Apple hardware only. I replaced my windows powered 17″ laptop with a small 13″ MacBook Pro for two reasons. Mobility: The 17″ laptop was so heavy and so large, I couldn’t take it with me. Although, labeled as “Laptop” it’s more a fix desktop solution. Monitor Colours: The large laptop frequently changed monitor colour-settings when attaching an external monitor or using certain programs. Whenever I started to edit photos, I first had to run through the colour calibration process. Annoying.

My 13″ MacBook Pro fits weights almost nothing and fits into any size backpack or bag. Further, no application installed on my mac turns the screen to blueish or reddish and no colour calibration needed.

Software

As much as I want to get rid of using Adobe Subscription, I haven’t found a way around it. Thus, all me editing is still done using Adobe Lightroom.

Workflow

  1. Copying all files from memory cards to the external drive
  2. Importing all files from external drive into Lightroom
  3. Browsing through all newly imported photos and reject them [press X] if I don’t like them.
  4. Delete and remove from disk rejected files [command + delete]
  5. I then go through the remaining photos again and rate them with 3* [I like it] or 5* [I love it].
  6. I crop so that the main object of the photo is into the one of crosses of the thirds. Specially with animals on the move, composing the photo before taking the shot is not really an option.
  7. I then go through the different sections of Lightroom’s control in the right column with particular attention to shift the histogram if necessary and to enhance/balance the colours and to suppress noise. I almost never use additional software like photoshop or affinity photo to edit photos.
  8. Finally, I geo-target the photo using the map and export the edited photos into a temporary folder on the desktop

Organizing and editing the photos of an average output of a photo session [about 1000 shots] takes me up to three hours. Most time consuming task is the selection and rating of the photos though. At the end, I have about a handful photos ready to be published.

Publishing

The 5* rated photos are published in my Flickr account. All new species and interesting close ups of other species are published in my web site Fauna & Flora Photography.

I used to publish frequently in Fauna & Flora Facebook page and on Instagram. Nevertheless, recent events at Facebook have discouraged myself to continue using Facebook and Instagram.


Featured Image

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Close up Great Blue Heron [Ardea herodias], Rapids Park Lachine, (c) KHMuller 2018

Note: I intentionally excluded two subjects which are my current photography gear  and video recording. I will discuss these subjects in a separate post in the near future. I am expecting some significant gear upgrades in the next days which would make any thoughts about my current gear obsolete within days, My video processing workflow is such a mess not worth talking about.

Disclaimer: Products and services of all brands mentioned in this post have been purchased by myself and they are not mentioned here because I recommend them but solely because they currently are part of my workflow.

 

 

Lack of Blue – Too Much Blue?

What does a hobby wildlife photographer do on a ugly, rainy, cloudy, dark, depressive Sunday? He/she watches YouTube clips about other wildlife photographer in action, reads about lenses, cleans all equipment and if there is still some time, shoots photos of whatever like the cat on the sofa [portrait lense], smurfs [macro lense] or the chimneys across the street [telezoom].

Chimneys

I ended up with a question, though. All these YouTube wildlife photographers are out there and record in rainy, cloudy days. The “real” wildlife photographers are out there under any conditions? Or because there is nothing to shoot, they have time to record?

Having given some thoughts, I [almost] decided not to buy the 200-500mm lense but the 300mm f/4 Prime instead, with the 1,4x teleconverter. Pricey though.

Happy Friday

Sorry that I am not smiling, it was very, very cold that day. Looking forward for some outdoors photo shooting over this weekend. Maybe the lack of smiling was also in anticipation of the this weekend weather forecast. Sunshine during the week and rain and cold over weekend. It will be fun.

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Happy Friday.