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Beyond the Lens with Matt Suess – Photography Journal & Blog

 

 

Black and White Tulip

I have always loved black and white photography. In fact I was processing and printing my own b&w photos way back when I was 12 years old! But I can not recall right now when – or if – I ever created any serious black and white flower photographs before.

So here’s a start, with a tulip from our backyard here in Montana 🙂

This was photographed hand-held in the High-Res mode with the Get Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera and the M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro lens, which gave me a 50MP image. Shot at ISO 250 at 1/200s at f5.

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Pro Capture for Lightning with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Camera?

Pro Capture for lightning with the OM-D E-M1X camera?

Yes, please!

We just had a small lightning storm pass overhead here in Montana and while it was on it’s way I ran outside to see if Pro Capture would work for getting shots of lightning.

And it does!

For those not familiar with Pro Capture on Olympus, what it does is keep a pre-set number of frames in a buffer which constantly gets overwritten with the newest images while slightly depressing the shutter button, so that when the action does happen you fully press down on the shutter to save those frames it had in the buffer.

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Bison and Spring Snowfall in Gallatin Gateway, Montana

I love watching bison forage for food when the ground is covered with snow. They use their head as a shovel to push the snow away to get to the grass below. This was photographed yesterday during a late April snowfall here in Montana.

It was photographed with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera and M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro lens that Olympus has loaned me for a couple months. It was shot hand-held at 1/160s, f8, at ISO 200. To get the same lens reach using a full-frame camera I’d be using a 600mm f4 lens and there is no way I’d be hand holding that monster of a lens at 1/160th of a second for any amount of time!

One concern I’ve had with MFT is that the camera is only 20MP (my current Sony a7R3 has more than double the megapixels) and I specialize in large prints. The more megapixels, the larger you can print, right? If I can’t get great looking prints out of the Olympus there’d be no reason for me to switch from Sony.

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Where is the Noise in High ISO with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Micro Four Thirds Camera?

As I continue evaluating the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Micro Four Thirds Camera that Olympus has loaned me for 2 months free of charge (and with no obligation at all to write these reviews) one aspect I will be studying is how usable high ISO images are with this camera.

I have been shooting full-frame digital since I purchased my first full-frame camera back in 2002 with the $8,000 Canon EOS-1Ds, an 11.1 megapixel camera. And simply because of the physical size difference between a full-frame sensor and a four thirds sensor, full-frame sensors by and large have less noise at higher ISO’s and thus are better in lower light situations.

But how big of a difference is the noise in higher ISO’s?

If you believe everything you read in internet forums, people are saying anything over ISO 800 is basically non-usable with four thirds cameras. This was concerning because I am often shooting ISO 800 or higher with my Sony a7R3, particularly with wildlife, and if this Olympus camera couldn’t handle higher ISO’s I would lose pretty much all interest in the Olympus system.

So I went out to a local zoo the other day to get some test shots at higher ISO’s. And this writeup is about my reflections from that day.

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Focus Stacking In-Camera with the New Olympus OM-D E-M1X Camera First Attempt

Olympus recently sent me a bunch of gear to try out free of charge for a couple months, and here is another post update on how I am liking the system.

So the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera has the ability to focus stack in-camera and this is one of my first shots testing out this super cool feature, and already I am in love!

I photographed this Linkley’s Silverpuff flower last week using theM.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens. It was shot hand-held at 40mm, 1/200s, f8 at ISO 400.

For those who do not know what focus stacking is, I set the camera up to take 8 shots, allowing the camera to adjust the focus plane between each shot automatically. The camera then takes those 8 shots and blends them in-camera into one file that gives me way more depth of field than had I just taken one shot, providing me with way more detail in the flower with more of it in-focus.

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Hello Olympus OM-D E-M1X

I am pretty psyched!! Last week Olympus me some loaner equipment at no charge to test and put through the paces over the next couple months – and what a kit I received!!

The brand new Olympus OM-D E-M1X body with the following lenses: M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro with 1.4x teleconverter, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 Pro, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro, and the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 Pro.

In the past week so far I have been testing this on some wildlife and landscape shots along with some HDR images and I am looking forward to seeing how it compares to my Sony a7R3 system.

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Starting with No Image Library in Luminar 3

In my Learn Skylum’s Luminar & Aurora HDR Facebook group, I have noticed some people wanting to kind of hit the reset button on Luminar 3. Maybe they added too many photos at once in Luminar and it is not running great. Or maybe they don’t want to even have Luminar 3 index their photos but still want to use Luminar 3while waiting for things like keywords and LR migration to appear in future updates.

I prepared a video just for you 🙂

This video also appears in my Mastering Luminar 3 Online Course.

I’ll show you a few ways to start from scratch and also which files and folders you can delete to free up some hard drive space if you don’t want to use a photo library in Luminar 3.

FREE Webinars this Saturday and Monday on Luminar 3

Join me this Saturday, December 15 at noon Mountain or Monday, December 17, at 3:00pm Mountain for the last 2 sessions of my Super Important Photo Organizing Strategies with Luminar 3 online webinar events!!

There are some very important things you need to consider before adding all your photos into the new and upcoming Luminar 3. I will show you what they are!​​​​​​​

BONUS MATERIAL COVERED: If you work with Image Adjustment Layers, you DO NOT want to miss my super important tips on using them in Luminar 3.

You can find out more info and register for the event here.

My previous 2 webinars went 20 minutes over the scheduled time so I could get to all of your questions. I’ll do the same for these webinars if needed. Make sure you are ready for Luminar 3 which comes out December 18th!!

 

The New Luminar 3 with Libraries – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

On December 18, 2018 Skylum will be releasing their long awaited DAM (Digital Asset Manager) for Luminar. Called Luminar 3 with Libraries, this will be a free update for everyone who currently owns Luminar 2018 on Mac and Windows.

Originally, it was first talked about being released in 2017. Once that didn’t happen it was next anticipated to be released in early 2018. That didn’t happen either, but now here it finally arrives a couple weeks shy of the end of 2018.

Has the long wait been worth it? Let us find out.

 


Quick Note Before We Get Started

I will be doing a number of free webinars showing off the new Luminar 3 with Libraries between now and December 22. I will update this blog post here once I confirm the dates and I will also be posting it on my Facebook Page as well as in my free-to-join Luminar/Aurora Facebook Group. These will be my own webinars, put on by yours truly 🙂

Join me in one of these webinars to see what is new and to ask any questions you have!!

Two New Webinars have been added, for Saturday, December 15, and Monday, December 17, 2018.

The Good

Since it’s arrival in 2017 Luminar quickly started replacing ON1 as my #1 goto program for enhancing my photographs. At the time, I was still using Capture One Pro and, to a much lesser extent, Lightroom for my RAW files. After some initial adjustments to my RAW file I would send a 16-bit Tiff file to Luminar to finish it off and give it my signature look.

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Skylum Publishes Roadmap for Upcoming Luminar 3 with Libraries

Skylum has published a roadmap for the upcoming Luminar 3 with Libraries, a free upgrade for users of Luminar 2018.

Luminar 3 comes out on December 18, 2018 and Skylum has promised free updates to it through late 2019 to add features and enhance the program.

Photo from Skylum

 

Here is a look at what’s coming up as mentioned on their roadmap.

December 2018 Update(s)

For Mac Users

  • Libraries – You will be able to conveniently & quickly browse photos in a Gallery, review and rate images, organize photos in Albums, access the right pictures faster with a Calendar mode, and speed up your workflow with smart shortcuts.
  • Sync Adjustments – You will be able to enhance a single image to your liking, and then apply the same edits across all your photos with a single click.
  • Info Panel – You’ll be able to view EXIF data for your images.
  • New LOOKs – Presets become history. Luminar brings a collection of new LOOKs that will allow you to enhance and stylize your images much faster.

For Windows Users

  • Libraries – You will be able to conveniently & quickly browse photos in a Gallery, review and rate images, organize photos in Albums, access the right pictures faster with a Calendar mode, and speed up your workflow with smart shortcuts.
  • Sync Adjustments – You will be able to enhance a single image to your liking, and then apply the same edits across all your photos with a single click.
  • Info Panel – You will be able to view EXIF data for your images.
  • New LOOKs – Presets become history. Luminar brings a collection of new LOOKs that will allow you to enhance and stylize your images much faster.
  • Color Management Improvements – Issue Fixed. You’ll be able to properly manage colors between Luminar, monitor and 3rd part devices.
  • Various Improvements – Speed improvements, Image Export improvements, more controls for filters, plug-in performance improvements, share pop-over updated, drag & drop issue fixed and other.

 

Photo from Skylum

Planned Updates from January – July, 2019

For Both Mac & Windows Users

  • Raw + JPG (Luminar Libraries) – You’ll be able to work with Raw & JPG versions of the same image in a more convenient way. View as a single image, but switch between versions in real time.
  • Virtual Copies (Luminar Libraries) – You’ll be able to create versions of a photo with different styles, adjustments, editing history, etc. This is especially useful when you want to try different looks on the same image.
  • IPTC edit & sync (Luminar Libraries) – You’ll be able to edit core IPTC info. Plus create custom presets related to IPTC data and sync these presets across multiple images.
  • Hidden Features (Powered by AI) – We are busy working on more smart tools powered by Artificial Intelligence to give you more powers when editing skin on portraits, architecture; removing objects or simply applying masks on your images.
  • Lightroom Migration Tool – You will be able to move your data and images from Adobe Lightroom to Skylum Luminar.
  • Smart Search (Luminar Libraries) – You’ll be able to quickly find the image you need, using keywords, EXIF information and file names.

Remember that this is a FREE upgrade for all Luminar 2018 users. If you don’t yet have Luminar 2018 you can get it here. You can also save 10% with coupon code: mattsuess

 



Announcing my Mastering Luminar 3 Online Course

 

 

Learn how to organize and edit your photos with Luminar 3 in my comprehensive step-by-step online course. This is the most complete training video course available for Skylum’s Luminar! It officially launches when Luminar 3 becomes available on December 18, 2018 (but you can enroll in it today).

Check out all the details on my new Luminar 3 course here and enroll today!

Want to become an Affiliate Partner for my online course? Contact me today and let me know and I will fill you in on the details!

 


 

Disclosure about product links and affiliations: Some of the links I provide are affiliate links which means I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you, if you click it and end up buying something. It helps me provide free educational resources and articles. So if you use them, thank you! My affiliations however never influence my opinions on any products/services and I am only affiliated with companies whose products/services I personally use.

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