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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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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.

Bug with Photo Mechanic and Sony a7R3 Files for Pixel Shift

Any Sony a7R3 shooters out there who also use the awesome Photo Mechanic software from Camera Bits?
Be careful right now with Pixel Shift images.
 
I just picked up my a7R3 the other week and noticed an issue today. I have been using Photo Mechanic for a long, long, long time to batch rename & caption all my photos prior to adding them to my catalog in Capture One Pro. But I discovered a bug with the Pixel Shift images you might want to be aware of.
 
If you batch caption/rename your photos in Photo Mechanic, then use the Sony software to merge your Pixel Shift images into Sony’s RAW .ARQ file, the Sony Viewer and Edit programs will not be able to then recognize the .ARQ file. In the screenshot I posted here, you can see normal .ARQ files processed before I captioned/renamed them and blank thumbnails on .ARQ files that were first captioned/renamed in Photo Mechanic. Sony Viewer and Edit will not read these files now after the merge into .ARQ.
 
I just got off the phone with Camera Bits. They were not yet aware of the issue having just received their own a7R3 camera today. But they were able to repeat the problem on their end and told me the engineers will begin working on a fix to be released soon.
 
So in the meantime, you might want to hold off just yet on renaming & captioning your a7R3 files that were shot for Pixel Shift until they release the fix.

Photographing the Total Solar Eclipse, With and Without Solar Filters

Tomorrow I will be photographing the Total Solar Eclipse above the Tetons in Wyoming on the Idaho side with a spectacular view of the Grand Tetons.

Here’s how I am doing it with 2 different camera setups.

Wide Angle

I am using my Sony a7R with a Canon 17-40mm f4 lens set at 28mm or 24mm – still deciding on the exact shot I want with this. I will be using a Formatt-Hitech 16-stop solid neutral density filter.

This is definitely NOT a filter recommended for photographing the sun as it doesn’t have any proper solar viewing certificates!

But many photographers have been asking me if solid density filters like this are OK for the eclipse.

Here’s the deal – if you do decide to use one it is at your own risk. You could potentially fry your camera sensor and worse you could potentially do permanent damage to your eyes.

If you decide to take such risks you are on your own. I am not recommending the following tips but rather telling you how I am photographing with these filters while assuming my own risk.

So here is how I am using this filter. I ran tests this morning while photographing the sun and did no damage to my eyes nor my camera.

For starters I have a mirrorless camera. This saves my eyes, as when I am looking through the viewfinder I am only looking at an LCD screen.

If you don’t have a mirrorless camera DO NOT LOOK at the sun through the viewfinder or you could ruin your eyes even with this filter on. Instead use live-view and only for short periods of time.

Next I was concerned with the lens being pointed at the sun for a few hours. Even with the camera turned off, my sensor is still exposed.

To protect my sensor in-between shots during the length of the eclipse I cut a piece of cardboard to cover my filter and used tape to allow me to flip the cardboard up to take a photo and back down to protect the sensor during the eclipse. It may not look pretty but it sure is effective!



With this setup my camera settings were ISO 100 at 1/250s at f16.

Telephoto

For this I am using my Sony a7 on a Sigma 150-600mm lens.

And with this setup I am definitely using the proper solar filter. I got it the other week from Bozeman Camera for $80 and it fits over my lens hood.

I had to make some modifications for my setup.

First I noticed the lens hood has holes at the base that were letting in light under certain circumstances so I taped those up.


Next, because my filter is made of a flimsy and delicate film I wanted to protect it better from rubbing or puncture. I used some foam core and tape to protect the front surface when the filter is transported in the cardboard box that it came with. This keeps the filter from direct contact twith he top of the box.


Again it may not look pretty but it works.

My camera settings with this setup photographing the sun are are ISO 100 at 1/500s at f8.

Other Things To Consider

Here are some other tips for getting the perfect shot!

  • Practice with your gear to be 100% familiar with what you will be doing during the eclipse
  • If you are in an area of 100% totality, when – and only when – it is at 100% totality it will be safe to look at the eclipse. Take your filters off at this time and bracket your exposures. The moment 100% ends back to the filters.
  • In regards to bracketing set your camera to 1-stop increments instead of 1/3rd which most photographers use. You only have at most just over 2 minutes of totality and it will be quicker adjusting shutter speeds and f-stops when dials are set for 1-stop. During totality do extreme bracketing with up to 10 brackets at 1-stop each
  • When photographing the sun rely more on the flashing blinkies than the histogram to judge exposure. Adjust your exposure until they disappear. If you are still seeing them you are over-exposing your shot.
  • Look for other photos during totality such as the crowds and look away from your camera every once in a while to fully experience it. This will be my first total eclipse and I will definitely need to remind myself of this tip.

I hope these last minute tips help out! Have fun, be safe, and enjoy the moment!!

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