I just received and installed the Rotorpixel 2-axis gimbal for my DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter. It was fairly straightforward to install, and it really smooths out the video. Unfortunately, I’m stuck inside today with 30 mph wind gusts, so no flying yet. I’ll have a follow-up report once I can test it all out in flight. In the meantime, I did put some video in the clip above from the Phantom 2 Vision with the gimbal installed.
As photographers, we quickly learn to recognize the differences in lighting conditions. We all seek to shoot things in what we call “good light.” But what is good light, anyway? We’ve certainly heard of golden hour and blue hour, and you probably know that overcast skies and midday light aren’t always ideal. In today’s segment of The Sensor Plane, I’ll discuss some common lighting challenges and how to deal with them in the field.
For an audio-only version of this podcast, click here.
Today on the Sensor Plane I want to talk a little about an oft-overlooked creative tool: white balance. You can use the camera white balance setting to change the mood and feel of your images both directly in camera or in post. While it’s important to get proper white balance in your shots, remember that if you shoot in RAW it’s very easy to adjust after the fact.
The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast with Jason Odell
Welcome to my latest project, a video blog called The Sensor Plane. In digital photography, the sensor plane is where light rays interact with technology. Starting today, I’ll be hosting a regular segment where I’ll talk about the technical and creative sides of digital photography.
In today’s episode, I’ll start off with a review of the two Nikon 70-200mm zoom lenses:
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom relies on the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) rendering engine to convert camera RAW images. The default color and contrast settings are something called “Adobe Standard” which look different than what you might see on your camera LCD when reviewing your images. However, Adobe offers alternate Camera Profiles which emulate the as-shot settings from many Nikon and Canon DSLRs. You’ll find these settings in the Camera Calibration panel in Lightroom and ACR.
In this example, I have placed an image of a Colorchecker card on the screen so you can see how the colors and contrast change between camera profiles. For this image, I get options based on the Nikon D800 that I used to capture the RAW file. Note that you can only make profile changes to RAW files. If you see “Embedded” under the profile option, it’s because you’re looking at a TIFF or JPEG image in Lightroom. Choose from any of the profile presets in the drop-down menu to change the baseline color and tone curve of your image, and you can fine-tune it with the sliders if you wish.
If you have a ColorChecker card, you can use the ColorChecker software from X-rite to create a custom profile for your camera. Each custom profile is specific to the camera you use to create the image. You can further tweak those profiles using Adobe’s DNG Profile Editor software (free download from www.adobe.com).
Once you have a profile that you like, you might wish to change your defaults to always use that profile going forward. If you do change your default settings, note that ANYTHING you modified in the Develop section gets applied, so keep your adjustments minimal (Calibration, sharpening, lens corrections) so that you don’t over-process your images. Defaults are only applied automatically when you import new images into Lightroom. Existing images will not be changed; you’ll have to adjust them manually or use the “Reset Settings” option in Lightroom to do so.