Have you ever wondered how some of the top landscape photographers achieve that dreamy yet sharp look? It’s actually quite simple. In this article you will find a step-by-step guide to creating, refining and using the ‘Orton layer’ in your post processing workflow. Read more

Source: Go with the glow: How to effectively use Orton Layers in post processing

two photo libraries and a different name on Mac make the entire process confusing

Source: How to delete photos after they sync | Macworld

I have customized my default processing settings for Lightroom in order to apply both Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration on import. To do this, I selected a raw image, moved to the Develop module, and clicked the Reset button to remove any previous edits made to the file. Then, I checked both the…

Source: Customizing the Default Setting for ACR and Lightroom

In Jan 2016, I started testing Canon’s Digital Lens Optimizer (DFO) which unfortunately can only be activated with Canons Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software –  Canons simple camera raw processor – Canons much simpler variation of Lightroom.

DFO is designed to remove digital colour noise (especially at low aperture numbers such as F2.8) , correct vignetting (darkened corners), prevent diffraction at high aperture numbers (greater than 16) and remove colour noise at high ISOs for modern Canon EOS bodies with quality lenses.  As of 2015 almost all of their professional “L” lenses have DFO profiles.

Canon states that with DFO, diffraction is almost eliminated at high aperture settings, so far I have not had a chance to complete the diffraction testing.  I did test complete various tests with different apertures at low and high ISOs and found that the diffraction levels in my studio setting were the same with and without DFO (close target to camera setup).  I need to verify other distances in the field before making a final judgment on diffraction.

Since LR could not pick up DFO settings, I was forced to use Canons DPP software.  The major finding out of all of this was that Digital Photo Professional (DPP version 4) reduced colour noise much better than LR 6 CC and sharpens much better as well.

I started testing DFO with DPP and here are my findings to date:

  1. Loading the Digital Lens Optimizer files to the camera and turning on DFO under Red 1 Menu (lens aberration correction) settings has little noise impact for high quality lenses at any ISO that I could see.     Regardless – Lightroom does not pick up the DFO settings in the camera and DFO has no impact on any Lightroom-only processed images.
  2. While DFO had little impact, (high quality lenses and bodies) DPP  did have a major benefit over LR noise reduction and sharpening – especially at high ISO (6400 on 5DSr body).  The results are quite significant at reducing chromatic colour noise and luminance noise, at high ISO levels.
  3. A further finding is that Canons DPP sharpening seems far cleaner than Adobe’s LR.  LR has a tendency to “fluff the pixels”  while Canons seems cleaner.
  4. Using DPP mucks up my workflow quite considerably since I would have to include DPP before processing in LR.   I don’t find DPP easy enough to work with to replace LR,  however it is quite fast and pleasant to use for tethered photography.

I plan on doing more testing (perhaps using DPP Batch processing) to import from the camera, make basic noise and sharpening corrections and exporting into LR.


I have a mix of standard studio slave flashes and Canon Speedlites (430 EX IIs and 600EX RT) – this allows great flexibility for outdoor and indoor work (studio) however it was challenging to get this equipment to work well together.  The  problem is that the non Canon equipment would not sync with the Canon Slaves and would flash too soon.

There are many solutions to this problem – all of which require buying more equipment (for example I could switch to Canons new radio equipment) but I choose the following solution because it is 100% reliable without additional cost by just configuring the equipment I already owned to work together.

Here is how I did it:

Firstly, a cheap Studio Slave (the most common) will never utilize Canons ETTL-H high speed flash sync – so all of the flashes have to be set to manual mode and  the Canon Camera has to have its shutter speed set at the flash sync speed, typically 1/200 for Canon (or less).

Canon speedlites don’t easily facilitate syncing with non Canon flash since Canon utilizes an instructional pre-flash emitted by the Master Speedlite intended to establish the flash settings for other Canon Slaves (Canons version of a Slave using what Canon refers to as Optical Sync), however this instructional pre-flash will trigger the Studio Strobes into firing early.  This is because most studio strobes are set to slave mode by using an optical sensor to fire when they see a flash (typically from the master flash).

Solution: My Menik studio strobe has an option to flash on the second or third trigger flash which is the key to synchronization between Canon and non Canon equipment.   By pushing the Cell button on the Menik slave till indicator 2 is lit (meaning red eye in Menik talk) the Menik will flash with on the second flash it sees (the first being the Canon instructional pre-flash).  This will cause the Menik Studio Slave to fire along with the other Canon slaves.

Another zero cost option is to use just one Canon flash mounted on the camera hot shoe in Flash Manual Mode as the Master along with the Studio Slave.  There will be no pre-flash as there are no Canon slaves.  Aiming the camera mounted flash in Flash Manual Mode at the ceiling may provide acceptable results with the studio flash a the key flash (or visa versa as desired). Use of a flash extension cord may be helpful as well.

My thanks to Syl Arena http://pixsylated.com/blog/ for defining the problem and clues on how I could address this.

A great plug for Lightroom – displays the Focus points as seen in the viewfinder during post processing.  Helps perfect focus issues especially during flash shooting when the light is dim and the correct focus is difficult to see in the dark.

So far its free.

Source: Show Focus Points Plugin for Lightroom

El Capitan and iOS 9 has become perhaps too helpful in offering ideas to you when you’re trying to address an email.

Source: How to disable unconfirmed contact email suggestions | Macworld


A reader would like to have Word’s auto-correct feature work elsewhere when mistyping two uppercase letters in a row.

Source: How to fix typing two capitals in a row at a word’s start | Macworld

Learn how to use these features in El Capitan to make your desktop more manageable.

Source: Hands-on with Spaces, Mission Control, and Split View in El Capitan | Macworld

Kenek – ship stuff from USA to Canada – Canadian Boarder Pickup

Source: Kinek – Alternate Delivery Network

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