Kölner Dom and some thoughts about Lightroom Mobile

I was always a bit skeptical about using Lightroom Mobile. I couldn’t quite fathom how a mobile application could deliver results that could stand up to what I can achieve with a full blown desktop application on my computer. Until recently I hadn’t even touched Lightroom Mobile although it’s included in my subscription. I just couldn’t be bothered.

But since I got my Leica SL that changed. Because with the SL comes a very nifty mobile application “Leica SL” which (among many other useful things) lets you sync your images via WiFi to your tablet or mobile phone. When you are on the road this is an incredible advantage that I had ocassionally missed on my DSLRs but also on the M Monochrom. Sometimes you just want to immediately share what you encounter during your travel. For Instagram, that’s a huge plus – it’s called “Insta” for a reason :).

Once you have the image on your tablet, it’s easy to load it into Lightroom Mobile and start editing it. And – at least to me skeptic – it was quite an eye opener how powerful that small mobile app is. You can use the vast majority of the functions that you are used to on the full-blown desktop application. With one incredible advantage – the touch screen lets you very easily zoom, apply and change radial filters and adjust curves. On a desktop you would need a graphic tablet to accomplish the same.

Of course the smaller screen is a drawback, and you can only work on the JPEGs, not the raw files (at least I haven’t figured out yet how to do that). But I can certainly live with that, since the primary purpose is to quickly edit an image for sharing on social media channels rather than the big screen or even a print. Another plus is that the edits you make are transferred into the desktop version of Lightroom once you are at your computer and load the images into Lightroom. So you can continue to adjust where you left it off and even go back in your editing and undo adjustments you had made on your tablet.

So here you go. The picture below of the altar at the Kölner Dom was taken with the SL and then edited during my waiting time at the Cologne/Bonn airport so I could share it on Instagram. No further editing in the desktop Lightroom version was done. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Oh and of course, feel free to follow me on Instagram :) (https://www.instagram.com/monokuro2k/)

Leica SL (TYP 601) | Leica Summilux-M 1.4/50mm ASPH. | f/1.4 | 1/50s | ISO 2500 | Edited in Mobile Lightroom

Leica SL (TYP 601) | Leica Summilux-M 1.4/50mm ASPH. | f/1.4 | 1/50s | ISO 2500 | Edited in Mobile Lightroom

Back to the Roots – My Own Black-and-White Film Development

It has been ages since I had last developed a black-and-white film myself. In fact I think it may have been as long ago as the mid 80s (when I was a teen). Since then I had relied on capable labs – mainly for its convenience. You may also call it laziness.

But over the past months I had grown the desire to get back to the old-fashioned way of hand-developing my films. And so it happened that after quite some prep-time doing some research and acquiring all the necessary equipment this weekend I indeed have developed my first own film in over three decades.

Below are some select first samples of the roll of Ilford HP5 Plus that served as my test film. I am actually very pleased with the results. Frankly, I really thought I would mess up the process at some point and the film would be spoiled. But no – it came out very nicely. I love the tonality and graduation. What I need to try and improve is the grain. It’s a bit rough. I think in some instances I may want a finer grain, so I need to experiment with diluted developer.

For those who are interested: I used Calbe A49 developer (stock, undiluted).

And last but not least a big thank you note to my local photo lab “Foto Labor Service Görner“. They assisted me not only with great advice but even let me have some used development equipment of their own. Incredible. If you live in the Dresden area and are even remotely interested in classic photography you need to check them out: http://www.foto-labor-dresden.de/index.htm.

Back in Time: Old-School Photography Meets Modern Photo Editing

It was more by accident that yesterday I stumbled upon an old photograph of a condemned building that used to be a service point for trains, cars and other rail vehicles. I took it at a time when I was really into photographing old, abandoned, condemned houses. That was in 1997, in other words 18 years ago…

This series I shot in Black and White film, a Fuji Neopan 400 Professional. Looking at these old photographs and toying around with them a bit in Lightroom 6 I quickly became fascinated again by the character of the old film images and the latitude the scanned negatives still provided when using modern photo editing tools.

So I decided to re-scan and re-touch some of them using my Nikon Scanner LS 40 ED (aka Coolscan IV ED), Silverfast 8 and Lightroom 6.

And so here you go. Enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed taking, excavating and bringing them back to “light” again :).

Adobe releases Lightroom 6 – is it worth the upgrade?

box_lightroom6_150x150Today Adobe announced Lightroom 6 – the next major upgrade to its photo editing software.

Besides new features there is an even more important change: Adobe moves Lightroom into its Creative Cloud (CC). Fortunately Lightroom 6 is still available as a separate purchase option if you are not fond of Adobe’s subscription model (me included). The CC version which also includes Photoshop CC sets you back 9.99 USD (plus tax) in the US or 11.89 Euro in Germany (incl. VAT) per month. The standalone version (no subscription) is 149 USD (plus tax) and 129.71 Euro (incl. VAT) respectively.

The question it begs: Is it worth the upgrade? Continue reading →