Monday, December 21, 2015

A Study in Brown

November is usually a gray month, with the fall leaves gone, and the forests covered in brown.  My motivation for photography usually drops with the leaves.  As November stretched into December with no noticeable snow, brown has continued to be the dominant colour of the forests and meadows.

Here are a couple of photographs taken this weekend, on the theme of "brown".

A Wall of Reeds

Fallen Grass with SNOW!

Field grass

Burst Milkweed Pods

. . . Rob Williams

Monday, September 21, 2015

Puffins and FastRawViewer

In 2009, I went on an amazing trip from Grand Manan Island to Machias Seal Island in the Bay of Fundy to photograph Atlantic Puffins.  I was prepared to take a lot of photos and I filled up my CF card with 370 photographs (you can get much larger storage cards these days, but that's what I could do in 2009!).

When I got back home, sorting through that many digital images was a huge task, especially considering that it represented just one day out of our stay on Grand Manan.  I had over 2400 photographs from that trip.  Opening up the RAW images took a lot of time, and I wished I had a quicker way to check the focus and composition of each image as I sorted the good from the bad and ugly.

Puffin portrait

Truth be told, I ended up cherry-picking a couple of puffin photos, and I never really went through the whole set to see what was there.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a review of FastRawViewer on Photography Life's website.  It sounded like a good solution to sorting through raw files, so I downloaded a trial version.

Like it's name says, FastRawViewer is really fast.  On my system, it takes about two seconds to load a 41 megabyte RAW image from my D800.  It's not just a preview, but the whole image.  With one keypress (shift-left-click), I can see the image instantly at 100% zoom, to check for critical focus.  In Lightroom, the same process takes 6-7 seconds after loading the image.  That is a huge difference when you have to check hundreds of images.

Two puffins on Machias Seal Island

The interface isn't fancy, but isnt' bad when you learn a few shortcut keys.  You can easily check for over or under exposure, or boost the shadows to check for shadow detail. A single keystroke will also pass the image directly to Lightroom or Photoshop, or any other image processor you want, as well as other features.

I used FastRawViewer to look through my Machias Seal Island photos, and I was surprised to find a number of good photographs.  I've included a few here.

Razorbill Auks

At $US 20.00, it's an inexpensive tool that solves a real problem that I've been having for a long time.

Arctic Tern on Machias Seal Island

. . . Rob Williams

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Photographs from Port Union, Newfoundland

Port Union is a unique town in Newfoundland, Located near Trinity on the Bonavista Peninsula, this town was founded by William Coaker in 1917 and was the base for the Fishermen's Protective Union. The FPU was a union of fisherman, set up to break a system run by fish merchants that kept fishermen and their families in perpetual poverty, somewhat similar to peasants in a feudal system.

One interesting aspect of Port Union is that the union provided row housing for workers giving them decent accommodations.  Houses for higher-ups were on the main street, and are in good condition today.  Houses for workers were set up-hill and back from the main street and unfortunately have not been maintained.

Here's a good link describing the houses:

Here are a few photographs of the worker's row houses taken in the summer of 2014.

. . .

Rob Williams