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Thread: Evening in the Vineyards

  1. #1
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Evening in the Vineyards

    Yesterday evening we had grand plans to make a drive through the vineyards and take some photos of the Z8 with the great sunsets that we've been having lately (due to the heat and haze?). Well, I forgot to bring the SD card for my camera - DOH! So, we made it out again tonight. After all, is it such a bad thing to have to take the car out two nights in a row?

    As I'm going to link to this thread from the NEX-7 thread, I have a couple of notes for the photo enthusiasts. All the shots are in RAW (processed in LR4 - new to me). The 4th and 5th shots are HDRs, processed in camera. I did warm the shadows on the HDRs a little, but they're pretty much out of the camera. Getting the settings right takes some trial and error, but the results are nice, even if they're slightly etherial.

    The last shot is my copilot and photo assistant.
                 
    thegunguy

  2. #2
    Wow, the in camera HDR is mind blowingly good!!

    Lovely set, bravo.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    It's even better without fence posts.
    thegunguy

  4. #4
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Nice! I should get one. My old digital SLR is..... old.

  5. #5
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Are you married to any lenses?
    thegunguy

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    No... not yet, let's talk.

  7. #7
    Z8Mania
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    Terrific! I love the last 2 Z8 and your son. What are you doing for sharpening?

  8. #8
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    The last two Z8 shots are quite different. The first one really shows the power of Sony's technology. I won't dismiss myself from the process completely as I had to set it up just right and a little work in post (shadows, noise, and some local brightening - wheels), but the rest is from their in camera HDR processing. I'm very pleased with its approach for accuracy instead of cartoon. The second shot is my processing it from RAW, looking at it, I'll probably go in a make a few tweaks, but I find to closely complements the previous HDR. The sky looks a little off, but I actually didn't touch it.

    On input sharpening, I do it by eye in Lightroom - balanced with noise reduction. I'm really liking how sharpening and NR work together compared to how Aperture handled both (poorly). On export, I sharpen to screen. 24MPs help.
    thegunguy

  9. #9
    Z8Mania
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    Its really a difficult shot looking right into the sun and then getting the sky just right and also details on a black car, but too much shadow detail will make it look washed out. I really like the choices you made. The HDR certainly helps keeping the sun from being blown out and the details in the car a bit better. Ive had mixed results with the iPhone's HDR. Thats my experience with HDR to date. Im curious to see how the D4 does HDR and if it will only do it on save to jpeg or if it will do it with the raw files as well.

    I do the same thing with sharpening. I tried to use Aperture and I also didn't like it. To me it was kind of like a bizarro world between iPhoto and Photoshop. Since I now own a copy of it, I might use it as a kind of iPhoto plus for organizing my final jpegs. I like to save a final as a jpeg for iPhoto because from there I can go to iPhone, iPad, smugmug etc.

  10. #10
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    The iPhone's HDR is helpful, but you have to be careful about blur. It's still susceptible to shake, especially being a little difficult to hold super still.

    I really like Aperture. It's a super system for organizing and processing photos, and it integrates tightly with Apple's universe, which can be good. As a complete tool, it just can't compete with Lightroom for image processing from my experience.

    My current thought is to switch to Lightroom for my organization and processing. My best shots to share will be exported to iPhoto for syncing across devices, gift books, etc.

    The big unknown is the rumors of how iPhoto for iOS is a tell on where Aperture 4 will be focused. I'm not sure what all these rumors mean as there's a sizable gap for interface between bitmap and touch. That being said the iOS iPhoto is pretty revolutionary in its approach. It's still early, but its a good example of how many jobs we use software on desktops will move to tablets and other devices over time.
    thegunguy

  11. #11
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Fabulous photographs and terrific wheels. Who makes those and size? t
    Thnx for posting.
    jim

  12. #12
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    The wheels are from the previous M5 (V10) 19"

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    BMW style 166 19
    thegunguy

  14. #14
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I hired Ian's top Photoshop driver to clean up this shot in preparation of having it printed on a 36" mounting. This is a similar treatment that they use for the cars on the Mother's bottles, etc. Since the car was not particularly clean when Jack and I decided to take a ride (and try out the NEX), the dust in the wheels really caught attention when we did a test print on Ian's 44" plotter. That plus fixing environmental reflections, unwanted flare, etc.

    It's like one of those photo match games...spot the changes.

    Before and after:
       
    thegunguy

  15. #15
    Z8Mania
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    Maybe its the small resolution; but I prefer the before picture. Its crisper. Especially on the fence in the background and even on the windshield frame and also the reflection in the side of the car. This reflection in the after shot looks suspicious to me because nature doesn't do straight lines. I do like what he did with the tree in the background but I think the clouds are a drop crisper in the before and I prefer that. He also blurred the sun ray which I prefer. And now that I look more he blurred slightly the cars grill.

  16. #16
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    There are no changes to the fence, sky, grill, or the tree. It's partly the resolution and I probably have different output sharpening settings since these shots were created months apart. It is really is hard to judge here in the browser at 800 pixels wide vs the full 5,300 pixels at 44", but the original was just hardly acceptable to print for display.

    The focus was to clean the wheels, were intolerable in large format, and remove anything that would draw the eye. The reflection included power lines and a hill on the other side of the road. Now, I'd say there's no hill and it's just flat land. It might make sense to put some organic-ness back in the reflection, which is a bit "studio" looking . Other items addressed were some pits/bugs in the windscreen that were too loud in the backlight. Also, the alarm light under the mirror was screaming in the backlight - while not correct - it's gone.

    For whatever reason, the browser seems to be really attacking the after shot, producing a lot of artifacts. In local comparison, the shots are identical in sharpness and color, other than the few changes. I think we'll do a quick revision to unsmooth the reflection some and call it done. Thanks for the feedback.
    thegunguy

  17. #17
    Z8Mania
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    I believe it.

  18. #18
    Jerry would love one of our drives with Andrew, with planned photo stops and photo taking while driving on the wrong side of the road with one hand doing 70 mph.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
    2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot
    Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery
    -- Others --
    1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner
    1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner
    1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner
    2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver

  19. #19
    Z8Mania
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    Yes I would. But theres the small matter of the entire US of A in between us.

  20. #20
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Buy a second, and keep it here!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Yes I would. But theres the small matter of the entire US of A in between us.
    Yeah, there is that little inconvinience.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
    2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot
    Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery
    -- Others --
    1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner
    1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner
    1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner
    2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver

  22. #22
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Just put your car on a cargo plane like Biffom did with his to Europe and fly it out here.
    Marty

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  23. #23
    Seriously, we had 10 or so cars ship in back in 08, and if next year BMW is the honored mark you should consider it, because we'll plan some really nice drives in the week or so before Monterey.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  24. #24
    Z8Mania
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    I would seriously consider that- it would be so nice. The issue for me is at this moment in my life, I am spending the time with my wife and kids who are still youngish (10 & 7). We travel around this time of year. However, never say never, and I would not let the matter of shipping a car stop me- its really family considerations. This is definitely on my "one day" list. Id also love to fly the car over to Europe and do that.