May, 2008 browsing by month


To DNG or not to DNG?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

One of the great things about DSLRs is that you can shoot in RAW format. This is essentially a digital negative and allows you much more freedom in post processing and prevents image degradation. The problem with the RAW format is that everyone and their dog has their own proprietary type, and they keep changing it.

I was reading an excellent article about digital workflow at Pro Photo Life and the subject of data preservation came up. What good is properly archiving your RAW files, if in 10 years no software can handle them?

This naturally lead to the DNG format.

DNG is a “universal” RAW format for Cameras developed by Adobe. In fact they have recently submitted the format as an ISO standard (DNG submitted to the ISO). DNG has been around for a while now, and Adobe offers a free conversion tool (windows version, mac version) to convert your original RAW files. you can also do this in Adobe Lightroom with a few options:

  1. Convert to DNG
  2. Convert to DNG and embed original RAW file

The logical question is what is the file sizes of these different options compared to the original file? I decided to take a few sample RAW files from a recent shoot and test it out.

Here is the data:

File Size
+embeded RAW
11,977 10,362 22,024
12,295 10,678 22,727
11,572 10,131 21,437
11,204 10,012 20,952
13,763 11,526 25,063
12,500 10,498 22,677
11,409 9,500 20,575
11,300 9,792 20,845

Camera: Canon 1D Mark III

And the change:

+embeded RAW
100.0% 86.5% 183.9%
100.0% 86.8% 184.8%
100.0% 87.5% 185.2%
100.0% 89.4% 187.0%
100.0% 83.7% 182.1%
100.0% 84.0% 181.4%
100.0% 83.3% 180.3%
100.0% 86.7% 184.5%

A quick average reveals the DNG only format is about 86% the size of the original file and the DNG + RAW is about 184% the size. Is the DNG file just as good? I don’t really know. I have used the format a bit and had no problems, but there still might be some data loss there. Of course for just under double the size, you can have both.

My question is this: Do you DNG? If not, why?

Banksy – One Nation under CCTV

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

In keeping with my trend of covering yesterday’s news, I thought I would wander by Newman street and check out the new Banksy myself. This was especially taxing as it is about 5mins from where I live 🙂

Banksy - One Nation under CCTV

60 Photography Links You Can’t Live Without

Monday, May 12th, 2008

A great list of links around the web on Photography from

60 Photography Links You Can’t Live Without

60 Photography Links You Can’t Live Without

Here is a list of the ones that I knew about already plus a few more I like:

  1. Digital Photography School – Excellent
  2. Epic Edits – new for me (found it last week)
  3. Flickr Blog – know about it but don’t check it out very often.
  4. Gizmodo Digital Camera News – I follow the general blog – Great
  5. Engadget – good for tech news
  6. Photowalking – like this one. Haven’t been on a walk, but I plan on going to the next on in London.
  7. Photopreneur – I like this one, but I am still not sure how applicable this site is to me, yet.
  8. Strobist – A huge fan! Still learning about light
  9. Thomas Hawk – like his site
  10. Stuck in Customs – Great HDR

MY Additions:

  1. CameraPorn – Good articles
  2. – as above
  3. SDuffy Photography Blog – great photos and information
  4. ProPhotoLife– A new site for me, so far it has been quite informative.

Photography News and Post Aggregators

If you don’t have the time to subscribe to hundreds of sites, the sites below can keep you up to date on all the happenings in the photo world.

  1. Photography Voter – I like this one as well
  2. 1001 Noisy Cameras Digital Camera News – new to me, not sure yet.

Photo News & Reviews

They aren’t blogs but they offer great photography related news and educational content.

  1. The Digital Picture – great Canon site
  2. Rob Galbraith – a lifesaver for information and a good site for CF card speeds

MY Additions:

  1. Digital Photography Review – great review site, though it has dropped a bit since it was bought by amazon.

MY Additions:

  1. Photophlow – a great chat/interactive tool for Flickr.

Fun with HDR

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Here is a picture I took last month that I HDR’d. I’m still quite new at the HDR thing, but I like how this one turned out.


It’s a photo from TRS (the Network Canada board of directors annual planning retreat.)

On a side note, if you’re in the London area and have some free time (and a DJ) on 30 May, NC is having their annual May Martini Mixer at the RAC. Should be a blast. More details here

Camer Porn

Thursday, May 8th, 2008


Slight Re-formatting

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Just a quick change to stretch out the width of the posts (so they aren’t so long and narrow).

On Location: Volleyball (plus 5 tips on location photography)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Hi all,

As promised here is a wrap up around my experience shooting the Richmond Volleyball Corporate Challenge 2008.

So first off, a few high level notes:

  1. Whenever possible, get a look at the venue before the event. I didn’t get this chance and what I imagined was quite a bit different from the actual venue. I was expecting to be a little removed from the action, but in fact I was right beside the courts.
  2. Bring only the equipment you need (but not just what you expect to use). I went with my Canon 1-D Mark III, a monopod, a speedlight and two lenses (Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM & Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM). Here’s what I found about the equipment I brought:
    1. Canon 1-D Mark III – Brilliant. I still need to work with it some more to figure out what speeds/f-stops/Isos work best to stop motion, capture the action and reduce noise, but overall this is the camera for this type of job.
    2. Speedlight – I didn’t use this as I ended up right beside the courts taking pictures. As the players weren’t professionals I felt that using a flash would affect how they played and I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.
    3. Monopod – Brilliant. now I know why these are used by the pros. One can swivel and move across the court and instantly snap a photo when you like without having to worry about camera shake. It is also great for keeping the camera on the scene after several hours, as holding equipment at the ready for long periods of time can be hard.
    4. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM – Great. I wasn’t expecting to use this lens much, but I found that the 70-200mm put me too close and made most shots impossible. I would have liked it to be a bit wider at some points as I wasn’t using a flash, but overall it performed very well indeed.
    5. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM – The lens I expected to use most of the day, but put it away after 30mins. I know it’s a great lens, but as I was right beside the players, I found the focal length too high to capture the shots I wanted to.
  3. I know that everyone keep saying this, but bring extra power and memory cards! My battery lasted the whole day (just) but I didn’t realise how fast a Mark III can chew through a memory card when it is on its highest speed! I started shooting Raw+jpeg and quickly switched to just RAW as I saw that I had used 50% of my card in the first hour. I had back-up memory and ended up going through about 20GB of card.
  4. Move around. I was constantly moving around the courts trying to get the best locations for shots. If you have the freedom to do so, remember to move!
  5. My last tip is remember to have fun! Even though I needed to concentrate on taking the pictures, it was great to see the games and talk with the players in between matches.

So, overall a great experience and it allowed me to test out the new camera. I also got the feeling that the players were slightly intimidated with me at first. After all, this was a friendly corporate tournament and they weren’t expecting “media” coverage! 🙂

On to a few pictures:

Vball 1

Vball 2

Vball 3

Vball 4

Vball 5

Vball 6

Vball 7

Vball 8

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