Tuesday, 23 October 2012

POV: New Stuff

Oaxaca-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
(Click To Enlarge)
Hanoi-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
(Click To Enlarge)
I've mentioned the evolution of style over time in yesterday's post, and I thought I'd add my experience in that one's style evolves with one's exposure to, and the availability of, new imaging software...as well as to improved photographic gear.

I was always a sort of purist (if that's the right word) when post processing my digital images; resisting almost any modification in them except for some sharpening and exposure changes...and seldom, if ever, cropping my photographs (except when street photographing and shooting from the hip).

Having a phobia of spending more than a few minutes on Photoshop, I welcomed Lightroom's preset filters (that I still use) which allowed me with a click of a button to obtain the "look" I wanted for my images. I relied on simple and plain vanilla presets, eschewing the funkier ones that were, in my opinion, too extreme.

With the advent of Instagram and Hipstamtic filters on my iPhone, my limited tolerance for these funky filters turned into an embrace of sorts, which eventually widened my willingness to experiment with other software.

So it was with undisguised eagerness that I started using Alien Skin's Exposure 4 on my return from Vietnam. I had heard of it, but given my allergy of "manipulation", I never thought of trying it out before.

I used it to give a pseudo-Daguerreotype look to some of my photographs from Sapa and Bac Ha, and I was hooked ever since.  I now happily toy with its various options, especially the classic films, like Kodachrome, Polaroid, and Panatomic-X.  A click...a few nudges here and there, and I have the look I want.

The two photographs above; the top made in Oaxaca of a street festival in 2010, and the lower one made in Hanoi last month, were processed in Exposure 4, using the Polaroid 669 film simulation preset...one of my current favorites...enhanced with vignetting. Another milestone in my evolution.

Something else to report is that I recently got two Bip soft shutter buttons manufactured by matchTechnical Services. They're the outfit that manufactures the Thumbs Up for the Leica, which I have on my M9, and -as I previously posted a few times- like very much.

You can see them on my two cameras; one on my M9 (right) and the other on my X Pro-1. It's very smooth on the M9, but as I mostly shoot from the hip with the X Pro-1, I am finding that I have to get used to the different "travel" time of the shutter with the Bip on it.

In retrospect, I ought to have chosen red Bip for the M9.

Disclaimer: I have no relationship with matchTechnical Services or with Alien Skin other than being a consumer.