Monthly Archives: March 2015

Info: Work and camera bag

Carrying gear is the bane of every photographer’s life, especially when you are out doing other things. I prefer to not carry a bag that says “expensive camera gear – mug or steal me“, hence, I normally use an inconspicuous everyday utility bag, with a soft protective camera insert.

bag insert

A lot of my photography is, however, done when travelling with work and I therefore need something more business suitable, often when suited up and conscious of impressions. Up to now, I have had to smuggle my small modified Olympus e-PM2 alongside the usual briefcase etc.; which has worked, but never been perfect or comfortable. Now, thankfully, I have found, after considerable searching, the Australian made: STM Velo2 – a small satchel/messenger bag, that can take a camera, a laptop (13″ MacBook Pro) and papers, without being massive or looking like a ‘steal-me’ camera bag. The important, and difficult to find feature, being a handle to allow it to be carried like a briefcase/satchel (amazing that this was so hard to find) as well as a shoulder strap, while remaining compact for easy commuting, and having the space for one of my modified mirrorless cameras.


Link: STM Velo2 (small)

How to: Examples of RAW import & conversion variations

Following on from the previous post: RAW Import and Conversion

Examples of RAW (ORF) export to Tiff. Custom pre-shot white-balance set on the camera. Modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, with BG3 lens filter.

The first image is the original JPG image. The second how Aperture 3 imported it. The rest are various imports and exports to Tiff from different applications, with Olympus Viewer 3 and Raw Photo Processor 64 getting the closest to the JPG. GIMP was close, but underexposed (easily fixed). The others were off on the white-balance, even when set to “as shot”, rather than any auto setting.

Note: This was not very scientific as a test, I am sure with some tweaking I could get Adobe Camera RAW and RAWTherapee to also get close enough. RAW-Convertor, however, does not give the settings necessary to adjust.

The lesson in the end for me is always check back with the JPG when importing RAW into Aperture (or any other tool).

If anyone wants to also try different applications, you are welcome to try on the same RAW file – let me kow how you get on (have lso included the original JPG and the Olympus View3 conversion to TIFF): Folder

All image rights reserved.

How to: BG3 RAW import and conversion issues

Virtually all of my photography starts with RAW images; I like the greater ability to tweak exposure etc. The RAW import and conversion is normally done in Apple’s Aperture 3, which also is the backbone of the workflow. However, I have lately bumped into a bug in Aperture, which also seems common to some other RAW conversion tools – after import, Aperture widely changes the white-balance away from what was initially shot/set.

The example is below, from a BG3 mixed UV and iR shot with the custom white-balanced  set pre-shot. Camera is an Olympus e-M5 producing an Olympus Raw Format file (xx.ORF). The first image is the JPG which comes with the RAW and the second is the post-import RAW conversion by Aperture. The difference, as you can see is significant – these two images should be near identical.

JPG Example of custom white-balanced BG3

JPG Example of custom white-balanced BG3

BG3 RAW import conversion with Aperture 3

BG3 RAW import conversion with Aperture 3

So far, the error has only been with BG3 white-balanced images, which is puzzling. Also puzzling is that I have noticed similar miss-conversion with some other less sophisticated RAW conversion tools.

Having tried the same BG3 filtered shot with various white-balance settings, including custom (set using white-card and getting the best results), auto and other custom settings, I don’t think this is a custom white-balance issue; I suspect this is just a BG3 issue with some RAW import and conversion tools.

It is also worth noting that once imported with the off/incorrect white-balance, it is near impossible to correct using the white-balance tools in Aperture. The work around is to use another tool to do the import and conversion to TIFF and then import the TIFF into Aperture and process as normal. What was also interesting was the noticeable variation in conversion output from RAW to TIFF from various tools tested, including: RawTherapee, Adobe Elements (Adobe Camera RAW), GIMP, RAW Photo Processor 64, RAW-Convertor and Olympus Viewer 3. In the end it was Olympusown Viewer 3 and RAW Photo Processor 64 that, as a default, delivered the closest to the JPG and scene as remembered.

At some point I realise I have to let go of Aperture, but am not ready to right now – for everything else I use it for, I like it and it given its capability it is very competitively priced. Am happy to see what Apple offer as a replacement first, before considering changing to Lightroom or other.