Friday, 13 December 2013

Photos from 2006-2008 and RAW conversion

The search for the best RAW conversion program for the years 2006 to 2008 was a primary target and I tried to get the best amount of details without introducing too much noise into the photos.  That period, I came to a point that I had to make a decision regarding which path to take and devote my efforts to it.  I could either chose the path to learning how to frame effectively or the path to how to best extract the details out of a photo (keep in mind that I had an entry-level DSLR camera with poor lens at my disposal and a 6-megapixel sensor).  I could not follow both paths at the same time, since I could not be taught effectively from two masters the tricks (like the dogs also can't).  So, I decided to focus my efforts on extracting the best amount of details, giving value to my poor equipment by making it work more effectively.

Monday, 9 December 2013

2006 - Shaping a future

By 2006, having my first DSLR for almost a year I started making the most out of my photos by using RAW files as base. 6-megapixel JPG files were already taking my photos far more than I could take them some time ago.  New experiences demanded the urge to learn new ways of processing the results and my camera was already taking advantage of the new (for me) RAW format that proved to be an exciting area of study for the years to come (and there are still many secrets to be unlocked).  

Friday, 22 November 2013

Cape Tenaro, the southernmost point of mainland Greece

Cape Tenaro, is situated at the end of the Mani, Greece. Cape Matapan is the southernmost point of mainland Greece. It separates the Messenian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

A different journey

Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site and self-governed state in the Hellenic Republic, Athos is home to 20 stavropegial Eastern Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. Today Greeks commonly refer to Mount Athos as the Holy Mountain (Agion Oros). In Classical times, while the mountain was called Athos, the peninsula was called Akti.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Lambrini Photo Sessions

It’s been a while since our last communication.  I know, "busy-busy-busy" is not much of an excuse.  Some personal news: I had a hernia operation, 7.500 photos to post process, equipment upgrade plan is still in progress and various small issues that rise every now and then, but despite all that I want to share with you a previous photo session with Lambrini.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Batteries for power consuming devices (Flashes etc) and Yongnuo YN-568 EX II speedlite

I was wondering why almost all my rechargeable batteries drained after a few weeks while unused in my bag, having no clue what the reason was and how to solve it and I searched some sites, made a few questions and everything became clear to me after a few days.  I recently purchased a new powerful flash a Yongnuo YN-568 EX II which is very similar to the Canon EX-580 or Canon RT-600 if you prefer a newer comparison.  The price I paid was around 150 euros including postage fees instead of around 525 for the Canon 600 RT or 360 for the Metz 58 AF-2 or 255 for Nissin Di 866 II. 

Canon EOS 70D studio samples from dpreview

Here's the link for the Canon EOS 70D studio samples from the guys in dpreview.gr. Also don't miss their full review here.

source: dpreview.com

Canon EOS 100D Samples by dpreview

Here's the link for the Canon EOS 100D studio samples from the guys in dpreview.gr. Also don't miss their full review here.

source: dpreview.com

Thursday, 1 August 2013

32-bit vs LR/ACR DRI vs Oloneo vs Manual Blending of all available photos, vs M.B. of 2 photos

Using 32-bit process to handle possibly all available dynamic range can either make or ruin your picture.  Sometimes it works really well, sometimes it is an awfully bad start.  Some people use their "own" process, but you really need to know what you are doing.  Manual process of all available photos as layers and selecting highlights from each photo, play with feather and blending amount is a very lengthy process.  I tried using Actions, but still needs a lot of processing. Having these in my mind, I wanted to see what a comparison between available procedures would be like.  Here are the results.  I will not say much, just compare:

Friday, 26 July 2013

Work in progress (an update)

It seems that work in progress never ends.  From the last post of this blog until now, many things have happened and many photographs were shot.  I also had some dead-days for vacations and other stuff that occupied my time and sanity.  Since this May I have traveled to Tinos Island, to Santorini, I have shot another close relative's wedding (Takis and Lambrini), spent 20 days on vacation at a place with no photo post processing ability, I have shot several model sessions one of which is not yet processed at all.  But let's start from the beginning, shall we?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The hunt for ultimate sharpness, a never-ending story...

Today as I was reading a couple of Ken Rockwell’s documents about the sharpest lens and image sharpening, an old forgotten discussion I had some years ago came to my mind.  I remember that my opinion was not accepted as plausible from my fellow photographers (I was never sure why because it seemed very reasonable) and that’s why I remembered it now.  My sentence back then sounded something like: “My camera has a 10 megapixel sensor, so my photographs should be sharp enough at 6-7 megapixels...” and before long hell unleashed :-P. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Down Melpia of Messinia prefecture

What can one say about this place?  How cool it is at midsummer? How crystal the waters of the springs are? How good for the area it is? A visit to the place is the most important action of rejuvenation for anyone in need. Just a few kilometers from Meligala, almost lost in the upper Messinia, Melpeia village is among the few traditional places that have been left virtually untouched by the passage of time. And by that, I don't mean just technologically, but atmospherically with its picturesque and friendly occupants.

The upper monastery of Voulkanos

The upper monastery of Voulkanos is located at the top of  Mount Ithomi, built where it used to be the sanctuary of Zeus Ithomatas.  It is said that the establishment of the monastery happened by monks running away from the iconoclasts and it is currently uninhabited.  The summers it is base observatory of the area by volunteers watching out for fires.  Except that and the wake of 14th of August with the transportation of Virgin Mary icon by foot from the upper to  the lower monastery, few people visit the area throughout the year.

Monday, 20 May 2013

December 4th 2012, Snowy Parnitha

I had been planning to climb Parnitha in my car for some time then.  I had recently seen a photo of Athens in the night with all those small lights against the dark landscape and I was fascinated!  No, don't get me wrong I could say a billion other excuses why I drove up the mountain in my car, but this was what really made me wanting to drive to the spot (well not exactly to the spot).  I started Google Earth and zoomed to the location, opened some photos from around and found the one I had come across by accident.  It was a spectacular view and I knew I had to go there, so I set up my GPS on my phone and started driving, having made the time and plans from the previous day.

Architectural fever

Making a bet with myself, I set out for some architectural shots in Athens and Piraeus.  My aim was to photograph building details and convert some of them in Black and White to stress out the details and unique features of each building.  There are many impressive buildings and constructions in Athens and I had made notes of some of them when on the spot for a later photo shooting.  Well, the day when I had gathered a good number of building places had arrived and I started my walk, but using the bus when there was much distance to be covered from one place to another.

2005 Athens, Home Sunsets

You can never know when there's going to be an amazing sunset with amazing colors at an amazing place with your equipment ready for that specific 20 minutes of the day when it is neither night nor day.  Living in the capital of Greece, there are rare opportunities when you can combine all of the above while going to or returning from work.  Unless you can plan the day AND have lots of luck with the sky colors it is next to impossible (at least for Greece) to be at the perfect place the perfect time, but it can happen!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Maria, Maria...

Searching for the perfect “eye-contact” look and style in a modeling photo session can be difficult, frustruating or fun and intriguing.  We set up with Maria for what it would become a perfect photographic ending for an exciting summer.  Being overwhelmed with our previous sessions, I had a fear that I could not meet any great expectations having two previous very good sessions with Maria.  Little did I know and less had I planned ahead, since she made my creative insecurity go away and that day one of the few memorable days of that summer.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A Jetski story...

Photographing Jetski races is one of the most difficult tasks of photography and one of the least discussed online because of the little global interest among people.  Being an expensive sport there are few people able to achieve both physical and financial support for this kind of exercise.  Someone needs to be in constant contact with the sea (or lake) throughout the year in order not to lose his skills.  This is also a sport that demands a lot of free time and access to the sea and it is difficult for city people to combine it with their daily jobs.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Stop the spamming!!!

Dear spammers,
it seems you have not understood that there's no chance of anonymously posting your BS with some links inside to lure or trick the readers of this blog.  Every comment goes through examination before it is released, so please stop wasting your time trying to post some random text you pulled out of your head in order to expose your sites etc.

All comments are now blocked. You can comment only if you have a facebook account or you are a registered user (Google+ etc)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Marianna summer shooting

This was the first photo shooting for Marianna and I must say it went very good for a first timer. The main object of the photo shooting was to . take some stock-related photographs and give Marianna the chance to familiarize with being in front of the camera.  Needless to say that it went very good and she showed true professionalism (and even beyond that, to a point I had to stop her!!).  

Canon Canon 700D and Canon EOS 100D Hands-on Preview on dpreview

Those guys on dpreview just posted a hands-on preview for the new Canon 700D and Canon 100D.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Canon EOS 700D preview

With the EOS 700D/Rebel T5i, Canon's made an early move to replace last year's 650D/Rebel T4i, though one with only very minor refinements. Indeed the changes over the 650D are so subtle that it's the older T3i/600D that stays on alongside the 700D - while the too-similar 650D fades into the sunset. Among the few improvements, the 700D includes a new mode dial that turns 360 degrees, a new 'upmarket' body finish; and real-time preview of Creative Filters in Live View mode. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Adobe posts Lightroom 4.4 and ACR 7.4 release candidates

Adobe has announced 'release candidate' versions of Lightroom 4.4 and Adobe Camera Raw 7.4. As usual, the latest near-complete versions add support for recent cameras. What makes this release especially significant, however, is improved support for Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor models, including the X-Pro1 and X-E1. The Lightroom update also corrects a series of bugs present in the current version of the software. As usual, release candidates are considered well tested but not final.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Aghia Samarina, August 2011

Aghia Samarina is an old church located near Kalogerorachi in Messinia.  I had to locate it on Google maps, then take the coordinates and copy them to my mobile GPS device to find the exact spot.  The name is said that it derives from Aghia Marina (=Santa Marina =Samarina), but it is widely known as Aghia Samarina.  The church has some ancient parts that are built into the walls.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Nikon issues service advisory on D600's dust issue

There have been numerous complaints about dust and dirt accumulation on the camera's sensor for Nikon's D800 and D600 cameras.  I have personally heard owners of D800 cameras say they had them serviced and I have read one specific review of a repaired D800 saying that the Nikon service guys were just using duct tape to solve the dust issue with pictures of the camera after it had been serviced.  Well now Nikon issued an advice for all affected camera owners to have their camera serviced mentioning specifically the D600 model. Here's the service advisory from Nikon's European Site.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Nikon announces the D7100

 Melville, NY (February 20, 2013) – Nikon Inc. today announced the D7100, the HD-SLR that ushers in a new era of DX-format image quality and functionality for the experienced shooter and photo enthusiast. The lightweight Nikon D7100 has an impressive array of intuitive features and controls bolstered by rapid performance and a robust feature set that includes a new 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, Nikon’s 51-point AF system and wireless connectivity.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Nikos Ifantis to win PTTL best photo contest

I was very happy to be informed that another good friend of mine won the first prize with his impressive photo on PTTL.  Nikos Ifantis is a photographer with a very good eye when it comes to taking a photo.  With Nikos we are good internet friends and we met in person some years ago at a photo exhibition back in 2009 and later again in 2011. His unique perspective makes the images as if they were shot in a parallel universe, where you can't see what he sees even if you are looking at the same direction. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Birdie, birdie please stand still!!

Shooting birds is not an easy task (and I don't mean just shooting them down with a rifle!).  The birds can rarely stand still for a second and these few seconds are when the action starts for most photographers. Having the proper combination of equipment also helps to freeze motion a bit, maybe raise the ISO, lower the aperture and remove all filters from the lens.  But have you ever wondered what really makes the shot?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ancient Messini in 2012

I just could not miss "portes" of Mavromati in my last visit to the area. A pleasant ascent in green and quietness, that every time I drive through I find it even more beautiful than the last time, or I have more and more the need to get lost in the green embrace of nature…

Monday, 18 February 2013

Karytaina April 2011

Karytaina is a village and a community in Arcadia, Greece. It was the seat of the former municipality Gortyna. in 2001 Karytaina had a population of 204 for the village and 257 for the community, which includes the villages Kalyvakia and Karvounaris. Karytaina is situated on a hill on the right bank of the river Alfeios, near its confluence with the Lousios. The Frankish Castle of Karytaina was built on a steep rocky outcrop in 1245 by Hugues de Bruyères. During Frankish domination (13th-15th century) its name was Skorta.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Davelis Cave, 2011

Davelis Cave is a well-known cave in Penteli, a mountain to the north of Athens, Greece. Davelis Cave was brought to light around the 5th century BC. The surrounding area was used as a marble quarry by the builders of the Acropolis, and the cave was discovered by chance, during works for the extraction of marble.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Rafina July 2011

Rafina is a town located on the eastern coast of Attica in Greece. It has a population of 10,701 inhabitants (2001 census). Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Rafina-Pikermi, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Archaeological Museum of Kalamata in 2011

The museum building is located at the heart of the historic center of Kalamata, where the Municipal Market of the city used to be, a place that was bustling with merchants and shoppers every day. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Ancient Messini

Messini was an ancient city in Messinia prefecture in the southwest section of Peloponissos. It is located next to Mavromati village. 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Vasilis Protopapas 2nd place in dpreview challenge

Click here for full size original imageWith a photo submitted at Wednesday 30th January 2013, Greek photographer (and internet friend) Vasilis Protopapas scored 2nd place at dpreview challenge with theme "Stone Bridges". 

Tokina exhibits 70-200mm F4 FX and 12-28mm F4 DX lenses at CP+

Tokina has announced it will be exhibiting two soon-to-be-released lenses at the CP+ trade show in Japan. The AT-X 70-200 F4 PRO FX VCM-S is a telephoto zoom that's designed for use on both full frame and APS-C SLRs, and features both optical image stabilisation and a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor with full-time manual override. 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Neda, then and now...

Neda is a river of Peloponnisos at the frontier of Ilia and Messinia. It flows from Mount Lykaion, westward and into the Ionian Sea, between the shores of Kyparissia and Zacharo. Its length is 32 km.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Nature closeups

When I last visited my hometown, it was only a matter of time until I hit the fields near my village.  I was thinking about taking some macro shots of nature such as mushroom and fungus related and I just waited for the right time to come, preferable after a small rain.  The weather was cloudy and the light not adequate for a crisp handheld shot at desirable values.  I had to use an upper ISO value of 800 and I witnessed the shutter speed dropping at just above 1/25 with many shots requiring 1/40.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Marianna "Furry"

By the time I arrived at Kalamata, Marianna and I had already planned a photo shooting with the general idea of a "furry" theme.  The weather was better than fine and after deciding the type of clothing and type of accessories to bring with us, all we had to do was find a place to start shooting.  We decided that it was a good idea to head for Kapetanakis tower near Sotirianika village, not far from Kalamata.  So we headed, fully equipped and with lots of ideas.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Nikon D5200, 24MP DSLR with 39-point AF gets US launch


Las Vegas, CES Booth #8643 (January 7, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the U.S. availability of the Nikon D5200, a camera that provides the imaginative features and D-SLR versatility needed to fulfill any creative vision through stunning imagery and Full HD video. Whether new to D-SLR shooting, or for those simply ready to step-up to a higher level of photography, the 24.1-megapixel D5200 will inspire new ways to capture with an easy-to-use interface, in-camera Special Effects and creative modes, plus the ability to share wirelessly in an instant. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Christmas in Kalamata

Sunny Christmas in Kalamata, the weather was good and the nights a bit chilly.  The town was decorated with few, but beautiful lights.  The truth is that the decorations were not as much because of the low cost budget at the time of economic crisis in Greece,  but people were not letting this to restrict them to their houses.