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Thread: Phase P30+ Interiors

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Phase P30+ Interiors

    Well I was invited as a guest to Seven Canyons Villa's up in the Sedona area which are basically time share units . Well honestly these are much further away than any timeshare unit i ever seen. I would move in in a heart beat to say the least. I have been there before so this time i wanted to try and get something out of it for my book. Like to expand my book a little on the interiors so i dragged myself out of bed at 5 am with my P30+ and 28mm also with my one portable Elinchrom Quadra unit with small soft box for some fill. I shot everything daylight balanced here and than fine tuned in C1 by eye to get the color I wanted. Would have loved another light or three but wanted to try and catch the ambient look to it. Out of about 6 or 7 setups i think I got 4 keepers. All with the 28mm at F16 with 3 to 4 seconds for most of them. Here is what i picked off and spent all morning airbrushing and such. If you hate one let me know. Trying to see if they will work in my book. Word of note I hate TV's in images for this stuff but really no way around it so I put images in them.







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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Guy, First of all, really nice photos. I've looked at them closely, and it took me awhile to identify what was catching my eye about the first one, the living room shot. The light stand looks distorted to me. I bet that was a tough room to shoot. Ray

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Guy, these are nice as usual. Not to keen on the last one though, but this might be just because you were there... and i wasn't.

    Can you be kind enough to elaborate a little bit on how you used the Quadra "for fill" on 4 seconds shots at f16 for those of us who are not educated with the technique?

    (i pretty much shoot with Eli strobes as fast as possible, but that's for product shots -otherwise used to rent continuous lighting (movies equipment) for interiors long exposures... but it was some time ago)
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 23rd November 2009 at 11:45.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    You might want to photoshop that first TV a bit more, image does look like it was just plonked on top a bit.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Ben think a black border may do it. I really hate TV's . I even thought about shooting a painting at that angle and place it in the space.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by RayM View Post
    Guy, First of all, really nice photos. I've looked at them closely, and it took me awhile to identify what was catching my eye about the first one, the living room shot. The light stand looks distorted to me. I bet that was a tough room to shoot. Ray
    Yes pretty tough to shoot . I actually had to put some sky in , was a little late shooing it for a 4 second shot. Now the light stand, not sure I am seeing what you mentioned. Can you point that out and I will do some more work. Thanks BTW all for your comments.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Guy, these are nice as usual. Not to keen on the last one though, but this might be just because you were there... and i wasn't.

    Can you be kind enough to elaborate a little bit on how you used the Quadra "for fill" or 4 seconds shot at f16 for those of us who are not educated with the technique?

    (i pretty much shoot with Eli strobes as fast as possible, but that's for product shots -otherwise used to rent continuous lighting (movies equipment) for interiors long exposures... but it was some time ago)
    Sure in this case I used a small soft box with a 400 watt strobe and I actually set the camera on daylight even though I am shooting tungsten. Reason being if I set the camera on tungsten and use the flash the flash lighting will look blue which is more stranger than looking warm. So when flash is used set for daylight and let the warm tone of ambient tungsten come in a little. Also daylight from window coming in.
    So with this in mind the flash actually is acting more as the main light and fills in where the tungsten is not hitting. In this shot ( the first one let's say) top left ceiling would go very dark . Back of flowers would also with the sofa table so this is more the flash than the ambient filling in those area's. Now it's a balance of not going overboard either way and also not trying to be equal either . Like portraits you want some type of ratio to create shadows and highlights to work with. Great question BTW and working with lighting takes one a load of patience and also to be very knowledgeable of what you are doing with it. I made this shoot even tougher for myself by not tethering to a laptop but working from the LCD screen and histo. This makes the task riskier because obviously much harder to find problem area's
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    these are very nice Guy, I like them but I have the same nit as everyone else, the images on the tv sets are too distracting. Try leaving them blank and see what happens.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Guy, light table rather than what I originally called a "light stand" (sorry).

    The light table in the bottom right of the photo looks like it's being 'stretched' down and to the right. It's the thing in the photo that stands out for me that says 'wide angle lens used.'

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Yea real tough to correct Ray. I will try here in a bit and will try something on TV as well , it's bugging me too. Nice to get the feedback
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Really nice shots, Guy. As a token European in this thread, I will point out that I think shots 2 and 3 are overlit, and I lose sense of what the rooms would really look like. Shots 1 and 4 look much more natural.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Carsten you hit a subject I was thinking about when I was processing them which led me to go lighter. I agree with you on 2 and 4 and let's say you where over and we had a nice steak dinner and sat there to eat , well obviously it is way to bright for the atmosphere for dining. Here is the issue is the intended audience. Here I have a couple issues . Let's say for a interior designer which in this case they would want to show off the furniture and the design of the room. Case two if it was a home builder they may want to show the openness of a big and bright room. For a architect that designed it he maybe more interested in the atmosphere of the room as being darker but showing his design lines clearly in that contrast of light. Home buyer well that's us. I may want to see the space and you may want to see the atmosphere differently which leads us all down this track we call intended audience.
    So now as the shooter what to highlight, what to hide , what strengths you want to bring out and who the heck is going to hire you for what and actually write that check. See this is when photography becomes not yours in my opinion and if you ask commercial shooters about this you will most likely get the same answers. In this case the client may want this look but you as the shooter want the look you described. I see this as the crossroads sometimes and which path to take. Obviously I put this in my book it is for one reason only to sell myself to a client for work and this is the struggle which road to follow or better yet which type of client you are after. But I may just agree with you and bring it a touch down. Interesting though if you sit and think about the intended audience part.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Black lines look to be the answer for the TV. If I had more room in the first image I could possible warp it to fix the table . I got a little but I am pretty darn tight on cropping to about all I could do. Great input everyone and i thank you for the help.
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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Carsten you hit a subject I was thinking about when I was processing them which led me to go lighter. I agree with you on 2 and 4 and let's say you where over and we had a nice steak dinner and sat there to eat , well obviously it is way to bright for the atmosphere for dining. Here is the issue is the intended audience. Here I have a couple issues . Let's say for a interior designer which in this case they would want to show off the furniture and the design of the room. Case two if it was a home builder they may want to show the openness of a big and bright room. For a architect that designed it he maybe more interested in the atmosphere of the room as being darker but showing his design lines clearly in that contrast of light. Home buyer well that's us. I may want to see the space and you may want to see the atmosphere differently which leads us all down this track we call intended audience.
    So now as the shooter what to highlight, what to hide , what strengths you want to bring out and who the heck is going to hire you for what and actually write that check. See this is when photography becomes not yours in my opinion and if you ask commercial shooters about this you will most likely get the same answers. In this case the client may want this look but you as the shooter want the look you described. I see this as the crossroads sometimes and which path to take. Obviously I put this in my book it is for one reason only to sell myself to a client for work and this is the struggle which road to follow or better yet which type of client you are after. But I may just agree with you and bring it a touch down. Interesting though if you sit and think about the intended audience part.
    Guy, very good point re: customer happiness & different target audiences. Maybe if you are doing these for a self-promotional publication, I might suggest to include two different versions of the same shot lit in two different ways, with a small explanatory note below telling the why for each lighting. This way you would reach both target audiences, and at the same time show off your abilities to both audiences re: what you are capable to do with the same room & lights. I found this a very good approach and one that brought me unexpected commissions other than the work I was applying for.

    Just my .02 of course.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Nice idea Vieri. One thing that would have helped me more at the time of shooting is tethered. I can really fine tune better when I am tethering than working from the LCD. I think we all can and reason many MF companies put a premium on there tethering software. You really have a hard time telling about light output and I don't care how big that LCD is, it is not a easy task compared to tethering. But no excuses. I was doing it before everyone woke up in the house so glad i got a couple winners in the end.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Nice idea Vieri. One thing that would have helped me more at the time of shooting is tethered. I can really fine tune better when I am tethering than working from the LCD. I think we all can and reason many MF companies put a premium on there tethering software. You really have a hard time telling about light output and I don't care how big that LCD is, it is not a easy task compared to tethering. But no excuses. I was doing it before everyone woke up in the house so glad i got a couple winners in the end.
    Especially from the frankly abysmal LCD of the P series backs! I am appalled at the quality of the P45+'s screen in a general way, though I understand the reason for it: the kind of shooting for which it has been designed screams for tethering... I greatly doubt that even an LCD like the D series Nikon, arguably one of the best out there, would make any difference when judging light & details. For those advocating that the histogram is enough, IMHO it might be for general light level understanding, but surely not for the kind of light examination you needed to do there. Histogram generally do no tell you where in the pic is a certain amount of light, and when they do (histogram connected to the zoomed area) it still a huge PITA to judge an image that way - nothing beats a computer screen, possibly a good & calibrated one...

    So, overall a great job there Guy! And though I agree with you that different lighting would have better be done at the time of shooting, with these fat files you have lot of room for processing them in two different ways to a degree and create two image with very different feel
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Agreed . Honestly I know many moan and groan so much about the LCD but it does not really bug me that much. Sure it does but its just a okay cool next shot please kinda thing. Luckily C1 is killer at tethering
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Agreed . Honestly I know many moan and groan so much about the LCD but it does not really bug me that much. Sure it does but its just a okay cool next shot please kinda thing. Luckily C1 is killer at tethering
    Which is another question mark re: the S2 - is there any news about if, how and with which software tethering will be possible? I am not sure C1 will support it, it makes sense to do it to sell software, but on the other hand it doesn't make much sense to enable a Phase 645 competitor with such a strong capability...
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    In C1 we can shoot to a hot folder so the client can see what we're shooting, but that is NOT the same thing as tethered...
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    While talking about the nice Phase screen I thought I show you this nice image. The good thing with these displays is that they are so bad, that the really isn't any difference when they are broken ;-)

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    The good thing with these displays is that they are so bad, that the really isn't any difference when they are broken ;-)
    That's for sure the funniest thing I've read in a while. Thanks for the chuckle.

    Guy, very nice work and always interesting to hear how a professional approaches these kinds of shooting situations. Never really thought about the intended audience thing.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    While talking about the nice Phase screen I thought I show you this nice image. The good thing with these displays is that they are so bad, that the really isn't any difference when they are broken ;-)
    What you don't like cracked reflections. LOL

    That does look nasty
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    That's for sure the funniest thing I've read in a while. Thanks for the chuckle.

    Guy, very nice work and always interesting to hear how a professional approaches these kinds of shooting situations. Never really thought about the intended audience thing.
    Thanks David , yea the intended audience makes being creative sometimes a bummer on your book. Art directors standing over your neck doing it their way but never let that stop you from trying it your way otherwise you turn into a machine if you know what I mean. Otherwise you just get bored and burnt out.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Have to say when I look at these images and look back at my past shooting gear and what I missed for a long time was just flat out the detail and real file range. Even this lowly 31 mpx cranks out some serious stuff. Also in the raw processing the amount of stuff going on to really pull out the best of the file and how robust these files truly are, it stumps me why I waited so long to get in. Well no getting out anytime soon seems the better plan now.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Well it looks worse than it really is. The back, when it slipped out of my hands decided to land on concrete edge instead of the grass near by ^^

    I'm just pissed at myself, for being thinking about other unimportant stuff than packing away the back, but happy that nothing serious happened to it.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Sure in this case I used a small soft box with a 400 watt strobe and I actually set the camera on daylight even though I am shooting tungsten. Reason being if I set the camera on tungsten and use the flash the flash lighting will look blue which is more stranger than looking warm. So when flash is used set for daylight and let the warm tone of ambient tungsten come in a little. Also daylight from window coming in.
    So with this in mind the flash actually is acting more as the main light and fills in where the tungsten is not hitting. In this shot ( the first one let's say) top left ceiling would go very dark . Back of flowers would also with the sofa table so this is more the flash than the ambient filling in those area's. Now it's a balance of not going overboard either way and also not trying to be equal either . Like portraits you want some type of ratio to create shadows and highlights to work with. Great question BTW and working with lighting takes one a load of patience and also to be very knowledgeable of what you are doing with it. I made this shoot even tougher for myself by not tethering to a laptop but working from the LCD screen and histo. This makes the task riskier because obviously much harder to find problem area's
    Thanks Guy for the enlightening and comprehensive answer. Quite interesting view on balancing mixed lightning in that case.

    By the way it's probably my quibble with photo #4, to me it looks like the WB is off from typical mixed lighting. But again, you were there
    (#1 is extremely good and will well serve the "book" purpose, especially since it demonstrates your ability to get this kind of result quality without the cost and time involved with a full day setup using numerous Inkies)


    The pending question i guess is how do you set the strobe(s) output with long exposure (well, several seconds) shots. Is it a trial and error matter or is there a rule of thumb?
    And as a subsidiary, is the flash used in standard mode or rear curtain?
    (...if relevant here...)

    Regarding the image displayed within the TV set, my humble opinion is that whether you opt to keep it then maybe the use of horizontal black stripes only, cinema style, might wisually work nicer than the black frame around it, for a more natural integration.
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 24th November 2009 at 03:19.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Glad you brought up number 4 on color balance. Great eyes . here again major balance issue between early early morning blue light shooting into the tungsten light of the kitchen and outside patio. Honestly i went through this one several times to warm it up outside without making the tungsten TOO warm. This is a tough balancing act and actually sent Jack some proofs on it to get his opinion as well. here you have to make a call on what you as the shooter want it to look like . Luckily I did in the kitchen add some flash in it so it was not totally warm to start so by warming it up globally it stayed pretty reasonable without getting to warm. This is a tough balancing act the kelvin temp swing between tungsten 3200 and early morning light may have been over daylight which is 5500 kelvin and going further into the blue spectrum.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Guy, you were limited by the P30+. You need to trade it for a P65+ so that you wide the FOV from 24mm to 17mm equivalent. P65+ and the 645DF should be your next purchase. Forget the S2, the M9 and go buy something really useful.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Goh View Post
    Guy, you were limited by the P30+. You need to trade it for a P65+ so that you wide the FOV from 24mm to 17mm equivalent. P65+ and the 645DF should be your next purchase. Forget the S2, the M9 and go buy something really useful.
    And while you're out shopping, get an Aptus-II 10 so you can get really wide and use that big screen with the picker tool over the histogram to accurately judge lighting, down to 0.01 stop accuracy that is...:-)

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Well it looks worse than it really is. The back, when it slipped out of my hands decided to land on concrete edge instead of the grass near by ^^

    I'm just pissed at myself, for being thinking about other unimportant stuff than packing away the back, but happy that nothing serious happened to it.
    Heck if I had a back that expensive I'd want it to have its own neck strap! Imagine if it had fallen the other way, ouchy ouch.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Well if it had landed on the other side nothing would have happened, as it had it protection cover on. However one could spin it even further, what could have happened if it fell in a different position or direction, like the river near by ;-)

    In the end it does not matter much, that is why it is quite important to have a good insurance.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    And while you're out shopping, get an Aptus-II 10 so you can get really wide and use that big screen with the picker tool over the histogram to accurately judge lighting, down to 0.01 stop accuracy that is...:-)
    Yair that back would have been in handy for sure.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Well if it had landed on the other side nothing would have happened, as it had it protection cover on. However one could spin it even further, what could have happened if it fell in a different position or direction, like the river near by ;-)

    In the end it does not matter much, that is why it is quite important to have a good insurance.
    Agreed . Stuff just slips out of your hands, not much you can do except have good insurance in the end.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Playing in C1 i went for a little more juice on this one
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  35. #35
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Playing in C1 i went for a little more juice on this one
    Great job Guy, I like this one much better than the original one if I may, and it might just be me, but the left side of the white chair on the left seems to be a little hot, not as much per se as compared to the rest of the levels in the shot... I wonder if it might be looking even better if you'd tone it down a notch? Other than that, I like the mood of this one much better than the previous one, well done!
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Think I got it now . Was a little pink also , toned it down on left chair. Funny you guys have picked my brain on almost every shot what I was thinking. Good eyes folks
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    another variation you might want to consider: had you been shooting for elle decor, the now defunct House and Garden, the now defunct Met Home, (ok so that leaves elle decor but it was a standard) you would have been asked to shoot the rooms with the lights off. No lit fixtures in their pictures. (hey that rhymes) I don't know what the origin of this is, or the purpose, my guess is that they don't like blown lampshades, or it was a reproduction issue from wayback and has just survived until present day. But if you look at their style, what could be called the anti-architectural digest aesthetic, its lights off all the time.

    Woe be it to those who break this rule, as I have found out shooting for them and assisting on their shoots. Not saying you can't fill and light, you have to.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Lamps out that is just sacrilegious. I do wish I had more of my lights with me actually and I actually normally do about 5 is a good number with a normal room but here I just did not have them. Honestly I am barely blown on any shot except for the element in the tube itself. The beauty of MF is working these files to death.
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Actually this is a little more my style
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Lamps out that is just sacrilegious. I do wish I had more of my lights with me actually and I actually normally do about 5 is a good number with a normal room but here I just did not have them. Honestly I am barely blown on any shot except for the element in the tube itself. The beauty of MF is working these files to death.
    for reference check out henry bourne and roger davies. they shoot a lot for elle, dwell, etc. world of interiors.

    the editors at those magazines would make the same point about lamps on. I think it is a reaction to the AD style, which was lit to within an inch of its life. They would say it was more "editorial" or looser. Anyway, it was to your point of consider your target client. Every client has different needs.

  41. #41
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Think I got it now . Was a little pink also , toned it down on left chair. Funny you guys have picked my brain on almost every shot what I was thinking. Good eyes folks
    Yeah Guy, this is definitely it - great job! oh and... about the mind picking, you know, great minds think alike LOL
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually this is a little more my style
    Love this one pretty amazing control of the light/exposure and depth here. One thing about the lens, composition-wise is this the original file, I mean this is not cropped or straightened in PS, right? Reason I ask, I seem to have noticed a slight softness on the top right corner, and was wondering if this is the 28 mm or if it's some PS-created effect: the distort tool performs miracles, but the way it stretches the pixels and re-interpolates the empty spaces sometimes doesn't work great for detail-dense areas...
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  43. #43
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Chris' Quick Tips: When dropping an image on top of a TV, the blacks in the image would realistically never be darker than the screen itself. Set the image layer's mode to "Lighten" and you instantly get a more realistic effect.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    This is the 28mm and the P25 + and it is before the new corner sharpness came out in C1 which is a really great tool for the 28mm regardless of sensor size although much more needed for the P65 which truthfully consider it a 31mm for that sensor. i would just crop to that dimension to insure the best results. the 28mm is a brilliant lens but first you need to know how to use it , you are better off focus on the foreground , middle ground and let the back end fall into place. It's more front focus to the first third of depth than let the rest take care of itself. The corners will go soft on the P65 for sure so reason I said use it more like a 25 or 45 crop and use corner sharpness which I find about 170 setting very good. The P45+ the 28mm is very nice using these techniques on it and obviously the P40+ and P30+ size it is not much a issue but I still use corner sharpness. One thing about the 28mm the distortion is very well checked and when you do select it you will correct it but it is a pretty small correction
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Barrett View Post
    Chris' Quick Tips: When dropping an image on top of a TV, the blacks in the image would realistically never be darker than the screen itself. Set the image layer's mode to "Lighten" and you instantly get a more realistic effect.
    Thanks Chris I tried to lower the transparency a little but some ugly reflections where there. That sounds like a better technique
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    I prefer to leave TV sets turned off. It usually takes a lot of tweaking to make them look real. Besides, nobody uses TV's like digital frames. So, despite a perfect blend with effects and such, they always look fake. It only works when they have a little blurring and text and things like in real TV but they are distracting to the shot, so I prefer to leave them off. Since they are usually black, mostly they go stealth.
    Very nice pictures
    Eduardo

  47. #47
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    Re: Phase P30+ Interiors

    I go back and forth, sometimes I find a big black rectangle in the shot more distracting than a live image on the TV.

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