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February 15, 2010

Apple releases Camera Raw for Panasonic Lumix G1

Filed under: Apple,Photography,Technology — chuck goolsbee @ 3:46 pm

I noted last week that Apple finally released compatibility in Aperture & iPhoto for RAW files from the Panasonic Lumix G1 series cameras. I haven’t used the RAW features of my G1 much yet, as there has been no way to handle them in my workflow. Now that I can, I think I will.

I attended every user conference session I could that featured Aperture workflows and RAW format work at Macworld last week (when I wasn’t teaching MacIT sessions that is!) I REALLY want to start handling all my images in RAW to avoid the destructive nature of the JPEG format work I’ve been doing since I went digital back in the day. Until now I really couldn’t. I’ve installed the new update, and have requested a 30-day trial of Aperture 3.0. I’ll let you know how it goes!

October 10, 2010

Shooting the Moon

Filed under: Photography — chuck goolsbee @ 6:10 pm

I lugged my whole time-lapse rig out to Virginia from Oregon, but I have a cable or camera problem. It doesn’t work. I had hoped to get some good sunset and aircraft footage, as my hotel is just off a runway at Dulles. Oh well.

Tonight however I was treated to a gorgeous crescent moon, so I snapped the telephoto on the G1, got out my free-standing monopod (neat trick eh!?) and shot the moon.

The results are sort of … meh… but there were a few sketchy keepers in there. Here you go:

A jet on approach to DCA flying over the moon.
A jet on approach to DCA flying over the moon.

A long exposure shot with several aircraft. Note the monopod wobble.
A long exposure shot with several aircraft. Note the monopod wobble.

Moonset over Ashburn, VA. 10-10-10. Shot from my hotel window, Panasonic Lumix G1 45-200mm lens @ 128mm, 6 - 60 second exposures @ f/14 ISO100, blended in Photoshop using HDR processing. Aberrant first moon due again to monopod wobble.
Moonset over Ashburn, VA. 10-10-10. Shot from my hotel window, Panasonic Lumix G1 45-200mm lens @ 128mm, 6 - 60 second exposures @ f/14 ISO100, blended in Photoshop using HDR processing. Aberrant first moon due again to monopod wobble.

June 15, 2010

Vote for your favorite E-type Image for the 2011 JCNA Calendar

Filed under: Cars,Photography — chuck goolsbee @ 9:25 am

2011 is the 50th Anniversary of the E-type Jaguar, and the Jaguar Clubs of North America are publishing a commemorative E-type Calendar. I’d like to submit a photo or two for inclusion. One of my car, and one of another car. Here are a bunch of good E-type Photos for you to pick the “best of.” Make your vote in the comments section and tell us why you like it best.

(sorry for the big red copyright notices… just trying to protect my images a bit)

Edit: I’ve been asked what camera gear was used to shoot these, so I’m adding that to the post…

Other Cars:

#1: Philippe Reyns' Series 1 3.8 OTS
#1: Philippe Reyns' Series 1 3.8 OTS

Shot with Olympus C-5050Z

#2: Garth Norton's Series 1 3.8 OTS
#2: Garth Norton's Series 1 3.8 OTS

Shot with Olympus C-5050Z


March 12, 2010

The Virtual Storefront for My Automotive Photography

Filed under: Cars,Photography — chuck goolsbee @ 11:53 am

Now you too can buy this image.

After years of consideration I’ve finally decided to take the advice of many friends and fans and offer some of my automotive photographs for sale. I have no illusions of this being a means to making a living, but if all goes well I’ll be able to buy a lens or two.

I’m using a service called SmugMug, that allows you to order prints, mounted prints, and framed prints which will be shipped to an address of your choosing. You can pay online securely using a credit card, and select shipping methods and whatnot. Given that print sizes may not match the file size you are also given the option to crop the photo to fit. There are also a few bits of merchandise for sale with images on them, as well as digital downloads for use on screen and print

I’m still working behind the scenes to get the store ready, so the shelves are not stocked properly, and some items my not remain in the inventory for long. I suspect I’ll be thinning the herd soon. Captions and keywords need to be edited too, but feel free to wander the aisles and check out the merchandise.

Having purchased a few prints myself for office decor, I think the sweet spot for size is between 14″ and 24″ on the larger side of the photo. This will become larger as I populate the galleries with newer photos from my G1 camera. I enabled the “camera info” tagging on the photos so if you see “Panasonic DMC-G1” in the info area the images should scale quite large. My older Olympus cameras made images that will likely start falling apart quality-wise at anything larger than 20″. Eventually I’ll remove all but the best images from the older cameras.

Prices are largely determined by the costs, but I’m open to feedback, especially from my core followers here on my website. For you guys I’ve arranged a “Grand Opening Discount” of 33% off anything and everything (except shipping), just use the coupon code “CheapChuckPics” at checkout.

The URL for the store is:

Let me know what you think.

February 28, 2010

Life on the Bleeding Edge, sometimes you get cut.

Filed under: Photography — chuck goolsbee @ 10:06 am

When I finally jumped to a new camera last year I took a chance on the new and emerging format of Micro Four-Thirds. This is a sort of compromise between the consumer-grade point & shoot and the bulky DSLR. It has all the benefits of a DSLR: Interchangeable lenses, large sensor, significant exposure, aperture, and shutter speed controls… but without the immense weight and bulk of a traditional SLR camera body. I chose a Panasonic Lumix G1. It is remarkably light weight and compact compared to a DSLR. This is mostly due to the lack of a mirror and the attendant mechanisms required to use a mirror. Instead it has a viewfinder which is essentially a video screen off the actual sensor.

The lenses for this camera are built by Leica and are amazing. I have two so far; a 14-45, and a 45-200. They were the only two available (beyond a fixed 20mm “pancake” lens) when I bought the camera last year. I waited for over six months to buy the camera as the price dropped so far that the telephoto was essentially “free” compared to if I had purchased it when it first came out.

My preferred lens for shooting close ups of cars is a very wide angle lens, which did not become available for the M4/3 format until very recently. Unfortunately it is very expensive, so I’ve been making do with an old .7 lens adapter that makes my 14-45 into a 9.8-31.5 lens. However it vignettes badly at the shortest focal lengths. I live with it for now, and either don’t shoot at the shortest or just keep the corners of the frame in mind when composing in-lens.

I have an RSS feed for a few M4/3 websites and I noted recently that one proclaimed a price drop on this wide-angle I really want. Whoo hoo! I rushed off to Amazon to see how far the price had dropped, with memories of the several-hundred dollar drops seen for the other lenses over time… only to find this:

Ninety Five Cents!
Ninety Five Cents!

A whopping .95¢! Sigh. I guess I’ll be waiting a while.

Yeah, it is not a very fast lens, but it is right in my focal-length sweet spot, and the sort of shots that I want to do with it don’t have to have a real huge aperture.

Literally a few months after I acquired the G1, Panasonic produced the GH1, which adds HD Video to the feature list. Oh well. My “cut” from being out on the bleeding edge isn’t very deep or losing much blood, it just stings a bit now and then. I know the native lens choices will only keep getting better, so patience is key.

BTW I haven’t shared much of my output from this camera here on my website yet, beyond my father/son road trip last summer and a few random shots. I promise I’ll rectify that deficiency soon! In fact I’d love to see if you car-spotters can also spot a G1-produced image, so expect bonus points if you add “which camera” to your “name that car” comments!

December 31, 2009

Best Photos of 2009, Part Three

Filed under: Best of...,Cars,Photography — Tags: — chuck goolsbee @ 1:44 pm

Part Three of my collection of favorite photos from 2009. Tell me your favorite from this batch in the comments.

26. E-type above Tenaya Lake, Yosemite, California.
26. E-type above Tenaya Lake, Yosemite, California.

Shot with the Lumix G1 on our Father/Son Road Trip this photo has a somewhat funny story to it. It was morning at Olmstead Overlook, with good light and very few cars around. I was hoping to get a good photo of both my car and Larry Wade’s for the 2010 calendar. After shooting the cars while looking south towards Half Dome, Larry took off to maybe get some fishing done up in Tuolumne Meadows. I repositioned the 65E down at the far end of the overlook’s parking area facing towards Tenaya Lake. For the entire 45 minutes or so that we’d been at this location not a single car had EVER parked at this far end of the overlook. That is, until I parked my car there. Three times over the course of me trying to get this shot, a car pulled in from the highway and parked RIGHT next to the Jaguar, despite having several hundred empty spaces elsewhere in the overlook area, all of them much closer to the Yosemite Valley overlook that this location is noted for. This must be some Photographers variation of Murphy’s Law! Literally every time I had the lens on right, and everything set where I wanted it to be a car would pull up and park… one time as I was standing in the parking spot they were pulling into! I’d politely explain what I was doing and request that they move their car, and then as soon as I was ready again, another car would arrive. Very strange.


Best Photos of 2009, Part One.

Filed under: Best of...,Cars,Photography — Tags: — chuck goolsbee @ 8:03 am

Here’s a four-part wrap-up of what I think are my best photos taken this year. I’ll number them so you can cast your vote for favorites in the comments section. Most of these are car-related, as you would expect. Keep in mind that several of them are not so much great photographs as they are captured moments or places that say something to me. Most however are overall good shots. Let me know what you like, and why.

These were shot with my usual repertoire of three cameras, and I’ll try to identify which camera was used for each. I’m still getting the hang of my newest camera, the Panasonic Lumix G1. It has a LOT of promise, and will likely start making some great images for me once I get the hang of it. The G1 was bought mid-way through 2009, so early photos were shot with my trusty old Olympus C-5050 zoom, a 2002 vintage digital camera. Despite its relative low resolution and limited lens, I had been shooting with it for so long that it became an extension of my brain and eye. I’m astounded on occasion how great the images from this camera can be. Finally I have a Nikon Coolpix L11, a 2006 vintage point & shoot that I bought dirt cheap for use doing time-lapse videos. Since it is so small I tend to carry it around with me almost all the time – mostly to shoot random oddball cars for the CPotD series – but I also hand it to my kids when we are traveling for them to use as “their” camera. Nick especially burned up the memory card on our father/son road trip.

Note: I’m not happy with the JPEG output of PicMark, the application I use to add the copyright notice on the images, (the B-17 image is completely borked!) so expect some higher quality images later today when I can re-run the images from the originals

1. 65E tail.
1. 65E tail.

The E-type is a compendium of long-radius curves and ovals. The only place on the car that gets complicated is the rear, especially on the open two seater (the coupe’s rear has a more elegant resolution of these converging shapes.) At a pause in the action on-course of a JCNA slalom event in Vancouver BC I swung around and snapped this study of my own car’s rear end. I like the way it turned out.

This is one of the first shots I made with the G1 and the telephoto lens I picked up for it. After years of shooting with short lenses and ultra-wide angles having a true telephoto again (my last one was with my old Pentax in the 80s!) was a revelation. Long lenses open up a different world. Traditionally people use them to shoot far-away objects. I can see that value for people who shoot things like birds, such as my buddy Chuq. I mostly shoot cars, so for me the telephoto allows me to shoot detail shots without the radical distortion that usually comes along with my wide-angle lens. That distortion has its place, but sometimes the compressed perspective of a telephoto is preferred.


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