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Sunday, 06 September 2015


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Mike, give us more of your photos, please! I love these two.

Very impressive. I'd love to see it.

I'm also impressed by the scope of it, and the constant demos and such. To pull enough people for that in such a "middle of nowhere" place, is quite a feat.

I always, in stories and pictures, had an affinity for things you could see through. They are sort of there, but not there. Sort of define a space. Glass. Water. Clouds. Tree crowns. Tall grass...

Photography allowed- especially with glass plate cameras.

The Corning Museum looks fascinating (I love glass, not just 'glass') and handsome - wonderful pictures!



We have the Pilkington glass museum not far from us. Pilkingtons are a very famous long-established glass company, at least in Britain. I remember going to the museum as a child and loving it. As it's just down the road, this of course means I haven't been since but perhaps now is the time.

Great photos, Mike!

Wow great photos. That first shot is wonderful. Thanks. Ernest Theisen

Mike, Yes...many on the amateur photo websites and forums have noted that they like the Fujifilm-X JPEGs more than what they get from processing the raw files. And, as you may have intuited by now, Adobe is generally considered the last choice raw converter for Fuji X files, due to issues with small[I'd say micro] detail rendition. Some knowledgable users also have complained about something called "poor color depth", but I have no idea what that is.
I, on the other hand, have never seen a Fuji X JPEG on my computer display, despite owning and enthusiastically shooting with my Fujifilm XE-1 (and 23mm plus 14mm) for over two years. And.... my default raw converter is Adobe, with only certain shots (maybe 4%) requiring the workflow-disrupting round trip to Photo Ninja. Apparently, there's a guy named Dave Coffin who created a generic, free raw converter called DCRaw, which is the raw conversion engine used in Photo Ninja, Iridient Developer, and several other alternative raw converters, of both the free and pay flavors. DCRaw somehow mathematically disentangles the raw data differently, and, in the case of Fuji X files, better than Adobe, Apple Camera Raw, and several others.

Fuji's JPGEs are impressive. The first time I opened one It seemed like I couldn't do any better by editing the RAW file.

The story of how Corning cast the disc for the 200 inch Hale telescope that is at Mt. Palomar is part of an incredible story, an example of "Big Science" that often accompanies physics projects. It includes the threat to the disc posed by flooding of the Chemung River, transporting the disc from New York to California, and the precise grinding and polishing of the disc that took years to accomplish. The story is told in "The Perfect Machine" by Ronald Florence. It's worth reading about.

"Has anyone else noticed that sometimes with Fuji cameras, the out-of-camera JPEGs look better than what you can get the RAW file to look like in ACR? Is that a known known? I don't keep up."

I don't use Fuji cameras, so I don't know if its a known known. I use custom functions, on my Canon cameras, to tweak the JPEGs. I submit both JPEGs and CR2 files to my retoucher, and she always uses the JPEGs (converted CR2 files look just like my custom JPEGs). From what I've seen, the camera manufacturers know more about their files than Adobe does.

I've discussed this with several other pros. They, and their clients, are very happy with the custom JPEGs they get from their Olympus and Panasonic cameras.

Mike, you may want to set-up several custom profiles (people, landscape, whatever) for your Fuji. Then write an article about what you've learned.

BTW A Canon 5D3 has assignable C1, C2 and C3 on the dial. No idea about Fuji (menu?)

Love the lead image! It takes the concept of "environmental portrait" to a whole new level! Well done.

More of the museum please Mike. Also, Yes re: the Fuji files - at least, when the camera manages to focus - they can be very beautiful and difficult to emulate even from a well-exposed raw file.

I, too, have noticed that the Fuji JPEG engine sometimes does a much better job than I can.

I hope you enjoy the fire pit, Mike. A fire, a nice piece of meat, and a good friend are an amazing combination. There's nothing quite like tending a fire, making a meal, and shooting the breeze as the day dies.

Taking pictures of fire and by firelight is also great fun--I hope you have a lot more fires, and take a lot more pictures of them.

We took a lot of pics too at the CGM. Their website has names for each piece in the Contemporary Wing to help with attributions. I found this out when I misplaced my notes.

Did you stop at the Remington Museum [Do you mean the Rockwell? It has Remingtons —Mike] and Market Street? Worth a visit.

Also in nearby Hammondsport is the Curtiss Museum, which is amazing not so much for it's depth but for it's amazing breadth of ... stuff. I'm tempted to call it the Curtiss accumulation, which would be a disservice to the museum-- it's an amazing place. Hard to photograph due to the sheer density of things there.

It's also easy to find. They have a Curtiss Commando airplane in the front yard.

Now that you live in the Southern Tier, don't miss the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca:
and the Roberson Museum in Binghamton:
The Roberson is lovely at Christmastime...

No direct experience with those Fuji cameras, but several workshop students (and also, I think, Pierce) have told me that Fuji/ACR isn't the best matchup. Something similar was very true in the dark ages of digital capture with the original 4/3s Olympus E1. ACR was fine for controlled commercial shooting, but for my personal work I ended up always shooting RAW+ because the Oly in-camera JPEG from real world situations was often impossible to match through ACR. FWIW, I have not found the same to be true of Pentax or Panasonic Lumix cameras that I've used.

I used to be a die-hard RAW shooter with my Pentax and would spend ages tweaking things in Lightroom. Since moving to Fuji, I shoot 95% JPEG, as like you even with LR's Fuji presets I don't find them as good as what the camera turns out automagically. I'll do RAW+Fine in really tricky lighting or high contrast situations, just in case. But with auto DR on, the JPEGs still typically net out better. And my time in LR has been cut by 3/4. Plus the smaller files are just so much faster to work with.

Mike, don't listen to them. I like the lampshade.

With best regards,


That first photo is fantastic. Probably my favorite of what you've published here before!

Both of the photos from the museum are excellent. Lampshade conversation and selfie also excellent :-)

Fuji's JPEGS are very good, but the tone curve is a little abrupt. There is so much headroom in the raws I just can't help tweaking.

Hint for sharpening though, use detail slider only in LR, then import to PS for final sharpening. Does wonders for the little details.

As for colour, LR now has all the camera film presets, which I quite like. I actually pick one first before developing (usually Provia). Gets it a bit closer to the standard camera output.

As a Mac user, I would recommend Irident Developer as the first alternative to LR, but it's only worth using for landscape images that you want to print as large as possible. For other kinds of detail, LR actually does quite well.

One more vote for the Fuji JPEG. I have the X-Pro 1 so no Classic Chrome simulation but Provia (Standard) with -2 colour in camera looks great to me. I gave up fiddling about with the RAW files in Lightroom and now just make sure my white balance and exposure are correct at the time I make a photograph.

Try photographing flames at high shutter speeds, and a lot less exposure.

If the flames are bright enough to illuminate other objects they are too bright to see what they look like.

The first time I shot flames at an 8000th of a second I realized that I'd been doing it wrong for 50 years.

I used to photograph for Corning and its (now gone) art glass subsidiary, Steuben Glass Works. You probably saw a few Frank Petronio's during your visit ;-p

Corning Incorporated has a fascinating history and a bright future. The Houghton family who started the business and ran things until recently have always been a class act. It's worth a search engine session....

BTW, the company changed its name from Corning Glass Works to Corning Incorporated ~30 years ago.

It is a known thing with Fuji. Their own jpeg processer is second to none and is much of the magic. Adobe has struggled to cope, but others are better. The color in particular is hard to replicate even with the latest updates in Adobe.

When I purchased a Fuji S200exr Adobe didn't support the RAW files and the camera had been on the market over a year at that point. I liked the look of the jpegs and could do useful editing in Bridge and ACR. I did pick up Iridient Developer but found I often preferred the jpeg afterward. This remained true when Adobe inexplicably started supporting the s200 and later with an X-S1. I think it's a result of Fuji designing their own sensors. 80 years R&D into film and paper may contribute something to the process too. :D

Beautiful, including the lampshade.

By the way there are some great short videos on the subject of the casting of the Hale Telescope mirror by Corning. Here are a few of the best:




"Ceci n´est pas un abat-jour"

Mike, what a surprise to see this post as I just returned from a visit to CMoG Sunday and posted a few images of my own a few minutes ago... one almost the same framing as your first picture. I try to visit every year and always find it fascinating. The architectural design (especially the new gallery) is as interesting to me as the art and history.

You know, I'm sure, to leave the plastic on the shade and will last much longer! The same holds true for your upholstered furniture when you buy it! My wife and I were going to visit the Corning Museum this fall but I see no point now as you have taken all the pictures! Please leave a little of the Finger Lakes "alone" so there will be something for me to photograph!

Especially don't photograph a lake with morning fog and the rising sun highlighting the colorful leaves on the trees! OK?? If I think of others I will let you know!

I agree with Steve Jacob than the Fuji JPEG tone curve can be a little abrupt.

Once again, I'd like to recommend using Iridient Developer or Capture One to process Fuji RAW files. ACR or Lightroom w/o Iridient just can't compare.

BTW, I love the shot of Xander in front of the unnamed artwork. One of your best images of this year, IMO.

OTOH, when are we going to see some pictures of Butters?

That first photo, of Xander leaning on the window, is magnificent. Almost monochrome inside the windows, with the band of muted colors through the windows. Just perfect.

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