I am often asked why I shoot my photographs in RAW format. RAW capture refers to the direct transfer of the information acquired by the sensor of a digital camera to the memory card without any in-camera processing. In the 18-megapixel Canon EOS 7D, this translates into files of 25MB, compared to the 6MB of a high-resolution JPG-compressed file. Why would one like to shoot RAW files? The RAW format contains all the information captured by the sensor and is therefore most amenable to corrections of exposure, saturation, chromatic aberrations and noise during post-processing. Compressed JPG files contain a reduced amount of information and so are much more limited to adjust during post-processing. Why would someone want to adjust a photograph? Shown below are three examples taken during a recent trip to the Otavalo valley in Northern Ecuador. In all cases, the top image is straight-out-of-camera, while the lower image is after conversion in Adobe CS4 Camera Raw (no Photoshop in any of these examples!).
Food photography is a challenging photography genre wiht many books and articles written about it. Lighting, framing angle, arrangement, freshness, speed are some of the most important elements to consider. A recent meeting of our Molpark EU research network took us to Seiano, Italy where we enjoyed a few days of great science amid magnificent views of the bay of Naples and stunningly crafted meals.
Here are some dishes from our stay at the Grand Hotel Angiolieri in Seiano, spectacularly located on the northern coast of the Sorrento peninsula. The L’Accanto Gourmet Restaurant is the “hotel’s temple of flavor”. Recently awarded its first Michelin star, the restautrant serves amazingly creative dishes based on local products and firmly rooted in the Mediterranean tradition.
A few dishes from one of the landmark restaurants in Beijing, the Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant at Ri Tan Park. Serving superb food from across the whole of China, some personal favorites are the lamb ribs with cumin (Xinjiang) and the fish with chilli simmering in oil (Szechuan). Also featured here are the traditional Pekin duck, prawns with cashew nuts and fried aubergines with peanuts. The images were taken using available light on the EOS 7D with the 24mm f/1.4 L II lens.
Here is the 2010 Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine photographed by the Canon EOS 5D MarkII. It is the same photographer that comes every year for the committee picture, and he always works hard to get some smiles. The last couple of years he has used the EOS 5D MarkII with the 24-70L “brick” lens and a couple of external strobes. I was shocked to learn that he shoots jpg, not raw, and does minimal or no post-processing. As in the classiscal school, he wants to get the picture right already in the camera.
A visit in November 2009 to the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela, gave us the opportunity to contemplate many of these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
Several of the birds that live in the Galapagos are also only found there, such as the iconic Blue-Footed Booby, pictured here basking on the golden light of sunset atop black lava formations in Isabela island.
The Galapagos are a fragile ecosystem, threatened by increasing human activity as well as climate change. During recent El Niño episodes, the majority of Galapagos penguins were wipped out, rising fears that this unique species may not survive for much longer.
Marine iguanas are not an uncommon sight in the Galapagos. Here are two males having a good row at Tortuga beach in the island of Santa Cruz. By this time they had been fighting for over a couple of hours and began to look a bit tired. Not clear what the object of the fight was though. 🙂
Jurong Bird Park, on the west side of Singapore, harbors a huge variety of birds in a lush tropical backdrop. It is an ideal site for trying out telephoto lenses. It is possible to get really close to the birds and obtain nice portraits.
Here testing the 70-200 2.8 L IS from Canon on the EOS 40D. It was an overcast day, a perfect lighting condition to mitigate the tough midday sun of the equator. The light rain was not a problem.
A good close-up on an intriguing variety of peacock is shown here with its characteristic phlegmatic look.
A selection of images from that afternoon showing flamingos, pelicans, parrots, ostriches, birds of prey, ibises, crowned pigeons and more can be seen in the photo gallery HERE.
Costa Rica contains some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth. Over 890 bird species have been recorded in Costa Rica as of January 2011.
Pictured here is the Blue-crowned Motmomt with its gorgeous tail, spotted in the area of Monteverde in the early hours of November 29th, 2008. Thanks to my skillfull guide, we saw plenty of birds on that great morning, including the spectacular Resplendent Quetzal. It was hard to find, but some knowledge about the locatoin of its favorite fruit, and a big dose of patience, helped us to spot several exemplars in the Monteverde reserve.
In addition to Monteverde, our trip during November-December, 2008, took us to Arenal and Baiha Drake, where we could see many other magnificent birds. All in all, over 30 different bird species could be photographed on that trip. These can be viewed in the Photo Gallery or from the link HERE. A very good website ”Tropical Feathers” helped naming many (but not all!) of the birds we saw.
The Hula Valley in Galilee, Israel, is a natural reserve with swamps an low vegetation that is visited by vast numbers of migratory birds. On this occassion, a hazy and wet morning in early September, pelicans were in great abundance. Colorful herons, white cranes and some cormorants could also be seen. More pictures can be seen HERE.