Some Depictive Photography thoughts

2009, Image editing, Photography

In my last post I mentioned something about the fill light option in Sigma Photo Pro (SPP) to process the RAW photographs from the Sigma DP1. This option is called X3 Fill Light and is unlike anything I have seen in a RAW processor. It not only creates more or less local contrast, like the clarity slider in Lightroom, but also changes the amount of light to be filtered through the depths of your photograph. Now, I don’t always like the effect. It can either be too dark or creates an almost HDR like effect. But sometimes this option in SPP can be very unique and interesting.

See here below three examples of a photograph where I used zero X3 Fill Light, -1.0 and an amount of +1.0. Next I only used some contrast, high light and shadow adjustment to make the photographs look pleasing to me.

The first one is with zero X3 Fill Light.
X3F Fill Light 0
The next one has -1.0 X3 Fill Light.
X3F Fill Light -1
And the last one has +1.0 X3 Fill Light.
X3f Fill Light +1

I personally still favor the original photograph, but I was amazed how much differences the X3 Fill Light can make on a photograph.

Next up was trying the Sigma DP1 with ISO 800 and underexposing to see how it would deal with photographing portraits in dim light. I first tried the autofocus, but it had some difficulties focussing. So I switched to manual focus and used to zoomed view on the LCD screen view to focus on the eyes. After that I used the viewfinder for framing. Accurate focussing wasn’t so easy and the general speed of the camera didn’t help either. While it handles light beautifully I have to get accustomed to the speed of the camera. The following photographs are my first portrait photographs from the DP1.

Things didn’t work out as planned for my son. His autism and failing structure made him angry and a little paniccing.
DP1 portraits by Wouter Brandsma
My daughter and wife were captived by a television program.
DP1 portraits by Wouter Brandsma
Multitasking, reading a newspaper and watching TV.
DP1 portraits by Wouter Brandsma
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

I have been very familiair with the 28mm focal length for some long time since I started using the Ricoh GR1 in 1996. But recently I have been using the 35mm focal length more often for most of my photography when I started to get re-interested again in a more classical focal lenght lenses. So returning to 28mm isn’t always easy now. Therefore I think that the new Sigma DP2 can be a very interesting camera with the 41mm lens. For something like a week some examples can be seen here on the Sigma DP2 users gallery, but to be honest I haven’t been impressed by the photographs yet. Of course these cameras will all be preproduction models and their SPP version might still be in beta. I personally do like the photographs from Rick Decker though and he made great usage of this camera. But it probably says more about his photographic capabilities. Since last Friday, April 24, the camera is on sale in Japan and do take the Sigma DP2 on pre-order now.

6 thoughts on “Some Depictive Photography thoughts

  1. It is of great use for beginners like me to find photographers as teaching space dedicated to photography. The handling of the fill light with the Sigma DP1 seems exceptional. This is a camera that I know. Its design is attractive to me.

  2. Forgive me Wouter, but I’m confused as to why the DP1 had difficulty focusing. At ISO 800 I would have thought the increased sensitivity would have been sufficient for the focusing mechanism, or was it simply that dark in the room?

    1. Unfortunately not Mark. It is not the best autofocus in a compact body and you can’t compare it to a dSLR. In low light my Ricoh simply performs better.

      And there are some low light limitations with this camera. The lens is only f4 so you can’t get faster shutterspeeds unless you underexpose your photograph. Set the camera to ISO 800 and underexpose at -1 EV and you get ISO 1600, at -2 EV you get ISO 3200. And that works really great in combination with B&W photography. Another restriction for some in low light will be the absence of image stabilization, though I don’t miss it.

  3. Now this article is really one of the best Ive read on this exellent topic. I agree with your views and am looking forward to your new posts. I’m grabbing your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.

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