PhotoLab 5, sharpness and focus

Yes. I downloaded it at no cost and it works fine.

To my mind, you cropped it too tight on the top. I felt it needed room to breathe around the apex.

I notice the people but didn’t find them as distracting as the LED floodlight, which I dutifully “dismantled”

I used the Colour Wheel to slightly desaturate the red canopy.

Far better, it actually screams out for a very stunning B&W, or at least that’s Helen’s opinion :grin:

_MJM2936 | 2022-02-12.nef.dop (28,6 Ko)

I see what you mean about “breathing room”, and I almost always prefer your version more than mine, but this time I’m not so sure. I made all the corners touch the edge of the image, creating all these angles and triangles. Maybe I’ll combine both ideas, and do what I already did, but with some “room” around all four of the “points”?

I like the top and sides of your image, but not the bottom. It lost something that I think is important.

B&W is something I never even considered, but it does show the structure without the complication of color.

Breathing room added:

If I’m wearing my “photojournalist hat” I’m not supposed to remove things like that light.
If I’m wearing my “artistic hat”, I agree with you.

One thing at a time.

Did Helen just select “Black&White” or did she pick out a specific film type?

Hmmmm. To me, the stripes in the foreground serve to distract from the structure, which is properly the only subject.

Now, this I don’t understand. What I find, by leaving the stripes in, is that you end up with the corner “cut off” by the kerb behind them whereas, by placing the corner like I did, it retains the focus on the structure. My crop also makes the image square, which plays nicely with the triangular structure (IMNSHO :sunglasses:)

But this is not a photojournalistic shot, it is a straight architectural shot. You are no longer a photojournalist and you have the liberty to move into more artistic of graphical things. Time to enjoy your photography and produce more “individual” work that stands out from the “same old, same old” journalistic stuff that might be true to principles but is “neither nowt nor sommat” (Yorkshire for nothing or something).

If you want to do reportage, stick to your Leica and photograph people in a context. But this kind of shot deserves the D750 and a bit of flair and imagination.

And get rid of that spotlight - I doubt if it was there when the structure was built and is more than likely the result of some idiot thinking that illuminating the trees was more important then the integrity of the design.

We never use the default desaturation to B&W. Helen prefers Ilford Delta 100 and my favourite is Fuji Neopan Acros 100. But having the choice of films in FilmPack is wonderful because it means that we can choose which film suits the subject better without having to go and buy and shoot a whole roll of 9 shots on 120 film.

From Nikon Nikon | Download center | Camera Control Pro 2

This software is for current owners of Camera Control Pro 2. For new users, it functions as a trial version that, once installed, can be used for up to 30 days before purchase is required.


Ignore the text and download and install it. I did so a while ago now and nothing has stopped working yet.

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I do have a “Plan B” but it’s not so easy to do now, as it was 20 years ago - put my right-angle finder on my camera, and shoot from ground level. The stripes will be gone, and I may have an even better viewpoint. Unfortunately, I’m not the same as I was 20 years ago, and if I get down on the ground to do this, I’m going to struggle to stand up again, which means I need to have a friend come with me.

I understand - I can put on either hat at will. I just bought a new hat yesterday, that makes me look like a 1930’s steelworker or a 1930’s newsboy, so I’ve got lots of hats. Anyway, I have a lifetime of thinking of my photography as “photojournalism”, and only recently, thanks to you, a few others here, and PL5, have started thinking of it as “art”. To my way of thinking my photos are one of two things - photographs, or photo illustrations. For photographs, I follow my training. For photo illustrations, anything goes.

In our new “world of the mobile phone”, that distinction is quickly vanishing, as just about all photos nowadays are what I would call “photo illustrations”. Mobile phones almost always fiddle with the images, to make them “more”.

For me, and all my mixed up ideas, training, and experience, adding those two words under a photograph leaves me free to do anything I want, with no limitations. I’m even free to use “Luminar 4” and replace the entire sky.

Anyway, back to this photo. For all I know, I may be the only person here who feels this way, or perhaps the only person here to brings this up for discussion. Maybe there should be a separate thread in this form for “Photograph vs Photo Illustration”. Or, based on what you’ve written, maybe it no longer matters…

Anyway, for better or worse, these are the current rules, from the NPAA: NPPA

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one’s own biases in the work.
  4. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
  5. While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
  6. Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  7. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  8. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  9. Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.
  10. Do not engage in harassing behavior of colleagues, subordinates or subjects and maintain the highest standards of behavior in all professional interactions.

The one that applies here, is #6, the “integrity of the photograph”. …which doesn’t apply at all, if you call it a “photographic illustration” instead of a “photograph”.

But these “rules” only apply to “visual journalists”, not people who are not making images for use in journalism.

Question 1 - are you still an active journalist?
Question 2 - Have any of the images you have been making and sharing here been destined for journalistic publication, either freelance or professional?

In summary, if you are not taking photos as a journalist, you can do what the heck you like. From what I can determine, the NPAA is an organisation for working journalists with a code of ethics that apply when they are executing their job of photo-journalism. When you go out to make images, unless you are being paid to provide photos for a journal (printed or TV), you are in no way bound to a code of ethics that was designed to protect people from press exploitation and deceit.

If you don’t have to show a press pass to take your pictures, the world is your oyster - take what you want and edit it how you want :grin:

YES, this B&W rendition is definitely better
– also without the spotlight and those distracting (warning?)stripes !

If it can help @mikemyers


Thanks for posting - the early part was the most interesting. At some point I couldn’t keep my eyes open. They are right about one thing - proper planning helps get better results.

He is totally wrong about the ⅓ ⅔ hyperfocal distance split.

e.g. for a 28mm lens at f/10, the hyperfocal distance is 5.2m and the nearest acceptable sharp subject will be 2.6m. So, everything between 5.2m and infinity will be acceptable sharp. If the ⅓ ⅔ rule applied, you would only get from 2.6m to 9.1m acceptably sharp.

His numbers were wrong, and his illustrations were wrong, but as I watched and listened, I thought back to how you explain things, and even my very simple explanation.

To make up silly numbers, let’s say that at some lens opening I focus on 20 feet, and anything from 10 feet to infinity is acceptably sharp. There is no ratio, as there is no way to put “infinity” into a ratio. Better to just think "focus on 20 feet and anything beyond 10 feet will be acceptably sharp.

For my whole life, I’ve used the numbers printed on my lenses, but I know that’s only for a certain size image viewed at a certain distance - and I smile when I remember your story of this giant billboard not that far from the viewer’s face, and all he saw was pixelated “stuff”.

Not always, but most of the time I think I should focus on the most important thing in my photo, and accept that things too near or too far won’t be as sharp. Or, perhaps with a wide angle lens and I set it to f/10, and expect everything will look sharp. Now I’ve got to be much more careful with my 300mm lens.

When I watched the video, I couldn’t help it - I was thinking of your comments, and not what was being said in the video.

And I know for a fact that I do NOT understand enough to do this properly, mathematically.

He says that infinity “starts” at a distance of 1000x focal length. When you want the dof to start at minimal 10m, then you’ve to focus on (28-10)/3+10=6m.
The dof with f/10 will be 2.23 till infinity.


In fact the “rule” is, at hyperfocal distance for a given focal length, everything from half that distance to infinity will be acceptably sharp.

For example, the 300mm lens, focusing at the hyperfocal distance of 298m, the nearest object you will get acceptably sharp would be at 149m, which would explain why the foreground of any shots you took across the bay would be slightly soft.

I’m sorry George, I don’t know where you got this formula from but, according to the rules of mathematical precedence, it should be calculated as…

  • 28 - 10 = 18
  • 18 / 3 = 6
  • 6 + 10 = 16

… not 6.

With a 28mm focal length at f/10, using a 30µm blur spot diameter, TrueDoF-Pro gives a hyperfocal distance of 2.93m and a nearest acceptably sharp distance of 1.46m.

And using a 20µm blur spot diameter, TrueDoF-Pro gives a hyperfocal distance of 5.28m and a nearest acceptably sharp distance of 2.64m.

Unfortunately, the great masses of people reading this will never understand, or care, but this, to me, is the only real answer, since depth of field is just an “illusion”. Given those qualifications, DoF becomes a more useful number… as in once you know what you need, you can only then calculate how to obtain it.

Having said that, while I know the theory, when taking a photo I don’t know enough to apply it, nor do I have a set of tools to easily do so. What I need to know, is where to focus my lens, and what aperture to shoot at, along with deciding how much depth of field I want, a lot, or a little. I used to use the DoF numbers printed on the barrel of the lens for each aperture. If nothing else, I thought that was a reasonable starting point.

Off course it’s 16. A typo.

And the dof according my example, 28mm f/10 16m, will be from 2.64m till infinity. For a FF camera.
Whatever it will be, it’s not the range of 2.6 till 9.1m you mentioned before.
I used to focus always on 1/3 of the distance when I had a long depth. Unless there was something I would pay specific attention to.



Just to mention that the people behind the show are professional photographers. Maybe not same calculations apply in Scotland ?

I also use this 1/3 rule (see my post at the beginning of the thread) that i read in a book.

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