On Sam Nute’s “Rare September Thunderstorm in the Valley”

Monday, October 01, 2018

Sam Nute is a photographer I discovered through Rebecca Lily’s Pro Set V pack of Lightroom presets. However, it’s his recent work on Instagram that has caught my attention over and over.

Sam’s recent work — like this shot at Yosemite National Park — has taken my breath away. But it’s this photo, also at Yosemite, that sent me down an all-new rabbit hole. (You can find an enlarged version of that photo right here on Sam’s personal site.)

I asked some friends what their thoughts were regarding Sam’s editing process and how he was able to gather the “look”. The answer that led to a rabbit hole were the words “split toning”.

I’d heard these words before but wasn’t quite sure of the editing process.

(I’m also not implying Sam used split toning. It was just the answer I was given as a potential method for creating such an incredible colour in the photograph.)

In short, split toning adds certain colours to the highlights and certain colours to the shadows in order to provide an overall veneer to your photograph. Experienced photographers will understand this far better than I could ever explain, but hopefully this provides an accurate foundation.

After digging into Lightroom, I specifically looked at this photo to see if I could grab any sort of “look”. Here’s the original:

And here’s that same photo, but with some split toning applied:

I read somewhere in my research that contrasting colours work best with one another when split toning (reds with greens, blues with oranges, etc.), so this photo has some orange highlights and some blue shadows. Everything is heavily skewed towards the highlights in order to give it a more golden look.

I tried hard to replicate the look of Sam’s first photo from Yosemite National Park. However, if there’s one lesson here, it’s simple: There is no substitute for great light before you edit. You can create a golden hour look by split toning and applying other edits, but it’ll always be easy to pick those who faked it and those who woke up early to shoot that brilliant early morning light.

This was a fun experiment and one I hope to continue to hone over time.

I love the long-run learning curve of photography.

Supported By

How Tiger Woods Finally Put It All Together Again

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Josh Planos writing for FiveThirtyEight:

By strokes gained, a metric that measures each shot a player takes based on how much it reduces his expected score on a given hole relative to the field average, Woods gained 4.07 total strokes on the field and 2.97 strokes with the putter on Saturday alone. For his career, he had taken a 54-hole lead of at least three strokes 23 times. He had never squandered it. That streak continued.

I really wish I could have watched on Sunday. Nothing better for the game of golf than Tiger winning in Tiger Red.

Matt Birchler’s Thoughts on the Apple Watch Series 4 Sizing

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Matt’s Apple Watch Series 4 impressions have me extra annoyed that mine didn’t arrive on Friday.

His thoughts on the new sizes:

I got all hyped up by a few watch people who had me convinced the difference between 42mm and 44mm watches was significant. Maybe for some people it is, but I personally don’t find the 44mm watch to feel any bigger on my wrist than the old 42mm ones. Yes, it looks a bit different, but I find the new shape to be far more noticeable than the extra 2mm in vertical height. I waffled back and forth about whether to get the 40 or 44mm models this year, and I’m supremely happy to have gone with the bigger one again.

Be sure to head through to see Matt’s comparison photos. I’ve talked to some people who are on the fence about which size to get, but it appears the decision comes down to almost the same considerations as the prior three Apple Watch generations.

A Review of the Peak Design Everyday Messenger

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I’ve had the Peak Design Everyday Messenger for a little while now, and it’s my favourite camera bag ever. It has about a thousand little tricks up its sleeve, the best dividers in the business, and actually looks surprisingly great as well (usually camera bags are ugly).

I’ve wanted to review this bag for quite some time, but the launch latest mobile photography course on The Sweet Setup was a good excuse to hash it out. Needless to say, the bag is a recommendation within the course, and this bag is responsible for my camera bag wishlist encompassing the Everyday Backpack and Sling.

Head over to The Sweet Setup for the full review. It’s actually a little long — sorry about that! (You’re welcome?)

Sony Announces New 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I just spent an extended weekend in the Canadian Rockies and had the pleasure of shooting Fuji’s venerable 16mm f/1.4 lens. Today’s Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM lens is effectively the same lens (less the full-frame aperture differences) as the Fuji.

It took five days for the 16mm Fuji lens to become my favourite lens ever. I’d say it took only two days, really.

This Sony lens looks amazing, particularly for wide-angle portraiture. Too bad for some of the flaring characteristics, mind you.

If I was still shooting Sony, this lens would skyrocket to the top of my wishlist.

September in the Canadian Rockies

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Last weekend, Jaclyn, Emryn, and I spent five days in Banff, Alberta. Despite having traveled to every province in Canada except for Newfoundland, it was a shame it took me so long to visit the Rockies.

I’ll have a full-on photo story come down the pipe sometime in the near future, but I found this link particularly humorous. We departed the hotel at 5:00AM one morning (with a 9.5-month old baby!) and made the hour-plus trek to Moraine Lake to see the sunrise on Canada’s most famous mountain lake. Here’s a panorama of our view that morning:

Of course, our efforts were for naught — the sunrise was hardly visible and we were left with a cloudy sky and seriously blue water.

But just this past week, those same mountains were covered in snow.

I’m not sure which scene is more beautiful. I kind of wish we had been there for the glacial switchover.