Upgraded to Snow Leopard 10.6.3… time to recalibrate

This morning, a slew of automatic software updates were waiting for me on my Mac Pro desktop.  These updates included new versions of iTunes (iPad compatible), iPhoto, and an incremental update to the Snow Leopard OS, version 10.6.3.

For whatever strange reason, it seems that whenever I get MacOS updates, my monitor calibration settings get hosed.  My saved profiles no longer seem accurate, as evidenced by the weird green cast I noticed on my displays.

I use the DataColor Spyder Elite to calibrate my display.  I did a quick check of the DataColor website and found that the driver software had been updated, so I downloaded it and a few minutes later I ran my calibration routine on both my Apple displays.  Now everything is back to normal.

Now, I realize that not everyone is running Snow Leopard, or even using a Mac, but the moral of the story is to periodically re-calibrate your display, even if you don’t see an obvious problem.  If you aren’t using a hardware display calibration tool, I strongly recommend you get one.  Subtle variation in color and brightness can be impossibly difficult to detect by eye, as our brains are really good at tricking us into thinking things appear “normal” when in fact, they are not.  So consider this your reminder, no matter what OS you run.  Time to recalibrate!

Using Color Control Points to Emphasize Subjects

Little Blue Heron, Shark Valley, FL. Nikon D300 and 600mm f/4 AFS VR Nikkor lens

Some people assume that the Control Point technology found in Capture NX2 and Nik Viveza is something you use to make radical image adjustments, like changing the color of a sky.  Not so.  In fact, some of the most powerful adjustments I make with Control Points are subtle ones, intended to accentuate a subject against its background.  The image above is an example of where I used Color Control Points (in this case, in Capture NX2) to enhance the subject.

Continue reading Using Color Control Points to Emphasize Subjects

Photo of the Day: Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen, Shark Valley, FL. (Click for a larger image)

I went back to Shark Valley this morning to see if there was anything different compared to Saturday.  Indeed, there was.  This is a common moorhen; not quite as spectacular as the purple gallinule, but impressive nonetheless. It’s been a great trip and I’m heading back to Colorado in the morning.  Six more weeks of winter await.

-Jason

Shooting Details

Nikon D300
200-400mm f/4.0 AFS VR G zoom Nikkor lens
Gitzo 3340 LS tripod with Wimberley Head Mk II

Photo of the day: Daily Catch

Female anhinga with gar (Click for a larger image)

Just got back from another morning shoot at Anhinga Trail.  Well, it was a slow morning, but I met up with some fellow Facebook pals and we talked about bird photography.  I normally would have packed up and headed home hours before, but heck, I toted the D3s and 600/4 VR around just in case.  And then I made this image, replete with all the important components: focus, composition, and fish blood.  Sweet.  Thanks to the anhinga for deciding to have her snack right in front of me. Yeah, I’m happy with this capture!

-Jason

Shooting Details:

Nikon D3s
Nikon 600mm f/4.0 AFS VR G lens
Gitzo 3340 LS with Wimberley head