Thursday, April 15, 2021

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery workshop 4/18

Join us for a photography workshop at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery 4/18

For more information here:

You can sign up on the site above, or email us at photographyByLisaAndTom [at] and we can send you a Venmo or Paypal link.

We have after-hours access to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery! All skills levels and all kinds of cameras welcome. Beginners to Advanced, all welcome! dSLR, Mirrorless, cell phone, film, medium format, etc.

Check out a few photos from previous nights there

Things to Bring:

-- Camera and wide angle lens (24-105 type; faster is better if you have more than one lens to choose from)

--all camera makes and models are welcome!

-- extra batteries

-- Sturdy tripod

-- Cable release (you will be shooting for more than 30 seconds so you need a cable release)

-- Water, Snack (there is a bathroom on the premises)

-- Sturdy shoes (hiking boots provide good ankle support)

-- Appropriate outdoor clothing, fingerless gloves, hot hands, layers for cold weather

-- RED Flashlight (Walmart sells them or use red cellophane or red overheads from staples and tape). You MUST bring some sort of red flashlight. You may not use a white flashlight as it interferes with your night vision, and it interferes with exposures.

Please note that all of our workshops require that participants sign a liability waiver. Download it; print, read & sign it and bring it with you -- Thank you!

Please note that this and all classes/workshops have no refunds. By signing up you agree to our terms and conditions, see

We will be following and adhering to state and CDC mandates going forward until we are clear of the threat of spreading the virus. Please note that the pandemic is ever changing so our mandates may change based on state and local government, CDC recommendations, legal advisement, etc.

Here is what you need to know and comply with:
• Anyone who is sick with COVID-like symptoms must not attend.
o If you signed up for a workshop and have a positive COVID test please contact us ASAP. If possible we will transfer some or all (depends on the direct cost if we paid for a location) of your workshop to a future workshop.
• Anyone who has a fever over 100 degrees must not attend the event. Please check your temperature BEFORE you leave home.
• Anyone who has knowingly come in contact with a COVID positive person within the past two weeks must not attend the event.
• Face Masks (not gaiters and not vented masks) must be worn when inside or when in close (6 feet) proximity of another person.
• When you are outside and more than six feet away from others, you may remove the mask.
• FYI, We wear a lanyard attached to our mask when outside to make it easier to put the facemask on and off.
• People who arrive with symptoms or not wearing a mask properly will be asked to leave, no refunds.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Abobe ACR Super Resolution is amazing!

Have you tried the Abobe ACR Super Resolution yet? It is awesome! It increases the pixel count 400%

Enhance allows you to increase image quality for making large prints or increasing the resolution of a cropped image.

Bottom line: Work well and it is Better, Faster, and Easier (workflow wise) than Topaz Gigapixel. 

Why/When use Abobe ACR Super Resolution? 
-- for older cameras with less megapixels 
-- to crop an image to get bigger birds/subjects  

I compared Abobe ACR Super Resolution to Topaz Gigapixel, which I have used in the past and it works, but it is clunky and slow. Workflow wise Topaz Gigapixel does not interpret RAW files well, so I have to open the file in ACR and save it as a TIFF and then open it in Topaz Gigapixel, takes a while to process. Six comparisons are herein. 

The new Abobe ACR Super Resolution is easy -- built right into ACR (right click and click enhance and check Super resolution) and it creates a dng file.  

Note: Starting with Adobe Camera Raw 13.2 (March 2021 release), Enhance Details is renamed to Raw Details.

Enhance provides a set of features such as Raw Details and Super Resolution to help improve image quality using Camera Raw. 

Raw Details, previously called Enhance Details produces crisp detail and more accurate renditions of edges, improves color rendering, and also reduces artifacts. The resolution of the enhanced image stays the same as the original image. This feature is especially useful for large displays and prints, where fine details are visible. The supported file types are raw files. 

Super Resolution, introduced in Camera Raw 13.2, helps create an enhanced image with similar results as Raw Details but with 2x the linear resolution. This means that the enhanced image will have 2x the width and 2x the height of the original image, or 4x the total pixel count. This feature supports the same file types as Raw Details, plus additional file types such as JPEG and TIFF. Super Resolution is especially useful to increase the resolution of a cropped image.

When you click super res you will see it processing and end up with a Digital Negative (DNG) RAW file. FYI, any edits/adjustments that you made to the source photo will automatically be applied to the enhanced DNG and you can edit the enhanced DNG just like any other photo.

How to use and find Super Resolution. 

FYI, Right now it is only in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) and not accessible via the filter camera RAW. It is coming to Lightroom soon. You can use Super Resolution on a JPG file, you just need to make sure that your ACR is set to open JPGs (see Figure5 below)

Figure 1. Open your RAW or JPG file in ACR (when you open a RAW file in Photoshop it automatically opens in ACR, but for a JPG file to open in ACR you must change a file handling setting, sett Figure 5). Right click (PC, or Control click MAC) and then select Enhance (PC shortcut Ctrl Sh D).

Figure 2. From the filmstrip select one or multiple images and click on the three dots and then enhance shortcut Ctrl Shift D on a PC. The pixels will increase 2X width and height for 4X image size. This means that if you significantly crop a small subject (birds always seem smaller on the computer than when you were photographing them, lol) and still have a lot of pixels left. 

Figure 3. RAW files from most cameras and JPG files can be enhanced using Super Resolution (circled here in red). Note that RAW details (greyed out here for this JPG file) can only use used on RAW files.

Figure 4. If you are only opening one file at a time and do not have the filmstrip enabled click on the icon in the bottom (circled here in red) to enable the filmstrip. 

Figure 5. If you want to use Super Res on a JPG file make sure that your ACr is set to open JPGs. Open ACR, click on the gear upper left (circled here in red), and then click on file handling (circled here in red) and drop down to open JPGs in ACR (circled here in red)

I cropped a lot of the pixels to crop in on this 5184 x 3888 Smew photo to 3533 x 2826.  
5184 x 3888 Smew photo to 3533 x 2826 cropped.  
After I used Enhance Super Res and cropped I had 7275 x 5820 pixels!

Cropped the 5184 x 3888 photo to 3533 x 2826 (top)
enlarged in PS 7275 x 5820(middle)
Enhance Super Resolution 7275 x 5820(bottom)

At 100% 
Top Left: cropped 5184 x 3888 to 3533 x 2826
Lower Left: GigalPixel 7275 x 5820
Upper Right Transformed in PS to 7275 x 5820
Lower Right Enhance SuperResolution 7275 x 5820

At 50% 
Top Left: cropped 5184 x 3888 to 3533 x 2826
Lower Left: GigalPixel 7275 x 5820 (notice the chromatic aberration)
Upper Right: Transformed in PS to 7275 x 5820
Lower Right: Enhance SuperResolution 7275 x 5820

cropped 5184 x 3888 to 3533 x 2826

Transformed in PS to 7275 x 5820

Enhance SuperResolution 7275 x 5820
You can especially notice the pattern of the feathers on the top of his head. 

In this example, the Topaz Gigapixel is not as sharp and has more chromatic aberration.

Gigapixel did OK from a TIFF but did not interpret the RAW file well. 
Enhance yielded the best results

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Creating a Vertorama

When photographing vertical buildings keystoning often occurs, that is the top of the building comes out looking smaller than the middle and bottom. Some people deal with this issue by using select lenses called tilt-shift lenses. Another, easier, less-expensive way is to create a Vertorama (some horizontal images stitched together.

In ACR (Adobe Camera RAW which is the same as Lightroom develop module) select the images used to make the panorama or vertorama in this case and merge them to panorama. The resulting merge image is a dng file (digital negative), therefore you can edit the file in ACR (or LR Develp module) using all of the RAW tools. 

OM-D E-M1X Firmware Version 2.0 with Bird Detection


Wahoo, bird AF is here (well, soon, on December 2nd)

Introducing Bird Detection for Intelligent Subject Detection Autofocus

Center Valley, PA, November 17, 2020 – Olympus is pleased to announce the latest firmware upgrade for the Olympus OM-D E-M1X mirrorless camera, Version 2.0. Scheduled for release on December 2, 2020, this new version of firmware adds Bird Detection to Intelligent Subject Detection Autofocus, an AI-based deep learning technology. With this new function, the camera automatically prioritizes detection of a bird's eye, for focusing and tracking, so the photographer can concentrate on composing images and capturing the moment. The new firmware also includes various functional improvements, such as RAW video data output to support professional video production. Additional firmware upgrades are available for the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, E-M1 Mark II and E-M5 Mark III. All available updates can be accessed at:

OM-D E-M1X Firmware Version 2.0 with Bird Detection

Bird detection has been added to Intelligent Subject Detection Autofocus, and can recognize a variety of birds of all sizes. When using this version of firmware, the camera focuses primarily on the bird's eye and switches to detect and track the bird’s head or body if its eye is not detected. This feature performs well even in birds' natural habitats, where trees, plants, and other obstructions tend to come between photographer and subject, allowing the photographer to concentrate on framing. This functionality can be used in conjunction with Pro Capture, which is also a popular feature for photographing birds. Pro Capture mode virtually eliminates shutter lag and reaction time by recording sequential frames before the shutter release is pressed fully, and ensures the camera never misses decisive moments, as when a bird takes flight or captures its prey. Birds are detected across the entire AF coverage area when shooting with all M.Zuiko® Digital lenses, inclusive of super-telephoto zoom lenses. The functionality works even at the periphery of the screen, offering a greater level of freedom for framing.

RAW Video Data Output to the Atomos Ninja V HDR Monitor Recorder

4K 30P/25P/24P and Cinema 4K 24P video recorded on the OM-D E-M1X can be output as 12-bit RAW data and recorded in ProRes RAW format on the Atomos Ninja V HDR monitor recorder, enabling advanced professional video production post-processing tasks, such as adjusting exposure and color grading of recorded footage. The latest firmware for the Atomos Ninja V HDR Monitor Recorder will be required to enable this support. The firmware can be accessed here: .

Focus Stacking Support for the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Lens

With this firmware, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO supports in-camera Focus Stacking, bringing the total to 11  compatible lenses.

Improved Video Image Stabilization Performance

The video image stabilization algorithm has been updated for natural recording with minimal shake, even when panning.

Supports Focus Indicator Display

This feature makes it possible to quickly check the focusing direction and approximate focus position during manual focusing.

OM-D E-M1X, OM-D E-M1 Mark III, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and OM-D E-M5 Mark III Firmware Upgrades

Firmware Version 1.2 for the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Version 3.4 for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and Version 1.3 for the OM-D E-M5 Mark III will be released simultaneously with firmware Version 2.0 for the OM-D E-M1X on December 2, 2020. Visit the following website for further details:

Firmware Table


E-M1X Firmware Ver.2.0

E-M1 Mark III Firmware Ver.1.2

E-M1 Mark II Firmware Ver.3.4

E-M5 Mark III Firmware Ver.1.3

1.  Bird detection





2. RAW video data output





3. Lens that supports Focus Stacking added





4. Improved video image stabilization





5. Supports focus indicator display





Pricing, Configurations, Availability & Specifications

Olympus Firmware Upgrade Version 2.0, along with the other firmware upgrade versions mentioned here within are available free of charge on the Olympus website beginning on December 2, 2020. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Olympus Releases Lightweight Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens


Introducing the M.Zuiko® Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Lens. Equipped with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, this lens covers a powerful focal length of 300-1000mm equivalent, and is only 4.1 lbs and 12.4 inches in length. Leave the tripod at home. 

  • 4.1 pounds! In comparison, the Canon 800 mm is 9.9 pounds, more than twice the weight of this lens. 
  • And the minimum focusing distance of the 800 is about 20 feet, very 4 feet for this lens!
  • This lens features a close focusing distance of 1.3 m (~4 feet) across the entire zoom range and close-up shooting performance with a maximum image magnification of 0.57x1, which increases to 0.71x1 when using the built-in teleconverter, for those who enjoy tele-macro shooting.

The $7,499 pricetag is not cheap (Tom and I started a "holiday saving account for it as soon as it was announced) but the cost of this lens is much less than other companies...

  • Canon 200-400mm $10,999 
  • Sony 600mm $12,999
  • Canon 600mm $12,999
  • Nikon 800mm $16,299 
  • Sigma 200-500 $25,999

  • Center Valley, PA, November 17, 2020 – Olympus is pleased to introduce the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO, a high-resolution, super-telephoto zoom lens, delivering unrivaled portability, imaging power, and all-weather performance. Equipped with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, this lens covers a powerful focal length of 300-1000mm equivalent1, and is only 4.1lbs and 12.4 inches in length. Leave the tripod at home. The high-performance 5-Axis Sync IS delivers the world’s most effective 8 shutter speed steps of compensation, enabling up to 1000mm equivalent1 handheld super-telephoto shooting. When paired with the optional M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20, this Micro Four Thirds® System ultra-zoom lens is capable of up to 2000mm equivalent1 super-telephoto shooting. For detailed product specifications, visit:

    Ultimate Super-Telephoto Optical Performance

    Lens construction consists of 28 elements in 18 groups, including a newly developed large-diameter EDA lens  and four Super ED lenses , reducing flares and color bleeding across the entire zoom range, and delivering superb edge-to-edge resolution and clarity. Olympus’ renowned Z Coating Nano technology is employed to suppress reflective light and provide sharp, clear image quality, even in difficult shooting environments, such as backlit scenes. The lens body features a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, maintaining high optical performance while enabling up to 1000mm equivalent1 handheld super-telephoto shooting, simply by flipping down the teleconverter. 

    Additionally, the lens is compatible with optional M.Zuiko Digital MC-14 1.4x and MC-20 2x teleconverters. When paired with the MC-20, this lens is capable of up to 2000mm equivalent1 super telephoto shooting. 

    This lens features a close focusing distance of 1.3 m (~4 feet) across the entire zoom range and close-up shooting performance with a maximum image magnification of 0.57x1, which increases to 0.71x1 when using the built-in teleconverter, for those who enjoy tele macro shooting.

    Unrivaled Portability and Weather Sealed Design 

    The lens barrel is designed using magnesium alloy and the lens hood with a lightweight carbon fiber to ensure that the center of gravity of the lens does not shift, due to imbalance, when the lens hood is used. Use of optimal materials in each area of the lens maintains strength and precision while delivering a compact, lightweight design with a length of 12.4 inches and weight of only 4.1 lbs. , for unprecedented mobility. Pairing this lens with the superb dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof performance of the Olympus OM-D® E-M1X enables the user to continue shooting in punishing environments such as rain and snow with peace of mind. Compared with the black coating on conventional lenses, the heat-resistant coating of this PRO lens efficiently reflects the infrared rays of sunlight, keeping temperatures inside the lens from rising, even in blazing hot weather, for stable optical performance. The front element of the lens features a fluorine coating to provide a smooth and scratch resistant surface and allows easier cleaning for better maintenance.

    Powerful Image Stabilization and Fast, High-Precision Autofocus 

    The M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens supports 5-Axis Sync IS, and at 300mm equivalent1 delivers the world's most effective 8 shutter speed steps2 of image stabilization, and at 1000mm equivalent1 delivers up to 6 shutter speed steps of image stabilization, when using the built-in teleconverter. This powerful image stabilization is also available in the super-telephoto range, up to 2000mm equivalent1, when paired with the optional MC-20 Teleconverter. High image quality hand-held shooting is possible, making it perfect for wildlife, birding, nature photography, and more. Olympus proprietary high-precision lens thinning technology makes the focusing lenses lightweight, delivering fast and precise focusing across the entire zoom range.

    Other Features

    • Inner zoom system maintains the original length of the lens, even when increasing zoom magnification
    • Constructed with rubberized zoom/focusing ring, for comfortable operation
    • Preset focus function allows the user to set and recall favorite focal positions
    • Tripod base plate in a shape and size that is easy to carry
    • Strap eyelets are installed to improve transportability and reduced load on the lens mount
    • Rubber lens end cover, designed to prevent scratches on the front of the lens
    • Compatible with Focus Stacking , allowing the user to create composite images with crisp focus from front to back


    Focal Length

    35mm Equivalent

    Max Aperture


    Max Image


    35mm Equivalent

    M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO






    With Built-in 1.25x Teleconverter






    With Built-in 1.25x Teleconverter and optional MC-14 1.4x Teleconverter






    With Built-in 1.25x Teleconverter and optional MC-20 2x Teleconverter







    Zuiko PRF-ZD95 PRO Protection Filter (sold separately)
    This protection filter features ZERO Coating to suppress flares and ghosts from reflections and easy-to-clean, fluorine-coated, black-edged glass. The filter features a satin, glare-reducing black aluminum frame. MSRP: $324.99 (US)/$429.99 (CAD)

    LH-115 Lens Hood (included)
    This lightweight carbon fiber lens hood boasts excellent durability. A flocked finish on the inside of the hood prevents internal reflection.

    CSS-P121 Lens Strap (included)
    This lens strap is for exclusive use with a super-telephoto lens. It is made of mesh material to prevent discomfort, has excellent cushioning, and an anti-slip texture.

    LC-115 Lens Cap (included)
    This cloth cover-style lens cap is easy to attach and remove for quick shooting.

    LSC-1642 Lens Case (included)
    This purse-string lens case features three-layer construction that protects the lens and can be used to store the lens with lens hood, lens cap, protection filter, and teleconverter attached for safe storage and travel.

    Pricing, Configurations, Availability & Specifications
    The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens comes packaged with the LH-115 lens hood, CSS-P121 lens strap, LC-115 lens cap and LSC-1642 lens case. It is available for pre-order now for $7,499.99 USD and $9,999.99 CAD at participating local authorized retailers, or at, and will begin shipping in late January, 2021.