Fuji X100s Sharpness

piper-closeup

piper

The first image is a crop from the full frame. Click the images to see much larger and more detailed versions.

Fuji X100s Sharpness

I have had this camera for more than a year now and I had good results last year shooting comedians for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

But I have also had mixed results, and a few weeks ago I met someone who also shoots a Fuji X100s.

He asked me what I thought of the image sharpness and I said that there was a strange kind of behaviour in some images that I could only describe as almost double imaging that gave shots a plastic look.

He said he found the same, and we shook our heads at how we had managed to buy highly-recommended cameras that sometimes gave so-so results.

Then about a week ago I noticed a strange thing happening when I opened images in Photoshop Camera Raw. The image would look blurry, as though it had not rendered properly. And then it would just ‘develop’ and turn into lovely, sharp, detailed, rich, rounded, luxurious images.

Did Adobe update Camera Raw to deal with the x-trans sensor in Fuji cameras?

The Piper

I spoke to the piper and in the course of our conversation he explained that the reed is a single reed just like in a clarinet. I mentioned that I had read Larry Adler saying that he would blow out the reed on his harmonicas after just one full evening’s performance and had to throw them away.

The piper (I forget his name – apologies to him) said he had had this reed for two years.

Having never seen a piper in Edinburgh wearing a red jacket, he explained that it was a military jacket and had cost him £500.00 and that he used to collect funds for a hospice and the jacket brought in the crowds – that and his playing. He had terrific staying power when he played, with notes and sequences that just went on and on. He said he had been piping for 45 years and was thankful his lungs had held out.

He said he used a soft reed which made it easier to play and that professional contestants and pipers in military bands used a hard reed to get more volume.

Then he pointed to where the reed sits, and I was so surprised. I expected it to be up near his mouth, but it is buried at the far end of the pipe where it meets the bag. Who knew?

Pushing Photoshop Sliders

roan-antelope

I used the Nik Vivenza plugin and then Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise with the noise slider pushed all the way across to the max and the details slider at its minimum. After several passes, the images starts to take on a life of its own.

Click the image for a much larger version.

And here’s a closeup showing what I mean about the effect of using the noise reduction tool several times.

roan-antelope-closeup

Trim Your Prose With These Tools

The Hemingway app nudges and pats your writing into shape with on-screen prompts. I bought the desktop version for the princely sum of $5.00 a while ago. Now it is out with version Two. It’s a free upgrade, which I appreciate.

If you don’t want the desktop version and are happy to use the web version, it’s free.

Have you heard ‘adverbs are nature’s way of telling you you used the wrong verb’?

I recoiled from that when I first heard it. What’s wrong with adverbs? But now I am getting used to looking for stronger verbs.

The Hemingway app homes in on adverbs. So if you are into using them, be prepared to find the ‘offending’ words in your prose highlighted in blue.

Now you have pruned your prose, run it through The Writer’s Diet. I came across this site on the BookBaby blog. It will tell you whether you writing is as tight as you and Hemingway think it is. It has a scale from ‘lean’, through ‘fit & trim’, to ‘needs toning’, to ‘flabby’, and all the way to ‘heart attack’.

The Writer’s Diet also hates when you use too many verbs in a piece of text and it hates an overuse of the words this, that, and there.

As I said, I’ve been using Hemingway for a while, and it has changed my writing style. I use it for pages like ‘Privacy Policy’ and ‘Terms and Conditions’.

They are the kind of pages where the prose can get a bit bogged down and sound too corporate or officious or unfriendly.

And using Hemingway has nudged me gently towards snappier prose. I was worried it would destroy my style or the flow, but it hasn’t.

Then when I have buffed my prose to perfection, I put it into The Writer’s Diet. I remember the first time I ran a piece of my text through its algorithm to see whether it agrees with Hemingway as to how trim my prose is

It wiped the smile off my face and pointed out where all the flab is – too many verbs and too many indefinite pronouns for its taste.

Let me know how you get on with these tools.