I have recently acquired a little gadget called PTLens. It is a wonderful piece of software for correcting issues on vignetting, perspective, and chromatic aberration. There are quite a few programs out there doing similar things but what makes this one appealing to me is its simplicity to use and very affordable price. I have no hesitation to recommend this add-on to anyone looking for a solution in this direction.
The program is very versatile. It can be used as a standalone application, or as a plug-in to editing programs like Photoshop or in my case, Aperture 3. Using it as a plug-in as in my case is an advantage because I can easily incorporate it as part of the editing process within Aperture.
Another feature that makes it efficient is its database on lens calibration. Because of that, the program can immediately recognize what adjustment to be made on aberration for instance by reference to the metadata of the picture under review. It is very much instant and saves a lot of fiddling.
As to the price, it is currently selling at usd 25 a piece and is very good value. You could even try it for free for the first 10 images.
The owner is Tom Niemann and the product is available from his website www.epaperpress.com/ptlens/ (not affiliate link).
The pictures shown above are actually from his site just to show the correction on chromatic aberration. (I hope he doesn’t mind.)
Our recent trip to the Great Ocean Road and South Australia has given us plenty to see in terms of our coastlines and the ranges (mountains). The whole course lasted for thirteen days and twelve nights, essentially covering the following four regions of Victoria and South Australia, namely:
The Great Ocean Road,
Flinders Ranges, and
The Eyre Peninsula
Here is the itinerary of the trip in case some of you might want to take the same route as ours. Those places in bold are where we spent the night. Also, Map 1 as shown above relates to our route in the first three days, and Map 2 the remaining duration.
Day 1 Sydney -- Melbourne Avalon Airport (pick up car) -- Geelong -- Queenscliff --Geelong
Day 2 Geelong – Torquay – Anglesea – Lorne – Erskine Falls – Apollo Bay – Cape Otway -- Princetown – The Twelve Apostles – Port Campbell – Warrnambool – Port Fairy
Day 3 Port Fairy – Portland – Cape Bridgewater – Mount Gambier – Kingston SE – Coorong – Jacks Bay – Meningie – ferry at Wellington -- Strathalbyn
Day 4 Strathalbyn – Victor Harbor -- Cape Jervis – ferry to Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) – Seal Bay (KI) -- Little Sahara (KI) – Vivonne Bay (KI) -- Kingscote (KI)
Day 5 Kingscote (KI) – Remarkable Rocks (KI) – Admirals Arch (KI) – Pennington Bay (KI) – Penneshaw (KI) – ferry to Cape Jervis – McLaren Vale
Day 6 McLaren Vale – Hadndorf – Williamstown – Barossa Valley – Clare Valley -- Hawker -- Rawnsley Park Station (Flinders Ranges)
Day 7 Rawnsley Park Station – Stokes Hill Lookout – Wilpena Pound – Bunyeroo Gorge – Brachina Gorge -- Great Walls of China -- Blinman – Parachilna -- Hawker – Rawnsley Park Station
Day 8 Rawnsley Park Station – Hucks Lookout -- Hawker – Quorn – Pichi Richi Camel Farm -- Port Augusta – Kimba
Day 9 Kimba – Wudinna – Polda Rock – Mt. Wudinna – Turtle Rock – Minnipa – Organ Pipes (Gawler Ranges) – Minnipa – Streaky Bay
Day 10 Streaky Bay – Cape Bauer – Whistling Rock – Murphys Haystacks -- Venus Bay – Woolshed Cave – Elliston – Coffin Bay – Port Lincoln
Day 11 Port Lincoln – Lucky Bay -- ferry to Wallaroo -- Adelaide
Day 12 Adelaide – Port Adelaide -- Glenelg -- Adelaide
Day 13 Adelaide – Adelaide Airport (return car) -- Sydney
Some interesting facts:
During the 13 days, we have gone over 4,587 km, 4 ferry crossings (with one of them free), and, 2 tyre punctures in one day ending up with a new tyre to get us out of trouble. LOL.
Selected images of the trip are now on display in two galleries: "The Great Ocean Road", and "South Australia and Flinders Ranges".
If there is something you like to know, feel free to drop a line here or in our Facebook Page. Live Life, Junius.
The Goodness of a Bean Bag for the Camera
When you are out and about doing pictures, have you ever blamed yourself (figuratively speaking) for not bringing a tripod with you for that extra stability you so badly need for the shot? This is particularly true in a low-light situation. Any vibration can make or break an otherwise show stopper.
However, it doesn’t mean to say that having a tripod on the road would be a total assurance either. As photography enthusiasts, we would most certainly come across situations where we barely have enough time to set the tripod up in place.
A good example is the picture I did and shown here. It was taken alongside the seashore of Queenscliff, Victoria during my trip to the Great Ocean Road and beyond. When we arrived there, it was already quite late in the evening. The sun was setting but was covered by a lot of clouds over the distant horizon. When we were about to leave the place, we suddenly spotted the lovely orange globe coming out in the distance, but descending very quickly. It barely took a couple of minutes from the time we spotted it to its total disappearance from the horizon. If not because of my bean bag, I wouldn’t have this picture to show.
I find the bean bag such a humble but supportive companion. It is so handy for virtually all circumstances. Travelling along the coast means that it is usually quite windy. Sometimes, even if there is a handrail, a fence or a tree trunk to lean onto, you can still feel a bit of vibration coming through on the support. However, once you put the bean bag in place, you can immediately feel the good firmness there. I could easily do 1/30 second with confidence.
The bean bag I have is home made, done by my wife. The size is roughly about A4 in the width, and about three-quarters A4 as in length. It is not too small and not too big, enough to provide a good cushion for my camera, the Nikon D3. We filled it with rice. The friction and the density provided by the rice is superb. So far, I still have not come across anything as “tight” and “good support”.
Whilst on the subject, if you are looking for a heavy-weight version of the bean bag, I would highly recommend a visit to this page to see a review of the “Apex Bean Bag” (not affiliate link). You never know, you might be hooked !
Live life, Junius.