Martin Bailey Photography Martin Bailey is a Tokyo based nature & wildlife photographer, educator, podcaster and international workshop leader. He’s a Craft & Vision author and Arcanum master, sharing a wealth of photography information. 2017-06-21T23:35:56Z WordPress Martin Bailey <![CDATA[All About ICC Profiles and Working Color Spaces (Podcast 577)]]> 2017-06-01T01:36:26Z 2017-06-12T08:00:44Z Following the release of my video on soft-proofing, I received a few questions that helped me to realize that I need to...

The post All About ICC Profiles and Working Color Spaces (Podcast 577) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Following the release of my video on soft-proofing, I received a few questions that helped me to realize that I need to spend a little time going over the reasons that we even need to use ICC profiles, and what they actually do.

You may recall from the video I released a few weeks ago, that I talked about using ProPhoto RGB whenever possible, and some people asked if they should use this for their computer display. If you recall from the video, I showed you the ICC profiles for my two computer screens, and these were very different from my camera Profile, and my various print media profiles.

Device Capabilities and Restrictions

ProPhoto RGB is a much wider profile, larger than all of the other devices and media profiles that we might use, and this is why I recommend using it when editing our images, but you don’t need to use this for your display, or when actually printing, as these modes of outputting our images have their own limitations, and it’s these very limitations that make ICC profiles necessary in the first place.

So, the first thing to remember is that the ability to reproduce color varies depending on the device or media on which we display or output our images. ICC profiles are used to translate the colors in our image to the ones reproducible by any given device or output media. Another way to think of this is the difference between human languages. If one person only speaks English, and another only understands Japanese, they have no way to communicate. For example, I understand the color red, and the word “red” to describe that color. Now, of course, you’d be hard pushed to find a Japanese person that doesn’t understand the word “red” but assuming they don’t, when I say “red” to a Japanese person, they would not know how to process that information.

Another way to think of this is the difference between human languages. If one person only speaks English, and another only understands Japanese, they have no way to communicate. For example, I understand the color red, and the word “red” to describe that color. Now, of course, you’d be hard pushed to find a Japanese person that doesn’t understand the word “red” in English, but assuming they don’t, when I say “red” to a Japanese person, they would not know how to process that information.

Likewise, assuming I didn’t understand Japanese if a Japanese person said the word “akai” to me, I would not understand them either, and not be able to process that information. However, if we had a dictionary to map the color red to the Japanese word “akai” we could communicate. We’d both understand what red is and be able to visualize the color. On a very basic level, this is what an ICC profile does, but for millions of colors, not just one.

What Problems Exist?

Let’s take a look at the problems we are trying to overcome in a little more detail. The core piece of information that we need to keep in mind is that every device capable of displaying an image has limitations on what colors it can display. These days, our computers understand millions of colors. They understand many more colors that they can display or print. You might think that’s strange, but this is the same theory as my reason for recommending that people work in ProPhoto RGB. We need to edit with more wiggle room than we need, and then adjust this to the output device when necessary. More on this later.

To illustrate the issues we face I created a Granger Chart in Photoshop following the steps in this Luminous Landscape article. This chart (below) contains way more colors than our displays or printers have the ability to reproduce. That’s why there are some crunchy gradations in the chart, and those nasty steps in the gradations will change depending on the device on which you look at the image.


Granger Chart

Take a look at the image on two different displays, or on your phone or tablet, and you’ll see differences, ranging from very slight, to quite drastic, depending on the device. Note that I also use these charts in my printing tests sometimes, because they force the printer and media to very bluntly show us what they can and cannot do. More on that shortly too.

Note that I used ProPhoto RGB to create the chart, but I had to convert this to sRGB for the Web version, so the colors get scrunched a little during that process. This is one of the challenges we face. Although things are gradually changing, sRGB is still the standard color space for the Web. To really see the original chart, you’ll need to create one yourself. Then try moving it across displays, if you use a multi-monitor computer.

If we turn the clock back just 25 years, personal computers were just starting to be able to work in more than 256 colors, but a lot of technology was still restricted to just 256 colors. In Photoshop, using the Granger chart I created, I changed the Color Mode from 16bit color to 8bit, and selected Indexed Color, then chose to change the colors Perceptually, to at least give the image a chance to show us a few more steps, and I reduced the image to 256 colors. Here are is the resulting image (below). The image looks so bad because it contains the full spectrum of colors, so when allocating these to just 256 slots, there’s no room to save the colors required to create finer gradations.

Granger Chart 256 Colors

My first PC that I bought back in 1994 was considered relatively advanced for the time, but it could still only display between 16 and 32,768 simultaneous colors out of a possible 4096 to 16.777 million, depending on the video mode, and the imaging software available to me at the time was mostly restricted to only 256 colors. I recall displaying and even doing some early printing of these images, and I regularly used Indexed Color, because it would select the most used 256 colors in my images.

Here’s a photo (below) that I converted to Indexed Color with 256 colors, to remind myself of those days, and the limitations that we faced, and you can see how nasty the gradations in the sky and clouds become, as we force the image to display itself with such a small number of colors. It’s better than the 256 color Granger chart because there is a much smaller range of colors that need to be assigned to the 256 available slots.

Namibia Quiver Trees in 256 Indexed Colors

In printing, we can simulate the issues that we are working to overcome and prove how much ICC profiles help us, by printing that Granger Chart without any color management. I printed it directly to a matte media, which has a smaller color gamut (can reproduce a smaller range of colors) and I turned all color management off. This is what the print looked like (below). Compared to the image we looked at earlier, you can see that the colors are very different, and some even missing altogether.

Granger Chart Printed without Color Management

Then, I printed it again, with the color management turned on, and the ICC profile that I created for this media assigned. This is effectively telling the software how to interpret the image, to get it as close to the colors that the ICC profile tells the software that my printer can reproduce. Here is the resulting image (below).

Granger Chart Printed with Color Management

Keeping in mind that the Granger Chart contains many colors that my printer simply cannot print, making it look very different to the chart above, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the colors themselves are much closer to the chart than the version that we printed without any color management. If I was to print the chart out on gloss media, which has a much wider color gamut, we’d see more colors again, but it would still not be the same as the computer generated Granger Chart above, because of the limitations of the printer. Keep in mind too that this is not because I have a bad printer. I have one of the best printers available today, but this is the reality of where printing technology is today.

Keep in mind too that this is not because I have a bad printer. I have one of the best printers available today, but this is the reality of where printing technology is today.

All Devices Are Different

So, just to recap, using a 3D rendition of my displays and matte media ICC profile (below) the important thing to keep in mind is that all devices are different. As you can see, my matte media printer ICC profile is the smallest, then my iMac display is a bit bigger, and for reference, that is actually just a little bit bigger than the sRGB color space. Then the largest wireframe profile here is my BenQ 4K SW320 wide gamut display which is about the same size as the Adobe RGB color space.

Graphed Display and Print Profiles

Why We Need ICC Profiles

All of these ICC profiles are different, and so we use ICC Profiles to interpret the difference, just like an English/Japanese interpreter might help two people that do not share a common language to communicate. With the aid of the interpreter, they might not have 100% smooth communication, but they will be able to understand each other and get closer to fully understanding than they would without any help at all.

Color Management Module (CMM)

In computer terms, the interpreter in this situation is called a CMM or Color Management Module. This is generally provided as part of the computer operating system or built-in to our image editing software. For example, in Adobe Photoshop, if you select Color Settings from the Edit menu, you’ll see a Conversion Options area, with an Engine pulldown. That’s where you select the CMM that Photoshop will use when interpreting colors and matching colors between various color spaces and ICC profiles.

Adobe Photoshop Color Settings Dialog

I generally leave mine set to Adobe (ACE) but if you look in the pulldown you’ll also see the Apple CMM, which is built into the Mac OS. What you are basically doing here is selecting the interpreter. They may do their job slightly differently but will facilitate communication between the various color spaces and ICC profiles all the same.

Input Profiles

Just as we have Output Profiles for displays and printers, any device that is used to reproduce an image, we also have Input Profiles, for devices that are used to input images, such as our cameras or scanners. They follow the same principles and basically act as one side of the interpretation that I’ve been talking about. You can think of the camera color space as English in our human language example, and Japanese would be the printer or display, or vice versa.

Where Do ICC Profiles Come From?

If you are wondering where these profiles comes from, in the case of input devices, there is generally some kind of proprietary computation going on inside the device before the image is saved to the memory card, or in the case of a scanner, you’ll often specify which profile to use, but it’s built into the scanning software.

It’s also possible to create camera profiles for Lightroom and Photoshop, using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. You just photograph the ColorChecker Passport (see below) and then use X-Rite software to make a profile. Unfortunately, with this method, the profile is saved in a format that isn’t easily used as an ICC profile, and my attempts at creating a useful ICC profile with the ColorChecker Passport and the larger X-Rite Digtial ColorChecker SG card using the X-Rite software have so far not been very successful.

Luckily, because I use Capture One Pro, they already have a great profile for my camera built in, so this isn’t urgent, but I’m also considering picking up basICColor Input 5 at some point, to see if I can make my own camera profiles with that. I’ll let you know how I get on with that if and when I do pick it up.

For displays, at the basic level, your display manufacturer will provide a profile or it will be handled by your computer’s operating system, but to ensure the most accurate color, it’s better to create your own ICC profile for your display with a colorimeter or spectrometer, such as the one’s available here from X-Rite. Keep in mind that if you use multiple displays, you have to profile each of them, and the operating system will remember which profile is for which display and apply them as necessary.

Let’s note too that you only use your display’s ICC profile for your display, and there’s no need to try to use a different profile for it. Even displays that are said to reproduce Adobe RGB don’t actually use the Adobe RGB color space because they are slightly different. You use your display ICC profile for your display, and that’s all. Remember, every device is different and requires its own ICC profile.

To create my own custom ICC Profiles, I use the X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2 Color Management Kit for Photographers, because I also create profiles for my large format printer. This is an expensive option though. If you want to create custom profiles for your display and a consumer printer, the ColorMunki Photo is a great option, and if you don’t print, the X-Rite i1Display Pro is very good for its price. All are available here.

If you use print media from your printer manufacturer, they often come with ICC profiles for their media that are installed with the printer driver software, and if you use third party media, such as the media I use from Breathing Color, you can often download the ICC profiles for your printer from their Web site.

Standard Color Spaces

The standard color spaces that I’ve mentioned, were created by various bodies. According to Wikipedia, sRGB was created by HP and Microsoft in 1996 for use on monitors, printers and the Internet, and subsequently standardized by the IEC as IEC 61966-2-1:1999.

Adobe RGB was developed as you might imagine by Adobe Systems, Inc. in 1998. It was designed to encompass most of the colors achievable on CMYK color printers, but by using RGB primary colors on a device such as a computer display. CMYK is common in commercial printing, and photographers generally use RGB, even when printing most of the time, so we won’t spend any time explaining that today.

The ProPhoto RGB color space, also known as ROMM RGB (Reference Output Medium Metric), is an output referred RGB color space developed by Kodak. It offers an especially large gamut designed for use with photographic output in mind.

Scanning Color Patches

Creating a custom ICC profile for our devices involves showing the software that will create the profile a series of color samples. This software usually comes with the device or color target used. To create a camera profile you include a Color Checker in one of your photos, and the software finds the color patches to understand how your camera has recorded the colors. Because the software knows the actual physical colors of each of the color patches, it’s able to then calculate the difference, and create a table of linkages between the colors in our image and the actual colors that should have been recorded. Those linkages or mappings are what are included in the ICC profile, or in this case, the Camera Profile that gets added to Lightroom or Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw module.

Because the software knows the actual physical colors of each of the color patches, it’s able to then calculate the difference, and create a table of linkages between the colors in our image and the actual colors that should have been recorded. Those linkages or mappings are what are included in the ICC profile, or in this case, the Camera Profile that gets added to Lightroom or Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw module.

Including the ColorChecker Passport in a Photo

When you create an ICC profile for your computer display, you attach the profiling device to the screen. The profiling software then displays a series of colors on the screen and the device reads each color, again, so that it can understand how each color is reproduced by your display. It then calculates the difference between what it sees and what it knows the colors to be and creates the profile containing the mappings between the various colors.

When creating a printer profile, you print out a series of color patches, and then scan them with the profiling device, as you can see in this photograph (below). The process is the same here though, as the software then takes the color information that it scans from the printed media and creates a mapping between what it knows the colors should look like, and what they actually look like, and that becomes your ICC profile for that specific type of media when printing on the same printer.

i1 Pro 2 Printer Profiling

Just as you would have to create a separate ICC profile for both displays if you use a dual-display system, you have to create a separate profile for each type of media that you use, and if you use multiple printers, you’d need to create a separate profile for each printer and for each media type.

Although the printer manufacturer or third party media manufacturer’s profiles are usually pretty good, you’ll generally get better results by creating your own custom ICC profiles.

Working Color Spaces

So, we’ve talked about Input ICC profiles for cameras and scanners as well as Output ICC profiles for displays and printers. When you open an image in your image editing software, you’ll use what’s referred to as the Working Color Space. This is where I recommend using ProPhoto RGB because it’s a very large color space, and that gives us plenty of wiggle room in which to adjust the colors in our image as necessary.

Some people recommend working in smaller color spaces, such as Adobe RGB or sometimes even sRGB because there are limitations on our output options, but this is the wrong way to go about this. To maintain the most color information, use ProPhoto RGB, so as not to limit your image unnecessarily. Note once again, that our cameras generally capture colors that do not fit within the sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces, so let’s give them room to breathe during our editing.

In this graph (below) I’ve included the Canon 5Ds R ICC profile from Capture One Pro, along with sRGB, the small solid color shape, and Adobe RGB, which is in wireframe, and you can easily see that my camera’s profile extends outside of both the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, but fits nicely inside the ProPhoto RGB color space, except for a small area of the blues.

Camera Profile with Working Color Spaces

Note that when working in Lightroom, it uses a proprietary color space similar to ProPhoto RGB, and you can’t change that. This in itself should be a good indication that this is the way to go with regards to selecting a Working Color Space. Capture One Pro has it’s own color space too, but you’ll generally be working on your images in the Color Space for your specific camera, and there’s usually not going to be a reason to change that.

ProPhoto RGB for Editing Whenever There’s a Choice

So, whenever you get a choice, for example, if you are working in Capture One Pro or Lightroom, and you are going to send your images to Photoshop or any other image-editing software, there is always an option to select the ICC profile. My advice is to always select ProPhoto RGB unless you have a reason to select something different. For general editing, keep your images in ProPhoto RGB as long as you can.

As you saw in the screenshot from Photoshop earlier, I set ProPhoto RGB as my Working Space, and I turn on the option to ask me what to do if the images I try to open are not in ProPhoto RGB. There’s no point in exporting from Lightroom or Capture One Pro in Adobe RGB, then converting either. Send what you need, to avoid wasteful conversions.

Why Not?

If you have at some point been influenced by someone telling you that you should use Adobe RGB as your working color space, ask yourself, why you shouldn’t use ProPhoto RGB. Just as you’d need to select Adobe RGB as you pass images around your computer in your digital workflow, you can just as easily select ProPhoto RGB. You lose nothing, but you gain the wiggle room that your images need to be as high quality as they possibly can be.

The idea that you should squeeze them into a smaller working space during your editing just because they’ll get squeezed when you output them later for a specific purpose is seriously flawed. Applications like Capture One Pro and Lightroom enable us to work on our raw images throughout our entire workflow, without any negative aspects. If you need to create a TIFF or Photoshop PSD file, you can work with ProPhoto RGB just as easily as any other color space.

sRGB and Adobe RGB Are Export Profiles

Think of sRGB and Adobe RGB only as export profiles. Use these when exporting images for a specific purpose. For example, whenever I’ve finished selecting my favorite images from a shoot, I save a copy as a JPEG to the Apple Photos application, so that it automatically syncs around all of my devices, as I mentioned in a recent post about how I use Apple Photos. When I export these images from Capture One Pro, I specify sRGB as the color space, because these are only JPEGs for displaying on my various devices.

If you are going to send some images off to a printing lab to get some prints made, they will probably ask you to give them JPEGs in sRGB or hopefully Adobe RGB. Personally, I would avoid using a service that only uses sRGB, but Adobe RGB is generally fine for this specific purpose. When printing at home, usually now directly from Capture One Pro, my images are still in the raw format, using the camera profile provided. If I was to print from Photoshop, I’d use ProPhoto RGB color space when saving my file for print.

OK, so enough on that. I hope you get the message, and I hope this has helped you to understand why we need ICC profiles and the different types of uses of these profiles. If you have any questions or would just like to comment, please do so below. I love to hear from you.

Morocco 2017

Before we close, I’d like to quickly mention that I’ve set up a new tour to Morocco from October 29 to November 10, 2017. We’ll be photographing the wonderful architecture, landscapes, and culture of this beautiful country, as well as using camel handlers as models to photograph them leading their camels through the sand dunes etc. We don’t have much time to lock in on this, so if you might like to join me please check out the details at

Morocco Tour 2017

Show Notes

Color Management Tools on B&H:

Music by Martin Bailey


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Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

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The post All About ICC Profiles and Working Color Spaces (Podcast 577) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[The Soul of the Camera with David duChemin (Podcast 576)]]> 2017-05-24T09:15:14Z 2017-06-05T08:00:28Z Today I bring you an inspiring conversation with my friend David duChemin, in which we talk in depth about many of the...

The post The Soul of the Camera with David duChemin (Podcast 576) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Today I bring you an inspiring conversation with my friend David duChemin, in which we talk in depth about many of the concepts explored in his latest book, The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer’s Place in Picture-Making.

We didn’t script the conversation, so there isn’t a manuscript to share with you today. What I did, was select a number of quotes from the book, and we used those as a starting point for a number of deeper dives, so here are the quotes that I took from The Soul of the Camera, some of which were edited slightly to make them a little shorter:

Page 1 – Photography is not (at least the way I understand the medium) a technical pursuit. It is an aesthetic pursuit achieved by technical means.

Page 36 – Yes, it’s true: everything has been photographed. But unless all we want to do is say, “Here’s what this looks like,” rather than the much more subjective and personal, “Here’s how I see it, here’s what it feels like,” we can do better.

Page 59 – Patience matters because of the iterative way our creativity works, the way inspiration and ideas always seem to come after false starts and detours. It is our ability to pursue those false starts and not fall into despair the moment we realize we’re further from our best ideas that makes sure those detours become just the longer, scenic route to wherever it is we’re going, instead of a dead end.

Page 175 – The biblical story of the creation of humanity has the Creator making man from clay and then breathing His own life into him… I find that symbolism striking and relevant. If our work is to be human, it’s our task as its creator to breath life into it. Inspiration (literally “to inhale”) is everything we do to draw our deepest breath from the world around us …… But it’s the act of exhaling into our work that makes it ours, that gives life and spark to what we make.

Page 193 – You quote John Wesley saying “Light yourself on fire with passion, and people will come from miles to watch you burn.”

I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. It’s always a pleasure to talk with David.

To get your copy of The Soul of the Camera, head over to the website:

If you’d like to help support the podcast, you can also buy from Amazon with this link:

Here too are a few photographs from The Soul of the Camera.


Gabra women dancing, North Horr, Kenya.

Istanbul, Turkey

The Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop 2018

Before we finish, I’d like to quickly mention that I have started taking bookings for our 2018 Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop. This is an epic 17-day tour, on which we photograph the beautiful landscape and culture, as well as the wildlife of this beautiful country. For details and to book your place, please see the tour page at

Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop 2018

Show Notes

To get your copy of The Soul of the Camera here:

Or directly from Amazon here:

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post The Soul of the Camera with David duChemin (Podcast 576) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[Soft Proofing for Print in Capture One Pro and Photoshop (Podcast 575)]]> 2017-05-29T08:51:11Z 2017-05-29T08:51:11Z This week I’ve created a video to explain soft-proofing for print in Capture One Pro and Photoshop, in response to a question from...

The post Soft Proofing for Print in Capture One Pro and Photoshop (Podcast 575) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

This week I’ve created a video to explain soft-proofing for print in Capture One Pro and Photoshop, in response to a question from Chris Moore. I’d been meaning to do a video on soft-proofing in Capture One Pro for a while, so thanks for the question Chris!

Soft proofing in Capture One Pro isn’t as useful as it could be, due to the lack of gamut warnings. But, I find that with modern printers doing such a good job of reproducing colors that the human eye perceives to be very close to the original colors in the photograph, even without being able to actually print some of those colors, means that the gamut warning has become a little too harsh.

It’s often not necessary to bring all of the colors in your photographs within gamut, to still get a very pleasing print, but I explain how we can go about that in both Capture One Pro and Adobe Photoshop. I start the video by showing you the difference between a number of key color spaces too, to hopefully make it obvious that we really don’t want to cram our beautiful images, with many more colors, into these smaller color spaces.

Here’s the video, and I’ve outlined some of the key things to keep in mind below too, so I hope you find this useful.

When soft-proofing in Capture One Pro, here are the things you need to check. I don’t go through all of these in the video, so I thought I’d list them here for your reference.

  1. Make sure you have the Viewer Color set to White under the Preferences > Appearance tab, to simulate a white paper border.
  2. Show the Proof Margin, and make sure it’s relatively large so that you can see your image surrounded by white.
  3. Install the ICC profile for your media and printer combination, or the profile that a third party lab uses if you will be sending the photos out for printing.
  4. If you are going to outsource your printing, create a Process Recipe for the required file format, TIFF or JPEG for example, and select the ICC profile for your media – Note that this is only for reference most of the time. You use it for the Soft-Proofing, and will generally export your actual files for printing with a third party printer in either JPEG or TIFF. If they accept TIFF, it’s always going to be better than JPEG.
  5. If you are printing yourself at home, there is no need to export the image at all, unless you will print from a different application than Capture One Pro – Note that I now do all of my printing from Capture One Pro, and I used to print from Lightroom when I was a Lightroom user. This enables me to print directly from my raw files.
  6. To soft proof all the time in Capture One Pro, based on the ICC profile for the selected Process Recipe, select View > Proof Profile > Selected Recipe.
  7. To only show the proof simulation when you want to, select View > Proof Profile > No Profile, and then click on the Spectacles icon in the toolbar, or press P to Show Recipe Proofing. (If P selects the next Process Recipe, click the image thumbnail and try again)
  8. If the image looks very different when you turn on Soft Proofing, consider changing the image using the Saturation, Clarity or other sliders, or adjusting specific colors using the Color Editor.
  9. Be sure to make a Clone Variant of your image before making these changes. You don’t want to change your original for the purpose of printing. Also, don’t try to adjust the image to look exactly the same as when Proofing is not turned on. The simulation is always a harsher than the reality of what will come out of the printer.
  10. If you have various choices of media, consider changing media for one with a wider gamut if possible. I often prefer matte, but gloss media generally has a wider gamut if gloss is an acceptible choice

Capture One Pro soft proofing doesn’t show you a gamut warning when the printer can physically not reproduce certain colors, so it’s sometimes difficult to spot issues or modify the image for print.

To actually see gamut warnings, open the image in Photoshop and go to View > Proof Setup > Custom and select your ICC profile as the Device to Simulate. I generally turn off Black Point Compensation as I usually don’t print with that turned on. Using Simulate Black Ink and also Simulate Paper Color can show the results too harshly, but it’s good to check to see the effects and get used to the difference.

To toggle Soft Proofing on and off, hit CMD + Y, and to view the gamut warnings hit SHIFT + CMD + Y. If there are large areas out of gamut, consider using the Saturation and Brightness filter as an Adjustment layer, and perhaps also create a mask for the areas that are out of gamut, rather than applying the changes to the entire image.

Something else to keep in mind though is that even with colors that are difficult to print, I often do a test print to see how bad things really are before changing the image specifically for print. With the printers I’ve used for the last few years, I’ve found more and more that we can just print the image, and it will look great. If you don’t see anything absolutely horrible in the Proof view, print it and see.

Unless you have specific instructions from a third party printing company to output your image with a certain ICC profile embedded, you don’t need to export or save the image with the ICC profile embedded. Most print services will specify a file format, such as JPEG or TIFF, and a profile to use, such as Adobe RGB or sRGB. When there’s a choice, always use Adobe RGB over sRGB for files to send to a printer.

Anyway, take a look at the video, and if you have any question, leave a comment below.

Capture One Pro 10% Discount

If you are thinking of buying Capture One Pro, you can get a 10% discount using our Ambassador code AMBP when you checkout. If you are not sure it’s for you, download Capture One Pro here and give it a try for a full 30 days to see if it’s for you before you take the plunge.

Also, the software that I used to visualize the ICC profiles as color spaces is ColorThink Pro from Chromix, which you can get here:

Show Notes

ColorThink Pro:

You can download Capture One Pro here:


There isn’t much point in making the tiny iPhone format video available for direct download. If you want an offline copy of the video, you can download it from Vimeo.

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

The post Soft Proofing for Print in Capture One Pro and Photoshop (Podcast 575) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[How I Use and Why I Love Apple Photos (Podcast 574)]]> 2017-05-22T14:40:36Z 2017-05-22T08:26:19Z I’ve been using Apple Photos for a couple of years now and although I don’t use it to edit images, I’ve fallen...

The post How I Use and Why I Love Apple Photos (Podcast 574) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

I’ve been using Apple Photos for a couple of years now and although I don’t use it to edit images, I’ve fallen in love with all of the ways in which it brings my photos and video clips together and the freedom that brings. Today I’m going to share how I use Apple Photos and how I feel it’s made the way I live with my photos more intimate.

In 2014, Apple replaced the Camera Roll with the Photos app in the iOS 8 update, and then added the Photos application on the Mac OS in April 2015. Photos was also added to the Apple tvOS in 2016, meaning that I can literally access my photos on every visual device that I own. The idea of being able to seamlessly sync all of my photos and memories between all of my devices was too much to resist, so when Apple released Photos for the Mac OS in April 2015, I decided to take a closer look at it.

Until that point, I had always exported a full sized JPEG of all of my final selects from each shoot or tour that I did and kept them in my Dropbox. That gave me access to everything, and I also used those photos for slideshows and screensavers. It worked, but it wasn’t as smooth as the promise that Photos and iCloud came with.

Losing Control

At first, there was one thing that I didn’t like, and that was how Apple stored my photos. Regardless of when the images were shot, they all got shoved into a single folder for the day that I imported the images into the Photos application. Being a bit of a control freak, I would have loved it if my images were sorted into year, month and day folders for the actual day that they were shot, but Apple Photos doesn’t do that.

I can opt to reference photos where I have them on the hard drive, but then I imagine all of the iPhone photos and videos that I shoot will end up in different locations to where I store my images, and because the Photos app was already doing a good job of keeping tabs on all of that, I decided to give up this control, and let Photos look after everything.

After working this way for two years now, I can safely say that it hasn’t bothered me not being able to get straight to the image in a folder structure. This is partly because of how I organize my images and also thanks to the visual listing of images in the Photos app making it easy to browse and find things. If I need a JPEG of an image or a movie file, I just drag it from Photos to my desktop, and I get a copy. If I want a JPEG while I’m in Capture One Pro, I simply export a new one, so I really haven’t missed the folder access.

Importing my Finals in Photos

After each shoot that I do, I export a full sized JPEG to a temporary folder on my desktop. It’s easy to just scroll through each year in the Photos area of the Photos app, but because that contains all of my iPhone images and videos as well, that’s not always what I want.

To ensure that I can get to each year of my Final selects, I generally start by creating or navigating to my year folder for the current year and just drag my images to that album. Doing this imports the images not only to that album but to the overall Photos timeline view.

Photos Albums

If you look at the second row down in this screenshot (above) you will also see a number of folders for my Japan winter tours, Iceland and Greenland tours. These are the tours that I have done since switching to Capture One Pro, and have basically replaced the Collections that I used to create in Lightroom to make it easy to share these images with people on my iPad as we travel, and also with my wife back home, as I’ll explain later.

I do of course keep these groupings as Collections in Capture One Pro as well, but I can’t share them from there, as I could with Lightroom Mobile. I also just like to keep these JPEGs handy for quick access, and because these will be synched across all of my devices in the same organization albums etc. Generally, when I’m on tour I create the tour album first, because I often remove photos or update the group as I tweak my selection, and once that’s finalized, I select the contents of my tour album and hit the plus button in the top toolbar, and just add the images to my album for that year.

Generally, when I’m on tour I create the tour album first, because I often remove photos or update the group as I tweak my selection, and once that’s finalized, I select the contents of my tour album and hit the plus button in the top toolbar, and just add the images to my album for that year.

It’s important to not drag the JPEGs from my desktop to multiple albums, because that imports the same images multiple times, giving me duplicates in my Photos timeline. I did that a few times when I started using Photos and it’s a pain to clean up.

Everything in One Place

As I’ve mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of using Apple Photos for me is that it stores all of my images and videos that I shoot on my iPhone right there, alongside my regular work, and I can enjoy the benefits of that in a number of ways that we’ll touch on today. To enable this, you do have to turn on iCloud Photo Library in the iCloud settings under Preferences for the Photos application (below).

Apple Photos iCloud Settings

Notice too that there’s an option to Download Originals to this Mac or to Optimize Mac Storage. I took this screenshot on my iMac, with lots of storage, so I have the originals of my photos and videos all stored locally on this machine. On my MacBook Pro where storage is at more of a premium, I select Optimize Mac Storage, to save disk space.

View Images on a Map

There were a few things that I missed from Lightroom when I switched to Capture One Pro, and one of them was the Map View. I’ve been geotagging my images for a number of years now, and find it useful to view my images on a map. Of course, everything that I shoot with my iPhone is automatically geotagged, so now all of my images and videos appear on the map, whether I shoot them with my iPhone or my DSLR camera.

Although Capture One Pro has the ability to show a geotagged image on the map, it simply opens Google Maps with a pin where the image was shot, and you can only view one image on the map at a time. I like to be able to open the map and see all images in my library on the same map, and that works very well in Lightroom, and is actually even better integrated into the Apple Photos apps, both on the Mac OS and iOS, once I have all of my final selects in my library.

Photos Information View

In Photos on the Mac OS, if you hit the information icon in the top right, you get a nice little information window with EXIF data and a map showing where the image was made (above).

We can also just scroll down on any image to reveal a map, and there’s a Show Nearby Photos link, which will jump to a map and show you all geotagged images in your library that were shot in that area. You can, of course, zoom out on the map to show a wider area with all the images shot in that area. You can also just jump straight to a map view and browse images by location in the same way by clicking on the Places icon in the toolbar on the left or navigating to the Places album in the album view.

Apple Photos Places

Portfolios Still via Lightroom Mobile

Another thing that I miss, but am still using Lightroom for, is Lightroom Mobile. I’m using it still to keep a copy of my portfolios on my devices. I could create my portfolios in the Photos app because all of my portfolio images are in there, but they are spread out throughout my Photos timeline, and it’s time-consuming to locate them and bring them into a portfolio album.

When I worked in Lightroom, it was a no-brainer, because I just added my images to a Collection for each portfolio, and then turned on syncing via Lightroom Mobile. I have continued to miss this, although I now have all of my portfolios in Collections in Capture One Pro, and I’m only updating them in Capture One Pro now. When I make changes to a portfolio now though, I export the images as JPEGs, and import them into Lightroom, and add them to my portfolio Collection in Lightroom, which is syncing with Lightroom Mobile.

I could create my portfolios in the Photos app, say for example by using keywords and Smart Albums, but that would require either reimporting freshly keyworded images, then removing duplicates. I could also go through my timeline and locate each image to add it to a portfolio album. Either way, it would be time-consuming, so for now, Lightroom Mobile makes more sense for my portfolios. Plus, I do really like the way Lightroom Mobile displays photos and gives us really smooth access to EXIF data.

Viewing EXIF Data in Photos App

I always encourage people to find their optimal exposure by themselves in the field, but I do often reference and talk about my settings in an educational situation, so being able to quickly check and discuss shooting settings is an important part of my work.

To enable me to view the EXIF data of my photos in Apple Photos, I’ve started to use an App called ViewExif. Unfortunately, if the full sized image isn’t cached on the device, ViewExif has to download it before it can show the EXIF data, so it isn’t very practical when I’m in other countries and don’t have Wifi, but it works for me most of the time. As you can see in this screenshot (below, left), once installed, you can add a ViewExif option to your share menu on the iPhone or iPad, and this opens a window (below, right) with lots of information about the image, as you scroll down.

As you can see in this screenshot (below, left), once installed, you can add a ViewExif option to your share menu on the iPhone or iPad, and this opens a window (below, right) with lots of information about the image, as you scroll down.

ViewExif Screenshots

Another cool thing about ViewExif is that if you want to share an image without EXIF data, specifically location information, you can hit the Share button again, and get an option to share the image with or without metadata. That then sends you back to the iOS Share options, so it all works very smoothly.

Sharing Albums

As I mentioned earlier, when I’m traveling, I generally create an album for that specific tour and drop images into it as I make my initial selections. I often deleted these images after the tour when I come to a fully processed final selection, but having a living collection as I travel helps me in a couple of ways.

The first one is that if we have reasonable Wifi, I can sync my JPEGs via the Photos app, to my iPad and iPhone. This gives me a way to quickly share the work that I’m doing with people in my group when we are talking about what we’ve already shot. I try to avoid overly influencing them because I don’t like planting visual seeds, that might paralyze their own creativity, but sometimes, sharing photos of the location that you are still in can be a good way to inspire the participants.

The other thing that I like to do, is to share these photos with my wife so that she can follow along with my progress as I travel. To share images in Apple Photos, select the album or individual images and press the share button in the toolbar, and then select iCloud Photo Sharing.

It’s important to note though, that this does not share the album itself, so if you add more images to your album, they won’t automatically sync into your shared album. You basically create a new shared album, that appears in the left toolbar, and to add more images, you either need to select them, and then select iCloud Photo Sharing again, then select the same shared album, or drag your new images to the Shared album in the sidebar. I do wish this was smoother, but it works OK once you get used to it.

Favorites and Screensavers

I do like how the Favorites album works in Photos. A little while after a tour or shoot, I’ll go into my photo stream or the tour album that I created, and select a number of images that still stand out to me, and mark them as favorites. To mark images as Favorites on a Mac, you can either click the heart icon in the toolbar, or a quicker way is to hit the period key on the keyboard. On my 2016 MacBook Pro, a heart or Favorites button appears on the Touch Bar when I’m viewing images, and I sometimes use this as well, especially as I can then use both hands; one for navigation and the other to hit the Favorites button as I see something I like.

Once you have a few images marked as favorites, you can then use these in a number of places throughout your system. My favorite is to go in and set up the screensaver to cycle randomly through my Favorites folder, and this album is automatically updated as I add and remove images, so it’s a great way to keep the selection of images that are displayed as a screensaver updated.

Favorites in Screensaver

Another thing that I like about this process is that I can sit with my iPad or iPhone and mark images as Favorites just by tapping the heart icon in the toolbar, and they are added to Favorites across all of my devices. This means I can add or remove images really easily on my own terms. I find that how I feel about my images changes sometimes based on how I’m viewing them, so being able to work on selections from various devices can once again make the process and resulting selections more intimate.

“Memories” Are Awesome!

The time that I get most fired up about Apple Photos, is when I am browsing through images on my iPhone or iPad, or on the Apple TV, and I play one of the automatically created Memory slideshows. I shoot a lot of short videos with my iPhone, and the quality is so good, that as I play a Memory slideshow when it occasionally switches to a video of a place I visited, it adds a beautiful extra dimension that really brings the presentation to life.

For example, I can be watching a Memory slideshow from Iceland, and all of a sudden there’ll be a video of the waves crashing against the beach with the ice on it, or I can be watching a slideshow of photos from one of my Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido tours, and the whooper swans at Sunayu will be paddling around together, and flapping their wings in slow motion.

You can save Memories and delete them if you want, but generally, I just keep them and go back through them over time. Although seemingly random, they are a beautiful way to recall what you were up to at any given point. My only wish is that they had a better dynamically updating titles. I have a Best of Last Month Memory album from October 2016, which I love.

It has some footage of a friend that I went shooting with here in Tokyo, and images and video from a trip to my wife’s home in the countryside. It truly is a series of wonderful memories. But it was only Last month in November of 2016. You can create Memories manually from Albums though, so there is a way around this, by copying everything to an album, and we’ll look at how to create Memories manually from an Album shortly.

Best of Last Month Memory

As you can see in this screenshot (above) when you click the Play button to watch a Memory, you can select the theme, and change the music that will play along with you images and videos. Most of these are quite tasteful, and really do make for great ways to watch and recall your memories.

Creating Memories Manually

Although they are often amazing as spontaneous presentations, sometimes the Memory slideshows don’t contain images or videos that I’d like to see, so I occasionally just create an album and drop in some images and video clips, and just play that as a slideshow.

Once you have an album with your images and video, there is also an option in the top right to “Show as Memory”. Once you are in the Memory view, if you scroll down to the bottom, there is an option to “Add to Memories” as well, and then it just becomes another Memory like the automatically created ones.

Manually Created Memory

I’ve found that it sometimes takes a while for videos to be included in these manually created Memories, but if you click on the Show All link below the title image, all photos and videos will be displayed, both on the screen, and in the Memory when you hit the play button.

Slideshows and Other Projects

Instead of just hitting the Play button in an album, if you want more control over the slideshow you can also create a Slideshow project. Just select your images or when you are inside an album click the + button in the top toolbar, and select Slideshow. I personally prefer FotoMagico for slideshows, so I haven’t used this myself, but it’s there as an option and looks pretty easy to use.

Similarly, you can use your images to create Calendars, Books, Cards and Prints from third party printing services. What’s available may depend on where you are based, and you can change the country for your Print Products Store in the Preferences. I love to print myself, so the Prints option doesn’t interest me, but for casual printing of calendars or cards, I may well give this a try at some point.

Sharing Photos via AirDrop

OK, so we’ve covered most of the points that I find fun and useful in Apple’s Photos application, but there are just a few other observations that I’d like to touch on before we finish.

I’ve noticed more and more on my tours, that as people photograph and video other group members, it’s become really easy to just share those images via AirDrop. On my Hokkaido Winter Landscape Adventure this year, pretty much as soon as we got onto the bus after a shoot, or at evening meals, someone would shout out to another member of the group, AirDrop! And then they’d transfer that person’s photo directly to the other person’s iPhone.

This results in us coming away from trips with photos and videos of ourselves that we would probably never receive after that person has gotten home. We shoot photos of others with all good intentions, but following up and actually sending those photos later by email is a bit of a pain. Apple has basically removed that barrier, so people are able to share photos much more easily and spontaneously, and this again leads to a much more intimate photo stream.

My Life of Photos

Not Taking My Work So Seriously!

The last thing I’d like to touch on, and one of the most important in my opinion, is that I have found from using Apple Photos and Memories that it has taught me to not take my images so seriously.

When I am out on a shoot, trying to make beautiful photos of nature and wildlife, I work hard at my art, and although it’s generally an enjoyable experience, I do tend to take my work quite seriously.

When I see the work alongside iPhone photos and video clips, shot more as a record of my journey, or even just a record of my life, it makes the entire experience more relaxed and less serious, and I really like that.

It’s such a wonderful feeling to be watching a slideshow of what I consider some of my best work, and then someone that I met while traveling shows up on the screen, or a funny sign that I noticed in Reykjavik reminds me of that wonderfully dry Icelandic humor.

I also just really like being able to look back at pretty much every image I’ve shot digitally since 2001, and a whole bunch of scanned images and old family photos, that I’ve imported into the Photos application.

I recall sitting on the last night of my third Japan Winter Tour this year, with our amazing bus driver, and he went through just about every one of these images, and basically watched my life for the last 17 years, and was also able to see me grow as a photographer as well.

There were also many photos that are just my iPhone records of my life though, and so I wouldn’t usually share these with others, but that is part of the intimacy that Apple Photos brings, and I am totally enjoying it.

If you’re an Apple user, and you’ve written off Photos for any reason, I hope this has given you a bit of an insight into how easily it makes managing your images and keeping a record of your life right there on all of your devices. I wouldn’t dream of replacing Capture One Pro or Lightroom with Photos as my raw processing software, but for the uses I’ve covered today, I really am enjoying working with Photos.

Morocco 2017

Before we close, I’d like to quickly mention that I’ve set up a new tour to Morocco from October 29 to November 10, 2017. We’ll be photographing the wonderful architecture, landscapes and culture of this beautiful country, as well as using camel handlers as models to photograph them leading their camels through the sand dunes etc. We don’t have much time to lock in on this, so if you might like to join me please check out the details at

Morocco Tour 2017


Show Notes

ViewExif App:

Music by Martin Bailey


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The post How I Use and Why I Love Apple Photos (Podcast 574) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[How to Avoid Color Issues on imagePROGRAF PRO Printers (Podcast 573)]]> 2017-05-15T15:02:33Z 2017-05-15T09:48:00Z Following some discussion with Canon regarding an issue with printing on my PRO-4000 printer from Mac OS X Sierra, I’ve confirmed the effectiveness of one workaround...

The post How to Avoid Color Issues on imagePROGRAF PRO Printers (Podcast 573) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Following some discussion with Canon regarding an issue with printing on my PRO-4000 printer from Mac OS X Sierra, I’ve confirmed the effectiveness of one workaround and one technique to overcome the issue, and I’m going to share these with you today.

To give you a little bit of background on this issue, I bought the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 44 inch large format printer, which I reviewed in the summer of 2016, and although I absolutely love this printer, I found that there was an issue after upgrading to Mac OS X Sierra, and I essentially found myself double profiling.

Double profiling is when the ICC profiles that we usually apply to ensure accurate color reproduction, for some reason gets applied twice, and that generally messes up the colors. The problem is more apparent when printing to matte media, probably because the ICC profile is doing more work with matte media than it needs to do with gloss, and that in turn gets amplified more when you double profile. Black and white images suffer a nasty color cast regardless of the finish of the media.

In December 2016 I reported that I was having problems, and provided a workaround, which I’ve been using since. I’m not going to go into detail today, as you can see that workaround and troubleshooting technique in Episode 554. I had spoken to some of the guys on the large format printer team at Canon in March this year, when I was there to view the test prints that they’d created in February for the CP+ show in Yokohama.

Martin at Canon Head Office with CP+ Test Prints

I was told at the time that there may be an issue that Canon are aware of, and that a driver update was imminent, but I didn’t hear anything for a couple of months, so I followed up with them last week, and they suggested that I try a couple of things. I’ll go into detail on these shortly, but to cut a long story short, both techniques worked, so I’m happy to be printing easily again, although with a different workflow than I’m used to using.

Double Profiling Examples

Before we get to the workarounds, let’s look at a some photos of my test prints, so that you can understand how the double profiling effects the prints. I made a test image of four images in a row, which I printed at 24 inches wide and 10 inches high. In this photo (below) you can see three vertical strips of four prints.

Double Profiling Workaround Test Prints

The left and center vertical columns of images were printed using the two techniques that I’m going to explain, and the right column of images was printed the way I’ve been printing for more than 15 years, and will hopefully at some point be able to work with again. Although the left column might look a little bit darker, this is because of how I photographed the images. The prints using both techniques are actually identical.

As you can see, the right column color images are less vivid than the center and left column images, and the black and white image has a strong sepia tone, although the base image is totally neutral, like the center and left images. Another very unwelcome symptom of this double profiling, is a very nasty blotchiness in the blue sky, as you can see in this closer photograph (below).

Blotchy Blue Sky in Double Profiled Print

If you can’t see the detail, click on the images to open them at their full size, and widen your browser window if necessary. To stop the images from auto-advancing, just roll your mouse over them. You should be able to see how nasty that sky turned out, yet the original image has a very smooth blue sky.

The photo has a much cleaner clear blue sky in the center image, as you can see in this image (below). We can also see that some of the red color has gone from the mountains, and the red from the top of my Namibia photo is also much weaker.

Sky Comparison

As we can see in this last photograph of the test prints (below) the black and white image gets a strong sepia tone. I actually don’t dislike this artistically, but when it’s not supposed to be there, it’s a problem.

Color Cast in Black and White Images

Only Effects Custom Media Types

One other thing that I should mention, although I have not tested this myself, is that this double profiling issue only effects custom media types. If you use Canon brand media with their ICC profiles, I’m told that there are no issues. If you have found otherwise, do let me know. I can do more tests, but for now, I’m trusting what Canon have told me.

As this started to happen from Sierra, I think it’s safe to assume that if you are using Windows, you don’t need to worry about this issue either.

Workaround – Disable Print Preview

OK, so now you can appreciate the problem, let’s look at the two ways to avoid this. The easiest way, although somewhat risky, is to simply turn off the Preview when printing, as you can see in this screenshot (below).

Uncheck Print Preview

I usually use the preview as a final check before hitting the print button, so this worries me, but it works. The center of the three strips of images was printed this way, and the colors are printed as expected.

Embed ICC Profiles in Custom Media Settings

The second thing that I have confirmed to work, is to embed the custom ICC profile into the custom media that I created on the printer, to print to my favorite Breathing Color media. To do this, you first need to open the Canon Media Configuration Tool that you will have installed with your printer drivers etc.

I actually recommend that you create new custom media and embed the ICC profile into that, rather than simply adding it to your current custom media, because I’ve found no way to remove an ICC profile once you add it. If you save the information without a profile specified, it just leaves the one you previously added, and there is no option to delete the profile.

I first tried to simply reimport the media information from the media information file that I saved when I first created the custom media on the printer, but that failed because the original media was still there, rather than allowing me to duplicate it, so I had to create each media type again from scratch. In this screenshot you can see that I have recreated most of my custom media types with the letters ICC appended. These are the media types that I’ve embedded my ICC profiles into (below).

Custom Media Types

Once you’ve created a custom media type, to embed your ICC profile, select the media type in the Media Configuration Tool, and press the Edit Custom Paper button, then click the ICC Profile tab, and browse to your ICC profile. This could be one you created yourself, or one that you downloaded from a third party paper manufacturer.

Embed ICC Profile into Media

I found that the Media Configuration Tool doesn’t recognize ICC profiles on the Mac OS that don’t have an extension. The .icc extension isn’t necessary on a Mac, so I generally save my ICC profiles without an extension because it looks cleaner. But, MCT doesn’t recognize the file as an ICC profile without the .icc extension.

Also, if you use long descriptive file names for your ICC profiles, as I do, these also cannot be used. For most of my profiles, I had to shorten something like  “MBP Canon PRO-4000 Breathing Color Pura Smooth” to “MBP Canon PRO-4000 BC Pura Smooth” before I could embed the profile into the media information on the printer.

Update Media Information

Once you have embedded the ICC profile in the media, ensure that you go to the printer drivers in the System Preferences, click the Options & Supplies button for your printer, then select the Utility tab, and click the Open Printer Utility button. From the Printer Utility dialog, select Media Information, and click on the button to update it. This brings the information that you added to the printer back to the computer.

Update Media Information

It would be nice if this happened automatically, especially as I added the ICC profiles from the same computer. I actually missed this for a few days, as it didn’t work like this on my old Canon large format printer, and I spent a lot of extra time over the weekend trying to figure out what was happening.

The Printing Workflow

So, once you have your ICC profile embedded in your media information, you can print how I’m sure most of you are used to printing. To be thorough though, I’ll quickly run through the important points about that process.

Once you have the image that you want to print ready, you’ll select Print and then it’s important to select that the program you are printing from manages colors or color correction. In Photoshop, you’ll select Photoshop Manages Color under Color Handling, and then select your ICC profile from the Printer Profile pulldown.

I do all of my printing from Capture One Pro now, so all I have to do is select my profile from the Color Profile pulldown, and Capture One then knows that it’s in control of color, rather than leaving it to the printer driver software.

Printing from Capture One Pro

Then, after ensuring that my margins are all as I want them, I hit the Print button in the bottom right, and check two important settings. The first is on the left in this stitched screenshot (below). Under the Color Matching tab, ensure that ColorSync is selected, but greyed-out, essentially showing that the Mac OS is not doing any color management.

Important Printer Driver Settings

On the Quality & Media tab (above) we also need to ensure that we select the Media Type that we created earlier with the ICC profile embedded. We also of course need to ensure that the printer has that Media Type selected. Then, the whole point of this, is that I can now turn on the Print Preview, to get my final confirmation that all looks good before I send the print to the printer.

Print Preview

Although I could live without the Print Preview if I was forced to use the first workaround that I mentioned today, I have to admit, I do like to see this preview screen (below) and get final confirmation that the print looks how I expect it to before I press that Print button.

Print Preview

Recap of the Issue

Just to reiterate, at this point in time, May of 2017, if you don’t embed the ICC profile in the media information for custom media, and you use this Print Preview, when you print the image, the colors will all come out weird. It’s a bit of work to set up the printer to use media types with ICC profiles embedded, especially if you use more than a few different media types, but to me, it’s worth it to enable this Print Preview.

I also heard from Canon that they would actually prefer people to embed the ICC profile into the media information on the printer, so now that I’ve gotten used to this idea, I will consider continuing to do this even after the underlying problem is fixed, if it actually can be fixed. Canon at this point don’t seem too confident that there is anything they can do, so if you want to upgrade to Sierra, and you use custom media types, this may well be the only way you can do that.

I should also mention that I am assuming that people using the PRO-2000 will also probably run into this issue, as well as PRO-4000 users, but I’m not sure about the other new imagePROGRAF PRO printers like the PRO-1000 or the 8 color 6000S and 4000S.

Other Minor Issues

Before we move on, I wanted to briefly mention another issue, which is that when I initially tried to add the ICC profiles to the media information on the printer over Wifi, and more importantly, with my PRO-4000 connected to my network via an Apple Express base station, I was not able to export the updated or new media information to a file, or edit it in any way. The only thing I could do was delete it, and that’s not very useful.

Then, I tried with a wired network and all was good, so I went back to my Wifi and found that if I set up my PRO-4000 to connect directly to my Apple AirPort Extreme base station instead of an AirPort Express, I can add the ICC profiles to the media information and save this to a file, and edit the details of the media in the Media Configuration Tool, so I’m leaving my PRO-4000 set up that way for Wifi. If you find you have trouble editing the media information over Wifi, this could be the cause.

And, if you are wondering why I would even be using a large format printer over Wifi in the first place, I only really do this for management tasks and small prints. When I want to do larger prints, I actually run a long LAN cable from the printer on my second floor, to my studio in the third floor, or I print from my MacBook Pro on the second floor, using the USB connection directly to the printer.

Printing Patch Sheets for Calibration

There are also a couple of last relatively important things that I’d like to point out, the first of which is that when you get a new type of media, if you create your own ICC profiles, you will initially set up the media in the Canon Media Configuration Tool without an ICC profile, because you haven’t created it yet. This is good, because we don’t want any profiles coming into play as we print our profiling patch sheets. You can then add the ICC profile to the media type after you’ve created your patch sheets and then the profiles.

If for any reason you need to create a new profile, you will have to use a media type without an ICC profile embedded, because we have to turn off all color management when printing our patch sheets. This is another reason that I decided to create a new media type to embed the ICC profile to, and not just update my original media types.

Use Print Studio Pro for Patch Sheet Printing

While we’re talking about printing patch sheets, I want to also mention that I’m now using Canon’s Print Studio Pro to print my patch sheets, as I’m told it has a pretty reliable way to completely turn off all color correction, and this is an important part of this process.

Print Patch Sheets from Print Studio Pro

For a number of years now, I’ve been using the Adobe Color Printer Utility, but people have reported mixed results with that for these imagePROGRAF PRO series printers, so I tried using Print Studio Pro and the resulting ICC profiles are different, so that indicates that one of these programs is doing something different, so for now, I’m trusting my friends at Canon on this.

Actually, before we finish, I should also mention that I am using the X-Rite i1 Photo Pro 2 Color Management kit to create my ICC profiles. This might be overkill if you are not using a large format printer, in which case the ColorMunki Photo is a great alternative solution, but for this level of printer, or for the totally quality conscious among you, the i1 Pro 2 is the best available solution if you want to create your own ICC profiles for printing.

I realize that this episode won’t be of interest to many of you, so sorry if you don’t print or use a Mac, but if you have listened or read this far anyway, thanks for sticking with me, and I hope you were still able to gain a few takeaways from this.

Thanks to Canon

Finally, I’d like to thank Canon, not only for their patience as we worked through these issues, but for creating this amazing line of printers in the first place. As I’ve printed more with the PRO-4000, I’ve realized that they really have created something special. Gloss media blew me away from the start, but I was initially not happy with the performance of printing on matte media. However, since we’ve figured out these issues, and now arriving at a very workable solution, the results I’m getting with this printer are absolutely stunning.

Show Notes

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 on B&H:

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 on B&H:

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 on B&H:

X-Rite i1 Photo Pro 2:

X-Rite ColorMunk Photo:

*By buying with the above links you support this site and podcast at no cost to yourself.

Music by Martin Bailey


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The post How to Avoid Color Issues on imagePROGRAF PRO Printers (Podcast 573) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure Video (Podcast 572)]]> 2017-05-08T13:38:13Z 2017-05-08T05:54:39Z I’m really proud to be able to share a video of our 2017 Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure Tour with you today. I have...

The post Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure Video (Podcast 572) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

I’m really proud to be able to share a video of our 2017 Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure Tour with you today. I have been looking forward to releasing this since we completed the tour in January 2017.

I invited Australian videographer Rob Bampton along, to capture our antics during the tour on video, so that I could share what we get up to with you. I have to admit, I was not expecting the results to absolutely blow me away, but they did. I knew Rob was going to do a great job. That’s why I asked him to do this, but at dinner on the last night, Rob showed us a two minute preview of some of his footage, and believe me, the jaw of everyone in the group was on the floor.

Rob then had to go and do some other jobs while he was in Japan, and I went off to do my two Japan winter wildlife tours, so the footage sat until March, when we both freed up a little and could start working on the video. Rob did most of the editing, with some feedback from me, then I did some final tweaking and created the music.

I uploaded the final version of the video to our Vimeo account last week, and I’ve already let many people know via our social channels, but for those of you that listen to the podcast, and don’t follow me on any of the social networks, I’m releasing a placeholder episode of the podcast today, basically to point you to the video.

So, if you haven’t already seen the video, please do check it out below. Grab a drink, turn up your speakers, and go full screen, then welcome to my world.

The video turned out to really capture the essence of the tour, and the feeling of what it’s like to be in Hokkaido photographing the amazing minimalist landscapes that we experience there. Rob was an absolute pleasure to work with. He is professional and fun to be around, and his skill at flying a drone is pretty awesome too, as you’ll see in the video. If you need some videography or photography done, for that matter, check out Rob’s web site at

I’m pretty proud of the music that I created for this video too. I know that it’s not photography related, but as I know that some of you enjoy creating music too, plus the fact that this just really helps to avoid copyright strikes, even for music that is legally licensed, I am now finding myself creating my own music for videos, as part of my career as a photographer. So, if people are interest in hearing more about my process and tools used, let me know in the comments below, and I’ll put a video together to walk you through the making of my Hokkaido track.

Although we’re selling the remaining places pretty quickly, if you would like to join us for the 2018 or future Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure, you can see details and book on the tour page at

Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure 2018


Show Notes

See the video on Vimeo here:

Details of the Hokkaido Winter Landscape Adventure:

Rob Hampton’s web site:

Music by Martin Bailey


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Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

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The post Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography Adventure Video (Podcast 572) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[Be a Creator Not a Collector of Photographs (Podcast 571)]]> 2017-05-01T07:44:58Z 2017-05-01T07:37:09Z Some people arrive at a location with preconceptions and their sole intent is to make their copy of a other peoples’ photographs that...

The post Be a Creator Not a Collector of Photographs (Podcast 571) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Some people arrive at a location with preconceptions and their sole intent is to make their copy of a other peoples’ photographs that they’ve already seen. Today I’m going to discuss how and why I believe we should avoid being a collector, and shoot from our own appreciation of any given scene or subject.

A while back I contributed to a post on the Shutterstock Web site, as part of my work with OFFSET, one of my stock image agencies, and I thought I’d start there, and expand on what I said. The post was about how to avoid clichés in our photography, and I started out by saying “If you fill your head with other peoples’ photos before you arrive, you spend your whole time trying to find their photos.”

I’ve mentioned this here a number of times over the years, but I thought I’d expand on this today. In the article I went on to say that I’m not sure that I do avoid clichés, but the reason for this is the same as the reason that I possibly sometimes do avoid them. Basically, although it is most likely either still photos or video of a location that provides the initial spark, the desire to visit any given location, once I’ve decided to go, I avoid looking at photography from the places I visit beforehand.

This isn’t specifically to avoid cliches, but I find that if you fill your head with other peoples’ photos before you arrive, you spend your whole time trying to find their photos, and this can paralyze your own creativity. You have to avoid planting these seeds to leave yourself fully open to your own creativity.

If the results end up new and fresh, that’s great. If the results end up cliché, it’s simply because I wasn’t aware of how other people had already photographed the location, and the classic shot was just too obvious to avoid, or maybe I’d subconsciously drawn from an old memory. I also sometimes get back from a place and someone shows me an iconic shot that I’d totally missed. That pangs, but it’s fine too, because my own creativity didn’t lead me to that particular angle or framing.

Jewel on the Shore

I’d much rather come home with images that are from me. From my own heart and know that my work is mine. I’ve seen people in the field looking for shots they’ve seen, and they are totally blinkered by their quest to find and collect their own copy of someone else’s image.

So, my advice here, is however you get to the point where you have decided to visit a place, don’t ruin your chances of making something totally your own, by spending hours on line looking at photos from that location. It will only paralyze your own creativity in the field.

Originality is a State of Mind

What this boils down to, is that we have to make a decision to make our work totally our own. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be totally original on a universal scale. Even if we have consumed every image of a location that we can find, and then specifically avoided shooting all of them, the chances are, someone at some point has still shot something similar to your new photo.

I’ve come across people that equally paralyzed by trying too hard to avoid shooting images similar to those that others have shot. They study the hell out of a location they’ll visit, and then failing to find something new, come away with virtually nothing. I’d say this is worse than following my advice, and not looking at images to avoid planting visual seeds.

I’d like to propose that originality is a state of mind, rather than an absolute value that stands up to universal scrutiny. What I mean by this, is when I look at an image that I’ve shot, and know deep down that it was influenced by someone else’s work, I get a sinking feeling, the degree of which is directly linked to how much of that influence made it into the image.

When I make a photo that I can say in all honestly contains no specific external influence, my experience when I look at the image is much purer and special to me. I have a greater sense of pride when I look at these images after the shoot. The sense of accomplishment trumps anything that I can get from making a beautiful photograph that was influenced to some degree by the work of others.

These images are truly original to me, regardless of what else was photographed before me. That is really all that matters to me. I work first and foremost for myself, and any other similarity that I was not aware of is pretty much irrelevant.

What I’m Not Saying

I want to also make it clear that I am not saying we should not look at other peoples’ photographs. As I’ve also mentioned in the past, I believe that as we make our own images and decide on our composition and camera settings, we draw on a mental database of images.

For me, this often starts with my own previous work that I like, and also images that didn’t work out. If I fail to make an image of a place that really signs to me, I spend a lot of time trying to understand why I wasn’t able to make a better image.

The more I shoot, the better I become at recognizing when I’m falling short in the field, and correcting my mistakes while I’m still there. Occasionally though, I do still get home and feel that I failed to really do a scene or subject justice, so I spend the time to try and figure out why, and keep all of my failures in my database, along with my successes.

Of course, to widen our horizons, it is also very important that we learn from the work of others to add to our mental database of possibilities. Looking at the work of others, especially the masters upon whose shoulders we stand, provides us with almost endless possibilities.

It’s even OK I guess to try to emulate the work of the masters, as a learning experience, to develop your own sensibilities and technical skills, but once you’ve learned from that, we move on to draw from these images and experiences, and make work that is truly our own.

Your Trusted Critic

Another concept that I’d like to touch on, is the role of your Trusted Critic. This is also something I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past, but wanted to reiterate today. I’m not one for listening to every piece of criticism available. I don’t care what people that I don’t really know think of my images. It feels nice to get a pat on the back, but if someone tells me they don’t like an image, I generally shrug it off, unless I trust that person to some degree.

In White

I think it’s important to have at least a few trusted critics, who we can turn to for honest feedback about our work. For me, my first port of call is usually my wife. Family can be tricky, if they have a tendency to only tell you nice things about your work, but my wife can be totally brutal, and that’s important.

I don’t have to listen to her, but quite often what she says is totally on the mark, and it really helps me to see what I’m doing wrong, and being aware of that is the first step in fixing any problem. So, as I build my database of dos and don’ts, I keep the advice of my trusted critics in mind as well.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris

This may leave you wondering how I do plan for a shoot in a location that I’ve never visited. I’m usually too busy to do much real planning, but there are a couple of things that I sometimes do before setting out, and one is to consult The Photographer’s Ephemeris. For many years TPE has been an invaluable aid to photographers planning trips.

Regardless of whether I want to photograph the sunrise and sunset, the time that the sun rises and sets are important to our photography, as is the angle and height of the sun in the sky at the time we expect to be in our location. It sometimes shows us that it would be better to arrive at a different time of day to optimize our opportunities at any given location.

TPE Bihoro Pass

Thinking about it, I’ve probably used TPE as much to find out where the moon will be as much as the sun. It’s very easy to get this information from a desktop computer, or with apps for iOS and Android devices.

Just checking The Photographer’s Ephemeris web site, I see that they have now partnered with Skyfire to bring sunrise and sunset color forecasts to the TPE iOS app. This is only available in the US and Canada, and they have a nice warning regarding this in the app if you try to add Skyfire outside of these locations, but I’m hoping that this service will spread, and one day be available around the world.


Another app I love, and have been using for many years, is VelaClock. I find myself opening VelaClock more than TPE when I just want quick information on Sunrise and Sunset times, as well as Moonrise and Moonset times, and the phases of the moon.

Needless to say, both apps have the ability to set a time in the future for planning purposes, and can also simply show details for your current location, if you are already there. I really like the fact that I can also see the azimuth of the sun and moon when they rise, so I can align elements of my scene accordingly in preparation for them appearing on the horizon.

Be a Creator Not a Collector

Anyway, enough about the apps, my main point for today, is to encourage you to resist the temptation to check out hordes of photographs of the locations you’ll visit or subjects you’ll shoot, at least for the last month or two before you go, if you have time before you actually go that is. Keep your mind free of fresh influences, so that you can be fully open to the opportunities you make for yourself in the field.

Of course, if you are going to spend a lot of money getting to a location, you will want to do your homework, and looking at photos is a great way to do that, but once you’ve decided you are going to visit somewhere, stop looking at photos. I know this can be scary, but how much satisfaction can you really gain from coming away with a handful of images that you copied from someone else?

Working from our own hearts is the way in which we finally start to build our own style as a photographer. I’d much rather come away with images that I know are “me” based on my own appreciation of what I saw in the field. If I miss something beautiful, or inadvertently make an image similar to someone else’s, so be it. But the satisfaction that I get from making an image that I know is truly mine, is much more satisfying than gathering copies of other peoples’ work.

Show Notes

The Photographer’s Ephemeris:


Music by Martin Bailey


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Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

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The post Be a Creator Not a Collector of Photographs (Podcast 571) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[The Mobile Photographer’s Image Management Strategy (Podcast 570)]]> 2017-04-27T02:10:33Z 2017-04-26T09:07:48Z It’s been two years since I explained my image management strategy as a  traveling photographer, and I’m finding myself explaining what’s changed a lot...

The post The Mobile Photographer’s Image Management Strategy (Podcast 570) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

It’s been two years since I explained my image management strategy as a  traveling photographer, and I’m finding myself explaining what’s changed a lot in email conversations, so today, I’m going to walk through this with you again, and update you on the changes I’ve made.

First of all, allow me to explain the problems that I’m overcoming with my workflow, so that this all makes sense as we work through my thinking.

Problems to Overcome

One question I get asked about a lot, and why I often send people to this post, is how do I move smoothly between computers when I get back from a trip. People tend to make the process of getting images from a trip back into their main library a very painful process.

The good news is, if you build your workflow around the premise that you will travel, you don’t have to do anything special. I’ll go into details shortly, but basically I have to click one button when I get home after a trip, to initiate a backup of my images, and I’m done. In fact, I have to click that same button whenever I go to my desktop computer, so nothing changes. I literally transition between my laptop and desktop computer with zero effort, as I’ll explain.

Another problem people often come up against, is keeping track of what is backed up to where. I’ve found that it’s very important to decide which hard disk contains your working data, and which hard disks are just a backup. If you work on images in separate locations it soon becomes a real pain to keep them synchronized, so we build this into our strategy.

Finally, I think it’s vitally important that we have a multiple backups of our precious photos at home, as well as a copy in the cloud. Having everything under one roof could be a recipe for disaster, if indeed, disaster should strike. Should something catastrophic happen to your house or business premises containing all of your local backups, having the ability to contact someone to receive a backup of all your data could be the only possible way to rebuild your image library, as you rebuild your life.

Same Strategy, Different Software

One other major change over the last few years, is that I’m now using Phase One’s Capture One Pro as my raw processing and image management software. The details regarding what I did in Lightroom are still in the original post, so you can certainly still reference that post for details, and as you’ll see, most of what we’ll cover doesn’t really change depending on the software you are using in your workflow.

Move Catalog Drive Rather Than Synching Computers

The cornerstone of our digital workflow is our image catalog, or now that I’m using Capture One Pro, catalogs, in the plural. I have more than one now unfortunately. But, I’ve found that keeping track of multiple catalogs and keeping them backed up has not been a problem.

The important thing is that I keep my catalog on an external hard drive, and this needs to be relatively fast. A USB 3.0 hard drive generally won’t cut it. I’ve actually changed my hard drive twice since my fist post. I used a Drobo Mini over Thunderbolt, and then 4TB Western Digital Thunderbolt drive a long time, but as I bought a new MacBook Pro with USB-C ports at the end of last year, I picked up a Sandisk Extreme 900 portable SSD drive, and have been very happy with it. These are expensive drives though, currently retailing at $787 on B&H.

These external SSD drives over USB-C 3.1 Gen2 are incredibly fast though, and remove any and all stress related to running your image catalog and images on an external drive. The Western Digital thunderbolt drives were fast too, but nowhere near as fast as these SSD drives. The Extreme 900 comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB 3.0 Type-A to USB-C cable, so I can plug it straight into either my new MacBook Pro or my older iMac. The speed is actually pretty respectable over USB 3.0 on my iMac as well. The problem with other USB 3.0 drives is that the 2.5 inch hard drives are slow, but that isn’t the case with SSD.

The downside, is that the largest available volume at this point in time is 1.92TB, so I had to rethink a few things. I can just about fit my Finals and current year of images on this drive, although it will be tight. I’ll explain this in more detail shortly, but the important thing to note here, is that I have all of the work that is important to work on at the current time on this drive, and I run my Capture One Pro catalogs from this drive. When I move computers, I simply unplug the drive from one, and plug it into the other. When I reopen Capture One, I’m taken right back to the location that I left off when I closed the catalog on the other computer.

Catalog Strategy

When I moved to Capture One, I found that it couldn’t handle all of my images in a single catalog, so I split my images into multiple catalogs. Each year of images has its own catalog, except for the first six years, from 2000 to 2005, because I didn’t have that much work, and so I was able to fit this all into a single catalog.

So, I currently have one catalog called 2000-2005, and separate catalogs for each year from 2006 onwards. These year catalogs contain every image that I shot for each year. I do all of my initial editing and image rating in these catalogs, until I have finalized my selection. Once I have finalized my selection, I copy my images to another catalog, called Finals. This catalog contains a separate folder for each year. I also copy the physical images to a Finals folder with one subfolder for each year. I’ll cover this in more detail later.

Catalog List in Capture One Pro

Although I wasn’t happy about having to split up my catalog initially, in practice, it hasn’t been that bad. You can easily get to each catalog from a pull down in Capture One Pro (right) and I have all of the photos that are worth a hoot in my Finals catalog anyway, so most of the time I tend to flick between my Finals and the current year catalogs.

Master and Backup Copies

As I mentioned, I learned from experience that it’s really better to avoid having multiple copies of folders and catalogs that you work on, so it’s really important to decide where you are going to put your catalogs and folders of images, and decide which on is the master, and which ones are just for backup purposes.

If you work on a copy of your image library on one computer, and then work on a different copy of your image library on another computer, at some point you are going to wonder which copy is the most recent, and you’ll have forgotten. Even when using software such as ChronoSynch that we’ll look at later, which has the ability to synchronize the latest files between locations, there will come a point when you have two copies of the same file that have both been worked on, and when you select one copy, you throw away what you did to the earlier copy, or you keep both copies and that’s avoidable, so I prefer not to.

My Master and Backup Copy Strategy

For me, I’ve found it best to have my current years worth of images and all of my Finals on my Sandisk Extreme 900 SSD drive, and I have all previous years on a Drobo 5D, which is attached to my iMac in my studio. I never need to access my original photos from previous years while traveling, and I because I do travel with all of my Final selects, I can get to those if necessary.

Let’s map this out and start to visualize my strategy, starting with my desktop computer, in the studio. When I have my Sandisk Extreme SSD drive, which I call Traveller, attached to my iMac, I can see, open and edit every image I’ve ever photographed. We’ll build this out like a presentation slide deck, so excuse the blank space on the right side of Diagram #1 (below).

Studio Workflow and Backup Strategy Diagram #1

At it’s bare minimum, my workflow starts with shooting images, and transferring them to my Traveller drive. This drive contains the master copy of all of the current year’s images and all of my Finals, which is every photo I’ve ever made that I consider good enough to use, and my current year and Finals Capture One catalogs. These things all live on my Traveller drive, so that I can easily move this to my laptop, as we’ll see shortly.

Automatic Backups

I use an application called ChronoSync from Econ Technologies to synchronize my files and catalogs around. I used Robocopy when I was on Windows, but it’s not all that intuitive. Other Windows applications that were suggested following the last post I did on this are SyncBack and GoodSync, which is multi-platform.

With ChronoSync you can create synchronization jobs and bundle them together, and schedule a batch of jobs to run whenever a specific drive is attached to a computer. Let’s walk through this

I have two sync jobs that mirror my current year and my Finals folders to my Drobo. Here is a screenshot of my current year sync job (below) and this is simply going to copy everything new in my 2017 folder on my Traveller SSD to a 2017 folder in a folder called Photo Originals on my Drobo.

ChronoSync Job

Using the Mirror option will also delete anything that I have deleted from my Traveller. This is important, because as I remove images from my main copy, I don’t want to leave them in my backup. I also create a Rule to not copy the hidden .DS_Store files to my Drobo. They are specific to each drive, so I don’t want them to be included.

I have a similar job to Mirror my entire Finals folder to my Drobo as well. I don’t Mirror just the current year of my Finals, because as I work on images, I sometimes change images from previous years, so I want to keep this all synchronized with my Drobo.

I also have two special jobs that synchronize only things that have changed inside my Finals and current year Capture One catalogs. To do this, turn on “Allow package file selection” when you are locating the drive and folder to synchronize, and then ChronoSync will treat the package files as a folder, and synchronize the contents.

Sync Package Contents

If you don’t do this, ChronoSync will synchronize the entire package, and that would cause a very large file to be copied to my Drobo every time I sync, and it would cause the entire catalog to be unnecessarily backed up to the cloud every time I sync.

Group Jobs Together in a Container

Once I have all of my sync jobs created, I wrap them up in what’s called a Container, as we can see in this screenshot (below). After adding all of the relevant jobs to a container, you can click the Add to Schedule button and schedule these jobs to run automatically.

ChronoSync Container

You can schedule sync jobs based on various actions, or simply have them run at a set time each day, but for this purpose, I select to run the job “When An Independent Volume Mounts” and this enables me to select my Traveller drive (below). I also select “Prompt user before running”. I want to be prompted, because I don’t necessarily want or need to synchronize my drive every time I plug it in to my iMac.

Schedule Sync Jobs

Once I have this set up, whenever I plug my Traveller drive into my iMac, I see a little popup like this (below) that asks me if I want to synchronize my Traveller with my iMac.

ChronoSync Popup

So, although it takes a little bit of time to set up, I can now with one click automatically backup my images and catalogs to my computer. Let’s continue to build out the slides to check where we are in our backup strategy (below).

Studio Workflow and Backup Strategy Diagram #2

We now see that as soon as I attach my Traveller drive to my iMac, my catalogs are automatically backed up to my iMac. I keep a backup of my catalogs on my iMac hard drive for a number of reasons. The first is because if I put them on the Drobo, it would take me longer to backup my Drobo, because I’d need to create separate ChronoSync sync jobs to avoid copy entire catalogs, as I mentioned earlier. The second reason for doing this is that I also set up Time Machine to backup my iMac drive, so that would be an easy way to get back to a working copy if anything went wrong.

Cloud Backup

We can also see from this diagram that as soon as any new images are copied to my Drobo, they are automatically backed up to my Backblaze account. Backblaze has been great, and for just $50 per year, you can get unlimited storage in the cloud. If I ever had some kind of catastrophic disaster that took out all of my local copies of my images, I could have Backblaze send me hard drives with my 12TB of data on them, and I’d be back up and running in no time.

Location of Files

Let’s also recap on where everything is now. The master copy of my current year’s work and my Finals library of images, and the working catalog for this work is all on my Traveller SSD. The master copy of all of my previous years work is sitting on my Drobo, and whenever I reference these images, I launch the catalogs from my iMac hard drive.

An easy way to look at this, is everything from previous years is based in my studio, on my desktop workstation. Everything that travels with me, is on my Traveller drive.

Local Fault Tolerance

Let’s move on to look at one last slide from my studio setup (below). Although my Drobo has fault tolerance built in, and I can have one drive fail without losing my data, there is always a slim but real chance that more than one drive dies at the same time, or that the entire device could die on me. Because I don’t want to rely on Backblaze sending me my work on hard drives just for a drive failure, I actually have a second Drobo 5D, which is a straight mirror of my first.

Studio Workflow and Backup Strategy Diagram #3

I have a reminder scheduled on my computer to remind me to turn on my second Drobo once a week, and mirror my first Drobo to it. I use ChronoSync for this as well. When I set up my first Drobo 5D I used drives that turned out to be very noisy, so I demoted that Drobo to the backup, and have bought quieter Western Digital Red drives for the main Drobo, as that’s turned on most of the time. They also use quite a lot of power running five 3.5 inch hard drives, so I only turn on the second one when necessary.

I know that some people have had bad experiences with Drobo drives, but I have been very happy with mine, and have never had any problems. But, technology does fail, so I just don’t want to have my main copy of all of my work to exist in just one place locally.

Mirroring Entire Drives with ChronoSync

To close the loop on the last diagram before we move on, please note that to mirror the contents of my first Drobo 5D to my second with ChronoSync Task, because we will mirror the root of the drive, I set up a few Rules to prevent ChronoSync from copying and overwriting some important system files, as we can see in this screenshot (below).

Sync Drobo #1 to Drobo #2

Let’s Get Mobile

OK, so now let’s move on and look at what happens when I’m traveling, or simply working away from my studio. As you can see, I just plug in my Traveller SSD drive, and continue working. If I had actually closed down Capture One Pro on my iMac with that Snow Monkey photo displayed, it would have opened at the same location when I move to my MacBook Pro.

Travel Workflow and Backup Strategy

I also travel with three USB 3.0 hard drives. These are too slow to run my catalogs and images from, but as backups they work fine. One is just a Time Machine backup, that I plug in at the hotel every few days, usually over night, if I can leave my MacBook Pro plugged in to the electricity.

Carry Spare Backup Drives

I then have two backups, which I once again automatically synchronize with ChronoSync. I have a schedule set up to detect each drive as it is attached to my computer, and it asks me if I want to mirror my images and catalogs to the hard drive. I make two backups, simply because one drive could fail. Actually, all of my drives could fail, but having spent many months on the road, over the years, I’ve actually had just one drive fail on me. That was in Antarctica though, and believe me, when there are no shops around, having a spare is very important.

It’s a little nerve racking to only have one master copy and one backup of my images while traveling, but if my second backup drive was to fail, I’d kill my Time Machine backup, and continue to make a backup of my images. Thinking of it this way, carrying these three drives is more to give me backup drives, than an actual backup of my images, but as it’s all automatic once I’ve plugged the drive in, I just keep them up to date at the end of each day.

Keep Your Copies Separated

One other important aspect of having these backups, is that I feel it’s very important to keep these separate as you travel. I always travel with a photographer vest, and keep my master copy in my vest, on my person, at all times. Even when I go to the bath when traveling domestically here in Japan, I take my Traveller drive with me and put it in a locker.

Having three backups of your images isn’t going to help you at all if they are all in the same bag, and you lose that bag. I generally keep one backup in my bag, and the second in my suit case. These means something would have to happen to all three copies in separate locations for me to lose my entire library of images while traveling.

Turn Off Cloud Backups While Traveling, Please!!

I don’t do cloud backups while traveling, partly because I only pay for one computer on Backblaze, and it’s better to make that my iMac as it’s always on and connected to the Internet. Also, hotel Wifi is usually not good enough to bear up to uploading large numbers of raw files. Many people have automatic backups turned on now, and you can literally watch the network go down as a bus load of photographers get to their rooms after a days shooting. I wish more people would turn this off while on the road.

Synching Settings Files

One other thing that I need to mention before we move on, is that to make moving between computers totally seamless, I also synchronize my Capture One Pro settings folder by moving it to my Dropbox, and creating a symbolic link in the original location. This isn’t officially supported by Phase One, but I’ve been working this way for 10 months now, and haven’t found any problems.

Here is the code I use with my name replaced by USER_NAME. This assumes that you’ve moved the “Capture One” preferences folder under the “Application Support” folder to a folder called “Capture One Prefs” inside a folder called “Capture One” in your Dropbox. This code only works on a Mac, and please do this at your own risk.

ln -s "/Users/USER_NAME/Dropbox/Capture One/Capture One Prefs" "/Users/USER_NAME/Library/Application Support/Capture One"

You of course have to do this on all computers that you will work on, to ensure that your preferences are copied between each via your Dropbox. If you don’t know how to create a symbolic link in Windows, this tutorial will probably help.

Set a Hard Drive Letter for Windows

If you use this strategy in a Windows environment, you’ll probably also need to ensure that the drive letter of your Traveller drive doesn’t change as you move it from computer to computer. Here’s another tutorial on how to do that. Just ensure that you select the same letter on all computers you work on. Give yourself some room too, so that you can still have lots of dynamically lettered drives on your desktop. T for Traveller would be a good option.

Not Really a Cross Plastform Solution

I should also mention that this solution may not ideal if you switch between Windows and Mac regularly. The catalog can be taken from one operating system to the other and will open, but Windows and the Mac OS reference drives differently, so you’d need to tell the other OS where your files live each time you open the catalog on the other system.


Once you have all of this in place, you will literally be able to move your Traveller hard drive from computer to computer, and continue working as though you were on the same computer. Because you have your Capture One Pro settings syncing too, even all of your presets are available on both computers. They essentially become identical.

Exporting Original Format Images

Export Original Images to Finals

Let’s start to wrap up now, with a few other pieces of advice based on my own workflow.

To get my final select images from my original photo folders to my Finals folder I select the images that I want to export and right click one of the thumbnails, and from the shortcut menu, select Export > Originals. You can also get to this option from the File menu.

I don’t change the image name on export, because I change it on import. After checking the destination, I ensure that Include Adjustments is turned on, then click the Export button, as you see in this screenshot (right).

I don’t package my images as EIP or Enhanced Image Package format files, because the thought of wrapping my images in something non-standard scares me. I just want my raw images in a new location, that’s all.

Synchronize Finals Folder

Once the export process has completed, I switch to my Finals catalog, locate the folder for the year I exported my images to, then right click that, and select Synchronize. Capture One will then go and look for anything new in my current year folder, and import them into my Finals catalog. As long as you turn on the Include Adjustments checkbox on export, any changes made to your images will also be applied to your new copy.

Starting a New Year

At the start of each new year, I have a little bit of cleaning up to do, to prepare for starting to photograph the new year. First of all, I ensure that I have completed all edits that I want to do on my previous year’s images, and ensure that I have run my backup to mirror these images to my Drobo.

Then, I close the catalog in Capture One Pro, and delete the folder from my Traveller drive. After that, when I reopen the catalog in Capture One, my folders all show up as missing, as you can see in this screenshot (below).

Locate Missing Folder

To fix that, and complete the process, right click the top level drive or folder, and select Locate from the shortcut menu. You’ll then be able to navigate to the copy of your year folder that was your backup copy until a few minutes ago. After spending some time locating all of your images in the new location, you are ready to continue to use your catalog. From this point on, this becomes your master copy, along with all of the other previous years.

Create a New Year Folder

And of course, you also need to create a new year folder to ingest all of the new work that you’ll make. Remember that this will live on your Traveller drive for the current year, along with your Finals, if that’s how you work, and you’ll just proceed as you did in the previous year. It’s all quite easy once you have gotten your head around it.


Having spent many years tweaking and developing a smooth workflow, I’m very happy with how I work, so I hope this helps you to smooth out any possible kinks that you might have in your own workflow. As I mentioned earlier too, if you don’t use Capture One Pro, the techniques and strategy that I covered should be pretty transferable to whatever program you use to manage and edit your photographs.

Show Notes

Sandisk Extreme 900 SSD:




Western Digital Red Drives on B&H:

Music by Martin Bailey


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Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post The Mobile Photographer’s Image Management Strategy (Podcast 570) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[Artist Feature – Lee Chapman of Tokyo Times (Podcast 569)]]> 2017-04-17T01:20:43Z 2017-04-17T00:02:47Z This week I’m sharing a video that I made recently to interview Lee Chapman of Tokyo Times. Lee is a street photographer who takes...

The post Artist Feature – Lee Chapman of Tokyo Times (Podcast 569) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

This week I’m sharing a video that I made recently to interview Lee Chapman of Tokyo Times. Lee is a street photographer who takes his craft to the limits when it comes to getting up close to his subjects, although he’s generally a pretty shy person.

I have released this episode as a small iPhone version video in the podcast feed, but I recommend you watch the full sized video below to enjoy Lee’s beautiful work to the full.

Some of Lee’s work can seem very in-your-face, as he gets quite close to his subjects, generally without their permission, but as you’ll hear Lee explain in our conversation, his goal is never to annoy his subjects, and he always wants to portray them well, or at least as good as their situation allows. His subjects range from Tokyo’s youth, people that could be movie stars, to inhabitants of the red-light district, and his photos invoke a myriad of emotions that are unique to Lee’s work and his style.

Anyway, rather than writing about it, grab a coffee, kick up your feet, and go full-screen to enjoy Lee’s world in all it’s gritty glory.

Catch up with Lee Chapman Online

Lee’s Blog:

Lee’s Portfolios:





Some of Lee’s Beautiful Images

We view more than this in the video, but here is a small selection of Lee’s work.

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

© Lee Chapman

Show Notes

Watch this and other videos on our Vimeo channel here:


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in iPhone sized video.

The post Artist Feature – Lee Chapman of Tokyo Times (Podcast 569) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[The Effect of Subject Distance and Focal Length on Perspective (Podcast 568)]]> 2017-04-12T15:36:22Z 2017-04-10T13:56:26Z Today I explain the effect that changing your subject distance and focal length has on the perspective of the visual elements in...

The post The Effect of Subject Distance and Focal Length on Perspective (Podcast 568) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Today I explain the effect that changing your subject distance and focal length has on the perspective of the visual elements in your photographs. This is often confused with a change in perspective due to your lenses focal length alone, but that really isn’t the case. Let me explain why.

I’m actually writing this post on request from my friends over at Craft & Vision. They asked me to do this last year, and I’m just getting to it now that the dust is settling after my winter tour season. I also shot the example photos that we’ll reference on the park near my brother’s house in the UK on Christmas Eve 2016. They aren’t great photos, but I wanted a scene with two distinct elements in it, one close by and one far away, so that we could see the effect I’m going to explain.

Focal Length Alone Does Not Change Perspective

People sometimes get confused when talking about this subject, and end up talking about how changing the focal length changes the perspective, and it actually does not. The only time the perspective changes is if you change the distance from your camera to the subject.

If you also change your focal length to maintain the same subject size, you will see a dramatic change in the relationship between the foreground subjects and the elements in the background. If you simply put a camera on a tripod, and without changing the distance to your subject, then shoot a series of images as you zoom in or out, you can crop away the excess image that is captured in the images at wider focal lengths, and you’ll see that the relationship between the main subject and the background will be exactly the same. The perspective itself does not change by changing the focal length alone.

The reason the perspective will change in my example photos, is because I moved closer to my main subject and zoomed out, changing my focal length, to make the the main subject appear the same size in each photograph. When you do this, the relationship between the subject and the background elements changes dramatically, as we’ll see.

The Effect of Subject Distance on Perspective

Let’s take a look at my example shots to explain. For these examples, I needed a nearby and a distant subject, so that I could easily explain this theory. I grew up playing in this park on holidays and weekends, and knew that I’d be able to find a tree to place in front of the power station in the distance, so let’s work with this.

My first image was shot at 105mm, from a distance of approximately 100 meters (330 ft). After making this first exposure, I made a mental note of where the tree was in the frame, so that I can recreate that as I moved closer.

Tree and Power Station (105mm from 100m)

I changed my 24-105mm lens from 105mm to 70mm, looking at the focal length markings on the barrel of the lens. Then I walked closer to the tree, checking the size of the tree in the frame, until I got it approximately the same size as in my first photograph.  This second image was shot at 70mm from a distance of approximately 70 meters (230 ft). Notice how the tree is the same size, but the power station behind it has shrunk a little.

Tree and Power Station (70mm from 70m)

I repeated the process, changing the focal length of my lens from 70mm to 50mm, and moved closer still to the tree, until it was the same size in the frame again and shot my third image approximately 55 meters (180 ft). Once again, see how much smaller the power station has become.

Tree and Power Station (50mm from 55m)

For my final image I zoomed all the way out to 24mm and moved close enough for the tree to look the same size in the frame, and shot this from approximately 25 meters (82 ft).

Tree and Power Station (24mm from 25m)

To compare these four images, you can click on them to open the images in a viewer, and then click the right or left side of the images to move back and forth.

When you compare all four of these images, you’ll see that the tree is pretty much the same size in each, but if you look at the apparent size of the power station in the background, you’ll see that it changes dramatically as we get closer to the tree and zoom out to maintain the size of the tree. Let move on to explain why this happens.

Field of View

As we change the focal length of our lenses, we change their field of view. This is how much of the world we are able to capture in our image, and it’s directly linked to the focal length. On a full frame or 35mm sensor camera, at 105mm we can photograph horizontally 20° of the world around us. At 70mm we get 30°, at 50mm we get 40° and at 24mm, 75° of the scene before us enters our lens.

You can usually find the field of view for your lenses on the manufacturer’s web site, but I checked the field of view for each of my example photographs with a program called Raw Digger, that allows me to dig into my EXIF data. Canon actually write the field of view for the focal length used in the EXIF data of each image, and that’s really handy.

I also went into Canon’s Map Utility that comes with my GP-E2 device that I use to geotag my images, and using the scale on the map and a rule against my computer display, I calculated the shooting distances that I mentioned earlier. With these two pieces of information, we can easily chart out the relationship between the four example images, including our shooting distance and the angle of view, as you can see in this diagram (below).

The Effect of Subject Distance and Focal Length on Perspective

After you click to view it larger, to stop the image from automatically advancing, just place your mouse cursor over the image.

Calculate Subject Size Based on Distance and Degree

To really explain this we’re going to have to get a bit geeky. Believe me, I’m no mathematician. It was my worst subject at school and I hate numbers, except when it comes to something that I’m interested in, like business, computers and photography, then I do like to dig down a little. First of all, for my own sake, I want to make sure that I’m doing this right, and to do that, I first figured out how to calculate the size of the tree in the photograph.

We know that Π (pi) = 3.14159, so if we divide 180 degrees, the widest field of view we’re ever likely to be using in photography, by 3.14159, we get 57. That means we can calculate the size of an object by multiplying the distance by the field of view in degrees and dividing that by 57.

Armed with this formula, we can calculate that at 105mm, when I first photographed the tree from a distance of approximately 100m, the field of view captured in the photograph was about 35 meters at the distance of the tree.

100 × 20 ÷ 57 = 35 meters

In Adobe Illustrator I resized the example images to 1,000 pixels wide, and used the measure tool to find that tree was 440 pixels wide, so it’s taking up 44% of the field of view. So we can multiply 35 by 0.44 to learn that the tree is approximately 15.4 meters across at its widest point. That sounds about right!

Width of Subject = Subject Distance × Field of View ÷ 57 × Subject Width (i.e. 44% = 0.44)

If we take the widest focal length of 24mm and do the calculation, we get roughly the same answer. At 24mm the field of view is 75° and I photographed the tree from 25 meters. So, 25 x 75 / 57 x 0.44 equals 14.4 meters. There’s a small variance, but I’m getting my actual shooting distance from my GPS information, and measuring it with a very small rule on a computer screen. There may also be something going on as we focus the lens, so I’m not too concerned about this variance. It’s close enough to prove to me at least, that my math isn’t too cranky.

Near and Far Objects

We can also mathematically understand why the power station gets smaller in relation to the tree, starting by doing the same calculations. Measuring out the distance from where I was when I took these photos, we are about 3,500 meters from the power station and it takes up approximately 37% of the field of view in the 105mm focal length photograph, so, 3500 x 20 / 57 = 1228 x 0.37, the power station is about 454 meters wide from this angle.

In the 24mm photograph, the power station takes up about 10% of the field of view, and we’ve moved 75m closer to the subject so 3425 x 75 / 57 x 0.1, which comes to 450 meters. Again, there is a very slight variance, but based on this we can see that we are able to approximately calculate the size of the objects in the frame based on the distance to the objects and the field of view of our lens at any given focal length.

Field of View in the Distance

To understand why distant objects are smaller in wider focal length images, let’s do one last pair of calculations, and find the width of our slice of world captured at the distance of the power station, kind of as a checksum. We actually got these numbers as part of our previous calculation, but to recap, we know that the power station is approximately 3500 meters away in our 105mm photo which has a field of view of 20°. At 100 meters, where the tree is, this captures 35 meter of the scene, but if we extend this out to where the power station is, we are capturing 1,228 meters of the world.

At 25 meters with a focal length of 24mm we are capturing 33 meters of the world, but at 3,425 meters, where the power station is, that captures a 4,500 meter wide scene. So an object which is approximately 450mm wide is going to take up 10% of a 24mm image, as opposed to 37% of a 105mm photograph. We know that we maintained the tree size at 44%, so this is our proof for why things get smaller as they get further away.

Not being very good at maths, after spending most of the day working on these formula, you can probably imagine how happy I was when I entered my calculations into an Excel spreadsheet, and calculated the size of the tree and power station based on field of view and distance alone, and then calculated that the percentage of the width that the power station would take in my images, was exactly the same as that which I’d calculated by measuring the pixels in Adobe Illustrator.

One Sentence Take-Away

In practical use, we simply need to remember the following sentence.

As we widen our focal length and move closer to our main subject the background elements in our scene will appear smaller.

That’s it! I know that this is somewhat obvious, and many of you will look at this alone, and think, I knew that! And that’s great, but I hope now that you’ll have a better understanding of why this happens. I know I understand it better than I did this morning, when I sat down to think about the math.

A Practical Examples

Let’s look at a few more photos from the field, not shot to illustrate this point per se, but they will help to get a better understanding of how different our images can be just by thinking about the distance to subject and focal length.

Here is a photo of a tree in front of a sand dune in Namibia (below), which I shot from 85 meters (280 ft) from the tree. Again, I know this because I geotag my images and checked on Google maps. My focal length for this was 80mm, but I cropped in a little along the top, so it’s probably the equivalent of 90mm.

Namibian Dune (from 280 ft)

Namibia Tree and Dune (from 100ft)

The next image (right) was part of a series of images that I shot vertically to stitch together as a panorama, but it didn’t work, because the dune looked tiny in relation to the tree. In all honesty I don’t really know why I proceed to shoot the series, but it helps to illustrate this point, so all is good.

I actually shot this from around 30 meters (100 ft) away from the tree. Because I’ve gone to portrait/vertical orientation with the camera for this photo, we automatically get more foreground and sky, so it’s not a straight comparison, but you will surely be able to appreciate how going a little bit wider and moving closer to the subject has shrunk the apparent size of the background.

Knowing that the final image is what I wanted, I actually exposed the next photograph (below) before the others, from around 75 meters (250 ft) away from the tree, with a focal length of 165mm.

I think you’ll appreciate that the background looks very different in the long focal length shot, from a distance, compared to the shorter focal length shot closer to the tree, even though the dune starts pretty close behind the tree. But, because the sand dune is so large, it quickly recedes into the distance, and so starts to shrink in relationship with this tree very quickly.

Dune #12 & Tree (from 250 ft)

Dune with Tree (from 1.3km)

Finally, here’s one last image (right) that I made as we walked away from this sand dune. I shot this at a distance of 1.3km (4,400 ft) with a focal length of 200mm.

Obviously now the tree is much smaller in the frame from this distance, but I want you to think about the difference between how the tree looks in this shot compared to the first two photographs of this tree and dune above. In all three images we can see the tree with the sand dune from top to bottom.

The apparent size of the tree compared to the sand dune is portrayed totally differently simply by changing my focal length and distance to the tree from the camera.

Don’t Zoom With Your Feet Just Because

One other thing that I’d like to mention, is that you’ll often hear people talking about zooming with your feet. Just as I did to get closer to this sand dune. Zoom with your feet is one of those mantras that people latch on to and use for a number of reasons.

I’m not going to go into details on my theories here, but I imagine that part of the reason for the popularity of this phrase is because people need to protect their egos, by backing up a decision to buy, or sometimes to not buy, a certain piece of gear. Worse still, sometimes people are just regurgitating a phrase that someone who should know better said in a confident tone.

Personally, when I’m photographing wild animals or photographing a valley from a cliff edge, I prefer not to walk forwards. In a situation when you can move forwards, you need to be making your decision to do so based on how the focal length, or more specifically the field of view, and the distance to your subject and scene will effect the look of your photograph. You definitely don’t want to be zooming with your feet just because someone etched the phrase zoom with your feet into your brain.

I hope that what we’ve covered today will help you to make an educated decision for yourself, as to whether it’s better to move closer to your subject, or shoot it from further away, while zooming with your lens, not your feet.

Show Notes

You can find Raw Digger here:

Music by Martin Bailey


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Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post The Effect of Subject Distance and Focal Length on Perspective (Podcast 568) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[Artist Feature – Commercial Photographer Curtis Hustace (Podcast 567)]]> 2017-04-03T08:36:34Z 2017-04-03T08:35:10Z Today I welcome Curtis Hustace to the show to talk about his thirty year career as a commercial photographer and to walk us...

The post Artist Feature – Commercial Photographer Curtis Hustace (Podcast 567) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Today I welcome Curtis Hustace to the show to talk about his thirty year career as a commercial photographer and to walk us through some of the techniques he uses when creating his beautiful still life photography.

As this was an ad-lib conversation, we don’t have a manuscript to share with you this week, so please listen with the audio player above, and follow along with the images we discuss below.

Curtis Hustace

Here are the key discussion points.

  • How Curtis got into photography
  • Curtis’ 30 year photography career
  • We look through and discuss the five beautiful photographs below, including…
    • Come up with a composition, sometimes getting inspiration from old masters
    • Light sculpting techniques and post processing
    • How much Curtis’ personal project work influences his commercial work, or vice versa
  • Three pieces of advice for someone hoping to break into commercial photography
  • The importance of printing your photographs

Catch up with Curtis Online

Curtis Hustace on YouTube

Other Links

Here are some of the other links and people that we talked about during our conversation.

Helicon Focus Stacking:

Aaron Jones:

Harold Ross Fine Art Photography:

Here are the light modifiers that Curtis mentioned:

And here is a page discussing the tools required:

Curtis also mentioned:

Curtis’ Beautiful Images

Bowl with Fruit © Curtis Hustace

Fruit With Cup © Curtis Hustace

Lemon Drop Maker © Curtis Hustace

Teapot and Cups © Curtis Hustace

Watch & Goggles © Curtis Hustace

Show Notes

You can find more of Curtis’s beautiful work here:

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post Artist Feature – Commercial Photographer Curtis Hustace (Podcast 567) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #3 (Podcast 566)]]> 2017-03-27T09:44:43Z 2017-03-27T09:43:21Z This week we conclude our travelogue series to walk you through the second of my Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours...

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #3 (Podcast 566) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

This week we conclude our travelogue series to walk you through the second of my Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours for 2017, with a number of Sea Eagle photographs.

We pick up the trail at dawn on day ten, when we were out on a boat to photograph the Steller’s Sea Eagles and White-Tailed Eagles at sunrise and for a while after that. The sea ice drifts down from Russia and we hope that it drifts far enough to make it’s way around the tip of the Shiretoko Peninsula and down into the Nemuro Strait, close to the fishing town of Rausu.

Last year the ice didn’t make it down, and this year there wasn’t a lot of ice, and what there was, was quite far away, but we made the most of it while it was there for this second tour. In this first photo from dawn on day ten (below) we see a Steller’s Sea Eagle flying close to the sun’s disk as it rose over the Kunashiri Island.

Steller’s Sea Eagle at Sunrise

I sometimes go to Aperture Priority mode when shooting into the sun like this, because it’s easier to work that way when some of the images will be facing away from the sun, and that’s how I started out on this shoot, but I am really not comfortable working in an automatic exposure mode, so by the time I shot this I had already switched back to Manual, and was just exposing so that the disk of the sun and the sky around it just starting to blow out, just a little. I then just brought those areas back under control in Capture One Pro afterwards.

Another thing I do is use the digital level in the viewfinder of the Canon EOS 5Ds R camera, so that I can try to keep the horizon straight. With fast paced wildlife work I don’t always get it straight, but this shot did not require any rotation. It actually looks like it’s tilted to the left slightly, but that’s an optical illusion, probably caused by the slant of the island above the horizon. My settings for this image were f/8 for a 1/640 of a second exposure, at ISO 2500.

A few minutes later as the sun rose further, I shot this next image, of a sea eagle whisking away a fish that another eagle had tried to take (below). These guys often seem so comical with their big yellow beaks, especially when they aren’t happy about something. They’re almost like cartoon characters to watch.

Dawn Squabble

I had adjusted my exposure slightly as the sun came up, now at f/11 to get more depth of field, especially with the multiple birds in the frame, and with my shutter speed still set to 1/640 of a second, I was now at ISO 2000. Again, I’d allowed the sky to blow out a little here, to get some detail in the birds, and reduced the sky in post.

Trading Places

Once the sun had come up we just sailed around stopping in a number of places to photograph the eagles on the ice. I generally try to get us lined up with something of interest, and for the next three shots, I was watching the eagles on the ice formation that we see in this photo (right).

Shortly before I shot this image, I had noticed a White-Tailed Eagle sitting on top of this triangle of ice, and lowered my camera to tell the participant of my tour that was standing next to me, so that we could get a photo of it taking off, but then before I raised my camera again, it did take off, and the participant got the shot, and I didn’t. That’s fine of course, I’m there to enable my participants, but I was still kicking myself for a moment.

Luckily, eagles like to sit on top of these pillars of ice, and pretty soon a second eagle rested up there, so I trained my camera on it, and waited. The eagles are also not shy when it comes to getting themselves in a prime position, so as I watched, the second eagle in this shot came crashing down onto this perch, and the eagle that was already there had to move down to the lower perch. They seem to have their pecking order all worked out. The one that is going to take the place knows that the other will just move, and they generally seem to do so quite peacefully. My settings for this image were f/10 for a 1/1600 of a second shutter speed at ISO 1600, with a focal length of 400mm.

I still didn’t have a shot of the eagle taking off from the ice, but I couldn’t resist shooting this somewhat comical image of four White-Tailed Eagles sitting on this ice formation (below). We spend between 90 minutes and two hours with the eagles each time we go out on the boat, and if the weather permits us to go out for all three days, we generally start to get time to just relax and enjoy moments like this.

King of the Hill

Of course, when there is no ice, and we just throw fish straight into the water, the action is more full on. It’s a much faster paced shoot, and I do enjoy that type of photography, but when the ice is here, it does make for something a little bit different from your regular sea eagle shots, especially as this is becoming a somewhat uncommon experience these days. My settings for this image were f/10 for a 1/1600 of a second exposure at ISO 1600. My focal length for this image was 271mm. For all of these eagle shots I was shooting with my Canon 100-400mm Mark II lens.

Eagle Takes Flight

Not wanting to miss the eagle on the tallest pinnacle of ice taking off again though, I went back to portrait orientation and zoomed in a little to 349mm and waited. My patience and shoulder ache was rewarded, as you can see in this next image (right).

I was pleased to have not gone right in to 400mm for this shot, because I wanted to include the second eagle, being as he was so close. I’ve cropped this image down from the top, making it a 4:5 ratio, as the white sky wasn’t adding anything to the image.

I generally like to crop in the preset ratios, rather than just arbitrarily cropping, as it makes life easier later when printing. Canvas stretcher bars and frames are easier to match up if you use the regular print sizes.

For this image I had dropped my shutter speed down to 1/125o of a second, at f/11, ISO 1600. This was the last shot that I want to share from our second day out with the eagles.

The following morning we went back out again, but the weather wasn’t going to be so good, and we’d had two sunrise shoots on the first two days, so I decided to take the group out on the second boat for our third morning. As we sailed out in the light it was an almost eerie scene with hundreds of eagles sitting around on the ice waiting for the fish, as you can see in the background of this photo (below).

How Many Eagles!?

I actually shot some video with my iPhone of the wider, more eerie scene, but here i was trying to include some action with the three eagles in flight. You can see just how many eagles there are though, and this is only what just happened to be in the background of a shot at 214mm. To the naked eye it’s really quite a scene. I shot this at f/10 for a 1/1600 of a second exposure at ISO 2000.

The other thing that I like to do when we have the ice, is to just try to capture moments where there is a little bit of movement to freeze, like the snow kicked up by this eagle as he lands on the snow covered ice (below). I have actually trimmed this down a little from the top left corner to remove an eagle that was sticking into the frame, but I still have an image larger than I could get with the 1DX Mark II or 7D Mark II, so I continued this year to have no regrets about my decision to sell my original 1DX or the 7D Mark II.

Snow Kickin’ Eagle

I have to admit feeling a slight pang of envy as some of the participants had brought 1D X Mark II cameras with them. I do like the 1 series bodies from Canon


, and would be all over what would be something like a 1Ds Mark IV if it had a 50 megapixel or higher sensor in it, but I’m making it work with the not so weather proof 5 series bodies, and I absolutely love the detail in the images that I’m getting, and the ability to crop like this a little when necessary. The settings for this photo were the same as the previous image.

The final eagle shot that I wanted to share for this season is of a White-Tailed Eagle in flight, as he decided to look over towards the boat for some reason (below). He’s not looking directly at me, but it’s close enough to feel the eye contact.


The light had increased just slightly on this overcast morning, so I was now at f/11 for a 1/1600 of a second shutter speed and my ISO set to 1600, and my focal length was 400mm. I was also exposing for the sky in this image which was relatively bright compared to the dark bird. I then brightened up the bird by increasing the shadows slider in Capture One Pro, and that’s the same slider in Lightroom of course.

After the eagle shoot, we started our drive around the base of the Shiretoko Peninsula to go around from Rausu to the Utoro side, and on the way, we stopped for our usual ICM or Intentional Camera Movement shoot with the birch trees. For many years I’ve shot the lighter color background version, and we started with that on this tour too, but then I went across the road to a patch of trees with a dark background, for this kind of image (below).

Haunted Trees

I prefer this patch now, probably just because I’ve gotten a little bit bored of the original photo, but I do like the eerie, almost haunted feel of this dark background. I find myself thinking in sets of images a lot as well these days, so I can also see a pair of prints, with the light and dark version next to each other, almost like a Yin and Yang sort of thing.

One other thing that I thought of as I was there shooting this ICM shot on the last tour was to make a straight photograph, without the camera movement, so that you could see exactly what it is that is making the streaks of color and contrast in the ICM shot, so here that is (below).

Haunted Trees without ICM

It’s nothing to look at as a photo of course, but hopefully this will help you to visualize what we’re doing here. I basically set the camera to a slowish shutter speed of 1/25 of a second at around f/16 or smaller if necessary to get the slow shutter speed, and I also of course set the ISO to 100 for the same reason. I then frame up my patch of trees and focus on them, then raise the camera upwards, steady my posture, then lower the camera quickly, releasing the shutter just as I know the bottom of the trees is a little way into the frame. If you time it right, the white snow starts to blur up into the base of the trees for this beautiful surreal effect.

We went to the Oshin Koshin falls as well, and then up into the Shiretoko National Park for a beautiful walk and to try to find some woodpeckers. We would usually have better look with the woodpeckers earlier in the day, and generally we go back into the park for a few hours on the last morning, but a nasty weather front was closing in, and was threatening to disrupt our return flight, so I made the decision to change our return flight to a different airport, so that I could get the group back to Tokyo on time on our last day. This meant that we had to forfeit our final shoot in the park, and head over to the airport after breakfast on the final day.

So, that brings us to the end of the photographs, but as usual, I recorded a message from each participant as we left Utoro to head for the airport. Here’s what they had to say…

[Please listen to the audio with the player above to hear what the group members had to say about the tour.]

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tours 2019

Because our 2018 tours have now filled, we’ve started to take bookings for 2019, so if you are interested, please check the details and book at If you’d like to be added to the wait list for 2018, please drop us a line. But be aware that the 2018 tours do now have a relatively long cancel list, so booking on the 2019 tours is a probably better at this point.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tour 2019

Show Notes

Check out details of the 2019 tours here:

Contact us to be added to the 2018 wait list:

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #3 (Podcast 566) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #2 (Podcast 565)]]> 2017-03-20T09:05:42Z 2017-03-20T08:42:05Z This week we continue our travelogue series to walk you through the second of my Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours...

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #2 (Podcast 565) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

This week we continue our travelogue series to walk you through the second of my Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours for 2017, with a few more crane shots, then moving on to the Whooper Swans, Sea Eagles and Foxes.

We pick up the trail on day five of the tour, when the wind was whipping up a snow devil at the Akan Crane Center, as we can see in this first image for this episode (below). The cranes get somewhat excited when the wind gets up, and they lean into it, and spread their wings, and jump up and down a bit. I got various photographs from this few minutes, but the snow was not so apparent in many of them, so I selected this one where the snow really stands out and the left side crane still has it’s wings splayed out, seemingly enjoying the moment.

Revere the Drifting Snow

Part of the reason that I like this, is because the drifting snow hides part of the background, and helps to take our attention away from the heavily textured foreground, which I don’t like. I also ran a gradual layer up to the bottom of the crane’s legs in Capture One Pro, and then lowered the clarity to reduce the texture in the snow along the bottom of the frame. My settings for this image where 1/1000 of a second shutter speed at f/11, ISO 320 at 560mm with my 200-400mm lens with the built-in Extender engaged.

Cranes Gradually Returning

The following morning, we went back to the bridge in Tsurui, for our second chance at some mist and hoar frost. On the previous day, there had been snow on the trees, which was nice, but it wasn’t cold enough for the hoar frost, and that requires mist too. So, I was pleased to see that it was a few degrees colder as we left the hotel, and sure enough, as the sun started to rise, a bit of mist formed, and started to stick to the trees on either side of the river, forming the hoar frost (below).

Dawn Conductor

There were around twice as many cranes on this day as the previous day, following the irresponsible and selfish acts of the Korean photographers on Feb 19, as I explained in Episode 564. We waited for quite a while hoping for a little more action, but the cranes weren’t very active. This is probably my favorite image from this second morning, with the crane in the back right of the scene flapping its wings, almost looking like an orchestra conductor, although the rest of the cranes don’t look very interested in his actions.

Panning with Whooper Swans

After breakfast we checked out of our hotel, and moved over to the Kussharo Lake area, where we’d photograph the Whooper Swans for a couple of days. We stopped at Lake Mashuu on the way, and then Kotan, a small corner of the lake, before we went to Sunayu, the place where we do panning shots as the light drops, and you can see an example of that in this next photograph (below).

Whooper Swan Duet

As you can see, there was still a little sunlight catching the wings of the swans in this image, which I like, but the contrast is much greater when the birds are in sunlight, so I generally like to do this after the sun has gone behind the mountains. I do like the detail caught in the wings of the foreground bird though, and I often like to try and get at least two swans in the frame at once, mainly because I already have so many shots of single swans, I just like to see what I can do with more. My settings for this image were 1/40 of a second at f/16, ISO 200, at 100mm with my 100-400mm Mark II lens.

Hoping for Sharp Heads

I went a bit crazy with the multiple swans thing for this next image (below) getting three and a half of them in the frame. I considered cloning out the half swan on the right, but not only would that be too much work, I really don’t mind him showing that there are more birds out of frame. We also get a hint of that from the footprints in the foreground, from a bird that has already left the frame.

Swan Frenzy

My settings for this were again, 1/40 of a second shutter speed, at f/16, but now the sun has gone well behind the mountains, maybe even below the horizon, so my ISO was up at 1250 at this point, and again, I was at 100mm. As I select my favorites from these panning shots, I’m generally looking for at least one sharp head. The reality is that at these shutter speeds, most frame look like the heads on the other three birds, but we usually get a few images with heads sharp, and that for me is what this is all about.

Looking for Extremes

Once I get a sharp head, I’m then looking at the wing position. Sometimes the wings look better than others, and sometimes the wings almost disappear, and that doesn’t look good at all. In this next image, I was happy to see the foreground swan’s wings at full extent upwards, and the second swan’s wings are at full extend downwards. Extremes like this are often nice, as long as the head is sharp.

Wings Up Down

There are times when I will work with these swan photos when the head isn’t sharp, if the shapes and form of the bird is pleasing enough, but I generally find myself weeding these images out of my selection as I try to get my numbers down. I guess I’m just a bit of a traditionalist in this respect. The settings for this were the same as the previous image.

Apocalyptic Fumaroles

After we spend two days photographing the Whooper Swans, we move on to Rausu to photograph the sea eagles and foxes. On the way out of town, we stop at Iouzan, or “Sulphur Mountain” to do a group shot with the steaming geothermal vents in the background, and go up to the fumaroles for a while to capture scenes like this one (below).

Light Through Steam

Although this is a location that I’ve shot to death, it’s still nice to capture with the group. I never get tired of seeing what the steam and wind will present us with. Here I waited for a bit of a tunnel of light through the steam, between some of the main fumaroles. I also decided to add a bit of a vignette to this image in Capture One Pro, to emphasize this tunnel of steam. My settings for this image were 1/320 of a second shutter speed at f/11, ISO 100 at 80mm, with my 24-105mm Mark II lens.

No Ural Owls in Hokkaido!

As usual, we stopped to see if we could find any Ural Owls at the nests I know, but there are none to be found this year. They all disappeared last December, and I believe this is because of the actions of some of the East Asian photographers visiting the nests. I’ve heard reports of them throwing things at the nests to get the owls to open their eyes or to fly, and this has probably caused the owls to retreat further back into the woods, away from the reach of humans.

Oil Drum Fox

So, once again they’ve screwed it up for everyone. The sooner they understand the wildlife that they are trying to photograph, and treat it with the respect it deserves, the better things will be for everyone that would like to photograph the animals, and of course, most importantly, for the sake of the wildlife itself.

As I mentioned last week though, when something gets taken away from us, we generally gain something else, and this year was an incredible year for the Northern Red Fox, as you can see in this image, of this cute guy sitting on an old rusty oil drum.

The snow melted quickly this year, so we were treated with a number of environments to photograph these beautiful animals in. On tour #1 we had them on top of the fishing nets, and again here on oil drums. A nice white snowy background is great too, but it’s nice to shake it up a little bit.

My settings here were 1/800 of a second exposure at f/10, ISO 320 at 560mm, which is my 200-400mm lens at full reach with the built-in 1.4X Extender engaged.

The following morning, we had our first trip out on a boat to photograph the sea eagles. For the first time in four tours, we actually had sea ice, which works well for some shots, but my favorite image from this first morning is this one of a White-Tailed Eagle catching a fish from the open water. I’d asked the skipper to go to open water towards the end of our time out at sea, so that we could get some shots like this, as opposed to over the ice.

The Catch

I have of course cropped this down some, from the top, to make it a 1:2 ratio, as I didn’t think the top of the image was adding anything to the scene. I’m really pleased that the head of the eagle is sharp here too. With the autofocus settings I use the camera does a great job of locking on to the body of the eagle and staying with it, even as the wings move across the eagle. And of course there’s a certain amount of skill involved in just framing and focusing on the bird at high speed, and with the low frame rate of the Canon EOS 5Ds R camera, I have to be very careful about when I release the shutter to capture the action. My settings here were 1/1000 of a second at f/10, ISO 800 and a focal length of 330mm.

Foxy Faceoff

Later this day, we went back out to the Notsuke Peninsula, to photograph the foxes again. The pair that you can see in this image have been hanging out together the whole season, probably brothers, and here (below) you can see them comparing mouth sizes. I actually missed the optimal moment here, as I had lowered my camera for a second, and on this occasion was too slow to raise it again as I saw them do this.

Foxy Faceoff

Still, I’m happy enough with this image, although the light was on the wrong side of the foxes. Luckily the sliders and curves in Capture One Pro enable me to bring out a lot of detail in the shadow side of the animals, so I still photograph them, especially when they are interacting like this. My settings were  a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second at f/11, ISO 1000, at 340mm.

A few minutes later I shot one of these guys stretching and yawning at the same time, as we can see in this final photograph for this episode (below). Again, the light is coming from the wrong side, but that’s not a big deal. I love the relaxed posture of this fox, and the texture of the fur in this shot is beautiful. I also like how we can see his claws sticking out of his furry feet.

Foxes Yawny Stretch

These are a truly beautiful animal and I’m really pleased that we had such a good year with them this year. I hope that they stick around for next year’s tours too. My settings for this shot was the same as the previous image.

We’ll wrap it up there for this week. Next week I’ll be back with the third and final part of this travelogue, as we cover the next two days with the sea eagles, then our final bit of landscape work before heading back to Tokyo to complete the tour. We’ll also hear from the participants next week, with our usual recording of their kind comments.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tours 2019

Because our 2018 tours have now filled, we’ve started to take bookings for 2019, so if you are interested, please check the details and book at If you’d like to be added to the wait list for 2018, please drop us a line. Note though that the 2018 wait list is getting a bit long now, so if you want to secure a place, 2019 is a safer bet.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tour 2019

Show Notes

Check out details of the 2019 tours here:

Contact us to be added to the 2018 wait list:

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #2 (Podcast 565) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #1 (Podcast 564)]]> 2017-03-13T09:26:37Z 2017-03-13T09:25:04Z Having completed the second of my two Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours for 2017 recently, today we start a travelogue series...

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #1 (Podcast 564) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Having completed the second of my two Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours for 2017 recently, today we start a travelogue series to walk you through our adventures with a selection of photographs to illustrate.

As this tour is a repeat of the first tour, and we do this every year, I’m going to skip over some of the details, and we will work through these images as quickly as possible. I’ve selected 30 shots to share, so this will be a three part series. We start with our visit to Nagano, four hours north-west of Tokyo, to photograph the adorable Snow Monkeys.

Snow Monkeys

On our first afternoon the snow was getting a bit old, with lots of texture from footprints, and there wasn’t much action in the hot spring pool, so I concentrated on getting behavior shots, like this one (below). I enjoy photographing these little groups of huddling monkeys, especially when they have a relatively clear background like this.

Monkey Ball

The monkeys look relatively static in a single frame of course, but the truth is they are moving around quite a lot while in these huddles, so it’s always necessary to try and capture a moment when you can see lots of faces with good angles. I have about six shots of this group that I like, but I chose this to share because the smaller monkeys all look relatively relaxed, and the main adult looks to be tolerating the photographers around them. In most of the other frames, he looks a little bit tense.

I shot this with a 1/250 of a second shutter speed at f/14, ISO 1000 at 227mm. I stopped down to f/14 so that I could get most of the faces acceptably sharp. Even at f/14 the monkey on the far right’s face is starting to go a little soft, but it’s sharp enough. For all of these snow monkey images I was using my 100-400mm Mark II lens from Canon.

Tough Life for a Snow Monkey

The following day, we were blessed with a ton of snow to change up our opportunities. We walked in to the park before they opened, and were kept waiting for a while as the park owners cleared some of the heavy snow on the paths, but once we got in, we had a ball for a while as the snow continued to fall.

As you can see, the Snow Monkeys were living up to their names, absolutely covered in snow. As you can perhaps see from the posture of this monkey, she was shivering from the cold. The snow was still driving across the frame, and although you might wonder why they just didn’t get into the pool to warm up, they actually don’t get in when it’s very cold, as it was on this day.

You might be able to see that the face isn’t quite sharp for this shot, but that’s intentional in this case. Here I wanted to highlight the snow on the monkey, and that driving across the frame and across the face, and I feel this works better in this case.

There wasn’t a lot of light because of the sky still heavy with snow, so I needed to increase my ISO to 2000 for a 1/250 of a second shutter speed at f/10, 241mm.

Snow Monkey Cuddle

For this next photo (right) I went back to f/14, because there were two faces, and I wanted them both pretty sharp.

Here once again we can see and almost feel the harshness of the environment that these monkeys live in. It’s easy to think of this adult monkey cuddling the youngster to keep it warm, but there is as much an element of the adult using the youngster like a hot water bottle too. I’m sure there are mutual benefits.

I have a few frames with the adult monkey’s eyes closed as well, and in many ways, I like these more, but on this occasion, I do like the direct contact, the connection with those piercing eyes in both monkeys here.

Having stopped down to f/14 for this, I needed an ISO of 4000 for a shutter speed of 1/160 of a second, at 255mm. As I mentioned recently, it’s often better to increase your ISO and continue to expose to the right, than it is to shoot a darker image with a lower ISO and then amplify the grain in post.

As the snow stopped falling, I started to simply watch the monkeys going about their business, and just looking for an action or mannerism that adds a touch more interest to the photo. This monkey was just picking the grain that’s thrown out for them from the snow, when they shook the snow from their fur, by rotating the head around (below) as you’ll have seen dogs do when they shake off water.

Shaking Off Snow

There’s still plenty of snow stuck to the monkey here, which adds a little extra element of interest and of course the head isn’t totally sharp as it shakes around, but I had increased my shutter speed to 1/640 of a second, in preparation for some possible action, so it’s sharp enough and the blur that is left just helps to show the movement. My other settings were f/11, and the light had increased now to the point that I was able to reduce my ISO to 800, and my focal length was 248mm.

Furry Cocoon

After lunch, I went down by the river in the valley, as there really wasn’t a lot happening around the pool, and there was a mother sitting with a baby, as we can see in this photo (right).

For this shot, I selected an image with the mother’s eyes closed, to help direct our eyes down to the youngster. The thing I like about this shot more than anything is that arch in the mother’s soft fur around the youngster’s head. That just looks so comfortable and warm.

Another decision I made is to leave my aperture at f/11, and allow the mother’s face to go a little soft, but again, that’s so that our eyes are guided more quickly to the youngsters face and that arch of fur.

It’s important to use the aperture to control the depth of field to help guide how the viewer sees the image. You probably won’t be able to appreciate this in the web version, but in the larger image this is a very subtle but an effective touch to help polish the photo, in my opinion.

My other settings were 1/500 of a second, ISO 500 with a focal length of 158mm.

Silver Lining

As I travel on my tours, we often run into other groups, and I generally know their leader, and enjoy catching up and hearing what other people are up to. One thing I’ve noticed though, is that most of them have something to complain about. A popular one right now is that the Akan Crane Center where we spend most of the first two days in Hokkaido, have stopped feeding live fish to the cranes at two o’clock, because they don’t want to attract the sea eagles that could bring avian flu to the cranes.

Sure, the sea eagles at the cranes has always been a highlight of the day. A lot of the locals buy season tickets, and only turn up for the eagles, then leave as soon as the feeding frenzy is over. It’s easy to see why other leaders would complain about this, but when I first heard of this decision this year, I punched the air and gave out a little woot! Why? Because the lack of feeding is not only stopping the eagles coming, but it’s reduced the number of cranes at the center too.

Calling Cranes

So, you probably wonder why that’s a good thing too, right? When I first started to photograph the cranes more than ten years ago now, there were not so many of them.

Of course, the birds increasing numbers is a great thing, but photographically, when there are so many of them, it can be very difficult to get a photo of the cranes doing something without a lot of other cranes in the foreground and/or background.

It’s been a number of years since I was able to get a shot like this one (right), with just two cranes calling together, without lots of other cranes in the frame.

It’s so easy to focus on what we lose, but whenever we lose something, we generally gain something else, so I was not disappointed to hear about the lack of feeding this year, as I generally pretty quickly find the silver lining in every situation.

I was really happy to capture this shot, the first for a number of years, especially as there was a fine snow falling, adding those tiny specks across the dark top half of the image.

My settings for this photo were 1/1000 of a second shutter speed at f/14, with an ISO of 1600, at 560mm with my 200-400mm lens with the built-in 1.4X Extender engaged.

Crane Preening

Another thing that gets easier when the cranes are fewer in numbers, is this kind of photographic study (right).

I’ve been doing these for many years now, and find it a great way to kill time between the more dynamic action that we sometimes see. I enjoy just watching for cranes that are preening themselves, for example, and trying to capture a moment when we can see something that isn’t always visible, like the inside of the bird’s wings here.

I’m also attracted to the two black rims of the crane’s eyes that we can see on either side of its head. Most of all though I just love the detail in the underside of the wings, and the contrast between the black and white, and again, the fact that there are no other cranes messing up the shot.

I also like that it’s still snowing lightly, adding those little white specks across the dark wing feathers.

My settings for this were 1/1000 of a second shutter speed, at f/14, with the ISO set to 1600, and a focal length of 473mm.

After a steady first day at the cranes, I took the group to a location where I know there are cranes that fly out across some dark background trees as the light drops at the end of the day, so it’s a great place to do slow shutter speed panning shots, like this next image (below).

Into the Snow

The crane’s heads move quite a lot as they fly, so they aren’t an easy bird to pan with, but if you shoot enough, some of the frames have heads sharp enough to make the photograph work. For this image I also like how the falling snow has once again left it’s mark on the image, with long streaks this time, thanks to my 1/40 of a second shutter speed.

With the light as low as it was by this time, we don’t need any neutral density filters. In fact, even to get a 1/40 of a second shutter speed, I had at ISO 3200 at f/11, with a focal length of 300mm.

Too Few Cranes

Although I was happy to get a few less cranes at the Akan Crane Center, I was disturbed to see so few at river from the Otowabashi (bridge) on our second day in Hokkaido. There are just 19 cranes in this photograph (below) although I actually counted 25 in total.

Snowy Morning at Setsuri River

Although it was too warm to get the hoar frost on the trees, we’d been lucky to get some fine snow that had stuck to all of the trees, making them go white anyway, so the scene was not a total throwaway. The warm dawn light reflected on the river was nice too, but I’m sharing this photo more to raise a very concerning issue that has to be stopped.

Photographers Lacking Respect for Wildlife

The night before, the owner of the hotel that we stay in had told me about something despicable that happened on February 19th, five days before I shot this photograph. It turns out that a group of Korean photographers had dressed as workmen, and forged passes pretending to have permission to walk 200 meters down the river towards the cranes, with the intention of photographing them from a different location to where all others safely shoot from.

This of course startled the cranes, and most of them flew away unnaturally. In the photos that I shared with you in Episode 561, I can count approximately 120 cranes at this same location. These numbers were before any of them had flown from this location on both mornings.

The river where these birds roost is their safe haven. They sleep in the river, because unfrozen water is warmer than the cold air. Water also provides protection from predetors, both physically and by alerting the cranes to anything approaching through the sound of footsteps in the water. They have gradually moved further down the river, away from the bridge from which we photograph them, probably because of the sheer number of photographers at this location each morning now, many of whom lack the respect to even keep their voices down as we all work.

To forge passes and dress up like workmen just to get a photo that is “different” from everyone else, has caused these birds to change their behavior. There were almost one fifth the number of cranes when we visited five days after this incident. The following morning when we went back, I counted approximate 60 cranes, so they are gradually coming back, but still only around half of the group size compared to three weeks previous to this incident.

Height of Selfishness

These Korean photographers should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. They not only changed the dynamic of the scene itself for all other photographers, but much more importantly, they caused an endangered species to change their behavior, which can have a knock on effect to perhaps even result in fewer chicks born this year.

The Red-Crowned Crane is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. How can anyone believe that it’s OK to upset their natural habitat for a photograph!? I will be doing everything I can to increase exposure of this kind of act, and hopefully find ways to help educate photographers on the need to treat wildlife with respect.

Educating Photographers

Before we move on, I do want to point out that I know that this is not only about Korean and other Asian photographers, although there is a disproportionate number of Asian photographers that lack respect for wildlife. I have of course seen Western visitors lacking in due respect, so this isn’t necessarily about the origin of the photographer, but something has to be done to educate people, and I’m going to do what I can to help, starting with highlighting this issue here, and there will be more to come.

Crane in Flight

On a lighter note, let’s get back to us photographing the cranes, with one last image to finish with for today. After breakfast, we headed back over to the Akan Crane Center for our second day there, and I shot this image of a Red-Crowned Crane in flight (below).

Crane in Flight

I’m happy with this shot, because of the positioning of the bird in the top third intersection, also with the cloud nicely positioned below. I’m particularly happy with this though because of the incredible sharpness and great catchlight in the eye of the crane. Due to the angle of the light, it’s often not possible to get a good catchlight, so this is a great added bonus. This is not cropped at all, so at 50 megapixels, when you zoom in and check out the detail, it makes the hair on the back of my head stand up. I shot this at 1/1000 of a second at f/11, with the ISO set to 320, and a focal length of 442mm.

We’ll pick up the trail next week with two last crane shots before moving on to the whooper swans, eagles and foxes.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tours 2019

Because our 2018 tours have now filled, we’ve started to take bookings for 2019, so if you are interested, please check the details and book at If you’d like to be added to the wait list for 2018, please drop us a line.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tour 2019

Show Notes

Check out details of the 2019 tours here:

Contact us to be added to the 2018 wait list:

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 2 Travelogue #1 (Podcast 564) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Martin Bailey <![CDATA[2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 1 Travelogue #3 (Podcast 563)]]> 2017-03-06T09:02:53Z 2017-03-06T09:01:24Z Having completed my two Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours for 2017, today we conclude our travelogue series for tour one with a...

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 1 Travelogue #3 (Podcast 563) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.

Having completed my two Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido, Japan Winter Wildlife tours for 2017, today we conclude our travelogue series for tour one with a condensed walkthrough of our last four days over on the Shiretoko Peninsula.

We spend three days in Rausu, where we photograph the sea eagles, and in the afternoon, we generally head down the Notsuke Peninsula, to photograph the deer and northern red foxes. On the way over to Rausu we visit a number of Ural Owl nests that I know of, but none of the owls are on their nests this year.

I have spoken to a guide friend in Hokkaido and apparently they all disappeared at the end of last year. This is probably due to some of the Asian country visitors throwing things at the nests to make the owls open their eyes or fly. The problem of Asian visitors treating the wildlife with total disrespect is a growing issue in Hokkaido, which needs action to be taken. I will be talking more about this in the coming weeks, as something absolutely despicable happened at the cranes the day before we arrived to photograph them on tour two.

Paying Respect

Elderly Stag

Anyway, on our way over to Rausu on our first afternoon, we paid our first visit to the Notsuke Peninsula, and had an encounter with the oldest Ezo Deer stag I’ve ever seen (right).

Artistically I prefer this photo, but I have a second from the side which shows the stags antlers better, and they are so big that the aging stag can no longer fully grow them with them becoming misshaped.

I was in two minds as to whether or not to include this image, but I decided to, because on tour two we found this old guy laying by the road almost dead. He looked in such a bad way that I felt sure he’d be bead before we revisited the peninsula the following day, but he had moved about 20 meters and was actually eating while laying down when we went back.

On the third day that we visited there was some blood and fur on the group where he had been, so we think that he had probably died and the park wardens removed his body, as the foxes had started to eat him. I’m not sure if that’s what happened, and I’m not sure that I agree to depriving the foxes of a good meal either, but that’s what we saw.

I shot this image with my 200-400mm lens with the 1.4X Extender engaged, for a focal length of 506mm and a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second at f/9 with the ISO set to 2000. I could have gone a little slower on the shutter speed as he wasn’t moving much, but I was shooting hand-held with this long lens, so it’s better to speed it up a little.

Northern Red Foxes

On the same afternoon, we were able to photograph a lot of northern red foxes. More than I’ve seen on the Notsuke Peninsula before, and some of them were in pairs, like the ones in this photo (below). Here this pair were comparing the size of their mouths, which is something I believe they do to establish their pecking order, or to threaten the other fox.

Foxes Comparing Mouth Size

Although I love to photograph the foxes on the snow, it was nice for a change to find them on top of these fishing nets. These nets too are usually under snow anyway, but we’ve had a warm winter in Hokkaido again this year. I shot this image with the same settings as the previous image, but with a focal length of 461mm.

Sea Eagles

The following morning, at the start of day nine, we went out for our first voyage to shoot the sea eagles. I have literally hundreds of photos of the eagles from this trip, so it was difficult to whittle down my selection to represent these majestic birds in this single episode, but I’ve tried to give you a good cross section as we progress today.

Most of the time the eagles are swooping down parallel to our boat, so the majority of our shots are naturally from the side, but occasionally they swoop towards us, as we see in this first photo of a Steller’s Sea Eagle (below).

Wrong Time and Plaice

There was no sea ice again for this first tour, which made it the third tour in a row now, as we didn’t get ice on either tour last year. I actually prefer it is many ways when there is no ice, as we now just through fish into the sea, so it looks more natural than the eagles taking fish from the top of the ice. Of course, the chances of an eagle catching a plaice from the surface of the water are almost zero, but we’ll have to overlook that.

I shot this image at f/10 with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second at ISO 800. For all of the eagle shots from the boat I used my 100-400mm Mark II lens.

Another shot that I wanted to share from this first eagle shoot is this one, of a White-Tailed Eagle. I have many shots of the eagles nicely framed, but something that I like to do is to get in so close that I purposefully crop off the wings to get a more intimate look at the bird, as I did here (below).

Intimate Eagle

Of course I can pull back and get the entire bird in, but I just like doing this, even though it drives some people crazy. It gives us a better look at the details of the bird and the water droplets left by the catch. I shot this at 1/1000 of a second at ISO 400, with an aperture of f/10 at 400mm.

Canon EOS 5Ds R for Wildlife

In case you didn’t catch my mentioning this last year, you might want to note that I am shooting all of my images with a Canon EOS 5Ds R, including these very fast past wildlife shots. The autofocus is definitely up to the task, and with good technique you can certainly work with the slow frame rate. Rather than shooting long bursts though, you have to time your exposures perfectly.

I generally wait until the eagle sticks out its talons now before starting to release the shutter, and this usually gives me one frame with the talons forward, sometimes one with the bird looking like it’s standing straight up in the water standing on the fish, and a second or third frame of the bird pulling the fish out of the water. With just two to three frames per swoop, I don’t have to look through so many images, and I feel that this technique has helped to make me a better photographer.

After lunch we drove back down the Notsuke Peninsula, and were able to capture a number of northern red fox images again, but we got better images on our visit from the last day, so we’ll skip those today. Next up is a shot from the following morning with the eagles, as an example of my first frame of a burst, where a Steller’s Sea Eagle has his talons out forward, reaching for a fish (below).

Steller’s Sea Eagle with Talons Out

As you may be able to see, we had some light snow on this second morning with the eagles, which adds some nice atmosphere. It was heavily overcast though, so I was shooting with ISO 4000 at this point, at 1/1000 of a second, with an aperture of f/9.

Push the ISO Not the Image

Using high ISOs still scares many people, but if you take control of your exposure and ensure that you are exposing to the right, so that the image data is close to the right side of the histogram, you really don’t see any grain, even with the super-high resolution of the 5Ds R body. That’s another myth that people like to use as an excuse to not like this camera by the way. I’ve taken great pride in blowing these myths out of the water over the last two years.

High ISOs on most modern DSLR cameras are only a problem if you allow them to intimidate you. Most people are scared to increase the ISO so they shoot a darker image and then try to lighten it up in post processing, but this causes the image to be recorded in the middle of the histogram, where you do start to see more grain, so when you push the image in post you amplify the grain. Then people feel thankful that they didn’t push the ISO further, adding more grain, but the reverse is true.

It’s much better to push up your ISO in the camera rather than push the image in post. Yes, I know all about ISO Invariance, but that only works if you can keep your base image at ISO 100, and when there is as little light as there was on some of these shoots, that’s not possible. I discussed how I tested the ISO invariance of my 5Ds R in episode 520 if you’d like to take a look.

At the end of our second eagle shoot, we spent 15 minutes photographing the eagles over the harbor wall. Because the wall has snow on it, it bounces beautiful diffused light back up onto the underside of the eagles, as you can see in this shot (below).

Steller’s Sea Eagle Over Harbor Wall

It was still snowing, adding that second level of atmosphere over the eagle, but also along the bottom of the image where the sky was slightly darker, making the snow stand out a little more. Pretty much all of the images that we’ve looked at so far are totally un-cropped, so the level of detail in these 50 megapixel files is absolutely incredible.

My Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 printer has been sitting dormant for the last two months as I’ve travelled, but I’m looking forward, now that I’ve actually finished all three tours, to getting caught up on other work, then having a mad printing session, and this is one of the images that I can’t wait to print out pretty big and explore the detail in the print. Of course, I can see the detail on the screen, especially now that I’m using the new BenQ 4K display, but there’s nothing like poring over a nice big print to appreciate the detail in an image.

Frolicking Fox

After lunch, we visited the Notsuke Peninsula again, and encountered a number of foxes that seemed bent on providing us with some more excellent photographic opportunities, as we can see here (below). This young fox was playing with a piece of fur, perhaps from a coat or other garment. It doesn’t look like natural fur, not to me at least.

Frolicking Fox

Although the fur isn’t natural, I still quite like this image, showing the playful nature of these beautiful animals, despite them braving some pretty harsh weather through the winter out of the peninsula. He threw this fur up into the air and caught it, then shook it around as dogs often do, so it was fun to watch as well as photograph. My settings were 1/1000 of a second at f/11, ISO 1600.

Here’s another shot of a fox from the same afternoon, as one got up and stretched on top of another fishing net, this time black, providing some nice contrast. It’s snowing again, adding the atmosphere that I like, and the sea in the background adds extra context (below).

Ezo Fox Stretch

I make good use of the digital level in the viewfinder of the 5Ds R, to help me ensure that things like the horizon in this shot are straight right in camera, even when hand-holding. This helps me to keep as many pixels as possible for big prints. I’ll crop an image if necessary, but generally I like to avoid it, even just by the small amount required to rotate an image to straighten a wonky horizon. I shot this at 1/500 of a second at f/9, with ISO 3200.

For the first two days that we ventured out to photograph the eagles it had been overcast, so there was no dawn shoot, but on the third morning we were due to go out, it was going to be clear, so we set out before the sun came up, and this allowed us to photograph the eagles in the warm dawn light, as you can see in this next image (below).

Steller’s Catch

I’ve included this shot not only to illustrate the warm light, but also because I like the water frozen in time as the Steller’s Sea Eagle whisks his frozen fish from the water. We were also lucky on this day that the wind direction had changed, now blowing in from the open sea, which meant that the birds had the sun of their faces more often, as they flew into the wind. I shot this at f/8 with a shutter speed of 1/1250 of a second at ISO 1600.

Another shot from this morning that I really like is this one of a Steller’s Sea Eagle breaking free from the water (below). He had taken a large wave and sunk down until the water came over his head, and I have a shot of that too, but he doesn’t look overly majestic, but then in this frame with all that water behind him he looks every bit as magnificent as these birds are.

Breaking Free

This image is cropped a little bit from the top right corner, as it happened a little bit far away, and I was at the full reach of my 100-400mm lens. My settings were f/8 with a shutter speed of 1/1250 of a second at ISO 1600.

I still have to go back and further cull my eagle shots from this first Japan wildlife tour for 2017, but it was an incredibly productive trip. The great thing about shooting when it’s clear at Rausu is that you can get beautiful views of Mount Rausu behind the town, so I capitalized on that a little as I saw this eagle doing some acrobatics in this photograph that we’ll finish our eagle shots with (below).

Eagle Acrobatics Before Mount Rausu

If I had planned this, I would probably have stopped my aperture down to f/14, to get just a little bit more definition in the mountain, but I like the separation that the eagle being totally sharp affords us, so it doesn’t bother me too much. I shot this at f/10, with a 1/1250 of a second shutter speed at ISO 800.

ICM (Intentional Camera Movement)

After our eagle shoot we checked out of our hotel and headed around the base of the Shiretoko Peninsula heading for Utoro, and on the way we stopped for our birch tree intentional camera movement shoot, which has become tradition as we start to wind down after our hectic tour (below). To get this effect, I simply set the shutter speed to 1/25 of a second then move the camera downwards quickly, and release the shutter just as the bottom of the trees starts to enter the frame.

Sinister Birch

I shot the light side of the road first, as I’ve done for many years, then also walked across the road to a spot where we can get a very dark background caused by some pine trees behind a front line of birch. I have started to prefer this scene to the white one, although I do find this comes across a little more sinister, especially compared to the light, airy version.

After our birch tree shoot, we continued our drive to the Utoro side of the Shiretoko Peninsula. As is often the case, as we reached the coast, we were greeted by sea ice, covering the water as far as the eye could see. It just doesn’t always make its way around the tip of the peninsula and down into Rausu. We spent some time photographing the Oshinkoshin Falls and visited the Shiretoko National Park at the end of our eleventh day, and on the morning of the last day.

In the park I lead a group to look for some woodpeckers and other birds, and Yukiko our tour conductor lead a second group down to the end of the valley for a bit of landscape work, and just a nice walk really. I got a few shots of a great spotted woodpecker and a nuthatch, but they aren’t special enough to share here, so we’ll wrap this up for today, and conclude this series.

Before we actually close though, I’d like to play you the recording that I made on the bus on our last morning, to get some wonderful comments from our great tour group.

[Please listen to the audio with the player above to hear what the group said about the tour]

It’s always nice to hear the voices of the participants like this, especially as I’ve now also finished tour two as I prepare this episode. In three or four weeks as I complete the travelogue for tour two, it will be nice to hear from my second wildlife group for 2017 as well. A special bond is formed with many of the members of my tour groups, so I treasure these recordings, as well as the group photos that I make on each trip.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tours 2019

Because our 2018 tours have now filled, we’ve now started to take bookings for 2019, so if you might be interested, please check the details and book at If you’d like to be added to the wait list for 2018, please drop us a line.

Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Tour 2019


Show Notes

Check out details of the 2019 tours here:

Contact us to be added to the 2018 wait list:

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

The post 2017 Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour 1 Travelogue #3 (Podcast 563) appeared first on Martin Bailey Photography.