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James Roberts December 10th, 2006 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by Don Lashier
What amazed me is the detail in the photo. Did you take a look at what's going on on the other side of the lake? Some sort of group, a guy meditating on the rock, and another photographer shooting back this way!

- DL

Don--I've been astounded by the detail in the M8 system....simply blown away. They are definitely doing something right here with the sensor that preserves the beauty of the glass.

And now I should be doing my own DNG conversion of these files. Scott beat me to the JFI conversion!

Fabio Riccardi December 10th, 2006 10:41 AM

Yes, the Leica images are really sharp, after the bare raw conversion the buildings needed no additional sharpening at all, I added a bit of extra sharpening only for the foliage, just to please the eye.

- Fabio

Don Lashier December 10th, 2006 10:47 AM


Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris
I do like post prod, but only when needed, unless it is intentionaly done by the author and when the shot was done in order to be enhanced thru post prod with special effects in mind when shooting.

I agree in general - I prefer my single C1 version to the tri. In these challenge threads I generally go way beyond what I do with my own images. I only resort to multi-conversions/layering if the image is unsalvageable otherwise and a majority of my prints never even are touched by Photoshop (and in fact got flamed by Sokolsky for advocating this at RG). Some images just don't work without this (imo Asher's hollywood blvd shot for example), but these Central Park shots are not among them.

- DL

James Roberts December 10th, 2006 11:01 AM

My take on these wonderful shots...
Ok, so here's something a wee bit different on these wonderful images (thanks Asher; thanks Steven)...

These are C1 develops from profiles I've been playing with that have "film curves" built into them.

What does that mean? It means I'm trying to work the colour response and contrast response of some well known negative and postive films into the actual profiles in C1. Less work in PS (I'm with Don on this!), but also quite a different take on images.

The M8 is one of the first cameras I've seen that has a combination of tone and color response that makes this sort of doable.

Anyway, they profiles are not nearly done, and I'm actually having a bit of trouble right now with the contrast ;) But I thought I'd use them anyway to get to a different interpretation of the files.

So this is my "Fuji Provia (400, I think)" curved profile.

One develop in C1 for each of these files; then a quick optional trip into PS just to add a tiny tiny bit of grain to smooth some highlights from the excellent Alien Skin plugin (BTW--they're take on Provia looks a lot like this too!).

Here we go:

And here's the next

Nicolas Claris December 10th, 2006 11:43 AM

You read me wrong, it is not a question of "kosher" or not "kosher".
I don't care people to manipulate files if it has been asked for (which I never do for mine).
Simply, my own little report:

Despite all your efforts I still prefer the original, great picture!

Don Lashier December 10th, 2006 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by James Roberts
The M8 is one of the first cameras I've seen that has a combination of tone and color response that makes this sort of doable.

Maybe that helps explain why I ended up choosing "linear response" in both my "C1 only" conversions. I rarely do this (usually using the "film standard" curve) unless the image has a large proportion of highlight and/or shadow. The sky of course was good reason for the one shot but still preferred linear response for the other also.

- DL

Asher Kelman December 10th, 2006 07:17 PM

So, now you have all worked on these files, do you have an impression as to the robustness, quality and range of the data in the Lecia files.

Do you feel that these images are in any way superior to other types of files you work on?


Ken Tanaka December 10th, 2006 11:04 PM

My Submissions
Before proceeding I want to thank Steven Teitelbaum for offering us the opportunity to get a good look at some M8 raw files and to process them for ourselves. I found the files to be a very high quality, the equivalent of my Canon 5D and 1-body files. Each image was quite sharp, owing certainly to the quality of Leica M lenses. I applied no sharpening to any of the images below. The only sharpening applied, indirectly, was when downsizing them and applying a bicubic sharpening algorithm.

General Remarks: Please note that my remarks are by no means intended as criticisms of Steven's work. I do not know his intentions for any of the images and simply treat them, and narrate the processing, as if I had captured them.

Autumn foliage scenes can be as seductive to one's lens as Homer's sirens. They seductively attract the lens with each turn of the head. It isn't until you find yourself poring through the images that you discover that many of your images are often visually tedious. When you consider why you pressed the button you may discover that you were trying to capture more than a camera can capture. The sounds and scents of the scene. The crisp breeze. It's like returning from Maui with only a souvenir t-shirt. So as I repeat such photography I look for opportunities to make the foliage an interesting background for a more specific subject.

The general theme of such scenes in urban parks, particularly New York's Central Park, is the environment's relationship to people. People, after all, are the only reason for these parks to exist. So it was with this principle in mind that I began work on Steven's images. With regard to general tonality adjustments my goal was, and always is, to make such adjustments sparingly. It's very easy to go far overboard with such scenes, slipping out of photography and into artistic fantasy. I avoid that. Since it was a dreary, overcast day with flat lighting I primarily used slight saturation, color temperature, exposure, and black level adjustments to enhance the actual scenes rather than to create scenes that didn't exist. I made most such adjustments in Adobe's Lightroom Beta 4.1 and a very few adjustments, as noted below, in Photoshop.

This first image created the biggest compositional challenge. The original image established a nearly perfect "H" with the buildings forming the uprights and the edge of the park forming the horizon. I felt that a choice had to be made with regard to the image's subject. I chose to crop the bright sky and tops of the towers. This encouraged the eye to dwell on the tranquility of the pond, and the general luminance of its surroundings, with its reflections clearly revealing the urbanities cropped from above. In cropping, however, I left enough of the buildings to reveal that this scene could be no place other than New York's Central Park. No other city has so many stepped-back building elevations (due to some unique building codes).

This next image was, to my eye, an example of those sirens calling the lens. I'm sure that the trees were beautiful. But the subjects of the scene are the people enjoying a leisurely moment in their midst. The trees' presence is everywhere in the scene, so it was unnecessary to show their trunks and branches. You know they're there and what their coloration is. Cropping also created a more interesting composition, with the pavement of the path leading the eye from the girl in the foreground to the people on the next bench, to the man walking towards the camera. I added a very subtle vignetting to help further contain the eye.

I wasn't planning to work on this fountain but it kept calling my name. By cropping I tried to establish the fountain's bowl as the primary subject and also a relationship between it and the nearby bench -- suggesting a spot of peaceful rest and contemplation. I used subtle dodge and burn to bring out the patina of the wonderful old bronze bowl and also to make it seem more like an organic extension of the leaf litter. Again I added a slight vignette, this time to give a heightened sense of specialness to the fountain.

Thanks again, Steven, for use of your files in this exercise. I hope my interpretations have not offended you, but rather provided you with some entertainment. Enjoy that M8!

Asher Kelman December 11th, 2006 12:00 AM


I enjoyed your description of how your intentions are framed by your perception of human presence. Your crops to my mind stengthen the images.

Stephen, BTW has been without internet until he was in the airport and got someone to let him get on line. He wrote me that he is "amazed" and very appreciative for all the labor od love that is still going into his work.

How could people all over the world share their creative viewpoints in anything but this new digital media. Somehow, even scanned film I don't think would allow such license!

We still have other posts to follow, i'm sure!


Don Lashier December 11th, 2006 01:23 AM

While I like Ken's third crop (fountain) (and perhaps it solves comp issues that led me to reject the image in the first place), I experimented with cropping on the other two and don't feel the initial shots can really be improved upon other than perhaps some drastic crops on the lake/building shot: eg, a tall skinny one, or a rather severe horizontal crop highlighting the far shore activity, but the latter is really a different shot best done with a different lens.

- DL

Uwe Steinmueller December 11th, 2006 11:49 PM

Here is my take on one of the images. All done in LightZone 2.0

I used the clone tool in LightZone to remove parts of the bench :-).


Asher Kelman December 12th, 2006 12:50 AM


Congratulations on another B&W interpetation with LZ! This software seems born to go with M8 files. Unfortunately Aperture is not ready for Leica DNG nor is Bibble or SilkyPix, TTBOMK.

Here, Uwe has concentrated a lot on the tonality of the water fountain itself, something which Fabio made secondary to his wonderful work with the leaves and dual toning in yellow and brown of his B&W version.

We can see that there's a lot of information in the dark brass tones that have been brought out in this case by Lightzone.

With no bench, the image is simpler and that is a matter of the artists eye and looking at this scene as if from a window and frankly not liking the bit of bench and therefore getting rid of it as we don't have the option of changing one's position ex post facto!

I believe we all do this when we look at our own images on the screen. We, in a way, can reconsider our orginal intent with the brilliance of the LCD display acting as a window to the world again.

Now some of us will never crop or remove things. I respect that. I too try my best to include or exclude everything in the single shot. Often, I cannot do this.

In this case, getting rid of the bench does change the meaning of the picture. That is what's interesting about our different approaches, the relationships between our separate visions of exactly the same thing.

Making art involves embedding thoughts and emotions into the form we present to others.

With each version I see of this image, I learn something new about the process.

Thanks Uwe for your work.


Denis de Gannes December 12th, 2006 05:20 AM

Images by Stephen Teitelbaum NY
This is my rendition of the raw files converted in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom beta v 4.1.
Resizing and unsharpmask applied in PSCS for posting on the web
After viewing the initial rendition by LR I came to the opinion that the images were possibly taken in very dull overcast conditions. The exif camera data and the almost complete lack of any shadows prompted my thoughts. I did the following to create what I believe would have been the visual effect had I been there.
Reduced exposure by .25; .50; .33; respectively.
Adjusted WB by reducing the tint from as shot -26 to -15.
Made slight tonal adjustments using the curves sliders.
Appied a small increase in vibrance and saturation using the sliders.
Sharpening and NR at the Lightroom default.

Uwe Steinmueller December 12th, 2006 09:05 AM

>Now some of us will never crop or remove things. I respect that.

I understand. We hardly have the problem with own images because we are in charge of framing. Our images are about 90% not cropped (means printed as framed in the field).

Actually one also could have moved the bench :-)


James Roberts December 12th, 2006 04:22 PM


Originally Posted by Don Lashier
Maybe that helps explain why I ended up choosing "linear response" in both my "C1 only" conversions. I rarely do this (usually using the "film standard" curve) unless the image has a large proportion of highlight and/or shadow. The sky of course was good reason for the one shot but still preferred linear response for the other also.

- DL

Don, I've also been finding myself heading towards "linear response" with a lot of C1 converts of the M8 lately too.

The M8 tonal range is such that I'm writing my own curves for this thing, and more often than not (with faces, anyway) they resemble a modified the "inverted hockey stick" curve I first saw on your site (what? Years ago now...). I'm actually lowering contrast to "fit all the tonal details" in the conversion.

In other words, the inverse compression I'm doing with these files is amazing: there's so much detail and tonal range that you really don't want to just roll them up in a regular "film curve."

Hope that makes sense. I'm still new at working with these M8 files and finding them pretty surprisingly dynamic.

Cem_Usakligil December 13th, 2006 03:01 AM

A Humble Tribute to M.C. Escher's Three Worlds
Hi All,

When I saw these beautiful pictures, I knew I had to have a go at them :-).
Especially the first one made me think of the famous work by M.C. Escher called the Three Worlds:

I liked the symmetry of the H form of the buildings and the reflection on the pond. As an added twist, I thought it would make the image much more interesting if the sky and water to be swapped, hence the rotation. The leaves floating in the air, as it appears to be, adds a degree of surrealism (says he humbly). So I processed the image in LightZone (rotating, tone mapping, zone mapping, cropping, blurring, etc) and exported it to a TIFF file. Then in CS2, I have added waves and USM and exported to JPG.

What do you reckon?



Denis de Gannes December 13th, 2006 05:52 AM

RAW Challenge! Stephen Teitelbaum
This is another rendition of one the raw files converted in SilkyPix Studio 3.03 (support has recently been added for the Lieca M8 along with some other recent camera models)

Resizing and unsharpmask applied in PSCS for posting on the web
After viewing the initial rendition of the RAW files I came to the opinion that the images were possibly taken in very dull overcast conditions. The exif camera data and the almost complete lack of any shadows prompted my thoughts. I did the following to create a late evening sunset mood.
Reduced exposure by .25
Applied the Sunset taste from the supplied presets.
Appied a small increase in saturation.
Sharpening and NR at the SilkyPix default.

Mark Vigna December 13th, 2006 10:04 AM

Great shots.

Ken Tanaka December 13th, 2006 10:27 AM


Originally Posted by Cem Usakligil
Hi All,

What do you reckon?



I like your Escher-esque interpretation, Cem. It's a creative use of the image's content that takes a few moments to decode (making it all that much more enjoyable).

Stefan Hellstrom December 15th, 2006 06:37 PM

Another take using Silkypix
The M8 files seems to have a lot of margin for stretching the limits. Is the output from the sensor 12 or 16bit ?
-The first one I develoed with a bit low contrast using the colorfull M1 profile and later doing the local contrast in PS with Lightmachine:

The second was developed using a Velvia type film profile called V1:

The third one using the M1 profile together with some adjustment on the fine color controler:

BR/ Stefan

ian sanderson December 16th, 2006 10:44 AM

I just want to thank to Stephen for the chance to work with a raw M8 file. It seems I can't post attachments so I have put my version at
I processed the file in ACR and then used selective highlights and layer modes with a bit of dodging and burning on an overlay layer with 50% grey. I treated the image as if it was my own so I felt obliged to correct the verticals as much as I could and remove the building to the right as I found it distracting.

kind regards


Hi, Ian, I corrected the url by adding "http://" Asher

Asher Kelman December 30th, 2006 09:35 PM

Leaves are still golden in Central Park!
We still welcome new attacks on these files! There is such a great deal of reserve in the M8 files that you can do a lot of your RAw development and the files will take it.

So if you haven't done so already, drop me a line and I'll send you these DNG files for wroking on. Note that we are also sending out DNG files for Steve's Sailboat's at sunset shoot. Just a little behind!


sonya modotti January 28th, 2007 05:00 PM

my interpretation of central park 1
hi everyone,

the b&w conversion was done with lightroom. all other adjustments were done with lightzone.


Ray West January 28th, 2007 05:27 PM

Hi Sonya,

Welcome here.

To post an image, you have to put it on your site, and link to it. As yet no way of posting straight to here.

Best wishes,


sonya modotti January 28th, 2007 05:30 PM

my interpretation of central park 1
ok, second try to get the image posted.


Asher Kelman January 28th, 2007 08:09 PM

Congratulations, Sonya! Are you also working on the fountain and park bench?

An excellent B&W rendering. The files seem to have a particular robustness to manupalate the tonalities. Stranglely these are 8 BIT files. What drew you to B&W? Was it that you saw so many colored version or that's how you would process your own image in this circumstance.

Stefan you asked about the output. AFAIK, the output from the chip is at least 12 BIT, the processing then is optimized, I think at 16BIT and then the output is at 8BIT.


sonya modotti January 28th, 2007 08:35 PM

my interpretation of central park 2
as with central park 1, the b&w conversion was done with lightroom and all other adjustments were done with lightzone.

asher - i'm just starting in photography and seem naturally drawn to b&w. somehow it is more pleasing to me, and perhaps with time i will be able to explain the reasons for this : )


Asher Kelman January 28th, 2007 08:39 PM

Hi sonya,

I hope you have saved the PSD files, as I might want to print all the versions for an exhibit of Steve's work. Just to show how much porential there's is in each unprocessed image.

Everyone will be given mention of their contributions, of course.

Again, thans for your work.

What did you feel about these files compared to other files you have worked with?


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