Dear followers:

I’m taking my content to Substack.

If you’d like to see future posts, please sign up at:

sensordust.substack.com

Thanks and see you there!


The Great Spirit, angered by the bickering of a husband and wife, turned them into stone. And that is the origin of the sheer granite summits of Yosemite Valley, according to the native people.

Image for post
Image for post
Yosemite Valley

I had the good fortune — ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ — to visit Yosemite National Park the day it opened, post-you-know-what. The photos in this series are a rare look at the park sans the multitudes that flock to it in peak season.


Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: self

Signal-to-Noise ratio is a fundamental concept in engineering. It sounds intimidating — and it can be, if you really dig into it — but at a high level, the idea is simple: noise is an inescapable fact of life no matter what type of signal we’re talking about, and one way to gauge the quality of a signal is to compare the signal level with the noise level. This is called Signal-to-Noise ratio or SNR. An SNR of 1 indicates that the signal and noise are comparable which is (obviously) not desirable. …


Image for post
Image for post
Shah Faisal Mosque, Islamabad, Pakistan

What is E-T-T-R

E-T-T-R (Expose-To-The-Right) is a photography technique in which the camera sensor is exposed to more light than is needed for an optimal exposure. When done correctly, it yields better noise performance.

Why E-T-T-R

Most scenes captured by a camera have elements that are bright and those that are dark. The bright areas are the ones that reflect more light and the dark areas are the ones that reflect less light. In addition, there is random noise that is always there and happens to be more visible in the dark areas as compared to the light areas.

As the light incident on the camera’s sensor increases, so does the noise but not proportionally. The result is that the signal-to-noise ratio for bright areas is much better than that of the dark areas. …


Image for post
Image for post
La Jolla, California

Innovations in camera technology, the democratization of technical knowledge and advancements in image processing software have all helped usher in a Golden Age of photography. No matter what the genre — landscape, street, portrait, travel, abstract — talented photographers all over the world are creating incredible art. One would assume that with the ubiquity of connected, hi-res displays that we have today, there would be a mass audience for these all these great photos. And yet there isn’t and in my view, the major social media platforms are to blame.

Before we go any further, let’s survey the current landscape of platforms that are geared specifically towards photography. For general photo sharing, the two big ones are 500px and Flickr. Both occupy a niche that is populated by pro and amateur photographers and neither has reach beyond a very small (compared to Facebook etc.) target audience. In addition, Flickr seems to be a in state of gradual decline as it continues to change hands between various owners. For visual storytelling, the two big ones I can think of are Exposure and Maptia (and perhaps even Medium). Again, their reach is fairly limited, so much so for the first two, that I doubt most people have even heard of them. …


Image for post
Image for post

I feel like the topic of ISO invariance doesn’t get the attention it deserves, specially considering the very real dynamic range gains it offers to advanced photographers in low-light conditions with high-end cameras. It may have to do with the fact that it’s a complex and confusing topic. At least that’s my sense, based on the discussions that I have encountered in various fora online. …


Image for post
Image for post

It’s possible that a RAW photographer can get by just fine without knowing a thing about gamma, since all gamma-related functionality is taken care of under-the-hood — by the RAW converter, the video card and the display. But it’s a little like exercising without understanding the underlying physiological mechanisms at play. One would realize some or even most of the benefits, but knowing more would help improve technique and maximize potential.

This is not a detailed technical overview of gamma. The main goal is to explain how gamma helps extract the maximum dynamic range out of RAW data. …

About

Talha Najeeb

See my photos at www.talhanajeeb.com; get behind-the-scenes technical information here.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store