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Ken Kurtis


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We've been back for a week now from our fabulous trip to Indonesia (North Sulawesi, including Manado, Bangka, and Lembeh) and have the trip report, a video, and the SmugMug slide show ready for your dining and dancing pleasure. Remember that the slideshow can either be viewed as a collage, or your can click on individual pictures for a full-screen version of that shot. You can also activate a full-screen slideshow if you like. Here are the links:
I also experimented with some things and would be interested in any comments good/bad/indifferent. I normally shoot at 200-400-ISO but decided on this trip to shoot everything at 1600-ISO to get smaller f-stops, use less flash, and get quicker recycling times. (With my 105mm at Lembeh, I was able to shoot at f40-ish and pretty much fired at will.) Just curious to see if you can see any differences or have any thoughts one way or the other. Post-production is done in Lightropom 6.0 and here's my general workflow along with where within LR the adjustment is made. I generally find that I spend 45-90 seconds doing these adjustments for any given shot:
• Crop (generally 16:9 but not always - 1:1 is other most common)
• Adj angle if necessary
• Check for focus - discard if eyes are soft
• Check/adj overall exposure (histogram)
• Knock down highlights (basic)
• Increase shadows (basic)
• Adj white balance if necessary (basic)
• Adjust shadows (tone curve)
• Adjust darks (tone curve)
• Adjust lights (tone curve)
• Generally no attempt to deal with backscatter
• Adjust masking (detail -sharpening - hold down ALT key to select edges)
• Sharpen (detail - sharpening)
• Save at 2160 pixels high (and whatever the corresponding width is), 1200dpi

Happy to hear your thoughts &/or suggestions.
- Ken


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Ken - what airline did you use to get to Manado?   All Singapore Air?   And was this a code share, or separate vendor from the one used to get to Singapore?   2 hours is a short layover after such a long west bound flight.   I don't even like to do that with Houston anymore.  

I managed to book my flight to Cebu all on United, making the luggage arrangements and missed flight scenarios more friendly, but it was a bit awkward as it was $700 cheaper to make it a multicity SFO->TPE, TPE->CEB rather than a simple SFO->CEB.   And more often, it's just not possible to get a decent fare all on united, so regional airlines come into play, and safer to show up further in advance.

My wife wants to see Singapore (I've been once for work), so whenever we do the Lembeh routine, we'll have 2-3 days layover.    We used to do this at the end of the trip, but we're too exhausted by then to really play tourist.  


Edited by calbeardiver

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20 hours ago, calbeardiver said:

Ken - what airline did you use to get to Manado?   All Singapore Air?

Singapore (SQ37) non-stop from LAX to SIN. Landed 40 minutes early. Then Scoot Air (owned by Singapore - codeshare with them) into Manado. All I can say about the layover time is that we've never missed that flight into Manado. For those who aren't comfortable with that (from LA) you can take SQ11 which goes through Tokyo and then into Singapore, arrives around 1AM, and you can overnight in the Transit Hotel until the 9:25AM flight to Manado.

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