• Seoul photographer Greg Samborski shoots it all -- commercial, event, engagement, wedding, portrait... Give him a mission, he will deliver.

I’m coming home! Not for good – yet. This visit to Victoria, Canada is about laying the ground work for my photography business, Hyumi’s floral business, family life and Chaka’s education so we can make the transition from Seoul Korea to British Columbia Canada more easily.

I’m guessing a lot of you reading this are friends, family and colleagues but for those who don’t know me I’m a photographer based in Seoul Korea. I came here 10 years ago. I gave up my cushy “professor” job at a local university 3 years ago to pursue my passion full time. My photography business is thriving and I haven’t looked back since. Living in the New York of Korea had given me some incredible opportunities to work with major clients including American Express, The Economist, Turkish Airlines, Airbnb and tons of individuals, couples and families.

Work is going phenomenally and this is what’s making it so hard to leave! But life is not all about work. Ultimately we’re leaving to be closer to family, breath cleaner air, seek better education and reconnect with Canada which we all love dearly.

My goal is to do 10 photo shoots during my visit to Canada. To achieve that I really need everyone’s help. No, I’m not gonna ask you to fund my kickstarter, I don’t event have one, all I’m asking is for you to get the word out into your network be it though Facebook, email or good old face to face communication.

If you know of, hear of, can think of ANYONE who MIGHT even remotely need some photos done please recommend me. This means couples, newly engaged, those getting married, expecting moms and dads, families, your architect, actor, model, and corporate friends. Maybe someone opened a new restaurant and needs food and interior shots for social media. Maybe there’s a huge gala dinner going down at the Empress Hotel or an intimate birthday party at your friend’s cabin. Whatever it is, I can assure you I’ve got something like it in my portfolio. From photographing super cars in Singapore, to giant balls in New Zealand and countless proposals in Korea I’ve covered it all.

As an incentive to book I’m offering 20% off of ALL my photography packages to anyone booking me in North America. This can be an especially huge savings on commercial work so if you need headshots for all your staff or lifestyle shots for your product now would be a good time to book.

AT A GLANCE:

Available for Hire: June 27 – August 14th
Location: Anywhere in North America
Discount: 20% off for all shoots in North America
Referral: Additional 10% off if someone you referred me to books
Preferred Genreas: Motorcycle Adventures, Architecture, Interiors, Food, Engagements, Weddings, Couples, Events, Headshots, Portraits
Pricing: My pricing varies according to the assignment so best to get in touch so we can discuss your needs. The base fee for any assignment starts at $250 CAD (pre discount)

From time to time I accidentally hit the export button in Lightroom when my original files are not connected. When this happens, I cancel the process, connect my external drive, and re-export. But every time I hit that cancel “x” on the export window I noticed the export SEEMED to be going a lot faster than usual. This would make sense given that Lightroom need only reprocess a very small DNG file into a JPG versus a 25+ MB raw file. The reason I’ve always canceled the export in the past is because I figured the quality would be better if the develop adjustments could first be applied to the original and then exported.

So I went about searching “Lightroom original versus smart preview export quality ” and couldn’t find any answers on the first page of Google. And, I couldn’t be bothered digging any deeper than that. So naturally, I decided invest three hours into running and writing up my own experiment.

Hypotheses:

JPGs up to 1285 px on the long end exported from Lightroom Smart Previews will:
a. export 25%-50% faster than from the raw files
b. be identical in quality for all web based purposes

Methodology

Test Subject: 100 5D Mark IV CR2 Files from the BCCK Cocktail Night Networking Event

I always prefer real world testing so I’ll be pulling the first 100 files I delivered for the last event I covered. Events are typically always shot under less than ideal conditions. This one is particularly dark so if quality issues arise I think they should be especially prevalent on these images shot at ISO 3200 and up.

I’ll be using Lightroom to export a set of “Web Ready” images for my clients which is preset to 2048 pixels on the long edge at 80% quality. I chose these dimensions based on Facebook’s maximum HD image upload size. I chose 80% quality because I haven’t been able to notice any quality difference and the file size is substantially smaller. I’ve also heard Facebook will apply more aggressive compression when images are larger in file size.

It should also be noted that Lightroom Smart Previews seem to have a maximum long edge of 2560. The files out of my 5D Mark IV get resized to 2560 x 1706. From what I’ve read the previews would be smaller if your original file resolution were smaller. Logically, exporting JPGs that are larger than the smart preview would be detrimental to image quality and I believe it’s not even possible. I’ll check right now… okay, I tried exporting a smart preview at 5000px and the result was a 2560px JPG regardless of if “Don’t Enlarge” was checked or not. (I wonder why Lightroom doesn’t warn you about this in the export dialogue.)

The original files were hosted on an external SSD connected via USB 3 on a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro. The JPGs were directed to export into my dropbox folder on a 5200 RPM internal spinner in said MacBook Pro.

Results

Speed Results
100 5D Mark IV CR2 Files Exported to 2048px JPGs  = 15:04.60
100 Smart Previews Exported to 2048px JPGs = 1:49.77

Analysis
WOW! So there is a MASSIVE speed difference!!! (904 seconds / 109 seconds = 8.29) The export is over 8x faster!!! That’s A LOT of saved time which means a lot of saved processing and battery power too if you’re not plugged in. All this saved speed isn’t worth much though if the image quality is poor. Lets check that out next.

Quality
100 5D Mark IV CR2 Files Exported to 2048px JPGs  = 65.8 MB
100 Smart Previews Exported to 2048px JPGs = 63.2 MB

Before examining the images I decided to do a quick comparison of folder sizes. Interestingly the folder containing the JPGs that were exported when Lightroom had access to the original files is larger. This along with the longer processing time is a clear indication the Lightroom is doing something different when connected to the originals.

Folder size differential between 100 JPGs exported from original file vs smart preview.

Individual image size differential between JPG exported from original file vs smart preview.

Now let’s see if that 0.04% size difference has any visible impact.

Below we will look at some side by side comparisons. The JPG exported from the RAW files is always on the left. The JPG exported from the Smart Preview is always on the right. I have also cropped at 100% so we can see the detail. (Keep in mind this is a RAW converted to DNG screen-shot as a PNG, converted to JPG agin,  compressed for the blog and then in some cases recompressed by wordpress again because was too lazy to resize the screen shots to native blog size)

A sponsor shot from the event under good light at shallow DOF. See any difference?

Same shot as above at 100% crop.

I chose this image because there was noticeable noise in the shadows. It doesn’t get noticeably worse when exporting from the smart preview.

Same image as above at 100% crop.

Again I was looking for poorer quality in the darks/shadows.

Same image as above at 100% crop.

Here I wanted to see if skin tones rendered alright. Fill flash was used.

I thought we should bring in a well lit studio style portrait to see if quality loss might be more noticeable on something clean. Again I see no difference.

Same images as above at 100% crop.

Analysis
There seems to be no noticeable quality loss to the images both at original and 100% crop.

Verdict

If you need JPGs that are smaller than 2560 for strictly digital usage then there in no reason not to export those suckers at 8x the speed from Lightroom’s Smart Previews. Not only will you save a ton of time, you will put less stress on your processor and reap all the benefits that come with that like less power consumption and heat dissipation. If you’re originals exist on a separate drive it’s as easy as not plugging it in when you export. If your catalogue, previews and images exist on the same drive you can simply modify the name of the file containing the images and lighroom will loose the link to the file. I simply add an “X” to the end in my finder/explorer window, ie. “03-Selctets” becomes “03-SelectsX”. Once I’m done editing/exporting I remove the “X” from the file name and all is linked up again.

Feedback

If you see flaws or oversights in this experiment please point them out in the comments below. Hopefully this info will help save all of us heaps of time. Thankfully I can now makeup in export time the few hours I spent putting this post together 🙂 If it helped you please share it with your photo friends!

 

 

 

Twice a year Seoul Fashion Week goes down at the iconic Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Even if you can’t make sense of fashion, like myself , or just don’t really care what the hottest celebrities are wearing, like myself, it’s still worth a visit! Actually, SFW has become a bit of a tradition for me since I started photographing my friend Amy Aleha representing Metro City. After my third visit, I think I’m finally starting to understand what SFW is all about – NETWORKING. Us photographers, we go to things like WPPI and Photokina to play with the latest toys in imaging technology, learn from the pros, and connect with others. Well to me Seoul Fashion Week looks much the same, just with a much better dressed crowd… and more women 😉 SFW brings together designers, agents, models, photographers and a few weirdos in rubber horse head masks. Everyone is there to strut their stuff. Rather than handing out cards you add instagrams.

I had the honour of being invited back stage to photograph designer Youn Yee Park’s Greedilous runway show. It was new experience for me to see what goes on behind the catwalk. The assignment was carte-blanch so while the majority of photographers I saw spent their time seeking out celebrities and shooting them at 12 frames a second with an on camera flash, I tried to document the event from a slightly different angle. Youn Yee Park would surely come away with 15+ frames from each of the 15+ photographers of each of the 15+ group shots she was front and centre in for a grand total of 225 fames per group. My goal was to leave her with an overview of what happened, a story that covered the franticness leading up to the show, the models entering and exiting the catwalk and the celebration that followed. I made sure to capture the wall of photographers capturing Youn Yee and then got the group shot too.

As much as I would like to post the whole set in black and white, the way I shot it in camera, and a mood I feel fits nicely with backstage, I need to show at least a few frames in color to convey the bold Greedilous pallet. Okay, enough words, onto the images. If you like what you see and want something backstage photographed, hit me up.

Drop in Photography | March Classes & Workshops

What is “Drop in Photography”?

You don’t have to study every recipe in existence before you start cooking right? Well, you don’t need understand EVERYTHING about your camera before you take a picture either. This is the mistake so many students AND instructors make which leads to boring, unfulfilling classes. Thus think of Drop In Photography like you would cook book. You choose the technique you are hungry to learn RIGHT NOW,  and I layout the recipe and guide you through it!

Amateur, Intermediate or Advanced, Everyone is Welcome!

If you’ve never baked a cake in your life, you’re probably going to follow the recipe exactly and cross your fingers that it comes out just as tasty and fluffy as it is in the picture. If you bake cakes regularly, you might follow the recipe but improvise a little switching chocolate for vanilla or make it two layers instead of one. If you’re a pâtissier, you don’t even need a recipe, you understand the theory of cake baking and can dream up your own tastes and designs. But even the seasoned pâtissier may have questions, like how to create a mirror glaze or fondant.

Sorry if I’m making you hungry, but it was the best analogy I cold think up at 2am of for how Drop in Photography classes are structured.

  • Beginners will follow the instructor step by step and learn where the required settings are on their camera, what they do, and why we have chosen them.
  • Intermediate students can try to anticipate the settings and then improvise/experiment when comfortable perhaps choosing a slightly different angle, focal length or camera setting.
  • Advanced photographers can pursue their own vision and seek out the instructor for questions, suggestions and new techniques . They may also team up with beginner students and share their knowledge because after all, the best way to learn is to teach!

From Start to Finish

Experience a great sense of satisfaction when you conceptualize, capture, edit and share your image all in the same class. My goal is that EVERY STUDENT goes home with at least one picture they are proud of. Editing is every bit as important as taking the photo so I encourage you to take the full class but you may also do half the class if you prefer.

Half Class | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 30 USD / 35,000 KRW

1.  Meet on location
2.  Plan the shot
3.  Take the shot

Full Class – 2 Hours 30 Minutes | 50 USD / 60,000 KRW

1.  Meet on location
2.  Plan the shot
3.  Take the shot
4.  Edit the shot (laptop and editing software is highly recommended)
5.  Share the shot
6.  Critique the shot

Saturday March 11th – Stunning Silhouettes

Class TitleDrop in Photography - Stunning Silhouettes
DescriptionLearn how to capture stunning silhouettes in this workshop. Topics include:
-what makes a good silhouette
-general camera settings
-how to shoot in manual for the best results
-choosing the right background
-posing the model for maximum effect
-getting creative with props
-shooting other objects
-importing image to computer
-how to edit your images to make them even stronger
-how to keep your images looking great on Facebook and Instagram
LocationNational Museum of Korea | CLICK FOR MAP
Dates & TimesSaturday March 11th | 13:00 - 15:30
CapacityMaximum 12 students
Price$50 USD / 60,000 KRW Per Student
Requirementsa. Minimum 4 students are required to run this course
b. Students should have a camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed and iso
c. Payment must be received in full by March 8th be enrolled in the course
*If minimum enrolment is not met all payments will be fully refunded in 5 working days

Saturday March 18th – Freezing the Action

Class TitleDrop in Photography - Freezing the Action
DescriptionLearn how to capture stunning silhouettes in this workshop. Topics include:
-what is action photography
-finding the right angles and light
-general camera settings
-how to capture high speed objects without blurriness
-how to maximize your chances of a good shot
-creating a clone shot
-importing images to your computer
-how to edit your images to make them even stronger
-how to keep your images looking great on Facebook and Instagram
LocationNanji Skate Park | CLICK FOR MAP
Dates & TimesSaturday March 18th | 13:00 - 15:30
CapacityMaximum 12 students
Price$50 USD / 60,000 KRW Per Student
Requirementsa. Minimum 4 students are required to run this course
b. Students should have a camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed and iso
c. Payment must be received in full by March 8th be enrolled in the course
*If minimum enrolment is not met all payments will be fully refunded in 5 working days

Saturday March 25th – Painting with Light

Class TitleDrop in Photography - Painting with Light
DescriptionLearn how to paint with light in this workshop. Topics include:
-what is light painting
-tools for light painting
-general camera settings
-long exposures
-painting techniques
-getting creative with props and people
-importing images to your computer
-how to edit your images to make them even stronger
-how to keep your images looking great on Facebook and Instagram
LocationBanpo Hangang Park | CLICK FOR MAP
Dates & TimesSaturday March 25th | 19:00 - 21:30
CapacityMaximum 12 students
Price$50 USD / 60,000 KRW Per Student
Requirementsa. Minimum 4 students are required to run this course
b. Students should have a camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed and iso
c. Payment must be received in full by March 8th be enrolled in the course
*If minimum enrolment is not met all payments will be fully refunded in 5 working days





If you have any problems please call Greg at 010 3398 4734 for help.