SFD Mode Impression

作品1

Capturing the Texture as it is

「生きている姿を写真に封じ込める」作品

I took a red rose with a red silk cloth for the background. Even with full use of lightning, it is quite difficult to capture the characteristic soft texture of silk. However, when taking pictures using SFD mode, the silk that tends to be a hard texture showed a soft and smooth expression as if touching the fabric directly. And when shooting in digital photographs, roses, which often appear like imitations, turned out with wonderful gradation of red and I could capture the texture such like velvet. Sd Quattro is a camera that already shows us wonderful images, but by using the SFD mode, it made a more excellent expression.

「完璧な白い世界」作品

Perfectly White World

I tried to take a picture of white dishes and white flowers on a white stained glass, in the soft light coming through the window.
In such case the noise tends to come in the shadow part, and ruin the white world.
However, the SFD mode produced a perfectly white world without concern for noise.
A stunning white gradation fully expresses the soft petals. The texture of the delicate petals, easily hurt by a touch, soaks into my heart.

「SFD Mode」Works1
SFD ModeA beautiful expression with no noise in the center part of the flower
「X3F」Works1
X3FNoise in the center part of the flower, which makes it look impure.
「SFD Mode」Works2
SFD ModeWonderful gradation of white and soft texture of the petals are expressed.
「X3F」Works2
X3FThe white gradation is not bad, but the texture seems to be a little stiff.
「Perfectly White World」Works

Expressing the Black of Black

I tried taking a lacquer ware with the black velvet cloth as the background. Lacquer is one of the very difficult subjects. Especially black lacquer ware is extremely difficult to capture its expression. And in addition to that, to express the black of black I used the weak light of early morning from the window. This is a situation that challenges the limits of digital cameras. Normally, pictures shot in such situation, the black lacquer ware blends into the black velvet background and becomes impalpable.
Using SFD Mode, however, the black subject slightly stands out from the dark background. Normally what happens is the blacks are crushed and the highlights clipped but when using the SFD Mode the dynamic range is very wide and emphasizes the black and white texture. Furthermore, the black world is expressed without noise.

「SFD Mode」Works1
When shooting in SFD mode, it is better to treat the developed data as a material, adjust the image considering how much shadow is required, how far it should be highlighted, etc. to make a high quality picture.
When developing, AUTO is better for dynamic range.
Of course, you can adjust individual parameters according to your preference, but you need to be careful to avoid making the picture excessive.
「X3F」Works1
I tried the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop to see what kind of dynamic range the SFD data has. You can see that both highlights and shadows are very wide. And there is no noise, even when raising or increasing the saturation extremely, it does not become matter of concern and it can be said that it is a kind of data easy to use and has excellent tolerance.

Editorial Note

I think that when making a photograph as a piece of work, the process of shooting can be compared to making the material. Shooting is, indeed, a very important process because the essentials such as layouts are determined. However, in order to realize the image, you cannot finish there. The work approaches completion by going through image processing such as developing etc. To keep the image, you need to have good data for the material. SFD Mode brings out the full performance of the Foveon sensor and is outstanding in capturing atmosphere and 3-dimension. It is a function which delivers an extensive dynamic range that is rich in expression of gradations, without noise. Conditions for capturing in this mode are limited since the subject needs to be still and a tripod is necessary when shooting, but it can be said that it is one of the most wonderful options available in making a photo.

森 健児 / Kenji Mori
Kenji Mori
Kenji Mori, born in Yokohana, Tokyo in 1958, is a member of Japan Advertising Photographer’s Association (APA) currently. He stared learning photography by joining evening photography course through high school, studying with Takashi Hamaguchi, Tadahiko Hayashi, Shoji Ueda and Yoshikazu Shirakawa. His works have covered commercial photography widely such as editorial, music album jacket, corporate poster and calendar after the establishment of Kenji Mori Photography Office since 1979. Meanwhile, he has been holding exhibitions with the theme of “Tender photography” all over the country. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kenjimori.photography
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