On My Photo Editing Process….

Jeffrey Donenfeld Ask Me Anything, Photo School, Photography Leave a Comment

Recently a blog reader wrote to me about my photos taken with the Sony RX-100, as well as my creative process. Here’s the exchange:

Hi Jeffrey
I have done quite a lot of looking at people's photos using the RX100 and I can say without exaggeration that yours are the best I have seen by far. I find it incredible that all the photos in this post 

http://jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2013/07/traveling-through-australia-new-zealand-southeast-asia-and-japan-summer-2013/ were all taken with this camera.
Great work and a pleasure to view, thanks for all your hard work posting these images.
If I could ask one question, you state shoot RAW and then process, do you find a lot more dynamic range in the RAW shots and do you have any quick fix settings for to get you in the ball park or do you process each one according to taste?
I took this camera to China and got some of my favourite photos with it but generally shot JPGs. Do you process each photo or just the keepers?

2013-05-09 Trekking Northern Shan State - DSC00524-FullWM

Simon –

Thanks for checking out my pics, I’m glad you liked them. You might also be interested in these items –


Shot on RX-100 attached to a lightweight carbon fiber tripod, used as a stabilizer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5lQ9DCXIbs

In general I find I have better flexibility when shooting in RAW – both for the dynamic range, as well as range and purity of white balance. Additionally, for archival purposes I like to have as pure of a file as possible. In many cases my old images have been found by people wishing to purchase them or use them in media productions, and the ability to re-edit to suit a client’s needs has proven useful. Memory is cheap nowadays, and it’s trivially easy to carry a pocket of SD cards around and just keep ripping away full blast.

I don’t apply any blanked develop settings, and usually quickly apply basic copyright info to the metadata on import (I use lightroom, latest version whatever that is). I then usually do one or two passes of stars to edit down to what I feel like is a good workable set, and then edit those. As I’m editing, I’ll sometimes eliminate another 1/4 of the photos that I don’t feel like I can get totally there with an edit. From the other 3/4 that get edited, I upload those to flickr, and then usually embed about 1/2 of them in the related blog post.

Generally with coherent sets of photos (like for a given trip or event), I’ll try to keep the general feeling and editing style of each photo similar, but I do them each individually by hand. Occasionally I’ll cut/paste develop settings from one to another, usually if the images are very similar, or I’m showing a progression and want to focus on that instead of the distinctness of any one photo.

Let me know if ya have any other questions, and send me a link to your photos from china!


2013-04-25 Ko Panyi - DSC07254-FullWM
Jeffrey DonenfeldOn My Photo Editing Process….

I’ll Be Appearing At The New York Travel Festival, Speaking About Adventure Travel in Antarctica

Jeffrey Donenfeld Ask Me Anything, Events, Press Leave a Comment

This year, the New York Travel Festival is taking place April 26-27, 2014 in New York City. I’ve been selected by the organizers to act as the resident expert on Antarctica.  Read my bio on the NY Travel Festival website. 

The New York Travel Festival aims to reinvent the consumer travel show for tech-savvy, immersive travelers. We go beyond booths and brochures to provide interactive experiences to people who see travel as a means of experience, not just escape. NY Trav Fest brings together a unique blend of consumers, media and industry to mingle and discuss the future of travel together.

Here’s what I’ll be up to during the event:

NY Travel Festival Full Official Schedule (Bio on Sched)

Get your tickets now and come see me in April – use these promo codes:

Code ‘JEFFZILLA’ $30 Weekend Consumer (instead of $35)
Code ‘JEFFIND’ $80 Weekend Industry (instead of $100)


nytf logo

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Jeffrey DonenfeldI’ll Be Appearing At The New York Travel Festival, Speaking About Adventure Travel in Antarctica

First Results From The BICEP2 CMB Telescope Announced re: Gravitational Waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background

Jeffrey Donenfeld News, Science 1 Comment

A little over a year ago, I had the extraordinary opportunity to work with scientists John Kovac, Jon Kaufman, Howard Hui, and others at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica (summary of my experience living and working at the south pole) on the BICEP2 and KECK Array Microwave Telescopes. Learning about how the telescopes worked, as well as the science behind what they were doing directly from the scientists involved was a great opportunity, and I was happy to be able to make my small contribution to the project.


“Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for this cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.”

Announcement from NASA JPL:

Astronomers are announcing today that they have acquired the first direct evidence that gravitational waves rippled through our infant universe during an explosive period of growth called inflation. This is the strongest confirmation yet of cosmic inflation theories, which say the universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times, in less than the blink of an eye.

The findings were made with the help of NASA-developed detector technology on the BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.

“Operating the latest detectors in ground-based and balloon-borne experiments allows us to mature these technologies for space missions and, in the process, make discoveries about the universe,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division director in Washington.

This morning, they announced their first set of results from Bicep2 at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics:

From Sean Carrol:
Monday morning: here are results! First, the best fit to r, the ratio of gravitational waves to density perturbations:

And a bit of press from around the web:

Snowmobiling to the Dark Sector Laboratory

2012-11-20 Bicep2 - IMG_0813-1600-80

Physicist Jon Kaufman stands on top of the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory.

2012-11-25 Bicep2 2 - IMG_1163-1600-80

Physicist Jon Kaufman gives me a tour of the BICEP2 Telescope..

Pics from working on KECK…

2012-11-27 Keck Array Disassembly - DSC02245-1600-80 2012-11-27 Keck Array Disassembly - IMG_1418-1600-80 2012-11-27 Keck Array Disassembly - DSC02268-1600-80
Appearing on front page of NY Times

Appearing on front page of NY Times

Jeffrey DonenfeldFirst Results From The BICEP2 CMB Telescope Announced re: Gravitational Waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background
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The Most Popular Countries In The World

Jeffrey Donenfeld Infographic, Travel and Adventure, Travel Ideas Leave a Comment

I love maps, and especially this one. According to MoveHub.com, these are the top 50 countries by yearly visitors. Based on this, how about we take a trip to Mali, Nigeria, or East Timor? I was THIS close to going to East Timor last year while hanging out in Flores, Indonesia.. darn!

Top 50 most popular countries by visitors
Rank Country Annual Visitors
1 France 81,400,000
2 United States 62,700,000
3 China 57,600,000
4 Spain 56,700,000
5 Italy 46,100,000
6 Turkey 34,000,000
7 United Kingdom 29,300,000
8 Germany 28,400,000
9 Russian Federation 24,900,000
10 Malaysia 24,700,000
11 Mexico 23,400,000
12 Austria 23,000,000
13 Hong Kong SAR, China 22,300,000
14 Ukraine 21,400,000
15 Thailand 19,200,000
16 Saudi Arabia 17,500,000
17 Greece 16,400,000
18 Canada 16,000,000
19 Poland 13,400,000
20 Macao SAR, China 12,900,000
21 Netherlands 11,300,000
22 Singapore 10,400,000
23 Hungary 10,300,000
24 Croatia 9,900,000
25 Korea, Rep. 9,800,000
26 Egypt, Arab Rep. 9,500,000
27 Morocco 9,300,000
28 Czech Republic 8,800,000
29 Switzerland 8,500,000
30 South Africa 8,300,000
31 Indonesia 7,700,000
32 Ireland 7,600,000
33 Romania 7,600,000
34 Belgium 7,500,000
35 Denmark 7,400,000
36 Portugal 7,300,000
37 Bahrain 6,700,000
38 Bulgaria 6,300,000
39 India 6,300,000
40 Japan 6,200,000
41 Vietnam 6,000,000
42 Australia 5,900,000
43 Argentina 5,700,000
44 Brazil 5,400,000
45 Sweden 5,000,000
46 Norway 5,000,000
47 Tunisia 4,800,000
48 Dominican Republic 4,300,000
49 Finland 4,200,000
50 Jordan 4,000,000
Jeffrey DonenfeldThe Most Popular Countries In The World

Climb THIS: Ice Climbing Competition Structures are Architecture From The Alterverse

Jeffrey Donenfeld Architecture, Video Leave a Comment

Crazy structures for the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup, including all sorts of overhanging, free floating barrels, and convoluted shapes. We got to see a few of these recently in Ouray, Colorado.

Via Gizmodo: Ice-Climbing Structures Are Mind-Blowing Experimental Architecture

Jeffrey DonenfeldClimb THIS: Ice Climbing Competition Structures are Architecture From The Alterverse