This blog is for you if you are looking for photography tips, workflows and reviews.

Why ‘howgreenisyourgarden’?

A running joke: the garden is one of the first things new photographers start practicing in.  So the greener my garden looks on this site, the better my photography is getting…

About me

Long time amateur photographer. Started with Minolta film cameras, naturally migrating to their digital incarnation (Sony Alpha).

When not photographing, I am a senior web application developer working for the fastest growing company in the New Media advertising industry (not bad when our biggest competitors are Google and Microsoft). I have previously authored/co-authored 20 books on Web/graphic design (Flash/Photoshop/Director, published by O’Reilly, Wrox/FriendsOfEd and Sybex).


Photographic kit

Camera bodies

  • Sony Alpha a77 camera (main camera)
  • Sony Alpha a500 camera (backup camera)
  • Panasonic Lumix GH2 (video and backup)
  • Panasonic Lumix LX7 (advanced compact pocket camera)
  • Olympus Stylus 1 (Advanced compact pocket camera).

Lenses (APS-C)

  • Sony Alpha mount SAL50F18 SAM 50mm f1.8 Portrait Lens
  • Sony Alpha mount SAL1650 SSM 16-50mm f2.8,
  • Sony Alpha mount SAL18250 All In One Zoom Lens (18-250mm)
  • Tokina Alpha mount 11-16 f2.8 super wide angle lens

Lenses (Full Frame)

  • Tamron Alpha mount  AF 90/f2.8 Di 1:1 macro.
  • Minolta Alpha mount 70-210 AF f4.0 (‘Big Beercan’).
  • Minolta Alpha mount 35-70 AF f4.0 (‘Small Beercan’).
  • Minolta Alpha mount 50mm AF f1.4.
  • Sigma Alpha mount 24-70 f2.8 EX DG Macro.


  • 2x Sony HVL F58AM
  • Sony HVL F43AM
  • Rogue Flashbender Portrait lighting kit
  • Dörr DAF-14 ringflash


  • Davis & Sanford Vista Voyager (aluminium)
  • Hahnel Triad 200  (carbon fiber)

Video Kit

  • Tascam DR07 sound recorder
  • Opeka Steadivid (Steadicam clone)
  • Digislider motorized dolly
  • e-image/CowboyStudio EI717 Video fluid head


  • X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
  • Lowepro Flipside 200 Photo Backpack


  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe After Effects


The headers  to the main blog are taken from photographs appearing in the posts.

Japanese Maple, Autumn
Japanese Maple from our garden, Autumn
Cotinus from our garden, Autumn
Cotinus from our garden, Autumn
Magnolia from our garden, Spring
Dried flower head
Dried flower head
Tulip from the garden, Summer
Tulip from the garden, Summer
My partner in the garden, summer



I assert copyright of my work. My work is not in the public domain nor is it free for commercial use.If you use my work commercially without permission I will retrospectively charge you a commercial rate plus reasonable additional fees (that will include my personal and legal costs in bringing the matter to completion).


12 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi,

    You mention people shooting with the “sunset” creative style option turned on to then color correct the footage later. Any more info on this or links on this?



    1. Quite a few people recommend it, and for Sony, I think it comes from here:

      For many cameras (especially the GH2), I notice that the recommended profiles tend towards yellow, and this is probably because yellows and greens are the colors we see best. However, I personally tend to use the most neutral profile and simply dial down the contrast and saturation.


  2. Hey howgreenisyourgarden, I’m about to purchase the needed accessories for the lx7 and wanted to make sure I could avoid vignetting / lens hitting filters and wondered what the best combo would be? I see a wide variety of 52mm tubes and 37mm to 52mm adapters on amazon. Would really be thankful to have your insight on this / specific products. Cheers

  3. Thank you so much! Are you using all of this with the auto lens cap also or do you use something else? I’m having concerns about it fitting (as right now I have issues with just a uv+nd filter) If you use any special lens hood/bayonette I’d like to do the same if needed.

  4. Hello, I am following your post on using SmartFFmpeg to convert from .MTS losslessly and it is working great BUT I have a problem I can’t seem to solve and wondered if you could help 🙂

    My Sony RX100’s best quality mode is 50i 24meg in MTS format which i am assured is actually 25p in a interlaced wrapper using the Progressive segmented Frame (PsF) format.Here are some quotes (he is talking about the US and Europe version of the camera when talking about 50/60):

    “– 50/60i is not actually interlaced. It’s 25 or 30p wrapped in 60i interlacing – basically, it takes progressive frames and then splits them into fields. So when you import into a modern NLE like FCP X, the program automatically deinterlaces the footage. I have done extensive tests of the relative compression between 60p and 60i, and the latter is definitely less compressed.”

    “60i on the RX100 is actually 30p wrapped in 60i. Most editing programs will see the footage and automatically recognize it as such. So you can effectively think of it as 30p. Since it’s only recording 30 frames a second, and not 60, it gives more data to each frame than 60p does. You’ll notice the difference when you have a lot of movement in the frame; it’ll be less blocky.”


    (there are more details there)

    and from another forum:

    “Thanks for adding the MTS files. The clip wrapped sample you originally posted isn’t interlaced. Again I think its a work around to avoid paying bigger license fees by delivering it as flagged interlaced where in reality it’s two identical 25P streams, picking either one doesn’t matter, so just need to tell the NLE to interpret as 25P then NLE picks alternate streams, one frame from one then next frame from other and so on so you still end up with 25p”


    When i play the 50i footage in MPC-HC with MadVR it gets it right and plays 25p and looks fantastic. Playing in VLC it looks like junk and thinks its 50i, totally interlaced. When i select de-interlace it looks bad too.

    I want to edit videos in Camtasia and that has a 30 fps limit and needs it as an .mp4. My perfect solution would be an FFMPEG command I could add in the ‘custom options’ of SmartFFMPEG to add a flag or whatever is needed to make the resulting file play as 25p everywhere, not just MPC-HC. Do you have an idea that can be sure to do this losslessly? The input 50i (really 25p) file in question looks like this:

    Input #0, mpegts, from ‘F:\Files\_Inbox\Download Web\50p.MTS’:
    Duration: 00:00:19.20, start: 1.020000, bitrate: 26378 kb/s
    Program 1
    Stream #0:0[0x1011]: Video: h264 (High) (HDPR / 0x52504448), yuv420p, 1920×1080 [SAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 50 fps, 50 tbr, 90k tbn, 100 tbc
    Stream #0:1[0x1100]: Audio: ac3 (AC-3 / 0x332D4341), 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp, 256 kb/s
    Stream #0:2[0x1200]: Subtitle: hdmv_pgs_subtitle ([144][0][0][0] / 0x0090), 1920×1080


  5. Hi Howgreenisyourgarden, I read your post ‘Sony Alpha Video Part 2: AVCHD’ where you talk about AVCHD and DaVinci Resolve. Thanks for all your valuable information! This post answered all my frustrations with AVCHD video files on my GH2 and GX7. Your solution with SmatFFmpeg works great on Davinci Resolve 12.

    The only issue is with AVCHD FD 30p files where Panasonic use 1920×1080 60i ‘Image Sensor Output 30p 24Mbps’. When converting this on SmartFFmpeg I get a file wrapped on 59.970 instead of 29.970 frame rate, this doesn’t play well on Resolve 12.

    Would changing the ‘Frame rate (hz)’ n the SmartFFmpeg solve the problem? I know your instructions on your postings stated to set Video Codec to COPY STREAM and Not to enter or change any other settings.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Thank for your time,

  6. Hi Oscar, glad its helping in some way!

    I haven’t tried using Panasonic footage in Resolve (I own the LX7), and have instead edited in Premiere at native 60i/50i, then in final output forced 30p/25p, making sure to select frame blending (its a checkbox in output options). This seems to work well; I can edit using the native frame rate, but final output looks much more filmic with no sudden movement caused by dropped/repeated frames. You can see a result of this by looking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=9&v=xb9ADHZ9lUc. As you can see, the output can look very filmic despite the input being both 50fps and interlaced (see also https://howgreenisyourgarden.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/sony-alpha-dynamic-range-optimization-and-video/ which talks about other things I had to do to get a film-like roll-off). As an aside, frame blending has the happy side effect of reducing moire on the smaller Panasonic cameras, which tend to suffer from it quite a lot (they produce sharp video which gives very good detail, but often also moire).

    However, I haven’t tried using interlaced LX7 video (which I assume = GX7 for video) in Resolve at all, simply because I know its interlaced and that would cause problems that prevent me even getting to export! Seems like you have exactly those issues…

    I’d try changing frame rate on your raw clips before coming into Resolve, but try it in a fast pan and see if you look like you are getting repeated or dropped frames.

    You could also try compressor, another free converter (it can be faster than smartffmpeg if you are not simply repacking).


    1. Thanks for your quick response!

      I better stay away from Panasonic’s AVCHD FD 30p (wrapped in 60i container), and stick with 24p. This way I will have all my timelines at 24p and only use 60p run at 24p for slow motion.

      Unfortunately, I have some 30p video I need to convert. I will try compressor, do you where to download compressor from?


  7. Hello, I read your interesting article “Low contrast filters and video encoders”; did you try to use log profile with low contrast filters ? On my camera my log profile is not effective and would be glad to have your feeback about using log profile and such low contrast filter. Thanks.

    1. Hi Eric. No, sorry, I have not as the effect of filters is much smaller than a real log encoding. I’d go so far as to say filters were useful a few years ago when we had hard coded to rec709 as our only option, but with the proliferation of log encoding, the use of filters (for deblocking blacks and give rolloff to highlights) is much less important in 2017.

      Not sure what you mean by ‘not effective’ for log though, apart from ‘its really hard to get your head around working with it’. It took me a good month before I could use it well; there is a long learning curve to it!

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Pictures of nice things that grow.

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