Archive for August, 2008

28
Aug
08

reduced sloppyness

Even if the printing tutorial didn’t introduce that much new knowledge, it still manage to push my printing up a notch or two. The thing about knowledge you accuire before you are really ready for it, is that it gets stuffed far behind and never used. Once you are reminded of it again, at a stage where your skill has reached a level where you can take advantage of it, it can make a huge difference.

Lately, for me, I have just been too sloppy. Just churning out prints on autopilot without really examining them. A comment I received on email by Doug Stockdale regarding a print I send him (first prize in the big print lottery), and now this tutorial kind of woke me up. A couple of hours spend, and a dozen of test prints wasted, the print I made today is much, much better than the print I made yesterday. But then again, the print I made yesterday was not as good as the one I made 3 months ago.

The thing with printing isn’t really with the doing part. Doing is usually not that difficult, at least not when you start to know your tools. Ok, there is a couple of black magic areas left, aspecially when it comes to B&W, but most problems are solved using ordinary photoshop magic and soft proofing. The real issue is in the seeing. It is so darn hard to actually see the shortcomings. Once spotted, it is just a matter of time spend before it is solved.

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28
Aug
08

camera to print tutorial

Before I upgraded my Lightroom to version 2, I bought the Luminous Landscape LR video tutorial, and I thought it was good. It helped me to utilize the tool much better, and it was well worth the money. Fueled by this I went and bought the “Camera to print” tutorial as well.

This tutorial was nowhere near as useful to me. It skipped through the subjects from capturing the image to printing explaining in depth some of the aspects, but I didn’t feel it gave me much more than what I already knew. This of course is very individual, but for my part I had already read most of this at different web sites, like Luminous Landscape, Northlight images, Outback photo, and others. Especially I think they covered the art of B&W printing very lightly. Even thought the Epson Advanced B&W module is pretty good, it is still some black magic involved. You don’t get any soft proofing, and when you use non Epson papers, you may run in to problems. The tutorial just walked briefly though the printing of one single image without mentioning the use of the different controls in the driver for adjusting the tonality. I say this because I find the ABW module extemely difficult to use well. Much more than color printing where you have profiles and soft proofing.

The ImagePrint RIP on the other hand is better on BW printing simply because of profiling, but you still lack a decent soft proofing (there is a sorry excuse in page layout view…). However, when you print through that RIP, you can be pretty sure that the 255 value will be white, the 0 value will be as black as it gets, and all the other values are mapped on the straight line between. This is also the case with ABW using Epson papers, but not with third party papers that I usually use.

27
Aug
08

Lightroom2, a real step up

I’ve been using Ligthroom2 for about a month now, and I very much enjoy the new features. Real output sharpening and local adjustments to mention the biggies. I guess I will see less of Photoshop in the future now.

This one is done entirely with LR.

I just had my second wedding assignment this weekend. The previous was two years ago. Both of them were for friends, and while the previous session was ok, this was pretty good. I got a good connection with the couple, and I managed to act like a portrait photographer, giving instructions and keeping conversation going to make them relax. I guess it would be quite another deal with total strangers.

27
Aug
08

Canon must be doing this on purpose

Ever since I first looked at a dSLR, I noticed how everyone complained about the lack of mirror lock up button on Canon cameras. Last night I noticed the new 50D was announced, and I went to dpreview for a look. When I saw the “Func” button on the back that could be programmed to on of 5 functions through the custom functions menu, I thought they finally had it, but no. Why on earth do I want to adjust LCD brightness, but not get easy access to mirror lockup.

It’s almost like Canon view their customers as spoiled children. They can’t have everything they ask for, and we won’t do anything until they say “Please”.

They have the button there …

it is programmable …

How much more does it take. 5 lines of firmware code??

18
Aug
08

The fine art enterprise

Every once in a while I run across a web site trying to promote some sort of fine art photography. nothing wrong with that, some may say I do that to some extent myself. But here’s the thing that I find amusing. I won’t mention any specific site, but you wont have to look for long before you find one.

For some reason many people selling their fine art photographs (with meager success I presume), fail to use their own name on the web page. Just now I found a web page where the author is bragging about doing fine art landscapes for 25 years, teaching photography at different universitys, adn so on, but I can’t find his name anywhere on the web site.For heavens sake, tell me your name. I want to know who I’m dealing with.

Another amusing thing is how these sites is how they want to create the impression that there is a small enterprise behind this. The text and headlines are always saying “About us“, “Contact us“, and an extensive use of “we”, even though it is obvious for everyone that it is only one persons hobby. Maybe they are counting in their dog. Combine this with not telling their name, and you got a web page trying to sell photographs by one or more unknown, anonymous artists. Not likely to sell anything if you ask me.

15
Aug
08

print exchange group

finally I managed to set up the blog for the print exchange group I advertised some weeks ago.

http://betterinprint.wordpress.com

Right now it is pending on the ones that other participants, but as soon as everyone has checked in I hope to initiate the first exchange.

As for my other blogging, and participating on “Pictures“, Ihope to ramp it up a bit in the coming days and weeks. My day time job is a bit more under control right now, and I feel like doing more photography again. This is my last day at work before a two week vacation, and I hope it will give me more energy.

08
Aug
08

Fixing a broken Lightroom catalog

Every time I think I see the end of the current race at work, a new skeleton drops out of the closet. Hopefully it will end soon, but this means heavy prioritizing on my home computer time. Blogging has been too far down the list. Instead I have amused myself with a trial version of LightRoom 2. I have used version 1 since it came (or more correctly, since the beta), and this upgrade looks like it is worth it. I really like the brush and gradient tool. I have even bought the Luminous Landscape tutorial, and it was actually quite good. Quite a few hints and tips, and it was entertaining enough to watch the whole 7.5 hours.

Anyway, what I wanted to write here is a little hint that may be useful for others out there.

Just an hour ago, I managed to break my Lightroom catalog. I had started a task that took up too many resources, and I tried to abort with the consequence that Lightroom became unresponsive. Probably it would have passed, but I’m not ery patient with stalling software, so I killed it. Bad idea.When I tried to restart, I got an error message saying “An error occurred when attempting to change modules.”, and when I clicked OK, I only got a grey window. No library – nothing. I tried to check integrity, but that said everything was ok – still no library. I tried a lot of stuff without much hope, like reinstalling and all that. Nope.I’d hate to go back to my 6 days old backup since I had done a lot of library stuff lately that I didn’t want to trash.

Then I came across the magic spell. I created a new empty catalog, and imported the corrupted one. It worked. I haev got all my metadata, keywords, collections – Everything.




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