In digital art, digital workflow, equipment, technique on December 1, 2010 at 10:34 pm
The Trouble With Canvas
Ink jet canvas? Yes, it can be a cheesy photo presentation, like something out of a cheap Miami motel. Also, lesser canvases have given the medium a bad name with poor shadow reproduction and drastic texture that all but obliterates fine detail. Last year, I ran through a roll of Canon’s Graphic Matte Canvas that I wouldn’t recommend for any conceivable reason to anyone (in fact, it was given to me for free by Canon, which I should have taken as a sign). I think canvas photo printing, as a general cynical consensus, has the reputation of being a technique to force mediocre photography into something that looks like art.
The appeal of canvas, on the flip side, is a modern floating presentation when it’s nicely gallery wrapped on a good stretcher frame. Tightly wrapped and well folded at the corners, the finished product is hard to beat for visual impact. Of course, it also has to be a stunning print, as there is no glass, matting, and framing to amplify the print size or quality. And, after all, canvas really is the de facto surface for certain more established schools of art and photographers can play with that.
[a review of my new favorite ink jet canvas after the jump..] Read the rest of this entry »
In digital workflow, equipment, photography on November 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Hasselblad Phocus & the H4D Digital Workflow
Deciding to buy in to a medium format camera system involves more than cameras and lenses. In the case of Phase One/Mamiya and Hasselblad, going big includes delving into exciting proprietary software. Phase One makes the excellent Capture One software while Hasselblad offers – as a free download – the relatively new Phocus program. While it’s true, to some extent, that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has become something of an industry standard for digital workflow software, both Capture One and Phocus are unique and able programs offering a higher degree of camera integration and a more unified workflow between camera and computer. Phocus is a cool piece of software, and – like Capture One – a strong selling point for the cameras and lenses it’s designed specifically to support. Anyone considering an H-series camera should certainly download Phocus and experiment with it. Hopefully this entry will serve as an interesting introduction.
[more after the jump..] Read the rest of this entry »
In digital workflow, equipment, photography on August 12, 2010 at 3:21 am
The Mighty Hassleblad H3DII-31
[I want to offer a Huge thanks to Keeble & Shuchat in Palo Alto and Hasselblad genius Randy Hoffman for loaning my studio this camera and a couple lenses. Be sure to stop by if you happen to be in the Palo Alto area, it's an awesome camera store!]
Once, long ago, the folks at Nikon announced the much anticipated high-resolution version of the flagship Nikon D3, the 24 MP Nikon D3X. The D3 is an awesome camera with perhaps only lower-than-average resolution preventing it from being the ultimate all-around professional camera. The D3X might have been the answer for many photographers, but for the un-anticipated $8,000 price tag.
Meanwhile, buy-in pricing to the ethereal ranks of Medium Format Digital has been sneaking down to within near-competition of high-end 35 mm cameras like the D3X. The newly-released (in Japan, at least) Pentax 645D deserves credit for shaking up the market with a roughly $10,000 price tag. Shortly after the announcement, Mamiya and Hasselblad, the only two medium format manufacturers to have miraculously weathered the digital revolution, both announced offerings in the neighborhood of $10,000: the Mamiya DM22 and this Hasselblad H3DII-31.
[more after the jump..]
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In digital workflow, marketing on August 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm
Zenfolio, Online Print/Proof/Download Service, www.zenfolio.com
I spent a good deal of time, both in paid experiments and 30-day trials, searching for the right online service for my studio’s Client Interface Page. I have pretty specific needs and very high expectations, and Zenfolio was the first service that really worked for me. I think it is slick and professional, flexible, and easy to use. My client page has been up and running for more than a year now and has served me and my clients well.
First some features I enjoy about the Zenfolio experience:
-It integrates with Adobe Lightroom, allowing direct creation of folders and galleries and uploading from Lighroom’s Export dialog.
-It allows me to use my studio logo, choose fonts and colors, set my own URL, and add any links I’d like, all of which amount to a site that can integrate nicely in my overall Web presence.
[more after the jump..]
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In digital art, digital workflow on July 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm
Red River Paper, 66 lb Polar Pearl Metallic, Metallic Paper for Inkjet Printers
Digital fine art printing is the new darkroom, to be sure. It is an art and a craft and it is certainly exciting when a useful new tool is introduced to the ever-growing market. ”Metallic Paper” meanwhile, has a history as a compelling alternative to traditional paper, at times quirky and at times radiant. I am happy to see the alternative brought successfully to the world of inkjet with Red River’s new Polar Pearl Metallic.
First, this isn’t Red River’s first attempt at an ink jet compatible metallic paper. It is, to my knowledge, the first commercially available paper for pigment-based printers from any company. (Pigment printers include our studio’s workhorse Canon iPF6100.) I have a half-used box of Red River Metallic Silver paper, a paper with a foily silver front designed for dye based printers. Also produced in gold, the old foil paper is a good example of paper that stands little chance of not looking weird. In hopes of recreating the look of popular Kodak Endura Metallic paper (a paper only available for professional photo labs), I bought a box and ran a huge stack of tests and calibrations and profiles to no avail. It’s a weird paper, best left for specific art applications that call for highlights of aluminum foil. Read the rest of this entry »
In digital art, digital workflow, photography, technique on April 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm
Adobe Photoshop is not a simple program. In fact, it’s a shockingly complex program. I think back to high school and my first encounter with Photoshop and wonder why I ever went into digital photography. Yet, complexity aside, it’s awesome what can be done to innocent pixels via this unique ark of software. Why further complicate things with added plug-ins? NIK Software offers a lot of compelling reasons, many of which can be found in their powerful Photoshop plug-in and monster filter bundle, Color Effects Pro 3.0. Read the rest of this entry »
In digital art, digital workflow, equipment, photography, technique on March 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Tethered Shooting Comes to Adobe Lightroom
At last Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Beta 2 is delivering tethered shooting. Since Lightroom’s introduction, I have never been as pumped about a new feature. So Long Nikon Camera Control! So Long Auto-Import and Watched Folders! Finally, like Phase One’s Capture One, Lightroom is now a full-featured piece of studio software. In my humble opinion, Lightroom has arrived and is now complete.
Here is a quick step by step description of the new capability as it operates with my Nikon D3. And, as a spoiler, let me preface this by saying that, after a brief initial test, it appears to work very quickly and flawlessly. I am very impressed. Read the rest of this entry »
In digital art, digital workflow, equipment, photography, the state of things on March 9, 2010 at 1:49 am
Specified sensor sizes among a few popular "professional" cameras
At one point, in the history of photography, Medium Format ruled the professional world. Cameras from Contax, Hasselblad, Rolei, Mamiya, Pentax, and others were king of the imaging world. The digital revolution was unkind to the ranks, however, with few companies able to make the leap. Read the rest of this entry »
In digital art, digital workflow, the state of things on December 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm
The color magenta, depending on your color settings
I was disturbed to read, on the back cover of a recent Newsweek, that the color magenta is no longer public property. “T-Mobile and the magenta color are registered trademarks of Deutsche Telekon AG,” that’s what I read at the bottom of a friendly looking ad featuring Whoopi Goldberg.
Holy Cow, I feel – perhaps – the way Native Americans must have felt as invaders claimed to own parcels of the great outdoors. Colors aren’t trademark-able, and aren’t own-able either! Should I rush to Trademark Black or White? Perhaps the Red at the top of this entry? Read the rest of this entry »
In digital workflow, photography, technique on December 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm
The San Francisco Bay, From Alameda
A 10-shot pano from a recent sunset over the San Francisco Bay (taken from the north tip of Alameda). Read the rest of this entry »