Saturday, January 31, 2009

Local Correction - Part 1

This weekend we will take a look at some of the localized correction capabilities within Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.x. Today's tutorial focuses on adjusting and manipulating eye brightness within Lightroom with the brush tool. This tool woks similar in some ways - but drastically different that photoshop's brush tool -- especially if you use a Wacom tablet. I have spent a few months with the software and can honestly say I LOVE the efficiency gained by this tool - so lets take a look in part one of a two part weekend tutorial.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

coolest wedding photo ever!

image courtesy of - photo by Joe Bussink

I was plunking around on the internet this morning as I sipped on my first cup of caffeine for the day and I ran across a great web site - the Canon Explorers of Light. As I flipped through admiring the diversity in the images I ran across an image by Joe Bussink (my favorite photographer) that I had never seen and will not soon forget - probably the coolest wedding photo I have ever seen. I can only imagine how many tries it took to get the dog to behave properly ... this photo is a perfect example of why I love Joe Bussink's work - it is altogether different. There is no photographer like him. While I don't like all his work - his approach to wedding photography is intoxicating and inspiring. Two sites you should check out:

Canon Explorers of Light
Joe Bussink's Web Page

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Impressions

Cautiousness must always be observed when approaching any new piece of software. This goes double for Beta software. This goes triple for anything that comes from Microsoft. That being stated - we shall dive into some of my first impressions surrounding Windows 7.

I would like to start by saying that Windows 7 highlights the fact that Vista belongs in the company of operating systems like Windows ME - read between the lines there. In my opinion, Windows 7 is everything that Vista should have been.

A few weeks ago I downloaded the beta from Microsoft's site and installed it as a virtual machine via VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro. The only complications I have run into are due to a lack of true DirectX in VMWare. Everything else runs as one would expect an OS that is release ready. I don't think I would be stepping out on too much of a ledge to say that it is the most stable Windows OS I have run since 98SE ... not kidding!

Microsoft has gone through great measure to consolidate and re-organize the Windows experience. For example - changing screen resolution. Within Vista it is several menus deep. Within Windows 7 it is only one right click away (click on photos to see them full screen).


From the top down this OS has been organized with an attention to detail that I honestly didn't expect. I am please to say that the consolidation and organization was not limited to interface and visual issues. The Windows 7 team has successfully eliminated TONS of unnecessary processes and trimmed up the OS like you won't believe. I am running the system on 1GB of ram in a virtual environment and I still consider it usable. I would love to see what thing software would do with 4+ GB RAM on a current Toshiba or HP. Holy Cow!

So lets bring this home. How does this impact photography? A trimmer OS means fewer resources wasted. Fewer resources wasted means more resources for our precious applications. And lets face it - Photoshop loves to use resouces. Pair that with native 64bit support and new 64bit applications like Adobe's Master Suite (or any product that falls under that umbrella since most of use have NO need for ALL the programs). I am (and will be for the foreseeable future) an avid Mac user. I don't see that changing any time soon. However, this software is AMAZING and will bring Windows systems up to speed as a REAL competitor to the efficiency of OSX - Game on Apple ... GAME ON!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Masters of Wedding Photography

I find it essentially important to reach out and see what photographers are doing on the cutting edge of things. Using available light or doing something unconventional that produces a different class of image all together. I don't know that I am there just yet - but I like to think that I am moving in that direction. I found today's video over at the Masters of Wedding Photography website. Most videos I find focus on one photographer. This video is a conglomeration of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world. You will probably want to watch it several times to get all the little nuggets - enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

business cards

Often your first impression, a lasting memory, a reminder once you are gone... I'm talking about business cards. A lot of people overlook them and miss the boat. I have found that they are frequently an afterthought. I have to admit - I haven't thought about them too much until recently. Last week I asked some fellow photographers who they used for business cards and several of them recommended a company called VistaPrint.

What a gold mine! They offer a wide variety of FREE business cards that have contemporary designs and great layout. You just pay the shipping (which will be substantial unfortunately); however, I have found that even with the shipping they are a bargain. I opted to create my own design. VistaPrint offers raw dimensions and bleed/crop information so you can create the card in whatever program you are comfortable. They also offer a Photoshop template that has a set of guides on their own layer so you can design your card to their printing and cutting requirements.

If you have never worked with a printing company (and prints through mpix or your local print shop for photos don't count) then you will need to know one very important thing. CMYK - everything you submit MUST be in CMYK. Photo printing is primaraly done in RGB but when you step into the land of production printing you must use CMYK. That being said - programs like Photoshop Express don't support the color profile CMYK (or at least it didn't the last time I had my hands on a copy). If you don't send your card in CMYK you run the risk that your colors won't print accuratly.

Once I designed my card I was a simple process to order my cards. Be warned - because VistaPrint offers free business cards there are a lot of ads during the checout phase - just make shure you say no thanks and move on. I ordered about 1,000 business cards for $18.98 + Shipping. I looked around town and even though I paid almost as much for shipping as I did for the cards - I still got a better deal than anyone else in town had. I ordered a slow shipping but I still got them in under a week! No matter which way you slice it - it was a good deal and I am so happy to have business cards. If you are looking for a good business card but don't want to spend an arm & a leg give VistaPrint a look-see and I think you will like what you find.