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March 2007 Archives

March 1, 2007

Tutorial: Collage Portrait

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All Images ©2007 Jeremy Sutton

The art of making "San Francisco Heart" with Corel Painter X

By Jeremy Sutton

[Due to space constraints, we could not include every step of the Collage Portrait tutorial that Sutton wrote for our March issue of Professional Photographer. Here, for our readers, is the complete version of that tutorial.]

I created San Francisco Heart, a collage portrait of San Francisco, using the recently released Corel Painter X . The principles, strategies, workflow and techniques shared here can be applied to creating a collage portrait of any subject—a person, family or couple; a vacation destination, event or city. My goal is to inspire and empower you to create your own personal collage portraits.

The term collage portrait refers to a portrait painting of a subject in which there is usually one main foundation image interwoven with a multitude of subsidiary images, some more subtle than others, but all relating to the subject and contributing to the whole in a harmonious and meaningful way.

San Francisco Heart was inspired by my experience of living in San Francisco and wanting to express my appreciation of the beauty, diversity, creativity, excitement and richness of this City by the Bay.

Read on or DOWNLOAD a PDF of this tutorial.

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Masking Software, a Closer Look

By Stan Sholik
[This feature elaborates on "Hideaway," the masking software review by Stan Sholik in the March issue of
Professional Photographer magazine.]

Every image that requires masking in order to composite it with another image, or to create a layer mask for image enhancement, seems to present a unique set of problems. Some of these problems can be handled with the tools in Photoshop, but the tougher ones are generally handled quicker and easier with third-party software optimized for the needed task.

onOne Software Mask Pro 4

This wedding image was made with available light in the church, but I want to eliminate the busy background and replace it with an Old Masters digital background from Owen's Originals. The problem is the original image has a lot of the same hues in the areas that I want to keep and the areas I want to drop. What I need to do is outline the couple with the Pen tool rather than try to use “keep” and “drop” colors. Mask Pro’s Magic Pen tool is perfect for this.

Open the image in Photoshop, unlock it by double-clicking and rename it. Then make a copy of it as a precaution. It’s always best to work on a copy rather than the original. I add a Layer Mask at this point and leave it highlighted. Mask Pro will create a layer mask. If you don’t create a layer mask, Mask Pro will eliminate the background in the image file itself. If you choose to work without a layer mask, be sure to work on a copy!

I also create a layer with my new background. When the mask is completed in Mask Pro, the software will then allow you to preview it against this background.

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All images ©Stan Sholik; click for larger view.

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Pro review: Monostat RS16 Professional Monopod

 200703we_monopod01When the going gets tough …

By Joe Farace

Sometimes you encounter situations when you can’t carry a tripod or there’s just not enough space to use one. That’s where a monopod really comes in handy. If you’re shooting sports, a monopod is especially useful when working with long lenses in the tight spaces sport shooters are often assigned. If you're photographing from the stands, a tripod can interfere with the spectators but a monopod won’t. For nature photographers and backpackers where space and weight is at a premium, monopods are an ideal solution. But let’s face it a monopod is just a stick. A stick that has to hold your camera securely, for sure, but still a stick.

200703we_monopod02 Monostat of Switzerland’s RS16 Professional monopod takes a slightly different approach but starts with the basics. The RS16 has a three-section design with the ubiquitous twist locks and weighs 1.3 pounds. It’s made of lightweight but strong aluminum that extends to a maximum height of 61.8 inches and compresses to two feet, which can be attached to your camera bag or backpack. What sets this monopod apart from the rest is its foot. Unlike typical monopods that have a rubber or spiked foot, all Monostat RS (Rotation Stabilizer) monopods use a flexible Swivel Toe Stabilizer, a.k.a. foot. This design is stable along vertical and horizontal axes and is grippy on normally slippery surfaces including tile (where I tried unsuccessfully to drag it) and even on ice, which we have a lot of in Colorado this year. The RS foot’s pliable design has more in common with a snowshoe than a suction cup and is safe for use on those polished and expensive wooden floors.

Caption: I first tried the Monostat RS16 Professional monopod on a slippery tile floor, and it showed remarkable gripping power, but I was unprepared for how well it did in the snow and ice outdoors. The RS foot is not a suction cup but a cleverly designed flexible foot that provides what amount to a ball head on the other end of the monopod. ©2007 Mary Farace

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Book Review: "Digital Restoration from Start to Finish" by Ctein

200703we_digrestoreBy Theano Nikitas

At first glance, you might think that this is a book about retouching images and, in a sense it is. But then you’d be underestimating not only the contents but the author’s intent to school his readers in the art of digital restoration. With the inclusion of restoration techniques for prints, slides, negatives, newspaper clippings and even black-and-white glass plate negatives, "Digital Restoration From Start to Finish: How to Repair Old and Damaged Photographs" (Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, $39.95) could just as easily be found on the bookshelf of a photo restoration expert in the Library of Congress as on the desk of a digital photographer.

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Quantum introduces Mini Folding Softbox QF69 with Hot Spot Reducer

200703we_quantumqf69 Press ReleaseQuantum Instruments has introduced the Mini Folding Softbox QF69, allowing photographers to shoot up-close and personal without the worry of overexposing the subject. Replace the reflector of a Qflash 4d, 5d or 5d-R with the included Hot Spot Reducer and then slip on the Mini Folding Softbox QF 69 for very soft, diffused lighting.

The Mini Folding Softbox QF69 gives close to a 180-degree light spread for use with wide angle lenses. Its placement on the flash head of a Qflash 4d, 5d, or 5d-R allows for Automatic (using Qflash Sensor), Manual and TTL shooting modes with Qflash.

With the QF69 attached to a Qflash, you can mount this combination to a camera bracket or fasten it to an umbrella bracket for placement on a light stand. The QF69 folds up neatly into its carrying case for your convenience.

This new Mini Folding Softbox QF69joins the Qflash family of specialized reflectors that include 12x12 Softbox (QF68), Wide Angle Diffuser (QF67A), Bare Bulb Enhancers (QF62Bs/g), Telephoto/Portrait (QF63B) and Snoot (QF63B).

EXCERPT: Professional Filter Techniques for Digital Photographers

200703we_filtertech_ In his newest book, "Professional Filter Techniques for Digital Photographers" (Amherst Media; $34.95) pro photographer Stan Sholik covers the gamut of possibilities and applications now available to the digital photographer through traditional (hardware) filters and filter software.

He advises on how to select your best filter options for your photographic style and how implementing the device will impact your photos. Covering filters used for color correction, contrast enhancement, soft focus, and a full spectrum of interesting, artistic effects, this book will satisfy your quest for technical precision and your yearning for greater creative expression.

Features:

  • Comparisons of effects achieved using traditional vs. digital filters
  • Charts that allow readers to predict effects of a variety of filter types
  • Page after page of analyses of top filters

In this excerpt, Sholik examines color converting, light balancing and compensation filters.

Continue reading "EXCERPT: Professional Filter Techniques for Digital Photographers" »

March 14, 2007

Adobe Unveils Plans for Two Editions of Photoshop CS3

Press Release—Adobe Systems Incorporated announced at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show that it will expand its digital imaging product line, offering two editions of Adobe Photoshop CS3. In addition to the highly anticipated Photoshop CS3 software for designers and professional photographers, Adobe will also deliver Photoshop CS3 Extended, a completely new edition of Photoshop which allows cross-media creative professionals to stretch the limits of digital imaging. Photoshop CS3 Extended includes everything in Photoshop CS3 plus a new set of capabilities for integration of 3-D and motion graphics, image measurement and analysis. Photoshop CS3 Extended also simplifies the workflow for professionals in architecture, engineering, medical and science.

Both Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended software will be formally introduced on March 27, 2007  as part of the company's launch of Creative Suite 3, when further details will be disclosed. The software is expected to ship in Spring 2007.

Mac Releases OS X 10.4.9 Update

The 10.4.9 Update is recommended for PowerPC and Intel-based Mac computers currently running Mac OS X Tiger version 10.4.8 and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes or compatibility updates for the following applications and technologies:

  • RAW camera support (including medium-format cameras)
  • Handling of large or malformed images that could cause crashes
  • Image capture performance
  • Mouse scrolling and keyboard shortcuts
  • Font handling
  • Playback quality, and bookmarks in DVD Player
  • USB video conferencing cameras for use with iChat
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Browsing AFP servers
  • Apple USB Modem
  • Windows-created digital certificates
  • Open and Print dialogs in applications that use Rosetta on Intel-based Macs
  • Time zone and daylight saving for 2006 and 2007
  • Security updates

The update is available for download at: http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/macosx1049updateintel.html

March 15, 2007

Basic Strobe Portrait In Studio

200703we_wpsportrait Professional Photographer magazine offers our readers free lighting tutorials from Web Photo School.

The basics of portrait photography could fill many large books. Many pro photographers who typically shoot using only available light want to advance their studio lighting skills. In such cases, it's always good to start with the basics. This Web Photo School lesson concentrates on one application with a few variations on the theme for this lesson.

Topics Covered:

  • Using portable flash units
  • Creating drama with one light
  • Using reflective fill
  • Background lighting effects

Go to the Basic Strobe Portrait in Studio lesson at Web Photo School.

March 22, 2007

Answers to frequently asked questions about the HP Designjet Z3100

By David Saffir

[David Saffir, award-winning commercial and fine-art photographer and author of the new book “Mastering Digital Color: A Photographers’ and Artists’ Guide to Controlling Color," reviews the HP Designjet Z3100 in the April issue of Professional Photographer magazine. He has been using the printer since November 2006.]

Here are a few examples of questions I’ve received about this printer:

How long does it take to calibrate the printer, or to make a profile?

Printer calibration takes about 10 minutes; paper profiling about 20.

Is the profiling as good as a hand-held spectrophotometer?
Yes, and profiling does not require the photographer to sit at a desk for 30 minutes or more.

Are there a sufficient number of patches used by the printer in the standard profile generation?
Yes, particularly in the case of printing photographs. If even more accuracy is desired, using a higher number of patches, the operator can use the HP Advanced Profiling System, which is available separately.

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OBITUARY: Monte Zucker, 1929-2007

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In memory of Monte Zucker (1929-2007): innovator, teacher and champion of professional photography

By Jeff Kent

The photography world has lost a novel talent and a tireless spirit. After a tough battle with pancreatic cancer, Monte Zucker, M.Photog.Cr., Hon.M.Photog., API, F-ASP, passed away on March 15, 2007. Zucker will be forever remembered for his impeccable portrait and wedding images, his zeal for helping other photographers, and his determination to conduct his life his way.

Over the course of his 50-plus year career, Zucker was one of professional photography’s most accomplished innovators. Among other achievements, he is widely credited with pioneering classic portraiture techniques on location at weddings. Back in the 1960s, when other wedding photographers were snapping flat, static portraits at weddings, Zucker decided to bring studio-quality portraiture to his wedding jobs. The resulting images revolutionized wedding photography. Every portrait was well composed, well lit and well exposed. Clients loved the style, and soon Zucker was one of the East Coast’s most sought-after photographers.

One of Zucker’s favorite comments was, “I don’t photograph the world as it is; I photograph the world as I would like it to be.” This statement is both figurative and literal. Zucker’s primary goal was to create beautiful memories with his images. He concentrated on faces and feelings, making idealized versions of real life that his clients would treasure long after the true moments had faded. Zucker also wanted to use his photography as a celebration of all that is good in life. Through his images, he wanted to express how lucky we are to be living in a wonderfully diverse and interesting world.

In his final days, Zucker remained engaged with the industry he loved so much for so long. He attended Imaging USA in January 2007, only a few weeks before his final passing. Every day, he would give all the strength he had to sit and talk with his fellow image makers. For Zucker, there would be no other way to do it. Toward the end of the convention, he graciously took time to give one last interview for this magazine. When asked about his legacy, he was pensive and emotional. “All I’ve ever wanted to do is give people an appreciation of the things that surround us every day, the things we take for granted,” he said after some thought. “If I’ve accomplished that to any degree, then I feel that I have contributed something that is worth while.”

Monte Zucker’s name and legacy will live on in the form of his charitable organization, the Zucker Institute for Photographic Inspiration. Launched by Zucker before his passing, the Institute is dedicated to helping at-risk youth get engaged with photography as a means for inspiring a better life, and possibly a career. For more information, visit www.montezucker.com and follow links to information on the Institute.

March 27, 2007

Adobe debuts Creative Suite 3 Product Line

Largest Software Release in Adobe’s 25-year History Revolutionizes Creative Workflows

Press Release—Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced the Adobe Creative Suite 3 product line, integrated design and development tools for packaged to suit different creative workflows. Adobe’s new Creative Suite 3 lineup unites the best of Adobe and Macromedia product innovation to provide designers and developers with a broad spectrum of creative options for all facets of print, web, mobile, interactive, film, and video production. There are six all-new configurations of Adobe Creative Suite 3.

  • Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Design Standard editions
  • Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and Web Standard editions
  • Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium
  • Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection (12 applications)

The majority of Adobe Creative Suite 3 editions will be available as Universal applications for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs and support Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. Customers will experience increased levels of performance and speed running Creative Suite 3 natively on Intel-based Macintosh systems and the latest Windows hardware.

To celebrate the unveiling of Adobe Creative Suite 3, Adobe will host a launch event in New York City that will be webcast live on March 27 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. To attend the webcast, visit www.adobe.com/go/cs3launch .

Continue reading "Adobe debuts Creative Suite 3 Product Line" »

About March 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in March 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2007 is the previous archive.

April 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


 
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