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September 2007 Archives

September 1, 2007

Wedding Workflow: Photographer Mike Colón Plays it Safe

When photographer Mike Colón shows up at a celebrity wedding, he doesn’t have to dodge security guards or stake out a spot in the bushes. As a notable celebrity wedding photographer, he is an important part of the event itself, capturing timeless nuptial images for his famous clients.

“If you’re trusted to photograph a $3 million wedding that’s already making entertainment news, everything has to be under control,” said Colón, an international wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Newport Beach, Calif. As one of the first wedding photographers to develop an all-digital workflow, Colón also travels the world teaching other photographers the latest techniques in digital photography. He is a strong believer in a new era of wedding photography in which photographers share their knowledge with each other.

Image ©Mike Colón 

Image ©Mike Colón

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Straight Talk on Getting the Color Right

Color continuity. What it is and how to get it.

By Sara Frances, M.Photog.CR

All too often I am consulted to help repair an existing wedding album or portrait series where the color does not match picture to picture. The distraught client is usually too angry or too embarrassed to go back to the original photographer, not even to get a rebate on the bill. Image content may be good, but a storyline visually disrupted by lack of color continuity will leave most clients with buyers remorse, an unhappy state that lowers public confidence in our profession as a whole. Who's to blame? The photographer or the photo lab? The client only knows her investment in photography does not live up to her expectations.

In the psychology of color, continuity (color matching print to print) is all about perception. The mind supersedes the eye in the three-dimensional real world by interpreting colors by memory or by simply becoming used to variations caused by different lighting sources and intensities. We don’t give a moment’s concern, for instance, to faces that look dark and green at a summer picnic under heavy cover of tree leaves.

When viewing two-dimensional prints, however, both eye and mind are uncomfortable with colors that don’t match in comparison or have tonal bias contrary to how we think a particular scene or object should look. Think of the green faced interpretive portraits  by Matisse and Van Gogh that caused an outcry in their time. We know intellectually and from experience that faces and fabrics photographed in bright sunlight will look substantially different when shaded by a green tree or in tungsten room light. Nevertheless we prefer a more neutral tone overall for realistic reproduction, and an almost unreasonably close color match when images taken in different situations are shown side by side.

This candid portrait (left) combines some of the toughest elements for a lab to correct: high contrast, delicate white detail, and inaccurate skin tone due to mixed lighting and auto white balance. The corrected image (right) shows an excellent marriage of softer contrast, a more pleasing skin tone, and detail preservation in the fine lace of the designer gown. Images ©Sara Frances 

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The Designer's Apprentice: Automating Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign in Adobe Creative Suite 3, by Rick Ralston

The Designer's Apprentice

Rick Ralston's "The Designer's Apprentice" (Adobe Press, $39.99) shows you how to use the Automation tools in Creative Suite 3 to save time and effort, freeing you for more creative work. Though written for a graphic designer audience, this book has valuable information for professional photographers as well.

Though automation may seem intimidating, it doesn't have to be. You can make your computer and software work better for you. Learn how to combine your customer data with images for personalized communications. Learn how to record macro-like Actions with Photoshop and then reuse them with multiple files.

Also, keep an eye on the magazine for more information from Rick Ralston, written exclusively for the Professional Photographer audience. He'll explain what automation can accomplish for professional photographers, what ROI you can expect from incorporating automation into your workflow, and how you can get started.

In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt that teaches you how to make a Photoshop Action that gives your images the Reflecto effect, familiar from Apple's marketing and featured on the book's cover.

Download the Reflecto Action tutorial from "The Designer's Apprentice," by Rick Ralston 

Excerpted from "The Designer's Apprentice: Automating Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign in Adobe Creative Suite 3" by Rick Ralston. Copyright © 2008. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Adobe Press.

Elinchrom EL-Skyport Wireless System

Elinchrom's new RF flash trigger performs flawlessly in tests

By Stan Sholik

Devices for the remote triggering of flash units fall into two categories, infrared (IR) and radio frequency (RF). Of the two, RF devices are the more versatile. With RF systems, the transmitter and receiver don’t need to be in line of sight of one other, they perform equally well in bright sunlight and a darkened studio, the distance over which they operate reliably is greater than IR systems, and RF systems offer more available channels.

The lack of competition in the marketplace has resulted in two downsides to the use of radio slaves: your strobes can be triggered by other photographers if they are using the same channel on identical transmitters, and the RF system that will fire the widest range of power packs is relatively expensive. Elinchrom, Swiss manufacturer of electronic flash equipment and accessories whose products are distributed in the U.S. by Bogen Imaging, has addressed these issues with the introduction of the EL-Skyport Wireless System.

The Skyport system is available as individual modules or in a variety of sets. If you are fortunate enough to own Elinchrom RX monoblocs or power packs, there are Skyport units and sets designed specifically for them, including a Transceiver RX USB that plugs into a Windows or Mac computer. This unit allows the complete control of the flash unit from the computer, including the ability to store studio lighting diagrams and setups.

©Stan Sholik

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September 5, 2007

Rick Maiman: Acing the Tennis Shot at the U.S. Open

Andy Roddick, U.S. Open, ©2007 Rick Maiman

Freelance photographer Rick Maiman doesn’t play tennis nor is he a particularly dedicated sports fan, but you wouldn’t know it when he starts talking about the U.S. Open. He’s been capturing images of the Grand Dame of tennis for most of his 25-plus year career, and while he admits “I’m not a tennis player and I’m not a particularly strong sports devotee,” he qualifies that with, “But when I’m courtside watching and photographing tennis, it can be electrifying. I have seen some things there that I’ll always remember.”

Andy Roddick pumps in the third set of his match after winning a point against his good friend and fellow American opponent Justin Gimelstob in the U.S. Open. ©2007 Rick Maiman

He first started shooting the U.S. Open when he worked for Sygma, a photo agency based in France, which was one of the “big three” agencies in the world at the time. Everyone shot slide film, and Maiman remembers rushing “out of the stadium to meet the driver who would take the film to JFK and put it on a plane to Paris, where it would be processed and looked at by the photo editors the next morning.” Digital, of course, has changed all that and while digital photography has its challenges, running out of the stadium to deliver your film isn’t one of them.

Venus Williams in action at the U.S. Open, held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York. ©2007 Rick Maiman 

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September 13, 2007

Artistry Retreat Expands, Moves to Malibu

Press Release—Karen Sperling, the original Corel Painter expert, is pleased to announce that Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., will serve as the new home for her Artistry Retreats and The Artistry GARTEL Marketing Seminars, beginning with the upcoming Artistry Retreat and The Artistry GARTEL Marketing Seminars September 24-28.

Photographers will not only learn techniques for creating paintings from photos and marketing them, but will also enjoy the opportunity to bask in the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from the world-class luxury of the Villa Graziadio Executive Center at Pepperdine University, nestled in the tranquil Santa Monica mountains of Malibu.

Sperling has also created a new seminar, The Artistry Painting Faces Retreat, to be held in Malibu, October 10-12. While the Artistry Retreat covers faces, portraits and landscapes, the Artistry Painting Faces Retreat will focus completely on faces and portraits.

In the Artistry Retreat you learn to paint facial features, hair and other parts of the portrait.

The Artistry Painting Faces Retreat includes the foundation of portrait lessons from the Artistry Retreat and then delves further into learning about other artists' styles with the goal of developing your own, unique portrait style. Participants study the distinguishing characteristics that separate a John Singer Sargent portrait from a Mary Cassatt portrait. They also learn how to develop the skills to paint a portrait with an Impressionist look or a contemporary style.

In both the Artistry Retreats and Artistry Painting Faces Retreats, find out the art concepts and Painter steps so that you can paint professional-level portraits yourself.

Malibu photo and painting in Corel Painter by Karen Sperling.  




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LexJet Offers Recycling Program as Part of Ongoing Environmental Initiatives Plan

Press Release—As part of an ongoing and comprehensive program of company-wide environmental initiatives aimed at significantly reducing the wide-format and photographic industries' environmental impact, LexJet announces its expanded Inkjet Cartridge Recycling Program.

The program builds on LexJet’s extremely successful recycling program for HP 5000/5500 Series printer cartridges, through which more than 100,000 cartridges have been recycled since the program’s inception in 2005.

The Inkjet Cartridge Recycling Program gives wide-format and photographic print providers a convenient method for returning used inkjet cartridges that will then be re-used or processed into recycled raw materials for use in consumer products. The program currently supports 18 cartridge models for both wide-format and desktop inkjet printers manufactured by HP, Canon and Epson, and will continue to grow to support the recycling of a variety of aqueous- and solvent-based inkjet printer cartridges.

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John Paul Caponigro and Mac Holbert to Host Fine Art of Digital Printing Workshop

Press Release—Epson America Inc. has announced that John Paul Caponigro and Mac Holbert, two of the preeminent leaders in digital photography and fine art printing, are joining forces to conduct the “Fine Art of Digital Printing” workshop for a second time in the state-of-the-art digital printing labs of Brooks Institute of Photography. Offered due to the overwhelming response to their first joint session in June, the encore workshop Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Santa Barbara, Calif., will provide one-on-one instruction with access to today’s leading digital printing technology.

“This workshop format is so unique in that it gives Mac and me the chance to work one-on-one with attendees throughout the week—something that isn’t usually seen with traditional workshops,” said Caponigro. “The first workshop was such a great experience for everyone involved, we couldn’t wait to do it again.”

Caponigro and Holbert created the Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop to foster growth and creativity among professionals and serious advanced amateurs. The workshop covers topics impacting the entire printing workflow and employs innovative techniques with the industry’s leading printing technology. Committed to producing the finest digital photographs, as well as teaching with the highest quality products in the industry, Caponigro and Holbert have arranged again for students to work with Epson’s award-winning Epson Stylus Pro printers, inks and media.

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Epson Announces Four New Wide-format Printers

Press Release—Epson America Inc. has announced four new wide-format printers, the Epson Stylus Pro 4880, 7880, 9880 and 11880. The Epson Stylus Pro 4880, 7880, 9880 models are designed to achieve even higher levels of print quality than previous models by way of Epson’s new MicroPiezo AMC print head, an enhanced version of Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink Technology, a radical new Epson AccuPhoto™ HD screening technology, and several other forward-thinking advancements.

The Stylus Pro 11880 is Epson's first 64-inch wide format printer, also designed to produce levels of image quality that exceed previous models but with print speeds that are up to two times faster than any other Stylus Pro model to date. The Epson Stylus Pro 11880 uses a new print head technology called MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo). This breakthrough technology represents Epson’s most advanced ink jet print head throughout the company’s history, and is being featured exclusively in the Epson Stylus Pro 11880.

Epson Stylus Pro 11880

New Epson America Professional Imaging Web Site

In conjunction with the announcement of these new products, Epson America is unveiling a new Professional Imaging Web site (www.proimaging.epson.com), designed specifically for creative professionals and anyone else who either owns, or has an interest in purchasing an Epson Stylus Pro product.

“The site will not only feature useful information about Epson products using a visually inspired layout and unique navigation system, but we’re also planning to expand and enhance it much further in the near future,” said Tod Yamamoto, director of eBusiness Epson America. “Ultimately, it will become an extremely valuable online resource that creative professionals can use to broaden their knowledge about the industry and even gain further inspiration.”

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September 18, 2007

Legion Paper Goes Green

Press Release—Legion Paper, the leading supplier of fine art paper in North America, launches a comprehensive eco-friendly paper classification system as part of their website, www.legionpaper.com. This new tool is the first of its kind within the paper industry to provide a powerful ‘green’ search engine.

“We have a very different take on green than most paper companies,” says Joshua Levine, CEO Legion Paper. “The majority of the papers we supply contain an eco-friendly story so we developed a system to highlight these green characteristics, which has turned into a valuable educational tool.”   
Most of the "green" discussion in relation to the paper industry has focused on wood-based and/or recycled products. This leaves out many important products including 100% cotton papers, papers made from cork, mulberry, and handmade papers—all of which do not require the cutting down of trees in the first place. The new Legion Paper eco-friendly website organizes each paper into five categories: Alternative Energy, Chlorine-Free, Handmade Papers, Mill Certification and Tree-Free.  
“Many of our customers rely on legionpaper.com for their projects and we are continually asked about the specific ‘green’ qualities of our papers,” added Levine. “With our new 'green' interface, we are able to offer this extraordinary search tool so anyone can easily find all the eco-friendly characteristics of our papers instantly.”
The new Legion green site was developed in direct response to customer demand with online traffic to legionpaper.com substantially and consistently increasing over the past 24 months. Legion Paper prides itself on outstanding customer service and this new online feature demonstrates their commitment to outstanding service and education. Additionally, Legion’s digital imaging division, Moab by Legion Paper, runs on 100% wind energy and is located in the heart of the west's national parks system where there is an emphasis on living green.

September 21, 2007

PhotoShelter Inc. Launches The PhotoShelter Collection

The First Online Marketplace To Provide Professional and Amateur Photographers An Opportunity to Sell Their Images to Commercial Buyers

Press ReleasePhotoShelter Inc, a trusted provider of state-of-the-art online archive and e-commerce solutions to more than 16,000 professional photographers, has announced an open call for all independent photographers—professionals and amateurs alike—to submit images to the PhotoShelter Collection. For photographers, the PhotoShelter Collection presents direct exposure to active buyers, as well as a completely transparent sales system that pays 70% of the transaction. For buyers, the PhotoShelter Collection will provide what the company calls "edited diversity," an ever-growing collection of fresh imagery from unexpected sources, with the benefit of professional editing.
“The rapid proliferation of high-quality digital cameras has made it easier than ever to produce stunning imagery. But photographers, whether pros or not, have been limited in their abilities to sell because the existing outlets are either too exclusive, artificially cap the image values, or have pay-to-play schemes,” said Allen Murabayashi, CEO of PhotoShelter. “The PhotoShelter Collection is an open marketplace that embraces the ethos of the web, while maintaining the integrity of the professional photography industry.”

Extending PhotoShelter’s Professional Services to All Photographers

PhotoShelter’s legacy service, the PhotoShelter Personal Archive system, organizes the customer-facing aspects of a photographer’s business, including image archiving, distribution, pricing and sales, into a single online hub. With the PhotoShelter Collection, the company is using its technology and expertise to create a much-needed platform for independent photographers at all levels to engage in online sales without sacrificing the value of their work, or the integrity of their profession. The company has also launched a set of community tools that enables both professional and aspiring photographers to foster a culture of online photography that inspires creativity while maintaining industry standards in pricing and licensing.

“This is an exciting step for both the individual photographer and the industry as a whole,” said 20 year photography veteran, Brad Mangin. “We’ve watched the price of stock photography decrease as more and more images are practically given away by amateur photographers simply because they don't know their true worth. PhotoShelter gives photographers the tools and information needed to be competitive and successful, without degrading the industry.”

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About September 2007

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

August 2007 is the previous archive.

October 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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