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November 2007 Archives

November 1, 2007

Creative Color Temperature and Raw Processing

Excerpted by permission from the forthcoming book, "The Creative Digital Darkroom" by Katrin Eismann and Sean Duggan (O'Reilly Media), available Dec. 15.

Color is the musical score of the image, and just as the musical score changes how you feel about a movie scene, the image’s color treatment will influence or, more fittingly said, will “tint” the viewer’s emotional response. The ability to experiment with image adjustment layers and creative color interpretations is a source of inspiration for me, and it is often surprising how the subtlest color adjustment can shift the emotional impact of an image.

We’ve all made the effort to wake before sunrise to take pictures in dawn’s golden hour or skipped dinner to shoot during dusk when the light is raking across the landscape. Although Photoshop can’t change the time of day in which you shot the image, it can influence the image’s color rendition to infer moods and emotions.

Neutral is highly overrated

In most cases the goal of processing digital files is to create color-neutral and well-exposed images, but in many cases neutral is simply not the best choice for an image. Take a look at the comparison in Figure 8-33, which shows how Katrin saw, and the camera recorded, the pre-sunrise shot of the Brooklyn Bridge, and then how a raw converter set to automatic sucked all the passion out of the scene. Adding creative color interpretations during raw processing is a very subjective and emotional progression that can be a welcome break from the dogma of neutral, picture-perfect image production.


Figure 8-33. Raw conversion, set to automatic, can suck the passion from a scene.

Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop Lightroom are tremendous tools to enhance the emotional aspect of images by letting you bend the rules of reality-bound image processing to create subtle and moody images. The advantage of doing creative work in Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop Lightroom is you can rework and reinterpret the same image many times without ever degrading the original file. Additionally, the benefit of experimenting in the raw processor is that all the controls to influence color, contrast, and exposure are close at hand, enabling you to work very fluidly as you tweak one setting and then refine another.

Working Smart with Smart Objects

Before we dive into the world of creative color, always put on your water wings or life preserver to keep your head above the raw waters. In this case, we highly recommend working with Smart Objects, which in Photoshop CS3 with Adobe Camera Raw 4 (or later) is both an easy and convenient feature that gives you access to Adobe Camera Raw controls even after the image has been brought into Photoshop.

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Raw File Converters: Photoshop Camera Raw and Nikon Capture NX

By Wendell Benedetti and Ron Eggers

Over the last few years the raw file has become the de facto standard for high-end professional digital imaging. The raw capture provides a level of image control that just isn't available any other way. This feature takes a look at raw files and how Nikon Capture NX and Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw handle raw processing.

As Adobe underscored with its development of the DNG format, raw files can be equated to film negatives. All the information required for an image is there, it just has to be processed and optimized. The raw file converter compares to the role of darkroom developing.

The fundamental difference between RAW and all the other image file formats is that the camera that captures a raw image doesn't handle the digital processing required to optimize it.

Everything that would have been done by the camera's built-in optimization engines with other JPEG or TIFF formats has to been done in post processing on a computer. Until recently, working with raw file formats could be cumbersome. Each manufacturer had its own conversion software, and many times raw formats for different camera models from the same manufacturer weren't compatible. That meant that manufacturers had to ship proprietary raw converter software applications with each camera they sold.

nx.jpg     photoshop-CameraRaw-boxshot.jpg

Continue reading "Raw File Converters: Photoshop Camera Raw and Nikon Capture NX" »

November 6, 2007

Mac Users: Don't Pounce on Leopard

By Shawn Soni 

The newly released Leopard is the next major upgrade of Apple’s  Macintosh OS X operating system. Let me deliver a caveat for those who might be thinking of becoming early adopters, because Apple has always had a relatively trouble-free upgrade history with new OS products. Take your time.

Leopard is a wonderful and feature-filled new release, however there are some issues that might make it worth waiting before upgrading any Macintosh that is your primary work computer.

If you have a “spare” Macintosh capable of running Leopard (minimum 512mb RAM, 867Mhz G4 processor), it's a worthwhile idea to install it there to see the OS and learn about. Some programs are not “certified” to run Leopard yet. Notably, Adobe Lightroom 1.2 is “not fully certified for Mac OS X Leopard, but future updates will address areas of Leopard compatibility” (Adobe Leopardsupport.pdf), and others like MYOB AccountEdge Network Edition 2007 are not fully compatible with Leopard, which could have a direct impact on any business functionality like accounting and customer relationship management.

MYOB, in notifying their clients about issues with Leopard, provided a link via e-mail to a site, Macrumors.com, that has a partial list of applications that do not have full integration with Leopard. Interestingly the list also has Apple's premier photo application Aperture listed as having problems with the new Leopard application “Time Machine”.

The site cryptically only says that running Aperture and Time Machine together can cause dire consequences and wonders if there is a patch (1.5.6?) out yet from Apple. Overall, Leopard is worth a look but not on a computer that will be carrying out the day-to-day functions of your studio work or management. The issues with applications that could be mission-critical to a successful workflow (Lightroom and Aperture) and others make waiting a while for software vendors like Adobe to get their applications completely up to speed and integrated with this next-generation OS a smart move.

Shawn Soni owns a small studio in Raleigh, NC doing wedding, portrait and commercial work for local web designers. He worked for more than 15 years as a Software and Networking Infrastructure consultant and I/T staffer for companies in the southeast and midwest building networks and providing support for Windows, Netware and Apple networks. He got his first Mac in 1985, and has been a passionate Macintosh user and advocate for years.

November 16, 2007

Adobe Releases Updates for Lightroom and Photoshop Camera Raw

Press Release—Adobe has released updates to Photoshop Lightroom and the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in, both available immediately as free upgrades for existing users. The Lightroom 1.3 update provides added support for Apple Leopard Mac OS X 10.5 and includes a technology preview of the Lightroom Export SDK, available as a separate download on the Adobe Labs site. The Lightroom 1.3 and Camera Raw 4.3 updates also include raw file support for seven additional digital cameras including the Nikon D3, Nikon D300 and Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III.

The Lightroom Export SDK preview allows for the development of third-party plug-ins that will enable communication from the Lightroom 1.3 Export Dialog to third party tools, Web sites or devices.

"Once we get feedback from the developer community we will evaluate how to expand the SDK to other aspects of workflow outside of image export," said Tom Hogarty, product manager for Photoshop Lightroom. "The end result will allow photographers to further customize and streamline their workflows.  This technology preview will give developers an opportunity to provide feedback and shape the way Lightroom's architecture will be utilized. While we have received numerous requests to provide an SDK that allows for image manipulation plug-ins similar to those available for Photoshop, our current focus is to continue to enhance the digital photography workflow by improving the connection to tools, functionality and services not available in Lightroom."

The Lightroom 1.3 update and Camera Raw 4.3 plug-in add support for seven additional digital cameras including the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon PowerShot G9, Nikon D3, Nikon D300, Olympus E-3, Olympus SP-560 UZ, and Panasonic DMC-L10. Lightroom 1.3 provides improved support for Apple Leopard Mac OS X 10.5, fixing known compatibility issues.

Pricing and Availability

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.3 update is available as a free download for existing customers on http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/.The Photoshop Lightroom Export SDK technology preview is available as a separate download on the Adobe Labs site: http://labs.adobe.com/. Photoshop Lightroom can be purchased in the United States and Canada through the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store and at major photo and software retailers for a price of US $299. Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OSX 10.5, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 or G5 or multicore Intel processor, or Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise, Intel Pentium 4 processor, 768 MB RAM and a 1,024x768 resolution screen. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a Universal Binary application that will run natively on PowerPC and new Intel-based Macintosh systems.

New York: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workshop, Jan. 12-13

Manage, Develop, Present your Images with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Presented by Katrin Eismann and Jack Reznicki, this intermediate weekend workshop from Digital Guru Tours  & Workshops delves into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and is ideal for studio and location photographers who need to manage, organize, and find their files in order to process, present, and profit from them.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a new software program built from the ground up for the professional photographer. Lightroom is designed to move images efficiently from capture through development to presentation and printing. Students will learn how to edit a shoot, add essential metadata and process the perfect file with exposure, tonal and color corrections, custom grayscale conversions, and split toning effects. The class will also address integrating Photoshop Lightroom with Photoshop CS3.

The 2-day workshop is limited to 16 attendees, allowing Katrin and Jack to answer your photography, digital, and software questions in a casual yet professional environment. Questions you were perhaps afraid to ask and questions you didn’t know to ask will be addressed during the workshop, including: 

• What is Lightroom and how does it differ from Adobe Bridge?

• Ranking, rating, and keywording – oh my…do I have to?

• Editing and processing RAW files (and we don’t mean sushi!)

• Can I shoot tethered with Lightroom? Why would I want to do that?

• Can I improve and simplify my lighting to make better images?

• What is image copyright and how can I protect my images?

• The image looks great on my monitor – but now I want to print it. What settings do I need to use?

Katrin and Jack are well-respected and experienced instructors, known for explaining seemingly complex ideas in easy to understand and hopefully humorous non-geek speak. They guarantee an enjoyable, worthwhile weekend dedicated to the development, understanding, and implementation of professional and creative digital imaging skills.


Dates: Saturday & Sunday, January 12-13, 2008

Location: Reznicki Photography Studio in midtown Manhattan


– Saturday: Registration with a schmear 9:30 am

– Saturday & Sunday: Workshop 10 am–5 PM (lunch on your own)

Payment in full of $499 upon registration with credit card or PayPal.

Online Registration

For additional information on this and future studio and travel workshops with Jack Reznicki and Katrin Eismann please send queries to info@digitalgurutours.com or call 212-925-0771 M-F 10 AM–5 PM.


With thanks to our Seminar Sponsors:

Gigabyte Sponsors:
Epson America
Canon USA
Adobe Systems

Megabyte Sponsors:
Peachpit Books
O'Reilly Press
Nik Software


November 30, 2007

Review: Colorado Fiber and Lasal Photo fine art papers by Moab

By Bryan Linden 

Moab by Legion Paper has recently released two new series of fine art paper families. Colorado Fiber, which is Moab’s interpretation of traditional silver halide F-type fiber papers, and the Lasal Photo series of papers that provide popular traditional surfaces at an economical price.

I performed image tests on each of Moab’s new offerings with a combination of fine art and portrait images and test charts, encompassing a wide range of images and colors as well as color bars, black and white, and images with heavy shadow detail. Image tests were done using Epson Stylus Pro 3800 and 4800 printers, printed from Photoshop CS2 using ICC Profiles available from Moab’s website. Some prints were also made using Image Print 7.0 RIP from ColorByte Software (www.colorbytesoftware.com).

Moab Colorado Fiber Satine 245

Colorado Fiber Satine 245 is a 100% alpha-cellulose paper in 245gsm weight. The surface is enhanced with a slight fiber texture and feel and, according to Moab, has a Dmax of up to 2.4 and an air-dried pearl/semi-matte type-F surface. Moab describes the paper as having a glacier-like white surface, and achieves this with OBA’s (optical brighteners). This paper is also touted as Water-Resistant, but I didn't test for that aspect for this article.



Overall I liked the look and feel of this paper but feel it lacked any real pearl texture. I found it difficult to tell a surface difference from Fiber Gloss 245, viewing at a short distance. It is very bright, as claimed, but I wish the surface had a bit more shine and tooth to it. Colors rendered well, and there were no handling problems. Colorado Fiber Satine 245 sells for $79.99 for 25 13x19-inch sheets and is available in many cut-sheet and roll sizes.   

Continue reading "Review: Colorado Fiber and Lasal Photo fine art papers by Moab" »

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About November 2007

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

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