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May 2008 Archives

May 1, 2008

Product Review: Spyder3 Digital Projector Calibration and Profiling

By Stan Sholik

This article provides additional information on the digital projector calibration and profiling function of Spyder3Elite and supplements the Spyder3Studio review in the May issue of Professional Photographer magazine. 

A color-managed workflow is important at all times to professional photographers, but especially when we are presenting work to our clients. The Datacolor Spyder3Studio includes tools to ensure that they will see accurate color on your monitor, on proof prints and also on a projection screen. The same Spyder3Elite colorimeter used for monitor profiling can also profile a digital projector for photographers who use front projection in their sales room.

Projector calibration is very straightforward since some of the adjustments necessary in monitor calibration are unnecessary or unavailable with projectors. For example, the human eye automatically adapts to brightness and whitepoint in a darkened room, making these hardware adjustments superfluous if they are even available for the projector. 

So it is simply a matter of connecting the Spyder3, following the on-screen directions, and running the software process. The result is a profile for that projector and screen. At the end of the profiling process there is an option for creating two other profiles. These include adjustments for use in less desirable situations with more ambient light in case your sales room cannot be darkened totally during the day.

After selecting the option to calibrate a digital projector, you must set the Target Gamma and Whitepoint from the default 2.2-6500 to 2.2-Native. (Click image for larger view)

Continue reading "Product Review: Spyder3 Digital Projector Calibration and Profiling" »

The Boutique Photographer: Learn to Love Strobe

By Sara Frances, M.Photog.Cr.

Use of light creates meaning, defines photographic art and sets the pro apart from the beginner. It is the stock in trade of the boutique photographer. Environmental portraiture and events are rife with difficult lighting conditions that require modification and balance, all under time pressure. Wedding photography is perhaps the most exacting specialty because the photographer must know how to handle the light in any situation.
 
Many photographers proudly say that they work only with natural light. But what is natural? They usually mean existing or ambient light, including daylight, shade, incandescent and fluorescent, which can all be broken down into even more specific categories. We use qualitative terms like diffused, direct, spot, down, specular and reflected to further define illumination. If “natural” includes reflectors, light bulbs and tubes, what possible reason is there to exclude strobe?

The photographer who says she doesn’t work with strobe, generally means she doesn’t have the skill or is unwilling to expend the effort required to meld strobe seamlessly with other existing light. Lack of skill is not a style. The boutique photographer knows there is no excuse for poorly lit, contrasty, blurry or noisy images unless she has chosen to use these devices to visually enhance meaning.

Photo by Karl Arndt

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Tutorial: Measuring and Adjusting for Light Falloff

By Don Chick, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Have you recently purchased a new light modifier for your main light? Maybe you have one that you’ve had for awhile, but you’re still not happy with the results you are getting. Your pictures just don’t look anywhere close to those dramatic images shown at the seminar where you ordered the product. The light falloff (decrease in the intensity of the light) across the scene just isn’t right! The part of the subject nearest to the main light is over exposed, while the other side of the subject is underexposed.

You’re frustrated. Now what do you do?

Do you send your new light modifier back for a refund? Do you put it in the closet with all of the other pieces of equipment that “don’t work”? Before you do anything else, go right to your camera bag where you will likely find a very simple solution to this common problem. Your light meter.

A light meter is a professional photographer’s best friend. If you’re not getting the results you expect, stop first to measure the amount of light output coming into your scene. Think of your light meter as being like a thermometer. A thermometer tells us if a temperature is too hot or too cold. Too high or too low means that you have a problem to take care of.

In similar fashion, your light meter is a gauge to show you whether there is too much or too little light falling into your scene. The good news is that you probably do not need to return your new light modifier or stash it away. This tutorial shows how to use your light meter to determine how a modifier affects the light. This one simple tool may just solve your lighting dilemma.

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The Joy of Marketing: Win-Win-Sell

By Sarah Petty, CPP

When you’re new to the business, you’ve got time to be creative. Invest that time in your marketing technique and win in more ways than one.

When you start out in business, you have much more time than money. Time is something money can’t buy, so it must be a priceless. On the other hand, although you can spend time and you can waste time, you sure can’t eat it. You can invest your time, though, in thinking up creative marketing ploys that will grow your business. If you invested some time in, say, looking up the addresses of people featured in the newspaper and mailed them a custom-designed note card saying “way to go,” or “you’re so right,” or “thank you for the insight,” that investment could pay off well.

One of the best ways to learn, grow and challenge your marketing acumen is to enter PPA’s AN-NE Awards. More than a competition among peers, the AN-NE Awards are an opportunity to test and measure your marketing skills and learn how to capitalize on them.

New businesses can win, too. PPA just added a special category for emerging pros who have been in business five years or less. You don’t need to feel insecure—unlike print competitions, which are judged in front of an audience, the AN-NE awards are critiqued confidentially, and unless you come in first, the judges comments will go to you alone.
 

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May 2, 2008

Books: Richard Ettlinger's "On Feathered Wings" Showcases Stunning Aerial Photographs

Six years in the making, ‘On Feathered Wings’ features the work
of seven extraordinary action photographers

American Museum of Natural History to host year-long photo exhibition

Barred Owl photo taken with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IIn and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens for 1/1,250 second at f/7.1, ISO 400, hand held. ©Richard Ettlinger 

Press Release—Nature photographer and author Richard Ettlinger is being honored by the American Museum of Natural History for his 6-year project photographing and collaborating with professional photographers on five continents to capture the beauty of birds in flight. “On Feathered Wings: Birds in Flight” (Abrams Books, $40) will be on sale in May, and the American Museum of Natural History will feature 35 images in a photo exhibition June 21, 2008–May 25, 2009.

“The work I did with six of the world's greatest action photographers took hours of study and endless patience,” said Ettlinger. “Our dedication paid off, and I am delighted to be recognized by both Abrams Books and the museum.”

Through 175 color images, the photography delivers amazing images of hunters, migrators, waterfowl and songbirds living on the wing—hunting, feeding, fighting, traveling and gliding.

The international group of photographers includes Ettlinger, David G. Hemmings, K.K. Hui, Miguel Lasa, Ofer Levy, Jim Neiger, and Rob Palmer, all specialize in capturing birds in flight, each striving to outdo the others. But the indisputable stars of “On Feathered Wings” are the birds themselves, seen in vivid sharp focus and amazing detail: a Peregrine Falcon in a 100-mph dive; two Black Skimmers fighting in mid-air; a Snowy Owl keying on dinner; an Atlantic Puffin coming in for a landing; an Arctic Tern fishing; and a Barn Swallow feeding her young. 

 

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May 20, 2008

Carol Lundeen, CPP, appears on TLC's "Running of the Brides" premiere

Carol Lundeen TLC image

Press Release—PPA Certified photographer Carol Lundeen will appear on The Learning Channel premiere of “Running of the Brides” Sunday, June 1st, 8 p.m. The show follows three Boston area couples as they prepare for their weddings, including scenes from the famous annual wedding gown sale at Filene's Basement, popularly known as The Running of the Brides.

In addition to covering the Filene's Basement sale, each of the three couples was filmed for the show during their initial consultation with a local wedding professional. Boston photographer Carol Lundeen will appear on the show with Watertown couple Mandie Fox and Jason Fine during their initial meeting and also as she photographs the couple’s wedding.

Additional showings of "Running of the Brides" are scheduled to air Sunday, June 1, at 11:00 p.m. and June 18, at 8 and 11 p.m.

Continue reading "Carol Lundeen, CPP, appears on TLC's "Running of the Brides" premiere" »

May 23, 2008

Wedding photographer captures China earthquake, aftermath

As reported in The New York Times blog The Lede: View an amazing set of photos taken by a Chinese wedding photographer during and after the earthquake that occured on May 12, 2008 in the Sichuan province of China.

May 30, 2008

Light: Learn to See

By Don Chick, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Image ©Don Chick

Looking is not seeing.

Seeing involves asking what, why and how as your eyes take in a situation. Seeing is what an artist does while taking in the world around them.

The journey from looking to seeing is part of artistic growth. It’s a conscious decision at first, and with time and experience it becomes a subconscious act of the mind. If you are open to growth, the seeing process never ends. It’s when you think you’ve arrived that you lose the ability to grow and continue to see.

Growth is a uniquely personal experience, but there are ways to facilitate the process. One object lesson is an art classic: photographing a white egg on a white piece of paper. An egg is a perfect piece of sculpture, a gift of nature, that is most likely sitting right in your refrigerator. You don’t even need a large piece of paper.  Simply take a sheet from your printer to use in this lesson.

 

The first element of the lesson involves caring. “Why should I care about an egg?” you ask. The reason for caring is that if you don’t think you can learn anything from the egg, you’re right. You won’t learn a thing. If you think you can learn something from the egg, you will.

 

Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “If you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Caring in the beginning and throughout the entire course of your career as an artist is crucial to growth.

 

Continue reading "Light: Learn to See" »

About May 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in May 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

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


 
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