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December 2008 Archives

December 1, 2008

Nikon D90 video samples

By Joan T. Sherwood, Senior Editor

The most exciting feature of the Nikon D90 DSLR is the movie capture. With two or three button presses, in D-movie mode, you can begin recording video of up to 1,280x720 pixels (16:9), at 24 frames per second.

The first day I had the D90 in my hands I couldn’t stop coming up with ideas for the clips I wanted to shoot. Setting out the next morning, I took a set of 36 clips at the 640x424 frame (3:2) setting, which I subsequently edited into a 4-minute movie in the iMovie HD program.

It took a little studying of the program at Lynda.com to learn how to do what I wanted, but after that, the editing went pretty quickly. After just a couple minutes of keyword searching at TripleScoopMusic.com, I found the perfect music to accompany the video. The most difficult part was figuring out the settings and format to use to export the video for Web sharing. Automated YouTube.com compression went too far and yielded unattractive results.

The version below as exported from iMovie HD, is optimized for QuickTime, broadband, high quality.



Click here for MP4 file version saved for broadband, high quality. 

Click through to see examples of 1,280x720 pixels (16:9) AVI files with no editing. Though none of these clips is more than 20 seconds, these are large files and will take to load before the play option is available. Right-click on the image and choose "Save link as..." to download to your desktop insted of viewing in your browser.

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Supplement: Phase One Capture One 4 PRO Interface

These additional interface images supplement the December 2008 Web Exclusives review of Phase One Capture One 4 PRO by Stan Sholik.

Clicking the camera icon in the tool palette opens the Capture window. You can shoot directly into Capture One 4 PRO with Phase One digital backs and many Canon digital SLRs. It took a little doing to make a Canon EOS-1D Mark II N interface properly with the program, but once we figured it out, image capture was fast and seamless. Image ©Stan Sholik


The Quick icon opens a window with a basic set of tools for global corrections to the image, such as white balance and exposure. You will also find the Styles options on this screen. If all you need to do to the image is global changes, you can process the image directly from this screen. Image ©Stan Sholik


If you need to make changes to color balance either globally with white balance or to a targeted hue, you can skip the Quick tool and go directly to the Color tool. Image ©Stan Sholik

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Review: Phase One Capture One 4 PRO


By Stan Sholik

Digital SLR photographers have never had as many choices for RAW conversion software as they have today. Oddly enough, the best and most popular offerings come not from the camera manufacturers but from third party vendors. For some reason, these vendors seem to have a far better understanding of a professional photographer’s workflow, as important a consideration in choosing RAW conversion software as the overall quality of the file conversion.

An excellent example of this is Phase One’s new Capture One 4 PRO (C1-4 PRO) software. When Phase One released Capture One 4 last year, the interface was entirely different than in previous versions. C1-4 PRO keeps the look of Capture One 4, but adds considerable functionality that many commercial, portrait and wedding photographers will welcome.

The features added to Capture One 4 PRO that are not found in Capture One 4 cover a lot of ground. Most Canon digital SLR and all Phase One digital back photographers can shoot directly into C1-4 PRO. The program supports multiple monitors and the interface can be customized to an even greater extent than the non-PRO version, especially on a Mac.

Commercial photographers will particularly appreciate the ability to import a client’s layout and use it as a capture overlay. This should assure clients and art directors at the shoot that the capture fits the layout. They will also appreciate that C1-4 PRO supports the CMYK color space for color proofing and output.

C1-4 PRO Mac

C1-4 PRO Windows

The user interface of Capture One 4 Pro retains the look of Capture One 4. The default layout of the user-customizable interface is virtually identical on both Mac and Windows computers. The program opens with the Library tool active and the folder you were using when you closed the program active. Images ©Stan Sholik

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Using Outside Printing Companies

By Andrew Darlow 

Are you able to invest the time and effort it takes to handle your own inkjet printing? Preparing files, hand-feeding individual sheets of paper or loading rolls of canvas, waiting for printing to finish, and trimming and mounting prints when necessary?

In many cases, you can save time and money by printing your work yourself, but it’s a good idea to think about the many costs and other commitments that are involved before making any printer purchase.

There are many reasons to consider having someone else do your printing for you. Also consider the investment necessary to keep inks and paper on hand.

How do you find a reliable and competent printer? In many cases, traditional photo labs are where professional photographers go to have their inkjet prints made. The same features one looks for in a lab carry over to inkjet printing:

Customer Service
Fast Turnaround
Finishing Options (such as canvas stretching and mounting/spraying)

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December 8, 2008

Review: ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 2.5

By Stan Sholik

As professional photographers, we are justifiably concerned with the amount of time we must spend managing our image files. As the quantity and file size of our digital captures increase, the time spent importing, cataloging, browsing, editing, searching, publishing and archiving them is increasing even faster. This is time taken away from creating images and managing our businesses.

There exist a number of useful programs to handle different parts of the image management workflow from import to archive, but none that handle it as smoothly, completely and affordably as ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 2.5, the latest release from ACDSee Systems International, Inc.

When I last looked at ACDSee, it was Version 6 of Photo Manager several years ago. I thought it was well designed and a capable program for advanced amateurs, but lacking the range of tools and ease of use that professionals require. Working with ACDSee Pro 2.5 is like learning that your friend’s child, who you never thought would amount to much, just graduated from a top-ranked university. ACDSee Pro 2.5 is all grown up and ready to make a name for itself.

To categorize ACDSee Pro 2.5 as a digital asset management program is to ignore many of its strengths. In fact, it is difficult to fit it into any one category because it is capable of doing so much. It may be easiest to think of it as a program that will do virtually anything that a professional photographer would need to do with a large image library, from importing digital captures to exporting final files to the client. It even allows non-destructive pixel-level image editing and RAW file conversion, leaving only complex pixel editing, masking and layering tasks to Photoshop or similar software.

As with other photo management software, and new to this version of ACDSee Pro, you can import images directly from your camera or camera card, adding IPTC and EXIF metadata and keywords, and renaming files. Unlike with some, you can also back up your files to another hard drive while you are importing them and continue using the program while images import in the background.

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Product Closeup: HP Artist Solution for Digital Fine Art Reproduction

By David Saffir

If anyone had asked me a few years ago if we would ever see a user-friendly system that enabled photographers to add profitable digital fine art reproduction to their business I might have said “not likely.” That’s changed.

I had the privilege of helping HP introduce its new end-to-end solution for digital fine art reproduction at Photokina 2008, and PhotoPlus Expo in New York. HP Artist makes it possible for photographers to accurately photograph watercolors, acrylics, oils, and other flat art, and produce very high quality prints—and requires only a fraction of the labor and technical expertise of other, older methods.

HP Artist combines camera characterization, artwork imaging and measurement, lighting characterization, and color controls into an integrated system. Working in collaboration with Nikon, HP has developed a system which uses the Nikon D3 camera, the new Designjet Z3200 printer, and a special edition of Ergosoft StudioPrint RIP.

The HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer comes in 24-inch and 44-inch models

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Great Gifts for Photographers

We'd like to share some very special items that we recommend or might wish for under our own tree. What are you hinting for this holiday season? Tell us in the comments section, and we might add it here.

—Joan Sherwood, Senior Editor

"Slide:ology The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations"
By Nancy Duarte

Though it's written for business presenters, this book contains fantastic, straightforward guidelines, instruction and ideas that photographers can use to prepare an unbeatable client, civic group or workshop presentation. Just like a great presentation, it's easy to digest and you'll come away amazed with how much valuable information it contains. It takes you step-by-step through the process of building a presentation, from brainstorming to color design to rehearsal. It leads you to examine the message you want to deliver, how to do it better, what your audience will respond to, and how to organize and design the visual elements. If you use a presentation to close the deal or make the sale, you should be devoting some serious thought to how it's put together and how you deliver it. This book will teach you more than you knew there was to know about creating engaging, professional presentations that get the job done. —JS
$34.99 ($23.09 on Amazon.com)

Look for an interview in the January issue of Professional Photographer with "Slide:ology" author Nancy Duarte, President and CEO of Duarte Design, the firm that created the presentation for Al Gore's Oscar-winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth." 

Calumet ZipDisc Package with ZipDisc Arm & Stand (RM4040K1)
Illuminate curves and details with natural, white light. This 42-inch translucent zipdisc works inside or outside, fits on the arm and stand, plus gives you the freedom to create great images. Check it out.

Zion and McKinley Backpacks from M-Rock, currently 20% off
Identical except the McKinley includes large roller wheels and locking telescope handle. The backpacks include a modular interior with a removable Accessory Bag and spare dividers for three set up options. The basic set up is for a regular or Pro DSLR camera with up to a 6-inch lens attached, with room for an additional two to four lenses or photo accessories. The Accessory Bag can hold more electronics, personal items or hiking gear. Replace the Accessory Bag with the extra dividers to use all of the interior space for extra photographic supplies and load your camera with up to a 9-inch lens attached. The removed Accessory Bag has Web & Velcro arms below that can securely attach to the fabric handle on top of the backpacks.
$230-290 (not including discount).

The Bowler by Acme Made
If you're looking for something more in the squee-inducing neighborhood of adorable, you should look into The Bowler. It does double duty as both a camera bag and a purse, is colorful, durable, and sized to fit most smaller DSLR cameras with interior dimensions of 7x3.5x6.25 inches. Materials are high-quality synthetic leather, tricot and YKK zippers; includes hidden exterior accessory pockets and loops for a shoulder strap; padded adjustable divider can be moved or removed entirely. If you can hold out until March for a bigger size, there's a Super Bowler on the way.
$39.99 special offer for the holidays.

drop it MODERN Photography Backdrops
drop it MODERN, is a new line of photography backdrops that have been created to enhance your photographic settings. Our professional photographers have hand-selected fabrics with flattering textures, colors and patterns to bring out the quality and inventiveness of your photographs. drop it MODERN backdrops are made with  luxurious materials including high end velvet, brushed cotton and plush chenille.

These are not your typical muslin backdrops—drop it MODERN has taken the backdrop to a whole other level by utilizing textures and colors only found in designer fabrics. They cannot be found at your local fabric store or on-line. Owner Breanne Schaap, of Schaap Studios Photography, is known for the eye-catching textures and colors she uses in her style of photography. Schaap has personally worked with each backdrop and has chosen distinctive fabrics with textures and colors that best suit the portrait client. The designs are fresh: some modern, some vintage, and they will leave your clients wanting more!
Price varies by size and selection.

Image ©Breanne Schapp

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About December 2008

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

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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

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