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November 2009 Archives

November 2, 2009

Review: Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA

By Andrew Rodney

I am the first to admit I’m paranoid about my data, especially digital captures I shoot on location. I strive to keep at least two copies of all my raw files at any one time. When shooting on location for extended periods, that means having a hefty supply of flash cards and a means of copying them to an external hard drive, and only reformatting the cards when I have two backups. Usually that means taking a laptop, card reader and an external hard drive with me on location. There is another solution that I recently investigated—the HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA photo backup device.

The HyperDrive Colorspace is essentially a self-contained, battery powered storage device that quickly copies contents of my flash cards directly to a huge hard drive, and has a large 3.2-inch external LCD display to view and edit (if I choose) the images. Measuring 5.25 x 2.95 x 1 inches and weighing only 10.5 ounces, this is a lightweight, portable solution that at the very least, allows me to quickly download contents of my flash cards in the field without the need of a laptop. With its fast USB 2.0 connectivity, I can copy the contents of the Colorspace to my laptop’s external drive each evening if I decide it’s worth taking all that extra equipment with me on a shoot. Now I have two copies of my images and can safely reformat the flash cards and continue to shoot. There are a number of advantages to taking such a device on location such as:

Data verification: As data from a flash card is copied to the internal drive inside the Colorspace, it uses what is called CRC copy verification. I’d be very hard pressed to format a flash card on location, at least until I know the one backup I’ve made has been verified. The product provides three differing verification schemes. Real Time Verify is the default and does not affect copy speed. If an error in the camera file is detected when it copies to the hard drive, I’m alerted immediately. Verify HDD and Verify Card use a slower checksum verification scheme that compares each file copied to the data on the card or drive. Knowing that the image data on the Colorspace is readable and has been copied from the flash card with data integrity provides a lot of peace of mind.

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Review: Onlinephotofix.com

By Zack Davis

Like many photography studios, I get my share of calls and requests each year about restoring an old or damaged family photograph. That’s where Onlinephotofix.com comes in. Offering a range of services geared toward image restoration for consumers and professionals. Professional Photographer magazine sent me to see if this service could be valuable to studios as a cost-effective alternative to keeping the work in house.

I wanted to challenge Onlinephotofix.com in several ways, as they are a restoration service and not a retouching firm. Though for this review I did use images from sessions that had real-world exposure and composition issues to get a better idea of the quality of their work.

With wholesale account discounts of 50% off their retail service, the Onlinephotofix.com restoration service is priced quite reasonably. Taking the cost of time into consideration, this service could open up a new revenue stream for your studio or free up your time for additional appointments.

Since the goal of using a service like this is to lighten your workload, the amount of time it takes to prepare and send the files is important. For this review I had one very important question, “Can I submit an image to them in less than 15 minutes?”

On my first visit to the image submission portion of the site, my total time investment to send in an image for a quote was 9 minutes, and I was pleased. A client could come in with an image, and in less than 15 minutes I could have it scanned, saved and uploaded for a free quote.

There are no strict size requirements. The full-size file goes directly to the server without any need for manipulation on your part. This immediately removes 90 percent of the work you have to do. As far as fee structure goes, it’s simple.

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Nikon D3S High ISO

By Ellis Vener

In the gallery linked below you will find full resolution 1,000 x 1,000-pixel crops shot at the Nikon D3S Big Apple Circus event on October 20, 2009. The gallery shows images at all full-stop ISO settings from ISO 100 to 102,400. The final image is an uncropped view.

Exposure and processing information is included with the images. The camera was set for lossless 14-bit NEF mode and High ISO noise reduction was set to Low.

I viewed the files in Nikon ViewNX and then used Photoshop for cropping, captioning, conversion to the sRGB color space and saved at level 12 (minimal) compression.

There is no sharpening applied in the NEF processing or in post processing. Active D-lighting was turned off in the camera, and D-Lighting was turned off in Nikon ViewNX. Beyond what is described above, no other processing was done. The HTML Web gallery was created in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5

View Nikon D3S images.

November 5, 2009

Tips for Greener Photography: Beyond the Three Rs

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By Jessica Riehl

The heart of any environmental conservation program are tenets that make up the recycling symbol: reduce, reuse, and recycle. But why limit ourselves to just three R's? These are Greener Photography's favorite five R's to help you run a greener photography business.

Reduce:

• Reduce the amount of paper you use on a regular basis by printing front and back; consider implementing a paperless office.
• Reduce the number of shipments you receive from your lab by consolidating orders into as few shipments as possible.
• Reduce your energy consumption by turning off equipment when not in use, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs, and use natural forms of heating and cooling.

Refuse:

• Refuse that plastic bag when you purchase items where a bag is not necessary, or bring your own bags.
• Refuse bottled water. Invest in a water cooler, filtration system, and/or a water bottle.
• Refuse, or rather refer, jobs that require air travel.
• Refuse shipping upgrades to 2-Day Air. Ground shipping is significantly less polluting.
• Refuse to patronize businesses that do not have an environmental statement.

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November 30, 2009

Roundup: New Matte/Watercolor Inkjet Papers

By Andrew Darlow

As digital photography and printer technologies evolve, so the development of new and innovative matte/watercolor papers for inkjet printing moves forward. And there is certainly no shortage of these papers. Over the last 12-18 months, more than 20 new fine-art matte/watercolor inkjet papers have been released. And unlike digital cameras and printers, many matte/watercolor inkjet papers introduced five or even 10 years ago stay on the market, just as useful as the day they were introduced. What makes these papers special is that even though they are coated with an inkjet-receptive layer, they retain an organic look similar to a watercolor painting or fine print made on hand-made Japanese paper. The coating improves the density, sharpness, and in many cases, the longevity of the paper and ink combination.

Many photographers choose inkjet matte/watercolor papers for fine-art gallery prints, client portrait prints, wedding albums, commercial portfolios, cards and promotional pieces. In this article, I give an overview of six companies whose matte/watercolor papers have impressed me, with some specs to help you determine if their offerings might be right for you. At the end of the article is a list of companies that produce and/or distribute matte/watercolor papers under their brand name.

Prices vary considerably from vendor to vendor, so I recommend using search engines to find retailers for specific products (always consider shipping costs, as well as a vendor’s reputation and return policy). Also, virtually all the papers described here are available in sample packs, which can save you money in the long run by allowing you to experiment with several different papers before purchasing larger amounts of one or two favorites. Often, papers are available in both rolls and sheets. My preference for most uses is sheets, primarily because the papers are fragile and sheets generally stay flat and need far less handling or cutting.

Also, the number that follows most paper names stands for its basis weight in grams per square meter (gsm). Most matte/watercolor inkjet papers are between 190-350gsm. Keep this in mind because every printer has a maximum paper thickness that it will accept.

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Among the new matte and watercolor papers are Hahnemühle Sugar Cane (far left), Pictorico ART Kenaf Paper UNRYU (68) (top, center), Epson Signature Worthy Cold Press Bright (far right), and Canson Rag Photographique 210 (bottom). Photo ©Andrew Darlow. Click image for larger view.

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About November 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in November 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2009 is the previous archive.

December 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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