The History Of Photoshop

Darren wrote this at 8:00 am:

Interestingly, the first Star Wars movie, the Apple Mac, and Industrial Light and Magic (George Lucas’ special effects company) all played crucial roles in the original development and productization of Photoshop 15 years ago. You can read the whole story in Computer Arts’ article The History of Photoshop.

The article’s claim that Photoshop is “possibly the only bit of software to have spawned its own verb form” is way off the mark, though – we “Google” for information, we “Skype” each other, we “ping” other computers, and Unix geeks “vi” and “cat” and “grep” and “ftp” files.

The Making of a Photography Book

Darren wrote this at 8:00 am:

Bettina and Uwe Steinmueller of Digital Outback Photo have written an article about the making of their coffee table book, California Earthframes. The article is titled The Making Of California Earthframes.

This is an interesting article to read about the considerations that go into producing a great book, from layout, to photo selection, to text, and finally printing. It sounds like the Steinmuellers were quite hands-on in the creation and publishing of their book.

If you’d like to buy California Earthframes, check the link above for more information. There is a link to a German store for those living in Europe, and presumably you’ll be able to buy copies of the book in the US once the first shipment arrives from the printer. An ebook version is also available for USD$9.95.

If you’d like to read another account of self-publishing a photography book, have a look at Producing Your Own Photography Book, which describes Michael Reichmann’s publishing of his photos from a tour of Bangladesh.

And here’s another – BC, Canada, photographer Mike Yip recently published a book about birds from Vancouver Island, and wrote up an account of his self-publishing experience (kindly hosted by Edwin over at You can see some of Mike’s photos at his site Vancouver Island Birds.

New Web Site: Aperture Tricks

Darren wrote this at 8:00 am:

Scott Bourne has started a web site devoted to sharing news, information and tips on Apple’s new photography workflow application, Aperture.

Okay we decided to jump in to the water. Aperture Tricks is online and ready for your involvement. If you’re an Aperture user and have questions, tips or tricks regarding Apple’s Aperture, this is the place to share them. We’ll update you with Aperture news here as well. Comments are welcome as long as they are on point, devoid of personal attacks and deemed helpful to our audience.

Visit Aperture Tricks and check it out.

Scott is currently looking for user-contributed tips. He’s not looking for a free ride, though – if you submit a tip you will be entered into a draw, with one lucky contributor winning a Lensbaby (Canon or Nikon mount only). You’ve got until January 28 – contest details are here.

Reflections on Photography and Art

Darren wrote this at 8:00 am:

Alain Briot has begun a new series over at the Luminous Landscape, titled Reflections on Photography and Art.

You can read the introduction to the series at the above link, and the first article in the series is Art and Science.

Photography consists of two separate elements: art and science. It is through the successful combination of these two elements that the creation of world-class photographs can be accomplished.

Yet art and science differ greatly in their aim and their practice. In fact, they are so far apart as to present serious difficulties if their respective qualities are not known to the photographer.

The science part of photography includes technique and equipment. The artistic part of photography includes the photographer’s artistic goals, his vision, inspiration and the use of art-related concepts. These two parts need to merge seamlessly for the creation of a successful world-class photograph to take place. If one or these two parts dominates the other the result is either a technically excellent photograph without much artistic interest, or a very artistic photograph lacking technical excellence.

So much of the photography information you can find on the web is about the scientific, technical side of it – how to use flash, how to control depth of field, how to use Photoshop, how to make nice prints, etc. It’s very hard to find good information on the artistic side of photography, and that’s partly my goal with this web site.

This series promises to be a very interesting and thought-provoking journey. Alain writes great stuff – check out these links to some previous articles he’s written.

Apple Aperture 1.0.1 Released

Darren wrote this at 12:13 am:

It looks like Apple has just released Aperture version 1.0.1, an update to their photographic post-production workflow application.

The key areas addressed are:

  • White balance adjustment accuracy and performance
  • Image export quality
  • Book and print ordering reliability
  • Auto-stacking performance
  • Custom paper size handling

There is some discussion over on the ArsTechnica forum. Initial feedback from users includes:

  • Adjustment sliders are snappier.
  • Blocking up of shadows in RAW to 8-bit exporting seems to be gone.
  • Exporting is faster.
  • Just ran an auto-stack on 2000+ images – it took about 30 seconds.
  • The update kills the hack for unsupported hardware.

Some people have also reported difficulty in downloading the update directly from the Apple site. If you’re having trouble, try using Software Update to get it.

DNG Recover Edges

Darren wrote this at 8:00 am:

Most digital cameras don’t actually give you every pixel their sensor sees in the final processed output image. This is done for image processing reasons (demosaicing, noise reduction, sharpening, etc) and also to crop the final image to a specific aspect ratio.

There may be occasions where you really wish you had those few extra rows of pixels on the edge of the frame – if only they weren’t cropped out!

Thomas Knoll, one of the original authors of Photoshop, has written a free utility to recover the cropped edges of DNG-format images. It’s called DNG Recover Edges, it’s available for both Windows and Mac computers, and it’s only available from The Luminous Landscape.

This application is unsupported, and is not an Adobe product.

Carl Zeiss Lenses For Other SLRs?

Darren wrote this at 8:14 pm:

There are rumors doing the rounds that Carl Zeiss will soon be releasing their highly-regarded lenses in other mounts – most likely, obviously, Canon and Nikon mounts. The rumors are fuelled by an image on Zeiss’ web site that contains the text “Millions of SLR Photographers Will Soon Discover a New Dimension in Photography.”

You can follow (and contribute to!) the rumors over at DPReview.

This would be an awesome development, with many photographers swearing by the superiority of Zeiss lenses.

Canon EOS 1D Mark II N Firmware 1.02

Darren wrote this at 8:07 pm:

Canon has just released EOS 1D MkII N firmware version 1.02.

Updates include:

  • Fixes a file-numbering error that occurred during Bulb shooting.
  • Improves the brightness of the LCD monitor.
  • Fixes mistakes in the Russian-language MENU displays.

Canon EOS 5D Firmware 1.03

Darren wrote this at 8:05 pm:

Canon has just released EOS 5D Firmware version 1.03.

Updates include:

  • Fixes the phenomenon of large image files (1.7GB) being created.
  • Improves the brightness of the LCD monitor.
  • Fixes an operational abnormality in the AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) shooting.
  • Fixes the mistakes in the Swedish-language MENU displays.

Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer Update

Darren wrote this at 8:09 pm:

The Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer provides the ability to view, organize, and print photos captured in RAW image formats from supported Canon and Nikon digital cameras.

The updated version of the software adds support for the Canon EOS 5D, Nikon D50, and other recent camera models from Canon and Nikon (see list of new supported camera models below). In addition, a new Save As button has been added to the toolbar, allowing users to conveniently save either an embedded preview or processed RAW image to disk as a JPEG or TIFF file.

It also adds fixes for known issues in version 1.0 of the software, including the TIFF file locking issue, and a related problem with RAW files produced by the Canon EOS 5D. A complete list of fixes will be made available in the documentation for the new software.