Photography eBooks

Darren wrote this at 12:58 am:

I’ve just created a new page listing useful eBooks I’ve found on various photographic topics: Photography eBooks.

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Adobe CS2 and Camera Raw Updates

Darren wrote this at 1:02 am:

Adobe has announced updates for Photoshop CS2 and the Camera Raw plugin.

Adobe Photoshop CS2 Update version 9.0.1:

  • Photoshop no longer hangs for several seconds when using painting tools with quick strokes.
  • A runtime error that could appear when mousing over a high-res document with the Brush tool has been fixed.
  • Documents containing a large number of text layers now open more quickly.
  • Problems related to palettes (slow redraw, palettes go white, possible crash) have been addressed.
  • TIFF files from certain scanners can now be opened correctly.
  • After editing an image in Photoshop CS2 via the TouchUp tool in Adobe Acrobat software, the image no longer gets repositioned.
  • XMP metadata from AI and PDF files is now retained in Photoshop.
  • Slow performance when toggling layer visibility has been fixed.
  • Info palette numbers are now displayed and updated when moving a curve point in Curves via the cursor keys.
  • Problems opening certain TIFF and PSB files greater than 2GB have been resolved.
  • The Merge to HDR command now functions properly when using high-ASCII characters in user login.

Adobe Camera Raw 3.4 Update adds support for the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 30D
  • Leaf Aptus 65
  • Leaf Aptus 75
  • Olympus EVOLT 330
  • Olympus SP-320
  • Pentax *ist DL2
  • Samsung GX-1S

Download the updates for Windows or Macintosh.

Edwin’s Wedding Workflow

Darren wrote this at 1:35 am:

Edwin from CameraHobby.com has just posted an interesting article detailing his workflow for when he shoots weddings. (That site doesn’t allow the ability to link to individual entries, so if you’re reading this sometime in the future you’ll need to search his archives for the May 16, 2006 entry).

The workflow he describes is quite suitable for both professional and amateur photographers, and could be applied to any type of event or project shooting, not just weddings. It’s a fairly long article so I’ll summarise the key steps here, adding a little of my own clarifications. I think it’s useful to look at an overview of his process before diving into Edwin’s post for the details.

  • Shoot the event (350 original images)
  • Backup the original files ASAP (external hard disks, DVDs)
  • Edit out misfires and duplicates (250 images remain)
  • Convert RAW -> 16 bit TIFF
    • Use plugins and/or actions to process all images
      • Noise reduction
      • Auto brightness/contrast
      • Input sharpening
      • Color correction (shouldn’t be necessary if you shot things properly to begin with)
    • Review auto-processed images and manually re-process tricky images (10-20%)
  • Review TIFFs and edit images as necessary (minimal – the images are just proofs at this stage)
    • Fixing blemishes
    • Healing and cloning
    • Cropping and resizing
    • Correcting perspective
    • No creative edits yet
  • Final edit and ordering
    • Reorder and/or delete images as necessary to “tell the story”
    • Try to keep in groups of 4, either 4 landscape, 4 portrait, or 2×2 for nicer album display
    • Use a numeric component in the filename to set order (e.g. Wedding001, Wedding002, etc)
  • Batch convert for DVD slide-shows, proof printing, client’s copy
    • 16 bit TIFF -> 8 bit JPG
    • Full resolution
    • Highest quality
    • Tagged with sRGB color space
  • Batch convert for web use
    • 16 bit TIFF -> 8 bit JPG
    • Lower resolution ( less than 800 pixels wide/high)
    • High or highest quality
    • Tagged with sRGB color space
  • Review both sets of JPGs to remove sub-par images and rename/reorder again
  • Print proofs
    • Self
      • Print from TIFF proofs
      • Use Adobe 1998 RGB color space
      • Use Epson 4800, custom profiles, Epson Premium Luster
    • Lab
      • Print from high-res JPG proofs
      • Use sRGB color space
  • Burn proof CD/DVD (200 images)
    • Use something like FlipAlbum Pro to make browsing of images easier
    • Include full-size JPG proofs in a subdirectory
    • Use LightScribe burner for personal touch or print labels directly onto disks
  • Create and burn slideshow DVD (160 images)
    • Use something like ProShow Gold (Windows) or iMovie/iDVD (Mac)
    • Keep to about 6 minutes
    • Set to music
    • Playable in normal DVD player
  • Deliver proof disk, slideshow DVD, proof prints (if required)
  • Wait for enlargement/portfolio orders
  • Handle enlargement/portfolio orders
    • May need to do RAW conversion again with greater eye for detail
    • Do touchups more critically
    • Do creative edits (toning, vignetting, B&W conversion, composites, edge treatments, diffuse glow, etc)
    • Output sharpening
    • Print (Epson 4800 or lab)
    • Mount and frame or prepare album

For the wedding he uses as an example, Edwin shot 300 photos and delivered a 200-photo proof CD, a 160-photo slideshow DVD, a 150-image portfolio album (including two 8x10s), and one 11×14″ enlargement. He spent a full weekend on editing and printing, and required 32 GB of drive space to store the whole project.

A big thanks to Edwin for allowing us to look over his shoulder and peek inside his workflow.

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Lighting Video Clips

Darren wrote this at 9:03 am:

SportsShooter.com has some cool lighting videos from a Joey Terrill workshop session back in 2003.

Joey covers topics such as light source size, diffusing and bouncing your flash, lighting gear on the cheap, and using power packs and modeling lights.

The videos are fairly short snippets from the workshop, but they do contain some useful demonstrations of various equipment and techniques.

Strobist: Lighting 101

Darren wrote this at 11:06 am:

Strobist is a great resource for learning everything there is to know about lighting. Start with the Lighting 101 page, which links off to lots of other articles.

The information starts off very basic, with the two things your flash needs to have. It then moves on to cover topics such as light stands, umbrellas, PC synch cords, wall and ceiling bouncing, balancing flash with ambient lighting, and many other techniques. There’s even an article on reverse engineering the lighting used in other peoples’ shots, so you can try to replicate effects you like.

Just be prepared for a lot of reading!

ACDSee Software Updates

Darren wrote this at 11:19 pm:

ACD Systems has released updates to ACDSee Pro Photo Manager, their professional digital photography workflow software, and ACDSee 8.1 Photo Manager, their personal photo management software.

The ACDSee Pro Photo Manager update includes improved speed and performance in RAW processing.

ACDSee 8.1 Photo Manager includes more than 50 feature improvements to increase performance and productivity and RAW support for several camera models including the popular Nikon D50 and Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT.

Both updates are free for registered users, and can be accessed at the ACDSee Support Center.

US National Parks To Charge Photography Fees

Darren wrote this at 8:56 pm:

From a US National Press Photographers Association press release:

The National Park Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has published new rules authorizing the NPS to begin collecting location fees for video, film, and commercial still photography projects. The new regulations appeared in the Federal Register (Vol. 71, Number 71) published April 13, 2006, and will take effect on May 15, 2006.

The new location fees start at $150 per day and – with monitors and other charges – could exceed $500 per day.

The NPS press release is mainly aimed at filmmakers and only mentions still photography in passing (although it does say that the new rules will apply to still photography), so it is unclear how the new fees will be applied or administered.

The public does have the opportunity to comment on these new rules, so if you’re at all concerned make sure you have your say.

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OpenRAW 2006 Survey Results

Darren wrote this at 8:45 pm:

Back in January I posted a link to a survey the OpenRAW organization was running. They were trying to get some solid data on how photographers are using their cameras’ RAW file formats, what developments they’d like to see in this area, and how they feel about issues like closed/proprietary file formats.

The OpenRAW 2006 RAW Survey results are now online. It’s a very comprehensive write-up containing a lot of detailed information about how all types of photographers, from Sunday snappers to professionals, use RAW file formats. The survey had over 19,000 respondents.

If you’d like to discuss the survey results with others, OpenRAW has set up a dedicated forum.

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