Podcast 301 : How to Create Really Punchy Images!

Podcast 301 : How to Create Really Punchy Images!

In September, I had a conversation by mail with a friend that some of you may know from the MBP Community, Jared Fein. Jared had taken a look at the images on 500px following Episode 295 : An Introduction to 500px, and asked how people achieve the punchy look that you often see there. I replied and the communication resulted in Jared making some progress in his photography, so today, I’m going to discuss what I told Jared, and include some other tools and techniques that you might consider.

Over the years, I’ve slowly changed how I make my images pop, and although I’ve discussed most of this in previous Podcasts, I’m going to briefly touch on this again, but let’s start with a bit of history.

Lens Quality Matters

Firstly, around eight years ago, I’d noticed that some of my images were pretty flat, and lacked contrast, and I remember someone telling me the last thing that I wanted to hear, and that was that my 100-300mm lens, one of three lenses that I’d been using for well over ten years, was a piece of crap. Until that point, I’d figured that a lens is a lens, is a lens. I’d just started using my first DSLR at the time, which was the Canon EOS D30, with the promise that I already had my three lenses, so all I needed to do was replace the camera body.

Well, if you know how many lenses I own now, you’ll be sniggering as you’ve probably witnessed me slipping down this very slippery slope, but basically, I pretty much immediately realized that two of my three lenses were indeed pieces of crap. The only lens that I could have kept was my 24mm F2.8 prime lens, but the 1.6X crop factor on the D30 caused me to set foot on that slippery slope and buy the old 17-35mm F2.8 lens, so I sold the 24mm. My mid-range zoom and long zooms were soon replaced too, and I noticed that my images now had much more depth and contrast. Luckily, now, some eight years on, even the crappiest kit lens is better than the my two old zoom lenses, so this is no long such an issue, but I mention this, because if you are shooting with really old lenses and unhappy with the image quality, it matters.

The D30 was a revolutionary camera, but the way it processed images did leave a lot to be desired. The JPEGs were OK-ish, but the RAW files were totally flat, and we didn’t have Lightroom and Camera Profiles back then to fix it. The only two options at the time were Canon’s Digital Photo Professional which remains the son of satan to this day, and never even get’s installed on my computers any more, or Photoshop. I remember that I would run entire batches of images through Photoshop, just automatically applying auto-curves, and watch the image just pop as the curves were applied.

Canon’s Picture Styles

With the 10D though, I think it was, Canon introduced Pictures Styles, which I thought was a huge step in the right direction. In my film days, I used to shoot FujiChrome Velvia which was really heavily saturated, as I’ve always been partial to very rich colors, and Velvia gave me exactly that. Now with the Landscape Picture Style, I could get that Velvia look from my DSLR. The problem at the time though, was that Pictures Styles are proprietary, and only Digital Photo Professional could develop RAW images and maintain the Picture Style.

Then Adobe developed Lightroom which I fell in love with from the initial Beta stages, although I was hesitant to shift my workflow to Lightroom because of a lack of Picture Styles. After a bit of experimentation though, I found that if I added between 25 and 50 on the Red saturation slider, and around 18 on the Blue and Green saturation sliders, the result was very much like the Landscape Picture Style, and my old Velvia positive film, so I was able to fully switch to Lightroom. I would apply this saturation to pretty much everything I shot during import, and it worked for most of my work.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

Adobe then developed Camera Profiles, that were very similar to Canon’s Pictures Styles, which I also tried from time to time, but couldn’t really beat my simple saturation boost. This brought us to around two years ago now, and at the end of 2009, and by now, I’d been happy with my images for a few years, and producing nice crisp, and punchy images, but then I bought an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, and it transformed my photography again.

I reviewed the ColorChecker Passport and posted a video for Episode 227, at the beginning of 2010, which you can still go back to and check if you want, but basically, you include a ColorChecker Passport target in an image when you start shooting, and then later on your computer, you use that image to create a Camera Profile that you can apply to your images just the same as your would any other Camera RAW Profile, under the Calibration section in Lightroom or Photoshop Camera RAW. When you do this though, the colors in an image just pop right out at you. Taking my word on this and picking up a ColorChecker Passport was Jared’s major breakthrough following our recent conversation.

Let’s take a look at a couple of images that I sent Jared to convince him that the ColorChecker would make his images pop! Firstly, here’s a White Tailed Eagle that I photographed in Hokkaido just after releasing Episode 227. It’s not a bad shot, but it’s nothing to write home about either.

Eagle Eye (No Processing)

Eagle Eye (No Processing)

Next though, here’s the same image with a Camera Profile that I made from a photo at this location including the ColorChecker Passport. This profile has become my standard Clear Winters Day profile for my 1Ds Mark III. If you can’t see the difference here, go to the gallery at the bottom of the blog post and click on the thumbnail of the first image, then click the right side of it to switch to the second image. The difference is obvious, and if it isn’t, you have a bigger problem in the your computer display seriously needs calibrating. 🙂

Eagle Eye (with ColorChecker Profile)

Eagle Eye (with ColorChecker Profile)

One thing to note though, is that I don’t apply ColorChecker Passport profiles to all of my images. I usually do this when I feel that the color could be enhanced, or when I’m shooting something that I need to be color accurate. Even so though, I’m very happy with the depth and punchiness of my color work, and wasn’t obvious why this is until I really thought about it to answer Jared’s question. Here are a few other things that I always do.

Never Use AWB!

Firstly, I never use Auto White Balance. AWB is the daughter of satin and should be banished from the planet along with DPP. Sure, Auto White Balance can get you close, and it is a lot better than it was until a few years ago, but still, it’s the result of the camera taking a look at the colors in the scene and/or the color of the light that falls on a sensor on some cameras, and even that light is reflected onto the camera from the scene you are photographing. The result is that if you are photographing a field full of red flowers, the camera will think the White Balance needs to be more blue, and cool it down. If you are shooting a field full of blue flowers, the opposite happens and your White Balance is warmed up.

I once shot for a few hours with my AWB turned on by mistake, having made number of exposures from exactly the same location of exactly the same subject but with very slight movements of the camera, the color was shifting all over the place. I thought maybe this was so, and checked the White Balance and it was on Auto. If you want to get close, and will reset your White Balance to something constant in post, then break a leg, but personally, I would rather have everything constant from the get-go, so I shoot with either a preset, usually Daylight, or a custom white balance created from the gray card included with the ColorChecker Passport. Usually if I do a custom white balance, I then follow on and shoot the main color target on the passport, and create a camera profile to really snap the colors in, but just have control over your White Balance can make a huge difference just by itself.

Expose to the Right

I also pretty much always use Manual Exposure. This can be scary, but taking control of your exposure makes you consciously think about how you are exposing the scene. Unless I’m going for a low-key, or overall dark image, I expose to the right. We’ve covered this before too, but generally what this means is that I keep increasing my exposure changing the shutter speed until the brightest part of my image is just about touching the right side of the histogram on the back of my camera. Note too that if your camera has the ability to display an RGB histogram, turn it on. The standard gray histograms are displaying an average of the Red, Green and Blue channels, and this can give you a false sense of security. Depending on your subject, one of the channels can start to blow out, or become over-exposed before the other channels, and it’s sometimes only possible to see this with an RGB histogram. So when I say that I expose to the right that means that the right-most color channel is just about touching the right side. The two other channels might still be a way off, but you don’t want to blow out any of the channels, unless on purpose or for specular highlights.

The reason this will help with the overall punchiness of your images, is because you’ll probably end up capturing your images a little bit brighter than your camera would if you left it to its own devices. Nice bright images will generally be punchier. If you don’t expose your images like this, just try grabbing the exposure slider in Lightroom, Photoshop’s Camera RAW, or Aperture or whatever, and move it to the right until the histogram data just about hits the right side. You should be able to see that this makes your images look light and crisp. If the images appear to blow out when you do this, without your histogram running up the right side, then you have your computer display set too bright.

Shoot on Overcast Days

Another thing that I do is purposefully choosing overcast days to shoot on. Sure, the eagle shot that we looked at earlier was a beautiful clear day, and that works well, especially with a field of snow to bounce lots of light back into the underside of the bird, but a lot of the time, I head out on overcast days more than sunny days, especially for landscape work. When you shoot on overcast days, you don’t have bright reflections to deal with, and the sky is like a huge soft box, spreading light evenly and filling in the harsh shadows that a sunny day would create.

Take a look at this shot of a waterfall in the Oirase valley shot on an overcast day. There are a couple of things to note here. Firstly, if this had been a sunny day, the water would have reflected the light so much that had I tried to keep the water from over exposing, the surrounding greenery would have been much darker, and the shadow areas would have been totally plugged up and black. Also, the moisture in the air either from the waterfall or some light rain will have been keeping the surrounding foliage wet, and wet foliage is much more saturated color-wise. Pun intended.

Oirase Choushi Ootaki (Big Falls)

Oirase Choushi Ootaki (Big Falls)

Shoot in the Shade

Note that even if you are going out to shoot a waterfall on a sunny day, try to find out what time of day it will be in the shade, perhaps shaded by the valley walls if they’re high enough. Although you’ll lose that soft box effect, it doesn’t necessarily have to be overcast, if you can find some good shade.

Something else to keep in mind though, and this will certainly improve the quality of light in your photographs, is try to get out to shoot during the Golden Hour around dawn or dusk. Because the sun is low in the sky the quality of light is beautiful and warm, and even if it’s direct sunlight, any shadows that are made at this time of day have a special quality. The light is just so much more pleasing than the harsh light of a sunny day.

My advice to shoot on overcast days or in the shade will help you to get nice saturated colors, but of course this depends on the kind of photography you’re doing. If you are shooting a beach scene, you may well want lots of sun, and a blue sky with some fluffy white clouds. Personally, as I look through my work over the last eight years or so, I can only find a handful of blue skies, in my landscape shots at least. They just don’t appeal to me. That really is my personal opinion though of course.

Black and White Skies

When I do include the sky, I generally want it to be thick with dramatic clouds, and then, I’ll usually end up creating a black and white image from the resulting shots. When there are patches of blue, I’ll generally still use that to create a dramatic black and white image, like this one from last weekend, that I shot with my Lensbaby Composer during a walk in the Shinjuku Gyoen Park here in Tokyo.

Cocoon in the City

Cocoon in the City

I knew as I shot this that it would be converted to black and white, but sometimes I’ll try black and white on finding that the color doesn’t work the way I’d hoped. For the last few years I’ve done more and more black and white conversions, and now since Nik Software released Silver Efex Pro 2 that we looked at a few weeks ago in Episode 297, I really have fell in love with this process. This of course is not about punchy colors, but you have to admit that these contrasty black and white images have a lot of punch still. More so than a color image in some cases.

Nik Software: Color Efex Pro 4

I was a big fan of Silver Efex Pro even before the upgrade to version 2, and Nik Software have done it again with the last thing that I wanted to cover on this subject today. Even though I owned Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3, that was included in the Complete Collection that I bought a few years ago, I never really used it, and didn’t keep it as an option in my mental image enhancement toolbox. A few days ago though, I downloaded gave the brand new Color Efex Pro 4 a try, and have been blown away.

I love the dramatic skies that Silver Efex Pro gives me, and now, with Color Efex Pro 4 and the ability to use multiple filters simultaneously, I can bring out detail to create those dramatic skies in my color images as well. I’ve been back and reprocessed some of my Antarctica shots from March this year, and I really love what I can now do with Color Efex Pro 4. Here’s an example of one of the newly processed images, with a shot I called Iceberg Alley. This first image is my original processing, in which I did already bring out part of the sky and that beautiful blue ice just below the surface of the water.

Iceberg Alley (original processing)

Iceberg Alley (original processing)

Here though is the new version re-edited with Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4. Again, to really appreciate the difference, flick between these using the gallery at the bottom of the blog post.

Iceberg Alley (Color Efex Pro 4 Processing)

Iceberg Alley (Color Efex Pro 4 Processing)

I’m not a fan of over-processed HDR images, but the effect I can get with Color Efex Pro 4 look to me like a really well done HDR. Lots of tonality and punchiness, so I figured it was worth a mention here today too. I’m going to be using this much more in the future. Remember that if you decided to buy this, or any of Nik Software’s amazing plugins, do use our code MBP15 for a 15% discount [this code is no longer valid] on your order, or click through from our banner on the right side of the blog.

By the way, once I’ve gotten a little more used to what Color Efex Pro 4 can do, I’ll produce a video to walk you through it, probably over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that if you’re interested.

So, these are all of the things that come to mind as I’ve sought crisp and punchy images over the last eight years or so since picking up my first DSLR. I hope it’s been of some use.

Show Notes

ColorChecker Passport Review: https://mbp.ac/227

Music from Music Alley: http://www.musicalley.com/


Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.

Podcast 254 : Color Managed Digital Workflow Seminar Report

Podcast 254 : Color Managed Digital Workflow Seminar Report

On Saturday August 7, 2010, I gave a full day seminar at X-Rite Japan, focusing on the Color Managed Digital Workflow. Today I’m going to run through the key areas we touched on, to hopefully spark some ideas for your own workflow.We had a great time on Saturday. My main objective was to relay many of the things that I bear in mind when shooting, from pre-capture, to all sorts of output methods, including slideshows, Web, PDFs and my personal favorite, prints.

Title Page of my PresentationWe also did some hands on exercises, where we all photographed the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, and created profiles to apply to images, and we ran through a printer/paper combination calibration, again to create a profile to apply when we print, to ensure accurate color throughout the digital workflow.

I started by talking about why calibration and color management is important. I’ve heard it said that it’s important to calibrate our monitors, because it puts us all on a level playing field, and we know that other people will see our images as we expect them to see them. This is only true in very limited circumstances. They basically need to be using the same monitor and profile, with all the settings exactly the same, and viewing their screen under the same ambient lighting conditions that you do.

Of course this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to calibrate your monitor, far from it, but the main reason is so that you are in full control of your workflow through to output. You need to know that you are starting at the right place, so that you can proceed to work on your images with confidence, right through to the print. The print in my opinion is one output format that you can control how people view your images to a pretty high degree. Of course, prints are still affected by the ambient lighting conditions under which the viewer views them, but our eyes often compensate for that better than you might think, and you can adjust to certain viewing conditions if necessary. The fact that you have a calibrated monitor will of course help others to see your work as close to your intended finished images as possible, but don’t expect your images to be the same on all other monitors.

One major theme throughout the day was that I wanted to impress on the participants the importance of making everything you do, as stress free as possible. I turned up for the seminar in my usual shooting clothes. I explained how I buy quick drying outdoor gear, and will always choose something with a collar when possible, because this stops the camera strap from chafing your neck, especially when it’s hot and sweaty as it is in the Tokyo summers. I also mentioned that I always buy neoprene or some kind of elasticated camera straps, because these help to make the camera feel lighter than the straps that come with the camera. I also always buy straps that have clips to remove the strap easily when you are using a tripod, especially when shooting long exposure images, because the strap can catch the wind and vibrate the camera.

I also showed the group my Black Rapid straps, that I use for fast past hand-held shooting. I use single straps when I only use one body, or the double strap when I shoot with two bodies, like when I’m shooting wildlife. I also fit my straps with Really Right Stuff quick release clamps, so that I can quickly change bodies and lenses without having to screw things into my plates. I use Really Right Stuff plates and L-Brackets, because the all have screw threads, so I can screw the Black Rapid straps into them pretty easily, but I generally try to use the quick release clamps, and remember that I have Really Right Stuff plates on every camera body and lens that has a tripod collar. Everything is interchangeable, and very fast to switch between.

I spoke about the importance of shooting RAW, to give yourself the best possible image quality, and not so that you can change settings as an afterthought, or rely on getting the exposure right after the event. This will always result in lower quality images, and I suggest that we all strive to become better photographers, and get it right in the field. You only want to be changing exposure in post, if you messed up in the field, and have no other choice. Even then, having a RAW image instead of a JPEG, will give you much more latitude.

We talked about some auto-focus techniques, like using LiveView to tweak focus, and then moved on a simple studio setup, where I set up a graduated gray background, and set up some small constant daylight balanced lights that are OK for small subject still life work. I’d bought some flowers, which we would shoot, but before we did that, I took the group through the process of shooting the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport gray card, then setting a custom white balance, and then shooting the Passport’s Classic Target which we’d use to create our DNG profile, and we included the Color Enhancement Target, which we’d also use later to tweak White Balance when necessary.

Setting up the lights (Copyright © Lem Fugitt - http://www.robots-dreams.com)

Setting up the lights (Copyright © Lem Fugitt – http://www.robots-dreams.com)

I also shot the same flowers after putting orange gels over the studio lights, and we turned down the ambient light in the room, so that the orange light was the main light source. You can see the difference in the following two images. The first is the first gray card, shot with the daylight preset, and then the second image is the gray card under the orange light, shot with the custom white balance that we assigned having shot the first gray card.

Gray Card Under Daylight Balanced Lights

Gray Card Under Daylight Balanced Lights

Gray Card Under Orange Gelled Lights

Gray Card Under Orange Gelled Lights

The difference in the color of light is striking, and yet we went on to shoot the flowers again under the orange light, but with the correct white balance for that light, and this is the resulting image. It is correctly balanced, and looks exactly the same as the first photo of the flowers that was made with the daylight balanced light source.

Flowers, Shot Under Orange Gelled (Tungsten) Lights

Flowers, Shot Under Orange Gelled (Tungsten) Lights

This image also of course has the DNG profile that we created from our X-Rite ColorChecker Passport shots, using the Lightroom Plugin that comes with the Passports applied. I took the group through how to create the profiles, and we then applied them to our images, and with the colors in the flowers that I selected, you could really see the subtle pinks in the carnations and the violet colored flowers to the right pop as we assigned the profile. I’d wanted to bright reds and pure blues, because these really pop, but couldn’t find these colored flowers. When we assigned the profile to the photo of the ColorChecker Passport used to create the profiles though, again, we could see all of these colors just pop into place. It’s really quite impressive to see.

I explained to the group too that I used to add saturation to my images, with a preset that I created years ago to emulate FujiChrome Velvia, which was a heavily saturated slide film that I used back in the day, and still really like the look of. I actually used to apply +25 on the Blue and Green sliders, and +50 on the Red sliders in Lightroom. Then as cameras changed and RAW images got a little punchier right out of the camera, I dropped this down to +18 on the Blue and Green, and +25 on the Red channels. Now, with the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and the accompanying software to create my profiles, I find that the colors pop enough, and look so natural, that I no longer need to adjust the saturation of my images in Lightroom. I just create the profile, or use one that I already have from similar lighting conditions, and the images look exactly how I want them to.

Trying to be as thorough as possible, I gave a brief talk on Depth of Field, but as it was such a full day, I’m going to be dropping this and a few other subjects from future seminars. Everyone agreed that the day was very useful, but we covered a little too much, so I’m going to be tweaking the contents for the next time. This took us to our morning break, where I actually ended up showing the group how I configure my tripod to get down to ground level for macro or ultra-low angle photography. They were hungry for all sorts of information, so it was a pleasure to be working with them, and not having a break didn’t bother me, or the group.

After the break, I spoke about customizing the ID Plate and the Panel End Marks in Lightroom, and we moved on to some of my most used Keyboard Shortcuts. I’m not going to go through these here, but I do want to stress the importance of learning shortcuts for everything that you do regularly on your computer. If you ever watch a professional graphic designer, or anyone that spends a lot of time in an application, it’s often difficult to even see what they are doing, because they make such extensive use of keyboard shortcuts. If you have to reach for the mouse every time you want to make a selection, it can really slow you down.

We talked about rating images too. Not just on the keyboard shortcuts to help us to work through lots of imags quickly and efficiently, but also the importance of a good edit of your selection. I also mentioned that you want to edit differently depending on the type of photographs you are editing down. For example, for your portfolio, you only want to include your very best images. Your portfolio is only as good as your worst image.

For clients, you don’t want to only include images that you like. If you have a bunch of images that are technically accurate and artistic, but you just don’t like them, you’ll do your client a disservice by at least not showing them a selection of these shots, because there may be something in there that really sings to them. Indeed, I often find that the images that my clients select are the images that I least expect them too, so leave in anything that is technically good and well balanced. Do though, remove duplicates. If you have 5 shots of essentially the same thing, get rid of four of them. Don’t make your client, or your family members and friends for that matter, look through all of your images. It’s your job to make that selection, not theirs.

Having explained all about the import dialog, and how heavily I rely on presets through my entire Lightroom workflow, we went on to actually import our images of the Passport and the flower shots that we’d shot earlier. We changed the file name on import, as well as deciding on a file organization strategy, and we added our generic keywords, all on import, so that we don’t have to mess around do that later. My general rule of thumb is do everything as early in the workflow as possible. Everything that you put off for later, will take more time to revisit. I even apply a metadata preset that fills out my copyright information in all of my images, right there on import.

We also discussed Collections and Sets and organization images once you have them on the hard drive, after which we went on to actually calibrate our monitors. I went through the process myself, and then the group all calibrated their monitors using the X-Rite ColorMunki Photo, and that took us to lunch time.

Syncronized Monitor Calibration

Syncronized Monitor Calibration

After lunch, now that we had calibrated monitors, a bunch of our own images and the photos of the ColorChecker Passport on our hard drives, we went on to use the Lightroom plugin that comes with the Passport to create a DNG Profile. We also created a profile with the desktop utility that also comes with the passport, which you have to use on occasion if the Lightroom plugin can’t find the registration marks that it needs to identify the color target, in your photo of the Passport.

My ColorChecker Passport, Shot Under Orange Lights

My ColorChecker Passport, Shot Under Orange Lights

On applying the profiles we could see the color pop in, as I mentioned earlier, and I also showed the group how you can use the Color Enhancement Target on the Passport to modify the white balance by clicking on the slightly warmer or cooler white balance patches that X-Rite included in the target. This in really useful if you want to warm up or cool down an image after the event. Remember that the passport will give you accurate color balance, but at the end of the day, how you want the image to look is part of your artistic vision, so it’s nice to have the tools to modify this quickly, easily and reliably.

I also pointed out that once you have your profiles, you can apply them not only in Lightroom, but they also appear in the Camera Calibration section of Adobe Camera RAW, that you use from Bridge or Photoshop. I also mentioned that X-Rite have now provided a tool called the DNG Profile Manager, that can be downloaded after you register your ColorChecker Passport, and this helps you to manage the profiles on your hard disk, filtering by camera, and changing the names etc. We also touched on the importance of backing up your profiles, because they are stored on the system drive and would be lost if you re-install your computer.

We then went through some of the common editing tools that you have in Lightroom, like the Dust Removal tool, Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter, and I spoke a little about the histogram, and how to use it as a guide, both when shooting and editing images, and how to use the over or under-exposure warnings while editing images too. We worked through cropping and rotating images, the new Lens Correction in Lightroom 3, and Vignettes, and I showed the group a few trick to easily reset sliders by double clicking on its text label, or how you can reset entire groups of sliders or settings, by double clicking on the group’s text label. You can also do this by holding the ALT key down and single clicking the group label.

We did some Black and White and Duotone conversions in Lightroom, and I cranked up Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro to walk the group through what I did on one of my favourite black and white images. I also demonstrated how to add frames and watermarks to images during export from Lightroom using the LR/Mogrify 2 plugin, from Timothy Armes. We walked through how to create Slideshows and export them as both a PDF, and as a Video, which again is new in Lightroom 3, and we looked at the Web Gallery options, which took us to the afternoon break time.

After the break, we walked through creating a printer profile for your printer and paper combinations, using the X-Rite ColorMunki Photo. The great thing about the ColorMunki Photo is that you use it to calibrate both your monitor and your printer. You can also calibrate projectors with it, so it’s a very versatile tool, especially for the price. If you missed it recently, I actually released a video walking you through the process of calibrating your monitor and printer with the ColorMunki, in Podcast episode 249, so check that our if you’re interested. I also included a section on how to optimize profiles in both the video and the seminar.

Printer Calibration Charts (Copyright © Lem Fugitt - http://www.robots-dreams.com)

Printer Calibration Charts (Copyright © Lem Fugitt – http://www.robots-dreams.com)

We then went on to take a look at the Lightroom Print module, and actually printed out some of our photographs of the flowers that we’d shot. I discussed presets again, as I probably use more presets in the print module than any other module, because of all of the combinations of papers and print sizes, as well as various types of borders. I also showed the group my Excel spreadsheet that I created to calculate the size of my borders and the cell sizes that contain the images, so that I can ensure that my images occupy the same percentage of the paper in relation to the border, across all of my fine art prints.

Marcus, Eiji and Lem

Marcus, Eiji and Lem

We then covered soft proofing in Photoshop CS5, and moved on to the importance of backing up our images, both at home, off-site, and in the cloud, with services like Backblaze and Mozy. This took us to the end of the day, and although one guy had to leave as soon as we’d finished, to watch some fireworks with his family, we hung back a little longer, and did a little more printing, courtesy of X-Rite, and discussed the day.

All in all the feedback was that the seminar was very useful, though I could cut out a few areas, and I fully intend to do that. As my first attempt at this totally home grown workshop though, I was really pleased with how it went. I hope you also got something out of listening to how the day progressed today as well.

Marcus and Eiji (from X-Rite Japan)

Marcus and Eiji (from X-Rite Japan)

Before I wrap up, I would publicly like to publicly thank the folks at X-Rite for loaning the color management tools, and the room in their offices to enable me to deliver this seminar. I really appreciate all of your support, and especially would like to thank Eiji, for not only spending his Saturday with us, but for also helping on some of the technical areas that I would not have been able to answer accurately without his help. Thanks Eiji!

I’d also like to thank the guys that turned up for the seminar, and shared their Saturday with me. It was a pleasure to meet those that I’d not met before, and to see those that I had met before again. Thanks for your incredible feedback too, especially Marcus, who just sent me some of the most valuable feedback I could have possibly wished for. Also, thanks to Lem Fugitt, of www.robots-dreams.com, for the photos that you took during the day, some of which you kindly allowed me to use in the Podcast and blog post today.

Podcast show-notes:

Details of the seminar: http://bit.ly/mbpcmdw

My video on the X-Rite ColorMunki Photo: http://bit.ly/mbpcmp

ColorMunki on B&H: http://bit.ly/mbpbhcmp

ColorChecker Passport on B&H: http://bit.ly/mbpbhpassport

X-Rite Product Details: http://www.xritephoto.com/

Checkout X-Rite’s Webinars here: http://www.xritephoto.com/ph_learning.aspx?action=webinars

Music created and produced by UniqueTracks.


Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.