Friday, December 28, 2007

Reuters Pictures of the year

Posted by T. Michael Testi

Every year Reuter manages hundreds of thousands of picture, it seems only fitting that they make a selection of    Reuters Pictures of 2007



What Makes Good Composition?

This is a very effective dialog about composition and how the direction of the flow of the photograph can make all the difference.


Source: David Tejada: The f-Stops Here

Written by: David Tejada


As photographers, we have the ability to control our viewer's eye through several creative techniques at our disposal. It's not good enough just to say, use good composition.

Good composition is made of several element working in unison. Focus is certainly important, actually it's the use of use of depth of field rather than the actual subject your focusing on. Another is the use of Light within the photo to direct the viewers eye. Our eye usually go to the brightest object within the photo. By making your intended subject the brightest object in the photo, your view will be directed there. Finally there is the uses of Leading Lines to guide your viewer eye through the photo.

Using leading lines to guide your viewers eye is what I would like to discuss today. It has been my experience that using a wide angle lens is a good and easy way to accomplish this. Let’s take a look at a few examples to illustrate this point.

Read it all...



Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book Review - Real World Camera Raw: with Adobe Photoshop CS3 By Bruce Frasier and Jeff Schewe

Written by T. Michael Testi


If you want to be a serious digital photographer then Real World Camera Raw: with Adobe Photoshop CS3 is one of the books that you will need to study, learn, and live by. Camera Raw, the Photoshop plug-in, gives you precise control over image qualities like white balance, tones, color space, contrast, and saturation.

Real World Camera Raw: with Adobe Photoshop CS3 is the latest version of the book that was begun by Photoshop expert Bruce Frasier and is now carried on by his friend and business partner Jeff Schewe. It is contained in 365 pages divided into nine chapters.

Chapter 1, "Digital Camera Raw," focuses on Raw capture, its fundamental nature, advantages, and limitations. You will begin by learning what Raw Capture is, why you should use it, and just what is a digital negative? Chapter 2, "How Camera Raw Works," examines what "lies under the hood" of the Camera Raw plug-in. To use Camera Raw effectively, you must first understand what it offers and where its limitations are, as well as how you can overcome the limitations.

Chapter 3, "Raw System Overview," provides the 30,000 foot view of the whole digital raw system. Here the individual components are discussed in much more detail; not as much as in future chapters, but for now, this provides an overview of the workflow in general. The components are Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop CS3, and Digital Negatives.

Chapter 4, "Camera Raw Controls," examines the Camera Raw controls in detail. Here you will start by learning how to handle Camera Raw images one at a time and you will delve in-depth into what each control does and how best to work with them. They include the basic panel, the Tone Curve Panel, the Detail Panel, the HSL/Grayscale Panel, the Split Tone Panel, the Lens Correction Panel, the Calibrate Panel, and the Presets Panel. You will also examine the Camera Raw Flyout menu, the main Raw buttons, the Camera Raw toolbar, as well as other Camera Raw tools.

Chapter 5, "Hands-on Camera Raw," shows that knowing what each control does is only half the battle, the other half is knowing how the tools interact, and when and in which order to use them. Here you will learn about Camera Raw by getting in and working with it.

Chapter 6, "Adobe Bridge," explores briefly the history of file browser and its progression into Adobe Bridge and how Bridge under CS3 has become rather complex. Here Bridge is talked about in relation to the features that apply to digital photography and the Raw workflow. Topics include working with Bridge, Metadata, Keywords, and other tools such as Batch Rename, Cache, Collections, and Slideshow.

Chapter 7, "It's All About the Workflow," describes, that now, even though you understand many of the tools, you now need to learn how to perform the actual work of Raw processing. This can be described into five basic strategies; Image Ingestion, Image Verification, Preproduction, Production, and Post Production. This will put the Raw workflow into the big picture.

Chapter 8, "Mastering Metadata," examines the "data about data"; that is the information contained within the raw file. This EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) standard is the information that is provided by the camera manufacturers when you take a picture. Also examined is XMP which is Adobe's initiative to promote a standard for Metadata. It, like DNG, is an open standard to try to make digital become manufacture independent.

Chapter 9, "Exploiting Automation," shows that although, up till now, everything has been done on a one off basis, to be truly effective, you need to be able to automate as many of these processes as possible. Here you will learn how to "work smarter, not harder" by using automation.

Bottom line, if you are serious about digital imaging, you will work with Raw files from your Camera; usually DSLR, but many higher end point and shoot cameras are offering Raw capture abilities as well. If you want to learn how to work effectively with Raw files then you will need to study Real World Camera Raw: with Adobe Photoshop CS3. It is the standard on the topic.

Unfortunately to the world at large and certainly to the digital world Bruce Frasier lost his battle with lung cancer on December 16, 2006. Fortunately for us, his friend and business partner Jeff Schewe has taken up the reigns, and updated his classic book and made sure that his legacy lives on.

If you are not familiar with Jeff Schewe's work you can find him as a regular on many of the videos from the Luminous-Landscape, from his website, and as the Editor in Chief for PhotoshopNews. As an award winning advertising photographer and pioneer in the digital imaging field, I can think of no one more qualified or more respected to take up the banner for Bruce Frasier and keep his legacy alive.

If you are serious about digital imaging and working with Raw files, if you find that you want to be in control of your images, or if you want to squeeze every last pixel of quality from your image capture, then Real World Camera Raw: with Adobe Photoshop CS3 is an absolutely, positively, must-own.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Q&A: Going to the mat for photo copyrights

This provides a clear reason why one should be carefull when getting images off the internet. Most are, after all, someone elses work. This also provides an insightfull interview with Lane Hartwell and well worth reading.


Source CNet News

Written by Stephen Shankland


It wasn't Lane Hartwell's first heated exchange over a photo copyright issue, but a tussle involving a witty YouTube video probably was the one with the highest profile for the professional photographer.

Last week, a not-for-profit San Francisco singing group called the Richter Scales posted a Web 2.0-mocking video, Here Comes Another Bubble, set to the tune of Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire. One of the many photos that flashed by in the video was one Hartwell took of Valleywag's Owen Thomas.

The problem: Although Hartwell had posted the image publicly at her Flickr account, she had kept copyright, labeling it as "all rights reserved," and the Richter Scales didn't license its use. When Hartwell found out about it, she took action, and YouTube pulled the video down. Hartwell sought payment for the photo's use, but Tuesday night, the Richter Scales posted an updated version without the Thomas photo. Hartwell now says she'll send an invoice to the band for the times it was viewed.

Hartwell, who turned pro three years ago and now shoots for clients including San Francisco magazine, Wired News, and Valleywag, took fairly aggressive measures, stepping on some toes on the way. But in her view as a professional photographer, protecting copyright is paramount, particularly in a day and age when digital photography and the Internet make copying photos very easy.  Read it all...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NPPA President To Testify Before House On National Parks Photo Rule Changes

News Item


DURHAM, NC (December 10,2007) - National Press Photographers Association president Tony Overman, a staff photojournalist for The Olympian in Olympia, WA, is scheduled to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee in Washington, DC, on Wednesday regarding the Department of Interior's proposed revision to its filming regulations in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.

With the assistance of NPPA's general legal counsel, Mickey H. Osterreicher, Overman will voice NPPA's opposition to the proposed rule changes because the organization feels they would expand restrictions on still photography in the parks, and NPPA also has concerns about the definition of "commercial filming" along with changes in the rules regulating audio gathering under the proposed statue.

"An environment that allows an open and free press to flourish is essential in maintaining the democratic foundations of this country," U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) said in November. Rahall is the House Natural Resources Committee chairman.

"Unfortunately, this Administration has gained a well-earned reputation for leaking, distorting, and stonewalling, which undermines the ability of the press to serve as a valuable check on the government. The news media's concerns over this proposed rule deserve an open forum," the chairman said.

The committee's hearing on "New Fees for Filming and Photography on Public Land" is set to be held in the Longworth House Office Building beginning at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, December 12. The hearing will be carried live via Webcast at

"NPPA is sending representatives to this hearing to ensure that professional visual journalists are represented as completely as possible, and to also fulfill our mission to defend the rights and access afforded to journalists by the First Amendment," NPPA's Overman said. NPPA's Advocacy Committee has been following developments in the suggested rule changes since they were first proposed. Read it all...


Lightroom Keyword Tricks - Inside Lightroom

Source O'Reilly Digital Media

Written by Ken Milburn


I'm writing this piece as part of my own journey of discovery while looking for ways to improve on my keywords. There are three reasons I want to do this: (1) I want to build a list of keywords that will be consistent when I'm looking for a particular category of photos, regardless of what that category may be. (2) I have a lot of catching up to do in the keywording of my own library and if I don't start now, I'll never get there. (3) I want to be able to quickly put together "collections" of similar styles and subjects for both publication inquiries and fine-art exhibits, and --most important saved for last -- (4) Captions and keywords are the only way buyers are going to find the pictures they want to buy. If your picture doesn't come up when they do their search, you're not going to make a sale.

Lightroom provides you the ability to search and (nearly instantly find) any image in a given Catalog for any single item in an image's metadata. However, when looking for specific types or styles of images, keywords are the part of that metadata that, if properly set up, allow you to find the images you're looking for most quickly. Read it All...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Adobe Reports Record Quarterly and Fiscal Year Revenue

PhotoshopToday News Release


Press Release: SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dec. 17, 2007 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2007.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, Adobe achieved record revenue of $911.2 million, compared to $682.2 million reported for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and $851.7 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. This represents 34 percent year-over-year revenue growth. Adobe’s fourth quarter revenue target range was $860 to $890 million.

“Driving our Q4 results were continued adoption of our Creative Suite 3 family of products, record revenue for Acrobat and strong momentum in our enterprise business,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe. “As we enter fiscal 2008, we are performing exceptionally well and the Company is positioned to achieve a sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.”

Adobe Reports Record Annual Revenue in Fiscal Year 2007
In fiscal year 2007, Adobe achieved record revenue of $3.158 billion, compared to $2.575 billion in fiscal 2006. On a year-over-year basis, annual revenue grew 23 percent.

Adobe’s annual GAAP net income was $723.8 million in fiscal 2007, compared to $505.8 million in fiscal 2006. Adobe’s annual non-GAAP net income was $965.8 million in fiscal 2007, compared to $757.3 million in fiscal 2006.

GAAP diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2007 were $1.21, compared to $0.83 in fiscal 2006. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2007 were $1.61, compared to $1.24 in fiscal 2006.

Fourth Quarter GAAP Results
Adobe’s GAAP diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 were $0.38, based on 587.9 million weighted average shares. This compares with GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.30 reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 based on 602.2 million weighted average shares, and GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.34 reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 based on 597.3 million weighted average shares. Adobe’s fourth quarter GAAP earnings per share target range was $0.35 to $0.37.

GAAP operating income was $275.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, compared to $163.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and $255.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. As a percent of revenue, GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 was 30.3 percent, compared to 23.9 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and 29.9 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

GAAP net income was $222.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, compared to $183.2 million reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, and $205.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

Fourth Quarter Non-GAAP Results
Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 were $0.49. This compares with non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.33 reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.45 reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Adobe’s fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings per share target range was $0.46 to $0.48.

Adobe’s non-GAAP operating income was $362.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, compared to $256.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and $340.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. As a percent of revenue, non-GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 was 39.7 percent, compared to 37.6 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and 40.0 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

Non-GAAP net income was $289.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, compared to $198.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, and $269.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided at the end of this press release.

Adobe Provides First Quarter and Fiscal Year 2008 Financial Targets
For the first quarter of fiscal 2008, Adobe announced it is targeting revenue of $855 million to $885 million. The Company is targeting a GAAP operating margin of 30 to 31 percent in the first quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, the Company is targeting a first quarter operating margin of approximately 40 percent.

In addition, Adobe is targeting its share count to be between 586 million and 588 million shares in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. The Company also is targeting other income in its first quarter to be $15 million to $17 million, with a GAAP and non-GAAP tax rate of approximately 27 percent.

These targets lead to a first quarter GAAP earnings per share target range of $0.34 to $0.36. On a non-GAAP basis, the Company is targeting earnings per share of $0.44 to $0.46.

For fiscal year 2008, Adobe reaffirmed it is targeting annual revenue growth of approximately 13 percent. The Company is targeting a GAAP operating margin of approximately 30 percent, and a non-GAAP operating margin of approximately 39 percent.

A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial targets is provided at the end of this press release.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including those related to revenue, operating margin, other income, tax rate, share count, earnings per share, and anticipated business momentum which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: delays in development or shipment of Adobe’s new products or major new versions of existing products, introduction of new products by existing and new competitors, failure to successfully manage transitions to new business models and markets, adverse changes in general economic or political conditions in any of the major countries in which Adobe does business, difficulty in predicting revenue from new businesses, failure to anticipate and develop new products and services in response to changes in demand for application software and software delivery, computers, printers, or other non PC-devices, costs related to intellectual property acquisitions, disputes and litigation, inability to protect Adobe’s intellectual property from unauthorized copying, use, disclosure or malicious attack, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of past or future acquisitions and difficulty in integrating such acquisitions, changes to Adobe’s distribution channel, disruption of Adobe’s business due to catastrophic events, risks associated with international operations, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, changes in, or interpretations of, accounting principles, impairment of Adobe’s goodwill or intangible assets, unanticipated changes in, or interpretations of, Adobe’s effective tax rates, Adobe’s inability to attract and retain key personnel, market risks associated with Adobe’s equity investments, and interruptions or terminations in Adobe’s relationships with turnkey assemblers. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, individuals should refer to Adobe’s SEC filings.

The financial information set forth in this press release reflects estimates based on information available at this time. These amounts could differ from actual reported amounts stated in Adobe’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2007, which the Company expects to file in January 2008. Adobe does not undertake an obligation to update forward-looking statements.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit .

onOne Gets Leopard Compatibility

PhotographyToday News Item


Press Release: Portland, OR - December 18, 2007 – onOne Software, Inc., provider of world-class software solutions for professional photographers and graphic designers, announces today that all of the latest versions of onOne Software’s products are compatible with Apple’s recently launched Leopard operating system.

“We are pleased to be able to provide these updates to our users for Mac OS X Leopard so quickly,” said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. “We appreciate the loyal support of our customers within the Mac community and we’re delighted that they will be able to benefit from the creative features of our imaging software products on the new Mac OS X Leopard operating system.”

The following onOne Software products are now compatible with Apple’s latest version – Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Genuine Fractals 5.0.4, Mask Pro 4.1.2, PhotoFrame 3.1.1, PhotoFrame Professional Edition 3.1.2, PhotoTune 2.2, Intellihance Pro 4.2.1, Essentials for Photoshop® Elements 2.0, PhotoTools 1.0, PhotoTools Professional Edition 1.0, Plug-In Suite 3, PhotoFrame Frame Collections, PhotoPresets for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, and PhotoPresets for Adobe Camera Raw.

New users of the above mentioned onOne Software products will automatically receive the latest Mac versions of these products which will operate with Leopard.

Existing users of onOne Software’s Plug-In Suite 3, Genuine Fractals 5, Mask Pro 4, Intellihance Pro 4, PhotoFrame 3 and Essentials 2 for Photoshop Elements can use their auto-update feature in each plug-in to receive the latest updates or they can visit the onOne website ( to download the latest Mac OS X Leopard compatible installers. Existing users of the Plug-In Suite 3, Genuine Fractals, Mask Pro, Intellihance Pro, PhotoFrame and Essentials for Photoshop Elements will need the following version numbers to ensure Leopard compatibility: Genuine Fractals 5.0.4, Mask Pro 4.1.2, Intellihance Pro 4.2.1, Plug-In Suite 3.1 (now includes PhotoFrame 3.1.2 and PhotoTune 2.2), Essentials for Photoshop Elements 2.0.

About the Products

  • Genuine Fractals 5 can resize images over 1,000% with no loss of detail or sharpness.
  • Mask Pro 4.1 easily creates high-quality masks and selections from tough subjects like hair and glass.
  • PhotoFrame 3 and PhotoFrame 3 Professional Edition create stunning border and edge effects right out of the darkroom. PhotoFrame 3 Professional Edition builds on PhotoFrame by including additional frame choices, created by professional photographers Dave Cross, Jack Davis, Jim DiVitale, Helene Glassman, Kevin Kubota, Rick Sammon and Vincent Versace.
  • Intellihance Pro 4 makes optimizing your images a snap by combining eight image adjustments in one place.
  • Essentials 2 for Photoshop Elements software suite includes technology from onOne Software’s newly acquired PhotoTune color correction software, and onOne Software’s Mask Pro, PhotoFrame, and Genuine Fractals software products fine-tuned specifically for Adobe Photoshop Elements.
  • PhotoTools 1 and PhotoTools 1 Professional Edition utilize the power of Photoshop Actions to provide a wide range of imaging tools including effects, corrections and production automation in a full-featured interface.
  • Plug-in Suite 3 combines full versions of four essential software tools – Genuine Fractals 5, PhotoFrame 3.1, Mask Pro 4.1 and Intellihance Pro 4.2 – as well as the new PhotoTune 2.2 as a bonus.
  • PhotoTune 2 incorporates the onOne Software’s newly acquired color-correction plug-ins – 20/20 Color MD™ 2.0 and SkinTune™ 2.0.
  • PhotoPresets for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom features over 80 presets designed by Photoshop Hall-of-Famer Jack Davis.
  • PhotoPresets for Adobe Camera RAW features over 100 presets for designed by Photoshop Hall-of-Famer Jack Davis.

Is Photography Dead?

Source Newsweek

Written by Peter Plagens


How is that even remotely possible? The medium certainly looks alive, well and, if anything, overpopulated. There are hordes of photographers out there, working with back-to-basics pinhole cameras and pixeled images measured in gigabytes, with street photography taken by cell phones and massive photo "shoots" whose crews, complexity and expense resemble those of movie sets. Step into almost any serious art gallery in Chelsea, Santa Monica or Mayfair and you're likely to be greeted with breathtaking large-format color photographs, such as Andreas Gefeller's overhead views of parking lots digitally montaged from thousands of individual shots or Didier Massard's completely "fabricated photographs" of phantasmagoric landscapes. And the establishment's seal of approval for photography has been renewed in two current museum exhibitions. In "Depth of Field"— the first installation in the new contemporary-photography galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, on display through March 23—the fare includes Thomas Struth's hyperdetailed chromogenic print of the interior of San Zaccaria in Venice and Adam Fuss's exposure of a piece of photo paper floating in water to a simultaneous splash and strobe.

At the National Gallery of Art in Washington, "The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888–1978" (up through Dec. 31) celebrates average Americans who wielded their Brownies and Instamatics to stunning effect.

Yet wandering the galleries of these two shows, you can't help but wonder if the entire medium hasn't fractured itself beyond all recognition. Sculpture did the same thing a while back, so that now "sculpture" can indicate a hole in the ground as readily as a bronze statue. Digitalization has made much of art photography's vast variety possible. But it's also a major reason that, 25 years after the technology exploded what photography could do and be, the medium seems to have lost its soul. Film photography's artistic cachet was always that no matter how much darkroom fiddling someone added to a photograph, the picture was, at its core, a record of something real that occurred in front of the camera. A digital photograph, on the other hand, can be a Photoshop fairy tale, containing only a tiny trace of a small fragment of reality. By now, we've witnessed all the magical morphing and seen all the clever tricks that have turned so many photographers—formerly bearers of truth—into conjurers of fiction. It's hard to say "gee whiz" anymore. Read it all...


Thursday, November 29, 2007

When is Photoshop unethical?

Posted by T. Michael Testi

When is a photograph a lie? According to Roger Sinclair, legal consultant at Egos Ltd, a contract, commercial and media law specialist, “If you use photo editing software to produce a piece of art, [then that’s] fine.

“But if you're using it to make material changes to a picture which you are using to report an event, and to make it seem something different to what it in fact was, then there's a technical term for that which you'd better get to grips with: it's a 'lie'.”

This all stems from an incident last month when British Culture Secretary James Purnell was unable to make it on time to a photo-shoot with other MPs to promote a new development at a hospital in Tameside, he said that instead of ‘letting anyone down’ the MP gave his consent for the hospital to doctor the image so it looked like he was actually there.

As Mr Purnell did eventually turn up, Photoshop was used to add his pose to the original image, giving the impression he had attended, when he hadn’t.

You can read the original article entitled “James Purnell in fake photo row” or you can read the new article “When is Photoshop unethical?” and you decide.



Thursday, November 01, 2007

Boston Red Sox - Photoshopping the champs -

Posted by T. Michael Testi

This is actually pretty funny. has asked its readers to post some of their “Photoshoped” creations involving the Boston Red Sox World Series victory. See it all…

Book Review: The Designer's Apprentice By Rick Ralston

Written by T. Michael Testi

While using Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, did you ever find yourself manually repeating the same tasks and think there must be a better way? Perhaps you were even aware that actions existed in Photoshop, but were either too busy or too afraid to spend the time to learn them. The Designer's Apprentice was written to help get you started, and keep you going well down the road.

The techniques illustrated in The Designer's Apprentice were developed out of necessity by author Rick Ralston during his 15-year career as a graphics design professional with the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. The book was written out of his frustration with the lack of adequate documentation, and holistic discussion of graphics automation. The other problem was that most other documentation on the subject assumes you know more than what you do, or that if you are not an expert, you have no business working with this technology anyway.

The Designer's Apprentice is 252 pages, divided into 12 chapters, and three parts. I will break this down into the three parts; Automation Concepts, Tools, and Projects. The book focuses on three products: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, of which the author requests you be familiar with and have a good understanding of at least one of these. Most of the examples are posted at the Peachpit website.

Part I, "Concepts," begins by explaining what automation is and how we can find it in our everyday lives, right down to our beating hearts. The author defines automation as a set of editable commands a computer can execute to perform a task. You will learn you can use automation to do things like resize files, apply filters, apply copyrights, edit text, find and replace, merge data, and export data, as well as a whole host of other operations to include doing multiple tasks as a single item.

Part II, "Tools," will expose you to the tools available for automating Adobe Creative Suite. These include Actions, scripting, Automator (Mac), data-driven publishing, and server-based applications, as well as third party programs. With Actions, you can record and play back steps that perform an action. You can also halt and accept user input. Scripting comes in three flavors: AppleScript on Mac's only, JavaScript on Mac and PC, and VBScript on PC's only. Automator is the automation program that is built into Mac OS X operating system.

Each of the three Creative Suite products employs their own versions of Data-Driven Publishing (DDP). DDP allows you to target your market better by driving portions of your output to the correct target by data-driving it.

The author also covers other time saving devices such as QuickKeys, which is a macro software that records your mouse movements and keystrokes, and plays them back on demand, third party editors that allow data clean up, triggering software such as iCal, or iDo on the Mac, or Task Scheduler and Automate on Windows. He also describes server based graphic solutions such as DeBabelizer Pro; to automate optimizing, manipulating, raster images, Adobe Graphics Server; which also processes raster images, produces data-driven raster images, and creates data-driven SVG files.

Part III, "Projects," is four chapters that take you through scenarios. Say you own a graphic design studio and you have a client who wants you to design a campaign to increase awareness in the new retail spaces they have. The chapters break out in to Photoshop automation, Illustrator automation, InDesign automation, and a system project, which links the three together.

The Designer's Apprentice is overall a good book. It does a great job of covering actions and scripting. Since I do not have a Mac, I cannot truly surmise on Automator. The server section is too thin to be of more than informational use, and most users are not going to be interested in server installations that range from $4,000 to $60,000 dollars. If they did, covering it in seven pages would not be where they would make or base their decision. The rest of the book, however, was quite informative.

If you want to take the plunge into the world of Adobe Creative Suite automation, then The Designer's Apprentice is a good place to start. You will find the basics of how to perform menial tasks without having to do them yourself. You will have, in essence, a designer's apprentice.


Photoshop User Awards - The worldwide Adobe Photoshop competition.

Posted by T. Michael Testi

The competition is now open over at Photoshop User Magazine for the Photoshop User Awards. This year the grand prize is a trip to Maui Hawaii for the assignment to shoot the magazine cover.

There are eleven categories to choose from an the winner in each will get $2500 in prizes, with the grand prize of the best of the best receiving a trip to Maui Hawaii for yourself and a friend with plane fare, hotel and daily expenses. Read it all…


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Photo of 'extinct' tiger sparks controversy

Posted By T. Michael Testi

Photo of 'extinct' tiger sparks controversy

Updated: 2007-10-18 19:32

XI'AN -- A newly-released photo, which Chinese forestry authorities say proves the continuing existence of wild South China tigers which have been thought to be extinct, has sparked heated controversy from Internet citizens, questioning its authenticity.

The digital picture, purporting to be a wild South China tiger crouching in the midst of green bushes, was released by the Forestry Department of northwest China's Shaanxi Province at a news conference on October 12.

Zhou Zhenglong, 52, a farmer and former hunter in Chengguan Township of Shaanxi's Zhenping County, photographed the tiger with a digital camera and on film on the afternoon of October 3, a department spokesman said.

Experts had confirmed the 40 digital pictures and 31 film photographs are genuine, the spokesman told reporters.

But dozens of netizens expressed doubts about the authenticity of the digital picture -- the only one of the 71 taken to be released at the news conference -- after it had been posted on the Internet, especially in on-line forums discussing Photoshop (PS) technologies.

Netizens suspected that the picture had been processed with PS technologies before release, citing the irregular effects of illumination and focus, and the unreal fur colour of the tiger. Read It All...


Friday, October 19, 2007

Around the Net with PhotographyToday


From Scott Kelby about the "Paper" rant on Jeff Revell's blog comes an unofficial response

  • "Last week, Epson announced their groundbreaking new Signature Worthy Exhibition Fiber Art paper, and after I wrote about it here on the blog, Jeff Revell (Over at the popular Jeff’s Photo Gallery Blog), did a post (he called it a rant), about Epson’s choice of only offering European paper sizes here in the U.S. (you can read Jeff’s rant right here)." Read it all...

John Nack reports on what the pros use; Lightroom vs. Apperture

From Uwi Steinmueller is an interesting article on using Lightroom Stacks to capture more light.

  • "As mentioned before we now shoot 3 or 5 images brackets for each scene. We outlined why in our "Exposure Mix & Match" article. There is of course one downside to this method: a lot more exposures. There are two aspects to deal with:
    • Storage capacity and backup
    • Image Organization
  • This article covers the aspect of Image Organization. We use Lightroom as our main Image Organizer. This means we first import the images of a new shoot into Lightroom." Read it All...


Software Review - Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0

Written By T. Michael Testi


Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 is the latest release from the Adobe Photoshop family. By now most readers are aware of the release of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 early in the spring of 2007 (now on version 1.2), and the release of both versions of Adobe Photoshop CS3; Standard and Extended, that happened later in the spring. Well Fall, 2007 brings the release of Elements 6.0.

Just what is Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0? It is the little brother of the industry standard digital imaging software product Adobe Photoshop; in this case CS3. Photoshop is considered by many to be the best digital imaging product on the planet. While Photoshop is great for the professional, it is not always good for casual user, or amateur for a couple of reasons. First, with a high end product, there is usually a high end learning curve that can take months; even years to get good at. Second, with a high end product usually comes a high end price. In the case of Photoshop CS3, new can mean $649.00 USD for Standard, and $999.00 USD for the Extended version. Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 on the other hand is $99.00 USD, or bundled with Adobe Premier Elements 4.0, is $149.00 USD.

What do you need to run Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0. Currently it is only available on Windows, with the Mac release coming early in 2008. So, on Windows you need 1.3GHz, or better machine, with 256 MB (512 recommended) A Mouse. A 16-bit Color display with 1024x768 resolution at 96DPI or less. A CD-Rom, and around 1.5 GB hard disk space available.

So what is new with this version of Adobe Photoshop Elements?

• Get Going Faster – As expected one of the main goals of any software is to try to increase the speed with which you can get things done, and this is no exception. With things better organized, you can move more efficiently.

• Smart Albums – You can now bring together just the photos that you want to see. You can set up to 10 search criteria; things like type of camera, date of shoot, or other info, then click on the Smart Album, and you will see the matching set of photos.

• Enhanced Library Performance – They have sped up your ability to scroll through your photos, apply tags, view, and retrieve your photos.


• Dedicated Project Bin – This allows you to gather the photos you need for a specific project into one place. It provides you with easy access to all of your open photos, photo book pages, and saved albums.

• Enhanced Step-by-step assistance – will walk you through each step needed to edit blemishes, touch up scratches, or other tasks that will improve your photos.

• Enhanced Fine Tune Exposure – gives you more power to adjust color, brightness, and contrast in your photos while preserving much of your original photo data.

• Selections – With this new technology, you can make image selection in a snap. You only have to brush your selection, and then use sliders to make the adjustment blend into the background.

• Enhanced Clone Tool – If you need to remove unwanted details such as a telephone pole, a car passing by, or Uncle Vinnie, all you have to do is copy one portion of an image, and apply it over another to cover it up.

• Enhanced Spot Healing Brush – Brush away wrinkles, and unwanted objects. You can preview your changes prior to commitment to get the best results possible.

• Enhanced Black and White – Transforming your color originals to Black and White has gotten better with the new slider controls for contrast adjustments. You also have larger previews that make it easier to get the results you desire.

• Photo Blending – Now you can take multiple images and compose them into one great one. The new photo blending technology allows you to combine the best facial and body language from a series of shots to create a perfect composite. See below.


• Enhanced Photo Books – This allows you to create professional looking photo books that enable you to view spreads, flip through your book, and rearrange pages. Then, when you are satisfied, you can order one by clicking on the order button and have professionally printed and delivered to your door (Note that this is available only in North America and Japan).

• Enhanced Sharing – You can share your images via e-mail, online galleries, as well as burning to CD from the new Sharing Center.

• Enhanced Interactive Sharing – using Adobe Flash Technology by creating animated web galleries.

I really like the changes to Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0. It uses the dark interface to make your image clearer, and the background less distracting. There are two work areas which may seem confusing to some users, but coming from the Photoshop background, it makes perfect sense to me. In Photoshop you have Bridge to organize photos, and the main editing program to process them. In Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0, you have Organizer and the Editor.

If I had one complaint, it would be that more basic items should be in the Guided Edit. Techniques like Whiten teeth, remove glare from glasses, etc. Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 is an amateur's dream come true. All of the basics of its big brother Adobe Photoshop, with a lot less of the hassle, learning curve, and the price.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Around the Net with PhotographyToday

Posted By T. Michael Testi


     From John Nack

"We know that many people have been unhappy with printing from Photoshop CS3 (overwhelmingly on Windows), and we've been working on changes that will make things work better. Unfortunately the process isn't as quick as we'd like, given the sheer number of hardware, printer driver, and operating system combinations. We've made some changes & will be issuing an update to Photoshop CS3, but it's not quite ready to be shared with the world at large." Read it all


From Matt Kloskowski's Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips

"I’m really excited to introduce a new feature on this site. Presets (or downloads or whatever you want to call them)! See…I realized I had an extra 15 minutes each week that was being wasted, so I decided to give myself one more item on the weekly “to-do” list." Read it All


From Jeff's Photo gallery - a rant

"A few months ago I purchased an Epson 2200 printer so that I could finally make some “large” prints. First let me say that I love my 2200! The color, sharpness and tonality are everything you would expect from Epson. But that aside, my real issue falls upon the archaic paper sizes that are available from Epson and more imprtant are the ones that are not. Let’s talk 13×19, 17×22, and 24×30. Yes it’s true that I can only print up to the 13″ paper width on my 2200 but besides that, what do all of these paper sizes have in common? "  Read it All


Finally from Uwe Steinmueller and Digital Outback Photo

"We very much feel like food critics if we write about papers. Selecting papers is so subjective and the internet cannot show really their qualities.

In September/October 2007 we had the chance to get early or even very early samples of a new generation on fiber based fine art papers which all try to emulate the classic air dried silver papers. We have for each paper a dedicated page where we share our personal findings. This page tries to compare some of these paper's properties. The papers are all very good (and also expensive). In the end it comes down to personal choices." Read it All


Book Review: The Digital Photographer's Notebook By Kevin Ames

Written and Posted by T. Michael Testi

This is a great new book by Photoshop User columnist and commercial photographer Kevin Ames.


"Photographers live in the moment when shooting and I believe we do the same when in front of the monitor," claims Kevin Ames, the President of Ames Photographic Illustration, Inc., a photographic studio that specializes in commercial photography, retouching, and post production services.

In his book The Digital Photographer's Notebook, the author will attempt to show you what can be done, using Photoshop CS3 (including the Camera Raw plug-in), Lightroom, and Bridge, to manage your portfolio, and create head-turning photographs. He shows you what he has learned in the last 30 years as a professional photographer, and the last 15 while making the transition to digital.

The Digital Photographer's Notebook is 342 pages long divided into 21 chapters and four parts. I will break this review down into the four logical parts. The author wants you to know that this is not a compilation of his articles of the same name that have been published in Photoshop User magazine — rather this is a restating, and updating of the topics, and thought processes, and presents them in the light of the new Adobe products.

Part 1, "Acquisition: From Capture to Computer," begins by talking about the shoot; whether on location, or in the studio, it all begins with the capture. In this case, the location is Africa in 2001. Looking back at the kind of equipment that was available at the time, and what is available now, it is really quite remarkable — both from a hardware, and software point of view. Ames also explains about the problems that can arise from location, such as dusty conditions.

You will also learn about working with Adobe Bridge, and how it can be used to import, and rename your files, why you should backup your files, how to apply Metadata, and how to set your white balance. Next you learn about shooting tethered — that is, your files go directly from your camera into the computer. This can be really good when shooting in the studio, as it gives you instant gratification. You will also learn about getting the light right, and quantity vs. quality of light. He also shows you why you should go out and shoot some clouds.

Part 2, "Management: From Computer to Archive," shows you why you can get into trouble managing your images if you don't take control early on. Here, Ames begins with the Metadata, and how it can be used to manage your files. From here, he shows you how to name your digital negatives by providing some guidance on what, and what not to do when naming your files. Once you have managed this, you need to archive; but just backing up may not be enough. This is followed up with the use of Lightroom Catalogs, and why they should be used.

Part 3, "Showing Off: From Archive to Review," takes us down the road to working with the files. Here you learn some techniques to bring out the best in your images. Ames discusses the differences between JPEG and RAW, as well as what a digital negative is. You will learn more about Lightroom, and what it can do for you. You will explore color correction, and tweaking exposure. He explains about web photo galleries, and how you can take your images to the NET. He also gets into email presentations, and how templates can make your job easier to generate contacts.

Part 4, "Photoshop: From Review to Completion," explores what can be done with using Photoshop to create images. Here composite images are explored, as are Black-And-White conversions; where he uses Channel Mixer to do his conversions. Here you will learn a bit about Photoshop Actions for automation of tasks. He then looks at enhancements, and retouching photos.At this pointhe shows you how to fix blemishes, clean teeth, and brighten eyes.

Part 4 continues with how to lighten without lights. Sometimes what you see is beyond the ability of the camera to record — at least in a single shot. Here Ames shows you what you can do with HDR, or High Dynamic Range imaging. Here you learn how to create a perfect shot without the perfect lighting. Ames finally finishes up by talking about how to overcome other interior nuances.

I predict that the The Digital Photographer's Notebook will become a classic in the annals of Photoshop books. It is well written, easy to read, easy to implement, and most of all, practical. It is not a "how to do everything in Photoshop" — rather it is a walk-through that makes a lot of sense. It gives you some tips and tricks along the way, much like if you went over tosome old friends' to learn how they work, and process through their images. I highly recommend The Digital Photographer's Notebook.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Video Training Review: Photoshop CS3 Color Correction From

Written and Posted by T. Michael Testi


If you want to learn color correction and you like to be shown as opposed to reading about, this video is for you. Taz Tally breaks down what it takes to take your color correction to the next level.


One of the hardest things for most people to get a handle on when they are trying to get a good image is the color. This video will help you evaluate and correct your color images. The instructor's goal is to not only show you how to get color correct, but how to do it quickly and easily so you can get back out to what you would rather be doing; shooting more pictures. Photoshop CS3 Color Correction runs 7.25 hours and is divided into 10 lessons.

Lesson 1, "Setting Up Photoshop for Color Correction" begins by talking about color workflow preferences and some of the things that you can do to streamline your color management efforts. You will assign your color settings, learn about the color tools, customize your workspace, and learn how to use shortcuts on your keyboard.

2, "Managing Images with Bridge" explains navigation and management within the Bridge environment. You will learn to sort, label, and insert copyrights into your images.

3, "Color Image Fundamentals" is where the core learning begins. Here you get your hands dirty with pixel dust. The instructor feels that you need to understand what is going on under the hood, to understand why do a particular technique so when it doesn't work on another image, you will be able to figure out why. You learn about grayscale, channels, bit depth and its relation to grayscale and color as well as learning about how the histogram displays color. You will learn about Info pallet measurements in RGB, and CMYK, as well as learning about Lab color is.

4, "The Evaluation Process: Physical, Visual, Graphical, Numeric" explores four methods of evaluation of your images and asks the question "Should you correct or adjust?" One is where the color is just wrong, and you need to get it right; correction. And one is where the color is good, but you just may want to bring it out more, or change it entirely; adjustment.

5, "Evaluating and Fixing Physical Characteristics" shows you what to do with the physical properties of your image. That is, what size should it be, how do you straighten and crop the image, as well as finding, and fixing noise from within your image.

6, "Evaluating and Correcting Your Color" explains how to use master channel histograms, as well as individual channel histograms, to evaluate the distribution of data within your image. You will work with highlights and color sampler. You will see how to identify and correct for shadows, find and use potential neutrals correction, as well as correcting for skin tone.

7, "Special Topics" cover things like removing noise and screens; a screen pattern in the background, sharpen noisy images, and how to retouch. Also covered is RGB sharpening, and working in Lab Color for better results and control of the sharpening of your images.

8, "Putting It All Together" takes you through the workflow paces by physical changes, setting up the info tool, evaluating the image, setting color sampler points, making corrections, fine tuning, tweaking, proofing and sharpening.

9, "Target-Based Corrections" introduces you to target-based corrections, two-step target based corrections and multi-step target based corrections.

10, "Color Correction Projects" allows you to work through specific images to really learn the art of color correction. You will be working with histograms, the combination of histogram, color sampler and Info, working with highlights, neutrals, skin tones as well as creating image adjustments.

Taz Tally has a remarkably down to earth teaching method that makes the user feel at ease, and makes this a good learning experience. He is clear, and concise, and is not one to just tell; he explains, so that you feel that you really understand what you are learning.

You can get Photoshop CS3 Color Correction two ways. One is as a DVD training package Photoshop Lightroom Essential Training and the other is part of the online training experience at The DVD Training Package is $99 USD and contains everything you need.

The online training Photoshop CS3 Color Correction comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year which get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

You can use Photoshop CS3 Color Correction as a training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding the color correction. You can also try out the part of the first lesson for free at

Photoshop CS3 Color Correction Lesson Listing:

Setting Up Photoshop for Color Correction
Managing Images with Bridge
Color Image Fundamentals
The Evaluation Process: Physical, Visual, Graphical, Numeric
Evaluating and Fixing Physical Characteristics
Evaluating and Correcting Your Color
Special Topics
Putting It All Together
Target-Based Corrections
Color Correction Projects


Friday, October 05, 2007

Software Review - Photoshop Plug-in: Snap Art From Alien Skin Software

Posted by T. Michael Testi

There are a lot of great plugins avaliable for image editing programs like Photoshop, Elements, and the like. This new product from Alien Software is pretty unique in that it will bring out the artist in you.


Did you ever have an image and think to yourself, "This would look great as a painting," or "I would like to see this image a pencil drawing, or even as a comic drawing?" Well look no further than Snap Art for a one step process to do all of this, and more.

Snap Art is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop as well as other image editors. It offers several effects not available in a plug-in such as line drawings; in both pen, and pencil. It also has a wide variety of traditional effects such as painting techniques, colored pencils, charcoal, as well as oil pastels.

All in all Snap Art offers 10 filters that includes color pencil, comics, impasto, oil paint, pastel, pen and ink, pencil sketch, pointillism, stylize, and watercolor. Each is very easy to use, and can be implemented as easy as one click. Each also has many options and can be used in combination with each other. Snap Art is also scriptable with Photoshop actions, as well as supporting 16-bit images.

"Color Pencil" uses hatching and shading techniques to recreate an image as a sketch artist would. Options include paper stock, and lighting controls. "Comics" give the photo the look of a comic strip with posterized colors, shading and half-toning. Options include the number of colors, and halftone size.

"Impasto" is an oil painting style where the marks made by the brush or painting knife remain visible. Options include brushes, strokes, and canvas type. "Oil Paint" captures the feel of painting with oils. Options include brush size, paint thickness, and stroke length.

"Pastel" simulates painting with pastels, including regions of soft tone, and color. Options include soft, hard, and oil pastels, as well as paper type, and lighting. "Pen and Ink" represents your image as monochrome dots, lines, and fills. Options include pen tip, size, coverage, and stroke length.

"Pencil Sketch" creates sketches that emulate graphite pencil, or charcoal. Options include pencil width, pressure, stroke length, canvas, and coverage. "Pointillism," a style created by Seurat is a technique that uses dots of solid color that blend together when viewed from a distance. Options include dot size, coverage, canvas, and lighting.

"Stylize" converts images to smooth regions of color. This can create a posterized Pop-Art, or Flowing Line Art look. Options include texture, lighting, the number of lines, posterization, pen color, pen style, and pen width. "Watercolor" simulates the soft color washes created by watercolor paint, and paper. Options include brush size, fine edge detail, paint coverage, canvas, and lighting.

Snap Art is a very easy to use plug-in and renders very believable effects. There are a lot of options for each effect; both standard presets as well as customizable options. The rendering time was not as speedy as I would like and when you are tweeking your image and having to wait for rendering, it feels that it takes longer than it does. What you pay for with rendering time though, you get back with an easy to use product that gives you a superior quality rendering.

Snap Art is great for stylizing photos or graphics into what is really, an unlimited variation of artistic styles. So many so, that some can get down right ugly; I was having fun experimenting with what can be done, and perhaps what should not be done as well. While some of these can be created within Photoshop itself, the amount of pain that one would have to go through, would not be worth it to me.

If you are looking to add some creativity to your work, or just want to have more options available to you and your customers, Snap Art will give you a totally new dimension, without a lot of work. Snap Art is available at the Alien Skin online store for $149.00


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Camera Lens Review - Lensbabies 3G

Posted By T. Michael Testi

Every once and a while a product comes along and you really miss judge it. It may be that you are too hasty, or that you just don't understand the potential that it really brings. Or it just may be that it, over time has matured into a really great product.

When I first saw an ad for the Lensbabies SLR camera lens, my first thought was that this was just a gimmick, trick lens that after creating a few images, well, would just look gimmicky. Usually, something whose total support rest upon a gimmick tends to fade away after a while. I kept noticing that the Lensbabies lenses were not going away. In fact they were coming out with new and improved versions. When someone asked me if I would like to tryout the new Lensbaby 3G, I did not hesitate to say yes I would.

OK, what is a Lensbaby 3G? Basically, it is the combination of a bellows camera; a lens that is focused by moving the lens back and forth by manipulating a bellows device, and a tilt-shift lens; the ability to maneuver the bellows by tilting the lens to cause blur in part of the image.

The bellows when fully extended focuses to about 18 inches. When compressed it focuses to infinity. After adjusting your Camera's diopter for your eyesight, you first have to find your focusing point. Once you have that, you then tilt the lens to find the "Sweet Spot" where what you want focus, focused and what you want blurred is blurred. At that point, you lock down your lens using a locking button.

From there you make more precise adjustments to your focus by rotating the Fine Focus Ring and/or fine tune the Sweet Spot by rotating the metal rods. Once you have everything in place, you collect your image. If this sounds easy, it is, once you get the hang of it. When you first try to use it, you feel that you need a third hand.

The lens it self is a coated doublet, soft-focus 50mm f2 lens having manual aperture changes of f2.8, f4, f5.6,8,f11, f16 and f22. I say manual because to change apertures you must place magnetic disks on the front of the lens. There is no electronic communications between the lens and the camera body. And the lens is available for all major digital and film based SLR cameras. Automatic light metering is done by shooting in aperture priority mode for most cameras.

While I have never played with the Lensbaby 2.0, from what I have read, it was a good for intuitive photo-journalistic shots whereas the 3G was clearly made for professional photographers who need much more control and precise focusing; complete control. With this control comes the ability to work with long exposures, experiment with light, as well as playing with the sweet spot to create creative images.

The only complaint that I had with using the lens is the manual aperture mode. While it is not hard to do and it works really well, it does leave you open for dropping one of the rings and possibly loosing it; especially in the field as I do a lot of outdoor work.

In many ways, the 3G is an addition to the Lensbaby line, not necessarily replacing the Lensbaby 2.0, rather targeting it to a different audience and/or use. While, this is obviously not a lens that you will use for a majority of shots, it is one that will perform magic, on those that you need it to. You can watch Flickr if you want to see what people are doing with the Lensbaby 3G and Lensbaby 2.0

Lensbaby 3G Specifications:

Optic: Coated optical glass doublet (same optic as Lensbaby 2.0)
Focal Length: Approximately 50 mm
Focus Type: Hybrid Manual Compression / Manual barrel
Aperture Type: Interchangeable levitating aperture disks
Apertures: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
Minimum Focus: Approximately 12" (30.48cm)
Maximum Focus: Infinity
Size: 3" (7.62cm) high x 3.25" (8.89cm) wide
Weight: 5.7oz (161.59g)
Available Mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Olympus 4/3rds/Panasonic, Pentax K/Samsung, Sony Alpha/Minolta Maxxum


Friday, September 14, 2007

Camera Raw 4.2 and Lightroom 1.2 Updates are now available

Camera Raw 4.2 and Lightroom 1.2 Updates are now available from Adobe.

You can get the ACR update from the Adobe Camera Raw download page (Win|Mac) .

Support for the following camera's have been added in this update. Visit the Camera Raw page for a complete list of supported cameras.

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Fuji FinePix IS-1
  • Leaf Aptus 17
  • Leaf Aptus 54s
  • Leaf Aptus 75s
  • Olympus EVOLT E-510
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ18
  • Pentax K100D Super
  • Phase One P 20 +
  • Phase One P 21 +
  • Phase One P 25 +
  • Phase One P 30 +
  • Phase One P 45 +
  • Sony A700

Additional Notes
• Camera Raw 4.2 does not support the Canon EOS 1D Mark III sRAW format at this time
• Lightroom and Camera Raw will be updated together to ensure raw format and settings compatibility.
• Noise reduction adjustment for all cameras with Bayer Pattern sensor: The base point noise reduction applied at the demosaic stage of raw processing has been reduced. The resulting effect is that images with zero luminance noise reduction applied in Camera Raw 4.2 will contain more noise than the


You can get the Lightroom update from the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom download page (Win|Mac) .

Updates include:

Lightroom 1.2 includes corrections for the following issues:
● Lightroom 1.1 catalogs with user-specified sort order could not be imported into another catalog
● Lightroom 1.1 for Windows could at times display gray boxes instead of image thumbnails
● The preference to write XMP metadata automatically in Lightroom 1.1 could attempt to write metadata indefinitely for
offline images causing significant performance problems
● Images could be dropped from the Quick Collection upon reordering of the source folder
● Catalogs could not be exported to drives smaller than 250MB
● The Web Module was not accessible in Lightroom 1.1 on the Macintosh platform when Lightroom was installed on
case-sensitive volumes such as the Case Sensitive HFS+ (Journaled) volume
● Errors occurred exporting to a Linux SMB network volume
● Scroll position in the grid view was not maintained when changing the view option using the J shortcut key
● The tokens for image number and image count were not displaying properly in the Slideshow module
● The metadata panel could display incorrectly on Windows
● Slideshows on the Macintosh platform did not display properly when a 256MB ATI graphics card was connected to 30
● The Lightroom 1.1 Web module export did not position the copyright tag in the same location displayed in the preview
● The auto-eject functionality on Windows ejected the card reader device in addition to the card
● Noise reduction adjustment for all cameras with Bayer Pattern sensor: The base point noise reduction applied at the
demosaic stage of raw processing has been reduced. The resulting effect is that images with zero luminance noise
reduction applied in Lightroom 1.2 will contain more noise than the identical settings in Lightroom 1.1 but less noise
than identical settings in Lightroom 1.0.
● 1:1 previews were not discarded according to the timing set in the Lightroom preferences
● 1:1 previews are not built for an entire set of images when requested after import

Some addtional notes about Photoshop Camera Raw 4.2 and Lightroom:

Adobe applications must be updated with the Camera Raw 4.2 plug-in in order to ensure compatibility with Lightroom 1.2 develop module settings. Photoshop CS3 users can update the Camera Raw plug-in automatically using the Update tool listed under the Help menu. The Camera Raw 4.2 plug-in can also be downloaded and installed manually by visiting the Adobe web site: Please follow the installation instruction carefully.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Camera Raw 4.1 update


Here is some information about the new Camera Raw 4.1 update from Martin Evening

Photoshop CS3 for Photographers
Camera Raw 4.1 update

"Last month I wrote a series of feature stories for about all the new changes to Lightroom 1.1. Although many of the changes that took place with the raw processing in the Lightroom 1.1 Develop module were identical to the changes that have taken place in Camera Raw, a lot of readers have asked if I could provide an equivalent Photoshop CS3 Adobe Camera Raw 4.1 update. What follows is a summary of what is new in the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) interface, where I have taken the text from the Lightroom-news story and repackaged it for Photoshop users.

Clarity slider
Let’s start with the Clarity slider in the basic panel section of the Camera raw dialog. I believe Jeff Schewe campaigned hard to get this particular feature included, and as Jeff himself will tell you, Clarity is a hybrid based on two separate contrast enhancing techniques. One is a local contrast enhancement technique, devised by Thomas Knoll, using a low amount and high radius setting in the Photoshop Unsharp Mask filter. The other is a midtone contrast enhancement Photoshop technique that was originally devised by Mac Holbert of Nash Editions. Those who have bought my most recent book, Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers, can read there the steps Mac used in Photoshop to create this effect. The Photoshop instructions are admittedly quite complex. However, Clarity is now available as a simple one shot slider control in the Basic panel section.

The Clarity adjustment is one that can usefully be applied to a great many kinds of photographs. Mac Holbert originally devised his technique in order to boost the midtone contrast and he found that it helped him to bring out crisper detail in his landscape prints. But I think most photographs can gain from adding a small clarity adjustment."

Read it all...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Book Review: Photoshop Lightroom Adventure by Mikkel Aaland

Photoshop Lightroom Adventure began as an idea by award-winning photographer and the author of nine books, Mikkel Aaland. Aaland, a pioneer in digital photography since 1980, asked Ansel Adams in an interview what he would pursue if Adams was just starting out. Adams began discussing the ideas of digital photographs. Aaland has pursued this topic ever since.

As a beta tester for Lightroom in 2006 and knowing that he was going to write a book on the subject, Aaland also knew that there would be seven or eight other books to compete against. Instead of just writing a standard how-to book, he talked to the people at O'Reilly about putting together an excursion to a far-off land and inviting professional photographers to go along and see how they all used Lightroom (still in beta) in a real live environment. Soon Adobe became involved and the project became the O'Reilly Photoshop Lightroom Iceland Adventure and the book became Photoshop Lightroom Adventure

Photoshop Lightroom Adventure is divided into 12 chapters and 332 pages along with an introduction and a forward by George Jardine; Pro Photo evangelist for Adobe Systems. Why do I include the forward in a review? Not so much for its interesting viewpoint on the creation of the book, but rather because the author of the forward has put together a series of podcasts featuring the major players in this adventure that can be found on his Blog as well as on the O'Reilly page. The podcasts, tied with the book, really makes the adventure come alive in multi-media format.

Chapter 1, "The Lightroom Workspace Revealed," takes you on a tour around the Lightroom interface and explores all of the features that are Lightroom. Chapter 2, "Importing Images into Lightroom," explores the fact that images are not opened in Lightroom, as in other application, rather they are imported. You will learn why this is so and why it makes Lightroom so effective at what it does.

Chapter 3, "Using the Library Module," will show you the how and why of using the Library module to edit, rate, sort and perform some basic image processing. Chapter 4, "The Develop Module," gets you into the meat and potatoes of image processing in Lightroom. Here you will find the sophisticated and easy to use tone, color, cropping, and other basic retouching tools.

Chapter 5, "Develop Great-Looking Photos," continues in the Develop module to introduce you to the more advanced tool that will have you evaluating your images to make sure that they are coming out their best. Chapter 6, "Color-Tuned Photos," shows how, in the Develop Module, you can adjust colors with ease using the sliders to help make global corrections.

Chapter 7, "Black and White and Special Effects," shows how to create great Black and White photographs from within Lightroom as well as how to simulate the rough equivalent of colored filters for additional effects. Chapter 8, "Develop Recipes from Iceland," finishes up the Develop module by showing how to apply custom look and feel techniques to your images and showing how several of the Iceland team members did it.

Chapter 9, "Exporting Files," explains how you don't actually save files in the Lightroom environment; rather it saves instructions on the processing for your images. So, if you want to process outside the Lightroom environment, you will need to export the file for use elsewhere. It also shows how to export them to a catalog for use in another Lightroom Catalog. Chapter 10, "Lightroom Slideshows," will take you through the steps in creating a slide show to present your images to your clients or friends.

Chapter 11, "Power Printing," takes you to the next level of printing images. Many say that the Print module is, along with the Develop module, the most powerful part of Lightroom. Here the Print Module is revealed. Chapter 12, "Creating a Web Gallery," shows how Lightroom can create all of the components to generate a full fledged web gallery in either HTML or Flash. You can even upload your ready-to-go gallery directly.

Photoshop Lightroom Adventure is a concept book and because of that, it may not be for everyone. If you are a total beginner to photography and to the software needed to process images, this book may not go into enough detail and may not explain enough about the controls that are used within Lightroom. The same may be the case if you need step-by-step hand holding to learn a new piece of software.

But if you have worked with Photoshop, Elements or some of the other photo editing software out there and want to learn how to use Lightroom Photoshop Lightroom Adventure will provide you with a unique opportunity to see how many of the master photographers and leaders within the industry use Lightroom and just as importantly, the photos that they took on this adventure.

The imagery is just astounding. Interlaced throughout the book are the photos that they took along with the why and the how. If you get the enhanced podcasts, you will see the images as they describe the experience. You can also see many of the images on the O'Reilly Lightroom Adventure website.

If you want a truly wonderful adventure in learning Lightroom, then Photoshop Lightroom Adventure has your ticket. One additional note Photoshop Lightroom Adventure is the first book that includes the tools provided by Lightroom 1.1 and so it is completely up to date. My only hope is that O'Reilly with do the next logical thing, produce a full photographic image book from this adventure. That would complete the experience.


Friday, August 24, 2007

New 21.1 Megapixel from Canon!

Incase you hadn't heard, Canon has just announced its new 21.1 Megapixel full frame DSLR for release in November 2007.   Here is the release.


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LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 20, 2007 – The new 21.1-megapixel, full-frame Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR* camera brings the power of Canon U.S.A., Inc.'s professional imaging excellence and innovation into sharper focus than ever before. While Canon's EOS-1D series has dominated the 35mm-based professional Digital SLR market for the past six years, the new EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR takes Canon's pro-digital prowess into and the realm of high-fashion and commercial photo studios where bulkier, medium-format cameras previously reigned.

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III's compact, lighter-weight magnesium alloy body is rugged and versatile enough to take out of the studio and into the field. The camera's fast, five-frame-per-second (fps) shooting rate for bursts of up to 56 Large/Fine (21-megapixel) JPEGS or 12 RAW images is unmatched in its class, making it the ideal instrument for capturing the fluid motion and free-flowing lines of location-based fashion photography as well as a wide range of other professional photographic applications.

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III professional digital single lens reflex camera is scheduled to begin shipping in November and will have an estimated selling price of $7,999† (the same price as its predecessor, the 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II).

"The EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera is a prime example of the EOS philosophy and Canon's ongoing commitment to providing photo professionals with the tools they need to create the finest quality images," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. "To continue our legacy, we must provide not only the right professional tools, but also the finest photo tools for the job and do so consistently, whether we are presenting this exemplary EOS-1Ds Mark III SLR camera, or any one of the many fine specialty lenses, flashes and accessories that populate the EOS professional photo system."

Revolutionary Resolution
Developed and manufactured by Canon specifically for the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR, the camera's new full-size 36 x 24 mm CMOS image sensor offers the highest resolution in its class, and is comprised of approximately 21.1 million effective pixels (5632 x 3750) set at a pitch of 6.4 microns. The user can select any one of six recording formats ranging from 21.0 megapixels in Large JPEG or RAW format, 16.6 or 11.0 megapixels in the two medium JPEG sizes, or 5.2 megapixels in the small JPEG or "sRAW" formats. In any JPEG format, the user can set one of ten compression rates for each image size. In sRAW mode, the number of pixels is reduced to one-fourth that of a standard RAW image and the file size is cut in half, while retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, traditional RAW images.

Dual "DIGIC III" Image Processors
Fulfilling the ultra-low noise, ultra-high image quality promise of the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera requires handling the enormous signal processing requirements of the camera's 21-megapixel resolution and top continuous shooting speed of five fps. To accomplish this, Canon has incorporated two identical DIGIC III imaging engines into the camera for parallel (and hence, faster) signal processing. The CMOS sensor reads out to the dual "DIGIC III" processors simultaneously in eight channels. DIGIC III is the next generation of Canon's proprietary image processing engine. This technology ensures the fine details and natural colors of images are optimally recorded and, as an added bonus, is responsible for the EOS-1Ds Mark III SLR's high-speed performance, faster signal processing and more efficient energy consumption.

Adding to the improved virtuosity of the images captured by the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera is the camera's 14-bit Analog-to-Digital (A/D) conversion process. Able to recognize 16,384 colors per channel (four times the number of colors recognized by the EOS-1Ds Mark II Digital SLR camera's 12-bit conversion capability), this line-leading model is able to produce images with finer and more accurate gradations of tones and colors. Additionally, given the significantly larger image file sizes created by the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera, Canon has provided compatibility with the new Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) compact flash memory card specification, which enables ultra-high-speed data transfer to the card. Utilizing a UDMA compliant card doubles the data transfer speed compared to a conventional memory card, putting the new EOS-1Ds Mark III on par with the 10.1-megapixel EOS-1D Mark III camera, even though the pixel count of this new model is more than twice as large.

Advanced Autofocus Technology
The EOS-1Ds Mark III autofocus system - first introduced earlier this year on the EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR - has 45 AF points including 19 high-precision cross-type points and 26 Assist AF points. This new array allows the 19 cross-type points to be divided into groups of nine inner and nine outer focusing points plus a center point, which makes picking an individual focusing point much faster and easier than going through all 45. During manual AF point selection, the AF point area is expandable in two stages via Custom Function control.

At the request of sports and wildlife photographers, a new micro-adjustment feature allows for very fine changes in the AF point of focus for each lens type in use, along with the addition of adjustable focus-tracking sensitivity as another sophisticated new AF feature. Other new components in the AF system include the reconfigured concave submirror and the secondary image formation lens, both products of Canon's vast expertise in optical engineering. Finally, the low-light sensitivity of the new AF sensor has been doubled to EV-1 for superior performance, compared with earlier EOS digital SLRs.

Live View
One of the dynamic innovations incorporated into new EOS Digital SLRs - and optimized for professional shooters on the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR - is Canon's Live View shooting mode which provides photographers with an expanded and exceedingly convenient set of shooting options beyond the conventional SLR through-the-lens viewing. Framing and shooting subjects using the camera's LCD screen affords the shooter the same 100 percent field of view provided by the optical viewfinder - this is a full-frame digital SLR after all - but Live View has the added advantage of allowing the image to be more easily composed on the camera's bright and brilliant 230,000-pixel, three-inch LED screen. Additionally, the LCD-viewed image can be magnified by five or ten times in order to ensure that the shot is optimally focused.

Live View is at its best during tripod shooting, particularly for close-up photography where precise focusing is imperative. As a side benefit, the Live View shooting mode helps to reduce vibration by lifting the reflex mirror out of the optical path well in advance of the exposure, improving image quality at slow shutter speeds. Additionally, as the release time lag is miniscule, even instantaneous movements like a bird taking flight can be readily captured. The shutter charge sound can be delayed and made quieter than normal in Live View mode to avoid spooking wildlife or disturbing people nearby with unwanted camera sounds.

If a user is going to be several feet away from the camera, such as in some studio settings, the EOS-1Ds Mark III can be connected by cable to a computer via its USB 2.0 High-Speed interface. The camera can also be operated remotely at distances up to 492 feet with the assistance of the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2A which allows users to view images directly off the camera's sensor in virtually real-time, with the ability to adjust many camera settings quickly and easily.

Viewing Display
Easy to read, even in outdoor conditions such as bright sunlight, the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera features a three-inch, 230,000-pixel wide angle LCD display screen. The TFT color liquid-crystal monitor features seven user-settable brightness levels and a wide, 140-degree viewing angle, both horizontally and vertically. An added advantage of the large, three-inch display size is the ability to utilize a larger font size for text, making it easier to read setting and menu options on the screen.

Canon extends its "ease-of-reading" policy to the EOS-1Ds Mark III's viewfinder as well. Bright and clear with zero distortion and a 100 percent picture coverage and a magnification factor of .75x, it is the finest viewfinder ever placed in an EOS camera.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System
Another first for a professional digital SLR of this caliber is Canon's complete dust management solution, called the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The new CMOS image sensor is designed with a lightweight infrared absorption glass cover that vibrates for 3.5 seconds when the camera is turned on or off. This brief delay can be cancelled immediately upon start-up by pressing the shutter button half way. Dust that has been shaken or blown loose of the sensor is trapped by adhesive surfaces surrounding the sensor unit housing, preventing the problematic particles from reattaching themselves to the filter when the camera moves.

Like its sibling, the EOS-1D Mark III, the shutter of the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera carries a durability rating of 300,000 cycles and, though it generates less dust, it still charges itself three times during the manual cleaning process so that dust is shaken off the shutter curtains as well. This cleaning system uses very little battery power and can be turned off in the custom function menu.

The second part of the dust management system is a software solution that maps the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor. The mapped information is saved as Dust Delete Data and attached to the image file. Subsequently, the offending dust information is subtracted from the final image during post processing, using the supplied Digital Photo Professional software.

Rock Solid Reliability
The entire body of the EOS-1Ds Mark III, including its internal chassis and mirror box, is made of an advanced magnesium alloy for exceptional strength and rigidity. Comprehensive weatherproofing at 76 locations on the camera body ensures superior reliability, even when shooting in harsh environments. Together with the 300,000-cycle shutter durability rating, these features result in a camera that, even though it is six ounces lighter than the EOS-1Ds Mark II, can truly withstand even the most severe shooting conditions.

Improved Software
Among the most valuable features of the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR is its compatibility with Canon's new Picture Style Editor 1.0 software. With PSE, photographers can personalize the look of their photographs by inputting their own preferred image processing parameters, including custom tone curves. The EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR also ships with the latest versions of Canon's powerful software applications, including Digital Photo Professional 3.2 and EOS Utility 2.2, which support the camera's Remote Live View and Dust Delete Data functions, as well as incorporating a broad range of additional improvements designed to improve image quality and speed up workflow. Particularly noteworthy in DPP 3.2 is a new Lens Aberration Correction Function that corrects various image defects such as chromatic aberration, color blur, vignetting and distortion. Initially, the Lens Aberration Correction Function will support images captured by the EOS-1Ds Mark III and 11 other EOS Digital SLRs using any of 29 individual EF and EF-S lenses. Also included are ZoomBrowser EX 6.0 and ImageBrowser 6.0 for easy browsing, viewing, printing and archiving with compatible computer operating systems, including Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as Mac OS X.

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Designed primarily for discerning landscape and architectural photographers, the Canon EF14mm f/2.8L II USM lens is ideally suited to the EOS-1Ds Mark III's full-frame capability. Measuring 3.7 inches in length and weighing in at under 23 ounces, this ultra-wide angle L-series prime lens is well corrected for rectilinear distortion, provides a 114-degree diagonal angle of view, and delivers high-speed autofocus with higher image quality overall including superior peripheral image quality, compared to its predecessor, the stalwart EF 14mm f/2.8L USM lens.

While its large diameter, high-precision aspherical and UD elements, optimized lens element positioning, and flare and ghost-reducing lens coating ensure that this lens delivers the top optical performance in its professional class, Canon has added other features photographers have been asking for - improved dust and water resistance incorporated around the mount, switch panel and focusing ring, and a round aperture that creates a nice background blur and makes it easier to recognize an out-of-focus scene in less than brightly lit conditions. Furthermore, Canon has created a new lens cap specifically for the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM that is held to the lens by a stopper. The Canon EF14mm f/2.8L II USM lens is scheduled to begin shipping to stores in October at an estimated selling price of $2,199†.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is on the 2006 BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), is a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2006††, with global revenues of $34.9 billion. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting