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Winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012

August 17th, 2012

The winners of the 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest have just been announced, with a group of ten photos coming out on top, plus one Viewer's Choice winner. These eleven images were chosen from more than 12,000 entries submitted by 6,615 photographers from 152 countries. National Geographic was kind enough to allow me to share the winning photographs with you here, from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Also, be sure to see the earlier entry featuring 40 images from the submissions to this year's contest.

Click here for the entire article and images
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Is it a crime to take photos in public

August 17th, 2012

Is it a crime to take photos in public

Is it ever a crime to take photos in public?

That important question was at the heart of a Q&A on the New York Times’ Lens blog yesterday, and is the focus of the blog I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist. It’s also a question that undoubtedly affects iReporters and citizens around the world.

The short answer in the Times' piece is no, it’s not a crime in the United States. Regardless, it seems more and more often we hear stories of photographers being arrested or stopped from capturing images in public. In particular, such incidents occurred during the Occupy Wall Street movement last year, when photographers – professional and amateur – documented the protests and clashes between demonstrators and police.

Click here for the entire article
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Fraud Alert

July 19th, 2012

Fraud Alert

It has come to my attention that someone has been using HellmannPhoto.com as an return address for correspondence. Pete Hellmann Photography does not send out a newsletter or unsolicited email of any kind. If you are contacted by anyone asking you to cash checks for them they are not affiliated with Pete Hellmann Photography or HellmannPhoto.com. No one at Pete Hellmann Photography is in the business of giving away money. As the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it is.



Great Photos of 2012 Olympics Athletes In Training

July 19th, 2012

Great Photos of 2012 Olympics Athletes In Training

With the Olympics about to get underway you should check out this great article at Boston.com.

In just over a week, the years, months, days, and minutes athletes have spent training will be put on display. The 10,000 competitors who will be vying for medals in 26 different sports have begun arriving in London. Here’s a look at many of those athletes competing for a spot in the upcoming Games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12. -- Lloyd Young (35 photos total)

Click here for the article.

Eight Cameras that will Surely Drive Photographers Crazy

July 19th, 2012

Eight Cameras that will Surely Drive Photographers Crazy

For a photographer, choosing the best camera for them is like finding a pageant winner. They primarily set a checklist of criteria. When one candidate fails to deliver, it is automatically out of the game.

Basically, a photographer assesses the screen size, resolution, zooming capabilities, video options, weight, and battery life. Among the hordes of cameras in the market, eight made it on the list as the best ones so far:

Click here for the entire article.

Panasonic LX7 previewed

July 19th, 2012

Panasonic LX7 previewed

Revolution! No sooner has Samsung launched the interesting EX2F digital camera, and claimed the throne for the brightest compact camera lens, than it's been ousted! Panasonic has today launched its new Panasonic LX7 compact, with the same sensor size and a greater zoom range--and yet its lens is even brighter.

At wide angle, there's nothing in it. Both cameras have the same 24mm-equivalent wide angle, and the same f/1.4 maximum aperture. It's once you zoom in some that the difference becomes clear. The Samsung EX2F's lens stops at 3.3x zoom, with an f/2.7 aperture. The LX7, by contrast, continues on to 3.8x, and somehow manages to retain an f/2.3 maximum aperture even at that telephoto position. Impressive stuff!

At ten megapixels, the Panasonic LX7 has slightly lower resolution, but in our book that's an advantage. It's still plenty for most purposes, and all other things being equal should equate to slightly lower noise levels, to boot. While it's the same sensor size and resolution as used in Panasonic's LX5 two years ago, the company says it has brought about a 1.5 dB improvement in noise levels versus the previous sensor.

To continue reading click here.

Faces of Ground Zero Exhibit Opens Today

August 25th, 2011

Faces of Ground Zero Exhibit Opens Today

In the aftermath of 9/11, internationally acclaimed photographer and Nikon shooter Joe McNally created 246 life-size portraits of the rescuers, volunteers, survivors, victims’ family members and other individuals whose lives were affected by the tragedy. This historic collection was seen by over a million people during a six-city tour, became a popular book and helped generate over $2 million for the relief effort. It is considered by many museum and art professionals to be the most significant artistic endeavor to evolve from the 9/11 tragedy.He entitled the exhibit Faces of Ground Zero: Portraits of the Heroes of September 11, 2001.

Earlier this year—a decade later—McNally revisited many of his original subjects to find out where they are now and how 9/11 has affected their lives. Using the latest Nikon cameras and equipment, he created stunning new digital images and exclusive video interviews to accompany his original portraits. "It's been a truly amazing experience to recreate this exhibit," said McNally. "It's an honor to be able to visually tell the ongoing stories of the incredible people I first met 10 years ago who continue to be an inspiration every day."These are some of the heroes of September 11, 2001—ten years later.

Time Warner Center, New York, NY
August 24 – September 12, 2011
Daily: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 7pm
The entire FACES OF GROUND ZERO: 10 Years Later exhibit is free and open to the public.

For more information please visit www.facesofgroundzero.com

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Ilford Galerie media earns 200-plus-year print permanence rating

August 23rd, 2011

Ilford Galerie media earns 200-plus-year print permanence rating

ILFORD Imaging Switzerland GmbH , Marley, Switzerland, announced its Galerie inkjet photo media line has received high print permanence ratings from Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc., Avon, Conn., an independent permanence testing laboratory.

Wilhelm Imaging’s research shows Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk, Smooth Pearl and Smooth Gloss media achieved a very high level of overall Print Permanence and Dark Storage Stability Ratings. When printed with HP Vivera pigment inks, the papers were found to withstand fading and yellowing for more than 250 years in archival album or dark storage conditions, and are stable for more than 200 years when displayed under glass. The Smooth papers also demonstrated a “very high” resistance to high humidity.

The research results can be found here.

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20 Myths About Becoming A Pro Photographer

August 4th, 2011

20 Myths About Becoming A Pro Photographer

Starting out as a pro photographer is very exciting. It’s fun to realize that a photography hobby can also be a great way to earn a little extra money on the side. Unfortunately, I have seen dozens and dozens of photographers start out with all the excitement in the world, but eventually fail as a pro photographer.

Sometimes the failure means they simply don’t find enough clients, sometimes that failure means getting sued, sometimes that failure means losing more than you gain, but most often…. that failure occurs when–one year into running the side business–the photographer realizes that it just isn’t bringing in enough money to be worth her time.

It is my hope that this list will not discourage anyone from becoming a professional photographer, but I do hope that it will make you aware of the unbelievably common misconceptions that many newbies have about earning money with photography.

Before I begin the list, I have to point out that OBVIOUSLY these “myths” are not true in every circumstance. Without any doubt, there are people who can pull off just about anything, but I think most competent pros would agree with 99% of what is on the list.

Click here to continue.

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Mobile imaging entrepreneurship,innovation to converge at 6Sight Summit in Sweden

August 2nd, 2011

Mobile imaging entrepreneurship,innovation to converge at 6Sight Summit in Sweden

Mobile Imaging is booming worldwide, with skyrocketing smart phone sales, fun and popular photography apps, and new ways to use, enjoy, and profit from pictures — and 6Sight will showcase these important global trends at its new European conference.

This week 6Sight® Conferences LLC announces the program for its Mobile Imaging Summit in Malmo Sweden on Nov. 15-17, 2011. The event is co-hosted by Scalado and Invest in Skåne, and sponsored by Sony Ericsson and other world-leading mobile imaging companies.

Among the conference sessions:

Leading cell phone manufacturers will debate the future of Mobile Imaging Platforms, with a market overview presentation from pioneering camera phone analyst Tony Henning of 6Sight.
The top OS developers will discuss Mobile Operating Systems, with an overview from noted analyst Dr. Gerry Purdy of MobileTrax.

Additional session topics include:

Image Sensors
Optics
Mobile Operators
Augmented Reality
Mobile Imaging Apps
Social Imaging
Analysts Roundtable presenting global Mobile Imaging data

The 6Sight Mobile Imaging Summit will examine both the broad worldwide market forces and the individual components and technologies that advance phone-based photography. Registration is now open and the full program is here. Companies interested in participating in the program are requested to complete this form.

Click here for more information.

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An Easy Way to Find EXIF Data in GooglePlus

July 12th, 2011

An Easy Way to Find EXIF Data in GooglePlus

Google's new social networking site is still a bit of a mystery to most. It's a pretty cool site that offers a Facebook like experience while providing a great deal of possibility for more. One of the very cool things that it does is provide quick and easy access to EXIF data.

If you're lucky enough to have a Google+ invite, you can check out EXIF data on any photo by selecting Action and then Photo Details. If you enable the option, geotag information of your photos will also be available.

Click here for the entire article.

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Geophoto enters the top 10 photography chart in the US

July 11th, 2011

Geophoto enters the top 10 photography chart in the US

UK based JPY Consulting Ltd. is pleased to announce that GeoPhoto 2.0, an update to their location aware photography app for iPad, has entered the top 10 free photography chart in the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and many other countries on Friday, 8th July 2011. GeoPhoto lets users virtually travel around the world by finding geo located pictures. It also lets users share pictures via email, save them to the photo album, post to Facebook and more.

London, United Kingdom – JPY Consulting Ltd. has announced that GeoPhoto 2.0 for iPad is beginning to gain momentum by entering the top 10 free photography charts in more than 20 countries, including US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and Germany on Friday, 8th July 2011. GeoPhoto is an app that lets users virtually travel around the world by finding geo located pictures. GeoPhoto also lets users share pictures via email, save them to the photo album, post to facebook and more

Pete Hellmann Photography

Sony World Photography Awards launches its first global awards for 3D video and photography

July 7th, 2011

Sony World Photography Awards launches its first global awards for 3D video and photography

The World Photography Organization (WPO), which organizes and operates the Sony World Photography Awards, is announcing its first global awards for 3D video and photography.

Professional and amateur videographers and photographers at any level have the opportunity to become part of this exciting 3D revolution. Entries may be submitted until Jan. 4, 2012. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London, United Kingdom, in April 2012 and will receive prizes including Sony 3D digital imaging products.


Pete Hellmann Photography

Google to change Picasa brand in GooglePlus

July 6th, 2011

Google to change Picasa brand in GooglePlus

Mashable reporter Ben Parr broke the news yesterday. Google is going to rename some key products, including leading photo organizing service. Picasa, in as “part of a larger effort to unify its brand for the public launch of Google+, the search giant’s social initiative.” According to unnamed sources, Google intends to rename Picasa “Google Photos” and Blogger will become “Google Blogs.”

Google bought Picasa, which was founded in 2001, in 2004. In March, 2010, the company bought online-imaging editing powerhouse, Picnik.

Ben Parr's entire article can be found here.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Association of Personal Photo Organizers

July 5th, 2011

Association of Personal Photo Organizers

When you ask a consumer, “Are you overwhelmed with your photos?” They tell you, “Yes!” It creates a tremendous amount of guilt and anxiety for them.

From this was born the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, a training and educational support association for the growing number of imaging consultants that will tackle mounds of images in a “Do It For Me” or “Do It With Me” business model. In this episode of the DIMAcast — the first in a series of DIMAcasts from the just-concluded Independent Photo Imagers (IPI) Members Retreat – Bill McCurry talks to Cathi Nelson, founder of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.

She outlines how this latent need is exploding worldwide and how imaging firms can join in, either as an active participant or as a support lab for local photo organizers. It didn’t exist three years ago and today is a growth industry with relieved consumers across the globe. Listen in (or read the transcript) and see how Nelson convinces image overloaded consumers to store (and yes, print!!) their treasured images. This could be a defining moment in your career or your company’s history if you investigate this newest phase of digital history. It’s a potentially profitable and highly rewarding growth phase of our industry.

This is one of many trend changes McCurry and the DIMAcast team will bring you this month from the just-concluded IPI Members Retreat — so be sure to catch the DIMAcast throughout July.

The entire podcast is here

Pete Hellmann Photography

Hasselblad set for growth under new European owners

June 30th, 2011

Hasselblad set for growth under new European owners

Hasselblad, the premium medium format camera manufacturer, is planning a rapid expansion of cutting edge capture products and is set to target new imaging markets following the company’s acquisition by Ventizz Capital Fund IV, LP, a private equity investor exclusively advised by Swiss- and Germany based Ventizz Capital Partners AG.
Ventizz, which specializes in funding growth in companies across various high-tech industry sectors including communications technology and renewable energy, says it plans 'no major structural or key management changes' at Hasselblad.

Announcing the move Dr. Larry Hansen, Hasselblad Chairman & CEO said: "After eight years of ownership by the Hong Kong-based Shriro group, Hasselblad is now moving back to its European roots. History shows that for over half a century we have been the leading manufacturer and partner for photographers working in the medium format environment and seeking highest quality and ongoing innovation. In 2002 we pioneered the revolutionary Hasselblad H-Camera System - the most comprehensive digital camera system of its kind available today, with its unique advancements such as True Focus and instant lens correction in our Phocus software."

Click here for the entire press release.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Pete Hellmann At Bakers Gallery In Lynchburg Virginia

June 29th, 2011

Pete Hellmann At Bakers Gallery In Lynchburg Virginia

Pete Hellmann will be exhibiting numerous limited edition prints at the Academy of Fine Arts satellite gallery at Montana Plains Bakery in Lynchburg, Virginia. The prints are mainly scenes in Virginia and Colorado. The show will be from June 28th to August 2nd, 2011. Montana Plains Bakery is located at 102 Tradewynd Drive in Lynchburg, Virginia. Be sure to check out Pete's artwork and browse the fantastic selection of bakery items for sale.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Inkjet Print Image Quality Considerations

June 29th, 2011

Inkjet Print Image Quality Considerations

I just found an interesting paper on inkjet image quality by Torrey Pines Research. According to their website, "TPR is your independent, interdisciplinary, product research and product development consulting company, specializing in digital printing and material deposition technologies. TPR provides the product development solutions you need. TPR understands the critical tradeoffs associated with achieving Product Cost, Product Performance, and Development Schedule. TPR has a proprietary product development process as illustrated below, and TPR can handle the entire product development program or can jump in and assist in any phase."

The paper discusses a concept they call PEARLS which stands for permanence, edge quality, artifacts, resolution/addressability, linear tonescale/color reproduction and solid-area quality. TPR makes the case that these are the most critical points involved in the evaluation and comparison of prints produced by injet printers. It also attempts to establish the interrelationship between each of the PEARLS attributes stating that, "Any one attribute is affected by and dependent upon one or more of the other attributes." Another point made is that the human visual system and the intended viewer must also be considered. It is a very interesting paper and a must read for those interested in fine art printing.

TPR has several other papers available online that may be of interest. Be sure to check them out.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Why You Should Mat Your Photographs

June 24th, 2011

Why You Should Mat Your Photographs

Matting your photographs may be more important than you think even if you are not planning to sell your photographs.

Matting a photograph provides the following benefits:

* It guarantees the photograph will not touch the glass once it is framed since the mat board acts as a spacer between the photograph and the glass.

* Once framed matting helps separate the photograph from its surroundings. It gives it its own unique space and presence especially if care is taken to choose the right color to enhance the photograph.

* For those who are selling their photographs, matting makes the product more sellable. A matted photograph is a finished product ready to frame.

If you want to mat your own photographs you need the proper tools. I recommend Logan Graphic Products for a selection of beginner to professional matting tools. They also have several How-To articles to get you started.

Pete Hellmann Photography

What Is Fine Art Framing

June 24th, 2011

What Is Fine Art Framing

Fine art framing means archival quality materials and a professional standard are used to protect the work of art being framed. A fine art frame shop will only use 100% cotton rag, or other all natural materials in their mats and materials. Of course appropriate archival protective processes for framing must be used. Framers who offer archival framing services will only use linen tape, for example, to secure the work of art to the mat so it does not shift in the frame. If they use cellophane tape or masking tape or another adhesive such as basic glue to hold down a work of art within a frame you should not use their services. Always ask about this procedure so the framer will tell you what materials are being used. Don't be embarrassed about it, you want your work framed properly and a professional will have no problem discussing their business.

A professional framer will give you the following choices of glass

* ultraviolet (UV) blocking glass which protects your work of art from the sun's harmful rays
* regular glass which is simple and heavy but a good option
* non-glare glass which is pretty expensive and not always necessary

I don't recommend putting any work of art in direct sunlight even if you have UV glass on the work. The UV glass won't completely prevent fading but it will give some protection. Non-glare glass is usually not necessary and almost always changes the colors behind it. If you are concerned about glare then there is probably too much light where you have the piece hung. If you have a piece of artwork in this situation, then you should move the piece to another spot or buy UV glass.

If you follow these guidelines you will end up protecting your artwork for a lifetime. I'll add more later concerning fine art framing.

Pete Hellmann Photography

How To Print A Very Large Image

April 14th, 2011

How To Print A Very Large Image

I don't have much time today, but I did notice a great article about upsizing an image for printing. I didn't notice an "About Page" so I can't tell you much about the author. Hopefully I'll have time tomorrow for more information.




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Myths Concerning Range Finder Cameras

April 14th, 2011

Myths Concerning Range Finder Cameras

What's a rangefinder? A rangefinder camera is a camera fitted with a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject distance and take photographs that are in sharp focus. Most varieties of rangefinder show two images of the same subject, one of which moves when a calibrated wheel is turned; when the two images coincide and fuse into one, the distance can be read off the wheel. Many range finder cameras, such as tose made by Leica, are excellent cameras that produce wonderful results. But is it because of the rangefinder? Usually it is because the rangefinders that are still being produced have excellent optics.

I noticed this rant by Dante Stella and thought others would enjoy it too. I have listed my favorite myths from the post below along with the conclusion. Technogeeks beware, it isn't the camera that creates the image, it is the artist.

"I find it easier to compose with a rangefinder."

— The problem comes when you are composing using space and selective focus, both critical to portraiture. Using a rangefinder to focus a lens that has a thin plane of focus or tends to exaggerate space is sheer masochism, because a rangefinder presents an aerial image that always shows the same space. Once you hit about 90mm, or f/1.2, whichever comes first, you should be using an SLR, so you can see exactly what's in focus and what's out. When you are using a superwide, you might also use an SLR to see the spatial arrangement of the pieces.

"Rangefinders focus more accurately."

— This is true, to a point - but to be true, the rangefinder mechanism in the camera has to be aligned perfectly (vertically and horizontally), you have to be able to see clearly, and your lens needs to be 90mm or shorter. Even then, as noted above, you lose focus as a predictable compositional element. SLRs also let you see the depth of field in a lens wide-open, which can be more effective than trying to figure it out using a distance scale on the lens. They also allow you to detect and compensate for bad lenses sometimes because you will see them not focusing. That is not the case with RFs, where you often find out about these problems the hard way.

Then why buy a rangefinder? I think there are a few compelling things about rangefinders, and all but one are related to the subjective qualities of optics.

— Non-retrofocus wide-angle lenses like the 21/3.4 Super Angulon, the 35/2 Summicron and the 21/2.8 Kobalux. There is no question that symmetrical rangefinder lenses outshine retrofocus SLR versions in distortion and resolution. They're also smaller front-to-back. You can get teeny 28s, for example, that make a rangefinder camera pocketable. Retrofocus design (which underlies SLR wideangles) also works better for rangefinder wideangle lenses (as it does in the new Cosina lenses), because with rangefinders it is used to increase the number of lens elements to improve correction rather than being used to radically increase the backfocus distance to clear a 45mm-deep mirror.

— Lenses with well-defined optical fingerprints. These are the 50mm Sonnar-type lenses which could never be made for an SLR due to back-focus constraints. All modern SLR 50mm lenses are planar-type. With a lot of modern lenses you lose bokeh and highlight separation.

— Telephoto lenses no one wants to make anymore. These include Ernostars, Sonnars and Tessars. Again, these have the highlight separation that works well for people's faces.

— Lenses that are tough to get running with a modern body. The first version 105/2.5 Nikkor SLR lens requires an older Nikon F body with no AE, or a disfiguring modification to work with AI meters. By contrast, the 1954 105/2.5 Nikkor rangefinder lens can be put on an autoexposure Hexar RF made in 2001 and used like any modern lens.

Go with your gut. Ultimately, you are the person who chooses your tools. Think carefully. In the end, the experience of the camera makes no difference, nor does its make or model. It is only the image you create with it.


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Why color management is important for photo printing

April 14th, 2011

Why color management is important for photo printing

Just some quick thoughts on why color management is important. When processing an image there are color interpretations at three different stages:

* image acquisition in the camera, as seen by the sensor
* image viewing on the computer monitor as seen by our eyes
* image printing on the print media.


The major difference between the latter two interpretations as seen by our human eyes is we are seeing transmitted light from the monitor, while the image from the media is reflected light. This difference means there will always be a difference between what is seen on the monitor and what is seen on paper and why proofing on paper is required. The ICC profile hence acts as a reference for color information to be calibrated accordingly so that we see consistent colors throughout the process.



Pete Hellmann Photography

HDR Shadow Mapping

February 4th, 2011

HDR Shadow Mapping

From Scott Wyden Imagery:

One of my favorite techniques that I use on many HDR images is a trick I call Shadow mapping. Credit goes to Christian Bloch for this technique, although I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe to suit my personal style. I use this primarily with Photomatix Pro from HDRsoft, but have also pulled it off using HDR Expose and HDR Express from Unified Color.

This can get a little involved, and screen shots are helpful. If you’re interested, please see the link to the full tutorial at the bottom of this post.

To start, merge your set of brackets in the usual fashion, but be sure to save the HDR file (Radiance, OpenEXR, etc.) before going into the tone mapping process, as you’ll be opening that file several times.

Once you’ve saved the 32-bit HDR file, tone map it with the default settings to get a baseline version of your image. Save the output as a 16-bit TIF file with a file name that includes “default” but do not load it into Photoshop, yet. You’ll notice that like many tone mapped images, this one looks a little flat.

Click here for the entire tutorial with pictures.

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Pencil vs Camera by Belgian artist Ben Heine

February 3rd, 2011

Pencil vs Camera by Belgian artist Ben Heine

Just saw this at the Telegraph. Belgian artist Ben Heine seamlessly matches pencil sketches with real life settings to create images he calls 'Pencil Vs Camera'. Click here for the images.

Google touts game changer in online art viewing

February 1st, 2011

Google touts game changer in online art viewing

This is an interesting article by Mike Collett-White from Yahoo.com

LONDON (Reuters) - Google aims to bring the world's great art galleries into the home with a new website that offers virtual tours using Street View technology, the ability to build private collections and ultra-high resolution images.

While most big galleries have been busy making their works accessible online for years, experts told a launch at London's Tate Britain gallery on Tuesday that Google's site was looking to take the online art experience to a new level.

"It could be the game changer," said Julian Raby of the Freer Gallery of Art, part of the Smithsonian in Washington DC, which is one of 17 galleries taking part in the project.

Nelson Mattos, VP Engineering at Google, said the Art Project site (www.googleartproject.com) would allow children from Latin America, India and Africa, who were unlikely to see the originals, to come close to the experience on the internet.

"This really represents a major step forward in the way people are going to interact with these beautiful treasures of art around the world," he said, adding that Google planned to expand the site over the coming years.

Mattos and art curators at the launch said they were confident that no matter how advanced the technology, the new site would never replace visiting the museums.

"We obviously don't believe this technology is going to prevent people from coming to the museums," he added. "We hope that the opposite will happen."

Click here for the entire article.

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Copyright Office Tries Easier Method to Register Photographs

January 28th, 2011

Copyright Office Tries Easier Method to Register Photographs

I just noticed this at Carolyn E. Wright's blog.

Good news! The Copyright Office is adopting interim regulations governing the electronic submission of (1) applications for registration of automated databases that predominantly consist of photographs and (2) applications for group registration of published photographs. This interim rule establishes a testing period and pilot program during which the Copyright Office will assess the desirability and feasibility of permanently allowing such applications to be submitted through the Copyright Office’s electronic filing system (eCO).

Persons wishing to submit electronic applications to register copyrights of such photographic databases or of groups of published photographs should contact the Visual Arts Division for permission and guidance on electronic registration. Notwithstanding the ordinary deposit requirements for group registration of automated databases, an electronic application for group registration of an automated database that consists predominantly of photographic authorship must include the image of each claimed photograph in the database. The interim regulations also allow applicants to use forms other than Form TX, as appropriate, when submitting paper applications to register group automated databases.

Check more here.

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The Granger Collection forms partnership with the Museum of the City of New York

January 28th, 2011

The Granger Collection forms partnership with the Museum of the City of New York

Cavernous skylines, classic cars, design innovations, and lifestyles of the wealthy and working class are some of the New York scenes now available at The Granger Collection, New York, N.Y., through a new partnership with the Museum of the City of New York. The photographs span from the Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, through the days of Art Deco, to the 1940s. Further installments from the Museum of the City of New York’s collection are to come in the following months.

“These photographs depict New York through a curious and idiosyncratic perspective,” says Lila Dlaboha, managing director of The Granger Collection. “You’ll see the bejeweled skylines and legendary landmarks, of course, but most of the images take place at street level, where the pulse of the city beats hardest.”

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Kodak has setback in patent infringement action against Apple and RIM

January 25th, 2011

Kodak has setback in patent infringement action against Apple and RIM

Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y., received notice that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) action brought by Kodak against Apple Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) has issued an initial determination recommending that the patent claim at issue is invalid and not infringed. The patent at issue relates to a technology invented by Kodak for previewing images on a digital camera-enabled device.

The final decision in this case, based on the deliberation of the full ITC Commission, is expected by May 23.

“The ALJ’s recommendation represents a preliminary step in a process that we are extremely confident will conclude in Kodak’s favor,” said Kodak’s General Counsel Laura G. Quatela. “This very same Kodak patent was upheld by a different ALJ at the ITC in our case against LG and Samsung, whose products use the very same Kodak technology to function in the very same manner as similar products from Apple and RIM. What’s more, the attorneys at the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations, which separately examined this case, agree with Kodak’s interpretation of the patent. We fully expect the ITC Commission will ultimately rule that the patent claim at issue is valid and infringed by Apple and RIM.

“Kodak has a long history of digital imaging innovation,” Quatela said. “We have created an industry-leading portfolio of more than 1,000 digital imaging patents. We remain committed to protecting our intellectual property and to defending ourselves against those who would make erroneous claims to it.”

Kodak initially filed an ITC complaint against Apple and RIM on Jan. 14, 2010, asserting that Apple’s iPhones and RIM’s camera-enabled Blackberry devices infringe a Kodak patent covering technology related to a method for previewing images. Kodak also has Federal Court actions pending against RIM and Apple in the Northern District of Texas and in the Western District of New York, where this same issue will be adjudicated.

Kodak has licensed its imaging patents, including the one at issue in the case currently before the ITC, to numerous leading technology companies including: LG, MEI/Panasonic, Motorola, Nokia, Olympus, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, and Sony Ericsson.

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Sabio offers digital imaging storage solution for photography

January 24th, 2011

Sabio offers digital imaging storage solution for photography

Sabio Products, a provider of external storage solutions, launched the DM2PT, a small-footprint, 2-drive, RAID-enabled external storage solution with data transfer rates of more than 115MBps. This portable content backup and storage solution was specifically designed for the studio, office, home or field environment and is suitable for data imaging, HD 1080 video editing, DSLR photography, JPEG/RAW imaging or straight forward media protection and back up application, the company said.

The DM2-PT is compatible with any Apple, Windows or Linux based computer or workstation and features built-in eSATA, Firewire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity.

DM2-PT ships with all cables (USB 2.0, eSATA and FW800) and supports Apple Time Machine and Windows 7 and is compatible with popular editing software. WYNIT Inc. is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Sabio Products.

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Associated Press Settles Copyright Lawsuit Against Obama Hope Artist

January 13th, 2011

Associated Press Settles Copyright Lawsuit Against Obama Hope Artist

Street artist Shepard Fairey and The Associated Press are settling a copyright dispute over who owned the rights to the iconic Obama “Hope” poster, the two said in a joint statement Wednesday.

The out-of-court settlement ends the closely watched, 2-year-old lawsuit without resolving the underlying legal issue: whether Fairey had a fair use right under copyright law to produce the graphic based on an AP photo snapped of then Sen. Barack Obama at the National Press Club in 2006.

The wire service did not surrender its position that Fairey infringed the AP’s works with a “form of computerized paint by the numbers.” And Fairey maintained he transformed the AP’s image enough to constitute a fair use of the work under copyright law.

Fairey had long claimed he based his abstract graphic rendition on a photo of Obama seated next to actor George Clooney. But he later admitted he actually used a solo shot of Obama from the same event, and had destroyed and fabricated evidence to support his story.

Though both photos at issue were shot by the same AP photographer, the fact that the solo shot of Obama was the source was important because the more one transforms a photograph, the higher the chances that the resulting art constitutes a fair use of the original work.

The AP claimed Fairey generated $400,000 in sales of the image, which had adorned websites, posters, stickers, shirts and buttons at the time of Obama’s presidential election.

According to the settlement’s terms, the two sides agreed “to work together going forward with the Hope image and share the rights to make the posters and merchandise bearing the Hope image and to collaborate on a series of images that Fairey will create based on AP photographs.”

Financial terms remained confidential.

The entire article can be found at Wired.com

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One Is A Million Dollar Photograph

January 11th, 2011

One Is A Million Dollar Photograph

Just received information from a Beverley Hills, Calif., public relations agency about the sale of a photo by photographer Peter Lik to an anonymous buyer for the magnificent price of a million bucks.

The photo, labeled “One” by the Australian photographer, who says it’s “the best shot I have taken in my lifetime,” is a nature shot captured on the banks of the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire.

Taken just after dawn, amid breathtaking New England fall foliage, the photograph resembles an Impressionist painting more than any nature photograph. Says Lik, “I will never forget this morning for the rest of my life. It was calm, and the scent of the fall forest filled my lungs. The mist cleared, and a magical reflection in the river briefly appeared. White birch trees, black trunks, a kaleidoscope of foliage combining to reveal an illusion of three dimensions. I pressed the shutter – once – and then the scene vanished with the morning breeze, never to be seen again.”

Lik is no newcomer. He currently is represented in 14 galleries worldwide and in April will have his work displayed in a collection of nature photography at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Lik has been admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal Geographic Society, and has been named a Master of Photography by both the Professional Photographers of America and the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. You can check him out at www.peterlik.com.

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Kingston announces 600X CompactFlash cards

January 6th, 2011

Kingston announces 600X CompactFlash cards

Kingston Digital Inc., Fountain Valley, Calif., announced the release of its CF Ultimate 600x memory card. The Ultimate 600x supports UDMA mode 6 and offers read and write speeds of up to 90MB/sec. making it Kingston’s fastest card to support high-end digital cameras and other devices.

The CF Ultimate 600x is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities to support the large file sizes created when shooting in RAW mode or HD video. If paired with UDMA mode 6 enabled cameras and readers, the 600x speed allows for data to write to and read from the card at a faster rate than previous generations of cards. The CF Ultimate 600x includes free downloadable data recovery software from MediaRECOVER.

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Morel Clears First Hurdle in Infringement Lawsuit for Tweeted Photos

January 5th, 2011

Morel Clears First Hurdle in Infringement Lawsuit for Tweeted Photos

Daniel Morel, a professional photographer, captured some of the first shots of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Morel uploaded his earthquake photos on Twitpic and posted a link to them on his Twitter account. Lisandro Suero then copied Morel’s photos (without Morel’s knowledge or permission) and posted them on his Twitpic page and tweeted that he had “exclusive photographs of the catastrophe for credit and copyright.” An editor of AFP (Agence France Presse, a French news agency), Vincent Amalvy, attempted to contact both Morel and Suero. Before Morel could respond, AFP copied thirteen (13) of Morel’s photos onto its Image Forum and transmitted them to Getty for licensing and marketing in North America and the U.K. To make matters worse, the photos were attributed to Suero in the photo credit (“AFP/Getty/Lisandro Suero”).

In response to Morel’s attorney’s cease and desist letter, AFP filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit against Morel for non-infringement and license (AFP also included a claim for commercial defamation). A photographer risks being brought into a lawsuit after sending a C&D, because the alleged infringer can ask the court to determine whether a violation has occurred. The plaintiff (AFP here) thus asks the court to “declare the rights and other legal relations of any interested party seeking such declaration, whether or not further relief is or could be sought. 28 USC 2201. [Shepard Fairey also filed a "dec" action and Lloyd Shugard was on the receiving end of a declaratory judgment action but won $1.3 million for his counterclaim for copyright infringement in that case.] The pros to a declaratory judgment action is that AFP pays the filing fee ($350) and has the burden of going forward in the lawsuit. The potential cons are that AFP choses the forum (in which court to file the suit) that might be inconvenient and not the most favorable to the photographer (but the court must have jurisdiction over the photographer) and the photographer then has to defend his claim in court. While the photographer (if a sole proprietor) can represent himself, it’s usually not wise. Therefore, the photographer has to pay the attorneys’ fees and expenses.

The entire article by Carolyn E. Wright can be found here.

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Study Shows People Ignore Generic Photos Online

December 30th, 2010

Study Shows People Ignore Generic Photos Online

Even the most ardent Internet supporters will acknowledge that most Web sites are a hodgepodge of poor design and cluttered content.

And so Jakob Nielsen, a Web site consultant and author of a number of books about design and user interface, has made it his personal mission to try to bring order to the tangled design of most sites. Mr. Nielsen’s weapons in the fight to clean up this mess include some eye-tracking software and research he chronicles on his blog.

For his latest cleaning project, Mr. Nielsen is going after images online.

In the past he has argued that large images annoy users because of the long load times, even with a high-speed Internet connection. Now, in a new study, he points out that the random or stock images on Web sites are completely ignored by users, add more clutter to the page and don’t necessarily help from a business standpoint.

His latest eye-tracking survey found that “big feel-good images that are purely decorative” are mostly ignored online, while stock photos or generic people are also intentionally disregarded. In contrast, when users know that a picture of a person is real they will engage with the image for extended periods of time.

The study becomes extremely interesting when its findings are applied to products sold online.

The entire article can be found at the NY Times.

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Rollei rolls out 3D camera and frame

December 27th, 2010

Rollei rolls out 3D camera and frame

Rollei, Hamburg, Germany, has introduced a 3D camera and 3D frame. The Powerflex 3D is a dual-lens, 5-megapixel Rollei Powerflex 3D model, featuring an 8x digital zoom. The camera has a 2D mode as well, and can take 3D video. HD-quality videos can be shot at 30 images per second. The pictures appear on the 2.8 inch LCD display with a resolution of 640-by-480 pixels in such a way that each one of the observer’s eyes sees a slightly displaced image, which is then automatically merged into a three-dimensional image, so images can be reviewed without glasses.

The Rollei Designline 3D is a 7i-nch digital frame that can display 3D photos. Shipping in a bundle with the “Blaze Video Magic 3.0” software that helps to convert 2D images into 3D pictures, the Rollei Desingline 3D is otherwise a standard 800-by-480-pixel digital photo frame with integrated stereo speakers, and doubles as an e-book reader.

Rollei’s Designline 3D and Powerflex 3D will be available in retail channels at the end of January 2011 for a suggested retail price of 299.95 euros each.

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LEICA S2 firmware update FW 1.0.0.24 is now available

December 22nd, 2010

LEICA S2 firmware update FW 1.0.0.24 is now available

Leica Camera AG, Solms, Germany, released a new firmware update for the Leica S-System. All LEICA S2 and S2-P cameras will now be supplied with the latest firmware version. Users wishing to bring their camera up-to-date can now download the firmware update from the “Owners Area” on the Leica website and take advantage of the latest improvements.

The FW 1.0.0.24 firmware updates include lossless DNG compression. This offers particular benefits by reducing file sizes from around 75MB to around 40MB and increasing the burst-rate capability to 14 consecutive exposures (at 1.5 frames per second). Both of these factors depend on the image content. At the same time, DNG compression leads to faster file-saving and transfer times when shooting tethered. Further new features of the firmware update are a new maximum exposure time of 125 seconds, shutter speed section in bulb mode (with the new firmware, the setting wheel can now be used to select the shutter speeds directly) and a setting option for highlight and shadow level warnings.

Existing camera functions have also been improved in the firmware update FW 1.0.0.24. This applies, for instance, to the histogram display in automatic review mode. This display option has now been enlarged for improved legibility. Furthermore, the update also allows the expansion of memory card compatibility to include 64GB UDMA6 cards and offers additional setting options for the AF/AE memory button. Autofocus precision has increased even more and focusing on very small subject details is, above all, greatly improved now.

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Court decisions create copyright confusion

December 21st, 2010

Court decisions create copyright confusion

A recent LA Times article reports a copyright suit pitting Omega against Costco has resulted in an unsatisfactory ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit regarding resale rights.

According to the article, copyright law gives publishers, record labels and other creators unusual control over the works they produce, but much of that control evaporates once a work has been sold, leaving buyers free to resell, rent, lend or give away their purchases. This “first sale” doctrine provides a crucial legal umbrella for libraries and secondhand stores, among others.

The doctrine has been undermined, however, by new technology and court rulings. For example, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the first-sale rule doesn’t apply to items purchased outside the United States An appeal to the Supreme Court foundered this week, when the eight justices who heard the case announced that they were irrevocably split.

The issue was whether Costco could sell discounted Swiss Omega watches obtained from companies that had purchased them outside the United States. The watches had a copyrighted logo engraved on the back, giving Omega the legal basis to sue Costco for infringement. Specifically, Omega accused Costco of violating a provision in the 1976 Copyright Act that bars the unauthorized importation copyrighted works in quantity.

The 9th Circuit agreed with Omega that this provision trumped the first-sale doctrine. With limited exceptions for personal, nonprofit or governmental use, it ruled, no copyrighted product manufactured outside the U.S. can be imported without the copyright owner’s permission.

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Update on Lawsuit Against Photographer for Photo of Sculpture

December 20th, 2010

Update on Lawsuit Against Photographer for Photo of Sculpture

This is an interesting article from PhotoAttorney.com

Mike Hipple continues his attempts to defend the claim by Jack Mackie for taking and licensing a photo of Mackie’s sculpture. The background of the case is reported in my February 3, 2010 blog entry.

As part of litigation, many courts require or at least allow the parties to mediate the case in an effort to resolve it without a trial. Mediation involves an unbiased court-appointed or privately-hired mediator who attempts to get the parties to resolve their differences by coming to a mutual agreement. Since mediation is not binding, you commit only your time and usually the shared cost of the mediator. If the mediation is unsuccessful, you retain your ability to go to trial.

The parties in the Mackie v. Hipple case recently mediated their dispute, and the mediator reported that “although the case was not resolved, [the mediation] was a partial success. The mediation is ongoing . . . [and] the case might be resolved in the near future . . . .”

Recently, a Photo Attorney blog reader who also is a Canadian lawyer shared with me an interesting comparison of the United States copyright law and the Copyright Act in Canada with respect to photographing sculptures.

Click here for the entire article.

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Captain Beefheart dies at 69

December 18th, 2010

Captain Beefheart dies at 69

Avant-garde rock legend and visual artist Don Van Vliet, who performed under the name Captain Beefheart, passed away today at age 69. A representative of New York City’s Michael Werner Gallery, which showed his paintings, confirms the sad news to EW. Van Vliet died of complications from multiple sclerosis at a hospital in Northern California this morning.

Born in California in 1941, Van Vliet dubbed himself Captain Beefheart and began experimenting with eccentric rock’n'roll sounds in the mid-1960s. His first two releases with the Magic Band drew positive notice from some connoisseurs but failed to connect with the wider public. Van Vliet next forged a close creative partnership with Frank Zappa, a former high school classmate, who signed Beefheart to his Straight Records and produced 1969′s Trout Mask Replica. While the bizarre double album was not a major commercial success, it quickly became a cultural landmark. Van Vliet effectively redefined the frontiers of popular music, singing snatches of surreal imagery in disturbing tones over music that drew on blues, jazz, psychedelia, and a thousand other subgenres. Trout Mask Replica is still cited today as an essential art-rock document.

Click here for the entire article

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LensHero.com offering DSLR lens selection advice

December 17th, 2010

LensHero.com offering DSLR lens selection advice

LensHero.com, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, is a new website designed to help DSLR users choose the right lens, from digital-camera comparison website Snapsort.

“New photographers are left wondering how to take the amazing photos they see in magazines. It’s hard for people to know what the next step might be especially when the kit lenses that come with the cameras don’t cut it,” says Snapsort president and co-founder Christopher Reid. “We founded lenshero.com to simplify the process. The site helps users find lenses for their SLR camera based on camera type, style of photography and budget. Basically, lenshero.com bridges the knowledge gap for new photographers who need help selecting the right lens for their needs.” The site also provides North American and Western European visitors with pricing and where to buy suggestions in their domestic market.

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Online holiday spending up 12 percent

December 14th, 2010

Online holiday spending up 12 percent

Today is “Green Monday,” and we could see one of the heaviest online spending days this year. So says comScore, Reston, Va., which also has reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 40 days of the November – December 2010 holiday season was almost $22 billion. This is a 12 percent increase compared to the same priod last year. The most recent week (ending Dec. 10) reached $5.15 billion in spending, an increase of 11 percent versus the corresponding week last year, as two individual days each surpassed $900 million.

As for Green Monday – a term eBay coined in 2007 to describe the Monday occurring around the second week of December – this has tended to be the heaviest (or among the heaviest) online spending days of the year. An analysis of the past five holiday shopping seasons reveals that Green Monday has had very high spending levels each year, ranking as the top spending day of the season on two occasions (2005 and 2007), and the second heaviest spending day on two other occasions (2006 and 2008).

Interestingly, last year Green Monday was only the fifth heaviest day of the season, with the following Tuesday (Dec. 15) ranking as the heaviest with $913 in spending.

According tocomScore, Thanksgiving Day online spending this year was up 28 percent over last year. Black Friday spending rose 9 percent, and Cyber Monday online spending jumped 16 percent, all compared to last year.

“Growth rates during the most recent week settled in at around 11 percent,” says comScore chairman GianFulgoni, “consistent with our forecasted spending growth rate for the holiday season.”

Fulgoni adds that, with more than $5 billion in spending this past week, “it’s clear that while deal-seeking shoppers may have driven stronger than anticipated spending early in the season, Americans continue to demonstrate a significantly greater willingness to spend online this year than in seasons past.”

This week, he says, “should see some of the heaviest online shopping activity of the season and we expect at least one more day to surpass the billion dollar spending threshold.”

He goes on to note with Free Shipping Day occurring on Friday, “it is likely that buying will get distributed more evenly across the week rather than concentrated so heavily in the early days of the week.”

As a result, several days this week “are candidates to the heaviest online spending day of the year. It’s also apparent that as consumers become more confident in the reliability of expedited shipping that they are willing to buy online later in the season.”

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Industry consortium formed to promote photo printing

December 14th, 2010

Leading photo imaging industry suppliers have formed a consortium under the name of Innovations in Photo Imaging to remind American consumers about the importance and convenience of creating keepsakes at retail or online that are uniquely personalized with a photo. There is no substitute for the emotional connection achieved through the cherished memories of people, events or scenes revived every day through products featuring photographs. As solutions are developed to make imaging even more fun, fast and inviting, consumers will further enjoy the emotional benefits of photos and output.

The initial thrust of the promotion will emphasize the emotional appeal and value of getting a printed photo item; explain the ongoing advances in simplifying the creation process for personalized photo products so that consumers are not discouraged by initial difficulties or previous experiences; and provide an overall promotion of outputting photo products. In summary the aim is to simplify the process, sell the emotion of photo output, and then sound the trumpet, causing consumers to once again enjoy the virtues of life memories. The success of the program will be measured by media coverage that is achieved as well as feedback from retailers about increasing photo sales among their customers.

Under the umbrella banner of “Photo Gifts are Fun: Make One”, the consortium will initially promote the variety of items that can be made using photos, such as greeting cards, mugs, photobooks, calendars, multi-image prints, clothing and accessories, writing pads and even jewelry. This will run through the first quarter of 2011, covering the various celebrations of Valentine’s Day, Easter, Passover and Mother’s Day. At the outset the consortium will develop promotional programs, including a Website and Facebook page, focusing on the United States. Once established, the consortium expects to expand its activities to include North and South America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. Photos are universal in their appeal for social currency, gifting, and prominent display as well as to provide an archive of life memories that stands the test of time.

The goal of this grassroots initiative is involve all industry members in making consumers aware of the wide range of products that can be made with photos and encouraging them to try creating these products. To assist in this effort, the Website will contain a variety of educational and promotional materials already prepared by members of the consortium. A PowerPoint presentation that can be used by industry members for appearances before commu0nity, business and social organizations will also be developed. These promotional tools will also be available to members of the media, such as reporters for TV, radio, magazines/newspapers and blogs

Individuals within member companies. as well as PMA and IPI officers and directors, will be made available for interviews. Ultimately the consortium will leverage the power of social media, blogs and forums, viral campaigns and local media to drive the messaging. In this way the strongest advocates for photo products and photo gifting becomes the consumers themselves, heralding the emotional benefits to all their peers.

Founding companies of the Innovation in Photo Imaging consortium are: Eastman Kodak Co., Fujifilm North America, Hewlett-Packard, IPI – Independent Photo Imagers Inc., Noritsu America Corp., PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations; Unibind/Peleman Industries and Xerox Corp.. Don Franz, publisher, Photo Imaging News, was asked to serve as Secretary/Treasurer, providing the administrative support. Membership is open to photo industry suppliers, with PMA and IPI representing the interests of retailers and other professional photo output service providers.

“I have been very gratified by the willingness of the member companies of this consortium to work together for the benefit of all photo service providers,” says Brad Kruchten, Eastman Kodak Co., who was elected as the first president of Innovations in Photo Imaging. “We have assembled a dynamic group of people who are passionate about photo retailing and their enthusiasm is contagious.”

“We have chosen to try to inform all levels of picture-takers through viral marketing and personal involvement of the almost unlimited variety of products that can be personalized with photographs,” says Manny Almeida, Fujifilm North America Holdings, and first vice president of the new group. “Our goal is to encourage them to consider creating a unique photo product, knowing that once people become involved in the process of making these products they tend to become repeat customers.”

More information is available at: http://www.innovationsinphotoimaging.org

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Number One Tip to Advance Your Photography from Ansel Adams

December 13th, 2010

Imagine you were fortunate enough to have attended Ansel Adams’ workshop in Yosemite. What do you suppose the grand master of photography would teach you? The complexities of his “Zone System” or how to operate a large format camera, or maybe he’d talk about some esoteric point of photography, while stroking his gray beard?

Nope.

It’s a characteristic of many students to sail right past the basics and expect what they need to improve is some mysterious and hidden piece of knowledge.

Wrong again.

What they most need to learn is what is literally right in front of their face!

Let me ask you, what is in fact the most fundamental point of photography, or for that matter, most art?

Is it the operation of your camera, our how to control a complex system? Or how to get that perfect exposure? Or which filter to use to get the sky to turn black (as Ansel of did)?

Or could it be as simple as learning to see your photograph?

Yep, this is about as fundamental as it gets–look and see!

The complete article is here.

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Repeat Photography Captures Changing Landscapes

December 10th, 2010

Repeat Photography Captures Changing Landscapes

Some interesting photos from Wired.com.

Taking photos from the same vantage point years apart has been used to study changes in the landscape since the late 19th century. The technique got its start as a way to document the retreat of European glaciers.

For 50 years, the U.S. Geological Survey has been building an archive old photos of desert landscapes and revisiting the sites to take new photos. The result is the largest collection of repeat photography in the world.

Some of these sets of photos appear in a new book about the technique and the effects of climatic variation and land-use that it can document. We have a few of the most interesting repeat photographs in this gallery that show changes such as the retreat of glaciers seen above, the birth and death of cactus forests, the excavation of ruins and the shifting of a river channel.

The complete article and photos are available here.


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International has low angle viewfinder for pros

December 9th, 2010

International has low angle viewfinder for pros

A professional viewfinder for shooting low angles is available from International Supplies, Inglewood, Calif., for both photographers and videographers. Made by Varavon, this device attaches to the camera and with the use of two built-in angled mirrors, allows users to simply look down into the viewfinder to see the shot.

The Pro Finder basically works like a medium format Hasselblad or Mamiya RZ67, says the company, but with parralax correction.

The Pro Finder features a 3x zoom so users can magnify their shots to make sure they are in focus, diopter correction, and a loupe. When not being used for low angle photo and video capture, the device can be used as a regular viewfinder or transformed into a hood. Use of the finder also prevents condensation from building up on lenses.

It works with the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D and Rebel T2i cameras.

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HDR Express now available

December 9th, 2010

Unified Color Technologies, San Francisco, Calif., says HDR Express is specifically designed to meet the requirements of professional photographers and photo enthusiasts who are new to HDR software and looking to create stunning images quickly. With HDR Express, Unified Color has automated some of the most complex aspects of HDR photography and replaced the traditional HDR workflow with a fast alternative for creating the most realistic HDR renderings possible. The software is available for purchase through Unified Color’s website.

HDR Express automates key aspects of the HDR production process, such as tone mapping and halo elimination, offering a streamlined and very easy-to-follow workflow. After merging the multiple exposures required for the HDR process into a 32-bit image, the simplified user interface presents an animated exposure range preview of the HDR image along with five tone mapping preset options. Users can then choose from a series of color and style presets or create their own presets using the program’s adjustment sliders which manipulate brightness, highlight and shadow recovery, black point, contrast, saturation and white balance. In addition to workflow enhancements, the newly developed processing algorithms in HDR Express enable users to view edits in real-time.

The software is available in both PC and Mac “flavors.”

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Arca-Swiss expands R line

December 3rd, 2010

Arca-Swiss expands R line

France-based Arca-Swiss has expanded its R-line of medium-format cameras with the Rm2d, a smaller and lighter model. The company says it’s designed for high resolution hand-held photography, both digital as well as analog.

The Rm2d is said to be ideal for architectural and travel photography as well as photojournalism. It has the same design that won the Rm3d an international design award. The positioning and design of the hand grips allow you to go swiftly from portrait to landscape format.

The Rm2d, like all of the R cameras, has its own AIP (All In Plane) vertical shift in the focal plane. This means no “absurd” mounts are necessary for stitching. The manual horizontal shift of ± 15mm makes quick stitching possible: the vertical shift of +20/-10mm takes place micrometrically.

The line of lenses with Araca-Swiss R mounts is available in focal lengths from 23mm to 250mm.

The precision of the focusing device allows for repeatable settings with 15 micron accuracy, says the company.

Composing shots is said to be easy with its zoom viewfinder system which can be used with various focal lengths. Its also displays the various shifts.

The camera is compatible with all leading digital and film backs.

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Contour by Getty Images debuts Contour Style

December 2nd, 2010

Contour by Getty Images debuts Contour Style

Contour by Getty Images, the high-end photo agency specializing in the syndication of celebrity portraiture, launched Contour Style. For the first time, the photo agency offers beauty, fashion, interior, travel and culinary imagery. In addition, Contour Style has an exclusive distribution agreement with Europe’s Figaro Photos – Le Figaro, Le Figaro Madame and Le Figaro Magazine – to offer customers in the United States and Spain the publication’s editorial collection of fashion and lifestyle imagery.

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Higher performance CompactFlash specification proposed

December 1st, 2010

Higher performance CompactFlash specification proposed

SanDisk, Nikon, and Sony are jointly developing specifications for future image storage cards for the professional photography and video markets.

The three companies proposed the specifications to the CompactFlash Association standards organization.

The proposed specifications call for data transfer rates up to 500 megabytes per second, and require a PCI Express4 interface, rather than the current CompactFlash specification’s Parallel ATA 5 interface.

The new specifications’ faster speeds enable continuous burst shooting of massive RAW images, the companies say. The enhanced performance also allows users to quickly transfer storage-intensive high-resolution photos and videos from the card to a computer.

The proposed new format also has the potential to extend theoretical maximum capacities beyond two terabytes.

The CompactFlash Association says the new working group for developing next-generation memory cards is open to other CFA members.

The CompactFlash Association’s latest specification adds performance and functionality based on the Parallel ATA interface while maintaining backward compatibility.

CF 6.0 also adds a “Sanitize” command, which provides an efficient NAND Block Erase of the entire user data area to return the CF card to a fresh state before reuse or repurposing; trim usage guidelines; and an operating temperature range function along with adding Ultra DMA Mode 7 which supports 167 MB/second speed. “This speed enhancement enables a new generation of higher performance cards while providing complete backward compatibility,” the association says .

The new CF 6.0 specification is available for immediate download here.

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Kodak kicks off celebrity charity auction for Alzheimers Association

December 1st, 2010

Kodak kicks off celebrity charity auction for Alzheimers Association

Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y., is auctioning off Kodak PYNK Smart Print Ready frames, signed by celebrities who attended Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, with all proceeds benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. The 17 celebrity-signed prints are on display, beginning today, through Dec. 10 at the Real Simple/Kodak pop-up store at 10 W. 49th Street in Rockefeller Center. The online auction will end Dec. 10, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The celebrity signatures include: Al Roker, Amber Riley, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billie Jean King , Bob Harper, Brett Eldredge, Buddy Valastro , Campbell Brown, Caroline Kennedy , Cat Cora, Deborah Roker, Deepak Chopra, Donna Karan, Dr. Oz, Eve Ensler, Garcelle Beauvais, Gayle King, Geena Davis, Giada de Laurentiis, Goldie Hawn, Hal Rubenstein, Hector Elizondo, Holly Robinson Peete, Jane Fonda, Jane Goodall, Jane Lynch, Jessica Simpson, Jillian Michaels, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Laila Ali, Laura Ling, Leeza Gibbons, Lisa Leslie, Lisa Ling, Maria Shriver, Mary Oliver , Paula Deen, Peter Gallagher, Robin Roberts, Rodney Peete, Sally Field, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sarah MacLachlan, Soleil Moon Frye, Suze Orman and Tia Carrera.

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Winter Sales Event

December 1st, 2010

Winter Sales Event

Starting December 1st and running through March 1st, 2011 Pete Hellmann will be offering a 40% discount on all fine art prints purchased on-line. To receive the 40% discount simply add the proper discount code when you place your order. Prints can be purchased with or without framing and can be ordered as stretched canvas prints as well. While greeting cards are not on sale most of Pete Hellmann's prints are also available as a 5x7 greeting card.

To find out more about this sale and to get your discount code simply visit Pete Hellmann's website at http://HellmannPhoto.com. Once you have your discount code click on the "Buy Prints" tab at the top of any page to be taken to the on-line store.

Fine art prints by Pete Hellmann are also currently available at select stores in Blacksburg and Charlottesville, Virginia.

Temple Emanuel Exhibit Shows How Albanian Muslims Saved Jews From Nazis

October 24th, 2010

Temple Emanuel Exhibit Shows How Albanian Muslims Saved Jews From Nazis

This is an interesting article from CNN concerning the recent Temple Emanuel exhibit.

With rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country, an untold story is raising greater awareness about the Muslim faith and the teachings of the Quran. That awareness comes from an unlikely source: a small Jewish congregation in Creve Coeur.

Temple Emanuel is premiering a groundbreaking exhibit of photos that reveals Albanian Muslims who saved 2,000 Jews during World War II.

It's a story you've likely never heard. It is a story told through the faces of Albanian Muslims who risked their own lives to live by a code of faith and honor called Besa.

Click here for the entire story.

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The Library of Congress Acquires Working Photographers Prints

September 24th, 2010

The Library of Congress Acquires Working Photographers Prints

Photographers are finding many unconventional homes for their work these days, but Brian Frank was especially surprised when the Library of Congress wanted to purchase some of his photos that other media outlets had passed on.

“One of the first things I thought about was that I’d be part of a collection with the great FSA photographers,” says Frank, a San Francisco photojournalist. “The works of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange have inspired me since my time in school.”

Renowned for its holdings of Depression-era photographs by the Farm Security Administration, photojournalism archives and government documents, the Library of Congress’ Prints & Photographs Division is the largest public collection of its kind in the United States. The responsibilities of the Library of Congress are not limited to conserving, curating and digitizing its historical holdings, however. The Prints & Photographs Division is actively identifying historical gaps, sourcing work and buying prints from photographers. With over 14 million items in the stacks it is not the typical client.

In July, the Library of Congress bought six prints by Frank from his photo essay Downstream: The Death of the Colorado. The work documents overpopulation, pollution and over-damning in the American Southwest and the Northern Baja and Sonora regions of Mexico. Frank says he accepted “a little less than market” because of the honor of being included in the archive.

“Much of our collection,” says Beverly Brannan, curator of photographs at the Library of Congress, “follows the anthropological lines laid out by the FSA photographs: man’s relationships with the land, agriculture, water use, how people celebrate seasons and community, what music they make. Brian’s images add to our collection of images about water resources.”

The acquisition is more remarkable given mainstream media’s relative lack of interest. Frank says his representation at Redux Pictures has been pushing the project hard, but that it may require up to 20 pages. The work was published online but it has not been in print.


Read the entire article at Wired.com

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Advanced Photo Enlargement Processing

September 23rd, 2010

Advanced Photo Enlargement Processing

To produce the larger print sizes now available on the affordable medium format digital photo printers, requires photo enlargement techniques. Most people simply open the original photo file in their version of Photoshop, and resize the file by entering the width and height dimensions, resolution dpi they want, leave the resample option checked and click the OK thinking all is just great. This will resample the photo file and degrade the original image quality. Photoshop uses a simple bicubic resampling method to resize the file. This method actually recreates and artificially produces new pixels for a higher image resolution and larger print size. This is the action that degrades the original image.

The Photoshop resampling will have to work if that’s all you’ve got. If your photo enlargement is not too big, the degrading of the image may not be too noticeable. If you require photo enlargements much larger, or prints in the range of 16×20 and larger, simple file resampling will not produce quality results. That is why you hear all over the Web that very large print sizes are just not possible, even from the newer high resolution digital cameras. NOT SO! I print and ship photo enlargements as large as 40×60 from 6 megapixel cameras and guarantee customer’s satisfaction. Have never had one returned!

To achieve high quality photo enlargement of digital photos requires a slight shift in processing thinking and a certain file handling methodology. You will also need to purchase additional digital processing software, besides your image editing application such as Photoshop. One application is a Photoshop plug-in utilizing fractal technology for image resolution boosting called Genuine Fractals. The second application, and most important, is a very high quality RIP software, or “Raster Image Processing” program that will reprocess input files before printing. RIP software is available, and highly recommended, for use with all medium format and large format digital printers where photo enlargement is the rule of thumb. Most quality RIP software applications today also include complete color management features, along with many other amazing editing and enhancement features.

Click here for the entire article

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Legendary jazz photographer, Herman Leonard, dies at 87

September 22nd, 2010

Legendary jazz photographer, Herman Leonard, dies at 87

Herman Leonard, a photographer best known for his iconic images of such jazz greats as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, has died. He was 87. Leonard died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a family spokeswoman said. No cause was given. He had been living in Los Angeles since Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, flooding his home and destroying thousands of prints.

"I took advantage of being a photographer to get myself into the clubs so I could sit in front of Charlie Parker," he told The Times (LA) in March before the opening of an exhibit on jazz photography at the

The images did much more than that. They documented a musical era and cemented Leonard's status.

He was born in Allentown in 1923 and became interested in photography early on thanks to his older brother. He attended Ohio University to study photography but that was interrupted by a stint in the Army from 1943 to 1945. Leonard returned to college and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1947.

After working as an apprentice for famed portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh, Leonard moved to New York in 1948 and started becoming immersed in the jazz scene. Using a 4-by-5 Speed Graphic camera, he shot Art Tatum, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan and countless other jazz greats.

...Ellington watching Ella Fitzgerald sing in 1948. Dexter Gordon sitting, holding a cigarette and balancing his saxophone on a knee. There was music, amazing access and plenty of smoke.

"The smoke was part of the atmosphere of those days and dramatized the photographs a lot, maybe over-stylized them a bit," he told The Times in 1990.

Leonard became famous for the smoky, backlighted black-and-white photos he took in dark jazz clubs beginning in the late 1940s.Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. "I got to listen to music in person. That enriched me. The money didn't. And I tried to make images that would satisfy me."Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, told the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., in 1999. "He's an artist." (from LA Times, Keith Thursby)

Click here for more information

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Some Thoughts On Black And White Photography

September 15th, 2010

Some Thoughts On Black And White Photography

Shape and Form

Shape and form become more obvious in the absence of color. When you remove color from an image you can no longer rely on it to provide interest or a focal point in a scene. This may seem obvious but it can be easy to forget. By doing away with color we also remove one of the most potentially distracting elements in a photo. Form and shape are all-important in black and white photography. When looking for a good shot, look beyond the colors in a scene and instead focus you attention on the shapes. Arrange them in a way that emphasizes the most interesting aspect of the shape, or creates an intriguing composition of different shapes.


Contrast

Use contrast to help separate and define shapes. Without differences in color to separate elements in your scene, you must instead introduce contrasting shades into your black and white photos. You can use contrast to help your main subject stand out, for example, by photographing a light subject against a dark background and also to add depth by including a variety of tones and shades in your photo.


Pattern

Many patterns, particularly subtle ones, often go unnoticed in color photos, because the colors draw attention away from the pattern itself. Black and white photography gives you a much better chance of capturing interesting patterns because it focuses the viewer's attention on the shapes formed by the elements in a scene.


Texture

Black and white photography focuses the attention of features such as texture. In the same way that patterns can be lost in color photography, textures can be too. When we see a color photo, our mind immediately begins to identify and label the elements in the scene, meaning that we often do not really 'see' the photo, but instead see our mind's interpretation of it. When we photograph in black and white, the mind no longer has that color information to work with, and so pays more attention to elements such as texture, making them appear much more prominent.


Lighting

Good lighting enhances all aspects of black and white photography. Lighting is absolutely key to a good black and white photograph because it affects all of the above elements - shape, contrast, pattern and texture. When thinking about your lighting, consider how it will influence all of these factors, and choose a setup that enhances as many as possible. Side lighting often produces the most dramatic black and white photos. It picks out the edges of shapes and increases contrast by adding highlights, and the shadows it creates add interest to the scene as well as enhancing textures and patterns.


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14 Interesting Beard Portraits

September 8th, 2010

14 Interesting Beard Portraits

Just saw this collection at Photographyblogger.net and thought I'd pass it along. It contains some great portraits.

14-interesting-beard-portraits

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Panasonic Releases High Speed 8 and 16GB Cards

September 6th, 2010

Panasonic Releases High Speed 8 and 16GB Cards

It wasn't long ago that we got word of the new UHS-I specifications, and it's already paying off. Two announcements came this week from different companies, both showing off their brand new high speed memory cards. The first out of the gate was Panasonic.

The company's new cards are known as the RP-SDY08G and RP-SDY16G - you can probably guess which one's the 8GB card and which one holds 16. They've got a Class 10 speed specification, which makes them reliable for HD and 3D video recording.

Both of Panasonic's new cards boast a transfer speed of up to 60 megabytes per second, which makes them among the fastest cards around. You'll be able to pick them up at a yet to be named price point this November.

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Putting A Price On Art

September 3rd, 2010

Putting A Price On Art

I have been away for awhile and just noticed how long it has been since I posted anything to this blog. I just started getting back into the swing of things and attended a local art association meeting where the subject of pricing art came up and I thought I would post some related thoughts.

Before someone puts a price on artwork they should sit back and seriously evaluate their work. If you compare it to the work of other artists how does the quality compare? Are these other artists locally, regionally or nationally known? In addition to your own opinion, have your portfolio reviewed by a professional. This can be intimidating, but an honest review with constructive criticism can be the best indicator of whether your work is marketable and at what price.

Once you decide that your work is of a high enough quality to merit putting it up for sale there are a few factors to consider. Regardless of how good your work is does it have enough general audience appeal to attract customers? A onetime sale of an item is great, but you need to attract an audience to be successful with multiple sales. Along with audience appeal, are you recognized in the art market? Even with audience appeal, many people will not buy art from an unknown artist, especially at high prices. There are exceptions to this and sometimes a small specific audience can be considered avant garde.

Venue also plays an important part of the equation. What you can charge at a booth at the local county fair is much different than prices that are set at a well known art gallery.

The type of art work itself is important. By that I mean is it an original, a limited edition, or an open edition that will possibly be reproduced thousands of times? I create fine art photography and there is a difference in what I charge for a 16” x 24” limited edition, signed print with a certificate of authentication and what I charge for a quality 8” x 10” print sold online from my website. My limited edition prints are true photographs, personally created to meet my standards while the prints sold on my website, while high quality, are mass produced.

So the question still remains what should you charge for your artwork? The best place to start, after considering the factors mentioned above, is by looking at what others in your region are charging. A small town in the mid-west will not be able to command the prices charged in a major art gallery in New York City. Let’s say art similar to yours is selling for $500. If you are not well known you should probably start 40 to 60 percent lower. If you have won any awards to show as credentials perhaps you could start higher. An important thing to remember is that cheaper is not always better. If you price your art work too low people may think it isn’t that good.

The bottom line is that there is no set answer to the question. You simply need to go out there and see what sells and how well.


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September Sales Event

September 1st, 2010

September Sales Event

"About To Storm" by Pete Hellmann will be on sale during the month of September. This is one of the many prints that will be on display during his exhibition in Blacksburg, Virginia from October 15, 2020 through January 15, 2011. More details about the exhibition will be released at a later date. Prints can be purchased with or without framing and can be ordered as stretched canvas prints as well. While greeting cards are not on sale this print is also available as a 5x7 greeting card.

Art Prints

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Care and Feeding of Prints for Archival Permanence

August 25th, 2010

Care and Feeding of Prints for Archival Permanence

I am always asked, "How should I take care of my fine art prints?" Well, there are a few guidelines that are always true which I'll mention here. Regardless of the type of print you have purchased you should not feel silly asking the artist how to care for your purchase. After all, there's nothing worse than spending good money for something that loses its brilliance over time. So here are a few tips and tricks.


- Always store or exhibit photographs in a cool, dry place, even if framed, away from direct sources of heat. It is especially bad to hang any art piece directly above a heater or radiator.


- Never handle the prints unless absolutely necessary.


- Always use cotton gloves when picking up a print and always use both hands to stabilize the print. There's nothing worse than waving the print around in the air.


- Never place a print in direct sunlight for any extended period even if it's framed with UV protecting glass.


- You should never mount or frame with non-archival adhesive either in contact with or close to the prints. In fact, all mounting material should be archival, acid free material.


- Artists should always make prints with white border areas to protect the image area from handling damage, and to enable framers to cover a minimal area of image.


Archival Permanence of GiclƩe prints


Since FineArtAmerica.com offers giclee prints I thought it would be a good idea to mention the archival quality of gicleeā€™s. Giclee prints are made digitally with quality inks on high quality printers. The materials used are archival and there is no evidence to support the idea that giclees are not going to last. In fact evidence shows that giclee prints are at least as archival as any commercially available photo paper.


As with any fine art print, regardless of the medium, giclees should never be in contact with air, UV light, or atmospheric pollutants.

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Scanning Original Art

August 11th, 2010

Scanning Original Art

You must start with a superior scan of the original in order to produce a stunning reproduction. Film scans can often provide excellent results, but there is no substitute for a digital print produced directly from the original. While most people think of flatbed and drum scanners, large scans can now be made with a digital scanning camera. At 800 megapixels a digital scanning camera such as the TTI Digital Reprographics Workstation, designed especially with digital fine art in mind, is the most advanced digital capture system in the world with scanning resolutions up to 10,500 x 12,600 pixels. It can scan images that are 60ā€¯ x 40ā€¯ in size! The equipment consists of a totally integrated system of state-of-the- art illumination, electronics, optics, precision electro-mechanical drives, and specialized ICC based software. For the artist that can afford it there are numerous companies that offer this process, but it can cost hundreds of dollars per image.



For those on a budget the flatbed scanner is the most dependable alternative. However, scanning is as much an art as it is a science. So until everyone can afford the professional services we would all like to use here are some tips on capturing a good scan.



Image Mode

If your original art is in color, scan it in RGB mode. Otherwise, scan it in Grayscale mode. You should never scan an image in Lineart mode, even if it's a black-and-white line drawing because you'll lose too much information.



Resolution

Always scan at the highest optical resolution of your scanner. "Optical resolution" refers to the number of pixels per inch that your scanner can capture mechanically, without digital enhancement. For example, a scanner may have a maximum optical resolution of 300 dpi at 100% magnification. The scanners software may allow you to scan at higher resolutions, but this is not recommended for a quality scan. To get higher resolutions the scanning software actually takes data from the 100% magnification and interpolates pixels to create the 400% magnification. In other words, the scanner is creating pixels that arenā€™t really there. The only way to know the maximum resolution of a scanner is to consult the manual.



Processing the scan

After you've made the scan, you can use Photoshop, or any other image processing tool, to clean up the scan. You should color-correct the image, since scanners are notorious for skewing color values. The easiest way to color-correct is to use levels and/or curves adjustments to make the changes to each channel.



You may then want to use the cloning or spot healing tool to retouch flaws in the image and the unsharp mask filter to bring out detail. No matter how clean your environment is dust is your worst enemy when it comes to scanning.



Saving the file

Once you are finished you should always save your file as a TIFF. While JPEG files take less space on the computer they do not contain the information available in the TIFF file. You can always save the TIFF as a JPEG for later use, but the TIFF file is what should be archived.



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America in Color from 1939-1943

August 3rd, 2010

America in Color from 1939-1943

The images linked below, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/07/26/captured-america-in-color-from-1939-1943/?source=ARK_plog


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Controversy Over Lost Ansel Adams Photos

July 29th, 2010

Controversy Over Lost Ansel Adams Photos

According to CNN: A claim that several dozen glass plates bought for $45 at a garage sale were negatives from Ansel Adams brought an angry response of disbelief from the man who oversees the famed photographer's trust.

Adams' grandson is also unconvinced. Matthew Adams, who runs the Ansel Adams Gallery, said even if they are authenticated, they are not worth much beyond their historical value.

The art dealer who placed their eventual value at more than $200 million said Wednesday that the controversy is increasing their value by "driving the market to them."

"They're making them so desirable," said David W. Streets. "People all over the world are seeing this and saying 'I want one of each.'"

That controversy took a bitter turn a day after California wall painter Rick Norsigian and his lawyer held a news conference at Streets' Beverly Hills art gallery to say they have proof the negatives were created by Ansel Adams.

More...

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Censorship or Art

July 23rd, 2010

Censorship or Art

Pamela Anderson is in Montreal and had planned on unveiling her new PETA advert/poster. It turns out the city of Montreal thinks the poster is sexist and is prohibiting its going up. You can judge for yourself, but it all begs the question on who decides what is appropriate and how they decide what is and isn’t in our public sphere. It seems that when it’s a poster for selling phones, lingerie, shoes, or beer, apparently scantily clad women get the green light. When it’s a poster promoting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, it’s just dirty and wrong.

According to Sky News: A vegetarian advert featuring Pamela Anderson in a string bikini has been banned in Canada for being "sexist". The former Baywatch star is featured in a poster for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) covered in butcher's labels such as "rump", "ribs" and "breast". The creators of the advert, which includes the slogan "All Animals Have The Same Parts", had been seeking approval for it to be displayed in Montreal. But Canadian officials rejected the banner, telling the animal rights group in an email it went against the "battle of equality between men and women".

Anderson, who is a vegetarian and long-time Peta activist, hit out at the "puritanical" decision. The 43-year-old actress was due to unveil the poster at Montreal's Place Jaques-Cartier, but will now introduce it at a comedy festival media conference. "In a city that is known for its exotic dancing and for being progressive and edgy, how sad that a woman would be banned from using her own body in a political protest over the suffering of cows and chickens," she said in a statement. "In some parts of the world, women are forced to cover their whole bodies with burkas - is that next? I didn't think that Canada would be so puritanical."

Peta's senior vice president Dan Mathews added: "I think that city officials are confusing 'sexy' with 'sexist'." Other celebrities who have lent their name to the group's campaigns include Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Navarro and Twiggy.

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Marketing Photography

July 20th, 2010

Marketing Photography

When I was a young college student I thumbed through the works of Cartier-Bresson, Adams, and the like and assumed that once one became “good enough” at photography, the recognition and the money would follow. I guess it’s the same motivation that causes high-schoolers to go “practice” for their eventual rock stardom in their parent’s garage banging on drums. It is the belief that financial success is directly tied to artistic success.

As with most photographers, I quickly found that this belief only served to propel me toward an eventual downfall for two reasons. First, most of us do not realize until later we should not be the ones determining when we are “good enough”, and I was no exception. Most of the time, in our minds during the formative years we imagine ourselves as stronger artists than we are in reality. Given enough time and experience, however, we can come to recognize and honestly critique our true ability. It is then that we can affect the appropriate change. Some do not make it this realization.

Second, and more importantly, the world just doesn’t work that way. As a parent, I realize why my parents gave me the various sage advice day after day as I matured a grew. “Pack an extra set of clothes”, “always have $5 and be 5 minutes early”, and of course, the most popular, “the world isn’t fair”. That’s right, for some people financial success is joined inexplicable to artistic success. For those, the composition is strong and the lines lead the path that they must take. Then there’s the rest of us.

When speaking of most commodities and goods, traditional marketing literature tell us that there are two basic production paths, quantity (i.e. McDonald’s - Billions of hamburgers served), and quality (i.e. Lotus - Seen a handful in my life). The world of photography was traditionally no different. There have been and continue to be stock photographers dedicated solely to the pursuit of quantity. There is a set procedure, a list of subjects, a description of settings, and then the capture and processing. Mechanical, efficient, and historically cheaper. Then there were the singular experience quality photographers, waiting years for the correct celestial events, the perfect weather conditions, and spending countless hours setting up and finding the strongest composition, all to elicit the desired mood or story - historically more expensive.

More...

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Cisco Unveils Business Tablet

July 18th, 2010

Cisco Unveils Business Tablet

In the mad rush of e-readers and iPad knock-offs entering the market, few devices target the business user. But a major player in the b2b IT space, Cisco, is planning a Cisco Cius tablet designed specifically for enterprise customers. The 7-inch touch screen tablet distinguishes itself from the iPad and others with built-in teleconferencing and desktop integration features. The Cius will have both forward-facing cameras that can record video at resolutions up to 720p at 30 frames-per-second and a rear-facing camera with a 5-megapixel camera for VGA resolutions. This tablet also sports more hardware buttons for navigation and menu access as well as a USB and Ethernet ports for direct connectivity.

Based on the Android operating system, the Cius will have options for WiFi or 3G connectivity and can use the full library of existing Android mobile applications. The Cius is notable because it comes from networking hardware behemoth Cisco, which unlike many tablet makers has a network of existing deep relationships with many major corporate customers in the U.S. By building advanced teleconferencing capabilities into the Cius, the company is making a business case for its use rather than trying to lull enterprise customers to a consumer device. Employees at a company could use a device like this simply to show and tell another worker what they are talking about in everyday conversations.

More...

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HP Introduces Large Format Photo Negative Application for Fine-art Quality Professional Photo Editions

July 6th, 2010

HP Introduces Large Format Photo Negative Application for Fine-art Quality Professional Photo Editions

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 6, 2010 – HP today introduced a Large Format Photo Negative application that allows professional photographers using the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer series to produce fine-art quality prints or hardcopy image archives.

HP is showcasing Large Format Photo Negatives and prints produced with the negatives for the first time at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2010 in Arles, France from July 3-13, and at ArtHamptons in Bridgehampton, NY from July 9-11.

This application is generated with a free software package and the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer series, which allow photographers to use a digital file from a film scan or digital capture to produce a photo negative on a transparent substrate. Large-format photo negatives can be used as masters to produce high-quality fine art prints in a wide range of classic, alternative photographic processes. These include monochrome or color processes, such as cyanotype, photogravure, platinotypes, dye-transfer, gum bichromate and carbro.

“HP’s breakthrough innovation gives fine art photography printmakers an easier way to transform their digital files into high-quality, physical originals of their work, addressing one of the key needs we heard from this community,” said Santiago Morera, vice president and general manager, Designjet Large-format Printing Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “We’re committed to helping professional photographers simplify and accelerate the process for producing, showcasing and archiving their art.”

While writing on film from digital data is not new, the Large Format Photo Negative application, developed by HP Color Scientist and photographer Angel Albarran, offers one of the simplest, least expensive and highest-quality options available on the market today. Any professional photographer with an HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer, the correct substrate and the free software package from HP can produce these photo negatives. The software package will be released at Photokina in September.

Photographer Elliott Erwitt uses Large Format Photo Negatives to create new edition of platinum prints
Elliott Erwitt, a Magnum photographer known for his black-and-white candid shots, recently used Large Format Photo Negatives to create limited editions of some of his most famous and iconic photos. With the large-format negatives, he was able to produce 76 x 102-cm (30 x 40-inch) platinum prints of four of his images on cotton paper, including “California Kiss.”

“Platinum printing is the Rolls Royce of photographic reproduction and has traditionally been limited to modest dimensions,” said Erwitt. “These new large-format platinum prints with their unusual size are a Rolls Royce and Ferrari combined. They are a new and unique way of seeing and experiencing familiar iconic images. The resulting four pilot photographs have a luminosity that is not achievable with any other process old or new.”

Erwitt first worked with Gabe Greenberg, famous in the fine art community for high-quality digital prints, to retouch and adjust the images in a digital format prior to printing. Once approved, the digital files were printed on the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer in the form of large-format negatives with green and black Original HP Photo Inks.

“The negatives we’re getting from our HP printer are unparalleled by anything we’ve done before,” said Greenberg, who has worked with noted platinum printmaker Arkady Lvov for eight years, experimenting with various inkjet printers to find a streamlined method to create large-format photo negatives suitable for platinum printing. “The platinum prints they produce have smooth gradations and even gray areas. These are the crčme-de-la-crčme of prints. We’re ecstatic about the new process!”

With the printed negative in hand, Lvov coated cotton paper with a mixture of platinum salts and various other components to make the substrate sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. The coated paper and negative were then sandwiched together in a vacuum frame and exposed to UV light, causing the reduction of the platinum salt back to its metallic state based on the level of opacity from the negative, forming the images. The final prints offer a superior range of gray levels, smooth tonal transitions, excellent contrast and good separation in shadows, highlights and mid-tones compared to other solutions on the market.

Once final, the platinum print was tagged with ARTtrust, a simple self-certification system from HP that allows artists to provide individual identity to any pigment ink print produced on an HP Designjet Z series printer using Original HP Photo Inks and any compatible media, including HP fine art printing materials. ARTtrust provides traceability and control of authenticity, as well as certified information about print longevity, for each pigment print.

Large Format Photo Negatives at Arles and ArtHamptons
Large Format Photo Negatives and platinum prints produced on the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer and tagged with ARTtrust will be on display for the first time at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2010 and ArtHamptons. HP will also participate in a conference at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2010 titled Fine-Art Photography and Technology: Revolution and Renaissance? at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 8. Attendees can discuss the latest technology advancements for the photography community and meet with photographers, printmakers, art collectors and galleries while viewing the Erwitt prints.

More information about HP Designjet solutions is available at http://www.hp.com/go/designjet and on the HP for Designers Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/HPdesigners.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/


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Sharpening An Image File

July 5th, 2010

Sharpening An Image File

Any image produced by a digital camera will look blurred. Because of image capture at the sensor level every image will need some sharpening. Technically, this soft image is produced internally by the anti-aliasing filter in front of the camera sensor. The demosaicing process will introduce additional softness. Camera files are not the only image files affected as the digitizing process of scanning produces a soft image also.

While every image file needs sharpening it should be remembered that sharpening should be the last step in your workflow. The main reason for this is that sharpening will introduce noise into the file. If noise is introduced at an early stage it will be amplified throughout your workflow.

There are three reasons for sharpening which bring about three types of sharpening.

* General Sharpening
* Color Interpretation Compensation
* Output Specific Sharpening

First, you should improve your image with some general sharpening. Because this has nothing to do with the final output size it should be very light. A heavy handed sharpening at this point will simply introduce problems later on. Because this type of sharpening is a general image type of sharpening some people refer to this as creative sharpening. It is good to use a layer mask which will allow you to sharpen specific areas of an image.

Second, you want to consider problems caused by the color interpretation or demosaicing process. If you shoot in RAW format this type of sharpening can be dome in your RAW file editor. In this case you should start with this step.

The final and most important sharpening is output specific sharpening. This means you should create a file that will output to the specific size you want to print and then sharpen that file. This sounds straight forward, but if additional softness is introduced by your means of printing you need to over sharpen your image. Unfortunately, this requires some trial and error until you get use to your specific printer. In general, a Lightjet print will not introduce more softness while an inkjet print will appear softer due to dithering.

It should be noted that if you use a RIP to print on your inkjet printer, the RIP may be doing its own sizing and sharpening at print time. You need to be familiar with your software in order to avoid this mistake.

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What Makes A Good Fine Art Print

June 23rd, 2010

What Makes A Good Fine Art Print

When I go to photo club meetings I often hear some people claim that a good print is one that matches the image on the monitor. While good color management which includes a calibrated monitor is part and parcel of getting a good print, I believe a good print is more than just the transfer of data from a computer to a piece of paper. I think it is important to realize that the print is fundamentally a different animal than the image on the monitor.

In the end the monitor can only serve as a guide for what the final print should be. Since it is impossible to reproduce the image that appears on the monitor it should simply be seen as a guide, or aid to getting a good fine art print. The print itself, hanging in a gallery, must be able to stand on its own merits since viewers will not have anything to compare it to except other prints hanging in the gallery.

Craft and skill is what makes a good print, not science and technology. Science and technology are simply tools used in the craft and experience gives one skill. An exceptional fine art print comes from more than good color management, Photoshop skills and a top notch printer. It is the content of the print and how it is presented that matters.

So what should we look for in a fine art print that will make it exceptional? Obviously the content and how it stirs ones emotions is important, but many prints contain wonderful content. If it is to enter the field of being an exceptional print it must have some of the following subjective qualities that can be seen with a discerning eye.

Always check the blacks, whites and midtones

Are the blacks in the image appropriate? Are they really dark grays or true blacks? Are the whites appropriate in tonality and size? Is there still detail in the very bright areas? Do the middle tones have life and form or are they too heavy or light? How does each area affect the overall print?

Compare the overall brightness and contrast

Are there areas that are too bright when compared to the overall tonality and conversely are other areas too dark?

Color Cast

Is the color cast appropriate? Is it too warm or perhaps to cool for a print? Is one color pervading all parts of the print?

Check saturation and hues

If colors of everyday things don’t match our expectations, psychologically the image will not look right. Green grass, no matter how accurately captured will not satisfy the viewer if it is seen as too green. The same is true of the blue in skies.

Look for issues with noise and sharpness

Is there noise present and if so does it seem believable and enhance the image? Sharpened images that are too crisp can be just as annoying.

After all of these qualities are checked, does the print speak to you? Does it move you? This is what, in my mind, makes a great print.

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Color Correction - Removing Color Casts

June 12th, 2010

Color Correction - Removing Color Casts

Creating a fine art print means paying attention to color, not just the individual colors of the subject, but possible color casts that cover the entire image. Incorrect color tones in an image can ruin what could have been a wonderful print. Many prints with color casts tend to remind me of 1960's era prints that have not aged well over the years.Unless you are nostalgic for the early years of television, color casts are terrible.

While talking to some friends, I discovered that what I thought was a commonly used method to correct for color casts apparently is not. Most people know about using levels to set the white and black points, but the levels tools can also be used to remove color casts. This is also referred to as selecting the white balance in Camera Raw.

In the top right image there is a terrible color cast, but the bottom right image shows how it can be corrected using one layer adjustment in Photoshop. First, set up your image as you always would with your normal workflow. You can even use a levels adjustment layer to set the white/blank points. There is nothing keeping you from using multiple levels layers in Photoshop.

So you get your image to the same point as my yellow mountain laurel and simply add another adjustment layer with levels. This time, instead of setting the white/black point, click on the "Gray Point" eyedropper in the levels dialog box. Now move the curser onto the photograph and begin clicking.

As you click on different colors you will notice the color cast change. I have found that clicking on something in the mid tones to white areas of the photo works best, something neutral. If the adjustment looks really bad and you cannot seem to find the correct color cast simply reset the dialog box by holding down Alt/Option (on a Mac) and then clicking on the reset button. Remember, this is an adjustment layer so you could also delete the layer if you have to.

Once you get the color cast looking good you can then adjust the opacity of the levels layer. Hopefully you can use this technique and save some wonderful photos that would never see the printer.


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What is a giclee

June 11th, 2010

What is a giclee

Technically a giclee, pronounced zhee-CLAY, is a high-resolution, high-fidelity, high tech art print done on a special large format printer. Giclees can be produced from digital scans of existing artwork; however, since many artists now paint digitally, there is no original to scan. Giclees have basically created a whole new vibrant medium for art.



Giclees can be printed on any number of media including watercolor paper, vinyl, or canvas. At first giclees were used as a quick way to proof prints that were going to be produced as lithographs. Since the giclee process was cheaper than the lithography process, a proof could be created cheaply before spending money on creating individual lithographs for proofing. Over time people started to realize the giclees were as good as, and today, even better than lithographs.



With today's modern printers giclees are superior to traditional lithography. The colors are brighter, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. Also the gamut of color for giclees has gone far beyond that of lithography, and the details are crisper. Since giclee printers can use media in rolls large print sizes are available, limited only by the size of the roll, and prints the size of a billboard are possible. Companies that produce giclees typically sell by the square inch or square foot.



Giclees use inkjet technology, but far more sophisticated than the average desktop printer. The process employs six colors--light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and usually two blacks. The inks are fade resistant and finer quality than the average desktop printer. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the color on the page creating truer shades and hues.



Giclees have begun to be accepted in the art world and have a real foothold in fine art photography. Art collectors love them for their quality, and they are desired by galleries and artists alike because they don't have to be produced in huge quantities with their large layout of capital and storage.

Slide Show Without Flash

June 10th, 2010

With Apple and Adobe clashing about Flash I think it is time to have a non-Flash option in case Apple wins the battle. I am testing a new slide show below that does not use Flash. If you click on an image it will take you to my on-line store. Hopefully it works.

UPDATE: just making some changes with size.



Art Prints


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Adobe Camera RAW 6.1 Is Now Available

June 9th, 2010

Adobe Camera RAW 6.1 Is Now Available

Adobe has announced the immediate availability of the Photoshop Camera Raw 6.1 plug-in on Adobe.com. Originally posted on Adobe Labs for community testing, the final release of Camera Raw 6.1 brings new lens correction functionality and adds raw file support for 10 new popular camera models for Photoshop CS5 customers.

New lens correction features allow photographers to automatically apply profiles that correct for geometric distortions, chromatic aberration and lens vignette effects as well as manually make vertical and horizontal perspective transforms. Customized lens profiles can also be created with the newly released Lens Profile Creator, available now on Adobe Labs.

Newly Supported Camera Models:

Canon EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/ EOS Kiss X4 Digital); Kodak Z981; Leaf Aptus-II 8; Leaf Aptus-II 10R; Mamiya DM40; Olympus E-PL1; Olympus E-600; Panasonic G2; Panasonic G10; Sony A450

Availability:

Photoshop Camera Raw 6.1 is available as a free download for Photoshop CS5, Photoshop Elements 8 (Win/Mac) and Premiere Elements 8 customers. For more information and to download the updates visit: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/. The Adobe Lens Profile Creator is available on Adobe Labs: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies

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Custom Printing and Artistic Ownership

June 4th, 2010

Custom Printing and Artistic Ownership

There is a very interesting post at The Online Photographer blog about printing. If you have someone else make your prints are they still yours? I have always enjoyed the control available when I make my own prints, but there are times when it is best to have someone else make the prints. This is especially true when there are tight time lines or you are having a master printer make your prints. I'm sure you can think of other situations where this would be true.

According to the author:
"Last week, Geoff relayed a remark by David Plowden—"David Plowden has described a conversation with a custom printer who boasted that he could make a better print from Plowden's negatives than Plowden could. 'No doubt you're right; but it would no longer be my photograph.'"

"This is a remarkably nontrivial thought. Unlike Benson's remark to the effect that "...photographers who hand their images to someone else for printing are abdicating part of their artistic responsibility," which provoked in me a (completely justified) "this isn't even wrong" reaction, Plowden's observation is simultaneously and in various ways and circumstances right, wrong, sideways and off-axis in the complex plane. It's most assuredly not amenable to simple analysis. (Of course, I was not there for the conversation and I don't know just what that printer said to Plowden.)

"In an "average" sense, I'd disagree with the notion. When I do custom printing for people, no matter their level of printing skills, I'm going to be making suggestions about ways I think the print could be improved. Sometimes they're trivial—a slightly different crop, a modest dodge or a burn. They're tweaks on what the photographer's providing me as a starting or reference point. Usually the photographer agrees with me; on occasion they don't. It's their call; it's their vision I'm trying to fulfill (I'll get back to that).

"I think it would be wrong to say that the resulting photograph is in any way less theirs because I happened to come up with a good idea they didn't think of. People make suggestions to me all the time about my own photographs. On occasion I accept them. I don't think of the result as being less my own photo; after all, I'm learning new stuff all the time! That is part of being an artist."

The entire article can be found here.

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Computational Photography - 45 Gigapixel Panorama of Dubai

May 26th, 2010

Computational Photography - 45 Gigapixel Panorama of Dubai

If you venture to GigaPan.org you will find the largest digital panorama to date. The image of Dubai was created by photographer Gerald Donovan and is 45 gigapixels in size. If printed at high resolution it would be the size of 1,200 billboards.

In the image, which can be found at GigaPan.org, you can zoom in on Burj Khailfa, the world’s tallest building, along with hundreds of other structures in the city. The image has good clarity, though Donovan says the city’s poor air quality is to blame for the fact that it looks slightly muddled.

Using the GigaPan EPIC Pro robotic camera, which is based on technology used by NASA’s Mars Rover, Donovan captured over 4,000 pictures of Dubai, then stitched all the photos together to create one image.

"This was intended as a technical test," said Donovan said in a press release. "It was about exploring the limits of the hardware and software out there."


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Zeiss Images Free Online Photo Gallery Launches

May 25th, 2010

Zeiss Images Free Online Photo Gallery Launches

There is now a new site to host your images if you're using a Carl Zeiss lens at Zeiss Images. It's a new site that offers free hosting to Zeiss users.

You can upload your photos, comment on other people's photos and chat on the forum, all about your lenses of choice. While it may not sound out of the ordinary, there is one feature that sets Zeiss Images apart. While most sites will let you browse photos and organize them based on photographer, size or even by subject, Zeiss Images allows you to sort by lens. If you want to see what others with the same lens as you are capable of, or if you're in the market for a new one and you want to see some samples, it's a great way to see.

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What is Art

May 20th, 2010

What is Art

Those of you who are familiar with Creature Comforts on Animal Planet may have already seen this. I think it puts the entire topic in context. No matter what is considered art you need a sense of humor.







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Is Photographing a Crime Aiding and Abetting

May 12th, 2010

The Online Photographer has an interesting article concerning photographers and criminal activity.

"Jonas Lara is a photographer who was arrested for photographing graffiti [artists/vandals—take your pick] in action. Re the discussion about the case in our comments section, we've heard from a TOP reader who's a California criminal lawyer (he prefers to remain anonymous in this context). He had this to say: 'California has a written criminal code, and over a hundred years of appellate court opinions construing that code. Aiding and abetting a crime is one of the first subjects taught in a first year crim law class. Of course media reports of the facts of any given case are almost useless in determining what really happened, but it seems to me that it would be difficult to convict a photographer for taking pictures of a crime. Citizens have no duty to stop a crime or even to report it. Unless he did something to encourage or facilitate the crime, it seems to me that they'd be hard pressed to convict.' "

The entire article can be found here.


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Swann Galleries Offers Photographic Literature And Important Photographs Auction

May 11th, 2010

Swann Galleries Offers Photographic Literature And Important Photographs Auction

On Thursday, May 20, Swann Galleries will conduct a two-part auction of Photographic Literature and Important Photographs that features many scarce and significant works—both individual photographic images and books.

The auction opens with nearly 200 lots of Photographic Literature, including many sought-after monographs such as a first edition of Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York, 1939, signed and inscribed to photograph collector and dealer Howard Daitz (estimate: $4,000 to $6,000); signed and inscribed first editions of Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s Fotografias, Mexico, 1945 ($9,000 to $12,000), and Alexey Brodovitch’s Ballet, New York, 1945 ($8,000 to $12,000); as well as Robert Frank’s The Lines of my Hand, Tokyo, 1972 ($3,500 to $4,500).

There are three sumptuous examples from 21st Editions books’ Platinum Series: Sally Mann, illustrated with 10 platinum prints by the artist, plus an additional signed print, one of 100 copies, 2005 ($12,000 to $18,000); Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison’s The Book of Life, one of 75 signed and numbered copies issued with an additional signed platinum print, 2005 ($14,000 to $18,000); and Michael Kenna’s Mont-Saint-Michel, from an edition of 60 signed and numbered copies, with an additional signed print, 2006 ($10,000 to $15,000).

More information can be found here.

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Adobe Ships Creative Suite 5

May 4th, 2010

Adobe Ships Creative Suite 5

SAN JOSE, Calif., — April 30, 2010 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the availability of the Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 product family, the highly-anticipated release of the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow. With more than 250 new product features, the Creative Suite 5 product line brings exciting full-version upgrades of flagship creative tools and workflow enhancements to designers and developers — enabling the creation, delivery and optimization of content across media for greater impact and results.

The Adobe CS5 product family is powering the creation of content and applications for the upcoming releases of Flash® Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR® 2, which are optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities for a richer, more immersive user experience. Featuring integration with online content and digital marketing measurement and optimization capabilities for the first time, Creative Suite 5 products include access to signature Omniture® technologies, to capture, store and analyze information generated by websites and other sources. Adobe Creative Suite 5 products also integrate with Adobe CS Live*, a set of five innovative online services that accelerate key aspects of the creative workflow and enable designers to focus on creating their best work (CS Live services are complimentary for a limited time).

The Creative Suite 5 line-up includes five new versions: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, Creative Suite 5 Design Standard, as well as 15 point products and associated technologies. Creative Suite now includes a brand-new component, Adobe Flash® Catalyst™, a professional interaction design tool that allows designers to rapidly create expressive Web application interfaces and design interaction without writing code.

“We’ve seen from early customer reaction that Creative Suite 5 continues to inspire the design and developer world by combining time-saving workflow and productivity features with astonishing new capabilities, such as Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop CS5, that really push the creative envelope,” said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions at Adobe. “Whatever the media, CS5 is ensuring that publishers and creatives can deliver stand-out work and build great businesses around their unique digital assets and content.”

Also available as part of the Creative Suite 5 product family, sold separately or in one of the five Creative Suite editions, are new versions of the Adobe Creative Suite tools, including Photoshop® CS5, Illustrator® CS5, InDesign® CS5, Flash Catalyst CS5, Flash CS5 Professional, Dreamweaver® CS5, Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5, After Effects® CS5 and more.

The Creative Suite 5 products offer more than 250 new features that embrace interactivity, enhance performance and maximize the impact of creative content and digital marketing campaigns. InDesign CS5 powers the transition to digital publishing with new interactive documents and enhanced electronic reader device support. Image creation and editing get a boost with Truer Edge technology in Photoshop CS5, which offers better edge detecting technology and masking results in less time. Photoshop CS5 also includes the ability to remove an image element and immediately replace the missing pixels with Content-Aware Fill. New stroke options allow Adobe Illustrator CS5 users to create strokes of variable widths and precisely adjust the width at any point along the stroke. New Text Layout Framework in Flash Professional CS5 provides professional-level typography capabilities with functions like kerning, ligatures, tracking, leading, threaded text block and multiple columns. In addition, Dreamweaver CS5 now supports popular content management systems Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress, allowing designers to get accurate views of dynamic Web content from within the product.

Performance improvements abound in the Creative Suite 5 product line with engineering breakthroughs, including native 64-bit support on both Mac and Windows® in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, that allows users to work more fluidly on high-resolution projects. The much anticipated NVIDIA® GPU-accelerated Adobe Mercury Playback Engine allows Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 users to open projects faster, refine effects-rich HD sequences in real time and play back complex projects without rendering. The revolutionary timesaving Roto Brush tool in After Effects helps users isolate moving foreground elements in a fraction of the normal time.

Accelerate Creative Workflows with Adobe CS Live
Adobe Creative Suite 5 products integrate with Adobe CS Live*, a set of five online services that accelerate key aspects of the creative workflow and enable designers to focus on creating their best work. CS Live online services are complimentary for a limited time and currently include: Adobe BrowserLab, Adobe CS Review, Acrobat.com, Adobe Story and SiteCatalyst® NetAverages™ from Omniture. Adobe CS Review enables online design reviews from directly in Creative Suite 5 applications, while Adobe BrowserLab is an indispensable tool for testing website content across different browsers and operating systems. NetAverages provides Web usage data that helps reduce the guesswork early in the creative process when designing for Web and mobile. Adobe Story is a collaborative scriptwriting tool that improves production and post-production workflows in CS5 Production Premium. Access to Acrobat.com services, such as Adobe ConnectNow Web conferencing, is also included to enhance discussion and information exchange with colleagues and clients around the globe.

Create and Deliver to More Mobile Platforms
Using Flash Professional CS5, designers and developers can create, test and deliver Web content across a wide range of mobile platforms and devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks and other consumer electronics. Users can look forward to deploying content in the browser with Flash Player 10.1 and as a standalone application with AIR 2.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Creative Suite 5 products and its associated point products will be available through Adobe Authorized Resellers, Adobe Direct Sales and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store. Estimated street price for the suites is US$1899 for CS5 Design Premium, US$1799 for CS5 Web Premium, US$1699 for CS5 Production Premium, US$1299 for CS5 Design Standard and US$2599 for Master Collection CS5. Upgrade pricing, volume licensing and education discounts are available. Adobe CS5 products integrate with Adobe CS Live online services which are complimentary for a limited time. For more detailed information about features, OS support, upgrade policies, pricing and international versions please visit: www.adobe.com/go/creativesuite.


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Adobe Responds To Apple Concerning Flash

May 1st, 2010

Adobe Responds To Apple Concerning Flash

CNN's SciTechBlog has news concerning Adobe's response to Apple not including Flash on the iPad.

"It was already at reality-show proportions. But the tech feud between Apple and Adobe continues to escalate as Adobe responded Thursday to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' sharp criticism of its Flash player format."

"The gist from Adobe: So what? We have other friends to play with."

The entire article can be found here.


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Computational Photography at Stanford

April 30th, 2010

Computational Photography at Stanford

Stanford computational photography researchers have built an open-source digital camera. Anyone will be able to create new features for the camera by writing aps that will control all the cameras functions -- focus, exposure, shutter speed, flash, etc. Cameras could be taught new tricks with downloadable apps, analogous to iPhone apps. No longer will camera owners be limited to the features installed by the manufacturer. Sky's the limit.

Credit: Jack Hubbard, Stanford News Service http://news.stanford.edu/




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Nikon Girl

April 30th, 2010

Nikon Girl

Back by popular demand, Nikon girl meets Canon boy. Who says we can't get along?




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Podcast On How To Register Your Unpublished Photos

April 26th, 2010

Podcast On How To Register Your Unpublished Photos

If you have any questions concerning registering your work check out AMSP’s new podcast showing you each step to register your unpublished photos with the Copyright Office. It only takes a few minutes to protect your work! The podcast is located here.

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Red River presents the only 100 percent recycled content photo inkjet paper available on the market

April 23rd, 2010

Red River presents the only 100 percent recycled content photo inkjet paper available on the market

GreenPix™ Warm Tone Photo Matte is a first in the industry, made of 100% post-consumer recycled content. Unlike many post-consumer product papers, GreenPix™ has few surface imperfections. Photos come out clean and sharp. The back of the sheet is plain paper, suitable for text printing and writing.

Of special interest to photo enthusiasts is its pleasing warm color, top grade photo inkjet coating and sturdy card weight and thickness. Landscapes, portraits, and artistic reproductions all benefit from the neutral warmth of GreenPix™.

GreenPix Facts:
Warm Tone Photo Matte
Coated for photographic quality reproduction
Extra weight and thickness
100% post consumer recycled fiber
Quality Base Stock - Alkaline pH and Buffered for Longevity
Process Chlorine Free (PCF)

For more information at Red River click here.

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Links To Copyright Information

April 21st, 2010

Links To Copyright Information

There is always discussion about copyright so I thought i would post some links regarding artist copyright information. This is not a complete list, but it covers the US Copyright office, some non-governmental sources of information as well as some popular watermarking tools for digital images.

The United States Copyright Office was created with the desire to serve the copyright community of creators and users, as well as the general public.

At the US Copryright Office website you will find all key publications, including informational circulars; application forms for copyright registration; links to the copyright law and to the homepages of other copyright related organizations; news of what the Copyright Office is doing, Congressional testimony and press releases; the latest regulations.


  • Copyright Basics - US Copyright Office

  • U.S. Copyright

  • Form VA - Copyright form Visual Arts

  • Form VA with instructions

  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

  • International Copyright - Statement from US Copyright Office


Private Sector and Academic Websites

Watermarking for Digital Images

  • Eikonamark - This software is for casting "invisible" watermarks on digital images and detecting these watermarks. It can be used for copyright protection and recognition of digital images.

  • Watermark Factory - For protecting images. You can add a visible watermark to your digital images and photos. The watermark can be your copyright or the URL of your site or your logo.

  • Giovanni Digital Watermarking - Blue Spike's digital watermarking technologies that will make identification, authentication and auditing of digital works as simple as scanning the Internet.

  • AiS Watermark Pictures Protector - This is a watermarking program that helps you protect images. You can add a color transparent visible watermark to your digital images and photos.



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The Fine Art of Copyright

April 20th, 2010

The Fine Art of Copyright

L. Gordon Crovitz of The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about copyright and the Obama poster that was used during his campaign.

"Technology makes it easy to lift parts of someone else's music, video or other digital creations, tweak it, and call the result one's own. This usually causes no harm, but the case of a photo-turned-poster of Barack Obama is a reminder that just because technology makes something possible doesn't make it right."

"Until the digital age, the common view of copyright law was that it served overreaching corporations against creative little guys. Groucho Marx once generated publicity for the Marx Brothers film 'A Night in Casablanca' by playing on this cynicism. Warner Bros. asked for the plot of the film, fearing it would spoof its Humphrey Bogart classic, "Casablanca." Groucho Marx responded with a letter threatening a counterclaim against Warner for using the word 'Brothers.'"

The entire article can be found here.

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Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta wins most coveted photo and imaging award

April 19th, 2010

Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta wins most coveted photo and imaging award

According to the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), the first digital Baryta paper made of cotton fibers is the best Fine Art inkjet paper worldwide. For the third time, a Hahnemühle Digital FineArt collection paper has won the TIPA award for the best photo and imaging product of the year.

“We are truly proud of having once again been awarded a TIPA trophy,” says Jörg Adomat, Hahnemühle’s Managing Director. “This is an important award for our Photo Rag® Baryta combining the advantages of a pure cotton paper with the unequalled look of traditional baryta papers from analogue laboratories.”

The coating of the finely structured high-gloss paper contains barium sulfate, making for a characteristic picture impression. No optical brighteners are used for the production of the paper but it features a pleasant white and a perfect balance between brilliance and reflection, nevertheless. Due to these characteristics, the paper represents the number one choice for prestigious gallery prints, with the black-and-white photography enthusiasts in particular appreciating the high Dmax value and the reproduction of the finest shade-of-grey nuances. At the same time, Photo Rag® Baryta also is perfectly suitable for luminous color pictures.

With a base weight of 315 gsm it is enjoyably slip proof, thus also representing a pleasant haptic experience. Like every Hahnemühle paper, Photo Rag® Baryta also features ultimate ageing resistance. It goes without saying that it is suitable for every Fine Art inkjet printer.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Academy Of Fine Arts - Into The Woods Show And Exhibition

April 14th, 2010

Academy Of Fine Arts - Into The Woods Show And Exhibition

An ambivalent Cinderella? A blood-thirsty Little Red Riding Hood? A Witch...who raps? They're all among the characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's brilliant, musical, fractured fairy tale, presented by the Academy Players. One of Broadway's most acclaimed Tony Award-winning musicals! The Academy of Fine Arts in Lynchburg, Virginia presents "Into The Woods". Show dates are May 7,8,9 and May 13,14,and 15. Visit the Academy website for more information.

There will be a multi-media group exhibition in the theatre lobby to coincide with the performance featuring work by Pete Hellmann.

TICKETS
$24 Adults
$21 Seniors
$13 Students

Free Parking Available

Pete Hellmann Photography

Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW 5.7 RC Released

April 12th, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW 5.7 RC Released

Adobe announced a new release candidate for Camera RAW to version 5.7. The release candidate label indicates that the plug-in has been well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all customers. Newly supported camera models include:

* Canon EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/ EOS Kiss X4 Digital)
* Kodak Z981
* Leaf Aptus-II 8
* Leaf Aptus-II 10R
* Mamiya DM40
* Olympus E-PL1
* Panasonic G2
* Panasonic G10
* Sony A450

Camera Raw 5.7 includes an updated demosaic algorithm designed to provide compatibility with settings applied in Lightroom 3. The RC can be downloaded here.


Pete Hellmann Photography

14th Annual Community Pet Show - Virginia Tech Pre-Vet Club

April 10th, 2010

14th Annual Community Pet Show - Virginia Tech Pre-Vet Club

The Pre-Veterinary Medical Association of Virginia Tech (Pre-Vet Club) will be holding their 14th Annual Community Pet Show on Sunday, April 18th, 2009. The Pet Show will be held at the Virginia Tech Alphin-Stuart Arena from 12 pm until 5 pm in Blacksburg, Virginia. Registration will be from 11:30am to 12pm . The Pet Show is the club's MOST IMPORTANT philanthropic event!!! All proceeds will be donated to St. Francis of Assisi Foundation - a service dog foundation that the club has worked with continuously.

This year features an elaborate Silent Auction featuring artwork by Pete Hellmann, pet supplies, and a Super Bowl XLIV football signed by numerous players from the Indianapolis Colts, just to name a few of the great things to buy!

St. Francis of Assisi Service Dog Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) community based corporation dedicated to increasing the independence of persons with disabilities through the use of service dogs. In contrast to leader dogs for the blind, service dogs are specially trained to help people with severe ambulatory and other physical disabilities. They may be trained to perform over 100 different tasks such as opening and closing doors, retrieving dropped objects, pulling wheelchairs, turning lights on or off, and obtaining food from the refrigerator. Service dogs also give emotional support to their owners.

For more information contact Allyson Ripley via email at aripley@ vt.edu.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Photographers File Class Action Against Google

April 9th, 2010

Photographers File Class Action Against Google

Philadelphia, PA… The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), joined by the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, photographers Leif Skoogfors, Al Satterwhite, Morton Beebe, Ed Kashi and illustrators John Schmelzer and Simms Taback, has filed a class action copyright infringement suit against Google, Inc. in the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York. The suit, which was filed by Mishcon de Reya New York LLP, relates to Google’s illegal scanning of millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images and displaying them to the public without regard to the rights of the visual creators. ASMP and the other trade associations, representing thousands of members, decided to file the class action after the Court denied their request to join the currently pending $125 million class action that had previously been filed primarily on behalf of text authors in connection with the Google Library Project. The new class action goes beyond Google’s Library Project, and includes Google’s other systematic and pervasive infringements of the rights of photographers, illustrators and other visual artists.

This action by ASMP and its sister organizations was taken in order to protect the interests of owners of copyrights in visual works from the massive and organized copying and public display of their images without regard to their contributions and rights to fair compensation. According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, “Through this suit, we are fulfilling the missions of our organizations and standing up for the rights of photographers and other visual artists who have been excluded from the process up to now. We strongly believe that our members and those of other organizations, whose livelihoods are significantly and negatively impacted, deserve to have representation in this landmark issue.” ASMP General Counsel Victor Perlman said, “We are seeking justice and fair compensation for visual artists whose work appears in the twelve million books and other publications Google has illegally scanned to date. In doing so, we are giving voice to thousands of disenfranchised creators of visual artworks whose rights we hope to enforce through this class action.”

Founded in 1944, ASMP is the premier trade association for the world’s most respected photographers. ASMP is the leader in promoting photographers’ rights, providing education in better business practices, producing business publications for photographers, and helping to connect purchasers with professional photographers. ASMP has 39 chapters across the country and its 7,000 members include many of the world’s foremost photographers. More information is available at http://asmp.org.

The Graphic Artists Guild is a national artists union that embraces creators at all levels of skill and expertise, who create art intended for presentation as originals or reproductions. The mission of the Guild is to promote and protect the economic interests of its members, to improve conditions for all creators, and to raise standards for the entire industry. Its core purpose is to be a strong community that empowers and enriches its members through collective action. More information at http://www.graphicartistsguild.org.

Founded in 1951, PACA, the Picture Archive Council of America, represents the vital interests of image archives of every size, from individual photographers to large corporations, who license images for commercial reproduction. PACA leads advocacy, education, and communication efforts on copyright and standard business practices that affect the image licensing industry. More information at http://www.pacaoffice.org.

NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association, is the first and premiere association in North America committed solely to serving the field of nature photography. More information at http://www.nanpa.org.

PPA, the Professional Photographers of America is the world’s largest not-for-profit association for professional photographers, with more than 20,000 members in 54 countries. The association seeks to increase its members’ business savvy as well as broaden their creative scope and is a leader in the dissemination of knowledge in the areas of professional business practices and creative image-making. More information at http://www.ppa.com.


Pete Hellmann Photography

The Art of Showing Your Photographic Art

April 8th, 2010

The Art of Showing Your Photographic Art

Elizabeth Elliot has an interesting article in Apogee Photo magazine concerning showing fine art photography at galleries. She gets advice from Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston of Omaha, Nebraska; Larry Ferguson, also of Omaha; and Liz Darlington of Savannah, Georgia. She divides the article into five steps.

Step 1: Knowing the Business
Step 2: Finding a Location
Step 3: Selection of Photographs
Step 4: Printing and Framing
Step 5: Knowing Your Costs and Gallery Participation in Those Costs

The article can be found here.

image copyright Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston 2010


Pete Hellmann Photography

Viewing Portfolios With The iPad

April 7th, 2010

Viewing Portfolios With The iPad

Scott Kelby has an interesting article about the iPad and the fact that it does not support Flash. Many professional photographers use flash on their websites to manage their portfolio, but with iPad, iPhone and iTouch not supporting Flash what can we do? Scott presents one solution and asks others to join in on the discussion. Thank you Scott for attempting this discussion without starting an operating system holy war.


Pete Hellmann Photography

Innovative Glamour Photographer Peter Gowland Dies At 93

April 6th, 2010

Innovative Glamour Photographer Peter Gowland Dies At 93

Peter Gowland has died at 93. He was an innovative glamour photographer who invented high-quality large-format cameras, designed scaffolding to shoot swimsuit-clad models at his pool and shot more than 1,000 magazine covers. His exuberant, sun-drenched swimsuit photos and self-designed large-format cameras helped define glamour photography for six decades.

His wife, Alice, was a key part of the business. Gowland and his wife, had their first date on the same day Pearl Harbor was bombed, and (despite it being a “date which would live in infamy,” as he later joked) they eloped two weeks later in Las Vegas. She would sell his pinup photography when he was drafted into the war. Later, her presence would set models at ease when they sat in front of his camera.

In the 60+ years to follow, Peter and Alice Gowland would revolutionize the world of photography together. More information can be found at Peter Gowland's website. and his obituary.

Jayne Mansfield photo copyright Peter Gowland.



Pete Hellmann Photography

iPad for Photographers

April 5th, 2010

iPad for Photographers

With all the hype over the new iPad I thought this entry by Uwe Steinmueller may be of interest. Here is a summary of his main uses and points in the article.

* As a reader for e-books (mainly PDF) because we sell e-books in the PDF format. We need to know what works for our customers.
* Show our videos (the iPhone/iPod Touch is way too small)
* Show our photos (the iPhone/iPod Touch is on the small side)
* Travel light to conferences and on the road (means e-mail and web)
* Use as a phone from the hotel
* Give smaller presentation with a projector (those that do not require to run apps like Photoshop or Lightroom)

The entire article can be found here.


Pete Hellmann Photography

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Stripped of Award

April 2nd, 2010

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Stripped of Award

This was just posted at the Telegraph. When entering juried shows it would be smart to be able to document everything concerning your work and be sure to follow all of the rules.

"A stunning image capturing a wolf leaping over a gate has been stripped of first place in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition after judges found the animal was likely to be a ''model''.

"The winning entry, by photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez, beat thousands of entries to scoop the prize in October last year, receiving praise for its ''fairytale'' quality.

"But an investigation was launched after suspicions were raised that the picture might breach competition rules.

"Rule 10 says that photographs of animal models may not be entered into the competition and that images will be disqualified if they are entered in breach.

"A statement from competition organisers said Mr Rodriguez strongly denies that the wolf is a model.

"Owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, the long-running contest is billed as an international showcase for the best nature photography.

"Louise Emerson, from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition office, said today: ''It saddens us to confirm that after a careful and thorough investigation into the image, the storybook wolf, the co-owners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine have disqualified the winning entry of the photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez.

''The judging panel was reconvened and concluded that it was likely that the wolf featured in the image was an animal model that can be hired for photographic purposes and, as a result, that the image had been entered in breach of Rule 10 of the Competition.


'The judging panel looked at a range of evidence and took specialist advice from panel judges who have extensive experience of photographing wildlife including wolves.

''They also considered the responses to specific questions put to the photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez.''

"The £10,000 prize money was never awarded to Mr Rodriguez, but he did receive a £500 category winner's cheque, which organisers said they had agreed he could retain in lieu of royalty payments.

"They said first place would not be re-awarded as judging is always done ''blind'' so that an objective choice can be made about the winner.

"Ms Emerson continued: ''Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the world's most prestigious photography competition of its kind.

''Any transgression of the competition rules is taken very seriously and if entries are suspected of breaching the rules they are disqualified.

''Jose Luis Rodriguez's image will be removed from the exhibition and tour.

''Mr Rodriguez strongly denies that the wolf in the image is a model wolf.''

Photo: JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ



Pete Hellmann Photography

How Big Are Inkjet Printer Ink Drops

April 2nd, 2010

How Big Are Inkjet Printer Ink Drops

This just came in the latest Red River Paper newsletter. I thought the size comparison was interesting.

Inkjet Drop Volume - Inkjet droplets are measured in picoliters (A trillionth of a liter). Most inkjet printers use variable drop size technology. A typical Epson photo inkjet printer fires drops between 2 and 4 picoliters in volume. The difference between 2 and 4 picoliters is equivalent to the difference between a softball and a ping pong ball!

To give some more reference, a 2 picoliter drop of blood holds about 200 red blood cells.

Inkjet Drop Size

An inkjet ink droplet is about 100 microns wide, slightly larger than the diameter of a human hair.

As a reference, a red blood cell about 5 microns wide.

Something to Think About

So next time your printer prints out an amazing image on Red River paper, think about this. While moving left and right, the print head fires ink droplets that would hold 200 red blood cells 6000 times per second! These 6000 drops every second hit their mark perfectly to create bold color and sharp detail to rival a photo lab.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Common Mistakes When Approaching Galleries

April 2nd, 2010

Common Mistakes When Approaching Galleries

When seeking gallery representation, you are well advised to avoid the following common mistakes:

* Mistake #1: Presenting an inconsistent body of work.

* Mistake #2: Producing insufficient work to sustain gallery sales.

* Mistake #3: Delivering a portfolio in a format inconvenient for gallery review.

* Mistake #4: Lacking confidence and consistency in pricing.

* Mistake #5: Approaching the wrong galleries.

* Mistake #6: Submitting art through the wrong channels.


Always research a gallery before attempting to seek representation. Galleries usually specialize in one type of art and are always up front with their submission guidelines.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Legal Guide For Photographers

April 2nd, 2010

Legal Guide For Photographers

Carolyn E. Wright Esq. has a great book that all professional photographers should read called the Photographer’s Legal Guide.The book can be ordered at her website.

“Carolyn Wright’s book is an essential tool for any professional (or aspiring professional) who needs to navigate the tricky legal issues in the business of photography. In clear, concise prose, she explains and simplifies the issues of rights and releases, and deciphers the “legal-ese” of contracts and other important legal issues into plain and simple language. Her background in law and her exceptional photographic work make her a unique resource in this business: a great legal mind with a wonderful photographer’s eye.” Bob Krist, columnist, Outdoor Photographer Magazine

“Carolyn Wright shares the legal aspects of photography in an accessible volume of inside tips. Whether you are an experienced photographer already in business, starting a new photography business, or just a weekend shutterbug, you’ll find essential information here.” M. Diane Vogt, Esq., multi-published writer, including Keeping Good Lawyers: Best Practices for Career Satisfaction

“Carolyn Wright’s book is designed to acquaint you with all the basic formalities of running a photography business. This is a book that every photographer who is even considering selling their images should have!” Ellen Anon, freelance photographer and co-author of Aperture Exposed, The Mac Photographers Guide to Taming the Workflow, and Photoshop for Nature Photographers

“Carolyn’s writing style is easy to read and not full of ‘Law-talk.’ There is plenty to learn for a photographer in the business for 10 years (such as myself), and invaluable for someone completely new.” David Beckstead, International Wedding Photographer


Pete Hellmann Photography

Sharpening An Image File

April 1st, 2010

Sharpening An Image File

Any image produced by a digital camera will look blurred. Because of image capture at the sensor level every image will need some sharpening. Technically, this soft image is produced internally by the anti-aliasing filter in front of the camera sensor. The demosaicing process will introduce additional softness. Camera files are not the only image files affected as the digitizing process of scanning produces a soft image also.

While every image file needs sharpening it should be remembered that sharpening should be the last step in your workflow. The main reason for this is that sharpening will introduce noise into the file. If noise is introduced at an early stage it will be amplified throughout your workflow.

There are three reasons for sharpening which bring about three types of sharpening.

* General Sharpening
* Color Interpretation Compensation
* Output Specific Sharpening

First, you should improve your image with some general sharpening. Because this has nothing to do with the final output size it should be very light. A heavy handed sharpening at this point will simply introduce problems later on. Because this type of sharpening is a general image type of sharpening some people refer to this as creative sharpening. It is good to use a layer mask which will allow you to sharpen specific areas of an image.

Second, you want to consider problems caused by the color interpretation or demosaicing process. If you shoot in RAW format this type of sharpening can be dome in your RAW file editor. In this case you should start with this step.

The final and most important sharpening is output specific sharpening. This means you should create a file that will output to the specific size you want to print and then sharpen that file. This sounds straight forward, but if additional softness is introduced by your means of printing you need to over sharpen your image. Unfortunately, this requires some trial and error until you get use to your specific printer. In general, a Lightjet print will not introduce more softness while an inkjet print will appear softer due to dithering.

It should be noted that if you use a RIP to print on your inkjet printer, the RIP may be doing its own sizing and sharpening at print time. You need to be familiar with your software in order to avoid this mistake.


Pete Hellmann Photography

Inkjet Printing Glossary

April 1st, 2010

In my travels I have yet to find a good glossary of inkjet printing terms, especially one that pertains to fine art printing. I am currently compiling a fine art inkjet glossary, but until I have finished it I am posting a typical inkjet glossary that can be found on the web. It's good for beginners, but those who wish to learn more really need something with more detail. I think the real reason vendors post this kind of thing is to sell printers by pretending to inform their customers. Does a glossary like the one below really tell you anything about what makes a quality inkjet print? I don't think so.

* Banding - Bands of discrete color or tone that appear when a printer can't reproduce a smooth graduation from one color to another. Instead there are noticeable jumps between one value and the next.

* Bleeding - A print distortion where adjacent colors run and merge into one another, sometimes caused by excess ink or over-absorbent paper.

* CMYK - Cyan, magenta, yellow and black - the four basic process colors used in conventional color printing. By overlaying or dithering combinations of these four inks in different proportions, a vast range of colors can be created.

* Composite colors - Colors formed by mixing various quantities of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

* Dithering - A halftoning technique/method where several dots of the primary colors are printed in various patterns to give the impression of a larger color spectrum.

* DPI - Dots per inch, the measure of a printer's resolution. The printed dots from a 600 dpi printer are far smaller than the dots created by a 300 dpi printer. As a result, the output is smoother and more detailed, while dithering patterns will deliver more realistic colors.

* Feathering - A term used to describe printed text quality. Feathering occurs when deposited ink follows the contours of the paper. Depending on the viscosity of the ink, the rougher the grain of the paper the more pronounced the feathering will be.

* Halftone - Inkjet printers don't have inks for the entire spectrum of colors; they only have the four process colors. Printers produce other colors by laying down patterns of primary color dots, varying the pattern and ratio of each color. This is known as halftoning.

* Pigment inks - While conventional inks are essentially oil-based dyes, pigment inks consist of tiny chunks of solid pigment suspended in a liquid solution. According to their proponents, such as HP which uses them for its inkjet range, pigment inks offer richer, deeper colors, and have less of a tendency to run, bleed or feather.

* True black - Black produced by a separate black ink rather than a mixture of cyan, magenta and yellow.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Should You Get A Degree In Photography

April 1st, 2010

Should You Get A Degree In Photography

While there are some people who do not have a degree in fine arts or photography that are making a living in the commercial art industry there are several reasons why you should consider getting a degree. Sure you can possess a natural ability and hone it over a period of time with experience but, there are times when a degree in photography, or any degree, gives you an advantage over the competition.


Having a degree gives you the following advantages:

* It opens up connections with like minded people
* It is required by some employers
* It increases your knowledge, both artistically and commercially
* It provides you with business skills

You can find a listing of online photography colleges here

Pete Hellmann Photography

Fine Art Web Site Promotion

April 1st, 2010

Another great article from ArtShowPhoto.com concerning the promotion of fine art websites. In this article the author discusses:

* Using new technology to market fine art
* Mixing old techniques with new to market fine art
* Art show exposure verses the Internet
* Print promotion

The author states: "I’ve found that I love the technology for the opportunities it has given me. Not being afraid of it, I open myself to learning something new every day. I’m also hoping that people reading this will understand how proper marketing can give you more of a chance of being successful at earning a living from your art. Some bodies of photographs can promote themselves on the Internet and require little work to be successful and others will need to have more costly promotion techniques used such as postal mailing besides web site promotion. To sell successfully, you need to determine what is necessary to reach your target audience."

Pete Hellmann Photography

The Changing Face of Photography

April 1st, 2010

The Changing Face of Photography

An open letter to art show directors from an art show veteran by Larry Berman.

An interesting letter with an overview of how photography has changed with technology, but gallery attitudes towards photography have not. In summary: "There is a multitude of highly talented artists doing cutting-edge creative work using digital tools. The art show market shouldn't be blocked to them, or force them to apply under the umbrella of "digital". I sincerely hope that the top shows (to whom lesser shows look for guidance) will carefully re-examine their category definitions and take into consideration the latest technological and creative tools being used by today’s artists."

Pete Hellmann Photography

Buying Art On The Internet And Color Management

April 1st, 2010

Buying Art On The Internet And Color Management

In a previous entry I painted a rather ideal view of buying fine art on the Internet. In a perfect world my statements would be true and everyone could sit back and enjoy fine art works at any time. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and one fact remains true. What one person sees on their computer screen may not be what another person sees. There are two reasons for this; monitor calibration and color management in the browser. While an artist can't expect everyone to be looking at his work with a calibrated monitor at least now color management, the ability to recognize ICC profiles, is coming to the browser world. Until recently only Safari offered color management, but with the introduction of Firefox version 3, Firefox users can now see images with the proper ICC profile settings. This is great news for me since my statistics show that most visitors to my site are using Firefox as their browser.

Color management, in Firefox, is turned off by default so you will need to change a setting in your browser. Bob Galbraith has a great Firefox color management tutorial on his site. If you check it out you can be browsing with color management. If you are already using color management in your browser you can check out the test page at the International Color Consortium website.

While this is a great step towards improving the fine art buying experience on the web there is still the issue of monitor calibration. Many people never bother with this step and some people do the calibration incorrectly meaning there will always be viewers that aren't seeing the true colors in an art work. As always, viewing art work in person is the best way to know exactly what you are getting.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Why Buy Fine Art On The Internet

April 1st, 2010

I guess for the same reasons you buy any other article on the Internet; it is practical and comfortable. Why limit your choices when you have the opportunity to have access to artworks from all over the world. We seem to live in fast pace times and Internet shopping fits this lifestyle. If you are passionate about art and interested in beginning a collection of fine art, the Internet gives you the opportunity to enjoy fine art during your free time. You are at home, in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, able to see, compare and make decisions about art. You can bookmark the sites you need and later you can go back, look and make up your mind. Last but not least, the Internet is becoming more and more sociable. You can choose works and include them in your “del.icis.us”, “digg” , or any other online tool, and by doing this you can talk to family members, friends and others who share your interest in art and you are able to do so in an interactive way.

On-line art purchases also allow for privacy. The traditional art market can be a bit overwhelming sometimes for the inexperienced collector. The Internet provides the most adequate means to counteract this inhibition. It is unnecessary to answer those difficult questions from the experts or the art gallery director standing beside you. On the Internet the buyer can experience their own favorite art free from pressures or opinions of sales people.

Pete Hellmann Photography

Fine Art Framing Follow-up

March 31st, 2010

To follow-up on the previous post I have found a great article by Brian Auer at Epic Edits. He discusses fine art framing in more detail and has several good points on the following topics.

* Thinking ahead
* Mounting
* Matting
* Framing


Pete Hellmann Photography

A Quick Note Concerning Printer Resolution

March 29th, 2010

When making inkjet prints it is best to size your image to the physical size you want to print and set the image resolution to match the printer resolution. This is easier said than done since todays professional inkjets use many printer dots to represent an image pixel. This is known as dpi (dots per inch). Sometimes people mistakenly interchange dpi and ppi (pixels per inch), which leads many users to mistakenly set their image resolution incorrectly. Every printer is geared to handle a specific output resolution, so you need to check your computer manual for the right output resolution for your model. Most Canon printers have a resolution of 300 ppi while most Epson printers are set at 360. I have never used HP or other models so I don't the proper resolution for those off hand, but if I find it I will update this post.

UPDATE: After a bit of investigation I have found the native resolution of Epson, Canon and HP printers. The native resolution for Epson is 360 ppi or 720 ppi. Canon printers are set at 300 ppi and HP printers have a native resolution of 600 ppi.

Preserving Your Photographs

March 29th, 2010

Photographic prints, just like any artwork, are vulnerable to damage. Here are some tips to ensure they last for the longest possible time.


Handling photographs

Always handle photographs by their edges to avoid leaving fingerprints. Even if you have washed your hands and they are clean oils and salts in our fingertips leave permanent marks on photos and contribute to fading of the image. If the photograph has value, either sentimental or monetary, you should wear cotton loves.
Never try to repair photographs that are torn or in pieces. Materials such as sticky tape and masking tape cause fading and staining and can attack the print. Keep the photograph in a folder or sleeve by itself. If you desire that the print be repaired look for someone that specializes in photo restoration. They will scan the image and make digital repairs to the image.


Storing photographs

Light, heat, water, pollution, and insects all enemies of photographs. The best place to store photographs is somewhere clean, cool, dark, dry and well ventilated. Keep photographs somewhere they will not constantly be moved or disturbed. There have been many times that I have seen people store their photographs in the following places that should be avoided:


* garages or sheds: while great all purpose storage areas they are often damp, have insects and can get very hot in summer
* on the floor or in the basement: this will put photographs at risk of water damage if there is a flood


Storage materials for photographs

Always use conservation-quality materials to store photographs if possible. Archival storage materials for photographs include boxes, folders, albums and sleeves. They are usually made out of paper. While it may seem like a good idea avoid laminating unique or valuable photographs. Once a photograph has been sealed in plastic the plastic cannot be removed. Over time the material used to laminate the photograph will start to attack it.


Photograph albums


A good archival photograph album will provide excellent protection for photographs while a poor one can cause damage. Always choose an album where the photographs can be easily removed, for example albums with plastic sleeves or with corners for the photos to be placed in. Do not use albums that have sticky cardboard pages and plastic covers that cling to the photos. The adhesive on the pages will attack the photographs. Photographs can actually be damaged if you try to remove the photographs once they are stuck to the pages.


Negatives

Remember negatives? Negatives are very important and should be carefully stored. If anything happens to the print you can always have another copy made from the negative. It is best to store negatives in individual sleeves. If the negatives rub together they will easily be scratched. It is also a good idea to store negatives separately from prints.

Recording information about photographs

It is important to keep any information about the photograph, such as:


* who is in the photograph
* where it was taken
* when it was taken
* who the photographer was


It is not necessary to write on the photograph. If you do:


* write on the back of the photograph in the border area or near the edge
* use a soft pencil like a 2B since a pen or felt tip marker could seep through to the front of the photograph
* print softly




Displaying photographs

You can prolong the life of your photographs by displaying them properly.You should always avoid:


* hanging photographs in sunny places as this will make them fade more quickly
* hanging photographs over fireplaces where high temperatures can cause damage over time
* putting pins directly through photographs
* using self-adhesive tape, glue or paste in direct contact with a photograph.


Framing photographs not only improves their appearance, but helps to protect them. Hang your photographs in a place where they will not be knocked or bumped and always use strong hanging devices.

Canon Pro9500 Driver Settings For Print Quality

March 29th, 2010

This post is mainly for my own use so I know where I can find this information as I tweak my new printer, but anyone else with a Canon Pro9500 may find it helpful too. The information below is from Canon's website.

Print Quality and Image Data Adjustments: The Pro9500 allows you to make the following adjustments to your documents and photos:

* Print Quality: select High or Standard

* Halftoning Method: halftones refer to color shades between the darkest color and the brightest color, the printer replaces the color shades with a collection of small dots to express the halftones; select from the following halftoning methods:
o Dither: arranges the dots according to fixed rules to express the halftones
o Diffusion: places the dots randomly to express the halftones
o Auto: data is printed with the optimal halftoning method for the selected print quality

* Monochrome: adjust the grayscale so you are printing a monochrome print

* Tone: when printing in black & white, set tone to cool, standard, or warm

* Color Correction: specifies the color adjustment method that matches the type of document to be printed; suitable for printing sRGB data

* Color Balance: adjusts the color tints during printing, since this function adjusts the output by changing the ink ratios of each color, it changes the color hues of the entire document

* Intensity: dilutes (brightens) or intensifies (darkens) the colors of the overall image data during printing

* Contrast: changes the differences between light and dark in images during printing

* Brightness: changes the overall brightness of the image data you wish to print

* Simulating an Illustration: print full-color or 256-color image data so that it looks like a hand-drawn illustration, this function adds different effects to the original profile and colors

* Single Color: select your monochrome photo be printed in one of the following colors - Sepia, Blue, Pink, Green, or customize using the Select Color feature

* Vivid Color: print image data with vivid colors, specifically green and blue, while skin tones remain natural

* Smoothing Jagged Outlines: smooth jagged outlines in photos and graphics that have been enlarged with your application, especially useful when printing low-resolution images from Web pages

* Color Properties: the Photo Optimizer Pro function allows you to adjust colors of images input from a digital camera or scanner; compensates for color shift, overexposure and underexposure

* Photo Noise Reduction: reduce the digital camera noise and improve the images quality of the digital print

Inkjet Printing - Some Costs Are Hidden, But It Is Still Worth It

March 27th, 2010

Inkjet Printing - Some Costs Are Hidden, But It Is Still Worth It

When I made the decision to print my own photographs with a professional quality inkjet printer (Canon Pro9500) the main issue driving my decision was control. The final output would hopefully look the way I intended it to look and not the way a third party printer decided it should look. I knew this would be a decision that would cost me money, but the end result would make up the difference.

Excluding the cost of labor to produce a print, it appears that in-house printing is less costly than sending files to a high quality printing lab. When you look at the final result the cost of paper and ink is negligible, however, it is rare that a file goes from computer to printout in one pass. The final product may be preceded by numerous small proof prints and full size proofs. Once this was done the proofing process may have been repeated on different types of paper. In a worst case scenario a nice 11”x14” print that sells for $150 may have cost $200 when all of the proofs are tallied and we aren’t including labor costs.

Rethinking the situation brings us back to labor which really must be included in the costs. With digital inkjet printing, the labor and time spent includes viewing, selecting, image editing, printer setup and printing. This time could be reduced with the use of automation tools, but the whole point is to get away from automation and create a fine art print that looks the way it was intended to look.

These costs are somewhat obvious, but what about the hidden costs and potential savings in inkjet printing? As far as savings go it pays to shop around. There are always promotional offers and quantity discounts that are not publicly announced. On-line stores can usually give better prices than local specialty stores, but shopping around and asking questions can yield surprising results at times. The printer itself can be a money saver or a money pit. Some inkjet printers use quite a bit of ink doing routine maintenance like print head cleaning. Epson printers seem to be guilty of this compared to Canon printers.

While I’m on the subject of ink, different inkjet media require different inks. Photo-finish papers like glossy and satin require photo black ink to achieve good dynamic range and contrast. Matte and watercolor inkjet media require photo matte ink. The Epson Stylus Pro, requires ink line purging to switch between these inks since they will only hold one black ink. One of the reasons I purchased a Canon Pro9500 is because it holds both the photo black and matte black ink cartridges meaning that a matte paper can be printed and then a glossy paper can be printed without wasting ink due to cartridge changes. In the case of some Epson printers, maintenance and ink switching can cost hundreds of dollars more a year than other brand printers.

In spite of these hidden costs the value of producing my own fine art prints outweighs any additional cost. I think, in most cases, that an experienced artist can produce prints that are much better than anything produced by a third party printer. In addition to quality, the buyer is getting a product that is 100% artist made.


Pete Hellmann Photography

Creating A Black And White Print

March 27th, 2010

Creating A Black And White Print

I get emails periodically about my black and white prints asking how I create them. While there is nothing special about my process there are some "secrets" when it comes to black and white digital photography. First, you should always shoot in RAW and in color. This may sound odd, but shooting in color will give better tones after the image is converted to black and white. In fact, if you are using RAW you can set the camera to black and white so you can see a greyscale image in the viewfinder, but still capture all the color information in the RAW file.

The second "secret" to shooting a good black and white image is to always use the lowest ISO of your camera. Grain, or digital noise, is always greater in dark colors so you want to avoid high ISO settings unless you are looking for grain in your final product. Even then it is best to shoot with as little grain as possible and add it later during post processing.

Composition is very important in any image, but with black and white you will not be able to use color to lead the eye around the image. Instead it is shapes and tones that become the star attraction, especially the shadows and highlights.

Keith Cooper is a commercial photographer that has put together a wonderful article about how to post process a black and white image. If you are interested in converting your images to black and white I highly recommend it.


Pete Hellmann Photography

Lighting at Dusk

March 26th, 2010

Lighting at Dusk

Shots taken at night can be breath taking, but getting a good night shot can be hard to come by. Many people have asked me about how to take good night shots and it has always been hard to explain without drawing things on paper and discussing light angles and f-stops. I happened to stumble across a great article that explains one technique with easy to understand photos and drawings by Neil Turner and thought I would share it. Neil has been working professionally since 1986 in and around London shooting for commercial clients. In 2008 he became a freelance photographer and his work is excellent.

Neil has numerous articles of interest on the techniques page of his blog that are worth checking out.

image copyright Neil Turner 2009


What is Fine Art Photography

March 26th, 2010

What is Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography is a term that is used to describe many things. As someone once said, "I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it. The general consensus in the art community is that fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism which provides visual support for stories and commercial photography with a focus on selling a product or service. Whatever fine art photography is, a market has been built around it with some amazing results.

Looking at Art Market Trends 2004 you will find that 7,000 photographs were sold in auction rooms in 2004, and the fine art photography market averaged a 7.6 percent annual price rise from 1994 and 2004. Around 80 percent of these prints were sold in the USA. Does this mean the fine art photography is an American phenomenon created by the American love of pop culture and multi-media? Whatever the cause there is now a thriving collectors' market for which the most sought-after art photographers will produce high quality archival prints in strictly limited editions.

In spite of the relative success of photography in the American art market, attempts by online art retailers to sell fine photography to the general public have had mixed results, with strong sales coming only from the traditional "big names" of photography such as Ansel Adams. I know from my own experience that most of my sales come from gallery shows with only a small portion of sales coming from the internet, however, the internet does seem to provide a good way to promote artwork.

As I said in the beginning of this post, "I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it." If anyone can come up with a good definition of fine art photography the world will rejoice.




Great Copyright Tutorial

March 26th, 2010

Great Copyright Tutorial

I just found this while searching for copyright information and thought it deserved mention. Copyright is one of the most misunderstood issues in the art world.

Peter Krogh's Copyright Tutorial

I Found an Infringement - Now What Do I Do

January 17th, 2010

NatureScapes has a great article about copyright infringement written by Carolyn E. Wright Esq. She presents several options on how to handle an infringement as well as an important discussion of what infringement is. According to Carolyn; "Not all uses of your photographs are infringements. Do you use a licensing agency that may have authorized the use? Could the user be related to an entity to which you authorized the use? Is the use a fair use? While only a court can ultimately decide what fair use is, the law gives us guidelines as to what may qualify. Read more about fair use in my blog entry at http://www.photoattorney.com/2008/05/fuss-about-fair-use.html."

Carolyn concludes by saying; "Infringements are rampant these days, both because it’s easier for the infringers to find and copy your images and because too many people think that they have a right to use your photos or they won’t be caught. Fortunately, there are many tools to battle copyright infringement. It’s up to you to use them."


Pete Hellmann Photography
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Gaining the Competitive Edge

January 15th, 2010

Lowering prices is not always a good practice in the art business. You may get a few sales, but you really need to educate your customer as to the value of your work. Once a customer realizes your work is of value and that you offer something that others do not they will accept the price associated with quality work. Larry Padgett at PhotBizGuru has an excellent article about this.

According to Larry:

"I don’t believe in low-balling quotes to a prospective client. Sure, there is competition to consider, but the principles of hard work, vision, enterprise, initiative and resourcefulness are worthy of recognition and reward. So by now you’re thinking I’m smoking some really good stuff. Actually, I’m recalling my early experiences in sales, always pioneering a new product, usually by a small company against the giants in the industry. I succeeded where others often did not, and literally killed much of my competition without resorting to lowering my product costs. How? By educating the prospective buyer about why my product was superior, and how I would provide support unmatched by my competitors."

"How does this translate to the life of a commercial photographer? In many ways, the situations are similar. The challenge is to differentiate yourself and your services from the work of competitors and employees with a digital camera. Photographers have a product to sell – their photos or video. They can provide client support through their expertise. The following illustrates several approaches you can use in various combinations to make yourself the “go to photographer.” Once you get a sense of the methods, you’ll come up with your own style, appropriate for the circumstances."

He goes on to mention further points in the article available here.

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Preparing A Portfolio - Are You Ready

January 14th, 2010

Preparing A Portfolio - Are You Ready

Mike Johnston is a 1985 graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. and has held many jobs in the photographic field, most recently Editor-in-Chief of PHOTO Techniques magazine (USA). He is currently at work on a book on the practice of 35mm photography. He has a pretty good article concerning portfolio preparation that is worth reading.

"Can you show a representative sampling of your best work, in fully realized form? Whatever that is? And make it so that it actually exists?

"This latter point is important. Many photographers have a vague idea in their heads of some given subset of their pictures, some of which might already exist in viewable form. This is their idea of "their work." But that, I would argue, doth not a portfolio make. The idea is to do the work to have on hand something that shows off what you do, without apologies. The question I used to ask students is, if a museum curator knocked on your door tomorrow morning and asked to "see your work," are you READY?

"Do you have something finished, right now, to show? It's not enough to lead them to a huge pile of work prints, or lead them around the house and show them the seventeen pictures you liked enough to have framed over the past decade, or to open the slide cabinet to reveal 5,000 slides in cascading piles and say pleadingly, "can you give me a while?" or (shudder) to open your contact book and start flipping through it, every now and then jabbing your finger at the page.

"The "work" I'm talking about is what my friend Allen (A. D.) Coleman calls "reification"--making it real. The idea is that other people cannot see your visualizations about your finished work in its absence, or from incompletely realized clues. What the work consists of is going to depend upon what you visualize, but generally speaking it can be divided into three main tasks: editing the pictures, crafting prints (or whatever), and selecting and assembling and method of presentation."

The entire article can be found here.



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CommunityArtsWork EXHIBIT

September 3rd, 2009

The Brdges exhibition in Blacksburg, Virginia, where I have several works included, opened yesterday. Here is a brief announcement from the VT Alumni Association.

Beginning in September, the Holtzman Alumni Center will host the inaugural art exhibit of CommunityArtsWork. The theme of the juried show, "Bridges," reflects CommunityArtsWork's commitment to collaboration and exchange among established and emerging artists, arts advocates, and campus-community partners. The featured artist is Truman Capone, professor and director of the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. The exhibit is sponsored by Virginia Tech's Outreach Program Development, the Alumni Association, and the Blacksburg Regional Art Association. For more information, visit http://www2.opd.vt.edu/CommunityArtsWork or www.alumni.vt.edu/holtzman.

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Production of Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper

August 21st, 2009

Production of Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper

Few companies can look back proudly on having such a long and diligent tradition as Hahnemühle’s. Since 1584, Hahnemühle’s paper makers have been proving that they have mastered their craft by creating unique and beautiful papers from pure spring water and first-class pulps. And this is not going to change, the awareness of tradition and mature knowledge of the art of paper making are the qualities which have made Hahnemühle one of the leading manufacturers in Europe.

Hahnemühle is known worldwide as a manufacturer of sophisticated fine art papers. Their production is oriented to quality rather than quantity. Flexibility allows them to complete even small orders tailor-made to customers’ wishes, both on the cylinder mould machine and the Fourdrinier machine. New or improved products are developed in close co-operation with the Product Development Department and our customers.

The combination of tradition with modern know-how was and will remain Hahnemühle’s primary characteristic. Thus, classical papers and painting boards as well as modern inkjet papers are produced according to traditional formulations – papers which meet the highest expectations and whose quality delights painters, graphic artists, illustrators, book-binders and recently, more and more photographers.

The term “fine paper” is a classification for high quality papers for different applications. At a time when paper is available as a commodity a distinction is particularly necessary. Paper containing wood that yellows quickly suffices for the mass market, where long life expectancy is not an issue. Wood-free papers produced from bleached pulp offer an improved quality. In contrast to these bulk papers the Hahnemühle fine papers distinguish themselves due their light constancy and resistance to aging.

They offer papers with the following surfaces:

Smooth, calendered surfaces
Calendered paper acquires its very smooth, glossy surface by being compressed between heated rollers after leaving the paper machine. Watercolors appear that much more brilliant on this surface. Glossy surfaces are excellent for the finest detailed drawings, glazes and washes, where the paint can be removed again. These papers are however not as suitable for large-scale wet in wet work.

Matte surfaces
Matte surfaces are used for delicate paintings and are suitable for beginners because of their slightly irregular surface that impacts only slightly on brush control and paint flow. These surfaces can be recommended for all watercolor painters who like to work with fine details. Users can obtain full brush strokes in the wet in dry technique and even glowing color gradation using the wet in wet technique.

Rough surfaces are integrated in the painting and produce bold pictures with relief effects. The rough, irregular, grainy structure makes watercolors appear more vivid and is the most popular surface. The textured surface is created either directly during production on the cylinder mould machine or by an embossing process after production. Rapid brush strokes on dry surfaces, lightly applied, leave unpainted areas on the surface. White “points of light” in the hollows of the surface that have not filled with paint lend the painting an attractive appearance. In the wet painting technique the deeper areas take on more color. This creates light/dark effects that contribute to the brilliancy of the colors. Paint can be removed from these papers right down to the original white. (Exceptions to this are papers containing rag). This surface is ideal for atmospheric paintings, for two-dimensional color application and for extreme wet in wet techniques.

Extra rough surfaces
This distinctive surface emphasizes the “points of light” effect. When using this surface it is best to work with the wet technique using ready mixed paints.

The term torchon comes from the French and is associated with a very coarse linen structure. Papers with this designation have a distinctive undulating surface structure. Paints flow differently on these papers than on the other watercolor papers. With wet in wet most colors bleed a lot and produce prominent halos. In addition the color is integrated into the sizing creating brilliant pictures. Torchon papers are not suitable for beginners but are predestined for experienced painters.

As a rule of thumb:
If you want to paint in more detail and realistically then matte surfaces are recommended. For generous, painterly methods or grainy techniques rough and torchon surfaces are more suitable.


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Resizing To The Printer Native Resolution

July 16th, 2009

I received an email asking about my recent entries about PPI, DPI, and printer resolution. I was asked what this all has to do with printing since it is handled by the printer after depressing the print button. I haven't really discussed this yet and I think the missing link is the process of upsizing your image to the size you wish to print prior to printing. I'll discuss resizing in greater detail in a later entry, But I agree that it would help if I explained why since the printer does this automagicly.

All inkjet printers perform several stages of interpolation on a file before it is processed. The first stage is a resampling to the native printer resolution. I already mentioned in another blog entry that this is 360ppi on most Epson large format printers and 300ppi for most Canon and HP. This resampling process is fairly crude. By using Photoshop bicubic sharper or bucubic smoother you can do a much better job and see the results of the sharpening before printing. This is the main reason why it is better to interpolate to a native resolution before sending the data to the printer. The second processing stage is the ink dot placement algorithm which is a type of spatial filter. Since the dots in most new inkjet printers are smaller than the native pixel resolution of the printer this can result in very good interpolation, ( i.e. many dots make one pixel) but it can't correct for the defects introduced at the earlier stage.

By upsizing to the native printer resolution before printing, you can reduce the printer resampling in both stages ensuring better results. Usually the best improvements are found on edges, fine detail and tones.


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Using The Histogram For Exposure

June 30th, 2009

Using The Histogram For Exposure

Some people look at me like I have two heads when I say this, but to get the best exposure when shooting always use the histogram that is displayed in the LCD monitor after the shot is taken. Most cameras do not display the histogram by default so you will need to go into the camera's menu options and look for the setting that will display the histogram. I use a Canon EOS which allows you to display the histogram and the image just captured so you can get the best of both worlds. Entire books have been written concerning the histogram and what it means so I will simply post a few basic things to look for when evaluating the histogram.

Highlights

The right side of the histogram represents the highlights in the image. If the information is cut off on the right side of the histogram it means you are losing highlight detail.In other words, the highlights have been clipped. Any object in the image that is too bright to be shown in the histogram will not be captured. Highlight information that is not captured by the camera can not be brought back in Photoshop or any other imaging program so be sure not to clip your highlights.

Underexposure

In an effort to avoid clipping the highlights some people will deliberately underexpose their shots. This leaves a gap in the histogram on the right side, but can cause problems. While saving the highlights from being clipped you will find that all tonal and color information is shifted to the left which results in dark areas becoming darker and some color information will be lost. In this case some of this information can be recovered in Photoshop, but the resulting print will not have the proper quality tonality.

Histogram moved to the left

Another cause of a limited range of tones is the histogram skewed to one side or the other. If the histogram is mainly to the left you will have problems similar to those found with underexposure. Keeping the graph in the middle area utilizes the part of the camera sensor that captures tone and color the best. If your intention is to make the scene darker, that can be done in Photoshop later.

Histogram moved to the right

A dark scene will cause overexposure that will move the histogram to the right side of the graph. While the highlights will probably be fine, the midtones can be affected. The colors and tones that should be captured by the part of the camera sensor, represented by the middle part of the graph, will be captured in the highlight area of the sensor. In addition to causing tonality problems this type of exposure can result in more noise in the captured image.


Pete Hellmann Photography
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Inkjet Printing - Some Costs Are Hidden, But It Is Still Worth It

June 19th, 2009

Inkjet Printing - Some Costs Are Hidden, But It Is Still Worth It

When I made the decision to print my own photographs with a professional quality inkjet printer (Canon Pro9500) the main issue driving my decision was control. The final output would hopefully look the way I intended it to look and not the way a third party printer decided it should look. I knew this would be a decision that would cost me money, but the end result would make up the difference.

Excluding the cost of labor to produce a print, it appears that in-house printing is less costly than sending files to a high quality printing lab. When you look at the final result the cost of paper and ink is negligible, however, it is rare that a file goes from computer to printout in one pass. The final product may be preceded by numerous small proof prints and full size proofs. Once this was done the proofing process may have been repeated on different types of paper. In a worst case scenario a nice 11”x14” print that sells for $150 may have cost $200 when all of the proofs are tallied and we aren’t including labor costs.

Rethinking the situation brings us back to labor which really must be included in the costs. With digital inkjet printing, the labor and time spent includes viewing, selecting, image editing, printer setup and printing. This time could be reduced with the use of automation tools, but the whole point is to get away from automation and create a fine art print that looks the way I think it should.

These costs are somewhat obvious, but what about the hidden costs and potential savings in inkjet printing? As far as savings go it pays to shop around. There are always promotional offers and quantity discounts that are not publicly announced. On-line stores can usually give better prices than local specialty stores, but shopping around and asking questions can yield surprising results at times. The printer itself can be a money saver or a money pit. Some inkjet printers use quite a bit of ink doing routine maintenance like print head cleaning. Epson printers seem to be guilty of this compared to Canon printers.

While I’m on the subject of ink, different inkjet media require different inks. Photo-finish papers like glossy and satin require photo black ink to achieve good dynamic range and contrast. Matte and watercolor inkjet media require photo matte ink. The Epson Stylus Pro, requires ink line purging to switch between these inks since they will only hold one black ink. One of the reasons I purchased a Canon Pro9500 is because it holds both the photo black and matte black ink cartridges meaning that a matte paper can be printed and then a glossy paper can be printed without wasting ink due to cartridge changes. In the case of some Epson printers, maintenance and ink switching can cost hundreds of dollars more a year than other brand printers.

In spite of these hidden costs the value of producing my own fine art prints outweighs any additional cost. I think, in most cases, that an experienced artist can produce prints that are much better than anything produced by a third party printer. In addition to quality, the buyer is getting a product that is 100% artist made.


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More Copyright And Registraion Misinformation

June 11th, 2009

The Washington Post recently ran an article concerning the new electronic submission copyright system. Apparently there are long delays possibly causing problems with copyright submissions. It’s an important story with a very large error. The author confuses “registration” with “copyright” almost every single time the word “copyright” appears. It is misleading, at best, and potentially quite damaging, in the worst case, to tell people that “An artist doesn't need to register a copyright to perform, publish or display an original work. But a claim filed with the government offers legal protection -- it is the only way to stop someone else from copying a work.”

Copyright in the United States is automatic upon completion of a creative work: writing it down, recording it, sculpting it, whatever the process. Registration, for US artists, provides some significant benefits, and is required before suing for infringement, but registration is not necessary for basic copyright protection. Those who have not yet registered need not worry about losing all their rights. This is not to deny the urgency of improvement in the registration process, but artists need not be paralyzed by the Copyright Office.

An excellent article by Carolyn E. Wright concerning copyright registration can be found at NatureScapes.net.

Fine Art Photography FAA Contest

June 9th, 2009

Fine Art Photography FAA Contest

I am hosting a fine art photography contest at FineArtAmerica.com. The entry details can be found here.The voting is open to the public so anyone can visit and vote for their favorite images. All of the images entered in the contest are for sale so if you see something you like you can purchase a fine art print of the image with or without mat and frame.

Contest Rules

Images created via any form of photography will be accepted. They can be shot on film, shot digitally, unaltered shots, alternative process, mixed media, digital manipulations, montages, etc. The only real requirement is that part of the image is photographically created. There is no specific theme for the subject matter.

Since there is no specific theme and there could be varying types of work entered the top three winning artworks will be featured on my fine art photography blog with an artist interview. (if the artist is willing) If one artist wins multiple prizes the next artist with the most votes will be selected so there are a total of three winners.

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Look3 Festival of the Photograph

June 8th, 2009

Look3 Festival of the Photograph

For the third consecutive sold-out year, the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph will welcome over a thousand photographers and enthusiasts for 3 days of exhibitions, outdoor projections, workshops, interviews with legendary photographers and special events that will transform downtown Charlottesville, Virginia into a "living image." This year's festival will take place June 11 - 13, 2009.

LOOK3 is thrilled to feature three seminal photographers in 2009: Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, and Sylvia Plachy.

Each evening of the Festival, as part of LOOK3's "INsight Conversations" series in the historic Paramount Theater, one of these three artists will share images and stories from their careers behind the camera. In addition to a stunning visual presentation of the artist's work, the audience is treated to a rare opportunity to hear a photographic legend speak candidly about influences, process, and inspirations. Each will also mount a solo exhibition in a local gallery.

The LOOK3 Festival is an outgrowth of the "Hotshots" parties that National Geographic Photographer and Editor-at-Large, Michael "Nick" Nichols hosted in his backyard for the last twenty years. The intimate, informal, and communal spirit of those gatherings continues today at the Festival of the Photograph. The LOOK3 name signifies "3 days of peace, love, and photography" featuring 3 renowned photographers.

"LOOK3 was born out of the need to maintain community amongst photographers and I'm amazed at what the Festival has become," says Nichols. "I love that we now get to share that community with the public which only expands the support system. People leave Charlottesville feeling inspired, like they have a big family, and nothing makes me happier."

Nichols is Co-Executive Director of the LOOK3 Festival, along with Jessica Nagle, Co-Founder of SNL Financial of Charlottesville. The Festival's Board of Advisors includes: Melissa Harris, Editor-in-Chief of Aperture Magazine, Scott Thode, Director of Photography at Fortune Magazine, and David Griffin, Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine.

For more information about the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, to purchase Festival passes, or to register for the LOOK3 Workshops, visit the Festival web site at http://www.look3.org.

Artists Biographies:
Martin Parr is arguably Britain's most important contemporary photographer, with a unique perspective and unmistakable style, and a critical and popular following in the worlds of art, fashion and journalism. Inspired by his grandfather, Parr studied photography from 1970 to 1973, taking on various teaching assignments through the early 1990s. Switching to color in the early 1980s, he documented the English working class during the era of Thatcher, earning an international reputation for his innovative imagery. "I suppose I started to make a critique of society as it is, rather than a celebration of what it used to be." For Parr, the moral atrophy and preposterousness of our daily lives means we can only find salvation through adopting a certain sense of humor. As an insightful commentator on commercial culture and social life, he has revitalized and repositioned contemporary documentary photography. A member of Magnum since 1994, Parr has published over twenty books and been widely exhibited around the globe, including MOMA NY and Tokyo, the Tate Modern, Stedelijk Museum, and the Bibliotheque Nationale.

"He is a cunning photographer, sidling his way into situations where he shouldn't always be, looking as ordinary as the people he photographs. " - Val Williams, Director of the University of the Arts London Research Centre for Photography and the Archive

Gilles Perress is an internationally renowned photographer. Having studied political science and philosophy in Paris, he began working with photography in 1970. He has documented events in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, Bosnia, Rwanda, 9-11, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Peress often represents the complexity of conflict in his acclaimed books by using minimal text, juxtaposing mundane detail with unfolding catastrophe. For him, there is never a clear distinction between war and peace. "War is never total war; in the same way, peace is never total peace." Currently Professor of Human Rights and Photography at Bard College, NY, and Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley, Peress continues to develop his ongoing project titled "Hate Thy Brother," a cycle of documentary narratives that looks at intolerance and its consequences. A member of Magnum since 1972, his work is exhibited and collected internationally by the MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and PS1; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Corcoran Gallery; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; The Centre Georges Pompidou Musee D'Art Moderne; and the Folkwang and Sprengel Museum. Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, multiple NEA grants, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography, multiple ICP Infinity Awards and the Pollock-Krasner grant. His books include Haines (2004); A Village Destroyed (2002); The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar (1998); The Silence: Rwanda (1995); Farewell to Bosnia (1994); and Telex Iran (1984, 1997 reprint).

"Is a picture worth a thousand words? It depends on the picture. These photographs are so overwhelming that words, any words, seem trite." - Raul Nino, poet

Sylvia Plachy immigrated to the United States from Hungary with her parents in 1958, and started photographing in 1964. Her evocative photography is acclaimed as diverse, surprising, and humorous, transforming the elusive into the poetic. Although perhaps best known for pictures in the Village Voice, her work has appeared in over 50 major publications. In the forward to her book Signs and Relics (The Monacelli Press, 1999), filmmaker Wim Wenders writes, "It showed me that photographs can do all sorts of things that I never thought of."

Other books include Unguided Tour (Aperture, 1990), for which she won an ICP Infinity Award, Self Portrait with Cows Going Home (Aperture, 2004), which won a Golden Light Award, and Red Light (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1996), a groundbreaking work on the sex industry. Andre Kertesz, her mentor and compatriot said of her work, "I have never seen the moment sensed and caught on film with more intimacy and humanity." Sylvia Plachy has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a CAPS Grant. She has exhibited internationally and her work is in multiple collections including MOMA NY and SF, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Bibliotheque Nationale. Plachy is the mother of actor Adrien Brody.

"She makes me laugh and she breaks my heart. She is moral. She is everything a photographer should be." - Richard Avedon, photographer


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Pigment and Dye Based Inks

June 6th, 2009

Pigment and Dye Based Inks

I have finally taken the plunge and entered the world of producing my fine art prints with a quality ink jet. Previously I have used the lightjet technology for my limited edition prints that produces what some people refer to as a true photograph produced using the C-41 chemical process and traditional papers. I have been using a Canon S-9000 to produce proofs of my images, which has been a learning curve, but it is really nice to be able to produce a proof on 13" x 19" paper. As I learn more about producing my own fine art inkjet prints I decided it's time to share some of the things I have learned. Hopefully this will be the first of many posts concerning printing.

One of the down sides of the S-9000 is that it can't print a true black and white print. With only one black ink tank it always produces a print with a slight magenta cast. Since I like to shoot black and white at times I decided it was time to upgrade to a printer with multiple black inks that could produce a true black and white print. As I started looking at the reviews I noticed some printers used dye based inks while others use pigment based inks. This lead me to finally purchase a Canon Pro9500 printer. I'll discuss the Pro9500 in another post, but I want to get back to discussing ink types.

Many of you are probably asking. "Why should I care about the type of ink used in my printer?" As the Canon site will tell you, "Pigment ink is the preferred ink type for most commercial photo and fine art printers, as it maintains high contrast levels, clarity and color saturation over extended periods of time. Pigment inks produce a solid layer of color, enabling the clarity and vivacity of the print to endure." Long story short, dye inks look vibrant at first, but will lose some of their luster over time. If you are not selling your photographs you may not care about this, but if you are selling prints you don't want to worry about a customer coming back in a year complaining about the color of their print fading.

This brings me to the most important reasons for using pigment ink and that is archival print life and color stability. The dye inks used in most early inkjet printers exhibited signs of fading or shifts in color after a short period of time. This has improved with recent models of printers, but is still a factor. As a result, the fine art markets have turned to pigment inks. Pigment inks are much more stable and can last more than 200 years on some paper types under ideal conditions, according to testing done by Wilhelm Imaging Research, the leader in this field.


It’s important to note that the paper is as important as the ink in measuring print life. Glossy papers are usually the worst offenders in terms of print life, but any paper with optical brighteners used to make a paper’s finish brighter will have issues with ultraviolet light or atmospheric pollutants. This is why companies like Hahnemuehle and Moab have been so successful with their natural-fiber papers, even though they don’t have the brightness that we have become used to in the world of the consumer inkjet.

Don't get me wrong, pigment inks aren’t perfect. They are much more expensive than dye inks, and they don’t have the brightness and broad color gamut that dye inks have. As I have found out with the Canon Pro9500, most local stores do not carry repalcement ink tanks and I must order on-line meaning I need to keep a small stock of ink on hand. The last thing I want is to get a call asking for prints that are needed quickly and I have to order ink.


So why would you want a more expensive, pigment-based printer and specialized papers? The reason is money. If you are a photographer or an artist looking to sell your work, the stability and longevity of pigment-ink-based prints means that you can do so with confidence.


Pete Hellmann Photography
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The On-line Art Sales Puzzle.

June 3rd, 2009

The On-line Art Sales Puzzle.

Back in the days of the .com boom it seemed that everyone was starting up an on-line gallery. Even big players like Southby's got in the act. Now that the .com boom is over it seems that many of these sites are gone too. That got me thinking about who is buying art on-line? Doing a quick Google search it looks like most art sold online falls in the category of color landscape with black and white photography selling the least. In terms of price, most internet sales are under $100.

Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to by art on-line because what you see on your computer is not always what you get. With the typical home PC monitor being what it is the quality of a piece of artwork is hard to discern. If you order something and it's not what you expected then you have the hassle of returning the piece or accepting the feeling of being ripped off.

I know in my case that most of my internet sales come during or right after an exhibition. I always market my website during a gallery show and it seems to pay off. Sometimes nothing will sell at the gallery, but an order or two will trickle in on the web after a show. I think one reason for this is my work is available in several size and price ranges on-line while the gallery usually shows the larger more expensive limited edition original. A $50 open edition print is more likely to sell than a $350 original.

Any comments concerning on-line sales would be most welcome.



Pete Hellmann Photography
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What Is Scotopic Vision

May 29th, 2009

53 Ford print by Pete Hellmann

Over the past few years there has been great interest in my Scotopic Vision series which is now available on-line. The number one question I always get is, "What is scotopic vision?"

I started working on these images in 2006 after noticing a phenomena that occurs during the twilight hours. I usually go for a walk in the evenings and one evening I noticed that my vision seemed to be in black and white. Once I became aware of this I started to notice it more often which lead to Google one night in an attempt to figure out what was happening. Once I learned that vision shifting from color to monochromatic was a normal physiological event I felt much better. For a while I thought, heaven forbid, that I might be going blind or have some sort of vision problem.

According to Wikipedia, scotopic vision is "the monochromatic vision of the eye in low light. Since cone cells are nonfunctional in low light, scotopic vision is produced exclusively through rod cells so therefore there is no color perception. Scotopic vision occurs at luminance levels of 10-2 to 10-6 cd/m²."

Well, that is about as technical as I want to get. Suffice it to say that when the light levels transition in the evening from bright light to darkness there is a short period of time where a person sees in black and white. This got me thinking about how to reproduce this phenomena. In addition to reproducing scotopic vision, the transition from daylight vision to night vision, I thought it would be interesting if all of the images also showed something in transition.

scotopic vision by Pete Hellmann

My idea must have worked because these images have received several awards over the years.The most prestigious being from the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2007. The juror was George DeWolf, the senior editor of Camera Arts magazine. There was an excellent selection of artwork for this show and an on-line gallery can be found here.

While it seems that the black and white photographs in the series get the most attention, there are several that are in color. While not officially scotopic, I have always included these in the series because they are also an attempt to capture the transition from daylight to night light. I think this is especially successful in The Cows Come Home.

Prints of these photographs are now available on-line, however, if you are interested in limited edition prints please contact me directly via email at HellmannPhoto.com.

A Quick Tip On Using Built-in Flash

May 22nd, 2009

It’s almost the Memorial Day holiday weekend and many people are taking their digital camera with them while they visit friends and family. Before using your digital camera think about the use of the flash built into the camera. If you follow these camera flash tips you may see a dramatic improvement in the final results and your friends will think you’re an expert photographer.

Don't Use Flash Indoors

Turn off your flash indoors whenever you can. Sometimes you have to use the flash, but flash units tend to produce harsh, flat images. When possible use existing light from windows and doors by getting between the subject and the natural light source. In other words, don’t include the window in the picture or you will get a great photo of the window and an underexposed subject.

When shooting indoors at night turn on any and all lights you have in the room. This will help reduce those harsh photos as well as reduce red-eye.

Use Flash Outdoors

Most people think that using flash is synonymous with indoors night photography. Flash can be used when shooting outdoors during the day, even in bright sunlight. The reason you want to use your flash during the day is the flash will fill in shadows and remove harsh contrasts.

A great article on using the built-in flash can be found at Digital-Photography-School.com. I hope everyone has a great three day weekend!

Is Downloading An Image Stealing

May 19th, 2009

Short answer, YES!



It seems that with the advent of applications and websites that make it easy to publish content, people have the need to add images to their sites. I can understand this as text is very boring by itself. The problem is that many people don't seem to understand that if they take images from other sites they should make sure they are not violating the law. In many cases the deed is done without the individual knowing they may be violating the law. Most of the violators are simply showing an image they like to their friends and probably will never buy a fine art print. In such cases all I really ask is if you want to put one of my images on your personal website just ask and I'll be glad to allow it if you link back to my site and/or give credit. I'm most interested in the link back as that leads to better Google rankings and possible sales.

This policy applies to 99% of the image downloaders out there. I have yet to find anyone actually trying to sell my work as their own and if I did that would involve possible legal action since all of my work is copyrighted. Having said that here is the copyright statement from my website and this same copyright would apply to my images here at Fine Art America.

Copyright 2006-2009 Pete Hellmann Photography. All rights reserved. Pete Hellmann copyrights all site contents, including digital reproductions of photographs in the U.S. and internationally. Permission is granted to you for use of this site as a shopping resource allowing you to view, copy and print any page on this web site provided that it is used for informational purposes only, personal use only and this copyright notice is included in any copied or printed page. Any unauthorized dissemination or retransmission of materials within this site including, but not limited to, republication from other servers on the Internet, is forbidden without written consent of Pete Hellmann. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my images.

Alright, you read the copyright notice above, but let's be real. Everyone knows that images on the web are downloaded daily and used by individuals. If you really like any of my images, and really need to download them, please use them for informational purposes only, personal use only and include my name and copyright on any printed or published image.

Art Prints

Choosing The Right Paper For Prints

May 19th, 2009

Fine Art America (FAA) gives its customers many great paper choices for art work sold on this site, but I have been asked a few questions concerning the subject. The answer really depends on the type of artwork being sold so everything I’m about to say is focused on my own fine art photography.

When given a choice, there are several paper characteristics you should consider when choosing a paper. Your choice of paper can make as big an impact as the art work itself. Think about the effect you want to achieve, consider the paper types available and then make your selection. Here are some guidelines concerning paper types for photography.

A thicker paper is usually preferred for printing photographs. You’ll have the feel of a traditional photograph and thicker paper is more durable. Thickness is usually measured in “mil” and most inkjet photo papers are between 7 and 10 mil. Opacity is also important so you should look for higher opacity ratings if you are going to mount your photographs. There is nothing worse than seeing something behind your print like a marking on the mounting board. Opacity is not an issue with the papers offered by FAA so there is no need to worry about this.

Color brilliance is also important with a fine art print and this can be affected by the brightness of a paper. There are two scales that measure the brightness or light reflectivity of paper: the ISO Brightness scale and the TAPPI scale. The higher the rating, the whiter the paper will appear which yields photographs with higher contrast and more accurate color. Papers that are exceptionally bright probably have been treated with whitening agents that may degrade inks over time. Since you want your fine art print to last you should avoid high ISO values. Again, this is not an issue with the papers provided by FAA.

This brings me to the most important paper characteristic when it comes to purchasing prints at FAA. Since brightness and thickness are not an issue we come to the topic of paper finish. While paper finish is mostly a matter of preference, I favor the matte finish and most of my photographs have been proofed using matte papers. Choosing a glossy paper will improve contrast and yield more vivid colors, but because I have proofed my images using matte paper, glossy papers may produce versions of my photographs that are over saturated. Matte papers also tend to be more stable over time meaning the colors will not fade or bleed.

To finally answer the question of which paper is best, I highly recommend that you choose the Premium Archival Matte Paper offered by FAA. It is a long lasting, heavyweight paper that gives excellent contrast and detail. It is also acid-free which will produce long lasting prints. Another point to consider is that once the print is framed behind glass, the glass will give the print a glossy look anyway.

If you decide that you must have a glossy print I recommend choosing the Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper. The luster finish is a happy medium between matte and glossy finishes.

Art Prints

New Photographs From Colorado Now Available

May 12th, 2009

New Photographs From Colorado Now Available

I want to let everyone know that I have just released numerous photos from my last trip to Colorado. These images emphasize the beauty of fall in the Rockies. Sizes range from approximately 5" x 7" to 11" x 14" . These open edition prints are available from my website at HellmannPhoto.com or right here at Fine Art America .

My signed, limited edition prints are still available at select galleries or by contacting me directly via email at Pete @ HellmannPhoto.com.

Sell Art Online

Getting Started With Galleries

May 9th, 2009

Getting Started With Galleries

An artist friend was asking about getting started in art as a business and wanted to know how I got involved with some of the galleries that show my work. This seems to be a popular question so I have listed some ideas below in no particular order. I hope you find it helpful.

Join a local art club which can be found everywhere. Art clubs provide an organized group of artists who usually know about locations for artists to show their work. Many times these groups already have relationships with merchants and restaurateurs who agree to regularly display work from the club's members. Even if you never display anything from these contacts you can learn all kinds of things talking to and being around other artists.

Donate your work to charities for inclusion in their auction fund-raisers. The publicity will mean more than the profit from a single sale.

Enter local and regional art shows in your area. Some of these events allow anyone to show their art for the price of the entrance fee. Events like this can expose a large cross section of your community to your art. It will also give you experience that will pay off when you are eventually accepted in a prestigious juried show.

Keep a portfolio of your work and events where your work has appeared. This can be used to market yourself.

Talk with owners and curators when you visit a gallery. You don’t need to always talk about your own work. Simply building a relationship can have large payoffs in the future.

When the opportunity arises use your portfolio to present samples of your work and show evidence of the public exposure you've gained. Pitch your work and your ideas for showing it. The more familiar local gallery personnel are accepting your work the more likely they are to invite you to show in their gallery.