Friday, September 28, 2007

Framed Images with Digital Matts

Below is a quick image I took with my iphone of some prints that were framed incorporating the digital matts. There is no glass in front of these, I just sprayed them with Premier Art Print Shield to protect them from fading. They would not be protected from impact to the image, but if left alone they should last a lifetime indoors. I think that glare-free plexi could be used to further protect them, but this creates further framing complexity that may not be necessary if the images are hung in a safe location.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Experimenting with Digital Matts

I have recently created a few large prints that incorporate digital matts that are printed with the image. This allows me to create and frame large prints (bigger than 40x30") that are very difficult to matt and frame traditionally. George Lepp gave a presentation on this at Photoshop World Vegas, so I thought I would give it a try. I have set up an action for creating the matts in photoshop, but each image requires customizing based on the colors in the image and the size of the image. I am currently having all these mounted onto a rigid backing known as "gator board". I will then treat the image with Premier Art Print Shield and frame them, no glass or matt needed. I will have these on display at our gallery the weekend of October 6, during the opening for the Seasons of Martis show from 12-4 PM on the 6th. The images will range in size from 40x30" to 40x60". I have also been trying out the new Ultrasmooth canvas by Premier Imaging and find that this technique also works well on stretched canvasses with a floater frame. It gives it a more "finished" look than just a gallery wrapped canvas, although I imagine there are some purists who will not like the concept. I am looking forward to getting customer feedback about this new display option, which makes the display of large prints much more affordable. Here is a shot of the digital matt I designed for "Autumnn Passage":


Saturday, September 22, 2007

New "Collectors Edition" of Brilliant Waters Book now Available

Today I am announcing the availability of the new "Collector's Edition" series of my book "Brilliant Waters". The limited edition book set includes a custom slip cover, a copy of the book from the first printing, and a signed & numbered 8x10 print of "Sunrise on Eagle Falls". All other copies of the first printing are now sold out, with the exception of these last 50 limited editions. The price for this set is $150, plus $10 shipping. If you are interested in ordering one, please contact me via email or phone at 530-582-0557. More information is available on my web site.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Experiments with Smart Objects in PS CS 3

In the quest for the ultimate in fine art print quality, I have been testing the use of Camera Raw smart objects in Photoshop CS3. At a PS World 07 Seminar Jeff Schewe demonstrated how you can open a raw image file as a smart object, which allows you to click on that layer at any time and bring up the Camera Raw Dialog box again, so refinements can be applied to the image while it is a layer in a photoshop file. In the past I have always converted my files to DNG Raw files, "developed" them in Adobe camera raw, then opened them up as regular layers in Photoshop to do final adjustments or blending. I think the Camera Raw converter is superior to Photoshop in many image adjustment functions such as color correction, tonal correction, saturation, sharpening, noise removal, etc.

I took one of my raw images from a recent Big Sur trip and developed it twice in Camera Raw, opening each conversion as a smart object on its own layer. I then combined both layers into one document. I could then combine a camera raw conversion for the sky with one for the foreground, incorporating individual settings for exposure, noise reduction, color temp, sharpening, etc. Because each layer is a smart object, I can reopen the Camera Raw settings at any time to tweak numerous image adjustments such as color correction, tonal correction, saturation, sharpening, noise removal, etc. Since masks can be applied to smart objects I can mask each layer to reveal the part of the image that the settings are optimized for. The best part is that these are completely non-destructive edits, all can be completely reversed at any time. This style of working eliminates the need for alot of adjustment layers. Below is a screen shot of the 2 layers it took to create the adjusted Big Sur Image using only the unadjusted raw file. This is a great tool for landscape photographers who are always trying to maximize image quality from a broad range of image tones.

To open a Camera Raw conversion as a smart object, hold down the shift key and press "open object" in the ACR conversion window. To combine 2 smart objects into one file, just drag one image's layer to the other image while holding down the shift key to register the pixels.

This is the unedited RAW file, below that is the image I created from this one file with 2 layers.



Monday, September 10, 2007

Dates for My California Calumet Seminars

I will be giving a series of mini-seminars in California courtesy of Calumet and Hasselblad. The dates are as follows:

Los Angeles Calumet – Tuesday, December 4th – 2-4pm

San Diego Calumet – Thursday, December 6th – 2-4pm

San Francisco Calumet – Thursday, January 17th – 2-4pm

Locations for these events are at the Calumet Website. These will be the same sessions I am giving in New York and Chicago, more specifics are on my website.

Thanks to On One Software I will be able to raffle off a few free boxes of the OnOne Plug in Suite 3 at the New York and Chicago Events, and will also try to get some copies for the California events. These retail for $400.

Photoshop World Vegas & New Epson 64" Printer

I just returned from Photoshop world in Vegas and am very enthused about some new tools for optimizing print quality that I learned about. I will be doing some blog posts about these over the next few weeks as I experiment with these new techniques of using Camera Raw Smart Objects (courtesy of Jeff Schewe). Jeff has a great blog at Epson has also announced their new printers - I think the new Epson 11880 64" wide printer will be awesome and I look forward to checking one out at PhotoPlus NY in October.