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- Sean Connery as William Forrester in "Finding Forrester"

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Lightroom 1.1 Sharpening Tip

With the new sharpening capabilities of the latest release of Lightroom you need to be able to tell how each of the sliders affect your image. Like with the Exposure and Blacks sliders, if you hold down the Alt key while adjusting any of the sharpening sliders the image will temporarily turn gray emphasizing how the image is effected. One of the great things about the new Lightroom sharpening, as evidenced by the image going gray, is that these adjustments are only on the luminance of the photo.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Graduation 2007

As I mentioned on Monday, this past Saturday my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Marjorie, graduated from high school and I was tasked with the job of photographing the ceremony and grabbing all the family shots.

Now, I'm no event photographer, but I think there are certainly a few keepers in there. If you click here you can see a gallery - created in Lightroom - of my best shots from the day (23 of about 100). Just a note, I noticed that I've had to hit refresh once the page came up in order for the images to actually load.

In these shots you will mostly see Marjorie but you will also find Kim (with and without the family dog, Buddy), their youngest sister Sarah, and their parents Ken and Terry.

One thing I noticed was that whenever I moved up to get some shots, everyone with a point-and-shoot or video camera started moving towards me. Maybe it was my Nikon D200 with a 56-200mm lens or the fact that I was using a monopod instead of hand-holding it. Granted, most amateurs don't always know what a good angle to shoot from would be so they follow the person who seems to know what he/she is doing thinking that they will get the same shot. The difference isn't just the camera or the monopod but knowing how to compose a shot.

I get this a lot during events I do with work. I'm on the primary video camera for live events and I setup where I will get a good shot of the podium, good angles on the whole stage, and the ability to get as unobstructed shots as possible of everything else. It's not always the best spot for stills. But, without fail, whenever anyone wants a shot they will gather around my position to snap a few. I can't blame them, but I do smile to myself every time.

NOTE: All of the shots in the gallery were initially processed in Lightroom. Some sharpening was added to the faces in Photoshop (before Lightroom 1.1 was released) and, for a couple of the family shots, I replaced the faces of those who were blinking or looking away with those from other shots. That is why I take multiple shots of the same setup/pose.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

P&P Workflow: #9

Lightroom 1.1 Edition
by Jason D. Moore

Taken of my fiancee, Kim, at her parents' house in Bainbridge, NY on 6/23/2007 at 3:24:59PM (EST). Taken with available light, no flash. By the way, I used my future mother-in-law's cream-colored shirt as a reflector to cast the side light on Kim and Buddy. It just happened that way as she was sitting in the sun off camera which offered a nice soft light.
  • Nikon D200
    Program Mode
    56.0-200.0 mm f/4.0-5.6 lens
    1/100 at f/5.0
    ISO 400
    Focal Length 62mm

In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 (Develop Module):
  • Basic:
    White Balance: (Set to Auto in the camera and adjusted to:)
    -Temp: 4941
    -Tint: -13
    -Exposure: -0.24
    -Recovery: 0
    -Fill Light: 11
    -Blacks: 19
    -Clarity: 27

  • Saturation:
    Purple, Magenta: -100

  • Detail - Sharpening:
    -Amount: 120
    -Radius: 1.0
    -Detail: 76
    -Masking: 0

  • Lens Vignetting:
    -Amount: -100
    -Midpoint: 22

Now, I'm not totally up to speed on all the new features and improvements in LR 1.1 but after just playing around with it, I must say that, at the very least, the sharpening is way beyond what it once was. Clarity adds some midtone contrast and it really added some depth.

There was one small thing I noticed so far that I'm not sure I like. When you are cropping, you do have the ability to constrain the aspect ratio or not. However, in this version, the icon isn't as obvious as to whether or not the aspect ratio is locked. The yoke on the lock is either up or down which isn't as quickly identifiable as locked or not as the older icon.

But all-in-all I like what I've seen so far.

*If you would like to contribute to the P&P Workflow, please email Jason.

Lightroom 1.1

As you may have read already, Adobe has just released the update to Lightroom v.1.1 (You can download it here: Win, Mac). There are a number of discussions posted out there about what the new features are:

And Scott Kelby has some news over on his blog about the new release as well as a free version 1.1 PDF update to his Lightroom Book called "My Lightroom 1.1 Update Kit" that should be uploaded tomorrow.

I downloaded the update last night before bed and then again this morning at work. I am about to finally get a chance to play with it and I'll do a P&P Workflow post about it later on today along with my first impressions of the improvements and new features.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

P&P Weekly: #37

Here’s what’s been happening this week in The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll:

Update your blogs often! I will only include links to posts added since the last P&P Weekly.

As always, if you have any suggestions or notice a discrepancy, please email me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

That's My Monkey: Monkey 2.0

Michael Snell of eyes on the road - friend of the blog - just announced a redesign of the photography site he and his brother Bruce - also a friend of the blog - manage, That's My Monkey, in honor of the site's first birthday. Congratulations on the first year!

In other news, it was a pretty full weekend so I have been delinquent with putting together the P&P Weekly for today. I'll work on it this evening and have it for you tomorrow. Also, over the weekend I wore the hat of "event photographer" for my soon-to-be-sister-in-law's high school graduation. Now, I'm not an event photographer at all, but I think some of the shots turned out. So be on the lookout for a few later this week.

In the meantime, congrats once again to Michael and Bruce!

Friday, June 22, 2007


I apologize for this being a little off-topic but, if you want to be technical about it, this is a photo so...

Kim and I have been deep into planning for our upcoming wedding (October 13th!) and each time a detail is figured out or another element is taken care of we find ourselves filled with more excitement.

Kim got her dress a couple of weeks ago, I was measured for my tux the other day, we're in the process of registering (through a cool site called http://www.idofoundation.org/ which partners with stores to donate a percentage of the proceeds to a charity of our choice - we're leaning towards Doctors Without Borders), we met with my friend Meredith who will be officiating, and we've just ordered our wedding rings (above). We wanted something unique and different and that would fit well with her engagement ring.

There's still a lot of little (and not so little) details to work out but I feel pretty good about where we are with everything. As much as I am excited about "The Day" I am even more overjoyed by the fact that I'll be married to such a wonderful woman.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two Fish Illustration

During the summer after high school, and again after sophomore year of college, I worked as a counselor at the camp I used to go to every summer growing up. My supervisor from those summers, Jake Souva, has just launched his own freelance illustration/graphic design services company called Two Fish Illustration & Design.

Jake has a very unique style, a vivid imagination, and is an all-around good guy. Take a few minutes to stop over and browse through his portfolios and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

State of the Art Blog: Paparazzi Product Placement

I just caught this article over on PopPhoto/American Photo's State of the Art Blog. It appears as though celebrities may be taking advantage of all of the paparazzi shots taken of them. David Schonauer refers to a recent photo of Jennifer Aniston prominently holding a bottle of smarterwater - as she is their new spokeswoman - and since these shots get published all over, it's good advertising for the company.

For years, Los Angeles paparazzi have made a living shooting celebs walking out of Starbucks while slurping down lattes from the chain's signature cups. Talk about free advertising! Now, however, we may be seeing a new degree of confluence between celebrity photojournalism and product promotion. Jennifer Aniston, who recently signed on as a spokeswoman for smarterwater, seems to be traveling with a bottle in view, just in case the paparazzi strike... As much as celebs complain about the paparazzi,they have always known how to make good use of them. Expect to see much more of this kind of unholy marketing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Texture King

Sometime last year, I don't remember when or where, I came across a site called Texture King. This site offers totally free stock images of textures of all kinds. You don't have to be a member of anything, you don't have to sign in, all you have to do is go there, select the textures you like, and download the ZIP files. The site says:

The stock photographs on this site are free for use in any situation by anyone with only one exception. DO NOT sell, redistribute, or host any of the stock photos that are found on this site.
The above image was created using 8 different textures with a combination of blend modes, one mask, and a hue/saturation adjustment layer to remove some green that threw things off. I also feathered a duplicate layer in Multiply mode to add a little bit of a vignette.

Monday, June 18, 2007

P&P Weekly: #36

It's been a tiring couple of weeks with work but I'm now back to a relatively normal schedule. So, back to it...

Here’s what’s been happening this week in The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll:

Update your blogs often! I will only include links to posts added since the last P&P Weekly.

As always, if you have any suggestions or notice a discrepancy, please email me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Adobe Magazine - June 2007

As you may have heard - if you don't receive it, yourself - Adobe has just released their June issue of Adobe Magazine for Creative Professionals. I read the cover story a little while ago, written by magazine editor Kimberly Grob. It's a discussion with Jean-Francois Rauzier and Maggie Taylor about the process behind their digital composites and illustrations and how technology is catching up with their imaginations.

One of the points that I found to be particularly interesting - probably because it's so true - is that it takes so much time and effort to make things look simple, seamless, effortless. Whether there is a great deal of pre-planning or you're allowing the art to be created in the moment, it takes a hell of a lot of work to get every detail just right. At the scale these artists work - often in the billions of pixels - everything needs to be just so, because everything can be seen.

Grob also talks about the fact that Photoshop is a tool to help you unleash your creativity. While each filter, brush, selection tool, or action is meant to help you realize your vision, I see so often how easy it is to slip into the pattern of using something because it's there and thinking that it makes a high quality image. It's not, "Look, I can use this filter!" or, "I can put a person on a different background!" Granted it's a judgement call, and a very subjective one at that, but it's one thing to use a particular filter as an element in your overall process, but another to allow it to dominate your image. Besides, if you use the filters, etc. without massaging the image beyond that, your creation won't look original. It won't look professional. It will lack the sophistication you're probably looking for.

When creating out of the ordinary, crazy, innovative images it is important to find the balance between imaginative and realistic. Even with starkly contrasting elements and a unique vision the effort behind it needs to be invisible, the integration of all the pieces should be seamless, and the tools and effects used should enhance the image, not be the main subject of it. The viewer shouldn't be overwhelmed with the thought, "This was done in Photoshop."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Embedded Links on NAPP TV

I know there has already been some talk about this, certainly on NAPP TV's site as well as Dave Cross and Scott Kelby's blogs, but I just got around to watching this week's NAPP TV and thought this new feature was just cool enough to mention.

One of the new features of the show as they continue with the construction of their new set and the rebranding, is the new clickable links. Whenever a site or event is mentioned, a URL will show up as a lower third and an icon will appear in the upper right of the screen indicating that you can click and be immediately directed to that site without having to pause the show. In case you may be confused by this new feature, watch this week's episode for a clever tutorial told in the style of one of those 50's "Hey, You Down There!" training videos.

By the way, the episodes shot on the temporary set have been getting better and better as the Photoshop Guys pile on more and more pizza boxes, snacks, and equipment - including their biggest fan (bad, I know). As always, you guys are not only educational, but entertaining as well. Bravo!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reflections From the Road

My apologies, once again, for my absence these past couple of weeks. It has been a whirlwind of activity taking us all over the Northeast in two directions at once each weekend.

We started off with one team here in Liverpool, NY with my brother and another crew down in King of Prussia, PA working with a conference based in New Jersey. Last weekend, my dad and a team were in Buffalo while my brother and I, as I mentioned on Monday, were down in Princess Anne, MD.

All 4 events went fairly well. No catastrophic failures, no serious glitches. And getting asked back for next year and/or renewing our multi-year contracts are definitely a good sign that we're doing something right.

In preparing for these events, we knew there were a number of things we had to do to upgrade our systems so that we could do multiple events at the same time as well as to improve on the issues we encountered in the past. We're always trying to get a little better each time.

This year, we bought new video switchers, new projectors and mounts, racked up as much as we could to minimize setup time, and mounted a robotic pan-tilt head on the truss we flew overhead in order to get better shots of the laying on of hands during the service of ordination (these have been religious conferences). This aptly nicknamed "God Camera" allowed us to get unobstructed views of the speakers at the podium, choirs performing on the stage, cutaways to some of the beautiful banners and backdrops they created, and even some shots of the crowd and an OTS (over-the-shoulder) of the organist.

Now, I'm a cameraman and my brother is a sound guy. I can direct and switch and Chris can run a camera, but neither is what we feel the most comfortable with, which added to the pressure of this event. However, since it was our 4th year in a row, we had everything pretty much under control. Next year, though, we hope to send Chris to do sound at the other conference while my dad would go to Maryland with me to switch so I can run camera. That way, we're all doing what we do best.

Up to this year rigging the truss and getting all of the images aligned was a bit of a trick and we had Chris along because he'd had some experience with rigging in college. Now, with the advancements we've made and having worked with him on it these past four years I am comfortable with everything we need to do, which will free him up to do the other.

All in all these were a couple of taxing but successful weeks. We had less stress than in previous years despite the added complications of doing more than one at a time. And equally if not more importantly, our clients were satisfied with our work, even blown away at times.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm Back, Sort Of...

After another long weekend and almost 9 hours in a Ryder truck (minus about an hour for dinner at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach, DE - really good 4-cheese pizza, by the way) I finally pulled into home around 2:30 this morning after unloading all of our gear.

The events went well. We're all pretty whipped and happy for a day off or two to rest our weary bones. I'm in no state of mind to write anything intelligent or thoughtful right now, but I'll be back to blogging regularly in the next day or two.

Until then...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Inside Digital Photo

Last week in the midst of my busyness I got an email from Scott Sheppard, CEO of Inside Media Networks and host of the Inside Digital Photo podcast, about his recent interview with Photoshop Guy - and friend of the blog - Scott Kelby.

I had first encountered IDP this past March when they featured a video tour of Photoshop Nomad - and another friend of the blog - Ben Willmore's home on wheels. It's definitely worth a look.

Back to Scott's interview with Scott, it's a fun look at the background of the NAPP, Scott's digital photo workflow, and what's been going on lately.

Learn about Scott’s current gear and workflow including a hands-on analysis of why he feels Adobe Lightroom is a better than using the tools built into Adobe PhotoShop CS3, especially if you are a professional photographer.

Scott also discusses the key benefits the NAPP organization provides to it’s members including discounts, tips, training, and best of all an extensive global community of other Adobe Photoshop users with which to network and share questions, ideas, and inspiration.

Hear why their semi-annual Photoshop World Conference & Expo is one of the premier technology learning events available and of course where to get one of Scott’s books. Scott Kelby is known for being the #1 best-selling computer/ technology author in the world for the past three years straight.

Keep up with Scott’s latest news at www.scottkelby.com and, if you are not already a member, join the National Association of Photoshop Professionals by visiting: http://www.photoshopuser.com

(And if you do, be sure to mention me as a referrer! - JDM)

Friday, June 01, 2007

My 38+ Hour Work Day

I apologize for not having anything interesting to say today. We are in the midst of our conference season and will be virtually out of touch with the real world until Sunday, at which time we'll begin a brief recovery period before doing it all again next week.

Today - or shall I say "yesterday" since it's now 4:36am - was setup day. We unloaded our rental truck at around 8 and began setting up our gear. After a long day of hammering out many of the details and slaying all of the dragons that came our way - including me dropping a 70 pound speaker cabinet on my dad's head (we're both ok) - we finally had the chance to break free at a couple of minutes after 2am to head home for a couple of hours of shut-eye before our 8am call. That is, we thought we could get free...

When we went to have security lock up the main room with all of our equipment in it, they were less than able to adequately secure the space. So, with that, we decided that we would act as our own night watchmen and in a few very short hours the first session of the weekend will begin. And I won't be done until around 10:30pm tonight.

In short, I'm beyond tired and exist now in a state of pure exhaustion and, if I'm able to remain conscious today, I will be running mainly on the fear of screwing everything up. That said, next week will keep me from blogging much, if at all. My apologies. I'll try to put together the P&P Weekly, but I can't promise anything.