Client Story: Natural History Museum new book

Very pleased to have worked on the new book from the Natural History Museum titled “Unforgettable Behaviour

The book shows some of the most interesting animal behaviour from past “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” overall and category winners and adds descriptive text that adds context and depth to the story of each image.

Im a big fan of having a better understanding of the world and happy that this book is not just visually strong but also contains a depth of knowledge in the subject matter.

t was my job to translate the RGB images supplied from multiple sources into a cohesive and consistent set of CMYK separations that could be printed safe in the knowledge that shadow, midtone and highlight details are preserved and best represent the image on paper.

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Update: Preparing the workshop


Very much looking forward to presenting my half day Imaging Workflow Workshops at Chester Zoo in September this year. I’m going through material for the presentation and I’m determined to fill the session with as much information and insight as possible.

As well as my session there is a half day session each with Sue Flood (photography) and Cindy Miller Hopkins who will guide you well on metadata amongst other things. The final half day sees us all together to review and help answer any outstanding questions. It will be a very worthwhile 2 days, we will pour out our knowledge with no compromise or commercial break.

Lightroom is too slow? don’t get me wrong, I do love Lightroom, I use it to ingest shoots, search for images, manage collections, bulk print and make the occasional web gallery, it really excels in lots of important areas. Where it falls down on is speed for editing and retouching, I will be showing work arounds and methods for faster and more accurate workflow using Bridge and Photoshop but in the meantime, here is a message I posted for Adobe:

Adobe:

 Lightroom is getting a little long in the tooth, the mobile apps are a fun and sometimes a useful addition but we really need the main desktop program to be better.

Editing and retouching – even with pre built smart previews is achingly slow.

I have monitored processor, memory and disk usage during these tasks and found nothing on my fast i7 PC is stressed, the headroom in speed and bandwidth is simply unused – there must be something  fundamentally askew with the code to be causing this latency.

Please use a tiny fraction of your newly expanded profits to employ someone who can write tight and fast code to get the job done, it would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Stephen Johnson
Copyrightimage Ltd

Update: July 11th
Adobe have released a statement acknowledging problems and have promised a fix. Nice to see Adobe responding to its wider community, I hope a better product will be the result.

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WannaCry Ransomware

I don’t know of any clients still running Windows XP but there may be some who don’t automatically apply Windows updates when they become available.

If you employ IT support for your site then get in touch with your IT team and check that they have your system supported against wannacry.

If you do not have external IT support, manage things yourself and have not applied security patches recently then I suggest you reconsider and run automatic update and accept any new security patches, if you are not sure how you can learn how to do this here:

Windows 7 users:
http://www.wikihow.com/Run-Windows-Update-in-Windows-7

Windows 10 users:
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-update-security-settings-windows-10

Mac users can take the opportunity to feel a little smug but do be aware that its unlikely that the NSA is just looking for Windows exploits, the next NSA leak may be a Mac vulnerability:
https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/news-stories/2015/discovering-solving-sharing-it-solutions.shtml

 

 

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Software – tools (and nothing else)

Stephen’s Zenith E film camera from a time before imaging software

Its so easy to get lost in the various processes in photography and imaging. Both equipment and software can demand attention, its best however to not let this distract from the most important thing…

I thought I would set out my ideas about some of the software tools I use and perhaps explain why I I will never be an ambassador for or owe allegiance to a particular software company.

Here at Copyrightimage I use a variety of licensed software from many sources.

I view a piece of imaging software as a tool to aid in the development and production of images. I appreciate the efforts of the software developers at Adobe, Phase One, Photo Mechanic and others to make the best tools possible. However its important to remember that software evolves and companies change and disappear, in the end the only lasting things are the images you produce.

For this reason I favour software that supports open standards in file types, metadata and colour management. I’m much less keen on propriety parametric software that locks in any changes to the images that would be lost if they were to be discontinued. For example (and despite being one of the richest companies in the world) Apple left their Aperture users high and dry in 2014.

The main lesson from the demise of Kodak is that no company, no matter how big is immune from the changing landscape, especially when the rate of change increases.

In these days of declining returns from Stock Photo Agencies and other photographic income streams I find that the most effective way to speed up and reduce the cost of my services comes from combining the best elements of each piece of software into a custom workflow. Listed below are the current major pieces of software I use in each category of imaging workflow. This software and workflow will change as the market does but the one thing that will remain central to my focus: The Images themselves.

click to enlarge:

 

 

 

 

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Client Advisory – Photoshop CC 2017 update

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Adobe have released the 2017 versions of Bridge and Photoshop. Looks to be a mixture of interface changes, performance enhancements and extended functionality.

Initial impressions are good and I will be giving it test drives over the next few days.

With important customer jobs in progress I have of course kept my current versions of Bridge and Photoshop installed so I can run both. This is also important as only some of my third party filters have been transferred across with the install.

If you would like to test the new version as well then consider doing the same and run the install so that it doesn’t write over your current setup, to do this click on Advanced Options in the update dialogue and untick Remove old Versions (Keep Import previous settings and preferences ticked)

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Copyrightimage helps out with Planet Earth II for the BBC

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Very much looking forward to seeing Planet Earth II with Sir David Attenborough starting next Sunday on BBC1 in the UK. The first episode is titled Islands.

My involvement in the project was to retouch and colour grade the stills and 4k+ video grabs for The Book that accompanies the series. Thanks goes to the Editor Kate Fox and the Project Editor Roz Kidman Cox for asking me to do the work.

Television shows images in RGB and has a high brightness and contrast range, paper in comparison has a very low colour and tone range that starts off with a creamy white for the highlights and then makes up the rest of the colour and tone by darkening the paper with Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black process inks.

The challenge is to retain all important highlight and shadow detail but keep a good dynamic contrast and colour in the mid tones and overall, this does mean quite an involved grading process using multiple layers and adjustments to get this right. (I discussed this split grading in my recent workshop).

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Client Story:MINT Images, Liesel Böckl

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Liesel has been working on a series of projects over the Summer in Japan and I was pleased to be asked to retouch from the raw files via her agency MINT Images. Each project is a sensitive and authentic visual short story of the workplaces she visited and together they tell a larger story of Kodawari. Liesels website is currently being redone but you can follow her projects here on facebook


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Stills from Video, workshop summary notes

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Many thanks to those who attended my workshop this afternoon.


It was a bit of a whirlwind through the world of colour management and the process of grading images to sit well on the page or screen but I hope you found something of interest that you can incorporate into your workflow.

For your benefit (and those that could not make it) I have made some summary notes for you.

These don’t include the copyrighted material I was kindly allowed to use in the talk

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or would like to work with me to improve your workflow or project.

You can download the notes here; http://copyrightimage.com/A/product/optimal-video-stills-workflow-guide/

 

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