Client Guidance: Photoshop 2019 ver. 20.0.0

The newest version of Photoshop CC is now available via the Creative Cloud update program. Just a few points to consider before upgrading:

Some useful performance improvements evident in this new release. I have not had time to go through all the changes so don’t have a full report yet, here is a rundown of the main points for working users:

Many of the changes are in areas not having much if any impact on a photographic workflow (mirrored painting etc). Aside from some speed improvements the biggest change for me is a better content aware fill which is useful for commercial images (i.e. non ethical retouching).

There are some “improvements” that can be a backward step for some, here are the main points and some workarounds:

  1. On a Windows PC and using a wacom tablet its no longer possible to press the Alt key, left click on the pen and move left/right for size up/down for hardness. The only way I have found around this is to map the alt key to the top pen button, pressing this returns the functionality without using the keyboard at all. You can change the button mapping in the Wacom control panel in the Windows Settings.
  2. Bridge has had a significant workover especially with image caching. However – even after building a 100% size preview cache of a large folder I find that only some of the images snap into focus immediately when jumping between images in full screen mode. For long runs of images Im hitting a blurred rendition followed a fraction of a second later by a sharp version. This “visual slap in the face” makes selecting from thousands of images very difficult. The only workaround I have found so far is to switch back to Photo Mechanic 5 for image selection.
  3. Control Z no longer does undo/redo but instead just does a series of undos going back in history (unless you use shift+ctrl+z in which case it goes forward in history. This could be considered an improvement and it does make logical sense but it does spoil the habit of doing a quick undo/redo to see the effect of a filter or adjustment. I rely on this quick before/after shortcut quite a bit so its good that the fix is easy, just select “Use legacy undo shortcuts” in the Keyboard shortcuts and menus dialogue.

If you are in the middle of a job then do not upgrade just yet. When you hit a quiet patch consider installing the new versions without removing your current version (click on the advanced options in the creative cloud update app that becomes visible once you press the update button)

Let me know if you run into any problems I have not covered here and I will have a look, in the meantime just return to using the previous version till a fix can be found.

Being optimistic – there are positive changes and perhaps a few upcoming  patches eg: to fix the speed of the cache in the new Bridge app will stabilise things.

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Client story: Sue Flood Emperor: The Perfect Penguin

 

Had a lovely day in London yesterday at the launch of Sue Floods new book “Emperor: The Perfect Penguin”.

Good to catch up with Sue, Chris and the rest of the team and much respect to Michael Palin for both providing the forward to the book and also an insightful series of questions to Sue at the event.

A pleasure also to meet some of the attendees from the Chester zoo imaging workshops who were at the event. The passion and drive shown by Sue is an inspiration to us all.


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August update

 

Its been a little while since I updated the website so here are some recent highlights:

Workshops: Its been a busy few months here at Copyrightimage. Im travelling a little more than in the past as my newer photography clients prefer to have their training and systems setup on their own site rather than bringing everything to North Norfolk – which is fair enough of course. To make things easier for these types of clients I do not charge for travel time and charge travel at cost (most often via rail). A few days of training can often be enough to check on colour management, file handling, backing up and software training, if your imaging workflow is less than ideal then a short intensive check and training session could be what you need to gain confidence and re-invigorate your photography, whether you’re a beginner, advanced or professional I can help you get the most from your photography, get in touch for more details.

Natural History Museum: Pleased to have a copy of “Unforgettable underwater photography” drop through the post box. This is the latest book to use the unique collection of Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition images as its source. I was asked by the books editor Rosamund Kidman Cox to work on the image files and produced sharpened CMYK repro ready files.

Underwater images can be the hardest to make the journey to the printed page, the CMYK process does not have much ability to show all the shades of blue that can be shown in RGB on a screen, it took an awful lot of effort and very careful working to get the very best out of these images but I was pleased to see the hard work had paid off and I was able to do the best for the excellent photography this competition attracts.

Other: I have been and will be working on even more books this year for lots of different clients, looks like the consistent high quality “look” that dedicated file preparation can bring book production is starting to make waves,  it also does no harm that my accurate soft proofing and colour management means that proofing costs have fallen dramatically for clients…

More updates to come…

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Better image upscaling method in Photoshop and Topaz AI Gigapixel (updated)

(Click on the image to see it bigger to see the effect)

One of the useful recent technology previews Adobe has added into photoshop is the new algorithm for scaling images up: Preserve Details 2.0

As you can see from this 400% increase sample the new method makes for a much better image compared to the traditional bicubic smoother interpolation. On some images there can be added noise but this can be controlled with a preview for feedback in the Image size window.

Im very impressed with this new tool and there will be uses for this for my clients who require very large prints or need to get the best out of a cropped image over a double page spread. Credit to Adobe for adding this.

You will need the current 2018 version of Photoshop CC to use this tool, if its not visible as an option in the image size dialog then go to the “Technology Previews” tab in Photoshop preferences and tick “Enable Preserve Details 2.0 Upscale”

Update:
If I was impressed by Adobe’s Preserve Details 2.0 then I must be dumbfounded by Topax AI Gigapixel! This new software (standalone $99.99 purchase). uses artificial intelligence to “remake” the image. I will be keeping an eye on the software to make sure the results Im getting are ethically fitting within the sphere of the subject matter but this holds great promise for taking extreme crops of stills or taking video frames further up in size for printing.

Note that AI Gigapixel is a stand alone program that does not need Photoshop to run , this software can work its magic regardless of where the image goes afterwards.

Link to AI Gigapixel page: https://topazlabs.com/ai-gigapixel/

 

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Domain and web hosting: Update and information for clients

Although not central to the imaging workflow help I give to clients I have in the past helped some of  them develop their websites and online presence.

Up till now I have recommended a few ancillary companies that have had a consistent and reliable service level, they have been:

easily.co.uk for domain name management.

godaddy.com for hosting

Unfortunately both these companies have now become unreliable:

Easily.co.uk have introduced a new control panel that lacks the essential functionality of the old one and telephone support (whilst present) cannot directly help with essentials.
Godaddy are now using their industry dominant position to buy other hosting companies and are hiking charges as a result. Their recent “bait and switch” behaviour leaves a very sour taste.

 Fortunately there are companies that can offer much better service and reliability at reasonable cost, here are my current recommendations:

Domain name management: Google domains. Google understand the DNS system like no one else, prices are good and the interface is functional.

Website hosting: Krystal: I have now moved all my web hosting to Krystal, they are more competitive than goDaddy and offer a better standard of product with much more functionality included in the price. Highly recommended.

Clients wishing to transfer to the new services can get in touch with me if they need any help with the process or liaise with their in-house IT support.

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Client Story: Disney Nature

Disney Nature’s new film “Penguins” coming Earth Day 2019 looks like a lot of fun, you can watch the trailer via facebook using this link.

It was lovely working on the preliminary stills for the production, I worked from some very well shot raw files and used my split grading technique to retain all the highlight and shadow detail that is present in nature (but can otherwise get compressed in the photographic and repro process).

Presenting Disney with “file sets” ensures that each image is available in a suitable form for archiving (16bit Master tiff with no sharpening), delivery files (8 bit sharpened), CMYK versions for print and sRGB versions for web and screen use.

These dedicated delivery files ensure that the image is presented as well as it can be on the different media and with a consistency that is the hallmark of a good production.

Always a pleasure to help out Disney Nature with their productions, great people to work with (thanks Matt).

https://www.facebook.com/Disneynature/

http://ew.com/movies/2018/04/22/penguins-trailer-disneynature-steve/

https://theslanted.com/2018/04/29525/disney-celebrates-earth-day-with-a-penguins-trailer/

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Working together again after 21 years


It was lovely to have Roz Woodward from All Things Image (http://www.allthingsimage.co.uk/) here for a colour management workshop this week.

Roz and I last worked together at Tony Stone Images in the Creative Imaging department at about the time it morphed into Getty Images. Roz is a very creative retoucher and producer and was keen to extend her knowledge of colour management and process to help improve the workflow for her clients.

Roz has recently invested in an Eizo CG2730 monitor after going through 2 models and 3 samples of BenQ pro photography monitors that failed to be consistent in colour across the screen (we are very sensitive to colour!). Eizo of course are masters of colour consistency so I’m confident the new purchase will serve her and her clients well.

It’s nice to break up retouching work with helping others, if you feel you or your staff would benefit from some Imaging training then please feel free to get in touch.

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Reflecting the world in your photography.

Delighted to have run a successful weekend imaging workflow workshop here in Sheringham recently. It was on a Saturday which suited the private client better. In this kind of 1:1 workshop I can work closely with the photographer and find the areas that will help them grow and get better and faster results in their workflow.

As part of the workshop I need to “map out the territory” we were covering and why. One of the fundamentals of image grading and retouching is to start off with good photography as a source. There is no “clever” software / tool or filter that will turn a mediocre image into a good one. Many try of course and the web and Youtube are littered with multi coloured and deeply artificial images made from dull and poor quality source images. Not good.

Successful photographers such as Clive Nichols (www.clivenichols.com) engage with their subject, they move around it and use the light to bring out an emotion and connection and express this relationship in their images.

Clive recently shot some images in snowy conditions, they could have been static but Clive worked with the conditions and recorded the snow falling and placed the movement as part of the structure in his images. These a fine images, a little out of the ordinary; but in a natural way.

Let’s imagine that a company introduced a filter that allowed you to add falling snow to any image, would that be a good thing? In my opinion no, even the best results it could produce would be artificial, it’s like the difference between a fine meal and a McDonalds.

Make your photography real and meaningful, dont make images that can be consumed instantly and pollute, instead make images that will last and have purpose.

If you think you would benefit from a workshop that helps raise your work to professional standards then please feel free to get in touch.
https://copyrightimage.com/category/workshops/

krystal

 

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Clive Nichols wins GMG Garden Photographer of the year

 

Congratulations to Clive Nichols for winning the award, always nice when clients do well.
Clive is obviously very talented, he loves his subject and he loves light, always a good combination for a photographer!

Clive backs this up with a good imaging workflow that allows him to select, grade and retouch his images to a very high standard in a very short time.
Proud to have helped train and develop Clive’s workflow with him. You can see more of Clive’s images here: www.clivenichols.com

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New Wildlife Photographer of the Year book: Portfolio 27

 

Had an interesting and fun evening at the Natural History Museum last night at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.

Read moreNew Wildlife Photographer of the Year book: Portfolio 27

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BBC Blue Planet II

 

Having worked on all the stills inside the new book of the BBC’s Blue Planet II for most of the year its a great relief that the project is no longer secret!

Read moreBBC Blue Planet II

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Mark Carwardine – analogue artwork to digital press

 

Very pleased to see Mark Carwardines new book drop through the post recently: Mark Carwardine’s guide to Whale Watching in North America, USA – Canada – Mexico.

Read moreMark Carwardine – analogue artwork to digital press

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