Late December Update

Happy Christmas to all my clients!

Its been a very busy Autumn/Winter with new clients and projects undertaken. Updating the website has taken second priority but things here don’t stand still in the meantime!

I have been investing heavily in new equipment and software to better support the variety of work I do, some notable recent investments have been made, here is a rundown of whats been happening:

Hardware:


A new i1 Pro 2 Photo spectrometer with i1 Publish2 software, this joins my original i1 Pro which is now a backup. Print and monitor profiles are subtly better with the new equipment and Andrew Jackson at www.actpix.com has been very pleased with the profiles I built for his business, particularly the ones on new and esoteric print substrates.

Nikon D800e + lenses, up till now myself and my clients have mainly used Canon cameras as they had a lead over other makers in sensor design. They have now been overtaken by the Sony sensors in Nikon cameras and more people are switching over (sometimes back) to Nikon.

Knowing the handling and characteristics of modern Nikon bodies will help me advise and retouch images from these cameras, its a subtle thing but important.

As a long time Canon user a little thing such as the direction the lens is bayoneted on is proving interesting! If you have a large investment in Canon lenses then don’t despair, Canon have been working on improving their sensors and I hope 2013 will be the year they fight back.

I have built a new retouching PC with a third generation i7 processor and 32GB of ram, its a beast of a machine and makes bulk editing in Lightroom 4 possible (previously mass editing was done on Adobe Bridge because it was faster). It is cutting edge technology, most of the components are high performance and intended for overclocking, I don’t overclock however., I need speed *and* reliability to guarantee I can make client defined deadlines for important projects. My older PC though 20% slower than my new one is still much faster than most Photoshop PCs and means I have a backup ready to go at a moments notice.

My main monitor is still the outrageously expensive CG303 30″ colour graphics monitor that is profiling very well with the new photospectrometer.

Software:
I have been looking for something similar to www.tineye.com which can do a visual search for an image across the internet that can do a similar type search on a local LAN or filesystem. I think I may have found it with this: http://www.mindgems.com/products/VS-Duplicate-Image-Finder/VSDIF-About.htm
This software will help me better manage large collections for other people, I look after quite a few hundred thousand images for various clients and de-duplication within a collection is an important part of managing and preserving the integrity of the collection.

Photoshop 6 (13.0.1) and Lightroom 4 (4.3)  are now stable and very productive.

I have been looking into Adobe’s new Creative Cloud offering with clients in mind and raised a few concerns with the company.

As you may know for someone who only needs one or two programs from Adobe the Creative Cloud the pricing means you will be paying more to rent the software than periodic payments for updating your existing retail software (Particularly for European users).

My outstanding query is about Adobe’s policy for year on year subscription increases – will they be in line with inflation or are they about to turn up the price pressure? I’m not holding my breath as to when or if I get a reply but I will communicate it if I do.

I have already been informed that taking advantage of 12 months Creative Cloud at lower charge for existing users of the retail product does not terminate your retail product license – you can go back to your boxed software if Creative Cloud does not work out for you, which is good news and not as grasping as they could have made it. (I’m keeping a copy of that email 🙂

In the meantime I advise clients to upgrade their Photoshop to the latest retail release of version CS6 if they have not already done so, sit and wait it out until Adobe show their hand.

(Be aware that If you use the majority of programs in the Adobe Master collection (web,video,photography,design,print) then switching to the cloud makes sense)

Of course long term the solution is for other companies to provide a complete and compelling rival to Photoshop, if Adobe do milk their users there will be plenty of incentive to do so.

2013
Onward and upwards, I’m looking forward to further new clients with interesting and challenging projects they need support with as well as supporting existing clients who need help in making their businesses work. Investment in new technology allows me to offer a better service for us all.

Stephen

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