New Eizo CG303W monitor at Copyrightimage

I have recently invested some £2,500 in the business by purchasing a high end 30″ Eizo CG303W wide gamut display. The primary purpose of upgrading my older Eizo CG211 monitor was to get better pre press softproofing of greens and blues and therefore make better CMYK separations for some upcoming client book projects. I can do this as the new monitor covers some 98% of the Adobe 1998 gamut against the (approx) 70% coverage of the CG211 it replaces.
The new screen also allows for faster editing and retouching as I can see more images in Lightroom or Bridge and more of a single image at one time (the image above shows 100% 1:1 views of the same photo).
Colour evenness across the screen is extremely good (no visible difference), there is a slight left to right brightness gradient of approx 13 cd/m2 when set to 80cd/m2 but this is within quoted tolerances.
Some 19 years ago when setting up the imaging department at Tony Stone Images I had to return a 30″ Barco Graphics Color Reference monitor for a 20″ replacement because there was a HUGE colour difference between the left and right hand sides of the monitor. The fact that the 30″ Barco CRT monitor cost £12,000 in 1990 would indicate that things have progressed significantly since then and almost (but not quite!) makes the price of the Eizo seem reasonable.
By investing in the new monitor I can continue to work to the very highest industry standards and at the same time keep my production work flow operating efficiently and enabling me to offer very competitive retouching rates.
A monitor such as this one would be overkill for most clients to purchase, an Eizo 24″ would suit most needs but contact me if you need help in choosing.
Stephen
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Dell alert

Well, Dell have been in my bad and then good books for so long now that I’m used to their flakiness but this recent story takes the biscuit.

Dell recently persuaded a new client that its a good idea for them to buy a Dell tower running  Windows Server 2008, not bad in itself, what was not right was to tell the client that they could set it up themselves (with no previous experience) and that it would not need any significant maintenance and it could be run without a third party IT contract.

I’m not in the market to offer IT support for Windows server as I know the complexity of the product, what we have here is a salesman who thinks its OK to sell enterprise level computing to someone who has no concept of the complexity involved in setting up and managing a domain.

In actual fact the clients needs were incredibly modest and I have configured their 3 pc network to take advantage of a superb Google Apps account at a fraction of the cost of Windows 2008 server.

If your planning a major IT purchase then please get in touch for a quick chat about your requirements I may be able to save you thousands of pounds.

And…don’t expect suppliers like Dell to act in your interest.

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Laptop accessories for shoots

I have been using some laptop digital capture accessories for a while now and thought it was the right time to share my thoughts.

Laptop Shade
When working outdoors it can be very difficult to judge an image because of screen glare and the fact that screen backlights tend to be a bit dim to preserve battery life.
I bought a Compushade fold down plastic hood to see if it would improve the image outdoors, the good news is that it did. It doesn’t remove the problem entirely of course, bright direct sunlight still needs a secondary cloth or shade over the shoulders to exclude light but for cloudy or shaded light it is easier to see the screen.
Its also useful indoors when working near windows or other light sources.
When not in use it folds down flat over the top of the laptop, it becomes part of the laptop and the combination will still slide into a laptop bag. Despite earlier concerns that it would be a bit flimsy I can report that the opposite is true and its quite hard wearing. Worth the £20 asking price.

http://www.compushade.co.uk

Laptop Stand
Trying to hand hold a laptop when it is tethered to a camera can be very difficult, when possible a nearby table or chair can be used to rest the thing down flat but sometimes these things are not around, step forward a dedicated laptop stand.

 

There are two models available from instand, I chose the smaller/cheaper/lighter CR3 shown here that can easily be transported by public transport, the stand folds down to about 16″ and the plate can be carried in the side pocket of my laptop bag. The price is a bit cheeky at nearly £100 but it does do the job reasonably well, a bit shaky when fully extended but I have not had any bad experiences so far, in actual fact the soft rubbery top surface keeps the laptop from sliding very well.
If you always travel by car then the much more rugged looking CR5 may be the one to go for (and it looks prettier too).
Check out the instruction sheet for some very witty remarks about tightening the plate correctly…

http://www.instand.com/eu/UK-stock.cfm?loc=UK+-+MAINLAND&crn=UK

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Apple have condescended to update their tired Mac Pros

No USB3 support, a bit so so, but at least they now have some current standard processors:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/07/27macpro.html

Its been a long long time since Apple thought of Creative professionals as an important market, guess making billions of dollars from the general public can turn your head like that.

Bitter? not at all 🙂 – just to confirm that in the Mac/PC wars I take the side of a disinterested party, they are both a pain!

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Client Story: Fogdenphotos

Here is a recent shot from Michael Fogden of a rare Sword-billed Hummingbird. Michael took the shot after standing patiently for 7 hours, Patricia Fogden was on hand to signal when the bird was approaching. Its of course one thing to be dedicated but to match that dedication with superb ability makes Micheal an exceptional photographer.
This and lots of other new material will be appearing on Michael’s site http://www.fogdenphotos.co.uk/

I updated this site recently for Susan Fogden to bring it up to the latest version of Imagefolio image database software. New functionality such as better metadata integration, lightbox control and many other new features that are very useful for picture researchers and picture buyers (our favourite people!)

Stephen

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Photoshop CS5 0.1 Update now out

As expected Adobe have cleaned up a few bugs from the code of Photoshop CS5. It looks like most of the serious ones are in the 64bit Mac version but this update also addresses PC issues.

The most annoying one for me was inconsistent performance when using keyboard shortcuts for zooming etc.

I recommend you install this update asap by selecting  “updates…” under the help menu in Photoshop.

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Photoshop CS5 0.1 Update now out

As expected Adobe have cleaned up a few bugs from the code of Photoshop CS5. It looks like most of the serious ones are in the 64bit Mac version but this update also addresses PC issues.

The most annoying one for me was inconsistent performance when using keyboard shortcuts for zooming etc.

I recommend you install this update asap by selecting  “updates…” under the help menu in Photoshop.

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