50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Natural History Museum will be releasing a book this month looking back at the last 50 years of “Wildlife Photographer of the year”

It is a compelling  book that charts developments and trends in the photography of wildlife over the last half century.

The book is edited by Rosamund Kidman Cox and I was delighted when she asked my to help prepare the image files for publication.

I worked very carefully and slowly on the more problematic historic images to bring out their authentic nature and present a consistent high standard across the sections of the book.

You can read more details of the book here:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/business-centre/publishing/books/art-and-history/wpy-50/index.html

 

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Client Story: Random House / BBC Books / Frozen Planet

With the exciting BBC Frozen Planet series due to be aired on TV this month I’m pleased to reveal my work on the accompanying book of the series.

I was asked to prepare all the images for the book. I worked closely with the designer supplying colour managed and exactingly sharpened CMYK images from supplied RGB originals.

The most important part of the work was to ensure tonal and colour consistency between series of shots. As often happens sequences were filmed with multiple cameras and bringing together their disparate shots can reveal quite major exposure differences that spoil the consistency of the scenes portrayed, it was my job to provide a better visual match whilst retaining accuracy and the integrity of the shots. Such as sequence in the book is in chapter 5 covering the hunting of bison by wolves.

There was a variety of sources for the images from high quality RAW files to HD screen grabs that needed careful interpolation and sharpening to work on the printed page.

In TV and Film production the process of colour balancing images in sequence is called “grading”, what I offered was the stills equivalent and was very pleased to receive an email from the authors Alastair Fothergill and Vanessa Berlowitz thanking me for doing the work. This meant a lot to me as is so often the case I found myself immersed in the subject matter and wanted to get the best possible results.

If you have an important book project and want the very best results from the images then please feel free to contact me, its not a costly process given the difference that good grading and preparation can make.

The Frozen Planet book is now available and can be purchased on-line, here is Amazons page of the book:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frozen-Planet-Alastair-Fothergill/dp/1846079624/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1319471881&sr=8-3

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Alert:Windows ATI Radeon 4870 video card / CS5 / CMYK / Problem

A bit of an obscure one this as I know clients with the above graphics card either don’t use Photoshop CS5 or never work in CMYK but I’m putting this information out there for people who may see the same problem.

With current and recent drivers switching screen mode in Photoshop (the F key) causes the display of a CMYK image to go saturated/incorrect.
I always advise clients the F key is a great way to view your images against black or white as well as the default grey surround. The display of the image against black allows you to spot weak / grey shadows and against white allows you to check highlight areas as they would print on paper.
Unfortunately with recent Windows ATI drivers and Photoshop CS5 *and* CMYK images the colours within the image distort in the different display modes. This does not happen with an RGB image!
Because I prepare images for rerpo I do need to have accurate CMYK previews so have invested in a Nvidea GTX 550Ti card with 2GB of memory, this card does not have the same problem and its extra memory is a real bonus when opening lots of images in Open GL mode. It also has the advantage that I can use the Graphics card processors (Cuda cores) to help calculate and apply noise suppression using the latest version of Neat Image noise reduction.
When I first started using Neat image it took up to 60 seconds to process an A3/300dpi image, now with the help of the new video card this is reduced to a few seconds.
Reading round the edges it would appear that Adobe engineers are using HP workstations with Nvidea graphics cards when developing Photoshop, the card I have bought is quite modest (approx £100) but is sufficient for Photoshop, clients using Adobe Premier will benefit from a faster Nvidea card that will aid real time video rendering.
All a little sad really as I was more than happy with my ATI card till now, but its more important that I can trust my screen and that’s why I made the change.
Stephen
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Client Story: Sue Flood

Congratulations to Sue Flood on her exhibition at the Getty Gallery in central London.
“Cold Places” Pole to Pole is a collection of Sue’s work from the polar regions. Its sponsored by Canon and has attracted a lot of attention from the national media and I was particularly surprised to hear Sue talk about her work on “Woman’s hour” on radio 4 which kind of gives away my listening habits! The exhibition was launched in the middle of March and runs till the 9th of April. Sue took the opportunity to launch her book “Cold Places” to coincide with the exhibition.
Gallery details are here: http://www.gettyimagesgallery.com/
Her book is available online from the usual suspects but you can get yourself a copy directly from Sue from her website: http://www.sueflood.com/
Sue was away for a large part of the time involved in producing both the book and the exhibitions so I helped out with the production. Because I keep high res copies of Sue’s files I was able to prepare press ready CMYK sharpened files optimised for the print size of each image to pass onto the books designer Simon Bishop. I worked closely with Simon and the books printers to ensure that we got the best possible colour and tone on paper. I also prepared RGB print files to size and sharpened for print to Canon for them to make the exhibition prints. Mark Bennet at Canon converted the files to the printers colour space and the result was some very pleasing large format prints, nice to see Epson have some competition in the photographic quality printer stakes.
I also prepared and sent files for PR uses and serviced requests from the national newspapers.
The whole process involved a lot of intense work over a short period but I was pleased to help get Sue’s work in front of a larger audience and help raise her profile.
In the past I have helped Sue with equipment choices and training as well as editing and retouching , Sue is an example of a client who uses my services is a holistic way which would normally require full time staff and the associated costs and responsibilities. By offering my services as a freelance I enable clients to tackle work projects to a set quality and budget.
Stephen
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