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

Share this with others on your social media:

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Update

You can tell when Im busy as I tend not to update the website! I recently expanded my retouching work here and in the spirit of the new age of premium work at less than premium costs I have been improving the infrastructure to allow me to move images to and from clients in a more timely manner, it all helps things pay for both myself and my client that a trip to the post office to post DVDs is no longer required. Im lucky enough to live in one of the few areas of Norfolk to be covered by the new Fibre  to the cabinet (FTTC) network by BT, I was first in line for the upgrade and my download speeds have now lept over 10x and upload speeds are now 16x faster than before. Any clients who are interested in moving images around quickly may want to check their line here if it mentions that your line supports fibre then check to see what your ISP has to offer.

(The figures mentioned in the image above are in megabits, just divide by 8 to get megabytes, 74mbits/sec is real world 9MB /sec download meaning a 60MB image download would take just over 6.6 seconds, uploading a 60MB image would take approx 30 seconds.)

Share this with others on your social media:

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Photoshop CS5 update 12.0.3 (windows only)

Adobe have historically released a 0.1 release of most versions of Photoshop over the years so it was unusual to see a 0.2 release some time ago. Today Adobe release a 0.3 update bringing the total to 3.

To be fair most of the bugs look pretty obscure and I have not noticed many of them myself. All the fixes seem to be platform dependant (fonts etc) so this release is just for Windows systems.

If you dont get updated automatically then select from the “Help” menu the subitem “Updates…”
You can check your version of Photoshop by selecting the “Help” menu and choosing “About Photoshop…”

Share this with others on your social media:

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail