Friday, December 29, 2006

Custom photo gifts good idea year-round


Although this year's main gift giving season has just past us by this idea is good for any birthdays, anniversaries or special events that come up during the year.

Recipients Treasure Custom Photo Gifts: Kodak Survey
More than 90 percent of people believe that sharing experiences through photographs helps them bond with others. And, according to the survey, "a nearly identical amount feel that it's important to take photographs to remind their children of their youth." More than tree-quarters of the respondents also wished they had pictures of family members from when they were younger.

It is a great personalized way to keep in touch with family and friends. I know that the restored photos I have done of ancestors have become treasured gifts. Once other family members see the work, they will ask for copies for themselves. It is usually a big hit.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Redecorate a room in '07

The new year is quickly coming upon us. Many of us take this time for renewal, making resolutions for the coming year, or other changes in our environment. How about redecorating a room? iVillage which is always a good resource for tips and ideas on how to get started on a project like this has an article 8 Decorating Rules to Try -- and 8 to Trash. I am glad one of them made it to their 'try' category.

Rule #7: Try to stage a surprise
An element of the unexpected will do wonders for your decor ‑- an oversized picture, a shelf hung lower than usual, a red pillow in a green room, a teacup turned on its side, a wall of family portraits. The backyard and patio areas are great places for surprises. Don't be afraid to do the unusual.

Occasionally...

... We post to something that isn't directly a photographic post. This link at Lifehacker could prove a very nice little tool for those who would like a simple year at a glance tool for making plans.
Download of the Day: 2007 Compact Calendar (All platforms) - Lifehacker

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Order Prints Right from Your Flickr Photos

We did it! We now have several ways for you all to print your images easily and right from your browser. This evening we are announcing our Flickr tool. Just choose images from a set in your Flickr account, and we will upload them, print them and mail them to you in 2 days. Oh, and shipping is free for now. Pretty cool, huh?

Here is where you go to order your prints straight from your Flickr site.
Mighty Imaging - Order Mighty Big Prints

LaCie Lego-like Hard Drives

We use LaCie monitors here in the shop. I have been a fan of their products for years. This is a new and creative twist on the normal ho hum external computer equipment scenerio. And just like the real Lego's, they are stackable. Genius! Review provided by CNET.

Setting up the drive is a simple task and can be done in a matter of minutes, if not less. It comes with a single USB cord and an external AC power adapter. One downside we found is that the USB cable is rather short--about 24 inches--so you will have to park the drive very close to your computer, perhaps even on top of it if you use a desktop that sits on the floor. Some users will be fine with this, but we'd like a longer cord to have more flexibility in positioning the drive. LaCie throws in some disk management software for just about any operating system imaginable which is a nice bonus. It also comes with 1-Click software that allows you to easily set the target folders and default sources for easy copying, all at the touch of--you guessed it--a button.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Photo projects for the New Year - Lifehacker

We think that the ideas on Lifehacker are good for all photographers. We would respectfully add that after you have all those great photos, you should print a whole stack of 'em big... 16x24 big. 20x30 big! Yeah, that's what we think!
Hack Attack: Photo projects for the New Year - Lifehacker: "Take a picture every day: Project 365

If you really want to improve your photo skills and put together a well-documented year-in-pictures, you might want to participate in your own Project 365. The idea of Project 365 is that you take at least one photo every day for an entire year. The photo should be of something unique each day, and by the end of the year you'll not only have a great collection of photos documenting your year, but you'll also have vastly improved your photog skills (or at least that's the idea)."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Get a sneak peak at Photoshop CS 3

Although the final version of CS 3 is not due to come out until Spring of '07 you can check out the beta version now.
The latest version of the application comes with some interface enhancements, improved ease of use, and enhanced speed.

New spacewalk images added to NASA gallery

Some amazing images have been added for purchase from our NASA galleries. One of them is from the space walk taken by the shuttle team just a couple of days ago. They are available in 16x24 and 20x30 sizes. These are a perfect tool for educators or students of astronomy to have in their classroom collections. Check back for more images of current and future missions to be added.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tibet: Photography Paradise

A wonderful story with amazing photos at Photos by Martin.
Photos by Martin - Stories: "The Friendship Highway is definitely not a highway. It's hardly even a road by most definitions, but a rough dirt track that begins in Kathmandu, traverses the steep terraced valleys of Nepal, climbs over the highest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas, weaves through the desolate high-altitude desert of the Tibetan plateau, and ends in Lhasa, the mythical capital of Tibet. It takes a week to make the thousand-kilometer journey, sometimes driving as much as twelve hours a day.

Our Tibetan guide (let's just call him Tashi to keep him out of trouble with his wife) met us at the border with Tibet. Striding around confidently with an air of authority, he seemed to know all the officers at the border, as well as every official in every town between Lhasa and Kathmandu. Surprisingly for a guide, Tashi showed little enthusiasm for explaining the sights that we passed. But he showed plenty of enthusiasm for talking about himself (especially with some of the women in our group)."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Art History 101

ArtandCulture website has a wealth of information not only about photography, but anything pertaining to art and culture. From graphic design, literature, film, music to performing arts it is here. There are interactive essays and endless articles and on the history and movements of each genre as well as new and evolving artists. I could spend hours looking and admiring the work here. It is a really well done site and worth spending some time visiting.

Monday, December 11, 2006

'Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars...


Thanks Frank. This is an incredible image. What a presentation! Another world, or at least another place other than earth. This panoramic shot is simply amazing on many levels. The black and white image gives the image a sense of higher purpose. Hey, this would make a killer panorama! We love big images at Mighty Imaging. (Just send us this image through our 'MightyBigPrints' form and we will get it right out to you!) Additional images of the cosmos here.
APOD: 2006 December 10 - Apollo 17 Panorama: Astronaut Running: "What would it be like to explore the surface of another world? In 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission, astronaut Harrison Schmitt found out first hand. In this case, the world was Earth's own Moon. In this recently compiled panorama of lunar photographs originally taken by astronaut Eugene Cernan, the magnificent desolation of the barren Moon is apparent."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Really Big, Really Inexpensive Images

Free to use big images. This is an interesting way to increase visibility and interest in your work. I love the aerialsl around the bay area. Being familiar with a place and then being able to see it from the air is kind of fun, in a puzzle sort of way.
If you want to use a picture in a product that you intend to sell, or to promote your business or organization, please contact me for permission (USD$ 50 for a nonexclusive license). Very large versions (at least 4MP) are available upon request.

Mounting Photos

We love forums where information is freely exchanged. Here's a good forum on mounting large images.
Mounting Photos - Page 2 - Large Format Photography Forum

Friday, December 08, 2006

Marketing Photos/MARKETING ART « Marketing Photos with Mary Virginia Swanson

Welcome to the Blogoshere Mary!
Marketing Photos/MARKETING ART « Marketing Photos with Mary Virginia Swanson: "When considering the marketing of your photographs, I encourage you to aware of the current climate for marketing ART. It is my strong belief that the newest buyers of photography have been buying art for some time now, and are beginning to add photography to their collections."

PDF help for Printers

This is another great resource from Adobe.

Adobe had started a new online community of Acrobat users called Acrobatusers.com. It offers articles, blogs, tips, help, and a variety of support resources. You even get a free newsletter. To sign up, go to www.acrobatusers.com

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Art and wine


One of our artists Bonnie Mitchell will be having a reception this coming Tuesday December 12th at the 56 East Wine Bar & Kitchen in Chandler. It is a great opportunity to see hre work in person as well as Natasha Matveenkova who will be sharing the space. If you plan on attending, it is limited seating, a reservation is recommended.

THE ARTISTS

BONNIE MITCHELL Bonnie is a long-time resident of Arizona and embarking on her third career. All of Bonnie's artistic images begin as a photograph. At first, changing an image beyond recognition of the original seemed inappropriate. But as fascinating images began to appear, those feelings soon dissappeared. Look closely at the images, you might see faces, animals, or a variety of objects. Bonnie's artwork is available for purchase on the Mighty Imaging website at: http://www.mightyimaging.com/artists/bonnie_mitchell.html


NATASHA MATVEENKOVA Natasha Matveenkova is a Siberian born artist that lives and works in Arizona. Her talent shows through in all the styles she works in - abstract, figurative, floral and landscape paintings in a variety of mediums. She began her art career in 2002 and has participated in numerous art shows and exhibits in the United States. Her work is included in various private collections across the country. Natasha continues to show her work in galleries, various art spaces and online. To see more of her art and keep current on upcoming shows visit her website at: www.5thCornerArt.com

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Beat the high cost of giving

We Mighty Imaging folks would like to add one more to this list of ten ways to watch the bottom line at Holiday time.

#11. Give Photos: Big photos. A gorgeous 16x20 image of the kids, or the grandparents or the family at the zoo would make a wonderful gift. With the images running at less than $16, and a frame at about $15 - 20 you have a wonderful gift.

Giving a personal image, or one that has personal memories attached can also make warm wishes warmer. Have the lab turn the image into a soft sepia, or try scanning an old image of Grandma and Grandpa and print it big and B&W on metallic paper. Wow.

And if you need a gift for a budding astronomer or car enthusiast, take a look at our easy to purchase galleries of photographic art. Photographs make wonderful gifts, and big images are, well, even better!
Beat the high cost of giving - 11/17/06 - The Detroit News Online: "The holidays are stressful enough without wondering how you'll pay those January credit card bills.

Shopping smarter can help ease that stress. Here are 10 quick and painless ways to cut your holiday spending on gifts."

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Good Article on Selling Photography


I like the point of having several channels for selling. A website is just one channel and having shows, direct mail and gallery work adds more levels of reaching the clients.
Selling: "Having decided that you want to sell your work (and why) you are ready for the next fork. How do you want to sell your work? There are basically three venues offered to you: you can sell wholesale, or through consignment, or via shows where you are personally present. I chose the third option so far, and I sell my work myself at shows. This involves direct contact with the public, long hours of presence at the show, and hard work setting up and taking down displays and photographs. I personally enjoy this approach but I realize this is not for everyone. First it is difficult to have a second 'real' job (I don't). Second, you have to enjoy working with the public and answering many questions all day long (I do). Third, you have to charge sales tax and pay it back to your state. Fourth, you need to carry a relatively large inventory consisting of framed and unframed photographs in matted sizes of 8x10, 11x14, 16x20 and 20x30 or larger. The framed pieces help sell the unframed pieces so you should expect to sell more unframed than framed pieces. Your choice of frame and matting is very important and should fit the type of home decor your photographs will fit in."
At Luminous Landscape

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Well, This is Pretty Cool


Need a color scheme? Want to find the right matte color, or a set of colors for your new web site? Adobe has your back. And, uh, your colors too. This is new from Adobe and is very Kule... or cool.

Take a look and play around with this great tool, free for now, and then download the color scheme to your machine (requires Adobe membership to save).

Mighty Imaging presents: Mighty Big Prints


We have created a cool little tool that will let you all quickly load an image and order our most popular sizes for immediate delivery. With only a few clicks. No ftp, logging on or wait. Simply click on our Mighty Big Prints link on the home page, and you are there

We have also made this a little affiliate widget as well. If you would like to offer the ability for your visitors to instantly click from your site or blog and upload their images for quick prints, let us know. Contact Stephanie (see the site for more info) and she will set you up with a little affiliate code that you can use while linking to our tool. Make a little money, have a lot of fun and help your visitors find the best in large format printing.

The Ultimate Party Photographer


Yeah, this doesn't have much to do with large prints, but, dang! This looks really fun, and with parties coming fast and furious this month, keep this idea list in mind.
Photojojo » The Ultimate Party Photographer: "The Ultimate Party Photographer"

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

Everyone could use a time saver. Whether you are new to OS X or just need a quick reference, Mac has published a website with common keyboard shortcuts. Bookmark it, learn it, use it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Adobe Lightroom in Beta


And you can get a copy to use now. Adobe wants your feedback to make it the best tool around, and is letting us all play with it and direct the development. Pretty cool, huh?

I have been using it and have nearly fallen in love with the interface, the operability and user experience. It is very well thought out and they keep working to make it better all the time.

Go on over to Adobe Labs and pick up a copy to work with. Mac and PC.

Some lovely images for the weekend

These are some sites we like to visit regularly. Great images that would look cool big, er... really big!

A Walk Through Durham Township
is a delight.

Joe Cunningham has some beautiful images.

Chromasia continues to inspire...

If you have some favorite images sites, photoblogs or Flickr pages, send them to us for mention on the blog.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! We hope your holiday is filled with lots of food and family.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pogue’s Posts - "Yeah, that's about right"

While we think that there can be some areas in which significant detail can be a bit sharper, we have made some exceptionally gorgeous prints from rather smallish files. Seriously... we have a 24x36 in our lobby taken from a 2MB file. Sure - if you stand 4 inches away, you can see a bit of softness, but at normal viewing, the action of the football players is palpable. Read this, and let the healing begin.
Pogue’s Posts - Technology - New York Times Blog: "Anyway, we ran the test for about 45 minutes. Dozens of people stopped to take the test; a little crowd gathered. About 95 percent of the volunteers gave up, announcing that there was no possible way to tell the difference, even when mashing their faces right up against the prints. A handful of them attempted guesses—but were wrong. Only one person correctly ranked the prints in megapixel order, although (a) she was a photography professor, and (b) I believe she just got lucky."

'Tis the season...to buy a digital camera

Just in case you needed some holiday gift ideas, check out this story from the Photo Reporter:
Arlington, VA— The Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) 13th annual holiday survey places digital cameras as the foremost electronics gadget consumers plan to give as a gift this holiday season, followed by DVD players or recorders. In fact, CEA predicts a 27 percent increase in holiday spending in the category. According to the CEA, consumer electronics revenues will reach $140 billion for 2006 in the U.S.—an increase of more than 9 percent from the $128 billion figure posted last year. The survey also reveals that Americans intend to spend $5 billion more on electronics gifts this holiday season, for a total holiday spending of $22 billion.
“We’re seeing greater consumer spending across the board and what’s benefiting in particular is consumer electronics,” said Sean Wargo, CEA’s director of industry analysis.


After digital cameras and DVD players/recorders, consumers listed cell phones, portable music players, video game systems, portable CD players, laptop cases, televisions, cordless phones, flash memory cards, and clock or tabletop radios on their gift-giving lists.


Among the most-asked-for devices for the holidays are mobile music players, digital cameras, computers, televisions, game systems, DVD devices, cell phones and camcorders.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Glamour DVD reviewed at the Strobist

Don's DVD was just reviewed over at Strobist. BTW, if you haven't been visiting Strobist, you have some catching up to do. Go there. Go there now. (Don is the designer of our website, a blogger, and a frequent contributor to this blog.)
Strobist: "But that's not the point. The main takeaways from the DVD are (a) that you can do some very Hollywood-looking stuff right out of the electrical aisle at Home Depot, and (b) that foam core, properly placed, can work lighting magic.

He gives seminars out in sunny (but beautifully fill-lit) Arizona, and these lessons are taken right from those seminars. For people looking to move into the glam lighting scene, the principles are sound to teach you to create that beautiful, wraparound lighting that can pay the bills."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Easy Photo Wall on a Shoestringwire Budget » Curbly | DIY Design Community « Keywords: photos, home, decoration, wall

This is a clever way to show a bunch of images. You could do the same thing with, I dunno... , really big images. Just wouldnt need as many hooks. ;-)
Easy Photo Wall on a Shoestringwire Budget » Curbly | DIY Design Community « Keywords: photos, home, decoration, wall: "A couple years ago I attended a play at The Theater in the Round in Minneapolis (really bad site) and in the lobby they had this cool system for hanging cast bios and other info that consisted of wire, pulled taut across a span, in this case from floor to ceiling, with small hardware holding some photos and glass in place.

I inspected it and it seemed like something I could do at home. So next time I was at the hardware store I picked up some very basic hardware for just a few bucks."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More Winter Tips

This is a wonderful story, full of tips for shooting in bitter cold. We live in Phoenix where bitter cold is somewhere near 50 degrees... but we are aware of some places that get even colder than that... really!
... Alpen Glow:
Dody and I had just arrived at Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Snow Lodge, on our snowmobiles, the day before. The 26-mile trip from West Yellowstone,snow_yellowstone_0663.jpg (26050 bytes) although somewhat bitter (-25° F), was like traveling through a crystalline fairyland. This was to be our first full day inside of the Park and we were quite anxious to get out on the trail and do some real exploring. With the glimmer of the new dawn on the Eastern horizon, I dared to venture out, from the Lodge into the elements, to warm up the snowmobiles. Much to my chagrin; however, they were frozen solid as a rock. No amount of effort, on my part, could coax the engines to so much as budge from the icy grip. After I had struggled, for what seemed like an eternity, and had worked up a good sweat, Dody, my wife, came out to meet me. She advised that the mercury was hovering somewhere around 50° below zero; no one was quite sure of the actual temperature however, because all of the thermometers there bottomed out at about -43° . Well what were we to do – it was barely dawn, it was freezing and the snowmobiles wouldn’t start!

Another Daily Read

The Alec Soth Blog is all about fine art photography, art and photography in general and the aesthetics of the fine print. We just discovered him (drat!) and will have to spend several hours going through the archives. Recommended heavily for thoughtful posts. The post below is a typically insightful read:
Kiki Smith & Nan Goldin: "Kiki Smith & Nan Goldin
I was recently asked by a magazine (not the NY Times) to photograph Kiki Smith. Because of a scheduling conflict I was unable to do it. I’m both disappointed and relieved. I’m disappointed because this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine profile by Michael Kimmelman described her as an electrifying character. She seems to have great insight into sustaining the creative impulse:"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Resources, Sweet Resources

Finding resources for photographers is one of the things we like to do here at the Big Image Blog. Check out the site posted over at "it's what I do" - and grab a cup of coffee. This is gonna take a while.
it's what I do...: "Isn't it great when someone who is knowledgeable decides to share his/her knowledge with the rest of us. This is a great little site with images and lessons on creating the images. Take a look. Even if you are a full pro, you will find some interesting images/stories here. And if you are still learning... be prepared for a schoolin'."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Coping through photography

We recently had the honor of printing some touching work of Brent Hirak's. Brent is a talented local artist who has a showing of his images coming up at the ASU's Northlight Gallery November 20th - December 2nd.

Fallout
Fallout, the artist Brent Hirak writes, is a photo and video document which comments on the psychosis and addiction that runs in my family. During the 27 months of the project my sister Katie attempts to quit methamphetamine and is subsequently diagnosed with level two manic depression and schizophrenia– she enters treatment in the Maricopa County Psychiatric Recovery Center. The photographs emerge when I am unable to cope with the situation... In general they “speak around” the subject, in ways similar to a family (mis)communicating in avoidance of its own secret trauma.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sierra Nevada Photos - Home Page

I have always loved the Sierras. Used to take long vacations there just to shoot. Many times I found the sheer size of the landscape to be nearly intimidating. How do you capture something so huge and majestic with such a small device. It was some of the most intense mental excercises that I had ever experienced in photography. In the end, I would be so happy to bring back even a few images that I liked.

So it was exciting to find this site... great photos, maps and lots of stuff relating to the glorious Sierras. Enjoy.
Sierra Nevada Photos - Home Page: "Sierra Nevada Photos is a collection of photography and maps showing the diversity of landscapes of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. All photographs are available as fine art prints or for stock usage."

Winter Photography Tips & Help

As we move toward the holidays, Mighty Imaging is excited about working with clients to produce incredible gifts and presentation images. Winter provides a wonderful opportunity for imagery, and we are already catching the spirit of the season.
Winter Photography Tips & Help: "If you are thinking that it is cold and you would rather be inside with a hot chocolate, snoozing in front of a warm fireplace, your photographs will reflect that attitude. Get pumped and enjoy the challenge of attacking the wintry conditions outside. Your photographs will display your enthusiasm. This might also be the time to think of 'On-The-Go Photography' when you 'Travel Light & Travel Simply.' "
Here is another small list of things to think about.
  • Be careful not to drop anything in the snow. Cleaning it off can be quite time consuming.
  • Even if you prefer prime lenses for most uses, seriously consider using a zoom in winter to avoid having to change lenses as frequently. Getting blowing snow in your camera will make your day a lot less enjoyable.
There are more... take a look.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Decorate you house for the season

You can use these ideas not only for the upcoming holiday season, but also they will work great to keep any space fresh and current.
A bounty of harvest-season accents: The tulip centerpiece and red- and white-checkered tablecloth look out of place. There's a chill in the night air, and your summertime embellishments will soon be as appropriate as a Christmas tree in July.

To decorate your home for fall and winter, Robin Brechbuhler of Brechbuhler Interior Designs in North Canton, Ohio, has some suggestions.

• Paint the walls a different color. Remember, if you use a color other than a neutral shade, it can limit you.

• Buy dishware for the summer and something different for the winter.

Change the artwork on your walls. Thomas Kinkade, for example, has a holiday collection that depicts wintry scenes.
Desiree's image is also a perfect example of this theme.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Walking in a winter wonderland


Just heard about this sleuth exclusive: a By Invitation Only, Winter Wonderland party hosted by Haus Modern Living. If you have not been yet, you must go to one of their stores. They have two amazing showrooms at the Biltmore Fashsion Park as well as on Scottsdale Rd, just north of Camelback across from the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Our very own published, and local photographer, Desiree Edkins, has been commissioned for three original, "Winter Wonderland" prints. We printed her images on our LightJet on a one day turnaround, so she can get them custom framed by our friends at Decorative Edge on 7th Street, just south of Osborn in time for the event. You can also view 13 additional prints that we produced for Desiree currently on display at Haus' Scottsdale Location.

Haus Design has been offering Desiree Edkins originals for over one year now after they discovered her, and have had great success with moving all of her first commercial body of work. I can see why, they are simply gorgeous.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chase Jarvis: Focus

Chase offers very cogent advice for photographers who are feeling a little down about the changes that are ongoing around them.
Chase Jarvis Blog: "It seems that so many in our profession are worried about the future of the industry. I'm shocked really. First, it was paranoia by many that the digital age was somehow 'harming' photography. That was true only if 1)you were a stuffy codger unwilling to embrace change and the opportunities that the digital age could bring, and 2)you were overly pretentious and in the dark about the intersection of art and commerce that is professional photography. "

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

3 Click Color Correction

Our friend Scott Condray of Visualville has a great Photoshop tip on his website on how to take any image and color correct it in quick and easy to follow steps.

Step 1. With the image open select Image > Adjustments > Levels.

Step 2. Click on the Black Eyedropper to make it active.

Step 3. Move the Black Eyedropper over the center of Target 1 and Click.

Notice how the slight bluish cast in the shadows disappears and shadow tonality deepens.



To see the rest of the tutorial go here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Still need help?

Here is another resource if you are in need of some Photoshop help. Why not go straight to the source? There are hundreds of tutorials on Adobe's website. The search options make it easy to find an article to help you out of a bind or give you inspiration to try something new. They are for CS2, but still very interesting to review even if you haven't upgraded yet. They have everything from little videos on how to correct barrel distortion to step by step instructions on how to make a digital file look like a lithograph (which would look great on the LightJet BTW).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Strobist: Photography's Vanishing Middle Class

No matter where you fall on this question, after reading all the thoughtful and well formed comments, you will have a ton of stuff to think about in relation to photography, business and images in general. Fascinating... grab a cup-'o-joe cause it's a long read.
Strobist: Photography's Vanishing Middle Class: "As a staff shooter for a metro daily paper, I am lucky enough to make a comfortable, if not stellar, income doing what I love. But as I look around, I see that my ranks are thinning fast. And the long-term prospects for my profession do not look very promising for those who are entering it today.

About a month ago I got an e-mail from a friend of mine, John Strohsacker. He's a Baltimore-based lacrosse photographer who happens to have a background in business.

We had several e-mail exchanges and talked both on the phone and at various assignments. The gist of these conversations were pretty much John noting that he liked the Strobist site, but didn't like the idea of my giving the information away for free."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Excellent Resource for Photographers

You will find lots of good information on this site. What a great little resource.
Ask your Adobe Photoshop questions, and I, Debbie Grossman, imaging guru and picture editor extraordinaire, will answer the best of them here.
Send queries to deardebbie@popphoto.com, and check out the About page for more info.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...


Rainbow trout that is. We recently did an amazing image on metallic paper for Leon Ritchie. The colors really lent themselves to the metallic media. It looked like the fish could practically leap out of the water. Leon decided to enter it in the Arizona Game and Fish 2007 Calendar photo contest where he took 1st place in the fish category. Look for Leon's image in next year's Arizona Wildlife calendar. Our congrats, Leon!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Strobist: Free and So Easy: DIY Grid Spots for Your Flash

This is a handy little idea that can transform a problem shoot into a creative solution. Think about three of four of these placed at strategic locations... cool.
Strobist: Free and So Easy: DIY Grid Spots for Your Flash: "It sat on my list of (about 20,000) things to do until I saw a piece of thick, corrugated cardboard yesterday. Making these little grid spots really could not be easier. (Heck, the top picture pretty much explains it.) And can be done with things you are likely to already have around the house."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Expand your visual vocabulary

The folks at Elf Design have a great article called The 9 Advantages to Using a Visual Vocabulary in Brand Identity Design. It has some great points that anyone who is developing a new ad campaign for their company should consider. Here's a sampling.

The elements of your visual vocabulary become a graphic language, which takes your viewer deeper into your graphics and materials....

Graphics in a visual vocabulary are a method of communication that's more quickly understood than text alone. A viewer can absorb the meanings of colors, symbols, photos, shapes and even font types much more quickly than by reading text. So, in cases where time is of the essence—when you're marketing to busy people, creating motion graphics such as animations or commercials or designing items that people will quickly pass by, such as car graphics or billboards, this is an important consideration.

The right combination of visual vocabulary elements can also make your materials more eye-catching. When your materials are in competition with others—in a stack of proposals, on a table with other brochures or even a postcard coming out of a crowded mailbox—they'll have a better chance of getting noticed when they are designed with stunning and unique visual vocabulary elements.

Forty percent of viewers better remember visual elements. A visual vocabulary will increase the memorability of your materials as well, since people will have more visual elements to remember in your materials.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The birth of Photoshop

This is an interesting read about the founders of Adobe; Chuck Beschke and John Warnock. Where would photography be today without Photoshop?
How Adobe launched a revolution It's hard to believe that just 25 years ago, most people couldn't print out documents from their personal computers -- in fact, hardly anyone owned a personal computer.

``They changed the world of communication,'' said Bruce Chizen, Adobe chief executive. ``They made it possible for anybody to publish information. It went from one-to-many to many-to-many overnight.''

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ok... you need to see this page...

Free Photoshop Plugins. Over one hundred eleven of them (111). It is a wonderful resource and they make it easy to see which will work with your platform (mac or win), and what versions of Photoshop they are compatible with. And remember, some of these plugins have multiple filters and such. A great resource. Thanks 111 Free Photoshop Plugins guys.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Download of the weekend

This is a cool little app that may come in handy. Think of it as Photoshop lite... really, really lite. Gotta tell you though, it is very powerful and at a price point of free, well... kind of amazing too.

Paint.NET is image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool for photo and image editing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cool Image by "conceptDawg"


Occasionally we find a cool image that we want to share with you all. This is a very interesting effect. Check out the rest of his photostream while you visit.

Good reading

Philipp Greenspun is a semi-pro photographer who likes to write. Here is his blog / site with lots of information, and links. Oh, he's got this cool quote too;
"I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn." -- Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Artful design ideas

This article has some creative ideas on new ways to use and rearrange wall art images for a unique effect.
Decorating : Tips / Hints : Artful Design : Home Pull favorite photos tucked away in shoe boxes or photo albums out and have poster-size copies made. Older black and white photos that have been enlarged take on a grainy quality (much like an old film reel), which is part of the appeal

Monday, October 16, 2006

Put on your walking shoes

For those of you who live here you know that it has been much too hot until recently to even think about going out and walking around for enjoyment. Since it has finally cooled off here in the Valley of the Sun, we are able to re-emerge from our air conditioned caves for the kickoff of the fall art season. On October 19th from 7-9 PM the Scottsdale ArtWalk will feature Western artists and art. Take a walk and enjoy some art!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Diego Ceja and Mighty Imaging

We had an interesting situation at Mighty Imaging that we would like to share with you all. Diego Ceja, one of our gallery photographers was preparing for a show that was coming up this weekend. A wastepaper full of failed inkjets and trouble with his trusty printer had driven him to decide to print on the LightJet. He came in with about 20 images and we printed them out overnight.


Diego walked in to the office and we laid the prints out. He stared at them. Diego is a very, very picky photographer and only accepts excellence... in his images and his prints. "Can I expect this every time I bring images in," he asked. We weren't sure if he was happy or not, but we felt they were great images and we had made them to the best of our abilities.

"Yes", Stephanie said. Diego turned and walked out. We were a little shocked. He returned in a few minutes with more disks. "Print all of these, please.. and can I have them for the show tomorrow?"

We did, and he picked them up this morning on the way to the show. He was thrilled.

Don caught up with him as he was ending up the first day of the show and got this quick interview.

We asked him how the Lightjets compare to the Inkjets that he normally does?

"Compared to the inkjet... wow... man. the metallic paper and the Flex paper are just awesome. It looks like IlfoChrome, and I have always loved IlfoChrome. And at the price they charge, wow... that is what I will continue to do. I will be moving over to the Flex with everything but the toned prints that I work and rework on the InkJet."

For his very large images, 40x60 and longer, he will continue with the deckle edge rag prints that he prints on his inkjet. "I have the profiles down and the watercolor paper is what the images are designed for. And adding the ragged edge makes it fit what my clients want."

Diego Ceja is a fine art lanscape photographer. He stives for a striking, clean and simple look at the complexity of the natural world. "There is nothing in the image that isn't there by design. I am working the image to fit what I want to say and sometimes I come back with no exposures. If the image isn't working, I don't bother to shoot it."

Diego shoots a large format, 4x5 camera that he lugs into strange and alluring places. "It's heavy and windy days are always a problem," he laughs, "but the image is so precise... and I love it."

About working with Mighty Imaging he says, "They have bcome my printer now for all my color work. Reasonable prices and customer service that is heroic. Stephanie really takes good care of all the customers, going the extra mile to make sure things go right."

See more of Diego's work in our galleries. We think you will like them as much as we do.

ProtectMyPhotos - Digital Photo Backup


This is a very nice, handy tool. Prices are very good and the protection is comforting.
ProtectMyPhotos - Digital Photo Backup: "ProtectMyPhotos shields your digital photos from hard drive crashes, viruses, file corruption, destroyed backups, fire, flood, theft, and more. Eliminate the need for CD backups, and rest easy knowing that all of your treasured photos are truly safe!"
More at "It's What I Do"...

Workspace inspiration

Even if you are looking at the clock right now calculating how many seconds until you can start your weekend, this compilation of 10 seeeeeriously cool workplaces put together by The Chief Happiness Officer may inspire you to remodel your office so that you'll never want to leave.

What I noticed through out most of the offices featured is their use of large prints in their space to bring more color and energy in to the rooms as well as illustrate past and future projects for that company. I also particularly liked Pixar's idea to use cottages with addresses instead of cubicles with name plates.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How to Create Professional HDR Images


Now this is a pretty cool technique that should give some interesting effects> And doing these things in hi-res means you can make the prints big. Really big.
Backing Winds: How to Create Professional HDR Images: "I've come to believe that there are few things in the digital photography world that Photoshop can't do better than most other programs. HDR turns out to be one of them. Photoshop CS2 has a little-known (it seems) built-in HDR assembler that, while lacking the 'make my photo look like an acid-trip' tone-mapping features of Photomatix, is capable of creating extremely realistic or extremely surreal HDR images."

The camera is art


This beautiful pinhole camera caught my eye today. The camera itself is a piece of art. Judith Hoffman of San Mateo, CA built it. It is gorgeous design even if the handle is 'just for looks'.

A brass pinhole camera. 3.5 inches high, 2.25 inches wide. In the tradition of camera manufacturing, the handle is useless. If you lift the camera with it, the bottom falls off and your film is exposed. It's a camera to photograph memories. On the base the instructions read: 1. Fix memory in your mind. 2. Point Memocam toward memory. 3. Expose film. You can see an earlier stage of the camera and photos taken by it here. More information on my blog.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How Big Can I Print This Photo? — A Simple Answer, Once and for All

Well, sort of. I saw this post on Photojojo the other day that references a pretty easy to read useful chart by Design 215. However, Design 215 uses a inkjet as their primary printer. Inkjet machines have a much lower tolerance for file degradation than the LightJet. The internal rip in our machine's software does such an amazing job that we have printed files as low as 100 ppi (and lower) with success. Their Megapixels vs Maximum Print Size Chart only goes to 150 ppi, but it gives you a good idea of what is possible for your file. It is a great quick reference if in doubt.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Have You Seen the Talent...

...in our gallery? Amazing photographs from some fantastic photographers. Come on over, take a look and enjoy.

Ansel Adams hits the road

I was very excited when I read this in Sunday's Arizona Republic. This is a rare and unique opportunity for photography lovers.

Phoenix Art Museum to show prized UA photos
Photography buffs will get to see more masterworks of the medium at the Phoenix Art Museum thanks to an innovative partnership with the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography.

The collaboration, announced last week, includes a year-round exhibition program in Phoenix drawn from the world-class photography collection in Tucson. Co-founded by Ansel Adams in 1975 to archive all his negatives, work prints and notes, the UA center is now home to 80,000 original works by Richard Avedon, Edward Weston Harry Callahan and other artists.

The first show is features Ansel Adams work of the 1930's and opens on November 11th at the Phoenix Art Museum. They have added a gallery dedicated to photography as part of their recent $41 million expansion. Be sure to mark you calendar.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Vector graphics in a raster world

While most of the images that we print are prepared in raster programs like Photoshop, the LightJet also does an amazing job on files prepared in Illustrator and Quark.

We recently printed a job for Wendell Burnette Architects that they had prepared in Illustrator. They had 30x30's printed and mounted on gatorboard for a presentation to a potential client. Everyone was blown away by the quality. The colors were vibrant and all of the graphics and text were sharp with smooth lines. It was certainly a true representation of their talent.

For the best results from files prepared in vector based programs save them as an eps. A flattened tiff will work great too.

A Good, If Rather Simplistic Article on Protecting Your Digital Images

Here at Mighty Imaging we use several ways to protect our photographers images while they are online in the gallery. First, we watermark them visually. This is a simple, effective way to protect the art. We try to make it unobtrusive as possible. Secondly, we use the PHOTOtool to host the galleries. The PHOTOtool uses several ways to prevent easily saving the images, but in the end some technical folks can hack into the browser and pull them from cache. However, by doing that they are admitting to taking the images illegally.
10/3/06 Protecting your digital images from theft - CNET Community Newsletter: Q&A Forums: "There are a number of ways to digitally sign the artwork you produce and numerous software apps that will allow you to do this.

First, you could watermark your image, this is where you put a mark somewhere on the image (usually in the background), so that if anyone tries to pinch it from your site, you'll be able to prove that it did originate from you. To watermark something, you could do anything that will make your work obviously yours, and you can have it either obvious or hidden."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I got a charge out ot this article.

(OK, I am so sorry for that headline ;-) Seriously, here are some interesting ideas for taking care of your batteries.
Getting Great Battery Life: "This isn't about how to get a lot of shots per charge. That's easy: use your LCD as little as possible and spend as little time as possible in the menus or with the meter on. Turn the LCD review OFF while shooting. Easy.

This is how to get years of great service from expensive batteries. Some people always seem to have problems while others have them last for years."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Do You Use Large Images?

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to three photographers about using oversized images. I promised to keep some of their specifics close to the vest, but I do have permission to share these ideas with you all.

Steve is a portrait photographer in Utah. His work is very high-end and his clientele is definitely in the wealthier strata. Steve says that he sells very few large images, most of his clients prefer medium sized prints and book presentations. However he uses the big images in his studio to drive interest. In the waiting room there are 6 48x72 images that are imposing to say the least. He has thirty of the large images and they are easy to change out so he makes sure that there is a constant rotation of images in the waiting area. It would be amazing if anyone would see the same set of images as they visited his studio.

Lawrence shoots architecture in the central valley of CA. He travels over large areas to do a wide range of work from high-dollar real estate shots to tenant improvement shots for brochures. His work is nearly always a rush, and his clients are nearly always busy. He uses the large prints (16x20 and 20x24) as gifts for the clients he shoots for. With 16x20's running under $16, Lawrence can make quite an impression on a client for very little cost. He likes keeping clients better than finding them.

Brian shoots model composites, portraits and actor headshots in Sacramento. He is just starting out in the business and wants to grow as fast as possible. He uses large images 30x40 and over to show at some boutiques and restaurants in the area. The work is dramatic and colorful and the venues welcome the work for their walls. He reports that this strategy is working better than he thought it would, driving work to him weekly.

Big images have an impact which can produce very strong feelings and responses in the viewer. Used with some ingenuity, they can greatly increase your bottom line.

How do you use large images? Let us know if you get a minute.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Photographers Resource?

Look, we love the new technologies as much as anyone, but this Seems a little crazy. If professional photographers are being hired on sites like this, chances are it isnt by the best art directors ou there.
Advertising Photographers at Respond: "Since 1999, 2.5 million members have used Respond to find leading local professionals. Respond is a vibrant community of buyers and sellers that believes in a quality consumer experience."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Large Photographs Celebrate Labor Leaders

New Haven Independent: Labor Heroes Live On At Stetson: "Indeed, in a letter next to the proposal, Madalengoitia wrote, “I look to represent the ethnicity and culture of the people who live in the area, as well as include prominent figures, local landscape, and the history of the area.”
Acting Branch Manager and Youth Librarian Diane Brown-Petteway drew attention to another piece, a photographic mural by Susan Bowlen. The mural is a skillful compilation of photographs of the labor movement from the 1960s and '70s."

Simplicity


Sometimes we find ourselves in a creative slump. And we wonder what could we shoot that would be interesting. Well, this photographer shot leaves... on black background. Stunning. Imagine them big (we love big images). Imagine them really big. On metallic paper. Stunning work. (Website has that unfortunate scrolling nav thing, but after a while you can start to work with it). Check out these stunning images.

Stephen Farley's Favorite Places Project


Tucson designer and visual artist Stephen Farley has created quite an interesting display with huge black and white images on tiles. We love big images, and this is a very cool project.
Stephen Farley's Favorite Places Project: "Farley is committed to the sharing of personal stories among the broader community, and has consequently been involved in teaching art, design and computer skills to young people of diverse backgrounds while collaboratively producing a series of publications exploring the social and personal histories of local neighborhoods. In 1999 he founded a nonprofit called Voices: Community Stories Past & Present, which runs afterschool programs which employ at-risk youth to interview Tucson residents and publish books and magazines of community stories and photographs."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Honorable mention

One of our favorite clients that we don't get to talk about much is Dino Tonn. He does beautiful interior and exterior architectural photography for some of the leading home builders, developers, architects, interior designers and public relations firms. Since his work is directly commissioned by these companies on an per project bases we are unable to feature him in our for sale photo gallery. We do have the pleasure of printing any enlargements needed for his projects. If you are ever looking for a photographer to make your home or business look like it is ready for the cover of Architectural Digest give Dino a call.