Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tell a story with FilmLoop

We are a big fan of FilmLoop. We have utilized their software on our site to showcase the posters we offer from Russo and Steele vintage cars. It is an amazing service, and it's free!

Photo Reporter: FilmLoop 2.0 and New Website Help Users Generate Photo Story Loops
FilmLoop, a provider of free software that enables people to broadcast and share photo story loops, launched FilmLoop 2.0 for Windows, as well as a completely revamped website (
An upgrade to FilmLoop 1.0, the latest version provides new features to allow users to tell “photo stories.”...
Users can build collages of multiple photos and use transparency features to build special layering effects. And loops can then be posted to websites like MySpace, Live Journal and Blogger. The new website is designed to showcase photo story loops submitted by users.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hung out to dry

This unique way of displaying your art reminds me of the old dark room days of hanging your prints up to dry. I know that clients of ours have done similar installations where they have tension mounted wire from wall to wall and hung prints mounted on plexiglas or sandwiched in glass from the wire like a trapeze. Since I don't have pictures to share of that (Hint, hint, to our photog's), this write up from HGTV is the best way I have found to illustrate the effect.

Display art and photos on a wall with clothesline. Attach a length of rope to a long bare wall, select your favorite photos, postcards, prints or artwork and clip to the clothesline.

Friday, January 26, 2007

HD Photo vs. JPEG

Many other file format opponents have tried to box out the popularity of JPEG. Will the release of Vista do the trick for Window's HD Photo? That remains to be seen. Very interesting read from CNet.

Vista to give HD Photo format more exposure:
Microsoft is looking to supplant the ubiquitous JPEG with an image format of its own--and it's hoping the debut of Windows Vista will help do the job.

In 2006, Microsoft began promoting its own image standard, formerly called Windows Media Photo but renamed HD Photo in November. The company makes no bones about its ambitions: "Our ultimate goal is that it does become the de facto standard people are using for digital photos," said Josh Weisberg, Microsoft's director of digital imaging evangelism.

"HD" doesn't actually stand for "high definition," but it's supposed to connote the better image quality that comes with HD TV. Rico Malvar, a Microsoft Research director who helped develop the format, said that compared with JPEG, HD Photo preserves more subtle details, offers richer colors and takes up half the storage space at the same image quality.

Also check out their compression comparison.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Connecting the dots

We recently did some work for an artist in Colorado, Adrian Hanft. Adrian has been a customer of ours for years. He is one of the many people that find us on the web and we do business over the phone or email and have never had the pleasure of meeting in person. Unfortunately, that means that many times we don't know what the end use is for the prints we make. So we were pleased to learn that the prints we produced for him wound up being displayed in a show he had at the beginning of January. It sounds like the show was a great success. Congrats to Adrian! To see pictures of the event check out Adrian's blog. Be sure to read his artist's statement. To see more of his photography work you can also check out his photo blog Found Photography.

Adrian is also the co-founder of a very cool blog Be A Design Group. Along with 4 other authors and a handful of contributors, they have posted some great information, resources, and podcasts about the graphic design industry.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand cans

Over 100,000 to be exact. Chris Jordan Photography produced these thought provoking images for his latest series. Although we did not work with him on the project, we always like to recognize creativity when it comes to big prints. This Cans Seurat image was printed 6'x7' and it represents the amount of cola that the US consumes in just 30 seconds.

Running the Numbers
An American Self-Portrait

This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics tend to feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 31,000 American suicides per year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or a trillion dollars spent on the Iraq war. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed photographic prints assembled from tens-of-thousands of smaller images. The series is still in its early stages, and new images will be posted as they are completed, so please stay tuned.

Friday, January 19, 2007

No more megapixels?

This single pixel camera is still under development and not nearly ready for 'prime time' yet. If the technology ever makes it to the market place it could re-revolutionize the digital photography world. The device sounds like it works similar to the DLP technology in HD TV's. It is an interesting concept. We'll see if it ever comes to fruition.

Single-pixel camera takes on digital
Researchers in the US are developing a single-pixel camera to capture high-quality images without the expense of traditional digital photography.

Being developed by a lab at Rice University in Houston, Texas, the single-pixel camera is designed to tackle what its developers see as the "inefficiencies" of modern digital camera.

It currently resembles an old-fashioned pinhole camera and is the size of a suitcase, but assistant professor of electrical engineering Kevin Kelly told BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme that it is only "the beginning of things."


The camera was created, according to Dr Kelly and his colleague Richard Baraniuk, because digital cameras are very wasteful. They require expensive microprocessors and massive battery power to capture an image - most of which will not be used in displaying the picture.

This is because the captured image is compressed, to a jpeg file for example, to make the file size smaller and more convenient to store.

"What is so inefficient about this is that we acquire all these numbers - for example 10 megapixels - only to throw away 80-90% when we do the compression process," explained Dr Baraniuk.

Full story courtesy of BBC News/Technology.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

3 new cameras from Canon make getting big prints easier

With the announcement today from Canon adding three new models in their PowerShot A range series, it makes getting big prints from an affordable point and shoot camera more accessible to consumers. Canon has these models set to be released in February. They have not released pricing yet for these models, but their previous A series cost less than $150. Files taken in the highest setting on the A550 model will be able to print on the LightJet up to a 20x30 with no file deterioration.

Slotting in at the entry-level, the PowerShot A450 and A460 replace the previous A420 and A430. Both sport 5.0 megapixel sensors and 3.2x / 4x zooms respectively. The A550 meanwhile enters the mid-range to supersede the A530, and offers a little more both in terms of features and control as well as increasing the pixel count to 7.1 million.
Full review provided by Digital Photography Review.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Around the world in 40 days

We are always happy to release good news about one of our Mighty Artists. Rick D'Elia will have a couple of pieces in an upcoming show entitled Around the World in Forty Days at the Shemer Art Center at 5005 E. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix. There will be a reception on the 23rd from 7-9 pm. The show will run until February 22nd.

Rick's background in photojournalism has taken him to some of the world’s hot spots from Somalia and Rwanda to Albania and Gaza. To see more of Rick's images check out his gallery.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Extremely Useful... and free today

This is an invaluable tool for those of us who have tons of images on our drives. I know I sometimes just make a copy of an image and then it gets copied again... sheesh. This little tool looks for all similar images... across file formats!!!! And guess what... it is free today, Friday, till midnight. Go get 'em folks. (Thanks to

Image Comparer is extremely useful to professional photographers, designers, and webmasters, who have “image-heavy” sites to maintain. The program is incredibly fast; after a minute or two one can see how many duplicate images are stored and how much disk space will be saved by removing the duplicates. The “dupes” can then be removed all at once with one click. Alternatively, a user can specify which images need to be deleted, moved or copied.

The list of supported image file formats includes JPEG, J2K, BMP, GIF, PCX, PNG, TIFF, TGA, ICO, and CUR.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lighting Setups

Don has posted some lighting diagrams, and a few movies over at his blog. Take a look if you are interested in learning a bit about lighting in a studio situation.

The Frame Game

We see a wide variety of finishing styles with the prints we produce. Some people prefer a sleek minimal approach and others insist on traditional matting and framing. Whatever your preference, this article makes some great points about professional framing and installation placement as well as the archival and preservation aspects of framing your artwork.

The Frame Game:
When framing art, the eyes have it. Talk to an expert at a frame shop and you'll hear that personal taste outweighs all other considerations. To paraphrase Duke Ellington, if it looks good (to you), it is good.

..."Framing art properly can really enhance the room decor," says interior designer Karen Cooper of Raleigh, N.C. "It gives the finishing touch to the room. Accessorizing is very important. It can pull it all together, and give the room the personal touch."

Story courtesy of

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Long long ago in a nebula far far away...

The pillars of the Eagle Nebula made famous by the images taken by the Hubble telescope in 1995 have now been discovered to be toppled by a blast theorized to have happened 6,000 years ago.

Pillars of Creation Toppled By Stellar Blast:
A new picture of the Eagle Nebula shot by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, presented here at the 209th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, show the intact pillars next to a giant cloud of glowing dust scorched by the heat of a massive stellar explosion know as a supernova.

"The pillars have already been destroyed by the shockwave," said study leader Nicolas Flagey of the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in France.

Astronomers think the supernova's shock wave knocked the pillars down about 6,000 years ago. But because the Eagle Nebula is located some 7,000 light years away, the majestic pillars will appear intact to observers on Earth for another 1,000 years or so.

To get a little piece of ancient history for yourself visit our NASA gallery of images.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Don't forget to back up your cell phone

For any of you that have been to a concert or sporting event recently and have seen the dozens of people grasping for their cell phone to capture the moment, then you probably already knew this information to be true. The CEA recently reported that cell phones now account for 9% of primary image capturing devices.

Tim Herbert, senior director of market research at CEA, said, "Among consumers who now classify their cell phone as their primary image capture device, 47 percent also own a digital camera. Consumers have yet to significantly engage in the practice of substituting devices, but rather use devices in a complementary manner. As cell phones progress to 3+ megapixels, offer greater storage and more features, this trend may change.
But be warned...

The survey found that little has changed since 2005 in the way consumers back-up and store their digital content. Consumers continue to take chances with their digital photos and videos with 78 percent of them relying on their PC for long-term storage, meaning they are just a hard-drive crash away from disaster.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Kodak Moment

Sigh... wistful memories for the kitties and balloons.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Redefining the self-portrait

In the same way that Cindy Sherman would take 'self'-portraits dressed up in many guises from housewife to B-movie actress the new show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is displaying a collection of work done in that theme entitled "Photography and the Self: The Legacy of F. Holland Day". Day's 1898 work The Seven Last Words of Christ is a central piece and is shown along with work from 14 other more recent photographers. One of which is Lyle Ashton Harris who can be seen as Billie Holiday to the right in Billie #21. For full NY Times review of the show read article here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gigapixel gallery

Pretty soon every photographer will need to get more powerful computers to work on. Gigapixel photography seems to be the wave of the future. The folks at xRez Extreme Resolution Photography have a gallery of images available for people to play around. You can 'visit' anywhere from Boston to Yosemite. It is like the ultimate game of Where's Waldo when you start zooming in and out and take a look at the amazing detail of these images. I am salivating at the chance to print one of these on the LightJet.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1st First Friday of 2007

For those of you unfamiliar with First Friday's here in Phoenix; it is a monthly event where galleries in the downtown area stay open late and showcase a variety of artists and subjects. The first gathering of 2007 will feature one of our gallery artists: Tony Blei. His show aptly named 'Two Parts Hydrogen, and One Part Oxygen' will be displayed at the Holy Click Gallery 1326 W. Roosevelt Rd. starting this Friday, January 5th, and continuing through the month. Tony chose to use FujiFlex paper for his largest images. The smoothness and high gloss of the paper helped convey the feeling of water in movement.

“Two Parts Hydrogen, and One Part Oxygen” is a celebration of water and it’s amazing beauty. From the surface tension of a mountain stream, and the colors that it reflects, to playful, color-filled drops that dance and splash, each image reveals to its audience something seen, yet unnoticed.

Go by this month and check out his show. To see more of Tony's work you can visit his for sale gallery or his site.