Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Now that is big

This is the largest photograph ever produced in one sheet. The Legacy Project turned an aircraft carrier in to a camera obscura and hand applied the emulsion to a custom made canvas to create it. The specs on what it took to make this image are mind boggling.

The Legacy Project to Exhibit the World’s Largest Photograph -Photo Reporter

The world’s largest photograph, the Great Picture, which is 3,375 square feet, premiers at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design at the South Campus Wind Tunnel Gallery in a showing that will be held September 6–29, 2007.

Only a handful of museums are large enough to display the photograph, which is a history-making gelatin silver image 3 stories high by 11 stories wide. The photograph was created over nine months in 2006 by six well-known photographic artists collectively known as The Legacy Project and 400 volunteers, artists and experts. The $65,000 photograph was made using a shuttered Southern California F-18 jet aircraft hangar transformed into a gigantic camera obscura. The largest camera ever made, it measures 44' 2" high by 79' 6" deep by 161' 6" wide. To darken the hanger, 24,000 square feet of 6 mil black viscuine, 1,300 gallons of foam gap filler, 1.52 miles of black gorilla tape and 40 cans of black spray paint were needed. The aperture was a one-quarter inch (6mm) pinhole 15 feet above ground level, with no lens or other optics used.

Working in their jet hangar/camera, the group hand-applied 80 liters of gelatin silver halide emulsion to a seamless 107' 5" by 31' 5" canvas substrate custom made in Germany. Development was done in an Olympic-pool-size developing tray using 10 submersible pumps and 1,800 gallons of black-and-white chemistry.

The Guinness Book of Records preapproved and is now evaluating applications in two categories: world’s largest photograph and camera.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Big and small

Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle got their start in food and commercial photography. They met at the Paris "Arts Decoratifs" art school and blended their styles to create these truly unique miniature fantasy worlds under the name minimaim. What better to showcase the detail in their small set ups than large prints. The contrast between the big and small is perfectly illustrated. The image below is from an exhibition they had in 2005 at the Fraich Attitude gallery in Paris. Their website is full of whimsical images that will have you imagining that your food has a secret life after you go to bed at night. [Found via Design *Sponge]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Helvetica and beyond

This poster would be a perfect addition to any graphic design office. Even if you can't read the language, I am sure you are familiar with Helvetica. It is a great collection that showcases the history of Swiss graphic design. The high-res pdf generously supplied for download can produce a pretty large poster. Hmmm....I think I might know a place that could print it for you. [Found via Creative Review]

89 Swiss Poster Posted by Xavier Encinas (on the Swiss Legacy blog)

Last year when Richard Hollis released his new book, Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, 1920–1965, Jannuzzi Smith organised a presentation, discussion forum, and book launch. For this occasion, Jannuzzi Smith designed a poster using all the illustrations of the book. A very useful tool to have always around.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How Flickr could help fix your photo

James Hays and Alexei Efros, a research team from Carnegie Mellon University, have developed an algorithm that will analyze the millions of images posted on photo sharing sites (like Flickr) to replace a portion of an image that may have been obstructed or you would like removed. The algorithm then sorts out the possible images to be used based on the orientation of the object, the light source, the height of the camera used to take the picture, and the color shades of the image that will best match the original.

Photo tool could fix bad images: by Mark Ward for BBC Technology News

To find suitable matching elements, the research duo's algorithm looks through a database of 2.3 million images culled from Flickr.

"We searched for other scenes that share as closely as possible the same semantic scene data," said Mr. Hays, who has been showing off the project at the computer graphics conference Siggraph, in San Diego.

In this sense "semantic" means composition. So a snap of a lake in the foreground, hills in the band in the middle and sunset above has, as far as the algorithm is concerned, very different "semantics" to one of the city with a river running through it.

The broad-based analysis cuts out more than 99.9% of the images in the database, said Mr. Hays. The algorithm then picks the closest 200 for further analysis.

Next the algorithm searches the 200 to see if they have the elements, such as hillsides or even buildings, the right size and colours for the hole to be filled.

The useful parts of the 20 best scenes are then cropped, added to the image being edited so the best fit can be chosen.

Early tests of the algorithm show that only 30% of the images altered with it could be spotted, said Mr. Hays.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Color deconstructed

If you are interested in learning more in depth about RGB and color workflow, I have two good resources for you. The first is posted on photoshopessentials.com titled RGB Color and Color Channels Explained. The article breaks down how Photoshop 'sees' color and translates each color in to a number equivalent that represents what our eye perceives as red, blue, or green.

The second is a new self help guide released from Adobe that details the best color workflow in all the new Creative Suite 3 softwares. Kind of a long read, you might want to jump to page 21 if you only use Photoshop. [Via]

These articles should give you a better understanding of how color is created in Photoshop and how to get the best output from your files.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tim Lanterman in 3 man show with a little help from Mighty

Tim Lanterman, John Wagner and Bill Timmerman will be opening a show this week of their most recent work at the Modified Arts gallery in Phoenix. We did the scanning and imaging to help bring Tim's pieces to life. We were very honored to be a part of his artistic process. They are some beautiful images. We wish all of them the best of luck and great success with their show. Opening reception is August 17th between 6 and 9 PM.

Commercial photographers, Tim Lanterman, John Wagner, and Bill Timmerman have produced a second show of their personal work for Kimber Lannings, Modified Arts gallery, downtown Phoenix. The show will open on the 17th of August, a third Friday, and run till the 14th of September. Tim Lanterman will be showing a new color series of panoramic, landscape photographs. The new work is inspired by painters from the Victorian landscape tradition. John Wagner's emotionally rich photographs, which tend to journal his life experience, will include people, landscapes, and urban settings. This show will feature the most current of his toned gelatin silver prints. Bill Timmerman will also be showing a new series of his toned silver prints of images taken during an eight day hike in the Grand Canyon this year. The Canyon is typical subject matter, but these images although on the traditional side, are not what you consider typical. The show titled "Photographs 2" will be open to the public during the third and first Friday's select evenings and by appointment - call 602-462-5516.

Friday, August 10, 2007

DIY 'Snoot' for your flash

This "snoot" is easy to construct. You just need some gaffers tape and foam paper. Then you can customize it as you need to and get dramatic lighting effects, like this one.

All the steps are posted on Instructables.

Speedlite "Snoot"

Learn how to make a "Snoot" for your speedlite flash with easy to find items you may even have around the house!

Step 1

Get gaffer's tape and foam paper. Look in the craft supply area of Hobby Lobby or Michaels to find the foam paper, and if you have friends at the local theatre (plays not movies) you can often get a bit of Gaffers tape at no charge. Else, check with a camera shop that carries lighting supplies.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Make your images glow with the Orton Effect

This look, called the Orton Effect, was named after Michael Orton a photographer who was the first to use this technique by merging two images together; one in focus the other out of focus. Michael pioneered this method before the days of Photoshop. He originally used slide film to get his results. Now it can be done with a few simple steps in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or GIMP. This tutorial posted by PCIN.net is written for Photoshop Elements 5.0.
The Orton Effect - Digital Photography Tip of the Week
  1. Open your image (Image 1)
  2. Duplicate the background layer (Right click on the background layer and choose duplicate) and name that layer Sharp
  3. Create another duplicate of the background layer.
  4. Change the Blending mode of the Sharp Copy to screen
  5. With the Sharp Copy layer selected, right click and choose Merge Down (Image 2)
  6. Right click on the Sharp layer, choose Duplicate and name this layer Out of Focus
  7. On the Filter Menu, choose Blur - Gaussian Blur (Image 3)
    Depending on the resolution of the image you are using, the amount of blue needed will change. Use enough that the shapes are still visible, but detail is not. For this 6.1 Megapixel image, a value of 15.9 was sufficient.
  8. Change the blending mode of the Out Of Focus layer to Multiply. (Image 4)
This effect does a great job on portrait photography as well.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Kurney Ramsey wins Director's Award

We were pleased to learn that an image we recently printed for Kurney Ramsey, Jr. won an award. His New Cars piece was given the Director's Award and will be in the Halpert Biennial show at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at the Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. until October 6th. You can view a larger version of the image on his website. Or better yet, if you are in North Carolina, stop by the exhibit.
The Halpert Biennial '07 is a national, juried two-dimensional art competition and exhibition program designed to recognize new works by emerging and established artists residing in the United States. It has grown wonderfully over the years and features some of the most exciting new visual art being produced in the country.

Thanks for sharing Kurney! We are happy to be a small part of your success.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Star gazing and astrophotography

Living in the middle of the city I only get to experience a small portion of the wonders the night sky has to offer. I enjoy the convenience of city life, but I am envious of the view that some get every night. Like the residents of Sky Village, a remote community of astro enthusiasts located besides the Chiricahua Mountains southeast of Tucson. Another great place to experience Arizona's night sky is in Flagstaff thanks to their Dark Skies Coalition. It is also home to the Lowell Observatory.

Once submerged in to the complete darkness of night you may be inspired to try some astrophotograhy. Jerry Lodriguss has a great website with impressive galleries that include all the technical data used to create each image. He also has several books that he has written on the subject to help get you started.

Finally, this image is an artist's rendition of what our own galaxy, the Milky Way, would look like from a distance. This image has been added to our NASA For Sale Gallery. It is available in 20x20 and has one version that shows our solar system's location and one without.

Happy star gazing!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

How to make half spheres in Photoshop

Here is a quick step by step tutorial on how to make half spheres in Photoshop courtesy of one of our For Sale Gallery artists, Kerry Randolph. The steps are typed out below. You can also check out this Flickr discussion group page for a larger image of the tutorial. Thanks Kerry!

Half Sphere Tutorial:

1. Make a Sphere
2. Duplicate Layer
3. Make an oval and Fill
4. Select it and Inverse
5. Delete upper half
6. Select inverse again and make a copy of the original sphere and put a motion blur on it to give it a cut in half look.
7. Select soft airbrush at 40% and fill in the bottom area of the oval.
8. Tilt as you wish.