Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

From all of us at Mighty Imaging, thank you for your business in 2008! We would like to extend our best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year. We look forward to fulfilling your printing needs in 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Timm Chapman exhibit at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a 32 acre oasis located due East of Phoenix in Superior, Arizona. Their goal is to instill an appreciation for plants through research, conservation, and education. They also have an active art program in their visitor center. Each month they feature the work of a new artist. In January, it will be the photography of Timm Chapman.

Timm's polar bear images entitled Lords of the Arctic will be on display the entire month of January. His shots are gorgeous, and also thought provoking. They highlight the beauty of these majestic creatures, and also their struggle for survival in a shrinking environment. Timm generously donates a portion of each sale from this collection to Polar Bears International.

Timm will also be leading a 3 hour 'texture walk' at the arboretum on January 17th. He will be talking about photography techniques and offering tips on how to improve composition and utilize the natural textures of desert plant life. Contact Boyce Thompson Arboretum if you wish to attend.

This month marks the first official start of Winter -- how appropriate that images of polar bears and stark landscapes will grace the walls of the visitor center gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum during January. Pinal County resident and professional photographer Timm Chapman will be featured with a solo exhibition, and he'll also teach a class January 17 for a dozen pre-registered students.

"The Arboretum show will feature a variety of my images including shots from the Lords of the Arctic series which captures the great Polar Bear on the tundra of Northern Canada," said Chapman, whose photography manages to encompass dramatic landscapes -- and also intimate spaces.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy holidays!

No matter what you celebrate, this time of year is a chance to reflect and appreciate the good things in life. From all of us at Mighty Imaging we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!

If you are in need of something to do over the weekend, Arizona Central has a listing of holiday light displays through out the Valley. Make sure to bring your camera!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tony Blei featured in Southwest Graphics Magazine

We have known for some time that Tony Blei is an amazing photographer. Tony was one of the first artists in our Shop for Art gallery. We were happy to see that in the Winter 2008 addition of Southwest Graphics Magazine, they gave Tony the chance to talk about his passion for photography and some of the reasons behind his success. Tony has had a extensive career shooting a variety of subjects, including six U.S. presidents.

Southwest Graphics does not publish their magazine on their website. Excerpts of the article are available here.

High on Blei

Tony Blei of Tony Blei Photography has been in business for three years, but he's actually been photographing people for more than 20. Tony previously was a photojournalist, and he says that experience helped to shape his creativity.

"There's a beauty to photojournalism that often gets missed. The beauty is that you have a steady stream of people to photograph, but very little time to plan. It requires that you think on your feet and be creative," Tony says. "Photojournalists are incredibly creative people who have to solve huge problems on a moment's notice - with no budget."

..."I'll run through walls for my clients. I do whatever it takes to get them what they need. Period." Tony says, "I see my photography as an investment for my clients. The pictures they're hiring me to produce will be used to attract business or sell their products. They deserve a high return on their investment."

When he was a young photographer, Tony photographed an author. "I don't remember his name, but I remember the lesson he taught me: Unless you're at the J.C. Penny Portrait Studio, nobody wants their picture to look like everyone else's. I ended up putting a computer keyboard in the author's hands and posed him as if he were a rock star playing lead guitar. It was great! We each ended up with a picture we loved, and I ended up with a lesson that served me well for more than 20 years."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gus Koernig's art added to Mighty Imaging

Gus Koernig started out his career working in front of a camera as a TV journalist. He now enjoys his time behind a camera as a photographer. He has some beautiful images of the West as well as from his journeys around the globe. All of which are now available in his gallery as part of our Shop for Art program. We are pleased to be able to offer Gus' prints to the collection.

Living in the western United States I am always surrounded by breathtaking images, just waiting to be photographed. I also have the opportunity to travel and take pictures in places I never dreamed I would visit. I spent several weeks in Australia, photographing the big cities and small towns, the seashores and the rainforests that are brimming with some of the most awe-inspiring images I have ever seen.

I was raised in a very big city and have lived in some very small, remote rural towns. These experiences give me a deep appreciation for the variety the world offers and my photographs reflect that variety. My galleries are filled with pictures of sweeping vistas of unspoiled wide-open spaces, as well as close-up photos of nature's most delicate handiwork. You'll find images taken in some of the world's great cities, along with photographs that capture the uniqueness of tiny towns in out-of-the-way places, and pictures of wide spots in the road where abandoned buildings silently hint at their history.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Add a little colour to your design

Colour Lovers is a site dedicated to color and its use in design, marketing trends, and art. They have over 160,000 users who post color palettes dissected and extracted from such subjects as crayons, national brand logos, and even fall leaves. They watch market trends of popular color usage in logo, web design, fashion, you name it. They even have a post that shows a side by side comparison of what a color blind person sees next to the original artwork.

Users post patterns and palettes inspired by vintage fabric, masterpieces by famous artists, or just a season of the year. Each provides the RGB number equivalent to be able to easily utilize it yourself. Many of the patterns available for download could be a great start in designing your own personal digital fabric or wallpaper.

It is a wealth of information and inspiration for any designer. Likewise, people in the marketing and advertising industry can learn what colors have been successful for other big name companies when developing their campaign or brand. A great site, worth spending some time exploring.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vegetable art by Ju Duoqi

Ju Duoqi is a Chinese artist who uses vegetables as her models to recreate recognizable masterpieces by artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol. She uses digital photography, with a little help from Photoshop, to recreate each scene. Her images are printed large to allow the viewer to examine the amazing effort and detail put in to each recreation.

Ju can be seen here with her work "Vincent Van Gogh Made of Leek". Her show entitled "The Vegetable Museum" is on exhibition at Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery II in Beijing until January of 2009. To see more of Duoqi's exhibit, take a look at this slide show.

Do you want peas with your Picasso? -Celine Chen

Her works, the Vegetable museum series, are on show at the Paris Beijing Photo Gallery in the 798 art district from November 23, 2008 until January 24, 2009.

Mixing everyday vegetables such as tofu, cabbage, ginger, lotus roots, coriander and sweet potato, and adding a dash of digital manipulation, Ju presents a puzzling series of vegetable compositions representing world famous paintings like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper by Leonard Da Vinci, The Dream by Pablo Picasso and Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol.

"In the summer of 2006, I bought a few kilograms of peas, and sat there quietly for two days peeling them, before stringing them on a wire and turning them into a skirt, a top, a headdress and a magic wand. I used a remote control to take a photo of myself in them, and named it Pea Beauty Pageant. That was my first work of vegetable art," Ju Duoqi said, recalling her first vegetable composition.

She began to find vegetables, normally associated with household drudgery, more and more interesting. The different types, shapes and colors of the vegetables, with a bit of rearranging, can make for a rich source of imagery. Fresh, withered, rotting, dried, pickled, boiled, fried, they all come out different.

Then she realized that as a photographer, she no longer needed models – she arranged her legumes and took photos of them. "I have found a way of life for women who love the home," Ju said, explaining the theme of her works. Anne Cooper Chen, an American visitor, commented, "These carry a great sense of humor."

Friday, December 05, 2008

Phoenix Art Museum showcases large photographs

The Phoenix Art Museum recently add Sara Cochran as their new modern art curator. As one of her first tasks in the position, the museum reinvented the contemporary galleries in the Katz Wing. One room of the five part installation is a gallery featuring wall sized photographs. Including this image "Untitled (House on the Road)" by Gregory Crewdson. It is exciting to see the museum recognize the power of these large scale photographs and introduce more of them to the collection.

To learn more about Crewdson's work, read this previous post.

Art museum galleries reinstalled - Richard Nilsen

The Phoenix Art Museum has reinstalled its contemporary galleries in the first-floor Katz Wing with a series of "mini-shows."

The large paintings and photographs from the museum's collection, with some loans from some local collectors make this 5-part installation a must-see.

Third gallery features monumental photographs. Unlike the snapshots you are used to, these photos are wall-sized. German artist Thomas Struth is the king of this genre. This is his "Pergamon Museum, Berlin" from 2001. Notice how in the gallery it takes up a good chunk of wall. These giant photos are something of a current fad.

Another giant photo is Candida Hofer's "Palacio Nacional de Ajuda Lisboa VII" from 2005. The genre favors images of large public spaces and incredibly sharp detail, so your eye can wander through them, fixing on this or that.

Another large photo is Gregory Crewdson's "Untitled (House on the Road)" from 2002. Although it is a photo, the subject is oddly mysterious and unreal. What is that house doing on that street?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tim Lanterman goes to the dogs

They say never work with children or animals. Tim Lanterman decided to buck the system and ignore conventional wisdom. I would have to say he did an excellent job of proving them all wrong. Tim's latest exhibit aptly entitled Woof is all about dogs. Tim did an amazing job capturing the individual personalities of over 20 dogs he photographed for his series.

Whether you are an dog lover or just a lover of fine art photography, then you should be at the After Hours Gallery this Friday December 5th. The show starts at 7 PM and is part of the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Phoenix.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

René Payán added to Mighty Imaging

René Payán's work is a departure from many of the artists in our Shop for Art gallery. At first glance you may think you are looking at a shot of Phoenix at sunset or Monument Valley on a pristine day. What may take you a second to register is that these images are digitally created. Many of Rene's images are so photo realistic that part of you thinks you may have been there before. Other images are definitely part of a world created solely by Rene's design. They are imaginative, captivating, and look amazing when printed.

The artistic components of color, form and composition dominate his images, which combine Arizona’s natural beauty with the height of computer technology. As the volcanoes imposed their magnificence in the midst of modern life in the busy city of Puebla, home of his youth, so does René Payán propose to blend the natural beauty of the Arizona desert with the image making methods available through high tech design. The result is over 300 virtual landscapes inspired by the awesome vistas of our amazing Arizona countryside and desert.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Take better pictures with your phone

Many people have already converted to one unit for all their audio and visual communication needs. Cameraphones have improved dramatically over the past couple of years. Companies consistently add cameras with larger megapixels and better lenses to their latest models. I recently saw an image by an amateur astronomer of Jupiter taken with an iPhone. Granted, it is not the most detailed shot, but still a big leap for the capabilities of a cameraphone.

If your phone has also become your camera Photo Industry Reporter has some tips on how to capture better shots.

10 Tips for Taking Better Cameraphone Photos:

Middletown, CT—
Wireless Zone reports that cameraphones are increasingly becoming the picture-taking device of choice. According to a recently published study, the company says about 1 in 5 consumers already use a cameraphone as their primary camera.

Mark Asnes, vice president and COO of Wireless Zone (, shared some wireless wisdom that can help consumers take better cameraphone pictures.

1. Good lighting is key. The ideal is natural light, but you can still get good results inside by turning on a few lights.

2. Adjust the white balance. Select your setting based on the type of lighting. If the lighting is mixed, stick with the auto setting.

3. Just say no to digital zoom. The picture quality will be reduced drastically. Optical zoom is OK if the phone has it.

4. Get ready for your close-up. In place of digital zoom, get the cameraphone closer to whatever you’re taking a picture of.

5. Stay very, very still. To prevent blurring, hold the cameraphone with both hands and brace your arms against your sides or lean your elbows on a stable object.

6. Get accustomed to the shutter lag. For better timing, get a feel for how long it takes between the moment you press the button and the moment the picture is captured.

7. Don’t get trigger-happy with the delete button. An image that looks grainy on your phone could look just fine on your computer screen.

8. A clean lens takes clean pictures. Use a glasses or lens cleaning cloth to avoid scratching the lens.

9. Turn up the resolution unless the sole purpose is for picture messaging.

10. If at first you don’t succeed . . . just keep experimenting with different angles, lighting and settings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jeffrey Welcker at Pita Jungle

Jeffrey Welcker takes a unique perspective on desert landscape photography. The result becomes a surrealistic abstract of design and form. Jeffrey prints his work on Metallic paper and then second surface mounts them to Plexiglas. The effect is stunning. Viewers get lost in the gorgeous detail, and can't help but examine all the intricacies of the image. His current exhibition will be on display at Pita Jungle's Scottsdale location until January 1, 2009.

Jeffrey Welcker native to Arizona has been photographing "the Desert Rocks" in the North Scottsdale and surrounding areas for close to a decade. The project started out as an attempt to capture the desert before it would no longer be accessible. Shooting in the Monsoons, the heat and the Chill of a desert snow. The results are, vibrant color photographs of sculpted granite, printed on metallics, that stir the imagination and bring out the desert mystic.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vermillion Studios grand re-opening

Dan Vermillion is a internationally renowned commercial photographer located right here in Phoenix. Dan heads up the studio space that he shares with three other very talented photographers; Mark Peterman, Nicky Hedayat-Zadeh and Jesse Rieser. They recently updated their studio space and are throwing a party to celebrate the grand re-opening. We had the privilege of printing some really beautiful large murals of Dan's work to adorn the walls in their newly remodeled space.

Come by the studio Friday November 21st starting at 5 PM for the festivities. Hope to see you there!

Clients and friends: The Photographers at 124 W McDowell Rd
(Dan Vermillion, Mark Peterman, Nicky Hedayat-Zadeh and Jesse Rieser)
would like to invite you to a Studio Party on Friday night November 21, 2008.

Festivities will begin around 5pm with food, drink and music. We hope to see you here. Feel free to bring co-workers who want to start the weekend on a good note, drop by after work or come by a bit later.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jim Cowlin's US Route 89 exhibit

Jim Cowlin is a diligent evangelist for his project, the US Route 89 Appreciation Society. Nothing tells the story better of the beauty along this historic stretch of road than Jim's photography. Jim recently had a show of his new portfolio of work at the Saans Downtown Fine Art Photography Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although it was a little too far away for us to attend the event, we were happy to help Jim out with the prints.

Last August when we were in Salt Lake City we were introduced to Shalee Cooper, the curator for Saans Gallery. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that I had a new portfolio of prints from the US Route 89 project. Her response was enthusiastic and we immediately started planning for the show.

As of October 17th, it is a reality. There are twelve limited-edition prints now hanging in the Saans Gallery as well as a group of smaller prints of scenes on the highway. The opening was held during the monthly Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll. I had a good time meeting people and talking about our travels on the highway. One of the gallery strollers even joined the US Route 89 Appreciation Society.

The Saans Gallery is located at 173 East Broadway in Salt Lake City. For more information about Jim's work or the Route 89 Appreciation Society you can visit the project website.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Photoshop classes for photographers

Scott Condray of Visualville teaches Photoshop classes specifically designed for photographers. Since Photoshop is such a complex software, many new users become overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. Scott focuses on the tools that are specific to image editing. He keeps his class sizes small to ensure that every student fully grasps each session. Past students have told me they learned a great deal from Scott's instruction.

Scott has a 5 week course starting next Tuesday night, with spots still available. You can go to the Visualville's website for more information on how you can attend.

Our classes are designed for photographers, but are not limited to photographers. They are open to all who need to learn how to incorporate the power of this amazing software into their creative process.
  • All of our classes are designed to meet the needs of photographers, both professional and amateur.
  • Each class is designed to introduce students to key features of the program that can benefit both their creativity and productivity.
  • Students learn at their own Visualville computer . In person instruction is supported by a class workbook of step by step exercises, and real world example images.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Teri Terasaki at Gallery 8

This Friday will be the second to last First Friday art walk of '08. A perfect opportunity to check out the Phoenix art scene and perhaps purchase some artwork as a one of a kind holiday gift.

Teri Terasaki will be showing a collection of her work at Gallery 8 along with Craig Wactor. Teri's work is a unique combination of collage and photography. She created a series of 'outfits' out of plastic molding of a female form, each one contains a different themed collage. The series is entitled Waste Reform. As you can see from the image displayed, it is a play on words and content.

Gallery 8 is located on 3rd Street and McDowell in downtown Phoenix. The opening will be from 6-10 PM Friday November 7th.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MacBook vs MacBook Pro

If you are like me, you covet any new product that Apple releases. Unless you truly have expendable income, you have to wonder sometimes if it is worth the hefty price tag that some of their products carry.

The folks at Gizmodo did some independent testing to compare the graphic capabilities of the new MacBook Pro vs the standard MacBook. It looks like MacBook Pro blew away the processing time of the standard MacBook. As all you creative people know, nothing can stifle productivity better than slow graphics rendering.

MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match

Here they are, the MacBook and MacBook Pro graphics benchmarks you've been waiting for. Our basic Mac-only benchmarks used in our dual review were great at showing how close the CPU performance was, but not great at illustrating the disparity between chunky-hunky 9600 GT and the comparatively weak integrated 9400M that we saw firsthand while playing Spore. With a little time, we've been able to:
• Install Windows XP and run 3D Mark
• Play a little Crysis—yeah, Crysis
• Get ahold of Adobe CS4 and run some rendering jobs
The conclusion? If you're a serious gamer or work with graphics of any kind and you need an Apple laptop, you're gonna want the MacBook Pro. Here are the raw numbers to prove it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vinyl banners: High impact, low cost advertising

Large format vinyl banners are a great way of advertising just about any news you would like announce to a large audience. They are a versatile solution for creating an ad campaign that can convey a big message at a low price.

Banners can be customized any way you would like. With digital output, you have the option of creating your own graphics and layout design. Advances in printing technology now gives you the opportunity to use images with photo-like print quality, as well as text, to convey your message.

Many banners are used for indoor advertising or trade booth graphics, and may never see the light of day. Vinyl is a very durable and flexible material that can withstand heavy exposure from the elements, making them perfect for outdoor use. They can last for a very long time spanning from several months to up to few a years. One of the best features about vinyl banners is that they can be mobile billboards for your business - just roll it up and hit the road. They also do not require much space for storage, and can be easily kept on a shelf for future use at trade shows or for seasonal events.

In order to make your advertising more effective, consider using some of these printing strategies when designing your banner;

Where will your banner be displayed?

This is one of the first thing that you should ask yourself when you are creating your banner. It will tell you how large you can create the banner to maximize your given space, it will also help you effectively plan the right design to complement that space. For example, if you are placing your banner outside make sure the colors of your banner do not blend with the background. You need to use colors that will stand out and are easy to read.

You should also make use of the size of your banners. The bigger you banner, the farther your audience reach will be, and the more people you will be able to broadcast your message to. You can maximize this trait by making your banners carry a very large headline. A large headline plus the big size of the banners means that your banners can appear bigger than it really is.

Is your message is easily recognized

Keep your layout simple. Your marketing materials need to be easily understood. They should be grasped while the prospective customer is just passing by your advertisement. Since banners are usually large materials, you can exploit this characteristic by using bold colors, large images, or large headlines that will attract and hold attention.

Text or graphics?

Speaking of large headlines, while fonts are an important advertising tool, there are times when using the right image can grab your audience's attention and be just as influential. Imagery can also help convey and establish your company's brand. This should be considered during the planning stage of your banner creation. You may need to hire a photographer to shoot your product, or search through stock image agencies to find the right look for your ad. Keep in mind the target audience that you are trying to reach. If you do choose to use graphics, make sure that it helps the message to be more effective. Everything on your ad must help the message be understood clearly by your target market.

Will the call to action be heard?

Your call to action is extremely important in your every marketing tool, including this one. Tell your audience what you want them to do. Tell them how they can help in fulfilling the goals of your ads.

Most importantly, once you have grabbed their attention and motivated them to take action, be sure that your contact information is clearly displayed. Give them various ways to reach you. They must be able to contact you by whatever means that are available to them.

So if you have not yet utilized vinyl banners as part of your marketing strategies, now is the time to start. A well designed banner has a small impact on your marketing budget, and a big impact for your marketing message. Please contact a Mighty Imaging representative for more information on vinyl banner printing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

And the winner is...Christine Taft

Third time is a charm for Christine Taft. For the third year in a row, Christine has placed in the Arizona State Fair photography competition. This year, continuing the three theme, three of her images were selected. First Light, Living Water, and Signature Rose (seen here) each placed. The annual competition receives hundreds of submissions from all over the state. For Christine to have multiple pictures accepted three years in a row is a quite an accomplishment. Congratulations Christine! Your ribbon wall has to be getting full.

Christine's award winning photos will be on display at the Arizona State Fair Grounds through November 2nd (closed Mondays). You can own one of these winning pictures yourself, all the images seen here are also available for purchase on Christine's gallery.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rick Scuteri Goes Nationwide...Again!

Hats off (or should we say helmets) to one of our favorite customers, Rick Scuteri; for his amazing shot of Georgia tailback, Knowshon Moreno. And, if you think we’re biased, just ask Sports Illustrated.

S.I. ran with Rick’s image, instead of their own, for a multi-page spread on the Univ. of Georgia football team as they defeated our ASU Sun Devils this past month. Rick captured the shot using the world class Canon Mark 2N with a 70 to 200mm lens. As the local Reuters photographer here in Phoenix, Rick doesn’t just pick a spot and stay there. Oh no, he is always on the move, going from end zone to end zone up and down the sideline, always near the action with a nose for the ball. In fact, his performance is no different than the athletes he’s covering.

This hundred percent effort has allowed Rick to capture images that often times are wished for but rarely photographed. If you’d like to see what real talent looks like then click on to Rick’s website and see the best of the best in front of, and behind the camera.

Way to go Rick!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall art festivals

Since the weather is thankfully out of the what feels like eternal triple digit heat here in Arizona, there are numerous art festivals popping up across the Valley. A perfect opportunity to get out and support the local art scene, and possibly find an excellent one of a kind gift for the holiday season that is rapidly approaching. posted a listing of some of the upcoming festivals through December.

Valley art festivals: Kellie Hwang

Shopping for holiday gifts is not always an easy task, which is one reason generic gift cards are often seen as a solution.

But if you really want to find something unique for your sweetheart or your mother (or yourself), while also enjoying a day out with the family, take in one of these Valley arts festivals:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Film ain't dead yet!

This month Eastman Kodak is doing the unthinkable; bringing to market a new and improved professional film. Now we all agree that digital photography is the coolest thing since canned beer, but there was a time when if you wanted to capture unprecedented detail with remarkably vivid color you just grabbed a roll of Ektar film from the fridge.

According to Mary Jane Hellyar an executive vice president with Eastman Kodak,
“This new film with ISO 100 speed, high saturation and ultra-vivid colors offers the finest, smoothest grain of any color negative film available today.”

We here at Mighty Imaging agree with Mary Jane when she says that photography has always been about capturing a moment or story and sharing it with just a few or with the world. However we have learned that when it comes to big prints or fine art it is often the smallest details that mark the difference between a good photograph and one that stands out and becomes memorable and more importantly sell able.

Ektar 100, scheduled for October availability, is geared for commercial photographers and advanced armatures for applications such as nature, travel, fashion and product photography where the emphasis is often on color and for photographers who need extraordinary enlargement capability when scanning and printing.

So the next time that you see a big print that seems to jump off the wall and capture your attention ask yourself, what’s film got to do with it? You just might be surprised.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Custom wall coverings make a big impact

Savvy designers are discovering the potential in custom wall coverings. Not only for corporate users, but also for home decor. The versatility of the product combined with the designer's vision make the possibilities endless.

This wall covering was designed by LA Digital Graphics for a Paul Mitchell salon studio in San Francisco. They used a self adhesive vinyl product for this installation.

Digital wallpaper also offers the same freedom for customization. Designers are able to work directly with their client to create a one of a kind setting that is unique to their taste.

Excerpt from the November issue of Digital Graphics magazine article by Sharla Sikes
Why Not Wallpaper?

Digitally printed wall coverings offer a lot of advantages over traditional wallpaper, which helps to drive their growing popularity.

"You can offer short-run customization without the huge expense of setup. Machine printing is extremely expensive in that world, and they have to do larger runs. It's more cost effective to do it digitally. With new technology we now have permanent inks and eco-friendly products - that's a big thing now," says Kirsh...[Aaron Kirsch of Aztek Wallcoverings Inc. uses a UV curable printer similar to ours at Mighty Imaging.]

Traditional wallpaper is more limited in terms of design. With digitally produced murals or wall coverings, the customer and designer can work together to create not just a design but an environment that reflects the look and feel the customer wants.

Monday, October 13, 2008

James Cowlin hits the road

For anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing James Cowlin's images of Historic US Route 89, then you know why Jim dedicates so much of his time to preserve the beauty and wonder that this 1800 mile stretch of road has to offer. James has spent countless hours bringing awareness to his project through his website, lectures, but perhaps most effectively through his stunning pictures. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these speak volumes.

A new show featuring images taken during his 2007 trip will be on display in Salt Lake City beginning this Friday. Good luck to James! We were happy to help out.

I am please to announce that I will be exhibiting recent photographs from the US Route 89 project at Saans Gallery in Salt Lake City. The opening of the show is Friday, October 17th, during the Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll from 6 to 9 pm. Included in the exhibit are eight large prints of the 2007 Pictures of the Year and four large prints from my travels in 2008. The show continues through November 15th.

If you live in the Salt Lake City area or are planning to be there next week, I would also like to invite you as a member of the US Route 89 Appreciation Society to a pre-opening event on Thursday, October 16th. I will be in the gallery to talk about the photographs and the US Route 89 project from 7 to 8 pm. I would enjoy meeting any of you who can be there.

Here are links to websites for more information:

James Cowlin's US Route 89 2007 Pictures of the Year: <>

Saans Downtown: <>

Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll: <>

As always, take the slow road and enjoy your journey as much as the destination.

Jim Cowlin

To see more of Jim's images you can also check out his gallery on our Shop for Art page.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Terry Connett and Michael Greene added to Shop for Art Gallery

We are pleased to announce the addition of two more very talented photographers to our Shop for Art Gallery.

Terry Connett has a background in real estate and commercial photography, but also found time to create some beautiful fine art photography on a variety of subjects.
After leaving the real estate industry a couple of years ago he formed Terry Connett Photography to continue his passion for photographing commercial and residential real estate properties, as well as corporate executives, brokers, and employees, for assignments that include magazine articles, advertising, brochures, company functions, and just about anything in the business world requiring a photograph.

Michael Greene has a passion for landscape photography. He captures the raw beauty that nature has to offer.
My motive as a photographer is to capture a fleeting moment in the mysteries of the wilds – when nature is at its most intimate and precious state – exposing it for its imperfections, complexities, and rugged power – all while embellishing it for its serenity and incredible beauty.

Both artists have beautiful pictures available for purchase. There are so many amazing images to choose from, any of them would be a great addition to your decor. Check them out!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Neschen doubles down!

The Neschen brand name has been known as much for its innovation as it has for its quality products. If you have been interested in big prints, graphics for retail display, or fine art, then you surely are aware of their superior mounting and laminating products.

Neschen has just introduced an improved PVC-coated media for banners, trade-show exhibits and double-sided graphics applications. The new SolvoTex PVC Standard Blockout is a 100 percent polyester media with a PVC coating on both sides.

What’s really cool about this product is that it has a true 100 percent opaque block-out liner that allows for double-sided printing with none of the shadows or bleed through that we’ve all come to expect. Best of all, that disappointing washed out look is a thing of the past.

The next time you want your graphics to go BIG, double down with Neschen products. Exclusively found at only the best large format printers like Mighty Imaging.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Photographer's survival guide

The local ASMP chapter will be holding a seminar this Thursday that could not be more timely. The 3 hour seminar entitled The Photographer's Survival Guide (for Today's Market) will be given by portfolio and marketing consultants Suzanne Sease and Amanda Sosa Stone. They will touch on many aspects of what can make your photographic business flourish, even in times like these.

The seminar will be held at Legend City Studios at 521 West Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix, this Thursday October 9th. Registration and social hour is at 5:30 PM, with the seminar beginning at 6:30 PM. If you wish to attend, you can see all the details for the event here.

This program is for all levels of photographers — those who are just starting and those who have been in the business for years and want to take it to the next level. The program is a 2-hour presentation and each participant will receive a "Survivor's Guide." The Guide covers everyday photography business basics to those uncomfortable "what do I do" moments in our industry.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Steve Ferguson's art at the Herberger Theater

The Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix, besides being a haven for preforming arts, also promotes visual art through their Steel Pavilion Art Gallery. We had a small part in the latest exhibit Imprimatur opening up tomorrow evening. Steve Ferguson is one of the artists featured in the show. We made a large print of his image Restrained and then mounted it to plexiglas. The small thumbnail here does not do it justice. It is an impressive piece. The Steel Pavilion Art Gallery is open during the week, even if there is not a performance being held. Steve's piece will be on display until January 4th of 2009. Stop by the Herberger to see a great show, or just to see the art.

Arrive early for a performance and visit our Art Gallery. Each quarter we feature the creative and inspiring work of Arizona artists. A portion of the proceeds from each piece sold benefits the Herberger Theater Center.

The Art Gallery is open for viewing: 10am - 5pm, Monday through Friday through the Box Office, one hour before and during performances (including weekends), by appointment.

For information or to purchase a piece of artwork, contact Laurene Austin at (602) 254-7399 x105

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mama, please don't take my Kodachrome away!

I can't say I am too surprised to learn this news, but it is still sad. Although Kodak has not completely stopped production yet, it sounds like they may soon. It will be the end of an era.

Is the rich-hued Kodachrome era fading to black? - Ben Dobbin, Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - It is an elaborately crafted photographic film, extolled for its sharpness, vivid colors and archival durability. Yet die-hard fan Alex Webb is convinced the digital age soon will take his Kodachrome away.

...Only one commercial lab in the world, Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kan., still develops Kodachrome, a once ubiquitous brand that has freeze-framed the world in rich but authentic hues since it was introduced in the Great Depression.

Eastman Kodak Co. now makes the slide and motion-picture film in just one 35mm format, and production runs — in which a master sheet nearly a mile long is cut up into more than 20,000 rolls — fall at least a year apart.

Kodak won't say when the last one occurred nor hint at Kodachrome's prospects. Kodachrome stocks currently on sale have a 2009 expiration date. If the machines aren't fired up again, the company might just sell out the remaining supplies, and that would be the end.

Friday, September 26, 2008

PANGEA gallery opening

Stuart Black is an amazing artist. He specializes in satellite image art. Although Stuart may start with an image created by NASA, he then applies color and dimension that turns the it in to modern art. Worlds apart from the typical satellite image.

We print Stuart's images on metallic paper. Some of his pieces also get second surface mounted to Plexiglas. It is an amazing presentation that wows everyone who sees it.

Please join Stuart at the grand opening of his new gallery PANGEA October 2nd at 6 PM. The gallery is located at 4222 N. Marshall Way in Scottsdale. Please RSVP at 480-946-4696 if you wish to attend opening night.

Stuart is regarded as the worlds first satellite image artist. His trademark brand of art is instantly recognizable. Two collections form his truly unique body of work. Signatures of Earth are color prints created from visible, infrared, and radar data acquired by NASA's Space Shuttle and the LANDSAT satellite program over the past 20 years.

Stuart's satellite image art goes a step further than maps and photos by adding the aesthetic dimension. His work is modern art at its finest, combining an original theme with the best printing technologies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Harrison Hurwitz at Fluid 5.six gallery

Harrison Hurwitz has over 20 years of experience shooting people. He has a background shooting fashion photography in New York. He now applies that same artistic eye to wedding and portrait work here in Phoenix. Although Harrison is not limited to shooting just people. The subject of the latest exhibit that Harrison is part of is all about dogs. K9 is a collaborative show of 5 photographers being held at the grand opening of the Fluid 5.six gallery (get it - f:5.6) this Friday from 7-10 PM. Fluid 5.six is located at 1105 W. Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. It is part of the First Friday events. Just "look for the dogs on the wall".

Monday, September 22, 2008

Photography connects us with the world

At the TED convention earlier this year David Griffin, the photo director for National Geographic, gave a talk about the what makes a great photojournalist, what type of images tell a compelling story, some of the lengths their photographers go to capture those images, and the power of photography to connect us to our world. David uses some iconic images from the magazine to illustrate his point. Found [Via]

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tyson Crosbie donates piece to Young Collectors

Young Collectors is a volunteer organization that helps support the Phoenix Art Museum. They are in their own words 'Dedicated to enriching the social and cultural environment of Phoenix by providing social networking opportunities that help build a flourishing art community.' They will be holding their first fund raising gala tonight at the museum. The event entitled Murder at the Museum starts tonight at 6:30, flapper and zuit suit attire encouraged.

Tyson Crosbie dedicated one of his Phoenix 20 pieces to the silent auction that is part of the event. The piece that Tyson donated (seen here) is a 1 of 1 24"x36" FujiFlex print mounted to 1/8" Plexiglas. This thumbnail doesn't do it justice. It looks absolutely gorgeous! They normally retail for a little over $2800, so it is an incredible value. Cheers to Tyson, for helping support the museum and the local art community!

Go to this site if you wish to purchase tickets for the event. We wish everyone the best of luck with the event!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Zak Saenz added to Shop for Art gallery

Zak Saenz is another amazing artist that proves you don't need to have a degree in photography to capture stunning images. What you do need is passion, and Zak has lots of that. His passion for life shows through his photography. We are pleased to add Zak to the list of artist's work available on our Shop for Art gallery. Please check out Zak's art. I know you will be moved by the form and color of his images.
Zak Saenz grew up in Westport, Connecticut where he had found a love for photography in his late teens. Being drawn by color and the flow of the objects in his lens he was determined to recreate not only the objects as he saw them, but also the feelings that those objects instilled in him as he captured them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Effectively using color in marketing

The holiday season is just around the corner. In fact, the Halloween merchandise has been on the shelves for weeks now. In a time when retail spending is down, what tools can you use to boost sales? Think color. Choosing the right color scheme in your store design and marketing material can subconsciously stimulate and attract customer attention.

Jeff Grant from Trio Display offers some great tips on how to effectively use color to design an environment that not only helps you build your brand and promote your product, but also generate more sales.

The Retailer's Guide to Color in Store Design

Color is often underestimated as a marketing tool. That’s right, I said “marketing” tool. Think about it for a second: some of more powerful brand associations you can think of connect through color. UPS: “What Can Brown Do for You?” IBM is “Big Blue.” Home Depot and orange are forever linked.

Coloring Between the Lines

Marketers are merely taking advantage of the fact that we respond strongly to color on a visceral level, reacting and making judgments almost instantly without being aware of it. Here are a couple common associations…

• White: Cleanliness, purity, honesty.
• Red: Vitality, passion, love.
• Blue: Calm, stability, peacefulness.
• Brown: Open, reliable, grounded.
• Orange: Energetic, warm, happy.

Blue vs. Pink

Gender plays a part in color choice. Darker colors or brighter colors seem to appeal more to men than women, while softer or more “ambiguous” colors find a better reception with female clientele. Which particular colors are preferred tend to be tied to culture. It is worth noting that a standard blue is favored by both genders. If your retail space is heavily weighted toward one sex or the other, scheme appropriately.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Photoshop tutorials for beauty retouching

Smashing Magazine posted a great list of 70 beauty retouching tutorials for Photoshop. Anything from how to smooth out wrinkles and skin tone to how to change someone's hair color. Many of them are video tutorials, so they are easy to follow along. They are also nicely organized by category to easily locate the problem area where you would like to improve your skills.

Beauty retouching is probably one of the most popular application areas in which Adobe Photoshop is used extensively. There are two simple reasons for that. First, Photoshop offers a variety of advanced tools to smooth out skin and hair, optimize body proportions and emphasize some beautiful details. And second, if you have some experience with Photoshop it is easy to learn the basics and quickly produce very impressive and beautiful results.

Of course, beauty-retouching is a quite deceptive art. The masters of Photoshop create illusions which are hard to tell apart — unless you have both a genuine photo and the final result in Photoshop and can directly compare them. In fact, every day we consume perfectly retouched stars and models online and offline which just look different in the real life.

Still, it is not the reason to avoid learning advanced Photoshop techniques for beauty-retouching and study examples of how it is done in practice. The list below presents both image-tutorials as well as video-tutorials. Most examples have a before-vs.-after-comparison and you can follow the modifications with Photoshop step-by-step.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ingenious light box displays

Walls + Forms, a company that specializes in retail display solutions, has come up with a couple of innovative designs for light boxes perfect for point of purchase displays. They recently released their Lights Alive line that include a double sided light box, a super thin single sided light box, and a ceiling mounted electric free "light thief" that utilizes the light from your existing light source.

Like they say on their website: "With over 70% of buying decisions made in store, your advertising message needs to stand out." We couldn't agree more. With these original display options, and our Duratrans printing, your advertising piece will get you noticed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Arizona State Fair photography competition

The Arizona State Fair will be pulling in to town any day now. All the rides and fun will officially open on October 10th. If you wish to be considered for a prize in photography the deadline is, coming up much sooner, September 10th. There are three large print categories you can enter; color, black and white, and an Arizona landscape category sponsored by Arizona Highways. Check out this link for all of the submission specifications and application form.

One of our Mighty Artist's Christine Taft placed 1st and 2nd in two different categories at last year's fair. Good luck to Christine and all the competitors this year. We can't wait to see who gets the blue ribbon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fall Color photo workshop with Colleen Miniuk-Sperry and Arizona Highways

We are in the midst of the long hot dog days of summer here in the Valley of the Sun. I know we are all ready for that break in the weather. Even though it seems like it will never come, fall is right around the corner. Now is the time to start planning your trips to catch the fall color. Fall color? This isn't Vermont, you say. Well, believe it or not, we do get some amazing fall color here in Arizona.

Colleen Miniuk-Sperry will be instructing a photo tour sponsored by Arizona Highways October 3rd through the 5th in Escudilla Arizona. Check out the information below if you wish to attend. Space is limited to 8 students, so sign up early.

JUST ADDED! Arizona Highways "Fall in Escudilla" Weekend Photography Workshop on Oct. 3-5, 2008

Looking for somewhere new and exciting to photograph magnificent fall colors in Arizona?

Join me as your lead instructor on this exciting 3-day weekend workshop on October 3-5 in the Escudilla Wilderness Area on the eastern side of Arizona. Sponsored by the Arizona Highways Photography Workshops, I will act as your guide through expansive groves of aspens, gambel oaks, and evergreens surrounding the 3rd highest peak in Arizona, the Escudilla Mountain. Uncovering my favorite "secret" locations in the remote Escudilla Wilderness, I'll also share special techniques for capturing stunning images of fall colors.

Cost: $925 per person, with a maximum of 8 students

Roundtrip transportation from Phoenix, AZ
2 nights Lodging
All meals
Hands-on, individualized field instruction in a small group setting at little-known locations for picturesque fall colors
For more information or to register, please contact the Arizona Highways Photography Workshops office at (602) 712-2004 or toll free at (888) 790-7042. Space is limited, so be sure to call to reserve your spot today!

Hope to see you on October 3rd!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Edward Weston: Mexico

The Phoenix Art Museum (PAM) will be showing the work of Edward Weston that was created in a brief window of time when he lived in Mexico. Weston, along with his lover Tina Modotti, lived in Mexico for approximately three years. Tina was the inspiration for many of the pieces shown at the exhibit. A small portion of the exhibit will be dedicated to Modotti's pictures, as well as Weston's letters, journals, and personal snapshots that help tell the complete story of their experience.

The work, drawn from the collection of the Center for Creative Photography, will be on display at their Norton Photography Gallery until November 15, 2008

Full of striking compositions, dramatic still lifes and exquisitely beautiful landscapes, Phoenix Art Museum presents an artistic exploration of Mexico seen through the lens of one of the twentieth century’s most influential photographers, Edward Weston. Edward Weston: Mexico examines a variety of Weston’s early and rare photographs revealing his devotion to the ideals of art, his progression toward the modernist style and his passion for love and life.

This stunning collection of 60 photographs displays the local culture and scenery of Mexico in the 1920s – a rich period for the arts known as the Mexican Renaissance. Weston used a large camera to create technically accomplished black-and-white photos rich in detail and markedly abstract. Mexico allowed him to experiment with new subject matter, such as still lifes and landscapes, making this period one of the most pivotal of his career.

Monday, August 18, 2008

42 foot HDR image from a 8 megapixel camera

This is a tale of Pete Carr and his quest to create a 42 foot HDR panoramic image for his client off of his 8 mp camera. Here, we are frequently the bearer of bad news, when we have to educate people on the limitations of their file size. You can learn a lot from Pete's process and what it took to get this file to image at full size. Since Pete was also trying to pull of that HDR look, he had to take triple the shots to overlap them. A total of 33 shots were combined to create the final image. Luckily he was able to use Photoshop CS3's panoramic seaming tool. He then used Genuine Fractals to beef up the resolution. It probably also helped that his client used wallpaper application (which has a lower DPI threshold).

Pete is right, "never say never", he was able to create a beautiful image that sets the perfect ambiance for his client's dining room. Found [Via]

The 42 foot wide Liverpool skyline HDR

You always see people discussing megapixels on forums and what you can print to. People saying they have a 8mp camera and it does A3 nicely. Which is fine for family portraits and things but when a client asks you to produce something 13 meters, 42 feet wide from an 8mp camera you of course say yes. I’ve printed to 1 meter before now without issue. The prints look great. So 13m? Easy. Ok so maybe not easy. You read articles about 50mp Hassleblads with sensors the size of TV’s that people use for advertising, for billboards. You never in your right mind think that you can use a simple mid-range DSLR with only 8mp to produce something 42 feet long and 9 feet high. Never say never though.