Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photoshop Express launched

The new online version of Photoshop launched today. Although you can not do everything you would be able to do in the full version (no layers here), with Photoshop Express you can do minor spot correction, adjust exposure, set white balance, sharpening and much more. They also offer photo sharing, file storage, and a pretty extensive photo sharing community. Best of all it is free. Here is Jack Nack's run down of the features:
  • Includes tools for applying spot healing, distortions, sharpening/softening, color tweaks, image filters, and more
  • Offers 2GB of space for storing images
  • Supports tie-ins to Facebook, MySpace, and Picasa
  • Runs in any browser on Mac, Windows, or Linux using the Flash Player (v9) [Update: Sounds like there are some beta-ish glitches in some browsers]
  • Will include an AIR-based desktop version (useful for editing images offline) and printing services
  • Will remain free, with paid service adding more functionality

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A wealth of digital photography tutorials

I quite literally Stumbled Upon this website today. Sean T. McHugh on his site, Cambridge in Colour, posts a quite and extensive and comprehensive list of digital photography tutorials. He covers topics from understanding your camera, to Photoshop techniques, to how we perceive color, and many more. Lots of technical data, but written in a way that is easy for users at any level to understand and apply. A great resource!

Here is a little background on Sean:

To provide some background, much of this work was conducted while pursing my PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge. I have previously conducted undergraduate studies at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, also in chemical engineering. My doctoral research focused on understanding reactive flow in multiphase plumes (applications to carbon dioxide sequestration, cloud growth and volcanic eruptions).

As a scientist by training, I am fascinated by the interaction between technological developments and the range of creative options available to photographers. Improvements in sensitivity, ex post facto white balance control and real-time feedback from digital imaging are providing photographers with unprecedented low-light capabilities. Much of this fascination has been channelled into finding unique times, perspectives and techniques for capturing many of these low-light scenes in Cambridge.

As part of the Cambridge University Photographic Society, I conducted student workshops relating to general camera and SLR technique, photographic post-processing and low-light photography. These included participants ranging from those with their first camera, to more seasoned users wishing to refine their techniques. I encourage you to contact me if you would like further information about joining the society.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Computer Viruses as Art

A virus is usually something to be avoided at all costs. They can be fatal for you body or your computer. Artist Alex Dragulescu recently released a series called Malwarez that features computer viruses in a whole new light. It is an interesting concept to display these debilitating viruses as art. It is amazing how beautiful and organic these codes become when transformed in to their visual representations. Also check out National Geographic's video of his show in London.
Malwarez is a series of visualization of worms, viruses, trojans and spyware code. For each piece of disassembled code, API calls, memory addresses and subroutines are tracked and analyzed. Their frequency, density and grouping are mapped to the inputs of an algorithm that grows a virtual 3D entity. Therefore the patterns and rhythms found in the data drive the configuration of the artificial organism.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HDR Eye Candy

Smashing Magazine posted 35 gorgeous HDR photos this week as part of their Monday Inspiration series. Inspirational indeed, they are some really beautiful pictures. I am dying to see an HDR image printed as a wall mural. A subtle hint to any of our photographers.

35 Fantastic HDR Pictures

Applied carefully, High Dynamic Range-technique (HDR) can create incredibly beautiful pictures which blur our sense of the difference between reality and illusion. In graphics HDR imaging is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows. This is usually achieved by modifying photos with image processing software for tone-mapping. And the results can be really incredible; in fact, many artists and designers come up with some pretty fancy results.

This post covers 35 extremely beautiful and perfectly executed HDR-pictures. Some of them might look surreal, too colorful, even magic or fake, but they are not — keep in mind that they’ve all been developed out of usual photos, and not a single image is an illustration.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Long lasting Duratrans prints

The technology that runs the LightJet has been repeatedly recognized as having a superior imaging quality over other output devises. This also true when it comes to long lasting Duratrans printing. Backlit advertising is frequently utilized by marketers because of its ability to captivate people's attention. Bright vibrant colors that don't fade in a couple of months of use are vital. Not only to capture the consumer's attention, but also to keep the cost of the advertising down by not having to frequently replace pieces. Duane Fast in the March 2008 addition of Digital Graphics (an industry trade magazine) also touts the advantages of LightJet Duratrans printing.
Digital Sunshine

Technology has given us the power to light previously dark spaces. The digital printing industry is uniquely positioned to take maximum advantage of that technology in a constantly expanding market for backlit prints.

...Sometimes the prints need to last a long time. And if these prints are indoors, they also need the highest print quality. Permanent retail graphics and museum exhibits are a good example of this need. Photo printing still wins out in this area.

In my opinion, backlit prints from photo imagers, such as the LighJet from Oce and the Durst Lambda, give the most beautiful, dense colors of any printing source.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Champagne reception with James McGrath

It is always fun to work with new artists. With the internet being a global market, we have the pleasure of working with artists from all over. In this case, half way around the world. James McGrath is an Australian artist who found us on-line, and we were able to produce some stunning large prints mounted to 1/4" plexiglas for sale at Champagne’s Home Decor in Scottsdale, Arizona. His art, described as 'Baroque', is something else. It is a unique marriage of old world meets new. It is something you must see to experience for yourself. Please join us March 20th at Champagne's Home Decor for a champagne reception and a chance to meet the artist in person. Hope to see you there!
Champagne Reception for Australian Baroque Artist James McGrath

Thursday March 2o, 2008; 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Meet the artist and visit about his work

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1969, Mr. McGrath studied the techniques and principles of the 16th and 17th century masters at the studio school of Patrick Betaudier in Paris. Before graduating as an architect he worked as a studio assistant to Australia’s greatest expressionist painter, Arthur Boyd. While a lecturer in design and communications at New South Wales University, he was awarded several prizes for architecture and art including the Australian Post-Graduate Award, several design awards, and a residency in Paris. Over the last ten years he has exhibited in London, Paris, and Sydney. James has produced highly acclaimed digital installations and videos commissioned by several Australian museums which have subsequently been presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles [2000]. His work was also included in the Sydney and New York film festivals [1999 & 2001].

7175 East Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
If you miss the champagne reception, there will also be a book signing Saturday March 22nd from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wildflower workshop with Colleen Miniuk-Sperry

This is a great time of year to be in Arizona. The weather has been beautiful, spring training Cactus League games have started, and the wildflowers are starting to bloom. With all of the rain we have gotten this winter it should be an excellent year to photograph the wildflowers. Colleen Miniuk-Sperry (one of our featured artists) will be leading a wildflower photography workshop for the Arizona Highways. She has done all of the leg work for you and has the best locations already scouted out. Space is limited, so be sure to call to reserve your spot today.

Special 1-Day Wildflower Photography Workshop on March 16!

Calling all photographers! Get your cameras out for the brilliant desert wildflower bloom here in
Arizona! Poppies, lupine, owl clover, and scorpionweed are just a few of the wildflowers creating colorful blankets on the desert floor and hillsides right now.

The Arizona Highways Photography Workshops are offering 1-day workshops focused specifically on these wildflowers. Join me on Sunday, March 16 as I lead a Spring Wildflower workshop to help you learn more about photographing this spectacular display in the desert in the best locations around.

The price is $180 per person, with a maximum of 12 participants to ensure individualized attention. This includes a classroom session, lunch, an on-site photo shoot, hands-on field instruction, and a photo technique handout. As your instructor, I might even throw in a little fun too!

For more information, please visit and select the March 16 Spring Wildflower link. To register, please contact Robyn or Laura at the Arizona Highways Photography Workshops office at (602) 712-2004 or toll free at (888) 790-7042.