Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Patrick Rummans show in Pasadena

One of our favorite artists Patrick Rummans will have another show opening this week. This time in sunny Pasadena, California. Patrick has some beautiful new work he will be debuting at the show. He is one of three photographers in the Au Naturel show opening this Saturday May 31st at the San Marino Gallery in Pasadena. Good luck, Patrick!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Keyboard shortcut cheat sheet

Using keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop can help you save valuable time. Who can remember all of them? Sometimes I am doing good to remember my cell phone number.

Photojojo found a great tool to help. These skins are available for Mac laptop and desktop keyboards. They are color coded for quick and easy identification. There are versions for Photoshop as well as other software packages.

Now you can free up some brain space for more important that cell phone number.

The Fastest Way to Learn Keyboard Shortcuts for Photoshop, Aperture, FCP, and more

You know that Photoshop whiz kid friend of yours? The one that plays his keyboard like a Steinway as he dodges and burns his way to photographic perfection?

That could be you.

When we saw these custom-fitted keyboard skins for Macs*, we knew we had to have ‘em.

The color-coded covers show you all the hard-to-remember shortcuts for your favorite apps and are available for Photoshop, Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools, After Effects, and Logic Pro.

You wouldn’t learn how to type with a keyboard with no letters on it.

So why learn key commands without seeing them right on your keys?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All resampling is not the same

With the powerful technology built in our LightJet 5000, we are able to take smaller files and make big prints out of them. The capabilities of the machine have amazed me more than once. I should learn to not be so surprised when I see a beautiful 24x36 print made from a 8x12 sized file, but I can't help but be impressed every time.

What if you are trying to take your file even larger, and need to (gasp) resample your file. Not all ways of resizing in Photoshop will produce the same results. The method you choose to use when resampling your image can have a big impact on the final quality of the output. Especially when you are making a big print.

It is a question I get from customers all the time, so I am pleased to be able to share this information. Stephen Romaniello teaches digital art for Pima Community College in Tucson, AZ. He wrote this article for the June issue of Digital Graphics magazine. A lot of great information on the best way to prep a file for large format output. Too much to post it all here, I urge you to read the whole article. Here are some excerpts.

When an image is enlarged by resampling in Photoshop, the colors of the new pixels are determined by one of the five interpolation algorithms chosen from the Image Size dialog box....

Bicubic is a more precise method that assesses the values of the eight pixels that surround each pixel in the image. With these calculations, Bicubic produces even tonal variations. It's recommended for images that have smooth gradients. Bicubic Smoother is recommended for enlarging raster images. The core algorithm is bicubic interpolation, but it smoothes edge pixels and reduces softening by adding pixels of higher contrast in the inner areas. Bicubic Sharper is used for reducing the size of an image, and works by eliminating pixels. It too is based on bicubic interpolation, but it enhances the image by increasing the contrast of the edge pixels.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Studio Lighting in a Flash

While surfing the net in the hopes of finding a solution for getting a custom white balance for a customers digital camera we’ve stumbled upon a company that has developed a portable, lightweight adapter that is designed to replicate the lighting effect produced by those heavy, tethered, powered studio ring flash units.

Whether you’re shooting fashion or portrait on the fly, have you ever wanted that three dimensional shadow – wrapped look that seems to come from around the subject? Well the folks at ExpoImaging have developed the Ray Flash.

The devise relies on the hot-shoe flash to generate its light and automatically takes advantage of your camera’s TTL metering. Because the ring flash light originates from a circle around the lens, it produces a virtually shadowless look on the front of your subject, while producing a soft even shadow around the edges. For you “gonzo” wedding shooters this adapter can be used as either a main or fill in light.

According to Erik Sowder, president of ExpoImaging, “It’s a great accessory tool for your strobe because it enables the photographer to easily achieve a high fashion studio portrait while on location. We here at Mighty Imaging think its cool because it has no electronics, batteries or flash tubes and best of all it does not require any cables.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Polor bear added to threatened species list

This week the US Department of Interior announced that polar bears will be added to the threatened species list. The dramatic loss of sea ice over the last 30 years has disrupted their environment, contributing to a sharp drop in population.
US Lists polar bear as threatened species: By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer on Yahoo! Green

Kempthorne (US Interior Department Secretary), at a news conference, was armed with slides and charts showing the dramatic decline in sea ice over the last 30 years and projections that the melting of ice — a key habitat for the bear — would continue and may even quicken.

He cited conclusions by department scientists that sea ice loss will likely result in two-thirds of the polar bears disappearing by mid-century. The bear population across the Arctic from Alaska to Greenland doubled from about 12,000 to 25,000 since 1960, but he noted that scientists now predict a significant population decline. Studies last year by the U.S. Geological Survey suggested 15,000 bears would be lost in coming decades with those in the western Hudson Bay area of Alaska and Canada under the greatest stress.
The plight of the polar bear is perfectly illustrated in the Save Our Home images presented by Steve Barbour and Alastair Firkin. It is heartbreaking to see the mother polar bear clinging to her cub on a tiny piece of ice surrounded by miles of water. You can do your part to help the polar bear. A portion of each sale is donated to the Nature Conservancy.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Gregory Crewdson photography

One thing I love about the CBS Sunday Morning News is that every week they will run a feature on an artist. It could be a musician, a painter, or in this case a photographer; Gregory Crewdson.

You have probably seen Gregory's work even if you did not realize it was his. If Gregory's work looks like an out take of a movie you may have seen, or a dream that you can't quite recall, that is not an accident. Crewdon's shoots take on epic proportions. A crew of 40 people spend hours composing each shot in order to capture that one surreal glimpse in to the imaginary world Crewdson has created. Most of his shots are taken at twilight to add to the eerie dream like feel.

Crewdson shoots his scenes on 8x10 sheet film which are then scanned so it can be refined digitally. He then makes 7 foot prints out of the image, "We print them this size because it's like...well to me it's like a picture window". When faced with a 7 foot print there is nothing to get in between the viewer and the art. It allows the viewer to construct the story themselves. Since more questions than answers are presented in Crewdson's work, in many ways they are like ink blots, each image can have thousands of different interpretations depending the individual viewer.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Just Showin' Up

If you're new to the Valley of the Sun, or have been here awhile, you might have found it a bit difficult to find one resource that offers a comprehensive list of art events that are going on here in town.

Well, look no more, just click on to and prepare yourself to become fully immersed in the cultural action going on in and around the Valley. The goal of Showup is to supply a comprehensive calendar of events, bringing together into a single convenient online site; information that was previously scattered or not readily available at all. According to the website, Showup is the signature enterprise of Alliance for Audience, which is a non profit corporation that exists to unite, strengthen and promote the arts and cultural community within the Greater Phoenix Region. "Props" to Lynn Ducey with the Phoenix Business Journal for alerting us to Showup's redesigned website and it's current listing of more than 3,000 art events here in the Valley.

From Artist profiles to the venues in which they appear - from rave reviews to nearby ideas for food, drink and fun to Wrap Your Night, then the resource for you is's all you gotta do!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Tyson Crosbie now on Mighty Imaging

Tyson Crosbie recently relocated to the Phoenix area. He had previously resided in Austin, Texas. We are excited to have his talent added to our growing metropolis. Tyson's style of photography is unique. He takes abstractions from the urban landscape and creates a new interpretation of the object. You can get lost in some of the colors and textures.

His new Phoenix series was just released on May 1st. I love how he was able to tie in the feel of the southwest in to the subjects he chose to use for his images. His art is available for purchase through our Shop for Art program. One really cool feature about Tyson's art is that each image is a one off edition. Meaning that once it is sold that is the only time it will ever be printed. You will truly be buying an original and one of a kind piece of art.

A stunningly beautiful new series of 20 abstract photographs from Phoenix artist and commercial photographer Tyson Crosbie. Created within the City of Phoenix and capturing the unseen beauty of urban living. In essence he creates a portrait of the City of Phoenix that is both hopeful and truthful. He utilizes digital technology in a traditional process to create straight images of object found through observation. With allusions to the abstract expressionist movement and such painters as Motherwell, Rothko, Reinhardt, Johns, Pollack and Stills they will complement any design. Produced with the intent of large format display you could easily build a room around one of these or complement a current theme. Read what the critics say here:

And then order your print today.