The Digital Print

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The Digital Print by Jeff Schewe, published by Peach Press, ISBN 13 – 978-0-321-90845-2.

This book complements Schewe’s first book, ‘The Digital Negative’.  Hi first book examines the steps to process your RAW image into a photo fit for printing using either Adobe RAW, Lightroom or Photoshop, stopping short of the actual printing process that is covered in detail in his second book.

Background and printer set-up.

In The Digital Negative, Schewe first briefs about the history of digital printing and the development of the printers and the choices now currently available.  He moves on to look at how to set up your printer so that it works to it’s optimal performance with Lightroom and Photoshop using either Mac of Windows.

Schewe moves onto discussing colour management, covering both theory and practice, again recommending settings for Lightroom and Photoshop.

He then moves on to preparing your image for printing including altering colour to greyscale and half-toning and soft-proofing.

Chapter 4 is dedicated to making the print.

Chapter 5 looks at choices of papers how they are made and why they are different and how the ink works and how it interacts with the various types of paper.

Chapter 6 discusses workflow for both Lightroom and Photoshop.

This is a good book and in my opinion a must read book.  This will give you enough understanding about the mysteries of good reliable printing for either total control at home or exporting to a third-party to print.  If you have ambitions for top quality professional exhibition standard printing then this is a book to read for you to.

 

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The Digital Negative

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The Digital Negative by Jeff Schewe, published by Peachpit Press, ISBN: 13 978-0-321-83957-2.

I have just read this book to try to get a better understanding of digital photography.  Schewe is a photographer who has also been working with the boffins at Adobe since the early 1990’s to help develop RAW, Photoshop and more recently Lightroom for photographers from a photographer’s point-of-view.  His books are therefore as close as you can get to finding a first class knowledgable author.  He has published two books ‘The Digital Negative’ and “The Digital Print’ the later I have just began to read.

The Digital Print briefly covers the basic background of how the digital image is made in the camera but drills in to the featured and functions in both RAW and Lightroom that you will use to process your RAW file in to a presentable photo.  This includes a recommended and sensible workflow, background information from the Adobe engineers explaining why certain features work the way they do.  Chapters 4 and 5 a dedicated to Photoshop for advanced editing beyond the capabilities of RAW and Lightroom for those images worth the extra effort.  Chapter 6 covers the recommended workflow from importing pictures from the camera, storing, backing-up, making copies, cataloguing on to developing.  This book does not however cover printing as this is a topic for his second publication.

This is a good book to read, I learned a few new features in Lightroom that I was unaware of and also instructed me in the use of RAW that I am unfamiliar with as I have only used Lightroom so far.  Lightroom was was developed with a lot of the features from RAW and both will talk to one another but changes made in one will alter the other’s parameters and this is a useful thing to be aware of if you use both RAW and Lightroom.  If you want a better understanding of Lightroom, RAW and Photoshop this ids the book to read.  This is not however a detailed book for Photoshop it covers the topics that most photographers need but doesn’t look at all the magic tricks possible in Photoshop.  This is a book intended to help the modern photographer become confident and proficient developing digital photographs to a point that they can print or advance to higher levels of editing using Photoshop and plug-ins.  Not too technically challenging and easy to read and fairly easy to understand without an engineering degree.

A very good book that I would recommend.

I passed my formal assessment!

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I passed my formal assessment; but I was a little disappointed at some of the comments regarding the standard of my presentation, as I felt that I did not get sufficient guidance as to what was expected of me.  However, I have recently found a student Forum on Facebook that assures me that this is typical for the first course and that passing was good in itself.  I will however, take on board the colleges criticisms as  for learning and en-devour to improve in my next course.

Good books that I used to research and plan for the subject illustration and Narrative and Assignment V

When I was studying for section five of my Art of Photography course, illustration and narrative, I purchased and read two very good books by AVA publications,  basics Creative Photography series, Context and Narrative by Marie Short and making Photographs by Mike Simmons.

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Making Photographs by Mike Simmons is a good book to use to help find ideas and then create a working plan for your photography project.  This book helped me develop the ideas for creating images for my exercises and helped my find the idea for using the M.R. James story for my assignment and story board it with sketched ideas for images.

Context and Narrative helped me with ideas of subject matter and a better understanding and use of juxtaposing images.

Both these books have case studies and exercises at the end of each chapter.  Both are good books and I will revisit then for my new course which is ‘Context and Narrative’.

Formal assessment for my Art of Photography Course

I am now putting together all my photos from my assignments to send for formal assessment.

I have included some prints that I made for two early exercises at the beginning my course in the introduction section as additional to my blogs as further evidence of my work for this course.

Assignment 1, I originally didn’t produce prints to be assessed however, as a result of my Tutor’s comment regarding this I have made prints to be sent for the formal assessment.

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Assignment 2, for this assignment I send my Tutor large poster size prints which was on reflection over the top and my again my Tutor pointed this out; so I am sending smaller 7 x5 prints for formal assessment.

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I have also included these four additional prints that I didn’t send to my tutor but are prints of the additional images illustrated on my original Assignment blog and therefore I thought that I should also include them as part of the assessment.

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I have also added two additional larger prints (9×6) of ‘Diagonals’ and ‘Rhythm’ as I was able to get a better colour reproduction and crop.

Diagonals-2-resized Rhythm-2-resized

Assignment 3, I originally had these printed at my local Tesco store.  Mike commented in his report that the colour reproduction on one or two prints did not match the digital images on my blog; so I therefor reprinted all these images through Jessops to see if I could get a better reproduction and also obtain better crops.  I am now sending both for the formal assessment, the reprints are in a smaller print format and are marked 1a to 16a.

 

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I have sent all the reprints with the originals; but some of the original prints reproduced better than the second batch for example Violet and yellow-a Red and yellow-resized both didn’t re-produce as well as the originals (in my opinion).

Assignment 4, All the original prints that were sent to my tutor.

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Assignment 5, Original photos only, no additional, with the accompanying 3 page story text to complement the images.

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Thank you for taking the time to assess my work.

Tutor’s report and my reflections for assignment five.

I have just received back my Tutor’s formative feedback for my last assignment for the Art of Photography Course, assignment V, Narrative and Illustration.

DSC_7135-Edit-It_was_with_some_considerable_curiosity_that _he_turned_it_over_by_the_light_of_his_candles-resized  Re-examining my work.

Tutor_report Shaun Mullins 512659 TAOP asst 5 V2

I enjoyed this project immensely, I found it very challenging and I learned a great deal from it.  I had read some very useful books that helped with ideas of how to plan for this project, namely: Context and Narrative, by Maria Short, Basics Creative Photography, 02, AVA.  Making Photographs, by Mike Simmons,  Basics Creative Photography, AVA.

Throughout this project I kept referring back to the brief to be sure that I understood my assignment and feel confident that I met the brief.

The brief being to imagine that I have to illustrate a story for a magazine to include the cover to illustrate and several pages inside to include captions of any length to explain and link each picture.  The cover picture will need some of the techniques of illustration that I have been experimenting with and the picture essay will be more of a narrative.

Any theme which has a narrative element could be a suitable subject for this project; so on first checking with my Tutor, I chose to use a ghost story by M.R. James as the Narrative to illustrate.

Having thus decided upon the story, I set about planning my photographs.

Reflections on my Tutors comments (see attached document).

Image 1.

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My Tutor liked this image and comments that it was a good example of risk taking, although I must confess it didn’t occur to me at the time.

Image 2.

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Perhaps it is a little stereotypical, I could perhaps have used a still-life image of the map and magnifying glass as an alternative.  However, the third hand was intended to complement and make sense of the caption.  Oh, Parkins,’ said his neighbour ‘If you are going to Burnstow I wish you would look at the site of the Templars…’  Perhaps the third hand wasn’t needed.

Image 3.

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A simple image that worked for linking the story.

Image 4.

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Although it lacks a visual link to the last image (3) it is necessary to continue the story.

Image 5.

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Unfortunately, I could not find a antique whistle as a convincing prop; so I had to make do with a wooden peg that we covered in dirt to make the object as ambiguous as possible.

Image 6.

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I was very pleased with this image as I think that it gives an atmospheric feel to the story.

Image 7.

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Probably my favourite image and was perfect for what I was looking for for the cover.

Image 8.

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My Tutor thinks that this image could arguably have been left out of the narrative.  My feelings is that as this project is a magazine story and the story is essentially about finding a whistle in a grave-yard and whistling up a ghost, I needed to include this image (identification) to help link image 5 (discovery) with the following image 9 (put to use).  however, no two editors may agree the same outcome, therefor as a photographer, I would have at least covered myself having produced the image if an Editor had decided that he wanted it.  In this case I was the Editor.

Image 9.

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My Tutor feels that my friends pose appears to be a little over-acted, I think that this is a subjective opinion, the expression was intended to suggest someone tentively blowing through an unfamiliar object.  It looks truthful to  me; but I may be biased.  The shadow effect however, appears to have worked as I wanted.

Image 10.

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A simple image; but turned out to be trickier to achieve as my friend could only spare me limited time in the evening when it was already very dark.

Image 11.

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It took a lot of pictures before I got this shot!  I particularly like the wide open eye that I am always drawn to.

Image 12.

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As with image 10 this photo was more of a challenge as I had already lost the light; so I had to use a speedlight in a soft-box and experiment with settings on my speedlight and camera to get the effect I was looking for,  I then had to make some final adjustments in Lightroom.

Image 13

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The ghostly spirit takes form using bedsheets and rushes at the professor.  I was happy with this final image, although I had to combine two images in to one in Photoshop to produce it.

A big thank you to my Tutor for his support and constructive comments.

 

 

 

Formal elements in art and composition

From the world of art and the compositional analysis of paintings, the formal elements are: line, shape, tone and form, texture, space and colour.  (Basics Photography 01, Composition, David Prakel, AVA.)

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shape  Wedding-5825

tone & form Low_Res-7603

texture  Patterns-8-resized

space  DSC_5785-Edit-resized

colour  DSC_6325-Edit-resized