Monday, February 29, 2016

Client News - Clive Nichols

Client News is a new section on Copyrightimage, it will allow clients exposure of their projects and give an understanding of how good digital imaging workflow can produce real world results.

Clive Nichols one of the worlds leading garden photographers is planning two photographic workshops at the beautiful garden at Pettifers this year, here are the details:

Pettifers Garden and Photography Master Class with Clive Nichols

Tuesday May 10th 2016 and Tuesday 20th September 2016

10am - 4pm

Lower Wardington,
OX17 1RU

Clive is pleased to announce that he has secured two workshops at one of the country’s leading gardens. Pettifers, in the lovely Oxfordshire village of Wardington. The garden is owned by renowned plants woman Gina Price who has created a stunning garden crammed full of choice plants.

The day will begin with a talk on garden and flower photography by Clive followed by practical sessions in the garden. Clive is a very experienced teacher  who will guide you through the techniques that have made him into one of the world’s leading flower and garden photographers

Fee: £100 per person
Maximum capacity 20 places in May, 20 places in September
Skill level: General
includes lunch with wine and refreshments

Bookings for this event are being managed by Stephen Johnson of Copyrightimage Ltd, please click on the following links for booking and payment details:

The May event can be booked here

The September event can be booked here

Plan your journey to Pettifers here:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Client Advisory - Keywording

As many of you know (and hate!) captioning and keywording is an important part of the imaging workflow.

Whether searching a large collection or preparing a batch of images for market a good caption and set of keywords is important.

Lightroom does not come with a structural set of keywords to help you build a proper keywording tree so you either have to make your own from scratch or you buy a ready made "base" one that you can adapt and grow to your own needs.

Up till now I have been recommending a US based list to clients but have recently come across a competitively priced list that is both logical and deep, Its written by a real stock photographer called Tim Makins who lives in Ireland. It even has a set of Getty conceptual keywords and we all know how we love conceptual keywords :-)

The base list already has a good selection of wildlife and plant items for the geographical area chosen but this can be further enhanced by adding free additions from the site such as the 7209 item list of plants with both common and scientific name or the extensive mammal and bird lists..

If you dont have a very good keywording tree or are in the market for one this is an excellent place to start: Not only does Tim provide a selection of lists his site gives very comprehensive guides and advice in using and adapting them, recommended reading for cold winter nights.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Full import functionality restored in Lightroom CC 2015.3

Very please to see Adobe have listened to its users and reinstated the older fully functional interface for importing images. (CC 2015.3 Build 1052427 with Camera Raw 9.3) Available now for download.

Not quite as pretty as the cut down previous version but this is more than made up for by the return of control into users hands, thanks Adobe.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Copyrightimage helps out with "The Hunt"

One of the larger projects I have been working on earlier this year was the image grading and colour prep on the stills images for the BBC presentation of The Hunt (airs tonight BBC1 9pm).

I was very pleased to be asked by the producers to help translate the Ultra High Definition video frames shot on a variety of 4k, 5k and other formats into the book as well as  publicity material for the programs .

Following on from my stills grading work on "Frozen Planet" I had a variety of image formats sent to me from RAW stills and RED video files for the main production to "behind the scenes" images shot in Jpeg and other formats.

As before it was my job to colour grade and balance the images to get across the content of the images and ensure that cast removal, contrast problems and framing issues were resolved so as to provide a consistent and coherent sets of images across the pages.

The work involved using RED Cine-X Pro for the video raw conversions and Photoshop to do most of the work with Lightroom acting as a visual database. Image delivery was via Google Drive and Dropbox.

As always it was very important to keep the veracity and integrity of the subject matter, having many wildlife photographers as clients help me judge things correctly and any local work is done to bring out detail in shadows/highlights to better capture the reality of the scene.

The book is available now, a good alternative to Amazon is Hive - The Hunt

If you or your organization are experiencing problems with stills image grading / retouching then please feel free to get in touch, I offer a professional and confidential service with full colour management and a quick turn round.

All retouched images can be provided in "packs" so each image results in a 16 bit master image for archiving , an 8 bit sharpened print tiff file for print uses  and a quality 10 sRGB Jpeg for correct colour in web and other "on screen" uses. I can also size and sharpen for a specific print size in CMYK and get the most of out each image on the page.

Alternatively I can offer onsite training to your technical operators to show them how to get the most out of UHD video and stills images files when generating publicity or products from your productions.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wildlife photographer of the year

It's been a great night meeting all the finalists here, just finished the dalek looking  ice cream, not long now till the final awards are announced, 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Clients Advisory: Lightroom 6.2 CC 2015.2

Adobe have updated Lightroom 6 and CC today to version 6.2 (CC 2015.2)

I would advise clients not to apply this update yet as it significantly messes around with the critical import process.

Not only does it lose functionality (including the live destination tree view) it is also slower and buggier.

As most clients have a very structured import process that relies on presets to get the most efficient workflow I'm afraid preset access is now buried in the sub menu of a separate page when running the import.

I'm working through the new system now to try and engineer a replacement workflow that is as efficient so please bear with me whilst I do this. Once it is done I can advise each client on the best route for them.

It would appear that Adobe have changed the import process to simplify it for home users, the kind of people who use Photoshop elements rather than Photoshop. It would have been nice to have the option not to use this cut down version but Adobe have their own opinions.

Microsoft did something similar with Windows 8, they removed the start menu, the result was not good (until Windows 10 put it back), I don't think Adobe have quite done a Microsoft but judging by feedback on the forums users are not best pleased by Adobes actions.

If the engineers at Adobe need something to do then I have plenty of useful suggestions including:

Managing duplicate images (retaining collection status)
File corruption checking of images
Larger curves adjustment boxes (sizable for other controls also)
Presenting a copyable
url for the web gallery uploads

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Updates and catchups

Its been a busy few months here at Copyrightimage, lots of special retouching / book projects I cannot reveal the details of just yet, here are some updates:

Very pleased to have been asked to attend the Awards Ceremony for Wildlife Photographer of the Year on the 13th October at the Natural History Museum, looking forward to meeting the winners on the night, perhaps they will not all be strangers?. If your attending then please make sure you say hello.

Recent work commitments means that I'm little behind on producing the "how to" videos but this will be sorted soon with the next entry in the series and some new quick tips in a shorter format that will be easier to produce.

Windows 10:
Having tested Windows 10 thoroughly on several computers I have now installed it on my main workstation. No problems so far and things are a little smoother so I'm happy with that.

I did check things over before making the jump so if you don't have a second or third machine to test all your older programs / peripherals yourself you may wish to hold off the update. If in doubt give me a call.

File delivery:
Clients wishing to send images for retouching may wish to do so via Dropbox. My Dropbox account is

I find Dropbox to be the most reliable and flexible method of sending and receiving large files. I have an account with 1TB of space but you don't need a paid account to share up to 2GB of files on a continuous basis. If you prefer an ftp account then that is still available from me also.

Imaging developments:
Its been another quiet year in imaging terms with no major developments, perhaps a good thing as it helps firm up standards and knowledge.

The new cameras and lenses have improved detail in images and I'm seeing some fine RAW files being delivered to me, I'm expecting an increase in Sony files within the next 12 months.

Benq has joined Eizo and NEC in producing a dedicated monitor for retouching. I have not had chance to see one in action yet so cannot give an immediate buy signal for those on a smaller budget but it does look promising:

Adobe's Creative cloud is still blocking the sun on program licensing but the Photographers bundle of Photoshop and Lightroom is well priced and is a consideration if CS6 is getting a little old for you. In fairness to Adobe they seem to have backed off with their aggressive sign in requests and the new annual plan is more like an upgrade cost than the monthly tax version.

As always, a pleasure to work with some great images this year, looking forward to seeing more and helping others get the most out of their photography and special projects.

Stephen Johnson

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Advisory: Clients buying bare hard drives

Im currently building and configuring a 6 Terabyte NAS for a client and have taken delivery of the two hard disks for the small device (its going to be raid 1 to duplicate images files in the case of one disk failing)

Good to see that still pack bare hard disks correctly, an excess of layered well taped bubble wrap its one of the reasons I recommend them to my customers (I dont get any kickback from Scan btw).

The worst supplier for buying hard disks is Amazon, they pack the drives as if they were paperback books with no effective protection, they will of course refund you for obviously broken disks damaged in transit but the disks that appear to work "for a while" are not the kind you need. Never buy disks from Amazon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lightroom 6 advisory for users experiencing poorer speeds than usual

Whilst Lightroom 6 has added a few minor extras compared to Lightroom 5 it was disappointing to find that performance is still pretty poor, even with a supported video card.

For users that have been experiencing heavily degraded performance compared to Lightroom 5.7 you may want to check your video card, it looks like Adobe and ATI are not as in sync as Adobe and nVidia, you can read more about the problem on the Adobe site:

To be fair to Adobe its likely that trying to get the most out of a range of video cards running with a variety of drivers is not an easy combination to manage and keep working.

Lightroom speed for editing has sometimes been fast enough for commercial use but each point release brings its own slowdowns and speedups and whilst some aspects of Lightroom 6 are better (slider performance in the develop module) I again find that Lightroom is too slow to edit large sequences of images for clients.

Adobe Bridge with a prebuilt cache and 1:1 proxies is still much faster than Lightroom for editing serious amounts of images - which is a shame as both should be able to display prebuit proxies at pretty much the same speed (and Bridge doesn't even pretend to use GPU acceleration), I think someone fresh needs to look at the relevant Lightroom code and see if they can optimise it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Wildphotos Notes

Many thanks for the patience of the people who attended my Imaging workshop at Wildphotos towards the end of last year.

A combination of urgent retouching work and an increasing desire to put more and more detail down on paper meant that the promised notes took a back seat untill recently.

Part of the reason being that because the workshop subject matters were quite wide ranging it did attract people with a wide range of abilities and skills from beginner to advanced.

My desire is to cover the whole range and therefore I have decided to split the notes up into separate sections and release them together with an accompanying video which can explain more than written notes alone.

Producing videos also allows me to split a subject into beginner / advanced versions.
The first video is now on YouTube and you can watch it here: 

(If you watch it on YouTube you can select HD from the viewing options and see it in its 1920x1080 full screen mode) (A small low res can be viewed above):

You can find notes about the items covered in the video by downloading the accompanying PDF here: 1 introduction.pdf

You may recall the retouching environment was just one of the many topics covered in the talk, I intend to cover all the subjects from the talk - and also the ones we couldn't cover because of time.

I have a provisional list of the titles for videos I will be producing over the coming months here: 

All these videos and all their accompanying notes and resource files will be available to workshop attendees for no charge, if you attended the workshop and have not yet given me your email address then please email me with your details so you can see more videos as they are produced.

Future videos and notes may be made available to people who didn't attend the workshop for a fee.

Please feel free to send feedback.

Many thanks