Monday, June 27, 2016

Update

Apologies for the slow response times recently, with retouching deadlines and a slowing PC system I have had to run to walk fast.

Only myself to blame of course, I normally rebuild my PC every two years with the latest and greatest components, with the flattening out of PC development I have left it a little too long this time.

All being sorted now, I'm retouching on the old whilst building the new, a six core monster with large amounts of RAM and the latest high speed disk technologies to cope with the larger megapixel images from the latest cameras as well as being able to handle 4k video.

If your computer needs a refresh you may want to consider purchasing soon before the pound losess any more of its value....


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Photoshop CC 2015.5 update

Not too sure why Adobe didnt call the latest Photoshop "CC 2016.6" but I'm sure they know better.

Small incremental improvements though as its a full install update you will need to reinstall any plugins that you use.

If you do decide to install then click on the advanced install options and select to keep your previous version of Photoshop so you can go back to it easier if things go South.

The only really useful thing I have found so far is that there is that when selecting "quick mask" the layer dialogue changes to show the quick mask colour you have selected, this is a real improvement for me as its an emotional/visual clue as to if you are in quick mask mode or not and is much better than the previous light grey/slightly less light grey cue from earlier versions.



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


Venue:
Pettifers,
Lower Wardington,
Banbury,
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: https://goo.gl/TlGK03

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: http://www.photo-keywords.com/ 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.

Stephen

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.

Stephen




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:

WPOTY:
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.


Video:
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 stephen@copyrightimage.co.uk.

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: http://shop.colourconfidence.com/product.php/5602/benq-sw2700pt-pro-27in-ips-lcd-monitor

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 www.scan.co.uk 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.