Saturday, 9 October 2010

Exercise 1 Initial Thoughts and Research/Links

Last time I had to under take a similar exercise I was lucky enough to be able to use the local college studio set up and equipment. Then with another task, I coerced my daughter into posing for me. Neither options are available to me in this instance as am no longer at college and my daughter is at University. I am thinking of smiling nicely at my son and possibly getting him to pose in his rugby kit on the field, by the goal posts etc and using natural light.

The only equipment I'll need is my camera and probably the kit lens at a focal length of 50mm or my telephoto lens at 70mm. I may have to use flash depending on the available light. Because I shall be moving around my subject and varying the pose and framing I will not use a tripod.

Taking images using jpeg and raw allows you to have the jpeg image for initial editing and the RAW which preserves most of the information of the captured image. RAW files can be considered as the digital negative. The purpose of raw image format is to save, with minimum loss of information, data obtained from the sensor, and the conditions surrounding the capturing of the image. Useful information can be found here :o)

I always upload my images using Adobe Bridge.

From the Adobe website......

Adobe Bridge, provided with Adobe Creative Suite 4 components, lets you organize, browse, and locate the assets you use to create content for print, the web, television, DVD, film, and mobile devices. You can drag assets into your layouts, projects, and compositions as needed, preview files, and even add metadata (file information), making the files easier to locate. For a video overview of Adobe Bridge, see

Metadata is a set of standardized information about a file, such as author name, resolution, color space, copyright, and keywords applied to it. For example, most digital cameras attach some basic information to an image file, such as height, width, file format, and time the image was taken. You can use metadata to streamline your workflow and organize your files.

Inserting personal data can also assist with copyright issues at a later date or people being able to contact you if they see an image online.

Workspace is something that needs to be taken into consideration, ProPhoto RGB holds much more information than Adobe RGB, using sRGB means that colours in the original file will be clipped or compressed. Again Luminous landscape have some useful information to take on board. Some of the technicalities do whoosh over my head but I understand that ProPhoto is what I should be using for my RAW conversion :o)

Cropping and adjusting during post processing is usually a given and I always use CS4 with a combination of layers saving the master TIF file with all layers still intact.

Sharpening should always be the last process before printing or uploading. Most image editing programs contain sharpening features and I use the Unsharp Mask Filter.It is best to view images at 100% when you sharpen them. The auto filters don't generally offer enough level of control. The unsharp mask filter has 3 sliders, amount , radius and threshold.

Amount - ranges from 0 to 500% and determines the degree that the effect is apllied to the image. I invariably start at a value of 150%
Radius - controls the number of pixels surrounding the edge pixels that are affected by the sharpening. I normally have mine starting off at 2.
Threshold - this setting determines how different in brightness pixels need to be before the sharpening filter is applied. This slider is the one moest people forget to use but is essential for controlling which parts of the image will be affected by sharpening. When sharpening is applied to flesh it can become very noisy.

Care must be taken as to not over sharpen, especially with portraits.

As you adjust and edit images save them as different file names to allow for mistakes and being able to back track. To archive it is recommended to save as tiff as the majority or other software programs can read this file type. Some PSD files are not backwards compatible with other Photoshop versions.

If saving for the web you can use the "save for web" option which optimizes an image for the web.

Once the workflow and assignment are complete it is best to backup images. This can be done on a seperate drive or to disc. Discs have a indeterminable shelf life so it is best practise to reburn these from time to time.

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