Istanbul from the Bosphurus. See the whole set on my photography site.

Getting Fuzzy with Focus-Recompose

Oct 24 | Comments (0)

Jonathan Wienke at visual-vacations.com has an interesting article explaining why using the center auto-focus sensor on your digital SLR may cause out-of-focus photos when you focus and recompose the shot.

 

Does ImageReady Know Better?

Oct 04 | Comments (0)

ImageReady is a wonderful addition to the Photoshop toolbox, although for the few things I use it for, I’d be happy if they rolled it into Photoshop. I use ImageReady for two tasks. One is slicing and optimizming an entire webpage of graphics. Of course, now that I use CSS instead of tables for layout, it seems like the days of heavy image use have past. An average page used to have tens of images. Now, three or four is not uncommon. The fewer the images, the less need to avoid Photoshop’s built in “Save for Web” tool.

My second primary use for ImageReady is creating animated gifs. While this certainly isn’t a huge part of my average day, it does come up frequently enough to shine a spotlight on one of ImageReady’s more annoying “features.” My workflow for a typical animation project begins in Photoshop. I design the basic framework and then use layers to create the individual frames of the animation. In the “Good Old Days” the final animation would be built with a special tool that read the Photoshop layers and assembled the animation. Now I use ImageReady to do the assembly. Which brings me to my gripe.

Animated gifs work exactly like cartoons. Animation is composed of static cels or frames that appear to animate much like an old fashioned flip book. ImageReady helps the artist manage these frames in a pallete that provides a look at all of the frames side by side. Editing a particular frame is as simple as selecting that frame in the pallete and then turning layers on and off (or moving elements in layers). The problem arises when the artist decides to add an element that isn’t already on one of the layers.

Suppose you forgot to add the company logo in the last frame of the animation. No problem. Create a new layer and place the logo on the that layer. And here’s where the aggravation occurs. Rather than activating that layer for only the frame or frames selected in the animation pallete, ImageReady decides to activate that layer for EVERY frame. So now, although I almost never want this effect, the new layer appears on each and every frame. The only solution I’ve found is to highlight all of the other frames and deactivate that layer. It’s not a difficult solution, but why do I have to do it at all?

Maybe there’s a better way, but I haven’t found it. Have you?

 

Cool DIY Laser Triggered Camera Rig for Flying Insect Macro Photography

Sep 05 | Comments (0)

Amazing Closeups of Insects

Aug 31 | Comments (1)

Mark Plonsky is an experimental psychology professor with a knack for photographing insects. Check out his gallery for some inspiring photos and check out this article Mark wrote explaining his technique for increasing the depth of field in extreme macro photography.

How to create high contrast black and white photos

Aug 27 | Comments (0)

The fine folks at deviantART have posted a tutorial on creating high-contrast black & white images in Photoshop from your color images. Well worth checking out.

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