Saturday, November 22, 2014

Savaii, Samoa

Sunrise or Sunset????

I can't remember which it was, but either way it was a beautiful day in Savaii, Samoa.  I look at this longingly as I contemplate surviving the next few months of cold temperatures, slippery ice and a barren landscape.  (Have I mentioned that Winter is not my favorite season!!!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Follow-up to Last Post

Hello Photography Lovin' Friends!

After my last post, I had a friend send me an email, saying he had a photo printed on canvas that he was not entirely happy with.  I told him what I have learned about having my photos printed by my local lab and I thought maybe some of my comments might be helpful to others, so I've copied part of my response below:

First of all, if you are particular about how you want your prints to turn out, especially if you are printing something large to hang on your wall, you should use a local, professional lab (if you have one near), where you will get personal service and can talk to someone face to face if there are problems.  (On the other hand, if you need to print a couple of snapshots, and you don't mind if they turn out greenish or bluish, are too light or too dark, and you need them in an hour, then go to a 'big box' store!)

Early on when I began printing large photos from wedding shoots, I found that I was not always happy with the results.  I found that matching the color and exposure so that what I saw on my computer was similar to what I saw printed, was tricky and not an exact science.  I realized that obviously, since a screen and a print are two different outputs, they will never look exactly the same, but they should be in the ballpark, and this takes a bit of effort.  Here's what I do:

1.  First of all, I broke down and purchased a Colormunki Display which calibrates and color corrects my monitor, and then I calibrate my monitor to the same settings my photo lab uses to calibrate their equipment.  (I would imagine that you could get this information from any professional lab.)  There are several different brands of calibration devices to choose from, and you may have to purchase online.  But you don't even need to do this, read on.

2.  Calibrating your monitor will get you in the ballpark, but each monitor is different and will show different color tones, and different degrees of light and dark.  For example, if I did not intervene, most of my photos while looking great on my monitor, would still turn out too dark, too dull and too contrasty when printed.

3.  Here is a good solution that works well even without having to spend money on a device to calibrate your monitor:  Have several test photos printed as 5x7s to use as comparisons.  Print out a landscape, a portrait, maybe something contrasty like a sunset.  Compare them with how they look on your monitor, then 'correct' your photos in your editing program (LR or PS for example), to compensate for what you don't like in the prints.  I've learned that I need to compensate by making my photos look much brighter, more saturated and less contrasty on the computer than they would normally look good to me, in order to produce what I really want them to look like in print.  

4.  Here is another important suggestion: When I submit my photos,  I always tell the lab, "do not correct, print as received".  Unless you give this instruction, the lab techs will usually correct or adjust your photos to their interpretation of what looks good, not yours.  I learned this the hard way.  I have a canvas print of a Lake Powell sunrise.  In my rendition, the water was a dark shade of blue, but still colorful.  The tech decided this image was supposed to be more 'moody' with only the sunrise colorful, so when it came back, the water was totally black.  I didn't like it at all, and since I told the lab not to correct, (they missed my instructions), they reprinted it with no questions asked.

5.  Here is another lesson I recently learned the hard way.  Even though I now know approximately what to do on my computer to get the printed result I'm looking for, if I'm planning to print something large that will cost a lot of money, I ALWAYS have a 5x7 test photo printed first, just to make sure.  It is well worth the small amount it costs and the time to do it, (and if you tell your lab it is a test print before ordering a large print, they might do it for free.  Mine does.)  Because I was too lazy to do this, I now have a Lake Powell sunset on a large canvas decorating my closet!
Most labs who cater to professional photographers offer excellent service and great quality, and because of the less expensive online services  available, they go overboard to make sure you are happy and satisfied with the work they do.  Many times when I have called my lab with a problem, or I need advice or instruction, the techs will spend as much time as it takes to help me.

So bottom line, if you are planning to hang your artwork in your home or give as gifts, (and want to insure they don't end up in a closet somewhere), make the effort and spend the money to have a finished piece of artwork you are proud of and will enjoy for years to come!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Arches National Park, Utah

That's a Wrap......I mean a Canvas Wrap!

After all these years, I am finally determined to hang a few of my photos on the walls so I can enjoy them.  I'm starting with some of my southern Utah pictures that I'll put in our little winter casita located in southern Utah.  This is the largest picture I have ever printed.  It is 26 x 36 and will hang in the entryway.  I just got it from the lab, and it turned out beautifully, (although it looks a bit overly saturated on my computer.)  Can't wait to hang it up!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cuter Than the Gerber Baby!!!

Photo shoot with my youngest grandchild - Number 12.  He just turned One!  Isn't he the cutest toddler!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lake Powell

Beginning of a Beautiful Day and Waiting Patiently for Riders

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lake Powell Sunrise

Lake Powell Sunrise

At least one morning every trip, I get up early and find the best vantage point for a sunrise photo.  It was a beautiful morning on this day with just enough cloud cover to create a lovely and interesting sky as a backdrop for my picture.  I found my spot, set up my tripod and camera and then waited for the magic to happen.  It was a peaceful time to listen to the soft sounds of the water rippling to shore, the two chattering crows overhead with their birdseye view of the coming event, and the unsettling sounds of coyotes howling in the distance.  It was a time to reflect on the beauty of this earth in its many forms.  While in the South Pacific I marveled at the lush, tropical flora and fauna and thought this was indeed heaven on earth.  And yet on this morning, surrounded by barren red rock formations and rugged desert vistas, I also saw the beauty of God's handiwork.