Tag Archive for 'adobe'

Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

PinExt Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

Lightroom Contest 4 Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

by Gavin Seim: Adobe recently had a travel photo contest. The prize, a trip to Thailand with legendary photographer Steve McCurry. Yea, the guy who photographed Afghan Girl.

Matt Hardy once said – “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”

Adobe counted +Likes and gathered a panel of official judges to choose. The winner… this photo. You can see it larger here on Adobe’s page. There were many other entries, but this was chosen as the grand prize. I feel this is hurtful. Not only to the entrant, for it teaches them that quality does not matter. But to those who worked hard to enter quality work. It’s better to be honest with those that are learning, than to ignore a lack in quality. I would rather be improved by honest criticism than ruined by false praise.

How does the world’s largest professional photography software developer and it’s judges not know the difference between a photograph and a snapshot. As someone who has worked for fifteen years to understand photographics and light, I for one am not jealous; I am insulted and embarrassed.

For the record I did not enter this competition.  And the point here is not to insult the winner. I’m sure they will enjoy and learn from this trip. The point is that people need to understand a camera does not make you a photographer. People worked hard and entered quality work To award photo in this manner seems an insult to their efforts.

What’s Wrong With It:

Quite nearly everything. As a vacation snapshot, it’s perhaps acceptable. There is nothing wrong with a family snapshot. But we need to understand the difference between a snapshot and a photograph. This image won an international level competition. At that point it must be critiqued as such and compared to other entrants.

Great photos can be subjective. But that does not mean we ignore what makes them great. This photo has no subject, breaking the cardinal rule of a great image. A great photo has a subject. Usually just one. All other elements should be supporting cast. Is the subject little girl? The half cut off body taking the photo? Perhaps it’s the Oriental Pearl Tower, crooked in the frame. If we have to ask, the image has already failed.

When examined (something I have done over and over again) the picture feels of phone snap quality. It’s filled with artifacts and problems. The exposure is flat and dark and the sky is plain and boring. As journalism it lacks interest and as a street photo it lacks expression and spontaneity. Finally it fails at what is perhaps the hardest thing to put into words. It’s uninteresting and it does not tell a story.

Ansel Adams once said – “The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”

While I don’t generally call out bad photos directly, I think this needs to be thought about. Everyone has cameras, but if in doing so, everyone becomes photographers, then the word photography no longer has meaning.

If we hold zero standards to the quality of art and use “art is subjective” as an excuse for everything, than the word art has no value – By calling everything art, by making everything great, we demean those who through effort and practice have mastered their skill.

NOTE: This is a news commentary. You are welcome to disagree and for obvious reasons I did not include the winners name. It’s not meant to be mean, but to raise awareness and get us thinking about quality and understanding the diffidence between a photo and a snapshot.

UPDATED: When this post was first made I had thought that looked like a phone photo. It is not. While the camera used makes little difference, some felt this should be disclosed. I have refined the post a bit to reflect this and things related to the ideas presented here.

So now that I’ve stirred the pot. Let the discussion begin.

ad free slim 468 Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

Lightroom 4 Is Officially Here

PinExt Lightroom 4 Is Officially Here

lightroom 4 review Lightroom 4 Is Officially Hereby Gavin Seim: Adobe wasted no time getting out of the beta phase. It seems they wanted cha’ching sounds a ringing.

Lightroom 4 is hitting desktops as we speak. Thankfully Adobe did drop the price a good bit to $149 ($79 for upgrades). Something we can probably credit to the Aperture price drop in 2011. Thanks Apple.

All told. LR4 looks pretty good. Not Earth shattering. But good. Sadly there seems to have been few changes from the beta. There were areas some were hoping would get more features. But LR4 has some new develop tools, some refinements and some new modules that will keep us busy.

A few major things to look for include…

  • Changes to the Develop settings, including Shadow, Highlight, White Point and more.
  • Video playback and basic editing support.
  • The book maker module (limited but interesting).
  • More control over Brush and Gradient settings, including localized White Balance.
  • Built in maps module.

Of course there’s more. I’ll be back with some thoughts soon. For now go check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.

More detailed review in the works. This post will be updated… Gav

 

OnOne’s Plugin Suite 5 is here & On SALE.

PinExt OnOnes Plugin Suite 5 is here & On SALE.

I’ve been a fan of OnOne products for awhile now. I did the review on V4 some time back and it nailed a 7/10. Plugin suite is a nice collection of tools in a single package. V5 is now available for order and the folks at OnOne have hooked readers up with a sweet deal. I’ll be getting hands on for a closer look at whats new in version 5 soon, but for now here’s some details.

The sale is for $200 off the complete suite. That’s over 30% off, making it $399. It ends Dec 5th 2009 however. Here’s the direct link, or you can just use coupon code PPS200 at checkout.

If you found this post after the sale ends you can still use code PRPHTPC for 15% off. You can also check for other specials over the the PPS Deals page. Have fun… Gav

  • Resize images using Genuine Fractals 6.
  • Remove unwanted backgrounds with Mask Pro 4.
  • Color correct photos with PhotoTune 3.
  • Put the focus where you want with FocalPoint 2.
  • Get the professional look with PhotoTools 2.5.
  • Add the perfect finishing touch with PhotoFrame 4.5.

suite5 awards boxes OnOnes Plugin Suite 5 is here & On SALE.

Lightroom 3:

PinExt Lightroom 3:

by Gavin Seim: Adobe is taking things up a notch once again. Lightroom 3 will bring lots of revamped and new features that should keep it’s current user base happy and continue to bring Lightroom converts into their fold.

Video 600x375 Lightroom 3:

Export HD video sideshows with music.

Yep, it just went into public beta and is available for everyone as a free download that stays active until April of 2010, so presumably the retail version will be out near then. The beta does not support upgrading of LR2 catalogs however. Obviously the final version will, but for now it’s still in the feedback stage so you’ll have to make a fresh catalog to use it.

Resource Links.

Lightroom 3 will bring major architecture changes under the hood to help speed things up and run faster, but also a host of new features and perhaps even more when the final version ships. Here’s a few quick and dirty screenshots, musings and details on whats new.

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In Design CS4 Photographers Look. The Lightroom Of Album Design

PinExt In Design CS4 Photographers Look. The Lightroom Of Album Design

by Gavin Seim Updated 11/09:

Images stuffed into mat pages, then an album covers is becoming less and less attractive to clients. If you’re designing wedding, event, or portrait albums you’ve probably played with making layouts in Photoshop or another program to then have printed as flush mount albums like Kiss or Asa Books, You might have also used press books like the ones from WHCC. Once you have a good design there’s loads of choices, but it’s the design that’s the challenge.

As many people know the service and support of Adobe has gone in the toilet in recent times and while they need some competition to slap them back on track, their software is still great. Today I want to talk about In Design CS4 and how it relates to album deisgn. I’ve tried various tools for album design, some of which worked really well. When it comes to crunch time however, I’m finding In Design is the king.

I learned the basics about using ID for albums from a video that Kevin Swan made. And now gives free on the Kiss books site. Not required but it was sure a great crash course and I use it often to hone up my knowledge. The bottom line is that it’s fast, easy and powerful. Once you get the hang of it.

In Design was not actually designed for photographers to make albums. Rather it’s the industry standard for designers doing layouts on magazines and other published material. It turns out however that it works a treat for doing albums. Bear in mind it’s not a photo editor. What ID rocks at, is laying out pages and doing it fast.

I cringe when I think of doing individual pages in Photoshop. It’s not a page design tool and it’s tedious to do layouts with. What I love about ID is that the entire project is contained in a single file. All images on the pages are referenced to the original files on your computer similar to when one makes a web page. You can edit and change you design in one place and when it’s finished just export the final file as a PDF of JPEG’s. Kinda like the way we use Lightroom.

indesign 3 In Design CS4 Photographers Look. The Lightroom Of Album Design

Continue reading ‘In Design CS4 Photographers Look. The Lightroom Of Album Design’

PPS Christmas Giveaway Contest Is Here:

PinExt PPS Christmas Giveaway Contest Is Here:

photo contest PPS Christmas Giveaway Contest Is Here:

FREE photo goodies. Enter Here

The Pro Photo Show Christmas/Winter contest is here. There’s a load of great prizes we’re giving away from a bunch of sponsors including Adobe, OnOne, Kubota Image Tools, B&H Photo Video, Lensbabies, Rick Sammon, Seim Effects.

You must enter by January 1st. What more can I say. All you have to do is enter and it only takes a moment. For prizes, details and rules just hop over to the entry page. Good luck, Gavin