Print on Demand

Note: This post is adapted from a paper by the same title originally published in The International Journal of the Book, vol.7, no. 1

Regardless of education or career path the question of how to find an audience eventually becomes a singular concern for many photographers. For those entering the commercial world this is a marketing issue: how to locate clients willing to pay for services rendered. The traditional solution for fine art photographers is exhibition and publication, where cost and access are predictable barriers.

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Lightroom User Guide

Adobe Lightroom is a fairly new and very sophisticated graphics software application that is allowing photographers to manage, optimize, catalogue, display, web view, and print their digital files. At this point it is a perfect complement to other Adobe programs, especially Photoshop. Lightroom can do what Adobe Raw and Bridge do, and a whole lot more. It does not do certain localized selective retouching and composite procedures the way that Photoshop can, at least not yet; but it can do most of the important image alterations in a very non-destructive way. Lightroom is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for digital photographers and already has most of the primary features previously only used in editing programs like Photoshop while progressing beyond with features Photoshop never had or may never have. As far as I can see, it  is the most complete platform for working with digital camera files, and keeping up with all the user data associated with these files. Lightroom is composed of five modules, which are: Library, Develop, Slide Show, Print, and Web. These modules may be used together or separately according to what is needed in a person’s digital workflow. This outline contains info only on the Library, Develop, and Print modules as they apply to a working photographers primary needs. 

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Introduction to Adobe Camera Raw

Originally a Photoshop file format plug-in, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) has evolved into an essential tool for processing digital camera Raw image files. Raw processing is versatile and necessary for image quality control, workflow ease, and efficiency. It provides a powerful method for working with all aspects of digital capture. In fact, new versions of ACR can be used to reprocess legacy Raw files. A Raw file is the digital equivalent of a film latent image that hasn’t been developed. As the software improves, the processing can improve. There is no analogue to this amazing technology in traditional (film-based/wet darkroom) photography. Check the Adobe website for ACR updates regularly.

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The Future of Scanning


What’s happening?

Only a few years back, most companies stopped making film scanners. The game was up; scanning equipment no longer pulled a profit. The future was in digital capture and the world marched on without looking back. It left educational institutions in a pickle. They were already reeling from high silver costs and a change in photo curriculum. Suddenly companies stopped updating software for Intel chips and repair service on older scanners dropped like a stone. It put pressure on the education world to go all digital and those ripples were felt everywhere. For us high-end scanning labs that were outside of the educational “prosumer” world, we fared ok although young clients were coming to us with 8 megapixel files instead of 40 megapixel (equivalent) 6×7 film. We already went through this in the early 2000s when companies stopped making drum scanners. Over the years, most of us learned enough about our various drum scanning machines to fix the beasts ourselves. Third party service vendors, mostly past employees of the very corporations that build the crazy things in the first place, took care of the rest. But recently the support has slipped and it gets harder every month to maintain high-end equipment. Today, prosumer scanners are taking the same track but at a more accelerated pace; everyone feels the heat including professional photographers who prefer 35mm film.

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