My photographic print background is grounded in the high standards set by the acknowledged masters of the pre-digital era. Having been exposed to a wide variety of amazing prints, historical, contemporary, all the various methods from hand coated, west coast master silver, color processes, historical, etc… the concern is that those qualities and standards that make photography, and fine photographic prints, unique and amazing as a medium, and as objects of art, do not become lowered or even forgotten. As the technology we use moves from the hands of developers aware of long accepted high craft to a new business culture with no footing in that history, we see many examples of prints made today that just don’t seem to rise above, with that something extra a master managed to work from the available tools and materials. Continue reading “The State Of Inkjet”
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.
Think about what you need to achieve before you pick up the camera.
The best way to make a great print is to know what one actually looks like. The only way to learn is by looking at a whole lot of work from great printmakers throughout history, and hopefully the best of your own time period. Looking at photography books is nice but is really looking at a simulation of a print not a real artwork (unless you are a book artist). There is no substitute for the real thing.
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.
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.