Crossover hit?

I’ve been a co-host of a podcast, The Image Doctors, for nearly five years now.  I’ve interviewed a lot of great photographers and met some wonderful people over the years.  Today, I got to be on the other side of the microphone when I was approached by Nik Software to be on their new “Nik Radio” podcast.   I had a great time talking with the host, Scott Sheppard, and although we only had time for a brief interview, I was able to give out some creative tips for Silver Efex Pro.  I’m going to add Nik Radio to my iTunes feed!

Check out Nik Radio on iTunes!

Workshops are underway!

I’ve been busy in my virtual classroom; the first two of my spring workshops are now complete.  We had a great turnout, and the attendees all learned a lot about Capture NX2 and Photo Mechanic.  There are still more workshops left on my schedule, so if you missed out, you can still get in on one of the upcoming dates. In even better news, participants who have headset mics for their computers can now bypass the telephone altogether and join the teleconference from their computers.  This is sure to be great for international participants!

If you have a need for personal attention and support, I may be available for one on-one consulting.  I’m happy to help you work on your own images, learn Capture NX2, or whatever other topic you might have about your Nikon workflow.  Click here for mentoring rates and details.

It’s also software update time.  Today, Adobe formally announced Creative Suite 5, which includes updates to Photoshop, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, and InDesign.  I’m mostly looking forward to native 64-bit support for these applications in Mac OS; something that has been lacking for some time.

Upgraded to Snow Leopard 10.6.3… time to recalibrate

This morning, a slew of automatic software updates were waiting for me on my Mac Pro desktop.  These updates included new versions of iTunes (iPad compatible), iPhoto, and an incremental update to the Snow Leopard OS, version 10.6.3.

For whatever strange reason, it seems that whenever I get MacOS updates, my monitor calibration settings get hosed.  My saved profiles no longer seem accurate, as evidenced by the weird green cast I noticed on my displays.

I use the DataColor Spyder Elite to calibrate my display.  I did a quick check of the DataColor website and found that the driver software had been updated, so I downloaded it and a few minutes later I ran my calibration routine on both my Apple displays.  Now everything is back to normal.

Now, I realize that not everyone is running Snow Leopard, or even using a Mac, but the moral of the story is to periodically re-calibrate your display, even if you don’t see an obvious problem.  If you aren’t using a hardware display calibration tool, I strongly recommend you get one.  Subtle variation in color and brightness can be impossibly difficult to detect by eye, as our brains are really good at tricking us into thinking things appear “normal” when in fact, they are not.  So consider this your reminder, no matter what OS you run.  Time to recalibrate!

Using Color Control Points to Emphasize Subjects

Little Blue Heron, Shark Valley, FL. Nikon D300 and 600mm f/4 AFS VR Nikkor lens

Some people assume that the Control Point technology found in Capture NX2 and Nik Viveza is something you use to make radical image adjustments, like changing the color of a sky.  Not so.  In fact, some of the most powerful adjustments I make with Control Points are subtle ones, intended to accentuate a subject against its background.  The image above is an example of where I used Color Control Points (in this case, in Capture NX2) to enhance the subject.

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