Monthly Archives: August 2006

Lightroom Podcast #17: Richard Morgenstein

During the Iceland adventure George Jardine sat down with photographer Richard Morgenstein to talk about the experience. Because this is an enhanced podcast, you can view images in iTunes as the talk progresses (here’s a screenshot)–very cool. George writes,

Richard talks about the weather in Iceland, the roads, and the “space” he’s found here in Iceland. He walks us through everything from the big views to the small views, and gives us a glimpse into how he found exciting compositional material everywhere in the objects and landscapes of Iceland.
Richard also discusses how the landscape interacts with the weather, and what he was able to capture using various lighting, focus and B&W techniques.
This “enhanced” podcast includes photos taken by Richard in Iceland, and they can be viewed on Photo and Video iPods. Only the audio track will be heard on other devices. I apologize for the minor audio difficulties near the end of this interview.

The podcast is available as an MP3 file via George’s iDisk (under “0803-2 Podcast”). It’s also available via the Lightroom podcasts RSS feed, and by searching for “Lightroom” in iTunes.

Mo' fresh type

  • I love the old-school poster art quality of these new Toyota ads. (And if you like that style & have a bun in the oven, pay a visit to Rattle-n-Roll.)
  • Who would commit the lyrics of LL Cool J to gouache & watercolor? Ray Fenwick would, among many other things. See also his great Flickr collection. [Via]
  • BibliOdyssey displays some gorgeous Arabic zoomorphic calligraphy. The entry links to numerous related resources & examples.
  • Misprinted Type offers a variety of free & commercial distressed type. (I might have to crack the wallet for Great Circus). [Via]
  • If the graffiti thing is up your alley (or under your graffiti bridge), check out the work of Hand Selecta.
  • Launched in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the typeface, Helvetica is “a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture.” I think I’d sneak into this one wearing a trenchcoat and shades, lest my true design-dorkishness show through. [Via]
  • On Daily Type, a group of Russian type designers post sketches of their latest works-in-progress. I like the kind of hand-drawn, back-of-Trapper-Keeper “Van Halen Rulez!!” quality of many of the pieces.

Destroy your property value, the Photoshop way!

Now, here’s the flipside to the relentless pursuit of aesthetic perfection: take one pristine Victorian home, apply generous dodging & burning, and you’ll get something fit for Norman Bates’ mom. Sébastien Gaucher offers a nice little set of tutorials on his site, along with other examples of his work. (The sad thing for Bay Area residents is to realize that even the mauled “after” versions of each house would still set you back a few million bucks around here…)

Lightroom Podapalooza: #14, 15, & 16

22 hours of light each day = plenty of time for chewing the fat with photographers, and George Jardine has been uploading the fruits of his labors to his iDisk. New podcasts (each enhanced to display pictures on photo- or video-enabled iPod) include the following:

#14: Peter Krogh
Peter calls the Lightroom Iceland Adventure the “lack of sleep adventure”, not only because of the ultra-long daylight shooting hours, but because of the energy the group has found for the project. Peter talks to us about his personal expectations for capturing pictures that appeal to him, and leads us through the photographs he’s captured during the long week.
#15: John Isaac
John talks about how Iceland was still a rare treat, after photographing in over 100 countries during his illustrious career as a photographer with the United Nations. He talks about the landscape, the color, and the opportunities to study the intricate visual details of this fascinating country.
#16: Martin Sundberg
Martin talks about the photographs he’s captured here in Iceland, and how his expectation for what he would encounter was a bit different from what he actually found. We talk about the weather, the geothermal aspect of the environment, and how that plays a key role in the types of pictures he was able to capture.

The podcasts are also available via the iTunes store (search for “Lightroom”) and via the Lightroom RSS feed.

Lightroom Podapalooza: #14, 15, & 16

22 hours of light each day = plenty of time for chewing the fat with photographers, and George Jardine has been uploading the fruits of his labors to his iDisk. New podcasts (each enhanced to display pictures on photo- or video-enabled iPod) include the following:

#14: Peter Krogh
Peter calls the Lightroom Iceland Adventure the “lack of sleep adventure”, not only because of the ultra-long daylight shooting hours, but because of the energy the group has found for the project. Peter talks to us about his personal expectations for capturing pictures that appeal to him, and leads us through the photographs he’s captured during the long week.
#15: John Isaac
John talks about how Iceland was still a rare treat, after photographing in over 100 countries during his illustrious career as a photographer with the United Nations. He talks about the landscape, the color, and the opportunities to study the intricate visual details of this fascinating country.
#16: Martin Sundberg
Martin talks about the photographs he’s captured here in Iceland, and how his expectation for what he would encounter was a bit different from what he actually found. We talk about the weather, the geothermal aspect of the environment, and how that plays a key role in the types of pictures he was able to capture.

The podcasts are also available via the iTunes store (search for “Lightroom”) and via the Lightroom RSS feed.

Can you trust what you see?

I’ve refrained from commenting on the Reuters Photochopping debacle, figuring I didn’t have much new or valuable to add to the discussion. I’m not sure I do now, but Jim Lewis’ Don’t Believe What You See in the Papers offers good perspective on the long history of manipulated (and manipulative) news photography. He links to Dr. Hany Farid’s interesting tampering gallery, where the chronology suggests that fakery is growing more common.
As I’ve noted previously, Adobe has been working with Dr. Farid & his team on technology to detect digital manipulation. Its arrival in mainstream tools will take some time, and even then it’s powerless against images that mislead in other ways. I’m reminded of the aerial shots in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Bay Area earthquake, zoomed in on a single burning block that suggested more massive devastation; or Fox News’ decision last year during an LA blackout to zoom in on a fiery exhaust plume at an area factory–never mind that it’s that smokestack’s natural state 24/7.
A lack of context and clarification may be ultimately more damaging than faked pixels, given that it’s subjective & maybe impossible to prove. Technology may help sniff out forgeries, but it has to go hand in hand with the audience seeking out multiple, diverse sources of news.
[Update: Rob Galbraith has collected a variety of additional perspectives on the topic.]

I, for one, welcome our new aesthetic overlords…

Creepiness Level = Orange (Elevated): Some Israeli researchers have proposed a tool that, after analyzing a library of beautiful faces, can adjust anyone’s features to make them more beautiful. Umm… no, please?
Yes, my livelihood comes from making a tool that’s used to propagate standardized ideals of beauty, but somehow having the computer make the call on am-I-hot-or-not, then “fix” my various deficiencies, starts getting uncomfortably weird–a little too Fitter Happier. I’m reminded of a quote from Francis Bacon: “There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” Here’s hoping it stays that way. [Via Russell Williams]

Lightroom Podcast #13: Derrick Story

In episode 13, Derrick sums up what the group learned on the Adobe Lightroom Iceland Adventure project. George J. writes,

Derrick talks about the thinking behind the Iceland Adventure project, and the idea of “total immersion” for a group of very talented professional photographers. The project provided total immersion not only in the photo-rich environment of Iceland, but also in the Lightroom experience, and we discuss how that experience would work for both the book and for the beta development effort.
Derrick points to some of the specific features in Lightroom that he found invaluable during the trip, as well as talking about some of the areas where the program needs improvement. We wrap it up with some detail on how the experience would feed back into the development effort and ultimately help make Lightroom a better product for photographers.

The podcast is available as an MP3 file via George’s iDisk (under “0809 Podcast”). It’s also available via the Lightroom podcasts RSS feed, and by searching for “Lightroom” in iTunes.

Groovy Photoshop brushes & rendering techniques

  • Designer Jason Gaylor has created a handy, stylish set of Fresh Foliage Brushes (Vol. II) for Photoshop. If those are up your alley, see also Vol. I of the same set, as well as Jason’s graffiti brushes and worn brushes (Volumes I, II, and III). [Via] (For more on worn brushes & distressing images, see previous entry.)
  • Putting brushes into action, automotive designer Jonathan Tatum shares some of his moves. Seeing details pop into existence from step to step suggests a big equation with “And then a miracle occurs” hidden among the steps. (For more on automobile rendering, see also Kevin Hulsey’s techniques.)
  • Groovy Photoshop brushes & rendering techniques

  • Designer Jason Gaylor has created a handy, stylish set of Fresh Foliage Brushes (Vol. II) for Photoshop. If those are up your alley, see also Vol. I of the same set, as well as Jason’s graffiti brushes and worn brushes (Volumes I, II, and III). [Via] (For more on worn brushes & distressing images, see previous entry.)
  • Putting brushes into action, automotive designer Jonathan Tatum shares some of his moves. Seeing details pop into existence from step to step suggests a big equation with “And then a miracle occurs” hidden among the steps. (For more on automobile rendering, see also Kevin Hulsey’s techniques.)