Friday, June 29, 2012

Farmer's Market - Print-a-Day-26 thru 29

These are numbers 26-29 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days.
This late in the project, there wasn't anything particularly new or different that came up during the printing process.  It was interesting, that after printing the tomatoes and peppers, the red ink level had dropped by about a third of a tank.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Falling Leaves - Print-a-Day-25

This is number 25 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer and we are months away from falling leaves.  I've always liked this photo because of the tree with colorful leaves and the bright blue sky showing through its bare neighbor.

The 2012 version of the Lightroom 4 process engine pulled significantly more detail and color contrast from this image than the older version that was used when I shot the photo in 2008.  If you haven't revisited some of your favorite older photos with the new version of the software, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

I decreased the intensity of blue sky for the print version of this photo.  One of the lessons learned from this 30 project is the screen is not capable of displaying all the blue tones that the printer is capable of printing.  Boosting the sky to look great on the screen can lead to electric blue, unnatural skies in the print.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

November Sunrise - Print-a-Day-24

This is number 24 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

On my way to work I would often see a great sunrise.  This is one of the best.  I pulled off the highway so I could take this photo.

It makes a nice print.  I may frame this one.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Photographer - Print-a-Day-23

This is number 23 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

You might have to be a photographer to appreciate this photo.  For most people, I'm sure the idea of setting up a tripod to take a picture of an alley may seem a bit odd.  The juxtaposition of extreme care and dumpy subject makes me smile.

The photo didn't require anything special for print.  It was an exercise in using a couple of the newer tools in Photoshop 6.    The original photo was a quick snapshot taken with a very wide angle lens that happened to be on the camera at the time.  The perspective was a mess, and there was a lot of distortion that was corrected with the new wide angle tool.  If you examine the brick pattern on the lower right, you'll see a small mis-match left over from the removal of a tree by one of the content-aware tools.

It was fun experimenting with this one and it was a good learning experience.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Burlington Window - Print-a-Day-22

This is number 22 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

I have several photos of the Burlington building, but this detail may be my favorite.  This photo doesn't reach out and grab your attention, but you can get lost in the detail.  The "black and white in color" aspect seems to lend depth to the simple subject.

Printing this photo is all about maintaining the detail in both the shadows and highlights.  It is important to make sure the printer or process doesn't introduce an inaccurate color cast.  There is no natural color in the photo to mask the inaccuracy.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Public Sculpture - Print-a-Day-21

This is number 21 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

This is a sculpture located in downtown Omaha.  I wonder if the artist considers the graffiti as a defacement or if it was expected as part of a public living art project?

I selected this photo for the printing project because of the two strong colors and the gradient in the sky.  By the way, even though the photo was taken in bright sunlight, fill flash was needed to light the graffiti.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Burlington Building Reflection - Print-a-Day-20

This is number 20 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

An exterior shot of the Burlington Building.  You saw an interior detail in Print-a-Day-3.   This is a beautiful old building with a lot of interesting detail inside and out.

Earlier photos in this series taught me that vivid blue skies can get even more vivid in the print.  As a result, I decreased the sky saturation and changed the hue slightly.  This version is unmodified.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All Natural - Print-a-Day-19

This is number 19 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

I took this photo in 2009.  The contrast between sun and deep shadow was what originally drew my eye.  Lightroom 4's new process engine brings much more detail out of the shadow areas and this actually made a very nice print.

I'll warn you now, if your monitor is not properly adjusted you're not going to see the detail in the photo.  If it's too bright (probably) the highlights will be washed out.  If it's too dim (unlikely) you won't see the rich detail in the shadow areas.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sand and Sneakers - Print-a-Day-18

This is number 18 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

The annual Sand in the City competition was just a few weeks ago.  Teams of volunteers from local businesses compete to build the best sand sculpture in an effort to raise funds for a local charity.

A couple of tons of sand are dumped into a big pile to give the kids a place to play.  The sand pile is surrounded by little pairs of shoes.

This print was selected for the print project because of the detail in the shadows and the blue shoe laces.  The printer can produce a wider range of blues than can be seen on the screen.  I was curious to see how the laces would reproduce on paper.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Transmission Gear - Print-a-Day-17

This is number 17 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

This is not one of my favorite photos.  I selected it for the printing project for two reasons.  There is a lot of detail in the deeper shadows and there are a couple of unnaturally bright colors.  I was curious to see how that would translate on paper.

After a quite a bit of experimenting in Lightroom, the best I can say is the final print is not horrible.  If I liked the content of the photo, I would be OK with the print.  As it stands, it was a good exercise for the printing project.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Anniversary - Print-a-Day-16

This is number 16 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

This is my cousin and her husband on their 24th wedding anniversary.  They're watching a video of their family history that was put together, as a surprise,  by their daughters.

This is, technically, a pretty bad photo.  We were sitting in a slightly darkened room, there is a big bright spot on the window shades, the ISO went way too high and the original photo is full of noise.  It's even slightly out of focus.  I was close to tossing it.

I'd rather the photo was technically better, but the expressions are just too good.  This image captures the feeling of that moment and will always be one of my favorites.

Lightroom helped save the photo.  The highlights were subdued and the shadows were increased.  Noise reduction was applied with a pretty heavy hand.  That smooths the skin a little more than I'd like. (I'm sure my cousin won't complain.)  A vignette helps to darken the window light.  Her hair and glasses were made a bit sharper with the adjustment brush.

And what do you know, when you look at the final 8x10 print from a normal viewing distance, it turns out to be a pretty good photo.  Not great, but it'll do.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Brandeis Building - Print-a-Day-15

This is number 15 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

The Brandeis Building was built in downtown Omaha in1906.  It was the home of a large department store chain  for several decades.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in early eighties.  The exterior has been restored and the interior has been converted to condos, office and retail space.

I selected this detail shot for the printing project because of the shadow over the window, the details in the window blinds and stone work, and the reflections of the much newer building in the window.

This photo certainly is no work of art, but it does record a different form of art that we don't see in modern buildings.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Downtown Buildings - Print-a-Day-14

This is number 14 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

It's been posted before. It was even used as wallpaper on my laptop for a while. I selected this photo for the project just because I like it.  No technical reasons. I just like the way it looks and I wanted a print of it.

There was no particular difficulty in printing.  I didn't do anything special.  I like the photo and I like the way it printed.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Street Musician - Print-a-Day-13

This is number 13 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

There are quite a few musicians that perform at the open air farmer's markets.    This photo of a young violinist is one of my favorites.

I decided to include it in the print-a-day project because of the big areas of blue sky.  In the past, with other printers, I've had trouble with this type of gradient.  There can also be an issue with blue and cyan.  The representation of this part of the color space can differ between monitor and paper.

I added the vignette to help define the border.  I had not felt that was necessary until I saw the printed version.  Now that I've seen it, I prefer the version with the vignette.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Stalking the Swans - Print-a-Day-12

This is number 12 in the  series "Print a Day for 30 Days."

Nothing special here.  It's just a shot of one of the other photographers from a past photo walk.

I selected this image for the printing project because of the shadows on the stone wall.  The detail in the stone face depends on capturing the range of highlights and shadows.  It doesn't need to be perfect, but the variations need to be smooth.  If the shadows block up or the highlights are overblown, all the detail is lost.  I've been using glossy paper for this project and the print turned out just fine.

Anyone think this might make a good puzzle?  There are services that turn photos into puzzles.  I haven't put a puzzle together for years, but that's what I thought of when I saw the wall.


Friday, June 08, 2012

Into the Light - Print-a-Day-11

This is number 11 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

I was in the process of taking this photo, without the woman, as an example of leading lines.  The woman just happened to be walking through the park (and through my photo.)  Even though it wasn't planned, I prefer this version.

I picked this photo for the printing project specifically because of the difference between the highlights and shadows.  There is detail in both extremes.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

City Waterfall - Print-a-Day-10

This is number 10 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days"

I'm not sure why this photo appeals to me.  It doesn't seem to be anything special.  The shadow on the lower left is important, perhaps because it gives a hint about the time of day.  There's not much going on, but there is a lot of movement in the water.  Whatever the reason, I keep coming back to it.  It may eventually find a place on the wall.

Processing the image for printing was a bit different than for the screen.  It was necessary to open up the shadow area a bit, else the detail would be lost.  After the 30 day project is over, I'll come back to this print and experiment with different papers.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Dual Reflections - Print-a-Day-9

This is number 9 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days"

This is one half of a pair of buildings in downtown Omaha called the Twin Towers.

When you first look at this photo it appears that the other half of the pair is simply being reflected in the windows.  On closer examination you see two reflections.  The first is the image of the second building in the windows.  The brighter, diagonal is the light being reflected onto the brickwork from the other building's windows.

This is one of those images that is much better when printed large.  The reflections and the brick detail are what make the image.  Click on the image to see it as big as your screen will allow.

Printing this photo wasn't difficult.  I boosted the sharpening in the print version to enhance the detail in the bricks.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Omaha World-Herald - Print-a-Day-8

This is number 8 in the series "Print a Day for 30 Days."

The strong contrast and diagonal lines in this photo are what make it interesting to me.  I don't have any particular connection to the building or it's occupant.  I just find it graphically interesting.

The green street sign and the blue sky were the only challenging parts of this print.  For me, this was an example of trying to make a print that looked right, rather than accurate.


Monday, June 04, 2012

Power Drive - Print-a-Day-7

This is number 7 in the series "Print-a-Day for 30 Days."

This photo was posted shortly after the 2012 Power Drive competition.

When I processed this photo I added a vignette to help the eye stay focused on the cars.  I'm finding, when printing, the gradient in the print has a slightly different character than it does on the screen.

Again, if you're very critical about results, it looks as though there is no way around making test prints.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Duck - Print-a-Day-6

This is number six in the series "Print a Day for 30 Days."

This duck is a visitor to a small pond in a park near my home.

The reflections on the pond surface made this one of the more challenging prints so far.  Printers generally have difficulty with some of the hues in the blue-green area.   There is a lot of subtle detail in the pond surface that relies on these specific colors.

It's the first print that had very significant differences in the settings between the screen and print versions.  In the end, the print version looks fine, but my skills haven't quite developed to the point where I can achieve the depth that is seen on the screen.  I've flagged this image for more work in the future.