Tag: print

Share Your Photos: Experience the Joy of Giving Back

How many photos do you have sitting on your hard drive that has never been seen by others? Maybe it was some outing with friends 2 years ago. You probably said that after you edit them you’ll make sure that they get them. We all know how that goes. The photos we promised our friends are suddenly forgotten because we never get around to editing them perfectly. Why not take the time and make the most out of these long-lost images and at the same time make someone’s day?

This thought came to my mind one day after spending hours editing photos. As I was cataloging my most recent project, I stumbled across some old pictures of some pretty special moments. As I was reminiscing and enjoying the momentary flashback, it hit me. I was the only one who was able to enjoy them. Even though so many people had a part in creating this unique memory, this instant in time, they were all moments most likely forgotten to them.

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Personal Project

Due to this, I decided to start a project called Project Smile. I rounded up a ton of picture frames that I had laying around in my garage from a previous project and painted them. The next step was using this printer I somehow acquired that had tons of cartons of ink. I made it a goal to surprise someone with a solid memory that they most likely had forgotten. I would then give them a photo I was sure would bring them joy.

It wasn’t only family and friends that I would eventually give these photos to. I would eventually return to ones that I had met on the street or used for past assignments during university that had helped me out but received nothing in return.

There really is truth in the phrase that there is more happiness in giving than receiving. I could sense their appreciation in the fact that I thought about them enough to personally print and bring them something special. That’s the cool thing about photography, the joy can be two-sided. I bet that you have hundreds if not thousands of these mini gifts on your hard drive waiting to be shared with someone you care about. The key is getting them off that long lost hard drive and into the hands of others. What are various ways that we can do this?

SharePrint

The obvious one is what we just discussed. You don’t have to make a whole project out of it like I did but what about trying to get a print to one person a week? It could be a small step in getting these intangible photos into the hands of someone that could enjoy them. What if you don’t have access to frames or the money to make great prints? Who cares! At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Go to your local pharmacy store and print out some 4×6’s and write a little something on the back. Boom. You’ve got yourself a mini gift.

The cool thing about prints, on a personal note, is that you can hang these in your room or put them on your desk at work. You can have a constant reminder of good memories and creative inspiration around you 24×7. I’ve started to print out pictures of family, friends and personal projects and started placing them all around me. It greatly improved the atmosphere of the places I visit regularly. If you put your prints near your bed it makes for something nice to look at both when you start and end your day.

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Send them Electronically

If we can’t seem to get around to making prints, sharing them via social media or email can still achieve the same effect. In a time where receiving a personalized letter in the mail is extremely special, a personalized electronic message with a thought and a picture can be the next best thing and get across a similar feeling.

Don’t let these precious memories go unseen by those that helped make them! Make the time to sort through them. Do whatever you have to in order for them to get in the right hands. Remember, the joy that comes from photography can go both ways!

Keep learning and have fun!

 

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Photography & Color Theory, Part 4: Color Settings in Photoshop

In parts one, two, and three of this ongoing series, we went over the photographer’s version of the color theory, the science that necessitates that color theory, and the difference between RGB and CMYK. Here, in part four, we’ll go over choosing the correct photoshop color settings for your needs.

So, we already know that the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) primaries are based on the cones in our eyes, each of which is sensitive to a different range of light wavelengths, which is how our brains detect color. What we didn’t talk about, however, is how this plays into the range of colors we can actually see. For obvious reasons, having cones that are sensitive to a wider range of wavelengths would allow you to see a wider range of colors. (Interestingly, there are people out there with a fourth cone who can see colors you and I can’t even imagine.) Below is a simple graph that shows the range of hues, or gamut, that the average human eye can see.

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You may notice that a lot of the colors in that graph look basically the same, especially in the Cyan to Green range. That’s because, while your eye can see all the wavelengths represented on this graph, your computer screen can only show some of those colors. Since it’s missing many of the colors you can see, this graph just stretches out the Cyan-Green range of your screen’s gamut to the edges of the graph, resulting in a large area of mostly the same colors.

Unless you have a fancy, professional photography monitor, your screen can only display what is called the sRGB color space. A color space is basically what you see in the above graph, a range of colors that can be displayed. sRGB is the most popular color space out there, and it uses three simple primaries that are nowhere near the limit of human vision, but were easy to build into monitors made in the mid-90’s, when sRGB was invented. Below is a graph just like the one above, but only the colors that fall into the sRGB color space are shown, and the outlined area is all of potential human color vision.

Gamut-sRGB

Pretty lame, right? Look at all of those colors you just aren’t seeing when you view a photo on your computer screen. Luckily, there are ways to expand your photos’ color gamut, but they aren’t always your best bet.

Adobe RGB is a color space just like sRGB, but it offers a 35% larger range of colors. Almost every camera is capable of capturing photos in this larger color space, but you’ll need to find it within your camera’s settings  menu. If you shoot in 16-bit RAW (which you usually should, also in your camera’s settings menu), then you won’t need to worry about this since all of your image processing can happen after the fact in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. Pretty much any image, even JPGs, can gain some color pop by using the Adobe RGB color space, but this will result in some slight banding in JPGs, especially if the image is edited further. Remember that most computer screens can’t actually display the extra colors anyway, so it’s not always helpful to change to an Adobe RGB color space. But if you’re interested, here’s how to change your working color space in Photoshop to Abobe RGB.

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Open the color setting menu, then change the RGB working space from sRGB to Adobe RGB (1998).

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As you can see, there are a whole lot of working color spaces available. That’s because different hardware and software use different standards, but your safest bet for web and almost everything else is sRGB. In fact, using Adobe RGB for web actually makes your images look duller, since your browser will compress the extra colors back down to sRGB, usually with poor results. So unless you plan on printing your photos with a decent photo printer, you should probably stick with sRGB. If you know you will be using a professional printing service, you can even open your RAW files in ProPhoto RGB (but don’t do this with JPGs). The rest of the color spaces you can safely ignore, since they’re very specialized.

Below, you can see the relative color gamut of sRGB (small but best for web), Adobe RGB (larger but only useful for print or professional monitors), and ProPhoto RGB (very large but only good for RAW files that will be printed).Schewe_Horseshoe-2

Now, you’ve probably noticed that the ProPhoto RGB triangle appears to extend out of the horseshoe of human vision. That’s because this color space can actually perceive and display colors you can’t even see. On the other hand, there’s still a big chunk of Cyan-Green missing from this color space, so it’s certainly far from perfect. Another interesting tidbit on the graph above is the inclusion of 2200 matte paper’s color gamut. You’ll notice that this particular paper (paired with a generic set of photography inks), can display some Oranges and Yellows that are only available in the ProPhoto RGB color space, some Cyans and Greens that are only available in the ProPhoto and Adobe RGB color spaces, and can’t display some Blues and Magentas that are available in even the smallest, sRGB color space. Herein lies the crux of the color space dilemma.

If you’re printing your images, which color space should you use? Your best bet is Adobe RGB since it will cover almost all the space of almost every type of printer/paper combo. If you’re really serious about getting every ounce of color possible, ProPhoto is the way to go. Just remember that no monitor can display all of the ProPhoto colors, so editing may take a bit of guess work. If you aren’t too concerned with getting the most color possible and want the easiest workflow you can have, with no conversion necessary between print and web, stick to good ol’ sRGB.

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If you send your files to a professional printing service, they should be able to print from any of these spaces with any paper you choose and get good results. If you use a less serious, online service like Shutterfly, you’ll need to send them sRGB files, otherwise the conversion process could give you unsavory final prints. If you’re printing them yourself on your own printer, just follow the color profile setup instructions that come with the paper and you should be all set. Paper manufacturers know a lot more about how their paper handles color than you or I, so it’s best to just trust them.

In Part five of this series, we’ll take everything we’ve learned and put it towards actually improving as photographers. We’ll even go over some ways to hone in your color vision, allowing you to literally see colors that you’ve never seen before.

How to Create a Collage in Lightroom

A single image can be great for most purposes, but what happens when you do not have any other software besides Lightroom to make a collage or multiple images in one file or even edit with amazing warm tones? Sometimes it’s great to use for displaying your work or even making a contact sheet for your customer. So today, we are going to learn how to take images you like and how to make a collage in Lightroom.

1 – Starting Point

I first start out by culling my photos down to the select few that I think I might want to put in a collage. The way I generally rate my favorites is by giving the images a 5-star rating, you can do this by simply hitting the #5 key on your keyboard. Once I have gone through and selected all of my favorites, I then go to the Filter section (right above your film strip and select “Filter based on rating” and click the 5th star. We have an article on how to select the different image using things such as keywords. You can see below on my film strip that I only have images and each one is rated with 5 stars.

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2 – Print Module

The second step in our How To Make a Collage in Lightroom tutorial is to get to the next step we have to go into the Print Module, which is at the top. Once you click the module, you will see a screen similar to this. This is where the rest of the steps will take place.

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3 – Layout Style

Under layout, style selects the Custom Package option. This will allow you to create your own layout and it will not be a single image. To get the images into the layout, start pulling the images from your film strip on the bottom into the canvas space.

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4 – Exporting

Once you have the image in place how you want them, then it’s time to export. If you try going to File> Export, what will happen is the image selected in your filmstrip will the image exported and not your actual collage. To get around this problem, you have to go to the Print Job section and select “JPEG File” under the ‘Print to” section. This will enable you to export a JPEG anywhere on your computer.

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5 – Saving

When you have made all of your selections in the Print Job section, then you can export your file. To export the collage all you have to do is “Print to File…”, which will open up a dialog box allowing you to select the location where you want to export your finished file. And this is the final step in our How To Make a Collage in Lightroom tutorial.

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6 – Conclusion

As you can tell the module is mostly aimed at printing the image, but this is a nice little workaround to be able to make a collage without having to leave Lightroom. This article was aimed at making JPEG collages, but obviously, it can also be printed out. The steps are the same except for the settings needed to print the image. There are a lot of options to dig into when it comes printing and you can experiment to find what works best for you! – And if you want to add a stunning effect to these collages, don’t miss this guide on how to create an old 1800’s retro effect; the ideal companion for vintage layouts! Read here to know more about lightrooom and for presets, check this link.