Buchanan Studios Blog

news and events from Buchanan Studios

Posts Tagged ‘digital

Photographic Term of the Week: Dynamic Range

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Dynamic range is the difference between the brightest and darkest portions of any given scene. Photographic systems have limited ability to capture dynamic ranges, therefore it is important to manage the dynamic range within a scene by manipulating lighting and/or composition.  For example… an scene lit with only sunlight on a clear day may have a dynamic range of 20 stops, which is beyond the range of currently available systems in a single exposure (multiple exposure HDR notwithstanding.) Therefore it will be necessary to alter the existing dynamic range of the scene by adding supplemental light or other methods of reducing the scenes native dynamic range – or accept the scene will have some areas that are too bright and/or too dark to be fully represented in the image.

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Written by stevebuchanan

March 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Photographic Term of the Week: Camera Raw

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Camera Raw, or RAW format is a digital storage format for images captured with digital cameras. RAW files have the advantage of containing all of the data captured by the camera, before any digital processing. RAW files are also sometimes referred to as digital negatives. (Adobe’s DNG format is a type of RAW file.) Most end uses of digital images are capable of displaying no more than 8bits of information per color, whereas most digital cameras can capture far more (10, 12 even 16 bits.) Capturing images in RAW format allows the photographer to manipulate the image in post production with less of a chance of technical flaws becoming apparent in the final image.  (IE, more manipulation of color, exposure, density etc – with less digital artifacts like noise and banding.) After post production on the RAW file is complete, the photographer can then convert to a more standard file format such as TIFF or JPEG.

Drawbacks to using RAW include…
Increased file size over JPG
Proprietary format from manufacturer to manufacturer
Specialized software often needed to read and process RAW files.

Written by stevebuchanan

February 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

Photographic Term of the Week: Chiaroscuro

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Chiaroscuro is an Italian term that literally means light-dark. It refers to the tonal contrasts that give a represented object shape and definition or greater dramatic representation.

See this wonderful example from the National Gallery in London

Written by stevebuchanan

January 27, 2012 at 10:57 am

Photographic Term of the Week: Color Temperature

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Color Temperature is the description of the color of a light source. Expressed in degrees Kelvin, it’s based on an ideal radiator of light at a particular temperature. Daylight is usually thought of as 5500˚K, incandescent usually 3200˚ or 3400˚ Perceptually, our brains don’t see this difference in color easily, but photographic sensors and films do. Manual or automatic color balance is fairly easily achieved with digital still and video cameras, but situations with differing light sources and therefore differing color temperatures can present challenges.

Written by stevebuchanan

January 20, 2012 at 10:46 am

Stock photography industry changes

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adirondack chairs on deck, annapolis, md

zipper ride at carnival, kent island, md

Ever since Photoshelter announced it would stop selling stock on their website I’ve been looking for other stock photo licensing opportunities. I currently sell food based stock through StockFood USA and are very happy with the relationship I have with them. But I’ve been trying to find a way to get my non-food based stock images out there in a relatively painless manor.  I don’t have a lot of this type of work so signing on with a traditional agency really wouldn’t work and I don’t have the time, expertise (or web traffic) to set up my own online sales engine.  For a while I thought that digital railroad might be an option, oh wait, they’re liquidating. Then today I read a note on Rob Haggart’s A Photo Editor blog about a new option, ImageSpan allows content creators (like me) to publish work with the licensing terms embedded into the file. The files are then shared with aggregators like base.google.com and Adobe Stock Photos. I’ve just listed a few images with them and we’ll see how things work out. I think this could be a great opportunity to open things up for relatively low volume image producers like me. The challenge for ImageSpan (or any small stock agency) will be to break through the entrenched subscription base the big players in the industry have. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Getty and Jupiter, in fact a lot of my Stockfood stuff is sub-represented at Getty.  I just like competition in the industry, it makes us all work harder.

Written by stevebuchanan

October 23, 2008 at 11:12 am

Digital standards for photographers

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color management techniches

RGB, CMYK, SWOP, JPG, LZW, FTP, ICC

More acronyms than a report from the federal government. If you’re in, or close to the imaging industry you’ve probably seen these and more. But what do they mean, and which ones are right for your appliction? This question and others like it have led to a group of imaging professionals and manufacturers, along with their associated trade groups, to form an ad-hoc consortium. This group is dedicated to establishing a set of best practices guidelines for working with digital images. Known as UPDIG (Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines) they have published their recommendations on everything from monitor calibration to long term storage of digital images available at http://www.updig.org. As much as we artists like to “march to our own beat” and to “think outside the box,” it’s nice to have a set of guidelines that we can agree on and work within.  No use in re-inventing the wheel every couple of days.

Written by stevebuchanan

September 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Digital Asset Management

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A picture may be worth a thousand words – but which words? Does the image have enough resolution for my needs? Do I have the proper rights usage? Many of our clients have large numbers of images that they work with on a regular basis.  Many of them from different suppliers and in different formats.  Programs such as Adobe Bridge, Apple’s Aperture and Adobe Lightroom can help manage digital assets.  Even without these Digital Assett Management (DAM) products you can still take advantage of technology to help keep things under control.  Using IPTC metadata, users can add keywords, copyright notices and a whole slew of other information.  Most metadata tags also include the resolution of the images and creation information such as date, time and camera used. Accessing this data can be done via Photoshop, Bridge or even the Mac OS Finder using the “Get Info” command. Regardless of the DAM system you use, if you have a large number of images to keep track of, having a consistent, simple program in place is crucial.

Written by stevebuchanan

September 20, 2008 at 8:59 am