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How to get better prints from your digital camera

Photodoto reader Mike tipped us to a great article he’s written about digital print making. It’s detailed and full of helpful and simple tips for making prints for digital images.

Over this last three years I’ve realized most people don’t know how to get a decent print from their digital camera, I’m going to share some really simple tips to help with this.

Randomn3ss » How to get better prints from your digital camera

Introduction to LightZone

A brief screencast introduction to LightZone, an image processing and workflow application for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Two interesting features of LightZone are highlighted in the video: the Zone Mapper which allows exposure values in different parts of a photo to be adjusted very quickly and intuitively; and super easy built-in effects masking via simple point drawing tools.

Video thumbnail. Click to play
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Click the movie to view or click here to view a hi-res Quicktime version.

LightZone by Light Crafts

Photo enhancement going too far?

Before and afterThe Telegraph UK has an interesting article talking about how everyone from the kid next door to Hollywood celebrities are getting work done on their photographs.

The manipulation of photos is a given in the image-is-everything world of celebrity. Earlier this week, the Duchess of York appeared in Italian Vogue. With a tiny waist, sculptured cheekbones and a wrinkle-free face, she bore no relation to the frumpy Fergie who looked every one of her 47 years when papped out jogging recently.

The author theorizes that social networking services like Facebook are partially responsible. That users of those services want to look as attractive as possible to other members and that they are willing to pay to do so.

Personally I have retouched portraits of clients, friends and family. I think it’s possible to make flattering alterations without being false. Technique, camera angle, lighting, 12 megapixel clarity and a dozen other factors all contribute to images that may be technically “true” but neglect the fact that our eyes and brain don’t work that way. That human vision is colored by memory and attention and feeling. In a real sense, altering a photo to reflect that is more real than real, if you get my drift.

But I don’t alter photos to the extent described in this article. And I’m sure you’ve all seen the plastic, lifeless doll children that some people think are beautiful. That’s just creepy as hell.

What’s your opinion on retouching portraits?

Anatomy of a photo edit: Our love is all of God’s money

Our love is all of God's moneyI think that post-processing is an integral part of photography whether you are processing your own black and white prints in a smelly darkroom or using Photoshop. As my abilities as a photographer have improved over the years, I’ve found it more and more likely that I will shoot a photo with a particular final look in mind. That was the case when I shot this photo recently so I thought I’d share my editing process with you. If you like this article, you may also like my previous Anatomy of a photo edit: Ready in 3 minutes.

Read more…

PhotoWorks Offers Retail Outlet for Photographers

PhotoWorks, which began life as Seattle Film Works, started out decades ago using movie film to make prints and slides. Today, many know them as an online photo sharing site, which offers prints and custom photo items, such as books, calendars, cards, and other gift items. I’ve often used this company. I buy prints from them, and last year, I made a book from old scanned family pictures.

Photoworks StorefrontNow this company offer Storefronts, a retail outlet for photographers, where the photographers can create and sell their own photo-related gifts. Right now, you can sell only books from this site. Soon you’ll be able to sell all sorts of products, including images and items that use images, such as coffee mugs, calendars, and so forth. In addition, PhotoWorks plans to offer widgets that will allow users to display their products on their personal websites.

You choose a user name, which gets incorporated into the URL. Choose carefully, since you cannot change this name later. PhotoWorks will take care of hosting your images, payments, and shipping. You can then have the proceeds either deposited into a Paypal account, or credited to your PhotoWorks account.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions of use. For example, you must supply a taxpayer i.d. or the company will withhold part of your proceeds. PhotoWorks will pay you monthly if amount you have earned is over $50. If your proceeds are less than $50, they will pay you when the amount reaches that number. If you don’t sell $50 worth of products in a year’s time, you will be charged a small fee. One interesting touch is the Storefront will allow shoppers to fill a cart from several different stores, so it will be a bit like an online mall.

Although this is not a totally unique notion, it does have some interesting features. Clearly, this site has big plans. Keep an eye on them to see how these plans develop.

To learn more, go to their FAQ.

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