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Photo statuettes

StatuetteMpix.com has a neat new product called photo statuettes. These aren't fully 3-dimensional statues but rather 1/8" thick cutouts that are then attached to a base so they stand up. You submit any photo and someone at Mpix digitally removes the background to create the statuette. That's why pricing is "per head" starting at $16. Pretty neat idea. I could see doing this for some of the dance photos I've taken.

Weekend assignment August 25, 2006: Portraits

For this weekend's assignment, I'd like to see your interpretation of a portrait. As I wrote yesterday, portraits can take many forms, but an essential ingredient is a recognizable person. Of course, if you've got a different point of view, I'd love to see an example. Hopefully you've got some willing subjects around. Even if you don't, going outdoors and shooting candid portraits is a good way to practice. And you can always fall back on the self-portrait if that doesn't work for you. As always, please share your results with the rest of us in the Photodoto discussion group. And have a great weekend!

Why is it called “unsharp mask” when it sharpens?

A brief history lesson about an image sharpening method called "unsharp mask." Photoshop and other image manipulation software all have a feature with this name that will sharpen an image. So, why is it called unsharp mask?

The name comes from the original photographic procedure used to increase the apparent sharpness of a photograph on film. First the original negative was copied and turned into a positive (In a negative, black is white and white is black. In a positive, it's the other way around.). During the copy, the positive was intentionally blurred. This is where "unsharp" comes from. Then the positive and negative were put in contact and exposed to light again. The blurry portion of the positive cancelled out (masked) the blurry portion of the negative.

Despite working with bits instead of film, digital unsharp mask works similarly by comparing the source image to a slightly blurred version and subtracting one from the other.

Source: Wikipedia

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