Photography and Art

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When will Lightroom 3 be out?

Dad, Dad, are we there yet?

Clues are emerging on the likely release date for Lightroom 3. This thread is an interesting read, partially because the last few posts actually make sense and partially because Jeff Schewe has a complete melt-down half way down. He must have been having a bad day!

Bottom line is that Kelby Training is planning a bunch of LR seminars in July, pointing to a June launch. Loonsailor does the math: Beta 2 launched in March plus 1-2 months to get comments and feedback plus 1-2 months to fix bugs plus another month to package and ship. There might be some overlap - bugs will be fixed as they are reported and the team will probably be doing a build each day as the narrow in on the gold code. But, we are looking at June at the earliest.

That's a bit of a bummer. As Mike Johnston pointed out a few days ago in The Online Photographer, things are getting pretty dull in the camera department. The glory days of the megapixel race are behind us. Even the ISO race proved to be short-lived and we seem to have bumped up against the laws of mother nature. All that's left is software and that takes lots of time.

Dad, Dad, are we there yet?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Metal Prints Part II

It has been a long time between blogs and I apologize - life sometimes gets in the way of blogging and photography, but I'm back.

A little while ago, I wrote about my upcoming participation in a show at the Elaine Fleck Gallery as part of the Contact photo festival (see here). I've been planning to print the following image on metal so that it projects the mood that I felt being up close to this ship on the rainy, miserable day when I took the photo.

As you may recall, I was testing three labs: ImageWizards, BayPhoto and MarcorMedia. I was able to visit MarcorMedia and ruled them out based on discussing the project with them and looking at some of their work. Don't get me wrong, MarcorMedia is a fine Toronto lab, but I didn't get the feeling that printing on metal was a main offering for them. The work that I saw seemed to be a bit on the experimental side.

I got my samples back from Bay Photo and ImageWizards and there was virtually nothing to choose from between them. The 6x4 samples were quite stunning. This left me with two problems: how to choose between the two labs and how to choose the metal finish that I wanted. There were four basic types of finishes: gloss or satin on white metal or gloss or satin on bare metal. The key difference was that the bare metal would render anything that was a pure highlight as silver, not white. Some images would suit this, some would not. I liked the gloss finish better than the satin, so I decided to order one 24x36 print on gloss bare metal because I thought the image of the propeller would really suit the bare metal treatment.

I got a phone message from Roger Laudy of ImageWizards saying that he'd read my blog and liked my work, so that was enough to seal the deal and I ordered my print from ImageWizards. The print came about a week ago and it looked very different from my original print on Ilford Gold Silk paper. First of all, the gamut seems much, much larger. The blacks are like coal and the other colours are lustrous and deep. The highlights are silver as expected. The image also appears to be three dimensional because of the deep gloss. You are drawn into the photo and most people who have seen it go right up and explore the details.

Does it make the ship and the prop feel like that are metal? You betcha! Mission accomplished.

The only downside, as you might expect, is that the high gloss is very reflective and you can see yourself in it like a mirror. The image actually looks best in the evening with soft lighting. It definitely does not need direct lighting to make it pop.

Just to give you a bit of an idea of what it looks like above the mantelpiece, here's a snapshot:

It's about as eye-catching as an image can be. As you can see, it requires no frame - it hangs from an aluminum box that is glued to the back of the image.

You can't see it in the picture, but the print was damaged in transit. Someone must have stacked something on top of it and there are two spots in the lower corners where the floating frame has pushed out the main metal sheet.

I contacted customer service at ImageWizards and they promptly printed out a new image and shipped it the next day. It came on Friday and it was perfect in every way. If only every company offered customer service like that, life would be grand!

So, thanks to the great people at ImageWizards, I've got a super metal print to display at the Elaine Fleck Gallery starting on May 1st. I'm really looking forward to it!