Lately, we’ve been doing some work for P/SL Medical Center here in Denver. The idea is to get pictures of the nursing and patient care staff, and make info cards so that the patients can learn a little bit about their caretakers. The initial feedback was so positive on the first 4 departments that we were called back in to do additional departments. This week we found ourselves in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit. Patients on this floor are very susceptible to illness, so much so that before you can enter or exit you have to pass through a hand washing station.
It’s been awesome getting to meet a ton of people who save lives everyday. I feel lucky and inspired to get to work with these fine people.
Here’s a picture of a finished board to give you an idea of what the project looks like when completed.
The other day I got the urge to break out my view camera, and shoot a little 4×5 black & white film. I love impromptu darkrooms (read: apartment bathroom). Sure, shooting digital would have been easier and quicker… but it was rainy out- I needed something to do! Plus, the feeling you get when you turn the lights on and inspect the film the first time is pretty unique.
Our view just isn’t the same when the mountains are hidden by rain clouds…
Check this out! One of my photos was picked up for a great ad campaign for Grand Junction. This sighting was found near Quebec and Smith in Denver. Just a side note of interest, the hotel in the background is where my wife & I stayed on our first visit to Denver when we were looking for an apartment… how’s that for placement??
I recently acquired a ColorChecker Passport from X-Rite Photo and had the opportunity to write up a review as a guest blogger for X-Rite. The post can be viewed on their blog here. Here is my review:
As a photographer, a major focus of mine is consistency. I want my clients to know what they can expect from me each time they select me for an assignment. Color management is one of those areas that can often be overlooked when it comes to being consistent, but it is key.
Enter the ColorChecker Passport from X-Rite. This is now a vital piece of equipment in my bag. I did not realize how easy capturing and managing correct color could be. The ColorChecker Passport is very easy to use, much easier than trying to guess the right color or trying to go “by the numbers.”
Right off the bat, the size of the ColorChecker Passport is perfect. As primarily a product and still life shooter, I always fumbled with other grey cards trying to squeeze them into the scene at the right angle to catch the light. Not only can the Passport fit in the tightest still life, it also was engineered with a built-in stand so I don’t even have to try to hold it in place or disturb the scene by propping it up against something. Landscape shooters will find this valuable as well.
Secondly, creating custom camera profiles is about as close to fully automated as it gets. There is no reason to be intimidated by creating a custom camera profile any longer. The included software does all the work for you. Take an image with the classic color target visible, and the software will attempt to find the color patches automatically then create the profile. Using Adobe Lightroom a plug-in handles the entire process. When using Adobe Camera Raw the only extra step needed is to convert the raw file format image of the ColorChecker Passport to a DNG file before dragging it into the software. Event and wedding photographers should especially make this a priority. With multiple cameras at any event, the ability to get the same color from every camera will quickly and easily make up the cost of the Passport on the first event.
Lastly, let’s look at the warming and cooling patches for portraiture and landscapes. Sometimes “correct” color isn’t always the best for creativity’s sake. X-Rite has included portrait warming patches as well as cooling and warming patches for landscapes. These patches are a great place to start when adjusting the color temperature of the scene is required. The creative patches can be sampled with the gray balance dropper and can be quickly reverted back to the neutral patch if you do not like the new look.
For everything that the ColorChecker Passport offers, the price is a steal (but don’t tell that to the nice folks over at X-Rite). I would also recommend checking out ColorMunki Photo to get accurate colors from your monitor, projector and printer. The combination of the ColorChecker and ColorMunki will save so much time, and you will probably have to make fewer trips to the store for aspirin because the headache of color management will be gone.
For me, File>Print just isn’t quite as rewarding as dipping a brush into chemistry, coating a piece of paper and exposing a negative to make a print. I know I lose a lot of my friends when it comes to this point. I have some sort of a weird disconnect. Why would I want to spend 6-8 hours working on a print that more than likely will not come out the way I was hoping? Honestly, I have no idea.
Every “analog” print I view, whether it be in a gallery, museum, or even school, I seem to get a feeling of closeness to the artist. Knowing their hand was involved in the printmaking process (well, more than loading a piece of paper into a printer) adds a certain romance to the experience.
I was at the Denver Art Museum a couple weeks ago looking at an albumen print that had to be around 20×24″ in size. When this image was made, there were no digital negatives- this was straight camera, folks. Imagine lugging a camera that weighs in upwards of 200+ pounds into the rugged Rocky Mountains and making a negative onto a glass plate. That’s what it took to make the print I was looking at. I wonder what the photographer would think of us today? I’d guess they’d probably laugh hysterically at how soft we are. We are complaining about “wrong paper size,” banding and noise while we should be embracing the magic of producing a print! There’s no mystery anymore. The level of anxiety that once faced young photographers as they put their paper into the developer and waited for an image to (hopefully) appear is no longer.
Here’s to all those that were crazy enough to mix different chemicals together (not knowing they could be hazardous to their health) to figure out which ones would react with light, so that we could enjoy ourselves just a little bit more.
Here’s a preview of my more personal work that is part of a second graduating portfolio for March. A complete 180 from the commercial work I enjoy (and for that, I loooove the latest digital technology and printers) And this is the 5th attempt at printing this particular image… I believe I finally got the print I was looking for after 3 weeks of searching for it. The anxiety level was very high.