I have always been of divided mind when it comes to printing photographic images on canvas. I have certainly seen inkjet canvas material in use at galleries and fine art fairs, where watercolorists, pastel artists etc use the material to create lower-priced copies of originals, making the art affordable yet attractive for many buyers. In fact, it’s a fairly easy bet that the great majority of the canvas coming off inkjet printers is used for just that purpose. The main use of photographic imagery on this material, in my experience, is for portraiture and wedding photography, where the image can stand on its own or gets painted over by artists for a premium touch, and price.
After I had been taking pictures seriously for two or three years, I realized that photography taught me to see things I had never noticed before I picked up a camera. I had been fairly oblivious to contrast, the shapes of shadows, details, texture, light, color, and graphic design. The camera helped me finally pay attention to all of these things. It is truly remarkable how much you can miss. For example, BP (Before Photography) I would have walked right past the overturned cart in a rural area of Missouri and not given it a second thought. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that this had any artistry or beauty. Similarly, BP I would have missed the bold graphic design, warm color, and rich texture in the detail of a cathedral door in Strasbourg, France.
Sometimes we forget about all the factors that go into lighting a portrait. We might focus on the direction of that beautiful window light, the color of the fleeting sunset, the dim light in a church or that wall of light created by sun light bouncing off a building. Gaining skill in lighting means taking all four factors into consideration with each photo you take.
One of the main problem areas for many digital photographers is getting a print
that is reasonably close to what you see on screen. Assuming that you have a
calibrated display (and if you don't, stop reading this article and profile
your monitor!) the problem may lie in your printer settings. It's all
too common to find that someone having problems is actually managing the printer
settings twice - once in the print driver and once in their image editing software.
Chromatic aberration is an inherent problem in the manufacture of lenses. It is the failure of the glass to bend the light in such a way that it focuses all the colors at the same point, and it occurs because lenses have a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light. It is characterized by color fringing, or unwanted colors at the edge of objects. The colors can be red, cyan, green, magenta, blue, or yellow. You usually can’t see this fringing until you magnify the image quite a bit, but at 100 percent and higher it’s quite obvious. I’ve enlarged (#1) to 300 percent, and in (#2) you can see what I’m talking about. Chromatic aberration is quite pronounced in wide angle lenses, and it’s most obvious in the corners. The picture of this famous pool in the Gellert Hotel, Budapest, Hungary was taken with a 14mm lens. The center of the lens is largely devoid of these unwanted colors. Telephotos also have chromatic aberration, but it is usually not as bad.
The concept of color temperature is an integral part of photography, and yet many photographers are not really sure what it means. Color and temperature don’t seem to have a direct relationship with each other, but light sources are often defined in terms of their color temperature, which is allied with setting the white balance in digital photography. In addition, the measurement of color temperature is in Kelvin degrees. What does all this really mean?
There are times when you want your color to exactly match what's in the
scene, but for the most part color is a fairly subjective matter that can be
tweaked with ease in just about any image-editing program. Color has a hue--like
yellow, green or blue--as well as a vividness, which in photography is
often called its saturation. In addition, color can have a cast, which is influenced
by the prevailing lighting conditions when we make the photograph. That cast
can be influenced by the light source itself, such as photographing under direct
sun versus what we'd get when photographing under tungsten lights, and
by the position of the subject in relation to that light source, such as the
difference between photographing in the shade or open light. In addition, color
can also be influenced by the recording medium itself, be it film or digital,
and how the film is made or the digital image processor is programmed to change
the color during the recording processing.
The pixels that make up a digital image each have an "address",
a code that defines color, brightness and shades. When we make images with a
digital camera or from film with a scanner we are creating a matrix of pixels
that altogether create the illusion of a continuous tone image. These codes
are not dyes or even densities, but specific information as to how the computer
will interpret the colors and tonal values on the screen. It is only when we
make a print that we leave the "digital" world and enter the world
of dyes and pigments. Because each pixel has a code, basically a bunch of information
that is composed of bits and bytes, we can alter that code to change the "address",
or color and tonal look of every pixel. In this lesson we'll use the Replace
Color dialog box, found in most versions of Photoshop, or under other names
in other programs, to illustrate the point and give you an easy, fun way to
play with your pictures.
If you have not been photographing at twilight or night up to now, you have an exciting adventure ahead. Because cameras have the ability to accumulate light over time, nighttime photographs can seem brighter than they do to our eyes. This means that details are revealed that are hidden from view because of the limitations of the light gathering ability of our eyes, and at the same time the dazzling colors of night add a dynamic quality to the scene. Artificial lights at night are a mixture of neon, mercury vapor, fluorescent, and tungsten, and each of these produce interesting colors. Some are cool, some are yellowish or golden, and some are super saturated, and the combination is really something.
Each month we do our best to bring you a wide variety of articles and test reports
on the latest gear, technology and creative techniques. I thought I'd
take this space to let you in on what's coming in the months head in the
The concept of complementary colors refers to three pairs of colors that artists agree look good together and complement each other. They are based on the color wheel that arranges colors in such a way that the colors opposite each other represent the three pairs. They are red and cyan, green and magenta, and blue and yellow. This doesn’t mean that other colors don’t work together very well, but it suggests that if you use complementary color themes in your work, the images will be visually compelling.
I was privileged to be able to photograph a champion Gypsy Vanner horse, Romeo, with a beautiful model in period costume. I chose late afternoon about an hour before sunset to take advantage of the spectacular backlighting on the blond mane, the tail, and the feathering around the feet. For this particular photo session, I wasn’t able to shoot Romeo in an open field, and the corral fence behind him (#1) bothered me at the time but there were no other options. I knew I wanted to separate my subjects from the background at a later point in time during post-processing, but what makes this breed of horse so beautiful—the long, flowing hair—is a nightmare to deal with in composite work.
One of the best ways to gauge near-term trends in the photo industry is to
take a look at what types of cameras are being purchased and what methods photographers
use to output their images. We just received an interesting report from the
Photo Marketing Association (PMA) that provides someup...