Good article here about how the photo that would have won the National Geographic photo of the year, got disqualified because the photographer used Photoshop to get rid of a trash bag instead of cropping it.
If you’re going to enter contests it’s a good thing to read the rules, but it’s almost a certainty that if you bust out the clone tool or use Content-aware Fill you are going to be disqualified. Obviously if it’s a photo manipulation contest that’s different, but most photography contests want you to do everything in camera, limiting adjustments to minor tweaks like cropping and contrast, things that were relatively easy to do in the darkroom days.
While you might argue what’s the difference between cloning a trash bag out of the photo and cropping it, it’s a very slippery slope. It rapidly becomes more about your Photoshop skills and less about your photography skills. If it’s a photography contest, then it should be about your photography skills.
Here’s the disqualified image, click on it to read the full article and see the original.
My household gets a delivery of The Economist magazine. Sometime I only skim a few pages but I always think of this publication as a resource for straightforward, accurate, apolitical news reporting.
Same with Reuters, a news outlet known for running its photographs unedited. No use of Photoshop is allowed to alter the image or change its intended meaning.
A story today in Media Decoder questions a Reuters photograph used by The Economist in its June 19 issue. The photo shows President Obama standing alone in front of the Gulf of Mexico, head down as if in contemplation. It’s a striking image on that mid-June cover, and one that inspired me to flip more closely the magazine a few weeks ago.
Continue reading Altered photos in the news.
Are you ever in a situation with a model or subject and can’t get the perfect position out of them? If yes, then this is your luck day. I came across a great article that gives 10 top portrait tips to help you capture the uniqueness of your subject.
One that I found interesting is #9.“DO make sure to separate the arms from the waist. Arms flat against the side of your subject create the illusion of a very wide waist.” Or you can always adjust for that in Photoshop ;)
Continue reading Pose and Compose
I came across this great photo series on Flickr, entitled Pencil vs Camera by artist Ben Heine. It is always interesting to see how different mediums can be combined, especially when it comes from reality (photos) and imagination (drawings). Ben used a traditional method to do his sketches. All the graphic elements shown come from his own stock/production. He drew the sketches, took the photos, and edited them.
Here at Digital Anarchy we have always been a big supporter of how illustrations can play a role within photography. Our plugin ToonIt! Photo lets you create cartoon effects, like shading and lines, from your own photographic images. Learn more about ToonIt! Photo here.
I had a few extra moments to play with the Pencil vs Camera concept using my own images and ToonIt! Photo. I shot these photos in Santa Cruz, CA on a very overcast day about two years ago. I would have liked to have a more pleasing sky but you can’t always get what you want, right? Here are the results:
Continue reading Pencil vs Camera and ToonIt!
Joe Farace lights up the room in two ways. He is a talented photographer, writer and teacher whose emails end with catchy signatures like ‘It’s 2010 and the Big Bang never ended’ or ‘Saving the world, one pixel at a time’. He is also an expert on lighting and imaging techniques for photographers.
Recently, Joe showed me a photo composite that he created while writing one of his upcoming books. The image was masked with Primatte Chromakey, our blue / green screen Adobe Photoshop plugin.
Continue reading Joe Farace lights up the room.
I love play on words. Moreso, I love gorgeous images that inspire me to write. This artwork by Carl Campbell has accomplished all of the above. Carl used ToonIt Photo, our Adobe Photoshop cartoon plugin, to transform a BMW car into something even more special.
Continue reading ‘Car’-tooning.
Yesterday I stumbled upon NotAlwaysRight.com. The website covers customer service bloopers and my favorite entry by far is Beyond Even The Power Of Pixel Dust. This entry details a customer asking a copy shop employee to remove one of three people in a photo.
“Customer: “Hi, I’d like a copy of this photo, but I need one the people cropped out. “
(The customer hands me a photo of three men, arms around each other’s shoulders in front of a brick wall.)
Me: “Which one needs to be cropped out?”
Customer: “The guy in the middle.”
Me: “Well, we really can’t do that. That is more for a photo-refinishing artist.”
Customer: “Can’t you just erase the guy in the middle?”
Me: “We could, but then there would be a blank space were he once was. It would be pretty obvious.”
Customer: “Oh, you won’t just see the wall behind him if he is removed?”
Me: “No, the camera doesn’t take a picture of what is behind the person, just what you see.”
Customer: “What if it was a digital camera?”
Since Digital Anarchy specializes in Adobe Photoshop plugins, I talk to a variety of folks each day with a different level of understanding about how digital imaging works. I wonder how many of you have experienced this kind of question from your clients or customers. The blooper comes from my hometown of Philly, PA, which is cherry filling as well as that much more embarrassing.
I recently came across a blog post by Fuzzy Duenkel, a photographer over in Wisconsin. He makes a pretty passionate case against using scene swapping (e.g. the type of stuff you do with Primatte and green screen) for traditional, ‘classic’ portraits. By and large I agree with him. I don’t think it’s a great use of the technology to put someone in a place they’ve never been so they can say they were there. For novelty photos and the like, it’s great, but for a ‘classic’ portrait, maybe not so much. But there’s more to portraits than just the classic look.
Image by Deverie FX, www.deveriefx.com
Continue reading Portrait Illusions – Green Screen and Other Tricks
Should photographers be shooting video? In most cases, I think the answer is no.
It’s not that most photographers aren’t capable of it, it’s just that videography is an entirely different medium that takes just as long as photography to learn properly.
If you’re willing to take the time to really understand video, then sure have at it. But while your capturing video, your not capturing photos. Will doing both compromise both, and make you a mediocre videographer AND a mediocre photographer?
What is Photo Fusion?
Continue reading Photo (con)Fusion?
Digital Anarchy recently added a great photographer to our Primatte Chromakey gallery. His name is Shawn Wright and he runs Wright Studios out of Indiana, USA with his wife Betsy.
Shawn is a photographer of all talents and trades. Not only does he specialize in many subjects — high school seniors, industrial product shots and sports teams, to name a few — but he also runs photography seminars. More info on his company site, www.wrightstudio.us.
Continue reading Cheerleading practice with Shawn Wright
Interesting video of what goes into a high profile commercial photo shoot. In this case for Bebe, posted on Giulianobekor.com.
Very cool to see what the actual shots were and what the printed ad ended up being with all the compositing, color correction, and other assorted image processing. Oh, yeah, and the lions. Ya gotta have lions. Continue reading Commercials, lions, and manipulation
Digital Anarchy recently posted a spankin’ brand new online ToonIt! Gallery. This web page is a great way to see what folks are doing with our Adobe Photoshop cartooning software.
ToonIt! is fun and easy to use and gives you amazing results when transmogrifying your photographs into cartoons. (Technical term per Calvin and Hobbs, a favorite real cartoon.) This is especially true when ‘tooning’ the human face and form, which most cartoon tools fail at. Ours doesn’t.
Most people send us exactly that, children and women turned into cartoons. A refreshing change comes from Stanton Perry of Rendertek.com. When I first saw Stanton’s work, which are all gorgeous panoramas and thus the nickname in this entry’s title, I was blown away by how well ToonIt! works with architectural and landscape settings.
Panorama #1, traditional toon.
Continue reading ToonIt Gallery & ‘Panorama’ Perry.
In my mind, digital art first became looked upon as a medium in the early 90’s. I remember my art teachers in undergraduate school being grumbly and divided in terms of their acceptance of computer generated art being ‘real’ art. The old-time painters in particular hated computer graphics. Illustration teachers seemed more accepting because many were digitally generating their references or switching to a computer/hand rendered hybrid.
Those days are certainly very, very far behind us. I just read about a retrospective of Tim Burton, the well-known director and all-media artist, opening for five months at the New York Modern Museum of Art. Many painters and other traditional media artists have to wait for a posthumous show!
Continue reading Tim Burton artwork at MoMA
Digital Anarchy has long been a fan of Artbeats.com stock footage. We have used their footage for demoing our products many times over our seven years of business. Recently I have also used the website iStockphoto.com. Mainly this is because Artbeats focuses on video footage, which our company used to use a lot of when we had video products. Now we are a Photoshop-centric company and need still images, and lots of ’em, to show what our products can do.
Continue reading iLike iStock, mostly.
Every time I write a manual for our company, I inevitably stumble upon the need to explain some basic terms. ‘Basic’ isn’t really the correct descriptor because it often implies that something is easy to understand.
For instance, this past week I was writing about a parameter in our ToonIt! Photo plugin. The control is called Lighter Type and the way to describe its Lighter1 option is to say that Lighter1 alters the ‘gamma’ of the source image. Well, I know that ‘gamma’ refers to colors but whew, I get completely lost after that.
A different kind of gamma.
Continue reading Gamma & other tough, chewy terms
One of the recurring topics that I’ve seen in recent years is that of copyright and what internet technologies mean to photographers. The challenges that photographers face are neatly illustrated in an article the Wall Street Journal published today.
Essentially the Obama Hope poster that was widely used, was created based on a photograph by Mannie Garcia that Sheppard Fairey found on the internet, used without permission, didn’t give credit to the photographer, and even refused to acknowledge the photograph when asked about it.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
Continue reading Obama’s poster uses stolen photo
I love digital artwork — and it’s what pays the bills! — but it’s always wonderful to seek out non-digital artwork. Through Digital Anarchy, I look at a lot of artist websites and portfolios. They trickle in as email addresses attached to sales receipts or support requests, and I often click through to look at the URL.
This week I stumbled upon photos of some very unique and beautiful artwork. I don’t quite recall what series of clicks brought me here, but the artist is Jason de Caires Taylor and the site is www.underwatersculpture.com.
Images from the site:
Continue reading Photos above & below water