Posts Tagged ‘Photoshop’
… if you don’t want to see a particularly gruesome image of the assassinated Osama bin Laden.
I’ve put it at the bottom of this blog so you don’t have to look at it without scrolling down, not for any vicarious pleasure, but for the simple purpose of showing what can be achieved with digital image manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop (other digital image manipulation applications are available).
What purports to be the shocking photograph of the dead bin Laden which President Obama deemed too disturbing for public view has of course cropped up all over the place, mainly on right-wing conservative American websites. And they are truly scary (the websites, that is).
You will have read in previous postings on this blog that US courts do not allow digital photographic images as evidence because of the ease with which they can be manipulated. Actually as anyone who has battled with Photoshop will know, it’s not that easy, but a truly skilled Photoshop artist can make it look simple — and realistic.
The image is indeed shocking — until you look at the image on the right.
On the left you will see a purported photograph of Osama bin Laden after he stupidly opened the door to some visiting American gentlemen. On the right you will see a much nastier image — Osama bin Laden alive.
Compare the two images.
Look at the angle of the head.
Look at his ear; look at the highlight inside it.
Look at the highlight on the tip of his nose.
Look at his mouth hanging slackly open, doubtless in the process of delivering some deranged spittle-flecked invective.
The images are identical, except that in one he appears to have met with an accident.
It’s the same image. The one of the left has been Photoshopped — it’s a completely fraudulent image. I’m not suggesting for a moment that this is the image that Barack found too disturbing to release; that one is undoubtedly real and I’m sure it’s profoundly unpleasant.
But in lieu of having the real thing, some talented Photoshop artist has been employed to provide slaughter pron for slavering right-wingers. It’s very good — until some clever chappie like David Hoffman unearths the original image.
Unless of course Hoffman has been even smarter and recreated the image on the right from the original on the left!
Now you can see why American courts don’t permit digital images as evidence. The camera lies through its teeth.
After buying the spiffy new camera, the first accessory most photographers want to get their hands on is a mighty new lens.
It ain’t necessarily so.
This is a list of things photographers should buy in order to improve their sales. It is in the order of our suggested priorities at fotoLibra.
Remember, as a picture library / stock agency we’re not necessarily reading from the same page as our photographer friends. Most photographers want to create beautiful, stunning images, and of course we want to see those as well, but above all we want photographs that sell.
And if that interests you, then here is what we suggest you need to acquire.
- A decent DSLR or large format digital camera. The make is unimportant, as long as you’re comfortable with it. One famous old tip to get comfortable is to put the camera in a bag, then put your hands in and spend days looking odd and learning how to use it blindfold. Feel your way round the apparatus. Learn to use it without thinking, so it becomes an automatic, natural extension of your eye. Nowadays the camera back should deliver a minimum of 12 mexapixels.
- Adobe Photoshop, Elements, Corel Draw, GIMP, Irfanview or some other photo editing software. This is your digital darkroom. You must always shoot in RAW and then post process. It’s no use having a digital camera without photo editing software.
- A tripod. Your hands shake, I promise you.
- A subscription to fotoLibra. “Yeah, yeah, what a surprise,” you smile, but this is where you get regular lists of the photographs that buyers need, hints, tips, blogs and newsletters. A huge amount of storage space for your images. And all your sales and back office admin taken care of, leaving you to get on with pressing that shutter.
- Lighting, unless you plan only to photograph landscapes by available light (a very small market). At the very least, a separate and moveable flash unit. The flash built in to the camera is strictly for amateurs.
- A large roll of white paper to act as a neutral background, such as this. Professional picture buyers like plain backgrounds and cut outs. Cut outs are virtually impossible to achieve successfully without starting with a plain background.
- And of course Goalposts, on which you put the paper. You get to move them, as well. Properly called a “background support system’. Here’s one.
- Books from the fotoLibra Bookshop. I like the intelligent and elegantly designed Rocky Nook titles. You will never, ever stop learning as a photographer. Even Snowdon, one of the twentieth century’s most famous photographers, admits he’s still learning at eighty.
- Photography courses, such as those offered by Nick Jenkins at Freespirit Images. You will learn tricks and techniques which would never have occurred to you on your own.
- Apple Aperture or Adobe Lightroom. Post processing taken to new heights. I know it will hurt to spend money on bits and bytes before lovely, smooth, hefty glass and metal, but would you prefer to collect kit, or make a name for yourself as a photographer?
NOW you can start to splash out on more expensive lenses, camera bags and all that other non-essential kit. But armed with the Top Ten, you will have what you need to take photographs that SELL.
And my lens suggestion for when you finally buy a second?
Go for the widest aperture you can afford.
And if you don’t agree with this list, please post your own in the Comments!
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Here’s an index to the fotoLibra Pro Blog for the whole of 2009.
As I complained 6 months ago, it takes a surprising amount of time to compile, so if there are any WordPress experts out there who know how to automate this process, we’d love to hear from you.
If you’re new to fotoLibra, welcome, and may we suggest you read through the HINTS & TIPS section, and if nothing else read Great Expectations. If you enjoy a bit of controversy, read BAPLA Shock Horror.
Comments are welcome, even on old posts, and will be read and often responded to.
HINTS & TIPS
- Three hundred pixels per inch
- Shots of Redemption
- How To Take Aerial Photographs When You Haven’t Got An Aeroplane
- Great Expectations
- New fotoLibra
- Most Popular Searches
- White Labelling
- A Third of a Million
- Picture Calls
- fotoLibra DND & Checker 2.1 Released
- Drag ‘n’ Drop Upload Checker
- The New Picture Call Tab
- Search Engines and fotoLibra
- Yahoo Blocks Our Emails
- It’s got to be today
- 300,000 up!
E-BOOKS & PUBLISHING
- Free iPhone App: Aaron’s Time Machine: London Lyte!
- Orphan Books
- The Killer eBook Is Nearly Here
- UK Politicians Not Entranced by eBooks
- Primary School Books
- Getting ready for e-books and Graphics
- Kindle 2
- More Kindling
- The Killer Book for e-books
- Prophecies & Prophets
- Unpleasant Comments & Spam
- Cancelled Air Show
- Giving It Away For Free
- A heritage in photography
- Farewell Kodachrome
- The perils of publishing
- Happy New Year
If you agree with this statement, why not join our group on LinkedIn at http://bit.ly/1HAsKC ?
Photoshop is the tool of choice for most fotoLibra members. At the last count 7,227 fotoLibra members were using Adobe products. If one in ten of you can add your name to this petition we’ll soon have over a thousand.
A substantial constituency. Yet one that is treated with disdain by the Adobe corporation. Pound for dollar, Adobe products have always been around 20 to 40% more expensive in the UK than the US. They claim that support and marketing is more expensive over here.
I don’t believe that. Americans are higher paid and taxed lower than the Brits.
Come on Adobe. Show some respeck, man!
The snappily named website pressefotografforbundet.dk has an intriguing story (fortunately for me, in English) about an entrant in the annual Danish Picture Of The Year competition.
The judges asked to see photographer Klavs Bo Christensen’s RAW files. On comparing them with his entries, they decided his Photoshopping was somewhat on the Extreme side, and they threw him out of the competition.
The competition rules state “Photos submitted to Picture of The Year must be a truthful representation of whatever happened in front of the camera during exposure. You may post-process the images electronically in accordance with good practice. That is cropping, burning, dodging, converting to black and white as well as normal exposure and color correction, which preserves the image’s original expression. The Judges and exhibition committee reserve the right to see the original raw image files, raw tape, negatives and/or slides. In cases of doubt, the photographer can be pulled out of the competition.”
Frankly I think he went way over the top, and they were right to ban him. To my eye, his RAW images are preferable to the garish artificiality of the Photoshopped images.
I’d be interested to hear what you think.