Saturday, October 31, 2009

Three Useful Doohickeys

Some communications professionals shoot their own pictures instead of hiring a professional photographer.

Whatever the reason for doing it themselves here are a few things they need to watch for and correct: 1 - Is the color correct? 2 – Are there dust spots in the pictures? 3 – Are the photos truly sharp?
Let’s look at these potential problems and see how to avoid them.

Number One:

Color calibrate the computer used when working with the photographs.
Here is a list of just a packages that will do the job:

* Pantone huey – $89

* Spyder3Express Color Calibration System – $89

* X-Rite Eye-One Display LT Color Management Solution – $139

ColorSpace Chart

Calibrating a monitor is adjusting it to a known color
space. There are a few different color spaces that are standards. The figure to the left gives a few. All devices have tolerances. Calibrating is basically adjusting the monitor to the closest known factor. The software places a color target on the monitor and uses the hardware sensor to read the color and make the adjustments automatically.

A CRT monitor (similar to older TVs) must be calibrated more often than a LCD flat screen. For a good illustration as to why monitors should be calibrated step into a store showing the same signal on several TVs and look at the variety of colors.
Now that the monitor is calibrated adjustments made to the pictures themselves will be more accurate in color, contrast and brightness. Calibration also cuts the number of surprises emerging from a printer.
Sensor ScopeNumber Two:

Cameras with interchangeable lenses (SLRs) need to have the sensor cleaned of dust. Many local camera stores offer this service for about $50.

I use the Delkins Sensor Scope Kit to service my cameras
myself. It comes with a magnifier that lets you see the dust on the
sensor once the mirror is locked up for cleaning. (See the illustration
on right) Here is a link to their website
There is a video on how to clean your sensor.

Clean sensors saves a lot of time spent in PhotoShop just repairing the
damage caused by dust. Often, with dirty sensors, a dust spot will be
almost impossible to remove with the software.


Number Three:
The last step - calibrate your lenses. No matter what camera/lens you buy, it's almost certainly been mass-produced.

Even with the close tolerances adhered to by the better manufacturers; it is rare that perfection is achieved. If the camera body is "off" by a fraction and so is the lens the combination produces an image that is
soft. To be sure this is not the case the lens must be calibrated.

One tool for this is the LensAlign that sells for $179.

Here is a video for you to see how this works:

If all this takes more time and effort than is practical perhaps the communications professional should just hire me and let me worry about (and take care of) all this for them.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Shooting a Sphere Panoramic

This is a photo of me taken by my Uncle Knolan Benfield while I was shooting a Sphere Panoramic.

This shows the tripod head with the camera, special head and camera with 16mm lens. Here is the shot from this:

Clayton State University Center

Here are a few more for you to see:

Winshape Retreat - Courtyard

Winshape Retreat - Lower Patios

Georgia Tech College of Management Courtyard

LeCraw Auditorium at Georgia Tech