You know night photography has become mainstream when Apple uses a night image for the default background image on their newest device. Note the star trails near the top! I would guess this is a ~25 minute exposure not too long after sunset considering the daylight glow along the horizon and gentle lighting on the foreground. If anyone knows who’s image is used on the iPad, please let me know.
Update: See this in-depth article about the image and Misrach at ARTINFO
I’m thrilled to have Calumet choose my “Texas Love Bus” image for their photo of the week. Texas Love Bus is a 2 hour and 8 minute exposure made from 2 to 4am in West Texas. It was a moonless night so the bus was “painted” entirely by flashlight for several minutes. A pack of coyotes howled and played in the foreground during the exposure as I sat and listened in my car a few feet away. They didn’t show up in the final image because they weren’t illuminated on this pitch black night. I was grateful they didn’t bump the tripod as it would have messed up the long star trails I was going for in this shot.
People often ask “what makes the stars go in circles?” when they see this image. The answer is simple: the Earth’s rotation. Star trails are one of the many phenomenal aspects of night photography that we cannot experience with our eyes during the moment. Interested in night photography? Consider joining Lance Keimig and I at one of our night photography workshops in West Texas or California.
August 22-25, Mono Lake, California
led by Lance Keimig and Scott Martin
Lance Keimig and Scott Martin team up to present a four day and night photography workshop at Mono Lake, California. August is a great time to visit this remote location that is a favorite among photographers for its unique geological formations. Mono Lake’s signature monolithic rock structures that extend upward from the lake are ideal for night photography. Other photographic locations may include the dramatic granite moonscapes of Tioga Pass in Yosemite, the Travertine Hot Springs, the town of Bridgeport, and the world famous Bodie Ghost Town. This year we’re going to get into some advanced night photography topics and really take a close look at light painting and mutli-hour star trail image stacking. Techniques and inspiration will be constantly discussed, demonstrated and put into practice. We will all work closely together, sharing our knowledge and experience.
This workshop will have both field and classroom instruction. We will be in the classroom each day from noon until we leave for the field before sunset. When out in the field, participants can stay out shooting as long as they, or their camera’s batteries, hold out. In the classroom, we’ll critique and develop our work as well as study the work of historical and contemporary night photographers. We will examine a parametric workflow using the latest tools for night photography, from high quality digital image capture, RAW file processing, image stacking and HDR imaging. Light painting, multi-hour exposures, film technology, color management and equipment recommendations will all be discussed. Because this workshop has two instructors, each participant will get lots of attention. Participants should expect to share some of their images for review, as the goal of this workshop is to enjoy the creative process and be inspired to make great images.
for intermediate and advanced photographers
by appointment in San Antonio, Texas
As a fine art photographer I know the challenges involved with making creative images while simultaneously mastering the technical aspects of workflow, exquisite printmaking and the polish of final packaging. I strive for an even balance of these qualities in my own work, and I enjoy helping others achieve better equilibrium between inspiration and presentation. Sharing my passion for photographic excellence has been driving my training business for over 16 years now.
In addition to on-location training and group workshops, I’d like to start encouraging a third option – private, one-one-one workshops in my printmaking studio. The range of printing equipment, papers, lighting, color management tools and atmosphere provides a training experience that I can’t quite bottle up and take with me to my client’s studios or location workshops.
Private training in my studio isn’t anything new for me, I’ve been offering it since 1999. But the studio has grown and matured over the years. The studio has three main areas – a digital darkroom main room for image development and small format printing making, a larger area for 60″ grand format printing, and a large warehouse area for spraying and packaging final prints. Solux, daylight, incandescent and viewing booth light allows visitors to compare prints under a variety of light sources and grasp the importance of high quality lighting. A range of the latest wide format printers up to 60 inches wide, combined with a variety of papers and media to choose from allows us to produce gorgeous prints that participants can take home with them. Spectrophotometers, colorimeters, RIP software, refreshments, an espresso machine and nearby macrobiotic vegetarian restaurant are all window dressing for this experience.
These private sessions are for intermediate and advanced photographers looking to perfect their process and final product. It’s a great opportunity to work side-by-side on your own images, discussing every aspect of the process and leave with a beautiful print. Email me with your particular needs, thoughts and requirements and I’ll prepare a customized training session for you.
November 6-11th, 2011, Austin TX
presented by Penny De Los Santos, Lynn Johnson and Scott Martin
Penny De La Santos, Lynn Johnson and Scott Martin are combining their talents to present a seven day intensive photography workshop in Austin, Texas. Austin is located at the edge of the Texas hill country and is known for it’s live music scene, progressive atmosphere, swimming holes, green spaces and inviting South Congress neighborhood. This week is an ideal time to see Austin through the lens. Temperatures should be perfect ranging from the mid 50s to the mid 70s with moderate to low humidity.
This is a new kind of photography workshop that will help you shape and share the story of your mission whether that is your work, your passion, or your life. We invite you to come to Austin and learn from three photographers with 75 years of combined experience in newspaper, magazine, freelance photojournalism, documentary and fine art photography. (more…)
I’ve been managing color on Lightjet, Durst, ZBE Chromira, Agfa, Kodak and Noritsu machines since the mid-nineties. As a color management consultant with a background in photo lab work, this is close to my heart and an area of specialty for me. I’ve traveled across several continents consulting with some of the most demanding photo labs in the industry. I’ve also enjoyed a close relationship with Noritsu for over 10 years and have lectured, consulted and trained with them internally. So perhaps I am in a decent position to respond to some comments that I am surprised to hear people make on forums and elsewhere.
“If you want a fully color managed workflow I don’t think any silver halide process will provide that” – anon
Safe to say I’ve implemented fully color managed workflows with every silver halide machine on the market. It’s totally doable and has been for many years, but unfortunately some exceptional know-how can be required. (more…)
1 ) Make adjustments in the proper order working from the top down. Set white balance first, then Exposure, etc. Don’t skip around.
2 ) Ignore the midtones when adjusting Exposure and consider only the white clipping point. One must ignore the midtones as they will be adjusted via Brightness later in the workflow. If some whites are clipped at 0, option/alt drag the Exposure slider to the left until all colored pixels are removed.
3 ) Skip or be modest with Clarity. While lots of clarity creates a look that’s trendy right now, you might be surprised at how poor it can look when printed and compared to other images. I find that small prints (4×6, 8×10, etc) don’t need any clarity but larger prints (20×24, 60×94, etc) benefit from greater amounts. It’s worth considering scaling the amount of clarity with the size of a print.
4 ) In HSL, adjust Luminance first, Saturation second and Hue last. Be modest with adjustments and zoom to 1:1 looking for problems along edges.
5 ) Don’t skip correcting for Chromatic Aberration in the Detail panel! Chromatic Aberration is one of the most overlooked features yet it can easily improve the sharpness of an image in addition to removing unwanted color fringing. Hold down the Option/Alt key and look at the corners of your frame at 1:1 while adjusting chromatic aberration.
6 ) When applying a dark edge vignette, use a Post Crop vignette with a feather amount close to 80. The default feathering value of 50 is too low.
7 ) Pro users should consider making custom DNG profiles for their camera(s) with the XRite ColorChecker Passport. If not, the “Adobe Standard” is more likely than the other profiles (Camera Landscape, etc) to render pleasing results with a wider variety of images.
8 ) Develop images in Color mode before switching the treatment to Grayscale. Not only will the final grayscale product look better but the image will be ready for color printing should you decide to do so in the future. After applying a Greyscale treatment, re-adjust contrast (if necessary) and use Grayscale Mix (in the HSL panel) to simulate in front of the lens filtration (yellow filter, red filter, etc). This greyscale procedure will yield better results than a haphazard one.
9 ) Use Snapshots to save different versions of your images (ex: grayscale and color, cropping for different aspect ratios, etc). Saving snapshots with numbers is quick and can show a progression of development (when appropriate). Example: 1, 2, 3, 4color, 4grayscale, Import.
10 ) Uncheck the “Apply auto grayscale mix when converting to grayscale” checkbox in Lightroom’s preferences under the Presets tab. Auto=Yuk.
11 ) Set the background to white. You can do this by right-clicking (or control-clicking) on the background color around the image area when set to “Fit” to screen. While a white background may not be as pretty as the default dark gray, it will give you a better idea as to how an image’s highlight and mid-tone densities will appear when printed. A juxtaposition with paper white is critical. Toggle between white and dark grey if you like, but always view and adjust with a white background before printing or exporting.
12 ) Print! Image development can only be mastered by producing gorgeous prints. A lot can and will be learned along the way.
Fortune Cookie of the day: Moderation is good for all things in life, especially with clarity, saturation, vignetting and HSL adjustments.
My good friend and mentor Dan Burkholder is boldly blazing a new path in a way that only he can. Dan is shooting exclusively with an iPhone and is making and exhibiting some serious fine art prints from it. Don’t laugh – Dan’s not just snapping low resolution images and applying filters to them, he’s capturing sometimes dozens of frames, stitching them together and using half a dozen applications to develop the images to his liking. His final results are fairly high resolution files that make for nice prints. His images are made and developed completely on the iPhone.
In his own words these images are "Untouched by Mac hardware or Adobe software. It’s liberating in so many ways. For the first time we have both camera and darkroom in the palm of our hands." Dan has, at the moment, four "iPhone Artistry" workshops planned around the country that focus exclusively on iPhone based image capture and development. Visit iphoneartistry.com to see more images.