news, announcements and articles

Mastering the Night: Death Valley

March 2-4, 2013 in Death Valley, CA
optional Lightroom class on March 1st
with Scott Martin and Lance Keimig

Death Valley by Scott Martin

Lance Keimig and I invite you to join us in Death Valley in March. We’re shaking things up for this workshop and doing several things diffrrently than we normally do. Unlike our usual Full Moon Night Photography workshops, this one will take place in the waning stage of the lunar cycle which will offer us some dark skies full of stars. I’ve come to love this time of night after the sun has gone down and before the moon comes up. It will be a great chance to rely upon light painting and make some ‘galactic sky’ images. We are also going to some unusual and remote locations in the park that most workshops don’t get to.

There will also be lots of opportunities for light drawing as well as light painting. Adding add to these scenes will be an important process towards getting a satifiying image. This intensive workshop is intended for photographers with a (more…)

Workshops for University Faculty

I just finished a private workshop in Marfa, TX with 15 faculty from the AT&T Learning Studio’s Faculty Enrichment program at ACU. Not only did the university photography instructors come, but also several designers, cinematographers and those working in modern “media” forms (eBooks, video, web, etc). I really loved the diversity of this group, and the workshop provided them a chance to get out of their comfort zone and apply their creativity in ways that was different from what they were used to. They were enthusiastic, open minded and energetic. We had a ball.

With photography changing so quickly, I especially enjoy opportunities to discuss the challenges this presents for higher education professionals. None of us can afford to stick to our old ways. There are just too many exciting changes and implications to stand still. Tools like Photoshop are last-decade technology while a new frontier of applications are emerging that better fit our workflows that are intertwined with high volumes of imagery and processes like time lapse and video.

Please let me know if you’d like to discuss the evolving medium of photography at your university.

HiDPI display support will significantly enhance our relationship with photography

After spending 6 hours with Lightroom’s new HiDPI Retina Display Support, let’s me just say it’s incredible. A giant step forward. It’s like seeing all of your images in a whole new light. Looking at images on a ~300ppi screen with the same clarity and resolution of a fine print is a long time dream of mine that I know would someday come true.

Lightroom 4.3 RC

We’ve been living in the dark ages with our ~72ppi displays. We’ve been seeing not the true nature but a facsimile of our images. Things like sharpness, noise and grain just don’t look right on a low res screens like they do in print. With HiDPI displays we can actually visualize these things and make better informed decisions while we’re developing our images. I think this will improve our relationship with images in our modern, digital workflows tremendously (more…)

Tips for upgrading to Lightroom 4

Lightroom 4 logoEvery time we upgrade Lightroom we have a great chance to get a fresh start, shed bad habits, and tweak our workflow. Customizing one’s process in Lightroom and reducing dependency upon Photoshop is the key to having a smart, efficient workflow that minimizes our time at the computer and maximizes time spent making images. I’ve been spending the last few months visiting with pros in their studios, auditing their workflows and getting them started on the right foot with Lightroom 4. Here’s are some of the common suggestions that I’m encouraging people to do: (more…)

Workflow Audit with Lightroom 5 Training

I’ve spent nearly 20 years traveling internationally visiting with pros in their studios, reviewing their process and getting them started on the right foot with modern workflow procedures. Choosing software, training, calibrating equipment, lighting implementation, paper choice, print presentation, image critique and setting up one’s work environment are all a part of this process.


Smart workflows allow people to spend more time making images and less time at the computer. I encourage image-makers to reduce their dependency on Photoshop and rely more heavily on (more…)

i1Pro 2 “Raven” Review

the new i1Pro2 systemI have been testing the new i1Pro 2 (codenamed “Raven”) since May of last year. Xrite’s spectrophotometers have evolved considerably since the original i1Pro, so with this next generation device they’ve completely redesigned it from the inside out, and all of the accessories that go with it. It’s a versatile, handheld device that has a lot of advantages over it’s predecessor. With dual light-sources, the i1Pro2 is capable of taking measurements with or without UV information. i1Pro People will particularly love using the new LCD display adapter with it’s comfy beanbag counterweight. The projector stand is surprisingly solid and well made. There’s a new spot measuring adapter who’s swinging nature makes it easy to take a variety of spot measurements quickly in the same way that offset press devices do. In addition to the usual audio feedback, when measuring strips the i1Pro2 has colored lights that indicate successful or unsuccessful measurements. The colored lights also indicate the direction for your next scan. It’s these small tweaks that make the new device really nice to use. The Raven has a different shape than the previous i1Pro so the old accessories (more…)

Using i1Profiler for QTR grayscale measurement and profiling

Recently I wrote an article on “Using ColorPort for QTR grayscale measurement and profiling.” Today I’d like to talk about using i1Profiler v1.3 for QTR grayscale measurement and profiling. I’ve been using i1Profiler’s new “Measure Reference Chart” feature and the new i1Pro2 “Raven” device for a year and now that it’s officially released I can tell you about it.

i1Profiler is XRite’s new professional level application that anyone can download for free at While some of the features require a purchase or dongle, the “Measure Reference Chart” that we’ll use for this doesn’t require a purchase. Measure Reference Chart is  a new feature in i1Profiler version 1.3 so previous users will need to run the free update process to access this feature. While QTR grayscale measurement will work with the i1Pro, i1Pro2 and iSis devices in i1Profiler 1.3, those that purchase the new i1Pro 2 *must* use i1Profiler since ColorPort and other applications don’t support the new device.

Visit to download the 21 and 51 step grayscale workflow files that I’ve made for i1Profiler.  These i1P workflow files can be installed at (more…)

Using ColorPort for QTR grayscale and alt-process profiling

ColorPort is free utility from XRite that allows users to make and measure profiling targets with a wide variety of spectrophotometers, including the versatile 1Pro. This software and hardware combination is the modern day equivalent to yesterdays densitometer that provides much more information and functionality. I’ve been using ColorPort on a daily basis since 2005 and love it’s flexibility and versatility. If one is savvy enough to hack color patch spreadsheets and XML files, one can design beautiful targets for nearly any profiling purpose. I’ve preferred ColorPort over MeasureTool for years, but now that XRite has discontinued MeasureTool and the Mac OS will no longer launch it; color geeks everywhere are making the switch.

B&W inkjet printmakers and Quad Tone RIP (QTR) users in particular will love to hear that I’ve just made it easier than ever to ditch MeasureTool and start using ColorPort. Visit to download the 21 and 51 step gray ColorPort XML files that I’ve made for the i1Pro and iSis. These files can be installed (more…)