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Author Topic: Digital as a Landscape Artist's Assitant?  (Read 2742 times)
Bobtrips
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« on: May 19, 2004, 01:01:11 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I'd suggest starting with a bit of editing work on the images from your existing cameras and perhaps a monitor calibration.  "Dark" and "dull" are easy fixes.

I assume that your wife is working from a decent size print?  (She probably doesn't even need the fine detail that a high rez camera would produce at 8"x12".)  If your monitor matches your printer output (or the output of the printing service you use, the let her play with the saturation/brightness/contrast on the screen until it matches her memory/'vision' and then make a print.

On the other hand, if you're looking for an excuse to purchase a new camera don't make any of the above suggestions to her.    Cheesy[/font]
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2004, 04:24:58 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Just diddling with contrast and brightness usually does it and this will also compensate for a poor or poorly calibrated monitor.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']BAD advice. If your monitor is badly calibrated, yes, you can adjust things in Photoshop, but now there is only one device in the world that display the image properly: your badly calibrated piece of s##t monitor. On any properly calibrated and profiled monitor or printer, the image will look oversaturated or washed out. This is especially critical if you have your prints made at your local Costco or whatever. You have to have a monitor that is decently calibrated if you ever want to do anything with the image other than display iit on that particular monitor. If your monitor is well-calibrated, you can send your image to any lab with good color management and get an excellent print, if it isn't, fuhgeddaboudit.[/font]
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joedevico
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2004, 08:13:58 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Didger,

Since you are buying a 1ds (or have already done so), I hope you don't think that your prints can't match your monitor. Although there are sublte differences due to color gamut and direct versus reflected light conditions. My on screen images are near exactly like my prints on my proper calibrated monitor using the proper printer profiles.

You just need to spend a little money and time on calibration and proper workflow. There is also what I call "poor man's calibration" that I teach at some workshops. In essence, you print a macbeth color chart or similar on your desired printer. Get the light levels in the room controlled and set the print in your "viewing place" then adjust the monitor to match the print as closely as possible.

After that your monitor will display your images as they will print on that device, under those lighting conditions as you see them. Obviously not nearly as good as the real thing, but if you tweak it every week or so by comaring other prints from the same setup, you can get very good results for free. This is what most of the clients who attend my introduction to digital need. They all have the free copy of Photoshop Elements or LE that came with their cameras, but can't understand why tweaking with the controls doesn't help their 4x6 prints which either look to muddy or washed out when printed at the local Costco or CVS pharmacy.

This may help the original poster.[/font]
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Joe DeVico
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didger
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2004, 09:42:35 AM »
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Since you are buying a 1ds (or have already done so), I hope you don't think that your prints can't match your monitor.
I have the 1ds and the 7-200 lens and am waiting for lots of other stuff.  I wasn't concerned about color matching for my own material.  My printer is in any case not good enough for serious color accuracy.  If I were doing the painting reference thing I would just bypass the whole color matching issue and work from a laptop monitor.  Quickest, easiest way.
For my own work, I'd very rarely if ever be printing anything.  I have a Mac 23" monitor and the default setup is supposed to be very accurate and everything certainly looks right.  I'm aiming everything I shoot toward digital distribution media (stock photography houses) and with that big high res monitor, I don't think I need to see prints to verify what I have; certainly not prints from my modest inkjet printer.[/font]
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2004, 06:15:36 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']For my own work, I'd very rarely if ever be printing anything. I have a Mac 23" monitor and the default setup is supposed to be very accurate and everything certainly looks right. I'm aiming everything I shoot toward digital distribution media (stock photography houses) and with that big high res monitor, I don't think I need to see prints to verify what I have; certainly not prints from my modest inkjet printer.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']If you're sending files to other people, especially stock agencies, etc. that have quality standards, then monitor calibration is very important. No monitor is very color accurate "out of the box". Even Artisans and other high-dollar models have calibration devices that keep them displaying accurate color. Monitors also drift over time as the phosphors in the picture tube or the LCD backlight age, affecting color and overall brightness. Don't cheap out in this area, editing and color correcting with an uncalibrated monitor will negate all of the advantages of the rest of your equipment.[/font]
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crbbbb
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2004, 12:21:41 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']My wife is a landscape artist (oil painter) and though she paints from nature as much as possible, would like a digital camera to help lock in light, form and colors for later use in the studio.  She has been using a Nikon film camera for this, but would like to try digital.

I have some photography background, both film and digital, but am overwhelmed by the number of choices out there.   I am also not really thrilled by the landscape type images (land with sky) I have been getting from my old Olympus and my newer Canon S100.  With both these, the image is usually under exposed (dark), a bright blue sky is gray and in general very dull.  

Can you recommend a camera that would be suitable?   Criteria include 8 x 10 quality prints, good color rendition, good color latitude and roughly under $1000.   Used is okay.  I've been considering a used Canon D30.  

Thanks,

Craig Bumgarner[/font]
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didger
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2004, 10:04:37 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I second the motion about not buying a new camera!!  I have a friend that's been a commercial photographer and also been doing a lot of landscape photography for years, but so far mainly film.  About a year ago he just had to do some instant test shots and he borrowed my Canon S20 3.4 Mpixel point and shoot and he was so blown away by the quality that he now has one also and he occasionally uses it on actual client shots, not just test shots, as long as it's a situation where the client never gets to see the camera!!  By uprezzing in Photoshop he's gotten respectable 16x20 prints too.
The point is not that this now almost obsolete S20 is some kind of miraculously good point and shoot.  Rather, unless you need a huge amount of resolution and a lot of fancy features that will have you reading the manual before every shot, almost any digital camera will do what you need and even the best digital camera will require a reasonably good and reasonably well calibrated monitor and often you'll need to do a little Photoshop tweaking of images.  Just diddling with contrast and brightness usually does it and this will also compensate for a poor or poorly calibrated monitor.[/font]
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didger
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004, 02:19:05 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Umm, actually, I was thinking more like not ever printing anything for use as a painting reference, but working straight from the monitor, but now that I look back I see mention of making 8x10 prints.  It's still not clear, though, if the print requirement referred to is part of the painting reference thing.
For painting reference I'd use a laptop and just make exactly the Photoshop color adjustments I want for my painting and not make a print because unless you have quite a good printer, the colors aren't going to match what's on your nicely calibrated monitor anyway.  You might end up fussing around quite a bit getting a print that's just what you want for your painting reference, whereas getting what you want directly on the monitor is very easy unless your picture is really far off.[/font]
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2004, 09:21:51 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']My wife also uses her digicam for this purpose as she rarely gets the chance to paint on site. These comments apply to how SHE works and it may not be relevant to you but here goes.

Before you invest money in extensive colour matching/profiling, you might find that the "exposure" problem that you described is probably a simple monitor setting problem as others have stated, as it's not likely both your digicams' exposure are that far off. Getting it "close" to right may be easy and cheap. (The Norman Koren site among others describes easy and cheap ways to get the basic settings right.) My wife doesn't sweat the exact colour matching much since what she ends up painting is what she "sees" anyway and not necessarily reality. This may not apply to how your wife paints however, but if it is, don't bother spending the additional money on profiling until she's sure she needs it. With very little effort our set-up, Canon G3, HP inkjet, Picture Publisher, is as close as it needs to be with no custom profiling. I may have just gotten lucky of course.[/font]
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2004, 02:04:15 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']It's a little difficult to clip a laptop to the upper corner of an easel....   ::[/font]
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didger
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2004, 10:54:02 PM »
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t's a little difficult to clip a laptop to the upper corner of an easel....
That's for sure.  The easels I'm familiar with are tripod type arrangements, so there's an upper apex, but no upper corners.

In any case, where there's a will there's a way.  A tall stool or something for the laptop.  Laptop also has the big advantage that you can zoom in on specific areas as you're working on details of those areas in your painting.  Tough to do with an 8x10 print.[/font]
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