Thursday, April 26, 2012

'Easy as' photo website

Just finished revamping This qualifies as the fastest website redesign I have ever done thanks to  the "LRB Exhibition" plugin for Lightroom. The largest part of the job was curating the pictures to include in the galleries. Once that was done I simply had to work down a (long) list of options - ticking boxes, choosing colours, setting layout, and entering text. Then I published locally, made a few tweaks and published to the web-server. Checked out the result on an iPad and a netbook, tweaked and republished and it was done.

What I like is the ease of maintenance - simply drag a new picture into the 'web-site' collection in Lightroom, adjust the picture count for the gallery, and republish; LRB Exhibition takes care of the rest. Cool and quick.

LRB Plugins also have other web gallery options - "LRB Portfolio" and "LRB Showcase" along with other Lightroom tools. Well worth checking out at Thanks Sean McCormack.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Photoshop CS6 Beta - first thoughts

As a certified 'skinflint', I have been using Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 for my picture making. Coupled with Lightroom 4, they make a very competent pair of products at a competitive price (about NZ$400 direct from Adobe). Then I decided to download the Photoshop CS6 Beta ...

I like it; a lot.

That general "like" aside, I was able to identify eight features of CS6 that I would use with some frequency (in addition to those features I already use in PSE10). They are (in order of discovery):
  1. A complete 16 bit, end to end, workflow. (PSE 10 is effectively limited to 8 bit)
  2. The new "Adaptive wide angle" filter - excellent straightening results for little effort
  3. The new photographic blur tools
  4. The additional adjustment layers available over and above those in PSE10
  5. Being able to use my Topaz plugins as "smart filters"
  6. The "Content aware patch tool"
  7. The Art History brush for photo painting effects
  8. A simplified workflow when compared to PSE10 (2 files instead of 3) 
These are quite significant additions for a photographer (designers may have a different set). The problem I am left with is this: Is the value of these eight features worth the additional NZ$930 price of CS5/6 over PSE10? In all honestly, I think the answer should be, "no way". But, what will I do when the beta runs out in June?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Arts in Oxford - April exhibition

Monday, we finished preparing the gallery for the April exhibition - "A Vast View" - paintings by Maree White and Adrienne Ranson. If you can't make it to Oxford you can take a virtual tour here: (don't forget to click through to the back gallery where the main exhibition works are).

I always enjoy hanging an exhibition; it's a great opportunity to meet new artists and hanging an exhibition is a great way to collaborate with a small team - a necessary break from working alone.

Part of the Arts in Oxford gallery space

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Topaz Filters - the big picture

Having written about Topaz DeNoise a couple of weeks back, I was going to follow that up with a quick write up about "Topaz Infocus". However, Topaz just came out with this cool video which talks about how all eleven Topaz products work together, so I thought it would be worthwhile sharing the video. I'll come back to "InFocus" later on.