Friday, April 11, 2014

A Simple Photography Tip for Today, Calibrate Your Computer Monitor's Color for Editing Photos

This is an unsolicited posting on my blog today, but one I feel is important for new photographers to know about.

While it may seem like a big deal today, as to what computer you are using to surf the web or doing most tasks one does with a computer, almost any computer will work. Mac or PC, new/faster older/slower eventually you will get the job done.

If you are a photographer, professional or hobbyist, just about any computer can get the job done. There is one thing that may not be apparent though, the monitor you are using to adjust your photos color and white balance can make a big difference as to what you are printing or sending to the web for others to see. Not so much the type of monitor, but calibration of any monitor, PC or MAC.

You can be using the newest LED monitor or a back lit LCD screen or even an older cathode ray tube monitor, what is important is that you calibrate your monitor so that you know what you are adjusting on your screen, and looks good to you is what everyone else is seeing, your are adjusting with a standard that will look good on the web or print good when sent to a photo lab or printer.

Imagine if every car's speedometer on the road was not calibrated, one person may think he is driving 45 mph and another person next to him driving the same speed is seeing 55 mph. Who is right, well if we have calibrated speedometers at least fairly close to each other, we are all driving to a standard. The same is true of colors on computer monitors.

Many monitors and laptops on the market tend to have more of a blue tint to them, so people who edit photos with these will tend to publish photos to the web that may appear overly saturated with red or their contrast seems to high when printing.

Have you ever taken your shots that looked great on your computer and loaded them into the photo kiosk machine only to find the prints look awful. There are a couple possibilities, the photo machine and printer at the store is off or your photos are off.

ColorMunki Display Calibrator


There are a number of hardware calibrators out on the market.One popular one that I have had success with ColorMunki Display calibrator. This a simple device that plugs into you USB port and will sit against your monitor screen and run a series of color tests and create a color profile for your monitor, readjusting your monitor slightly so the colors and intensity you see on your screen is at an industry standard and when you send your photos to be printed or uploaded to the web, they are actually how you saw them after editing in the digital dark room. Whether you use Photoshop, Lightroom, Digital Photo Professional, Aperture, Paintshop Pro or what ever your favorite photo editing software is, working with a calibrated monitor can make all the difference between saving bad images, OK images or stunning images.

To the average person that is not into photography, this isn't that important, but to us photographers it is important.

Here is a LINK to ColorMunki Display by X-Rite.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow turned Southeastern Pennsylvania into a Winter Wonderland

Feb. 4, 2014
Yesterday's snow turned the area into a winter wonderland. After digging out from the snow this morning, it was time to grab the cameras and head out across Bucks County and capture as many great images as possible.

Many of the older historic homes in Bucks were transformed into post card picture scenes with the heavy snow that fell.

Tyler Park



Tyler Park provided many great photo opportunities like this giant tree that fell in a past storm, now covered with snow.


These are scenes along the Neshaminy Creek in Tyler Park.



The snow covered trail across from the Boat House.


 Here we see the Tyler Park office building across the snow covered field.




At the upper side of the park, we see the tree lined drive going back to the Tyler Center for the Arts.




The Spring Garden Mill

The Spring Garden Mill, home of the Langhorne Player Theater Company, is covered in snow.
                                                                

New Hope


New Hope was another location transformed with winter magic.





The Hearth Restaurant

While walking along Main Street in New Hope, I saw Steve the owner of the Hearth Restaurant clearing the walk outside. He gave me a cheerful greeting and we chatted about the snow and he showed me his restaurant set in a beautiful old historic building on Ferry Street just around the corner from the Bucks County Play House. The restaurant serves Vegetarian and Vegan food. You can find the menu on the Hearth website at this LINK.

I know I am going to stop back here and try out some items on the menu. This also looks to be an excellent setting fro some great photos.  Would we expect anything less in New Hope.

This was the view looking down to the Delaware River on Ferry Street.

Here is the Bridge connecting New Hope and Lambertville crossing the Delaware River.

 These two shots were taken just North of town.


Washington Crossing

My next stop was Washington Crossing Park.
  

Here is the drive into Washington Crossing Park. The fence line and Thompson-Neely House was a nice wintery land scape.








Newtown
I did a swing through Newtown and captured three quick shots.




Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Winter Wonderland In Bucks County

Today's photo blog is full of snowy scenes in Bucks County, PA around New Hope, Washington Crossing and Churchville. Winter brought us another 10-12 inches of snow turning our area into a winter wonderland.

The first photo is of the Revolutionary War Soldier's graves. All these head stones are marked Un-kown Soldier. The grave yard is several hundred feet from the Delaware canal in Washington Crossing Park. You can learn more about the Soldier's Graves by visiting the Pennsylvania Historical Commission website at this link.

Unknown Soldiers Graves Continental Army - Rev. War 1776 at Washington Crossing Park


 The view along the canal in Washington Crossing Park was beautiful in the morning. There were few tracks, here we see someone walking with his dog along the frozen canal. You can really get an idea of the size of the old trees in this shot.
Snowy walk along the Delaware Canal at Washington Crossing Park


The New Hope & Ivyland railroad station in New Hope is right next to the Delaware canal, just behind this antique Christmas display that was on the train platform at the New Hope station.

Christmas Stories along the Canal at the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad


The cold wind blowing fresh snow from the tops of passengers cars. The temperature was 14'F degrees, a very brisk morning in New Hope,

The blowing snow catching sun rays.


This was the scene walking through Washington Crossing this morning.







A few miles from the canal lies the Washington Crossing National Cemetery. The white snow and grave markers in the morning sun create a unique landscape that can only be seen a few times throughout the winter.

A Fresh Blanket of Snow on the Graves at Washington Crossing National Cemetery

A Fresh Blanket of Snow on the Graves at Washington Crossing National Cemetery


Sheep huddled in the open barn at the Thompson-Neely House in Washington Crossing. Learn more about the Thomson-Neely House at this.link.
If you look closely you can see sheep in the barn.


Sheep making good use of their thick wool coats today.


The Churchville Nature Center looking a little extra scenic today.

The old tractor at the Churchville Nature Center covered in snow.