Printer Calibration Using the SpyderPrint

written by: Steve Anchell

The dilemma: pleasing colors you see on your monitor may not look the same as those that come out of your printer or match what someone else sees on their monitor. Color calibration allows you to recreate what you see on your monitor, either in a print or on another calibrated monitor, assuming that the other monitor is also calibrated. Good color management has three components, calibrating the camera, the monitor and the printer. Printer profiling involves using either a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer to create a custom ICC pro- file for your device. Both Datacolor and X-Rite make color Read more »


Oil Painting in Photoshop

written by: Steve Anchell

One of the techniques I enjoy using, especially for portraits and landscapes, is converting an image to ap- pear like an oil painting. Photoshop CS6 (PS) has a built-in filter but I don’t care for it as much as this alternate technique. Here are the few easy steps to follow. Start with a high-resolution image, preferably a RAW file. I chose this portrait of a young girl taken under a picnic table in 2004 with an Olympus E-1 DSLR. 1. After opening an image in PS right-click on the background image in the Layers dialog and create a background copy. Read more »

Figure 1. Mel Brown at Christo’s Lounge in Salem. This image was taken towards the end of the set and the noise is substantially worse than at the beginning due to the sensor becoming overheated. Leica M9, 50mm f/2 Summicron lens. ISO 2500, f/4 @ 1/30 second.

Noise Reduction in Digital Photography

written by: Steve Anchell

Much has been made of digital noise being similar to grain in film. And like film grain, the photographer needs to decide to use it or lose it, often depending on the image. For example, if the image is a landscape meant for large format reproduction, then noise is a bad thing, with less being better. On the other hand, if the image is a street scene or a music show, then noise can add a gritty, gutsy feeling, one that is lost by eliminating all the noise. Even if you choose to keep the noise it helps to know Read more »


Creating a Panorama with Lightroom & Photoshop

written by: Steve Anchell

Creating panoramic photos is a fun and easy way to add to your repertoire. In fact, once you learn how easy it is you might even become addicted as many have. The definition of a panorama is an image that has a 2:1 or greater ratio of sides, though ratios up to 3:1 are considered to be the most visually pleasing. Even so, it is not uncommon to see panos that have a 4:1 or even greater ratio. Good panoramas begin in the camera. While it may seem logical to record the subject using horizontal orientation of the camera, a Read more »

Figure 1. To sequence your image for stream-lined placement use Ascending, User Order.

Creating a Photo Book Using Lightroom 4

written by: Steve Anchell

There is almost nothing more gratifying to a photographer than to see their work in print. Due to the cost of publication, prior to online digital publishing it was necessary to print a minimum of 2,000 books, and most photographers opted for an even lower cost/per book print run of 5,000, with an initial investment of $20-50K. Today it is easier than ever to publish your work, and more than that, it can be printed on demand. I am going to introduce you to the rudiments of building a book using Adobe Lightroom (LR), one of the easiest programs I Read more »

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Lightroom: Insider Tips

written by: Steve Anchell

This article is about making your LR experience more productive using some of the lesser known techniques and shortcuts. Software is the conduit by which digital photographers create their images. As such, it is good to have access to as many software tools as possible, onOne Perfect Layers, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, Mediachance Dynamic-Photo HDR, Alien Skin Snap Art, and of course, the mother of all digital imaging software, Adobe Photoshop. Even so, I have often said the only software a digital photographer needs is Adobe Lightroom. If you have this one piece of software you can do any Read more »


Photoshop Actions (and One to Get You Started)

written by: Steve Anchell

While Adobe Photoshop has many great tools to facilitate creativity, it is first and foremost a production tool for professional photographers, graphic artists and designers. What makes PS a tool for the professional is not just what it can do, but how quickly it can do it. To the pro, and to their clients, time is money. Minutes count when charging by the hour, and minutes can add up if you have to reenter repetitive steps every time you want to call up a particular brush or style.

steve anchell, monitor calibration, datacolor, photo technique

Monitor Calibration

written by: Steve Anchell

Do you really need to calibrate your monitor? Perhaps you don’t. Read the following scenarios and see if they fit. Scenario #1 You’ve just captured the world’s greatest landscape. When you released the shutter the light, color and composition were perfect. Never mind that your camera wasn’t calibrated, you’ll fix it in Lightroom. You work on the image in LR until it’s perfect, color, saturation, contrast, shadow detail, luminous clouds with subtle detail in a blue sky. You write it to disk and take it to a really good lab to print. Never mind that your monitor wasn’t calibrated. The Read more »

steve anchell, perfect layers 2

Perfect Layers 2

written by: Steve Anchell

Many digital imagers have found that the program they use the most is no longer Adobe Photoshop but Lightroom, or its Mac dedicated counterpart, Aperture. Color correction, cropping, spotting and printing tools can all be found in these two easy-to-learn and use programs. Even so, they do have their limitations. Simply put, if you need to add special effects to a photo, such as Liquify to apply a digital tummy tuck, then Photoshop is your tool. But most everything else can be done in Lightroom or Aperture. Built into both of these programs, especially Lightroom, is the ability to use Read more »


On the Street: Fuji X100

written by: Steve Anchell

It takes practice to paint a realistic picture. It takes practice to play a guitar. It takes practice to capture the decisive moment with a camera. And just like with painting or guitar playing, while you can use almost any brush or guitar, it helps to have a good-quality sable brush for oil painting, an electric guitar for rock- n-roll, and a viewfinder camera for street photography. I began street photography in the 1970s using an 8×10-inch Agfa-Ansco large-format camera. I would set my Majestic tripod up on a sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles and take formal photos of the Read more »