Monday, May 23, 2011

Screen Callibration - Ouch

Wow! I'm starting to do prints seriously and I'm thinking that my eyes are playing tricks on me. To be honest, up until now, I haven't really cared much about calibrating my screen for print as I've always thought that there wouldn't be much difference from screen to print and the difference would be minor.

However, now that I am doing serious printing, there's a need to calibrate it properly especially when I sent 2 photo books to print and they both came back too saturated. I did a simple "eye ball" calibration. That is:
1. Printed a high quality natural light with proper skin tones photo on high quality paper.
2. Put that next to my screen and used a special program to view the photo
3. adjusted colors, color temperatures and gamma on the screen.

The next step is to get a Spyder or something, but just by doing this simple visual thing, I get such a radical difference!

Poll question: which is better? The top one or the bottom one on your screen?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brokenvase Photos' Got a Print Pricelist!

5 Friends and a Toddler by Mervin Chiang
5 Friends and a Toddler, a photo by Mervin Chiang on Flickr.
I've finally got around to completing my chosen list of printers for various products. From normal photo prints and enlargements to Canvases and photo books.

What you'll realise though is that I will never be able to compete in price with your "mass printers" like Big W or Harvey Norman. You will however, get a more controlled quality print instead. I can't control what printers customers use once they get the digital negatives from me. Their printers may have off colors or copped the image unprofessionally.

What I'll do before printing is to treat or re-treat the images if required before sending them to the printers and ensure optimal final quality before delivery.

Prices if interest here:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Retouching Birth Marks

Retouching Birth Marks, originally uploaded by Mervin Chiang.

Retouching is sometimes viewed as an art form or a skill once highly revered during film days. Now with modern technology it is relatively easy. Spots are easily removed. Double chins and eye bags are "photoshopped" out.

The question is, do we want to? Many people might jokingly ask for it. But do you really want a "porcelain" looking family portrait? Sure if it were a fashion magazine shoot, but for family and children, don't you want to retain some "realness" in the photos?

This photo is an example of that. I did 2 versions for the parents to decide which they want. The "could have been" shot versus the reality shot. They chose to keep the reality! They felt that it is what made her a unique individual. In fact she is proud of this birth mark she has! I was told that she'll be upset if I took it out.

I have known Isabel since she was young and I can tell that this mark of hers is slowly fading. Who knows? When she is older, it'll be completely gone and photos are her only way to remember she had them.

Interesting learning!