Who had a 1980’s hit with the song ‘True Colours’?
There were some fantastic entries in the BenQ photo-critique competition at The Photography Show 2015. Visitors to the show were invited to book a free 15 minute photo-critique from an industry-leading expert. The three best images were awarded ‘Photo of the Show, with each winner receiving a fantastic prize. The first place winner will receive a brand new BenQ colour critical monitor and the two runner-ups will be awarded with a framed print of their image.
We are delighted to announce Steven Reid, from Wiltshire, as the winner with his fantastic image ‘Night at the Station’ and the two runner-ups, Meredith Lewis with her image ‘Blackbird’, and Robert Johnston with his image ‘The Dark Stones of Calanais’.
“I am so happy to have won a BenQ PG2401PT, I saw one at the Photo Show and it went straight on my want list,” says Steven. “I entered for the Photo Critique, which was extremely useful, and I have already put into practice some of the pointers I received from Keith. I now feel a winner twice over!”
Steven continues: “The photo was taken as part of a night shoot with reenactors at Kingswear Station on the Paignton to Dartmouth Railway. The reenactors took up their positions and then froze for a couple of minutes. It was then the turn of the photographers to work as quickly as possible to set up their shots and take them before letting the next photographer in to take their shot. I remember getting rather cold and west as the wind and rain swept in at the open end of the station, but it was worth it.”
“When I processed the image I converted it to black and white and tried to invoke a film noir feeling to the image.”
“This image was taken at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in the US Air Force building”, says Meridith. “I really like the aircraft and enjoyed seeing one in person. I was trying to get a nice photo of the shapes of the plane and when the small boy reached up towards the plane I thought it made the shot, as he helps give scale and it seems he is appreciating the Blackbird too”.
“I have been taking pictures of stone circles and standing stones for years now, always in black and white and sometimes in infra-red in order to try to conjure a feeling of mystery,” says Robert. “This was the first time though that I used light painting. I was on a trip to Lewis and Harris in the outer Hebrides in 2013 and was particularly hoping to get a good shot of Calanais (or Calanish) stone circle in Lewis to add to my project. The weather did not oblige though.”
Robert continues: “The lighting was flat, but we had brought two powerful torches, so after dark the circle was lit by two people madly shining their torches around while trying to remain hidden behind the stones. In that sense it was a combined effort. It took about six tries before we got it right. The image is of a portion of the circles with the exposed rocks of the chambered tomb in the foreground. The challenge was to find a way of photographing something that has been photographed many times before but to make it different. Hopefully I succeeded. This image was taken with a Sony Alpha 77 and was converted to black and white using Silver Efex pro 2. The exposure was 30 secs at f8, ISO 800.”
Expert judges Mark Wood and Keith Cooper came to a unanimous decision on these entries. Thank you to everyone that took part and congratulations again, to the winners!
We attended The Photography Show to showcase a range of specialist digital imaging products. This was our biggest ever presence at the four day event. We filled two stands with six of the industry’s leading photographic manufacturers, including X-Rite, NEC, DxO, BenQ, ExpoImaging and Tecco. We hope you had the chance to catch our live model photo-shoots, photo-critiquing and technical demonstrations from a line-up of professional X-Rite Coloratti photographers and digital imaging specialists.
Thank you to those that took part in our prize draw to win over £1,500 worth of photographic equipment. We are pleased to announce that the prize draw winner is Anthony Bower from Stockport. Congratulations Anthony! We hope you are enjoying your prize bundle.
There is just one more sleep to go until The Photography Show 2015. The team here at Color Confidence are excited to meet you all for what will be an informative and action packed four-day event. Visit us on Stand F21 and F31 where we will be showcasing some of the industry’s leading photographic manufacturers, including X-Rite, NEC, DxO, Tecco and our two new vendors BenQ and ExpoImaging.
On Stand F31, BenQ will feature FREE 15-minute photo-critiquing sessions with Architectural Photographer, Keith Cooper and Black and White Visual Artist and Training Consultant, Mark Wood. Our professionals will talk to you about your images and provide you with priceless tips, techniques and suggestions to help you improve your photography. The best image will be awarded ‘Photo of the Show’ with the winner receiving a brand new BenQ PG2401PT colour critical monitor. The two runners up will receive a framed print of their winning photograph. Book your free photo critique session today!
On Stand F21, DxO will be showcasing the latest versions of their products. DxO Image Master and X-Rite Coloratti Frank Doorhof will be delivering live shows on RAW editing. Hector Martinez, DxO Channel Sales & Education Manager, will also be at the show, daily, to demonstrate useful post-production and workflow techniques.
On Stand F31, Eric Sowder and John Baker from ExpoImaging will be available to demonstrate the new and improved Rogue FlashBender 2 range of lighting tools designed for photography enthusiasts and professionals. They will be joined by Commercial Photographer, Adrian Weinbrecht (21st – 22nd March) and Fashion & Celebrity Photographer Frank Doorhof (23rd – 24th March), who will be alternating between the DxO and ExpoImaging stands to do live model photoshoots using the latest Rogue photographic lighting equipment.
On Stand F21, NEC experts Steve Cotton and Rajen Singadia will be available to demonstrate the latest PA Series Desktop Monitors that now come with SpectraView® II calibration software. The PA-SV2 Desktop Series now feature the intuitive software as standard, enabling better management of colour calibration via the 14-bit internal look up tables (LUT). The software can also be used with many of the desktop EA Series monitors and the latest 4K UHD large format displays.
On Stand F21, Arne Luther, Tecco specialist, will be joining us to demonstrate the latest high-quality ink jet papers created for digital photo printing. Tecco paper is well-known for its superb colour fidelity, vibrancy and fast drying times, making it an excellent choice for printing digital photographs using ink jet printers. Tecco will be running an exclusive show offer; buy any two packs of Tecco paper and get a free pack of Photo Matt paper of the same size.
On Stand F21, X-Rite will be showcasing their industry leading colour management products and combining colour management education with photographic inspiration through a series of stunning model photoshoots from X-Rite Coloratti Masters, Frank Doorhof and Adrian Weinbrecht. On Saturday evening (21st March at 7.30pm), Adrian will also be taking photographers on a fantastic Photowalk in Birmingham, where they will get photographic tips and techniques from a world class professional. Register now for your chance to join them!
Visit us on Stand F21 and F31 and enter our prize draw for the chance to win £1,500 worth of photographic equipment. Our Photography Show prize draw bundle is designed to help photography enthusiasts to manage their colour workflow. The package includes products from X-Rite, NEC, Rogue Lighting and Tecco to name but a few.
Great news! Those of you not able to attend the show can still take advantage of special show offers by visiting the Color Confidence website. Don’t miss out on spectacular deals on selected products from X-Rite, BenQ, NEC, and ExpoImaging. These offers are only available for the duration of the show (Saturday 21st – Tuesday 24th March).
NEC is enhancing its award-winning MultiSync® PA Desktop Display Series with SpectraView® II calibration software, so that creative professionals such as photographers, designers and anyone who relies on colour accuracy, can more easily benefit from hardware calibration.
As well as availability in the PA-SV2 Series, creative professionals can also purchase the SpectraView® II as stand-alone software to calibrate selected NEC displays.
The PA-SV2 Desktop Series, consisting of the PA242W-SV2, PA272W-SV2, PA302W-SV2 and PA322UHD-SV2, will feature the intuitive software as standard, enabling better management of colour calibration via the 14-bit internal look up tables (LUT). Industries that rely on colour accuracy, such as photography, videography, graphics and creative design will gain even greater control and benefit over this critical element of their work.
The software can also be used with many of the desktop EA Series monitors and the latest 4K UHD large format displays.
Christopher Parker, Product Line Manager of Desktop Displays at NEC Display Solutions Europe explains: “The importance and benefit of colour accuracy and colour management is connected with the rise of large format display applications in which image content branding and corporate identities increasingly need to be respected”.
Christopher continues: “Additionally, high-end photography is no longer limited to the professional studio, as ‘prosumers’ also seek more life-like results from their displays. We are delighted to welcome SpectraView® II software to the European market, with full confidence that it will continue the success seen in North America.”
The SpectraView® II calibration software is particularly easy to use thanks to its intuitive graphical user interface, with a focus on minimal menu levels and interactive graphical settings.
Even the more complex calibration settings are easy to access and provides advanced control, using the SpectraView® II software. Most standard external sensor calibration devices are supported, as is the latest versions of Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and popular Linux operation systems.
The new SpectraView® II calibration software is available on all PA Series desktop monitors, which are distributed by Color Confidence. The new monitors will be showcased by Color Confidence on Stand F21 at The Photography Show, in Birmingham, this week. For further information, visit www.colorconfidence.com.
There is only one week left until The Photography Show 2015. This is our biggest ever presence at the show and we are excited to keep you all entertained for the four day event! We have an exclusive guest line up of professional X-Rite Coloratti photographers and digital imaging specialists. Get a taster of what’s to come at the show by reading more about our experienced guest speakers.
Fashion & Celebrity Photographer, X-Rite Coloratti
Frank Doorhof is an experienced educator for Kelby One. ‘Mastering the Modelshoot’ is his latest
bestselling book, detailing what a photographer needs to know before, during and after the shoot. Frank and his wife run a photo studio in Emmeloord, Netherlands and specialise in teaching workshops (worldwide) and fashion and celebrity shoots.
On Monday 23rd March and Tuesday 24th March, Frank will be delivering live shows on RAW editing, creating stunning portraits and adding props to a shoot.
Commercial Advertising Photographer, X-Rite Coloratti
Originally from Australia, I was born to a German father and Australian mother. This fortunate mix makes me both highly professional and efficient but also very laid back. Starting at the tender age of 17, I briefly considered a career in law but decided to follow my heart, I haven’t looked back. After 20 years in this business I still genuinely love what I do. Adrian is now considered one of Europe’s leading commercial photographers.
On Saturday 21st March and Sunday 22nd March, Adrian will be leading presentations on Stand F21, focusing on lighting faces, and complementary colours in portraits.
Architectural Photographer, X-Rite Coloratti
Keith’s Northlight Images website is known for its in-depth reviews and articles. Many of which follow from Keith’s strong belief that to get the best and most effective use out of new technologies, it really does help to have some understanding of what they do. Keith also teaches, writes and lectures on photography and colour management.
Keith will be on the BenQ Stand (F31) from Saturday 21st – Monday 23rd March to advise photographers in the photo critique area.
Black and White Visual Artist and Training Consultant, X-Rite Coloratti
Teaching has always been important to Mark. He spent ten years teaching digital imaging and print production in colleges and universities in the UK, before returning to freelance practice in 2003. Mark has written several training courses, including colour management. He works at authorised training centres, and is a certified trainer. A published author, Mark has written for the British Journal of Photography.
Mark will be on the BenQ Stand (F31) on Tuesday 24th March to advise photographers in the photo critique area.
DxO Channel Sales & Education Manager
Hector specialises in street and field photography and is an Adobe Certified Expert. Hector has been perfecting his craft for number of years and knows his way around, both a photography studio, and how to capture the perfect shot when out on location.
Hector will be on the DxO Stand (F21) to demonstrate useful post-production and workflow techniques.
DxO has announced the immediate availability of OpticsPro v10.3, FilmPack v5.1.1 and ViewPoint v2.5.3; the latest updates to its image-processing software. These updates provide support for new cameras such as the Nikon D5500, Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, and Olympus PEN E-PL7, as well as new correction tools and an improved user experience.
With this update, the Nikon D5500, Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, and Olympus PEN E-PL7 benefit from DxO OpticsPro 10’s numerous tailor-made corrections.
The DxO Optics Modules library benefits from the addition of 422 new camera / lens combinations, providing support for such lens manufacturers as Canon, Nikon, and Sony. It also provides support for other third-party brand lenses such as Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, and Sony cameras.
Thanks to its five labs located throughout Europe, DxO has the measuring capacity to ensure an even more sustained rhythm for producing DxO Optics Modules. More than 23,000 camera / lens combinations are currently available.
DxO OpticsPro v10.3’s tools have been optimized both to simplify photographers’ workflow and to boost productivity. A new search engine has been added to the Source Browser to help users easily find and load any folder available on the operating system, by simply typing its name.
The OS X version also offers a new drag-and-drop feature that allows photographers to directly open a folder by dragging it into the Image Browser, providing quicker access to images. The correction tools have been revisited, now adding greater finesse and ease to DxO OpticsPro. The Horizon slider now makes small rotations easier to perform, and the Dust tool is also easier to use.
DxO OpticsPro v10.3, DxO FilmPack v5.1.1 and DxO ViewPoint v2.5.3, updates are available with the latest DxO products, which can be purchased from the Color Confidence website.
To celebrate the launch of the latest DxO software updates, we are offering you 25% off all DxO individual products, and 15% off both the Essential and Elite Suites. This exclusive offer is available until Thursday 30 April 2015.
Color Confidence, Europe’s leading colour management specialist and distributor into the digital imaging markets, has today announced plans to launch an exclusive prize draw at The Photography Show 2015. Visitors to Stands F21 and F31 can simply complete the entry form for the chance to win over £1,500 worth of photographic equipment.
This is Color Confidence’s biggest ever presence at The Photography Show. Stands F21 and F31 will showcase some of the industry’s leading photographic manufacturers, proudly distributed by Color Confidence, including X-Rite, NEC, DxO, BenQ, ExpoImaging and Tecco.
The prize draw bundle is designed to help photography enthusiasts to manage their colour workflow. The package includes the following products:
During the four-day show, the stands will feature live model photo-shoots, photo critiquing and technical demonstrations from a line-up of professional X-Rite Coloratti photographers and digital imaging specialists. There will be DxO presentations running throughout each day. There will also be a Color Confidence Shop where visitors can purchase products from industry leading brands at special show prices.
On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March, X-Rite Coloratti and professional Commercial Photographer, Adrian Weinbrecht will be doing live model photo-shoots throughout the day, using the new and improved range of Rogue FlashBender 2 portable lighting equipment.
On Saturday evening, visitors will be able to accompany Adrian on a Photowalk through Birmingham City Centre where they will get photographic tips and techniques from a world class professional. Places for the photowalk can be booked via the X-Rite Photo Europe website and are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. More information can be found here.
On Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March, X-Rite Coloratti and professional Fashion & Celebrity Photographer, Frank Doorhof will be doing live model photo-shoots and demonstrating how to incorporate DxO imaging editing software into your workflow.
On Stand F31, BenQ will feature free 15-minute photo-critiquing sessions with Architectural
Photographer Keith Cooper and Black and White Visual Artist and Training Consultant Mark Wood. The best three images will be awarded ‘Photo of the Show’, with each winner receiving a fantastic prize. Visitors can pre-book their photo-critiquing session here.
We are offering you 40% off the door price of an adult ticket to The Photography Show. Book your ticket now for only £10.95, using our exclusive discount code CCONTPS15.
This offer is valid until 18 March 2015.
NEC has launched the latest in its SpectraView Reference Series, specially created to obtain the best picture quality for professionals that cannot compromise on colour accuracy. The new SpectraView Reference 322UHD display is 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD), 31.5-inch, and has a 3840×2160 resolution.
The SpectraView Reference 322UHD monitor has been designed for all creative professionals, designers, photographers, video editors and anyone who relies on colour accuracy for their visual work. The display offers the latest 4K UHD super resolution, 10-bit IPS-type IGZO technology with wide colour gamut capability. It reproduces 99% Adobe RGB colour space with 14-bit hardware calibration LUT.
“The NEC 31.5-inch SpectraView Reference display sets a new industry benchmark and users that rely on colour-critical displays will benefit from the continuous improvement in this benchmark. This latest display incorporates many exacting requirements to provide complete colour confidence as well as crucial productivity gains,” said Christopher Parker, Product Line Manager of Desktop Displays at NEC Display Solutions Europe.
Key benefits of the SpectraView Reference monitor include:
The NEC SpectraView Reference 322UHD monitor allows intense viewing with minimal eye strain. The ergonomic set-up and through ‘Picture-in-Picture’ allows for enhanced productivity and multi-platform working. Professionals can be confident in the long term investment through the zero defect pixel warranty for six months after purchase, five year warranty, and can use the extension slot based on OPS Form Factor to upgrade the capability of the display at any time without external cables or devices.
NEC’s Green Vision for sustainability means its 4K UHD products are as eco-friendly as possible, with a combination of low power components, recycled plastics and being free of hazardous materials with several energy saving features.
The NEC SpectraView Reference 322UHD display is distributed by Color Confidence, Europe’s leading colour management specialist and distributor into the digital imaging markets. The new monitor will be available to purchase from Color Confidence from March 2015. For further information, visit www.colorconfidence.com.
As part of my support for local charities, I print and sell images. So I was pleased to win the confidence of a local business to produce a print for their new client room.
Earlier in the year I had captured a few images of a very misty estuary and sailboat, the lighting conditions were unusual because the mist was producing a red cast similar to sunset but whiter highlights on the water.
The client chose this image for the calm serenity that it portrayed.
The sample print had been A4 size and the client wanted an A3, my main concern was getting both the colour temperature accurate to the conditions and keeping what little detail there was in the image, especially at A3 size.
Fortunately help was at hand in the form of DxO Optics Pro v10. I had recently seen a demonstration of the software at the Wilkinson’s Digital Splash exhibition. I was convinced that the software was going to have an impact on my digital workflow.
Optics Pro software looks at the camera body and lens combination you have used to capture an image (works best in RAW) using the EXIF data. It then makes a series of complicated mathematical calculations to adjust the image for any optical & physical corrections required to bring image closer to your intended capture (it won’t correct human errors such as poor focus etc).
The software is straightforward to use with a very intuitive interface, after interrogating your EXIF file the software goes online to get the camera and lens profile combination used from a large database of files (painstakingly created by testing the majority of lens & camera combinations – check if yours are supported).
After a very short time, I had a result which I was quite pleased with, the options of output are quite wide with file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, DNG supported. There is even a plug-in to write directly into Lightroom.
If you want to start customising how your image file is processed, then there is a section to achieve this which has all the attributes that can be tweaked in logical groups: Essential Tools, Light, Colour, Detail and Geometry. Again all of these areas are quite intuitive but if you do require assistance, the help files are excellent – there are online links, tutorials and much more.
There are options to copy the correction settings you have achieved and also to make your own presets.
I like the option to append output files with DxO – as this helps me understand how I have processed an image.
Preparing the image for printing was the next task which was assisted by the use of the X-Rite ColorMunki hardware and software solution.
For any important project like this, I take the precaution of re-calibrating my monitor/screen and then performing a paper/colour profile (ensuring that ink tanks are all sufficient, as any replacement will change the colour output).
It’s very important for me to get the best print without any problems or errors to keep the printing cost as low as possible, this ensures that I can maximise the donation to the chosen charity for which the project is helping.
Most of my images are landscape, wildlife or RNLI action – so I don’t usually have the opportunity to use a X-Rite ColourChecker Passport at the start of any photography but it will be something that I will definitely look at if I start doing people or groups because of the help it can offer in achieving the desired finished print.
My goal is to grow my photography ability and support for charities, spending more time capturing images with a smoother digital workflow to output helps give me the confidence to push my ability and camera to the limit.
Below are the two images
There is an improvement in details, especially in the shadows and the colour profile is much warmer – as it was when originally captured.
I now understand the message that DxO quote on the introduction splash screen “Push the limits of your Camera” as it is difficult to actually start finding the limits, if you can’t accurately see what you are capturing.
Written by Chris Jameson @photo_cj
Chris has worked for a number of charities such as Trinity and RNLI. He donates his time and images to local and regional fundraising groups and often sells images, with the proceeds going to supporting charities.