Photography

Upcoming Seminars

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Every year I host several seminars on various topics. This is list of upcoming seminars I will be doing. It will be updated as the details are worked out for each seminar.

Colour Theory and Management At Xerox Canada
8:30 am July 14, 2009 at 237 Brownlow Ave, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

I am a colour consultant at Xerox and we offer seminars on colour management and workflow to our customers every year. This seminar is designed for professionals in graphics arts. The intended audience is prepress and production people who need to know how to setup colour management workflows and solve colour problems. You can contact me at peter.steeper@xerox.com for a complete curriculum. This full day seminar is $395 per person and group discounts are available.

X-Rite I1 Pro and ColorChecker

X-Rite I1 Pro and ColorChecker

How to Photograph Flowers
Saturday July 4th, 2009
Daylily Daze
Hammonds Plains Baptist Church, 1839 Hammonds Plains Rd.
9:30 to 3:00 pm
Seminar is from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Mardi Gras Parade (Pink Daylily for Photographers)

Mardi Gras Parade (Pink Daylily for Photographers)

My wife belongs to several garden clubs and I usually give several seminars every year on this topic. My presentation will be one hour in length sometime during Daylily Daze hosted by the Nova Scotia Daylily Society on July 4th. I’ll update the start time when I know.

I will be doing a live demonstration of how to get the best results with your flowers. It is suitable for both point & shoot and dSLR camera users. I’ll have a few tips for photographers on how to preserve their marriage by not damaging designer daylilies. (I didn’t know they were that expensive!)

Digital Photography Basics
September 2009 –  More info to come

This seminar is hosted by the Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia. This was very successful last year. It will include theory and practical hands on. Watch for more details.

Printing for Photographers
April 2010
Hosted by Truro Image Makers Photo Club

This seminar is how to turn your images into a high quality print on your inkjet and other types of printers. I’ve been very succesful in print competitions for photographers and printing is what I do at Xerox. More information will be posted before the event.

Tour de Bloc

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We have just returned from the Tour de Bloc where Ian was competing in the Men’s Open at the national bouldering competitions. He did very well and placed 11th in Men’s Elite and 36th in the Men’s Open. This was his second time at the nationals and we expect he will be competing in the nationals again next year. His friend and mentor, John Bowles, placed first and will competing in the Bouldering World Championship in China this year. I have posted lots of pictures of the event at Flickr. The event was held at Allez Up in Montreal which is an excellent climbing gym with 48 foot walls and a bouldering area.

RAID Drive Upgrade

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I’ve run out of space again on the drive for my pictures. Maybe I should use the delete key more often or use less layers in Photoshop files. Or save to TIFF when a print is finished.

I have one drive that is dedicated to pictures and about two years ago I bought a RAID system after almost losing all my pictures one weekend. I went from three copies of everything to one after having two new drives fail in one weekend. It was a scary weekend. The new drives had been purchased on sale for a very low price. It turns out they were refurbished. I returned the drives and upgraded my computer with a RAID system two days later. Things have been good until lately when I started running out of room again.

This weekend I am replacing the four 160MB drives in the RAID with four 500MB drives. This will increase space for pictures from 465GB to 1.4TB. As long as I don’t buy that Canon 50D with the 15MP images the upgraded RAID should last for several years. At least the RAID is cheaper than having film developed so I shouldn’t grumbled about the cost (but I do anyways).

The process for upgrading the RAID is taking much longer than I expected. I thought it would take one day but it will take two days. The first step is backing up all the data on the old setup which took seven hours using an USB drive. You don’t notice the backup time when you are doing automatic backups at night. I disconnected all the old drives but I didn’t remove from the chassis while moving the cables to the new drives. I labeled all the cables and drives with a marker to avoid mix ups. I won’t remove the old drives from the chassis until I know the new drives are working successfully. I have had problems in the past with upgrades and I don’t like to finalize the physical installation until the data is successfully transferred in case I need to roll back to the old drives.

After connecting the new drives I needed to configure the RAID controller to recognize the new drives. This is done at bootup and only takes a few seconds. Then the RAID had to be formatted. This is a very long process. Formatting started at 9:00 am on Saturday and it was only 75% done at bedtime. Fortunately it was complete this morning. Now the data is being restored to the RAID and I expect this will take another seven hours. I’ll have lots of time for other projects today while I am waiting.

Another important tip: Keep the cat out the room with the computer. The case is open and wires are hanging out. Hank, our cat, thought this would make a great play toy. Having cables yanked out during the restore will probably add two days to the process.

Profiling a Projector

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At the Photo Guild we have been projecting digital images for several years. Last year we purchased a Canon Realis SX6 projector to replace our old projector. This projector supports up 1400 x 1050 resolution and AdobeRGB. We had the projector profiled in September at the start of our fall season but we had many complaints about the colour of the projected images.

Recently I received an upgrade to my spectrophotometer at work including a license for creating ICC profiles for projectors. This was an excellent opportunity to test the new spectrophotometer.

To create a good projector profile it needs to be profiled with same setup as it will normally be used. To accomplish this, Elio Dolente, the current president of the Guild and I booked the auditorium at the Museum of Natural History where the Guild meetings are held. One the problems we have is that members borrow the projector and change the settings and then the profile is no longer valid.

The Guild has a MacBook Pro to use but most of the members use PCs and our competition software only works with Windows so we use Windows XP on the Mac. Windows can only support one monitor profile while Mac OS X can support multiple profiles for monitors and attached projectors. Windows has to be setup so it knows which is the primary monitor and the profile is loaded for this monitor. The Mac uses an nVidia video card and we had the nVidia control panel loaded in Windows XP. While this helped, it took some experimenting to understand how the nVidia driver worked with the monitor and projector. We eventually determined how to make the projector the primary monitor and it also fix some of the problems we were having with screen resolution. The MacBook is 1440 x 900 and the Canon projector is 1400 x 1050.

After setting up the laptop we setup the projector. The projector supports sRGB, AdobeRGB, movie, presentation as well as many custom settings. We reset the projector to the factory defaults and tested sRGB and AdobeRGB. We decided sRGB was the best choice for our base setting. Once these choices were made we profiled the projector. The results were much better than our previous results.

At the next competition the reviews were excellent and the members were pleased with the results. We still had 3-4 images where the reds are over saturated but I need to check these images to see if it is a problem with the projector or the images. I suspect it is the images as 95% of images had excellent colour.

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