Skill: Understanding RGB Color Profiles!

Learning About Color Profiles

One of the best things to learn the easy way is color profiles. If you have to learn this the hard way, you won’t be happy. Not at first anyways.

In Photoshop and some mid to high end cameras, there are different color profiles. So what’s the problem? Well depending upon how your going to use those images, you will have to convert them to the right color profile. If you want to get good results.

If you have ever had a print made and it just doesn’t look right, the problem isn’t your eyes or that you didn’t take a good image. The problem could be that the color profile is wrong for what you want to use it for.

There are standard color profiles that are most commonly accepted, one of these is the sRGB profile. Most people will never have to deal with this,   However if you have ever had to find out the hard way you know what I’m talking about.

Working with RGB Color Profiles

So which color space do you work in? If you want to do high end work and have the best colors possible, your likely working in Adobe or ProPhoto. The color space matters with your camera. The problem is that when you try to make a print of the image the colors don’t match and don’t look right.

This is because the color profile your using doesn’t match the output device color profile. Sometimes you have to contact the photo finisher to find out what will work with their system, but the standard is sRGB.

So what do I do? Well you want the photograph to be in the best color space possible right? Then you have to never convert your original photograph to a lower color space image and always save a copy of the image with the fewer colors of sRGB for displaying on screens or having prints made from digital photographs.

I have found that using Adobe Lightroom and the export function to be very useful. It will work for preserving the original image and converting the new image to .jpg and the right color space. This option is in the export dialog box in Lightroom. See Image:

For a really technical description of color profiles and there different uses and how to use them, see this link: Understanding Color Space .

Once you understand the basics it gets much easier to deal with!! Don’t forget to always properly convert your images to the right color space!!

Re Writing Writers Block, The Challenges

Learn to Start Writing

When you hear about writers block you think of the pain and agony of sitting in front of a blank sheet that has nothing on it and that the words simply won’t appear from nowhere. There has been much research on the subject of writers block.

My findings are simple.

  • Write everyday.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

The psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler and many others focused on the process of writing which linked several things to the problem.

Writing It’s Not Simple

There are two stages that writers block can happen at. One is the creative process. The second is our emotional state. Factors like illness, fear of failure, financial problems and our own expectations can lead to emotional turmoil that makes it difficult to write.

While there have been many people that have offered solutions to this problem. Everyone that sits down to write will still suffer some form of writers block or blank page syndrome. There are many good solutions to this problem, and it helps to know that your not alone in your suffering.

Writing Resources

A few of the resources that I have found that range from books like “The Artist’s Way” or “Coaching the Artist Within”. They focus on good solutions that make sense. The best advice I have heard is that keeping a free flowing form of a journal will be your best friend. Also writing often even if it’s not perfect will keep your love of the craft growing.

I have thought about the way I have worked over the years and today considered a few points that I know about myself. The first part of my writers block comes from not knowing how to begin. The second part of my writers block comes from self-censorship. I think everyone has the fear of what if they don’t like what I write?

Fear of Writing

Cyril Connolly said, “It’s better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self”. I agree, I know that my writing isn’t great or the best in the world. What I do know is that I can write, because I have done so almost everyday for five years.

With that experience comes a feeling, writing doesn’t have to be scary. If someone doesn’t like what you have to say, they don’t have to read it.

The two main points here are that if your really serious about breaking the writers block that you first have to know yourself and your creative mind. The second point is you must have no fear and reject any self censorship while writing the first draft.

Determination

I know not all people will agree with me. The other things that help are not writing perfectly with spelling, capitalizations, or perfect punctuation. Just write everyday for ten minutes at the fastest speed possible in free flow of words and never edit them. Learn to write what you write and get a feel for putting it down.

Practice this and you will find that your fear vanishes, those blank pages are waiting to be filled. You have the strength to put something down. I think that everyone should write. Everyone should do the best they can, and everyone should be happy to have the freedom to do such.

Conclusion

Write everyday, with practice comes talent.

If you still need some inspiration, see this article.

Future Work Direction To Think About…

Getting Direction Is Tough

I’m changing my direction by a slight amount in the near future. I feel it’s best to do something with my books, my photography, and my computer talents. I’m still looking for full time work, however it needs to be a job that I can work from remotely.

With today’s technology there is every reason that I can do everything that needs done from the comfort of my own personal work space. I want to focus on making my website here to be the best experience I can, in addition I plan to add a lot of cool features and products available to those who may be interested in what I’m doing now and in the future.

Writing Direction

I also have plans to write another book. It’s been a few years since I last undertook the actual process of writing an entire book. I think with my experience in the last year; that I have grown to the point that I can do a fine job with expressing something for entertainment purposes.

That really is what people want is to be entertained. I think that because of the books I have read, that I write to make people think, without the factor of trying to entertain them. Well maybe my ideas will be the laughing point in the future, but I still hope that people will think about the main points. Maybe I can make a fusion of the two and make something that both entertains and makes people think. I hope so. This direction is one way to go, there are many options.

Digital Work Loads…

Digital Work Loads

Digital work loads can be over whelming when not thought out properly. That is where experience comes in handy. To understand the whole process and how everything works is really important.

Be sure to have a clear plan and work from a real idea and goal toward what you want to accomplish. Keep focused on the goal even when things don’t go as planned, you have to keep the focus on what you want to accomplish.

Daily Grind

It can be easy to get lost in the daily grind and forget what matters the most. In most cases it’s important to be balanced and have a good clear head about the goals and remembering what is practical and what kind of results to expect. You don’t always get the results you want the first time around.

That is where the person that doesn’t give up will always win out in the long run. Some people are easily deterred or get caught up in distractions that don’t lead to results. You have to have the fight in you to keep going.

Photography:

Photography Experience

I have almost twenty-five years experience in photography, it is a creative passion of mine that has brought me a great deal of enjoyment and peace of mind.

I like to create photographs for other people and do what I can to inspire others. The creative work I have done for myself is only expressions of what is around me and the opportunities I have had while just being present in my life. I’m sure there are some things that have been missed, sometimes the best photos are the ones you hold in your heart and mind.

Over the years there have been many failures and successes. At first the failures were quite devastating and were very difficult to recover from. However after years of experience the failures have become fewer and I have changed my attitude towards each one of them into something positive.

By learning from my mistakes, there is opportunity for growth and to gain new experiences. Those are positive things that anyone can use to get better.

Over the years I have done many exciting photography projects. A few of the opportunities include photographing SpeedWay Motorcycle racing in California as the official track photographer and having done some portraits for Radio show talk hosts.

Current Projects

Some of my current projects have included photographing custom jewelry and events for people that needed memories to remember the times that were.

I want to take portraits of creative people for their use in promoting themselves and show a depth and creative edge that they can stand out and truly shine. If your interested in seeing my work, and discussing your needs, feel free to contact me to start the process of meeting your needs.

Resume Available: Christopher

I’m looking for work in web design or backend programming. I also know Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, and some InDesign. I have a background in photography and in depth knowledge with Macintosh computers. I also understand computer networking, DNS, and server administration.

I have used Unix, Linux and some experience with Windows. I can design relational databases, with previous experience with FileMaker Pro and also using MySQL with web servers. PHP, Perl, some AJAX, and if there is an example I can figure it out. Motivated self learner with focus on growth.

If you want to see my full resume, I can send it to you. I’m looking for a full time job, until then if there is some freelance work I can do; that would be a start.

Building Blocks…

Life can be challenging, if we accept the challenges and build our lives around them; then we can always be growing and learning. I’m rather excited about the way my projects are going right now. After several weeks of intensive labor and effort I think progress has been made.

My book is completed and available for sale on Lulu, I have my website finished, I have a book cover to design and to convert the book into ePub format to finish it. I’m working on a design this week.

I want creative challenges and need something that makes me learn and grow in new ways. So far everything I have done has been very rewarding but somehow I want to do a lot more. I need to work on the graphics for my pages and come up with a finished idea that looks just right. I have two designs to consider, my hope is that I can pick one.

There has to be a point that we consider ourselves successful and to let that record stand in our mind and heart. By doing the best we can do everyday, and always challenging ourselves to do more; we can grow to be self reliant and successful no matter what our situation.

My Resume:

Finished my resume and feel it’s ready to go. Those of you that are looking to hire friendly and talented people in technology are welcome to contact me for the full report.

I have found that self reliance is absolutely crucial to success. If you don’t have some self reliance then your not going to be successful in what you do. You have to be able to accomplish what you want on your own, and finish what you start.

Make a plan and follow through by executing each step along the way. Sometimes one or two steps don’t go the way we planned, that’s where patience and determination come in, you have to keep going and find ways to make it work. Don’t give up, find a way to do it right.

You can contact me here at ctopher@42bitpi.com for my resume, work history, and references.

Talent Perl:

I started writing perl scripts back in 2000 when I wanted to do something with the log files from the Pix firewall and Cisco routers and switches. It was slow going and I found it difficult to wrap my mind around the language that required Regex and processing large files.

The learning process took me many years, there were many failures and a few success’s. As I progressed with patience I learned skills and found that it all started to make sense. There is nothing like sticking with something until you have mastered it.

Fast forward about fifteen years, I have written perl scripts that do basic things with dates and times, to much more complex things like generating a complete ePub document from just a text file. I write clean code and it works every time. Well every time after it’s been debugged and tested.

I’m really proud of my abilities in perl and feel that it is a major accomplishment to have progressed like I have. I went from trying to do basic things to actually having things that work with what I wanted to do.

Learning how to use perl with mySQL and using DBI and DBD to insert and show records in perl has been a real blessing. I have found that I can automate processes for importing data to live databases from FileMaker Pro with successful imports into databases in mySQL.

If you want to see my perl scripts and see what I have written, I will offer to let you see my source code. Just ask.

We won’t talk about the years I spent trying to generate random numbers, to quote the best thing I ever heard, “Anyone that thinks they can generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course living in a state of sin.” – John von Neumann

Starting Now

I am starting now, in all due diligence and with the faith that I have both the talents and ability to find what I’m looking for. Last night I spent several hours working on my Resume, and feel that I have a good start towards working for the right company in the near future.

One must always have the courage to try. I have found some good places to start looking for work and hope that things will work out. I hope that I can find a flexible employer and that I will be living my dreams soon.

I have goals that I want to meet and if my work fits my lifestyle then so much the better. My goals are within reach, it’s just a matter of going the extra mile to see it through.

Value: A Photo’s Worth

Your Photography…

Don’t judge how good your photos are by the number of views they get or the number of favorites a photo may have. The idea is that you don’t get so wrapped up in getting views that you forget your passion and art.

It’s true, it’s nice to be noticed and recognized for your work, but don’t place a pictures value on how many people like it or see it. Maybe you haven’t been discovered yet?

The important thing is to keep shooting and keep making new work that is creative and inspiring. If you focus on your work, the number of views and favorites will take care of themselves.

Sure you should take steps to make sure people see your work, but don’t lose sight of what’s really important. The important things is creating and sharing your work. If you really want to be creative find ways to make your photographs make other people’s lives better.

Process From Feedback

If anything always try to get feedback from people about what you could be doing better or where your weak points are. Focus on that and turn a deaf ear to flattery and praise that is in excess. Think about why your really doing your work and why you want to continue, find your why and your passion will fuel you towards doing great work. Just don’t give up. Everyone has some setbacks and failures. Learn from them, grow from them; they say time and patience are two of the greatest warriors.

Don’t lose sight of what really matters, keep creating because you want to. Keep going because you have passion for what your doing. Keep things in the correct perspective and do what you love. If your doing the best you can be, then that is all that matters.

Basics

Good photography is simply the correct measurement of light. There are three ways light is measured by, the ISO, the f-stop, and the shutter speed. Each of these three pieces must be correctly understood to get the best results. If you don’t understand this article, please see the links for better explanations of how each of these functions work.

The first thing to understand is the ISO, this is how we measure the sensitivity to light. Whether it’s film or digital the sensitivity to light is measured by a number, these numbers span from 25 to more than 8000. The lower the number the less sensitive to light, the higher numbers are more sensitive to light.

What does this mean? Simply put an ISO of 100 is about normal for daylight photography, while giving good quality images. The higher the ISO the more noise or film grain will be visible. If your working in low light you may need a higher ISO to get the shot. Most digital cameras do not go lower than 100 ISO, but some will go much higher.

Here are the most common film ISO speeds: 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800. These are in one stop increments, notice that the numbers double every stop? That’s normal one stop increments. There are also half stop and one third stop increments too, you may see these settings with some digital cameras. Just remember that the higher the number the more sensitive to light and the noise increases too.

The second thing to understand is the f-stop. This controls how much light will be exposed to the film or sensor. Note this only controls how much light will be visible, the shutter speed controls how long the light is seen. The f-stop works in the lens, you can sometimes see it when you look into the lens and press the shutter release button, it opens and closes depending upon what setting you use. Wide open the f-stop may be somewhere as big as f2.8 or as small as f32, it depends upon what your lens can do; you may want to see what settings are available on your camera.

Some common f-stops are as follows going from more light to less light: f2.8, f4.0, f5.6, f8.0, f11, f16, f22, f32. These are full stop increments and there are half stops between each of these numbers. Sometimes half or one third stops are useful to get a more accurate exposure. Remember correct exposure is how accurately we measure the light, more accurate we measure the light the better the quality. The f-stop also controls the depth of field which I will talk about in another post.

The third part of understanding exposure is how long the film or sensor is exposed to light. This is called the shutter speed. Shutter speeds are set by the camera most of the time, values range from a second or more to fractions of a second. Going from slow shutter speeds to fast shutter speeds, common shutter speeds look like this: 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000. Remember there are half stops and one third stops between these numbers to help more accurately measure the light.

Fast shutter speeds stop motion, while slow shutter speeds will cause motion to blur or camera shake that will both cause blurry photographs. If your photographing a fast moving subject you want a shutter speed fast enough to capture the action. For still life you may want a slow shutter speed while the camera is on a tripod, with a small f-stop to get the best depth of field possible.

Measure your light carefully and your results will be best. Understand how your camera measures light and you will be a master in no time.

Depth Of Field

After thinking carefully about what makes a picture stand out, after being competent to get the right exposure and focus, the most important thing is the depth of field. This will make or break your photographs.

If you study the photographs that are in print, you will find that the best photos are often the one that have more depth of field in the photograph and have been carefully planned to be sharp from foreground to background. What will always ruin your day is images that are only sharp in the middle. It leaves a feeling that you don’t see when looking at objects in real life. Think about how you see objects in real life, that is what makes photographs go from being just ok to great.

Think carefully about your f-stop, even if you have to bump the iso up, you should be shooting at f22 or smaller. The more depth of field you can squeeze into an image, the better it’s going to turn out. Look at the photographs that stand out, look at what they have in common. I think if you study them you will see that DOF is vital to your success. If in doubt try taking a few and experiment with it, it might take two minutes more of your time, but it will be worth the effort.

The Joy Of Photography:

After twenty-five years of experience in photography, even though there have been many difficulties and learning curves, I seem to have made it through to a milestone.

I have learned to find joy in the process that comes from a mix of both creative and technical skills. The creative parts of photography are the most challenging, simply to keep coming up with new ideas is much more difficult than learning the technical ropes of the trade.

The important thing is to keep the right attitude about it. A creative person that can teach themselves anything, has more opportunity, because they are always looking at it from a fresh perspective.

It’s important to understand both the technical and creative sides to photography, just remember that the technical parts are only there to make the creative dreams come true. Once you start to learn the technical and have it mastered, focus on the creative side of your art. The rewards are worth it.

When you find the right balance between creative and technical in your photography, then the impossible starts to happen.

Wish I could take my images to the next level and make something wonderful. Stay tuned to see what I do next.

Color Photographs

As you progress in your experience with photography, one of the things you need to think about is color temperature. You have probably seen the setting on your camera that says: “AWB” this stands for Auto White Balance. Which means that the camera will try to set the color temperature for you. This is fine under some circumstances, but not great if your shooting in the shade or with studio lighting, using a flash, or mixed lighting.

In black and white you don’t have to worry about the color temperature because it doesn’t often make a difference. If your working with color it makes a big difference. If your taking more than just a few photos, having the color balance set correctly will save you a lot of time in Photoshop. One way to get the right color balance is to use a white card in the first image then correct the white balance in photoshop and save the setting. Then apply the setting to the other images that were taken in the same session. I can tell you a way that is better.

Set your camera up, use a white card and expose the first image. Be sure to get the exposure right and just where you want it. Load the first image into Lightroom and choose the develop menu. Select the eye drop tool and set the white balance from the white card in your properly exposed image. See the color temperature on the right side? Write that number down, then set the white balance in your camera to that same number. Then every image you expose under this condition will be exposed with the right setting without having to correct a lot in photoshop.

When your finished with your photo shoot, be sure to set the white balance back to “AWB” so it’s ready to go for your next shoot.

The color temperature in Lightroom shows that you have blues on the left of the slider and more yellow on the right of the slider. Your job is to find the right color temperature that looks most natural for your image. Too much blue and it looks cold and unwelcome, especially photographs of people need to be warmer in tone unless your trying to make them look like a villain.

Learn how to see the color temperature in Lightroom and Photoshop, this will add to your abilities in color photography and will enhance the look of your photographs.

Progress…

I’m working on my site, it’s a work in progress. I hope to have everything completed within a few weeks. There is a lot of backend work that needs to be done and testing will take a while. It’s really just making sure that everything is ready to rock and roll.

If you want to see my personal site, you can check it out here while your waiting for this business site to go live. I hope that you will take the time to see my work and visit my site.

I hope to offer creative services and Macintosh expertise with great customer service that will inspire people to grow and expand their lives while giving them the skills to be successful.

Anything is possible, not all things are probable. Just a Universal Paradox.

Photography At Your Best

They say that in zen you always have to be a beginner. As you progress in photography you will want to keep your beginners mind and always improve your technical abilities. This will keep your photography looking fresh and new, while adding a layer of excitement to your work.

As you grow in your abilities your excitement will continue to grow, with each step that you progress you will find that your enjoyment brought to new heights. Just remember that not everyone will see the picture like you do, what matters is that your happy. Every viewer has a different experience; if you follow your passion and creative drive and it makes you happy then you are on the right track.

I hope to continue to inspire people to create and grow, with the belief that if you keep working towards your goals that you will improve your life and bring others happiness in the process. Set some goals and work your butt off, then give yourself the praise for your hard work. What matters is that you feel good about your success regardless of what praise you receive from others. Always do your best regardless if anyone notices or not. Then your always doing the best for yourself, and your self esteem isn’t tied to anyone else’s opinions. That you will find is the most rewarding in the long run.

The Mind

They say the mind can be as deep as the ocean and as wide as the sky. What they don’t tell you is that the mind is a maze filled with empty rooms, distractions, and time wasters. It’s loaded with paradoxes and booby traps. It has guards at some rooms that seem like they would be fun, and the people yell and scream at you if you try taking that route. Some people fear getting lost in their mind so much that they stay out of there and never go in. Others have gotten lost in there and never come back.

Some say that to explore the mind one needs a guide for fear of getting lost and certain doom. Society today has lost it’s way and only has two places in the minds of people. They want you to believe anyplace else isn’t safe for your mind to function and that anyone who dares explore other areas are crazy. The real key is to know your tools and know how to use them. Your tools are logic and reason; your compass is thought itself. Your maps are the history of the human race and having watched those around you.

There are dangers like emotions which will blind you to the truth, and fear which will make you flee from discovery of going where none have gone.

What scares you is the monsters. Well there are no monsters in your mind except the ones that you create. But sometimes the monsters seem real enough to keep you from going in the direction you want to go.

Then there is doubt. Doubt will rob you on your journey, it will steal your happiness and your joy. Doubt will leave you wishing you had never taken any course and that you stayed in the living room watching television. Because they have told you that is safe for you.

Don’t forget your tools. Like what you say? Like creativity. That is a tool for the mind to do it’s greatest work. If you practice everyday you may find a talent you didn’t know you had before.

Sure the mind has pitfalls and loops that don’t go anywhere even though the scenery seems to change all the time. It’s an illusion. You have been walking the same hallways in the mind over and over again, never to realize you were going in circles.

Some people have a war zone in their heads, they are at war with themselves. Some have created hostile environments for everyone because they have let fear and doubt keep them from going farther. The problem with the mind is that there is no way to take out the garbage. This makes people fear ever putting anything in the first place. But if your going to live in this world you have to make your head a home. You have to be at peace with yourself and your thoughts. You have to be calm even when what you think doesn’t match what you see.

The mind can fool you into thinking things are better or worse than they really are. The paradox of the mind. Get your tools out and dust them off. Use logic to match what you see with what you think, then use reason to understand what really is.

Sometimes you have to change what you think to match what you see. Beware of emotions that blind you to the truth. See things for what they are. Match them in your mind, calm and reasonable. Your minds best friend should be patience. All those doors leading to dead ends, you have to take the time to map out the best course. It’s tedious and pain staking. It’s worth it in the long run.

Make your mind a home, where you store not gold and silver; only the things of value to the mind. Your thoughts, your memories, your dreams, your desire, and your hope. Clean up after yourself and don’t let the mind become a place you fear to go. Use your tools and find your way home.