London underground images

I took a trip to London yesterday to look at the London Salon of Photography Centenary Annual Exhibition. I had a print accepted (it’s No. 178, Paddling Pool, if you’re interested) and it was great to see it and all the other very inspiring images made by London Salon member and other top photographers.  It is well worth a trip if you are able to get to London in the next two weeks or after that in Smethick.

Here are a few images I took on the underground while travelling through London. On this first one I zoomed while taking the image to add  to the effect of movement.

I shot this next one ‘from the hip’.  I gives a slightly different perspective from having the camera at eye level.

… and the on the way up an escalator I used a slow shutter speed to blur the small advertising boards, you can just make out some writing on one of them.

The mirror of my Canon 5D fell off!!

Here’s a photo of my beloved Canon 5D before I pack it up to send to Canon.

Last weekend I was taking a few photos. I heard a slightly different noise when I pressed the shutter and then the viewfinder went blank. I guessed there was a problem with the mirror and I just thought it had not returned, like as if you were cleaning the sensor. I fired the shutter again and turned the camera off and on, to no avail. I took the lens off and it was very obvious what had happened!

A quick search on the net and I discover it is a rare, but known problem. – something to do with the adhesive. I made a call to Canon support who confirmed they will repair it free of charge :)

Sure I will be without my camera for a week or two but I’m happy that this is the only problem I have experienced in the 5 years I have had this camera and it’s a free repair.

How to adjust your iPad screen for viewing and editing images

If you take photographs and you edit them on a desktop PC or laptop then you are probably well aware of, or should at least have heard about, this business of calibrating your computer screen.  Calibrating your computer screen is the important first stage of a color managed workflow. You can edit your images, print them (on your profiled printer/paper), send them off for printing elsewhere or share them in some other way safe in the knowledge that your images will look very similar when reproduced or displayed by someone else – provided, of course, their printer or screen is properly calibrated.  If what I have just said makes no sense to you, or you want some more info, then take a look at this Overview of Colour Management.

There are three main factors to calibrating your computer screen

  • Colour calibration:  making sure the screen is correctly adjusted to display colours as accurately as possible (this is a broad area and covers several settings that I’m not going to go into)
  • The luminance (brightness) of the screen
  • The brightness of the ambient light in the room and falling on to the screen (the colour temperature of the light is important too, especially so if you are viewing prints)

This is all very well when you use your computer at the same location and you have control over your environment but what do you do when you have an iPad, it’s a mobile device and could be used anywhere.  What can you do to set the screen up to give you predictable results?

What you can’t do

Well lets start with what you can’t do:  you cannot control the colour.  Due to the fact that Apple lock the iPad down, and there is no access to the system, there is no way to change how the iPad renders colours for all applications.  There is an image viewing app that allows you to use a Spider to calibrate the iPad screen but the colours are only corrected for that appication. Fortunately though the iPad already renders colours pretty accurately anyway so this is something we do not really need to worry about too much.

Here are the things you can do

  • Disable Auto-Brightness
  • Choose your location
  • Set a specific brightness
  • Use a reference image

Disable Auto-Brightness

The iPad has a great feature that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen according to the ambient brightness at your location.  It is on by default.  When you are sat by the window or some other bright location the screen brightness increases to compensate,  and vice-versa.  This works really well but is not good for image editing when need some consistency so turn the feature off.  Go to Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper and flick the slider.

Choose your location

The brightness of the ambient light where you are using your iPad makes a huge difference to the way the screen looks.  If you are in a bright location the screen will look dim and the colours washed out no matter how high you turn the brightness up.  Similarly if you are in a very dark place the screen is going to look very bright indeed, and even hurt your eyes – if you have every used your iPad in the dark with the lights out you will know what I mean! – it is not possible to turn the brightness down very far.  So it comes as no surprise to be somewhere not too bright and not too dark and don’t have sunlight falling across the screen.

Set a specific brightness

The next thing is to set a suitable brightness manually so while you are in the Brightness & Wallpaper setting you can adjust the slider to set the brightness you need.. but how bright or dim should it be?  You need to use a familiar image as a reference.

Use a reference image

There are several things you can do here.  Use an image that you are really familiar with and know what it should look like on the screen.  If you process images on a PC then you will likely have such an image.  It should have some bright areas and some shadow areas so that you are able to tell if it looks correct.  Perhaps the preferred method, and the one that I employ, is to use a test image.

This is the image I use to adjust the brightness of my iPad screen for image editing or viewing.  Download the image from Keith Cooper’s website, Northlight Images.  Load it up into your Photos app via iTunes or into some other app like GoodReader.  Thanks to Keith Cooper for making this image available on his website, I use it all the time for testing printer setting and new papers.

Once you have the image displayed on your iPad screen you can now double press the Home button to pop-up the application switcher. Slide the switcher to the right to reveal the brightness control.  Whilst this has pushed the image slightly off the top of the screen the all important darker areas of the 21 step wedge down the left had side are visible. Now all you need to do is adjust the brightness so that you can just about see the boundary between the two darkest areas.

And that’s it, you should now have your iPad brightness set up correclty.  Be prepared to follow this process all the time as the light changes and when you find yourself editing images on the move.

Blipfoto: New Blipper profile video – Katherine Ellis

Blipfoto iconBlipfoto have posted a Blipper profile video on Katherine Ellis.

“Katherine Ellis is an internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter who’s achieved huge success in her own right, and worked with a raft of big names like The Freemasons, Roger Sanchez, Bimbo Jones and Robbie Williams.”

See how Katherine manages to juggle all the things in her busy life – wife to Max, mother to two young boys and a Blipper with nearly 450 consecutive entries.

Katherine Ellis Blipper profile video at Blipfoto

Useful ImagePrint article at ImagePrint Today: The Platen Gap

ImagePrint Today have published a useful article about the platen gap and how to set it using the ImagePrint RIP.  I’m a new user of IP (ImagePrint) and of particular interest in this article is the fact that it usefully points out that the media selection within the IP print dialogue has no bearing on the amount of ink applied to the paper because that information is supplied to the printer within the ICC paper profile.

Read the full article…