Enhance Your Photography: Look Into the Smaller “Landscapes”


My personal work includes a lot of landscape shooting, and I usually try to take in a large swath of territory. I often like the grand vistas, the sweeping plains and looming mountains. In urban landscapes I might include wide-angle shots of buildings crowded together, along with bustling streets and milling people. But sometimes it’s the things at my feet that intrigue me too. Here’s a few images from a trip to Bodie, California, a 100+ year-old ghost town built around a gold and silver mine.

These were originally shot in digital color and converted to black and white.

These images are all from the machinery used to extract the gold and silver from the rock ore.

_MG_5783 stamps copy


_MG_5773 nuts copy

_MG_5779 detail copy v copy

Selected Hints and Tips – Fine Art Printmaking for Print Competition

Selected Hints and Tips – Fine Art Printmaking for Print Competition

Sounds obvious, but only use your very best images. Test some of your better prints with friends and colleagues.

When you do this, watch for reactions. Which images create that “wow” response? tell a story effectively? show a subject in a new or unique way?

Composition – keep the “rule of thirds” in mind, and create a print that really provides focus on the main subject. Unneeded objects in foreground/background can ruin your score, as can distracting bright areas or intrusive shadows.

Generally, prints made on luster, pearl, or glossy paper show better in a competition environment. Fine art and “watercolor” papers tend to wash out under the bright lights used by judges.

Make sure that your colors, highlights, shadows, textures, and the like are presented as you want them to be. In general, you’ll want to see at least some detail in highlights and shadows, colors should be smooth, realistic, and show detail where appropriate, etc. Make sure uniform colors, such as skies, are free of digital artifacts like banding.

Make your prints a little darker overall than usual – again, we’re working with very bright lights.

Think about presentation – prints should be mounted on firm, flat stock, no irregularities, bumps, ripples, orange peel, and the like. Watch for color or saturation changes after mounting; although this rarely happens, mounting at high temps can ruin a great print.

If you use an outside printmaker, provide a digital file that is edited and ready to print. Use Adobe 98 RGB or ProPhoto RGB color if printing on inkjet, and usually sRGB if you are using an outside lab (ask them). Take care with your pixel dimensions – a 16z20 print can be 4800 x 6000 pixels at 300ppi. Ask your printmaker about image preparation.

Good luck!

© D Saffir

Click here for details of our upcoming Palouse Photo Tour, June 2012!

Adding Dominant Image Colors to Your Profiles

NEW i1Profiler Software from X-Rite – Coloratti Blog Post by David Saffir

(snip) The new i1Profiler software (has many) tools for customization available to photographers. Some that might be applicable to photography include, but are not limited to, controlling the number of patches in a test target, importing PANTONE® colors, and importing patch colors from image files for profile optimization. read more….

New Color Calibration for iPad

Hey Photographers! Own an iPad? There’s a new, unique app for the iPad that lets you calibrate color on your iPad using the Datacolor Spyder 3 – It’s pretty cool – and the app provides an image viewing gallery that lets you see your images “before” and “after” calibration. Visit the Apple App store and search “SpyderGallery”.

More info to follow!!

Opening Screen for SpyderGallery for the iPad

Phoozl Launches Unique “Alphabetography Photo Challenge” on Facebook – Winter submissions close soon!

Time is running out on Winter submissions to this really COOL game app on Facebook!

Winter in Santa Fe - © D Saffir

A Unique Alphabet Photo Concept

During each season’s contest (using “Winter” as the example), photo enthusiasts submit photos that apply or relate to the current letter that’s in play. So during the “W Letter Period,” entrants upload photos whose subject starts with the letter “W” (examples: White, Winter, Wonderful). When the game-play moves to the letter “I”, entrants submit “I” photos. And so on through the six letters of the word “Winter.” Entrants are allowed up to 5 submissions per letter maximum. Photos can be submitted via Facebook or photo-sharing sites, or uploaded from local computers or mobile devices. Participants can even join the contest late as there are six Letter Periods in this (“Winter”) Challenge, so they have six chances to enter.

Voting, Judging, Gallery, and Prizes

The Winter 2010/11 Alphabetography Photo Challenge costs nothing to enter but is offering 11 different Prizes sponsored by such companies as: Blurb, Datacolor, Frame Destination, and Course Technology PTR. There are galleries and public voting, and the Top 5 vote-getting photos for each letter move to the Judging Phase where a panel of three professional photographers will judge and score the 30 Finalist Photos based on published criteria. Add any Extra Points, and the top scores win.

Contest participants need only a Facebook account to enter, and they must be at least 18 years old. Photo submissions are acceptable from anywhere in the world, and there are no restrictions on when photos are taken or if they have been manipulated.

Start Alphabetographing!

To learn more about the Alphabetography Photo Challenge: the Four Seasons, or even better, to take the challenge and to participate, go to Phoozl’s Fan Page on Facebook and click the “Challenges” tab to enter the Application:


OR… go directly to the Facebook Application:


(you need to “Allow” the Request for Permission screen that appears)

There will be an APHABETOGRAPHY game for each season – so all photographers – send your image in now, or get ready!!

“Yesterday’s Rainbow”

"Yesterday's Rainbow" © D Saffir

Add Copyright Watermark to Your Images in Photoshop

This is a downloadable file that you can use to watermark your images. It is a layered Photoshop PDF file.

Once downloaded, open it with Photoshop, not Adobe Acrobat or similar.

When you open it, you can drag the watermark layer to your new image, and adjust size, opacity, etc to suit. More instructions on the file itself. If you want to publish an image on the web, flatten layers and convert to jpeg or suitable format.

Watermark File Download Right click on link and choose “save as”.

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