My son Matthew has his own blog and publishes there regularly.

Recently, he started creating his own comics which are really cute for a 8 year old. Seems that he has quite a  imagination.

Here is one of them:

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Last week has been eventful. After shooting various type of photos for over 7 years I’ve decided I want to practice and grow my portfolio of modeling, fashion and headshots. Not an easy task, I might add. If shooting nature, landscapes, city and architecture requires only camera, fashion and modeling requires… right – models.

In order to add some items into my portfolio I’ve signed up for Model Mayhem account, signed up with local photography group and placed an add on Craigslist. Some of that stuff started to pay off. I had one shoot with Craigslist inquiry, one MeetUp with Vancouver Photo group and have at least of dozen, maybe more, photos that I can include in my portfolio.

As I started to work on those photos, I came across interesting problem (or challenge) in Photoshop – it will open JPEG images as RAW files… hmmm…

A bit about my workflow: currently I am working with Aperture, DxO Optics Pro and Photoshop (I tried Camera Raw 7 that came with Photoshop CS6, but it does not work with my workflow):

- I first import RAW files into Aperture, sort through ‘bad’ shots – over exposed, closed eyes and any other photos that are plain and simple – garbage. Usually I end up with 60%-70% of originally taken photos. I delete those RAW files and load rest into DxO.

- Here I go through all of them and adjust lens correction, color rendering, sharpness and fine details. Maybe a bit of exposure correction, but not too much. Once that is done, images are exported as JPEGs to a separate folder – now that are ready for second pass within Aperture.

- One step that is optional, and depends on the type of shooting I’ve done, is panorama sticking or HDR rendering. For that I use either Photoshop’s Photomerge, AutopanoGiga and HDR Efex Pro.

- During second pass, I select best shots of each pose, sometimes select best pose and end up with maybe 5%-10% of original photos.

- Now, at final step, I adjust each image and make it just right – either within Aperture or in Photoshop. I must add I use Nik’s plugins such as Color Efex Pro, Viveza etc and Topaz Labs filters.

- Once all is done, export to Flickr, CD or email.

Recently I came across Brenizer Method of shooting shallow depth of field at wide angle, which requires Photoshop Photomerge. As I was playing with some photos from my last weeks’ photoshoot in Camera Raw, Photoshop started picking up those files as Camera Raw files and opening them as though thew are RAW format. With that, Photoshop overexposes them, adds some other adjustments, that I might have played with while testing Camera Raw, and merged image was coming up all wrong.

At first, I thought that maybe DxO exported JPEG as a RAW, or something wonky went with that file. But after exporting two images, which were shot one after another, and trying to open them in Photoshop, one appeared as JPEG and another as RAW. This didn’t make sense to me at all!

After searching online for similar problem, I came across article which shows how to open JPEG in Camera Raw! Well, that’s exact opposite of what I want to do! But following those steps and changing setting to the opposite of what that article suggested, fixed my problem. Now, when I open those JPEGs or try to merge them into panorama, they behave as expected.

Head out to my article section to find out.

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English DJ Mark Ronson teams up with London Olympic, Coca-Cola and various athletes to create this one of a kind music using sounds of their kicks, breathes, punches etc.

Here is a video of making of:

Coca-Cola move to the beat commercial:

And Coke Olympics “Beat 2012″ Documentary trailer:

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Staying for a bit on photo topic today, Scalado introduced “Remove” – “…the world’s first object removal innovation in a mobile device”. Looks quite impressive:

From press release:

Remove is a technology that automatically highlights and removes any unwanted object from a captured photo. It is the world’s first Object removal software to be released on a mobile device.

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While we are at Photoshop theme today, I stumbled upon this interesting hidden gem within Photoshop and it’s Crop Tool.

How many times you crop an image to later discover that you want to re-compose crop area.

Well, here is your answer:

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Adobe has been teasing us for a bit now with latest and greatest features of upcoming Adobe Photoshop CS6. Today, Adobe posted series of videos on their YouTube channel previewing Content Aware move, Dashed and Dotted lines, performance update in Liquify filter and overall, and new Camera Raw 7. Presonally, I think move to darker interface is a good move, working with Apple Aperture, I noticed the difference darker interface makes on overall feel of an image you are working on.

Here is Content Aware Move, some stuff is not a big deal, but some are more impressive.

Performance enhancement is HUGE! My favorite is Background Save – no more waiting to save one image to switch to another.

Interesting preview on Camera Raw that works with cellphone image.

Finally, something that designers asked for a long time, some vector improvements: dashed and dotted lines.

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Browsing my favourite site of all photography, DPReview, I came across their posting about craigslist ad and respond published on PetaPixel. It is a topic of wedding photographers: how much they charge and how some people think that those prices are outrages.

My first reaction was: why DPReview, professional site, would post “news” not worthy nor professional enough to discuss. Opinions about “over-priced” products could be everywhere: Walmart vs Gucci, Hyundai vs Bentley, Dom Perignon vs Henkell Trocken.

I shot wedding before and I do realize how much work it is, but I am not defending nor supporting photographer Nikki Wagner, I actually think it is unprofessional to try to defend your prices – if you are professional, and you value your work, that’s the only reasoning behind your prices, not how much it cost you to run your business.

Here are two examples:

Scenario (a) – with today’s technology and power of photo editing software you can take photos with Canon T2i – perfect little camera. Cost: $869,99 CDN, and you get two lenses. For additional $126,99 CDN you can get good enough 50mm portrait lens. This camera shoots in RAW, so using great software DxO Optics Pro, you can ‘fix’ distortion and even color process images like it came from 5D Mark II, all for $99. As for photo manipulation, there are tons of software out there, which perform same functions as Photoshop, if you know what you are doing: free Gimp, or PixelMator. At the end of the day, as my mentor Terry Cioni once said: “the most important thing in photography is not camera nor lenses but two inches behind viewfinder”. For other points outlined in the article: hosting – I pay only $8,95 for DreamHost and it has unlimited space and bandwidth; don’t buy car – rent it at the time you need it, it’s like $30 per day etc.

Scenario (b) – when photographer is charging 5K for a wedding, it is not just equipment and supplies that are included in that price – it is years of experience, hours of photo manipulation and experimenting and strive for perfection as an artist. As a perfectionist in my own photography, I do understand that it’s not pure hardware/software cost – it is much more than that.

So with all that said, my final thought is that both craigslist ad poster and photographer who wrote the article both have valid points. But both DPReview and Nikki Wagner lost their argument, failed to make a point and came out as un-professional. Real artist do not have to ‘explain’ to others why his/hers art cost that much – the price is set and people have freedom to choose to either pay it or not. And as a professional photographer news site, dpreview, please stick to what you do the best – review equipment, post photography news, and provide interesting professional grade articles. Leave ‘childish’ arguments to somebody else. People have choice to either wear Walmart $29 jeans or pay $400 for D&G, drive $13,000 Hyundai or $400,000 Bentley – and it does not make them as suckers to spend that much money nor cowards to charge that much.

Happy shooting!

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I came across this really cool JavaScript plugin, developed by Artem Geller and three other developers, which allows site visitors to share selection of the text. It’s called MASHA – short for Mark and Share

Try it yourself on this website and on my Portfolio and Articles blogs: select portion of the text, and you will see icon for highlighter appears. By clicking on that highlighter, selected portion of the text would be highlighted blue and additional characters will be added to the page’s URL. By sharing that URL, you will be able to share your highlighted text.

It is very slick, considering that recipient does not have to have any plugins installed on their computer, it works across browsers and even on iPhone/iPad!

UPDATE: since Masha removes spaces from my sidebar and I don’t have time to try to fix it, I’ve disable it. Please visit developers’ site to see the functionality. Sorry about that.

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After 3 hours of sleep, around 6am on Saturday, I came back to the office to fiddle around with server one more time. No matter what I did, ODR still thought that ODM is on the network, and I’ve decided to move to the Plan B.

Plan B was to export our current OD structure via Archiving, install new OS X server on MacMini and restore from there. Little I knew how corrupted LDAP was on the original server, after all ‘hard reboots’ throughout it’s lifetime.

By around 10am, I clearly understood that Plan C is my only solution – which was exporting users from original OD and re-importing them into brand new installation of OS X. The only positive from this approach was that our users would have to change their passwords upon initial login anyway, to comply with recent implementation of IT Sec Policy, so loosing user’s passwords was not a big deal.

By around 11:30, I had all my users imported and passwords reset, but one more hiccup was waiting for me… Read »

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