Glyphs of Time :: a blog by jarvis grant

May 15, 2010

New Self Portrait, sort of…

Filed under: Digital Tech,Folio,Observations,Photography,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 1:03 pm

Well, this really isn’t new. I shot this about three years ago. I was testing a process that my students at the Ellington School of the Arts were about to embark on.  We were working on a project with the National Portrait Gallery here in Washington, DC, commemorating the photographer Gordon Parks. The students were to use a 4×5 view camera to photograph their family, then digitize the negative to make 11×14 fine art pigment prints. I needed to work out all the bugs so this would go as smooth as possible

Self Portrait - Jarvis Grant

A newly rendered Self Portrait

While the students loved the magic & professionalism of working with the view camera and the studio lights, they found the process slow, because of all the camera prep before the actual shot is made. Yet, it all worked out just fine. The process slowed them down enough to consider what they were doing, instead of their usual joy ride approach in making photographs.

OK, back to me! We were using a Calumet Cambo 4×5 camera, Rodenstock  150mm f/5.6 lens and Polaroid PN/55 film.  For the lighting we used Calumet Travelite 750 monolights with a large 36″ 48″ Chimera softbox. I used a 16″ cable release for  triggering the exposures.

The reason for this image to be labeled as new is because I needed a head shot for a brochure that the Panasonic Digital Photo Academy is producing.  I sent them the one I normally use, which looks like an ink rendering, but thought I’d look at the others that came from that session. Well, during that session I shot with a Nikon  and forgot about those 4×5 shots I made. So, it now they looked pretty fresh, snarl and all! Since I’ve been playing around with NIK Color Efex Pro, I opened it up in Photoshop to see what I could come up with. I like the look of  the Pastel sub-filter. It reminded me of a Cyanotype, and I went with it. The frame on the image is the natural residue from the Polaroid PN/55.



May 2, 2010

Adobe Labs – Adobe Lens Profile Creator

Filed under: Digital Tech,Innovation,Inspiration,Photography,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 3:03 pm
Adobe Labs Lens Profiler

Adobe Labs Lens Profile Creator

This is an interesting new technology from Adobe Labs. It allows for the profiling of camera lenses. In Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom, you have the ability to correct for camera “distortion”. Now in the old days, I considered Lens distortion a “visual effect” ! But now a days it seems there is a quest for “perfection”

Now Adobe has the tendency to only speck in terms of their latest & greatest software releases, like CS5. But since they also mention Lightroom & Camera Raw it “may” work with the latest update Photoshop CS4 since Camera Raw and Lightroom share the same Raw conversion engine.

The interesting part of all this is that Adobe is asking its user community to send them their .LCP(lens correction profiles) files that they create.

This is what it does in Photoshop CS5

Adobe Labs – Adobe Lens Profile Creator.


April 18, 2010

New Scans :: Dogwood Sprig Scans

Filed under: Digital Tech,Gallery,Media,Observations,Photography — Tags: — Jarvo @ 12:24 am

The other day, as I was walking back to my hobbit hole I noticed that the dogwood tree in front of my building had come into full bloom. It was a rainy evening, but I walked over to the tree to see just what was what. Long story short, I took a small sprig from the tree to make some scans of it. When I started these scans I decided to go with 14 bit color depth. Here are those basic scans. I’ll be doing more with them soon.

Click the Slideshow link at the lower left to check them out.



April 15, 2010

NAPP and Photoshop CS5

Filed under: Digital Tech,Media,Photoshop,Video — Jarvo @ 2:14 pm

As a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals I have a tendency to take All things Photoshop for granted. As a pre-release tester I’ve been looking at CS5 for a few months now, but have been using it as I would normally. The only difference is trying to break it, by going over the top with my workflow. So, I’ve missed several of the more magical features, and now I’m a kid in Toys-R-Us! I forget that the majority of people out there will have to wait another month before they can get their hands on even a download to play with. So, with that in mind I want to draw your attention to a couple of really cool NAPP web sites.

The NAPP CS5 Learning Center and the CS5 Live Webinars. These web casts are at 1:30 and 4:00 daily from April 12 to April 16, 2010. If you miss the live webcasts, they are all being archived so you be able to catch them all later. For example the following this link is the New Features page put together by RC Concepcion.

NAPP Adobe Photoshop CS5 Learning Center from Kelby Media Group on Vimeo.


April 13, 2010

The New CS5 Photoshop is here…almost!

Filed under: Digital Tech,Photography,Photoshop,Video — Jarvo @ 10:00 am

On April 12, Adobe made their official announcement of the new CS5 Creative Suite. And sweet it is! In this video, Johnny L (John Loiacono is Adobe’s SVP of the Creative Solutions Business Unit) introduces Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost, who gives an overview of some of the new features. Now, I’ve been testing the new CS5 since January and I’m still amazed at what the new CS5 Photoshop can do. This is the Photographer’s Episode from the Adobe CS5 Launch Show over at Adobe TV. Check out the whole show.

We’re still testing pre-release builds, so it ain’t ready for Prime Time yet, even though the boxes and product designs look fabulous! Maybe late May or June.


April 5, 2010

Adobe Labs – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Filed under: Digital Tech,Innovation,Photography,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 8:48 pm

Get the latest release of Lightroom 3 Beta 2
Lightroom 3 Beta 2
 Hey folks, Adobe is really up to something! Get this new release and checkout the resources over at Photoshop News, here


April 4, 2010

The Gigapan Pano Portrait

Filed under: Digital Tech,Photography,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 8:06 pm

A few days ago, in my “Couple of New Portraits” post, I spoke briefly about using my Gigapan Epic to shot my self portrait. One of the things I’m working on with this piece of equipment is intimate panoramas, instead of the usual “Grand Vista” panos. It’s coming along, but still needs some work. The idea of the intimate Pano is using the Gigapan rig as “large format” digital capture device. Hey, don’t ya just love techno speak! Digital capture device instead of camera! OK, I mentioned that the original self portrait was a 54 megapixel shot. That means, the dimensions of the final stitched file is 9341 x 5798 pixels.  

In the post I must reduce the file size down so to put the image on the web. The dimension on the long side is about 600 pixels. That;s quite a drop! So, you’re not really seeing the detail that is in the file. So, I’s thought I’d give you an idea of what this actual looks like, relatively speaking. Relatively because I still must reduce the file down to a 600 pixel width. I shot the files as RAW captures, and converted them to JPEGs for the Gigapan software. I’d rather control the JPEG conversation in Photoshop, than have the camera process the files.  

First, I would like to show you what the 12 images file look like in the Gigapan Stitcher image.  

Gigapan Screen Shot

Gigapan Screen Shot, with the 12 photos


 The next image is the full panorama with its Photoshop retouch.  

Self-Portrait Pano

Full panoramic image


Now, here is a detail that’s taken from the full panorama. The original selection that this image represents was about 1100 pixels wide.  

Pano-Self-Portrait Detail

This detail is a selection from the full panorama.


And finally, here’s one a little closer.  

Pano-Self-Portrait Detail #2

An even closer detail. Since this is a photo of me, I don't want to get too close!


The people over at Gigapan have just announced a new rig for DSLR cameras, the Gigapan PRO. I use a Panasonic LX3 10 megapixel point & shoot on my Gigapan Epic. I can wait for the bugs to be worked out. The also have released an upgrade for the Stitcher software. The program I was using was still in beta. I’m looking to see what improvements they’ve made. While the Gigapan can’t take quick snaps of moving objects, for what it can do, it’s around $2500 less that even the least expensive medium format digital camera out there. I’m gonna work it all I can.


March 30, 2010

A Couple of New Portraits

Filed under: Digital Tech,Photography,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 3:04 pm

For the last week I’ve been working on a project sponsored by the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities and FotoWeek DC. It is the, DC Counts Census 2010 Photography Contest. I’d been thinking about this for awhile. Coming up with a couple of ideas I thought would work just great. Well, I should have followed my own council when it come to preparing for a competition. That’s , “Read the prospectus carefully!” Ha! I was putting my package together, and now  decided to give the prospectus a thorough once over to insure all would be well. I guess I should have read the thing thoroughly last month! On the second page on the second line it stated that only headshots would be accepted. Headshots!?  What the hell is that all about? It’s about leveling the playing field AND having a consistent exhibition presentation, you jerk. Oh…, i see. OK man, move on to the next project.

I was experimenting with using my Gigapan as a “Large Format” camera, not just a panoramic camera. The resulting images,based on the scene, are creating 50 megapixel or higher images. Shooting portraits with this thing is a challenge, because the subject must remain still during the exposure. So with this high tech imaging equipment, I’m going back to the 19th century. But more on that later. So, all the best laid plans of mice & men were cast to the wind with that headshot deal. Oh well.

But… these shots look pretty good. One pano portrait and one standard approach done portrait.

Portrait of Martha Jackson Jarviis and her dog Ming Martha Jackson Jarvis and her dog Ming

I had originally shot Martha in her studio with the Gigapan. Earlier that afternoon I had shot some of her new works on paper and some shots for Panasonic’s Digital Photo Academy using the Lensbaby system. When I got around to doing the Pano Portrait we were spent., and it looked like it. So a few days later I shot the photograph above at her home office. No fuss,  just a bounced flash as a kicker. Her buddy Ming  jumped into the scene, not wanting to be left out.

For this pano portrait, I was able to find a very cooperative subject, who really didn’t mind several takes and a battery change, to help me get the photograph I wanted.

 A self Portrait of photographer, Jarvis GrantLaundry Room Blues: Pano Self-Portrait of photographer, Jarvis Grant

I’ve been thinking about this self portrait for awhile, and I’m fairly pleased with it. I learned a lot from the session I did with Martha in her studio. This image was made by stitching twelve images. The actual image is 9341 x 5798 pixels. Still some bugs to work out. But all in all, I pleased with the results. The visual effect was made using the Highlight & Shadow command in Photoshop CS4..


March 24, 2010

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Launch

Filed under: Design,Digital Tech,Media,Observations,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 12:00 pm

Adobe CS5 Launch

Ok, what more is there to say! Just go over there and check it out!


March 19, 2010

The New Zone System…

Brooks JensenBrooks Jensen is probably one of the most progressive, innovative photography communicator/educators out there. Back in the last century (!) Brooks was telling photographer not to fall prey to the gallery system. He has set up his own publishing house, that creates “Folios” of photographers work for sell. Not only has he done that, he actually instructs photographers & artists how to do the same. There are no secrets with this guy! I have passed along his ‘white papers” and podcasts to fellow artist. When ever I had a question, I could send him an email, and he would answer.

I was just at his website, Lenswork,  & one of his three blogs. For photographers, this article on the “New Zone Systems” is definitely worth a read. Click here to check it out.

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