Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lighting Problems Solved?

I am very excited about the results of my lighting research and the results I am getting! I have spent months trying to get rid of "noise" and other problems I have had with my coin photography. I have experimented endlessly. I knew most of the problems I was getting was from the bright spots on the coins. Answer? Return to the basics. I knew I needed diffused lighting and I knew the lack of lay at the source of my problem.

I picked up a piece of frosted Plexiglas a few months ago and I had bought a couple of 5 and 1/2" clamp on work lights from Home Depot or Lowe's and I had these on hand. I had enough bulbs including the fluorescent spirals I had been using. I had experimented with all kind of bulbs. I cut the Plexiglas to the size you see in the photograph above and secured it to the face of the "cans" with large rubber bands. I plan to drill small holes through the can and secure the Plexiglas using a 1/8" stove bolts and wing nuts.

Part of the beauty of what I have done is in the portability of the unit(s). I can hold one unit in place by hand and light from any direction I like. I can clamp the light, one or two onto the shelf you see in the picture or I can clamp one or more lights onto the two vertical posts I made. I can also place the unit on the work surface and use the spring clamp to elevate and shoot across the coin's surface.

I cannot believe how easily I can hold one unit in hand and snap my shutter with the other and not have to worry about the bright spots. I can hold one unit at the angle I want and clamp the other unit in place for a fill light. Please observe the Plexiglas is tightly in place against the light can. I left the lights on for an extended period of time and the fluorescent hardly warmed the Plexiglas. CAUTION: ANY other bulb would present a heat problem.

The bulbs I am using are 13 watt spiral fluorecents. I used my wife's little Nikon 46oo to photograph the setup so the photographs are not the best. Suddenly my Fuji s5000 is much more camera than I ever thought as a result of my new lighting system. I have a friend who wants us to make these to sell. I have not done any research and I have no idea if this has been done before. Regardless, this is all new technology to me. You have the right to make units for your use. This setup works so well that I may let him look into "manufacturing".. Someone may write and say this was done eons ago but if it was I am amazed that I did not know about it.

Please click on the URL's below so you can understand what is going on. The Plexiglas is 1/8" inch thick. I think that is about 3mm. I hope you have questions and I hope you will ask them. I am sure this is terribly written but I am trying to get the information to all. I satisfied my questions well after midnight and I am a bit tired. I will state, without equivocation, that you will like the results of your efforts if you assemble one or more of the units. I cannot believe how wonderfully the unit(s) work. Also remember that you can use a more powerful bulb and a larger can if you like. Please send me feedback. Thank you for reading and God Bless.. Jerry..
More photos:
The following is a mirro finished siver coins I was unable to photgraph becase of the shiny fininsh until I used Jerry's Photo Can: http://tinyurl.com/58bepy

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Adobe: New And Free Photo Program

The following article has been released by Adobe Systems. I think many of our members will enjoy the latest beta version. I will appreciate feedback. God Bless.. Jerry..

Free Online Software Brings Photoshop Technology to Anyone Taking Digital Photos
SAN JOSE, Calif. — March 27 , 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® Express public beta, a free Rich Internet Application (RIA) available to anyone who wants to store, sort and show off digital photos with eye-catching effects. During the public beta period, Adobe will solicit Photoshop Express user feedback on product features and functionality, which will continue to evolve over time. As the newest addition to the Photoshop family line, Photoshop Express has taken much of Adobe’s best image editing technology and made it simple and accessible to a new online audience. Photoshop Express allows users to store up to 2 gigabytes of images online for free, make edits to their photos, and share them online in creative ways, including downloading and uploading photos from popular social networking sites like Facebook.

“Photoshop is trusted technology that has changed the visual landscape of our world. Now, Photoshop Express allows anyone who snaps a digital photo to easily achieve the high-impact results for which Adobe is known,” said Doug Mack, vice president of Consumer and Hosted Solutions at Adobe. “Photoshop Express is a convenient, single destination where you can store, edit and share photos whether you’re at home, school or on the road.”

Simple, Fun and Accessible
With Photoshop Express, digital photos can be uploaded and sorted anytime, edited non-destructively to always preserve the original image, and shared from anywhere, on any Web browser. In a few easy clicks, Photoshop Express empowers anyone to make standard edits, such as removing blemishes and red-eye, converting to black and white, cropping and resizing, and much more.

No experience is required to add special effects that will impress friends and family. In keeping with its one-click approach, Photoshop Express offers tricks like Pop Color which selects an object in an image, mutes the background color of the photo and allows the user to swap the object’s color so it jumps off the page. Sketch effects help photos look like drawings and the Distort feature allows you to distort facial features or objects within the images for a comical or artistic effect. Even users with limited photo editing knowledge can simply select what looks best from a line-up of sample photos with visual hints showing different variations of the added effect.
Photoshop Express offers a variety of creative sharing options, including uploading and showing off photos and slideshows in your own online “Gallery” hosted by Adobe, or conveniently embedding or linking photos to social networking sites and personal blogs without having to leave the application. Slideshows never looked better with animation that makes photos float and fly across the screen, allowing for viewer interactivity and unique presentation styles.

Adobe Photoshop Family
Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended are at the heart of the Photoshop family, joined by solutions for users at every level who want to bring out the best in their digital images. Photoshop Lightroom™ addresses the workflow needs of professional and serious amateur photographers. Photoshop Elements provides exciting tools and sharing options for photo hobbyists.

Photoshop Express is the latest step Adobe is taking to leverage the advanced technology that underpins its award-winning creative products and deliver it to new online communities. In early 2007, Adobe also announced the availability of Adobe® Premiere® Express, an online video editing and mash-up tool on partner sites such as MTV and Photobucket. Adobe Premiere Express leverages the functionality found in Premiere Elements, a fully-featured desktop video editing program.

Free and Available Now
Adobe Photoshop Express beta is available now for free via any Web browser at http://www.photoshop.com/express . Photoshop Express was created with Flex, Adobe’s free, open source framework for building RIAs. Flex applications provide a consistent, rich user experience across operating systems and all major browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and others. An Internet connection and an up-to-date Flash® Player 9 are all that are required to experience Adobe Photoshop Express. In its early phases, Photoshop Express is available to US residents-only in English. Users may experience slow performance if accessed outside of the US. Future plans include availability in other languages and countries.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit http://www.adobe.com/ .