Category Archives for "PHOTOGRAPHY"

Seminar/Workshop Announcements: Kevin Ames Workflow tour and PhotoPlus seminars

I’ve know Kevin Ames for many years and consider him both a friend, and a great instructor. His years of experience using Photoshop for his commercial and personal work, along with his straightforward teaching style combine to make his events worth attending. I attended one of his day-long Blue Pixel seminars last year in Washington, D.C. and thought that he offered a lot of good advice about Photoshop and overall workflow.

Kevin Ames

Blue Pixel Pro Digital Workflow Tour


Kevin is currently traveling across the USA on the Blue Pixel Pro Digital Workflow Tour. Seven cities have already been completed on this tour, and the following nine cities remain:

San Diego, CA 11/12/06
Seattle, WA 11/19/06
Phoenix, AZ 12/03/06
Miami, FL 12/10/06
Chicago, IL 01/07/07
Los Angeles, CA 01/14/07
Baltimore, MD 01/28/07
San Jose, CA 02/04/07
New York, NY 02/11/07
For more information or to register, visit

Kevin Ames at the PhotoPlus Expo 2006

Kevin Ames will also host three hands-on workshops for digital photographers of all levels at PhotoPlus Conference & Expo 2006, being held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City November 2-4, 2006.


Each session is two-hours, and the seminar descriptions are listed below:

Lighting without Lights: This session reveals the secrets of Photoshop’s new Merge to HDR feature. Attendees will learn the photographic techniques that make lighting without lights possible, as well as the ins and outs of working in High Dynamic Range. Thursday, November 2, 1-3 p.m.

Understanding and Using Lighting for Digital Photographers: This dynamic session explains and demonstrates how to light a professional model. Attendees will discover how to recognize and understand the qualities of light and how to control contrast. Saturday, November 4, 1-3 p.m.

Using Apple’s Aperture with Photoshop CS2: This session will show attendees the latest in RAW pre-production image processing featuring Aperture, Apple’s new pro photographic software. Ames shows that prepping your RAW files on a Mac just got a whole lot easier! Saturday, November 4, 3:45-5:45 p.m.

“By hosting these workshops along with Blue Pixel’s Pro Digital Workflow seminar series around the country, I am giving digital photographers a chance to learn and enhance their own techniques,” said Ames….I hope to illustrate how to apply these techniques creatively to get the visualized images of the mind’s eye out into the world for others to see and enjoy.”

For more information or to register, visit

Kevin is also the author of a number of outstanding books related to Photoshop and Digital Photography, which you can find here.


Tip: A Free Resolution Chart and a Guide to Image Resolution

I recently did a presentation about inkjet printing and made available a “Resolution Chart” PDF which I created over 10 years ago. It’s nothing fancy, but I’ve found that the chart often helps people to better understand how file sizes change as PPI or file dimensions increase or decrease. It can also help to quickly determine the file size you need when ordering scans, or when making your own scans.

Resolution Chart Crop-1

A cropped section of the Resolution Chart.


A link to the resolution chart, along with 12 inkjet tips (one a week for 12 weeks), will be sent to you by subscribing to my Inkjet & Imaging Tips Newsletter, which is a free newsletter sent periodically with tips, information about gallery shows and workshops, as well as info about imaging related products and offers that I believe are valuable to readers. It’s not a newsgroup, so you won’t be sent messages by others–only I post to it, and it arrives in your in-box like most e-mail newsletters. The box to subscribe is below, or you can enter your e-mail in the form on the right-hand side of this website.

First Name:   300 InkjetTips Book Resizing Chart

When you confirm your subscription, you’ll be directed to a landing page with two links-just copy and paste each link into any browser to see the 10 tips and to download the chart.


After downloading the chart, you will see a series of numbers. Along the Y-axis (along the left side) are common film and image sizes (File Dimensions). Along the X-axis (across the top) are various PPI (pixels per inch) numbers, as well as some RES numbers. RES30, RES40 stands for Pixels Per Millimeter, and the term is often used by companies who make continuous-tone transparencies and negatives. (Just multiply the ppm (or RES number) times 25.4 to get the equivalent PPI).

To determine file size for a specific dimension and resolution (PPI), just choose a dimension, such as 11×14 inches, and follow the line across from 100-2032PPI to see how the file size changes (this assumes an 8-bit RGB file in TIFF format with no compression or extra layers). A grayscale file would be one-third the size since it has one instead of three channels. A CMYK file would be four times the grayscale file’s size because it has 4 channels.


The question of what PPI at what size is always a question that comes up. I always say “test, test, and then test again!” to see what works for your images. I print most of my work around 300PPI at final size to inkjet printers and continuous tone photo machines (like those found at Pro Labs, or drugstores). However, 180-200PPI or even lower has been fine for me in most cases, especially when making larger prints. Your file’s image quality, plus the paper, printer and final output size all contribute to the final quality of your prints.

It’s quite amazing how relatively small files can make outstanding prints, especially if they are not over or under-sharpened or have artifacts (common with JPG files that have been compressed, or with lower-quality cameras). It’s also amazing to me how two different papers output on the same printer can show a very different level of visual sharpness.


You can check just about any file size quickly in a variety of imaging programs. Below, I show the File>New dialog box for Adobe Photoshop. Just enter the dimensions, PPI and Color Mode (for example, Grayscale, RGB, etc) and you will see your file size appear at the top of the box.


If you are an educator and would like to make copies of this chart for your students, please contact me, and I will review your request. I’ve seen many of my students truly understand for the first time the concept of resolution after seeing how it works in a visual form.

All the best!
Andrew Darlow

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Announcement: LiveBooks|EDU launched with affordable portfolio solutions for students & teachers


For the last few years, I’ve seen about 50 online portfolios from photographers who use LiveBooks software. The sites really stand out because they look very slick, contain large images (much like a printed portfolio) and have easy to navigate thumbnails.

The following information, describing the company’s subscription-based service for students and teachers, comes from a recent press release: LiveBooks recently announced it will provide a subscription based package for students and teachers of photography for its award-winning Web-based portfolio software. LiveBooks Lite provides users with the ability to create up to three individual portfolios with each portfolio capable of housing up to 64 images. LiveBooks Deluxe offers virtually unlimited portfolios. Both versions enable photographers to create multiple libraries to store and organize approximately 1,000 images waiting to be rotated into their online portfolios. LiveBooks|EDU Lite and Deluxe are available for monthly subscription rates of 29.95 and $59.95, respectively. The monthly subscription price includes Website hosting by LiveBooks Inc. and a unique method for entering metadata to bring a LiveBooks Website to the top of Web searches.

The pro-level versions of LiveBooks (not the student & teacher version) is sold for a one-time fee of $950-3900 (depending upon the package selected) on the website. For more information, visit and