ImageNest is a simple little Mac program from BlueCubit that replaces clunky printing systems included in most graphics programs. If you have a file or a bunch of files and you want to lay them out on a page and print them, ImageNest is the way to go. It’s an economical solution that saves time and paper. Sorry Windows users, ImageNest relies on Apple software components so no Windows versions are planned.
The software has many of the features photographers purchase high end rips for: Nesting, Sizing, Cut Marks, Contact Sheets and Multiple File Printing.
Nesting is including multiple images on a single page; this is the flagship feature of the product. Nesting was something only the big prepress RIPS like Colorburst and Colorbyte had, now it’s in a simple to use software. Combining multiple images in Photoshop is extremely laborious and profiles get an extra unnessesary conversion. ImageNest has no problem with using multiple profiles on a single page. It simply converts each individually to the printing profile. When combining images on a single page, Photoshop must convert the profiles to a single page working space, then it can convert the pages color space to the printing space. Nesting multiple files with multiple color spaces is awesome!
Trix Flash Modifier
———Straight Flash ——————With Trix Modifier—-
Over the years I’ve purchased many different flash modifiers. I have a whole collection of them from Lumiquest and Gary Fong. There are some basic problems I find with most of the ones on the market:
#1 They don’t make the light sources big enough. The size of the source is what changes the quality of the light.
#2 They don’t compact nicely to fit in a camera case.
#3 They block the focus assist light and IR trigger.
#4 They cut down the efficiently of the light too much.
#5 They fall off the camera.
We used to joke about photographers who “had their lights on strings.” This was an old school way of producing consistent results, but not creative ones. The modern version of that is photographers with their flash still on the camera. With all the options for remote-triggering strobes there is no excuse for using just an on-camera flash. That deer in the headlights straight on small light source look look is so tired. Here I light myself with two Canon 580 EX II flashes. I also used a ring light for fill, then added some lens flair in Photoshop
I really don’t need that much power most of the time, so a a battery powered TTL flash is fine. You can control additional flashes from an on-camera flash or use an IR controller.
ImageIngesterPro Workflow Diagram
Marc Rochkind has posted a wonderful article titled How to Back Up Your Personal Computer. I feel this is a must read for everyone who uses a computer. I’ve heard way too many stories of people losing all of their data for one reason or another. Very few users have bullet proof backup strategies, because it is more complex than most users know.
Marc is also the developer behind three very useful programs for managing image files: ImageIngester, Image Verifier, ImageReporter and SpanBurner. I’m using ImageIngester Pro and ImageVerifier, which together will cost you only $40. ImageIngester is saving us a ton of time processing files and Image Verifier is finding corruption in some of my early image files.
Marc is also very active on The DAM Forum which is Peter Krogh’s very educational Digital Asset Management forum.
It’s a shame to make a wonderful digital image and lose it. The pictures that I’ve missed or lost for one reason or another haunt me, so I have a healthy fear for the safety of every image I make. They say, “there are two kind of computer users, those who have lost data and those who WILL loose data.” At this point it’s probably more like those who have lost data and those who will loose data again, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Please post some comments on interesting ways you’ve lost data: Our most recent loss of data was from opening tiff files using Adobe Camera Raw(ACR) then saving them after adjustments. ACR opened these 17Megapixel files in 2.8Megapixel size, then we saved over the large files. We had to start over from the RAW files; two days of work down the drain.
This Singh-Ray Variable Neuatral Density filter is a very interesting piece of technology. It’s reported to be a little uneven at it’s higher light cutting settings, so beware. Still there is nothing like it and it has some interesting HDR possibilities. Sing-Ray has a real nice blog http://singhray.blogspot.com/search/label/Vari-ND.
Neutral Density(ND) filters are traditionally used for shallower depth of field or for more motion. I frequently use a 3stop ND filter on my 50MM 1.2 and my 85 1.2.. I love the shallow depth of field I get from shooting wide open on these lenses, but my Broncolor strobes are way too bright to get proper exposures.
I rarely use anything other than polarizers and graduated ND filters on digital cameras. There isn’t much use for color filters because the effects are better done in Photoshop. This is not a case of “Lazy-Shooter-Itis”, Photoshop just does many jobs better than the filters can. I do like to creating effects in camera as often as I can. There is merit in doing everything possible in camera to make the shot.