16 Aug 2012 Pixels 2 Pigment Update – Okinawa Aug 4-5 (Podcast 348)
Today I’m going to provide an update on the Pixels 2 Pigment workshops that we kicked off on August 4 in Okinawa, the sourthern-most island of Japan. Then next week, because I haven’t done a travelogue style Podcast where I talk about my images and my techniques and artistic decisions, I figured it would be nice to do that and walk you through some of the images that I shot while down on the beautiful island of Okinawa.
Firstly, let’s take a look at our first Pixels 2 Pigment Okinawa workshop, and I’d like to start by thanking Chris Willson for hosting the Okinawa workshop weekend, and I’d also like to thanks Chris for the workshop name too! I had started planning this workshop when Chris contacted me about going to Okinawa, and just dropped the name out in conversation. Over the following 24 hours I couldn’t get the name out of my head, and asked Chris if he minded me using it. He graciously agreed, so huge thanks are in order there as well.
I’d also like to thank the participants that joined us for the two full days. It was a small group but they were all talented photographers, and it was a pleasure to view some of their images and help them optimize their workflows and make some prints of their beautiful work. [Of course, the workshop is open to photographers of all levels, and everyone takes away useful information and a highly efficient, optimized digital workflow.]
Now, I’m not going to report on everything we cover in the workshop, as that would take two days, but to give you an outline we start literally from techniques used to create quality pixels, which is the start of the process. I explain about exposure and shooting techniques, and capturing the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, and why this is important. We then move on to the digital workflow, transferring our images to the computer, with Lightroom tips interwoven, then we create a camera profile with the X-Rite software to apply to our images in Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW.
One major theme throughout the workshop is improving efficiency and optimizing the digital workflow, so tips on how to do that are interspersed throughout, and we move through some Lightroom tips and techniques to calibrating to the display, and how to optimize your system for frustration free image editing through to printing.
Once we have the camera and monitor calibrated, it’s time to move on and create a printer profile. I use various X-Rite calibration tools starting with the i1 Display Pro, ColorMunki Photo and the new top of the range i1 Photo Pro 2. I explain how to print the profile targets and the group gets involved actually scanning the profile target sheets using the ColorMunki and the i1 Pro 2 devices.
Once we have our printer profiles, we’re ready to print! Each participant bought 3 to 5 of their favorite images and as a group we voted and decided which ones of these to soft-proof and print. Breathing Color have kindly provided us with Lyve Canvas and Laminate, and some stretcher bars to create a gallery wrap of three of the groups prints. As the group was relatively small, we chose prints from everyone, and printed three of them for gallery wraps, and two as fine art prints with borders.
We timed the print creation to be completed at the end of day one, so that they’d be able to dry overnight, but before we broke for the day, I explained the various things to consider when choosing a fine art paper, including what to consider when you will hang or display your prints.
On the morning of day two, the first job was to protect our canvas prints with Breathing Color’s Lyve Laminate. I’d also created a print of one of my images so I demonstrated the Lamination process to the group and again, they took turns laminating their own prints, which went really smoothly with my lamination techniques, which took me two weeks of trial and error to perfect. The group had this down in five minutes.
While the canvas prints were drying we continuing working on tips and techniques with Lightroom and then Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4. Some of the group has not yet used these plugins and were really impressed with how easy it is to make incredibly high quality and well toned black and white images, as well as the stylized color images with Color Efex Pro 4.
We then worked through exporting images from Lightroom including efficient ways to export large numbers of files for various purposes and Lightroom’s Slideshows, Books and Web modules.
Of course, no digital workflow is complete without a powerful and fail-safe backup regime, so we cover that, as well as archival storage for the prints that you’ll make, and we touch of creating Portfolios from both the image selection process to physical portfolio considerations.
By this point, the canvases were dry and ready to trim and stretch onto the gallery wrap stretcher bars. In this image (below) you can see Shawn Miller who I interviewed in Episode 347 of this Podcast last week, trimming a canvas print of his beautiful Clown Fish photograph.
As each participant creating a gallery wrap trimmed their prints, we moved straight on to the stretching process, and they finished their gallery wraps. Here (below) we see Shawn again with his gallery wrap. Note that because I had to take the cutting mat down to Okinawa, we were limited in the size of the gallery wraps that we could create, but once you know how to do this, you can basically create a gallery wrap as long as you can print them. This size is what you can do with a printer capable of printing up to 13×19″ prints.
And here is another shot of the group with their prints, and I have the print of my own photograph that I created, which was presented to David Edenfield as I drew his name from the hat as the winner for this gallery wrap.
In addition to giving away a gallery wrap of one of my photos, we also drew names from the hat to give one person a copy of their choice of Nik Software’s plugins worth $100, which Michael Taylor won, and David Orr won an X-Rite ColorChecker passport. These three items will be given away at each workshop, and then when I’ve finished the workshops in each continent, I’d draw another name from the hat to see who will be the lucky winner that will receive Nik Software’s Complete Collection Ultimate Edition worth $500! I’d like to also thank Nik Software for this, as well as Breathing Color and X-Rite, for their support. This workshop would not have been possible without you guys!
Pixels 2 Pigment Registration
This first weekend in Okinawa was just the first of a series of workshops that I’ve planned world wide. We’re in Tokyo on August 25-26 and then I fly to sunny California for the first US workshop in Los Angeles on September 1-2, then up to Vancouver in Canada on September 8-9, back down to San Francisco on September 15-16 and across to New York for September 22-23, before going up to Canada again for a weekend in Toronto on September 29-30. Then I fly over to London for the weekend of October 6-7, and to Sydney Australia on October 20-21 and Melbourne on October 27-28. Phew!
It’s going to be a hectic few months, but I am totally stoked to be able to bring this workshop to you personally on your own turf. This Podcast turns seven years old in a couple of weeks time, and we have so many listeners around the world that I have never been able to meet in person, and this is one way that I figured we could make that happen, without you having to come all the way to Japan, so I do hope we get a chance to meet over the next couple of months.
If you’d like to sign up, visit the Pixels 2 Pigment Web site, and click on the links for each location in the middle of the page, then you’ll need to click the Paypal button and pay your workshop fees to commit to joining us.
Note though that for the three US venues, I’ve teamed up with Calumet Photo, and so the registration for these workshops is being handled by Calumet. Spaces are relatively limited, so don’t hang around if you’d like to join us for the Pixels 2 Pigment weekend in your area. I do hope you can make it though. It’s going to be so great meeting some of you listeners in person after all of these years.
As I said, next week I’m going to get back to a travelogue style Podcast for the first time in a while, and walk you through some of the shot that I came back from Okinawa with, as I stayed for an extra week after the workshop and had a great time down their shooting with friends like Pete and Haruna Leong, David and Naoko Orr, Shawn Miller and Michael Taylor. Even the total strangers down on Okinawa are so kind and such warm people, it’s a beautiful place, and I can’t wait to get back down there at some point.
Pixels 2 Pigment Web site: http://www.pixels2pigment.com/
Music by UniqueTracks
Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.
Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).
Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.