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ddd

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  1. ddd

    How To:

    Rik, Your statement about RAW vs. jpg might be misleading since jpg can also be manipulated any way in any basic photographic software. When saved to disk, jpg files are compressed (at various qualities from 1-12 (low to high) and take up much less space. this allows for many more images to be stored on the camera's disk. Also, when shooting RAW the writing time of the file to the disk in the camera can be very long (compared to saving of high quality jpg images) which can reduce, at times, the chances for quick additional shots....... David, (ddd)
  2. ddd

    Resize Images For This Forum

    Jim, "Yellowmug" is known for its small, efficient and cheap software that deals in a simple manner with common tasks that can be a long sequence of actions in Photoshop. Experianced Photoshop users usually create a series of automatic actions using the "Actions" tool ("Window" menu. At times, creating a simple two-three stage action can save many seconds-per-picture when dealing with large batches of images that need similar first treatment. For example, creating an action tha will rotate the picture 90 deg clockwise, remove a prevailing magenta cast and sharpen the picture ("Unsharp" filter!)... These three actions can be combined into a one key stroke. Worth looking into. Most simple to activate.... David (ddd)
  3. ddd

    Resize Images For This Forum

    Hello Janel, Well described! When one becomes more experienced with Photoshop, one finds other ways and shortcuts to reach the same results. One thing though, when checking the Size Menu one should adjust the length units to what they are used to. You use INCHES, I suppose, I use cm...... Pixel Dimensions 11.1M Width: 2272 pixels Height: 1704 pixels Document Width: 7.573 (?????) inches Height: 5.68 inches Resolution: 300 All the best, David (ddd)
  4. ddd

    At the bench

    Janel You are doing the right thing by having the main light source "back lighting" the subject, creating excellent texture definition..... Back lighting creates that beautiful highlight fringe along the contours, adding also the feeling of depth and drama. David (ddd)
  5. ddd

    A Living Stone....

    These living carved out features are the front view of a living Stone Fish (Synaceia verrucosa) one of nature's true wonders of camouflage. This underwater macro shot was photographed in 1971, in the Red Sea, while doing my PhD in marine biology. Those years were responsible for shaping my lifetime career as a scientific photographer.... The frame is about 6" across. David Darom (ddd)
  6. ddd

    At the bench

    The shadows should be "filled in" and lightened by using a small white cardboard reflector to throw some of the light onto the shaded front of the object. Moving the "fill-in" reflector closer or away from the object will determine the intensity of lightening the shadows... I often use diffused sky-light near an open window and soften the shadows with a piece of white cardboard. Open shade or diffused light from a brightly lit sky will usually render best close to life colors. Using a Halogen lamp or Flood-light might give a dominant orange color cast that is sometimes difficult to get rid of completely in the final picture... The Auto White Balance setting may not be enough to control the intense orange cast of such light sources. Manual White Balance should be applied for acurate color, adjusted again with every new lighting setup. David Darom (ddd)
  7. Thanks Jim for mentioning my book. On my USA distributor's website (http://www.saviolopublisher.com) one can find and download seven complete 8 page sections from my book, among them Arpad Bojtos' 8 pages. The book is "Art and Design In Modern Custom Fixed-Blade Knives" and you can find all this in the book review section at: http://www.saviolopublisher.com/fixed.php. By the way everyone is invited to the exciting "happening" of introducing the book to the public on March 4-6th at the NY East Coast Custom Knife Show (ECCKS). It will take place at the Park Central Hotel New York, which is at 870 Seventh Avenue at 56th Street. In Arpad's section you can see three of stages in the carving of the bolster and some of the tools he uses. I think the Art of Paul Jarvis will also be of great interest to all of you who so wondrously shape objects of great beauty. He has actually invented most of the tecniques he uses to create art knives.... And, since Jim seems too modest to mention this, there is also a most beautiful 6 page section in the book that goes under the title of "The Knife Art of Jim Kelso".... David (ddd)
  8. Hello everyone, Thought I should introduce a great but very modest European knife artist living in Slovakia, who hand carves his knives. The Blade, the bolsters the handle and the sheah - carving steel, ivory, bone, wood or gold, his work is created using only manual hand tools, no power equipment! Attached is a close-up view of both sides of the carved bolster on a knife Arpad made specially for my recently published book on Custom Fixed-Blade Knives. Many pieces made by him are displayed on 8 pages in the book.... Here is the description of the process of making this knife and details about the knife itself. Arpad can be contacted at: bojtos@stonline.sk Making the “Buffalo Hunter†After creating the rough shape of the knife, the steel is heated to a temperature of 860°C for 45 minutes to obtain the relative softness needed for carving. Bojtos doesn’t like to use vices, so he uses the pitch-pan to hold the the blade steady while carving. He first carefully plans the designs, and then draws them on the steel using felt-tip markers. A rough carving of the relief is made with hammer and chisels. The relief is then "cleaned" using files and scrapers, and Arpad proceeds to carve in the fine details. Finally the three-dimensional picture is cleaned out and finished using sandpaper and grinding pastes. After heat treating the steel, Arpad fixes the handle slabs to the knife with 14k gold pins. Arpad spends a great amount of time researching a subject and begins to visualize the design for a knife long before he actually starts working on it. He sketches again and again while discussing his designs with his wife, Daniela, and daughter, Zuzana, who are his first and severest critics. It sometimes takes him months, even years, before he makes the final drawings for a new knife. Only then does he begin to choose suitable materials for the handle and sheath. It is an unwritten rule with Arpad not to use walrus or narwhale ivory for a tropical design or exotic woods and elephant Ivory when carving an arctic scene. Old trees are often a dominant feature in his carving, as his work space overlooks the town's park, with many of its hundred-year-old trees in full view. "Indian Buffalo Hunter", 2004 A Semi-Integral made of 440 C steel. The handle material is Cocobolo wood, and the sheath is made of one piece of hollowed-out Cocobolo wood, with silver fittings darkened by sulphuric acid. The buffalo skulls on the sheath are carved mammoth ivory. Overall length 9 2/8" (240 mm). Arpad says:"For this knife, as I often do for my knife carvings, I chose a theme related to native tribes and their association with the surrounding wildlife. Since I like to combine both human and animal elements, I think this is a typical knife of mine". Hope you enjoyed this, David
  9. ddd

    How To:

    By giving so much information that seems trivial and simple for me, It seem I have confused you a little. I'll make it basic: I use psd files to save multy-layer images. these cannot be used as-is for print. They have to be flattened first. After flattening I save them as eps files. They take up much less space when closed but return to full size when opened. Saving flattened files as Tiff will result in taking up much more storage place. But, tiff is considered very stable and there is no loss of data whatsoever.... Sorry for this. It still sounds complicated but if you deal with picture files on a daily basis, I'm sure you can make something out of this........ ddd
  10. ddd

    How To:

    The basic rule is not to increase the number of pixels in a picture file. The only way to up the resolution (i.e. from 300 to 400) is to reduce the area size of the picture. Leaving the size unchanged and increasing the dpi, will add pixels to the file by software interpolation. This is risky as these new pixels, close as they may be to to the colors of those next to them, might change details in the picture. Slight increase will not really be noticeable. Using "Image Size" see that the three parameters WIDTH, HIGHT and RESOLUTION are interconnected. Then, when you change one the other two change accordingly, leaving the number of pixels in the file unchanged. This way you can determine what size your picture will be when upped from 300 to 400 dpi. BTW, you should always photograph using the the maximum value (Size) your camera is able to produce, giving the picture the most pixels to begin with. This is defined as "Large" on some of them. David (ddd)
  11. ddd

    How To:

    Don, I can give you an example from my book "Art and Design in Modern Custom Folding Knives" that I sent you last year. The final size of the full page illustrations in the book was at 400 dpi. For the pre-print process the illustrations were supplied as eps files. All the pictures in this 256 page book (final sizes, eps and at 400 dpi) fitted on one 700 MB CD. But, as all the illustrations in that project were created in layers (when combining several knives on one page) I also saved them as psd files. These are now backed-up on three 4.7 GB DVDs.... Usually 300 dpi is more than enough for color printing in a magazine or a book. In extra high quality printing 400 dpi is needed (enabling the Ofset printing process to use the fine 200 screen). Hope this answers some of your questions. David (ddd)
  12. ddd

    How To:

    I have found that there is no noticeable quality difference between shooting RAW files and shooting in the "Fine" or similar setting, producing smaller jpg files. Once I open the picture file I never save it again as jpg but as eps (Using the "jpg Maximum Quality" option). This reduces the file size considerably. Shooting raw is slow and fills the camera's disc capacity in no time.... I also avoid the Nikon Capture option (other digital camera makers supply their specific basic software for dealing with images) and open the pictures in Photoshop's "Browse" option dealing with them one by one with Photoshop's many options and tools. I usually create a "Macro" through the "Actions" option when repeated functions are needed to deal with a batch of images. David (ddd)
  13. ddd

    How To:

    Hi Jim, One day, if I manage to visit you at home I will be able to solve ALL your problems concerning digital photography in 30 minutes.... Now, from 10,000 miles away, all I can do is offer some specific advice. Maybe a few words first on some of the most obvious advantages of digital vs. conventional photography for those whe have not yet converted: 1. In Digital photography, The results are instant and can be checked for quality on the screen, enlarging portions of the image (up to x10 and more). This allows for instant re-shooting of the subject, correcting whatever needed on the spot. On the computer screen always open the images in a photo-editing software like Photoshop. In its recent versions go to File --- Browse --- and then to the folder on your desktop with the pictures. Jim, I always download all the images to a folder on my computer's desktop and then check the pictures. To check for sharpness I enlarge the images as needed pressing the "Space bar" to move around the picture.... Your screen is a good one you really don't need anything larger! 2. The WHITE BALANCE feature, even when used in the Auto mode, gives wonderful color correcting options that minimize unpleasant hues created by various light sources. Fluorescent lighting is usually greenish compared to "Daylight", and Tungsten bulbs give a dominant orange cast. Using a normal daylight film (without specific filters attached to the lens) will result in dominating color casts in pictures shot under various lighting situations even outdoors in the shade, on a cloudy day or when the sun is low above the horizon. Digital cameras solve this problem nicely even in the basic Auto mode. They also have a Manual White Balance option where the digital camera can be calibrated (very easily) for accurate color rendering under any given lighting situation. 3. If the above is not convincing enough, then the ability to display the images on the home TV minutes after the shooting or deal with them on the computer and print them out within minutes, is something no amateur photographer could ever do with conventional photography.... 4. Pixels are the basic building blocks of digital photography and are responsible for the final "resolution" of the picture. The more the better. With a 5 Mega-pixel camera one can print beautiful letter size pictures. With an 8 MP digital camera the "resolution" is much higher and the results can be used for professional full page illustrations. These are affordable cameras ranging in price from $300 to $750. A 22 Mega-pixel professional digital camera - the ultimate photographic tool of today - costs around $50,000 but is worth every cent to an active professional photographer. I save and arrange pictures the old way especially as Mac's OS X offers large picture ikons for picture files...... Subject folders with dated subject "sub-folders" and files. I backup material on external hard disks, and on DVDs by subjects or projects (with 4.7 GB storage space). As you can see, Jim, from this long answer, I have more time than usual on my hands, as my book is in the process of being shipped to the USA and Europe... David (ddd)
  14. ddd

    How To:

    Shalom Janel, being a very active professional photographer and a scientist, I have for some years now, reached the conclusion that digital photography surpasses the using of conventional (Film) cameras in many ways. I have not shot film even once over the last 4 years, and I deal with very high quality color publications!! To utilize all the advantages digital photography offers, one should also use a good picture editing software (Photoshop is the first choice) learning the basic tools offered by such programs. If there is any interest on this forum, I can outline all the advantages of digital photography vs. the conventional, helping to "convert" those still hesitating.... David Darom (ddd)
  15. ddd

    Vladimir Burkovski

    Shalom Janel, Vladimir is a good friend and is also the only Israeli knife artist to appear in my new book "Art and design in Modern Custom FIXED-BLADE Knives" that was published two weeks ago. His website is http://www.knifearts.com but you will have to forgive his English as he is much better in Russian or Hebrew. I'm sure he would love it if you contacted him personally. David Darom (ddd)
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