Photo Techniques Magazine September,October 2009 (Malestrom)


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Photo Techniques Magazine September,October 2009 (Malestrom)

  1. 1. Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out For navigation instructions please click here Search Issue | Next Page PERFECTING DIGITAL TONES NEW T-MAX 400 —TEST RESULTS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 PHOTO PHOTO Techniques People in Action PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS Techniques ® Systems & Processes for Today’s Creative Photographer Raw Conversion Tools: Which is Best for You? • Lightroom • Aperture • CaptureOne • DxO Getting the Most from a Lens Choosing Before Composing The Panasonic G1— Start of a Mirrorless Era? NOISE PLUG-INS TESTED • Neat Image Pro+ • Noiseware Pro • Noise Ninja Pro Cover image by Kevin Bowman Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out For navigation instructions please click here Search Issue | Next Page
  2. 2. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page M M q q qM qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® “A great money maker for any portrait or wedding photographer” From this... to even this, or any stage inbetween, literally in minutes Increase your print sales dramatically by making your subjects as attractive as they can be. Ultra quickly and easily. New, multi award-winning professional touch-up software. 10% extra discount for Photo Techniques readers by Designed specifically for photographers. entering the coupon PT909 when buying online. Ultra fast, Ultra easy. See the improvements in V9 for yourself. Download the free trial qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page M M q q qM qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  3. 3. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® Table of contents Vol. 30, No. 5 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 The cover: Jump PHOTO by KEVIN B OWMAN Techniques ® Features 8 A New Look to Your A Mirrorless Future? 35 Fine-Art Photographs, B y Uwe Steinmueller by Herbert C. B erkholz 8 The Panasonic G1 leads a potential trend Giving prints a deckled-edge to digital cameras with larger sensors, look can help separate interchangeable lenses, and no mirror. them from the crowd. Turn Down that Noise, 38 14 The New T-Max 400, by Ctein by Fred Newman Comparing three Tests reveal you can teach noise-reduction an old f ilm new tricks. programs: 18 Neat Image, Noise Ninja, and 18 Field Curvature, Noiseware. 38 by Lloyd Chambers How to analyze and work with Perfecting 44 this ubiquitous lens problem. Digital-Tone Reproduction, 23 PORTFOLIO: B y Dick Dickerson People in Action and Silvia Zawadzki The winners of our contest revealed. 23 A shortcut to better digital prints. 27 Raw Conversion and PHOTO Techniques Exclusive Editing Software, for Digital Readers by Mark Dubovoy The pluses and minuses of Preview and Soft 49 Lightroom, Aperture, and CaptureOne. Proofing in Photoshop, by Tim Daly 33 DxO Optics Pro: The Discover how to get your inkjet PHOTO TECHNIQUES prints to match what you see Non-Mainstream Powerhouse 27 on your monitor through the of Raw, by Paul Schranz use of soft proofing. Though not as well known, DxO should be considered with the heavyweights. DEPARTMENTS Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Master Print Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 | PHOTO Techniques (ISSN 1083-9070) READER SERVICES: Books, back issues, and SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 is published bimonthly (every other month) by collector prints may be ordered with VISA, Decision Time, Preston Publications, Div. Preston Industries Mastercard, or American Express by calling Photo News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 by B ruce B arnbaum Inc., 6600 W. Touhy, Niles, IL 60714-4516. (866) 295-2900 Monday–Friday 8 AM to by JERRY O’NEILL Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and 4 PM Central Time. Or e-mail us at New Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 additional mailing offices. Copyright 2009; ____________ Marketplace/ Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 reproduction without permission strictly prohibited. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vestal At Large . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 PHOTO Techniques, P.O. Box 585, SUBSCRIPTIONS: U.S.: 1 Yr./$29.99; 2 Yr./ Mt. Morris, IL 61054; or e-mail us at $49.99; 3 Yr./$69.99. Outside U.S.: 1 Yr./ ____________ Shock of the Old, $41.99; 2 Yr./$73.99; 3 Yr./$105.99. For new subscriptions or renewals call (866) 295-2900, or by David Vestal e-mail us at ____________ PRINTED IN U.S.A. BY ST. CROIX PRESS INC. | 1 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  4. 4. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® PHOTO Editor’s note by Scott Lewis Techniques Preston Publications Div. Preston Industries, Inc. 6600 W. Touhy Ave. | Niles, IL 60714-4516 Phone (847) 647-2900 | Fax (847) 647-1155 The Meaning of “Instant” in Photography PUBLISHER S. Tinsley Preston III I EDITOR Scott Lewis ___________ ’m sure that many of you have read that a group of Europeans is trying COPY EDITOR Kathy Zawilenski to reinvent Polaroid instant film to begin selling it again by some point ADVERTISING Charles Pachter this year. While others work to create smaller, better pixels, they are _____________ laboring to recreate chemistry and chemical processes. For many of us, the DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Janice Gordon swift development of a Polaroid print was as close as one got to an “instant” PRODUCTION Roberta Knight image—until, of course, digital came along and soon had pixels f lashing on ART camera backs. My wife and I shot most of our honeymoon pictures with a Lynne Anderson, Director Polaroid camera; partly because we wanted to see them immediately, partly Stephanie Graffuis-Cain, Webmaster Pamela Kintzel because we like the look (the soft look of a Polaroid was certainly f lattering Mila Ryk for portraits). Now those photos almost seem like relics of a bygone era. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS What killed Polaroid? Largely the growth of digital photography, which Howard Bond Michael Reichmann has been not just in the news, but oftentimes making the news. The Robert Chapman Paul R. Schranz Ctein John Sexton highest-profile recent example is in the post-election turmoil in Iran. It Patrick Gainer Abhay Sharma proved fairly easy to stop the official press with its official cameras from Ron Jegerings David Vestal taking photographs of the demonstrations and violence, but when Bobbi Lane Carl Weese Jerry O’Neill hundreds of people had cellphones with cameras, it proved impossible to stop them from capturing images (and video). Sure, the images weren’t as LIST RENTAL sharp and perfect as a professional photographer would have captured, but Statlistics Nancy Spielmann in a chaotic and historic situation, that quickly becomes secondary to the Phone (203) 778-8700 fact that the image exists at all. Fax (203) 778-4839 People can argue about the quality of digital in general (and cameraphones NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION in particular), but it’s difficult to argue with the speed and efficiency of Curtis Circulation Company 730 River Road, New Milford, NJ 07646-3048 taking a digital photo and getting it onto the Internet, even in the midst of (201) 634-7400 Fax: (201) 634-7499 a crackdown by a repressive government. However instant it seemed at the RETAIL DISTRIBUTION time, it’s hard to imagine this working in the days of Polaroid. Hopefully 6600 W. Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714-4516 (847) 647-2900 we will continue to have the choice of either medium. In closing, I want to thank everyone who entered our People in Action SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 P.O. Box 585, Mt. Morris, IL 61054 contest. It was very difficult to narrow it down to just a few winners. So (866) 295-2900 difficult, in fact, that we are presenting some additional images beyond the Editorial contributions, letters to the editor, photos, etc. to: PT Edit. Dept., 6600 W. Touhy Ave., Niles, IL 60714-4516. Material official winners on our Web site at accepted for publication subject to revision, at publisher’s discretion, to meet editorial standards/style. Unsolicited material will not be You can see the five official winners in this issue’s portfolio on page 23. returned unless accompanied by SASE. Payment upon publication at prevailing rates covers all one-time publication rights, author’s and/or contributor’s rights, title and/or interest in/to material including, but not limited to photos, drawings, charts/graphs and designs, which shall be considered as text. The act of mailing manuscripts, letters, | photos and/or material shall constitute an express warranty by the TECHNIQUES contributor that the material is original, has not been published/ submitted elsewhere in similar form, and is in no way an infringement upon the rights of others. Publisher makes every effort to ensure careful handling of all photos, but is not responsible for incidental loss/damage; submission of duplicates recommended. Mention of any photographic formula/product does not constitute endorsement by PT. Scott Lewis | PHOTO Canadian Publications Mail Agreement # 40030346 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Editor Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5 Email:___________ 2 Printed in U.S.A. by St. Croix Press Inc. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  5. 5. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® P H OT O N E W S © Robert Adams, courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and Matthew George Eastman House collections. by Jerry O’Neill Marks Gallery, New York New Topographics show Mobile Homes, Jefferson County, Colorado, 1973, by Robert Adams B ack in 1975 there was a landmark exhibition of photographs called of Arizona (www.creativephotography. __ and George Eastman House, with org) George Eastman House collections. New Topographics: Photographs of a a selection of more than 100 works Man-Altered Landscape. It became from the original show. The 10 the second-most-cited photography photographers featured in 1975, and exhibit in history, beaten only by again in the new show, are Robert © Nicholas Nixon The Family of Man, curated by Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Edward Steichen, which opened in Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen in New York City. Shore, and Henry Wessel Jr. View of the Boston Public Library, 1974, But where The Family of Man was Eastman House says, “The current by Nicholas Nixon humanistic and warm, many visitors to exhibition demonstrates both the New Topographics felt it was cold and historical significance of their photo- New Topographics is at Eastman impersonal, and well, maybe even a graphs and the continued relevance of House through September 27, little weird. After all, by the standards this work in today’s culture.” meaning it closes there shortly after of the day, landscape photography might include Nicholas Nixon’s excellent, perspective-corrected view- camera photo of the Boston Public Library. But what about photos of an empty parking lot, or a motel where each room was a separate “teepee” (with a TV antenna on top), or a trailer park, even if it’s raked by dramatic light? So, back in 1975, New Topographics (mounted by the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York), drew comments both positive and negative. But whatever one’s opinion, it was an important PHOTO TECHNIQUES show that Eastman House says “signaled the emergence of a new approach to landscape photography, ultimately giving a name to a movement and style.” As an example of its far-reaching effects, today— | 34 years later—there’s an active New SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 Topographics group on Flickr, showing “work that shows human activity and interaction within the landscape.” So the show is being recreated for an international tour by the Center for Creative Photography at the University | 3 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  6. 6. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® P H OT O N E W S __________________ George Eastman House collections. © John Schott Untitled, from the series Route 66 Motels, 1973, by John Schott you receive this issue. But it will travel George Eastman House collections. © Gallery, San Francisco, and Matthew to eight venues in the United States Robert Adams, courtesy of Fraenkel and Europe: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Oct. 25, 2009–Jan. 3, Marks Gallery, New York 2010); Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson (Feb. 19–May 16, 2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (July 17–Oct. 3, 2010); Landesgalerie Linz, Austria (Nov. 10, Tract House, Westminster, Colorado, 1974, by Robert Adams 2010–Jan. 9, 2011), Photographische Sammlung Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany (Jan. 27–April 3, 2011); Netherlands (July 2–Sept. 11, 2011); Jeu de Paume, Paris (April 11–June and Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 12, 2011); and the Nederlands Bilbao, Spain (November 2011– Fotomuseum Rotterdam, the January 2012). S H O RT TA K E Family surprised at Czech photo- and e-mailed it to her. That convinced SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 swiping—It started with a bit of true her—“Not only is that my family,” she Americana: Danielle Smith, her told National Public Radio, “that is husband Jeff, and their two kids posed my family life-size.” She had posted for a photograph that the family used the photo, in high resolution, on her on their Christmas card. A bit later, Web site and “a few social networking imagine their surprise when Danielle sites,” and obviously somebody had got an e-mail from a college friend downloaded a copy. Meanwhile, the living in Prague, the Czech capital, Smiths haven’t received much of an | TECHNIQUES saying he had seen a huge blow-up of apology from the grocery store. the photo in the window of a Prague “I think at this point, our apology is grocery store. Danielle was skeptical, that they are willing to take the photo so to prove it, her friend took a picture down,” says Danielle. | PHOTO For additional news go to 4 ___________________ qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  7. 7. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM M M q q qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® DXG offering $149.99 underwater HD camcorder I t sounds hard to believe, but there’s a new high-definition video camera on the market, complete with itself lists for $129.99, plus $49.99 more for the housing.) The camera allows shooting down to 15 feet. underwater housing, for less than I haven’t seen sample footage yet, but Front and back views of the $150. It’s from DXG, “one of the specs are pretty impressive: Video DXG-579VS HD underwater the fastest growing camcorder resolution of 1280×720 at 30 frames camcorder . manufacturers in the U.S.”—the per second; recording time up to DXG-579VS Underwater Value 4 hours (using optional 8GB SD f lash memory—all powered by four Pack. (Normally the camcorder by memory card); and 32MB of built-in AAA batteries. Obama Time Capsule book can feature you Gepe Card Safe Extreme: The bet- ter memory card Heliopan: SH-PMC digital/film protector. Holds any filters eliminate reflections up combo of 4 CF, SM, to 99.9% and repel dust and SD & MS cards. moisture. H ere’s a unique book about Great Barack Obama’s presidential campaign—it lets you customize the Gear,#3. book specifically for you and your family, adding personal messages Ansmann Li-Ion and photographs. It’s the creation of Digicharger: For 3.6 & 7.2V batteries. 4 adapters for Rick Smolan, best known for the 100+ battery types. Microprocessor controlled. popular Day in the Life book series. Smolan says Obama Time Capsule is like the scrapbook his mother made for him when President Kennedy was elected. Purchasers of the book can write a dedication or post their own photograph on the back cover, but Smolan points out they can’t actually put themselves into the pictures—for example, on stage with PHOTO TECHNIQUES Obama—it’s not like Woody Allen’s Giottos Q. Ball 1983 movie Zelig, he said. Price of Rocket Blaster: Blow away dust from the customized book at lenses, computers; 60° tilt nozzle. is $64.95, and note there are no Braun Multitray Digital Slide returns or cancellations, since each Scanner: Scans up to 100 slides automatically into MAC or PC. copy is unique. There’s more info at 6 tray types, fire wire and USB. | ■ SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 Jerry O’Neill has been photographing, Performance and value. writing, and lecturing about photography for 973/808-9010 For dealer list, many years. His photo credits include grip- visit and-grin shots for the U.S. Army, photo f inishes for thoroughbred race tracks, hospital operating room photographs, and snapshots of his wife and two children. | 5 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM M M q q qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  8. 8. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® N e w P r od u c ts JOBO Digital Picture Frames JOBO announced a new ultra-thin such as a versatile remote control. and stylish digital picture frame The JOBO NANO 7 Pro and Media The new .35-inch thick NANO 7 is versions feature touch-activated the first in a series of three new buttons on the front to control all NANO digital picture frames to be important functions. Buttons become introduced this year. The JOBO visible by simply touching the bottom NANO 7 is available in three front of the digital picture frames. different versions: Basic, Pro, and The NANO Media version features Media. The NANO 7 features a 7- multimedia capabilities including 48×234-pixel resolution. The NANO inch high-resolution color TFT LCD viewing digital photos in slide shows 7 Pro ($94.90) and NANO 7 Media display designed to showcase digital along with music and video with ($119) versions provide an 800×480 images and user-friendly functions audio. The Basic ($74.90) features a resolution. ( Anthropics Portrait Professional 9 Anthropics has released Portrait automatically removed. Anthropics weak or strong jaws. It can brighten Professional 9, which incorporates says the software avoids the or change eye color, make eyes whiter, its new ClearSkin automatic skin- “featureless, plastic, over-airbrushed change hair color, reshape lips, and enhancing technology and a new look that characterizes much skin so on. The program is available in interface. The program enables skin touch-up.” The software uses a stand-alone form, and as a PC and defects such as acne, blotchiness, knowledge base of human facial Mac Photoshop plug-in. roughness, wrinkles, age spots, grease, shapes, and can selectively reshape ( and other skin problems to be faces to avoid double-chins and overly Photo/Graphic Edges 7 Auto FX Software launched preset effects and the intuitive including Mottled, Pastel Creations, Photo/Graphic Edges 7 Platinum onscreen transformation controls that and Painted Scenic give Edition, software which gives users let photographers lay out effects to photographers a natural backdrop the ability to add thousands of edges, meet their needs. New effects such as behind their compositions. The street frames, and other adornments to their Storyboard contain photo layouts that price of Photo/Graphic Edges 7 photos. New content includes Film can be used for photo books. Classic Platinum Edition is $249. Upgrades Frames, Grunge Edges, and Natural effects such as Darkroom Edges are from Photo/Graphic Edges version 5 Media Frames. The workf low for also included with more than 350 or 6 are available for $129. adding enhancements to images is darkroom-styled edges and transfer ( simplified by hundreds of instant effects. A new collection of textures SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 Museo IIGS Archival Double-Sided Paper Museo Fine Art announced the stability. Ideal for book and card immediate availability of Museo making, the grain-short orientation IIGS acid-free, double-sided, f ine- of Museo IIGS allows for easier and art inkjet paper. Museo IIGS is a cleaner scoring and folding. Museo 250 gsm, 15-mil thick, 100% cotton IIGS is available in 25-sheet boxes | TECHNIQUES paper with an extra-smooth f inish on of 11×8.5 inches, 17×11 inches, and both sides. Museo IIGS contains no 19×13 inches. In addition, 17×22- optical brighteners, resulting in inch sheets are available. outstanding long-term base color (www.museof | PHOTO 6 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  9. 9. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM M M q q qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® V e s ta l at L a r g e by david vestal The Shock of the Old by S. Tinsley Preston Some prints are old; some prints are good— they’re not always the same print “ The shock of the new” is a popular cliché, but not too much of what is publicized as new and shocking lives up to its hype. I’m reminded of a night in the early 1950s when Dorothea Lange, on a visit to New York, came to Sid Grossman’s class. I was one of the students. We were awed by her presence, but she showed no interest in us. She had also visited Alexey Brodovitch’s more famous class, attended largely by leading fashion photographers, and here’s what she said about them: “They talk a lot about shock and impact, but their pictures just squeak.” S o much for the shock of the new. The shock of the old has just hit me, and it hurts more. One of the two separately in the same city at about the same time, not as participants in a group or “school.” before I wrote this, a beautifully packed, massively sealed box arrived. I was preparing for a trip to Montana photo art dealers who have handled No prints were returned to me and thought I’d open it when I got my photos in recent years has left the from the Corcoran. Jane Livingston, back, but a postcard from Sandy urged business, and has therefore sent me a who had invented the imaginary NY me to open the box, in which big box of “vintage prints” that I had School and put together the show and I would find some “paperwork.” not seen since some of them were the book, delivered my prints from Receipts or something, I thought, so chosen long ago for a show at the that show to a photographic art dealer I undid the outer wrappings and then Corcoran Gallery in Washington, near D.C., and that was all right unwrapped the interior box and found D.C. From that Corcoran show came with me in 1993 or whenever it was. the paperwork, a nice note from Sandy a big picture book with the misleading (I looked again at the book, trying to asking me to let her know I had title, The New York School, in which f ind the date, but found no copyright received the prints. She had packed some of my pictures were treated more page. Jane Livingston’s comments in them with extreme care, and prints of kindly than work by some others, so the book are dated 1992, presumably different sizes were fitted together to I suppose I shouldn’t complain. the year of the show). The prints that fill the inner box so that nothing could However, there never was a New York dealer Sandra Berler thus informally shift or be damaged in transit. So I School of photographers, just a acquired, she sold now and then, and wrote to her that the prints had arrived number of people, some of whom for increasing prices. Her last sales for in good shape and thanked her for knew each other, who worked me were of “vintage” prints (variously taking such excellent care of them. PHOTO TECHNIQUES def ined, but anyway old, not new). These went to the National Gallery in The old prints are the shock When a collector Washington, D.C. at $4,500 each, I’m still getting ready for that trip, insisted on buying an and I was glad to get my half of that so I haven’t yet looked through all the price and to have work in that prints. In fact, I’ve seen only three or overpriced bad print collection. “Vintage” prints fetch four of them. Bear in mind that it’s | SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 j u s t b e c a u s e i t wa s higher prices than those that might or more than 17 years since I last saw any old, [ralph] Steiner might not be better, but are def initely of them. The f irst ones I looked at i n s i s t e d t h at h e m u s t not as old, and “vintage” prints were now are such horrible, murky prints Sandy’s specialty. that I quickly put them back in their accept a good recent On deciding to retire from the box and have decided to put off seeing p r i n t, t o o , at n o business, she called me to arrange to the rest until I get back from the trip. e xtra charge. return the prints she had. About a week continued on page 10 | 7 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM M M q q qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  10. 10. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM M M q q qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® A New Look to Your Fine Art Photographs Giv ing them a de ck le d- e dge lo ok c an help sep arate them f rom the c r o w d by herbert C. burkholz D uring 25 years of doing fine-art shows, I became dissatisfied with the sameness of exhibited photography. The almost endless combinations of frames and mats all had that typical straight-line cut. There was little individualism in the presentations to associate the work with the artist. There was little, if anything, unique about the framing and especially the matting. Close examination of both painters’ and photographers’ works eventually made me realize that presentation was everything in making an outstanding impression—which is what it takes to make a sale. I’ve always liked the ragged edges paper’s edges would certainly found on many lithographs. It accomplish what Adams prescribed. reminded me of the deckle edge that The second benefit is that the photo was common to snapshots many years paper’s unexposed white edge provides A simply made and inexpensive easel allows for ago. But unlike the deckle edge, which a perfect place for the title of the image correct positioning of the mask over the photo simply replaced the straight edge of and the photographer’s signature, paper. the photo, the ragged edges of much the same as is done with lithographs actually tear into the lithographs. I believe that all glossy image itself. The lithograph is then papers available today can be written fastened to the mount with anywhere on with a Schwan Stabilo #8008 pencil from 1/2 to 1 inch of mount board (available from most art supply stores). showing before the mat appears. The I find it best not to have the pencil too finished look is elegant and very sharp. A broad line from the pencil professional. Taking a cue from looks best for both title and signature. lithographs that are done in this way, Two relatively simple items are I experimented with combinations of required. The first is a mask that will materials to construct a mask that provide the ragged-edge look to your would give me the desired effect. This photograph. The second is a simple The ragged- or torn-edge effect works well with black-and-white as well as color images. Notice technique works with both black-and- and inexpensive easel to aid in the the wooden weights along the edges to ensure white and color prints. Two things perfect alignment of the mask. I will SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 firm contact of mat to print. were important. Ansel Adams spoke of explain the construction of the easel chemical stain creeping into an image and masks of any size up to 14×18 from the edges over time. He inches. A 14×18-inch mask uses 16×20 recommended not printing to the paper, about the largest size suitable paper’s edge, but instead keeping the for this technique. First, let’s talk about image in from the edge, then trimming the easel. the edge by 1/2 to one inch, thereby The masked-border technique can | removing any contamination that be used with most standard easels to TECHNIQUES might have seeped into the paper from make prints up to about 2 inches the cut edge. Just how valid that smaller than the capacity of the easel. argument is, I cannot say. But printing When making such smaller prints, | PHOTO A mask slightly offset to compare the torn-edge a torn edge by way of a mask that keeps I tape the mask to the blades of the effect of the mask on the finished print. the image about an inch from the easel. However, for making larger 8 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM M M q q qM THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®
  11. 11. qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND® prints, your regular easel might not be experimenting with different materials, suitable. Needed is a white Formica- I found single-ply mat board to be best- covered piece of particleboard that’s at suited to the ragged-edge effect. I get least 2 inches larger than the largest this material from a local frame shop print you intend to make. Such simply by asking for scrap single-ply material might be found at a local white mat. I’ve never had to buy any, as building supply house or a local cabinet framers usually have lots of scrap. I shop. A 1-inch wide strip of either achieve the torn-edge effect by actually wood or mat board needs to be glued or tearing the single-ply mat into narrow taped to the top edge and left-hand strips. Mat materials have a “grain,” if Using a piece of two-ply mat board, tear edge of the easel. These strips serve as you will.That is, you might get a rather upward in short, approximately ¾-inch increments to achieve the desired effect. the border guides to position both print fine tear effect in one direction and a and mask. I use two thicknesses of mat much more rugged tear that is 90° in board that I glue together, then fasten the other direction. Experiment to see to the edges of the Formica easel using which you like best. I find that the double-stick Scotch tape. rough tear looks best. The following instructions are based To begin, use a piece of mat that is on the use of the Formica-covered long enough for your mask. Mark the easel. To construct a suitable mask two sides of the mat material “A” and using an existing easel requires “B.”To make the tear, slip the mat “A” dimensions that an existing easel can side up, under a straight edge that can accommodate. The actual construction be held firmly in place. Allow a full of the mask is basically the same. It’s inch of mat material to show beyond only the outer dimension of the mask the straight edge. Then simply tear the The removed strip is discarded; use the piece that might need to be adjusted. mat with your fingers along the under the straight edge. Without flipping the The f irst step in constructing a straight edge by pulling the material stock, mark the top side as “A” and the under side as “B.” mask having a ragged- or torn-edge upward a little at a time, and work your look is to determine the exact size of way from the starting point to the the final image. Consider the standard finish. Your fingers must begin the tear paper sizes, remembering that a by lifting upward on the mat for no minimum of 1 inch of the photo more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Then you get a paper on all four sides must remain new hold as close to the straight edge unexposed. The width of the paper- as possible and repeat this process until white border that you want to completion. The 1-inch piece that you complement your image is a matter have torn away is scrap; use the of personal taste but I like a 1/2-inch remaining torn edge under the straight margin on most matted images. edge. Again, mark the “A” and “B” sides Cut a strip of about 1 inch in width. Repeat the Next, select a piece of two-ply mat near the torn edge. This is necessary processes until you have one finished strip for board (any color) that measures because it’s the “B” side of the torn each of the four sides of the mask. 3 inches longer and 3 inches wider than mat that needs to come in contact PHOTO TECHNIQUES the image in question. Make a cutout with the photo paper during the in this mat that is 1/2-inch larger than exposure. Once you have experienced the intended image in both making a mask, you will recognize the dimensions. The location of the cutout difference and it will no longer be should result in a 3/4-inch margin on necessary to identify the sides. Next, the left side of the mat and a second cut a strip of about 11/2 inches parallel | SEPTEMB ER/OCTOB ER 2009 3/ -inch margin along the top edge of to the torn edge of the mat material. 4 the mat. The wider margins along the With the “A” side up, f latten the torn bottom and the right side of the mask edge using a round plastic pen the simply add a bit more body to the same way you would crease a piece of mask. paper. Repeat the above-described The next step is one that might process until you have four strips, one Measure 14 -inch in from each corner to locate / require some practice. After much for each side of the mask. the position of the ragged edge. | 9 qM PHOTO Techniques ® Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page qM q M M q q M THE WORLD’S NEWSSTAND®