Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fonts in Barrett Photo Books

My knowledge of typography is fairly sparse. I have picked up a few things here and there in classes and other readings.  I've learned enough to know it is an important element of book / page design and that I don't know nearly enough.  That said, I have settled on a few design guidelines that I think make sense and I try to follow. I'll try to lay them out here, for my own reference at least.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Freezing Flowing Water

This is old hat to many photographers, but the use of shutter speed to freeze flowing water is something worth understanding even at the risk of repeating what might be obvious.

Water in motion can make striking images.  Our eyes naturally blend the motion of falling water drops and make water falls / rapids into silky ribbons of water even when they are actually individual droplets of water.  A camera can freeze that motion, or allow it to flow, it all depends on the shutter speed.

The accompanying shot of the water wheel was shot at 1/50 of a second.  This allowed the water to move a short distance during the exposure and blurring, but not forming a long smooth silky fall.  In this case, I wanted the water to show motion, to make the shot feel like it's in motion, but I wanted the spokes of the wheel to be relatively sharp, nearly frozen in time. That's what I was seeing when I looked at the scene and that shutter speed (on a tripod, BTW) was just right.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Photography Tips: AdoramaPix

It's pretty obvious that I like working with AdoramaPix.  The books that they print are just amazing, always bringing smiles to viewers eyes and they aren't too hard to build.  So I follow what they are doing.  I also am a big fan of learning.  Nearly everyone can and should learn.  Getting better is always a solid objective.

I recently came across Adoramapix's blog that mixes these two things.  They have solid advice on a number of aspects of photography and are easy reads.  If you're in the mood for photographic learning, take a moment to visit them at their blog.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Framing and Matting

Information in this post is old news to anyone who knows how to mat pictures, but they are things I needed to learn and don't want to forget.

One of the first steps in matting is to decide what size and how many layers are going to be used.  Mats can be single, double, or even triple with various amounts of inner layers exposed.  My typical mat is a double with 1/4" of inner mat exposed.  The width of the outer (nearest the glazing) varies depending on the of the image.  Here's the table I start with:

Rule of Thumb for Mat size. 
United Inches    Suggested Mat 
    8" to 11".....................1"
   12" to 17"...................1 ½”
   18” to 24”..................1 ¾”
   25” to 36”.................2”
   37” to 44”.................2 ½”
   45” to 56”.................3”
   56” to 60”.................3 ½”

It comes from a blog post on's blog. Color is of course important, but I'll let that discussion alone and move forward with the steps of actually cutting a mat.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Synchronizing Camera Clocks (for the lazy)

I use the omnipresent time stamp in my image files for several things, the most important is recreating the sequence of events.  That is essential to my Photo Books which normally are used tell a story.  Presenting that story in order is really important.  Knowing the exact time of any given image typically doesn't matter at all; it's almost all about relative time, or ordering.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Menu Button Control Based on Screen Size

I posted previously on my experiences customizing my web site.  There was one nagging element that I wanted to change and I now have completed
it!   I wanted to have minor menu choices, like About and Search available, but not distracting.  For me, that means not appearing as word buttons in the top menu, but rather sitting in an unobtrusive page bottom bar.  That bottom bar becomes obnoxious on small screens, so I wanted it to disappear and the choices appear in the drop down menu on those small, typically smart phone, displays.

Below is menu/title bar I am using on all of my pages on large screens.  I have the button choices cut down to my minimum.

Friday, March 24, 2017

What Color is That on My Screen? (MacOS)

One of the minor issues I run across with surprising frequency is the question of what color is that on my screen?  I need to know the digital value of a color when working on photo books and on my web site.  I just ran across a marvelous little tool built into OS X: Digital Color Meter.  It doesn't do much, just gives the color value of what is under the mouse pointer at any given time.  A quick easy solution to my need.