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.

Customizing My SmugMug Web Site

Not surprisingly, as soon as I had a workable web site up on SmugMug, I've been hit with an irresistible urge to make it more customized.  Just some minor tweaks that would make it more precisely what I want it to be.  Since I've never coded in HTML/CSS, I need to do some learning.  As I do that learning I am making discoveries that I seem likely to forget all too quickly, so I'll write down some of them here where they can be found again without extensive googling or pestering my children.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Crafting a Photo Web Site

Recently, I've been feeling the need to have my own photo website. Somewhere that I can place images and point people to see them.  Specifically, this has been driven by my Photo Memory Book habit and group trips we have gone on with one of our college alumni groups. I've been making my own photo memory books for years, offering them to my fellow travelers seemed easy and something they might like.  So far it's turned out that they pretty much love them and I receive lots of interest and more photos that I can use when building my books.  All of those images just demand sharing, a photo web site seems a natural solution.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Travel Memory Books

A few years back I discovered photo books as a way to make my images from travels a powerful tool for bolstering my memory and enjoyment of vacations and other trips.  Before that, I had taken pictures, often printed some of them, looked at them and put them in a box or drawer.  When I looked at them years later I really couldn't appreciate what I was looking at.  The images just didn't work as a way to really remember the event.  Putting those images into book format forced me to really think about what I saw, adding some organization and narration, allows my to save the memories much more accurately and gives me something that I can look at long after the fact and once again enjoy the experience. These books, for many people have become the ultimate souvenir.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Creating a Flickr Account

I use Flickr to display my favorite pictures and occasionally in support of group projects.  Those group projects sometimes require new accounts to be setup by people who may be a bit confused by the process.  This post is intended as a walk though of the account creation process that may help them out.