Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Panning script for creating timelapses

You might remember a while ago I posted a few timelapses. One of a sunset and one of me staining the deck. Jeffrey friedl went a step further and wrote a very nice little perl script that you can use to create panning timelapses. Check it out here. Sean McCormack used it to create a nice panning timelapse of a beach that I embed below for your enjoyment:

Santa Ponsa Beach HD Time Lapse from Sean McCormack on Vimeo.

This is an awesome tool and I'll be using it on some future timelapses.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Great prints from labs

Earlier I wrote about a workflow to get beautiful prints from labs such as costcos using Lightroom and external apps. In the new Lightroom 2.0 beta, Adobe has heard our prayers and the print module (unfortunately still not the normal export) now allows output to jpeg in arbitrary color profiles. This works beautifully.

Here is an example setup: (click for full size)

I set up a custom paper size in the page setup panel for 5x7 images without any margins, and setup the image in the print panel. Then I select print to jpeg, set the resolution to 300 (the resolution most Frontiers and Noritsus print at), set print sharpening to the paper kind and desired sharpening (I've found from testing that low or medium works really well even though these settings are not really meant for photographic lab printers). Then in the color management tab I select the profile from my lab (my local costcos in this case) and what kind of rendering I prefer. Then hit print to file and I get a jpeg file with the right profile and size/resolution/sharpening that I can upload and print (don't forget to turn off color correction for printing your images otherwise all your hard work is for naught). Very handy. Unfortunately, multipage jpeg output is still broken in that it gives you a set of files without extensions. They are normal jpeg files though. Also, there should be an option to not include the profile in the output file. Often these profiles are gigantic (my costco one for example is 1.5 MB) and they add substantial time to the upload to the lab. I usually strip them using a photoshop droplet, but this could be much handier. Also, there still is no softproof here anywhere.

Anyway, here is the result of such an exercise with the slide image after conversion to sRGB for web display and scaling/sharpening for display.

Enjoy your prints. Note that you should not bother with any of this if you do not calibrate your screen using calibration hardware. Screen calibration is the first requisite for getting good color prints. Secondary to that is using lab printer profiles. With an uncalibrated screen - no matter how expensive - you will never see the correct color anyway.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Snowy sunrises

A little later, the mountain became blindingly bright instead of the fiery red and yellow you see above. This comes out very well in the black and white below I think.

The same in color

As always, prints can be bought in the links behind the images.