Working with Models: A tough gig, but someone has to do it!

This month at Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts I'm learning to work with fashion models in studio photography. This course, DP206, teaches us the rhythm of working with models, how to direct them and engage them to turn the shots we visualize in our heads into beautiful prints in real life. It puts together everything we've learned so far about about camera operation, studio lighting, portraiture, concept, and posing. Additionally, as the program emphasizes the use of Lightroom for digital imaging workflow, and Photoshop for retouching and compositing, this course also puts our full range of beauty retouching skills to the test.

...not that we really need to, because they are -after all- models. ;-)

BOOM!, there it is in living color. I'm especially proud of this one, and I think its my best image to date. You can check it out on Adobe's new Photoshop Express Gallery.

The Look



The models are real, both male and female, and our best images will go into their portfolio as well. This means lots of exposure to the photographers because every ad agency they work with will see model's portfolio, and if we're lucky, they'll want to know more about the photographer behind that great model shot. From the CDIA website:

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ColdFusion 8.01 64-bit Windows Performance Comparisons

My distant colleague Manju has just published a very well written article on Adobe DevNet regarding performance considerations of running ColdFusion 8.01 on 64-bit Windows (and Mac) platforms. The article gets you up to speed on the basics of 64-bit architecture in practical terms, however the best part is on the last page where he reports on three different ColdFusion scenarios comparing 32-bit performance to 64-bit for cpu intensive, memory intensive, and disk I/O intensive conditions. Its definitely worth a read:

Taking advantage of 64-bit support in ColdFusion 8
by Manjukiran Pacchhipulusu
ColdFusion QA Engineer


At the end, Manju provides a list of credits that helped him develop the article, including my blog entry from last year, Performance Considerations for Running ColdFusion 8 in 64-bit Mode.

New Kinder, Friendlier Photoshop Express Terms of Service

Its already after working hours here on the East Coast, so many Photoshop Express users out there may not yet be aware that the Terms of Service (TOS) have been greatly revised based on user feedback. The TOS are no longer so all-encompassing as they were when Photoshop Express went live last week.

In fact, I think they are written to be much more readable since they now include (parenthetical) plain english explanations of the generally terse legalese, and I think users will find the new TOS to be respectful of your copyright on your intellectual and creative property.

The TOS now include a means of terminating Adobe's display of your images on the site if you so choose, which should provide a greater measure of comfort to using or considering using the online photo editing and sharing service.

You can read the kinder, friendlier Photoshop Express Terms of Service here (see Section 6: Use of Your Content)

Adobe Lightroom Adventure 2008 in Tasmania

Wow, did I miss the boat on this one! (or the plane as the case may be)

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Team is happily clicking away as I type this in the luxurious landscape of Tasmania this week and next, corresponding with the release of Lightroom 2.0 Beta.

This is the sequel to the very successful Adobe Lightroom Adventure 2006 in Iceland which produced copious gigabytes of beautiful images to herald the launch of the first version of Lightroom.

You can follow their daily blogging from Tasmania on the O'Reilly website here. Among the crew is a friend and colleague Angela Drury, frequent contributor to Photoshop User magazine, award winning photographer, and manager of Dreamweaver Support at Adobe.

Introducing Flash Mini - Squeezing Flash on the iPhone

Just when all the news of porting Flash to the iPhone has died down, I stumbled across what appears to be an internal document diagramming how Steve Jobs intends to do just that with a product code named Flash Mini. Who knew!?

Read the full story for more...

Squeezing Flash onto the iPhone

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CDIA Web Development: A mix of LAMP and RIA that lacks focus

The B.U. Center for Digital Imaging Arts has just added another core curriculum to their stable of information technology certificates by introducing the Web Development Certificate. As you may know, they completely won me over with their Digital Photography program, and one of my coworkers at Adobe has been raving about their Audio Production curriculum as well. As such, I have high expectations that they will deliver great instructors for the chosen curriculum.

Their Web Development certificate program, founded on more than 20 courses, emphasizes the use of PHP and MySQL as core technologies, including a Rich Media Web Development subtopic focusing on the use of Flash and ActionScript. Along the way there's a sprinkling of Javascript, XML related technologies, and AJAX, and the course is capped off with some Content Management and Web 2.0 social network topics.

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A Continued Recommendation for The Center For Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University

Street Shooting - BU CDIALast summer I posted my initial thoughts on the Professional Digital Photography program at Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA), as well as some short video clips from the studios. While I've been attending the 18 month part time program I've received numerous inquiries requesting additional advice or insight about the program. I've decided to synthesize my email replies into a single blog entry for the benefit others who may be interested as well. Below you'll find an update on my experiences and some helpful advice.

CDIA DP101 LabI absolutely love the quality of instruction, facilities, and equipment available in the Professional Digital Photography program at Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts. They have a well thought out curriculum, outstanding instructors, and state of the art facilities. They are so successful that they've purchased a large building across the street from their primary location in Waltham, MA to effectively double their capacity. They also operate a new campus in Georgetown, Washington D.C., and I've heard they are opening additional campuses in San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX.

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Using the CFC Proxy in a ColdFusion Cluster

The CFC Proxy API was introduced as a supported feature in CFMX 7.01. It allows you to call ColdFusion Components (CFCs) from Java classes such as a standalone servlet running in the same JVM. In order for this to work, the Java class must be loaded by the ColdFusion classloader rather than a higher level classloader in the J2EE container. To load a Java class with the ColdFusion classloader, the class's jar file must be specified in ColdFusion's web.xml under the cf.class.path parameter. To avoid managing multiple copies of a custom jar file between ColdFusion instances clustered on JRun, you can put a single copy of the custom jar file under a central location outside the JRun root directory. Then modify the web.xml for each CF instance to point to that jar file in the cf.class.path entry. Surprisingly, there is no documentation on using CFCProxy on livedocs.adobe.com, but instead you can find this reference on Ben Forta's website. The reference describes the API and provides a brief example implementation. A few details are left out such as how to compile the custom Java class, so I'll provide a quick walk through of how I set all this up...

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Photography Web Utilities and My Recent Work

The holiday season has come and gone with little blogging on my part, but there's a few photography utilities for the web that I've wanted to mention. Its been a busy season with a couple weeks in Barcelona and a regular evening schedule at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at BU. It won't get less busy for me, so now's the time to share...

Lightroom SDK: Flickr Export Plugin
Lightroom Flickr Export PluginThe SDK (Software Developer's Kit) for Lightroom provides software developers a way to build custom plugins for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. An example plugin to Export photos directly from Lightroom to Flickr comes with the SDK, so download the Lightroom SDK to get it. Even if you don't care about the SDK and aren't a software geek, download it anyway just to get the plugin to make your Flickr workflow even easier.




SlideShowPro for Lightroom
Speaking of Lightroom (yes, it is my favorite piece of image software right now!), for just $25 you can buy an excellent plugin for Lightroom to export stylish and sophisticated Flash-based Web Galleries for your website. Its very easy to use and provides an intuitive panel of gallery styling options. Previously, to use SlideShowPro you had to understand the Flash Authoring tool in order to get started, but with Lightroom its now incredibly simple to use. Here's where you can check out a Web Gallery example of the SlideShowPro plugin for Lightroom




FlickrEdit: Backup Your Flickr Library
And speaking of Flickr, I've recently read some recommendations for FlickrEdit, free utility that permits you to backup all your images on Flickr to your local desktop, among other things. I haven't used it yet, but it seems like a very useful safety net to have around.




Photographic Storytelling with Soundslides Plus
Moving back to the topic of Web Image Galleries, I've just stumbled across a remarkable Flash-based tool from Soundslides geared towards photojournalists that enables you to easily synchronize digital audio recordings with a collection of photographs. Check out this newspaper article Through the Artists' Eyes to view two wonderful examples.




HDR and Tone Mapping with PhotoMatix
Although Photoshop CS2 and CS3 have a built-in automation tool for generating HDR images from multiple exposures, I've been giving Photomatix a test drive because it has been touted to have better fine-tuned control over the Tone Mapping process. In fact, I find that when using Photomatix I have had more success with HDR, just take a look below for some recent examples. There's lots of detailed knobs and sliders during the Tone Mapping process in Photomatix, and to save time later when I produce a satisfying result Photomatix allows me to save my settings. Later, when working on a new image I can try on some of my previous settings to quickly see if any produce a pleasing effect.





The Tower of Our Sea La Proxima Dirty Business


There we have it... I hope you find some of these useful as I have. Now, since I've got your attention, here's some of my recent work both from the studio at CDIA and from my recent trips to Barcelona and San Francisco. Enjoy!

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Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Lightroom: The gifts that give then give again

If you're giving Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop CS3 for the Holidays this year, or if you're lucky enough to receive them as a gift, read the EULA to double your gifting fun!

I've seen very little mention of the Adobe End User License Agreement, or EULA, for these products in the blogosphere, and I haven't spoken with anyone that already knew about this little gem either. Specifically, the EULA is the license that Adobe gives you as the purchaser or user of the software, and that license states the terms under which you are legally permitted to use them.

Both Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 EULA state, under section 2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use, that you're allowed to install the software on not just one, but two of your home computers! Yippee!!! There is a small caveat that technically you're not permitted to use the same product at the same time on the two computers, but unless you're a serious Type A Multi-tasker then I doubt you'll have to worry about that... The official Legalease from the EULA is as follows:

Adobe Lightroom EULA

2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use. The primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer.


Adobe Photoshop CS3 EULA
2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use. The primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer. You may be required to contact Adobe in order to make a second copy.


Further, when Lightroom was still in beta version back last January, the Lightroom Program Manager, Tom Hogarty, posted to a forum thread that you may choose a different operating system when installing the second copy, just in case, for example, that you have PC as your primary computer and a Mac Powerbook as your second, then you're good to go.

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