Painting With Light Technique

Painting with light is one technique I really enjoy experimenting with. I think I like it so much because I never know exactly what I am going to get. There is definitely a surprise element when you try the technique of painting with light. If you have been following my post, I’m sure you’ve noticed I am always searching for the unusual and like to experiment.

I have been doing some research on the Painting with Light technique and wanted to share my findings and first efforts. The image below was taken in a harbor on Sarasota Bay with the Ringling Bridge in the background on the right.  The mechanics of the process is to place the camera on a tripod and using a slow shutter speed rotate the camera either left and right or up and down. For the image above, I obviously rotated the camera laterally.  The exposure was 1 second at f/22; ISO 100. I was shooting at sunset, which required me to really stop down the aperture. I was wishing my ISO would go to 50, but no such luck just yet with most digital cameras. There is definitely some experimentation required with the shutter speed and this process can be done with speeds as fast as 1/15 of a second. As always, lighting rules and shoot many frames.

“Ringling Bridge” Painting with Light

paint with light technique
Abstract of Ringling Bridge and Sarasota Bay.

View more of my work at www.susanmcanany.com.

Thanks for reading!


Color Profiles

This week I have been wrestling with Color Profiles and Photoshop’s CS5.

Now, my typical workflow is to shoot in RAW, my camera set to Adobe RGB Color Profile.  From what I have read there is a greater color gamut using this profile and my current thought process is more is always better.  My software of choice is  Adobe Bridge, Photoshop’s CS5 along with plugins from Nik and Topaz. I save my files as layered TIFF and prior to uploading to the web, I will re-size, convert to sRGB  and save as jpgs. For some of my  prints, or commercial print projects I often need to convert my files to CMYK.  This workflow has served me well over the last several years.

However, I have just been working on a batch on images and I noticed many of my Tiff files have the sRGB profile as their Working and/or Embedded Color Space.  Initially I wasn’t sure how this happen, thus it motivated me spend time researching more about color profiles.

Now I am by no means a techie person, so I try to decipher things down to simplistic concepts that I can easily remember. Like most photographers I am the happiest behind the camera in my creative zone.  I am however aware of the importance of a calibrated monitor,  printer and selecting correct printer paper profiles and  I do this to the best of my ability. But now I am looking at embedded profiles and working color spaces, what is this all about??

After doing several hours of reading, I found out a few core things that have helped clarify my mind on this subject.

Now we all  know color is defined by numbers and a Color Profile is how color’s numerical value visually appear, however, I didn’t know that a Raw file has no Color Profile and any type of profile is pretty much device specific.

The Working Space defines what color profile is used in the different color models such as RGB and  CMYK. These profiles are specified in the Color Settings Dialog Box in Photoshop (Edit  > Settings) and provides the info for an embedded profile.  Mine was set to sRGB causing the previously mentioned problem.

The Embedded Color Profile is the numeric value a monitor or internet browser uses to display colors and often they display in sRGB, especially the internet.  It is embedded in the image when an image is saved.  The data for the embedded profile comes from either EXIF data captured when your image was taken or what is in your Color Settings Dialog Box in Photoshop if a Raw file is launched into Photoshop without using an interface software program, such as Bridge Camera Raw.

In Photoshop, once you have established your parameters to the Color Settings Dialog Box,  you have the option to use the command Convert To Profile to change an Embedded Color Profile. You can even convert an entire folder easily using the Image Processor. Choose File > Scripts > Image Processor. Another handy tool is the  Assign Profile, which allows you to view how colors in an image will look with a different profile, but this is not an effective way to change an Embedded Profile.

Below is a link to an interesting read about the subject from someone who knows far more than me. I also found some useful information on Adobe’s website.

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/ps12_colour/ps12_1.htm

You can view my work at www.susanmcanany.com.