Bob Kidd Photography: Blog en-us (C) Bob Kidd Photography (Bob Kidd Photography) Sun, 18 Mar 2018 10:25:00 GMT Sun, 18 Mar 2018 10:25:00 GMT Bob Kidd Photography: Blog 120 120 Sunday Street: The Best of Both Worlds iMac and NEC displaysin a dimly illuminated studio setting



I spend a considerable amount of time editing images to make prints - that is what drives me. 


The challenge when editing an image for printing is to make a print that matches what you see on your display. After using traditional computer monitors for years, I learned about NEC and Eizo monitors that can be calibrated for printing. As you can see from the image, the iMac display is brighter and has far more contrast than the NEC display on the right. My subject looks terrific on the iMac's screen, but will not match the print I want to make, no matter what paper, ink, or printer I use. Why is that? For starters, ink on paper relies on reflected light rather than back light. In comparison, the NEC display on the right is calibrated* to look closer to what I can print. It is neither as bright or as contrasty - the net result is it looks a little dull.  Softproofing an image on the NEC monitor brings it closer to the way the print will look.


What can you do to have the image on your monitor look more like a print?


Reduce the ambient light in your room and turn down the brightness on your monitor. For those wanting to do more, use calibration software and a colorimeter to get closer to a D50 standard.  If you want to go all the way, get a monitor that can be calibrated made by NEC or Eizo and calibrate it using their software and a colorimeter. Lastly, match your color space of your images and display to what you can print. Spoiler alert: no one can print in ProPhoto RGB color space. No one. There is no hardware that supports this color space, unless you plan to time travel to the future to make a print and then return with it. That doesn't mean your have to limit yourself to the much smaller sRGB gamut.  Adobe RGB (1998) is the current sweet spot for many photo printers.  


Whatever you decide to do, don't chuck your old monitor. It provides the best of both worlds when used along side a monitor that has been calibrated for print making.


See ya around,



Geek Speak

* For those interested, both displays are calibrated to D50, gamma 2.2, Adobe RGB (1998) and viewed in a low light environment with the brightness greatly reduced (read: go full cave). The difference between the calibration of the displays is that the NEC is actually calibrated without changing the output values on the graphics card, whereas the iMac display requires changing the graphic cards values in one or more of the RGB channels.




]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) calibration d50 display calibration monitor calibration nec multisync Sun, 18 Mar 2018 04:00:00 GMT
Sunday Street: A Closer Look RBK_3546-PSeditBridalveil Fal - Yosemite National Parkl15x20 Selenium Print Baryta Paper



The devil may or may not be in the details. I leave that for you to decide. What I can tell you is that a Piezography print is like no other black and white (BW) ink jet print. My photograph of Bridalveil Fall at Yosemite National Park is displayed along side several other BW prints at the South County Art Association in their Photography Annual Exhibit. While the other inkjet prints all look very good, they do not have the classic tones of a darkroom print.  This image, converted from a color digital raw file, retains an amazing amount of detail. That detail was not lost when it was printed at 2880 dots per inch on Baryta paper. Several photographers remarked that the tones and detail were extraordinary and one of them commented that they were pleased to see a darkroom print.



RBK_3546-PSeditDetail Crop



The exhibit will be on display at the South County Art Association until April 7, 2018.


See ya next week,




]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) bridalveil fall piezography selenium yosemite national park Sun, 11 Mar 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Sunday Street: Barthes' Punctum F6 #036-024Small Craft Warning9x16 analog photograph printed on cotton rag etching paper



In his book Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes identifies two main factors in a photographic image: studium and punctum. Studium is the element that creates interest in a photographic image. Punctum is an object or image that jumps out at the viewer within a photograph.

Studium shows the intention of the photographer. Journalistic photographs are good examples of studium. Studium adds interest, but in the order of liking, not loving. Punctum often accompanies studium, but it also disturbs it, creating an ‘element which rises from the scene’ and compels your attention. Punctum may be a discovered detail that attracts you to an image. According to Barthes,  punctum's "mere presence changes my reading, that I am looking at a new photograph, marked in my eyes with a higher value." Punctum changes the ‘like’ of studium to the love of an image and requires an accidental quality about it to be most effective. It is very personal and often different for everyone, but shares the common experience that it moves the viewer.

After trying to figure out what fine art photography is (besides a marketing term), I am more convinced then ever that Barthes' Punctum differentiates great photographs from the mundane. Size, both large and small, as well as aspect ratio, contribute to the punctum of a printed image and, for me, seem to be lacking in online viewing.



RBK_3546-PSeditBridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park15x20 digital photograph printed with selenium ink on cotton rag paper



Of this I am certain, a photograph must first move the artist before it will move the viewer. After punctum, the rest is marketing juju.


See ya around,




]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) fine art fine art photography photography Sun, 04 Mar 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Sunday Street: Builders of NAHBS  

nahbs 2018-193Mike Yakubowicz, Blacksmith CyclesToronto, Canada



I push myself for clients - no doubt. For an assignment by VeloNew magazine for 20-30 exhibitor photos with captions from the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show (NAHBS), I submitted multiple photos of each exhibitor so that the editor had plenty to choose from.  Before traveling to the venue, I made numerous test photographs to work out a rapid deployment lighting method. As usual, I did not sleep well until the assignment was completed.  I refined additional technical considerations in my head and made appropriate adjustments on location until I was confident that what I had done could not be further improved.  Before photographing any of the exhibitors, I asked them to share their story. All that happened before taking their photograph with the bicycle they made, telling their builder's story in a single photograph. This is what I do. It is not complicated, but it can be exhausting.


These are my favorite photos from the 2018 edition of NAHBS published by VeloNews magazine. Waiting to see the first gallery: Immaculate Details was like a prom queen waiting for a date, but it was the second gallery: Personalities on Pedals that made our day here at Sunday Street.



nahbs 2018-57Sangwee Lee and Somang Yoo, Toivo CyclesSouth Korea




nahbs 2018-64Dmitry Nechaev, Trinton BikesMoscow, Russia




nahbs 2018-376Hunter Creel - sculpture grad student and his gravel bikeUniversity of Iowa




nahbs 2018-106Anthony Clark, Squid BikesElite Men Cyclocross




nahbs 2018-190Gianni Pegoretti, DeAnima Trento, Italy




nahbs 2018-370Helio Ascari, Ascari BicyclesWilliamsburg, Brooklyn



More than just providing images of the bicycles, these photographs show the builders of NAHBS. Together, they tell the story.


See ya around,



]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) handbuilt bicycles nahbs north american handbuilt bicycle show velo news velonews Sun, 25 Feb 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Sunday Street: NAHBS



Some relationships take longer than others. I got the dream call from VeloNews to cover the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), a year after I first pitched to them. The NAHBS is an annual gathering of bicycle makers who build a limited number of bicycles in small shops. You could say that they are artisanal builders who hand craft small batches of bicycles, but I would not. Unlike cyclocross, the bicycles are in static displays, the event is indoors and the people I will be interviewing will be standing still. The last time I covered a cycling event in Hartford it was the 2017 Cyclocross Nationals.



RBK_2975Stephen Hyde - 2017 Men Elite Champion



My head immediately filled with technical thoughts...mostly about camera, lens and lighting. Fortunately, I will also have media credentials for a lighting assistant. My editor, Susanne will be filling that role (again). We started our plan of attack using two speed lights, one with a small (16x16) soft box and a second speed light with a grid to contain fill light, illuminate the details of bicycles and remove unwanted shadows caused by the directional soft box light. Both off camera speed lights are triggered from my camera and adjustments can be made on the fly. This BTS photo illustrates the two light approach I contemplated.



NAHBS prep-13



This seemed like a good approach until I considered that the show floor will be crowded with people. Time to consider a single light source (speed light) mounted on a painter's pole for maneuverability and rapid deployment. The small soft box provides dramatic directed light, but needs a fill light to avoid exaggerated shadows. 






Back to basics - a shoot through umbrella creates a directed light and the curved surfaces help fill in the shadows - the reason that this has been go-to light shaper forever...






More to follow...


nahbs 2018-02-16-108NAHBS - 2018Connecticut Convention Center


See ya around,





]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) nahbs velonews Sun, 18 Feb 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Sunday Street: Keepin' It Simple Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 11.51.59 AMFolders by year & meaningful themes



One of the features of Lightroom that most, but certainly not all, photographers will agree upon is that is has a great Library function. And, like any good library, there are rules. Abide by them and you will do well. Decide that they don't apply to you... well, good luck with that. 


Over time (it seems to always be over time...), I have refined how I organize my photo files into folders. You may do this, of course, anyway that is meaningful to you. Want to have a folder for every day that you made a photograph? Go right ahead. Spoiler alert - there is no need to do this as the date is stored in your meta data and you can filter on it. You could, conceivably just dump everything into s single folder named Photographs (or Pictures if you prefer the way Steve named it). That for most, might be a little too minimalistic. Some place between über minimalistic and overly anal is where most folks find a working balance.


For me, it has always been year driven. My milestones seem to go that way. Add some themes to a year - trips, weddings, places, family and you have a tidy library that would please most librarians. Add keywords to your photographs and you have a powerful and fast way to filter through hundreds to tens of thousands of photograph to find just the ones you are looking for. 



Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 12.10.20 PMThe bigger picture...



The choice, as always, is yours.


See ya around,



Post Script

More Library organization tips and much more from Tim Grey

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) lightoom lightroom folders lightroom library Sun, 11 Feb 2018 12:34:22 GMT
Sunday Street: Less is More Ariel and Victor-16-2Ariel and Victor



It is easy to get lost in the digital world of photography. Things move quickly and like the magic broom in Fantasia, before you know it water is overflowing everywhere. We carry multiple memory cards that hold hundreds and thousands of photographs just begging to be splattered across the interverse. For me, this has created an unwanted arms race. So many images that I often can not look at another and that is a true shame because the next one, the one I don't look at, might be inspirational.



Ariel and Victor-168Ariel and VictorThe gunslinger and the Girl



There are lots of reason to fill those memory cards in your camera - weddings, family gatherings, air shows and portrait sittings all come to mind. But now, what are you going to do with 2K of wedding images of 300+ from a portrait sitting? Are all of these images equally good? Of course not. Here is what I do - you can do whatever works for you.


The day after the photography event, I import ALL of the images stored in the memory card into a folder in Lightroom. I never delete images from my camera. Never. I review them looking for obvious rejects (oh, look, an out of focus image of my foot) and  selects (ones that make me glad I am a photographer). If ithey don't get rejected or selected, I just ignore them for now.


I filter for the selects to begin the editing process - I only look at the selects. This thins the herd significantly. Some of the selects are better than other, but which ones will make it to the top of the list? It is too early to tell because the images are in raw file format and have not been edited. I make general adjustments including white balance and film emulation at this point to all of the selects. Then I go about individually editing each of them making both global and selected adjustments. This is the part of my workflow that takes the most time, but it is time well spent. I am looking to get all of the goodness available from each image because the next step will determine which ones are shared with clients, friends and family or used to promote my photography business.  


After the selects are edited I still have more images than I or a client can effectively manage. There are just too many to identify the great ones apart from the good ones.  That's when I start rating each image. My rating method is simple -

'it is good" gets one star 

"it is really good" gets two stars

"OMG, look at that will ya" gets three stars

There are generally fewer two and even less three star images that one stars.  Many of the two and one star images come from the same group as the three star, but they are not as good. Next,  I filter for the three stars and see if any of them need additional fussing, conversion to BW or immediate celebration. Clients receive all of the three star photographs and I also make a few selected prints for them. If there are other specific images that they want, I will look for them in the two star group. I delete all of the rejected images. Starred and ignored mages are stored on a server and backed up. Client images are posted to my web site where they can be shared or downloaded.



Ariel and Victor-81Victor



How many do I share? A precious few. Why? because less is more. We can only process so many images in a day or the few moments that some one has to spare. Make them your very best.



Ariel and Victor-222-2Ariel



See ya around,



Post Script

The numbers - 300+ images made during this portraiture sitting became less than 40 after this process. Why do I wait a day to import my photos? Because like all children, I am excited during and after a shoot. Often these expectation do not match reality and it works best for me to wait until I calm down a little before I start reviewing my work. If it is good it will still be good the next day. 




]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) lightroom lightroom work flow photography piezography Sun, 04 Feb 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Voodoo a fine line between pure magic and voodoo



For a moment, I was terrified* that I had accidentally deleted all 700+ photographs from a trip to Austria last year. Let that sink in for a moment - I will wait...


They were simply not in the directory of the Lightroom catalog so I started checking a backup and was relieved the find them safe and sound. Before I started a backup recovery, I followed a technical hunch that just maybe something funky was stopping Lightroom from displaying them. I "Quit Lightroom" and reopened it and there they were. I no longer try to explain these things. When it works it is pure magic. When it doesn't it is voodoo.



See ya soon,




*my level of terrified was limited to never telling a living soul that I had deleted them without a backup to recover from.

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) lightroom Sun, 28 Jan 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Slow-Cured RBK_3546-PSeditBridalveil Fall - Yosemite National Park



I have learned over time not to jump to conclusions regarding a new image just because it is new and it excites me. If it still excites me a week or a month later, I may have something. If it doesn't, it probably wasn't as good as I thought and I was just swept away by its newness.



IMG_5152Proof Prints made with Baryta (top row) and cotton rag (bottom row) paper.



Small magnets hold my proof prints onto metal surfaces much the same way a child's drawing is attached to a refrigerator door. It takes days, and sometimes weeks, to decide what to do next. Living with a print provides time to learn about the picture, which is a different process than looking at it on a backlit display. Personally, I want to learn from the printed work, not the backlit displayed version. This also provides the opportunity to compare matte and baryta versions of the same image, or two different matte papers. Subtleties are immediately apparent, helping me look at my work with fresh eyes. 


If the proof passes the test of time, I consider making a larger version, which is then also pinned to the viewing wall. The larger print makes it easier to come to the final decision - to mat and frame it or to add it to storage for future consideration. This slow-cure process helps me select and develop my best work. It may also be teaching me a little about myself.


See ya around,



]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) vision to print Sun, 21 Jan 2018 05:00:00 GMT
Black-and-White Photography DXT12575-PSedit2Color digital image edited in Photoshop



" photography offers more creative freedoms

     (and demands more control) by the photographer than does color."

Andrew Gassan, Exploring Black and White Photography, second edition, 1993



I rarely use Photoshop, preferring Lightroom for most post processing, but that all changed after I made my first black and white Piezography print. Lightroom works ok, but it can introduce unwanted artifacts that are easily revealed by the increased print resolution of Piezography. I quickly realized that my comfort zone needed to expand - I needed to learn how to use layers and masks in Photoshop to make evocative Piezography prints. It felt like I suddenly went to the deep end of the Photoshop pool.  While I understood the concepts of layers and masks, I found the mechanics of using them awkward because they were unfamiliar. Retreat to the familiar was not an option because I was already in deep - taking a workshop, converting a printer,  creating custom curves, and spending time reading and digesting the Piezography manual. 


Like all journeys, it involved leaving the familiar and venturing into the unknown as I experienced the discomfort of learning new skills to create a curve layer and, if required, add a mask so that my curve adjustment did not affect the entire image. After that, create another mask and then repeat until the result I wanted became apparent in the soft proof image. Not surprisingly, t was the repetition that finally led the way to familiarization. A series of small steps, whatever it needs, and then a series of Üben, Üben, Üben (practice, practice, practice).



RBK_9847-Pano-PSeditMilky Way



The advantage of online information is also the disadvantage - you have to wade through a vast sea of information to find the quiet pool of information that works for you. Because most of the Photoshop resources focus on creating awesome edits and tricks, I knew what I needed to avoid. Popular conversion software, like Silver Efex Pro and Topaz BW, can also be overused, resulting in artifacts that are less obvious with traditional printmaking. I read, I watched, and I learned how to use layers and adjustment masks in Photoshop. At that point, my new work flow began to emerge. 


This is the price for artistic growth - you must do the work.


See ya next week,



Geek Speak - Workflow Insights

I begin my workflow in the Lightroom Library before I edit a raw file as a smart object in Photoshop as a PSD file in an Adobe RGB (1998) color space. PS Layers are used to convert color files to BW before more layers and masks are used to dodge and burn selected areas of my image. After that, I sharpen the raw image file. When the image is saved in Photoshop, it returns to Lightroom Library and is added to the Lightroom catalog. Lastly I use the Quad Tone Rip Print Tool to send the file to my Piezography printer.

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) black and white bw piezography Sun, 14 Jan 2018 05:00:00 GMT
More Than Meets The Eye IMG_5255NEC PA241W



"The goal is not to have an image on the display that appears the best to your eyes. The goal is to have a display that nearly matches that of a print - and when using Soft Proofing the image is extremely similar to print. The question is not whether to calibrate, but what degree of quality of calibration is acceptable to you." - John Cone, Piezography Manual


Before returning to a deeper dive on processing black and white photographs, it's good to pause and consider the post processing viewing environment. Specifically, the level of light that surrounds your monitor and how your monitor is calibrated. If you are sitting in a bright room with your uncalibrated monitor jacked up to 11, you are likely to be disappointed that your print does not match your display, which is exactly what post processing for printing tries to avoid. The first step to a better result is to reduce the light in your viewing environment to one equivalent to a dimly lit candle (35-50 lux)  which allows you to reduce the brightness of your monitor.


Next, you  want to calibrate your monitor. I was shocked to learn that most monitors cannot be calibrated, including the highly touted ones made by Apple. Instead, the graphics card output is modified by reducing one or more of the RGB channels which significantly reduces the amount of grey tones. There are a few monitors that can be calibrated without reducing RGB output; however, they can be quite expensive. The NEC PA241W monitor pictured in the photograph was calibrated using NEC calibration software and a colorimeter (and, if you can find a used one, it costs less than that new lens you have been coveting). Using a D50 standard, gamma 2.2 and an AdobeRGB (1998) color space, the calibrated results are simply outstanding. The choice of the D50 calibration standard has an interesting background, as presented in the Piezography Manual:


The reason that D50 is the standard for professional printers is because of the physical attributes of human perception, rather than any industry commercial pressure or interests. A scientific study in 1931 by the CIE concluded that the average human being saw equal amounts of red, green and blue light at a color temperature of approximately 5000 Kelvin. Under this color of light, the average human could best perceive the differences and similarities in two adjacent colors. The CIE also adapted a methodology of describing color through measurements called CIE Lab color. The basis of this study formed the core of ICC color management. The D50 standard is very well supported with paints for walls, light boxes for viewing, and light bulbs.

The D65 standard uses 6500k which is equivalent approximately to daylight in the Northern Hemisphere. Many imaging gurus have cited that they prefer the color of 6500k over 5000k. But color management is not about preferences. It is about human perception and the ability to judge color. The more compelling reason to choose D65 is because the common LCD which has little or no control to adjust its hardware is illuminated internally by a fluorescent source at about 6500k. D65 is not well supported in the industry. By example, there are few D65 viewing booths available. - Piezography Manual


In other words, there is more to monitor calibration than meets the eye. A deeper dive can be found in A Calibration Primer



RBK_9847-Pano-PSeditDoing the work - in Photoshop



See ya next week,





]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) jon cone monitor calibration multisync nec piezography Sun, 07 Jan 2018 05:00:00 GMT
What Do You Want To Do?  

IMG_4995Piezography - making custom curves



Before the holidays were upon us, I was heads down and knee-deep in re-learning how to make black and white (BW) prints. No, it didn't involve a darkroom, but it came close...


Way back in the fall, I went to a Piezography workshop at Cone Editions in Vermont. After the workshop, I converted a legacy Epson printer to a dedicated Selenium Piezography printer and began using Photoshop (PS) to convert digital files to black and white (BW) and using non-destructive curve layers and masks to dodge and burn. This was a significant change from my established workflow using Lightroom (LR) and Epson Advanced Black and White (ABW) print utility. Lightroom is absolutely fine for making an acceptable ABW print, but the LR process does not take advantage of the resolution and tone possibilities of Piezography. Comparison prints finally convinced me to make a serious effort to learn a little Photoshop. My new workflow starts in LR by editing a raw file as a smart object in Photoshop, converting it to BW, creating curve layers to dodge and burn selected areas of the image. When I save the edited image, it is saved to LR as a PSD file with its layers intact.


Because Piezography can reveal both wonderful tonality as well as unwanted artifacts. Jon Cone addresses these realities in the Piezography manual:

"We are not giving you the what you should do. We are only saying what you can do. And the bigger questions is what do you want to do. Black & White from Color with Silver Efex encourages you to produce conversions using presets - but it also contains tools that you can over-use and produce artifacts that will print using Piezography. These same artifacts might be absorbed by the Epson dithering patterns. Piezography is higher in resolution and prints with tens of thousands more gray levels than Epson. So you need to tread carefully.

In Photoshop, you can use layers for your Color to Black & White conversions. If you see printed artifacts, you can back off some of the adjustments you are using."


The simple reason for is to keep data in a 16-bit environment, the same bit depth used by the QTR Rip tool. Why, you ask? Because Piezography can print 2880dpi in a 16-bit environment using the QTR Print utility. That is how it achieves results that an 8-bit depth process and dithering* simply can not. That right, you can only do so much with three tones of black ink and a set of printer instructions that are managed by the printer driver. Piezography Selenium uses seven shades of black and a gloss optimizer all driven by custom curves that control the blending of the ink shades into thousands of tones. 



Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 9.31.17 AMBW conversion in Photoshop



To paraphrase what I learned in the Piezography printmaking workshop ~ I am not telling you what you should do. I am only saying what you can do. And the bigger question is what do you want to do? This an easy question for me - I want to make distinctive black and white images that are recognizable as mine.

Happy New Year!


See ya around,



* Dithering is an attempt to approximate a tone from a mixture of available ink tones when the required tone is not available. Ironically, your brain will happily process dithered photographs almost the same way as a print made with Piezography. This is not to say that they look and, more importantly, feel the same way but our optical processing is adept at filling in the spaces with what we expect to see. Custom curves made from 129 step targets create a smooth linearization that becomes apparent when you see a Piezography print. 

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) cone editions jon cone piezography selenium Sun, 31 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMT
Giving Pictures help portrait pvdHelp-Portrait Providence - 2017photographer: Linda Hawkins


Help-Portrait is a global movement to give not take pictures. Help-Portrait was founded  in 2008 with the mission is to empower photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists to use their skills, tools and expertise to give back to their local community. Each December, photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists all around the world will find people in need, take their picture, print their picture and then deliver it—free of charge. These portraits aren’t for a portfolio, website, or sale. It’s about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory…and a whole lot more.


Help-Portrait Providence began in 2016. The 2017 edition was an immeasurable success thanks to the continued unselfish work of its organizers, Alex Says and Terry Rajsombath as well as the the volunteer photographers, editors, hair and makeup stylists and other community members. I was fortunate to do post processing for the talented Linda Hawkins Photography, LLC. This is a small sampling of her stunning work. You would never know that these portraits were made in a school gymnasium. The 8x10 prints made from these images delivered the joy of the season to every family and to each volunteer.


Merry Christmas, 


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) help portrait Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:02:19 GMT



A musician works his stock-in-trade on stage.

The light framing his concentration, the feeling,

Moments suspended in time.


Tones ring out in shades of commitment

A performance framed by gesture

The light flares through the lens,

Frozen in time.


This is our last post until the New Year.


Our best wishes for warm holidays shared with friends and families and a Happy New Year,




Post Script

We will continue to explore BW printmaking over the holidays and will report back during the new year


IMG_5115Work-in-Progressmore to follow...


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) backlight Sun, 26 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT
Presets; blessing, curse, or both? DXT16939Eastman archtop guitarKodak Gold emulation


Presets that can speed up your workflow with a simple 'click' of a mouse or tap on a touchpad or screen. Lightroom comes with them and you can make new ones and save them for future use easily. A google search for "Lightroom presets" results in over three million hits. That's a lot of hits. You can buy them, make them or use an add in program that essentially clicks your way to awesomeness. 


There is nothing wrong or evil about them if they help you attain your vision. If you just randomly click them for discovery purposes that is ok too, but the real power is knowing what you want to accomplish and determining the best way to get there. Understanding how dodging and burning as well as sharpening, effects the eye would be a great starting point. Many folks suggest studying the master painters to see how they accomplished feeling as well as seeing with paint, brush and canvas. They had neither presets or filters (another topic for another time).


I was reminded of this while reading a passage in Clapton's Guitar contributed by George Gruhn...




Post processing is not unlike repairing a guitar in that you are trying to make your photograph look and feel like what you saw. The best post processing leaves your viewer admiring your photograph and wondering how you made it. If your photograph is distinctive, if you have put your heart and soul into it, it will be a better photograph. One that will stand the test of time, rather than simply what was once a popular trend achieved by a few clicks of your mouse.

The choice is yours.

See ya around,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) claptons guitar photography post processing presets wayne henderson Sun, 19 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT
Dream Job



What would be your photography dream job?

Would it be to fly around the world and make photographs of a working president of the United States? Could you do it non-stop for eight years? Would you be willing to miss most of your own family's events for this job?


Pete Souza is a photographer's photographer, now best known as the White House Photographer during the two terms of the Obama Administration. He is lesser known for his photography as the Washington photographer for the Chicago Tribune during the Obama Senate candidacy or as an Assistant Professor of Photography at Ohio University or as a White House Photographer during the Reagan administration. His book Obama: An Intimate Portrait was released this week and I am delighted to have received a copy of it from my editor-in-chief (pre-ordered in April, as soon as she discovered Souza's to-the-point Instagram postings). Over 300 photographs made by Souza are divided into two sections: First Term and Second Term. The selected photographs are a fraction of the almost two million photographs that Souza made during this period (that's 250,000 photographs a year for eight years). 


It has been said of Souza that if he is in a roomful of photographers, you can count on him getting the shot that the others wish they had. After looking through his book, I believe that to be true. Although not many of his published photographs would be considered fine art, as a collection they document the path of a president through many of the ups and downs during his two terms.  Because of the depth and breadth of the images, you come away with more of a 360 degree view, almost a three dimensional rendering, not only of the President of the United States, but of the man who held that office: Barack Obama. There is no doubt that this collection also illustrates the comfort level that these two men have shared. From the onset, Souza's one requirement in accepting the job as White House Photographer was: "access to everything." He he received that, along with top level security clearance. It is one thing to claim transparency, quite another to deliver on that commitment. NPR broadcast an interview with Souza on the day the book was released. It is well worth the time to hear his own words as he reflects on this amazing photographic period. 


Pete Souza's photographs helped me connect to President Obama during his first term. Through his images, I saw the man who held the office in a way that the media were never able to present him to me. He showed Obama as a three dimensional person rather than reducing him to a headline or a comment. I doubt that this will happen again over the next few years, which makes this a treasured collection of portraits that create not only a visual history lesson but a unique view into the life and persona of the man. The book is a large format (10x12) and has a hefty weight. It is an excellent example of top notch photojournalism. Many of the photographs are as poignant as only family photographs can be. That is the true mark of a photographer's photographer.  


See ya around,



A quick look at Souza's recent posts on Instagram

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) pete souza president obama Sun, 12 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT

_DSF0885-HDRChelsea Bridgedigital raw file



There is no shortage of hype or promises in the photography marketplace regarding improving your photography. At the same time, there is a perceived need to make photography simple and easy to share. This appeals to anyone who wants instant recognition and has created a vast supply of products and features that promise to make it easy to create and share photographs without the need to develop the craft of photography or spend any significant amount of time reflecting on the art. It is an arms race to the bottom.



Old & New - Medium Format Kodak Tri-XPiezography prints the shadow detail in the lower windows



Sitting all alone on the other end of this photographic technology spectrum is Piezography (pees-og-raphy), a dedicated black and white inkjet printmaking system developed by Jon Cone. Piezography utilizes a set of of monochromatic inks and proprietary media profiles that double the optical resolution of an Epson legacy inkjet printer, producing greater acuity and detail and substantially more gray levels than Epson Advanced Black and White (ABW) printing. Piezography makes exceptional prints from digital raw image files or scanned film. It is not, however, a turn key system and requires a solid understanding of the concept of linearization and the operational workflow to make beautiful black and white fine art photographs in the tradition of master printers. Fortunately, the R&D team at Cone Editions are experienced educators and they brought me up to speed during their Fine Art Black and White Printmaking Workshop held at their headquarters in Vermont. One of the first steps to creating amazing Selenium BW prints is to scan 129 step targets to create a linearized curve used in the printmaking process. 


Scanning 129 step targets



So, why bother? Doesn't the Epson ABW methodology create an adequate print? Yes, it does and Epson would like you to believe that it is the best that their printers can produce, but the demonstrated results from Piezography are not only visibly better than an ABW print, they are the best that can be made from an Epson printer. I am finally printing my BW photographs the way I want others to see them - with a lusciously smooth tone latitude, seductively smoother skin tones and increased shadow and highlight detail that encourages your gaze to linger longer than any other method of printmaking. 



2014 06 Fuji 645 Tri-x 02-1Close Up - Medium Format Kodak Tri-X The highlight and shadow detail in the portrait is exquisite



I will be exhibiting and making Piezography prints for other photographers in 2018. Let me know if you are interested in learning more or want to see what these prints look like first hand. 


See ya around,










]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) cone editions piezography Sun, 05 Nov 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Good in Color, Powerful in Black & White  

Open Mic 02-25-2017-76Open Mic 02-25-2017-76



Different images resonate with different people. Powerful images resonate deeper.


The best music and magical moments often happen late at night, when more sensible people have returned to their homes.


I linger when the mood encourages it. Not wanting the night or the magic to end.


The musician's defiant raised fist occurred as a surprise.  A moment in time. There and gone, like the music.


Good in color,

powerful in black & white


See ya around,



Post Script 

We now have a printer converted to Piezography (pees og raphy) that makes amazing black and white photographs using many shades of Selenium toned ink. More to follow...


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) black and white photography Sun, 29 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Slow - School Zone IMG_482716x24 fine art print, hand framed



The longer I pursue this photography thing, the slower I want to go. I don't want to post an image that I just made. I want to consider, edit and finally, print my photograph to see if I like it when it hangs on a wall.



IMG_484116x24 fine art print, hand framed


I do this because I am always learning...


See ya around,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) Sun, 22 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Down Time DXT14498-HDRfrom left to right: Peabody, Rocky, Bullwinklenot in photograph: Boris



Our server had an unplanned severe crash this week, possibly caused by a drive failure. That should not have crashed our Network Attached Server (NAS), but it did. The drive was replaced, the volume was rebuilt and the data was completely restored. Our data files are simply structured to made this fairly easy.



IMG_4906Data Structure



Our main groups of data (Photographs, Time Machine backups from several Mac computers, Music and Documents are stored on Bullwinkle, a four drive NAS with a Random Array of Independent Drives (RAID) designed to duplicate data files in the event of a non-catastrophic failure of one of the driver. Therein lies the nature of our crash. The drive that failed caused a catastrophic failure. No idea why that happened.


Fortunately, Photographs and Time Machine files are backed up nightly to Rocky, a two drive NAS with Just a Bunch of Drives (JBOD) file structure. Another backup copy of the photograph files is also stored on an external drive named Boris. Documents and Music are backed up to an external drive nightly named Peabody.


That how we keep it simple and safe - a NAS and two external drives backing up all of our data groups from our main server. Restoring data took about 24 hours.


See ya around,



Post Script

I am excited to be participating ina BW Fine Art Printmaking workshop next week. More to follow...







]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) nas server crashed Sun, 15 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT