Tuesday, 22 December 2009

the nuts and bolts of black and white

If you are frustrated when using the chanel mixer in photoshop,or annoyed at the way a black and white convert in lightroom becomes patchy easily if you are not careful with those colour sliders,this might be the tool for you!!
Silver efex pro from nik software is in my opinion the only place to make Colour to black-and-white conversions.
It runs from within photo shop,lightroom, and aperture,and it provides you with a easy to navigate interface with several options to control your black and white conversion.
some of these options include,
grain structure for 16 classic films,
colour filters,good toning options,
and a fantastic zone system indicator which shows you show how the tones in your image fall into zones from 1 to 10 (a great help in avoiding clipping.)
click on the title above to go to the trial download page(click the lessons tab for demos of the key features of the program)
When printing, to avoid metamerism,(the appearance of a nasty colour cast in certain lighting situations),i generally apply a light copper tone to my outputs in silver efex pro.
as with all good plugins or filters your favourites can be saved and applied with one click in the future.
If anybody knows of a better tool please let me know,but for now this one is tops

Thursday, 10 December 2009


Listening to someone who has produced some fantastic work in the past is a huge revelation.
all your preconceptions about how work is staged, found, or created, can and sometimes are, blown away!!
here are two such revalations
one from Alec soth and one from Gregory Crewsdon
they are both artists working with the large format of 8x10 inches
but they have vastly different ways of seeing,and of working.
both these clips are some years old,but still have a big message.
what do you think?
find alec soth here
find good info on a recent exibition by gregory crewsdon here

Monday, 30 November 2009

Looking right, looking good!!

one of the truly amazing things about digital photography is that once you have made the purchase of camera, computer, and printer, you have full control over the entire process from a shoot to print.
This gives you great opportunity to fully control the process from start to finish so that what you capture can translate itself into a fine print or digital file ready to move on to another computer or computers for further use.
key to success is a basic understanding of the principles of workflow colour management.
we have all had to get to grips with this at some time or another, as it is the one thing which stands in the way of progressing to the final fantastic print. if you do not have this understanding you cannot put it into practice.
personally, for my first couple of years working in the digital realm I was dissatisfied with all my attempts to make prints.
but after a few false starts I realised that the key to reproducing a good print was making sure that
1. the computer monitor was calibrated and profiled.
2. and that the printer was also profiled.( for all favourite media types)
there are several steps involved in achieving these2 goals in the first of which is the purchase of some basic profiling equipment.
for advice on this I would contact your local x-rite(makers of colour management devices and software)dealers
two of these are image supply systems Dublin click here
and squid technology in the u.k. click here
recently I found a fantastic tutorial on colour management, which first explains principles of colour theory, and then proceeds to talk you through the actualities of creating a rocksolid colour managed workflow.

you can go directly to this article by simply clicking on the title at the top of this page. or click here
if you read and understand this article, you will have no choice but to put into practice, leading to total happiness regarding all your printed output in the future!!

studio portraiture

As a photographic tutor in the gallery of photography, Dublin. I have built up a fairly large bank of images relating to portraiture .over the last 10 years or so we have shot different styles, and atempted works of varying degrees of difficulty. It is my intention to further augment this work using this weblog as a posting spot for projects undertaken on these workshops.
for details of the galleries courses click here
for images shot on recent workshops at the gallery click here

Thursday, 26 November 2009

now you see me!

welcome to my first posting, to fill you all in my name is David Monahan.I have been working as a photographer since leaving art College in 1997. for the last five years I have been busy busy busy producing the lion's share of the photographic output for the National library of Ireland,and its subsiduary the National photographic archive. this work has included, internal publications, book projects, exhibition work, including high end exhibition printing ,and the day-to-day photographic services for library readers . This has been great fun, and very rewarding!!

But with no real notice being issued this work ceased and was absorbed by a new internal unit.

So as it stands I have a lot more time to dedicate to my own photographic practice, And that is the reason for this blog. it is my intention to talk here about all things photographic and although I foresee myself jumping from subject to subject I will strive not to use the term random on any posting. (except of course this one)