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   March News from Datacolor
Show off with style !
It's all about presentation & a new product

Ever wondered what the Mona Lisa would look like in a plain IKEA picture frame? Somehow, it probably wouldn't do it justice, right? Well, the same logic applies to your photography. The way an image is being presented can become part of the artwork itself and thereby almost as important. So this month we wanted to focus on showcasing images.
  1. MediaStorm - Get inspired by their mind blowing multimedia productions.
  2. Tools to spice up your photo presentations - quick, easy and affordable.
  3. Friends With Vision: Settimio Benedusi - the beauty hunter.
  4. Control your colors by balancing light - use the new SpyderCUBE™ during your shoot.
  5. Viveza / Photoshop Tip - Add depth to your images easily.
Also, we can finally present the winners of the Colors of my Life blurb book contest! The main prize, a photography workshop by TPW in Tuscany goes to Alice Lemarin. Jean-Christophe Sartoris has won an Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom license. And the nik Complete Collection goes to François-Xavier Laurent. Congratulations to them and the 27 other photographers who've made it into the book! We'll keep you posted on the project - more info to come soon!

As always, if you have feedback of any kind for us, we'd greatly appreciate an e-mail!

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MediaStorm - Mind blowing
                     multimedia presentations...
...created with the help of Spyder3Elite. 

Now here's some people that know how to present! The New York City-based multimedia production company MediaStorm focuses on innovative, high-quality storytelling by utilizing animation, audio, video and the power of still photography. And the results are simply mind-blowing! Through their online publication, they've published diverse narratives that speak to the heart of the human condition - in-depth contemporary feature stories with an emphasis on photojournalism.

The MediaStorm team possesses a diverse range of talent and experience; they come from the photography and television industries, as well as design, journalism, and information technology backgrounds. Their staff is actively sought by prestigious institutions and corporations to lecture and teach about multimedia storytelling.

Naturally, color management is a very important topic for the team at MediaStorm - and the Spyder3Elite is the tool of their choice. "We work with the best photographers in the world to create compelling multimedia documentaries. We use the Spyder3Elite to calibrate our screens and make sure what we see is true to the vision of those photographers", says Bob Sacha, multimedia producer at MediaStorm.

You can view the awesome work MediaStorm is doing at mediastorm.org.


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Homemade, but with a professional look...
Software for creating photo presentations.

When it comes to putting together your own photo presentation, a regular office or multipurpose presentation software probably won't cut it for you. Luckily, there are some other solutions out there for photographers. One that is fun and easy to use but still allows for professional looking results, is FotoMagico by Boinx Software. It lets you to turn your pictures into a story with a few simple clicks and then present in high resolution. Of course, you can also easily share it on your website or burn it to a DVD. The pro version of FotoMagico even integrates seamlessly with Aperture or Lightroom libraries and considering its vast range of features and capabilities, is very affordable. There's more information about this cool MacOS X app, a quick video and a free demo available here.

Sometimes, you might be in a situation where you just want to do a quick, short, slick looking presentation - just a quick composition of some images and some matching music - without investing too much time. This is where animoto comes in! This online service allows you to upload images (or have them pulled from existing online albums), choose a matching soundtrack (from their website or your own library), create a cool looking presentation and share the result online - all within a few minutes. This is not only a lot of fun; for videos up to 30 seconds, it's also free! Obviously, an automated composition process like this means less customization, but it also means more spare time to create lots more of these fun presentations! Check out a quick one we've made!


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Our Friend With Vision
Settimio Benedusi

Settimio Benedusi calls himself a beauty hunter - a description that is very fitting. Ever since he got his first camera at the age of 12 he has been thinking about taking the perfect picture. He says he's looking for beauty, emotions and feelings. And if you ask us he's been successful at that various times. "I look at the subject and shoot - that's the only way for capturing moments that otherwise would be gone like tears in the rain", Settimio says.

He was born in Italy forty-six years ago and is based in Milan, where he also has his studio. He's been a professional photographer for already 20 years now and his projects have taken him to places all over the world, working for all kinds of major magazines like GQ, Max, Vogue, Cosmo, Marie Claire, Sports Illustrated Elle, and various big brands like Versace, Fila, Armani and Swatch. You can find a link to Settimio's website, his blog and information on all our other Friends With Vision at www.datacolor.eu/fwv.


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Expert Advice: Brand new product
SpyderCUBE™: Control your colors by balancing light.

Keeping a balance in life can sometimes be difficult. The same goes for balance between colors. Your camera's white point adjustment settings offer an automated solution, but choosing the light source with the small sun or cloud symbols can only get you so far. To a camera white looks different indoors, outdoors, at sunset, and at high noon. Unfortunately, using your cameras automatic settings doesn't do the job.

As a result, white often becomes rather yellowish, grayish, blueish or anything elseish. And obviously, with a badly set white point none of the other colors will end up right either. If you are shooting in RAW you probably know about the selection tool in your RAW converter which can be used to adjust the white point easily. The only other thing you need then is a neutral grey area in your image.

The new SpyderCUBE incorporates two neutral 18% gray faces, plus a white one as well as black one, and a small black hole that allows you to capture absolute black. This light trap helps you set the absolute black point in your images, while the black area can be used to control the outlines in deep shadows. The chrome ball on top allows for full control over a brightly shining white point, without losing any detail.

SpyderCUBE is uniquely designed to assist photographers in calibrating their RAW images in RAW conversion software. The multi-sided construction allows special attention to highlights and shadows and contains more features for image control than a gray card or white balance tool. Establishing an accurate custom white balance ensures an accurate image from the start of each new photo session.

If you are shooting in JPG you can still utilize the SpyderCUBE. In Photoshop choose Image -> Adjustments -> Levels... and use the selection tool.

You can be among the first to hold your own SpyderCUBE - pre-ordering has just started. It'll be sent to you, free of delivery charges, on 26 March, if you pre-order yours today: SpyderCube (49€ excl. VAT).


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Photoshop Tip of the Month
Adding Depth to an image, using Viveza

Creating depth in an image can be easily done using Viveza to brighten objects in the foreground and darken objects in the background, helping to create a better separation and contrast between the two areas.

After launching the Viveza interface, add a Control Point by clicking on the Add Control Point button and place it on the object in the foreground. Increasing the Brightness slider and the Saturation slider will help create separation between it and the background. Next, add another Control Point to the background and darken it by decreasing the Brightness slider. This will help to create further visual separation, the difference between light objects and dark objects. Copy the Control Point by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Command + D, and move the new Control Point to another part of the background to darken that area as well. Continue to copy Control Points into the background until you have achieved the desired separation between the subject in the foreground and the background, and that's it! No need for selections or layer masks!

nik Viveza and Spyder3Pro are now available as a bundle for a special price, but only until the end of March. So if you've been waiting to take your color control to the next level, now is the time to do it!


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