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Webinar Archive: Planning and Creating Award Winning Images with Jane Conner-Ziser

2/24/2014 1:00pm EST  

A letter from Jane Conner-ziser:

Thanks for joining me for X-Rite's seminar on Creating Award Winning Images! I had a great time – and the time went by so quickly that I forgot to talk about one of the most pertinent tools I use for creating my art and photography – Color Management! I don't even have a great explanation for omitting it, except that X-Rite has made it so easy for me to have great color management that I never even think about it!

We talked about my image Hibiscus, a Loan Collection image with the Professional Photographers of America, Best of Show Illustrative with the Professional Photographers of Florida and one of the top images for the Societies of Professional Photography (SWPP) in the United Kingdom. It is one of my favorite images because it softly projects the feelings of delicacy and gracefulness in a simple photographic capture. BUT when the judges scrutinized it for possible up scoring (it ended up in the 90's), had my image quality been anything less than immaculate, it would not have made it to the top.

Image quality is something that a lot of people don't talk about because it is assumed that professional photographers are going to achieve it in every capture. I guess it's something like walking on broken glass – probably we shouldn't need to post a sign that says, "Wear shoes".

Hibiscus was captured RAW as a low key image. I shoot RAW most of the time because I frequently change the way I want to see images prior to finishing them up and the format allows me a lot of room to play.

One of the first things I do when exploring an image's potential is to raise and lower the exposure slider in Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop) – or Lightroom's Basic Module – just to give me an idea of how the image might look in higher or lower values. Hibiscus "started singing" to me when I hit medium high key so it became my focus to create a perfect range of tones and details within that value range.

Of course I'm going by what I see with my artist eyes, so it's fundamentally necessary that what I'm looking at is accurate according to the standard ICC profiles that my work will be viewed with. (By the way, the same is true if you are going out to print.) If my monitor is too dark or off color, all of my work will be based upon incorrect data and I'll be real disappointed with the end result. I need to know that the detail I'm seeing is real and that the colors I'm creating are true and accurate. With perfect color management, I can forget about it and rely upon my eyes. Thank you X-Rite and your amazing ColorMunki!

Recently I'm thanking X-Rite even more because I've been combining things I create with app art on my iPad with photo captures, Photoshop and Corel Painter - and X-Rite has come out with new technology to manage my mobile devices! Now, I can create or capture things on my phone or iPad, add apps and art, then transfer them over to my laptop and finish them up in Photoshop or Painter, knowing that what I'm seeing on my mobile device is what I'm going to get when I transfer it to something else.

Because X-Rite makes these products so GOOD and so easy to install and use, it's easy to see how I take them for granted, so SORRY GUYS. You can bet if I didn't have their color management I'd be crying for sure! If you're afraid to try it because you think it's going to be technical and hard, let me share this story with you:

I remember when X-Rite came out with the ColorMunki a few years ago and asked if I could try it out a couple of days before a national convention. I thought, "If I can do something in an hour, I'll do it" because I was way behind on everything I had to do in order to get out of town. I opened the box and within 45 minutes I had the software installed and 4 papers profiled! I don't consider myself a technical wizard, and I was impressed for sure!

SO – if you attended my webinar, please know that one of my underlying secrets of successful imagery is perfect color management, and if you don't have it; get it as soon as you can. X-Rite has products to fit every budget and will save you so much time and money in reworking files that didn't come out the way you expected them to that you will re discover your love of image processing!

Grazie and have a beautiful day! Jane Cz

Planning and Creating Award Winning Images with Jane Conner-ziser

X-Rite is happy to present Coloratti Jane Conner-ziser in this wide-ranging webinar walking you though the process Jane uses to take one image from concept to conclusion using fine art principles applied with pro techniques in both image capture and Photoshop. Jane's freelance retouching business specializes in exhibition retouching for many of the world's top competitors, and she is an award-winning photographer herself. Learn how top photographers conceptualize their images, refine them during the photography session, and select the best image to work with for competition.

Next the image is:
1. Cropped for best composition
2. Meticulously adjusted
3. Retouched
4. Enhanced
5. Presented for Maximum Impact

Jane is excited to share common judging criteria that you should consider when working up your own images as well as common mistakes many photographers make when choosing images for show.

Learn more about Jane's work at JaneCZ.com.

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