New Version of FastStone Image Viewer


There’s a new version of my favorite, free image viewer/browser application.

FastStone has just released version 4.7 of their superb Fastone Image Viewer app. It’s Windows-only, so Mac users are left out, but anyone running Windows would be well advised to download a copy. It’s a flexible, easy to use image viewer with some basic editing capability. And it really stands out as an image browser, having most of the capabilities of Adobe Bridge but with better stability/reliability. It’s freeware, with a “donations accepted” page on the web site. Throw ‘em a few dollars if you like it (and I’m pretty sure you will).

Find out more and get download here.

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Rules for Increasing Image Size in Photoshop

There’s a lot of confusion about how and when to increase image size using Photoshop. I thought I’d clear things up by offering the rules I use:

Increasing Image Size in Photoshop

Rule 1 – Don’t do it.

Rule 2 – See Rule 1.

Rule 3 – If you must ignore rules 1 and 2, keep increase small.

Rule 4 – If you have to ignore rules 1, 2 and 3, keep your own name off the work and give credit/blame to someone else.

Rule 5 – If you have to ignore rules 1, 2, 3 and 4, change your name, leave the country and become a monk somewhere.

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Why Instagram’s Copyright-Grab is Different

If you haven’t just returned from a safari far beyond the reach of the Internet you’ve probably heard about Instagram’s copyright grab in their new Terms of Service agreement. On the face of it there doesn’t appear to be much to distinguish the whole fuss from the other copyright paranoia outbreaks I’ve made fun of in the past: They claim the right to use your photos, license them to third parties, etc. Just like Facebook, Pinterest and so many other on line photo sharing and social media sites do. But this time it really is different.

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Metadata in Photoshop: Don’t Forget It!

I just received a few head shot photos from a web client to post on her site. All very nice, thoroughly professional and perfectly appropriate. In fact, since I don’t specialize in portrait photography myself, I thought I’d check the metadata to see who was responsible so I’d have a name to recommend in the future. But there was nothing there. Nada. Blank.

We photographers often get so worried about people stealing our images that we forget to make things easy for those who want to do the right thing (that is, pay us). It’s inappropriate to put a visible watermark with your name and web site on work that you’re delivering to a client. But you absolutely should put it into the metadata!

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Font Embeddability — Mac and Windows

We’ve all experienced it: opening a document on a computer where it’s never been used before only to be faced with one of those "Missing Font" warnings. You certainly don’t want anyone to have to face those when they open one of your files, do you? The solution is font embedding. By embedding the font into the document any end user will be able to see your work just the way you designed it. Ah, but there are traps and pitfalls to beware of when you go down that path.

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Goldmedalseo.com — Spam is a Sure Sign of a Scam

More blog spam has been coming in lately. The latest is another Search Engine Optimization scam from an outfit called goldmedalseo.com who are so good at optimization that if you search for the keywords "search engine optimization"… (pause for dramatic effect)… their web site isn’t in the first 20 results. No, I lied. Their site isn’t in the first 20 pages of results. When was the last time you reached the 20th page of a web search and thought to yourself, "well, maybe what I’m looking for will be on the 21st page"? (The answer is "never".) Of course, their own invisibility to search engines is not unexpected: They’d have no need to resort to blog spamming if they were actually good at the service they purport to sell. If you do a whois look-up on the domain name "goldmedalseo.com" you’ll find the results hidden by privacyprotect.org — personal sites use this service for privacy reasons, business sites use it if they don’t want you to be able to find out anything about them… for reasons you can well imagine. Hilariously, their web site is hosted at weebly.com, a build-your-own-web-site service for total noobs! The spam came from egihosting.com — a constant source of spam here, so it won’t do me any good to report it.

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Logitech “Performance MX” Mouse — Review

Logitech Performance MX mouse - click for larger imageIt was the best of mice, it was the worst of mice. The infuriating way it combines outstanding ergonomics & features with bad design & features makes the Logitech Performance MX mouse an odd animal indeed.

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The Digital Negative — Book Review

Buy this book at powells.com (new window)I’ll say it right up front: I now consider this book the definitive reference on processing digital raw files through Adobe Lightroom (or Camera Raw) and Photoshop for those whose goal is to produce the highest possible quality images.

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International Masters of Photography — Scam?

So there’s an email going around…

You are therefore pre-selected to submit work for inclusion in International Masters of Photography (Vol 1), a juried annual art photography publication presenting noteworthy photographers from all over the world.

Please note that this is not a free inclusion.

And people are asking "Is this a scam or is it for real?"

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Photo Services to Avoid: The Crooks at ibphoto@163.com, ibphotostudio@163.com, contactrick@126.com, deimagework@163.com, studiocontact@126.com and photocontact@126.com

I can’t imagine anyone being dumb enough to send work out to spammers in China for Photoshopping, especially to an unknown outfit with no web site and whose only email addresses are with disreputable Chinese webmail providers. Does anyone seriously expect crooks like this to respect copyright once they have your images? Or not to Photoshop your images into kiddie-porn web sites or god-only-knows-what?

Every one of their spams has been sent through a hacked computer belonging to some cable/dsl subscriber’s trojan-infected computer. Seriously. They’ve engaged in criminal behavior just getting this message to you. Don’t even think about giving these people your credit card number! (That may, in fact, be all they’re trying to do: collect credit card numbers from those gullible enough to place orders.)

They’re hacking into servers in Germany, Brazil and Vietnam (so far) to send their spam (hacking like this is illegal just about everywhere) and forging headers in doing so (which is a violation of law in the U.S., not that they care about that). They’re also using virus-infected cable-modem accounts in Canada and the U.S. to send spam, so blocking IP addresses of the “usual suspects” like China, Korea, Germany and Brazil won’t do much good.

So just for reference, beware of spam containing the following email addresses:
contactedit@126.com
contactrick@126.com
deimagework@163.com
ibphoto@163.com
ibphotostudio@163.com
photocontact@126.com
studiocontact@126.com

imremove@yeah.net (this last address being the one for requesting that you be removed from their mailing list – don’t even think about sending email there — It probably isn’t even a working address at this point but if it is then sending mail to it will just confirm your own email as valid… so they can sell it to other spammers).

Notice that the email accounts are through webmail providers 163.com, 126.com and yeah.net. Spammers do this just in case one of these sewers (they’re all domains known for spam support) ever gets their feet held to a fire and has to start ditching spam accounts. You should report the 126.com and 163.com addresses (they’re branches of the same company) to nsadmin@corp.netease.com, spam@ccert.edu.cn and abuse@anti-spam.cn

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