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User / northernblue109 / Sets / Information, Techniques and Other Stuff
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N 16 B 21.3K C 7 E May 1, 2011 F Mar 13, 2011
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1. Introduction. My collection of transport images is different from what you would normally find on Flickr, in they have almost all been digitally-modified in Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements), so please do read the captions under individual images. I am always pleased to attract genuine followers from the Flickr community but I may block you if your photostream is empty or if you appear to be hiding your real name.

2. Fictional images are not (and are not intended to be portrayed as) historically accurate. This will typically be because the livery or some other detail has been digitally-modified to portray a 'might have been' scenario. Fictional images are always based on - what I believe to be - a credible rationale, which is always explained in the accompanying extended caption. I do not do spoofs or wind-ups and do not permit my work to be used in this way.

3. Digital representations have been digitally-modified in an attempt to provide a reasonable representation of a real-life subject. What is reasonable in any situation, will depend on the information available and the work involved. You are welcome to point out any detail that I have have overlooked but please do so in a courteous manner (point-scorers will be blocked).

4. Digitally-coloured images are just that. These images have not been intentionally modified in any other way. For these images, the copyright assertion applies to the colour overlay.

5. Suggestions and requests. Suggestions are always welcome but, due to previous time-wasters, I am no longer able to accept requests for work other than on a paid-for basis (see below). I am particularly annoyed with those individuals who have made a specific request or query and then not bothered to acknowledge my response.

6. Commissioned work. I regret that I am not accepting commissioned work at the present time. Whilst I am not actively seeking commissioned (paid for) work, I have a limited capacity to undertake private commissions. Unless I already have a suitable base image, you must supply an appropriate image for which you are the copyright owner or have the copyright owner's permission. The following technical specification apply. In order of preference, I can use original high-resolution images from digital cameras (not phones or anything else that isn't first and foremost a camera); or scans from slides, negatives or original black & white prints. I am generally unable to use digital prints, colour prints of any kind, images downloaded from the internet, or scans from books or magazines. In the context of this specification, the term resolution is a measure of fineness of detail. Image dimensions (in pixels) and file size (in megabytes) are indicators of resolution - or lack of - but neither is an absolute guarantee. Increasing either of these will not increase resolution - the determining factor will always be the image that you started with. As a guide, I am looking for images of at least 1800x1200 pixels saved in TIFF (preferred) or JPEG format with a minimum file size of 1Mb. If JPEG, always use the highest quality setting available. In all cases, please provide original images without any post-camera or post-scan processing.

7. Legal stuff. Copyright will be enforced by all available means. You are welcome to provide a link to any image on this site but it would be a criminal offence to post a copy of the image to Facebook or anywhere else, or to publish or distribute it by any other means. If asked, I will make all reasonable attempts to remove you from any of my images; otherwise, I reserve the right to use, in any way I choose, any image taken by me in a public place. Fictional images are not intended to infer any change of ownership or use of any vehicles on which they are based.

8. Contacting me I cannot guarantee to respond to queries posted as comments under individual images but will endeavour to do so if they relate to the image concerned. Otherwise, you will need to send me a Flickrmail (you need to be a Flickr member to do this but sign-up is free). As a matter of courtesy, please remember to include your real name - I am not willing to deal with anonymous persons hiding behind user names. Please also note that I do not use Facebook, other than as a source of information, and am unlikely to respond to messages sent via this medium.

Updated 13-Jul-20

Tags:   information

N 9 B 4.8K C 0 E Jun 11, 2017 F Nov 26, 2017
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It doesn't pay to take statistics too seriously in the roller-coaster world of Flickr, but this is one number that I believe is worth marking. Today, I topped ten million hits on just over 3,000 images posted over a period of six years. The unique feature of my Flickr collection is that every single image has been re-worked in Photoshop, often to portray the same subject in different colour schemes. It all began with a couple of buses and then expanded into all forms of road and rail transport. Some subjects have fallen by the wayside as available material and fresh ideas have dried-up but I'm not done yet. Thanks to those who have supported me by providing base material, background information, inspiration and encouragement; and to everyone else who has simply dropped by from time to time - you are all very welcome (26-Nov-17).

All rights reserved. Not to be posted on Facebook or anywhere else without my prior written permission. Please follow the link below for additional information about my Flickr images:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/6046035749/in/set-7....

Tags:   10,000,000 hits ten million hits

N 15 B 4.5K C 5 E Jan 1, 2016 F Jan 9, 2016
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This was an experimental venture into photobook technology, which has been around for a long time but cost has always been an issue. When I came across a good offer from Bonusprint, it seemed an opportunity not to be missed.

It has been a lot of work, not only selecting and arranging material but also preparing a full set of captions. I was surprised at how much material I have and how much I had to leave out. One lesson learned the hard way is the value of planning. Allocate the pages to your chosen subject areas before beginning to fill them; also try out a few layouts before going headlong into it.

I adopted a basic 2x4 grid. Given more time, I may have been more adventurous, with the occasional full page image, but I wanted to include as much as possible and was mindful of the resolution of individual images. I allocated the pages between nine distinct themes.

The software - supplied free by Bonusprint - was fairly intuitive and reasonably well featured, if somewhat 'clunky' and it did prove difficult moving material about - hence the lesson about planning.

** UPDATE **
I now have the printed product and am delighted with it. In all respects, it looks and feels like a 'proper' book with a superb laminated hardback cover and title down the spine. The internal pages are printed on good quality heavy paper with a pleasing lustre finished. Overall, the photo reproduction is excellent, with just a couple of images slightly lighter than I would have wished, but not seriously so. The auto-enhance tool that I used very selectively has worked well - even though I thought I had the images right in Photoshop, they have benefitted from a little tweaking in the photo book software.

I have learned a few lessons about design and layout, which was one of my principal aims. The colour pages have worked well - I was concerned about these - and the fine white or black borders are effective. The text could beneficially be a touch smaller - I opted for 12 point Arial for the body text whereas I tend to use 10.5 for most purposes. The headings are Gill Sans which, again, could be a little smaller. With smaller - and possibly less - text, there is scope for additional pictures, although I'm a great believer in letting the content 'breathe'. Another lesson - a case of not doing what I've previously taught others - is that the inside margin needs to be slightly more generous than the outside margin.

What next? Well, I will be doing more photo books but not in the immediate future (they really do take a lot of thought, time and effort to do well). This first book is not for sale - it would need a lot more work before I would wish to put it in the public domain, but I'm not ruling out anything in the future (updated 09-Jan-16)

All rights reserved. Follow the link below for terms and conditions, additional information about my work; and to request work from me:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/6046035749/in/set-7...

Tags:   techniques photobooks

N 5 B 2.9K C 1 E Jun 12, 2016 F Jun 10, 2016
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If you read my earlier posting, you'll know that I'm a recent convert to photobooks when the price is right. I've completed four further books, including the two transport titles illustrated. In addition to my own material, both contain some third party images for which I have restricted reproduction rights that prevent me from offering copies for sale.

The greatest challenge in both cases was selecting and organising the material; more so for the Malta book, which has a final photo count of about 500 from a stock of about 5,000. If you're aiming for a balanced selection, you can't simply make it up as go. The first step is to roughly apportion space between chosen topics or themes. For the Malta book, these are mainly time periods (pre-green era, green era, yellow era, post-yellow era). It's much easier to work with bite-size chunks. An element of trial-and-error can be applied at individual page level, although it is important to start with some default page templates. I've generally used a 'five pictures to the page' format with one large and four small pictures, interspersed with an occasional full or double page spread where the image resolution permits.

Take time to prepare all the images you may need before you start and ensure that they of adequate resolution for the purpose. I found myself re-scanning some older material mid-way through the page make-up stage, having decided that they could be better. Also, if you are adding captions, make sure that you have the necessary information to hand. I made a rod for my own back with the Malta Bus book; the captions took an enormous amount of time to prepare from various sources and, inevitably, suffer from transcription errors.

As you may deduce, it is not a quick process. I lost track of the amount of time spent on the Malta book, which was tackled on an 'as and when' basis. With a more concerted effort, I was able to complete the Cyprus book in a week with a couple of hours work each evening. In both cases, the results are well worth the effort. Not only are they 'proper' books but they use a lot less space than the motley collection of traditional albums and boxes of photographs that they have replaced (12-Jun-16).

Tags:   techniques photobooks

N 3 B 3.3K C 0 E Feb 25, 2017 F Mar 18, 2011
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In the days before digital imaging, it was quite common for manufacturers to create impressive line-ups of new deliveries by old-fashioned 'cut and paste' and traditional darkroom technique. It was quite an art but the results were rarely convincing, because simply duplicating a single vehicle is apt to introduce all sorts of perspective problems. Digital techniques have made it much easier but it still requires a trained eye and attention to detail - particularly detail seen through the vehicle windows. This Maltese Leyland Hippo is quite literally beside itself in a collage of photographs taken forty years apart. The older view (in the dark blue livery) was one of a series of excellent images by Andrew Johnson that I prepared for the book Maltese Buses of Yesteryear. The collage was produced for a magazine article that never appeared (02-Sep-09).

All rights reserved. Not to be posted on Facebook or anywhere else without my prior written permission. Please follow the link below for additional information about my Flickr images:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/6046035749/in/set-7....

Tags:   digital montage Photoshop techniques


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