Free Color Management Webinars from X-Rite in July

Color Management WebinarThis month, aka July, X-Rite is offering three free webinars designed to help photographers and videographers gain new confidence and to learn quick, easy and powerful ways to enhance their color workflow.

These webinars are designed to be informational as well as inspirational by offering photographers practical ways to improve their photography. Webinar attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions to the live trainers…

Color Management for the Rest of Us, co-sponsored by White House Custom Colour (WHCC), presented by Tony Corbell and Brenda Hipsher, Noon ET, July 15: This webinar features a discussion of monitor calibration and general color management. Tony Corbell of WHCC and Brenda Hipsher, X-Rite Field Marketing Manager in the U.S. and Canada, discuss how easy it is to put color management in place in a photographer’s workflow to save time, money, and frustration. There will be a live question-and-answer session following the presentation. Pre-registration for this webinar is not necessary. To view the live webinar, simply need bookmark this link:

Simply Amazing Color. Take control of your monitor, projector, printer and camera!, presented by Brenda Hipsher, 1 p.m. ET, July 24: This webinar will review the individual ColorMunki solutions including software demonstrations and discussions of how each solution is used. This live webinar provides participants with the opportunity to ask questions and understand each solution in detail so they can make the right decision on what ColorMunki family solution is for them.

To register for this free webinar, visit:

Professional Monitor Calibration for Still & Video, presented by Brenda Hipsher, July 31, 1 p.m. ET: This webinar will review how to access and utilize the video presets in i1Profiler software and will briefly look at use of ColorCheckers in the video footage as a visual reference. For photographers shooting, editing, and preparing video for output, this webinar will give them the insight into X-Rite color management solutions that can streamline their color control in video.

To register for this free webinar, visit:

Flexible Backgrounds for Any Studio Setup

Backdrops for photography with an inkjet printerFor Heather Kallhoff, the old cliché about necessity being the mother of invention proved to be not only true, but a real boon for her one-woman portrait photography studio in Watertown, S.D. Having moved from a residential studio to a commercial studio, she found she had a lot less flexibility, at least as far as creating ambience for various shoots.

Kallhoff began experimenting with different materials to use as backdrops, settling on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene. “It’s non glare, with great color saturation and has the right price point,” says Kallhoff.

Kallhoff works with White House Custom Colour on the majority of her print projects and says the backdrops quickly proliferated beyond her studio as other photographers requested the unique two-panel backdrops. They were so much in demand that Kallhoff started a website at where they’re sold.

“What I’ve done with our backdrops that makes them different, aside from the peel-and-stick aspect, is that they’re two panels printed at 42” x 96” each so we can create dimensional sets versus just flat backgrounds,” she says. “You can have split walls, make corners or use one as a background and one as the floor. It just gives you a lot of flexibility. In my studio I use them as semi-permanent backgrounds that I stick to a wall. I also have a wall of pink foam that I Velcro them to so that they’re easy up, easy down and reusable.”

Printed backgrounds for photographyKallhoff first started creating the backgrounds from photos she would take of interesting scenes around the country. Now the catalog has more than 200 different backdrops from which to choose. Plus, since they’re printed on-demand, custom backdrops are also available and can be printed in more than two panels, if desired.

Kallhoff says she does four-panel backgrounds for a dance studio she works with so that there’s a background for every costume they use. A network television series recently inquired about backgrounds for their set, so Kallhoff is excited about the possibility of seeing her work on television.

“We have an artist team submission group and if someone shoots something cool they’ll send it to me, I’ll convert it into a background and they get a discount on the custom background for them and a kickback on every background sold of their design,” she says.

Some Highlights from WPPI Las Vegas 2011

Canon cameras and printersIf last week’s photography trade show in Las Vegas, WPPI, is any indication, 2011 should be a much better year for everyone. To say the exhibit halls were crowded, particularly the first day, would be an understatement.

The show also marked the first one produced following the merger of WPPI/Rangefinder and PDN/Photo Plus Expo. The Neilsen Company, which owns PDN and Photo Plus Expo, acquired WPPI, Rangefinder and AfterCapture late last year.

The Neilsen Company estimates that 16,000 attended the show, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Official figures have not been released, but it sure seemed like a cast of thousands was in attendance. The overall theme appeared to be presentation. The majority of vendors showcased new ways for photographers to present their work to their clients. There were new types of photo albums, both physical and digital, album creation software, Web-based services and tons of ways to sell output through companies like Simply Canvas, White House Custom Colour (WHCC), All Pro Canvas and Artsy Couture, among others.

On the album side, there were a few in particular that caught my eye. First was an economical photo book called Pro-Line Self-Stick Albums produced by Neil Enterprises Inc., featuring a peel-back corner that makes it easy to apply the prints to the book’s pages quickly. It’s a simple concept, but it’s unique and works quite well (we tried it).

Photo album custom leather
Full color, true leather custom leather album covers by Leather Album Designs.

Leather Album Designs showcased its ability to create custom leather covers using any design or image you care to create in full color using a digital printing system that seamlessly blends the image into the leather. In short, the image becomes part of the leather. You have to feel and smell it to believe it, and I did both.

I also ran across Album Design Software, which is designed to blend into Photoshop to eliminate the steps normally needed to “trick” Photoshop into working with an album creation software. The 6.1.1 version of the software won a 2010 Hot One Award. Check it out at

All Pro Canvas had an interesting photo product on display that uses dye-sublimation to apply your images to slate. Dye-sub certainly isn’t new; you can see it on coffee mugs, mouse pads and any number of promotional products you can sell to clients, but this was a unique application that deserves a second look.

Three dimensional photos
Here's another cool product we found at WPPI, Lifeform 3D, where the photos come off the page, quite literally, using the company's hand-sculpted CanvaSculpt material.

Of course I must admit to being biased about photographic printing, so a stop at the Hahnemuhle and Canon booths was a must, and they didn’t disappoint. Hahnemuhle was kind enough to give us a preview of its new 100 gsm rice paper, which comes in both white and natural. It will be sold only in rolls and should be available soon, so stay tuned here for more info.

Canon’s booth was really about cameras and all the new bells and whistles the company’s including in its camera models, including HD filming capabilities. Still, for those who print their own work Canon had its new 24-inch wide iPF6300S in the booth (the iPF8300S is the 44-inch version, but was not on display). The new printers are scheduled to be ready for delivery later this spring and will feature an expanded color gamut, faster printing speeds, bundled software for improved workflow (a print plug-in for Photoshop, an accounting management software and Poster Artist Lite) and other improvements. Click here for more info about the new printers.

Canon new printer iPF6300S
Canon's new iPF6300S was on display at its booth at WPPI. The new printer, and the 44-inch iPF8300S, are expected to be ready for market later this spring.

You can still browse through the WPPI exhibitor list alphabetically and by category, and link to their websites here if you weren’t able to make it this year. PDN PhotoPlus Expo is scheduled for Oct. 27-29 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. WPPI 2012 will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas again, Feb. 20-22, 2012.