Mar 16, 2015

How Not to Look Like a Tourist

Living in New York, I've had my fair share of encounters with tourists. And in my travels abroad, I've known the struggle of trying not to stick out like a sore thumb as I traverse the European continent with my distinctly American style. The hardest part of looking like a tourist is that sometimes it's hard to even notice how much you do. It's more than just an issue of blending in -- obvious tourists are big targets for pickpocketers and other crimes, too. Here are some tips that I've picked up to avoid looking like a tourist just about anywhere. (Note: these tips are probably more applicable to major cities, but not just in the U.S.!)

Feb 13, 2015

4 Food and Wine Festivals You Can’t Miss in 2015

Traveling into a new city is all about getting to know its popular landmarks and sightseeing, but you can’t end at that. Much of a town’s culture is best experienced through its food and wine offerings and how the locals festively celebrate these occasions. All over the United States, there are dozens upon dozens of festivals that are close to the heart of foodies and wine lovers. The awesome venues are also an added advantage so if you want to plan your trips for the rest of the year, here are four festivals that should help you out.

Dec 4, 2014

Winter Wedding Photography

While many people still opt for a spring or summer wedding in hopes to have that perfect sunny day, more and more couples are choosing to tie the knot in the colder months against a backdrop of clean white snow. If you choose to get married in the winter, it can be fun to tie in the season to your photos as well, incorporating holiday lights or an outdoor photo shoot in the snow. While it may be a little chillier, the pictures will be worth it. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your winter wedding photography. 

Nov 11, 2014

Best Locations for Destination Weddings for Photography

A destination wedding gives you the opportunity for incredibly unique and beautiful photography. The natural backdrops different destinations hold can be a huge factor in deciding where your destination wedding will be. Whether you prefer to stand in front of beautiful nature or a city scene, each destination wedding holds its own special meaning and photography opportunity. Here are some of the best places for destination weddings in the United States for photography backdrops.

Jul 18, 2014

Cast of Friday Night of Lights: Where Are They Now?

“Clear eyes, full hearts, never lose.” Who can ever forget this line? And is there someone more inspiring than the best high school football coach in a TV series, Coach Taylor? Yes, I’m talking about Friday Night Lights. The show that has captivated audience’s hearts and made us want to visit Texas and do the accent. After the show’s final episode aired in 2011, its fans are still clamoring for an encore on the big screen. Unfortunately, nothing is in the works (for now!) but since its viewers have become so attached with the actors and the characters they portrayed, it’s interesting to know where they are now.  

May 12, 2014

Offset vs. Digital Printing: When Offset is Your Best Option

Example of a Perfect registration in offset pr...

In the world of commercial printing, the two most common printing technologies used in the industry today are Offset and Digital. Both practices come with their advantages and disadvantages and in this article we will take a look at when one or the other may best suit your needs. While this post provides a nice primer on the subject, if you have more questions find a local printer in your area (around these parts a place like Modern Litho does the trick) and they can help you make the right decision, and likely not push you towards one over the other for financial purposes.

In the Digital printing process, images are transferred to paper using a process of laser and toner.

In the Offset printing process, images are transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket and finally onto a sheet of paper where ink is applied via a series of rollers.
To decide which is right for your project keep these 3 questions in mind:
1.    How big of a project is it?
2.    How much time do we have?
3.    What will best for our budget?

Advantage of Offset Printing:

•    Printing in large quantities- Despite the initial set-up cost and time, Offset printing is a much more cost efficient process than Digital when printing larger runs, usually this is any project over 500 pieces.
•    Print on varying materials and papers- Digital printing is limited when it comes to the type of material it can be printed on, usually constricted to 18” X 12”. Offset printers however, can print on a much wider variety of sizes, thicknesses, and weights.
•    Higher Quality- Offset printing offers a higher quality print than Digital. Often times with digital printing, colors will be close but not exact and because ink may not be fully absorbed, cracks and fading may appear around edges of images and text. Offset also offers a higher line frequency, compared to the usual 50-65 of digital, Offset printing used on magazines for example can he near 300.
•    Exact Color Matching and Printing-  Along the same lines as the previous point, digital has come a long way in recent years in terms of color quality, however since they cannot print Pantones like Offset printers can, the Colors will not be an exact match and can have slight differences over the course of a run.

Advantages of Digital Printing:

•    Fast turnaround- Offset printing requires a longer setup time per project as well as longer drying time once the pieces have been printed, when time is a factor, Digital may be the way to go.
•    Variable Text Editing- Unlike Offset printing, with Digital individual pieces can be edited fairly quickly and easily, this works well for projects that have changing texts such as names, titles and/or addresses.
•    Cost Effective for Small Projects- For short run jobs(under 500 pieces) digital printing is often times more cost effective than Offset because of its quick and low cost setup time.

How to choose:

As you can see, there will usually never be one service to choose for all projects. Offset is best used with larger projects, that have a longer time table and require a more precise and high quality color palate where Digital printing is best when time is a factor, your print run is smaller and the ability to edit during the process is of importance. The best practice is to keep in mind your timetable, size of project and Budget to help decide which process to choose from.

Apr 14, 2014

How To Print Large Digital Photos

This is my favorite digital single lens reflex...

With the advancements in photography and the ever-lower price of optics, the casual photographer is able to take some exceptional quality photos. A decade ago a digital camera couldn't achieve the quality for a photo print much larger than a standard 8x11. Now, however, with megapixels and optics soaring ever higher, the options for physical prints offers the ability to enlarge photos to all kinds of sizes. The question is, how big can I print them and where can you get them printed?

A great rule of thumb in determining how big you can blow up an image file is to use the standard print resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). If your camera is taking photos at 2400x3000 pixels, divide that by 300 and you'll realize you have an image that can accurately be reproduced to an 8x10 print. From, here's a basic chart for smaller photos (which you can do the math to expand upon):

  • 4x6 1200x1800 pixels 2 megapixels
  • 5x7 1500x2100 pixels 3.1 megapixels
  • 8x10 2400x3000 pixels 7.2 megapixels

So, obviously, the most important thing to consider is when taking your photos you need to have your camera settings adjusted to capture an image which can be printed at your desired size. There's no way to take an image that was shot with enough pixels for a wallet sized photo look good when blown up to a poster size.

Once you've decided on the image you want to enlarge, you basically have two options for printing. You can go to a commercial printer that does wide format printing and have them create your desired size for a commercial price or you can do it yourself. Now of course you're saying, "I don't have a printer that can spit out something that size!" Depending on your finished product, you don't need to. There are services online such as Block Posters that will chop up an image and give you downloadable PDF files that you can then print on your own printer and reassemble into one large image. Or, you can forgo any paid services and try this technique ( using the Rasterbator photo tool (Windows version available here -
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