Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How real is real?

Go read this thought provoking news item about how much Photoshoppin' is acceptable in photojournalism.

In a nutshell, a Danish photojournalist turned the saturation and contrast in his RAW files up to 11, as is the fashion these days in editorial / design photography, and entered them into a contest. Judges said, that's not what journalism looks like, and demanded to see his RAW files for comparison.

It's interesting to see how those original files are needed to stand in for some kind of objective reality. It's not as if stuff like this wasn't possible in pre-digital darkrooms, and it's not like you can ever view a RAW file without some rendering/intent decisions being made -- either by you or some software engineer.

Nobody's asking me, but I would say there's a big difference between local and global adjustments. Anything you can do to a digital file without making a selection falls in to one level of manipulation, and anything involving a selection or other pixel-pushing (layer, mask, rubberstamping, etc) falls into another. Any time you open a RAW file in Photoshop, you're already at level one.

And this bit is just incorrect:

"He deliberately chose a chair and made it yellow, and so he chose the wall and made the blue," said Peter Dejong. "For me it is unacceptable."
To me it seems like the area in question is well within the possibilities of global color adjustment from RAW.

From John Nack.

(Update -- machine-translated link above can be wonky; here's a page on the original site -- in Danish.)

Adobe UI Gripes

Adobe UI Gripes is an awesome kvetch-blog with plenty of screenshots of the funny things that happen when Marketing makes the decision about when the software is ready to ship. I can already think of an error message dialog I need to screen capture next time I see it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ridiculously Lean

Xerox brags about how much time they're going to save P&G:

Using Lean Six Sigma-based methodologies, Xerox Global Services will deliver an enterprise-wide strategy, expected to free up hundreds of minutes of employee time annually.

I can't figure out any way to legitimately read that sentence to mean "hundreds of minutes of time per employee," can you?

So it's time to get out the calculator.

Given that P&G has 138,000 employees, even if we're as generous as we can be and call it nine-hundred and ninety nine minutes, that still works out to less than half a second per employee, per year...

But how much time is really spent waiting for laserprints of regular Office documents anyway? Not much, compared to how much time a large design firm spends spooling gigabytes to presentation printers.