Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

59 and counting

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This being our 30th year in business, we are looking forward to our 59th High Point Market. Spring Market 2014 is scheduled to begin April 5th. After an exceptionally long, cold winter, expectations are high for a successful, prosperous show and why not? With over 75,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors covering over 11.5 million square feet of show space, High Point is the premier furnishings trade show in the world. We are very excited to welcome many of our customers to town and we look forward to providing them with high impact, quality images of their new product offerings. Please let us hear from you if we can be of service and here’s wishing you a successful show!

Photographic Holidays

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If photography had a holiday, it would probably be Christmas.

Who doesn’t think of this as the season where everyone has camera in hand, taking photographs. Baby’s First Christmas. Children opening presents. Dad asleep in the recliner….again. Recording these moments for our personal posterity just seems to be a part of our culture. With the advent of digital photography, we’re clicking way even faster than ever. Although, we have to wonder if those same photos will make it into our personal posterity, or just reside on a hard drive somewhere.

Still the season wouldn’t be complete without photos of family and friends. And that really brings to light the importance that a photograph has. It captures the memory and holds that second of time frozen. Just one of many images that will create a personal series of touchstones of our past.

To all of our friends, family, clients, and associates – May the holidays be ‘picture perfect’ for you all and may all of your memories be good ones.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Atlantic Photographics.
2012

Selectively Focusing

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focus
In photography, just as in life, what one focuses on matters. And just as in life, photography has many varying methods in how it focuses.

Let’s think first of composition. What to emphasize? What to leave out? How do the elements within the field of view relate to each other? To their containing space? Using good composition, the eye should easily move from one element to the other and see all elements as interrelated. Without that arrangement, the elements would simply appear as a jumble of objects. Placement is crucial.

Then there is the aspect of negative space – the ‘space between’ elements which is just as important as the elements themselves. Remember the classic drawing of two black shapes with a white shape in between them in which (depending on how one viewed it) was either two faces looking at each other or a vase in the center of the area ? This is a classic example (really an extreme example) of the power of negative space.

Both of these constructs are common to all forms of graphic design and art. But photography has a couple of unique tricks in its arsenal. The one that relates to this is selective focus – the deliberate act of letting some elements or parts of elements be blurred and out of focus. This allows the photographer to accent a chosen portion of the composition and draw attention to it. The lesser or even non-focused areas frame this accented area, and even bring some beauty to the composition by this softness.

We here at Atlantic Photographics like to think that our business uses a form of selective focus. While our commercial photography expertise encompasses a large group of categories, we have deliberately focused on providing our clients with unique, one on one service. A type of service that is rarely found in today’s commercial photography market. A service that shows your product off to its best advantage, and that works for your needs.

What do you want your photography to focus on? Why not let us try to help you determine that.

The Last Days of Summer

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I’ll bet we’re not the only ones asking ourselves “where DID the summer go?”

The last few months seem like a big blur, and I’m sure that it isn’t just because of the oppressive heat that we (and a large portion of the country) experienced that is interfering with our thinking.

Seems like just yesterday we were all in full preparation for the Spring High Point Furniture Market. Now we turn around and the Las Vegas Summer Market has come and gone. Both of these trade shows are now under the same ‘virtual’ roof of the International Market Centers and many folks involved with the industry suspect that this merger will lead to more cohesion within the furniture and accessories producing community. The record numbers at the Summer Vegas Market seem to bear this out. Here’s wishing that the Fall Market in High Point experiences the same rising tide.

But before the Fall Market come Pre-Market in High Point – that mini-event that allows manufacturers to ‘test drive’ their new products. It runs September 12-13 – that’s only 2 weeks from now! (again, where DOES the time go?). We’ll be busy shortly taking orders for photography before and after pre-Market and then we begin taking client orders for actual Market photography.
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We sure are glad that we spent this all-too-rapid summer doing some renovations back in the studio…but that’s another post. In the meantime, begin planning your pre-Market photography now. What better way to get buyers interested in that new product that you are bringing out? Let us know how Atlantic Photographics can help your product look its best.

High Point Market Preview – Fall 2010

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Fall Pre-Market (the preview event for the High Point Furniture Market) begins yesterday in downtown High Point, NC.
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According to Furniture Today, this fall’s event consists of 25 manufacturers’ sponsoring showrooms (and another 78 manufacturers opening their showrooms) who will give buyers from 216 registered companies a first look at the wares that they will display at the High Point Market next month.

Several industry news outlets note that this is the largest Premarket to date. We’ll let the experts read what they will of these tea leaves. What we’re seeing is that the weather is beautiful here today and tomorrow (hopefully a portent of the things to come next month) A lot of our regular vendors are preparing to attend this event and we are going to be busy with their product photography after Premarket.

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

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Preview of new sets (detail)

Preview of new sets (detail)

School is back in session here in NC and it sounds as though it is in many other states as well. That may be the reason that when I realized just how long it had been since we posted a blog entry, the subject line of that old ‘first day of school’ standby popped into my head! And so…here’s what we did on our summer ‘vacation.’

The 2010 Spring High Point Furniture Market seemed to be very good to a LOT of folks as we did a LOT of photography in May and June. (again, we would like to thank all of our client for keeping us so busy and congratulations on YOUR success!) So a lot of our summer was spent behind the shutter.

“Real” vacation time came for many of folks here. North Carolina’s beaches are always popular spots for a midsummer retreat – and with good reason! It seems like the unseasonably warm summer pulled a lot of people to the beach, or into their houses to wait out the days until the temperature and humidity both dropped below 100. I went to Minnesota for a conference and even then I didn’t completely ‘chill down.’

Once we had a bit more room to work in, our designers and carpenters began redesigning our sets. On paper (or rather, on your monitor screen) this doesn’t sound so complex or engaging. But consider redesigning and redecorating your living room, bedroom, and/or family space and all the decisions involved with that. What if

- you had to renovate several rooms at least once a year
- you had to do it for every room
- and each of those rooms had to become a living, dining, family room (or no room at all!) at any given moment

That’s the challenge of designing new sets! Our design team worked in some very unique and different details in many of the treatments. We think our clients will be very pleased when they see their products in them. And in case you are wondering, yes, we do paint the drywall areas of the sets as needed or requested to coordinate with the final design of shot.

So it looks as though we’re back from ‘vacation’ and back into gear as we prepare for the High Point Market pre-Market show. Got photography to do before or after pre-Market? (or want to know a little bit more about what we have been up to?) Drop us a note to sales@atlanticphoto.com

Why the Furniture Market Has Us All A-Twitter

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social media blog

Most of us are all too aware of the impact that social media (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) have made on how we all interact with each other. To us, it is even more interesting to view the impact that social media has made on group events such as the International Home Furnishings Market, which is kicking off this weekend in High Point, NC.

Of course, years ago one had to be a buyer, designer, or have some other sort of credentials in order just to get into the buildings. Print publications (such as the venerable “Furniture Today”) would offer some pre- and during Market trends and outlooks, but for most designers and manufacturers not actually attending the event, days or weeks might pass before they got any tangible information.

Then came social media, and gave the Furniture Market a new wrinkle. Anyone with a computer could instantly connect with almost anyone. The entire Market experience has become more immediate and personal. Buyers, manufacturers, designers, and ancillary service providers (like photography studios!) communicate about business, trends….and maybe where’s a good place to go eat and drink. Social media allows a lot of excitement and energy to build even before the event starts. And that can contribute enormously to having a positive market.

Other new things that social media has brought to market include photographs of showrooms being staged (via Twitter’s TwitPic ), previews of new product (Twitter and Facebook), and seeing who all IS attending Market. It will be interesting to know if FourSquare gets a workout in downtown High Point – or if there are enough attendees using it to make it a significant way of finding someone. Global Views is sponsoring what is shaping up to be a well-attended Tweet-Up in their showroom Sunday evening (http://twtvite.com/hptwtup/1) and organized by @designershay, @wesathome, @maybellinete . Again Twitter is the ‘social glue.’

So while the actual physical International Home Furnishings Market is still limited to those in or associated with the industry, everyone else (including those who couldn’t attend the Market this year) can vicariously attend. And we’re betting that they’ll also pick up on all the positive vibes and energy this event and its participants generate! And that makes business good for everyone!

Photography & North Carolina in the Springtime

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After seemingly unending weeks of way below normal temperatures (for us, anyway) we thought we’d never see spring again! But last week it finally made its entrance here in High Point, NC. Spring here has a somewhat ethereal quality about it. The Bradford pears and flowering plum trees appear as large white clouds, with bright golden forsythia bushes at their bases. Pink cherry trees – weeping and non-weeping – are popping out too. And driving along our woodlands and interstates, you’ll see the bright magenta wisps of the redbud trees’ small flowers. Yes, we’re pretty enamoured of High Point/Greensboro/Winston-Salem at this time of year – and the dogwoods and azaleas haven’t even thought about blooming yet!robin in tree

Sights such as these make us think about Mother Nature getting new finery for all of her charges, and perhaps refitting some of them who have changed a bit over the past year. Is it any wonder that man follows suit in this season of renewal? Spring cleaning, new spring clothes, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Businesses too begin reevaluation. What do we need to highlight our product? What will show it off to its best advantage? Along these thoughts, we here at Atlantic Photographics are thinking that product photography is rather like “clothes for your product.” Photos dress up a chair, play up the best parts of that accent piece, or beautifully frame a bedroom suite.

So perhaps it is time to take a look at your existing product photography. Is it looking like an old suit, shopworn and old-fashioned? Perhaps it’s time to think about some new apparel for it. Something as fresh and inspiring as, well, North Carolina in the spring! Freshen up your product with new photography this spring with a look that people will notice.

We’re now booking photography for immediately before and after the High Point Furniture Market and market showroom photography. Give our sales rep a call at 336-887-8600 to book your appointment today.

Oh, and enjoy the view while you are in North Carolina.

Happy Birthday, Photoshop (Part 2)

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or…“When Reality Just Isn’t Good Enough, There’s Always Photoshop.”

When someone outside of the advertising/photography realm things about using Photoshop in photo production, he probably immediately thinks of a digital artist enhancing a product beyond any connection with reality. The truth is though that the goal of most digital retouching is to make the item look as it is intended to look. We discussed a few of these techniques in the previous blog…now let’s look at some more complicated matters.

1. “We Don’t Have a Table for 4″ Sometimes a vendor may only have a couple of the total items needed for a photo, especially if it’s a new product. It’s not uncommon to have to shoot photos a few times to get the number of chairs (or nightstands, pillows, etc) that the shot calls for and in the correct position. (see the example at the end of this article)

2. “Plus It Comes in a Variety of Colors!” The manfacturer may produce an item in a range of colors and finishes, but only sends one piece to be photographed. They rely on the digital retoucher to alter the finish of the subsequent pieces to smaller samples. One sees this technique a lot in clothing ads, where the same T-Shirt is shown in a line up of color samples.

2b. The corellary of the statement above is “It Shouldn’t Come in a Variety of Colors.” Differences in stains, woods, dye lots, and positioning and lighting on the set can cause pieces which should all have the same finish to photograph as if they don’t. Part of post-production retouching eliminates these differences and matchs all the pieces together.

3. “You Can Get There From Here” The photographer may have to shoot an item at a time of year or in a situation that is not what the client or art director has specified. Because of printing and mailing scheduling, the studio may have to shoot an item out of season (summer products in the winter, for example) and the retoucher works with the photo to replicate the warm hues of summer. Or an outdoor shot may actually be done in the studio and later enhanced with a dropped in background and and hue/lighting enhancements.

The common theme with all of these examples is that the product itself is not altered. It still exists just as the manufacturer produces it and the retoucher changes only its variations or setting.

So, before thinking that all digital production work involves ‘covering up’ or making something ‘better than reality’ think of Photoshop work as an essential part of making your product appear as it was meant to appear to your audience!

leftchair rightchair
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Happy Birthday, Photoshop! (part 1)

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Photoshop – the image editing program used by professional photographers, retouchers, and graphic artists – turned 20 last month. And what an impact it’s made not only to the photo and grapic arts, but to our culture in general. So popular that its very name has been co-opted into a verb meaning to retouch or alter (”Yes, I’m pretty sure that photo of Elvis and the alien was Photoshopped.”). Beyond the use of Photoshop to create images that bear faint resemblence to the original, what uses DOES Photoshop have for today’s photographic industry, and how has it changed the business?

1. Removing unwanted dust and other particles. Even in the days of straightforward film capture, ‘dirty’ photos were an issue. Dust lodges on (and sometimes, in) the camera lens and become part of the photograph. Dust might stick to the processed film and become part of the print or scan. Traditional retouches could remove most of these spots, and it’s still one of the first things a digital retoucher does to the capture in Photoshop.

2. Correcting product color. The physics behind color alteration during image capture is a topic for its own post (or three). Again, traditional retouchers corrected color on film; Photoshop does the same job in the computer and often better. (see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs to see just how much color can alter in a product).

3. Enhancing or diminishing attributes. Both the photographer and retoucher create a good photographic compositions using a variety of techniques. The photography may use a number of lighting techniques, selective focus, or various camera lenses.The retoucher may enhance an object’s color, lighten or darken areas to attract or lessen attention to an object. Photoshop now allows the digital retoucher to emmulate some of the same techniques the photographer uses on the studio floor, plus use enhancements only available via the computer.

4. Repairing accidents. Every photography studio has had its share of photographs with mistakes in them. Lightstands left in the image area, drawer handles flipped up, unwanted objects reflected in a mirror. The mistakes usually weren’t noticed until the film came back – and hopefully the set had not been ripped because instances like these could not traditionally be retouched out. Photoshop gave digital retouchers the ability to repair these mistakes in the computer.

5. Repairing Really BIG Accidents. The sort of accidents that happen en route to the studio such as scratches and chips in the item’s finish. Or productions mishaps like seams not being sewn straight or evenly.

But now we’re beginning to venture into the “Real, But Not-Real” side of Photoshop…..and that’s a blog topic on its own!

Before Color Correction

Before Color Correction

After Color Correction

After Color Correction

The spread in the original image had an incorrect pink tone. Digitally adjusting the color brought it back to its correct more neutral brown undertone.