Archive for January, 2009

Uhm…Uh… 2

Dear Hollywood,
This is why generic production design kills genre movies. When I was growing up, each “Joe” had an identifiable theme, mark, what have you. It was cartoons so they had to. Now, I’m not asking for characters to jump into combat with a parrot on their shoulder, or in a football jersey or something, but looking at these near headless posters (damn you Matrix Revolutions!), it’s clear that what made “G.I. Joe”…well…”G.I. Joe” is now missing. I used to be able to recognize The Baroness because she wore the full-body black, leather outfit. I used to be able to tell Snake Eyes because he was the ninja and therefore was always in black. And how the hell can you possibly mute the hell out of Stormshadow so that his white outfit is nearly as dark as everyone else’s?! Anyway, I’ll rant more about design and such on my own blog, but for now, stab your eyes with these (click to embiggen if you dare):

GI JOE Posters

Arabic versions of western packaging


Found this great Flickr stream of western products in their arabic version. I have always wanted to find a book on arabic graphic design because of how their writing system is quite beautiful and calligraphic, thus making them perfect graphic elements in a design. These show the particular challenge of not only interpreting what the brand is, but having to mimic the roman logotype backwards in arabic.

The guy also has a set of just logo marks from various retail stores.

A Papa John’s in Dubai…who would’ve thunk!

Uhm… Uh…

Eh… “Keanu Saddles Up for Cowboy Bebop

Murphy’s Design Laws

More here, but some of my favorites (and unfortunately personally experienced):

  • Speed. Quality. Affordability.  Pick two.
  • If three designs are shown to a client, your least favorite will be chosen.
  • If two designs are shown, a third will be requested.  If provided, then one of the first two will be chosen.
  • Doctors, astronauts, and plumbers need training to do their jobs, but anyone with a copy of Publisher is a graphic designer
  • The client’s disk won’t run on your equipment
  • Your client won’t “get it.”


Something You Don’t See Every Day


21st Century Vandals

In Berlin there are actual crews of socially and design minded “vandals” who alter billboards to make a statement. It’s called “adbusting.” Their latest victim are these billboards for the CDs of music pop starlets. They actually printed up these stickers of the photoshop interface and put them on the subway billboards. Pretty funny stuff, but oh so true. Click the image for more.


Yes, she does…

My First HDR Image (Updated)

So, I got myself a copy of Photomatrix Pro (unofficially that is) and created my first HDR image with photos I took on my recent hot springs trip. Here is the result:


I played around with the two ways to process the HDR image-Detail Enhancer and Tone Compression-and found I liked the results of Tone Compression more. It’s less artificial looking than Detail Enhancer which produces very painterly images, but to my eye, looks a bit unnatural (unless that’s what I am going for). Anyway, I noticed a problem I can’t seem to fix:


Those dark spots in the water highlights. I tried adjusting the original +2 overexposed RAW file almost to the point where I was nearing only being +1 overexposed and looking too similar to the normal exposed shot and they’re still coming up. I made slight adjustments to the underexposed and the normal exposed shot as well and while the dark spots reduced in size and number, they’re still there. I was wondering, Steve, is there a way to get rid of these prior to creating the HDR image? Once all three shots go through that process, they’re there for good. Maybe it’s the way I am generating the HDR image? Any tips you can give would be greatly appreciated. It’s pretty fun playing around with this, but there’s a lot to pay attention to before and after the fact.

By the way, I was happy to find that Nikon has an imaging suite for working with RAW files that is pretty damn powerful. Downloaded that and it’s working out very well. I’ll probably stick to that rather than going into PS since it’s completely non-destructive.


So, here’s the image reworked as Steve suggested. I also tried out his sharpening technique. You weren’t kidding about the noise, Steve. That takes some serious managing. Anyway, the black spots are gone and everything is a little sharper for it to boot. This is definitely stuff that needs to be thought about at the time one takes the photo. I’m not doing too much landscapes these days, but it’s nice to know I have a method for capturing landscapes in traditionally difficult lighting situations. I have a bunch of photos to process and put up on Flickr so I’ll work on that in my spare time (works already starting to come in). Thanks again, Steve.