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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online
Advanced Questions
by Chuck McKern

With over 12 years of retail and professional experience Chuck thought he'd heard it all - until he took this job.

Send us your questions for either the Beginner or Advanced columns by clicking HERE.  Please include as much detail about the technique, camera, lens, or film as you can so Chuck can answer your questions.

I plan to replace my PC in August. I want to get a good 19” flat screen Aperture Grille monitor. I hear LaCie is very good. Right?  or is there a better value/idea out there. Any help is appreciated. I’ll be getting a Dell PC.

Steve Hirsch

Dude you’re getting’ a Dell! 

Sorry I couldn’t resist. You’re certainly looking at quality hardware with the LaCie. The price is a bit high but LaCie has quite a reputation for quality. I have to confess that I’m not an expert on computer monitors (you can’t know everything about everything after all) so I did a little research and provided links to several reviews of the LaCie 19” so you can dig deeper if you want. 

The short version is that everything I found on this monitor, both in editorial reviews and in news groups, was overwhelmingly positive. I would have thought that LaCie’s marketing department wrote some of it - but even marketing types don’t rave about products THIS much. This monitor is designed specifically for folks who work with digital images for a living. Colors are vivid and accurate. Flicker (which induces eye strain) is virtually non-existent. 

The only downside is price. You can expect to pay over $600 for the 19” version at retail outlets, but we found it for as little as $400 with several online retailers. There is even a mammoth 22” version available (~$1,000 to $1,200) . For max color accuracy there is a USB driven color calibration tool available from LaCie called the “Blue Eye” (~$500). One other thing you might want to consider is reinforcing your desk. The 19” version weighs in at a whopping 51lbs!,12070,341077,00.html

We do inkjet dye sublimation imprinting to various substrates and ICC profiles have been the answer to provide accurate colours for our process.  The problem is in order for us and some of our subcontract printers we need to use an ICC compliant software such as Adobe or Corel to be able to apply the ICC corrections.  We are looking for a workflow solution that will allow us to embed the ICCs in the various Epson printer drivers or a separate program that will allow us to select the appropriate ICC from our library and apply it to the artwork generated by a non-ICC compliant software.  Do you have any recommendations?

Will Mallette 

This is beyond what we normally run into here at the magazine as it’s really more of a production printing question. I would start by contacting some publishers who specialize in photo and fine art books. Try and find the person internally who’s responsible for ensuring the quality of printing done overseas. Many of the big publishers now send large print runs to Asia and ensuring color accuracy is a common problem. I’ll also throw this out to the readers. If any of you know of an off the shelf solution drop me an email and I’ll forward it on to Will. 

I’m trying to get into nude photography, but some of my friends told me that public film developing places aren’t allowed to develop nudes. Is that true, and if yes, since I don’t have my own darkroom, how can I get my film developed?

Thank you very much,

It isn’t that difficult to get nude photos printed. It is true that some companies have policy not to print anything with nudity but this isn’t the norm. But many companies do have policies about printing obscene photos. If you are going to be shooting artistic nude photos, most specialty labs will have no problem developing these kinds of photos. By specialty labs, I mean, in-store labs at camera specialty stores and custom photo labs. The best thing to do is to call or visit the lab and explain to them what you will be shooting and ask them what their policies are on printing nude photos before you drop off your first roll of film. 

I am a Junior in High School and I’m very eager to move to the next step into a university, but my search has been halted because of the lack of information I have been able to find on the internet. I’m looking for what you would consider the best universities for the prospecting Advertising Photographer. If you can help it would be very much appreciated.

Thank You, 
M. Wood        

Hmm, you don’t say what part of the country you’re in, if you want to stay and work locally, or if you’re interested in moving to New York. All of which would affect what would be the “best” university in the eyes of a potential employer. So let me provide a more general strategy for you. 

Identify several advertising agencies in the area where you want to work. Now get busy on your word processor. Write a short letter of introduction explaining your situation and that you are looking for information on the best schools in your area. Ask about area schools that get special notice when they show up on a resume. If the same school shows up in several response letters you know you have a winner. 

But while you’re writing ask another important question. Ask if there are any photographers they use who would make good mentors. Many professional photographers take on students as assistants or interns. Some are paid and some are not. But either way the education you get in the “real world” on the business of photography will make it more likely you’ll succeed. 

Finally keep those addresses. Once you’ve enrolled in school send out a second crop of letters. This one asking those same agencies if they employ interns. These agencies will eventually be your clients. If you can land a summer job or an internship at one it will provide you contacts and an understanding of what agencies are really looking for and how they make decisions about what photographers to use. Understanding their point of view can only help you later on.

On a more general note there are two schools I know of that have programs in specific areas of photography such as Advertising and Commercial Photography. One is the New England School of Photography at and Brooks Institute of Photography at

Is there an example of a model release form on the Vivid Light Web Site?

Bob Lewis

We don’t have a sample release on the site. Try the book “The Photographer’s Market” (Writers Digest Books ISBN 0-89879-912-0). This book has a sample release as well as lots of other information on selling your photographs. You can also check out “Stock Photo Forms” (Allworth Press ISBN 0-9607118-8-0). This book has samples of model and property releases as well as other forms for stock photography.

Hello,  I have a question about a specific camera and using it with infrared film.  I own a Canon Elan 7e.  Great camera.  I would like to use infrared film with it.  I was told by the camera shop that unless I am able to turn off the DX coding it will fog the film.  I saw a posting on an Internet newsgroup saying the Elan II had very little problems using this type of film.

Any thoughts?

The information you were given is almost accurate. The “DX” system is not the problem. Some of the newer upper-end SLRs have an infrared system for tracking film advance by counting the sprocket holes as the film advances. One way around this problem is to not use the Kodak Infrared film but instead use Konica Infrared 750, Maco IR 820c, or Ilford SFX. These films give a good infrared effect when filtered, but do not extend as far into the infrared wavelength as the Kodak. These films have not shown any problems with these new features in the modern SLRs.

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