J. Travis Photography Brings Digital Workflow to Product Promotion

J. Travis Photography, located at 5674 Stoneridge Drive, is a commercial photo studio specializing in product photography. Jim Travis, owner, can provide both realistic and conceptual approaches to product presentation, including composites, montages, and a range of creative post-production effects. He has an in- house studio as well as a portable studio for location work.

Travis uses a complete digital workflow, from image acquisition through output, which reduces turnaround time from shooting to final product and also comes into play when it's time for the customer to review work, even when the reviewers are in different locations or countries.

"On a recent job for Coca Cola, we had people here in Half Moon Bay as well as Houston and South America who were involved in the decision making, and it was very easy for them," Travis explains. "We brought the images into the computer, worked with them, and then published them to a website, which we provided to the art director. She emailed the link to the various people involved and initiated a conference call. Everyone looked at the same images simultaneously and decided which to use."

Technology, Travis maintains, is not a substitute for proper technique. Good photography has not become easier because of the ability to manipulate images endlessly with advanced software tools. Many companies choose to do their photography in house, but the results are often not suitable for publication. "If you have improper depth of field; if you have poor focus, then you're not going to fix that in Photoshop," Travis says. "If you don't have the lighting controlled, it's almost impossible to fix that by manipulating the file. It all starts with the picture. You've got to begin with a good picture."

Some images that appear simple aren't, such as circuit boards, which often must be shot in close-up while showing the entire board in focus. This is not something that can be easily accomplished with "standard" photography. The final image must be created from as many as 20 or 30 images, each with a slightly different focal plane, layered to create one image in which all parts of the circuit board are in focus.

Travis has been using digital cameras exclusively for seven years, favoring Nikon D2X and D200 cameras. He converted to Apple computers about a year ago to be able to use Aperture, Apple's post-production software for professional photographers that allows him to work directly with unconverted RAW image files. He uses Adobe Photoshop CS2 to work with images and color calibrated displays for soft proofing to guarantee that what's on the monitor looks exactly like what he's created for online or print publication. For output he uses Epson UltraChrome K3(TM) medium- and large-format printers.

J. Travis Photography has experience with many types of product photography, including medical devices, technology, food, antiques, collectibles, and jewelry. To see examples of what Travis can do for you, stop by his office, or visit www.jimtravisphotography.com .

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