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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 3 2006
Interview With Travis Ruse Of 'Express Train'
Express Train is Travis Ruse's photoblog of his daily commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the subway. I've been looking at it regularly for some time now and I continue to find it fascinating. "The pictures I take are of the little moments," Travis says in a New York Times article that's posted on his site.
I think that part of me expects him to run out of great shots, and so it gives me even more joy and sense of wonder when he keeps astounding me day after day with his mesmerizing images. His images and their emotional impact are the reasons I love photography less to capture something for posterity, than to make me see things differently right here, right now. That's what Travis' photos do.
Look through his archives and you'll find yourself feeling like you are on that train yourself, weary in one sense, and spellbound in another. These are pictures of strangers but the barriers seem to dissolve, and trivial details seem profound. We contacted Travis and asked him some questions...
What triggered the whole thing off? Was there a moment when you said "I have to do this..."?
I started this project the day after the 2004 US Presidential Elections. After watching the current administration torpedo the good name of this country for four years, I did everything I could do to get them out of office. When they were re-elected I felt like (and have been not disproved) that we were in for four more years of the same. Because of my fear that other countries might think all the citizens of this country are being accurately portrayed by this administration I thought some direct communication might be a good idea.
My point with the images is to show that we too are hard working people dragging ourselves to and from work everyday just like everyone else, everywhere else. The best communication takes place when we speak directly to one another and not through elected officials and other organizations that can bend our messages to fit their own agendas. I believe the Photoblog is one of the most powerful and simple tools we have for describing our lives to others on a daily basis.
On average how many shots do you take on your commutes?
About 100. But it really can be anywhere from five to 100. Just depends on my mood.
And tell us what it's like to ride the trains looking for a shot - what goes through your mind, and how it affects what you see around you.
Some days I get on the train and I'm alert and looking for the image that will capture the mood that day. Other days I get on the train and the scenes just unfold right in front of me. And then there are those times when I get on the train exhausted from the day, and have no intention of taking any photos.
Those are usually the times when the most amazing things happen. So I'm obliged to try and make that photo. Even though I ride the train twice a day there are some moments that I've missed that I know I'll possibly never see again. Ironically those are the images I remember in my mind the most.
Do you ever ride to work without your camera?
Never. Well except during the strike when I had to ride my bike. As soon as I leave work and head for the train I throw my camera around my neck and make sure my settings are close for the underground. I've found a base exposure of about 1/80th sec at F4, 800 ASA will many times get me in the ballpark for a scene. I am also always checking my settings when I settle in a place during my commute. My camera is a Canon 20d.
How many photos have you posted to the site now?
400, or there about.
What is your workflow like in Photoshop?
I used to be a professional B & W printer so I feel like I have a pretty good eye when it comes to picking out the key elements in an image that need to be processed. That said I am by no means a Photoshop expert. Quite the contrary. My goal every night is to edit, process and post a new image in less than 20 minutes. So mostly my workflow this is based on speed.
All work is done on an Apple G5 dual 1.8. Apple Cinema Display, LCD, calibrated with a Spyder (2.2 gamma).
- I edit all my images using PhotoMechanic by Camera Bits. It is my favorite application. Not to mention their custom support is the second to none. Once when trying an early release the technician gave me his home number to call if I had a problem.
- I'm now shooting all my files RAW. So I bring in the files through the Adobe DNG plugin. I don't like changing these settings unless I really have to.
- I make all my corrections with Adjustment Layers. Usually an overall contrast curve to start. Then I'll go in and work specific areas by making an AL, masking it off and brushing back in my changes.
- I always need to make color corrections. I do this mostly with the Curves tool (I hardly ever use the Levels tool. I don't like the idea of clipping off any data). The blue and red curves are where I usually need to work. At the very end I'll add a touch of saturation. I usually find this adds too much color to skin tones so I'll mask those off, again using the brush tool. I'm most concerned with skin tones. Those need to be as close to natural as possible. Oh yeah and those reds always are the first to respond to saturation, so I usually mask those off a bit too.
- When the file is processed I'll save a copy of it in a processed directory.
- I'll then convert the open file to sRGB and resize it to fit my website.
- Sharpen. Without really getting into this, my settings are 500/.2/0. Fade Luminosity 100%.
- I have an action that expands my canvas size and fills with black for a black border. (Hard to get away from my darkroom days of the black border.)
- "Save for web" at about 75%. File size should be no more than 175kb.
- I also have an Epson 2400 which has been profiled.
Are there any plans to publish the Express Train photos?
A publisher has approached me and we're talking it over. I'll believe it when I see it though. There is no money in the book biz so I know it's a long shot.
Besides this project, what else do you enjoy photographing? And you have any other projects like this one that you'd like to do as well?
For ten years I shot amateur car racing. I come from a car racing family. (I'm from Daytona Beach.) My Granddad raced, my Dad raced, my Uncle races and I used to race. So I wanted to document the community of folks that raced who were not NASCAR stars or total rednecks (I like to think I'm only part redneck.) So I have binder upon binder of black and white negs. I'd love to scan an edit of these and put them online. That will not happen for a long time though.
My other favorites subjects are my two girls, Hope and Eva. I think only their Mother and me are interested in those photos though.
Travis, thanks for this, and continued success with your projects.
Express Train - The Photography Of Travis Ruse
Security Advisory: File Permissions Vulnerability In Adobe Creative Suite 2 (Windows, Mac OS)
Release Date: February 2, 2006
Products: Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Illustrator CS2
Platform: Windows, Mac OS
Overview: Adobe has been made aware that the file and folder permissions for Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, and Adobe Help Center can permit non-privileged users to change key program files. This condition presents a risk for shared, multi-user systems. Adobe is providing update utilities which correct these access permission issues and prevent manipulation of the program files by non-privileged users. Adobe recommends that customers using CS2 products on shared systems apply these updates.
Effect: If exploited, this vulnerability could allow a hostile user to replace these program files with malicious or harmful code that could read, write, or destroy sensitive data if subsequently run by a privileged user.
Details: The identified vulnerability allows non-privileged users permission to change key program files. This condition presents a risk for shared, multi-user systems. On such systems, a hostile user could take advantage of this condition to replace these program files with malicious or harmful code that could read, write, or destroy sensitive data if subsequently run by a privileged user.
Severity: Adobe categorizes this issue as an important issue and recommends that users patch their installations.
Recommendations: Download and install the AdobeSecurityPatcher.
Links to the AdobeSecurityPatcher can be found at the Adobe Support Knowledgebase.
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