Colour Perception - when seeing is not believing

Colour perception

Recently at a presentation, I used this image to demonstrate that our perception of tone and colour is easily fooled.  The brown square at the centre of the top face and the orange square in the centre of the face at left are exactly the same.  To check this for yourself, download the image and open in Photoshop.  Then, using the colour picker, sample each square to prove they are the same.

New workshops to be announced - Following the St George Education Program

We are pleased to announce that Phototutor owner Michael Smyth will be participating in the Photography Education Program to be run at St George Leagues club from May to September 2017.

The details of the program can be found at:  along with registration forms

Michael Smyth will will be presenting on Saturday 29th August on the topic of "The workflow to Expressive Images" on behalf of Phototutor.

We will be announcing new workshop dates soon that will follow the St George series.

Ice Patterns, Greenland

Ice Patterns, Greenland

Looking forward to 2017 - What can we expect ?

As we say goodbye to 2016 and race ahead into 2017, what is on the horizon ?

Can we expect there to be an end to conflict, suffering and war ?  Unfortunately not very likely given the state of the world.  As we sit here in Australia, safe and free from serious problems, we can only be very grateful that we aren't in America, England, the middle East, or pretty much anywhere else for that matter.  

Can we expect our politicians to grow some spine and finally address the real issues that surround us and stop dealing in petty politics and ideology ?  Sadly also unlikely.  We will have have to put up with another year of the same old, same old.  So let's look at what we can do. 

What we can expect is to pursue our own goals of creativity and self expression, to continue to learn and to push our own boundaries.  We can also expect to have ever more opportunities to improve our skills and learn from others around us.  So, best wishes for 2017 to everyone.


SNAP ! Two images of the same iceberg by two different photographers

These two images are of the same Iceberg, mine was taken in August 2015 in Nordbugt, Scoresby Sund in Greenland.  Imagine my surprise when Peter Eastway posted his image on his weekly newsletter.  Peter says he thinks the image was taken in 2013, in which case it is an exceptionally long lived berg. 

My image of the iceberg, taken in 2015 - updated 

Peter Eastway's image from 2013 - clearly the better image !

If you don't already subscribe to Peter's weekly Newsletter, I highly recommend it and you can subscribe here: 


New Editing and Printing techniques under development for our workshops

Old town, Seydisfjordur Iceland.  This image was originally posted last year, but has now been updated with our new processing techniques that add back the 3rd dimension to the image.  See our workshops schedule for the upcoming workshops on the 25th March and 27th May 2017.

The workshops are starting to fill up, so don't delay if you want to learn these new techniques

The cost of printing using your own printer - revised 2016

Many people get scared off at the presumed cost of printing their own images, compared with online or printing in store at office supplies outlets (no names, but you know who they are).  This is assuming that the quality of the prints from online stores is comparable with the best practice using high quality papers and printers.

Our experience with seeing what is done online and in the office supplies print services is that the quality is "acceptable" to the novice, but a long way short of the quality you can achieve printing at home.  In addition to the quality issues the online printers use low quality papers with variable results.

We have recently conducted a cost breakdown using the current costs in Australia for Epson P600 and P800 printers and using Canson fine Art papers.  

The results are very interesting....

The real costs of printing yourself have been calculated using some assumptions:

Consumption of ink has been assumed at twice the quoted rate as advised by Kayell Australia and assumed to be up to 90% of cartridge capacity only.  Actual usage will vary depending on image content and other factors, but this is a conservative estimate.

Inkset and printer costs are current as of November 2016 in Australia

Paper costs are based on Canson A3 and A2 boxes of 25 sheets at the current price in November 2016 in Australia

We have also calculated the amortised cost of printing assuming the cost of the printer being written off over 5 complete inksets used.  This is a very conservative estimate of the life of a printer and is for illustration purposes only.  A new printer price includes a full set of inks and we have included the cost of the printer plus 4 full replacement inksets.


Printing in store or online A3 size (40cm x 30cm) cost per print is $ 15.00 - $16.00 per print

compared with doing it yourself:

Printing A3 using an Epson P600 printer and Canson Platine A3 is $ 5.90 per print *

Printing A3 using an Epson P800 printer and Canson Platine A3 is $ 4.70 per print *

Printing A2 using an Epson P800 printer and Canson Platine A2 is $ 10.00 per print *


Epson P600 and A3 Platine total costs amortised  = $ 7.40 per print 

Epson P800 and A3 Platine paper total costs amortised  = $ 5.45 per print

Epson P800 and A2 Platine paper total costs amortised = $ 11.35 per print

 * Please note the above costs are per page printed, including test prints and rejects and assumes full page printing over 90% of cartridge capacity.  Your actual usage may vary, but we are confident that these are realistic costs, based on our own experience.  The initial cost of the P600 printer is offset by the much higher cost of inks - these work out at about double the per ml cost of the P800 printer, however the initial cost of the P800 is higher.  In essence, if you are going to print seriously, the P800 is the more cost effective printer to buy.

So, there is no excuse for not printing your own images.  You will save money provided you intend printing on a regular basis, plus you have absolute control over the process, can choose between several beautiful fine art papers and have the satisfaction of doing it all yourself.

We are running a printing Master Class early in 2017, check the Workshops page for details.



The Sun Voyager Statue, Reykjavik Iceland

This is an image of the sun Voyager sculpture, captured during yet more rain in Reykjavik on our last day in Iceland in 2015.  The sculpture represents the spirit of discovery and is meant to celebrate the discovery and settlement of Iceland by peoples whose origin may be as far away as Mongolia.  The image has been processed to emphasise the strong lines of the stainless steel.  The bystander was just another tourist, at least he wasn't doing a "selfie" and was enjoying the work as much as we were.