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Getting Ink

Posted on: Apr 05, 2016

Gentry Home, Cover of the Mar/Apr 2016 issue.

Gentry Home, Cover of the Mar/Apr 2016 issue.

The publishing world has changed radically in the last ten years.  The advent of the internet and the widespread growth of specialty websites has put information everywhere there is a connection and a device to display it.  The cost of producing and distributing a traditional ink on paper journal has proved too burdensome for many publishers who have folded shop.  Yet there is a unique beauty and versatility to the printed page that supports its survival.  Smart publishers have found ways to work in both worlds, creating electronic and print versions of their products. Other publishers have used a targeted demographic circulation model to put their print magazines in the hands of a select affluent client base. The result has been a slow revival of print media around California.  This is a welcome turn of events for all content creators and regional product and service providers looking for moderately priced advertising.

Gentry Home, Mar/Apr 2016 issue.

Gentry Home, Mar/Apr 2016 issue.

18 Media has been around for decades.  The brainchild of Elsie Floriani and Sloan Citron. With Stefanie Beasley as Editorial Director, the publishing house runs a string of titles mostly under the Gentry moniker.  Gentry Home was created about ten years ago filling a hole that California Home & Design left when they sold the title to 7×7 Media.  I have worked with Stefanie for many years providing images for stories and working on assignments.  I have probably done a score of covers and twice that many editorial-well stories for several titles for them. Last month Gentry Home ran two projects and another cover story that we created.  The first was a house in Marin County designed by Swatt Miers Architects. A low profile mid-Century Modern one perched on a steep hillside, the house framed unreal views of the Bay and the Golden Gate.  The other was a wonderful Martis Camp project (Lake Tahoe) designed by Walton Architects with interiors by Sarah Jones. Its masculine lodge structure and stone floors are off-set with luxurious wood paneling and sexy interiors.


Diablo Magazine, April 2016 issue.

Diablo Magazine, April 2016 issue.

Diablo Magazine is the flagship title for a family of magazines produced by Diablo Publications, an award winning independent organization based in Walnut Creek, CA. It appears in both print and online.  It tries to carve out a chunk of the East Bay’s more affluent communities as its focus and readership.  I have been a contributor to Diablo for many years, developing a warm relationship with Susan Safipour, the Editor in Chief and David Bergeron, the Creative Director.  I approached them with a story idea and then went about finding and creating content for them. It took some doing, but I found four great remodels done by two talented architects for the story.  They hired a great writer and did an amazing job on the layout to showcase each of the homes. It was a pleasure working with architects David Ruffin and Lindy Small who showed a wonderful can-do attitude in helping put the story together.  Both architects come from larger San Francisco firms, and as such, bring with them a more polished sense of high design than is usually found in the area.

Diablo Magazine, April 2016 issue.

Diablo Magazine, April 2016 issue.

Diablo Magazine, April 2016 issue.

Diablo Magazine, April 2016 issue.

There may be a dozen other special interest regional magazines scattered around California that offer at least some exposure to local architecture and design.  Readers seem to have a never ending desire to see new trends in design. The editorial wells of national magazines is very finite, but the growth of regional media helps fill the void in the quest for “getting ink.”


Ideal File Sizes for Web

For interactive comparison, CLICK HERE.

For interactive comparison, CLICK HERE.

 There is a three or four step digital process in getting the shot from the camera to the user in a format that can readily be used.  We start with a RAW file and process that with special software that gives us tremendous editing capabilities. We then create a TIFF file from the raw and do the necessary Photoshop work to clean up the image, open the shadows and bring detail into the burned out areas. Once that is done, we create a JPEG file for web and presentation use.  Jpegs are compressed files that are used whenever an image is to be displayed on a monitor or a website. Unfortunately, we have seen way too many websites where the images just look bad. The main problem, other than they look like they were shot with a cell phone, is that the image in not correctly sized.  Apple Retina displays have dramatically upped the ante on screen resolution for all devices from phones to large desktop monitors, and other manufacturers are following suit with high resolution displays.  Click the image above to view our interactive file size comparison. Just hover your cursor between the 2 thumbnail images and notice the difference between sharpness and quality. In our studio, we have two 27” high resolution monitors specifically designed for photo and graphic work. 1024 x 683 px was the old standard for a number of years. That doesn’t work anymore. We are now delivering our jpegs as large as 2560 x 1600 px for web.  Check with your web designer and talk to him about improving image quality on your site by increasing file size. If you do great work and bother to have it well photographed, why let it look bad at the last step in the presentation process?

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