Ambrosia Coating: Rolling it on.

Ambrosia Coating: Application to Canvas with a roller.

from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo

A quick video showing the process and disussing tactics, techniques, and procedures for effective canvas coating with a roller.  For this demo, I used a Canon ipf 6350, Alpha Strike's new Lucia/Lucia EX ready canvas, and Ambrosia.

With this new coating you can also coat water resistant photo and art papers;archival protection without glass or glazing, very, very cool.  More videos on those soon.

For all of the product specs check out Ambrosia.

Elephorm Universal Player FAQ - For Hal's Lightroom Tutorial

Backpack: Universal Player FAQ

We have received a lot of questions regarding how to use the Elephorm Universal Player with Hal's Lightroom videos.  Here is the entire FAQ for the player with step by step description and images.

For those who might not be familiar Hal's Lightroom training is available via streaming video or you can download the content to your desktop/laptop.  If you download the interface to play the videos is the Universal Player.


Currently, you can stream all of the videos on your idevices but the content is not downloadable there yet.  An iOS app for iPad/Phone is almost ready though.

Thank you to everyone for providing the great feedback and reviews!

If you have not checked the training out yet, you can find it here

Elephorm - Lightroom

Universal Player FAQ

What is the Universal Player ?

If you have access to Internet, you can view our tutorials with no installation needed. But what if you want to train yourself on the train, the plane or in an hotel with sluggish internet access ? That’s when our Universal Player comes in handy. We’ve made a super simple to follow step-by-step.

Player installation

Connect to with your email and password, and locate the Universal Player Blob, as shown on picture below. Click on the Install button and follow instructions.

Player Login

After installation, the player will open automatically. You will then be prompted to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and to enter your details (same email and password you use to connect to

Your library

You are now in your library, and you’ll be able to download your tutorials to HD in a few clicks.

  • Click on the Arrow Icon on the right to initiate download
  • On first Download, you’ll be prompted to choose a directory. We suggest you use the one proposed, and avoid external HDs. Once chosen, all tutorials you may download must go into the same folder.
  • The flashing Arrow and the VOD label that turns into a HDD label means your videos are being transferred to your HD.
  • If you see a VOD label next to the Arrow Icon, you didn’t downloaded yet, but can view as you would on the site, that is streaming.

Please move on to next section to understand what’s happening behind the scenes

Understanding the Player


: To access the Lessons Summary shown in the picture below, you just have to click on the Chapter Access button in the Library.

A few things you should know:

  • The player will download all the videos in a folder that should not be moved or renamed. You can choose which directory the folder will be created to, we suggest you should use the one first proposed.
  • Some tutorials have 200 chapters, and an over 15 hours duration. It will take some time to download, so please plan ahead !
  • The player downloads a maximum of 3 videos at a time, to save bandwidth. These three videos cannot be watched until completely downloaded (a progress bar shows download status, see picture below), all other videos, either downloaded or not can be viewed.

Still need help ?

Please feel free to contact us on !

Landscape at f/4? Know your DOF

I am a huge believer in understanding and practicing the basics and the fundamentals of photography.  Moreover, it seems most difficult tasks in life, including photography, come down to how well can you execute the basics. To that end, I would like to discuss one of the most common practices I see in the field when shooting landscape, stopping down for no reason. 

The conventional wisdom is to stop down when shooting landscape to increase depth of field (DOF).  Although stopping down does increase DOF it is not always necessary to do so and may, in fact, hinder your ability to make the best shot. 

DOF can be an incredibly complicated and confusing topic but it is worth spending a small amount of time talking about the primary contributors to DOF.  Most photographers are taught that DOF is controlled by aperture; the wider the aperture the shallower the DOF and vice versa.  What is not commonly taught are the two other primary variables that influence DOF, focal length (of the lens in mm), and focal distance (physical distance from shooter to focal point.) 

Just as every photographer quickly memorizes the aperture/DOF relationship they should do the same with focal length/DOF and focal distance/DOF.  So a little homework, memorize the following.

  • The wider the aperture the shallower the DOF
  • The longer the focal length the shallower the DOF
  • The shorter the focal distance the shallower the DOF

and the opposites

  • The narrower the aperture the deeper the DOF
  • The shorter the focal length the deeper the DOF
  • The longer the focal distance the deeper the DOF

One of the best ways to see these rules in action  is to use a DOF calculator and play around.  If you want to go "old school" there are "whiz" wheels out there to show the relationships.  But since this is mid 2012, I recommend finding a DOF app for your smart phone or device.  There are a huge number of these apps available just search for "DOF calculator" and download. 

After playing with a DOF calculator app for just a small amount of time, you will be amazed how quickly you learn the rules and begin to visualize constructing DOF for every shot you take.  When you know the rules and relationships of DOF you will approach your shots from a position of knowledge and you will, most likely, modify some of your accepted habits and practices.  You might even decide to take your DOF calculator app with you on location and run some numbers before you shoot.  I do not think you will do this all the time but if you need some intel, back up, or encouragement break out the app and "run the numbs." 

Recently, I shot some landscape in Alaska and used my understanding of DOF to shoot handheld landscape at f/4 with everything in the shot acceptably in focus.  This goes against the conventional wisdom but it worked perfectly.  The shot I ended up with is shown below.


For this shot I used the focal point shown @1000' from me, 43 mm focal length, and an aperture of f/4.  I shot a bracketed series for HDR and did it handheld as my tripod was not available.

If I had followed the conventional wisdom I would have stopped down to f/16 and would have had the situation shown below.


f/16 would have given me plenty of DOF but a shutter speeds of 1/60, 1/250, and 1/15.  These are, of course, too slow for my handheld situation.  I could have increased my ISO to yield faster shutter speeds but I did not want the additional noise, especially when shooting for HDR.

Instead of changing ISO, I changed aperture and opened up to f/4 which gave me the situation shown below.


f/4 also gave me plenty of DOF and shutter speeds that I could work with hand held.  Because my focal length was 43mm with a focal distance of 1000', changing aperture did not have an appreciable effect on this shot's practical DOF.  As a result, the entire shot is acceptably in focus, even the foreground as it is greater than 52' from me.  Sure f/16 gave me 38' more DOF but it was irrelevant.

Now there will be times and places this does not work but if you understand the basics you will recognize them quickly.  When you do you will find the solution and make the shot work.

More on this topic next time.

Hal Schmitt's Canvas Gallery Wrap Corner Technique

Canvas Gallery Wrap Techniques - Cutting and Folding the Corners from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

Here is a quick video showing Hal Schmitt's corner cutting and folding technique when finishing a canvas gallery wrap.

Hal is working a 24 x 36 gallery wrap with Alpha Strike Matte Canvas photo grade coated with Ambrosia.

Fiat Lux!

LR 4 Local Adjustments - Adjustment Brush Example

A quick demonstration of an effective and efficient local adjustment workflow using Lightroom 4's Adjustment Brush feature to optimize Exposure and White Balance.  Although Lightroom is the example software the exact same process is available in Adobe Camera Raw.

Fiat Lux!