Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Barneby Legume Catalog - Digital Monographs and Specimens

In addition to providing an online catalog of over 1.5 million plant specimens, the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium also publishes featured collections. 

The Barneby Legume Catalogue, for example, includes specimens of the 33 genera that were monographed by the late, world-renowned taxonomist Rupert C. Barneby (1911-2000) and his collaborators, Howard S. Irwin and James W. Grimes, in "The Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden."

Rupert Barneby

Friday, January 13, 2012

HP ProBook 4730s Keyboard Not Working - How to Fix It

I was just working on an HP ProBook 4730s and the keyboard stopped working. None of the keys worked. I figured maybe I had hit the Alt key and some other key and inadvertantly changed a setting.

I went to another computer and looked up keyboard settings and fixing a broken keyboard, keyboard not functioning, etc..

I don't know what caused the problem, but it was really simple to fix. If this happens to you, shut off the computer, unplug the AC cord and remove the battery for a couple of minutes. I don't know why, but it worked. I am typing again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Using a Color Checker and Lightroom's Tonal Adjustment Tool to Ensure Proper Exposure

Here are a few simple steps that will help produce perfectly exposed images using the Munsell Color Checker and Adobe Lightroom.

In Lightroom's Develop screen, you will see the image Histogram and, while this image looks pretty good to start, the exposure is just a little low.
Click image to enlarge

Use the color picker and click on one of the neutral squares in the color chart to get a good color balance.

Use the Exposure slider to bring the value of the white square to read about 96.5% - the image will look very bright at this point.

96.5 is the CIE Lab values for white square on the Color Checker.

Using the Tone Curve, set the curve to Linear and limit the highlights to 90%

Click on the Tonal Adjustment Tool and move the cursor over one of the next neutral squares on the color checker. Here it reads about 77% RGB - the actual Lab value for this square is 66.7.

Click on the square with the Tonal Adjustment Tool and drag the cursor down until the value reads 66.7. 

Usually, once the middle values about right, all the others pretty much fall into place. You can spend a lot of time tweeking the curve to try to get the values perfect, but I find that a nice organic curve without too many adjustments makes the most pleasing reproduction.

I am looking forward to Adobe Lightroom 4, which is currently in Beta. It looks like it will have even better tonal controls.