Retouchup Blog

02
Apr
New Product: Time-Lapse Video Add-On for Photo Restoration and Digital Oil Painting Services

RetouchUp’s new photo restoration & digital oil painting video time-lapse add-on helps make marketing photo restoration easier for you! We give you the option to have us create a neat 2-4 minute summary of the entire restoration process, complete with before and after images. While sped up, you’ll be able to see all of the corrections we make, from fixing scratches and spots, to restoring tears and water marks, to fixing the color, and more!

Posting these short videos to your social media is easy, and it visually shows your clients the value of restoring their old and damaged photos. This photo restoration video could even be something you offer as a product to your clients. Along with the keepsake of a restored family photo, it’s really unique for them to see all of the work that went into restoring their photo!

Here’s an example of what it would look like:

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31
Mar
COVID-19 Production Update

Covid-19 Production Update:

We remain OPEN FOR BUSINESS for all categories: clipping/image extraction, retouching, photo restoration, color correction, etc.

Your RetouchUp artist team is geographically diverse, and traditionally works from home offices. This has been a great blessing as many are working in regions under strict quarantine.

Some outsource providers are *TEMPORARILY* unable to perform work due to COVID-19 situation in their countries. Different service providers meet different needs for the industry and each serve an irreplaceable and important function. If you come from one of these providers, we are happy to help you with your immediate need, yet encourage you to plan for their prompt and necessary return to service in the near future.

Each photographer serves a vital need for the consumer market. Every service provider fills a necessary role in our industry. TOGETHER, we are going to weather a few weeks of difficulty, and then come on out of this ready to re-build as photographic community and industry.

All in this together,

Austin Long & the entire team at RetouchUp

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24
Jan
Incorporating a Lost Loved One in a Photo

Over the years we have been honored to help photographers include a lost loved one of a client into their family photo. We often get inquiries like “My client lost their beautiful child at age 2 and the child would now be 10. They have seen images on the internet of a shadow figure next to the family and would like to do something similar. Can you do this?

Yes, we can, and again honored to be tasked with such a special request.

Here are some ways that will help you and your client get exactly what you are hoping for.

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16
Apr
Chrome 42 and Java Plugin

Chrome has recently released their latest version of Chrome – Version 42.  This update makes a very major change in how they handle plugins within the browser.

With this update, they have disabled a system called “Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI)”.  This system is what allowed a lot of programs to run within chrome – such as Silverlight, Quicktime, and Java – without being restricted to browser limitations.

You can re-enable NPAPI for a few months, by typing or copy/pasting the following into your chrome browser address bar:

chrome://flags/#enable-npapi

You will see a section that looks like:

Enable NPAPI Mac, Windows
Enables the use of NPAPI plugins. #enable-npapi
Enable

Click the “Enable” link to turn it back on.  This will work only until September 2015 when Chrome 45 comes out.  At that time, Chrome will remove everything about NPAPI from the browser – and it will not be re-enablable.

JAVA 8.0 UPDATE 45

You will also need to ensure that you have updated to the latest version of Java – which came out a couple of days before Chrome 42 was updated.  The latest version at the time of this post is Java 8.0 Update 45.  You can download the latest Java from http://www.java.com/

LONG TERM SOLUTIONS

After chrome 45, if you need to use Java, you will have to use an alternative browser.  There are currently no known plans for Safari, Internet Explorer, or Firefox to remove NPAPI support.

Chrome supports an alternative system called PPAPI.  However, this system does not allow plugins access to files on your computer.  We would not be able to see your folder structure to take photos from, nor will we be able to see your harddrive so we can save photos after they are completed.

We will still support Chrome for non-Java interactions.

WHY DOES RETOUCHUP.COM STILL USE JAVA?

Retouchup.com has been working very hard to move away from Java as much as possible.  However, there are some things that a browser does not allow us to do yet.

  • Browsers don’t let us see a relative path of the file you are uploading without using Java.  We don’t know if you are uploading a whole folder, or just a single image.  We can’t return photos back to you keeping a folder structure if you do not upload using Java.
  • We also cannot return a mass number of files to you.  A browser takes control of the download and for a large number of users, will just save the file in your “download” folder by default.  Likewise, you have to download each file individually, as there is no way to queue up 60 photos to download to a folder of your choice.

Java gives us the ability to overcome these browser limitations, and do so for both Mac and Windows machines.

EASY UPLOADER

We have tools in place to allow uploads to our system without any Java at all.  It is our default upload tool now.  Most of our clients are OK with not keeping a folder structure.  The only times this becomes important, is when you upload multiple files with the same file name into one order, or your system needs the photos to be in a certain folder – and you would like Retouchup to return it back to you automatically.

ZIP FILE DOWNLOAD

We also have the ability for you to download all of your photos as a zip file.  This feature is only available for orders with 50 photos or below.  Over 90% of our orders are 50 photos or less, and this is a great way to download all your photos as one file without the use of Java.  You will still have to extract the file after it is finished downloading, but OSX and Windows have built in zip extractor tools.

 

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16
Jan
RetouchUp.com’s Gary Poole on X-Rite

X-Rite is the global leader in color science and technology. Now owning Pantone, X-Rite creates a host of tools for those working with color, including those of us in the photographic community.

X-Rite recently asked our own Gary Poole, manager of the Color Division, to speak about his experience with X-Rite products, and their place in his color management work flow here at RetouchUp, and as a photographer.

At RetouchUp.com, you can count on getting help from experts across the industry to help solve your retouching and color management needs.

Thanks, X-Rite for providing excellent tools for the photographic industry.

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28
Oct
Safari 6.1 Unsafe Mode

With the update to Safari 6.1, all add-ons that Safari uses, are restricted to what is known as a “Sandbox”. Any applet used by Safari 6.1, is now restricted from accessing your personal files (and therefore, the photos you wish to upload to us.

If you are seeing no photos when trying to add a file, you are affected by the problem:

To fix this issue, you have to run an applet in “Unsafe Mode”. This will allow the website outside of the “Sandbox” and allow it to read your files.

Step 1: Click the Safari Menu at the top-left of the screen, to the right of the Apple Icon

Step 2: Click “Preferences…”

Step 3: Click the “Security” tab in the preferences window

Step 4: Click the “Manage Website Settings…” button next to “Allow Plug-ins”

Step 5: Verify you have “Java” selected on the left-side of the window (as of the writing of this document, the latest version is Java 7 Update 45)

Step 6: If you have visited Retouchup and tried to pull up the applet at least once, you should see the site listed on the right-side window.

Step 7: Select the “Allow” dropdown window, and select “Run in Unsafe Mode” at the bottom

Step 8: It will then ask if you want to give permission to access personal documents. In order to download your photos, Retouchup.com needs this permission. Click “Trust” to confirm it.

Step 9: To verify that “Unsafe Mode” is set, look for the grey triangle next to “Allow”. If it is there, then you are done.

Just click on “Start New Order” again, to reload the page, and you can continue using Retouchup.com on Safari 6.1!

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30
Oct
Can Unleashing Your Creativity Get You More Excited About Marketing?

Don’t you hate being in a group setting, like a class or seminar, and being asked to raise your hand to something that ends up being a trick question? I do.

I imagine the question “Do you do enough marketing?” could be one of those questions. Don’t say yes! It’s a trick!

We all know that marketing should be right up there on any list of our important daily/weekly activities. But a lot of us got into photography because we were in love with, and have a talent for, making great photographs, not necessarily being marketing masters.

How can you get more excited about marketing your business? I’ll share something that’s helped us stay excited about our marketing. Trying creative ways to get our message out there.

Oh, we do traditional marketing methods, sure, which include our print advertising, forum sponsorship/participation, even direct mail. They’re effective and… we’re kind of good at it. But among these traditional and effective marketing tools, we like to try new things. And sometimes it’s the new things that get us, and others, excited about working with us.

Photo Restoration Day

In 2004 and again in 2009 we sent a proposal to each state’s governor requesting a day in each state to be declared “Historical Photo Restoration Day”. We then coordinated with a client in each state to meet with their governor to accept the signed declaration, as well as work with any local media to announce the day and get some publicity for their photo lab. Could you get a day declared as “Professional Photography Day” or “Family Photo Day”? It’s not unlikely. Here are examples of some of the state proclamations that were approved:
Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin.

The Candy Bar Manifesto

We wrote a couple articles that laid out some important reasons photographers choose to work with us. We wanted to invite all photographers to read them, but how?

We created CandyBarManifesto.com, and offered a choice of a candy bar of your choice to anyone who would read one of the articles. We then distributed the candybars at the WPPI show in Las Vegas. We considered it a great success. Hundreds of photographers got an in depth understanding of some of the reasons we should be in their toolbox – all at a fraction of what a print ad would cost.

What information would you like to get out to YOUR potential customers? Once you have that information together, what fun ways can you get your audience to read it? Anyone who answers three questions at the end can enter into a drawing? Anyone who commits to look through your entire gallery can click on a button that gives them a small discount? Anyone who reads all of your testimonials and then orders from you gets an extra 8×10?

CharleyFix

Right now, Hurricane Sandy is raining down on the East Coast. A few years ago, we created CharleyFix.com (no longer maintained) for Hurricane Charley. We provided free photo restoration services to those affected by that storm.

It was an opportunity to serve, and also to get the word out about photo restoration in general.

What opportunities to get out and serve your community would help recharge your batteries, help you feel fulfilled, and also extend your circle of influence/contacts?

On a NON-marketing note, not all service is done to be visible, or for a marketing gain. One fantastic opportunity is the NILMDTS organization. It is a sensitive yet real need in the community. (We operate the AngelPics project which has a related goal, wherein we retouch images for the same families that NILMDTS serves.) It’s hard to give truly selfless service when the service itself can bring us a sense of joy in giving.

Youtube Videos

Can getting to know your personal side help people choose to work with you? What if you had an overview of “What can you expect with a session with me?” What if you showed a video with your top 10 tips for dressing for a successful shoot?

We put together some videos that had a purpose, but also showed off a little of our personality.

The Retouch Fairy

Currently, we’re having fun being “The Retouch Fairy” on Twitter, where we watch for tweets from photographers struggling with their retouching, and send some free retouching/pixie dust their way in an effort to help free up some of their time. And if they learn about a great resource that would help them next time while they’re at it? Well that’s fine by us!

Twitter.com/TheRetouchFairy

What if you had a promotion called the “The Fix It” – and anyone locally who has a bad experience with a non-professional, can be referred to you and you’ll hook them up with a discount/extra prints, etc. What if you could encourage people in your community, that when they see people on THEIR social media complaining about photos, that they automatically think “Are you aware of the Mr./Mrs. Fix It promotion? Yeah, if an amateur photographer messed up your photos, they’ll help make it right, and get you a deal!” The specifics don’t matter – the idea is – what kind of creative way can you use social media to break through the status quo?


What’s Next For Us Both?

These are just *some* of the things that we’ve tried/are trying
Would trying new things get you more excited about marketing your business? You’re a creative person – and if you don’t enjoy traditional marketing, it’s understandable. If you mixed in some of your creative ideas along with some tried and true methods, could you get more excited about doing more to market yourself?

Let’s have fun this next year! Let’s grow and enjoy doing it!

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22
Oct
OSX – Oct 18th Patch

Recently, Apple has decided that due to various issues with their maintained version of Java, that it is time to discontinue java.  With a patch released on Oct 18th, they have removed java from all versions of OSX that they work with.

Going forward, OSX will now allow you to install the copy of Java that Oracle maintains.

A copy can be found here:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre7u9-downloads-1859586.html

This latest download only supports 64 bit versions of OSX.  Any 32 bit installations are no longer supported.

More details about his issue can be found here:

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9232566/
Apple_tries_to_kill_its_own_Java_on_most_Macs

Thank you.

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28
Aug
Color Correction Service Now Available

RetouchUp.com now offers a Standard Color Correction bulk RAW conversion and color correcting service!

Here’s the skinny:

Standard Color Correction

  • Turn around time is typically 36 hours or less (depending on the season).
  • WE accept JPG, TIFF, and common RAW formats as well as DNG.
  • Your images will be corrected to meet an industry standard for color, contrast and density.
  • Your files will be returned as full size jpegs ready for lab printing or retouching.
  • $0.29/image!

What Standard Color Correction is NOT

  • It’s NOT CUSTOM (The standard means both that it’s standard across an image (no masking) and it conforms to our industry accepted standard for color.

How To Order

To order, you’ll upload like normal, but instead of selecting a retouching service, you’ll find Standard Color Correction in the services list.  Just select there, name your order, and you’re done!  No instructions required!

If you later want to retouch images that you have color corrected in this way, you won’t need to reupload!  Just select “Import From Existing  Completed Order” – you’ll be able to send those select images that need retouching in for additional retouching service!

Have additional questions?  Please email Austin at along@retouchup.com.  That’s what he’s here for.  “OH!!!  THAT’S what he’s here for!”

 


 

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26
Jul
Uploading files in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Have you recently upgraded to Mountian Lion on your Mac?

Then you may have seen the following error while trying to upload an order:

By default, Mountain Lion has a new security feature.  It only allows programs to run if they came from the Mac store, or from one of their trusted partners.

As such, we need to disable that in order to run an applet in your browser that can access your local computer to read your photos.

  1. Open your Preferences
  2. Choose “Security & Privacy”
  3. Click the yellow padlock in the lower-left corner to allow changes to be made
  4. click “Anywhere” under “Allow applications downloaded from:”
  5. Close Preferences

The window should look like:

You should now have the ability to “Allow” an applet to run on your OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac!

 

NOTE: By making this change, you open up a potential route for malware to run on your Mac that Apple feels should be closed up, which is why they set up 10.8 to block apps this way.

If you wish to keep security turned up high, you can reset your security back to normal after clicking the “Allow all applets from ‘www.retouchup.com’ with this signature” checkbox and running the applet.  It will not block again after you have run the applet at least once.

 

This tip can be found at: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11136805/java-applet-with-self-signed-certificate-on-os-x-mountain-lion

 

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