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Might Be Seen in the Delaware Art Museum

I am not one that highlights my achievements too much, and I am sure it has cost me some views over the years.

Anyhow, to start the story of this adventure off, one has to go back to early December, when I received an email with the subject of “Image of Brandywine”, and the following thumbnail image.

Fall (2011) image taken of the Brandywine River in Hibernia Park in Chester County PA.
Fall (2011) image taken of the Brandywine River in Hibernia Park in Chester County PA.

In the email, Margaretta said she was one of the curators at the Delaware Art Museum, and she was working with a exhibition designer, Keith, who had found my image online, and they were wondering if I would be interested in allowing the museum to use my image in a exhibition called “Eye on Nature“, comparing Andrew Wyeth and John Ruskin from March 10-27, 2018.

Also included with the email was a PDF file of proposed design layouts, and my image was already included, at a 11 feet by 17 feet!

After finishing the email, I had to walk around to catch my breath, and after a few minutes, I showed the email to my wife, and pointed to the address at the bottom.

Could this really be true?

The next day, I called the phone number provided, and the voicemail confirmed the name in the email, but I could only leave a message.

I did follow-up with an email, and the next day Margaretta followed up with a date and time to chat more about the exhibition.

As the day and time we agreed on, drew nearer, I was becoming more nervous, and when I finally made the call, I made sure that I had a large glass of water with me, so that I would not be too parched during the conversation.

Margaretta and I chatted for some time about the details of the exhibition, the exhibition designer and what I was looking for in compensation.

I remember blurting out a number, and I got the sense that I had blown the opportunity, but she responded back “Normally, I do not deal with living artists, but I’ll look into it.”

Internally, I giggled – “Normally, I do not deal with living artists…”

A couple of day pasted, and I had a change to speak with Keith the exhibition designer, and indeed confirmed the output size: 11 x 17 feet!

I told him of my printing background, but I had never dealt with anything of that size, but I knew of a technique that might allow me to get size required.

At this point, I was still not internally sure if I was in a dream or not, but after another phone call with Margaretta, and a couple days a waiting a check arrived from the museum!

My thought, “Hold S***, this is for REAL!!”

Now I had to start working on getting the image ready for Keith the exhibition designer.

At first, I corrected some image issues on the original image file that were cosmetic in nature because of my use of several images (ghosting), and then I began to tweak some of the various tones, basically reducing some of the ‘hot spots’, and eventually, I created the following image.

Image for the Delaware Art Museum - "Eye on Nature" - Andrew Wyeth/John Ruskin exhibition
Image for the Delaware Art Museum – “Eye on Nature” – Andrew Wyeth/John Ruskin exhibition

Now, the fun part… Getting the image to the right size… 11 x 17 feet…

I used the basic technique that I have outlined before (See my post “Fine Art prints done local“, section “Going Big”), but instead of 110%, I used 105%.

I created a Photoshop action, and repeated, and repeated until Photoshop crashed, and corrupted the image.

In troubleshooting the crash, I found out that I had filled my 128 GB SSD drive used for the Photoshop scratch/VM file! (My machine has 32 GBs of physical RAM)

In Photoshop, I re- targeted the scratch/VM file to one of my 4 TB hard drives and began the resizing again.

After numerous resizes, and quick “save-as” files, I finally reached 16.57 x 11.0 feet or 198.887 x 132.733 inches or 19889×13273 pixels (@300 dpi)!

Within the file, I still had a couple of correction layers, but the file size was approximately 19.2 GBs! By FAR the largest single file I have ever worked on, and had to save it a PSB file (See my post “Large Image Files – PSB vs TIFF“)

Note – Large PSB files are STILL not visible within Lightroom Classic CC, version 7.2. — Adobe, are you listening? It’s been 7+ years since I reported/blogged about this!

Any how, I created several different DPI files (and file size(s)):

  • 100 dpi psb – 565.487 MBs
  • 100 dpi tiff – 773.447 MBs
  • 150 dpi psb – 1,277.122 MBs
  • 150 dpi tiff – 1,740.209 MBs
  • 200 dpi psb – 2,455.681 MBs
  • 200 dpi tiff – 3,093.681 MBs
  • 300 dpi psb – 5,212.382 MBs

and placed them on my FTP server for Keith to download.

Note – For those techno-geeks, PSB creates significantly smaller files, when compared to TIFF, but as mentioned above, Lightroom STILL can not produce thumbnails within light room.

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Adobe Ideas Photography Projects Reference Tech Talk Thoughts

Keywords & Lightroom

I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom ever since it first came out, and during that time, I have always used Keywords for my images (40,000+). Lately, however, I have revisited my ‘home made’ Keyword List, and have stumbled onto a whole sub-topic within Lightroom that I wish I had found MUCH earlier!!

Here is one of the best tutorials on the subjects, which I found on

Why Keyword A Stock Photograph?

It is not that technical or difficult, but the challenge is how deep you want to get into keywords.

What got me revisiting my Keyword List was a need to publish more stock photography, which requires keywords, and the more the better!

What is also kind of fun, along with frustrating, are the words and the various synonyms! As you go through the List, you realize that a given Word can have so many meanings or spellings, especially in English!

Getting Started, Again!

As mentioned earlier, I have been using the Keywords since I started, so essentially it was just a straight alphabetized list of words, without any organization.

After finding the Lightroom Keyword List Project website, which is Open Source and Free, I downloaded the Foundation List (ver 1.0.1), and Imported it into Lightroom.

Mistake One!

Stupid me…

After using computers for 30+ years…

I never Exported my ‘homemade’ List as a Backup BEFORE I started.


So I have the GIGANTIC list of Words, some of which are organized, but most not…

I should have organized my ‘homemade’ Key Word List first, and then Imported the Foundation List.

Lessons Learned

At the moment, I have spent SEVERAL hours, going through my new Keyword List, and reorganizing it into a hybrid.

Again, I wish I had started this from the beginning!

That being said, here are some things learned, so far…

Keywords not equal

Even though the Keyword list itself is nothing more than an ASCII text file, having a Word on a single line does NOT mean it (the Word) will be Counted correctly in Lightroom.

Each Keyword is supposed to be on a Single Line, but there is a big difference between a Word and a [Tab space] BEFORE the Word!

This gets into the heart of Categories, which is covered very well on in their Tutorial.

It does make sense, when you think about it, and thankfully Lightroom gives you a much easier way to move Keywords into the Categories.

Yes, you could do the SAME thing in the Text file, BUT if you are unsure of the meaning of the Word, you can not “see” that, but in Lightroom, you can call-up the images, and “see” the Keyword’s meaning, and Edit from there.

Time to Clean-Up

As you edit your keyword list, you will find ‘bad’ words, for what- ever reason, and here is a get chance to clean-up the list!

At some point, do open up your “working” version of your Keyword list in a Text Editor, and run a Spell Checker on the List.

Lightroom becomes sluggish

While moving Keywords around, I began to notice Lightroom becoming sluggish, and after several large Keyword ‘moves’, I realized Lightroom is re-writing meta-tag data back into the various files!

    1. You Create/Update a Keyword;
    2. The Keyword is Created/Updated in the Lightroom database;
    3. The metadata is rewritten into the file (xmp, psd/psb, tiff, jpg, etc.)

Needless to say, you are going to want to do these operations across fast hard drives, and if possible, have your main collection of images on a separate disk(s) from where Lightroom is installed, so there will be less of a bottle-neck in processing the keyword “move” requests.

Also, remember to back-up and Optimize your Lightroom catalog!

You will also want to back-up your original images too, since these keyword changes are also re-written into the various files: xmp, tiff, psd, psb, jpg, etc.


If you are starting Fresh, download one of the various Keyword Lists that are available.

I started at Victoria Bampton’s ( – Keyword Lists / Controlled Vocabularies, and looked at each list, and then stared with Lightroom Keyword List Project – Foundation List.

If you are starting with an existing list, be prepared to spend some time on this project, but it will be worth it!

        • Backup your Original List, “as is”
        • Review the Keyword List Structure (Foundation List) you have Chosen in a Text Editor
        • Organize your Original List (and Backup)
        • Import the new Keyword List Structure into Lightroom
        • Reorganize and Edit

In just reorganizing my list, I have noticed numerous other Keywords that could easily describe a given image, which can only help during my workflow in publishing to the stock photography market!

As mentioned several times, I wish I had started this sooner!

I hope that you have picked up some new ideas with this post, and feel free to comment or ask questions!

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Large Image Files – PSB vs TIFF

In this post, I am going to explore some basic differences between the various Photoshop file formats: PSD, TIFF and PSB

I’m working on a very large image, and it is a panorama of (42) 10 MP captures, each between 8-10 MBs, merged into Photoshop CS5.1.

Photoshop CS 5.1 can not save anything over 2.0 GBs as a PSD file…

Photoshop CS 5.1 - 2 GB File Size error message
Photoshop CS 5.1 – 2 GB File Size error message

The TIFF file is 3.7 GBs…

File Properties - TIFF
File Properties – TIFF

and the PSB file is 2.7 GBs…

File Properties - PSB
File Properties – PSB

Open Questions

In this example above, there is approximately 1 GB (25%) loss in file size…

Where did it go?

  • File compress?
  • Color Data?
  • File Optimization?


  • Photoshop PSD (max) file size: 2 GBs
  • Photoshop PSB (max) file size: 4 exabytes (300,000 x 300,000 pixels – 350 x 350 feet)
  • TIFF (max) file size: 4 GBs


  • Lightroom is not “seeing” my 2.7 GB PSB file, but is “seeing” the 3.7 GB TIFF.


anyone got any ideas?

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