internet development & fine art printing
April 1st, 2005 (vol. 1, issue 1)


Hot Bird What?

Hello and welcome to Hot Bird Talk, The Lazarus Group's monthly newsletter. I have wanted to publish something along these lines for a long time now, and I'm excited to present issue #1. Each issue we'll feature information you can use - info important enough to drop a little something into your inbox once a month. If you don't want our two cents, simply click the opt-out link that will always be at the bottom of these emails. If you have a question or think of a good story, drop us an email.

March 21, 2005 marked the eighth anniversary of The Lazarus Group! We have come a long way since working from my spare bedroom. My brother, Rob, joined me several years ago and we have changed locations twice - both times to expand. There are now six of us working from our office on Westport Road and State Line. You are most welcome to stop in, have an espresso and enjoy the beautiful artwork by our own Jon Bidwell and Jen Mellard.

I hope you enjoy what we have to say in Hot Bird Talk. If there is anything we can do to help, you know where to reach us. Thank you for your support over the last eight years. We are excited about what the future is going to deliver.

Cy Rudnick's Fine Fabrics, Worldwide!

How do you present delicate laces and sumptuous silks online, and really do these fine fabrics justice? Once we saw Cy Rudnick's store - draped with rich colors and textures, and so many cool buttons - we knew the site needed to capture the same sense of textile treasure-hunting heaven.

Located in the Crown Center shopping plaza in downtown Kansas City, MO, Cy Rudnick's has been around for almost 30 years. The shop is known for its extensive collection of designer, ethnic, unique and exotic fabrics, as well as the owners' commitment to customer service. With a steady stream of calls coming in, Cy Rudnick and his wife thought a website might be an effective way to expand their business even more. In fact, when we asked Cy if he had some customer testimonials for the site he had so many good letters that we decided to expand his little 'email updates' form into a more comprehensive feedback form (little did we know). Within days, Cy had received the online equivalent of a standing ovation: inquiries from folks from Wisconsin to Germany. We've truly been amazed at the number of people worldwide who have responded to his site.

Take a look at Cy Rudnick's website. We just updated it with images from his latest annual fashion show! And even if you flunked home ec., the photographs of Cy's fine fabrics are a pleasure. >

The History of the Web

Pixel this, tweak that. Flash is an incredible tool when used wisely (grasshopper). Bla, bla bla. Time to cut loose for a while and see what we can come up with.

watch The History of the Web >

If you have an idea for our animators and conjurors - for your own site or ours, send it in!

Break Up with Your JPEGs

Have you ever noticed one of your digital photos growing more and more pixilated every time save your file? There is a better way to save your photos.

When the JPEG algorithm (Joint Photographic Experts Group) was unveiled in 1990, there was much excitement. At last, there was a way to compress full-color digital images to a very small size. Thousands of photos could be archived without taking up much space on one's hard drive. JPEGs became the standard for almost all photographic images on the internet, and consequently became the standard image file format for digital photographers everywhere. Today, most digital cameras shoot JPEG by default. The internet is filled with them. And your friends store their favorite photos as seemingly perfect, low-resolution files on their computers. Yet, if you care about preserving your digital photos or if you want to reproduce high-quality print images, the best way to save them is in the TIFF format (Tagged Image File Format).

The JPEG algorithm was developed in an era when the average computer hard drive held about as much information as a floppy disk. Space was of the essence! So, the developers made it a "lossy" format, meaning that it attains those wonderfully small file sizes by removing a little bit of data from your photograph every time it is opened, viewed and saved. When you open it again, the algorithm interpolates what it "thinks" the file should look like, and what you get is a degraded version of the original. TIFF files are larger, and for good reason. TIFF is a lossless file format. You can open them and close them all you want without degradation!

TIFF's take up more space than JPEG's, which makes them impractical for digital camera media. But once you've downloaded your pictures to your computer, save them as TIFF files. This ensures that your memories won't degrade over time. Just use this simple formula: Shoot in JPEG + save and print in TIFF = a happy world for you and your photographs for years to come!

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