Picking up where we left off in part-2... Now for the really fun stuff... make a new empty layer at the top of the layer stack. Then select Image-> Apply Image... from the menu bar at the top... We are going to grab a copy of the b channel from the Lab document and put it into that empty layer. Set up the resulting dialog as shown... The grayscale "b" channel has a unique tonal rendering that makes it especially well suited to applying it in Overlay blend mode... This final Overlay blend darkens the sky … [Read more...] about Lee Varis’ 10-Channel Workflow – Part-3
Dragging the Shutter, as we learned in Part One, is a tricky technique where you light the subject with your flash, and then use a slow shutter speed to pull in the background light. All the basic how-to information on how to balance light to make it “correct” is laid out in the previous article. Now we are going to break the rules and have fun! The Venice Carnival is the perfect place to play with this technique because of the extravagant and colorful costumes combined with gorgeous scenery. I love dragging the shutter, but I like to play … [Read more...] about Dragging the Shutter Part Two: Shake, Spin and Zoom
Vanelli travels across the country, talking to some of the top photographers in the field as they share their experiences while shooting on set. You'll soon learn that even seasoned professionals encounter roadblocks during photo shoots. By staying calm under pressure, they rely on their skills to overcome these obstacles to capture an amazing shot. Sit back, relax and enjoy a Story from the Set. Nature and Real Estate photographer Robert Wicker shares how he uses Golden Hour to capture award-winning Real Estate photos. Golden Hour & … [Read more...] about Stories From The Set: Robert Wicker’s Golden Hour
Picking up where we left off in part-1... Now lets look at enhancing the color saturation. Of course this could be done with a Hue/Saturation adjustment, but we will do this another way to gain access to the channels of the Lab version of this image. Duplicate the document (Image-> Duplicate...) check the Merged Layers checkbox & rename with Lab... Convert this duplicate to Lab... Now we will use a little trick to boost the saturation. First apply a Curves adjustment layer, but don't make any changes to the curve. Then … [Read more...] about Lee Varis’ 10-Channel Workflow – part-2
Lightroom’s interface isn't as customizable as Photoshop's, but it can be changed in a number of ways to maximize the space devoted to your photos, to make your workflow more efficient, and to hide the parts you just don’t use very often. Panel Groups There are four main panels that appear in all Lightroom modules. They can be manipulated as needed to allow you to control the size of the center workspace where your photos appear, as well as to only reveal the set of tools required for the task at hand. These four panels are called the Left … [Read more...] about Lightroom FAQ: How Can I Customize the Interface?
Dragging the shutter is a technique that balances the exposure of strobe and ambient light sources in one photo. For example: taking a photo of someone outside at night by using a portable flash and also capturing the city lights in the background. Balancing Strobes and Ambient Light Strobes put out a powerful amount of light so, in order to balance with the ambient light, we need to use a long shutter speed, hence “dragging the shutter.” There is quite a lot to know about this technique because it involves color balance as well as exposure … [Read more...] about Dragging the Shutter Part One: The Step-by-Step Guide to Balancing Flash and Ambient Light
Channel Blending for Tone Control I'd like to share an advanced concept for tone control in Photoshop. This channel blending idea forms the basis of my 10-Channel Workflow for digital photography. Lets start with this colorful image of a sunflower... It is important to realize that all digital photographs are captured as three B&W images representing the Red, Green and Blue channels. If we examine the individual channels of this image we can see three radically different B&W renderings: Red Green Blue We … [Read more...] about Channel Blending: From Color to B&W and Back again
Have you ever gone on a little road trip or a hike with a friend and they didn't tell you where you were going or how long it would take to get there? Not knowing these kinds of details makes it difficult to know what to pack or how to schedule your day and it would probably make you a little frustrated. Similarly, most folks don't know how a photo shoot is supposed to go, and maybe the last shoot they were in was done differently than the way you do things. If you provide a road map for the shoot, your clients will be more comfortable and … [Read more...] about Portrait Tip: Provide A Road Map
Lumix's new flagship camera is the Panasonic Lumix GH5, and it begins shipping to customers this Wednesday, March 29th. The waiting list began earlier this year, and photographers and cinematographers alike are anxiously waiting. Don't Miss this Free Webinar B&H Photo is celebrating the shipping launch with this live webinar featuring pros like Jacki Huntington, Griffin Hammond, David Flores, Lok Cheung, and Lumix's own Sean Robinson who will be demonstrating features and showing off the new tools. Here's a link to all the details of the … [Read more...] about Live Webinar: Lumix GH5 Launch Event
This is part 2 of a detailed article. Be sure to also check out part 1. We saw how to lighten dark skin using the red channel luminosity in my last post. This post explores an additional technique to "Pop" the highlights for further lightening. The idea here is to emphasize just the highlight portion of the skin tones and add a bit of 3D pop! Start by selecting "Merge Visible" from the Layer options flyaway menu WHILE holding down the Option/Alt key (very important!) As long as you have the top layer selected when you do this, … [Read more...] about Lightening Dark Skin with Luminosity Blending – part-2
Color wheels have been around forever. The ones from stores are subtractive. They are used for mixing paints and inks for printing on paper in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key [black.]) . An RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color wheel shows how digital cameras and Photoshop (Lightroom too) create the spectrum of hues in digital photography. Adobe Color CC (Window > Extensions > Adobe Color Themes... in Photoshop,) shown above, in an interactive color wheel. The compliments of photographic light are cyan, magenta and yellow. Follow the steps below … [Read more...] about Make a Working Color Wheel in Photoshop
If you ask a random group of photographers what their favorite things about photography are, odds are "spending hours keywording images" is not on anyone's list! Keywording is a task that is easy to put off. I am guilty of this and quite often behind getting it done. I've set aside a specific "keywording" day on the calendar, used keyword lists to make it easier, I've even adked my wife to hide my memory cards until I get the latest batch of images done. For all of this, keywording remains my number one most procrastinated task on my … [Read more...] about Fast & Easy Photo Keywording from the Cloud
The Photographer’s best tool is light, and there are many choices. Light is used to mold, define, describe and set the mood of a portrait, so knowing how to recognize the light or control it, is of ultimate importance to the artist. I’m both a natural light, or “Portraits Unplugged” kind of photographer, and also have a lot of experience with using studio strobes or portable flash, which gives me huge control. Which kind of light to use? Knowing how and when to use artificial vs natural can be a challenge. I recently photographed Ceasar … [Read more...] about Shooting Portraits on Location: Natural or Flash?
Funerals are a good time to make family pictures because people who haven't seen one another in decades are together. You should take advantage of the opportunity. I attended a funeral yesterday, and amidst the memory sharing I took a few minutes to make portraits. Let me show you how I made the most of a difficult situation with minimal gear. This setup will work well in many event situations. The Backdrop: Put It Farther Back There was a luncheon for the family held in the multipurpose room of a church, which happens to be … [Read more...] about Minimal Lighting for Funeral Portraits
Digital capture technology is really awesome and has truly changed photography, improving it in a multitude of ways. But sometimes, digitally captured images have a certain exaggerated colorfulness, that just looks a little off, for those of us raised on the old fashioned film days! I have found that this has to do with the way color gets saturated as contrast increases. Even standard rendering presets increase contrast a bit through a global RGB composite curve, often indirectly. It seems that when contrast increases this way a … [Read more...] about How to Desaturate Shadows in Photoshop, for 3D Contrast
By default, pressing the shutter button down half way activates the autofocus feature. It's handy, quick and can lead to some compositional issues. Center of the frame syndrome The autofocus sensors are most accurate at the center of the viewfinder. Because of this, there are a lot of photographs with the subject placed in the exact center of the frame. Usually, a subject in the dead center of the frame is a poor composition. Not to mention that much of the frame is wasted because of the extra room above the subject's head. Yes, the camera … [Read more...] about Take Control with Back Button Focusing
Making your own Photoshop brushes can open up lots of creative possibilities. Photoshop can create a brush out of pretty much anything, but the first thing that’s important to know is that the brush can only be one color. In other words, you could create a brush from a photograph, but when you use the brush it’s a grayscale brush that uses the current foreground color. When defining a brush, the shade of gray is equivalent to opacity, i.e. Black will be 100% opaque, white will be 0% and shades of gray will be somewhat see-through. Another … [Read more...] about Creativity through Photoshop Brushes
I'm a photographer and a dad, and when those two roles meet I'm a happy man. One of the fun things about photographing my own kid is creating pictures of her having fun. I believe that having pictures of your kids being happy and having fun hanging on the wall helps remind them that they are happy. This is far more important than having pictures of them in matching outfits. I'm enjoying creating a series of my daughter on swings through the years. Pictures with apparent movement help us feel the fun every time we look at the photographs. Here … [Read more...] about How To Photograph Kids In Action: Swings
The photo above is the normal exposure of a Waffle House near my studio. Periodically the company remodels one of their restaurants. I saw this one was under what looked more like destruction rather than renovation. I noticed a pair of children with their father standing in front of the remains of a favorite place to eat. I made a quick set of 3 bracketed exposures at 2 stop brackets to use Photomatix Pro. Opening a bracket set in Photomatix Pro Before jumping into presets, here’s a quick start for opening a series of bracketed photos.Once … [Read more...] about New to Photomatix? Start with a Preset
Like black and white, HDR photography is a terrific tool. It can both save the day technically and also allow us to be creative in unique ways. But how do you know when you might need to use HDR to make you photograph look it's best? The Name Says It All HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and in photography, that means there's a big difference between the proper exposure in the dark areas and in the highlight areas. An example of a scene with low dynamic range would be a picture of a pen sitting on my desk. The light shining on my desk from … [Read more...] about HDR 101: How Do You Know When To Use HDR?
A few days ago one of my students asked "Where can I find the Keywording Panel?" I answered. "It's in the Library module's right Sidebar." She replied, "No it's not..." Sure enough the Keywording panel had gone missing. What gives??? Viewing panels... There are several methods that can hide and reveal panels. In this tutorial I'll show all of them. You'll also see how to permanently (ish) hide panels you don't use. It's also the answer to the issue above. Hide / Reveal sidebars Adobe calls the sidebars Panel Groups now. Panel Groups are … [Read more...] about Hiding & Showing Lightroom Panels
In this video I share a very interesting Photoshop technique that lets you colorize an area of a photo - without making a selection! And it can also work on video clips in Photoshop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D6bUPwWNhU … [Read more...] about Colorize an area without making a selection
Exploring photography with your kids? This is my second in a series of posts offering ideas you can use to help your young photographer get comfortable with fundamental concepts. Last time we walked through the very basics of photographic composition: reduce and simplify. With just those two words in mind, you and your child will both be taking better pictures. Today’s activity expands the concept of composition a bit further. The goal is to play with the idea that there’s more than one way to see an object. Equipment Keep it … [Read more...] about Photography Activities for Kids — Point of View
EDITOR'S NOTE: We would like to welcome Scott Lawrence to our team of talented writers. I have vivid memories of my dad sharing his love of photography with me. The weight of this strange object in my hand the first time he brought out his old SLR is something I’ll never forget. It’s impossible to shake the smell of the chemicals when we set up a darkroom in a guest bathroom. Unfortunately, the bathroom was sorely lacking in ventilation. All great memories, if not flawless plans. Photography is amazingly complex. You can spend a lifetime … [Read more...] about Photography Activities for Kids — Composition 101
In a previous post I mentioned the importance of using keyboard shortcuts. Here are some of my favorite little-known Photoshop keyboard shortcuts that are very useful: Select next brush in brush picker= . (period) Select previous brush in brush picker= , (comma) Select first brush in brush picker=Shift-, (Shift-comma) Last brush in brush picker= Shift . (Shift-period) Activate Layer Mask= Command-\ (PC: Control-\) Activate Layer= Command-2 (PC: Control-2) Activate next layer down= Option-[ (PC: Alt-[) Activate next layer up= … [Read more...] about Little-known – and useful – Photoshop keyboard shortcuts
The creative thinking required for photography often intersects with the creativity required for painting. When experimenting with your own style, it's often helpful to let yourself explore a bit. One thing I sometimes like to do is enhance my creative images with simple hand-painting in Photoshop. It's fun, and teaches me skills I can tuck away in my mental arsenal. It’s as simple as using Photoshop’s Brush tool, and doesn’t even require you to use a digital tablet (although it certainly helps). The technique we'll explore today is great … [Read more...] about Hand-Painting Enhancements in Photoshop
Part 1 of the Alien Queen tutorial showed how to mirror the thin part of her face and add two more closed eyes with fabulous lashes. No queen is complete without a crown and a golden background. Welcome to part 2. Extra alien-ness While the result from part 1 is alien, I decided to get rid of her ears and shoulders. I used a layer mask to hide them. Here's my starting point. ` Eliminating her shoulders lengthens her neck adds to the otherworldly look. More room to work... The current version doesn't have enough room around Arra for a … [Read more...] about Fantasy Portrait: Alien Queen part 2
It's that time of year again. Independence Day is almost here. All over the U.S. there will be amazing displays of fireworks. Photographer's naturally want to make the best possible photos of these dazzling displays of burning light. Here's how I shoot them. Gear There are a few absolutely needed things and some accessories that are nice to have. First, the gotta-have-this-stuff list Necessities DSLR or mirrorless camera that can be set on manual. Wide to Medium zoom or normal lens Study tripod 8 by 10 inch piece of black … [Read more...] about Tips for Shooting Fireworks!
There are a few key elements that create a successful silhouette. I'll say it loud and proud. It is MORE than exposure. Yes, you meter for the sky, yes, that brings the blacks black, but there is so much more to it than that. I used to say, angle, separation, and exposure. But it is even more than that. You can nail the angle, shooting from down low, you can nail the exposure, and you can even get the separation, but if you aren't telling a story, or conveying an emotion, you're not getting it. There needs to be a story. There needs to … [Read more...] about More to a Silhouette than Exposure
Recently I completed a set of studio headshots against a plain, black background. Afterwards in the editing stage, I decided I wanted my subjects to definitely pop more. After kicking myself for not utilizing more lights or a more engaging backdrop, I decided to create my own traditional-style backdrop in Photoshop that would help my clients stand out, and also give the photos more visual interest overall. I was surprised at how easy it was. In fact, Photoshop provides a very powerful tool that makes this possible, and surprisingly … [Read more...] about How To Create a Realistic Backdrop In Photoshop