Monday, July 27, 2015

PLaces You Can't Go Without Photoshop

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Today's image definitely qualifies as a place you can't visit without, at least, some knowledge of Adobe Photoshop (PS).  Why?  Basically, it's because the earth doesn't curve that way.  The horizon of an image can do many things.  It can be tipped (a big no no).  It can show the sweep of the land as in a arĂȘte along a mountainside with an apparent (but not real) slope to the surface.  Using an extreme wide angle lens the horizon can be bowed either up or down, but it can't be bowed both up and down.  In any case, today's image isn't what it seems.  To find out how many shots were used in today's image, hit the "Read More".

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Ways To Makeover One Image With Photoshop

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We were away for a couple days this past weekend (plus).  First to a photography conference in Massachusetts and then up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a couple days.  Today's image was taken on a visit to the "Castle In The Clouds" mansion.  A New Hampshire preservation site.  A nicely preserved mansion high on a mountain (hill) overlooking the area.  The "original" image looked almost nothing like what you see.  It was actually a couple horses in a field (just kidding).  I've just gotten an 8mm fisheye lens and spent all day Monday using only the "fish" to see what it would (could) do.  The image doesn't look much like it was taken with an extreme wide angle lens, but that's where the Adobe Photoshop (PS) "magic" comes in.  To find out what the "five ways" the image has been changed, hit the "Read More".

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What Would Ansel Adams Do If He Had Lightroom?

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Ansel Adams is quoted as saying "you don't take a photograph, you make it."  I don't think he ever said you don't have to start with a method of recording the scene before you.  I hear a lot of people say they want to "get it right in the camera".  A couple of other quotes by Adams are "Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships."   One more would be "the negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance".  What's all that got to do with today's image (or any image for that matter)?  It's just that today's image straight out of the camera really doesn't look much like what you see.  It's been "developed".  The "out of camera" image is a RAW file and, as such, lacks tone, contrast, color and any sense of place.  It's a blah lifeless digital negative.    Ninety nine present of what was done to the image was done in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR),  the "other" percent was done in Adobe Photoshop (PS).  Both were the CC 2015 versions, but only the newest LR was needed.  What was done in PS can be done in just about any version you have on your computer.  To go through the image with me, hit the "Read More".
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Using Lightroom's Dehaze on Informal Portraits

We were at a family gathering last weekend and I told Doris that I wasn't going to bring a camera.  It was time for family, not for photography.  At the last moment I said I'd toss the camera in the car "just in case",  The just in case wasn't so much if anyone asked me (or anyone cared) to get some shots as much as it was if the mood struck me.  It wacked me up along side my head and I clicked the shutter more than five hundred times.  The kid (he's 31 or 32) in today's image is a nephew.  He's about 6'2", a body builder (more excellent shape rather than muscle bound), shy and better looking than he knows.  As you can see, if anybody's looking for a male model, he'd be a good candidate.  To find out "what's going on" in today's image, hit the "Read More".
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Isolation Using Lightroom's Radial Filter And Brush

Today's image is another from a photowalk in the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG).  It was the end of the day (for us at least) and we were just hanging out by an artificial lily pond.  I judge a fair number of photo competitions during a given year and one thing I typically harp on is changing your angle of view.  Too many people enter images taken from their standing height.  If I get one to comment on I'll suggest the person go back to the same place (or a similar situation) and move around.  Stand on a chair, squat down, go up to the second floor if there is one, put the camera down on the ground, anything.  Just don't stand there and shoot from five feet high.  Well, at the NYBG I certainly took my own advice.  I was laying flat on my belly, looking like the aftermath of a criminal assault  or something.  The friends I was with got a kick out of what I'd do to get a shot.  Obviously today's image is not a full frame.  It's wildly cropped to isolate and increase the "focus" on the flowers.  It see how Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) helped draw attention to the flowers, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, July 6, 2015

Playing With Photoshop CC 2015 Dehaze

Since the recent release of Adobe Photoshop (PS) CC 2015/Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) CC 2015 I've seen several articles about what's new.  One of the more interesting (and creative) additions is the Dehaze tool.  In LR it can be found in the Effects Panel and in PS it's found by going to or going through Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)  (Filter/Camera Raw Filter).  I'd highly recommend turning the Layer into a Smart Object (Filter/Convert For Smart Filters) so you can go back and forth from Layers to ACR at will.  The primary use I've seen folks talk about with the Dehaze tool is in landscape photography.  Crank the slider to the right and the haze over distant parts of the landscape become much cleaner and more contrasty.  You may have noticed that that's not exactly what's going on in today's image.  To get an idea of what's going on, hot the "Read More".
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Myth About Depth of Field

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Have you ever spoken to a fellow shooter about Depth of Field (DoF)?  Have you ever been told you must have expensive, "fast glass" (a lens with a large maximum aperture - like F2.8 or F1.4) to get shallow DoF?  Well, it all depends on what you're shooting and what your subject is.  If you were to shoot someone's portrait using almost any lens and had enough empty space between the subject and the background you could shoot closed down to the minimum aperture (F 16 or F22) and get an acceptably out of focus background.  (It might have to be miles away and your subject at the minimum focusing distance of the lens, but you could do it.)  Take a look at today's image.  Before reading on, take a shot (guess) at what aperture might have been used.  Once you've made up your mind, hit the "Read More".
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