Monday, May 25, 2015

How To Bite The Hand That Feeds You

This is a blog about photography, Adobe Photoshop (PS) and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  And a place to rant every once in a while.  Occasionally I mention that I'm retired from (what I like to tell people when/if they ask) "a little west coast startup called Intel".  (Well, it was at one point.  1969 to be specific.)  One of my general interests has always been the history of the microprocessor and the computer.  I was flipping around the smart TV the other day and found a content supplier I'd never heard of before.  (I say "content provider" because it was closer to Hulu or Netflix than ABC or NBC.)  It had a documentary about Apple Computer from the beginning to the iPad.  The date of the show was about 2009.  They interviewed a cadre of folks who were "there" through the good times and the bad.  One of the people used extensively was Guy Kawasaki.  An Apple evangelist back in the day and cofounder of  You may be reading this blog through Alltop.  Don't get me wrong, I love Apple, all their computers and devices, but their fanboys (and Kawasaki was the chief fanboy) do get history a little skewed from time to time.  At one point Kawasaki was talking about Apple "firsts".  He had a pretty good list going and I agreed with most.  The one that pulled me up short was saying Apple popularized the USB port.  Ya wanna know the "real story"?  Hit the "Read More"
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Using Luminosity Masks In Photoshop

Click image to enlarge. 
Well, played hookie from working again yesterday.  I was "supposed to be" cleaning out the spare bedroom.  Getting rid of (or at east organizing) buckets of photographic bits and pieces.  Instead, a friend suggested anyone interested should get together and go down to the New York Botanical Gardens.  Sometimes you just can't say no to that kind of temptation.  It didn't take a whole lot of persuading to get Doris' buy in on the caper.  Flowers have been sort of her thing lately, taking equally good shots with both her Nikon and her Samsung cell phone.  She has a very good eye, but I swear I'm going to "accidently" smash that phone because of the quality of the images she gets with it.  Oh well, sometimes the gods are with you and sunlight finds it way to exactly the right spot.  To find out how a couple of Luminosity Masks rounded out todays image, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Relighting An Image Using Lightroom Radial Filters

Click on image to enlarge
Today's image is a case of what I would have done if this had been a studio shoot.  It would have been possibly two light sources with snoots zeroed in on a specific flower.  There may have been a couple flags (or gobos) used to keep any direct light from falling on the rest of the composition.  In any case, that's what coulda, woulda, shoulda been done if the shot were taken in a controlled environment.  Since it wasn't (it was taken on a photo walk in a park while on vacation) it had to be relit in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) with a slight assist from Adobe Photoshop (PS).  The trip over to PS was just for speed and convenience.  The work done there could have been done in LR.  I'd say about 90% of what was done was done using LR's Radial Filter.  Another 5% was the Gradient Tool in LR and the rest was that quick trip to PS for some Dodging and Burning.  For a little more detail (bad pun) hit the "Read More". Read more!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Enhancing A Portrait Using A Special Filter In Photoshop

First a cute story about the Santa Claus clone in today's image.  We were out to dinner with Doris' brother (aka the Santa Claus guy) the other night.  A family a couple tables away included a little girl about three years old.  I heard the murmur
and the dad ask her who she saw at the table.  With eyes as big as saucers she said it was "Santa".  Well, Mom, Dad and the rest of the family went along with her and carried on the rouse.  Her Dad took her to the restroom and as she passed, her eyes never wavered from looking at my brother-in-law.  The rest of us might as well have been the croutons in the salad.  No acknowledgement at all.  She was fixated on "Santa".  When they finished their meal and were preparing to leave the little girl said something to her Mom.  I heard the magic word... Santa.  Roland, who usually tries to give a gruff, biker look, bent down and motioned her over.  The thrill was evident on her face as she looked up to her Dad for permission.  He gave his head a nod toward our table and the little girl took off in a sprint (of about six feet) and threw a giant hug around her Santa's neck.  As the hug ended Roland looked her in the eye and said "you be good".  She put her hands over her mouth as she gasped "I will.  I promise."  She ran back over to her folks with one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen.  As they left, the Dad looked over his shoulder and said "Thank you".  Roland had a pretty big smile on his face too.  To see what filter was used to adjust today's image, hit the "Read More".
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

What To Do When Disaster Strikes

We've been on vacation for the past few weeks.  Did a road trip with Doris and her brother and his wife.  About a week before leaving I was shooting an assignment when my "go to" vacation lens (an 18 - 200mm) broke.  And I mean broke.  I had the camera locked down on the tripod (or so I thought).  Typically I'll wrap the strap around the legs of the tripod "just in case".  That means "if it falls" it'll end up dangling by the strap between the legs of the tripod.  Being in a rush I didn't follow my own (unwritten) rule and the camera didn't have that small bit of security on that day.  Wouldn't ya know it, I grabbed the tripod to make a move and off popped the camera.  First time ever.  All those years of being cautious and the one time I rushed, bang.  Well, the camera's a Nikon, so I wasn't too worried about it.  One of the reasons to use a Nikon is because you can dropkick the sucker and nothing will happen.  Same with Nikon lenses, ... usually.  The lens hit the floor first and on such an angle as to pop the zoom housing ring out.  It snapped back in okay, except for the fact that the 18 - 200 was more like a 35 - 135 now.  Not good.  I had about a week before starting on the road trip, so I ran the lens up to Precision Camera in Enfield Connecticut.  Great bunch of people and very reputable, authorized repair facility, hoping they could turn it around before we left.  No luck.  To find out what the solution to going on vacation without my "travel" lens was, hit the "Read More".
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Take On Lightroom CC

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Okay, it been a day since the launch of Adobe Lightroom CC (or 6 if you're going the purchase route rather than the subscription model).  The first thing I noticed is that Adobe still ties LR to Photoshop with the official name being Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC (LR).  I suppose the thinking is that LR is a subset of Adobe Photoshop CC.  LR is the only product I can see that has the PS hook.  I don't see Adobe Photoshop Illustrator CC.  It's just Adobe Illustrator.  Same with Premiere and the rest of their Creative Cloud offerings.  My question would be "why"?  LR is about as autonomous as you can get.  It's a strict photographic entity.  Why not cut it loose?  But, that's about as nitpicking as you can get.  The new LR is fantastic.  Want to go through the highs and lows.  Hit the "Read More".
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Friday, April 10, 2015

On Safari With Photoshop Thanks To Glyn Dewis

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I recently picked up a copy of Glyn Dewis’ new book titled “ThePhotoshop Workbook”.  I’ve been a fan of Glyn’s ever since Scott Kelby “discovered” him and started bringing him over to “Photoshop World”.  In the first chapter he shows an image he made of a couple giraffes out on the savannah.  I said to myself “self, we have a couple images of giraffes from the Bronx Zoo”, hmmm.  I thought I might be able to do a reasonable takeoff on his image.  From his description it seemed he had a fairly easy time extracting the animal from its original location.  In the one I did, I didn’t have too much trouble, but apparently more trouble the Glyn.  Not a big deal, but it proved a point.  I did want to make my image different enough from Glyn’s so no one would thing I just filched his image.  To find out what I did and the differences between the two are, hit the “Read More”.
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