Essentials – Photography and Processing

The Hershey Library program on Digital Photography and Processing Essentials is this coming Saturday, April 6th starting at 9:30 a.m. You can sign up at the library or simply come to the door.

Essentials includes setting up your camera for the best capture, setting up Lightroom and ACR for best processing, and more. Continue reading “Essentials – Photography and Processing”

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Digital Photography and Processing Essentials

If you are reading this in an email, please click on the title to read the full blog entry online.

Two weeks remain for you to sign up for the April 6th program on “Digital Photography and Processing Essentials” at the Hershey Library. The program will start at 9:30 a.m. Please sign up at the library if you can, but you will be welcome at the door as well.

The program will take you through fundamental photography information such as camera settings and understanding how digital photography captures images. We will look at differences in shooting in raw vs jpg, Adobe vs sRGB color spaces, determining exposure, reading the histogram and other essential first steps to good captures. Continue reading “Digital Photography and Processing Essentials”

Post Processing in Photoshop

Intermediate to Advanced Post processing in Photoshop

“Great artists don’t just happen, any more than writers, or singers, or other creators,” … “They have to be trained, and in the hard school of experience.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

Digital photography has made making a decent image pretty easy. Using ACR or especially Lightroom allows you to render the basic color and contrast of an image very well. But, the primary purpose for which they were created was preliminary global adjustments. Global adjustments are those which address the overall image in terms of color and contrast, but do nothing to address specific issues in smaller local areas. Yes, many of the tools added to ACR and Lightroom were put there to make some of these modifications possible, but the real tool for image polishing is still Photoshop.

Many photographers are satisfied with what they can accomplish with basic raw processing. In some cases it is all that is needed. But the refinements to an image that can push it over the top still require more work. What we are finding when we shoot is the “raw” material (pun intentional) needed to produce a good photograph.

The good news is that Photoshop post processing is really not complicated. The bad news is that Photoshop post processing is really complicated. It is not complicated in terms of the mechanics, but it is complicated in that many of the processes are simply not intuitive. They need to be learned, and that learning is a curve that can be rather steep. That is experience. Like any craft, it requires time to get to know what can be done.

Like anything worth the effort you first need to learn to think in Photoshop. If you take piano lessons you learn scales first, you do not sit down and learn to play a complicated piece of music. In Photoshop you need to learn the scales too. Layers and masks are really not that difficult – the second time. Blend modes and other more exotic tools require more time, just like playing the piano with both hands. Some of the ways to use Photoshop tools, like making selections, are a never ending learning process.

The advantage of knowing how to use the tools and options in Photoshop is the ability to mold an image into something better than what the camera handed you. Some of the techniques are actually pretty simple to use, but first you need to know they are there. Blend modes are like that, and I guarantee you that I can show you in a very short time – like 15 minutes – ways to use them that you will love and use immediately in your processing workflow. Others require deeper thought to apply to your work, but you have to start somewhere. If you don’t know it is out there, you can’t use it.

I will give a presentation to the Hershey Camera Club on May 3rd. The primary topic will be selections, but any presentation in Photoshop always covers larger ground. No technique stands alone. The program is open to the public.

I will present a workshop/seminar on Intermediate to Advanced Photoshop Post Processing on Saturday, May 19th from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Hershey Library. Cost for the program is just $45. The program will include Layers and Masks, Curves, Selections, Blend Modes and much more. I will address controlling the image while avoiding bad practices. There are tools in Photoshop (eraser, burn, dodge) which are simply not worth using as they are not modifiable. Imagine being able to get better results without the pain of backing up in history.

Please email me if you wish to attend so I can inform the library and make appropriate plans for the seminar. Locals can sign up and pay in advance at the library. Learning Photoshop is an adventure, and I hope you will join the experience.

Layers, Masks, Blend Modes …

Click the title, or the read more prompt below to see the full blog entry. Modification of your images is better, easier, more controllable, and more elegantly done using layers, masks and blend modes. Obviously, selections are important, but you can’t modify a selection after a correction is made if you cannot access the way it was applied.

This is where masking comes into play. What surprises most people is how easy it is once you understand the process. Even more surprising to most people is how easy it is to learn. If you really want to be able to make your images the way you want them to be, and not what the camera hands you, have I got a class for you. Continue reading “Layers, Masks, Blend Modes …”

Advanced Elements Processing – Selections, Layers, Masking and Blend Modes.

The Elements Advanced Processing Seminar is Saturday November 11, 2017, at the Hershey Library. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

When you process an image in Lightroom or Camera Raw you are doing “non-destructive editing.” In Lightroom the “instructions” you are imparting to the file are stored in the database. In ACR they are written to an XMP (eXtensible Metadata Platform) file. In either case, the original raw file is not modified until you export the file.

The best workflow for editing a digital image is to maintain the non-destructive concept throughout the process. This means you will be able to modify, update, or delete any instruction you create to change the way the file looks at any time prior to saving the file out to another format.

The most powerful tools available to you in Photoshop or Elements are selections, layers, masks and blend modes. They are also the most unused tools by many, and changing that will make your image editing improve significantly. The good news is that you already know how to do most of this, and learning the rest is easy. Continue reading “Advanced Elements Processing – Selections, Layers, Masking and Blend Modes.”

Resolution Resolved

First a reminder that clicking on the title of this post takes you to the full blog site and the full content of the post. What you may be looking at may be an email alert to the post or an incomplete posting.

Second, a reminder that my Lightroom Image Processing Seminar is open for registration at the Hershey Library. The seminar is Saturday, October 21st, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Read the Image Processing in Lightroom article under the News and Events section on the right side of my Learning page.

A continuing issue with many people is the topic of resolution of your files. This is an aha topic and I find that when someone finally gets it the rest of the work involved in editing files just gets a lot less complicated.

With that in mind I have completely rewritten my Digital Basics article on Resolution including some examples of Photoshop Image Size dialogs to help you understand that pixel dimensions mean more than pixels per inch.

I suggest you read the Digital Basics – Resolution article on my Learning page. It is near the top of the page.

Those of you working in Elements may find my seminar on enhancing images using Elements of value. That seminar is on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the Hershey Library. I will alert you when registration for that is open.

Fall Classes Scheduled

Greetings to all. It has been a while. I have scheduled two classes for this fall and plans are being made for the spring of 2018. All classes are held at the Hershey Library in Hershey, PA.

This fall I will explore image processing in Lightroom in detail. This will be Saturday October 21, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I will look at each processing panel and tool in the Develop module to show how to control tone and color of your images. Many photographers can enhance their images without the need for manipulating pixels in Photoshop or Elements and this class will show you how that is done.

Speaking of Elements, if you need (or want) to manage the pixels in your images the second class is for you. On Saturday November 11, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I will show you how to use selections, masks, and blend modes to enhance your images. I will also show you how to replace boring skies and composite images for greater impact. If you are an Elements user, this class will take you to a new level of control of your images.

Spring of 2018 will bring the first class in advanced Photoshop techniques. No date is yet set for this class. Advanced selection techniques, use of channels and apply image techniques for better masking, and learning how the numbers work to insure better image output are at the head of the list.

Information on classes and other good stuff is always available at my Learning Page.