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

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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”

Beyond Global – Refining YOUR Images

I will be offering a class at the Hershey Library on Saturday morning October 13th. Rather than the usual demonstrations of how I made a particular image or used a special technique, this will be a class where your images are the source material. Requirements for participation are that you bring at least three images on a jump drive, including brackets if available, and be willing to have your images used for demonstration. You will be given the final result as a psd on your drive so you can study what was done after the class.

Continue reading “Beyond Global – Refining YOUR Images”

Exposure for Digital Raw

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“If you expose digital the way you expose film, you run twin dangers of failing to exploit the camera’s dynamic range, and creating exposures whose shadows are noisier than they need to be.” – Adobe Whitepaper – Raw Capture, Linear Gamma and Exposure – Bruce Fraser.

Film was engineered to respond pretty much in the same way as we see, which made perfect sense at the time. While twice the light made the image brighter, it did not make the image twice as bright.
Continue reading “Exposure for Digital Raw”

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.

Lightroom Develop Module in Detail

With a few exceptions the Lightroom Develop Module and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) are identical. They share the same processing engine and differ mostly in the visual interface. So, if you understand one, you understand both. While my Lightroom Develop Module Seminar on Saturday October 21 will be of primary interest to Lightroom users, anyone interested in a closer look at raw processing will benefit.

If you are planning to attend I would encourage you to sign up in advance at the Hershey Library. There is a handout involved and having a head count would be very useful. It also helps the library by giving them an idea of how their program offerings are working. In that respect it will help me as well.

Can you explain the difference between the Clarity slider and Dehaze? How many places in processing can you deal with vignetting? Why would you want to add a vignette? Continue reading “Lightroom Develop Module in Detail”

The Fine Photograph

I am back from Indiana where I gave a seminar on Photography, Lightroom and Photoshop. Many thanks to a great group of people at the Goshen Photography Guild for their support for the program which sold out the available seats. The venue was great and the experience was wonderful and fun.

The day after the seminar a group of us went after images at Michigan City along the lake with the Chicago skyline visible (slightly) in the distance. Some were hoping for a sunset with the skyline, but cool air and wind were there instead.

IMAGE SHARPENING

As is typical when giving a seminar, you never know how the questions and overall flow will go until it happens. I wanted to include a section on image sharpening which time did not allow. So, I want to direct people to my Learning Page for more information and in particular the two articles, Smart Sharpen , and the High Pass Filter for sharpening images. There are, of course, many other ways to sharpen images, but these two are both powerful, versatile, and the most used.

The two gulls in the photograph above were surprisingly cooperative considering the exposure time for the image was 20 seconds. This was done with the aid of a neutral density filter that allows the moving water and clouds to appear as smooth tones rather than fine detail, while stationary content is registered in a normal manner. Great fun.