I bet you love long exposure photos. Who doesn't? But sometimes you discover just after you're back at your computer that a particular scene would have made for a great long exposure. Maybe you just did not realize it while you were at the location, maybe you had no ND filter with you to get those nice long shutter speeds and create a long exposure. Bummer! But maybe not all is lost here... In this featured video tutorial, Blake Rudis shows you how you can still create a long exposure effect in Photoshop from a regular (short exposure) photograph.
Photographic composition - we all know the rules, right? And we all know that the first thing you learn is the Rule of Thirds. Well, here's a talk by one of the world's best landscape photographers, Ian Plant. Quite refreshingly, Ian does not talk about "rules", he talks about "tools of Composition", deliberately not mentioning the Rule of Thirds. Ian uses his stunning imagery to show you examples of very compelling compositions and dissects them to show you the tools he used to create them. The images alone are worth your time when you watch this video. Enjoy!
Digital blending is a technique by which you blend selected regions of one photo with regions from another photo to combine the best aspects of both images. Of course, this is also possible for set of more than two images. One typical use case is manual HDR where you blend the well-exposed areas of each photo in a bracketed series of shots. But digital blending techniques are not only applicable to multiple exposures. While that's usually how these techniques are used, you can actually use the same technique to blend a single photo with itself, or rather, with a different version of itself. In the video below, Jimmy McIntyre shows you the basics of this technique.
You may have stumbled across the Blend-If controls in the Layer Style dialog box in Photoshop. But chances are that you did not even notice them, let alone recognized that they are actually a very powerful tool. Blend-If is one of those tools that is not self-explanatory and that does not make you want to use it straight away. The reason is that, by itself, it does not do a lot other than letting you select a range of tones where the layer and the layer below are going to be blended together. Sounds cryptic? Watch the two videos in this post to gain some insights into this tool.
The Orton effect is visual effect that you can apply to your images to give them a nice glowing appearance. When Michael Orton invented this look, he would take two film slides - one in focus, the other one out of focus - and blend them. Today, applying this effect in Photoshop is quick and easy. In the video below, Jimmy McIntyre demonstrates how to do it by creating a duplicate of your images layer, setting the right blend mode and applying some Gaussian blur.
In this video tutorial, Nathaniel Dodson from Tutvid.com shows you how to select fuzzy hair in Photoshop. This is one of the most hairy (excuse the pun) tasks for a retoucher, and it comes in different variations. Maybe you're not selecting hair but fur, trees or clouds. All of these objects can be very hard to select. Check out how Nathaniel uses the Quick Selection tool and the Refine Edge tool.
Lightroom can be a tremendously powerful tool for managing large volumes of images effectively and efficiently. Actually, that's one of the things that separates it from Photoshop. But to really benefit from this management power, you need to learn some things first, and ideally, you should learn them before you delve into working with Lightroom. In this video by Tim Grey, you will learn 15 important tips that will make your life a lot easier today and in the years coming.
Frequency separation retouching is an amazing technique for separating two main tasks of retouching in general: editing the fine details in your image and editing the tones, shadows and colors. In many cases, it can be hard to get both right at the same time if you are using conventional retouching techniques. If you are using the frequency separation technique in Photoshop, however, you can divide your image into two layers: one that only holds the fine details and one that only contains the tones and colors. Those can then be edited separately and independently of each other. In this featured video, Aaron Nace from Phlearn.com shows you how to use frequency separation on a portrait in Photoshop.
In this excerpt of a CreativeLive class, Jack Davis shows you that the lighting that you captured in your images is not carved in stone. He shows you an interesting HDR workflow where he blends three exposures from an interior scene. Instead of simply merging them and letting the tone mapping decide what the final look will be, he takes control by blending them manually. By doing so, you can create light where you want it and give a scene a whole new mood.
Starbursts can be a nice feature in your photos - especially in landscapes and night shots. But somehow, they seem to show up only infrequently and randomly, right? So how to you create an image that purposefully has a starburst in it to improve your composition and give your photo some additional interestingness? In this featured video, John Greengo explains what you could almost call the science of starbursts. Now, personally, I had a few rules of thumb on how to actually make them appear in my photos, but John has a whole lot more to tell you. Check this out if you want to make better use of these little dots of light in your photos.
A shallow depth of field is a great way of separating your subject from tze background and creat that popular creamy soft background in your photos. But sometimes, you are forced to shoot with settings that do not allow you to create a shallow depth of field, for example when you have to close your aperture down in bright conditions. In the featured video below, Aaron Nace from Phlearn.com shows you how to add a "fake" shallow depth of field look later in Photoshop.
Graduated and radial filters are the tools of choice in Lightroom when it comes to making adjustments to selected areas of an image without affecting it in its entirety. But in the current version of Lightroom, they don't work well if the areas you are trying to adjust have irregular edges that do not match the straight or round edges of the tools. It is very likely though, that this will change in the upcoming Lightroom 6. Today's featured tutorial by french photographer Serge Ramelli about the closely related software Adobe Camera Raw is a strong indication for this.
Many photographers use either Photoshop or they use Lightroom. But since Adobe offeres their photography plan that gives you Photoshop and Lightroom together for an attractive monthly fee, the number of photographers who own both programs is growing. In the featured video tutorial below, Colin Smith from Photoshop CAFE shows you how the two programs integrate beautifully with each other and how they complement each other.
Glyn Dewis is a photographer, retoucher and trainer from the UK who is well-known to go beyond just taking a photo and doing to usual retouching on it. Follow his tutorials to learn how to do more than that with your photos. In the video below, he shows you how to take a day-time photo and turn it into a night-time image - something that you probably never even thought about doing. But with some amazingly simple tricks, you can take a mundane photo and turn it into something really interesting.
Yes, we should all try to get the exposure right for every single photo we take. But hey, sometimes it just doesn't work. Maybe you're in a hurry or you just weren't ready for the moment when it happened. What can you do? Well, if you have Photoshop, you can still try to save your image if it's underexposed. In this featured video tutorial, Howard Pinsky shows you how it works if you have a RAW image and what you can do if you only have a JPG.
The guys from DigitalRev have put together a mini series of videos about shooting different fast-moving objects using different techniques. This is a really fascinating genre of photography, but it is also a genre that you will fail miserably at if you do not have the required know-how. The main difficulty is obviously to freeze the motion and eliminate motion blur despite the fact that objects move fast. But it is equally important to synchronize your shooting properly with the fast-speed event you want to photograph. As always, there are different scenarios and subjects to require different techniques, and there are different ways to tackle these problems, ranging from a brute-force burst-mode approach, via using rediculously expensive high-speed flashes all the way to a clever low-cost sensor-driven approach. Here are the three techniques explained in detail by the DIgitalRev guys in their Speed Shooter series.
When it comes to editing your photos, Photoshop might already seem complex enough. But have you ever given any deeper thought as to which file format is best for which occasion when you're saving your work? You surely know JPG as that's the de facto standard for uploading and viewing photos on the web. Maybe you know that the alternative PNG format allows you to have transparency in your images but is not as good at compressing photos. But there are many other options to choose from that are far better suited for a variety of cases. In this video, Photoshop Principal Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes explaines the most important of these formats and answers the question as to when to use which format.
Cheetyr is a new website created by William Leeks that lets you search and find the right keyboard shortcut for Photoshop (and other tools) in a split second. No more searching on lengthy websites! Cheetyr is one of those tools that makes me think "Why didn't I think of this? Hmmmm...". It's so simple, but yet so useful. It's an extremely simple website (no clutter, no unnecessary information) that presents a list of keyboard shortcuts and lets you search that list very efficiently.
In this video, Aaron Nace from Phlearn.com explains how to use the Vanishing Point filter in Photoshop to place any text (or other content) onto an image and have Photoshop fit it automatically into the perspective of the image. He shows how to use layer styles and some other tricks to sell the illusion.