Posts

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The Golden Light

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This is a 3-shot panorama of the interior of Solitude Palace just outside of Stuttgart, Germany. The source photos were shot just after sunset which created this nice golden glow because the interior was lit only by the lamps that you see in the image. Some of the lighting effects were also added in Lightroom during the post-processing stage. I will publish a tutorial on this type of re-lighting soon.
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Free-hand Blending in Photoshop

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Blending selective adjustments into an image in Photoshop is one of the key skills you need to master. But what are the tools and techniques you need to really control the area and the intensity of an adjustment you blend in? In this video tutorial, I am going to show you a simple and yet powerful technique to gently blend in any adjustment layer and give it just the right strength. I am going to use a Quick Selection and the Brush tool to brush in a Curves layer in a very controlled way.
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How to Select Fuzzy Hair in Photoshop

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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.
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How to Refine Photoshop Layer Masks with an Overlay Brush

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There are a thousand ways to create a layer mask in Photoshop. Many of them will yield a gray-scale mask with many shades of gray, and it can be a bit difficult to get the contrast of such a mask just right so that you have solid black where you want to hide the layer and solid white where you want to reveal it. In this excerpt from my Mask It Like a Pro! video course, I will show a neat little trick that allows you to get the perfect mask in such cases. I am using the Brush tool with Black and White as the color. The trick here is to set the mode of the brush to Overlay.
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Non-Destructive Layer Masking in Photoshop

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Non-destructive editing techniques are vitally important in Photoshop to ensure maximum flexibility and efficiency. If you edit your images destructively (altering the actual pixels), you cannot go back, and you cannot change your edits individually in case they do not play out the way you planned them. Consequently, there are a lot of tools in Photoshop that allow you to edit your images none-destructively. But what about the layer masks you create? Do they allow non-destructive editing too? Sometimes, creating these masks for certain areas takes longer than the actual adjustments. Unfortunately, Photoshop does not provide any dedicated means for editing these masks non-destructively too. In the video below, however, I will show you a simple technique for combining two or more masks while retaining each of them so that you can edit them later if you need to.
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The Secrets of Frequency Separation Retouching

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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.
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Shape the light in your photos with Photoshop and Camera Raw

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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.
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Review: Landscape Photography (eBook & Video Tutorial) by Nicole Young

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If you are into landscape photography, the subjects and the creative possibilities are endless. How do you shoot the different scenes in order to end up with the image you have in your head? What are the shooting techniques and the tools? And last but not means least, how do you process your images to give them their final look? Wouldn't it be awesome if you could just go out with a world-class landscape photographer and watch every step? Wouldn't it be great to watch over her shoulder when she post-processes those images on the computer to pick up all those little tricks? This eBook and video series by Nicole S. Young gives you exactly that: A deep insight into how it's done and what the right tools and techniques are to make your landscape photos really stand out.
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Review: Designing an Image by Lindsay Adler

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If you want to start a career in commercial photography, the video collection Designing an Image is going to be an invaluable resource for you. In her 7-hour video course, Lindsay Adler takes you from the very basics of working in fashion and commercial photography all the way to the intricate details of lighting a scene and to diverse retouching techniques. But this course is not only targeted at the aspiring fashion photographer. It is much more fundamental than that since it takes you through the thought process of creating an image. Lindsay shows you how to come up with an idea for a photo, how to turn that idea into a concept, and what it takes to get from that concept to your finished image. You will get lots of lighting tips, and you will learn new professional retouching techniques.
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How to add shallow depth of field in Photoshop

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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.
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A seamless workflow using Lightroom, Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw

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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.
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How to turn day into night in Photoshop

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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.
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Focus stacking in Photoshop - How to get any depth of field you need

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In this featured video, Photoshop Principal Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes shows you how to apply focus stacking to a series of images that was shot at a very shallow depth of field. The resulting image has a much larger depth of field than any of the source photos. Focus stacking is probably one of the unknown gems in Photoshop. At first glance, it really seems like this is a highly specific tool that you probably never need, right? Well, not so fast. What this tool allows you is to take a series of photos with a shallow depth of field and varying focus (different elements are in focus in each of the images) and combine them seamlessly into a single image where everything is in focus.
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How to create HDR images using only Photoshop layer masks

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Creating an HDR image is typically involved with a quite time-consuming workflow that consists of merging, tone-mapping and post-processing, possibly spanning several different software programs. But especially if you are creating a night HDR, there is a much simpler and quicker way of doing it, and your final image will also look more natural. In this excerpt from my video course Mask It Like a Pro! I will show you this technique that works by creating luminosity masks straight from the images themselves and using these masks to reveal only the well-exposed parts of your exposure series.
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How to fix your underexposed photos in Photoshop

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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.
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When to Save As What - Photoshop file formats explained

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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.
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How to recover highlight details using luminosity masks

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Luminosity masking is a technique by which you can create layer masks from a photo based on the brightness (luminosity) values of its pixels. Such a mask can be used to add adjustments only to the bright parts of an image without touching the dark tones at all (or vice versa). In this excerpt from my video course "Mask It Like a Pro!" I will show you how to use luminosity masks to get back the details in a washed-out sky. We will first create a luminosity mask. Then, we will use a Levels adjustment and the Lasso tool on the mask to refine it so that it only reveals the sky. Finally, we will add a targeted Curves adjustment layer with that mask to really pull out the details in the sky.
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Cheetyr - Find any Photoshop shortcut in a split second

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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.
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How to integrate text into your photos in Photoshop

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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.
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4 Essential layer masking tools in Photoshop

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Layer masking is one of the most essential skills when you are using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. In this article, I will give you an overview of the most important tools that Photoshop provides for creating layer masks. I will quickly run you through the basics of layer masks before we go on to the more advanced techniques like channel masks and paths. This will give you a set of tools that you can use in many different situations.