In this tutorial, we will take a look at the 'Structure' panel in Aurora HDR to see how you can control the overall HDR look of your images.
Trey Ratcliff is arguably the most prolific and famous HDR photographer out there. He has influenced hundred thousands of photographers that strive to create photos like his. But if you ever wanted to participate in a live workshop from the man himself, you have to have really deep pockets. Such an adventure can easily cost you $5,000 or more (not including your trip to New Zealand). And it's probably worth every penny. But if you cannot spend this type of money, this workshop on video is for you. You will be there in the action with the other participants, as this was in large parts recorded during one of Trey's New Zealend workshops. But make no mistake about it, this is not a cheap smartphone recording with crappy sound. Not at all! Everything about this video is high-quality, and you're going to learn a ton of tips, tricks and techniques from the man himself.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to fade a local adjustment in and out in Lightroom without the need for a plugin. The software gives you the ability to change the strength of a local adjustment simply by moving your your mouse - a trick that most people do not know. Your editing work will get faster and much more powerful.
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.
If you have acquired some preset collections, it may not be easy to find the right preset for a given image. Usually, you will start at the top of the preset list and try each one. If you do this by pure intuition, you may quickly decide in favor of one preset, ignoring the rest of the list and then perhaps make some adjustments. However, if you are more systematic, you will want to optimize the outcome of this entire process and find the best preset for a given image. But how do you keep track of the good ones, and how do you narrow them down to find the one you like the most? If you are after the best preset for a particular image, you need an approach for culling the list of presets and reducing it to the best candidates. In this article, I will show you my favorite method for doing this. It involves creating a number of virtual copies of your image and applying the best candidate presets to them. This way, you can compare the candidates side-by-side and choose the one you really like best.
In Photoshop, there are many different techniques to dodge and burn an image. You may know the Dodge and the Burn tools that let you work directly on an image layer to darken or light areas selectively. The problem with the direct application of these tools is that they are destructive. This means, they directly change the image pixels and you cannot really undo or change them once they are applied. In this article, you will learn 4 different techniques by Photoshop masters for actually applying dodging and burning non-destructively. These are very important skills that will make your workflow faster, more flexible, and more robust, no matter which type of photography you are into.
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.
Panorama images have something intriguing. They give you a different view of the world around you - a view that does not resemble the way you see a scene with your own eyes or the way a single photograph depicts a scene. But creating a proper panorama is not easy. To avoid visible artifacts in the final image, you need some special equipment, and you need to set it up and use it purposefully. In this article, I am going to show you the right gear, the procedures for setting it up correctly and the techniques for shooting a high-quality panorama image.
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.
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.
Lighting a scene correctly and creatively so that you get the look you want from your shoot is the most important but at the same time the most difficult thing to do when you do studio work. The light that you throw onto a scene and the way you modify that light really makes or breaks your photos. In this video tutorial, Joel Grimes takes the mystery out of this process. He takes you through all the different options that you have today for lighting a scene and for modifying the light source you have. He explains these options and when to use which. Then he demonstrates how to use the different types of lighting and light modifiers in an actual shoot
One of the most basic things you need to get straight when taking a photograph is to make sure it's sharp - tack sharp! If you like a softer look in your images, you can always add that later in your post-production. But making a blurry image sharp is far more difficult and in many cases even imporssible. In the 3rd edition of his book Tack Sharp: A Step By Step Guide To Nailing Focus James Brandon teaches you all the different ingredients to creating the sharpest possible images. And there are many ingredients to this. It's not just about using a tripod.
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.
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.
The attempt to capture time with a still camera seems strange at first. After all, a normal photo is captured in a split second, right? But you may be surprised to find that there is a lot to be discovered when you go beyond that split second. In this book, Jim Goldstein provides you with a great introduction to capturing time in your photographs using a variety of techniques from long exposure, via light painting techniques to star trail photography, cinemagraphs and time-lapse photography. Read this review to learn more about the book.
Black & white photography is about much more than just taking the colors out of your images. In this post, I am reviewing Serge Ramelli's "The Art of Black & White with Lightroom" video tutorial. In his tutorial, Serge shows a number of different black & white techniques using different photos. He shows you how to use the different tools available in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro to turn different color photos into great black & white images. If you want to learn black & white photography with all its facets, you have to check out this tutorial.
Compositing is a photographic technique by which several image elements that are shot separately are combined into a single image. In this post, I will review a video tutorial by one of the most well-known professional photographers who practices this technique. Check out what the pros and cons of the tutorial are before you invest your money.
Real estate photographers are confronted with many situations where they need to capture the interior of a room and the view out of the windows in a single image. This is where HDR techniques can really help you capture such a scene and present this entire tonal range in your final image. However, real estate photos have to be as natural as possible. Therefore, tone mapping approaches are dismissed by most real estate photographers because getting a natural look with them is difficult. Photomatix Pro 5 now has a really effective and simple new method called Fusion/Real-Estate that lets you take full control over the tonal range of your images while keeping them as natural as possible. This video shows you how easy it is to apply this new method.
In this Hands-on Photo Tip, I will show you a really cool way to create a realistic-looking HDR image with a completely non-destructive workflow. We're going to use a feature in Photoshop CS6 that allows you to merge your source photos and bring the resulting 32 bit HDR image into Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom) to tone map it.