How to Retain Highlight and Shadow Details for Print.

How to Use the Targeted Adjustment Tool on the Curves Adjustment Layer, to Get the Widest Tonal Range for Your Prints When you are editing your photographs to be viewed on your computer or to be uploaded onto a server to be see by the world on various devices that have access the internet, from desktop to hand-held then highlight and shadow detail while important is not exactly crucial. Often simply auto-adjusting brightness/exposure is usually good enough for viewing images on a computer monitor, especially since you should upload images optimized for websites…Read more …

Reducing Haze from Landscape Photographs

Reducing Haze using a “Selective Colour” adjustment layer. When photographing landscapes, atmospheric haze can be quite problematic, especially when photographing very grand, open landscapes with mountains and/or large bodies of water. Depending on your subject matter, even on the clearest of days haze can still be present, and it may lessen the quality of your photograph. Haze only really effects the objects in the distance, but it can have a over all softening effect on photographs, even when you use a smaller aperture on you lens in order to create more depth in…Read more …

Straighten Horizon Line

Three easy methods for straightening your photographs. It is very easy to end up with a crooked photograph, especially when you are shooting hand-held. Even the most seasoned pro photographers make photographs that need to be straightened, usually this is because you are so focused on the subject, trying to a capture a moment that the background becomes a lesser priority and you end up with a photograph that is a little wonky. The image itself may be stunning, but needs a little correction in order for the horizon line of the background…Read more …

Alternative Photographic Processes Part 2

Photography trends, techniques, and processes, part 2 In part one of Alternative Photographic Processes , I wrote about high dynamic range imaging ( HDR ), cross-processing, painting with light and Liquid Light photographic emulsion, which are a few of the photographic trends and techniques I have seen used over the years. In this the second of the two part series I will tell you about one of my favourite photographic processes of all time, Polaroid transfers. I will also discuss what is probably the most important tool for photographers since the invention of…Read more …

Selective Sharpening

Selective sharpening for print output. Sharpening photographs for prints is more subtle practice than sharpening JPEG or PNG files for the world wide web. Only certain areas of a photograph may require sharpening. A portrait or beauty photograph will most likely need selective sharpening, perhaps on the mouth, nose, cheek bones, hair, or eyebrows, and most importantly the eyes. You may want to sharpen around the eyes, like the upper and lower eyelids and the eyebrows, but want it to be less sharp than the iris and pupils. Both eyes may need to be…Read more …

Vignetting

Vignetting Photographs for Artistic Effect. Vignetting to put it simply is the darkening of the outside edges of a photograph. In photography there are many types of vignetting, mechanical vignetting, optical vignetting, natural vignetting, pixel vignetting and finally vignetting for artistic effect. All the different types of vignetting ( excluding vignetting for artistic effect ) are not considered desirable and are caused by objects on the lens ( mechanical ),  in the lens ( optical ), by light fall off ( natural ), or in the case of pixel vignetting this can happen…Read more …

Photoshop Performance Preferences

How to get the best performance out of Photoshop. The first thing everyone should do after installing Photoshop is set up their performance preferences. On a PC  go to menu "Edit", "Preferences" > "Performance", or "Photoshop" "Preferences" > "Performance" if you are using a Mac. The fastest way to access preferences is to use the keyboard command CTRL + K which will bring up the general preferences dialog box, then select "Performance" from the menu on the left side of the dialog box. Memory Usage In the "Performance" dialog window you will have…Read more …

Burning and Dodging, Non-Destructive Technique using a Fill Layer

How to burn and dodge in Photoshop. Back in the days before computers, blogs, digital images, and electricity ( well..., okay maybe not that far back ), photographers used a variety of special techniques in the darkroom to help their negatives reach the maximum in potential on photographic paper. Probably the most popular and most important technique was burning and dodging. The purpose of burning and dodging is to bring out tonally the maximum potential of the photograph on the paper that you are printing on. If you printed a photograph using a…Read more …

Padding Your Portfolio.

Take risks in your photography, but not with your career. When I wrote Photographers who plagiarized other photographers,  I wrote about my personal experience of having my ideas stolen and my work being copied verbatim.  So now I want to talk about what could be worse? In this article the topic is padding your portfolio. Early in my career a make-up artist I had worked with told me I should pad my portfolio. What does padding ( also called stacking ) your portfolio mean? Basically it means taking tear-sheets ( pages ) of…Read more …

Brightening and Whitening Teeth

[ Video Tutorial ] How to use adjustment layers with quick mask in Photoshop. Brightening and whitening teeth using the quick mask with a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Remember to be careful to not go to far in your retouching. It is better to be understated than to have badly over done your photo editing. Sometimes when it looks good it is not , so take a break from looking at the image and come back to it with fresh eyes. Keyboard shortcuts used q for Quick Mask Ctrl + J ( Command +…Read more …