Monday, May 01, 2017

Camera Raw - Great NEW Preview Tool

Like to use Camera Raw? You might of missed this great little Preview tool in Camera Raw.
While you are editing, take a look at the very bottom of the screen. There is a wonderful little Before/After viewer to allow you to see your original work and the changes you are making.
It has 4 different Preview options available. Choose from:
  • Side by Side
  • Over/Under
  • Split
  • and even an Overlay
Keep clicking the icon, to go back to its default view. This preview tool allows you to see what the image looked like before making the adjustments.
This is a great little tool that you'll not want to miss!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Nothing better than a total eclipse!

Looking for a new Photoshop project?
Having been to 3 total eclipses in my lifetime, the idea of having one right in my own backyard is beyond my wildest dreams.

Start planning now for the total eclipse coming right here for us!
You'll want to be in the path for totality. However, to enjoy the experience just a bit longer, the closer you are to the center of the path, the longer you can enjoy the beauty of totality.

Click here for a path with information about how long you can experience totality depending on your location.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting my camera equipment ready now.

Friday, February 10, 2017

High Dynamic Range Basics

Our eyes see much more than our camera. The technical term you may have heard of is High Dynamic Range or HDR. This is why cameras have a bracketing feature to capture a range of exposures that our eyes can see and our cameras have trouble capturing. 
With several exposure versions of the same shot, you’ll have several options to guarantee you have the right exposures. Be careful when using the HDR tool in Photoshop. You can push the limits too much making the photo look unreal. This may not be a bad thing if you are going for the dramatic look instead of realistic.

You should take between 3-7 photos when using the bracketing feature in your camera. And of course, unless you are a statue made of concrete, you'll need a tripod to hold your camera steady.
Here is some more information about bracketing.

If you don't use the bracketing feature, try manually adjusting the exposure and take a few shots. Make sure you under expose one,  get a shot with correct exposure, then take a photo that is over exposed. This way, you're sure to get a correct exposure of everything in your shot. You need at least 3 photos.

Next, in Photoshop do the following:
 File > Automate > Merge to HDR Pro. You'll be asked to find and load your photos.
Next you'll get a screen that looks like the following. There is a menu that will allow you to try various settings that Photoshop offers. Feel free to try them all just to see what they do. These settings are just there to get you started. You don't need to let any of these settings be your finished product.
When you find something close to what you want, use the settings menu to make further adjustments to bring out or hide the areas of the photo that you want. As shown below, there are several adjustments that you can make to further tweak for your final results.

Then, after making adjustments, you can take a bunch of average photos and end up with truly dynamic photo that looks like this.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Photoshop - Easy way to create special Text Effects!

I love easy and awesome.
Here is a really easy way to overlay an image on text for a great special effect.
 Here I have my background image of stars, my text layer in the  middle, and the moon image I want to put onto my text on the top layer.
 Hold down the alt/opt key between the the top layer and text layer to create a clipping path of the image to the text. You'll see the mouse icon change between layers then just click.
If desired, you can add a layer style to your text to enhance your text even more. In my example, I used Layer > Layer Style - Bevel and Emboss and Drop Shadow.
Easy, and awesome.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Fonts Galore!

Fonts add a lot to your image. The font itself can make a statement or set a mood. There are even seasonal fonts to customize your image for any occasion.

Need or want more fonts?
Make sure that your Creative Cloud is active.
Click on the option bar  and select the down arrow next to the font name.
You'll see the "Add fonts from Typekit" option to click on.


Select the font you want and click on "Use fonts". I selected "Hucklebuck" in the case.

I now have Hucklebuck available in my font list.

Monday, October 10, 2016

New features in Liquify!

Just when you thought the Liquify tool couldn't get any better, the latest updates in CC take Liquify to an all new level of usability and fun.
Photoshop's Liquify tool is now "face aware". What that means is when you decide to edit a nose, Photoshop knows where the nose, eyes, ears, mouth, etc. are and is ready to help you make subtle changes.

I wanted to give Bob here a little bit more of a small and widen the eyes just a bit. Instead of having to grab the proper tool and start editing, I just selected the mouth and eye option in the new tool panel that you get with Liquify.

Some of these new options include editing for the eyes, nose, mouth, and face shape.
If there is more than one face in the photo, you can even tell Photoshop which face to edit.

The Liquify tool has just become more user friendly and a big time saver when I want to use it!

Here's more about the new features in Liquify from Adobe: