A large part of the creative process in photography is in the post processing of our images. This is where we turn our vision into reality. This can mean many things, from minor enhancements to bring the colour and contrast back into the image, to blending of multiple exposures to reflect the large dynamic range of a scene to creating an image using elements from several different images.
When we first take up photography, we’re very keen to learn everything that we can. In the process of learning we’re bombarded with information from everywhere, whether through workshops, YouTube, Facebook, blogs and so on. We’re seeking information to help us learn and to improve our photography, and we don’t know what we don’t know, and I was no different.
We seek information from the technical information on how to take an image, to the compositional information on how to “correctly” compose an image to the editing and how we get the most out of our images. We soak it all in, practice what we’ve learned and start creating images that we’re proud of. This whole process, depending on how much time you invest, can take years of practice. We might even end up being one of those that offers advice on the best way to shoot, compose and edit images.
The second week of our road trip has been full of laughs, meeting some lovely locals and photographers and some unbelievable scenery. Tiffany has earned herself a couple of new nicknames on this leg of the journey, Skippy and Pebbles, and still have us laughing and hopefully will continue to have us laughing for the foreseeable future.
We packed up our camp in the Stirling Ranges and made our way to Albany, one of my favourite spots in the Great Southern of West Australia. I often compare Albany to the Sydney area without all the people and buildings, which makes it an absolutely stunning region of the state to visit and explore.
Today was the big day where we headed off on Our Great Australian RoadTrip for 3.5 months. We had so much to do before we left it was really hard to get excited, however once the car was packed and we were sitting in it, the anticipation and excitement became very real.
Our first destination was Dunsborough WA. But of course when you are not in a structured working environment, you don’t realise that there is a Public Holiday on your first week away, Dunsborough and Yallingup were booked out, so Busselton RAC Big 4 Peppermint Holiday Park it is.
In the past we would create Luminosity Masks by creating an initial selection then through the use of calculations or a few clicks of the keyboard reduce that selection by 50% (i.e. Lights 1 – Lights 2). Then for each subsequent reduction we would repeat the process. This would give us about 5 to 6 useful masks. This tutorial covers a technique which means we are only having to create our initial mask, then using a levels adjustment we can restrict our masks and no longer be limited to 50% reductions, instead being able to create an infinite number of variations to our masks.
07-July-15: Puppet Warp To Straighten or Stretch Objects in Photoshop
Often we have objects in our images that have been distorted either by the way we photographed them, or caused by the distortion in our lenses. We can often correct this by using the Lens Correction tools available to us in Photoshop, Lightroom, Camera Raw or other editing software.We also have tool such as Free Transform or Perspective Crop, but often these tools don’t work for us and cause other issues within our images. From time to time we have the need to stretch or straighten objects within our images and don’t want the tools we use to effect other areas of our images.
The Puppet Warp tool in Photoshop will allow us to work on just isolated areas of our images while having little to no impact on other areas of our image. We do this by setting anchor points in our images to prevent them from moving while we make our adjustments. In this video tutorial I will show you how you can stretch / straighten areas of your image using the puppet warp tool.
I was thinking back to my first few months with a camera in my hand and remembered how complicated it all seemed. For the life of me I could never take the image properly, it was either to dark, to light or the subjects was blurry. I found this so frustrating that it made me wonder whether it was worth continuing as it all seemed too hard.
The problem that I had was I didn’t understand exposure. I knew that shutter speed, aperture and ISO were the important settings, but I didn’t really know what they did or how they affected my images. Most importantly I had no idea that they actually all worked together to give me my final result. It all seems like a bad dream now, and I can’t believe that I ever had an issue, but the fact is when you first pick up a camera it’s all foreign and can be quite confronting and humbling.
Now you would think that having an Engineering background would make all the difference, but the fact of the matter was I never thought about photography in a technical way. But once I decided that if I was ever going to take control of my camera instead of my camera frustrating me I knew that I had to learn how all of these things worked, which is what I did. In this article I am going to discuss ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture and how all of them work together. Most importantly I am going to show you where it all finally clicked / came together for me. When this happened my photography immediately jumped many levels and I have never looked back.
After creating my previous video on placing a watermark on an image, I had several people contact me and ask how to create the watermark to begin with. So I decided to put this tutorial together on creating a watermark in Photoshop.
I also show you how to turn your watermark into a custom brush so that it can easily be applied to your images.
21-Mar-15: Creating a Custom Vignette in Photoshop
To often I see vignettes created in image that are either square or elliptical and are very recognisable. Although from time to time having a visible vignette can be desirable, for the most part it is something that you want to avoid. The intention of using a vignette on your images is to lead the viewers eye into a scene or directly to a place in the image that we want them to look.
In this tutorial I show you how to create your own custom vignettes, that they viewers won’t know is there, therefore not distracting them from looking where you want them to look. I show the use of a few different selection tools to set the area you want to keep light or darken and then how we can use the Curves Adjustment layer and a luminosity blending mode to ensure that we are not effecting the colours in our images but just the brightness.