Dear Adobe, I Want to Join The Creative Cloud, Please Help

Dear Almighty Adobe,

This is not a break up letter, you know I love you, but, I have questions going around in my head…. I really want to join the creative cloud, please help.

I love the idea of the Creative Cloud. Really, what’s not to love there. Laptop/desktop/tablet integration; instant updates; $10 for the photography plan. So why haven’t I moved yet. I actually consider moving almost daily. Well not daily, you know, but quite often. If you just made those really minor tweaks, I would hop over in an instant.

dear-adobe [Read more...]

12 Essential Photoshop Skills Every Photographer Should Know (With Video)

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“…If you’re saying in your head, ‘Oh, I’ll just fix that later in Photoshop,” stop what you’re doing and slap yourself as hard as you can.” –Zack Arias

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know that I’m a huge proponent of getting it right in the camera. Exposure, lighting, composition– all of it. As I tell my students, Photoshop is a tool, not a crutch. A bad photo is a bad photo, and no amount of post processing is going to miraculously turn it into a good photo. A good photo can very often be improved with a few well-placed tweaks and adjustments, but it’s just as easy to kill a perfectly fine photograph by going overboard in Photoshop. Still, though, photo editing is a fact of life and I think there are certain essential Photoshop skills that every photographer should know.

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Don’t Have a Polarizer? This Tutorial Just Might Convince You to Get One

Did you know that that when you use a polarizer in a wet forest, the color come out more vibrant because of the water’s effect through the lens?

Up until today, the only two things I knew about polarizers were that they make things go black when you put two together, and that they’re a feature in my American Optical Pilot Aviators (insanely affordable for their quality). Photographer Steve Perry, however, is so passionate about the polarizer that he made a ten minute long video tutorial over it. And don’t let that throw you off; this video doesn’t waste time. He spends ten straight minutes teaching you about polarizers, and it’s one of the most informative little pieces I’ve seen for a while now.

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Journalist Checks Beauty Concept By Having Herself Photoshopped In 40 Countries

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Over the time, we’ve seen many here-is-a-picture-how-can-you-shop-it projects, but something sets Before & After apart. In this project, journalist Esther Honig took her unedited image and had it Photoshopped by 22 individuals so far.

Honing sent her image to about 40 retouch artists at varying levels from amateur to pro, and asked them to retouch her photo (seen right after the jump), with a simple single directive: “make me beautiful“. Contact came via several freelancing channels (most notably Fiverr) so work has been committed at rates between $5 and $30. This is pretty cheap for a pro retouch, but still the wide selection of skill and geographical locations  provides a window into the concept of beauty as it is perceived in various regions of the world.

Honig shares that: [Read more...]

The Comprehensive And Contemplative Guide On Creating Magical Smoke Composites

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There is an old song that says that no good story ever started with the words “No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea [Watch this link, it has some pretty explicit music]. Anyhow,  I am not really sure if this is 100% accurate, but it definitely applies for my story today. I once drank a nice shot of Whiskey. Drinking Whiskey and smoking cigar. I kinda threw my head back and relaxed while enjoying the smoke swirling upwards. Ahhh…. What a nice swirl…… It was actually dancing its way up. I know that this is what incepted this ballerina photograph: [Read more...]

How To Do A 2.5D Parallax Animated Photo Effect Using Only Free Software

Blender Plane Object

I had been fiddling with creating these 2.5D parallax animated photos for quite a few years now, but there had recently been a neat post by Joe Fellows that brought it into the light again.

The reason I had originally played with the idea is part of a long, sad story involving my wedding and an out-of-focus camcorder that resulted in my not having any usable video of my wedding (in 2008). I did have all of the photographs, though. So as a present to my wife, I was going to re-create the wedding with these animated photos (I’m 99% sure she doesn’t ever read my blog – so if anyone knows her don’t say anything! I can still make it a surprise!). [Read more...]

Adobe Is Taking A Big Bite Into The Hardware Market, Competes With Wacom

Adobe's new hardware: Ink and Slide.

Adobe’s new hardware: Ink and Slide.

If you think Adobe, you think software. With the release of new iOS applications for iPad, Adobe today also announces new hardware to break into the market previously dominated by Wacom. With the release of a new stylus and digital ruler, Adobe has come out swinging by turning the iPad into a high definition graphics tablet.

Previously, Adobe have excelled in producing software and dominated within the photographic and design industries. Now, with new hardware, they are further cementing themselves as the leader of innovation. If you own an iPad already, no longer will you have to buy a graphics tablet in addition, which you likely use with Photoshop anyway. Instead, by using the free iOS apps, particularly Adobe Photoshop Mix, these two pieces of hardware allow you to expand your work into areas you may not have previously ventured with fine control in editing and design work around your photographs.

I find this bold step fascinating. Adobe has long had a firm foothold in the industry as a software giant, but now it is taking that extra step to go further. The hardware items are listed below:

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Adobe’s Major CC Update Puts The Photography Mobile Workflow Front And Center

Adobe's New Photographer's Plan

As part of Adobe’s 2014 Update Bonanza! taking place today, there are a number of changes that are tailored purely for photographers. Adobe has long been associated with desktop photography software, but the company has been taking notes and listening to its customers and tailoring the experience for their key market.

Despite initial criticisms of the Creative Cloud subscription service,  Adobe have embraced and furthered the software. This is largely with thanks to the access Creative Cloud has provided. Through the service, Adobe has been able to constantly drop updates and micro-features to customers as well as identify key areas of use and gather constant feedback to improve their services.

While there are many updates to other apps and the release of multiple iOS apps today, we will focus purely on those relevant for photographers. There are exciting changes to both photography applications within their Creative Cloud range as well as to their subscription formats.

Personally, I am still using Adobe Photoshop CS5. I purchased it while still a student (before I had to pay full price, although a trip from Australia to the US to buy the software may have been nice…) and I have never found a reason to justify the upgrade to CC services. Simply, the plans have never really enticed me for what I needed. They have always been a touch expensive for my liking (especially at first within Australia upon release) and offered me more than I have needed.

Today, I’m excited. With updates to Photoshop with very cool new functions that almost makes my CS5 look like a version of MS Paint with a nicer UI,  and a new plan that has been created purely for photographers who only want applications applicable to them, I know that I will soon be throwing my credit card at Adobe. Add to that Adobe’s break into the hardware market, and today is a big day for Adobe.

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Adobe Previews New Photoshop Tools Coming To Creative Cloud – Look For Focus Masks

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Adobe just started hinting on their next batch of releases for CC cloud coming up on the 18th, and a quick poke around youtube discovered this video revealing one of the new tools coming to Photoshop CC.

The video not only hints at the new feature, but fully demonstrates the new tool that allows the “automatic selection based off of pixels that are in focus verses out of focus.”
Check out Adobe’s video after the jump…

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This Tutorial Covers Everything You’ll Need to Know about Photoshop’s Clone Tool

The team at Phlearn put together a pretty detailed video tutorial over mastering the cloning tool, and they’re not wrong when they emphasize on how important it really is. I’ve been Photoshopping since I was in the 8th grade, and just from reading that you can probably already imagine the atrocities that came out of my, uh… “graphic design” skills back in the day. One thing I never really made myself learn was the cloning tool. It just looked too complex, and I thought using blur on pretty much everything was the way to go. At the time, I was basically under the impression that the Blur tool was all I needed because it does the same thing the Clone tool would do.

Please don’t make the mistakes I’ve done.

If you’re like me, and never really got the hang of a tool like that, do yourself a favor and check this video out. The seventeen minutes that comprise this tutorial aren’t wasted by any means at all; covering four different sections, Phlearn’s Aaron Nace gives us a broken down, professional, and intricate look into the software, and in the end it’s downright easy to follow along with.

[Via Phlearn]