My Photography Workflow With Smugmug, WordPress & The Creative Cloud



The first thing I want to say is that this blog has taken nearly a year to put together. Not through a lack of will power but mostly as I thought it fair to write a viewpoint after extensively using the set up giving me more time to fine tune the system.

This is long blog, I would suggest getting the coffee ready now before starting !! Also… I guess I should be upfront about my relationships with SmugMug & Adobe – I am part of the Community Pro team in the UK and have done a talk for SmugMug at the photography show and do use the affiliate program. However, I all genuineness, I do love the products that these companies provide and this blog is only about how I use them.

The workflow is built around 3 key elements , or 3 keyneeds. I want my images where I need them, looking good at all times and safe. The Creative Cloud (Photoshop & Lightroom), SmugMug & WordPress combination seems to this for me overall and most of the time. It is designed to be a multi-use Photography Workflow. While it is not the only way I work and it is not the most simple, it does work and is the safest workflow. Sometimes, just using Adobe Bridge & Photoshop then Dropbox or posting a DVD of images can work too! If your’e new to SmugMug – this is the place to get your questions sorted or put them at the bottom of this blog and I shall try to get to them as and when I see them, or any questions for that matter. We will also not go into how to edit photos or how to move or process images though LR or PS in great detail. Feel free to check out my retouching blogs for them

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Humor: This Diagram Shows The Creative Fear Of Committing Work


Committing work is not an easy task. Hitting that save button for the last time and shipping your work may be frightening. Your work is leaving your hands and it no longer under your control. Whatever greatness or mistakes that you’ve put in are there forever now.

I guess, this is why committing to a final version of a file is so hard and creatives go back to editing their files again and again. This phenomenon should probably have an entry in the DSM next to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Maybe something like RCS (Re-editing Compulsion Syndrome).

This funny diagram by @akshar (Akshar Pathak) and @theyashbhardwaj perfectly illustrates this fear of commitment (and also a shocking lack of file versioning system).  While originally for designers, this applies to any photographer too. Can you relate?


The Peter-Coulson Look – A Lighting Exercise


As someone who describes himself a “Facebook Enthusiast”, I have a lot of photographers in my timeline. Probably 100 are constantly popping up, some of them are friends, while others are in that list because of their work. Peter Coulson  belongs to the latter part, and he is somewhat special even there, because I always recognize his style. Every time he’s popping up I think: Yes, that must be a Coulson or – even better – I would say to myself “wow, that image is awesome” what do you know, it’s Coulson’s.

So I tried to re-create that signature look.

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5 Tips and Tricks For Creating A Gown From Flowers


Yes yes I know, There is another post about  expanding a dress” (thanks for remembering), this is however, a totally different…kinda…mostly…it is, you guys.  You see that post was about taking what is already a dress and showing how to make it larger and more glorious.  The knowledge I’m going to attack you with today is about creating a dress from scratch out of something that was not a dress…at all.

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Affinity Photo Out Of Beta – $50, no subscription


If you don’t like the Adobe licensing model, or if you are just craving for an alternative, Affinity Photo just went live today. Affinity photo is a complete photo editing software similar to photoshop in features but redesigned completely. If you recall, we took Affinity Photo for a test drive and while the overall impressions were pretty good, it still needed some polishing. Hopefully, now that it’s out of beta (still mac only), all the small issues have been ironed out.

As far as costs go, Affinity really sticks it to Adobe with a $49.99 price tag ($39.99 for the next two weeks) and one of the most prominent bullets on their launch video is No Subscription (but you still get free updates). Hit the jump for the full feature list and kick off video.

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Watch As An Old, Damaged Photo Is Masterfully Brought To Life


Colorizing monochrome photographs is nothing new.  In fact, photographers were hand-coloring photos as far back as the 1800s.  But, one of my gripes has always been how artificial and “flat” the images always looked.  Even with Photoshop, many people seem content to just slap a single color over an area and call their work done, but color in the real world is not so simple.

Retoucher Joaquin Villaverde released an excellent video of a digital restoration and coloring of an old, damaged photograph in which he restored the image to its former glory and then brought it to life with meticulous color, yielding a beautiful end result.

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Photoshop CC 2015 Major Bug: Healing Brush Creates Salt Lines Pixel Artifacts

Adobe only just released Photoshop CC 2015 and it looks like they have what we used to call a show stopper when I was in the software industry. One of the changed Adobe made was to make the Healing Brush work faster, but it looks like that change has some crucial negative impact.

Luce from Luce Retouch recently uploaded a video showing that using the Healing Brush tool with Photoshop CC 2015 created an irritating salt-lines effect.

The affect got its name because it looks like someone left some water drops to dry on the image and it left a salty residue. (I wonder if that would be come saltgate…..)

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Applying Photoshop’s Dehaze On a Haze-Free Image Yields Spectacular Results


The latest release of Adobe CC has brought with it a number of exciting updates to the world’s most popular image editing and creative publishing suite.  Among those updates is the new “dehaze” feature in both Lightroom and Photoshop Camera Raw.  While various techniques have perviously existed to accomplish the same thing, now users have a simplified and intuitive process for eliminating that annoying haze and breathing more life into their photos.

Though it is almost as interesting to see what applying dehaze on an (almost) haze free photo will do. Reddit user Mefaso shared his experiment and I have to admit that it is quite awesome if not over done.

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Step by step guide for Composite Product Photography


feature image composite

Usually, I prefer to get stuff in camera (even if it means light painting my subject). But sometimes Lighting or space limitations will make getting the picture in-camera hard or simply not worth the effort. When such situation strikes go for a composite. If you only have little gear, this technique will also help you get a more professional look in your images.

To demonstrate this point, I used my girlfriends Macbook air and my Fuji Xe-2.

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[NSFW] Illusions of the Body Shows How Lighting And Pose Impacts Beauty


If you feel that magazines show beauty standard that is hard to match up to, you are probably right, aside the massive photoshopping that sometimes goes into the image creation process, the models are being aided by flattering lighting and calculated poses. Both of which have tremendous impact on the look of the human body.

Photographer Gracie Hagen chose to challenge that practice with Illusions of the Body. She does so by exposing us to two different exposures of the same person. In one exposure, the person is beautifully lit, and its pose is crafted to perfection. The other exposure is juxtaposed: horrible lighting and bad pose. The result help the viewers to understand that even the prettiest of persons are getting ‘some help’ in their magazine photos.

We asked Gracie a few questions, which you can find after the jump.

[The series is full frontal nude, so only hit the jump is you are not offended by frontal nude.]

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