One of the questions I get a lot comes from new photographers wanting to know whether they should be working in Photoshop or Lightroom. I particularly enjoy their deer-caught-in-the-headlights look when I reply, “Both!” While it’s true that either of these incredibly powerful Adobe tools could, in theory, provide photographers with everything they need to edit their images, I really am a firm believer that a strong workflow rests on a solid foundation of both PS & LR. Having said that, though, learning just one of these applications can be a daunting task for even the most dedicated photographer. Learning two can seem insurmountable.
Do you ever notice how sophisticated and easily accessible futuristic technology can look at times when watching a movie? Just to throw an example out there, remember how subtly awesome it was when all Tony Stark needed to do to paint his armor was ask Jarvis to add some hot rod color? As advanced as technology is these days, Louis C.K. was right; we’re a bit spoiled when it comes down to how much we expect. Just the other night, I had a friend complaining that he was stuck on 4G because there wasn’t any LTE in the area.
The bottom line is that efficiency and speed both play a big role in how technology moves forward. As simple as it is to take your phone out and press a button to show the screen, we ended up finding a way to make pushing it unnecessary. As simple as it is to type in a password to buy an app, we replaced it with a fingerprint sensor. And as efficient as it is to Photoshop your pictures to change the weather, we’ve now found a way to let an algorithm do the job for us.
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.
It’s been about three months since its last update, and now the next release candidate for Adobe Camera Raw is here. If you’ve been waiting on support for the Panasonic LUMIX GH4, Camera Raw 8.5 now gives you the opportunity to do so. Along with it, a few more cameras from Olympus, Nikon, and Canon are added into the mix, receiving raw image support in the program; if you’re just getting into photography, editing the raw image files is one of the best things you can possibly do for your photos, so GH4 users out there should definitely give this update a look.
Unfortunately, like the last time, there’s no word on an update coming to Lightroom at all, so we’ll have to wait and see where that goes. Adobe Camera Raw 8.5 RC is now out for both Photoshop and Creative Cloud. Check out what else is featured – including new lens profiles, bug fixes, and software modifications – after the jump.
Instagram hasn’t really been much of a photography app, lately. When it started off, it was a great way for the average smartphone user to give their photos a vintage Polaroid look. But with how popular it’s gotten, especially after its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram’s been keeping more of a focus on social networking than it has on actual photo editing. Today, a new update just released for the app that might change all that.
The latest update, Instagram 6.0, brings improvements to what’s already there – straightening, cropping, rotating – and then it adds on more. This time, the social networking-focused app is coming with tools that have been essential for any photographer up to this point; with 6.0, we get options to adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, and more. No word yet on how those features compare in quality to their counterparts in apps like Snapseed, VSCO, or Afterlight, but considering it’s one of the fastest growing social networking apps out there, it’s great to see Instagram bringing tools like this to mainstream attention.
Apple products: love them or not, there’s no denying that they’ve made a tremendous impact on photography today. If you don’t own an iPhone, chances are you most likely own a Mac. If you own neither then you’re in more of a minority than you’d think. Considering how important the company’s become to the photography world in general, the news that came out of Apple’s WWDC keynote today is set to make another mark in how many of us deal with our work. As I’m writing this post, Craig Federighi of Apple is wrapping up the announcement of the new iOS 8. Both the mobile operating software, along with the new update to Mac OSX, were both just recently introduced at the keynote, and the changes they’re bringing to how we work with photos on our Apple devices are far overdue.
If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you already know two very important things about me and my approach to photography. The first– getting it right in the camera– is certainly not unique, but I truly believe that a unicorn loses its wings and the Earth briefly stops rotating on its axis every time the words, “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop” pass someone’s lips. The other has become a bit of a mantra in my photography classes– Photoshop is a tool, not a crutch. A bad photo is a bad photo– no amount of Photoshop is going to change that. But working a little bit of Photoshop magic can, in fact, bring that extra creative dimension to the work if used carefully. When I look at a photo, my first reaction should be, “Nice image.” It shouldn’t be, “Nice editing.” Having said that, however, I recently learned a couple of easy tricks for adding light to almost any scene in Photoshop.
I just got an email confirming my press registration for this week’s Photoshop World Conference and Expo, and I’m actually fascinated by the notion of an annual convention built around a computer program. On the other hand, I suppose I shouldn’t really be all that surprised. While there are other editing options available, Photoshop and Lightroom have pretty much become the standard by which all others are judged. And let’s face it– to a certain extent we’re all a bunch of geeks. We obsess about our cameras, lights, and other gear, so why not that important final link in the chain– the software that puts the finishing touches on our vision? In fairness, all of this quasi-philosophical rambling comes on the heels of a busy weekend of shooting, combined with an extraordinarily short turnaround time on the editing. Three days of shooting ended at 8:00 last night and the images were delivered to the client at 6:00 this morning. If shown as a mathematical equation, my current state would be probably be something like:
(Creative Overload + Sleep Deprivation) ÷ Caffeine Intake = Stuff I Wonder About
Slowly, but surely, the worlds of cinema and photography are abandoning film as a medium. In the consumer market, it’s arguable that film is already wiped from existence as a business; film is hard to find and higher in price as a result because of the small market that still demands it. In cinema, it’s endangered. A decent amount of directors still stick to it, but the production companies need to be ready for the budget cut the cost will take.
The problem is that there’s still an interest in film photography, but it simply takes too much effort to pursue for the general consumer. At the end of the day, however, it’s the vintage feel film gives that most people would like to emulate. VSCO‘s been offering solutions for that for a while now. They’ve been selling plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe CR, Photoshop CC, and Aperture; each plug-in comprises a variety of filters that literally emulate different types of film. As weird as that sounds, it works. VSCO’s great at what it does, and they just released the newest addition to their film packs yesterday.[Read More…]
I don’t think there’s a whole lot of debate over the premise that Photoshop has become the gold standard in photo editing software. I’m pretty sure that my earliest use of Photoshop goes back to Version 3 or 4. Now deeply entrenched in CS6, I’ve decided to sit tight for a while. If I actually stopped to think about the relatively small percentage of PS’s full functionality that I actually use on a daily basis, I might also have to stop and ponder why I’m not still using an earlier version. Features have obviously evolved over Photoshop’s lifetime, but much of my workflow remains the same. So, in the absence of some huge development that I just can’t ignore, PSCS6 and I are doing just fine together for the time being. Also, while I see the potential benefits of The Cloud– immediate updates, etc.– there’s still a part of me that remains more than just a little pissed off about the new subscription format. There seems to be a new deal every time I turn around, and nobody seems capable of giving me a straight answer to the question of how much it costs when the discount period comes to an end.
It would seem that I’m not alone.