Balancing lighting with Gradient Mask in Photoshop

Gradient Masks

Have you ever tried to edit a photograph that was too dark in one area, but too light in another? Trying to lighten the dark area blows out your highlights, and trying to darken the light area gets rid of all the information in your shadows! Luckily, the Masks feature in Adobe Photoshop makes editing these types of photographs a breeze. Continue Reading

Creating a Muted Black “Film Effect” in Lightroom

With the rise in popularity of editing programs that make your digital photographs look like film (VSCO anyone?), this look has become so widespread that it’s hard to look through a friend’s wedding album without seeing the telltale muted blacks. While the act of making blacks appear “muted” is not difficult in itself, there are a handful of steps you need to go through in order to recreate this effect in Adobe Lightroom. Continue Reading

Understanding Adobe Camera Raw


So you’ve finally made the switch to shooting RAW. Congratulations! Fortunately, this will make post-processing much, much easier. Unfortunately, editing RAW images can be difficult if you don’t know where to start.

What are the benefits of shooting RAW anyway? While RAW photographs do take up more memory, they also capture more information. Let’s say you were shooting a portrait on a bright, sunny day, yet when you go to edit it you realize that the highlights are completely blown out, and you can’t get any information out of them. Not only that, but your white balance is totally off! If you shoot RAW, you have a lot more wiggle room when it comes to exposure and white balance, not to mention myriad other things.

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How to whiten teeth in Photoshop

Don’t you just hate it when you have a great image with a beautiful smile but the teeth are just a shade too yellow? I often get asked “how to whiten teeth in photos?” Most teeth have a natural yellow tint to them, and when combined with special lighting and a custom white balance even the best teeth can look a bit unflattering. Thankfully there is a quick solution to this problem and today I am going to show you how to whiten and brighten teeth in Photoshop in just a few quick and simple steps. Continue Reading

How to photograph fireworks

Most of us enjoy watching fireworks. They are a beautiful and exhilarating spectacle, and as with most beautiful things we want to capture them on photo and video to preserve their glory and share it with others. But for many people who do not venture beyond Auto mode in photography shooting fireworks can be a real challenge, since that’s one of the few instances where knowledge of a full manual mode is required. Thankfully, shooting fireworks is not an overly complicated process to learn and we will break it down step by step in this tutorial. Continue Reading

How to determine age of a Canon lens

Determine Canon lens age

Have you ever wondered how old is your Canon lens? I often get asked if it’s possible to determine the age of a Canon lens. If you buy a new lens from an authorized dealer, the chances are, the lens was manufactured fairly recently. So if you bought your lens new, you have a good idea how old your lens is. However, most people who buy used lenses really want to know how old a lens is without solely relying on seller’s information. The lens’ manufacturing date can give a rough estimate of how long the lens has been in use for, even if you factor in the shipping and warehouse storage times. Fortunately, Canons has been stamping date codes on their lenses since 1960 and you can pinpoint your lens’s production date, if you know how to decode it. In this quick tutorial I will show you exactly how to decode these date codes on older lenses as well as the new serial numbers. Continue Reading

How to Remove Moire in Photoshop

Moiré pattern is typically created when two grids are overlaid at an angle. In video and photography, the main grid is the sensor which records the image. The second grid can be anything from fine fabric to architecture patterns. When these two grids interact at a certain angle and distance from each other they can create a moiré pattern. These patterns manifest themselves as ugly colorful waves on fine texture areas of an image. Fortunately, most camera manufactures place anti-aliasing filters in front of digital sensors, which greatly reduces moiré occurrence. However, because these occurrences are so rare, many photographers do not even know that these annoying “colorful waves” are called moiré. Once in a while, in specific situations, virtually any camera will inevitably create an image with moiré effect. Unfortunately, moiré pattern is not visible through the viewfinder and because of the way most resize algorithms work; you may not even notice moiré effect on the preview screens. Most of the time you will only see it on your photos when it’s already too late to correct it optically. The good news is that it is possible to remove moiré in Photoshop. It is also possible to get rid of moiré pattern in other applications, such as Lightroom and Capture One 4 Pro, but for the purposes of this tutorial I will only focus on Adobe Photoshop CS6. Continue Reading

Photoshop CS6 Preferences Overview

Adobe Photoshop CS6 is a powerhouse image editing program full of all kinds of bells and whistles. Whether you are a completely new to Photoshop or you are a seasoned master it is always important to set Photoshop’s preferences to fit your equipment and style to avoid any complications and make sure that the program runs for you as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Some people might start Photoshop for the first time and run with default preferences without ever looking or changing any of the settings, but if you are serious about working in Photoshop and getting the most out of that experience I strongly recommend at least quickly going through the preferences and checking if everything is set to the way you would like it to be. You may not need to change any preferences at the beginning, but as you get more familiar with Photoshop and have a solid workflow you may realize that changing some preferences might improve and speed up your methods. Continue Reading

Understanding blending modes in Photoshop

One of the easiest and fastest ways to tweak and enhance photos in Adobe Photoshop is by using various available blending modes. Understanding blending modes in Photoshop is essential for image editing mastery. In theory, explanation of functions of all the different blending modes may sound a bit complicated but in practice it is a lot easier. Furthermore, since applying these blending modes is very easy, experimenting with different modes is fun and easy as well. In this overview I will go over different groups of blending modes, what each mode is designed to do and general application of each one. Once you get a hand of it, I strongly encourage you to try and practice with blending modes in various editing situations to help you understand them better and achieve very nice effects. Continue Reading