Using Dodge and Burn techniques

Light is always key factor in photography. The biggest challenge any photographer faces is acquiring skill to control and modify light. While we usually take light for granted in our daily lives, it takes years of practice and experience to actually recognize the flow of light, reflections of different surfaces and dispersion of light, to be able to frame the camera and capture that awe inspiring shot. This is one of the main skills that separate a professional photographer from a guy/gal with a camera who just takes snapshots. But even the most skillful photographer cannot always nail down lighting, whether it is because there is no way to control light or perhaps, there is not enough equipment, time or experience to modify it. Furthermore, often the lighting is perfect but there are still visual elements that cast shadows or some areas that are too bright, which reduce the true beauty of an image. This is where post-processing comes in. One of most useful techniques to control light is called Dodge and Burn. Yes, I know they sound like things you might do during a house fire but in photography these are actually steps that turn a good images into exceptional ones. Virtually all of the high fashion and beauty images you see in ads and magazines have had some level of dodge & burn technique applied to them, but it doesn’t only apply to these styles, many other photos can also benefit from this technique. This is why I would like to dedicate this tutorial to all the different ways you can employ dodge & burn to improve the look of your photos. Continue Reading

Create custom panel for Adobe Photoshop in Configurator

If you often retouch photos using Adobe Photoshop, you will most likely spend most of your time using the same tools and filters to achieve your final results. However, all of these different tools and commands are spread all over the program. And if you tend to process large amount of files, these mere second it takes you to look for different commands can turn into wasted minutes or even hours. Many Photoshop users are not aware that there is a tool available from Adobe which lets you create custom panels for your convenience and workflow optimization. This program is called Adobe Configurator 3, it is free and easy to use. Today, I am going to go over all the steps you need to know to make your own custom panel and optimize your workflow by doing so. Continue Reading

Isolation methods in Photoshop

Isolation is one of the basic and yet one of the most important tasks you will have to learn in Photoshop. Whether you want to isolate an object on white background to make it look more appealing as stock photo, change the background of an image for a fashion catalog or make an amazing photo manipulation, you will need to learn how to create flawless isolations. This task can be as simple as selecting a few points to outline a shape or a more complicated hair isolation which takes time and requires numerous steps. This tutorial goes over several different techniques which are used by most professionals. Remember, you can always create a rough isolation on portfolio images but for an image to be accepted to a microstock agency or a well-known publication your isolation must be flawless. Continue Reading

Creating a book in Adobe Lightroom

If you ever wanted to create a portfolio, travel book or an eBook but didn’t know where to start or how to do it, Adobe Lightroom 4 offers a simple and easy way to create these books and even send them to be printed professionally. Adobe has partnered with to offer an easy way to make books matching numerous Blurb printing formats. You can change book size and quality and see the final price on the fly, right in Lightroom Book module. However, you are not required to use Blurb services to publish a book created in Lightroom, you can also export your project as PDF and print through other companies or publish it as an eBook for various digital tablets or other platforms. Continue Reading

How to quickly change eye color in Photoshop

Today, I would like to show you a quick and easy way to change eye color in Adobe Photoshop using Adjustments layers. This method doesn’t apply to eyes only, you can use it to change color of any element in your photo but eye color change is the most common practice so I will use it as an example. The main reason I would use an Adjustment layer for this technique is because it is non-destructive editing practice, as I have mentioned in Adjustment Layers article, so you can always go back to that layer and change its effect. Another reason I use it is because we deal with masks, which allows for easy selection, isolation and correction. Before I get too far into all the benefits of this technique, let’s just dive right into practice so you can see everything for yourself. Continue Reading

Using Adjustments Layers in Photoshop

When doing editing or any kind of retouching in Adobe Photoshop, you will most likely need to perform an adjustment of one kind or another. A large number of people use permanent adjustments by going to Image > Adjustments on the top Navigation bar and choosing a desired option. However, today I would like to discuss Adjustments layers. These Adjustments are non-destructive, meaning they do not physically change pixels of an image but rather use a Masking to affect other layers below. If you are not too comfortable with layers you can check out Introduction to Layers. Additionally, Adjustment layers can be altered anytime by simply double-clicking on it. They can also be completely removed without destruction to other layers and you can even save the file and edit Adjustments at a later time. Since Adjustments layers automatically use masking, you can also apply or remove effects by brushing over a part of your image. So without further ado let’s get down to implementation, explanation and overview of most useful Adjustments. Continue Reading

Set Up A Simple Portfolio Site With WordPress (Part 1)

You are a starting photographer. You’ve put together a decent portfolio and want to share it with your prospecting clients, but sending image attachments via Gmail or linking to your Flickr account isn’t going to help you look professional, so what do you do? Nowadays online presence is not just important for business; many people feel it is a minimum requirement.

Now, if you have absolutely no idea how websites work, or what is the difference between FTP and PHP, I highly suggest contacting your local Web Design Company or finding a freelance Web Developer to do the job for you. You will save yourself time and headaches at the cost of the developer’s fee (but make sure you hire somebody with good reviews and recommendations, since there are plenty of incompetent designers around). However, if you’re not afraid to use a search engine to solve a few simple problems, and are working with a very low budget, let’s say $50, you can set up a simple WordPress based website in just a few hours. Create a personal email and proudly direct people to your new portfolio website. Continue Reading

Most useful Photoshop shortcuts

Editing photos with Adobe Photoshop can be very time consuming. But if you focus on your workflow, you can quickly realize that most of the time spent during editing process goes to switching between different tools, navigating and zooming. To optimize and speed up this process Photoshop incorporates numerous keyboard shortcuts for majority of its functions. There are tons of these shortcuts and some of them may seem too complicated to remember. However, if you start practicing with simple shortcuts for the functions you use most often you’ll quickly get used to them and realize how much faster you can process your work. Continue Reading