Non-destructive editing: how to use adjustment layers to fine-tune images

In this photo editing tutorial we’ll show you how to make non-destructive edits to your photos using versatile adjustment layers to selectively target and tweak the colours and tones of an image.

Non-destructive editing: how to use adjustment layers to fine-tune images

Photoshop Elements’ image-adjusting tools and commands are great for overcoming camera-related problems, which is just as well, because most photos will benefit from a little post-production tweaking to improve colour and tone.

Unlike the human eye, the camera isn’t as adept at dealing with high-contrast locations. For example, when shooting a landscape, your camera may struggle to get a balanced exposure due to the contrast between the bright sky and the ground. Elements can help to fix problems like this using adjustment layers.

These image-editing layers float above the original photo layer in the Layers panel, and you can turn them on and off to compare the edited shot with the original.


HandyActions-AOM-full-487-2Photoshop Elements is simply incomplete without your Swiss Army Knife for Elements: Graffi's Handy Actions! Handy Actions includes all the tools and extras only found in Photoshop - including Adjustment Layers like Exposure, Vibrance, Black and White & Selective color - more than 60 extra actions, tools, processes and timesavers!

Handy Actions includes a self-installing action pack set for Windows versions of Photoshop Elements and also includes a manual-install edition for Mac & Photoshop users


How to edit images non-destructively

Using a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter to add Drama to the Sky

In this Adorama video Bryan Peterson shows you how he uses a 10 stop neutral density filter to take an image from average, to dynamic. The filter basically just blocks light allowing you to make longer exposures. In this city skyline shot it changes how the clouds appear in the final image.

Filter mentioned in the video:

Other dPS articles about using ND filters:

[post syndicated from Digital Photography School]

Autofocus points explained: how to suit your subject and aid composition

In this tutorial we explain how to use your the autofocus points on your DSLR to suit your subject and aid your composition.

Autofocus points explained: how to suit your subject and aid composition

If you’re working in autofocus mode, your camera will use one or more focusing points to acquire focus. The focusing point is activated when the shutter release button is half-depressed, or by using the AF On button if your camera has this function.

This allows you to precisely focus on the part of the subject that you want sharp prior to taking the shot. It also allows you to acquire and then lock focus by keeping the shutter release half-depressed, which is great for recomposing your shot.

How to Make Freckles POP or Disappear using Lightroom

Editing Freckles in Lightroom

One photo, edited completely in Lightroom

digitalphotographyschool-1-9

I recently photographed a model in New York City. As I was communicating with her leading up to the shoot I noticed in some of her pictures that she had freckles. I personally am a big fan of freckles and wanted to do a shoot that highlighted her skin rather than hide it behind makeup or photoshop tricks.

Tips for Using Shutter Speed Creatively

Shutter speed is one of those things that is initially a problem to be solved, but once you do that it becomes a tool that allows you to take better and more creative photos.

First you should understand how shutter speed works and how to change it. You will need to make sure it is fast enough that your pictures turn out crisp. But once you’ve mastered those things, you can start using shutter speed to your advantage. You can slow it down to create a sense of movement, or speed it up to stop the action.

GreyWhale

This article will show you the basics of what you need to know regarding shutter speed and get you started with some creative effects using different shutter speeds.

4.5 Ways Handy Actions are Cooler than Johnny Depp

HandyActions13

Handy Actions 13 with 64 tools and tweaks

Sure, Johnny Depp is cool. Sure, Johnny Depp is versatile. But if you are a Photoshop Elements user, did you know that Graffi’s Handy Actions are even cooler than Johnny Depp?

Here are a few ways I came up with – you can add yours in the comments or in the product review page (and get a 10% off coupon! Share your review, and get an additional 10% off!):

1:  For numerous roles in many movies, Johnny Depp has portrayed a variety of characters that are on the screen for about 2 hours. That’s pretty cool, but Handy Actions gives you a variety of tools that you can use with Photoshop Elements for as long as you want. In less than 2 hours, you can create Smart Objects, edit all three RGB Channels individually, apply Adjustment Layers only found in full Photoshop, and choose from several different Sharpening actions to get your images looking just right.
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

HandyActions13Effects2:  Johnny Depp may know all about changing things up in order to create believable characters, but Handy Actions lets you change things up to help you create awesome images. You can use the Channel Mixer action to change up color blends, use the Curves action to fine tune contrast and tone, use the Black and White Adjustment action to convert to B&W with total control, or use the Exposure Adjustment action to change up how your shot was taken in the first place. So right there are several ways to change things up while working on a single image.
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

3:  It takes a lot of work for Johnny Depp to get into character: there’s character research, set design and construction, lighting setups, testing, rehearsals, makeup application, and a lot of waiting around before the acting actually starts. Handy Actions installs with just a few clicks, and then you’re ready get started using the cool tools with Photoshop Elements.
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

4:  Johnny Depp staggered around semi-oblivious, half drunk and clumsy in all of the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean flics – kind of funny in a movie, but if you’re trying to get your images processed and use some tools not regularly available in Photoshop Elements, it’s just not funny at all. Handy Actions has 64 tools that help speed up your workflow and let you get back to doing other things in your life (like maybe staggering around semi-oblivious and half-drunk).
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

5:  Johnny Depp is better looking than Handy Actions, though. But that is still a pretty snappy looking logo over there to the right, and who cares how good Handy Actions looks when it can do so much more to help you get your images looking their best? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so I’ve read, so, behold! Here is Graffi’s Handy Actions!
Coolness edge: tie

So there you have it – the facts can’t be wrong. Clearly, Graffi’s Handy Actions are cooler than Johnny Depp in at least 4 different ways (and one that has not yet been definitely decided).

Your thoughts?


If you click to the Graffishop, you can share Handy Actions on most social media platforms (using the sharing buttons on the left side of the page) – and get an instant 10% off coupon code!

HandyActions-AOM-full-487-2Photoshop Elements is simply incomplete without your Swiss Army Knife for Elements: Graffi's Handy Actions! Handy Actions includes all the tools and extras only found in Photoshop - including Adjustment Layers like Exposure, Vibrance, Black and White & Selective color - more than 60 extra actions, tools, processes and timesavers!

Handy Actions includes a self-installing action pack set for Windows versions of Photoshop Elements and also includes a manual-install edition for Mac & Photoshop users

If you just want to get it now without going through the checkout process, simply click the link below to have Handy Actions 13 emailed to you after completing purchase (unlike Johnny Depp – so yet another way Handy Actions is cooler):



 

3 Reasons to Use Old Camera Lenses

I know it. You know it. Everyone knows it. Technology moves fast–almost frustratingly fast. Everyone also has that one story about their new and ludicrously expensive computer, TV, or camera, only to find out that within six months it isn’t all that new or expensive. We can’t all keep up with the rat race. In fact, you shouldn’t keep up with the rat race. I will give you three reasons why investing in old lenses is not only a great idea, but also a fun one:

old camera lenses

6 black and white photography tips for serious mono enthusiasts

Thanks to digital technology, monochrome photography is easier than ever before. Check out these six black and white photography tips for getting great results.

6 black and white photography tips for serious mono enthusiasts: 01. Shoot raw and JPEG

1. Shoot raw and JPEG

The best monochrome conversions are made by editing raw files which have the full colour information, but if you shoot raw and JPEG files simultaneously and set the camera to its monochrome Picture Style/Picture Control/Film Simulation mode you get an indication of how the image will look in black and white.

As many photographers struggle to visualise a scene in black and white, these monochrome modes are an invaluable tool that will help with composition and scene assessment.

Many cameras are also capable of producing decent in-camera monochrome images these days and it’s worth experimenting with image parameters (usually contrast, sharpness, filter effects and toning) to find a look that you like.

Because compact system cameras and compact cameras show the scene seen by the sensor with camera settings applied, users of these cameras are able to preview the monochrome image in the electronic viewfinder or on rear screen before taking the shot.

DSLR users can also do this if they activate their camera’s live view system, but the usually slower responses mean that many will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.

The post 6 black and white photography tips for serious mono enthusiasts appeared first on PhotoVenture.

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Hey Graffi Blog Readers:   for more looks like this especially created for Photoshop Elements, you might want to check out the PhotoLab Photo Effects action pack with an installer compatible with Elements


Get a copy of PhotoLab for Photoshop Elements 11 – 13 emailed directly to you here, no hassles! It also includes all files for manual installation in Mac / Windows Photoshop Elements 7-13, or full Photoshop!

[syndicated from PhotoVenture]

How to Advance Your Photography with Aperture Priority Mode (Video Tutorial)

Many photographers think that the next step after shooting in auto mode is jumping right into manual. But, as landscape and architecture photographer Wayne Moran says, it’s all about baby steps. Start with a semi-manual mode like Aperture Priority to take control of your camera. Aperture Priority mode is a great start to get away from automatic and it can actually end up being your go-to mode:

You can still take great photos in auto mode, especially since cameras today are just getting better, but Aperture Priority allows you to be completely creative and artistic since you get to control the depth of field. Moran actually shoots 90-95 percent of his images in aperture priority mode.

What is Aperture?

6 photography techniques other photographers don’t want you to know

It’s incredibly easy to find tips and techniques to help improve your digital photography. Photoventure is a great source of advice, for a start! But a quick Google search is all you need to find answers to specific photography questions you might have: you’ll find that the vast majority of photographers are more than happy to share their photography techniques and tricks.

That being said, you’re sure to discover photographers who are unwilling to let you in on some of the secrets to taking better photos. After all, they perfected their craft through years of hard work, so why shouldn’t you?

Well, in the same way that you don’t suddenly become David Hockney by using the same paint and brushes as David Hockney, or turn into Christopher Nolan because someone shows you how to work an IMAX camera and editing software, photographers are unlikely to lose out by sharing some of their secrets.

Photography is mostly vision and partly technical, after all. In light of this, here are 6 photography techniques that some photographers are unlikely to tell you.

6 photography techniques other photographers don’t want you to know: 01. ETTR (Expose to the Right) technique

1. ETTR (Expose to the Right) technique

A camera’s brightness histogram provides a useful guide to the exposure of a digital photo. With shadows indicated by the left side of the graph and highlights on the right, all you need to do is make sure the shadow and highlights of the scene you’re photographing correspond with these points and you’re done: perfectly exposed photos!

Well, yes. Sort of. The problem is that the sensor essentially records much more tonal detail in brighter areas than it does in darker areas. To make the most of this, some photographers use ETTR – or the Expose to the Right technique.

By intentionally overexposing an image, the histogram is shifted to the right. As long as the highlights don’t get pushed off the edge of the graph – or become ‘clipped’ – then you’ll capture more tonal detail throughout the image. The image may look too bright on the rear screen, but you can fix that later.

ETTR should only be carried out when you’re shooting RAW and not JPEGs. Shoot in RAW, and you’ll be able to alter the exposure of the image back to the ‘correct’ values ‘non-destructively’ when you process the image. You’ll end up with a photo that has smoother tonal transitions and lower noise in darker areas than if you’d exposed it ‘correctly’ to begin with.

If you tried to use ETTR with a JPEG, you’ll have to carry out the brightness correction destructively.

2. ‘Zoom first, focus second’ lens technique

Many camera lenses made today are ‘varifocal’ lenses and not ‘parfocal’ lenses, or true zooms. This means that the focus shifts as the focal length changes.

Traditionally, many photographers use the technique of zooming into a detail on the subject – such as the eyes on a portrait – before locking the focus and zooming out again to reframe the shot for the best composition. But doing this risks giving you OOF (Out of Focus) photos.

When you use smaller apertures, the increased depth of field can mask this focus shift, but the effect can be noticeable at large apertures like f/2.8. It’s obvious when you’re zooming while shooting video with your DSLR, too.

One technique to fix this is to switch the autofocus from One Shot AF mode to AI Servo AF mode, even when you’re photographing stationary subjects. This ensures that the focus is adjusted as you zoom, although you’ll need to keep the active AF point on the subject at all times.

Alternatively, stick with One Shot AF and zoom to find the best composition before you activate the camera’s AF system. Selecting a single off-centre AF point will enable you to focus on the subject, although Back-button focusing can help if you need to lock the focus position before recomposing the shot.

The post 6 photography techniques other photographers don’t want you to know appeared first on PhotoVenture.

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[syndicated from PhotoVenture]