Category Archives Books

On Friday I did a series of promo shots for Performance Compound, a training facility where a lot of pro athletes train, everyone from NFL players to Major League Baseball, and did about 14 portraits that day assisted by Brad Moore and crew (that’s Third Baseman Sean Buckley above) and I thought I’d share a couple of finals here, along with the behind-the-scenes photos and the post-processed and unprocessed images.

This entire process is the same as what I showed on my Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it tour, with the addition of one extra back light on the subject (as you’ll see in a moment). Here goes:

1. Above: here’s the shot as it came out of the camera. I used a Grid on the beauty dish above his head to get a quick fall-off on the light. My main concern here is the side lighting from the back, and that part looks good. His face is supposed to be darker.

2. Above: Here’s the shot with some simple, quick adjustments in Lightroom’s Basic Panel (if you don’t have Lightroom, it would be exactly the same settings in Photoshop’s Camera Raw). The settings are below.

3. Above: I wasn’t kidding about simple adjustments: Just increased the Whites a bit, plus lots of Clarity and I lowered the Vibrance a bit to desaturate his skin. I also took the Adjustment Brush, increased the Exposure slider a little bit (dragging to the right) and painted over his face to brighten it (It’s supposed to be a lot darker than the sides, but I thought it was a bit too dark). The white balance was set to Auto in my camera and look fine in this case.

4. Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of the lighting set-up: 17″ beauty dish with a grid: two strip banks in back on the sides with fabric grids. We have a tiny bit of light on the white background to make it a very light gray (if we turned the power up, it would turn solid white). Production photo by Brad Moore.

5. Above: Here’s a composite from the exact shot you see in #4. The two backgrounds (here and at the top) are from an awesome company called “Photo Art Streetscapes” (link). Their stuff costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it.

As for matching him to his surroundings: I showed the techniques of how to match the overall color and tone of the composited image on my live “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It” tour, and in my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it “ book as well (Amazon or Barnes & Noble), and Matt covers all of this in his Compositing Secrets book, too! (Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Well, there ya have it —- short and sweet. Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday! :-)

It’s big. It’s bad. It’s here — Shortcut Sumo, a brand-new ebook from “The Photoshop Guys” at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) [Matt, RC, Corey, Pete, and me] with quick, easy access to all the Mac and PC keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign and Illustrator and it’s available NOW for the iPad.

Here’s the Scoop:
If there was ever an idea that works as an ebook, this is it because to do the book the way I envisioned it, you really couldn’t do it as a printed book — it would literally be thousands of pages; as thick as a phone book and nobody would ever buy it at the price you’d need to charge. That’s because I really felt this book would need to have two very specific features:

(1) I wanted just one shortcut per page. That’s right — just one, but with some bonuses, like a screen capture of what the shortcut is for, a full keyboard visually showing just that one the shortcut, and a brief sentence that explains the shortcut.

(2) If you use a Mac, you should only see Mac keyboards shortcuts. Same with a PC. So, when you first launch the App, you tap on Mac or PC, and from then on, you only see the shortcuts for the platform you chose (but you can change your mind, anytime). That means creating a separate page for every Mac shortcut, and another for every PC shortcut. Way too costly to do in print, but perfect for an eBook.

But today’s ebook format didn’t give me quite what we needed
The standard ebook format (used by everyone from Apple’s iBooks store to Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and so on), doesn’t allow you to type in a word and have it search through the book, and with a book of keyboard shortcuts, we felt it would be important to be able to search using a key word, so that was one of the reasons we decided to make the book an App, rather than a standard ePub book found in the iBook store.

A small kink in the plan
It’s always something, right? In this case, it happens when you key word search — at this point in the development of the App, the search results bring up both the PC and Mac shortcuts (not just the shortcuts for the platform you chose at the beginning). So, as long as you’re looking through the contents pages to find the shortcut you’re looking for, it stays platform specific. If you type in a search term, you get both. Not a deal breaker, but it’s not exactly the way we wanted it to work, but it gives us something to work on going forward.

Since it’s an App, now we can add video, right?
Right! We included a short video at the start of each program where we each share a few of our favorite tips. The tips are good, the presentation is…well…we very loosely kept with the theme [wink]. Check out RC in the screen cap above and you’ll see what I mean.

How much does it cost?
The Shortcut Sumo App is FREE and comes with the shortcut module for Adobe Camera Raw. Additional Modules are $2.99 each, and the module for Photoshop CS6 is already available for download right from the App (we’re just finishing up other shortcut modules for Lightroom, InDesign, and Adobe illustrator, which when added to the Camera Raw and Photoshop, they form the “Biggest, Baddest Collection of Adobe keyboard shortcuts ever!” [insert gong sound here].

I hope you’ll check it out today (especially since the Camera Raw module is free). Here’s the link to Shortcut Sumo on the iTunes store, and of course you can just search for “Shortcut Sumo” on your iPad in the App Store. Hope you like and find it useful.

My buddy Matt Kloskowski just me this iPhone shot of my latest book which just arrived at the office yesterday (I was working at home, getting caught up for my trip), so that means it’s already on its way to bookstores.

Really excited about this one! (I added lots of cool new stuff — more on that later, but I’m psyched). You can preorder yours from Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble.com, (both are selling it around $27. Cheap!), or anywhere super cool books are sold.

Internationally renowned commercial photographer Ron Martinsen has just released Printing 101 Notebook: An Introduction to Fine Art Photography Printing, an eBook that is designed to help frustrated ink jet printer users get the most out of their investment by educating them on everything they will need to make great prints. With interviews and advice from industry legends like Vincent Versace, Eddie Tapp, Greg Gorman, John Paul Caponigro, Douglas Dubler and more, this is a book is a must own for anyone who is serious about making great prints. This gorgeous looking book is over 90 pages that are easily readable on your Computer, iPad, Kindle, or any other device capable of reading PDF files.

Ron has educated over 800,000 visitors on his popular Photography and Photoshop blog. His printing series last year was a huge hit, but there was so much great information to share that his loyal readers asked for a book. Click here to order your copy today.

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