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Hi gang, and welcome to my new series on Photoshop features that can really be helpful…if you only knew they existed, and what they did. There’s some really great stuff buried in Photoshop, and it’s stuff that maybe we don’t use every day, but once unearthed, they can make a big difference.

I’m calling this new series “Buried Treasure” and we’re starting with one of my favorites (I had to use it just yesterday), and in the short video tutorial below, I’ll show you how I used it, and a way you might not have thought of where it can be really helpful. Here goes:

Hope you found that helpful. More to come later this week. :)

See you on Friday in Minneapolis?
I hope so — I’ll be there with my Lightroom On Tour seminar, and so will about 300 other photographers who are ready to make a big leap in their Lightroom life. Hope I’ll get to meet you there.

Have a great week (’cause it’s gonna be a great week!).

Best,

-Scott

Hi everybody and happy Friday. I was taping a segment to a new class I’m doing — a follow-up to my “Just One Flash” called (wait for it…wait for it…) “Just one more flash.”

Anyway, when the taping was over, I wanted to try something a little different portrait wise (well for me anyway), so I did a very simple portrait where the goal was to try and give it a window light look, and I thought I’d share the final image, some behind-the-scenes shots, and talk a little about camera settings and post processing. I’ll do that all in the captions below.

Above: Here’s the final image. 

Above: Here’s an over the shoulder view of my shooting rig. I’m using a Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (my go-to lens for portraits). My camera is tethered into Lightroom CC on my laptop using a 15′ TetherPro USB cable from Tethertools. It’s supported on a Really Right Stuff tripod with a Tethertools Rock Solid Tripod Crossbar; an Aero Table, and the strap that keeps my laptop from sliding around is an “Aero Secure Strap” and you can’t see it in this photo, but my tripod is on a rolling rig that is designed to let you easily roll the whole thing called a Rock Solid Tripod Roller.

Above: Here’s a clean view of the lighting set-up. I used just one Elinchrom ELC 500, and put it close enough to the cloth backdrop that some of the light would spill onto the backdrop. I didn’t want a bunch of light because I wanted kind of a dramatic portrait, but I needed a little spill. You can see from the shot above that my subject is seated way at the back of the softbox (a technique called feathering where your subject is far away from the hotspot in the center of the light).

Above: The softbox I used was an Elinchrom 53″ midi-octa, which is kind of my go-to big octa for portraits (and it’s not too expensive considering how awesome it is. B&H Photo has ’em for $324).

SETTINGS:
I had the power of the Strobe pretty low because it was so close to my subject (less than 18-inches and at times less a foot). My camera was in Manual mode, with my shutter speed at that nice happy 1/125 of a second; my f/stop was f/9; and my ISO at 100 (the cleanest native ISO for my camera). Just one single light, and some simple very repeatable settings for a set-up like this.

Above: I started in Photoshop doing some standard portrait retouching stuff (removing blemishes, some skin work, a little work on the whites of her eyes and her iris – pretty minor stuff overall).

I’m embarrassed to tell you how easy the rest was — I opened MacPhun’s Luminar plug-in; I went to their Presets (I have my own set-up presets you can get from MacPhun), but I actually wound up going with one of their built-in Portrait Presets called Smooth Portrait. I like the glow and the color grading it gave, but once I applied the preset, I backed off the amount to 48% strength. I also pulled back the highlights a bit and increased the amount of edge vignetting. That’s it. Easy peasy. I clicked OK, and that’s what you see at the top of the page as the final image.

Hope you found some of that helpful. :)

Have a great weekend everybody! I’ll be working on my new book all weekend — almost done (a brand new one!).

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Next Friday I’m in Minneapolis with my Lightroom On Tour full-day seminar. Hope you can come join me if you’re up that way. :)

Everything Else In Lightroom: Part Two with Scott Kelby
Building on Everything Else in Lightroom, Part 1, Scott Kelby has assembled a new set of skills every Lightroom user should know into Everything Else in Lightroom, Part 2. This series is designed to teach you a wide range of Lightroom topics, and serve as a reference for those times when you just want to dive into a specific topic, or come back and review. In this class you can master custom file name templates, learn how to use the Map module, become more efficient with export actions, customize your default settings for raw photos, develop a smart object workflow, and a host of other killer Lightroom techniques. You’ll be amazed at how many things Lightroom can do!

In Case You Missed It
Time for some Lightroom killer tips! Join Scott Kelby as he digs deep and shares dozens of tips, tricks, and workarounds to help you work faster, more efficiently, and have more fun while using Lightroom. From little known features to time-saving techniques, Scott will help you get more out of Lightroom than you knew was possible. Feel free to jump in with any lesson that catches your eye, or take it from the top. These killer tips can be found almost every corner of Lightroom and can be applied to any workflow.

Photo by John Schell

My 5 Essentials For An Outdoor Location Shoot
Spring is officially underway and with it, a flurry of photoshoots among the beautiful flowering nature. It’s that time of year when shooting outside is comfortable, and the evening light has the last of winter’s lingering softness. A vast majority of my shoots take place on location, and over the years I’ve learned to bring along a few things that make shooting outdoors that little bit less stressful.

1) Scissors
I have a pair of strong scissors I bring to “tidy” up a scene (i.e. get rid of leaves, small branches, brambles, etc). They also come in very useful if labels are left on clothes, and any of the multitude of reasons you’d need scissors for!

2) Rose Clippers
On the subject of “tidying” up a location, some foliage is a little too thick and this is when my rose clippers would come out. They’ve saved me lots of Photoshop time across many a shoot.

3) Fabric (thick or thin)
Sometimes it’s not so easy to predict whether an outdoor location would be muddy or not. I always bring fabric along to protect the garments from getting dirty. If the dress the model is wearing is full length I would make sure to always have fabric tucked underneath so as to protect it from dirt. Ideally using a fabric that’s a similar colour to the dress makes life easier.

4) Reflector
If you’re a natural light shooter then bringing a reflector along is always a good idea. It’s a great tool to manipulate light as well as doubling up as a scrim, providing some shade where there isn’t any available. It’s also super versatile as it comes in handy on occasions where I forget to bring fabric and needed to protect the garments.

5) Safety Pins and Hair Grips
Two things that are a staple in my camera bag! If you’re working with an experienced hair or makeup artist they would bring these along with them. I, however, can always count on something going wrong on location shoots such as, zips breaking, hairstyle needing tweaking, pinning the dress so it fits better, etc!

We all know that the more you can capture in camera the better, and that’s why it’s worth going the extra step in preparation.

Here are a few more suggestions for a comfortable location shoot!

Water: Hydration is always a good idea!

Hand warmers, hot water bottles and heaters: Great if you’re shooting in the winter.

Umbrella: Have one for the model if you’re shooting in the summer.

Food and snacks: Because food puts everyone in a good mood!

Music and a bluetooth speaker: To help set the mood and vibe

Ladder: Useful as a prop or to capture a new perspective/angle.

Battery bank: You never know when people’s phones or other things need to be charged. It’s always good to have something in this situation to keep you covered.

Shower Cap: If it were to rain, you can protect your camera with it and it also allows you to still work with it.

I would love to know, what are your location shoot essentials? It’s always interesting to see what other photographers bring along to shoots!

You can see more of Bella’s work at BellaKotak.com, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Hi gang, and welcome to Tuesday. Day Nine in this month we call May. ;-)

I wanted to share a tip with you I did a while back on LightroomKillerTips.com (the other daily blog I write, in an effort to ensure I never actually sleep), and I still get comments about it. It’s a feature Adobe snuck into Lightroom in one of those late-night under cover of darkness updates they do to Lightroom, and it’s about why the added ability to move an Edit pin can be a huge timesaver. Check it out below:

Hope you found that helpful (it’s pretty handy, right?). :)

Have a great Tuesday everybody, and we’ll catch ya back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday!

Best,

-Scott

Hi gang, and happy Monday. It’s going to be a great week! :)

Just a quick tip today, but the thing I’m going to show you is pretty hidden, and you’d use it when a tool starts behaving differently than it usually does. You might have a made a change to a setting up in the Options Bar the last time you were you using Photoshop, and you can’t remember which setting you changed that’s now causing it to act wonky. If that happens, here what ya do:

Above: Look up at the Options Bar up top. On the very far left you see an icon of the tool you currently have selected. You see that little down-facing arrow to the immediate right of it? If you click that, any tool presets you have for that tool pop-down in a menu (as shown here, but I don’t’ have any tool presets for the Move tool, but the menu pops down either way). However, there’s something hidden here.

Above: If instead, you hold the Command-key on Mac (Ctrl-key on PC), instead you get a pop-up menu with two options: (1) Reset Tool. That resets all of the settings back to their default for just the currently selected tool (in this case, I have the Healing Brush selected, so it resets the Option Bar settings for just that one tool). If you choose ‘Reset All Tools’ it does just what it says — it resets every tool back to its factory fresh default setting (and just know if you need to choose this one, you musta really messed up somethin’ big time!). :-)

Anyway, just a quickie but I know some folks who could get a lot out of resetting a tool or two.

Did you catch ‘The Grid” last Wednesday?
It’s my weekly photography show, and last week my guests were my awesome wife Kalebra and our in-house producer Jen Coffin, and our topic was “How to produce your next shoot.” Jen and Kalebra had some great insights, and I shared my own workflow for setting up a location shoot.  If you’ve got a few minutes, I’ve embedded that episode above (you can let it play in the background while you do other stuff, ya know…like work). ;-)

Here’s wishing you a great week, and that it starts off with a much better than usual Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m about 11 days from my being in Minneapolis with my “Lightroom On Tour” full-day seminar. I’m in Indy four days later. Tickets and info here. 

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