Category Archives Photoshop

After teaching more than 2,100 photographers in four cities, it’s time to take the show to the Big Apple, as my “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It Tour” comes to New York City for its only New York stop this year (the shot above is from my Chicago tour stop last week. All photos by Jeff Leimbach). Here are the details:

When: Thursday, June 2nd
The Javits Center
$99 for the full day, including detailed step-by-step workbook.
>> Only $79 for NAPP members
Reserve Your Seat: Right Here.

The tour has sold out in every city so far, so if you want to join me for the day, I would grab your seat right away.

Above: That’s Brad Moore looking concerned between sessions, but then…Brad always looks concerned. Well, between sessions anyway.

Above: Brad is working the hair fan during one of the shoots. Notice how he’s looking away from our model, Stevie Lynn, so the fan is actually aiming at the neck of her bass guitar instead of her hair. Yes, it was that kind of day. ;-)

Anyway, I’m really excited about bringing the tour to New York, and I hope I’ll get to shake your hand in person on June 2nd at my seminar. See you there! :)

P.S. Don’t forget—if you’re not absolutely 100% head-over-heels in love with what you learn that day in my seminar, and for any reason you don’t think it totally kicks butt, we’ll refund your entire tuition right on the spot!

My new book, “Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers,” just debuted at Photoshop World and I’ve had a lot of questions about the book, what it covers, and how it does it, so we’re hosting a retouching book shindig later this week.

You’re invited to join Matt and me for this free online webinar (a Web-seminar if you will), where I’ll be sharing some of my favorite techniques from the book, and I’ll be taking your questions about the book, and portrait retouching in general, live on the air.

When: This Thursday, April 14th at 3:00 pm EDT
Where: Click this link to register now for free

Be sure to register now for a chance to win some prizes and sign up for a reminder in the liveblog window to the right. Then, join us on the 14th at 3pm EST. See you there!

And if you haven’t already picked it up, you can order the book from Amazon, B&N, or Kelby Training right now (it’s in stock. Well, it was when I posted this anyway).

The word is out: Adobe has just announced the Adobe Creative Suite Version 5.5, which includes new features and updates for people designing and/or creating for mobile devices of all kinds and for people working with video (among others).

The update affects these Apps (which all move to version 5.5):

$#x2022; InDesign CS 5.5
$#x2022; Dreamweaver CS 5.5
$#x2022; Flash Pro CS 5.5
$#x2022; Premiere Pro CS 5.5
$#x2022; After Effects CS 5.5

Photoshop users, rest easy—-there are no enhancements or new features in this update for Photoshop whatsoever, so Photoshop will remain at CS5, though there is a free patch so it will be able to connect to mobile apps that may be released in the future but just so ya know—-it is NOT a 5.5-level upgrade like the other CS5 products are getting.

Also, the new suites will now include Acrobat 10 instead of 9.

iPad Apps for Extending Photoshop
Adobe did announce some new Apps that are designed to work with, and extend, Photoshop CS5. Here’s a link to a video that shows the interaction with the iPad.

Something I Never Thought We’d See, But I Love It!
I think perhaps nearly as big news is that Adobe is announcing a monthly Subscription Plan for both individual apps (like Photoshop CS5) and the various Creative Suites, so if you couldn’t afford the upfront costs to buy a full blown version of Photoshop, or the Creative Suite, now you can rent it by the month. How cool is that!!!!

Better yet—subscribers automatically get their subscription upgraded when a new version of their product comes up (so if you start on Photoshop CS5, when Photoshop CS6 comes out, subscribers get the new version as soon as it’s available).

I don’t have all the pricing yet (but it appears that the monthly subscription for Photoshop will be as low as $35), but I bet I know two places that will: visit Terry White’s Tech Blog (link) or

Above: Here’s the last set from my shoot at Fight Factory, and that’s Mo (you remember Mo from Monday and Tuesday’s posts) doing some curls. When he was done, he handed the dumbell to me, and I was pinned to the floor for 40 minutes.

Above: Here’s the production shot (photo by Brad Moore). Pretty simple set-up, but it’s the only one where we actually used all three flashes. The main light is to the left of me, and that’s powered by the Ranger RX pack. The kicker light behind him is a bare bulb flash with a metal Grid attached to the front to focus the beam. Then, on the floor right behind Mo, you see the third flash, positioned down low, aiming upward to light the white seamless paper. But, there’s a problem. And I caused it.

Above: When I first got there, I did a few test shots using just the available light in the gym, so I set my f/stop to around f/4. But then when we set up the strobes, I never switched back to an f/stop that would give me focus throughout the image, like f/8 or f/11. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I opened the images hours later in Photoshop and realized that only part of each image was in focus. Uggh!

Above: In this shot, the dumbell is out of focus, but his body is in focus. Although I hate having to use Photoshop to fix mistakes I should have gotten right in the camera, in this case I was thrilled to be able to use Photoshop to fix my mistake. My plan was to combine the in-focus parts of the two images, into one image where everything was in focus.

Photoshop To The Rescue!
I used the Pen tool to select the in-focus version of the dumbells, and dragged it over to the photo where Mo’s body was in focus, and positioned it over the out-of-focus dumbells. It took all of two minutes to get the size right (they were taken at different focal lengths) and the proper position, but it worked and created the shot you see at the top of this post. Whew! That was a close one.

I had some questions after Monday and Tuesdays post about my location lighting gear, and I posted some photos of it packed up in its travel case so you can see how small it all breaks down to. Those images are on my Facebook page at

Above: Here’s another shot of Mo on the rings. I showed the production photo of this shot on Tuesday (link), but I noted that the flash with the softbox was turned off—that other shot was just lit with the bare flash and reflector with grid. Here’s what it looks like when the softbox is on, adding a little fill light.

B&W Conversion
I converted this to Black & White using Nik Software’s just released Silver Efex Pro 2.0, which I have to say is absolutely amazing. Every pro I know was already using Silver Efex Pro 1.0—but 2.0 kicks so much @#$, I can’t imagine they all won’t upgrade as soon as they try it. Seriously great upgrade. Way to go Nik! BTW: I just used one of their built-in presets. Also, you can download a 15-day free trail copy of the plug-in right here.

Above: The gym arranged to have Dallas, a model and friend of the gym, do a few shots inside the boxing ring that’s the center piece of the gym (real fighters train here, too). They wanted a shot where Dallas looked exhausted between rounds, with her arms “on the ropes” and I got the capture you see here.

Above: Here’s the production shot for that image (thanks Brad) and I’m just using two lights: The main light up right and to my left, and the same bare bulb flash with a metal grid that we’ve been using all day coming in behind Dallas and to the right. We had to put the stand up on some workout pads to get it up high enough. I’m shooting with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Now, when you look at the production image versus the final image, you might be wondering why my final image is so dark. I intentionally underexposed the shot by at least two stops, so my subject would be mostly lit with the just the strobe, and not the flat even boring ambient light in the gym. If I hadn’t, the shots would pretty much look like the production shots you see above (no offense to Brad whatsoever—the production shots looks exactly as they should—they’re exposed for the ambient light).

Above: Here’s another shot, but this time I’m outside the ring, down low shooting upward (as seen below).

Above: Here’s the production shot for that image. Same two lights, same modifiers, positioned the same way (each facing each other diagonally), we’re just shooting from a different position. You can clearly see the workout mats we stacked up to get the main light high enough.

Above: Here’s Mo again (he had quite a workout that day) in a dramatic lighting look, as he gets ready to sprint. I added the text (at the client’s request). The large faded text in the background is the font Futura Extra Bold and the smaller text is Helvetica Condensed Bold Oblique (Oblique is a type geek word for “Italic”).

Above: This is just a one-light shoot–the light on the left side isn’t turned on. That’s the Ranger Quadra, with one bare-bulb flash and a reflector, aiming straight at Mo. You can see how small the Quadra battery pack is in this shot—that’s it hanging on the light stand.

That wraps up this shoot. A funny thing just happened: as I’m writing this, a commercial for Fight Factory: Tampa just came on TV. Too cool!

I’ll be in Boston a week from this Thursday (March 24th) kicking off my new “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It Live!” tour. Hundreds of photographers are already signed up and I want to make sure you’re there, so go snag a seat right now (here’s the link), and spend the day with me seeing the entire process—from the lighting to the shooting, to all the post processing and portrait retouching in Photoshop. You see it all, unfolding live, and I don’t leave anything out.

You get a detailed workbook (shown above) covering all the stuff I’m showing in class (in the same order I’m doing it, so you can follow right along), plus, we offer a 100% money back guarantee if for any reason you think it doesn’t totally kick butt and make you want to run home and try all these new techniques yourself (which by the way, puts a ton of pressure on me, but that’s OK—I’ll have Brad there to create a diversion).

I hope I get to meet you in person in Boston in just 10 days! I am totally psyched!!!! See you there!

It’s official: The Grid, our brand new LIVE talk show about Photography, Photoshop, and anything else remotely related is launching next week.

You’re invited:

When: Monday, March 7th, at 12:30 pm EST
Cost: Absolutely Free. Every week.
Rebroadcast: Free, and available whenever you’d like to watch.

Please feel free to bring a guest. Or two thousand. ;-)

We want you to be a part of the discussion, and share your thoughts live on the air via Twitter and our direct online chat.

Also, each week we’ll have an in-studio guest, as well as some friends chiming in on the topics via live video feeds. I can’t wait.

I hope you will join us on Monday, and in the meantime I would love it if you would help us spread the word about the new show on Facebook, Twitter, your Blogs, and wherever you can. :-)

See you Monday on “The Grid”