Category Archives Photoshop

Mornin’ everybody. Here’s another one of those hidden little things that Adobe snuck into Photoshop CC kind of under the radar in one of those periodic CC feature updates.

Believe it or not this one was added back in 2014 but it’s hard to find someone that actually realizes it’s there. It’s a built-in filter for creating all sorts of frames around an image. Here’s how it works:

photoframe1

Go under the Filter menu, under Render, and choose Picture Frame. If you just said, “What?! …Picture Frame?! Where did that come from…” you’re not alone.

photoframe2

Here’s the Frame window. From the frame pop-up menu you can choose 40-something different frame types from the awesome to the absurd. The more traditional looking frames are toward the bottom of the menu, like this art frame shown above. Depending on which frame style you choose there are a bunch of sliders to tweak it to your heart’s content.

photoframe3a

I create a new blank layer before I open the filter, so I can resize the frame after it renders using Free Transform. I also added a soft drop shadow here just to add some depth.

I hope that started your week off with something new to mess around with in Photoshop, here’s wishing you your best week of the year (so far). :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hey, if you’re a photographer in the Portland, Oregon area – I’ll be there next week (on Thursday I believe) with my Shoot Like a Pro: Part 2 (reloaded!) seminar. Hope you can come out and join me. 

https://youtu.be/ovS3OhtJ6ks

Hey gang – it’s Friday (yay!) I’m back with another “Photoshop Finishing Move” that picks up right where my brand new “Start to Finish in Lightroom” (that I posted over at LightroomKillerTips.com just today – here’s the link), left off.

This one is a technique I use to take the “edge” off sharp images, and I get asked about this “look” a lot (the question usually is “How is it that some of your images have a soft look but they’re still really sharp?” Well, this is how I do it (no plug-ins, no-presets – just simple Photoshop stuff).

Hope you find that helpful, and here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend! :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re a KelbyOne member, just a heads up: we are taking the site down tonight at 11:30 pm EDT for a scheduled maintenance. It should be back up Saturday morning. We’re doing this maintenance to help give our members a better, more stable experience (we’re moving to an awesome new server platform) and it will bring us all lots of happy goodness and love, but to get the love, we have to do this maintenance thing first, so hang in there with us – a better experience is on its way. Thanks for your patience (and for the love. We all need love). :)

Happy Friday, everybody. OK, before we look at this tutorial, you should probably look at this tutorial. It’s one I wrote today over at the other site I write – LightroomKillertips.com and it’s on how I went from the flat out-of-camera original image to the image we’re going to do a finishing move upon in the video you see below. So, if you want to go see how I got to here (without any presets, plug-ins or HDR), here’s that link again.

OK, now onto a Photoshop Finishing move I use often on interior shots like this (it’s super easy to do!).

https://youtu.be/PjYXxm-zNmQ

Hope you found that helpful.

One more thing!
If you missed our Photoshop World Alumni-only Webcast last night, we’re rebroadcasting it at this link (if you haven’t been before, wait for our public “Here’s what Photoshop World” webcast is – this one was just for people who have already been, so we only cover all the cool new things, and not the things new attendees would want to know. Thanks.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Best,

-Scott

Howdy folks — happy Tuesday!

Adobe has been rolling out a stream of new features for Photoshop CC over the past couple of years, and even I sometimes lose track of all the things they’ve added, so I’m not surprised so many folks didn’t catch this one when it was rolled out (this one had been on my wish list for about 20 years).

It’s the ability to completely customize Photoshop’s toolbar, so you only see the tools you actually use (and hide the rest). It’s super easy to do. Here’s how:

toolbar1

STEP ONE: Go under the Edit menu, and near the very bottom choose Toolbar. This brings up the Customize Toolbar window you see above. The left column lists all the tools in Photoshop’s toolbar. If you see one you don’t use, just drag and drop it to the column on the right to hide it from the toolbar. The good news is — you can choose to have three little dots appear at the bottom of the toolbar which gives you access to all those tools you chose to hide, ya know…just in case. :)

Also, below the left column are a row of icons of features that appear at bottom of the toolbar, like the Quickmask button, and screen mode toggle buttons — you can even choose to each any or all of those.

STEP TWO: Click done and you’re done! Of course, if you ever change your mind and want to get back to the original default set of tools — just come back to this same Customize Toolbar window and click on the “Restore Defaults” button near the top right side.

toolbar2

BONUS TOOLBAR TIP:
By default you get a single column toolbar, but back “in the old days” (when dinosaurs ruled the earth), Photoshop actually had a two-column toolbar like the one you see above right. If you ever get in the mood to go all “old school” on us, just click the little double-arrow at the top left of the single toolbar to switch it to the double-column toolbar. You get five extra points if you play the song “Turn up the Radio” by Autograph right before you click that button. Doing that doesn’t actually affect Photoshop in any way, but will cause you, momentarily, to totally rock out and sign along. This is not a bad thing.

Hope you find that helpful. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Tomorrow, at 4pm on “The Grid” we’re airing a special “Live from the UK” tour from “The Photography Show” in Birmingham (it’s not actually live because we taped it at the show, but it was live when we did it, which is the kind of explanation a presidential candidate might give to any given question. I’m not one, but I’ve seen a lot of TV commercials for them). 😉

 

nikcol3

On the heels of Google last week making the entire Nik Collection of plugs-ins absolutely free, I’m doing a online class that will release this Thursday (March 31st) that not only teaches you how to use the collection, I show:

(1) How I use them in my workflow
(2) Exactly which ones are my favorite filters and presets
(3) Which ones I don’t use at all (and why)
(4) Which one, if I was stranded on a desert island, would be the one I couldn’t live without and why
(5) All sorts of little tips and tricks that will help make your experience faster, better, and more fun.

I’ve been saying for years that for so many pro photographers I know, they will tell you that the Nik Collection is their secret weapon — so if you’re a KelbyOne member, I hope you’ll check out my brand new class coming this Thursday.

Again, a big tip of the hat to Google for making these plug-ins available to us all for free, and here’s hoping upon hope that while it looks unlikely, that if there’s a major update to either the Mac or Windows OS some awesome engineer might update it (perhaps on his own, as some rogue engineering doing good outside the walls). Then he or she could be the new hero of “The Resistance.” [vague Star Wars reference].

Full Details coming Thursday
Don’t forget to come back on Thursday to get the direct link to the class — can’t wait to share this with you!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hey, did I mention I’m teaching my full day seminar up in Boston on Wednesday? Hundreds of Boston area photographers are already signed up, but it’s not too late for you to come, too!

nikcol2

OK, not everybody, but I was surprised to see how many people were complaining after Google’s awesome announcement that they were making the entire Nik Collection of plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom, available for free download. FREE!

Of course, there are lots of questions after this announcement, so let’s do a quick Q&A on the topic to take us into the weekend.

Q. What is the Google Nik Collection? 
A. Here’s how Google themselves describe it:

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Q. So, you use these plug-ins?
A. Absolutely. Daily. I’ve been telling people for years that the Nik Collection is the pro photographer’s secret weapon.

Q. So let me get this straight — Google takes this amazing plug-in collection, which they were selling for $149, and they announce it’s now free, and some people are already hatin’ on them?
A. Oh, Absolutely. Welcome to the Internet, where lots of people are literally just waiting to be outraged about something. I’ve always said if you stood on a street corner and passed out free $100 bills, you could literally count the seconds before someone came up and said, “Are you kidding me? Where am I going to break a $100 bill? Can’t you give me five $20s instead?” 

Q. Like, what kind of stuff are they saying?
A. Stuff like: “So if I bought it in 2015, I’m f#@$d right?” or “…bit pissed as i paid full wack just over a year ago and not even partial refund. Will be the last google product i buy if they just keep giving things away”  or “Very disappointed, I bought it in 2015. Nice you make it free but you should refund your previous licenses.”

Q. Haven’t they had the use of this software all this time, before it was free?
A. Yes.

Q. So why are they so mad?
A. Apparently Google didn’t have five $20s. (see my answer to the 3rd question above).

Q. Isn’t this awesome that they’re giving this incredible plug-in package away for free?
A. I think it is. A lot of folks who could never afford it will now have access to it. I think that’s awesome!

Q. Does this mean that future updates for this collection have ceased?
A. Based on what I’ve read, I absolutely think that is the case, but I haven’t confirmed it with anyone inside Google yet.

Q. So, what if I download it today, and then there’s a major Mac OS or Windows update down the road and then it doesn’t work anymore. Will Google do an update to fix it?
A. Not as best as I can tell, so use it today and enjoy it for as long as it works.

Q. But that’s not fair!
A. You’re right. You should ask Google for your money back from that free download. Oh…wait…

Q. What if I bought it back in February? 
A. Google said they are automatically giving full refunds to anyone who bought the collection in 2016.

Q. Are you certain about that?
A. The older I get, the more I realize I’m not certain about anything, but that’s what they said in their post.

Q. What if I bought it back in December and I missed the cutoff?
A. Then you only had to pay $37.50 a month to use it until now, which for this suite is totally worth it, but that is still kind of a bummer. I’ve bought stuff the very week before it goes on sale. It happens, but you’ll get past it.

Q. Can’t I write angry comments about how unfair that is?
A. Absolutely, and you should use a lot of cuss words!

Q. Will that help?
A. Not one bit.

Q. Will Google ever release a Nik Collection Version 5?
A. I would love that, but based on their post about why they are making it free, it seems fairly clear that their desktop plug-in days are over (that was my take on it anyway). However, if they do one day come out with a new version, I imagine they would charge for it; I would definitely buy it, but I imagine it would be worth it.

Q. So, do you know something secret here?
A. I do, but it’s not about version 5. The secret stuff I know is about the supposed 1969 Apollo moon landing, and the plane that never crashed into the Pentagon, and the JFK assassination, but I’m not at liberty to say, because they’re watching me. They’re always watching.

Q. Were there any nice comments on Google’s announcement post?
A. Thankfully, there were many tucked in and around the whining. Some very grateful folks, and I was happy to see that.

Q. What was your favorite?
A. This one from Ray Akey:

“Funny to see all the reactions on this one. Free software is good for everyone, no matter what, especially when it comes from a company known for their excellent plugins because a lot of shareware and freeware is crap! Personally, I have only used SilverFX and it is a pretty nice piece of software. I’ll glady download and check this out. Thanks Nik and Google! Whiners: Poo!”

Q. That guy rocks, right?
A. Right! I love his attitude.

Q. So, where can I download the free Nik Collection?
A. Here’s the link.

Q. Should I write a mean comment here on your blog for taking the side of the non-complainers?
A. Believe it or not, there are bigger fish to fry in the world today than you complaining that somebody is getting something for free that you had to pay for a year or two ago. Instead, you should be happy that a good thing happened to a lot of photographers all over the world through this gift from Google. If you bought it beforehand, you should be thankful for the time you got to use it and how awesome it made your images look; you should not expect that Google will ever provide a free update to this free software, but know that you’ll still be able to somehow carry on.

Be thankful that there are brilliant geniuses that created this software in the first place, and that Google is so successful they can give it away to us for free, and instead of focusing on the negative side of things, why not take a deep breath, be glad you’re alive; enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)

Best,

-Scott

 

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