Category Archives Photoshop

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:

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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.

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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). 😉

 

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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!

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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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So, Brad had set up and taken this photo of my gear (for use on Social Media), and when I opened it in Photoshop I noticed something “funky” when I zoomed in on the camera bag on the right…

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Above: I zoomed in so you can see it — it’s a “moire” pattern, which is an unwanted repeating color pattern that appears over part of your image, probably most often on clothing (when you least expect it, and sometimes on objects where you’d least expect it, like a camera bag). In this case, it’s that blue and gold series of zebra stripes covering the entire front of the camera bag.

Luckily, this is such a common occurrence that both Lightroom and Photoshop’s Camera Raw have a feature dedicated to fixing it.

Moire3a

Above: In Lightroom’s Develop Module (or Photoshop’s Camera Raw, which is what I’m showing here), go to the Adjustment Brush, and in the the Brush controls you’ll see a slider for “Moire Reduction” (shown circled here in red). I started by getting the amount at +50 to see how it would do.

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Above: I set my brush to a large size and started painting over the bag and…voila! The Moire is gone! Well, at a setting of 50% it was mostly gone, but I could still see a bit, so I dragged the slider to the right to +65 and then it was gone.

Moire5a

Above: Here’s a before and after, where you can see the blue and gold on the left, and on the right in the “after” view, you can see it’s pretty much gone.

The first part is beginning to recognize the signs of a moire pattern, because after all, if you don’t know what it looks like, you won’t realize it needs correcting. At least now, if you do run across a moire, you know how to quickly and easily fix it. :)

Ahhhhh, that’s a moire! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you entered my giveaway (over on my Facebook page) for a free ticket to my seminar next week in Richmond and Atlanta, I posted the winner’s names this morning. 

Happy Friday, everybody! Today I’m going to share five very short trailers (each around a minute or less) for online classes you can watch this weekend over at KelbyOne.com, including three classes from me.

BTW: If you’re not already a KelbyOne member, you can watch all five of these classes (and all the rest for that matter), for $19.99 (the cost of a one-month membership). Well, truth be told, you could just sign up for a 10-day free trial membership and watch them all for free (but don’t tell ’em I told ya). ;-)

Here they are:

Above: Location Lighting
That’s my class on location lighting – shot in four difference places for four different types of shoots. I’m using the Elinchrom ELB-400 battery pack and flash, but as many people online have said, you don’t need that set-up to learn a lot from this class.

Here’s the link to the full KelbyOne online class

Above: Shooting Fashion on Location with Frank Doorhof
This is an awesome class from Dutch fashion photographer Frank Doorhof, shot on location in Amsterdam, on how to shoot, pose, and work with models. Frank rocks!

Here’s the link to Frank’s full online class at KelbyOne

Above: How to photograph and create fun Holiday Cards
In this brand-new class RC shows you how to make way cooler Christmas Cards this year by not only creating the images yourself (instead of using the Mall Santa), but using Photoshop to create something really clever, really unique, and something your friends will be talking about.

Here’s the link to the full online class on KelbyOne

Above: How to design Holiday Cards in Adobe Illustrator (with Pete Collins)
I know I said it’s only 5-trailers, but this one kind of goes hand-in-hand with the previous one since these are Holiday-specific classes. Pete shows you how incredible easy it is to create really clever custom holiday cards in Adobe Illustrator (and if you’ve never used Illustrator, but you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, this is your chance to start using it).

Here’s the link to the full online class at KelbyOne

 

Above: Location Lite: High end look – low cost budget
I called this class “Location Lite” because the goal was to make it look like we shot on locations, but we really did it on the cheap and indoors, keeeping our budget at $300 (including the hot shoe flash itself, the modifier, and even the background). I’m hearing from so many people who have fallen in love with this class – you’ll dig it.

Here’s the link to the full KelbyOne online class.

 

Above: Retouching Brides
If you’re a wedding photographer, this one’s definitely for you, but even if you just do portraits, you’ll pick up lots of Photoshop retouching techniques in this class that you can use in your portrait work.

Here’s the link to the full KelbyOne online class.

There ya have it – lots to watch this weekend, and hope you learn a lot. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Make sure you check out my portrait lighting “fix” tutorial today over on LighroomKillerTips.com – I show how to take a technique we normally use for Landscape photos and repurpose it for portraits (see below).

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Last night Adobe released a ton of new updates for users in the Adobe Creative Cloud and Photoshop was among the apps that got a good amount of changes to it.  These features were things that we got to see a sneak peek at Adobe Max – but it is so nice to see that they are out as fast as they could.

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We are excited about the new features – so much so that we have them all set up in our Photoshop CC 2015.1 Learning Center! Our own Corey Barker takes you through all of the features and gets you up to speed on all of the new additions in no time at all!  We also have all of the updates in one spot there.

I believe there is no better time to be an Adobe Creative Cloud user.  Whether using the Creative Cloud Photography Plan or the Full Creative Cloud subscription, the amount of features you’re getting from Adobe is wonderful.

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