Friday
Jul
2012
06

NIK HDR Efex Pro 2: Weekend Only Deal!

by Scott Kelby  |  116 Comments

Hey everyone, RC here with pretty cool news!  Nik Software has just released a new version of their killer HDR software – HDR Efex Pro 2.  They’ve got a new tonemapping algorithm, some sweet speed increases, and a new interface.  Rather than me sit here and just go on and on about it, I figured it be a neat idea to just walk you through the process with one of my files.  I’m even including the file for you guys to play with at the bottom of this post!

Scott Kelby Fans Get a Jump Start and a Great Discount!
So, here’s the deal.  We are all getting advanced access to Nik HDR Efex Pro at a very reduced rate.  How reduced?  Its like 40 dollars off…   In order to check it out, go to this link: http://bit.ly/M8axzX

Some Samples of Images Tonemapped with HDR Efex Pro 2

I know that just showing a quick video of a tonemapping process wouldn’t be enough to convince you that this is something that you should really look at.  That’s why I went ahead processed all of the images below with HDR Efex Pro 2.  This thing is the real deal.

Download the RAW Files Used in the Video
I didnt want to just show what I can do here with the program – I also wanted to see what you guys come up with!! To that, I figured it be cool to get you a link with the RAW Files (its about 108MB in size.. 8 RAW Files). This way, you can play with them and share with me what you come up with. Download the program, take these files for a spin and share with me what you come up with!! Download the file here: http://bit.ly/LSpv0s

You can follow me at my Google+ page (http://www.gplusrc.com) or at my blog (http://www.aboutrc.com) – Enjoy!!

Friday
Jul
2012
06

Photoshop CS6: From The Inside

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments

[This article originally ran in the May/June issue of Photoshop User Magazine. It got such a great response, we decided to share it here as well!]

Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Senior Product Manager for both Photoshop & Bridge, pictured above, takes us behind the scenes at Adobe to show us the making of the latest version of Photoshop

As I’m writing this, we’ve just released a free public beta of Photoshop CS6. This is only the second time that we’ve given the world an opportunity to “kick the tires” before we ship. I could give you some great tutorials and help you understand just how to use the incredible feature-set to its fullest—but then so could a lot of people. In fact, immediately following this article, you’ll find an entire section dedicated to all the new features in Photoshop CS6. Since you’re reading Photoshop User, you already know that NAPP and major conferences like the twice-annual Photoshop World are great places to learn from the best (and even hacks like me), so I wanted to try something different. I figured I’d give you a unique insight into how we came up with Photoshop CS6 and what goes into a release of Photoshop. I feltthought the best way to approach this was in an interview format andto address all the commonmost popular questions I get about how we build a release—I get these types of questions a lot.

Coming off of Photoshop CS5, our most successful release to date, we were all wondering, “How on earth are we going to top that?” Thankfully, with the 64-bit transition behind us, we had the most precious commodity that a software development team can ask for—time.

So, where do you start when it’s time to work on the next version of Photoshop?
Planning a release is equal parts doing what you need to do (OS changes, performance tuning, integration with other products, camera support, etc.); what your customers want you to do (both the large requests and the small ones); what the team wants to do (emerging technology from our labs, licensed technology, pet projects, and a bucket of “things we’d really like to fix”); and all of what you started but didn’t finish in the prior release. With a very diverse and vocal user base worldwide, ideas are never the problem. The toughest part about scoping a release is choosing where to place our bets and acknowledging that some won’t pan out, so prioritizing features ends up being extremely important. For every feature that we green light, there are dozens we’d love to—it all comes down to time.

Do you worry that you’ll ever run out of ways to improve Photoshop?
Never. When I started on the Photoshop team, digital photography meant drum scans and Photo CDs; the Web was in its infancy; no one brought laptops to meetings because there was no Wi-Fi; and mobile devices were limited to phone calls and weren’t yet the norm. Technology changes every day. Every new feature on a camera or in a computing platform is an opportunity for us. I think of Photoshop as an imaging platform; images (any kind: still, video, 2.5D, 3D) can come from anywhere and go to anywhere. Photoshop is what happens on the way. Photoshop no longer means just the desktop either. Our technology can be found on the Web and across platforms on phonessmartphones and tablets. I can honestly say that there has never been a more exciting time for Photoshop. Images are everywhere.


Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen

How many people are on the Photoshop team? What do they all do?
There are roughly 100 on the core Photoshop team (individuals devoted solely to Photoshop and Photoshop Extended), which when you consider that the application appears in every suite and is translated into 25 languages, is pretty impressive. While our headquarters is in San Jose, California, and houses the bulk of the team, we have team members in San Diego, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Florida, India, China, and beyond. The core team is broken into several pieces:

Management: Nearly all of us came up through various parts of the organization or played individual roles on other teams at some point.

Engineering: The magicians who write the code. These water-walkers comb through millions of lines of legacy code and push the framework to the absolute limit.

Quality Engineering: The tireless testers who assure that everything works (the new features and the old ones). These talented folks are paid to break Photoshop. Tens of thousands of bugs are logged, tracked, and fixed in a regular cycle.

Automation: These folks straddle coding and testing as they write and run complex scripts that stress-test each fresh build of Photoshop—computers testing computers.

Localization Engineering: The core team is made up of people from all over the world, but these team members are experts in multiple languages and assure that foreign builds are translated correctly and take into account any cultural nuances.

Experience Design: Adobe has a large team of experience designers. We have two dedicated entirely to Photoshop. Matthew Bice and Tim Riot are incredibly hard-working, creative guys and are tasked with an incredibly difficult job—touching an application used by everyone in their industry and wanting to leave their mark and push the envelope, but being constrained by a very well-established product and more than two decades of legacy code.

Program Management: Steve Snyder singlehandedly wrangles our schedule, milestones, and various check-ins. Steve jumps from meeting to meeting all day and makes sure that we are where we need to be. Steve has tenacity and an obsession with doing things right (he spent more than a decade in Quality Engineering). Getting more than a dozen suite applications out the door at the same time is a very big juggling act. Steve and others are invaluable here.

Evangelists: Julieanne Kost and Russell Brown are legends in their field:. Julieanne is one of Fast Company’s “most creative people,” and Russell is an Emmy Award winner, respectively. Both are in the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Julieanne and Russell travel more than not and share an insatiable curiosity and creativity. They excel at inspiring and teaching, and the team learns a great deal from them about what we can improve and how.

Marketing: Jim Heiser and Allison Goffman are dedicated to the Photoshop team and are very passionate about communicating its abilities in a fresh, exciting, and engaging way.

Customer Advocacy: Cari Gushiken and Jeff Tranberry founded this new team to assure that we listen and respond to our user base all over the world. From problem solving to social media, these two cover a tremendous amount of ground. If you’ve ever found an answer in a forum or seen a video on Facebook or YouTube, one of them was probably involved.


Jim Heiser (marketing), Scott Kelby (NAPP President), Zorana Gee (product management), Bryan O’Neil Hughes, and Matthew Bice (experience design) visit NAPP for an in-depth discussion about what would become Photoshop CS6

The team comes from every corner of the globe and is educated as much in liberal arts as computer science. Many of our team members (like myself) used Photoshop professionally before coming onto the team; others only touch it at work and wouldn’t call themselves users. None of us would ever say that we’re experts—there’s an unwritten rule about that. We all share one common ingredient, passion. That passion created the world standard in digital imaging and it continues to. If you ever find yourself outside of Adobe’s headquarters at night, look for the floor with the most lights on—that’s W10WT10 (the West Tower, 10th floor)—that’s passion.

PHOTOSHOP CS6 BY THE NUMBERS

  • Lines of code: 4.5 Million+
  • Icons replaced for new UI: 1,900
  • Cursors replaced for new UI: 250
  • Menu items removed from CS6: 47
  • Features brought back from CS4: 3 (PDF Presentation, Contact Sheet II, and Lighting Effects)
  • Languages supported in CS5: 23
  • Languages supported in CS6: 26
  • Changes to Crop tool: Around two dozen
  • Increase in feature changes over CS5: +62%
  • JDI features in CS5: 30+
  • JDI features in CS6: 65+

Can you explain product management’s role? Continue reading

Thursday
Jul
2012
05

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  81 Comments

Lightroom 4 Crash Course App
Want to take the Lightroom 4 Crash Course with you wherever you go? Grab the app from the iTunes store and you can have it on your iPad and iPhone! No need to be connected to the internet once you have it installed, and it’s like having Matt Kloskowski right there with you, letting you know about all the cool new features in Lightroom 4.

This and other Kelby Training apps are on sale for $4.99 today until around 3:00pm ET, so grab them now before they go back to their regular price of $9.99!

You can also leave a comment for your chance to win one of three promo codes for a free download!

Outdoor Lifestyle Photography
Join Erik Valind on the coast of Florida for his Outdoor Lifestyle Photography class! He’ll show you how to get amazing lifestyle photos using diffusers, reflectors, and strobes. He’ll also give you great tips on posing, composition, and choosing locations while working through the shoot.

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar Tour
This month, Scott Kelby is heading to Nashville, Philadelphia, and New York City to kick off his brand new Photoshop CS6 for Photographers seminar tour! You can get more info, more tour dates, and register over at KelbyTraining.com.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of the three seminars listed above!

Accurate Color from Herb Paynter
The Accurate Color interactive iBook series from Herb Paynter is now on the iBookstore in four editions: Text, Narrated Text, Audio Video Text, and finally, a Full HD videobook. A little something for everyone.

Preparing images for presentation of any sort must address several key issues: the medium’s ability to portray the desired visual message, and the effective adjustment of the image’s tones and colors to best utilize that medium’s spectral qualities.

Here are codes for four lucky people to download this iBook for free!
7NA4R93PKWRM- Accurate Color AudioVideoTextBook
J7TMYXJ343EX- Accurate Color AudioTextBook
JE9PL6H37P4H- Accurate Color VideoTextBook
9JN3FH4HMRMT- Accurate Color Interactive TextBook

Last Week’s Winners
Joe McNally’s One Light, Two Light Seminar
- Rene G

Going Pro DVD with Scott Bourne & Skip Cohen
- Kenny Kinter

Wednesday
Jul
2012
04

Happy “Fourth of July” Everybody!

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

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Photo by Brad Moore

I want to wish all my readers (well, at least the US-based ones) Happy Independence Day.

I’m taking today off to spend some time with my family, and I hope you’re able to do the same. Have a great day and we’ll see you here tomorrow for “Free Stuff” Thursday.

Just in case: here’s what ‘Independence Day’ Really Means to Us
Today is a national holiday celebrating our country’s independence from traditional film. No longer will we press the shutter button thinking, “Well, that just cost me 22¢” or “Well, that’s 36—time to pop in another roll.” or that phrase heard so often on vacation, “I need to stop and buy some film.”

Should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: No longer will we wait hours, or days, to see our prints only to find out that someone was blinking or the flash didn’t fire. No longer will we go quitely into the night, to drop off our film in an overnight drop box. We’re going to live on to shoot for free another day—free from the tyranny of film chemicals and safe lights; changing bags and temperature regulators; cotton gloves and Print tongs. No today as we gather together to fill our 16 and 32-gig cards with wild abandon we celebrate our real Independence Day! (–insert wild cheers here).

Tuesday
Jul
2012
03

50% Off All Kelby Training Apps!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

For the next 48 (ish1) hours, you can get any and all2 of the iOS apps from Kelby Training for HALF PRICE!!

Not only that, but the Lightroom 4 Crash Course app was just added, and is also available during this time for just $4.99!

Head over to the Apple App Store before 3:00pm1 ET Thursday, July 5, to take advantage of this opportunity.

1 The iOS store may take time to update its prices, so time frame is approximate. In other words, grab it as soon as you see the sale price!
2 Light It Magazine and Photoshop User Magazine are not included in this sale

Tuesday
Jul
2012
03

How to Shoot Fireworks (My 4th of July Post Tradition )

by Scott Kelby  |  37 Comments

Hi Gang: Each year right before Independence Day (celebrated here in the U.S. on the Fourth of July), I share a quick post on how to photograph Fireworks (a traditional part of the 4th of July celebration here). I’m posting the technique that I included on page 175 of my book, “The Digital Photography Book, Part 1.” Here we go:

This is another one that throws a lot of people (one of my best friends, who didn’t get a single crisp fireworks shot on the Fourth of July, made me including this tip just for him, and the thousands of other digital shooters that share his pain).

For starters, you’ll need to shoot fireworks with your camera on a tripod, because you’re going to need a slow enough shutter speed to capture the falling light trails, which is what you’re really after.

Also, this is where using a cable release really pays off, because you’ll need to see the rocket’s trajectory to know when to push the shutter button—if you’re looking in the viewfinder instead, it will be more of a hit or miss proposition.

Next, use a zoom lens (ideally a 200mm or more) so you can get in tight and capture just the fireworks themselves. If you want fireworks and the background (like fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World), then use a wider lens.

Now, I recommend shooting in full Manual mode, because you just set two settings and you’re good to go:

  1. Set the Shutter Speed to 4 seconds
  2. Set the Aperture to f/11. Fire a test shot and look at the LCD monitor on the back of your camera to see if you like the results. If it overexposes, lower the shutter speed to 3 seconds, then take another shot and check the results again.

TIP: If your camera has “Bulb” mode (where the shutter stays open as long as you hold down the shutter release button down), this works great–hold the shutter button down when the rocket bursts, then release when the light trails start to fade. (By the way; most Canon and Nikon digital SLRs have bulb mode). The rest is timing—because now you’ve got the exposure and sharpness covered.

There you have it—-hope you all get some great shots on the fourth, and remember to stay safe around fireworks of any kind, and we’ll see you back here in one piece tomorrow. :)

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