Old combat boots with American flag

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and our offices are closed as we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

This post is dedicated each year to the memory of David Leimbach, (shown above; the brother of our dear friend and colleague Jeff Leimbach), who died eight years ago in combat in Afghanistan.

Just a humble word of thanks to the dedicated men and women of our armed services and to all those who came before them who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day.

All my best,

-Scott

Happy Friday everybody! Long weekend coming here in the US (whoo hoo!), but we still have time for another quick installment of my “Things you didn’t realize, or forgot, were in Photoshop” and this time it’s a somewhat obscure selection tool. You’ve probably heard of it, but there’s a good chance you’ve never used it, but it’s actually a nice little tool to keep in the back of your mind — ya never know when you’ll need it.

https://youtu.be/ZcRYUO05m3Y

Hope you have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I posted all the source images for download that I used in my new “Photoshop: From Flat to Fabulous” so you can follow along with me, using the same Raw images I used in the class. Hope you find that helpful. 

From Flat to Fabulous with Scott Kelby
Take your photos from flat to fabulous with Scott Kelby! If you’ve ever experienced being let down by how a photo can look right out of the camera then this class is for you. Join Scott as he takes you from start to finish through his entire post-processing workflow on a wide variety of photos, with an even wider range of problems. You’ll learn how to use Camera Raw to do the basics, how to use Photoshop’s suite of tools for magically removing unwanted objects from the scene, how to crop, how to convert to black and white, how to do whatever it takes to make your photos look fantastic. Pull up a seat and watch over Scott’s shoulder as he shares his thought process, his tips, and his techniques for dealing with landscapes, portraits, collages, cityscapes, panoramas, and more. By the end of the class you’re sure to be thinking differently about some of those photos you were ready to delete, and you may uncover areas of Photoshop that you’ve never seen before.

In Case You Missed It
Ideally, every photo we take would be perfect: perfect exposure, perfect white balance, no backlighting, no harsh shadows. Of course the reality is that some images need to be fixed, and in this course we will look at ways to deal with common problems. In each lesson Dave will fix a problem image, real-time, step-by-step. Check out Fixing Photographic Problems with Adobe Photoshop with Dave Cross at KelbyOne!

dc-headshot-2

I always advocate experimenting in Photoshop to see what happens. Sometimes the results are not at all what you might have expected – in either a good way or a bad way. If you don’t like the results you can always undo, delete or start over. But you may love the results – or at least see some potential that encourages you to keep going down that path of experimentation.

One example of experimentation is using a common technique in an “uncommon” way. Here’s a technique that I’ll be teaching in my Photoshop World class called Photoshop Textures, Borders, Edges and More. It involves using Refine Edge, but to make an unusual edge rather than a perfect selection.

First we need to find an image that will create a cool edge effect, so look for an image with lots of detail like stone texture, branches etc. – a photo with a plain blue sky would not work as well.

NOTE: You could use this technique to create a mask on the same photo, but I’m going to use it to create a mask for a different photo.

In this example I’ve chosen a photo and rotated it 90 degrees since I’ll be using it in landscape orientation.

STEP ONE: Use the Marquee selection tool to make a selection that leaves a small area not selected. (This is one of the factors that you can experiment with as you try this method).

edge1

STEP TWO: Click the Refine Edge button, and in the dialog move the radius slider quite high, and experiment with turning on the Smart Radius option. Take advantage of the preview to see the results you’ll get from different settings.
Change the Output to Layer Mask.

edge2

STEP THREE: Drag the layer and mask into the second document. Unlock the Background layer, and then drag the Layer Mask onto the unlocked layer. Finally, delete the copied layer.

edge3

Here’s the final result with a white layer added below to simulate what the edge would look like when printed.

edge4 edge5

VARIATION: After the mask has been created, you have one more opportunity to edit the effect: double-click on the mask and in the Properties panel click on Refine Mask. Then you can experiment further with different settings.

In this example, I used a small radius and increased the Contrast to change the look of the edge.

edge5 edge6

Remember, once a mask has been created, it’s easy to copy it into another document and resize or tweak as you need.

Of course a key part of this ability to experiment is to work as non-destructively as possible. This means using layers, layer masks, smart filters etc. to give you as much opportunity as possible to try multiple operations, knowing that you’ll be able to go back if you’re not completely happy with the results.

Remember, by nature Photoshop works in a very linear way – you have to choose to work in a non-destructive manner to give yourself the greatest ability possible to experiment.

Dave Cross shares his favorite non-destructive Photoshop techniques – and much more – on his online training site: online.davecrossworkshops.com. He adds new content each week, often in direct response to member questions. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

At Photoshop World Dave will be teaching 3 classes: Photoshop Textures, Borders, Edges and More, The Power of Using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign Together, and Smart Objects, Layer Comps and Libraries — Oh My!

There’s a bunch of ways to remove the background behind your subject or product or logo, but I betcha didn’t know about this one (or it ya did, I bet ya forgot about it):

https://youtu.be/Uk5DTaMxXzI

Do you live in Ft. Lauderdale?
Are you at least within driving distance? OK, how about a short flight? In either case, you should come out to my seminar there on June, 9th. It’s going to be epic! Ticket info here.

Have a great one everybody, and we’ll see ya back here tomorrow for another in my 10-part series. :)

Best,

-Scott

It’s Monday — and #5 is a alive! This is kind of an obscure feature, and it doesn’t always work 100% of the time (what does, right?), but when it works, it’s pretty awesome. It allows you to match the overall color and tone of one photo to any other one you pick. It’s cooler than it sounds.

https://youtu.be/M9UKeA4YqA4

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Hey, can you help me spread the word to Orlando photographers?
That’s because I’m heading there in a few weeks with my one-day seminar, and I want to see lots of old friends, and make some new ones. I’m there on Tuesday, June 7th – if you know a friend in that area, can you let ’em know. Much appreciated. Here’s ticket info. 

Good a pretty cool tip for tomorrow, so come on back for #6 in the series. :)

Best,

-Scott

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