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On Wednesday morning, the folks at Westcott announced their brand new portable, collapsible beauty dish, the 24″ Rapid Box Beauty Dish (designed by awesome photographer and beauty dish master, Joel Grimes himself), and just a few hours later we were in the studio doing a live shoot showing how it works.

Here’s the live shoot
I’m there in our photo studio with Westcott’s own Brandon Heiss, and I’m sharing a clip from “The Grid” that aired on Wednesday afternoon where we showed the shoot, and talked about the dish. I embedded it here, below:

https://youtu.be/3YUN7mebUX8

Again, that’s just a short clip from the show – we talked about lighting, answered questions, and generally had a lighting love-fest, so if you want to catch the full episode, you can watch it here. 

Photoshop World 2016 is almost here!
It’s just over a month way, but it’s not too late to join us for three in-depth days of learning Photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom – you’ll love it, and you’ll learn a ton. Here’s where you get your tickets (and you get $100 off if you’re a KelbyOne member).

OK, that’s it for this Friday, folks. Hope to see you back here on Monday. :)

Have a great weekend!

-Scott

Master Post-Processing: 10 Mistakes Every New Photographer Makes and How to Fix Them with Kristina Sherk
Become a more well rounded photographer! We all make mistakes, so be prepared by learning how to avoid them and how to fix them. Join Kristina Sherk, retoucher extraordinaire, as she teaches you how to deal with the 10 most common mistakes all photographers make. From correcting uneven exposures to dealing with the results of a mixed-lighting environment to correcting blur caused by camera shake, and more, Kristi discusses how to avoid problems in-camera and then shows you how to fix them in Photoshop. You’ll even learn how to be a power user of tools you probably already use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to take your photography and Photoshop skills to the next level.

In Case You Missed It
Get ready to have a blast learning how to create character-based composite images with photographer and retoucher Glyn Dewis! Starting from scratch, Glyn will teach you every step in his process; from cool ways to use social media for brainstorming and communicating ideas to the importance of building your own stock image library while on location. Glyn demonstrates how he works with non-professional models and shows you how to bring all the elements together in Photoshop. Along the way you’ll learn numerous tips and tricks and leave the class inspired to go out and create your own fantastic composites.

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That’s A Photoshopped Photo, No?
When I started photography in 2005 and was proudly starting to share my work with the world – that was a common reaction to my photos.

Most of the people enjoyed my work, but I would get this comment:

“This must have been Photoshopped.”

Indeed it was, for example:

The Carrousel in Louvre Paris

This is a photo of the Carrousel at the Louvre. I added some clouds and a sepia look, but kept some of reds as natural colors.

I went under the Eiffel tower and we had a very nice sky, with a wide angle lens, I got this shot. Loved the sky that end of afternoon

This is an HDR shot of the Eiffel Tower where I added some magenta in the sky to make it more dramatic.

This is the Pont Neuf Bridge in Paris with a nice sky.

Here is a photo of the Pont Neuf in Paris. I changed the sky and did a lot of dodge and burn on it, love the photo. I’m selling this photo to one of the biggest network galleries in the world – it has 85 physical galleries. The gallery really liked it despite the “Photoshop effect.”

I always felt a little guilty changing skies, or adding too much dodge and burn. I felt like I violated some kind of sacred oath that photographers had signed to not use any of these tricks on their photos.

When somebody tells me, “You used Photoshop!” I hear, “You are just good with software, but you are not actually a real photographer.”

Then one day I started using an ND filter and doing long exposure which lead to this kind of photo:

Notre Dame Paris longue Pause

The magenta came mostly from the use of the filter. The stretchy clouds and the silky water came from the long exposure. So this time the drama did not come from software but from a dark piece of glass that you screw onto the camera.

I wondered, “Is using an accessory to create an effect more legitimate than using software?

Then I started using an 85mm f/1.4 lens that gave a very shallow depth of field and a superb bokeh to my photos.

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This is a portrait of me taken by a friend. Do you notice how the bokeh in the background is a special effect which was created by a lens? This is not something natural that you can observe with your eyes.

I came to the conclusion then, that no matter what you use to create your image, whether it is in-camera, in-software, or with the use of a filter or a lens, what matters is the emotional impact that the photo creates. Do my photos tell a story? Do people like it? Would they like to have it in their homes or offices?

In the end, for me, these are the questions that matter.

I also realize that sometimes people react to saturation, like some people used to react in the early 80’s when color television came out. I remember at home the brand new color TV seemed fake to me, I was only used to black and white.

Sometimes nature gives you very strong sunsets with amazing colors. When you manage to match them using Lightroom or Photoshop to the feeling you experienced at the time, they might feel fake, but to me they are a representation of what I was seeing.

For example:

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This is a beautiful sunset in Clearwater, Florida. I spent quite some time in Lightroom tweaking this photo until I felt like it was as saturated as my eyes remembered.

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A horse close to Chantilly France, looking straight into the sun, my eyes were almost blind, I corrected the color until I got the same impression.

What confused me even more – is black and white photography. I remember talking to the owners of Yellow Korner and they seemed to have a lot of admiration for black and white as being a noble photographic art.

So I started studying Ansel Adams’ workflow from his book, the camera, the negatives and the prints and realize how much he really controlled and retouched his photos using the zone system with a very complex printing process. I also saw some old black and whites from famous photographers who spent dozens of hours retouching them, much more then what we do today. This was mainly due to tools that were hard to use at the time. Try taking out a negative and skin spot with a needle!

Here are a few photos I took recently in Yosemite as homage to the work of Ansel Adams. I’m a big fan of his work.

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Then one day it hit me: When you do black and white, you are participating in an art form that has been here for decades and has been established as a form of fine art.

Even though I felt satisfied that the emotional impact was all I cared about, and that I would be creative with my photos, whether or not people enjoyed them, I still felt guilty when someone asked me if I used Photoshop or not.

One photographer fascinates me for his image and his success and that is Peter Lik.

He does beautiful photos that are very saturated, beautifully printed and, per what I have read, he is the biggest seller of fine art on the planet in recent years. I know some people love him and some people hate him (they are probably jealous.☺)

I get a lot of inspiration looking at his photos and I like to listen to what people say when they see his photos at his galleries. He has galleries all over the place New York, Vegas and I have spent quite some time there for inspiration and eavesdropping.

The public at his galleries usually don’t say “These are Photoshopped!” but more like “What a beautiful tree, or island or beach.” etc…

I’m sure Peter’s work takes a lot of Photoshop work, but that is not the response that he is getting.

I realized then, that as long as you retouch your photos to what people are used to seeing, you can get away with a lot. But when your skies start having a blue that the public is not used to seeing or too much magenta in my case, they react as if your photos are computer generated. But, if you managed to make fabulous color correction, within what the general public is capable of believing, you have created a whole different impact.

So that’s my game these days, to retouch my photos in such a way that they look dramatic (and hopefully nice), but the color has to remain within the realm of experience of the human race ☺

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This photo has quite a bit of dodge and burn, but I tried to keep it to an “acceptable to the human experience” range.

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I shot this from a helicopter at 8000 ISO.

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A sunrise in Paris just a few days ago.

All of this being said, next month I might go back to some super HDR like this:

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I just completed a full course on Landscape Photography that you can find right here.

I’m giving a super discount, for a limited time, to all of Scott’s readers by using the code: KelbySR at check out.

This is by far the training course I’m the proudest of, 48 videos with lots of live and examples from start to finish.

How do you like to retouch your photos? Leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!
– Serge

You can see more of Serge’s work at SergeRamelliPhotos.com, learn from him at PhotoSerge.com, and follow him on Instagram, 500pxYouTube, Facebook, Twitter. You can also see Serge live in person at Photoshop World in Las Vegas July 19-21!

Not only is it here (the eBook version is available now, and the print version is right behind it), we’ve got a screamin’ deal on it, too! (More on that in a sec).

First, here’s what the book’s about (it’s only 33-seconds long – come on – you’ve got 33 seconds – hit play).

https://youtu.be/99QBU8Uyaxs

So, this Photoshop book is a follow-up to my book “How Do I Do That in Lightroom?” which really resonated with a lot of users as it gets you right to the thing you want to do, and just that, so it was natural to follow up with a Photoshop edition. Just like in the Lightroom book – you’re not learning everything in Photoshop; just that thing you need to do right now (like the video says). Also, it’s not for brand new beginners. It’s for folks who kind of already know their way around the program a bit and kinda know what they want to do, but can’t remember (or just don’t know) how to do it (or where it’s hidden). That’s who the book is really for.

OK, check out this rockin’, smokin’ (add your own adjective with an apostrophe here) deal for both KelbyOne members and non-members (courtesy of the book’s publisher, Rocky Nook):

KO_Bk_HowPS_Tw

 

KelbyOne members can get the eBook for just $10 NOW, pre-order the paperback for $20, or get BOTH for $25 at this link – This is a 10-day-only special offer. Once you enter your KelbyOne info, you’ll receive access to the exclusive coupon codes.
If you’re not a KelbyOne member, you can get the eBook NOW on Amazon or pre-order the paper back on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
OK, that’s the scoop
Tomorrow on The Grid I’ve got a special guest, and a new product reveal, but if I mention who it is, it might give it away, so I’ll share that tomorrow, but it’s cool stuff. :)
Have a great Tuesday everybody!
-Scott

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Hi Gang. Not sure you if caught this, but last week Adobe released a Lightroom update with two pretty significant and mightily cool features; along with new camera support; tethering support for some new cameras; new lens profiles, and a host of bug fixes.

The two awesome features are:

(1) New “Guided Upright” lens corrections
This lets you tell Lightroom where the lens problems are, and it does the rest. It’s really well done (get more details, and a video demo from Adobe’s own Julieanne Kost).

(2) The ability to merge HDRs and create Panos from just the Smart Previews
Previously, you had to have the original images to do this, and without it those menu commands were grayed out). This is cooler than you’d think, and I wrote about this today over on my Lightroom blog: LightroomKillerTips.com

If you’re an Adobe CC subscriber, you can download this update by going to Lightroom’s Help menu and choosing ‘Updates’

Hope you find that helpful.

Best,

-Scott

keynote

OK, y’all — today’s the final day to grab your tickets and save $100 for next month’s Photoshop World 2016 Conference in Las Vegas (July 19-21st, 2016). Here’s what to do:

(1) Go to http://photoshopworld.com and get your tickets right now.

(2) Book your hotel right where we’re all staying (the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino) now while the special room discount for Photoshop World attendees is still available.

(3) Think about coming a day early to take a day learning to build your business in a “business side of photography / marketing / and building your brand” workshop with UK automotive photographer Tim Wallace (he taught a short version of this last year, and everybody lost their minds it was so good). Details here.

(4) If you’re coming a day early, and want hands-on-help on building your portfolio, you’ve got a rare opportunity to learn from one of the best — Daniel Gregory — in a hands-on portfolio prep in-depth workshop. If you want to nurture the artist within you, then check out Julieanne Kost’s workshop called “Passenger Seat: Creating a Photographic Project from Conception to Though Execution” – you will get totally immersed in this. Details on both optional pre-conference workshops here. 

(5) Start thinking about which parties, events, photo shoots, and get-togethers you’re going to do while you’re out there with us learning and laughing next month.

(6) Watch this video for instant inspiration, and to get psyched for the trip!

https://youtu.be/1-v3_mwlJRo

(7) Pack your bags — we’re headed to Vegas!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

 

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