Color grading is an art form. There are thousands of resources, tutorials, scripts, software packages and workshops dedicated to this single topic. However, sometimes you just need something simple and you don’t want to dive into the heavy topic of the science of color. This is exactly why I came up with a quick plug-in free way of cycling through simplistic color grades randomly. It comes in handy when you don’t have the time to develop a look or when you simply just want to scroll through a couple of options.
The process is quite simple. You create a Gradient Map adjustment layer on top. Then click on the gradient strip to get into the Gradient Editor, where you need to change the Gradient Type to Noise.
The percentage of Roughness determines the number of colours you will have in your gradient. I’d recommend setting that to 15% or lower.
For Color Model, I like to use HSB or LAB, but RGB works just as well. Here, technically you could restrict the colours, but for the full effect just leave the sliders as-is.
Make sure that Restrict Colors is ticked in and Add Transparency is not in the Options section. After all of this, Randomize away!
Once you settled on a gradient you like, hit OK. To apply the grade set the Blending Mode to Color and lower the opacity to your liking. And this is it, you are done. You can go back and Randomize the colours any time.
It’s all part of knowing who you are as a photographer and it defines you to the world around you. Some say it’s a crucial element to photographic success. So, why should you have a signature look?
I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here every week on Scott Kelby’s blog for #TravelTuesday.
I always used to say that my style was to not have a style. What I’ve since realised is that actually, I was still busy finding it! Regularly taking the time to assess where you’ve come in your photography journey helps to highlight key turning points and to appreciate the journey you’ve been on, as well as helps to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. On a side note, doing this can also help, at times, when you’re perhaps feeling lost or disillusioned in photography.
The key part of your signature look is this: – When people buy photography they are often actually buying the face behind the photos. You’re being booked for your look and for the style of image you’re creating. When you get booked it’s because it’s you—it’s the personality in you that’s transposed into your photography which people are buying. It’s your signature look.
Landing on your look—your style or your image—is a journey. It comes from looking at a lot of photos by other photographers and learning what concepts you like, what concepts you want to imitate, and what you want to ditch. Take all the points that you do like and try to figure out why. It’s a journey of self-examination.
Taking the time to analyse your work, so as to properly work out if and how you have employed the concepts you’ve landed on as being things you want to imitate and replicate in your own way, is key to moving forward. It’s not necessarily about what is right in terms of technically correct photos, it’s much more about the art of photography. Finding your style is about the look, not at all about the histogram.
While you can try to imitate the looks you like, be careful to not compare yourself to that work or try too hard to exactly emulate it, but simply use it to push yourself in the right direction.
Thinking of the right pro words to define your photography can aid in reaching your signature look, too. The creative words which come to mind when you look at your work, which describe your work, and which resonate through your work are those which you can confidently take forward with you in creating your next images.
Another important thing to keep in mind when finding your style is to assign yourself personal projects. Having personal projects gives you a chance to try to apply a look to a series of images, perfecting and honing that style, and then further refining the style, which ultimately results in—your style.
Having a style is important for success in photography. Find yours!
I’ve got a couple of awesome hands-on travel photography workshops coming up this year, and I would love it if you could join me (there are just a few spots left in both workshops), here’s the info:
The “Essence of Paris” Travel Photography Workshop
Instructors: Scott Kelby and Mimo Meidany When: June 7-10, 2019 Where: Our boutique hotel is just steps from Notre Dame (accommodations and breakfast each day are included) Tickets: More details and tickets here (limited to 12 participants total)
CHECK OUT THE PARIS WORKSHOP VIDEO BELOW:
China’s Mystical Guilin Region Photography Workshop
Instructors: Scott Kelby and Rick Sammon When: Sunday, September 15, 2019 – Monday, September 23, 2019 Where: Accommodations, transfers and all meals included. Tickets: More details and tickets here (limited to 12 participants total)
I only do two workshops a year… I hope you can join me at one of them. We have an incredible time, we learn a lot, we laugh a lot, we eat some incredible food in some magnificent places, and it’s just an amazing experience all the way around.
Take a look at some shots and behind-the-scenes images from my Venice Workshop and my Rome Workshop from last year. They give you a good idea of what it’s like.
Don’t miss “Travel Tuesdays” with Dave tomorrow
Dave is awesome, it’s worth checking him out every Tuesday right here.
Have a great Monday (stop snickering) everybody! :)
Camera reviews are among the most-broken things in photography today, and it was part of our topic yesterday on ‘The Grid’ (with our in-studio guest, the always awesome Rick Sammon joining Erik Kuna and me). It got a lot of folks talking, and a surprising amount agreeing as well (which getting two people to agree on anything these days, about any topic at all, is like squeezing toothpaste back into the tube).
We also asked our viewers how they wound up on the brand of camera they currently use, and there were some interesting stories. Give it a listen or watch below if you get a sec today or this weekend, and feel free to drop any comments here, or over on my Facebook page.
Here’s wishing you a really fun, safe, happy weekend. :)
P.S. Yesterday I posted the list of classes on the Lightroom Training Track at this summer’s Photoshop World Conference in Orlando. Here’s the link if you’re into Lightroom.
How To Shoot Portraits In Any Location with Frank Doorhof
Join Frank Dorhoof on his home turf in The Netherlands to learn how to shoot portraits in any location! Learn how to create amazing looking photographs in your own backyard or wherever your travels take you. Using just a single strobe and one light modifier, Frank takes you through a series of location shoots around his home town of Emmeloord. From open country roads to the banks of a canal to the wall of a building across the street, Frank takes you through each of his lighting set ups, posing techniques, and framing to show how to create photos with drama, emotion, and interest regardless of where you are located. Frank wraps up the class with a series of lessons highlighting aspects of his post processing workflow to create the final looks he was after.