Monthly Archives July 2019


Advanced Color Grading to Create Mood & Drama with Unmesh Dinda

Master the art of color grading your photos with Unmesh Dinda! In this class you’ll learn practical steps you can apply to your photographs in a variety of ways and to achieve dramatic and moody results. You’ll learn how to color grade using gradient maps, curves, selective color adjustments, look up tables, and more. Unmesh even teaches you techniques for incorporating film-like grain, overlays, light flares, and spot light effects to take your creativity and color grading to new heights.



In Case You Missed It: Jaw-Dropping, Heart-Stopping, Eye-Popping Photoshop Effects

Join Unmesh Dinda and take your Photoshop skills to the next level! This class is jam-packed with tricks and techniques that will make your jaw drop. You’ll learn how to retouch any surface without damaging texture, how to selectively apply blur for dramatic effect, how to scale a photo without damaging the main subject, how to automate actions to work faster, how to gain unlimited filters through the Gradient Map, and so much more. Unmesh has a great knack for making complicated techniques simple and approachable, and he even provides files for you to download and practice with as you learn. By this end of the class these lessons will serve as a go-to reference to come back to anytime you need a refresher.

Roberto Valenzuela will be teaching at Photoshop World Las Vegas, taking place August 21-23, so register now to come see him in person!

Behind The Shot: A Look Into My Process

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from international workshops, along with the stories and techniques behind them. I’m also including the EXIF data of each photo so you can see my settings. Enjoy!

Behind the Shot: Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam: Roberto Valenzuela

Female model, Yen, posing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Roberto Valenzuela.
Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 28-70mm F2 L USM |
Focal Length: 50 mm | Exposure: 1/100; f/3.5; ISO 400 | Flash: 2 Profoto B10 flashes used

During the shoot with model Yen, it began to rain. We were stuck in a little neighborhood in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. While we waited for the rain to recede, I was inspired by the old world look of the neighborhood in front of me. To add to the nostalgia of the scene, I used a technique I created called “Flash Flare,” where a flash is inches from the lens pointed right at the lens to hit the sensor.

BTS Video by: Tyler Austin

Because I wanted to add to the old world feel of this place, I added a ½ CTO filter to the light to give it an “In Camera” vintage look. I posed the model as if she was taking a stroll around her neighborhood. Another flash was used to illuminate the model.  The officer on the motorcycle to the right, contributes beautifully to the cinematic old world feel of the scene.

Behind the Shot: Hanoi Vietnam

Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 24-105mm F4 L USM |
Focal Length: 24 mm | Exposure: 1/50; f/3.5; ISO 800 | Flash: 1 Profoto B10 flash used

This photograph was created with quite a bit of luck. The model Thuy was actually the MC for the Canon EOS R event in Vietnam. I asked her if I could take some quick photos of her in the old district. With her beautiful red dress, I thought it would go nicely with the old vintage feel of the old district in Hanoi.

Behind the scenes shot of the setting.

Once there, to my surprise, we ran into these two soldiers dressed in uniform on the street playing a game. I politely asked, with the help of my translator, if we could include them in the photograph. Not only did they say yes, but they were excited about it. To bring visual attention to our model Thuy, I used a Profoto B10 with a beauty dish to illuminate her.

Behind the Shot: Hong Kong

Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 28-70mm F2 L USM |
Focal Length: 28 mm | Exposure: 1/400; f/6.3; ISO 1600 | Flash: 1 Profoto B10 flash used

This photo was taken in a very odd place. As we explored our surroundings in Hong Kong, I noticed a tiny little island on the Google Maps app on my phone. This island is called Magazine Island. Even though it was a long shot, I asked our boat driver if it was possible for us to go to that island. She laughed, but she did it.

Once we got there, we hiked to the top to take advantage of the interesting rock formations. So I asked the model Fanny to lay on the floor and frame her face with her arms. We used a Profoto B10 very close to her face to create this flattering illumination on Fanny’s face.

Behind the Shot: Singapore

Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 28-70mm F2 L USM |
Focal Length: 28 mm | Exposure: 1/800; f/3.5; ISO 100 | Flash: 1 Profoto B10 flash used
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Happy #TravelTuesday one and all! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here today (and every Tuesday) with some photography wisdom for you. This week, I’m in Croatia! I arrived a couple of days ago and, so far, I’ve also hopped some borders and checked out Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro. If you were wondering—they’re beautiful!

I caught sunrise in Mostar, Bosnia, and framed up a lovely series of shots down the Neretva River of the town’s famous bridge. Now, I arrived before sunrise and caught the sun coming up over the bridge, then I drove half an hour down the road to Blagaj Tekija, a monastery on a beautiful pool next to a cliff edge, built by Dervish monks in the 16th Century. The reason I’m telling you this is to point out something that photographers don’t necessarily always consider when shooting sunrise and sunset situations, and that thing is this: –

The sunrise and sunset times will vary if you’re in mountains! Yes, simple, right? My pro tip for you if you don’t know the actual sunset time is to hold your clenched fist out, thumb up, to the horizon. Because of the beautiful piece of nature that is the golden equation, the God number, the divine proportion, whatever else you want to call it, the sun will sink approximately the distance your fist occupies every hour. Therefore if the sun is one fist’s height above the mountain next to you, you have about an hour until sunset!

(That’s a top-secret pro tip, don’t tell anyone!)

So, although it may seem simple, it may not actually be considered. Mountains and other such high terrain affect the sunrise and sunset, which is something I took full advantage of in Bosnia and Herzegovina by having two sunrises!

If you were wondering, sunrise totally beats sunset! That time of day is calm, relaxed, the rest of the world hasn’t woken up yet, there’s no traffic to get where you’re going, when you get there you can always find a place to park, and the light is amazing. It’s just all-around better!

Much love

Dave

Hi Gang: Here’s a post I did a while back on “How to Shoot Awesome Fireworks shots!”  and today it’s how to Edit them in Photoshop (that way you’re prepared for the editing, now, too!). The video includes a really simple trick for creating your own custom “Fireworks Show Finale!” So cool you’ll drop your hot dog. That sounds bad but you know what I mean.

Check out the video I made for you below:

Pretty fun stuff. Hope you get some awesome shots!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Best,

-Scott

Last year we did a special 4th of July episode of ‘The Grid’ all about how to take great fireworks shots. Erik (the real Rocket Man) Kuna and I cover everything from the gear to the techniques to the post-processing in Photoshop and Lightroom and lots of helpful tips along the way.

We get right to it from the start (we have a lot to cover), and if you’re looking to make great fireworks shots tonight, we give the exact time-tested recipe of settings that can’t miss!

Here’s wishing and your family a happy, safe, and fun 4th of July. Hope you get some great shots! :)

Best,

-Scott

Speed Up Your Portrait Retouching Workflow Using The Perfectly Clear Plug-In with Kristina Sherk

Learn how to perform amazing portrait retouching with Perfectly Clear Complete with Kristina Sherk! Perfectly Clear Complete is a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic that was developed from the ground up exclusively for retouching digital photographs. In this class you’ll get oriented to the interface and learn how to make the most of its face selection capabilities to apply intelligent edits to faces, eyes, teeth, and skin. Best of all you can leverage the built-in presets to create your own that you can batch apply right out of Lightroom ClassicClick here for a FREE TRIAL of Perfectly Clear and to get 20% off the purchase price.



In Case You Missed It… Master Post-Processing: 10 Mistakes Every New Photographer Makes and How to Fix Them

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, Kristina 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.

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