In Case You Missed It: Outrageous 3D with Photoshop
Corey Barker is going to dig into Photoshop’s 3D features from a creative designer’s perspective and create some outrageous eye-popping 3D graphics all right inside Photoshop CS4. While a basic understanding of 3D is helpful, you don’t need to be a 3D expert to take full advantage of these features. So strap in, this is going to be one heck of a ride!
I have to say, I was thrilled when I received a note from Brad inviting me to do a Guest Blog Post for Scott’s blog as a run-up to Photoshop World Las Vegas just a few days from now. It’s been a while and I’m happy to be back in the “blogging” saddle again.
As many of you know, my wife LaDawn and I have ramped up our world travels these last several years. To put that in perspective, we now travel worldwide about 7 months of the year – last year we crossed the Atlantic Ocean 8 times, the Equator twice, and the Arctic Circle twice covering about 65,000 miles in the process, whew!!!
Now all that travel does not mean I’m slowing things down photography-wise, not at all! Each year, I’m shooting about 60,000 – 70,000 images. In fact, Canon’s Service Department just told me I wore out the shutter on my Canon 7D Mark II. Happily, I just received it back from their repair department. But now the subject matter isn’t brides and grooms. Up until last year most of my images have been travel and landscape related – I’m still inspired by the culture, history, beauty, and people of all the countries we visit. It’s just a thrill to photograph everything we encounter in our travels.
Then last year, I co-hosted two photo safaris in South Africa shooting over 45,000 images in just five weeks. You’re right, that was quite an edit job. And just recently, we returned from nearly 6 weeks in South America climbing up to Machu Picchu and dancing with the Blue Footed Boobies in the Galapagos Islands shooting a grand total of 31,000 images. The Africa and Galapagos experiences have really energized my wildlife photography aspirations.
That being said, I hope you’ll join me at Photoshop World where I will be presenting two completely new programs: Landscape Photography Between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.(Because I’m too darn lazy to wake up earlier than that and I usually have an adult beverage in my hand after 5 p.m.) and my second program – How I Became a World Famous(OK, reasonably decent)Wildlife Photographer in Only Three Weeks.
Ok, I know my program titles are a little “tongue-in-cheek,” but the cool thing is that I really did learn a lot of new photography techniques and tips from all our world travels and experiences these last several years. I want to share some of that info, particularly Safari info, in this blog post and then more thoroughly in my two programs I’ll be presenting at Photoshop World in the next few days.
BTW, I’m leading two safaris again to Africa next year and a third to India to photograph Bengal tigers, but more on that at the end of this post.
In this post I’m going to hit on a few tips and tricks that I think could really help any aspiring wildlife photographers out there. So, let’s get to it…
Tip #1: Gear Considerations:
Just like anyone going on their first Safari, I was worried about want kind of gear to pack. I wanted to pack lean and mean but still be adequately equipped to capture great images. Here was my first pass at the gear list:
Hollywood Style Compositing Tricks with Corey Barker
Take your Photoshop creativity to new levels by exploring Hollywood style compositing tricks with Corey Barker! In this class Corey teaches you how to create amazing effects using layers, brushes, masks, selections, and other Photoshop tools while building a movie poster. This project will expose you to a variety of techniques and give you a lot of ideas that you can use in other projects. Corey steps through the project from the base image to the background, and all of the cool atmospheric effects and textures that bind the final image into a masterpiece!
In Case You Missed It: Advanced Compositing in Adobe Photoshop
Get ready to take your compositing skills to the next level! Join Corey Barker as steps you through the creation of a fantasy composite image, from extracting the subject though the final touches. Whether you are using an older version of Photoshop or the latest, you’ll learn how to cleanly extract your subject from the source image, how to build a background environment around your subject, and how to blend all of the elements together using lighting and atmospheric effects to create a believable composite image with impact. Corey will show you ways to use Photoshop that you’ve never thought of before, and he wraps up the class with cool tips for adding text and blending non-human objects into your composite.
Greetings! I’s been about two years since my last guest blog post on 10 years of Lightroom Help Desk Advice, and I thought it would be a good chance to follow up with 10 more tips to help you get the most out of Lightroom Classic.
1. Dig Into Smart Collections
Smart collections allow you to harness the power of the database inside of Lightroom Classic by leveraging the information contained in your photo’s metadata. Plus, any additional data you may have added (like keywords, titles, captions, etc.), to automate the process of finding, grouping, and organizing your photos in meaningful ways. You can think of smart collections simply as saved searches that run automatically.
Smart collections are just one of three types of collections you can find in the Collections panel. If you click the plus sign (+) in the header of the Collections panel, you can access the menu for creating each type of collection. In addition to the Smart Collection, there is the regular Collection type, which is useful for manually grouping photos together based on a common theme or purpose, and the Collection Set, which are essentially containers for other collections and enable the creation of an organizing structure for your various collections.
For example, you might have a Collection Set named for a trip or event, and then within that set, you could have a combination of regular collections and smart collections that contain relevant photos. These can be grouped together based on any criteria that suit your needs, such as dates, names of people, locations, and so on.
I typically use regular collections when I am manually going through photos and picking and choosing specific photos that I want to group together for some reason, and I use smart collections when I want to automatically gather up a group of photos that all meet the same criteria. I organize those various collections inside of relevant collection sets.
To create a new smart collection, you can use the Create Smart Collection menu in the panel header, the New Smart Collection command in the Library menu, or simply right-click anywhere inside the Collections panel to access the same Create Smart Collection menu. This opens the Smart Collection dialog box.
When it comes to creating the rules for the Smart Collection, you first need to decide if you want the photos added to this collection to match any, all, or none of the rules you go on to define by choosing an option from the drop-down menu next to Match. Leaving match set to all is the most straightforward way to get started. You can see all the possible rules at your disposal by clicking the rules drop-down menu and scrolling through the list.
Remember, the only way photos can be added to a smart collection is if they meet the defined criteria, and the only way they can be removed from a smart collection is when a particular photo no longer matches the defined criteria. There are so many ways Smart Collections can leverage the power of the Lightroom catalog and make your life simpler. Experiment and have fun!
2. Designate A Target Collection
Speaking of collections, have you discovered the ability to set one regular collection to be the “Target” collection? The Target collection has a super power, which is that you can add selected photos to the Target collection simply by pressing the B key.
How to Make Money With Your Travel Photos with Dave Williams
Learn how to earn from your vacation photos with Dave Williams! As a professional travel photographer Dave shares his insider information on different ways you can turn your travel and vacation photos into an income stream.
In this class you’ll learn the importance of planning before you travel, how to get into stock photography and how to caption and keyword your photos so that they can be found, how to get started as an Instagram influencer, and how to network with the right people to market your work directly to the people who are looking for content.
There are endless opportunities for creating images that will appeal to tourist boards, magazines, stock libraries, hotels, and others in the travel industry. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, so join Dave and get prepared for your next travel adventure!
In Case You Missed It – The Photographer’s Guide to Traveling Right: What Gear to Take, How to Pack it, and Killer Accessories for Travel
Whether you are going on a big photo safari or a vacation with family, join Scott Kelby and Larry Becker as they share their killer tips for how to travel right.
In this class Scott covers everything from choosing the right bag for your gear, tips for ensuring you are within size and weight restrictions, what accessories can make your experience more successful, what to consider about tripods, strategies for backing up on the road, what to do when you get back home, and so much more.
All through the class Scott and Larry share their experiences and advice to help you decide what gear to bring, how to get it there, and how to bring it all home with you. Safe travels!
Victoria Pavlov will be teaching at Photoshop World Las Vegas, taking place August 21-23, so register now to come see her in person!
Five Best Practices You Need To Have In Your Pocket When Working With Models
I have been working very closely with models for the past 15 years. During these years I had a lot of bumps in the road. I implemented these five best practices in my studio, which made my model photography workflow much easier. I respect my time, so I don’t like wasting it on something that needs to be fixed if I can easily avoid it before or during my session.
1. Tell A Story
Always work with a model who can tell a story. We are not shooting just because we have nothing else to do. We are shooting because this is a job or we love shooting in our free time. Our shooting time is our “intellectual investment.” Like with any other investment, we expect a positive return from our “intellectual investment.” Choosing the right model for your sessions is a critical decision you need to make. If you take your photography seriously, this is what you should do.
When I first started in my studio and opened my first casting call, 9 out of 10 models who responded to my casting call had the same attitude. “I am beautiful. I think this is all photographers are looking for, so I am good for your casting call.” I was very frustrated because this is not what I was looking for. I am always looking for a model who can tell a story with her eyes, facial expression, and pose. I am looking for a model who can give me different expressions in every single frame or two.
It took about 4-5 months for me to find the circle of models who were on the same page of what photography was about. It’s about storytelling. That’s it. I don’t care how beautiful my “subject” is. I care about storytelling.
Right now, in the 21st century, we are not impressed by anyone with good lighting. If you are a professional photographer, people expect you to have it. People are also expecting you to tell a story with the image. Every single image you capture should tell a story because only this will connect you to your audience. Only this will make your audience wait in anticipation for your next post, exhibit, or update.
2. Invest In Your Session
Trust professionals. I am not talking about photography equipment when I say “invest” here.
Even if you shoot with a model for TF (Trade For), always hire a makeup and hair stylist. Some makeup and hair stylists are building or updating their portfolios, and they are looking for photographers for TF sessions as well.
Never try to do makeup or hair by yourself or trust your model to do it. Why? Models usually are not professional makeup or hairstylists. If they do it by themselves, you will end up with the wrong makeup. I can assure you that your model will apply the makeup that she likes the most and the worst part is, you will spend a lot of time trying to fix it in post-production later because this is not what you were looking for.
Remember that makeup and hair are part of the storytelling.
3. Always Keep Someone Next To You During Your Photo Session
When we shoot, usually we are paying attention to model’s poses, or expression and we are not paying attention to the all the “small” details such as flying hair, wrinkles on their outfit, or the part of the makeup that needs to be refreshed. If someone is next to you during your photo session, they will be paying attention to all these details. You will significantly bring down your post-production time because you will not be retouching all the things which could easily be fixed during the session.
NEVER say, “I can fix it in Photoshop later, right?” Never fix in Photoshop anything that could be fixed during the session in camera. You can fix flying hair in a second during the session, but you will spend a lot of time fixing the same flying hair in Photoshop later because you will need to fix the same flying hair over and over in every single image you need to deliver.
4: Get Everything Ready Before Your Session
If you have a model in your studio, that means you have some ideas you want to bring to life. A storytelling session includes hair, makeup, and wardrobe as well. We talked about makeup and hair above. Now it’s time to talk about wardrobe.
Trust your vision. Before the session, put together the outfit you want to shoot with. You can rent a unique outfit (this is something that is not always inexpensive, but sometimes it’s necessary), or you can buy the entire outfit. From where? Goodwill, eBay, Amazon. Sometimes you can put together a very impressive outfit for as little as $15. The best part is you can build your own wardrobe collection month by month. Never trust your model to bring the wardrobe. The chances are you’ll get random looks that may not represent your vision.
5. Build Your Circle
Build a circle of artistic people who love creating art and telling stories. Stay connected with all the people you worked with and who share the same “storytelling” vision. Finding people who share the same vision as yours is not too easy. So if you find them, stay connected, create “storytelling” images all the time. For fun, for work, for training, for discovering something new. It doesn’t matter, just create.
One More Thing: Never Get Stuck In A Box
Taking pictures using your camera is a form of “creating art.” So you don’t have to be stuck in a box only with your photography. Did you capture an image you love? That’s great! After that, try to paint it (even if you have never painted before, you can create a very unique and beautiful painting in Photoshop using my “Painting for Photographers” technique.
Try compositing images together to create something different. Be creative. Transform your photography art into a painting or compositing art.