Lightning-Fast Actions in Photoshop with Kristina Sherk
Boost your Photoshop productivity with actions! Join Kristi Sherk as she takes a deep dive into the world of Photoshop actions. In this class you’ll learn what actions are, why they are so powerful, when you should use them, how to record your own, and how they can help keep you on track as you work.
Kristi steps through the process of creating several different actions that you can start using right away. You’ll even learn how to use one action to run other actions and how to run an action on a batch of images. By the end of the class you’ll be prepared to start creating your own custom actions as well as making the most of the free actions provided by the instructor. Work smarter, not harder, with actions!
In Case You Missed It – Photoshop for Business: Pro Techniques for Working Faster, Smarter, and Maximizing your Output
Think differently about your business! Join Mark Heaps as shares tips and tricks for efficiency in Photoshop, while at the same time teaching you how to set yourself and your collaborators up for success. This class has two parts, and in the first half Mark demonstrates a number of Photoshop techniques to help you work smarter.
In the second half he delves into more strategic concerns designed to help you grow your business, help you define who your customers are, learn key phrases and terms, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have a strong foundation for working as a great collaborator whether you are part of a team or an independent freelancer.
Getting to post on Scott’s blog is always a treat, thanks for having me back!
This month marks twenty years at Adobe for me! Looking back, it still feels like a dream. I first got into photography when I was seven (largely because I couldn’t draw); and when I say I got into it, I mean, I went DEEP. My passion for cameras had me doing anything and everything related to the medium – eventually processing and printing photos; repairing and selling cameras; even freelancing as a motorsports photographer.
Then, in 1996, photography introduced me to Photoshop at a Seybold seminar. I must’ve watched Adobe’s Photoshop 4.0 demo 5X over that day – it was immediately obvious to me that my future had something to do with the magic happening at Adobe.
“Obsession” is way too weak a word…within months, I’d packed-up and moved to Silicon Valley with the single-minded intent of working at Adobe. That sounds ridiculous and it absolutely was; I didn’t even own a computer! With the naivety of youth, I never accepted any other path; an interim job handling digital retouching orders for two dozen camera stores solved my computer & Photoshop problems.
I joined Adobe in the Summer of 1999 as a Quality Engineer on the Photoshop team, the job was essentially: test and break the app – I was completely in heaven! Stepping into product management nearly 15 years ago was another impossible dream come true; the opportunity to help guide Photoshop for so many years taught me a lot about the many ways that people use the application & how software is made. While I’ve spent most of my career looking forward, it’s interesting to look back at my years on the Photoshop team and to see how much the product and the workflows have changed.
I’m often asked, “How has Photoshop endured the test of time?” Sure, there’s the fact that the Photoshop team has always charted their own course; constantly innovated; expanded platforms & services – all while maintaining a very high bar for quality & performance…but there’s more to it than that. I think that much of Photoshop’s success can be attributed to the product’s ability to adapt.
Photoshop’s plug-in architecture has always allowed developers to communicate directly with the product – whether that’s bringing in unique file formats; exporting to specialized devices, or just adding missing functionality. That same flexibility exists within the fabric of the team, whether pivoting Photoshop to the growing needs of web designers with version 5.5; welcoming the digital camera boom with version 7.0.1, or exploring entirely new verticals; there are hundreds of examples of the team addressing the needs of a new or expanding segment.
The other thing about the Photoshop team, is that they know when the solution lies beyond Photoshop itself. The example of Camera Raw is a good one; at the time, we were seeing the mass proliferation of digital cameras; suddenly photographers expected Photoshop to deal with thousands of images, not the one-at-time workflow that it was originally built for. Photoshop answered that call with the File Browser (which would later become Bridge) and Camera Raw.
While this acknowledged a massive shift in I/O, the world was changing dramatically, digital photography wasn’t just for tech-savvy, early adopters, but for everyone and new devices required a streamlined, focused, editing solution and a digital asset manager in one…that solution would of course become Lightroom, a product I continue to be very closely involved with, both as a user and a spokesperson.
Lightroom allows me to use Photoshop for what Photoshop does best – while moving faster and shooting more. Because of Lightroom, I’m both more creative and more efficient. Lightroom and Photoshop have never been more closely integrated than they are today, thanks to Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud allows Photoshop to integrate deeply across application, surfaces and platforms – keeping Photoshop as the hub of hundreds of creative workflows. Clearly, sometimes the best solution to the problem is a brand-new product.
In this class you’ll learn the basic terminology needed to use the planner, how to use the app to plan a photo shoot based around the position of the sun, the moon, or the milky way, how to discover when the next eclipse will occur at a given location, how to perform useful calculations, and so much more! Erik even breaks down all the steps he used in planning for a variety of different photographic scenarios. By the end of the class you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the ability to plan around celestial events using PhotoPills.
In Case You Missed It – Under the Milky Way: Lightpainting and Photographing Stars
Join Dave Black for some lightpainting under the stars in Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town. Dave starts off with a walk through of all the gear needed for lightpainting before taking us through the importance of a site survey. Over the course of six different shoots in a variety of locations Dave shares all of the steps and settings needed to create stunning lightpainted starscapes. Each lesson is packed with tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Dave’s decades of experience. Dave is a master teacher, and his love for creating these photographs is truly infectious.
When people ask me what I shoot, I respond with, “I’m a portrait and travel photographer. That pretty much sums it up, and I get the corresponding head nod. I have spent years practicing my lighting setups, model direction, getting my camera settings down, and investing in gear. I’m happy. However, if I stopped here, it would be such a waste.
Professionals will tell you that you should pick a genre and master it. Shoot what you like and concentrate on it. I agree. You should figure out what it is that you want to do the most and do that. It’s impossible to become great at everything. With that said, there is no reason whatsoever not to try something different and new from time to time. While I started out shooting portraits, I realized that it would be a missed opportunity not to shoot travel as well. I travel for a living and have been to some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone means that you’re going to take the chance of shooting something that you’ve never shot before. You’re willing to accept that your first attempt is probably not going to be great. However, you’re going to learn! Just getting the settings right means that you’ve mastered doing manually what the camera would have probably done had you set it to AUTO. That may seem harsh, but it’s true. It’s not enough just to take a technically correct photo anymore. It’s expected!
If you’re a “photographer,” then, of course, we expect you to get a shot that’s in focus with the correct exposure. Are you surprised when you go into a restaurant, order a dish and it comes out exactly how you expected? No. You expect the chef to be able to prepare the meal you ordered. That’s why you went to a professional in the first place. Now, if you take a bite and it’s better than anything you’ve ever tasted before, then you’re surprised and pleased. That’s how photography works.
I’m not a morning person by any means. However, I got the opportunity to attend a landscape workshop led by Joe McNally and Moose Peterson. Who says no to that opportunity? Next thing you know, I was in my car headed up to Traverse City, Michigan.
How To Prepare For Your Travel Photography Adventure with Dave Williams
Prepare for your next travel photography adventure with Dave Williams! In this class Dave teaches you how to identify locations that are on trend, what sights are popular and iconic, and then how to identify the gaps and opportunities that you can leverage at each destination. Dave also shares his perspective on gear, his techniques for minimizing crowds in photographs, how to avoid the status quo, and the importance of continually investing in yourself. By the end of the class, you’ll be well armed with the knowledge you need to capture new perspectives of wherever your adventures take you.
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!
It’s been a couple years since my last guest blog post, and a couple hundred thousand miles’ traveled in between now and then.
Since speaking last, I’ve traveled the world with musicians, produced over 3,500 videos, produced, directed, and shot a couple documentaries, picked up a full time gig and moved to the city of dreams, New York City.
Sounds like the dream right? Every dream comes with its sacrifice, but it’s all about perspective.
While I may hold a steady full time gig, I will never forget what got me here. I’d attribute my position now to living like I’m scraping for pennies and hustling just as hard as I was when I didn’t know how I’d pay for my next meal. Freelance life gives you a lifestyle of freedom, but a full time gig gives you both a lifestyle of freedom and financial freedom if you look at it from the right perspective.
Opportunity exists for everyone; you just need to be willing to put yourself out there. It most likely won’t be smooth, won’t be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it if you look at everything as an opportunity for growth rather than accepting ‘no’ as defeat and making that your identity.
I’ll give you a brief look into my story since we last spoke and we can pick up where we left off….
I’ll start with the idea that I’ve always lived by as long as I’ve been doing this thing called art.
In order to succeed, you need to approach freelance business with a calculated risk mentality.
Look at things as opportunities to grow, rather than a quick buck or freebie. Be safe, be logical, and play life like a game of chess. Set yourself up for success if you see the window for it.
During the summer of 2016, I was producing a few small projects for musicians and some small businesses (music videos, commercials, tutorials, etc.). These projects weren’t necessarily risks, more of safe plays that paid decently and got me through my next month of expenses.
The first most specific instance of taking a risk came via the world of music.
At the time I was holding down a full time position at a TV station in Tampa, Florida and felt like I wasn’t doing anything truly creative or challenging. So during my time outside of the office – I volunteered myself and my services to a band that had only played a single show.
I put myself on their radar months prior when they reached out to me about sharing a photo that I took. Conversations bloomed and an opportunity arose. I wanted to create and collaborate. All I wanted to do was let my creative juices flow, invest in the music scene that I loved, and support the community around me, with zero expectations of getting anything in return. My mindset at the time was, ‘If it worked, it worked – if not, it would have been a fun experience regardless, so let’s make the most of it.’
This band was ‘connected’ in a few different unique ways, but that never mattered – I just wanted to create, just as they wanted to perform. I offered to drive my car from Tampa to Orlando, Orlando to Atlanta, and Atlanta to Nashville, and back to Tampa (so I could make it back to my full time job on that Monday morning) to capture their first tour all for a grand total of NOTHING.
I spent nearly $300 on travel expenses plus an additional $300 on camera equipment rentals to film and produce the content I wanted to make. We didn’t have a set agreement, just my word and their gift of access to a life behind the scenes of a small touring band. With this given opportunity, I wanted to do everything possible to shine and let them know I was there to do work and share their story.
I proceeded to produce daily recaps of each of the shows, videos that would be shared on their social channels the morning/day after each performance. Along with those videos, I produced a 13-minute behind the scenes mini-doc.
Following the first show, one of the band members approached me with the idea of touring with his other band, Underoath, that following March. He proposed the idea to the rest of the band, shared what I was capturing and creating, and gave me the chance to prove myself with a small social campaign for the band later that fall. I hit the ground running.
The opportunity with Underoath developed into something special and a lot of other opportunities stemmed from that. Every risk you take comes with the opportunity to prove yourself and position yourself for further success; you can take it or leave it. You can just do the job to get it done or you can go the extra mile, exceed expectations, and do far more than what was asked of you in the first place. The biggest opportunity of my career at that point came when Underoath asked me produce, direct, and shoot their in-studio documentary for an album that no one knew they were making.