As a graphic designer of 20+ years, and a user of InDesign for the same length of time, that is a question I get asked a lot when I talk to other designers who haven’t braved the wonders of the little “Id” icon in their tool bar. InDesign is used to create printed items such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books, and also digital items such as interactive PDFs and ebooks.
Just to give an overview of what InDesign is to the lovely readers of this blog, it’s an application that is part of the Creative Cloud. It actually celebrates its 20th birthday this year!
Back in the day, us ‘desktop publishers’ used a piece of software called Quark Xpress. This was launched around 1987 and became the industry standard. Adobe originally had a program called Pagemaker, which it purchased from Aldus, and this was the competition to Quark. From this, InDesign was created as a strong competitor and was released in 1999. It was the first native Mac OS desktop publishing application and was very quickly adopted by the design industry, especially when in Creative Suite 3, it was bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.
So, that’s your history lesson! Why am I talking about this?
My working history with KelbyOne (formerly NAPP) celebrates 10 years this year. I started out as an official NAPP Evangelist way back in 2009 when I became a member of NAPP and offered to help get NAPP more recognised in the UK. This proved to be a successful relationship. I visited my first Photoshop World in Las Vegas to meet Scott and the Photoshop Guys. I have guested on Scott’s blog before detailing that part of my history so I won’t repeat it here.
Lightpainting: Macro, Models, & Outdoor Location Portraits with Dave Black
Break out your flashlight and join Dave Black for some lightpainting fun with flowers, models, and more. You may know Dave Black as a sports photographer, but he has taken the art of lightpainting to new levels from years of practice, experimenting, and getting creative.
Dave begins the class with a daytime walk scouting for small world subjects to photograph, and then takes you step-by-step through his process for lightpainting small world scenes in daylight. From there, Dave heads into the studio for a stunning series of lightpainting portraits with a talented ballerina. Dave wraps up the class with a large scale lightpainting scene during twilight with a model on a very cool outdoor set. From daytime to night, indoors and out, Dave teaches you new ways to see the world and photograph it using creative lightpainting techniques.
In Case You Missed It – Under the Milky Way with Dave Black: Lightpainting and Photographing Stars
Join Dave Black as he lightpaints 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.
Have you always wondered how images like the one below are lit?
Have you ever tried to get those beautiful distinct lines from venetian blinds?
Hi guys, and welcome to my guest blog.
Over the years I’ve taught many workshops, and one of the things that always strikes me is that a lot of people are very focused on lighting setups. Even when you look at books and videos, it’s almost always about lighting setups.
Don’t get me wrong, those are pretty awesome. But the problem with this train of thought is that although you can now copy something, you don’t really understand why it gives that look, or the theory behind it so to say. So for this blog post I thought it would be fun to just take one small part of the basis of lighting and give you guys a lot of options to build something for yourself.
Today we are going to look at shadow control, more so shadow transfers. So take out your popcorn, sit down…. Here we go.
The Bare Basics Are Cool
We all want to start with the cool stuff, I get it, we want shortcuts. The idea behind this goes for everything in life. But in essence, when you look at, let’s say, one year of progress, you will find out very quickly that shortcuts are not working. Let me explain.
When I was young (not that long ago… well okay), I loved playing guitar. In fact, I didn’t do anything else. My whole life was built around playing guitar.
To pay for my hobby, I started teaching local kids. At that point I think I was 18-19 years old. At that time there was a movement emerging called shredding (playing really fast), and although I did like it, I didn’t really play like that. As a huge Queen fan, I was more into the melodic stuff.
But during that period, bands like Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc. all became hugely successful, and especially Satriani and Vai caught my attention. Listen to Steve Vai’s album Passion And Warfare and you’ll know why it changed my (and many others’) lives when it came to playing the instrument. Both Vai and Satriani used very melodic solos, but in keys I didn’t recognize. There was a certain “feel” about them, almost singing and summer, or very dark and exotic, what the…?
Soon it became clear these guys were not playing the standard stuff, but were using so called modes. So, my students wanted to learn those modes. A lot of teachers started teaching them scales, intervals etc.
Long story short, there are seven modes that are used most commonly. Imagine having to learn all seven modes over the whole neck of the guitar and remembering them all in any key possible… Feeling dizzy? Yeah, well so did I. But this is what you HAD to learn. Until I started to study what was going on (remember in that time we did not have internet, you really had to figure everything out yourself)…
Seven modes… Seven keys in a scale….mmmm
Very soon it dawned on me that is was actually very simple. Learn the C major scale and just start on different notes to get the modes. Start on D for Dorian, start on E for Phrygian, etc. Now that mess of seven modes all over the neck became actually incredibly simple. Just learn ONE scale and remember on which note to start. I was literally in heaven and very quickly could play any mode almost blindly on the guitar. My progress was like a rocket.
However, my students were very very reluctant to learn the C major scale. They would rather spend 4-5 hours learning one small Dream Theater solo than understanding what he was playing and why. In 4-5 hours you can learn the C major scale over the entire neck and play something similar to your favorite solo and make it your own, but also “play” with it and create totally new stuff.
Ok so what has this to do with photography you might wonder, well everything.
When we talk to photographers and teachers, it’s almost always about the light. Not very often do you hear photographers talk about shadows, well, unless it’s something negative like, “How can I get rid of that shadow?” But, in essence, shadows tell you everything about the lighting.
The Secrets To Restoring Old Photos with Dave Cross
Learn how to bring new life to old photos! Join Dave Cross for an in-depth look at various tools, techniques, and strategies for restoring old photographs. Dave starts with a look at options and considerations for capturing digital versions of your photos, then lays out his fundamental strategies for his restoration workflow. Dave builds on that foundation with a series of lessons that tackle the common scenarios you will encounter when working with old photos. From dealing with faded color to removing various types of spots to putting torn photos back together again, you’ll leave this class well prepared to tackle your next restoration project.
In Case You Missed It
Ideally, every photo we take would be perfect: perfect exposure, perfect white balance, no backlighting, no harsh shadows. Of course the reality is that some images need to be fixed, and in this course Dave Crosswill look at ways to deal with common photographic problems. In each lesson Dave will fix a problem image, real-time, step-by-step.
Are you a Photographer, Retoucher or Graphic Artist?
This article was inspired by an interaction I had with a member of a Facebook photography group I belong to. A member posted an image of a bride standing in front of a jungle gym on a playground. He removed the jungle gym and was looking for praise in the form of asking for critiques. When he didn’t get the positive feedback he was hoping for, he proceeded to argue why he felt the image was his best work. I simply asked him if he is a photographer, retoucher, or graphic artist. His reply set the tone for my advice.
Proper Advice For The Proper Level
As an educator, my job is to inspire and help others, not tear them down. Before I give advice I ask what level the person wants me to critique their work — beginner, intermediate, advanced, or professional making a living — then I give proper advice for the proper level. So when I asked him, “Are you a photographer, retoucher, or graphic artist and at what level?” he proclaimed he is proficient in all three. Here is a sample of the interaction.
Guy on Facebook: Art, art, art. You know what I’m saying. That’s why you see Rihanna in the movies while she’s a singer.
Vanelli: You can be all three. BUT, for each discipline, you need to do it right. Unless there was no other way to get the shot of the bride, and I mean zero chance of moving her to a different location, then you move to plan B and use Photoshop to FIX and REPAIR. Think how long it took you to take the shot and then to edit it. Sometimes it’s quicker to fix it in post or for the sake of “ART,” you get the quick shot then manipulate it after. Again, decide which one you are IN THAT MOMENT. I hope this helps.
This statement didn’t help him and he continued to comment why everyone is wrong and he is right. I ended my participation in the conversation. I want to show his image, but out of respect I can’t. Instead, I’ll continue by using a bad image I took early on in my career when I thought I knew lighting.
Photographers Strive To Get It Right Before They Take The Shot
I was excited after I took this image. I had just learned how to use a light meter and didn’t have to guess at achieving proper exposure. I was even excited that I got the model to strike an interesting pose. I received praise from friends, local photographers, and even the model — who proclaimed I was the best photographer she had ever worked with. I was feeling pretty full of myself, until I asked the late great Jim DiVitale to review my portfolio at Photoshop World. Looking back, I realized how kind he was in choosing the right words to teach me about feathering the light, using grids, and how sometimes, to light a scene, you need to remove or redirect light. That was one of the best Photoshop Worlds I attended.
Retouching Should Enhance The Image, Not Repair It
Over the years I’ve developed my editing and retouching skills. I rose through the ranks while creating presets, looks, and creating educational content for a variety of photography-related companies. This skill set landed me a position with Skylum Software as a member of their Education Development Team. I still consider myself a photographer first. If I want to remove a blemish on a subject or ensure they have perfect skin, I hire a makeup artist. If there isn’t room in the budget for a makeup artist, THEN I fix it in post.
Recently I was asked to create a tutorial on how to develop a dramatic portrait using Luminar. This was a perfect opportunity to once again share the knowledge Jimmy D gave me many years ago. In this short 3-minute video, I show how to use Luminar to develop a dramatic portrait, and what photographers can do to achieve the same look as they take the photo.
A Graphic Artist Has The Ability To Transport Us To A Different Reality
Software such as Luminar was designed with photographers in mind and has some graphic tools — layers, masking, blending modes — to help their artistic efforts. Photoshop, on the other hand, was designed with graphic artists in mind and has tools photographers can use, making it a perfect choice to augment or change reality. I am by no means a Bert Monroy, Corey Barker, or Brooke Shaden. The graphic skills I’ve achieved came from the many years of attending Photoshop World and learning from some of the greats. When something inspires me, I do my best to be able to achieve it in camera. When that’s not possible, I enhance it in Luminar and then take it Photoshop to complete the vision.
For the image below, from my Assassin series, I didn’t have access to a rooftop with the New York skyline. So, instead, I found a rooftop image on Adobe Stock and photographed my assassin on a dark background to match the scene.
For this next image, “Shipwreck,” I used my photography skills to achieve a beautiful blue sky by cross filtering. I set the white balance in the camera to Tungsten to make everything blue, then applied a CTO (color temperature orange) gel to color correct the light illuminating the model. Once again, I searched Adobe Stock for images of stars and the moon.
For the image below, from my Aviator series, I took images of vintage planes at an air show, then photographed the aviator on a white background to make it easier to extract her and to match the scene.
So ask yourself, are you a Photographer, Retoucher, or Graphic Artist? With discipline, you can achieve all three! But decide which one you are IN THAT MOMENT and use that skill to the best of your ability.
Learn how to create beautiful wedding albums in Lightroom CC! Join Scott Kelby as he shares his favorite design tips, tricks, and techniques for creating wedding photo books with high impact. Scott takes you through the process, from beginning to end, showing you how to get started with your book, maximize the Lightroom interface for an efficient workflow, how to add photos, customize pages, work with text, and all the while sharing his insights into how to design your layouts like a pro. You’re going to fall in love with the process once you realize how much control you have over the design, and your clients will fall in love with your albums.