When Scott asked me to pen a guest blog, I was honored and thankful to have such a great opportunity to reach so many passionate users of our application… Then I realized I’d have to constrain my piece some and focus it on a particular room in the funhouse that is Photoshop. I feel the same way when I’m demoing; whether I have ten minutes or two hours, it never seems to be enough time. So I’m going to attempt two things here; one, to deep-dive on some new technology that I haven’t seen thoroughly explored, and two, to let this post be a launch pad towards some great resources for information and technology related to Photoshop.
Of the many twists and turns that Photoshop has taken over the course of my (nearly) 10 years on the team, none have been as interesting to me as those related specifically to photography. My background is behind the lens and it’s my love for the medium that first drew me to Adobe. Being mindful of photographers and the applications we provide for them, today I want to focus on two features whose powers can be tapped directly from Bridge CS4, Lightroom 2.0 or from within Photoshop CS4 itself. (more…)
We are very excited to have JoeyL as our guest blogger today!
WARNING: If you’re familiar with Joey’s work, you know that he travels all over the world photographing many different cultures. His post today contains some National Geographic-y type images of natives, and since these natives don’t tend to overdress, there are a few images where the natives have exposed breasts. If you’re sensitive to seeing these types of images, then please don’t click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” button below. Even more importantly, now that you’ve been warned up front, don’t post complaints about the images (I’ll just delete them). Now, here’s JoeyL!
Dustin Snipes is a full time staff sports photographer and part-time Red Bull drinker in Los Angeles, Calif. When he is not taking photos (or drinking Red Bull) he spends his time watching reruns of “How I Met Your Mother.”
For the last few months, people have been asking me about the post-production involved in the photos on my blog post “70 basketball portraits I did in two days.” I always planned on sharing it with everyone but just haven’t had time to put anything together until now. Recently, I was asked to do a guest post for Scott’s blog and thought, “What better way to share this Photoshop tip with everyone than on Mr. Photoshop himself’s blog, Scott Kelby?” I was pretty giddy, to say the least.
It’s actually a pretty simple process that has a few steps to get this “look” (and it’s not LucisArts or HDR :) ).
There is one thing you must promise me–and yourself–before reading this post. Repeat (or read) after me:
“I, (state your name, or clever web user ID) will not overuse this technique on EVERY photo I take. I will only use it in moderation.” (more…)
Greetings! My name is Chris Orwig , and I’m a photographer, interactive designer and educator. I whole heartedly agree with the acclaimed French photographer Marc Riboud who says, “Photography is about savoring life at 1/100th of a second.” And it is true, isn’t it? Photography enriches, enlivens and expands how we think, what we see and who we are. Photography helps us live more fully, more completely. Having a camera in hand does make a difference. Yet, throughout one’s photographic journey, there are seasons when our passion and vitality dwindles. That’s why we read blogs like this. We’re looking for a bit of straightforward information and inspiration that will further us along. In light of that, here’s a post devoted to providing you with some creative thoughts and anecdotes that will hopefully lead you to creating more compelling photographs – enjoy!
Burn out or Burn Bright As a photography faculty at the Brooks Institute, I’ve worked with a wide range of students. Some have gone on to accomplish great things – even fame! Others have dried up, burned out and left the field all together. I’ve always been interested in this dichotomy, and it interests our students as well. They are always on the lookout for the secret that will help them excel. A few years back, one student was having his portfolio reviewed by the legendary Jay Maisel.
The review was fine, yet after it was over the student pleaded with Jay, “Tell me, how can I take more interesting photos?” With missing a beat, Jay volleyed back, “Become a more interesting person.” Or said in another way, as Chris Rainier told me last week, “…at some point photography becomes autobiographical. In order to create better photos, sometimes we need to put down the photography books and magazines. Then we need to go out and to develop who we are.”
Who we are, shapes what we see.
Make the Ordinary Extraordinary Regardless of who you are or what your do, it is easy for anyone to fall prey to “if only” thinking. If only I had that lens. If only I had that camera. If only I was given that assignment. If only I lived in that town. If only. Yet, to counter such stifling thoughts, many photographers I know use their imagination to redefine circumstances. And right now, I’m not talking about photographically finding beauty in unlikely circumstances. While that is critical, here I’m talking about defining who you are and what you do. Let me explain. (more…)
When high school guys have a little too much courage (or booze) in their system, they sometimes hit the road for a game of “chicken.” In the game (primarily designed to thin the herd of the stupid young males before they get to breed) two people drive right at each other in cars, until one blinks and swerves out of the way first.
This person is the loser of the game.
Get a little more age and enough alcohol involved — and a handgun — and you may end up with a game of Russian Roulette, which is an even faster ticket to a finalist slot in the Darwin Awards.
As a young sports photographer 20 some-odd years ago, our professional equivalent was a little game we liked to call “First Frame.” I was introduced to it by my friend Rich Riggins, who was a ridiculously good sports shooter at a very young age.
The rules were simple: Two competing photographers shooting the same game shot the first frame of a 36-exposure roll of Tri-X at each other, thus verifying that no rolls of film were switched later. The very next frame was your entry in the game. Whoever had the best action shot (moment, composition, focus, etc.) won.
Mind you, this was in the days of film and manual focus cameras. We didn’t have 11FPS auto-focus digital Uzis with 4000-shot clips. And yes, we walked to school, five miles, uphill both ways — in the snow. Barefoot.
Pause for a moment, and try this thought experiment. Imagine your perfect vacation. It could be anywhere in the world, doing anything you choose, for one week. There is a catch, however. You will not be allowed to take any photographs or make any entries in a journal during your vacation, and at the end you will be given a potion that will erase all memories of the wonderful experiences you enjoyed. How much would you pay for such a vacation, in comparison to what you would pay for a vacation you could remember?
If you are like me, my wife, and our two adult daughters, nothing. To us, and to most people, the most wonderful experiences have little or no value if we cannot remember them. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman points out in his excellent book Thinking: Fast and Slow that we seem to have two selves, an experiencing self and a remembering self, whose needs and wants are not always congruent. As Kahneman puts it, “The experiencing self is the one that answers the question: ‘Does it hurt now?’ The remembering self is the one that answers the question: ‘How was it, on the whole?’ Memories are all we get to keep from our experience of living, and the only perspective that we can adopt as we think about our lives is therefore that of the remembering self.” He goes on to say, “The experiencing self does not have a voice. The remembering self is sometimes wrong, but it is the one that keeps score and governs what we learn from living, and it is the one that makes decisions. What we learn from the past is to maximize the qualities of our future memories, not necessarily of our future experience. This is the tyranny of the remembering self.”
Our remembering self tends to value an episode not by the duration of pleasurable and painful periods, but by the peak intensity of the good or bad feeling and by the feeling we experience at the end of the episode. Kahneman calls this “duration neglect” and the “peak-end rule.” We remember the peak moments of a vacation and its ending rather than an average of all the moments. Our average experience, even on a vacation we remember as great, may in fact be rather boring.
Does this help explain the almost universal fascination with photography? Kahneman writes, “The frenetic picture-taking of many tourists suggests that storing memories is often an important goal, which shapes both the plans for the vacation and the experience of it. The photographer does not view the scene as a moment to be savored but as a future memory to be designed. Pictures may be useful to the remembering self—though we rarely look at them for very long, or as often as we expected, or even at all—but picture taking is not necessarily the best way for the tourist’s experiencing self to enjoy a view.”
Kahneman’s insight also helps explain why landscape photographers who wish to evoke emotion in their viewers must work so hard to capture extraordinary and often fleeting moments. Capturing what tourists actually see during their vacation is useless, since that is not what tourists remember. Few tourists witness sunrise at a backcountry lake several miles from the trailhead. At best, they glimpse some colorful clouds from their hotel window. But it is the photograph of sunrise at the backcountry lake that will trigger pleasurable memories of their vacation, not the photo taken at 12 noon, when most tourists actually arrive at their destination. It is as if the colorful clouds glimpsed from their hotel at dawn become merged in their memory with the beautiful lake they saw in noon light.
I have often noted that the act of photographing a beautiful sunrise dulls my appreciation of the moment while I am experiencing it because I am so focused on the technical and aesthetic challenge of making a compelling image—yet the photographs I make strongly enhance my ability to remember and enjoy the experience later. I almost enjoy the shoot more after it’s over, as I view my photographs, than I enjoyed it at the time.
Is this a bad trade-off? Is Kahneman correct when he writes, “Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me”? If so, then photography, with its ability to capture a moment and hold it still forever, can indeed enrich our lives. But I still have a disturbing feeling that spending one’s life doing nothing but accumulating memories, to be enjoyed in a future that may never come, leaves out something important. We are often advised by pop psychologists to “live in the moment,” as if that was somehow the secret of happiness. Perhaps someday I will become so fluent with the language of light and composition that the act of photographing will feel effortless, like a Zen archer drawing and releasing his bow, totally at one with his target. Until then, I will continue to struggle with the uneasy choice between experiencing a moment and creating a photographic memory of it.