In Case You Missed It: The Essential Elements of Retouching
Learn the essential elements of retouching. Join Viktor Fejes as he provides you with a solid a foundation for how to approach retouching. This is not a class on how to use the basic tools of retouching, but rather how to think about retouching in a logical and methodical fashion, so that you can develop a workflow to properly retouch a photo from start to finish. You’ll learn how to evaluate an image, how to start in Camera Raw, how to structure your layers in Photoshop, how to use techniques involving false colors to fine tune texture, tones, and color, and all the while gaining a firm understanding for why you would approach retouching in this way.
In 1985, while still in high school, I received training in video thanks to the fact that cable companies across the United States were digging up every sidewalk to lay cable, and requiring community access stations and training in exchange for the monopolies in cities everywhere. Think a real-life Wayne’s World, without extra cowbell. Lugging around a huge tape deck and separately hardwired camera was a lot for this young scrawny high-schooler, but I managed, and learned a lot in the process.
In 2000, after a decade as a full-time still photographer, I returned and dipped my toe back into video. Over the years, my YouTube channel grew, largely as an arm of my efforts to promote best business practices for photographers and the messaging for my book, Best Business Practices for Photographers, where I did over 70 videos with a quick-hit insight into a single business topic in each one. Even so, my still photography business continued to grow, as did my staff.
Over the last five or so years, I began what can only be called a ocean-liner speed turn from stills and a little video, to making video a solid part of my business offerings to clients. In the last year, video revenues have grown to about 30% of gross revenues, and are headed in that direction even more in the near future.
So, why? As still photography grows into an ever- commoditizing offering, video still has largely non-commodifiable components. Knowing how to capture good sound, knowing how to edit a package, and even the addition of simple graphics like lower-thirds, means that it doesn’t seem to clients like “everyone can do it.” Further, telling stories in video is a really exciting way to express my creative side, and it’s a lot of fun. For many Adobe users, you already have Premiere as a tool you can download as a part of your Creative Cloud subscription.
Professionally, I’ve put together an award-winning documentary short that is on the festival circuit, worked on documentaries for Showtime and HBO, to name a few. Being a part of those teams have been incredible opportunities and really fulfilling in a way I’ve not felt since the early days of excitedly seeing my images on the covers of magazines on the newsstands.
KelbyOne has a great deal of DSLR filmmaker resources where you can learn now to do this, and it’s an exciting thing to add to your still photography side of the business.
How many ways can you learn to light a portrait? Why not start fresh with video? I’m not suggesting you abandon still photography, but if you’re not expanding your business, you’re slowly dying.
John Harrington is an award-winning filmmaker and Washington DC-based still photographer who has worked on assignment for, or whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Rolling Stone, HBO, Showtime, PBS, and many other news outlets, and whose commercial work has been completed for over half of the Fortune 500 companies over a 30+ year (and counting) career.
Maximize Your Impact with Plotaverse with Troy Plota
Take your photography to the next level with the Plotaverse platform! Join Troy Christopher Plota, the creator of the Plotaverse platform, as he teaches you how to get the most out of the Plotaverse suite of apps and utilize the motion art you create to promote your work on social media. In this class you’ll learn the ins and outs of the Plotaverse sharing platform, how to animate a still photo using Plotagraph, how to apply special effects and overlays to your motion art, how to create advanced motion effects, how to morph multiple photos into an animation, and how to create a portfolio of work that you can use to promote yourself to the world.
In Case You Missed It: How to Bring Your Still Images to Life Using Plotaverse
Join Trey Ratcliff as he teaches you how to add animation to your still photographs with Plotaverse. These dynamic images exist somewhere between a still photo and a movie and are just mesmerizing to watch. Throughout the class Trey teaches you the ins and outs of using the software, inspires you with mind blowing examples, and walks through ideas of where and how to use Plotaverse to get the most impact in your portfolio. This class is perfect for any photographer looking to start using Plotaverse or wants to add dynamic impact to their portfolio.
HOW DO I DO THAT IN INDESIGN? I WROTE A BOOK! Part 2 – It’s Available Now!
Hi there, it’s an honour to be back on Scott’s blog again. When I think back to my first appearance nine years ago, an iPhone shot by Scott of Glyn Dewis and myself on the London Underground just after meeting Scott (and also me meeting Glyn for the first time) and now nine years on, talking about the release of my new book, written for Scott’s series of “How Do I Do That In…” series, I do seriously have to pinch myself. I’ve been using InDesign since its ‘birth’ 20 years ago, so to become an author on the subject is an achievement I am incredibly proud of.
I wrote a blog post (Part 1) about the book back in May 2019 right here.
At that point I was still in writing mode. No one really prepares you for writing a book. A 260+ page book. A 260+ page book to continue a series by an author with over 5 million book sales. No pressure, right?! But those authors that I do know such as Glyn Dewis, Alan Hess and Scott, himself, just said “write what you know and use your own voice”. I had read most of Scott’s books in the past, I always loved the chapter intros he did. He even made a book of intros – it’s a freebie perk on KelbyOne.
I quickly found myself writing in the way I was advised, I imagined I was next to a buddy that needed my help and I wanted to explain the best or quickest way to get a job or task done. This book is not the technical bible. As with most Adobe apps, there are many ways to achieve the same result, some quicker than others. My job is to show you one to get you moving, you’ll learn more as you use InDesign more and there’s plenty of resources around including a very large book at Rocky Nook called The InDesign Compendium.
Another thing about writing a book is the difference between idea and exectution. Idea is exactly that, “I have a great idea for a book about <insert idea>”. Is your idea book sized? Is it of interest to only you or a much wider audience? We actually spoke to Scott Cowlin and Ted Waitt of Rocky Nook about this on our (mine and Glyn’s) podcast He Shoots, He Draws.
I was lucky, this was a successful series and a much (secretly) loved Adobe application that many struggle with. All I had to do was piece together the puzzle of working through InDesign and encourage new users, and experienced, to quickly find that “pah, how do I do that again?” answer. It also made me go through many features I hadn’t used as often, plus I got to create all the assets to include in the screenshots. The fun side of that was including photos and images of my friends and family. I’m going to see how many friends get the book and spot themselves! Me writing this book is the combination of many parts, and those parts are the people and experiences I have been fortunate enough to have in my life. I said in my previous blog post that I have had the best moments of my design career in the past 10 years. I am 54 as I write this. Oh, and my big brother Alan just turned 65 – so, happy birthday bruv ☺
Becoming an author is like being Spiderman (stay with this very tenuous attempt for me to pretend I am Spiderman), with great power comes great responsibility. And by that it means you become a voice of authority and quite possibly the expectation to know everything and have your phone and email blowing up with “I need help” requests. The reason I say this is because I don’t believe that to be completely true. We may reach a point in our lives where we have a lot of knowledge and experience but I tell you this, if you ever think you know everything, you don’t.
I finished this book and last month at Adobe Max I sat in two InDesign classes. The first by the wonderful and very talented Hoodzpah Design, a Californian design company run by Jen and Amy Hood (Check their cool book out here). Although many designers tend to show off their Illustrator and Photoshop work, many will have produced large proportions of their content with InDesign (and if not, why not? Come on designers, embrace the ‘Id’). Amy and Jen said to me before they started “ah man, you’re the expert, I hope what we show is good” – I quickly denied that. And to prove the point, I was only 10 minutes into their presentation and I was making notes like a crazy man.
It’s not about knowing ‘everything,’ it’s also about knowing how to be creative, how to design an efficient workflow, how to use the best parts of the app to keep moving. The creative side is the part I am so passionate about and Jen and Amy’s presentation completely amplified that.
The second class was by my good friend Bart Van de Wiele, Bart walked us through more advanced areas and techniques, many I have yet to use but were so useful and time saving. At that point I could see my place in the InDesign food chain and I was content with that. I want you to be able to use my book to get more confident with InDesign, get creative with your work, produce more content with the right tool and evangelise its usefulness and power to others.
Once you get to grips with InDesign you will learn more than is in the book, you will learn the hidden tools of InDesign, you’ll even dabble with the mighty GREP, a super power in InDesign for power users. But at least you’ll be using it. No more clicking on the little ID icon in your dock, watching InDesign open, looking at the empty workspace and then saying to yourself “ah, not today” – like I do with After Effects!
I have loved teaching InDesign at Photoshop World, it’s been a blast, I love teaching and writing about anything design related. It’s important to learn the tools and learn how to be creative. I have seen many an instructor show how apps work and it’s sound like the teacher from Ferris Bueller saying “Bueller, Bueller….Bueller” in that very dull, uninteresting tone. I think all photographers should learn the basics of InDesign.
I did a presentation at The Professional Imaging Show in Holland this year called “Why A Graphic Designer Is A Photographers best Friend (and vice versa)”. It was all about photographers and designers working together more. I really do believe that learning a skill such as InDesign will help you shoot like a designer. You’ll be able to visualise how flyers, booklets, postcards etc are put together and it’ll make your brain think about how to shoot for suitable images rather than just go and do the job – take a portrait and go home.
When you, as a photographer, can talk to your client about how the images will be used and be able to talk about layouts and type you’ll quickly find that the work stays with you. If you are already a designer then why aren’t you using InDesign – if you have the Creative Cloud obviously – because using the right tool for the job will make you a more desirable designer, in my opinion.
I was recently interviewed at Adobe Max along with many other creatives by Adventures InDesign podcast. When asked what my favourite app was I was the only person to say InDesign. In a world surrounded by print, signage, labels, products, even digital, InDesign is at the forefront of the products being used to make those things. Go and pick up your favourite photography book. I would say there’s a 90% chance it was made in InDesign or a professional publishing product such as Quark or Affinity Publisher even.
So to end this article, I urge you to open up InDesign, look on the Adobe website to see what it’s used for, watch the InDesign classes on KelbyOne, read the InDesign design articles I wrote in Photoshop User magazine archive, sit in a couple of InDesign classes at your next design conference, talk to designers for advice and learn to love my favourite app. And if you still need more help….I know a guy who wrote a really cool book called ‘How Do I Do That In InDesign’ ☺
Get Up to Speed Fast on the New Photoshop 2020 with Scott Kelby
There’s a new version of Photoshop in town! Get up to speed fast with Scott Kelby where you’ll be introduced to all the new features debuted at Adobe MAX as well as all the new features Adobe has added to Photoshop over the last year. Photoshop 2020 is the best version to date, and it just keeps getting better and better. There’s a lot of cool new features that you’ll want to add to your workflow, so let’s dive in!
In Case You Missed It: Learn Photoshop In One Hour
Join Scott Kelby as he teaches you the essential things you need to learn about Photoshop to get up and running. Photoshop has a lot of depth, but you don’t need to know everything, just the tools people use every day. Starting with a lesson on how to view your photos, Scott moves on to the most commonly used tools such as cropping, Levels adjustments, using Camera Raw as a filter, making selections, removing distractions, understanding layers, and much more. There’s even a bonus lesson on extracting hair from a background. At the end of the hour you’ll be ready to dig deeper into any of the topics you’ve learned, and take it as far as you want to go.
In recent years I have photographed and hiked the Kumano kodo pilgrimage trail sacred to Shugendo Buddhism in Japan. I’ve walked long portions of the Camino de Santiago in Spain with my camera. I’ve taken photos to bring light to the near darkness in Son Doong, the world’s largest cave in Vietnam where fewer people have ventured than have been into space.
As a photography workshop leader, I’ve taught groups of photographers in the United States, France, and many other parts of the world. In the course of my travels when I meet people—and I love to chat with folks along the way—once it becomes known that I am a professional photographer, one question is pretty constant: What kind of photographer are you?
Generally, when folks ask me this question they are looking for a pretty straightforward answer. Sometimes I wish I could tell them “I photograph children for a portrait studio,” “I am an architectural photographer,” “I am a wedding photographer,” “I photograph jewelry,” or something similarly specific.
As I’ll explain later in this blog story, I’ve worked professionally in a number of photographic genres, back at the beginning of my first photography career in the days of analog, film photography.
No knowledge is ever wasted. It’s helpful to have the skillsets from the different photographic niches under my belt, as well as my experiences as a computer programmer, fine-art painter, and a writer. But none of these individually fit what I’ve been doing and what I have regarded as my current profession since the dawn of digital era.
I tell folks who ask that I am a Photographer as Poet. That’s of course the title of this blog story. Stay tuned: in this blog story I’ll tell you what I think being a Photographer as a Poet means, some of the history of how I’ve arrived at this profession and calling, and some words about what it means to have a professional practice as a photographic poet.
I’ve become so enamored of my job title of Photographer as Poet that I had an inkan—a Japanese “chop” or inked stamp that is sometimes used in place of a signature—created with the characters that roughly translate to this phrase. Sometimes I use my inkan to handstamp and decorate my prints, particularly those printed on Japanese washi.
What does it mean to be a “Photographer as Poet” professionally? This is often a follow-up question to “What kind of photographer are you?”