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I know it’s been in Photoshop since forever, and in many cases, there are faster and better selection tools, but to this very day I still wind up using the Magic Wand tool a decent amount. One of the reasons I get good results when I do use it it is the basis of this little-known tip — it’s how to control how much the Magic Wand actually selects. Here goes:

Above: Let say you want to select the floor area in front of the chair, for example. If you click the Magic Wand on the floor, it selects a lot of the floor, but because the color tones are somewhat similar, it also selects part of the door frame, and the door and sidewalk outside and part of the beach and…well…you get the idea. The trick here is controlling how big a range of colors the magic wand should select.

Above: See that field called “Tolerance” up in the Options bar (I circled it here in red)? That’s what controls how many color tones the Magic Wand selects, and the default Tolerance setting of 32 always seems to select too much. Lowering that number lowers how many different color tones out the Wand will select. Here I reset it to 20 (which, by the way, is what I leave the Magic Wand set to as my default — if you type 20 in there, it’s sticky and will stay at 20 until you change it to something else or reset the tool using the reset button).

Above: By just lowering the Tolerance from 32 down to down, and clicking in approximately the same area, look how much less the Magic Wand selects now. No door frame, no door, no sidewalk, no beach, etc. It didn’t do a perfect job, but it’s a lot better (I would probably use the Quick Select tool for this job in reality, but I just wanted you to see how much the wand selects at different tolerance settings). Now let’s look at something a bit more real world.

Above: Let’s say I want to select that blur frame to the right of the chair. I clicked the Magic Wand right in the center of the dark and lighter blue areas, and it only selected the lighter blue side of the frame, as seen above). In this case, I would have liked it to select both sides; the dark blue and the light blue tones as well.

Above: I increased the Tolerance to 48 so it will select more colors; I clicked in the same place, and now look — it selected both sides of the blue frame (as seen above).

In short: think of the Tolerance settings as an “Amount” slider for the Magic Wand. In fact, if you want it to act more like a slider, click and hold directly on the word “Tolerance” and you can drag left or right to change the Tolerance amount just like you would with a slider.

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Here’s to a kick-butt, a fantastic week, full of opportunities and fun. :)

-Scott

For those of you who have read any one of my books, you already know that the introduction I write at the beginning of each chapter seldom has anything to do with what is actually in that chapter. I put these quirky chapter intros in there as kind of a mental break between chapters, and well…I’d be the first to admit, they’re kind of whacked.

I generally write these late at night, usually, while I’m tired after a long day at work, and well that alone explains a lot. Anyway, I’m doing a major update on one of my books right now, and when I got to a chapter about Landscape Photography, and read what I had written in the previous edition, I realized…there must be something very wrong with me. To prove that point, I’m going to run that very chapter intro below, because…well…there must be something wrong with me. Here we go:

I think one of the most appealing things about being a landscape photographer is not only are you coming back with amazing photos, but you get to experience some of the best of what nature has to offer while you’re doing it. I’ll never forget this one time I was shooting in Montana’s Glacier National Park. I got up around 4:15 a.m., so I could head out early and be in position before sunrise. When I reached the lake overview, it was still pitch dark, and I remember setting up my tripod and watching it blow right over in the freezing wind that whipped off the lake. I just laughed and set it right back up, attached my camera gear to the ballhead, and realized that I’d better not let go of the rig or it, too, might blow over.

I didn’t want to give up my spot, because I had a pretty good vantage point (at least it looked like a good one in the dim moonlight). So, there I stood, out in the freezing, bitter cold, where each gust of wind was like a thousand knives jabbing right through me. I’m standing there shivering in the piercing cold, and then it started to rain. Not snow. Nope, that would have been pretty. It was rain. A driving rain that felt like an army of Lilliputians were firing their tiny arrows right into me, but I just stood there in the bone-chilling cold like a wet, frozen statue, with my cracked, frostbitten fingers barely able to grip my tripod. I silently prayed for the sweet mercy of death to come upon me and relieve me of this frigid hostile misery.

It was just then when I looked over and saw another photographer, who had just set up his tripod about 14 feet from me, slip on the ice that had formed on the overlook. I stood there and watched as he and his tripod, expensive camera and all, slid down the side of the embankment. I could hear him moaning for help, but I just couldn’t stop smiling as I looked over and saw his Tamrac camera bag on the overlook beside me. I nearly pulled a muscle as I tossed his gear-laden bag full of lenses and accessories into my rented SUV and quickly drove away, thinking to myself, “Man, this is what it’s all about.”

Well, there ya have it. I wasn’t kidding about the ‘wacked’ thing now, was I?

Yes, it’s really “a thing.”

If you’ve read this far, well…I can’t believe you hung in there, but I’m grateful you did and I totally dig you (in a non-sexual way). Now, if this “wackness’ resonated with you (so, you’re messed up, too), I actually published an entire book of nothing but my handpicked favorite chapter intro from over the years. Yup, it’s a book of nothing but Chapter Intros (without the chapters).

If you’re a KelbyOne member, you can download the eBook version absolutely free from your Creative Toolkit on the member’s Website (it’s in the ‘Perk’ category in the sidebar on the left; click on Toolkit and it’s on page 2 in the list of perks).

If you’re not a KelbyOne member, you can buy the Kindle version on Amazon for $9.99, which is incredibly overpriced, but worth every penny. Here’s the link. You’ll be a better person for buying it, and if you do, as a sidenote I could use a review on Amazon. It’s rated only 3-1/2 stars since I got a one-star review from a guy who complained there was no training in the book, which is absolutely true — and it says so right on the cover. It literally says these words right on the cover:

There are no tutorials, no learning. Just intros. I’m not kidding. Buy it anyway.

In fact, on Amazon, the title is actually slightly different (same book though) than the one on the KelbyOne Website. On Amazon the title is “

Buy This Book of Chapter Intros Even Though You Won’t Learn Anything

He bought it anyway yet was upset because he didn’t learn anything. He wrote that (wait for it…wait for it…) it had no tutorials, no learning, just intros. Sigh.

So, if you buy it, and somehow actually like the book (hey, it could happen), I would love for you to share your review on Amazon. If you hate it, you can still post a review of course, but please only because you hated my quirky stream-of-conscientiousness chapter intros, not because it had no tutorials and learning stuff, ’cause if I read another one like that, I’m going to freakin’ jump out the window. ;-)

Here’s wishing you a weekend full of wacked stuff (in a good way), and a bunch of chapter intros that have no basis in reality. :)

-Scott
Author of what may be the greatest useless book ever!

Editing Video and Creating Movies All in Lightroom with Scott Kelby

Learn how to create and edit movies in Lightroom Classic with Scott Kelby! Just about every digital camera has the ability to record awesome video. However, many of us don’t take advantage of this feature because we don’t want to learn a video editing program. Well, you’re going to be stunned to learn what you can do with video inside of Lightroom Classic.

You can create wedding movies, behind the scenes videos, promotional videos, interviews, and more! You can put all of these together right inside of Lightroom Classic, and in this class you’ll learn how to trim video clips to show the best parts, how to edit video clips using the Develop module, how to arrange clips and stills to form your movie, how to add music, how to add titles, and so much more.

In Case You Missed It – DSLR Filmmaking: Shooting A Music Video

Get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to shoot a music video! Join Adam Rohrmann as he walks you through every step in the process of creating a music video. From coming up with an initial concept to editing the final piece, you’ll be see how Adam worked with the band, collaborated with his crew, chose his gear, captured footage of the band playing, shot story elements on green screen, and completed his post-production workflow to create the music video.

Even if you aren’t interested in shooting a music video this class will teach you the importance of timing, how to pull emotion from a viewer with both visuals and sound, and overall how to be creative with your DSLR.

Great News for Photographers

Finally there is some great news for photographers that is breathing fresh life into the photography world! It’s easy to see that video keeps gaining momentum as the preferred way to deliver content. Thankfully Motion Art is blowing up right now on Social Media, and advertisers are finally taking notice. Looping videos, also know as Plotagraphs as well as Cinemagraphs, are a great way to breath life into traditional still photos.

However, Plotagraphs are different than Cinemagraphs. For example, a Plotagraph starts with a still image that is animated and a Cinemagraph starts out with a video that is masked in certain areas and then made into a loop. Plotagraph was created with the mission to help photographers compete in the fast growing field of video, whereas Cinemagraph’s focus is on helping videographers create short form video.

With my involvement in field of Motion Art over the past several decades, I have lately been seeing a big trend from artists and brands who are now using these mesmerizing loops. This trend is definitely here to stay with a lot of room for future growth.

Photographers who already use these techniques are hesitant to give away their secret formulas because this has traditionally given them a competitive edge. Historically, Photographers have been hesitant to get involved in motion art because of the sometimes difficult learning curve of video files. Photographers sometimes have a hard time moving past .PSD’s, TIFS, and JPG’s.

The latest Plotaverse App now makes it easy to animate because the file formats are automatically done for you. Plotaverse tools help solve the long time big obstacle for photographers, which is now no longer an issue. Not all photos are meant to be animated but sprinkling in Motion Art into your website or Social media posts will definitely make your creative content stand out.

For instance, a lot of established wedding and portrait Photographers I know will include one or two Plotagraphs in their packages, which turns out being highlights that customers use in their social media. It can also be a lot of fun to animate old images and repurpose them to Plotagraph. Seeing that classic image you have brought to life can be exciting.

I have personally animated work for well-known photographers from around the world, with reactions to these loops ranging anywhere from surprise, to even a few tears when they see their images come to life. They note that the effects of the loops somehow evokes a mood identical to the original scene of the photo they shot. It doesn’t matter whether it was yesterday or fifty years ago. If there are organic elements, texture or hard lines a photo can be brought to life and animated in a relatively short period of time.

Another technique that can be a lot of fun morph multiple images together. This works great for portrait photographers as well as beauty and fashion photographers who want to stand out. 

It has only been a few years since websites and social channels have begun to support short form looping videos. Today, Motion Art is now considered an industry standard and is supported by all the major platforms. Swiping or scrolling past still images is now easier than ever. The name of the game is dynamic content because it is the most effective way for photographers to catch the viewers’ eye and engage them. The next time you scroll through Instagram or Facebook keep an eye out for these dynamic images. They are sure to catch your eye.

For more information check out my recent tutorials exclusively for the KelbyOne Community. They are hands down the best and most detailed that I have ever done on the Plotaverse suite of dynamic apps. Check out the Plotaverse in MAC, PC, or iOS with over seven hundred thousand samples of some of the worlds best motion artists.

You can see more of Troy’s work on Plotaverse, and keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter.

I’ve seen that phrase all over the place, but what does it really mean?

I’m Dave Williams and it’s #TravelTuesday, which means here on ScottKelby.com I’m back with you to lay down a post which, today, is all about memories.

What I mean by memories is, of course, photographs! So, the title: – “collect moments, not things.” I’m sure we’ve all seen this a million times plastered on social media as some kind of wisdom-nugget, imploring us to make memories rather than collect souvenirs. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the other popular saying, “leave nothing but footprints” in that we’re not creating waste, but that’s off the point.

The importance of these memories doesn’t land just with us because those memories or moments we collect in our photography can be handed down or passed around for others to remember and enjoy. Put it this way: – When our grandparents were married they had an album made of their wedding photographs, and probably have an invitation in there as well. That album is the thing that gets pulled out of the attic and dusted off every now and then for the family to look at because those photographs are the things that evoke the memories of those present, and instigate the emotional response of those not present at the time the images were made.

This is important because in this digital age we still need to be making memories, collecting moments, and having something tangible to hand down and pass around, especially with the gift we have as photographers and creatives of being able to make something extra-special. At the risk of getting a little too deep here, collecting moments rather than things is certainly something that gives value to our lives and experiences. Making sure we soak it all up and make the most of it is so, so important, but having the skill and ability to capture and share those moments, immortalising them and sharing them, is basically a superpower!

Sticking with the “digital age” remark, taking it back an era and transforming our memory into something tangible makes the best of both situations. The power of print is phenomenal, it really is, and it’s worth creating the things that are going to be pulled from the attic and dusted off in generations to come when everything around us is different and new, bringing back the nostalgia and all the memories that go with it.

Print, people! Print! Just a little thought provocation and a gentle reminder for your Tuesday. ;)

Much love
Dave

Last week on my live video podcast ‘The Grid,’ I had the honor of clicking the ‘Launch’ button to start the kickstarter campaign on one of the most innovative ballheads ever‚ the “Platyball.” Best of all it’s from Larry T. and the team behind the beloved Platypod who are just some of the best folks out there.

Their goal was to raise $18,000 to fund the launch and initial run of Platyball. Within just a few days, they’ve already raised over $232,000. It. is. on. fire! Larry and his family put their heart and soul into this project and I couldn’t be happier for them. I love it when the good guys win.

Check out their launch video below.

Here’s the link if you want to get in on their kickstarter, and get yours in the first batch that ships.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of interviews over the years, but this one with Roger and Joey from from the Lensrentals Podcast was one of my very favorites ever. It was just so much fun. Check out this comment below from when I shared the podcast this weekend on my Facebook page:

When I first started reading that comment, I was sweating it, but I’m glad it had a better ending. :)

I’m putting the link below — let it run in the background while you’re retouching, and let me know what you think. It’s definitely not you’re average interview. LOL! :)

Here’s the link: http://lensrentals.lensrentals.libsynpro.com/how-to-do-everything-with-scott-kelby

Hope you can give it a listen (and thanks to Roger and Joey for being such cool guys!

No Photoshop needed for this trick — it’s nuthin’ but Lightroom!

I got a lot of great feedback on this technique I shared last week over on our sister-site LightroomKillerTips.com and I think what’s surprising is that the entire technique is done right inside Lightroom, and it’s super quick and easy.

Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.

Those four cities are my next stops for my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” full-day seminar. San Diego on Feb 12, Phoenix the next day on Feb. 13th. Then I’m in Houston on the 23rd and on to LA on the 25th. Come on out and spend the day with me – it’s 100% money-back guaranteed — you’ve got nuthin’ to lose and everything to gain. Here’s the link. See you there!

Here’s wishing you a great week ahead, everybody! :)

-Scott

P.S. I got a chance to spend the past few days at the NAMM (Music Gear) show out in Anaheim, California and I’ve never felt more at comfortable or more at home anywhere. Why? Because almost EVERYBODY there was wearing a black t-shirt with a logo and jeans. It was like “Planet Scott.” LOL!!! I had such a blast, and yet, I didn’t buy anything (well, I bought some new t-shirts), but much to Kalebra’s chagrin, I did come home with a shopping list, which does include a guitar. :)

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