Category Archives Photoshop

A few weeks back I got an email asking about what can be done in Photoshop if you caught your subject with one eye partially closed when you pressed the shutter. I’ve had that happen so many times over the years that I already had a fix for it. In fact, it literally only takes two-minutes if that (well, maybe three minutes the first time you try it, but after that, you’ll have it down to two-minutes flat). Here goes:

Above: Here’s our original image and her eye on the left is partially closed (it was the only one I shot that day where her eye was like this), but luckily the fix is easy because her other eye is fully open and that’s what we’ll use to do our quick retouch.

STEP ONE: Zoom in tight and use Photoshop’s Lasso tool to make a very loose selection around her open eye, as shown here. Now press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to put that eye up on its own separate layer.

STEP TWO: Using the Move tool, drag the copy of her open eye over so it covers the partially closed eye (which is what I did here), but you can just leave it at that because she’d have two right eyes (and that would look weird). To fix that, press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to bring up Free Transform (it puts a bounding box with handles around that copy of her eye) and then right-click anywhere inside that bounding box to bring up the pop-up menu you see here. Choose Flip Horizontal as shown here. Because she’s leaning over quite a bit in the image, it won’t be a perfect match to the other eye — you’re going to need to rotate the flipped copy into place, so move your cursor outside the Free Transform bounding box and your cursor changes into a two-headed arrow cursor. Click and drag in a circular motion to rotate her eye to where it looks about right (as seen here as well).

STEP THREE: To really make sure you get the eye at just the right position and angle, here’s a trick I use that works wonders. While you’re still in Free Transform, go over to the Layers panel and lower the Opacity for this layer down to around 60% or so. Now you can see through this copied eye, to the original eye’s position on the layer below it, and you’ll now be able to rotate the eye easily to the exact right amount, and then move your cursor inside the bounding box and drag the eye copy until it lines up perfectly (as seen here). Now press Return (Windows: Enter) to lock in your transformation, then raise the opacity of this layer back up to 100%. Before we move on, you can see the problem here — the shadows aren’t right, and that’s because the eye we copied was on the side of her face that was farther away from the light, and was partially in shadows. This isn’t going to be a problem, because we don’t need all that area around her eye; all we really need is the Iris and whites of the eyes to make it look open (which we’ll fix in the next step).

STEP FOUR: Hold the Option key (Windows: Alt key) and at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the 3rd icon from the left to add a black Layer Mask over your image (its icon looks like a white rectangle with a black circle in the center). This hides the eye-copy layer behind that black mask so you can no longer see that layer, but that’s exactly what we want. We don’t want to see the whole eye copy — just the Iris and whites of the eyes. Set your Foreground color to white (if it isn’t already); choose a small soft-edged brush from up in the Brush Picker on the top left side of the Options Bar across the top, then paint over just the areas where you want to reveal the eye on the top layer. Here I pained over her eye on the left with that small soft-edged brush and it reveals just that part of the eye from the top layer. If you look closely, you can see my circular brush cursor painting on the far right side of her left eye. I’m careful not to paint in too much or it will start showing those shadows, so I’m pretty much just staying inside the eye area and not going onto the eyelashes or lids too much. We still have a problem. The catch-light in her left eye is on the wrong side.

STEP FIVE: To fix the catch lights, first we’ll create the missing one. Get the Clone Stamp tool; choose a soft-edged brush and make the size of the brush just a little larger than the white catch light in her right eye. Move your cursor over that eye; hold the Option key (Windows: Alt key) and click once to sample that white catch light. Now move over the left eye, where you catch-light should be (on the upper left side of her iris) and click once, and it clones the white catch-light from the right eye over onto the top left of her iris on the left eye. Of course, now she has two catchlights in the left eye, so we’ll need to remove the extra one so it matches the other eye.

STEP SIX: Get the Spot Healing Brush tool; make your brush size cursor just a little larger than the extra catch-light; then click once to remove the extra catch light. Easy peasy!

Above: I zoomed out here so you can see the final retouch, quick and easy. :)

Hope you found that helpful.

I was in the studio all day today…
The shot you see above was from a few years back — today I was in our studio at KelbyOne HQ making new images while recording an update to one of my most-popular online courses, it’s called “10 Essential Studio Techniques Every Photographer Needs to Know.” This new course will replace the original which was recorded nearly 8 years ago. The recording session today went great, and I was really tickled to get to redo the class using today’s tools and today’s techniques, and applying some of the things I’ve learned in the past eight years. I think (well, I certainly hope) it will help a lot of photographers who want to break into shooting in the studio. I’ll let you know when it comes out — shouldn’t be too long now.

Hope you all have a fantastic SuperBowl weekend. Don’t forget, when the Patriots lose, America wins! #GoRams!

Thanks,

-Scott

Above: That’s our awesome group of ice warriors!

Hi, everybody — I’m back from four wonderful days up in Canada at snow-covered Banff National Park with my friend and KelbyOne instructor Ramtin “Rammy” Kazemi at a workshop he was hosting, and it was just glorious! Great weather (not too cold and not windy at all); great food, met some really great folks (that’s us above after a dawn shoot), took a bunch of photos, just had a ball all the way around – and best of all — I wasn’t there working; I was just there to learn and make images. Absolutely loved it!

Above: That’s Rammy. On ice. Such a great trainer, and a really great guy all around. I loved his workshop and learned a lot. Here’s a link to his photography site. 

A lot of times we were down on a frozen lake, shooting from a low perspective (either splaying out our tripod legs or using Platypods), and to get everything in focus from the ice chunks down low directly in front of us to the mountains off in the distance, just using f/11 or f/16 won’t do it. Instead, to get we used a focus-stacking technique. Focus Stacking is where you focus on the object right directly in your foreground, then you move your focus point up a bit and focus on the next area back, and then move it upward to the next, and the next, and finally the mountains in the back, then in Photoshop you put them all together (actually, in many cases Photoshop will do all the work for you).

Above: Q. Scott, where’s your Platypod? A. Out on loan. I took two of them but offered them up to other students to try. Q. Hey, isn’t that a Nikon D-850? A. Yup. Q. Wait…did you switch back to Nikon? Q. Well yes, I did. Well, just for this one picture (that’s Rammy’s camera). Had ya going there for a minute, didn’t I? 

If you’re a Lightroom user…
…head over to LightroomKillerTips.com for my post today which shows how to take your focus stacked images in Lightroom over to Photoshop to where you just two clicks away from a perfectly stacked image. Here’s the direct link.

For Photoshop users, here’s what you do: 

STEP ONE: If you’ve already got your focus-stacked images open in Photoshop, go under the File menu, under Scripts and choose “Load Files Into Stack” (as shown above).

STEP TWO: Doing that takes each open image and puts it into one document with each on its own separate layer in Photoshop’s Layers panel (shown above).

STEP THREE: In the Layers panel, select all your layers (in this case, all five images), then go under Photoshop’s Edit menu and choose “Auto-Blend Layers.” When the Auto-Blend Layers dialog appears (shown above) choose “Stack Images” and turn on the checkbox for Seamless Tones and Colors.

STEP FOUR: Click OK in that Auto-Blend dialog, and it analyzes the images on each layer and only leaves the sharp areas, masking away the areas that aren’t sharp with a layer mask and it creates a new merged layer at the top of the layers panel (as seen above). The layer masks are handy if the Auto-Blend didn’t do a perfect job — you already have a mask in place which you can edit.

STEP FIVE: That merged layer on top has that expanded depth of field where the bubbles trapped in the ice in front are tack sharp, and so is the ice behind it, and behind that, and even the mountains in the background — all in sharp focus, and all in one image. There’s also a manual way to combine the sharp part of each image — I’ll cover that in a separate post with a video sometime soon. Again, all of this only works if you focused on different parts of your image during the shooting phase, then the rest is up to Photoshop.

Hope you found that helpful (and don’t forget to head over to LightroomKillerTips.com for the other part of this tutorial.

Win a free trip to Photoshop World 2019
Just a few days left to register — if you win we fly you to Photoshop World 2019 (your choice, Orlando in early summer or Vegas in late summer), and we pick up your hotel and meals, and you get the whole VIP experience on us. But you can’t win if you don’t enter. Go right now, enter the giveaway, and here’s hoping you win and we’ll see you at the conference. :)

Have a great week everybody!

-Scott

In the Photoshop CC update Adobe released in December, they added a new feature that I’ve been begging for, for years and I even got to nudge it along a bit.

Last year when some folks on the Photoshop team at Adobe asked me for some ideas for their “JDI” projects (little tweaks, enhancements, and fixes that they do to each Photoshop upgrade to existing features), here what I wrote them:

“Here’s the idea: I have a multi-layered document. All the layers I want are visible. There are some layers I turned off during the design stage. I flatten the image, and I get a dialog box asking if I want to also discard the hidden layers. Of course I do — otherwise, they wouldn’t be hidden. In fact, I never want a flattened image with two or three layers on top that I’m not using and are hidden.

So, what’s missing? A “Do not show again” checkbox in that dialog.

I never, ever need to see that dialog — I always click “Yes, delete those hidden layers” – but yet I have to see it, and deal with it, every single time I flatten. That would speed my workflow every single day”

Back in November, I got an email from one of the folks on the Photoshop team to let me know this checkbox would be in the December Photoshop CC update (and that’s it above, in the current version of Photoshop CC). I was thrilled when I heard, and now that it’s here, even more so.

Thank you Adobe for making our Photsohop lives a little easier. :)

I’m off to Atlanta on Sunday
I’ll be up at PPA’s Imaging USA Expo (first photography trade show of the 2019 season). I’ll be doing a book signing at the Rocky Nook Booth on Sunday at 3:oo pm, so if you’re at the show, I’d love to say hi – I hope I’ll see you there. :)

Then I’m off to Canada
I’m excited to be heading to Banff National Park right after that to finally get a chance to shoot there in while it’s a snow-covered winter wonderland. No work, just fun. Can’t wait!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thanks,

-Scott

Yup — it’s a Photoshop book (and I think it will be a tremendously helpful one to a lot of people). First, watch the official trailer (made with love) below:

I wrote this book expressly for Lightroom users because it just covers the most important things that you’d go over to Photoshop for, and it makes it super easy to learn Photoshop. You’ll learn everything from layers to retouching to special effects, how to create today’s hottest looks, and so much more. If you’re a Lightroom user, and you’ve been wanting to learn Photoshop, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Here are links to it on Amazon (both print and Kindle versions are available) and on Barnes & Noble.com (both print and NOOK eBook versions available here, as well).

If you’re a KelbyOne member, you can get 37% off the print version (plus free shipping) or the eBook if you order at Peachpit.com. Just enter this code at checkout: PSLR37 .

Go get one! :)

Good to be back
I took a few weeks off to spend time with my family up in the mountains of Tennessee, and we had such a great time, but it’s always good to be back home, and I’m back on the saddle with my blogging here and at LightroomKillerTips.com, so I hope I’ll be seeing a lot of you this year.

Here’s to a kick-butt, super awesome, fun, happy, healthy, Photoshopy 2019!

Thanks,

-Scott

We’re nearly out of #TravelTuesday’s for the year! How sad! I wonder what the 2019 #TravelTuesday situation will be. The Tuesdays of the future will probably be shinier and more streamlined, but for now I have one of the last 2018 #TravelTuesdays for you. I’m Dave Williams, and as usual I’m here for you, laying down what I’ve learned on my journey as a travel photographer. I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down! Let’s go!

So, today is all about halves. The half rule, in particular. This is something that will always stick with me since I heard about it, and something that is up there with the most valuable pieces of retouching advice I have heard and can offer back to you.

Firstly, the disclaimer. Very rarely will you see a photographer’s unprocessed RAW file. You’re about to see one of mine. No judging, please!

 

 

So that’s Iceland. More specifically, if you were wondering, it’s up on the hill above the church in Vik at the southern tip of Iceland, facing east. The image is of course quite flat and unsaturated, among other things, that being the very nature of a RAW file. The retouching process comes next as part of every photographers flow, and it’s this to which the half rule applies. Let’s go to work: –

 

 

Here’s the result of my labour. The image has been processed, the sliders have been slid, and the image coming out the other end has far more dynamic range, far more saturation, far more clarity, etc etc. This aesthetically driven approach is how we all work, shifting the sliders around and judging the image by eye. The thing that happens and that we need to be mindful of is that the difference between the flat looking original versus the saturated looking result is actually quite stark but, albeit quickly, that difference is the result of a relatively gradual process whereby we see all the changes occurring along the way. What we perceive at this moment to be a great image may actually be overdone. and that’s not something we want. The half rule is applied now.

By taking the position of all the sliders to the half way points between the neutral and the resulting positions we of course apply half of the adjustment, however that half is often actually enough to have a great looking image without it being ‘overcooked.’ Take a look: –

 

 

The sliders here compared to the last version are more or less half way, with little tweaks here and there as necessary. It’s better than the original, it’s more natural looking than the second shot, and it’s done! The half rule can make a huge difference in keeping our slider-happy tendencies in check!

 

 

I’d love to know how this works for you, feel free to get in touch on my social media – you’ll fine me everywhere as @capturewithdave

Much love

Dave

There have been many cheers that in the most-recent Photoshop CC update, you no longer have to hold the Shift key to keeps things proportional when using Free Transform to resize an object or type. You can just grab a corner and drag. We’ve been waiting for this for 20+ years, and it’s finally here (Photoshop is one of the only applications on the planet that requires you to hold Shift to resize an object proportionally — in fact, it’s just about InDesign and Illustrator left on earth that still make you do that, but they too are scheduled to lose the extra key needed to resize proportionally).

This seems like it would be good news — but there are some folks out there who are mightily pi$›%#!

So, Adobe has released a way for those folks to create a simple one-line script; which you place in Photoshop’s scripts folder, and it makes you hold the Shift key again to resize proportionally.

Now, it would have been awesome if Adobe simply had added a preference setting with a checkbox for “Use legacy Free Transform proportional resize shortcut” (or some other hard-t0-decipher Adobe-like phase), but this is, at least, the next best thing — you get your shift key back without a lot of hassle.

Here’s how to “go back in time” and add the Shift Key back into your workflow (these are the official steps, according to Adobe):

Use Notepad (Windows) or a text editor on Mac OS to create a plain text file (.txt).

Type the text below in the text file:

TransformProportionalScale 0

Save the file as “PSUserConfig.txt” to your Photoshop settings folder:

Windows: [Installation Drive]:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings\

macOS: //Users/[User Name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings/

OK, that’s all there is to it, and your Shift-key holding days are back. :)

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Best,

-Scott

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