Category Archives Photoshop

Hi gang, and welcome to my new series on Photoshop features that can really be helpful…if you only knew they existed, and what they did. There’s some really great stuff buried in Photoshop, and it’s stuff that maybe we don’t use every day, but once unearthed, they can make a big difference.

I’m calling this new series “Buried Treasure” and we’re starting with one of my favorites (I had to use it just yesterday), and in the short video tutorial below, I’ll show you how I used it, and a way you might not have thought of where it can be really helpful. Here goes:

Hope you found that helpful. More to come later this week. :)

See you on Friday in Minneapolis?
I hope so — I’ll be there with my Lightroom On Tour seminar, and so will about 300 other photographers who are ready to make a big leap in their Lightroom life. Hope I’ll get to meet you there.

Have a great week (’cause it’s gonna be a great week!).

Best,

-Scott

Hi gang, and happy Monday. It’s going to be a great week! :)

Just a quick tip today, but the thing I’m going to show you is pretty hidden, and you’d use it when a tool starts behaving differently than it usually does. You might have a made a change to a setting up in the Options Bar the last time you were you using Photoshop, and you can’t remember which setting you changed that’s now causing it to act wonky. If that happens, here what ya do:

Above: Look up at the Options Bar up top. On the very far left you see an icon of the tool you currently have selected. You see that little down-facing arrow to the immediate right of it? If you click that, any tool presets you have for that tool pop-down in a menu (as shown here, but I don’t’ have any tool presets for the Move tool, but the menu pops down either way). However, there’s something hidden here.

Above: If instead, you hold the Command-key on Mac (Ctrl-key on PC), instead you get a pop-up menu with two options: (1) Reset Tool. That resets all of the settings back to their default for just the currently selected tool (in this case, I have the Healing Brush selected, so it resets the Option Bar settings for just that one tool). If you choose ‘Reset All Tools’ it does just what it says — it resets every tool back to its factory fresh default setting (and just know if you need to choose this one, you musta really messed up somethin’ big time!). :-)

Anyway, just a quickie but I know some folks who could get a lot out of resetting a tool or two.

Did you catch ‘The Grid” last Wednesday?
It’s my weekly photography show, and last week my guests were my awesome wife Kalebra and our in-house producer Jen Coffin, and our topic was “How to produce your next shoot.” Jen and Kalebra had some great insights, and I shared my own workflow for setting up a location shoot.  If you’ve got a few minutes, I’ve embedded that episode above (you can let it play in the background while you do other stuff, ya know…like work). ;-)

Here’s wishing you a great week, and that it starts off with a much better than usual Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m about 11 days from my being in Minneapolis with my “Lightroom On Tour” full-day seminar. I’m in Indy four days later. Tickets and info here. 

Hi, gang – Happy Tuesday! Today I wanted to share some Lens Correction stuff in Photoshop (this works in Lightroom, too!) that a lot of folks have overlooked (like the Aspect slider for one). This is really powerful stuff — it uses a number of different parts of the Lens Correction and Transform panel, but it’s good solid stuff; it’s easy to use, and there will be times when you really oughta be using it.

I made a video for ya (below). Lots of little tips inside this one:

Again — that works the same way in Lightroom — the panels are just in a different location.

Hope you found that helpful. :)

I’m in Indy in three weeks from today with my Lightroom Seminar
You can be there, too. Here’s the link with details. 

Have a great Tuesday everybody, and see you tomorrow for “Guest Blog Wednesday.”

Best,

-Scott

Happy Friday, everybody. (even if you don’t watch the tip – make sure you read my P.S. at the bottom of the post. It’s guaranteed to make you wish I was younger and had more hair). 

I’ve got a great tip for you today from our dear friend, UK-based graphic designer Dave Clayton, who shared this tip on ‘The Grid” on Wednesday and people were just loving it. Alan Hess wrote “This will change my workflow forever!” and I gotta tell ya — I agree (I didn’t know this tip either). Check out this short video we made just for you guys on the blog here today:

Pretty sweet, right? Thanks, Dave (after speaking at Photoshop World, he came and taped two online classes for KelbyOne — one on Photoshop design for social media, and one straight-up design class for Photoshop users). Such a great guy (and such a great tip!).

Hope you have a great weekend, and we’ll catch you back here next week (well, at least that’s the plan). ;-)

Cheers,

-Scott

P.S. Tomorrow night I’m playing a gig on drums — it’s my high-school reunion (well, technically it’s the year before I graduated reunion), but I’m playing with the same guys I played with back in high school in my first band (three of them were seniors, I was a junior, so it’s really their reunion). Nevertheless, I’m playing it — a bunch of classic rock songs from the late 70s/early 80s (same stuff we played back then), and a couple of newer songs. Yes, I’m making my wife Kalebra go, too. I make her come watch me play every five years as some kind of cruel punishment. She has dubbed it as the “Not my reunion” gig. Follow her tomorrow night on Twitter for many photos and sadly hilarious commentary. Her Twitter handle is @kalebrakelby – it’s gonna rock! (or something like it). 

Happy Monday everybody — ready to learn about Actions? Wild cheers ensue! (Hey, it could happen). Anyway, I still get questions about Photoshop’s Action feature, so I thought I’d do a ‘quick start’ kinda post to get you up and running in five minutes.

What’s an Action?
If you’re wondering what “Actions” are, basically it’s like a tape recorder in Photoshop that records your steps and plays them back really fast, so you can automate repetitive tasks. Best of all, simple actions (yes, you can create really complex ones if you want), are really easy to create and use.

In our example, let’s say you want to resize a high-res image for posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and since you’re resizing it down pretty small, you want to sharpen it before you post it (you lose some sharpness when you size down like that, so I always apply a little sharpening to bring it back, and maybe even a bit more than I lost so it looks nice and sharp). So, rather than going through the process manually from now on, you’ll create a simple action; assign it to an F-key on your keyboard, and from now on the process becomes a 2-second, one key automated thingy.

Let’s get started:

STEP ONE: Open an image you would normally post on social, then go under the Window menu and choose Actions to bring up the Actions panel (shown here). To create your own custom action, press the ‘New Action’ button (it’s looks like the New Layer button — I’m clicking right on it in the capture above).

STEP TWO: This brings up the ‘New Action’ dialog (shown above) where you name your action (I did), assign it to a Function Key on your keyboard (I chose F11, as seen here). You’ll notice there’s no ‘OK’ or ‘Done’ button. Instead it says ‘Record’ because once you click that it is now recording your steps.

STEP THREE: Now do the things you want Photoshop to automate from here on out. In this case, we’re only doing two things, and the first is resizing the image to 1000 pixels wide (as seen here). Note: take a look over at the Actions panel on the left. See how there’s a red dot? That’s the ‘Record’ button, and it’s letting you know it’s recording your steps. Just a handy visual.

Above: After you resize your image, then go under the Filter menu, under Sharpen and choose Unsharp Mask. Input your favorite settings (I used 70, 1.0 and 10 here, which are pretty decent settings for sharpening low res 1000-pixel images like this for the Web). NOTE: Take a look over at the Actions panel and you can see it now lists the first thing we did to the photo — Image Size. The red dot tells you its still recording.

STEP FOUR: After you’ve run the Unsharp Mask filter, go ahead and Save the photo, and then close the image window. Yes, it records the ‘Save’ and the ‘Close.’ Now press the square ‘Stop’ button at the bottom of the Actions panel (as shown here). That’s it — you just created your first action. At this point, I usually open a different image, and I then I click the ‘Play’ button (it looks like a triangle — just to the right of the red record dot), just to see if the action works properly (of course, you could also press F11 on your keyboard, and it will run the action). Doesn’t matter which one you use — you’re just testing it to see if it works. Now you’re ready to rock! (Guitar pun intended. I know. Groan). ;-)

Q. Hey, how many steps can an action like this record? Just two?
A. Nope — it will record for as long as you do stuff — your action can have one step, 10 -steps, 500-steps or more — I haven’t found a limit  (there may actually be one, but I haven’t found it yet). 

Next Time: Applying an Action to an entire folder of images
Where Actions get really fun is when you create an action, and then apply it to an entire folder of images at once, and you simply walk away from your computer (or switch to another program), and in the background, Photoshop just cranks away working on your behalf, totally unattended, like some autonomous robot from Skynet who will soon become self aware and take over the world. But not this year, so they’re safe to use for now. I’ll show you this ‘Batch Action’ feature on another day — for now, go and make your first action.

If you want to learn more about Actions…
And all the other automation stuff Photoshop and Lightroom can do (and there is plenty), we have a awesome course on it (here’s the link).

I’m up in Chicago today with my Lightroom seminar
So looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of photographers up here today (and tomorrow in Detroit — got a packed house!). Hope if you’re there, you’ll come up and say hi between sessions. Next month I’m in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Only 10-days ’till the Photoshop World Conference (Whoo hoo!). It’s not to late to come join us, ya know. Weather’s beautiful in Orlando this time of year.  :)

I ran across this Blend Mask tutorial on one of Adobe’s official blogs over in the UK, and it’s a great little tutorial (a little more of an advanced technique, but well worthwhile and easy to follow). It’s from Adobe’s Richard Curtis, and the post itself is from September of last year.

In the tutorial Richard shows how to make the robe of the 2nd monk (well, the 2nd from the left), perfectly match the color and luminance of the first monk. Really good stuff.

Here’s the link to Richard’s Blending Mask tutorial.

Hope you found that helpful (and thanks to Richard for sharing it). Looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of you in Chicago and in Detroit next Monday and Tuesday (respectively) with my Lightroom OnTour seminar. :)

Have a great weekend, and we’ll catch ya here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott

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