Electrifying Eyes – Retouching Eyes in Photoshop with Kristina Sherk
Join Kristina Sherk from Shark Pixel for an entire class dedicated to teaching you the best methods for retouching eyes using Photoshop. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the first things viewers connect with when looking at your photographs. Correctly retouching eyes, without going overboard, is one of the most crucial aspects of portrait retouching, and can make or break a photo. In this class you’ll learn all aspects of eye retouching, including under the eyes, opening the eyes, whitening, adding lashes, exaggerating color, improving catchlights, and more. By the end of the class you’ll have a new bundle of tools, tips, and techniques for improving your retouching skills, as well as a free set of brushes you can download and use.

In Case You Missed It
Learn the core fundamentals of retouching hair! Join Kristina Sherk as she teaches you how to retouch hair smarter, not harder. From removing stray hairs to changing your subject’s hair color, and from creating custom hair brushes to adding dimension and shine, Kristina will show you how to do the best things possible in the fastest amount of time. Every photographer working with people can benefit from adding these hair retouching techniques to their set of skills, so that you can deliver outstanding work to your clients and get back behind the camera. By the end of the class you’ll know how to make your clients look red-carpet ready and how to do it faster than ever.

Photo by Jason Menon

Wet Plate A Hundred And Sixty Six Year Old Photo Process

Number one question I get on a weekly basis.. What goes into a typical wet plate shoot? Well, I’m about to walk you through what wet plate collodion is, and what I do when I setup to shoot on location.

Photo by Luis Velez

To create an image, I hand pour the emulsion (collodion) into a pool on a glass or black aluminum plate, then carefully move it around until its evenly coated. The excess is drained back into the bottle. Next, I lower the plate into a silver nitrate tank and let it sit in there for three minutes while the chemical reaction takes place. Once it is time to take the plate out of the tank, it has essentially turned into a sheet of extremely slow film.. In my mobile darkroom I place the plate into a custom holder so that it can then be loaded into a view camera and exposed.

After the plate is exposed, it is taken back to my darkroom where it is immediately developed and stopped with water. Once developed and stopped the image is no longer light sensitive and can be taken out of the darkroom into white light. The image now looks like a blue negative. The final chemical step is fixing the plate. This turns the image from a negative into the final positive form. Later on the plate is washed with water, dried, and varnished with shellac.

Photo by Justin Conant
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon

Okay, so now that I have filled you in on some of the technical aspects of how each plate is made, I will go through my setup for an on location shoot.

My most recent project, called “Stillwater,” is a documentary project that explores the heavy rock community through wet plate portraiture. Most of the time bands have very limited time when it comes to their schedule. So to create work for this project I meet bands at the venue to make their portraits. My car is loaded to the brim with strobes, stands, power packs, 11×14 view camera, beauty dishes, and some other miscellaneous equipment. I unload all of my equipment, and set it up in the venue.

Once it is set up I will go out to my car and then set up my mobile darkroom in the trunk of my car. This whole process usually takes me an hour and a half to two hours… After both of these are set up I can start to shoot. Each portrait takes me about 20 minutes per shot which includes the plate prep time. So there is no room for error… I only have time for one shot per person, so I have to be very mindful in each aspect of the process.

Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Dave Bichard

The number one issue that I ran into when I started this project was trying to figure out how to make these images without available light. I learned how to shoot wet plate with using the sun as my light source. However, most bands arrive later in the day and by the time I get set up, it’s dark outside. So, I implemented the use of strobes to make my exposure.

Wet plate is not that light sensitive; the working ISO is around .5 to 1, therefore you need A LOT of light. About 12,000ws for 11×14 plates, and 7,200ws For 8×10 plates. So my favorite tool to increase my output is the Profoto twin tube heads. This allows me to combine my 2,400ws Acute packs into one head with an output of 4,800ws. I am constantly changing my lighting setup. However, my most recent setup has been implementing two Profoto soft light silver beauty dishes for my key light, above and below my subject. As for the rim light I use a Profoto magnum reflector. These tools help me achieve the maximum power output that I need for my images.

Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Dave Bichard
Photo by Dave Bichard
Photo by Dave Bichard

It has been a long journey from when I first started working in this medium to where I am now. I encourage people to try out wet plate for themselves. However, it is a long learning curve that requires patience… Just be prepared to make a lot of bummer plates before you make any good ones. That’s part of the fun of the process, and it’s that much more rewarding once you make a plate that you are proud of.

You can see more of Matthew’s work at MatthewDeFeo.com, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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

It was during the conference wrap-up at Photoshop World, just after Larry Becker’s presentation of the Guru Awards, and I’m sitting backstage when my show director told me it was time to get ‘mic’d up” for my closing comments to the crowd. I headed over to the audio crew, and while they were running the mic cable down the back of my jacket, I looked up at one of the huge screens and saw that my book publisher, Nancy Davis of Peachpit Press had taken the stage and was addressing the crowd.

When you’re backstage, if you’re not wearing a headset, you can’t hear the audio from the stage (the audio speakers are on the other side of the curtain, facing away from you, so I can’t actually hear what Nancy is saying — it just sounds like muffled voices, but a graphic appears on the center screen and I see covers of my books from over the years appearing quickly one-by-one, and then I am absolutely floored to see the headline “Over 5-Million Copies Sold!” in huge letters across the screen. My jaw dropped. I literally had no idea. The last time anyone had shared an overall sales number was when I hit 1-million, and I figured they would have told me when I hit two million, but not a word until that moment. I was stunned.

I ran up on stage, hugged Nancy and thanked her, then looked out at the wonderful cheers of a standing ovation from the Photoshop World crowd, with my loving wife Kalebra in the front row (who knew about it all but somehow managed to keep it a secret). It was all pretty overwhelming, but it was at that moment that I realized I should say a few words. I was not at all prepared to make a short speech, but I stumbled my way through this surreal moment and left the stage a bit dazed and amazed.

Now that I’ve had a few days to come back down to earth (and get some much-needed sleep), I want to do it right. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have read my books, passed them on to friends, shared photos of the covers, tweeted about them, written blog posts about them, did reviews on Amazon, created YouTube videos about them, or just dropped me a line to say thanks.

A very special thanks to my amazing wife Kalebra — her fingerprints are on every book I’ve ever written. Thank you for being my idea generator, sounding board, advice desk, tie breaker, creative consultant, and for getting me through some really tough books that I otherwise wouldn’t have survived. She is my partner in every book we create, and I couldn’t do any of this without her (and wouldn’t want to). Thank you, my love.

I’m indebted to my in-house book editor Kim Doty, and my Art Director Jessica Maldonado. They are a big part of the reason for those sales, and they are as committed, and talented of a team as there is in this industry. I consider myself very blessed to get to work with them each day. I am surrounded by an incredible team here at KelbyOne and pinch myself daily that I have the job I do, and the best team in the business to help me produce these books.

Getting to write books is a privilege and one I never take for granted.
I’m very thankful to Nancy Davis and her team at Peachpit Press who are so committed to making books that really help people. I’m honored by the readers who’ve taken a chance on me and my books, and for any of their success in Photoshop, Photography, or Lightroom that I contributed to even in the smallest way, I’m forever grateful. Seeing their success and progress is a thrill and it keeps me wanting to write more books, to share the latest things I’ve learned, and to keep us all moving ahead doing the one thing that we all want to do — to simply make better images.

Thanks for letting my books be a part of your photographic, Photoshop, and Lightroom education. It is truly an honor.

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). 

Landscape Photography: Preplanning and Post-Processing with Richard Bernabe
Take your landscape photography to the next level with Richard Bernabe! Join Richard in Cape Hatteras as he photographs the beautiful Outer Banks while demonstrating how the decisions you make in the field will impact the tools and techniques you can use in your post processing. This class is all about how you can bring your field work together with your post processing, so that you are capturing photographs that allow you to get the most out of your workflow. Over the course of several days of shooting Richard teaches you how to capture and process images involving exposure blending, correcting perspective distortion, removing lens flare, increasing depth of field with focus stacking, and much more. Each lesson on a specific capture technique is paired with a lesson on how to process those photographs using Lightroom and Photoshop.

In Case You Missed It
Take a photographic road tour through the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway with Richard Bernabe and learn how to master an array of compositional tools for creating more dynamic landscape photographs. In this class Richard uses the stunning mountain scenery of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway to share his landscape photography thought processes and show you how to create more compelling landscape images. From sunrise to sunset, and grand landscapes to cascading waterfalls, Richard demonstrates techniques and tools that you can start using immediately in your work, as well as the gear and camera settings he uses in each of these situations.

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