With all the attention in the photo industry focussed on what’s going to be happening down in Orlando this week at Photoshop World it can be easy to forget about all the other great things going on in other regions of the community. Now, I love Photoshop World and NAPP and I look forward to when I can make my way back to one soon. But I want to make sure you are all aware of some really cool plans coming up here at Jason D. Moore Photography.
You are browsing the archive for National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Not trying to blow my own horn, or anything, but I compiled a number of quotes that some of my fellow bloggers and fans have had to say about my work here on the blog and about my photography as well.
You can check out what they have to say over on a new page called “Photo Quotes” in my “About” section. It is, by no means, a complete listing and I’m sure I’ll add to it as we go.
Thank you to everyone who has shared such amazing words of encouragement and support over the years! I truly appreciate it and it keeps me going – especially when I fall into a rut that I don’t think I can get out of.
Yes I do!
I came across a tweet the other day from @NAPP_News about a new contest running through the end of October seeking video entries all about Photoshop tutorials. I don’t really enter a lot of contests but I just couldn’t pass this one up.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am hoping to get back into the routine of producing video tutorials and this contest seems like a perfect opportunity to get started once again. I can enter up to 3 videos, to their specs, for a chance to win a healthy prize package. There’s some subscriptions and memberships in there but what really makes me want to enter is the opportunities that come along with winning. The winner will be sent to Photoshop World (ticket, flight, and hotel) where you will be given an instructors chair to teach at one of the sessions. The winner will also get a guest spot on Photoshop User TV, Layers TV, visibility in Photoshop User Magazine, PlanetPhotoshop.com and to the entire NAPP community. The exposure alone could be huge!
I’ve been through all of my Photoshop tutorial videos and I’ve decided to start from scratch for my entries. I now have some really nice audio equipment that I didn’t have before which will make a big difference.
At this point, I just have to figure out what to do the videos on. I’ve got a couple of ideas but I’m open to your suggestions. I don’t know how I’ll do in the contest – I know there are some great teachers out there – but I’m going to give it my all and hope for the best!
I was looking back through my NAPP Portfolio and thought I would pull this shot out of the archives to share it once again. I remember the time I spent creating the masks to get the effect and how good it felt to get a result that was pretty much exactly what I had envisioned. It doesn’t always happen, but it sure is nice when it does!
I was going to save this one for next week but as I was reading I decided to pass it along today.
Phaim is my strange play on a combination of a few words like photography, Photoshop, smartphones and the word “aim,” as in ‘what you aim for.’ Actually it’s about photographic goals, and the business of photography, freelance, and smartphones, but “phoals” or “phisness” just doesn’t sound as clever.
As I was browsing around his site my attention was caught by a recent post about Nikon SB-600 Speedlights. In it, Larry gives a great rundown of the pros and cons of the SB-600 as it compares with the newer models that have become a staple for the pros. I, myself, am fairly new when it comes to off-camera flash and picked up an SB-600 with the rewards points from my credit card and have been extremely pleased with the results.
And I agree with Larry that for the cost you probably can’t find a better flash unit, especially if you’re just starting out and want to learn the art of light.
The blog isn’t all about Photoshop and photography, though. Larry will also be dedicating posts to various gadgets and tech topics as well as some great stuff on small business marketing.
So, even if you’re not looking to add yet another blog to your list, check this one out!
Before we get to the results, I just want to say how each month I am amazed by the talent that is out there that comes from each of the entrants. You all make my job very difficult and I am very grateful for it! Keep submitting and sharing your vision with us!
Also, be sure to scroll all the way down to find out about the next two contests that are currently underway!
“light at the end…” by Zarah Masales
Congratulations Zarah! I know you will both learn a lot and grately enjoy all that Kelby Training offers. I wish I could win, myself!
As always, there were more excellent shots than there were prizes available and, in no particular order, here are some other favorites from the collection:
And if that isn’t enough photo contest for you, submit your photos by July 31st into my BIG Photo Contest celebrating my upcoming 1,000th post. Click here for full contest rules and a complete listing of prizes.
This week’s Workflow Friday comes from the other side of the world from my humble home here in the states. Scotty Graham lives in Indonesia and takes some tremendous shots from all over the world, both above and below the water. Today’s workflow contribution gets us beneath the surface of Scotty’s process and will surely offer some info and inspiration as you approach your own work.
Scotty, they’re all yours!
From Dive To Print
I am honored to be Jason’s guest blogger today on Workflow Friday. My name is Scotty Graham, and I am a professional photographer. Although a professional, I do not make my living taking photos, thankfully. I am a teacher, and my hope is that you can learn something new today.
I enjoy all forms of photography. However, my passion for the past 25 years has been underwater photography. My workflow is different with my underwater photography than it is for my work above ground. In fact, my workflow for my “land” photography is not much different than the other professionals that have shared their workflow on this blog. Today, let’s change the pace just a bit, and let me describe my typical workflow for an underwater photograph. Let me warn you, this is a lengthy post, but in reality, it only takes me a few minutes to actually edit my photographs. Learning short cuts in Photoshop, and using pre-recorded actions helps save heaps of time.
Before I start, I must thank Scott Kelby and his incredible staff at NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals). Virtually everything I know about Photoshop and Lightroom was learned from these incredible educators. If you are not a member of NAPP, sign up NOW….it will be the best 99 bucks you ever spent.
Ok, onto my workflow…using Scott Kelby’s style, I will go step by step…
Step 1: The first actual step is the preparation before the dive. Underwater, you cannot change lenses, and some camera functions cannot be changed either (depending on your housing). So, before I jump on the boat, I must decide if I am going to shoot wide-angle or macro or super macro. Each requires a different set-up with my equipment…ie, which ports to use, which strobes to use, which strobe arms to use, and which lens to install. My decision is really based on the amount of ambient light available at the time of my dive, the visibility, the tide, current, and the time of day. If it is a bright sunny day, I prefer to take wide-angle shots as there will be lots of ambient light that my camera can capture beyond the scope of my strobes. For the shot I am going to describe, I decided to go wide angle. It was early morning, the sky was blue with a bright sun, visibility was good, and we were going to a nice reef with many schooling fish with strong current. Strong current usually means lots of fish, but more challenging for the photographer.
Step 2: Set up your equipment, and check to be sure all camera settings are set beforehand, and that your camera and strobes are working. Check all dive equipment to be sure all is in good working order, and that your tank is full of air. Again, once underwater, if something is not working, you are stuck. Your SCUBA equipment should be in good working order, and your dive skills (especially buoyancy skills) should be top rate. Don’t take photographs underwater until you are an experienced diver or an accident is ready to happen.
My equipment for this shot: Nikon D300, Nexus housing, two Nikonos SB-105 strobes, Nexus dome port and Nikon 10.5 mm DX lens.
Step 3: Plan your dive with your buddy. Make sure he/she knows your plan for what you are going to shoot, and to be prepared to hang around while you take many shots of the same subject from many different angles. Diving with another photographer is usually better as other photographers understand that sometimes an entire dive is spent around one small area of the reef.
Step 4: Dive your plan. When I entered the water, I looked down and saw a gorgeous reef and schooling Yellowstriped Snappers. I instantly knew what I wanted. I wanted a photo of the Snappers swimming across the reef with a blue water background.
Step 5: Get the shot. This is the tough part. Fish are not cooperative models. They rarely swim where you want them, they are always moving, and they are shy and don’t like to get close to your camera. There is also current, surge, and other environmental hurdles trying to prevent your from taking a photo. The key is to stay relaxed, to be patient, and to be a “quiet” diver.
I was able to find a nice sandy spot on the bottom behind a reef that blocked the current. I set my aperture to f-11 (I had decent ambient light for a mid-range f-stop), and my strobes to maximum power. For wide angle underwater, you need to be within inches of your subject to be sure your subject is well lit, and doesn’t appear too small. I waited for the fish to circle the reef, and then slowly approached the reef trying not to disturb the fish. I also wanted the sun in the photo. While viewing my composition in the small viewfinder of my housing, I drift as close to the fish as I can, and fire. Of course, as soon as my strobes fire, the fish scatter…I go back to my spot in the sand, check my photo in my small screen for correct exposure, composition and focus.
Usually, something is off, so I keep repeating the above with different settings and perhaps from a different angle until I get a shot I am happy with. This is the beauty of digital photography. In the old days, I would shoot an entire roll of film on one spot bracketing every shot in hopes of getting one keeper. Digital saves heaps of time as I can just delete underwater if I missed the shot, and I don’t have to wait a week after my dive trip to see if I got the shot or not. What a great time to be an underwater photographer.
Step 6: After the dive, I remove my CF card and download my photos to my EPSON P-5000 (one of the best things I have ever bought). I soak my camera in fresh water (with the housing, of course), go to the nearest hammock, turn on my ipod, and check out the photos I just took looking for keepers. I never delete photos in the EPSON P-5000 unless they are total crap…sometimes a photo that looks like crap turns out to be a good photograph, so I usually keep everything until I see them on my big screen at home (I have a 24-inch iMac).
Step 7: The dive trip is over, and I am home. I hook my EPSON P-5000 to my computer, and download all the photos to a folder on my hard drive named after the dive trip and date…example, RajaAmpat_March2009. I then burn a back-up copy of the photos onto a DVD.
Step 8: I import the photos from this folder into Lightroom, assign key words to all the photos, and keep them in the original folder.
Step 9: I have two monitors, so I have set up Lightroom so that I can view each of my photos in my Apple 23-inch cinema display, and the rest of Lightroom on my 24-inch monitor of my i-Mac. My 23-inch monitor is profiled and calibrated using Spyder3 software (and hardware) for my EPSON 9880 printer, so any adjustments to my photo should be viewed on my calibrated monitor so that accurate prints can be made later.
I then browse through my images and flag the shots I like and delete the totally awful shots (believe me, there are tons of the latter).
Step 10: I then go to the shots that I have flagged as possible keepers, and start the editing process. I chose this photo to edit. All my photos are taken in RAW, and this particular shot is the best I got of the Snappers swimming over the reef. My settings are f-11 at 1/60 sec at ISO 200…10.5mm lens.
Step 11: Move to the develop module in Lightroom. This is where my workflow differs somewhat from my land shots. Color underwater is a mess. You lose color very quickly underwater. The color is lost in order of the spectrum of light…remember ROY G BIV? First, you lose your reds, oranges and yellows, then greens, then Blues, Indigo and violets. Get to a depth of just 10 meters and everything looks grey until you artificially add light, and then the color comes bursting at you. This is why it is imperative you shoot with strobes underwater. Even with strobes, my photo above looks washed out and drab. My goal in Lightroom is to bring back the color and make my image “pop”.
Step 12: I first look at the histogram and check for proper exposure. In this case, the photo is a bit underexposed but with some “spikes” on the extreme right. So, the first thing I do is slide the exposure slider to the right slightly, and then slide the recovery slider to the right to bring down those spikes and to gain back any detail lost from over-exposed parts of my photo (mainly the fish bellies in the top left)
Here is my original histogram…
Here is my new histogram…
Now my photo looks like this…not too different…
Step 13: Crop. I don’t like the light from my strobes showing in the top left of the photo and the right side of the photo. I will crop those areas out of the photo.
Step 14: Now for the color. This is the most difficult part of the process. Above ground, I usually make my photos warmer. Underwater, if you move the temp slider to a warmer temp, you will lose the nice blues in the water. On the other hand, if you cool the photo down to bring out the blue water, you lose the nice yellows in the fish. Since reds are the first colors that are lost underwater, I almost always need to move the tint slider to the right for more magenta. The trick is finding the right balance between the two sliders…and I usually do this by eye. I know what the scene is supposed to look like, so I just mess with the sliders until I get close to what I want. I also will use the eye-dropper and click on a neutral gray, and see what Lightroom gives me, and then tweak from there…I settled on these settings…
Step 15: Now go to the color palette and the Tone Curve. I go through each color and move the sliders to bring out each individual color, and then move to the Tone Curve to darken or lighten the highlights, lights, darks and shadows. The most important color to play with is the blue. Here I darkened the blues and added more saturation.
Step 16: Now I go to the other fun sliders…fill light, blacks, contrast, clarity and vibrance. I rarely touch the saturation slider…I just play with these to add contrast and to give the photo some punch. Here are my settings…
Step 17: The last thing I do in Lightroom is to darken the edges with a Lightroom preset that I got from Matt Kloskowski’s website…called Edge Darkening. After darkening the edges, I sometimes have to increase the exposure or fill light to balance.
Step 18: Time to move into Photoshop. Press Cmd + E, and my photo opens in Photoshop with the changes I made in Lightroom.
Step 19: I have some actions that I created that does some magic with colors…in this particular action, I have done the following with one click of the mouse…
A curves adjustment layer to brighten the scene…
A levels adjustment layer to intensify the contrast…
And a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer to boost the colors…
Here is my layers palette…I group all of these adjustments, and then lower the opacity of the group so that it is not over done…
Step 20: Now for some dodging and burning. I want to lighten some of the coral in the foreground, and the school of fish, and darken some of the coral in the background. I do this by creating two new curves adjustment layers with a mask. Once again, I have actions that create these two layers and masks with a single click of the mouse. One brightens the exposure, and the other darkens the exposure. I then paint in both masks where I want the photo brighter and where I want the photo darker. Here is my layers palette. Notice the white parts of my two masks….where I have painted white is where light has been painted or where darkness is painted…
Notice in the photo how the foreground is now brighter, and there is more depth to the school of fish making it appear almost 3-D. The image really pops now as well…
Step 21: My final step in Photoshop is sharpening. I have many sharpening techniques. One of my favorites is a third party filter called Lucis Art. It is like sharpening on steroids. I use the sculpture filter, and sometimes the wyeth filter. The wyeth filter has a tendency to make your photos have an HDR look to them… sometimes good, and sometimes not good. For underwater, I don’t really care for the HDR look, so I usually just use the sculpture filter from Lucis Art. Of course, Photoshop’s unsharp mask works really well too if you don’t have Lucis Art. Anyway, I flatten my image, then duplicate the layer (cmd+J on a mac), and apply the filter, and then reduce the opacity if the effect is too strong.
Step 22: I am finished editing, and am now ready to print or save to the web for my website. I save my changes in Photoshop, which then saves the changes to the copy of the photo in Lightroom. I then print from Lightroom to my EPSON 9880. Printing is an entirely different tutorial…but Lightroom does make it easy, and the nice thing about printing from Lightroom is that it has built-in output sharpening developed by Jeff Schewe and Bruce Fraser who are legends in fine art printing.
Here is the before image…
Here is the final image…
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Welcome to week #108 of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll’s P&P Weekly!
Once again, I would like to welcome Marc Benton of User 40.0, our newest sponsor! There are many opportunities available for sponsoring of one of our weekly or monthly series, or if you would like to be a sponsor of the blog as a whole, please take a minute to review our “Become a Sponsor” post.
Every other Friday, we will welcome a new guest blogger that will share their personal workflow with all of us. They will take one of their own photos and walk us through the how’s and why’s of their post-processing techniques so that we might learn and expand our own workflows.
Next week we will be having a very cool guest who will surely inspire all of us.
If you would like to participate in this new series, please email me or leave a comment!
Coming on Monday, February 9 is my interview with NAPP Executive Director Larry Becker!
On the 4th of each month throughout the year I invite you to take a photo and send it in. Join me and other photographers from around the world in documenting a day in the life, of sorts. For full details, take a look at our introductory post. If you shot something on January 4th, be sure to send me your images today for inclusion in this project!
Week #46 – January 30: “Shadows”
Week #47 – Frbruary 13: “Round”
Week #48 – February 27: “Contasts”
Week #49 – March 13: “Wood”
Week #50 - March 27: Contributor’s Favorites
I am offering special desktop wallpaper calendars. These desktop calendars will feature my personal photography as well as a listing of holidays and important dates. I offer these wallpaper calendars in a variety of sizes to accommodate a number of screen resolutions.
- Stacey of A “focus” in the wild - “Black and White“
- Igno of A Photographer’s Life reminds us to watch out for when life has more great moments in store.
- Kathleen of A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania – “Break Time“
- Amy of Archerfoto – “Pink Houses“ – a favorite from this week
- Margo of The Barefoot Contessa – “Lightroom Slideshow Module“
- Richard of Black and White Photography – “Tall Grass“
- Bruce of Bruce L. Snell Photography – “Great Locations – Part Two“
- Kerry of Camera Dojo – “List of Free Adobe Lightroom Presets“
- Jason of Canon Blogger – “Defining Your Image Composition“
- Patrick of Chuprina Studios – “Auburn Spare“
- Crash of Crash Taylor Photography – “Rachel and Alan“ – a great set
- Mike of Creative Sweet TV – “The good the bad and the retouched“
- Dave of Dave Cross Online – “Technique of the…every so often” – I’ve actually used this a couple of times at work and I think it’s great!
- David of Digital ProTalk – “Lost in the Moment“
- Doug of doug stremel photography – “Meet Pete“
- Marshall of f/11 – “Golden Glow“ & “Looking East” & “Luminosity“
- Syv of Foto-Biz.com – “Proofsheets“
- Eric of Graphic Tips – “Logo of the Day“
- Scotty of IndoGrahams – “Elephant Crossing“ – another favorite, because I’m a sucker for elephants
- Marcus of Invisible Green – “Dukes Creek“ – there’s a whole series of them that are really nice
- John of John Nack on Adobe – “Photos from 100 Meters to 1mm”