Product photography is a great way to experiment with lighting and editing techniques. For me, it’s a chance to shoot in a relaxed environment where I have complete control over the subject, lighting, and camera. I can set up something small in the living room and find solutions that can be applied to my portrait work or professional product photography. It also requires a lot of creativity. Homemade items or DIY solutions are abundant on sets. From light-shaping tools to methods of creating parts of a composite, a lot can be created simply and at a low cost. You may be surprised to see how minimal of a setup can create some stunning photos.
Ever since the middle of high school, I've been immensely interested in "the process." You know, that middle bit between point A and point B that nobody but the artist ever sees. I've always loved peeking behind the scenes to see where something started and what kind of work and thought went into creating the finished product. To satisfy those of you who are just like me, here's the second post in my before/after series which not only shows you my images straight out of camera and the final product, but which uses each image to explain a bit more about what I do in post. If you want to dig in way further than these, I cover every step of my post processing in my Editing + Consistency class. Enjoy, friends!
Adobe released today the version 2.1 of Lightroom for mobile devices. It comes with a bunch of interesting new features making full use of the possibilities offered by iOS 9 and the iPad Pro. Some of the new features also could make one think that Adobe is becoming serious about making great apps for mobile devices.
MacPhun released Aurora HDR just a few weeks ago and touts it as the most advanced high dynamic range (HDR) software in the world. Certainly, veteran users of Photoshop and Lightroom might be skeptical. But if your sole purpose is to create HDR photos on the Mac, Aurora HDR might be the best option out there, seeing as it was created with the close consultation of HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this video, Ratcliff dives deep in a first-hand look into how to get the most from Aurora HDR.
Several of my associates are surprised to find out that, based on my 3+ years of traveling to give workshops, something like 75% of my class attendees see retouching as a necessary evil, or otherwise disliked doing it and wished they didn't have to bother with it. They all wanted to be good at it, but for many and varied reasons, weren't. And sometimes I am asked "How important is retouching anyway?" So I decided to record a mini-episode of my web series to talk about it a bit.
Before Capture One 9, no raw editor software on the market could create a mask based on color. With their recent update, Phase One created something unique with the improved color editor panel. It is now possible to select precisely one color – or a range of – and then create a mask to adjust only the parts needed.
Part of building a professional looking portfolio is in learning to retouch your photos in a way that gives them an elegant, high-end polish. However, I unfortunately encounter dozens of images on a daily basis that were quite strong to begin with but ended up looking bewilderingly amateur because of one or two very easily solved retouching mistakes that drags their quality to abysmal depths.
Why is my print dark? Why are the colors off? I believe we all found ourselves asking these questions inside our head (or worse, yelling at our photo printer!) during our first steps into our journey in photography. Monitor calibration is the solution, bad settings and bad color reproduction by the monitor are the culprit. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink and read on, I'll tell you everything about it, what you have to do, what you gain, how it's done, and what you need to correctly calibrate your monitors.
Since Adobe released Photoshop CC 2015, retouchers and photographers have complained about the revamped healing brush. However, Adobe promised their users that CC 2015.1 would offer an alternative, making the tool as good if not better than the one found in CC 2014. Photoshop was updated a couple of days ago, and the said updated healing brush setting can be found in the form of a diffusion slider. However, is it as good as the previous healing brush?
We've become quite accustomed to unpermitted retouching damaging the reputation of photography competitions. In particular, press photography is especially susceptible to this. Strict rules on maintaining the sanctity of reality combined with environments in which outside factors frequently affect the ability to achieve clean and pleasing competition often beget a strong temptation for photographers to doctor images. However, such manipulation has now become an issue in a genre in which one normally does have the luxury of time and compositional choice: architecture.
Adobe just updated a couple of their CC applications, one of which being Photoshop. Amongst the new features, it was almost inevitable that a few bugs would show up. One that can be quite annoying is the liquify tool lighting or rendering problem. But there is a quick and easy workaround.
Totally Rad are the producers of the film emulation presets titled Replichrome. Currently there are three sets of presets, Replichrome I: Icon, Replichrome II: Slide, and Replichrome III: Archive. The initial inception of the Lightroom presets, now known as the Icon Series, came with the intent to get it right. Not to create stylized versions of film but to create accurate depictions so that the digital images with the film presets would appear as close to actual film as possible.