ACRFilter

Photoshop CC introduced a long-awaited feature that will change how you adjust your images, when you adjust your images and what you adjust your images with—the ability to use Camera Raw as a filter.

Since it was introduced, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) has been the industry-standard tool for processing RAW files—the beginning of a digital photographer’s workflow before moving into Photoshop. Sometime later, ACR extended its functionality to other file types like JPEGs. Today, you can use its full power at any point in your workflow while working in Photoshop. This opens up many new possibilities.

Using the Adobe Camera Raw Filter is useful for noise reduction, detail enhancement, color adjustment, localized lens correction, creative distortion and even tone-mapping 32-bit HDR images. Go beyond the maximum setting of Clarity, with two ACR Filters. Set different white balances for different regions of an image. Apply Lens Correction distortions locally. Global, local, double and crossprocessing—the ACR Filter can do it all.

While the ACR Filter revises workflow, it doesn’t rewrite it completely. It’s still better to do the lion’s share of image adjustment during RAW conversion with ACR or Lightroom (both offer the same RAW conversion engine)—preferably as a Smart Object so you can easily change the settings or update the process version. For instance, you’ll get better shadow and highlight detail using ACR during conversion than you will using the ACR Filter after conversion.

So when would you use the Adobe Camera Raw Filter? When the ACR toolset does something Photoshop’s toolset doesn’t. Or, when the ACR Filter does a task more quickly and easily, without sacrificing quality or flexibility. To decide this, compare the two toolsets …

Read more at Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops. 

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Before Blur FX

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After Blur FX

There are many reasons to explore blur in your images: remove distractions, direct attention, enhance space, modify mood and add interesting visual artifacts are a few among many. Blur can be controlled at the point of capture and in post-processing. Thoroughly understanding your post-processing options will help you make choices about when and how to control blur in your images before, during and after exposure.

When it comes to post-processing blur, you’ve got options! Photoshop currently offers 14 filters: Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Average, Blur, Blur More, Box Blur, Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Smart Blur, Surface Blur – in order of appearance in the Filter > Blur drop-down menu. (If you want to extend your software palette even further, explore onOne Software’s FocalPoint.)

At first glance, the list is overwhelming. Where do you start? Get started with this quick visual survey of available options.

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Average

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Box Blur

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Gaussian Blur

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Motion Blur

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Radial Blur

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Shape Blur

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Smart Blur

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Surface Blur

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Lens Blur

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Field Blur

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Iris Blur

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Tilt Shift Blur

Read more about controlling Blur FX on Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

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The Photoshop Photography Program is available to anyone (long term and new customers alike) for a limited time only – Offer Expires Dec 2.

It includes all of the following for $9.99/month with a 12-month commitment.

- Photoshop CC

- Lightroom 5

- 20GB of online storage

- Behance ProSite

- Access to training resources on Creative Cloud Learn

- Ongoing updates and upgrades

(Though not legally stated, it’s Adobe’s intention to keep these same rates for everyone in this program indefinitely.)

Questions? See Adobe’s FAQ and terms.

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Photographers use blur (or bokeh) for a variety of reasons: to enhance space through depth of field; to add interesting visual artifacts; to simplify them; to change the quality of their expression. In the past, blur was controlled almost entirely through exposure; now it can also be controlled during post-processing, giving photographers an unprecedented array of options and ways to customize the look and feel of their images. Knowing what you can do, how far you can go, and when you can do it may change the way you shoot, one time, sometimes, or all the time.

There are many blur filters in Photoshop; Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Smart Blur, Surface Blur (in order of appearance in the Filter: Blur drop down menu. The choices are extensive and it pays to familiarize yourself with your options by experimenting with them; you’ll find you have an extraordinary set of options that you can modify and combine creatively. If you only use the filters Gaussian Blur and Lens Blur, you’ll still have game-changing control at your fingertips, once you learn how to extend and modify them.

There are several important non-destructive strategies you can use to gain more control over all filter effects that will enable you to go further in your explorations and generate more sophisticated and compelling results Try one or all of the moves in this classic progression. Apply a filter to a duplicate layer and then modify its Opacity, Blend Mode, Blend If Sliders, and add a layer mask …

Read more on Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

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Improve clipped highlights, shadows, and over-saturated colors.

Big problems call for big solutions. Blending channels is a powerful color adjustment strategy that can handle even the biggest challenges. It takes information from one channel and combines it with information from another. Rather than simply enhancing existing tonal values, blending channels reshapes one channel’s tonal structure with another’s. Consequently, in most cases, blending channels calls for a substitution of information by percentage, not a wholesale replacement of the deficient channel. You usually blend channels from different versions of the same image because blending channels from different compositions produces a highly altered effect.

Blending channels is complex. It often produces additional unintended color effects that may require further correction, such as shifts in hue that aren’t uniform across the tonal scale. Blending channels is neither the simplest nor the most direct path to color adjustment, but in certain situations (files that are exceptionally problematic), it may be the best path. The resulting benefits can be dramatic.

There are several ways to blend channels: Channel Mixer, Apply Image, Calculations and using channels as layers – the last is the most powerful.

Read all the details on Digital Photo Pro.

Part I

Part II 

 

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 Before

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After

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Layer Styles

Blending channels is a powerful color adjustment strategy that can handle even the biggest challenges. It takes information from one channel and combines it with information from another. It’s great for repairing clipping in one or even two but not three channels. Rather than simply enhancing existing tonal values, blending channels reshapes one channel’s tonal structure with another’s. Consequently, in most cases, blending channels calls for a substitution of information by percentage, not a wholesale replacement of the deficient channel. You usually blend channels from different versions of the same image because blending channels from different compositions produces a highly altered effect.

Blending channels is complex. It often produces additional unintended color effects that may require further correction, such as shifts in hue that aren’t uniform across the tonal scale. Blending channels is neither the simplest nor the most direct path to color adjustment, but in certain situations (files that are exceptionally problematic), it may be the best path. The resulting benefits can be dramatic.

There are several ways to blend channels: Channel Mixer, Apply Image, Calculations and the most robust using channels as layers.

How do you do it? Duplicate a layer. Double click on the layer to activate Layer Styles (rasterize copies of Smart Objects to get this). Then check the channel you want to use, select a Blend Mode (typically Darken or Lighten and sometimes Multiply or Screen), adjust the Opacity, and use the Blend If sliders to constrain the effect or alternately a mask.

Find out more about this useful industrial strength technique on Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

No one needs to learn to “think outside the box” more than photographers. The frame, literally a box, is often our greatest ally. Learning to see photographically is, in part, learning to see within the limits of this box and use them creatively. But there are times when this limits our vision unnecessarily. Once we’ve learned to see within the box, we then also need to learn to see outside the box—and start extending the frame with multiple exposures to perfect select compositions. Extending format techniques aren’t just for panoramic image formats. They can be used to give you the extra inch that can make all the difference in the world for your compositions …

Read more about panoramic stitches on Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Photoshop Masking Key Commands

October 17, 2012 | Comments Off

Photoshop key commands make masking faster and easier. Here’s a list of  the most useful ones. The best way to memorize them is to use them. (Note for PC substitute Alt for Option.)

 

The following key commands do not require clicking on the mask.

X                               reverses Foreground and Background colors

Numbers                    number keys change the Opacity of a brush

[ and ]                       makes a brush smaller and  larger

Shift [ and Shift ]       makes a brush softer and  harder

Opt Delete                  fills a mask with the Foreground color

Command I                inverts a mask

 

The following key commands require clicking on the mask.

Control Click                        displays mask options

Opt Click                              displays a mask in black and white

Shift Opt Click                      displays a mask as a red overlay

 

Command Click                    loads the mask as a selection

Shift Command Click            adds the mask to a selection

Option Command Click          subtracts the mask from a selection

Shift Option Command          loads the intersection of two masks

Shift Command I                   inverses a selection

 

Drag & drop                           to move a mask from one layer to another

Option drag & drop                to copy a mask from one layer to another

 

Find more Photoshop masking resources here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


Noiseware 5 did an even better job than Noiseware 4 at reducing noise on a new series of images I’m printing now.

Noiseware 5 is now available.

- New algorithms are 25% more effective and retain more detail
- 64 bit compatible (Mac and Windows)(CS6)
- 4X faster with multi-core support
- New History feature with unlimited undos
- New Preset Manager for presets, notes, and import/export

The upgrade is free for registered users.
New users get a 20% discount with this code JPC2007.

Read my review here.

Download Noiseware 5 here.

Learn more about controlling noise in digital images here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

“The new Color Lookup Adjustment Layer in Photoshop CS 6 has several options (3DLUT File, Abstract, and Device Link) that are used to load different “looks”. These looks are achieved by remapping every color in the image to a different one using a lookup table (LUT). I think that many photographers and designers will find their resulting color shifts quite interesting. You can think of these tables as a sort of meta-adjustment, a way to apply pre-packaged adjustments (sometimes lots of adjustments together) in one step.”

Julianne Kost has created a file that you can download free and test all the new CS6 Lookup adjustments on your image. Simply open the file and replace the contents of the Smart Object in it with one of your own images. It’s a great way to visually compare the various results in a ring around.

Find out more and download the file here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

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