Layering Noise


Here’s an excerpt from my column in the current issue of Digital Photo Pro.
“When adding noise to digital files, keep noise separate from the image so you can control both independently of one another. This way you’ve got extraordinary control and flexibility. When noise is placed on its own layer you can eliminate or change it at any time in the future, reduce its opacity, localize it, desaturate it, target it into specific channels, move it, scale it, blur it and much more …”
Read more in the current issue of Digital Photo Pro.
Learn out more in my digital printing workshops.

Using Star Ratings


It’s important to think about how you use star Ratings (in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom). Not everyone uses them the same way. However you decide to use them, you should use them consistently. Otherwise, when you browse multiple folders, you’ll have to interpret the same symbols differently in different contexts. That gets confusing fast!
I like the 5 star rating system. It helps make useful distinctions with only a touch more granularity than 3 levels of distinction – typically high, medium and low. It doesn’t get as granular at 10 levels of distinction, so you can cut to the chase fast. It’s used in other venues like restaurants and hotels so it’s familiar. Still, I don’t find using 1 and 2 star ratings useful for ranking the quality of images; I have no use for images that are below average. The images use are either good – 3, better – 4, or excellent – 5. So, I use 1 and 2 stars for something else. I use 1 star to identify a good idea in a substandard exposure or composition; I’ll try and use the idea later with better material. I use 2 stars to identify images that are good for composites; the exposures are fine but the composition is unfinished.
How do you use star ratings?
Comment here.
We discuss this and many other subjects in my field workshops.
Learn more about composition in my field workshops.
Upcoming dates include …
8/9-15 – Iceland … 10% discount ends June 20.

10/16-19 – Fall Foliage … 15% discount ends August 15.

Coblogging Photoshop World XVII


Precons at Photoshop World XVII start today.
We’re coblogging again. Presenters will try and make one post a day of a highlight.
I haven’t even started my Epson Print Academy Precon (today from 1-5 with Rodney and Schewe) yet and I’ve had a highlight. RC Concepcion, Matt Koslowski, Corey Barker and I were discussing shooting for HDR for their demo during their Precon session. RC had scouted locations and remarked that crowds might be a problem. So I offered an idea. Shoot 3 shots for each bracketed exposure (three each for low, medium and high). First merge the moving people out. Then use the remaining three merges for the HDR merge. This stuff gets you thinking – in new ways. I love it! I’ll be do this in my workshop in Palms Springs next week. Someone will let you know how it goes. When they do you’ll find a link here.
You can see what other presenters share each day by accessing these links.
Here’s a list of everyone who coblogged last year. Check back for more links each day.
Corey Barker
John Paul Caponigro
RC Concepcion
Dave Cross
Jim Divitale
Laurie Excell
Martin Evening
Richard Harrington
Scott Kelby
Matt Koslowski
Deke McClelland
Joe McNally
John Nack
Moose Peterson
Jeff Schewe
Colin Smith
Ben Willmore
David Ziser
Find out more about Photoshop World here.
Check out the Epson Print Academy here.
Check out my Workshops series here.

Lightroom & Photoshop


During the Epson Print Academy today, Jeff Schewe does a great job detailing how to set up an optimum relationship between Lightroom and Photoshop.
Use LR (or ACR) for parametric edits.
Use Photoshop for processing pixels.
The lion’s share of image processing happens during Raw conversion,
So, what kinds of things should you favor doing in Photoshop?
Here’s Schewe’s list.
Retouching
Industrial Strength Noise Reduction
Creative Sharpening / Blurring
FX
Compositing
Proofing
Text
Check out the Epson Print Academy here.
Only two more dates scheduled!
Check out my Fine Digital Print Workshops here.

New Adobe Updates


Adobe has recently released a number of updates to their core photographic imaging products – Lightroom, Photoshop, and Camera Raw.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 11.0.1 update – February 24, 2009
* A number of issues that could cause slow performance have been addressed.
* Pen barrel rotation with Wacom tablets now works correctly.
* Photoshop now correctly recognizes 3D textures edited by a plug-in.
* The quality of the results of Auto-Blend Layers (Stack Images) has been improved.
* A problem that could result in a crash when pasting formatted text has been fixed.
* A crash that could result from a corrupt font no longer occurs.
Camera Raw 5.3 update – March 3, 2009
This new version of the Camera Raw plug-in replaces the original one that was installed with Adobe® Photoshop® CS4; Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0; and Adobe Premiere® Elements 7.0 software. Visit the Camera Raw page for a complete list of supported cameras.
Lightroom 2.3 update – March 3, 2009
* Additional camera support for the Nikon D3X and Olympus E-30
* Includes several corrections for issues introduced by previous Lightroom 2 releases
Get all the updates here.
Learn about them in my workshops.

Color Theory


Color theory can help describe what is perceived more precisely. It offers a language that is shared and reasonably precise. Color theory can help make perception more precise. Language encodes thought and a more precise and nuanced language can lead to more sensitive perception. Color theory can help analyze what makes some color relationships particularly successful and what makes others less successful. It illuminates the dynamic interactions between the elements of color, which can be used to guide decisions in selecting and adjusting color relationships.
Color theory is best used to inform color choices rather than to make them. Theory lays a foundation for exploration (guiding inquiry toward areas with greater potential and away from areas with less potential). It is not a substitute for discovery. Jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Theolonius Monk mastered music theory, but even they were surprised by their most original compositions; their compositions were informed and empowered by theory but not determined by it. Theory is the sum of what we know, but it does not contain what we do not yet know. It can prime conditions for a breakthrough, but it cannot make one. It can be used to empower a unique or authentic sensibility, but it is not a substitute for one.
Find out more in the current issue of Digital Photo Pro.
Find out more in my color theory ebooks.

How The Camera Sees


Like the human eye, film has a nonlinear response to light. For film, we adjust the EV to fit the amount and contrast ratio of the available light into the most useful area of its curve response. Using film, you expose generally, and when compromises need to be made, you favor shadows or highlights. Details lost at the point of capture are irrecoverable.


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John Loiacono Discusses the Future of Photoshop

Known for his engaging personality, “Johnny L” (senior vice president of Adobe’s Creative Solutions Business Unit) discusses his thoughts on the future of imaging and how Photoshop plays a part of that. He gets it. He really gets it. And he’s got an inside track on future imaging technology. Among the many key ideas he addresses is what I consider to be an extremely important issue, enriching the experience of engaging high density information (beginning of video 2). Check out these videos for a glimpse into the future and one of the minds helping guide us there.
And check back here tomorrow for news on an important announcement from Adobe tomorrow.
Are you ready for something brilliant?