3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Three Ways to Help Navigate Documents in Photoshop CC

This week’s episode gives three tips for navigating documents in Photoshop.

5:53 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The Eyedropper, Color Samplers, and Info Panel in Photoshop CC

The Eyedropper Tool

• Tap I to access the Eyedropper tool.

• Click in the image area with the Eyedropper tool to select the foreground color. Option -click  (Mac) | Alt  -click (Win) in the image area to select the background color.

• By default, clicking in the image area with the Eyedropper tool displays a sample ring . The “new” color (the one being sampled) is displayed in the upper half of the ring while the current (or foreground color before sampling) is displayed in the bottom half. The ring is surrounded by gray to help neutralize surrounding colors that may influence color choices. The sample ring can be toggled off/on by unchecking/checking Show Sampling Ring in the Options bar.

• Choose a sample size from the list in the Options bar from Point Sample to 101 by 101 Average. Because the Eyedropper tool samples color based on a specific number of pixels on-screen, zooming in or out on an image will (most likely) change the sampled color. In the illustration below, the Eyedropper tool’s sample size is set to 51 by 51 Average. The black rectangle in the image is 60 by 60 pixels. When the image is zoomed 1:1,  and a sample is taken from the middle of the black rectangle, the sampled color is black. When the image is zoomed to 50%, the sampled color is a lighter blue as now some of the sky is included. When the zoom percentage is set to 25%, the sampled color is even lighter as more of the clouds are included.

• Use the pull-down menu in the Options bar to choose to sample from different combinations of layers including: Current Layer, Current & Below, All Layers, All Layers No Adjustments, and Current and Below No Adjustments.

• The Eyedropper tool’s Sample Size affects the Magic Wand, Magic Eraser, and Background Eraser.

• The Eyedropper tool can sample colors from outside of Photoshop. Make the color visible (on the desktop, in another application etc.). Then, begin by clicking to sample a color with the Eyedropper within the image area in Photoshop and (without releasing the mouse), drag over the desired color to sample it from the desktop/other application.

Note: with a Painting tool selected, holding Option (Mac)  |  Alt (Win) temporarily enables the Eyedropper tool in order to quickly sample a color from the image area.

The Color Sampler Tool

• To keep track of multiple color readouts, click in the image area to set up to ten color samplers. Use the Info panel (see below) to access the Color Sampler’s color readouts.

• Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the Color Sampler to delete it, (the icon will change to a pair of scissors)

Note: with the Eyedropper tool selected, Shift-click in the image area to set a Color Sampler.  Option + Shift  (Mac) | Alt  + Shift  (Win) -click on the Color Sampler to delete a Color Sampler (With the Eyedropper tool selected).

The Info Panel

• Choose Window > Info to display the Info panel and access information about the open document. To customize the Info panel, use the fly-out menu to access Panel Options…


Color Readouts — choose the desired ColorReadout settings from the drop down list (Actual/Proof Color, Color Mode, Total Ink/Opacity and Bit Depth). 

Mouse Coordinates — choose the desired Ruler Units of measurement

Status Information — check to enable additional status information. Note: while most of the status information can be viewed using the Status bar (located at the bottom of the document window), I find it helpful to display them here when using Full Screen mode(s) as the document status bar is hidden. The Status bar can display two options that are not available in the Info Panel 32-bit Exposure and Save Progress.

In Photoshop’s default state, the Info panel displays two sets of values for tracking changes made to an image. To display only the composite values, use the fly-out menu to access Panel Options and enable “Always Show Composite Color Values”.

Choose to show/hide Tool Hints (brief suggestions for using the currently selected tool). 

• To quickly change Color Readout settings (without using the panel options), click-hold the eyedropper icon in the Info Panel and select from the list. Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the eyedropper in the Info panel to change all Color Readout settings all at once. Click-hold the cross-hairs icon to quickly change the units of measurement used to track cursor coordinates.

5:08 AM Comments (1) Permalink

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Three Ways to Rotate or Straighten Images in Photoshop CC

In this episode of “3, 2, 1, Photoshop!”, Julieanne demonstrates three ways to rotate or straighten images in Photoshop CC.

5:00 AM Permalink

The Role of Personal Projects for Professional Photographers

I had the pleasure of being a guest on “This Conversation with Jed Taufer” where we discussed the role of personal projects for professional photographers. A big thanks to Jed for asking such great questions and to WHCC for making this possible!

And here is a link to the book that we reference in the conversation:  Passenger Seat – Creating a Photographic Project from Conception through Execution in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom


5:06 AM Permalink

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Radial Paint Symmetry in Photoshop CC

In this episode of 3, 2, 1, photoshop, Julieanne demonstrates how to unlock the Radial Paint Symmetry’s hidden features in Photoshop CC.

5:07 AM Permalink

Adobe Announces February Update to Lightroom Classic (7.2) 

While this update of Lightroom Classic (7.2) focuses primarily on performance enhancements such as batch processing, I’m excited that the team has also added several small, yet powerful features, to help us quickly find our images in the Library module and more!

Performance Enhancements

First, by working with our partners at Intel, the team was able to make significant strides to increase the performance of multi-core machines that have 12GB (or more) of RAM. Regardless of how many cores your machine has, the code that optimizes CPU and memory usage is scalable so you will see improvements, but in general, if you have small number of cores, you will see a smaller increase in performance than if you have more cores (in which case you should see a larger increase in performance).

Here are the areas where you should see the largest performance gains:

• Faster  import, auto import, preview generation and export

• Faster moving from one image to the next in Loupe View and the Develop module

• Faster rendering of adjustments in Develop

• Faster batch merge operations of HDR/Panos

• Functions in the app (such as preview creation on import and batch exporting), will not slow down over time or with extended use (particularly on Windows machines).

Five New Library Module Features

1) Filter/Search the Folder Panel

To quickly find a folder (especially those that might be burred deep within your hierarchy of folders and subfolders), click in the Filter/Search bar at the top of the Folders panel and start typing.

2) Favorite Folders

If you have folders that you return to time and again, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click on a folder and choose Mark Favorite from the context sensitive menu. Use the Folder Panel’s Search menu to view your favorites.

Folders marked as Favorites can be accessed across all modules by selecting them from the black bar at the top of the Filmstrip.

3) Create Collections and Collection Sets from Folders

There are several options for converting folders to collections – including (or not), Collection Sets making it easier then ever to sync your collections across mobile devices:

• To create a collection from a folder, drag the folder from the folder panel to the Collections panel. Or, Control -click (Mac) or Right -click on the folder and choose Create Collection “folder name”.

• To convert a folder with subfolders to a Collection Set with collections that maintain the same hierarchy as the folders, Control -click (Mac) or Right -click on the parent folder (the one that has subfolders) and choose Create Collection Set “folder name”.

• To create a single collection of all of the photos from a parent folder (including images within subfolders), Control -click (Mac) or Right -click on the parent folder and choose Create Collection “folder name”.

4) Filter on Edited and Unedited images

To quickly find images that are edited or unedited (this includes having a crop applied), in Grid view, do one of the following:

• Click Attribute in the Filter Bar. Click one of the Edits icons (Edited or Unedited) to filter.

• Click Metadata in the Filter Bar. Click the name of a column header and choose Edit from the list. Choose  Edited or Unedited images to filter.

5) New Smart Collection Rule

A new rule (Has Edits), has been added to the Develop category in Smart Collections. Selecting “Has Edits” displays images that have adjustments applied and/or cropping but excludes images that only have adjustments (and no crop) applied. Note: to create a Smart Collection which includes only with adjustments (and ignores the crop), choose “Has Adjustments” instead.

New Map Module Feature

You can easily create a collection based a group of photos at a specific Pin location. Control -click (Mac) | Right -click on the pin and select New Collection from the context sensitive menus.

This release also includes additional camera raw support, lens profile support, and addresses bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom.


7:45 AM Permalink

Adobe Announces Update to Lightroom Mobile on Android

Lightroom on Android has five, great new features including:

1) Watermarking — easily create a custom watermark on export. Here’s how:

On the main screen, tap the Lr icon. Then, tap Preferences.

Tap Sharing Options.

Toggle the Share with watermark option on and enter your watermark. Note: you won’t see a preview of the watermark in Lightroom mobile, it will be applied when exporting the image (to the camera roll, third party apps etc.). Tap Customize for additional options.

Change the font, size, offset, rotation, opacity etc. as desired.  Tap one of the dots (around the “preview” of the photo) to set the anchor point for the Offset slider and Rotate icon.

2) Geometry Controls — quickly remove unwanted distortions in an image by correcting perspective using the Geometry controls. (These are premium features and are available with a Lightroom subscription plan).

Tap Geometry to access the different options including Auto, Level, Vertical, and Full, as well as a manual Guided option.

Below, I’ve selected Guided upright. Drag up to four guides per image to straighten vertical and horizontal perspective.

3) Integration with the Google Assistant — Use Android’s Google Assistant to quickly search for all photos within Lightroom CC that have waves in them by typing or speaking “search waves in Lightroom”. Google Assistant will launch Lightroom, enter “waves” into Search and display the results based on your images in Lightroom.

4) Add images to Lightroom — Now push files from any third-party photo based apps that have the share capability to Lightroom. Just select photos in any third-part app and tap share to add photos to Lightroom. The photos will be added to “All Photos” and you can use “Sort by import date” to see most recent imports at top.


5) Open from Files —Using the new Files option in Lightroom CC for mobile, you can access Android’s file-manager to import photos from various sources including:

• Other supported photo apps and cloud-based apps installed on your device, such as Google Photos, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

• A DSLR camera connected to your mobile in PTP mode via USB OTG cable.

• Another plugged-in device connected to your mobile via USB.

• Your device’s folders



7:30 AM Permalink

Why People Photograph (Or, How I Lost the Plot)

 When I first started making photographs on my iPhone, I found it incredibly liberating. I didn’t take my images very “seriously” and that gave me the freedom to play and try new things. In fact, for a number of years, I deliberately used the camera phone as a way to  exercise my “creative vision”, posting three images of a single scene, theme, or idea on Instagram on an (almost) daily basis. Looking back, I know that my photography improved significantly as a result of this exercise. 

Six photographs taken in Amsterdam and posted to Instagram, 2012.

When Instagram changed the way images were displayed (and my three images no longer posted sequentially), I made the conscientious choice to only post only a single image a day. This, it turned out, wasn’t as subtle of a shift as just changing the “number” of images posted. I became more competitive when I switched to sharing only my “best” image of the three. And you know what it killed? My sense of play. My willingness to experiment. My enjoyment of posting smaller moments that were significant to me –  trading them instead, for images that I thought other people would like. 

Six individual images from Tasmania posted to Instagram, 2017.

By the end of last year, I came to the realization that I was thinking more about the number of likes I was hoping to get when posting an image, than the actual content and the meaning of the image. It turns out that my change in mindset altered not only the photographs I was making, but also the photographs I chose to share (and which I held back). I decided to do a quick experiment. I posted three images that I had recently taken in Singapore – they were very different from my typical landscapes.  They were made with a tilt shift lens. They included people. The viewer would have to look at them more closely to see the details. And, (as I’m sure you guessed), they didn’t get many likes. I even wondered if should I take them down —even though the images worked for me on several levels.This didn’t seem like the place I wanted to be.

Two of the three images from Singapore that I posted as an experiment.

I decided it was time to revisit my motivation for making photographs. I decided I make images for the following five reasons: 
• To record everyday experiences that I would otherwise forget.
• To slow down, be present, and get lost in the moment.
• To explore new technologies and discover new ways of seeing.
• To share with others the small part of the world as I experience it, though my eyes.
• To connect with others on a cognitive and an emotional level.
I’m sure that you have your own reasons that you could add to that list – especially those of you who earn your livelihood from photography. And I understand that your use of Instagram (and the larger umbrella that includes social media in general) may be completely different than mine – which is fine! If your intent is to  reinforce your business or personal brand, then certainly you may need to cultivate a carefully curated feed. But in my case, I believe that using Instagram to share my experiments and photographic journey will be more valuable for me (and hopefully anyone that is interested in joining me) at this time.  
So, in 2018, I’m giving myself permission to play, experiment, take risks and post images that matter to me – even if I don’t understand them, and even if no one else “likes” them. Certainly, I hope that my photographs resonate with other people but, more importantly, I want to try new things and have the freedom to experiment so that I continue to grow as a photographer and as a person that shares their most authentic self. 
So, here we go. The photographs below were made as a part of a self-directed challenge along a short stretch of road between Farmington and Manteca (in Northern California), which I find stunningly beautiful. To me, the area represents the cyclical nature of life (and death) that are so evident in agriculture.  I enjoyed the process of confining myself to a small area in order to look for images that I otherwise would have missed.
 If I can record an “everyday” experience, see something in a new light, and share my small part of the world with someone (even if the image is an enormous pile of manure (correction – the giant piles are COW FEED (generally chopped corn), NOT manure. It is piled, packed and sealed air tight to ferment for a short time to improve the stability and nutrient availability. It is then fed out over the ensuing several months, having been preserved by the fermentation process.), covered with white plastic, held down by recycled tires), then I call my challenge a success. And now it’s even more of a success because I learned something new by sharing the images! : )
Photographs are light and time and memories. —Keith Carter
All of the images were made with a canon 5Ds with a Tilt Shift E-45 f2.8.
5:54 AM Permalink

Radial Symmetry in Photoshop CC

Did you know that you can unlock additional features of Photoshop’s Paint Symmetry technology preview to quickly create illustrations with variable radial symmetry (and mirrored radial symmetry) simply by renaming any Symmetry Path in the Path panel? Here’s how:

  1. Choose Preferences > Technology and check Enable Paint Symmetry.

  1. Select the Paint Brush, Pencil, or Eraser tool. Note: Paint Symmetry doesn’t support Live Brush Tips (airbrush, bristle tips, erodible).
  2. Click the butterfly icon in the Options bar and select any type of symmetry from the menu. I find that selecting New Dual Axis enables me to use the horizontal and vertical lines as guides however it doesn’t really matter which option you choose because the next step actually determines the type of symmetry (radial or mandala (mirrored)) as well as the number of axis.

  1. Tap Enter (Mac) | Return (win) to accept the default Path Symmetry transformation.
  2. In the Paths panel, rename the path one of the following:

Radial Symmetry x (where x is the number of segments desired with 12 segments being the maximum).

Mandala Symmetry x (where x is the number of segments desired with 10 segments being the maximum).

The examples below show Radial Symmetry set to 10 (resulting in a single paint stroke being repeated 10 times around a 360° axis).

The examples below show Mandala Symmetry set to 10 (resulting in a single paint stroke first being mirrored, then repeated 10 times around a 360° axis).

For a closer look at the difference between  the Radial and Mandala Symmetry options, the illustration below shows the results of a single brush stroke with Radial Symmetry set to 8.The next illustration is the result of adding a second brush stroke.

The next illustration shows Mandala Symmetry set to 8 with a single brush stroke. The Mandala symmetry first mirrors the brush stroke, then repeats it around the radial axis.

Next is the result of adding a second brush stroke.

Here are some additional examples of Radial Symmetry (10, 8, and 10). In the first example,  I clicked once with a pressure sensitive brush, then shift-clicked to draw straight lines between the points. In the second drawing, I started in the center, drew a “swoosh” (crossing over the axis creates the center swirl) and ended the stroke in the center. In the third example, I held the shift key to draw straight lines along the horizontal and vertical axis.

Here are some additional examples of Mandala Symmetry (set to 6, 10, and 8).

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg – you can always change colors, brush attributes, reposition or rotate the symmetry path, use blend modes to combine multiple drawings, add color overlays – the list goes on and on! Enjoy.

Mike Shaw created this time-lapse video to show you his unique technique for sketching and then creating a mandala. Below are two beautiful examples of Paint Symmetry in Photoshop from Mike. In the first example Mike created custom symmetry path(s), the second uses the paint symmetry feature set to mandala mentioned above.

5:25 AM Permalink

I Spoke in Pictures Because There Were No Words

In remembrance of Winston Hendrickson, vice president of digital imaging at Adobe.

I spoke in pictures because there were no words.


12:34 PM Permalink

Adobe Adds New Features to Photoshop CC (19.1)

Adobe announced the following new features to Photoshop CC 19.1 including:

  • Support for Microsoft high-density monitors and improved Dial support
  • Better SVG compatibility with Adobe XD
  • Select Subject
  • Select and Mask improvements

Windows High Density Monitor Support

With this release, Photoshop on Windows 10 Creator’s Edition now offers a full range of choices for UI scale factors from 100% through 400%, in 25% increments. This means that the Photoshop interface will look crisp, beautiful, and the right size no matter the density of your monitor. This is one of the top most requested features from Photoshop customers on Windows devices and will allow us to take advantage of every pixel on high-density screens. For more information on high-density pixels on HiDPI displays, please see Jeff Trannberry’s blog.

Improved Microsoft Dial support

For customers using the Microsoft Dial, you can now use the Brush Setting panel to dynamically change settings as you paint. Controlled settings include size, roundness, angle, scatter, texture depth, foreground and background color, opacity, flow, wetness, and mix (previously, settings could only be changed between paint strokes).

Better SVG compatibility with Adobe XD

Copy and Pasting text as SVG now supports multiple text styles and effects from Photoshop to Adobe XD.

Select Subject

Photoshop is using Adobe Sensei to help make selections of prominent subjects faster than ever before.  With an image open, select the Quick Selection or Magic Wand tool and, in the Options bar, click the Select Subject button (or choose Select > Subject).

This new feature can help create an initial selection of a person or object  in an image. In the example below,  Select Subject selected almost all of the kitsune statue with a single click of the Select Subject button (even as the subject consisted of multiple tones and colors).

It was easy to then refine the selection (to include the missing areas) using the Lasso tool.

On more difficult selections, try using Select Subject to help with the initial selection, then use additional tools or the Select & Mask workspace to refine it. Note: Select Subject is also available in the Select & Mask workspace while using the Quick Selection tool.

Select and Mask Improvements

A slider has been added to the Decontaminate Colors option in the Select and Mask workspace allowing additional control over the removal of  unwanted colors along the edges of selections.  Note: this feature is also available in Refine Edge.


9:00 AM Permalink

If You Want to Take More Interesting Pictures…

Over the holiday break, I happened to be looking through my journal, thinking about the goals and objectives that I want to achieve this year when I came across this note that I had taken in a seminar with Jay Maisel:

“If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.”

Jay’s words proved to be the motivation I was looking for. The day before, I had noticed a barren tree across a river that I thought would make an interesting photograph. But at the time, we were in a hurry to get where we were going, so we kept on driving. The following day was really cold and I was very content to stay warm and cozy in the house. However, while I would have enjoyed reading a book or watching a movie, it would have meant consuming someone else’s content instead of taking the opportunity to create my own. So, with Jay’s words refusing to leave my mind, we grabbed our boots, coats, and hats and drove back in search of that tree.

We found the location easily enough, and to my surprise, the river had frozen over during the night creating beautiful patterns on the ice – it was even better than I had imagined from the previous day’s “drive-by”.

One of the things that I like to do when I photograph, is make sure that I don’t stop with “one and done” especially as I don’t feel I’m as good at capturing wide-angle scenes. Instead, I prefer to focus instead on smaller, tighter subjects where the scale of the photograph maybe seem slightly mysterious for the viewer. I find that if I’m patient and stand in the same spot for a few moments, images start to reveal themselves and, sure enough, interesting patterns in the ice began to catch my eye.

Next, I moved in for some close-ups to see if I could capture the details in the ice.

Growing up in California, I have to admit that I’ve always thought of snow as something that you “go to” in order to ski. Turns out, ice is slipperier than it looks. One misstep along an icy riverbank and you can quickly find yourself in the water. Instead of foolishly tempting fate by trying to get out on the ice, I opted to changed my perspective by walking along a bridge and photographing the frozen river from above.

At the end of the day, I found the images of the ice to be much more interesting than the photographs I made of the tree. And hopefully my adventure made me a more interesting person as well. : )

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and  realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you thought you were looking for. —Lawerence Block

Here’s to a life filled with less consuming and more creating.

(By the way, if you ever have a chance to listen to Jay speak about photography, do it! His work is iconic, he calls it like it he sees it, and he’s (most likely) influenced your photography- even without you knowing it!)

5:00 AM Permalink

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Four Ways to Select Layers in Photoshop CC

In this episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop, you’ll discover four ways to quickly select layers in Photoshop CC.

9:05 AM Permalink

3, 2, 1 Photoshop! Ten Custom Keyboard Shortcuts You Might Not Be Aware Of

Discover how these 10 custom keyboard shortcuts can help increase your productivity in Photoshop CC.

5:25 AM Permalink

The Creative Composite at the Santa Fe Workshops – July 1-6, 2018

Santa Fe Workshops officially announced that my Photoshop class – The Creative Composite (which will run July 1-7, 2018), is now open for enrollment. It will be a great week filled with creativity, imagery, and Photoshop wizardry. Here is the description:

Somewhere between the decisive moment of still photography and the time compression offered by moving pictures lies the world of digital compositing—a place where multiple images captured at different times are layered together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. During our five days together, Julieanne helps you discover how to transform concepts and ideas into images. You master the tools used in compositing, including layers and masking, blend modes, adjustment layers, the properties panel, opacity, and clipping paths. Then you take these concepts to the next level using Smart Objects and Smart Filters, making complex selections using channels and the pen tool, and creating knockout layer effects using advanced blending options, clipping masks, Layer Groups, and the Refine Edge command.

Mornings are dedicated to instruction, with time set aside in the afternoon for you to work on your own images. This is the chance for you to reinforce your understanding of techniques applicable to your photography and engage in individual critique sessions. Using the most flexible, non-destructive editing process imaginable, Julieanne combines creative inspiration with image-manipulation techniques to help you rediscover your enthusiasm and unleash your potential.

I hope to see you in July!

1:06 PM Permalink