2017/06/19

Adobe Launches Lightroom Instagram Channel

Hey, hey! The Lightroom team just launched their own Instagram channel and I’m thrilled they included three of my images as part of their #BeBoundless series!

Photo by @jkost || During my first time in Antarctica, we were silently gliding past a larger iceberg. I noticed that there was a hole that I could see through so I focused on that spot and waited to see if we passed by anything interesting. It just so happened that there was a larger iceberg on the other side, and I was fortunate enough to capture an image as it appeared in the “window”. #BeBoundless

 

Photo by @jkost || This entire effect was captured in-camera. I love the idea of using the camera to capture things you can’t see with the naked eye – like black and white, or motion blur as seen here. Photography can be a way to explore new senses and see the world in a different way. #BeBoundless

 

Photo by @jkost || This was my first time using a small airplane for photography… and I’m afraid of flying. There were no doors on the plane and I was strapped in with one of those harnesses you can get at Home Depot. Fear aside, it was an incredible way to change my perspective. #BeBoundless

10:00 AM Permalink
2017/06/15

Make a lot of Photographs, and Make them Often

I often hear people complain that photographers with digital cameras tend to overshoot their subjects. While that might be true if you’re taking fifty image of the same subject without changing anything, I’ve always been one to make a lot of photographs, and make them often.

If you’ve seen my instagram feed, then you know that I enjoy posting triptychs – and for good reason. Posting more than one image forces me to explore my subject (rather than simply capturing the first “grab-shot” and walking away), while the constraint of posting three related images, limits the possibilities yet somehow, simultaneously increases my creativity.

Some days I choose a specific subject like the corner of the convention center or the sunflowers in the images below and change my perspective to create three unique images of that subject.

Other times, I choose a theme, concept, or word and then make images based on that idea.  In the images below I chose “texture” and “architecture”. My goals is to make the images work well together so I look for visual similarities such as quality and direction of light, color, and tone.

I also look for graphic shapes or lines. In the first set of examples below, the “parking” theme as well as my angle of view helps tie the images together whereas the strong lines and reflections in the buildings help tie the second set together.

I often use techniques such as long exposures/slow shutter speeds with the camera on a tripod or panning the camera while in a moving car to explore what is invisible to the naked eye.

I find photographing through an object (the window of a plane or a car for example), is another interesting way to create a relationship between images that might otherwise be of differing subject matter.

And, knowing what’s possible when processing images in Lightroom and Photoshop can also help unify a series of images. Processing the photographs of the wires below as high-key, black and white images enabled me to match the sky across the images while refining white balance helped strengthen the color palette across the aerial images.

So while it’s true that it might take more time to edit the larger number of photographs that I make, the freedom to explore the subject and increase my skills (at such little cost), is just too good of an opportunity to pass up. I can almost guaranty that without making a lot of images (and making them often), I would never have seen – nor made – the last image of the Golden Gate Bridge below.

Have a great weekend!

5:20 AM Permalink
2017/06/13

Tips for Working with Blur Gallery in Photoshop CC

The Blur Gallery filters (Field Blur, Iris, Tilt-Shift, Path, and Spin) are incredibly powerful features that can help selectively blur a photograph in order to remove distracting elements, help direct the viewers eye through an image, or just add creative effects! To apply these filters in a nondestructive manner, I would recommend that you first convert the layer(s) to Smart Objects before applying the filter so that you can:

  • Re-edit the parameters of the filter at any time (by double clicking the name of the filter in the Layers panel).
  • Paint in the Smart Filter mask to selectively hide and show the filter.
  • Apply a Smart Filter to an entire video clip (not just the first frame).

01) Common shortcuts across Blur Gallery filters

  • Press and hold “H” to temporarily hide the Blur interface (pins etc.).
  • Press “P” to toggle the preview on and off.
  • Press and hold “M” to display the mask.

02) The Tilt-Shift Blur

Discover how to create a Tilt-Shift effect using Blur Gallery in this free video (Creating a Tilt-Shift Effect in Photoshop CC 2017), from Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Photography on Lynda.com.

Additional features of the Tilt-Shift Blur filter (not covered in the video) include:

  • Option -drag  (Mac) | Alt -drag  (Win) the dotted line causes the opposite side to mirror the change by repositioning it by the same number of pixels.  This means that if the two dotted lined were symmetric before dragging with the keyboard modifier, they will remain symmetric, but if they were previously repositioned (one line was moved 20 pixels and the other was moved 50), then using the modifier will change them both by the same number of  pixels.
  • When rotating the filter, press the Shift key to constrain the rotation to 15 degree increments.
  • Rotate the blur to add distortion to the foreground or background of the image. Or, select Distort Symmetrically to apply distortion to both sides of the blur.

03) The Effects Panel in Blur Gallery

The Effects Panel can apply a bokeh to Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift blurs.

  • Light Bokeh controls the amount of highlights in the blur.
  • Bokeh Color increases/decreases saturation.
  • Light Range controls the range of light where the bokeh appears.

The original image, Tilt-Shift filter applied (blurring the flower on the left), and bokeh added to create circles from highlight areas.

04) The Path Blur Filter

Discover how to add motion blur to images in this free video (Creative Blurring Along a Path in Photoshop CC 2017), from Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Photography on Lynda.com.   

Additional features of the Path Blur filter (not covered in the video) include:.

  • Increase the Taper amount to allow the blur to gradually trail off.
  • Enable the Center Blur option to produce a more “stable” looking motion blur (the blur is created using pixels on both sides of the blur).  Uncheck to create a more fluid blur (the blur is created from the pixels on one side of the blur).
  • Use the End point slider to change the amount of blur independently on each end of the path
  • Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) the end of a path to set the End Point blur to 0.
  • Add more than one path in an image to selectively blur areas.
  • Click on the path to add a point. Click on a point to select it and tap the delete key to delete it.
  • Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) on the path (or points) to reposition.
  • Option + Command -drag (Mac) | Alt + Control -drag (Win)  to copy the path.
  • Shift -drag on the Blur Shape path to simultaneously change the direction of both Blur Shapes.
  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) an anchor point (on the path) to convert it to a corner point (and vise versa). Pressing “C” also toggles an anchor point between corner and non-corner. (Corner points can be useful for blocking off parts of an image and for creating a sharp motion blur transition: make a path that is straight then add corner point and curve the second line.)
  • Select from Basic Blur or Rear Sync Flash (Rear Sync Flash sets the Path Blur settings to: Speed = 100%, Taper = 20% and Centered Blur = Off and the Motion Effects to: Strobe strength = 25%, Strobe flashes = 1).

Below is an additional video demonstrating how to use the Path Blur to create motion effects in an image. Note: the video was recorded before the Noise Panel was added to path Blur – in the current version of Photoshop CC, it would be easier to apply noise in the Blur Gallery.

05) Restoring Noise in Blur Gallery

When applying the blur gallery filters, you have the option to add Uniform, Gaussian, or Grain noise back into the blurred areas in order to closely match the restored noise with the original image.

  • Noise – this checkbox turns the Noise on/off. It’s not just a preview, if you turn it off, the noise will not be applied to the result.
  • Type – select between Uniform, Gaussian, and Grain (this is the same Grain that is found in Camera Raw).
  • Amount – the amount of contrast added to the noise.
  • Size –  controls particle size for Grain (this is the same control as found in Camera Raw and is not available for Gaussian or Uniform).
  • Roughness –  controls the regularity of the grain. A negative value makes the grain more uniform, a positive value makes the noise more uneven (this is the same control as found in Camera Raw and is not available for Gaussian or Uniform).
  • Color – controls how much color appears in the grain (from monochromatic to highly saturated).
  • Highlight – suppresses the application of noise in the highlight areas (for better highlight/shadow matching).

06) Spin Blur

The new Spin Blur filter creates non-destructive, realistic, motion effects including the ability to spin an object at variable angles, as well emulate traditional strobe effects. This video will show you how:

Shortcuts for the Spin Blur filter:

  • Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the center pin to reposition the Rotation point (the center of the spin).
  • Command + Option -drag (Mac) | Control + Alt -drag (Win) the pin to duplicate the pin.

07) The Motion Effects Panel in Blur Gallery

Use the Motion Effects panel to emulate traditional strobe effects (including the ability to define the strength, number of flashes and duration)on Path and Spin Blur filters.

  • Strobe Strength: determine how much blur will show between flash exposures. (0% Strength = no strobe effect. 100% Strength = high strobe effect, little blur shown between exposures). This simulates the control of balance between strobe light and ambient light.
  • Strobe Flashes: Set the number of exposures.
  • Strobe Flash Duration: Measured in degrees (º), this allows the user to set the “length” of the flash by setting how much distance on the circumference the blur.

Strobe strength is set to 100% in all three illustrations.

08) Field Blur

Unfortunately, Field blur is one of the least used of the Blur Gallery filters because once a pin is added, it blurs the entire image and at that point, most people dismiss it’s value. However, you can set down additional pins and set each pin’s blur value independently to create differing levels of blur throughout an image.

Original image (left), and multiple Field Blur pins set to varying blur amounts (right).

09) Iris Blur  

  • From the center pin to the “free-floating” solid white dots, no blur is applied. Between the solid dots and the solid white circle is the “transitional” area where the blur is applied over the length of the transition. Beyond the solid white circle, the blur is fully applied.
  • Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win)  the free-floating dots to move independently (thus making the transitional area asymmetrical).
  • Drag the large square on the solid circle outwards to create a rectangular shape Iris blur.
  • Drag the small white dots on the outer circle to rotate and/or to distort the circle to an oval.

Original image (left), Iris Blur added to soften background and emphasize hand (right).

10) Additional Blur Gallery features

  • When working with selections, use the Vary the Selection Bleed to expand the blur into the selection (This feature is disabled when using Smart Objects/Filters and, the selection must be created before selecting the filter).
  • Decrease the Focus amount to blur the center of the Iris and Tilt-Shift blurs if you want the image to start slightly out of focus.
  • Enable Save Mask to Channel in the Options bar to create an alpha channel when applying the filter. (If the blurs are the same type, or a combination of Tilt-Shift, Iris and Field blurs, Photoshop will create a single unified, intersecting mask.)
  • Enable High Quality for smoother rendering when applying bokeh (this feature might decrease performance).
  • If you use the Blur Gallery filters often, assign a custom keyboard shortcut (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts) to the one you use most (this give easy access to the others as well).
  • Neither the Blend Mode nor Opacity settings for Blur Gallery can be changed (like you can for other Smart Filters), but you can duplicate the Smart Object before applying the filter and then use the Blend Mode and Opacity settings to blend the filtered / non-filtered layers together.
  • When applying Blur Gallery on a multi-layered document, you can see other layers while applying the filter. In addition, you can choose to show your Layers panel while in the Blur Gallery (Window > Layers) to change Opacity, Fill and Blend modes on layer that is being filtered. When finished interacting with your layers, you can choose to hide the Layers panel by selecting “Reset Workspace” from the Blur Gallery workspace (in the upper right of the interface).
5:15 AM Permalink
2017/06/08

Joshua Tree – An Afternoon in Solitude

I have finally embraced the fact that I’m an introvert. Not only do I like spending time alone, I need to spend time alone. If you surround me with people day after day, eventually, I will run out of “nice”.

I enjoy nature. And silence. Put the two together and that’s when I do my best creative work. So, when I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon driving through a national park by myself, I packed my camera gear, jumped in the car, and off I went.

I used Adobe Spark Page to assemble my favorite images from the afternoon and limited my editing to the “more traditional” photographic editing/toning workflow in Lightroom. (I find that setting limitations (as well as deadlines) enables me to actually publish the work in a timely manner!)

“I believe loneliness is a door you have to go through—a passage leading you to solitude. Solitude is what I’m after. The kind of tranquility that allows you access to your own imagination. Solitude helps you differentiate, define the borders of the self. Solitude helps you figure out where everybody else stops and you begin. Solitude is quite different from being alone. Solitude is the state of being alone without losing your mind.” ­­—Jeanne Marie Laskas

 

Below are some images from the project. The original, raw captures are on the left and the toned images are on the right. I used the Basic panel to set white balance, black and white points, increase shadows, decrease highlights, and increase Clarity. I used the Targeted Adjustment tool (in the HSL panel) to desaturate and darken the luminance of the sky.

In the next set of images, I used the Adjustment Brush to selectively dodge and burn the tips of the cacti and the pink flowers, and the Radial Filter to lighten the edges in the image of the cacti and darken the edges of the flower image.

For this last group of images (top images are original captures, bottom images are edited), working in Reference View (in the Develop module) made it much easier to compare images while adjusting HSL to unify the sky across the images. I really appreciate that I can create a collection in Lightroom CC, sync it to the cloud, and then access those files to quickly assemble my Spark Page.  Click here for a video that demonstrates how to create your own Adobe Spark Page.

5:20 AM Permalink
2017/06/06

10 Tips for Working with Filters in Photoshop CC

Here are 10 of my favorite tips, techniques and shortcuts  for working with filters in Photoshop CC.

01) Apply the Last Used Filter

  • Command  + Control + F (Mac) | Command + Alt  + F (Win) executes the last used filter.

02) Display the Last Used Filter

  • Command + Option + F (Mac) displays the dialog box for the last used filter. (Note: there is no default keyboard shortcut for Windows, however you can make your own by customizing the shortcut for Filter > Last Filter and then adding the alt key when using that custom shortcut!)

03) Filter Gallery

  • Filter Gallery can only be applied to 8 bit images.
  • While in the Filter Galley dialog:
    • Option -click  (Mac) | Alt  -click (Win) a filter’s preview icon to add it as a new filter (instead of replacing the current filter).
    • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the disclosure triangle to the left of a Filter Category to expand/collapse all categories.
  • If you prefer to view the artistic filters listed under Filter Gallery in the filter menu, select Preferences > Plug-ins > Show All Filter Gallery Groups and Names.

04) Quickly Find and Apply a Filter

  • If you know the name of the filter that you are trying to run, but don’t want to waste time finding it in the menus, use Command + F and type the filter name into the search dialog.
  • If you often use the same filters, assign a keyboard shortcut to them using the Keyboard shortcut editor (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts)

05) PDF with Examples of Photoshop Filters

I created this PDF (JKost_ArtisticFilters) for my Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training course on Lynda.com | LinkedIn Learning.  The examples are pretty straight forward, (meaning that I didn’t combine any filters to make “complicated” effects), but I think it’s a good resource especially for anyone that is teaching Photoshop.

06) Non-destructive Filtering of Layer(s)

  • Any filter applied to a Smart Object automatically becomes a “Smart Filter”. (Choose Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object to convert the selected layer(s) into a Smart Object before adding the filter).
  • Change the filter parameters of a Smart Filter at any time by double clicking on the name of the filter in the Layers panel (that’s what makes them smart, they’re nondestructive and re-editable at any time).
  • Change the Opacity and Blend Mode of the Smart Filter by double clicking the Filter Blending Option (two small lines with triangles under then to the right of the filter name in the Layers panel.)
  • Paint in the Smart Filter mask just as you would any layer mask (black to hide the filter, white to show).
  • When working with video in Photoshop, converting a layer into a Smart Object and then adding a filter applies the filter to all frames in a video layer (not just the first frame).

07) Moving Smart Filters

  • In the Layers panel, drag the name of the Smart Filter to copy it from one layer to another.

08) Duplicating Smart Filters

  • Option -drag (Mac) | Alt  -drag (Win) a Smart Filter from one layer to another will behave differently based on where you click and drag:
    • Dragging the name of the Smart Filter duplicates without copying the mask.
    • Dragging the “Smart Filters” text (next to the mask) will duplicate the Smart Filter including the layer mask.

09) Making a Selection on a Layer with a Smart Filter
If you use a Smart Filter’s mask to hide the effects of a Smart Filter, Photoshop will still make selections based on the filtered content – even though it is hidden.

Here is the original photo of an Iceberg, converted to a Smart Object ignorer to add the Path Blur filter as a Smart Filter.

10_16_01_so

The illustration below shows after adding the Path Blur (listed as Blur Gallery on the Layers panel) as a Smart Filter. Notice that the entire layer is blurred.

10_16_01_blur

Drawing a linear gradient in the Smart Filters mask reveals the Path Blur in the water, but hides it from the iceberg.

10_16_01_filtermask

Using the Quick Select tool, I expected Photoshop to easily select only the sky, but it selected the iceberg as well (because Photoshop applies the Path Blur to the entire layer – the mask is only  hiding the filter).

10_16_01_selection

Hiding the Path Blur (by toggling off the eye icon next to Blur Gallery), enabled the Quick Select tool to easily select the sky.

10_16_01_hideblur

In the final image below, I added the new sky layer (adding a mask based on the selection so that they sky wouldn’t overlap the iceberg), and toggled on the visibility of the Blur Gallery Smart Filter (to display the Path Blur filter in the water).

10_16_01_sky

10) Fading Filters

Command + Shift + F (Mac) | Control + Shift + F (Win) displays the Fade options to change Opacity and Blend Mode of the fade last filter applied. Note: the Fade command can only be applied directly after running the filter and can not be used on a Smart Object (because Smart Objects are non-distructive and can be changed at any time using the Layers panel).

4:48 AM Permalink
2017/05/30

Grid, Guides, and Ruler Shortcuts in Photoshop CC

Working with Rulers

  • Command + R (Mac) | Control + R (Win) quickly displays rulers along the top and left sides of a document.
  • To quickly change the ruler’s unit of measurement, Control -click (Mac) | Right Mouse -click (Win) within the ruler area to select from the context sensitive menu.
  • To display the Units & Rulers preferences, double click in the ruler area.
  • To change the Ruler’s point of origin (the zero point of the rulers), click and drag the box in the upper left corner of the rulers (where they meet) and reposition.  Double clicking at the intersection of the rulers resets the point of origin to the upper left corner of the open document.

 

  • In order to quickly find the center of an image, set the rulers to percentage and drag out guides to the 50% marks. You can also use View > New guide but I find dragging faster.

Working with Grids

  • Command + ‘ (Mac) | Control + ‘ (Win)  toggles visibility of the grid.
  • To create a grid that displays the “Rule of Thirds” overlay, choose Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices. Set the “Gridline every:” to 100% and the “Subdivisions” to 3.

Working with Guides

  • To place a single guide at a specific location in a documents, choose View > New Guide. To enter a value that is different than the current units of measurement, type the value and then the unit (px, in, cm, mm, pt, pica, %).

  • To add a guide using the rulers, click in the ruler area, and drag the guide into the document.  Option -drag (Mac) | Alt  -drag (Win) from the ruler to toggle  the orientation of the guide (vertical to horizontal).
  • To add multiple guides at one time, choose View > New Guide Layout. Not only can you  enter the number of Columns and Rows that you need, but you can also choose the Width or Height, Gutter, Margins and whether or not to Center the Columns. To reuse the guides in multiple images, save the guide options as a preset using the drop-down menu. Here are some examples of the guides you can create:
Column Witth defined

Specific Columns Width and Rows with Gutter defined.

Margins defined.

Guide Margin defined.

Centered

Centered Columns with numeric Width defined.

To create a guides based on a shape, choose View > New Guide From Shape. And you’re not limited to only shape layers, you can create Guides from Type layers and pixel based layers! As you can see from the examples below, the Guides are created based on the bounding box around the contents of the layer.

Guides created around Shape Layer.

Guides created around Shape Layer.

Guides created around content of pixel layer.

Guides created around the contents of pixel layer.

Guides created from Text Layer.

Guides created from a Type Layer.

  • To reposition a guide using the Move tool, position the Move tool directly on top of the guide. When the icon changes to a double headed arrow, click and drag to reposition the guide.
  • Shift-drag a guide to snap it to the ruler tic marks. Note, this shortcut works even when “snap to” is off (View  / Snap To…).
  • Drag a guide outside of the image area to quickly delete it.
  • Command + ; (Mac) | Control + ; (Win) toggles the visibility of guides.
  • Command + Option  + “;”  (Mac) | Control + Alt  + “;” (Win) locks/unlocks guides (View > Lock Guides). When changing image size of a document, unlock the guides to resize the guides proportionally. Lock them if you need to keep exact numeric values.
  • Guides (and paths) can be difficult to see on high resolution monitors because they are anti-aliased. To make them appear thicker, select Preferences > Performance. In the Graphics Processor Settings, click Advanced Settings and uncheck Anti-alias Guides and Paths. Note: you won’t see the change until you click OK in both the Advanced Graphics Processor Settings and close the Preferences.

Changing the Color of Guides, Grids, and Slices

  • To change the color of the guides (including Smart Guides), grid, and/or slices, select Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and either select a color from the drop-down list, or, click in the color swatch to the right and choose any color you would like.
  • To change the visual representation of the guides or grid, use the pull-down menu to choose line, dash, or dotted (Grid only).

Smart Guides

  • Smart Guides can be tremendously helpful for aligning and determining distances between multiple layers as they are being repositioned within a document. Check out the video below to learn how.

Pixel Grid

  • If you Zoom into an image above 500%, a Pixel Grid is displayed on top of the image. This can be especially helpful when trying to align shapes such as  rectangles so that they begin and end on a full pixel (to avoid anti-aliased edges). However, to toggle this off, you can uncheck Pixel View under View > Show Pixel Grid.
5:18 AM Permalink
2017/05/26

Salton Sea – Unifying Photographs in Lightroom CC

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take a day trip around the Salton Sea area in California. Knowing that I would only have a single afternoon to photograph, my goal was to return with 8-10 images that would work together to convey not only what I saw, but what I felt as I drove through the area.

I limited myself to one lens – a 45mm tilt-shift. By using using the tilt control on the lens I was able to throw large portions of the image out of focus as well as create the illusion of making elements in the scene appear miniature. I was hoping that this “miniature” effect would make the images appear more mysterious and surreal, while the limited focus would help guide the viewers eye through the scene that might otherwise be thought of as a “image of nothing”. Because even in nothing, there is always something – even if it’s the lack of something that tells the story.

Limiting my equipment would help save time (no lugging of equipment), ease the decission making process (finite options), and ultimately allow my mind to focus more on the image (content and composition) and less on the technical. As I drove down the east coast of the Salton Sea and then back north and south again to see the west side, the clouds came and went, changing the quality and direction of light, making the original raw captures seem a bit disjointed. While using the tilt-shift lens, limiting the depth of field, and photographing similar subject matter, were three great techniques for creating a cohesive body of work, there were a number of refinements that I could make in post to further unify the images.

In Lightroom, I used the Temperature and Tint sliders in the Basic panel to equalize white balance across the series of images. I used the Tone sliders to set black and white points (extending the dynamic range for the images that were taken when cloudy), refine exposure and contrast, and shift shadow and highlight values. Increasing the Clarity slider added add a bit more “snap” to the images by amplifying edge contrast in the midtones. I also relied heavily on the HSL sliders to make a continuum of changes in different color ranges (desaturating the blue sky and lightening the green foliage. I switched to the selective adjustment tools to remove color or change tone in specific areas. Finally, I added a post crop vignette to round the corners (making the images look a bit more retro).

Below are three examples of these global and selective changes. The images on the left are the raw captures, the images on the right are post-processing in Lightroom.

 

I have published the finished images as diptychs here, to my Behance page.

Next time I visit (because I definitely want to return), I’d like to venture into Bombay Beach. There was police activity when I drove past and to be honest, I got a little spooked and left. : (

5:24 AM Permalink
2017/05/23

20 Brush and Painting Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop CC

Here are twenty of my favorite shortcuts for the Brush and painting tools in Photoshop CC. Although I often use the Brush tool as the example, many of these shortcuts also work for other painting tools such as the Pencil, Mixer Brush, Clone/Pattern Stamp, Eraser, Gradient, Paint Bucket and more.

1) Resizing using the Bracket Keys

  • Tap the left/right bracket decrease/increase brush size.
  • Hold the left/right bracket to continuously decrease/increase brush size.
  • To customize the keys used to increase/decrease brush size and hardness (as many international keyboards do not have brackets), under Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts – choose “Shortcuts For: Tools”. Scroll down (almost the bottom of the list) and enter any single character to set a new shortcut for Decreasing/Increasing Brush Size.

2) Resizing Using the HUD (Heads-Up Display)

  • On Mac: Control + Option (Mac) –drag left/right in order to decrease/increase brush size and up/down to decrease/ increase brush hardness.
  • On Windows: Control + Alt + Right click -drag left/right to decrease/ increase brush size and up/down decrease/ increase brush hardness.
  • To use the change Brush Opacity (instead of the Brush Hardness), based on the vertical drag movement, select Preferences > Tools and uncheck “Vary Round Brush Hardness based on HUD vertical movement”.

3) Custom Cursors

  • To customize the display of the painting cursors, select Preferences > Cursors and select from the following:
    • Standard – to display the small iconic cursors
    • Precise – to display cross hairs
    • Normal Brush Tip – the circle icon size represents pixels to be painted with greater than 50%  effect
    • Full Size Brush Tip – the circle icon size represents all pixels to be painted
    • Check “Show Cross hairs in Brush Tip” – to easily see the center of the brush
    • Check Show Only Crosshair While Painting – to display the cross hairs only while painting

  • To temporarily access Precise Cursors, enable the “caps lock” key.
  • Choose to set additional tools icons (such as the Eyedropper tool) to Standard or Precise.
  • To change the Brush cursor preview color, click in the red swatch under Brush Preview and choose a new color.

4) Opacity and Flow

  • Opacity controls the opaque/transparent quality of the paint (are you using an opaque metallic paint or a transparent varnish?).  Flow controls the speed at which paint is laid down (are you pressing the nozzle of the can of spray paint just a little, or all the way down?).

  • To change the Opacity, tap a numeric key to add the percentage of the tapped number. (1 = 10%, 2= 20% etc. and 0 = 100%). Tapping two numbers quickly will give you that exact amount (5 + 4 = 54%).  Note: If you have a tool selected that doesn’t have an opacity setting in the Option bar, these shortcuts will affect the Opacity option on the Layers panel.
  • Shift + tapping a numeric key changes the Flow value.
  • If the selected brush has the Airbrush attribute enabled, tapping the numeric keys will change the Flow by default and adding the Shift key will change Opacity.

5) The Airbrush Attribute

  • Option + Shift + P (Mac) | Alt + Shift + P (Win) toggles the Airbrush attribute on/off.

  • To customize this shortcut, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and choose “Shortcuts For: Tools”. Scroll down (almost the bottom of the list) and enter a single letter to set a new shortcut to Toggle Brush Airbrush Mode.

5) Changing Blend Mode

  • To quickly cycle through a painting tool’s blend modes, hold the Shift key and tap the “+” (plus) or “-” (minus) to move forward or backwards through the list. Note: If you have a tool selected that does not have Blend Mode options in the Options bar,  these shortcuts will affect the blend mode options on the Layers panel.
  • In addition, each blend mode has a unique keyboard shortcut.  They all begin with Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) then a single letter.

……….Normal + N, Dissolve + I, Behind + Q, Clear + R

……….Darken + K, Multiply + M, Color Burn + B, Linear Burn + A,

……….Lighten + G, Screen + S, Color Dodge + D, Linear Dodge + W,

……….Overlay + O, Soft Light + F, Hard Light + H, Vivid Light + V, Linear Light + J, Pin Light + Z, Hard Mix + L

……….Difference + E, Exclusion + X

……….Hue+ U, Saturation+ T, Color  + C, Luminosity + Y

……….I don’t know of shortcuts for Darker Color, Lighter Color, Subtract, or Divide.

6) The Brush Preset Picker

  • With a painting tool selected, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) anywhere in the image area to access the Brushes Preset Picker.

  • Tap ‘<’ or ‘>’ to move to the “previous” or “next” brush in the list in the Brush Presets Panel. Shift + ‘<’ or ‘>’  moves to the first/last brush in the list. To customize this shortcut, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and choose “Shortcuts For: Tools”. Scroll down (almost the bottom of the list) and enter any single character to set a new shortcut to move through the brush presets.

7) Locking Brush Attributes

  • The two most common pressure sensitive brush attributes (Opacity and Size) can be locked on/off using the icons in the Options Bar.   When enabled, the pressure sensitive pen/tablet control the opacity/size. When off, the opacity/size is controlled by the brush preset. To assign a custom keyboard shortcut to turn these options on/off, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and choose “Shortcuts For: Tools”. Scroll down (almost the bottom of the list) and enter any single character to set a new shortcut for either Toggle Brush Pressure Controls Size or Toggle Brush Pressure Controls Opacity.

  • To lock additional brush attributes (allowing you to move freely between brush presets while retaining specific attributes), click to the right of the attribute grouping (Shape Dynamics, Scattering etc.), on the Brush panel.

  • If you have a brush configured, and simply want to change the tip of the brush (while leaving all of the other brush attributes as they are), on the Brush panel, click Brush Tip Shape and select another shape.

8) Color Dynamics

When using Brushes, color can be applied on a per stroke or a per tip basis. In the example below the first three strokes have the Apply Per Tip checked. Because the Hue, Saturation and Brightness settings all have 20% Jitter values, each stoke varies in color. The second three strokes have the Apply Per Tip unchecked resulting in each paint stoke having a solid stroke, the color only changing as each new stroke is painted (not within a single stroke).

 

9) Painting Dotted Lines

In order to create a “dotted” line instead of a solid paint stroke, display the brushes panel and click on Brush Tip Shape. Drag the Spacing slider to the right until the desired amount of space falls between each mark. Try changing the roundness and angle for variation. Note: for more structured dotted and dashed lines, try using the Shape or Pen tools with a stroke applied.

10) Painting Straight Lines

To paint a straight line, hold the Shift key while dragging a stroke. Or, click once with a painting tool, then release the mouse, hold the Shift key and click again to draw a straight line between the two points.

11) Sampling Color While Painting

Holding the Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) samples a color with the eyedropper while using the painting tools.

12) Creating Fluid, Precise Paint Strokes that Simulate Pressure Sensitivity

  • To create fluid, precise stroke of paint, first create a path using the pen tool. Then, make sure that the painting tool that you want to use is set up with the correct options (such as brush size and opacity etc.). Finally, from the Paths panel fly-out, menu, select Stroke path and select the desired tool. This technique works with several painting tools and can be extremely helpful for example, when using the Dodge tool to add a highlight along the edge of an object.
  • To simulate pressure sensitivity when stroking a path, select the path in the paths panel, choose Stroke Path from the fly-out menu, and check Simulate Pressure. Note, it is important to set up your brush (or whatever tool you want to use), as well as it’s attributes BEFORE you stroke the path.

In this illustration, the first path was stroked with a brush with the Simulate Pressure option unchecked. The second and third paths both had the Simulate Pressure option checked; the middle illustration demonstrating the brushes Opacity (under Transfer on the Brush Panel) set to Pen Pressure, the right illustration demonstrating Opacity and Size (under Shape Dynamics on the Brush Panel) set to Pen Pressure.

13) Creating and Saving a Custom Brush

  • To define a Custom brush, use one of Photoshop’s selection tools to select the desired area.  Then, choose Edit > Define Brush Preset and give it a name. Note: brush presets are gray-scale and use the selected foreground color to paint.
  • The custom brush appears in the Brush Presets panel and can be easily modified (if desired) using the Brush panel (select the brush tip and then modifying any additional attributes).
  • Click the New Brush Preset icon on the Preset panel to save the custom brush with it’s attributes. To save the Brush preset and options set in the Options bar (blend mode, opacity etc.), as well as the foreground color, click the New Tool Preset icon on the Tool Preset panel.

After defining a custom brush, I changed the Shape Dynamics and Scattering options in the Brush panel and saved the (now modified) brush using the Brush Preset panel. Then, to save the Brush and include it’s custom options (the blend mode set to Multiply, the Opacity 50%, and white as the foreground color), I saved it as a Tool Preset.

14) Viewing the Active Brush

Photoshop CC’s has the ability to display the seven most recently used Brushes as well as indicate if the currently used preset has been modified. This video shows you how.

15) Bristle Brush Previews

When using the Natural Media Bristle Tips, clicking in the Bristle Brush Preview will toggle between three different views. Shift-clicking in the preview will toggle a color rendering of the brush. (If you are having a difficult time distinguishing between the different views try selecting a Flat Fan tip shape.) If the Bristle Brush Preview is not visible, click the left most icon on the Brush or Brush Presets panel (a natural media tip must be selected in order for the Bristle brush preview icon to be enabled).

16) The Mixer Brush

  • There are five really useful customizable keyboard shortcuts specifically designed for the Mixer Brush. Choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, and using  the Shortcuts for “Tools” scroll the to the bottom and enter custom keyboard shortcut to enable the option(s):
    • Load Mixer Brush
    • Clean Mixer Brush
    • Toggle Mixer Brush Auto-Load
    • Toggle Mixer Brush Auto-Clean 
    • Toggle Mixer Brush Sample All Layers

……….Note: there is also an option to assign a keyboard shortcut to Sharpen Erodible tips.

  • Changing Mixer Brush options using the keyboard
    • When using the Mixer Brush tapping a numeric keys change the “Wet” value. 
    • Shift + tapping a numeric key changes the “Flow” value.  
    • Option + Shift  (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) + number changes the “Mix” values.
    • Typing 00 (zero, zero) in quick succession quickly sets the “Wet” and “Mix” values for the Mixer Brush to zero – resulting in a dry brush.

17) Fading Paint Strokes

Immediately after painting a stroke, select Edit > Fade Brush Tool to change the opacity and/or change the blend mode of the paint stroke. Note: This shortcut also works for a variety of additional commands including image adjustments, strokes, fills and filters.

18) The Eraser Tool

  • The Eraser tool has a special “Block” mode which gives you a eraser in the shape of a square. What’s unique is that when you zoom in and out on the image and use the tool, it erases a certain portion of the screen – regardless of the zoom level.

  • Holding the Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) with the Eraser tool will erase with history. Note: when Photoshop opens a document, it takes (by default) a snapshot of the document that appears at the top of the History panel – this is the “history” that the Eraser paints with. To change the “History” state (that the Eraser uses to paint from), click in any empty well to the left of the desired state in the History panel. Both states (the one chosen to “erase” with and the one that’s being “erased” upon) must have corresponding layers and be in the same color mode.

19) The Paint Bucket Tool

  • The Paint Bucket can fill with the Foreground color or a Pattern. With the Paint Bucket selected, choose which fill content option you prefer in the Options bar. Note: the Fill command (Edit > Fill) also has the pattern option, but the Paint Bucket may be faster than using a dialog box.
  • To fill a transparent area of an image with the foreground color, set the Paint Bucket’s blend mode to Behind and click on the transparent area. To erase areas of an image (based on the color clicked upon), set the Paint Bucket’s blend mode to Clear and click in the desired color.

20) The Gradient Tool

  • When using the Gradient tool, check “Dither” on in the Options bar to minimize banding over long gradients.

  • The Gradient tool has multiple styles to choose from (Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected, and Diamond). ‘[‘ or ‘]’ will move you quickly from one to the next gradient style.
  • ‘,’ (comma) or ‘.’ (period) goes to previous or next  gradient swatch in the Gradient Preset Picker.  Shift + ‘,’ (comma) or ‘.’ (period)  goes to first or last gradient swatch in the Gradient Preset Picker.
  • Double clicking on a gradient stop in the Gradient Editor will bring up the color picker. Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) on a gradient stop to duplicate it.

And links to some additional videos:

The Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop CC  – In this video, Julieanne demonstrates how to apply a painterly look to an image using the completely re-coded Oil Paint filter.

The Secret to Photoshop’s Art History Brush – In this video, Julieanne demonstrates the power of the Art History brush and its ability to continuously sample from any history state or snapshot.

5:31 AM Permalink
2017/05/16

Zoom, Pan, and Navigate Documents in Photoshop CC

Here are my favorite shortcuts for zooming, panning, and general document navigation in Photoshop CC.

1) Zooming

Accessing the Zoom tool:

  • “Z” selects the Zoom Tool.
  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) toggles the Zoom tool to Zoom In / Zoom out.
  • Hold down the Spacebar and then add Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) to temporary access the Zoom In tool without having to switch to the Zoom tool.
  • Hold down the Spacebar and then add Command (Mac) | Control (Win) to temporarily accesses the Zoom Out tool without having to switch to the Zoom tool.

To display an image at 100% (also referred to as viewing 1:1):

  • Select View > Actual Pixels.
  • Double click the Zoom tool.
  • Command + 1 (Mac) | Control +1 (Win).

To display an image as large as possible on the monitor, while still viewing the entire image:

  • Select View > Fit on Screen.
  • Double click the Hand tool.
  • Command + 0 (Mac) | Control + 0 (Win) .

To quickly zoom in and zoom out:

  • Command + “+” (plus)  (Mac) | Control +” (plus) (Win) zooms in.
  • Command +  “-” (minus) (Mac) | Control + “-” (minus) (Win) zooms out.
    • Note: the previous two shortcuts also work in modal states (while a dialog box is displayed or while using Free Transform for example).
  • Select the Zoom tool and click and hold in the image the to zoom in continuously. Add the Option  (Mac) | Alt (Win) to zoom out. (Uncheck the Animated Zoom option in Preferences > Tools to disable this feature as needed.)

Scrubby Zoom

  • Select the Zoom tool and enable Scrubby Zoom in the Options bar. Then, click-drag left/right to zoom out/in.
  • Select the Zoom tool and disable Scrubby Zoom in the Options bar. Then, click-drag over a specific area in the image to zoom into that area.

Birds Eye View

When zoomed into an image, press and hold the “H” key (the cursor temporarily swaps to the hand tool). Click and hold in the image  – the image zooms out to “fit in window” and displays a “zoom rectangle overlay”. Drag the zoom rectangle over the desired zoom location and release the mouse/cursor to zoom (to the rectangular area). Then, release the “H” key to return to the originally selected tool.

Zoom All Windows

With the Zoom tool selected, checking Zoom All Windows (in the Options bar) will zoom all open documents at one time. If you don’t want the option enabled all of the time, uncheck the option and press the Shift key to temporarily enable the Zoom all Windows feature.

Pixel Grid Display

Zooming in more than 500%, displays a Pixel Grid on top of the image This can be helpful when trying to align shapes such as rectangles so that they begin and end on a full pixel (to avoid anti-aliased edges). To toggle the Pixel Grid off, disable Pixel View by unchecking  View > Show Pixel Grid.

Additional Zoom Preferences

  • Preferences > Tools – enable/disable Zoom with Scroll Wheel.
  • Preferences > Tools – enable/disable Zoomed Clicked Point to Center (to center the location of the cursor click point to the center of the screen).
  • Preferences > Tools – enable/disable  Zoom Resizes Windows (this can be helpful when zooming in/out when viewing  multiple tiled/floating documents  (Window > Arrange > Tile/Float…).

2) Using the Navigator Panel to Zoom

To change the zoom percentage in the Navigator panel, enter a percentage, drag the slider, click on the Zoom In or Zoom Out icons (the small or large mountains), or Command -drag (Mac) | Control (Win) -drag in the thumbnail over the area that you want to zoom into.

3) Panning (scrolling) in Photoshop CC

  • “H” selects the Hand tool.
  • Holding down the spacebar (while most other tools are selected) will temporarily access the Hand tool (allowing quick panning of images that are zoomed in). This shortcut also works while in a modal state (such as while a dialog box is displayed or while in Free Transform).
  • When using the Hand tool to pan, Photoshop “eases out” of the pan (this is referred to as Flick Panning). For an abrupt stop when panning,  click, drag and hold with the Hand tool. Note: Flick Panning can be disabled in Preferences > Tools > Enable Flick Panning.
  • When viewing multiple images simultaneously, Shift -drag with the Hand tool to pan all open documents. To set this as the default behavior, with the Hand tool selected, check  “Pan all Windows” in the Option bar.

4) Overscroll Documents

To reposition a document that is smaller than the application frame within the application frame (instead of it being anchored to the center of the application frame), select Preferences > Tools and enable Overscroll.

By enabling the Overscroll option I was able to zoom out on the photo and reposition it next to the Layers panel to take the screenshot.

5) Navigating Screen by Screen in Photoshop

When retouching images (especially when checking for sensor dust or small imperfections), use the following shortcuts to systematically move through the document:

  • The Home key moves to upper left corner, the End key moves to lower right.
  • The Page Up and Page Down keys move you one full screen up or down one full  screen.
  • Command + Page Up and Page Down (Mac) | Control + Page Up and Page Down (Win) moves left or right one full screen.

6) Displaying Multiple Windows for a Single Document

When doing detail work on an image (where, for example, you might need to be zoomed in to a very small portion of the overall image), it can be helpful to open a secondary window in order to see the changes that you are making in relationship to the entire photograph or design. To create a secondary window, select Window > Arrange > New Window For (xxx-the name of your file).

5:02 AM Permalink
2017/05/08

Tips for Working with Color in Photoshop CC

Here are my favorite tips for working with color in Photoshop CC.

1) The Foreground / Background Color Picker

  • Tap the “D” key to set the foreground/background colors to black/white. If a Layer mask is selected, tapping the “D” key will set the foreground/background colors to white/black.
  • Tap the “X” key to exchange the foreground and background colors on the tool bar.
  • To display the Foreground/Background color picker using a keyboard shortcut, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under “Shortcuts For”, select “Tools” and scroll the to (almost) the bottom of the list to locate the Foreground Color Picker  or Background Color Picker line item. Click to the right of the item and enter a own custom keyboard shortcut. Note:  “N” and ”K are not assigned to tools in Photoshop’s default set.


2) The Color Panel

  • The Color panel can be enlarged (drag the bottom of the panel), to make color selection easier and more accurate.
  • Select Hue Cube from the Color panel’s fly-out menu to make it look similar to the Foreground Color picker ‘s default state.
  • To change the color sliders on the Color panel, click the panel’s drop down menu and select from Grayscale, RGB, HSB, CMYK, LAB, or Web Color Sliders.
  • Shift -click on the Color panel’s color ramp to cycle through the available color modes.
  • Use the Color panel’s fly-out menu to either Copy Color as HTML or Copy Color’s Hex Code.
  • If you have ever tried selecting a new foreground color using the eyedropper tool only to have the background color updated, make sure that in the Color panel you have the foreground color swatch selected. If, for some reason you have selected the background color swatch, every time you use the eyedropper it will update the background color!

    On the left the Foreground color swatch is selected, on the right, the Background color swatch is selected.

    On the left, the Foreground color swatch is selected in the Color panel and has a thin highlight surrounding it. On the right, the Background color swatch is selected.

 

3) The Swatches Panel

  • Recently used colors are displayed across the top of the Swatches panel. Hover the cursor over a swatch to display the color name or color value in a tool-tip.
  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) a color swatch to delete it (the icon swaps to a pair of scissors).
  • While viewing the Swatches panel in thumbnail view ( Tiny, Small, or Large), positioning the cursor over a gray, empty swatch area and clicking will add a new swatch based on the currently selected foreground color (the icon swaps to the paint bucket icon).
  • Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) over any color swatch to select New Swatch, Rename Swatch, or Delete Swatch.
  • Photoshop has two options for saving swatches from the Swatches panel:
    • Choose Save Swatches (.aco) to save a set of color swatches to be used in Photoshop.
    • Choose Save Swatches for Exchange (.ase) to save a set of color swatches to be loaded into Illustrator and InDesign.
  • Swatches can be saved to any location, however swatches saved to the default location (User > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop 2017 > Presets > Color Swatches will appear automatically from the Swatches panel’s drop down menu.
  • To load swatch files from an HTML, CSS, or SVG Document, use the flyout menu on the Swatches panel to choose Load Swatches. Then, navigate to any HTML, CSS, or SVG document and Photoshop will find all of the colors used in that document and load them as swatches.
  • Note: color swatches can also be saved in the Libraries panel. One advantage of using the Libraries panel, is that stored content is automatically synchronized between multiple installs of Photoshop using the same Adobe ID (for example, your work and home computers). In addition, Libraries can be shared with others using the fly-out menu and selecting Collaborate or Share link.

 

4) The Heads-Up-Display (HUD) Color Picker

  • Control + Option + Command -click (Mac) | Shift + Alt + right-click with a painting tool selected to display the HUD color picker.
  • The HUD can be displayed as either a strip or a wheel (select the shape and size from Preferences > General HUD Color Picker).
  • When selecting colors you’ll quickly discover that you will need to jump from one portion of the HUD interface to another. To do so, continue to hold the mouse down while releasing the shortcuts keys and press the spacebar. The spacebar freezes the selection of the color and allows you to “jump” from the strip or wheel to the Hue/Saturation area (or vice versa) in order to refine one with out moving the other.  This shortcut is a bit tricky when you first start using it, but makes the HUD color picker infinitely more useful.

 

5) Finding the Average Color

Filter > Blur > Average finds the average of all of the colors in an image (or in a selection) and fills the entire image (or selection) with that color.
6) Inverting the Foreground Color

This JavaScript inverts the foreground color in Photoshop. To install:

  1. Click on the link ( InvertForeGroundColor.jsx ) to download and unzip the file.
  2. Quit Photoshop.
  3. Place the script in Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2017/Presets/Scripts folder.
  4. Launch Photoshop.
  5. Select a foreground color.
  6. Choose File > Script > invertForeGroundClor

To make it easier to access, assign a keyboard shortcut to the script (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, selecting Shortcuts For: Application Menus and scrolling down to File >Scripts >InvertForeGroundClor
7) Color Basics in Photoshop CC 2017

Discover the many ways to select colors in Photoshop in this free video (Color Basics), from Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics on Lynda.com.
8) Using Color to Add Emotional Impact to a Photograph

In this Episode of the Complete Picture Julieanne discusses how the addition of color as well as supporting imagery can help reinforce the mood and message of a composite image that a single photograph may fail to do on it’s own.  AfiBD0Ax4uw

 

5:33 AM Permalink
2017/05/01

Essential Tips for Cropping in Photoshop CC

Here are my favorite shortcuts for Photoshop’s Crop tool!

01) Shortcuts

  • “C” selects the Crop tool.
  • “X” swaps the width and height values Or, click the arrow icon in the Options bar.
  • “O” cycles through view overlays (Rule of Thirds, Grid, etc.).
  • “H” hides the image area beyond (outside of) the Crop marquee.  Note: the forward slash key (/) also works.
  • To cancel a crop, tap the escape key. To apply the crop, tap the enter key, double click inside of the crop marquee, or choose another tool from the tool bar (this last method displays the “Crop the image?” dialog).
  • Command  (Mac) | Control  (Win) with the Crop tool selected, temporarily enables the Straighten option.
  • “I” auto-populates the Width, Height, and Resolution with the dimensions of the active document. Note: you must make an adjustment to the Crop marquee before tapping the “I” key, otherwise Photoshop will select the Eyedropper tool.
  • “P” enables Classic Mode (in Classic Mode, the Crop marquee is repositioned, not the image). Note: you must make an adjustment to the Crop marquee before tapping the “P” key, otherwise Photoshop will select the Pen tool.

02) Click-drag the Crop Marquee

When you first select the Crop tool, most people don’t know that you can click-drag in the image area to define the Crop (instead of adjusting the crop handles that appear around the image by default).

03) Crop, then Crop Again

After applying a crop, Photoshop automatically hides the crop marquee even though the Crop tool is still selected. If you want to use the Crop tool again, click in the image area to display the crop marquee or,  click-drag in the image area to define a crop.

04) Cropping to a Specific Ratio or File Size

With the Crop tool selected, choose Ratio from the Aspect Ratio/Crop Size drop-down menu in the Options bar and enter values to constrain the crop to a specific aspect ratio. Choose W x H x Resolution from the Aspect Ratio/Crop Size drop-down menu to enter specific values and crop to a specific image dimension. You can also choose from the preset values in the drop-down list (for either Aspect Ratio or Crop size) or, enter your own values and choose New Crop Preset to add the values to the drop-down.

05) Cropping to Another Image’s Dimensions (File Size)

To use the dimensions of one image to crop another image, select the document with the desired dimensions and select Front Image from the Aspect Ratio/Crop Size drop-down menu to auto-populate the width, height and resolution (or tap “I”). Then, switch to the document that needs to be cropped/resized and drag out the Crop marquee. When the crop is applied, the image will be resized to match the width, height, and resolution of the initial image. To save file size dimensions or aspect ratios (for reuse on future files) choose “New Crop Preset” from the Aspect Ratio/Crop Size drop-down menu.

Note: if an image needs to be resized when cropping, Photoshop uses the image interpolation option set in Preferences > General. The default setting, Bicubic  Automatic, enables Photoshop to chose the best resampling method based on the document type and whether the document is scaling up or down.

06) Setting One Dimension in the Crop Tool

If you need an image to be a certain height (4 inches for example) but want to keep the width flexible, choose  W x H x Resolution from the Aspect Ratio/Crop Size drop-down menu in the Options bar and enter “4in” for the height while leaving the width value empty.

07) Crop Options in Context Sensitive Menus

When using the Crop tool, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) within the Crop marquee enables quick access to the majority of options associated with the crop tool (including Reset Crop, Rotate Crop Box, Default Aspect Ratios, etc.).  Note: most tools in Photoshop have context sensitive menus designed to increase efficiency so be sure to give them a try.

08) Crop Tool Snaps to Edge

By default, the Crop Tool is set to “Snap To” the edges of the document. While the snapping behavior is useful, it can make it difficult to crop close to the edge of an image. To disable the snapping behavior, choose View > Snap To and toggle off (uncheck) Document Bounds. To temporarily disable this “Snap To” behavior, press and hold the Control key while dragging the Crop marquee near the edges of the document.  Note: there are additional options under View > Snap To including Grid, Guides, Layers, and Slices.

09) Cropping to a Selection in Photoshop

If a document has an active selection when the Crop tool is selected, Photoshop automatically matches the Crop marquee to the bounding rectangle of the selection. If you don’t want to crop to the selection, tapping the escape key will reset the crop to the image bounds (or as close to the image bounds as possible if there is an aspect ratio set for the Crop tool in the options bar). Repositioning the Crop marquee deselects the area. Note: Artboards don’t share this behavior.

10) Adding Canvas Using the Crop Tool

To use the Crop tool to add canvas to an image, drag the crop handles outside of the image area and apply the crop. To add transparency around the image (instead of filling the added canvas with the background color), convert the Background into a layer before using the Crop tool by selecting Layer > New > Layer From Background (or by clicking on the lock icon to the right of the word Background in the Layers panel).

11) Maintaining Flexibility when Cropping

To crop an image, yet retain the cropped area outside of the Crop marquee, uncheck Delete Cropped Pixels in the Options bar.

12) Reducing File Size by Deleting Content Outside of the Visible Image Area

To permanently delete information that extends beyond the visible image area (the canvas), select the Crop tool, check Delete Cropped Pixels in the Options bar, and tap Return (Mac) | Enter (Win). Photoshop previews any information that extends beyond the visible image area. Tap Return (Mac) | Enter (Win) again to apply the crop. Saving the document after cropping this way is permanent, so be sure that you won’t need to move/reposition/resize layers. Note: When working with Smart Objects, any extra image that extends beyond the visible canvas will not be deleted.

A second method would be to choose Select > Select All and then Image > Crop.

13) Straightening Images with the Crop Tool

When using the Crop tool’s Straighten option, the entire document (including all layers), are straightened. To straighten only a selected layer, use the Ruler tool.

14) Tool Presets

Tool Presets can increase our productivity by saving commonly used tool options.  After setting tool options in the Options bar, click the tool icon at the far left of the Options bar to display the Tool Presets Picker. Click the New Preset icon (the dog-eared page icon) to save your preset. The next time you need to use the tool with those settings, select it from the Tool Preset Picker.

15) Content Aware Cropping In Photoshop CC

When using the Crop tool, the Content Aware option can intelligently fill in transparent areas with computer generated “Content aware” information. The video below demonstrates how.

16) Using the Crop Tool in Photoshop CC

Discover tips and techniques for using the Crop tool in Photoshop in this free video (The Crop Tool), from Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics on Lynda.com.

 

 

17) Crop and Straighten Photos in Photoshop CC

To speed up scanning or photographing multiple images, it might be faster to scan them as a single document. Then, choose File > Automate > Crop and Straighten Photos to automate the “cutting apart” of the images into their own documents.

18) Using the Perspective Crop Tool in Photoshop CC

Discover tips and techniques for using the Perspective Crop tool in Photoshop in this free video (Using the Perspective Crop tool), from Photoshop CC 2015 Essential Training: The Basics on Lynda.com.

 

5:36 AM Permalink
2017/04/25

Creating Diptychs in Lightroom CC

Because of the aspect ratio of most displays, when creating a slideshow of my photography, I typically show a single image when it’s orientation is landscape, and two images when the orientation is vertical. Although it may be more work to find images that work well together, displaying two vertical images better fills the space, provides the opportunity  to show more images, and helps change the rhythm of the images in the presentation.

To create the diptychs, sort the images into pairs (I prefer using collections to do this). Then, in the Print module, create a template at the correct size using the Print Job panel (19.20 x 10.80 at 100 ppi for HD videos for example).

Select the images, and choose Print To File. Import the new diptychs into Lightroom, reorder as needed, move to the Slideshow module, and you’re on your way to a more interesting presentation of your work!

5:10 AM Permalink
2017/04/24

Chasing the Ice: Article in Create Magazine

Create magazine posted an insightful article with regards to my trip to Antarctica last year. Click here to read the article.

 

5:14 AM Permalink
2017/04/18

John Paul Caponigro on Blending Modes in Photoshop

I’m a huge fan of John Paul Caponigro and I just discovered an insightful article of his which explains how to isolate the effects of adjustment layers using blending modes in Photoshop. I would highly recommend that you take the time to check out the article here (The Beauty of Blending Modes), as well as the incredible wealth of information that he has on his site (johnpaulcaponigro.com)

5:07 AM Permalink
2017/04/17

Photography from Japan – Created in Adobe Spark

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in the CP+ event in Yokohama, Japan. Fortunately, I was able to extend my stay and visit a number of incredible locations in Kyoto and Tokyo.

This weekend, I created a Spark Page of my travels in preparation for my presentation at Photoshop World. I really appreciate how easy it is to make my collection in Lightroom, sync it with my mobile devices, and then layout my story using a beautifully designed template on my mobile device or desktop computer.

Click on the image below to view the images and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Depending on your internet speed, it might take a few minutes to load because I included a large number of images…

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