Unlinking Masks from Layers in Photoshop

Click on the link icon between the layer icon and the mask icon in the Layers panel to unlink the mask from the layer (allowing either to move independently of the other).

04_20_Link Maks

5:15 AM Permalink

Temporarily Disabling & Enabling Masks in Photoshop

Shift-click in the layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to temporarily disable the mask.

Click again on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to enable it.

For a vector mask, you must shift -click the thumbnail again to enable it.

You can also Control-click (Mac) / Right mouse -click (Win) on either type of mask in the Layers panel and choose to Enable or Disable a mask.

4:54 AM Permalink

Passenger Seat eBook Discounted for Earth Day

The electronic version of my book Passenger Seat – Creating a photographic project from conception through execution in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, is featured as part of Pearson’s Earth Day sale, starting today!


Use the discount code EARTH to get 45% off.

Offer good from April 18 through April 22, 2016.
3:00 PM Permalink

Vector Masks Visibility in Photoshop

Clicking on the Vector mask icon in the Layers Panel will toggle the path’s visibility.

When the path is visible, drawing a path with the Pen tool (or a Shape tool with the tool mode in the Options bar set to Path), will add to the mask.

When the path is hidden, drawing with the Pen tool (or a Shape tool with the tool mode in the Options bar set to Path) creates a new Work Path.

5:04 AM Permalink

Embedding Video into an Adobe Slate

For those of you who haven’t been introduced to Adobe Slate, I have to tell you that I absolutely love this simple, yet elegant storytelling app from Adobe. And now, you can embed video from either YouTube or Vimeo as a part of your story!

Click the plus icon and select Video.


Copy and paste the embed code from YouTube or Vimeo. Note that the embed code is different from the Web Address (URL). On whichever site you used to post your video, look for a button that says “embed”. In the case of YouTube, click the Share button (under the video), and then click Embed. Copy the code, return to the Add an Embedded Video window in Adobe Slate, and paste the embed code for your video.

04_01SlateEmbed copy

FYI: in this example, the embed code is longer than what appears in the window.

That’s all there is to it, your video is now embedded into your story.


Click here to log on and get started with Adobe Slate.

5:03 AM Permalink

“Creating a Photographic Project from Conception Through Execution”  In-Depth Workshop at Photoshop World

04_11PS World600If you’re going to be attending Photoshop World, Las Vegas, I hope you will join me for an in-depth workshop – Passenger Seat: Creating a Photographic Project from Conception Through Execution. We’ll learn what it takes to define and execute a photographic project. I’ll focus on the techniques and workflows that enabled me to publish my most recent book and body of work: Passenger Seat. You’ll discover how to organize your personal project starting from the initial idea, continuing through planning and executing the shoots, mastering the post-capture workflow, to delivering the project for publication and distribution as a book, slideshow, exhibit, or social media. Defining who you want to be as an artist and what you want to create will give you permission to emerge – allowing discovery and imagination to flourish.

This in-depth workshop will be held from 12-3 on Monday, July 18th 2016. I hope to see you there!

5:10 AM Permalink

Previewing Images Full Screen in Bridge

Tapping the spacebar displays all selected files in Bridge in Full Screen Mode with a dark grey background. This is a great way to quickly review files without having to open them in Photoshop. Tap escape to return to Bridge.

Command + L (Mac) / Control + L (Win) displays selected images in Slideshow Mode and automatically transitions between images every five seconds using a dissolve. Chose View > Slideshow Options to access additional Display, Slide, and Transition options.

5:06 AM Permalink

The Art of Photoshop Compositing Course on Lynda.com

Even if you’re not a member of Lynda.com, a portion of each of my video courses are available for free. If you’re interested in Learning about Compositing, here are four free videos from my The Art of Photoshop Compositing course:

What makes a good composite?

A compelling story

Compositional considerations

Creating your own image bank

The complete course is available for paid members. Click here for more information or to start your free trial.

5:07 AM Permalink

Double Check the Layer Mask in Photoshop

When working on intricately composited, multi-layered documents, I often find it useful to check each of the layer masks before finalizing the image. To do this, Option -click (Mac) / Alt -click (Win) on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to display the mask in the image area. With the mask visible, check to see if there are any unwanted or awkward transitional areas that might not have been visible in the complex composite (a sharp edge from a selection or a small area unknowingly left unpainted, for example).

6:04 AM Permalink

Introduction to Photo Compositing Course on Lynda.com


2014-11_LDCIntroLREven if you’re not a member of Lynda.com, a portion of each of my video courses are available for free. If you’re interested in Learning about Compositing, here are two free videos from my Introduction to Photo Compositing course:

Unifying images through subject and theme 

Unifying images through composition

The complete course is available for paid members. Click here for more information or to start your free trial.


5:29 AM Permalink

Update! Adding Adobe Slate Projects to Portfolio

Update! Update! I didn’t know that you could create your own iFrame code and embed your Slate projects into your Portfolio site (one of the many drawbacks of not knowing how to code), because you can, you just need to write the iFrame code yourself. But since I can’t write code, a little birdie showed me this site that will do it for me:


First, you need to get the URL for your Slate (in my case it’s https://slate.adobe.com/a/7ZLrG/).

Then, go to the 7thspace site (you will need to have Adobe Flash installed to use this tool), and paste your URL in the iFrame Generator in the iFrame URL window.


Click “Generate iFrame” to create the code you need!


Back in Portfolio, select the project or page that you want to add the Slate project to. Click Embed Media on the floating remote.


Paste the iFrame code in the Embed Media window. In this case, I enlarged the dimensions (width and height) to reveal more of my Slate in the window.


Here is code that you can start with if you know what you want to customize:

<iframe src=”https://slate.adobe.com/a/7ZLrG/” style=”border:0px #FFFFFF none;” name=”myiFrame” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”1” marginheight=”0px” marginwidth=”0px” height=”1200px” width=”1800px”></iframe>

I’m sure that the team would like to make this easier, but in the mean time, I wanted to make sure that you knew there was a workaround.

5:47 AM Permalink

Adobe Portfolio – Day 10 of the 10 Day Challenge 

Congratulations, you’ve made it to day ten of the Portfolio challenge! First we’re going to preview our portfolio to make sure that everything is working as it should be, and then we will publish it to the world. At the bottom of the screen, click the Preview option.


Use the navigation to click through your galleries, projects, pages, and links. If you see anything that you need to change, click Back to Edit and make the necessary changes.

10BackToEditThen, click Preview again and click the other preview icons to see how your portfolio will display across devices.


Once you’ve confirmed that everything is working as you want it to, click Back to Edit.

Click Update Live Site. Don’t worry you can still make changes to your Portfolio even after your site is live.


Fantastic, your Portfolio is live!

To make additional changes, choose Continue to Editor to look at your site, click View your Portfolio.

Thank you so much for participating in this ten-day challenge. I certainly learned some new features this week and hope that you have too.

Please leave your URL in the comments below so that I can visit your portfolio and look at your work.

If you have feature requests, please post them here so that the product team will see them.

Thank you again!


4:48 AM Permalink

Adobe Portfolio – Day 9 of the 10 Day Challenge

Welcome to day nine of the Portfolio challenge – we are almost to the finish line! Today we are going to take a look at ways to take advantage of Portfolio’s advanced settings.

Edit Settings. In the left margin, click the Settings Icon.


Landing Page. Your landing page is your opportunity to make your best impression. I kept my portfolio simple with only a single gallery and use it as my landing page so that viewers of my site immediately see and gain insight into the type of work I create. Of course you can set your landing page to be a different page (like your contact page) or specific portfolio – it’s up to you how you guide your viewer though your site. You will also want to set a default page to be displayed if a page can’t be found.


Analytics. If you want to use Google Analytics to track visitors to your portfolio, enter your tracking ID.

Use this link for step by step instructions for finding your tracking ID.


Domain Name. Every Portfolio user has a unique URL (username.myportfolio.com). You can simply use your default user name or modify it (jkost.myportfolio.com or julieanne.myportfolio.com for example), and be done with it.

Or, if you want to get more advanced, you can use a custom domain name (which you will need to purchase and point to the Adobe Portfolio servers). Custom domains can give you improved exposure on search engines, add a personal touch to your site, and are easier to promote (jkost.net might be easier for my viewers to remember than jkost.myportfolio.com). To use a custom domain, follow the instructions here to make sure that it’s pointing to the Adobe servers. Note: modifying your domain’s DNS settings has to be done through your DNS provider, not Adobe Portfolio.


Search Optimization. This is where you want to add information to help search engines get to know your site and its contents. Be sure to add the website title, a description of the site, and meta tags that will help search engines find you.


Favicon. You want to select an image/icon that best represents your work or brand.  The image needs to be square and look good really small (but larger than 16 x16 pixels) because it’s going to appear as a little image/icon in the browser tab when people visit your portfolio.


Web Clip Icon. You want to select an image/icon that best represents your work or brand. The image needs to be square (the corners will be rounded automatically), and look good fairly small (but larger than 180 x180 pixels). When someone saves your website to their mobile home screen as a quick link to your portfolio, this image/icon will appear (as if your site was an app).


Password Protection. If you need to make the content of your website private, then enter a password. Password options can be set globally (for the whole site or for specific galleries, pages, or projects).


Unpublish Portfolio. If you ever need to temporarily hide your portfolio, you can choose to post a temporary message (a holding page) or, you can remove it completely by clicking unpublish.


Manage Account. Here is a direct link to your Adobe Account if you ever need to review your information  (change password, communication preferences, etc.).

That’s it for today! If you have any additional projects and pages that you want to make, be sure to get them posted as tomorrow we will wrap things up by previewing, publishing, and sharing our Portfolios!

5:02 AM Permalink

Adobe Portfolio – Day 8 of the 10 Day Challenge

Today I want to show you how easy it is to change the look and feel of your site by changing the layout. At this point, I’m sure that most of  you are happy with the design that you are working with but sometimes its a good idea to try out different looks to reinforce what is (or what is not) working for you. Then, we’ll spend a little more time with the floating remote to help speed up your editing.

Change the Layout. It’s easy to preview your work (the content of your portfolio) in any of Portfolio’s five different Layouts. When you switch from one layout to another, a separate version of your Portfolio will be saved. Only the contents of your Portfolio site will be carried between the layouts. This enables you to modify the styles within each layout independently of one another. And, at any point, you can return to the current version of any layout or, reset any of the layouts to their default settings.

Click the Switch Layouts icon in the left margin of the Portfolio editor.


I started creating my Portfolio site using the Sawdust layout, so I’ll choose Matthias to see the difference. (Sorry, a little update here – my options are different because I have previously gone through all of the layouts.) If you haven’t selected the Layout before, you should choose to “Use this Layout”. If you had previously selected the layout, chose  “Use original layout” to start with the default Matthias layout, or choose  “Use customized version” if you had previously selected and modified the layout and want to use the modified version as your starting point.


I like the overall look, especially the way that rolling over the project covers displays their name and year on white. (FYI – the fourth project’s cover is a single JPEG file that displays two images. That’s why you see two images.)


Click the Switch layouts icon in the left margin and try Lina. I still prefer Sawdust for my Portfolio.


Returning to your modified layout. If and when you decide to return to the layout that you originally selected and then modified over the past eight days, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you choose to “Use your customized version” when returning to your layout. Selecting the customized version will apply all of the modified attributes and styles (such as text styles in the navigation area as well as projects and pages) that you applied during the previous days of the challenge. WARNING: If you select Use Original Layout, Portfolio will reset all customized attributes and styles setting that you had previously applied.


Using the Floating Remote. Now that you’ve gotten more comfortable working with Portfolio’s editor, I want to point out that using the floating remote can often be a quicker way to edit the contents or attributes of your site. You’ve probably noticed by now that depending on what part of the layout is being edited, the contents of the floating remote will display different options. More often than not, I find this to be a faster way to navigate and make changes (similar to using the context sensitive menus or keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop). Plus, I really like the way that the floating remote highlights the area associated with the option (by adding a diagonal stripe) so that you know what you’re going to be editing if you select that option.

Here are a few options that you might not have run across thus far. When you are on the main page of your portfolio, you can use the floating remote set to Customize to modify the:

  • Page Background – add a background image to the landing page (use Global Background to apply a background to all pages.
  • Website Container – customize the website container and layout options (including the position of the navigation).
  • Project Covers – modify number of columns, gutters, and spacing.
  • Logo – quickly change the site title and add site caption if desired.
  • Navigation – access and change nav styles and spacing.
  • Footer – customize text style and margins, width of footer information and social media icons.
  • Global Background – add a background image to your site.


Note: Some of these options differ depending on the selected layout.

Click the Basic option to change the colors schemes and default font used throughout the site.


When you click on a project in the navigation area, or are editing the content of a page, other options specific to that task appear in the floating remote enabling you to modify:


  • Edit Info – edits the information about the projects such as the title, date, description, custom field, and creative fields.
  • Edit project content – displays additional options including uploading files, adding images from Lightroom or Creative Cloud, adding text, and embedding media. When you finish changing the contents of the project, choose Update project to apply the changes.
  • Page Background –  adds a background image to the landing page (use Global Background to apply a background to all pages.
  • Project Container – modify the margins and spacing for the project.
  • Project Header – change the style and content of the project container, title, creative fields, custom field, and project date.
  • Other Projects – enabling this option allows you to control how many other projects are displayed at the bottom of the project.
  • Back to Top – customize the footer area of the site.


At first all of the customizable options can be overwhelming, but remember, you don’t have to customize any of the layout styles or other default settings. All you need to do is add your content. Then, as you get more familiar with the interface, or when you decide that you want to customize any aspect of your Portfolio site, you can.

Excellent! That’s all that we need to cover for today. Tomorrow we’ll master the advanced settings for security, metadata etc.  Have a great night.

5:26 AM Permalink

Adobe Portfolio – Day 7 of the 10 Day Challenge

Welcome back. Today we’re going to learn how to embed video in a project or on a page. If you haven’t ever created a video, maybe this is a good day for you to discover how easy it is to create a slideshow of your work in Lightroom (and save it as a video). Here’s a link to the “Publish a Slideshow” video that I created for the Lightroom CC Getting Started series. Or, if you have no interest whatsoever in video, then take the time to upload another project of your best images.  : )

Portfolio currently supports embedding video from the following sources: Vimeo, YouTube, Adobe TV, Giphy, Blip.tv, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Bandcamp, Scribd, Google Maps, Wufoo, SlideShare, Prezi, Sketchfab, Issuu. This means that you don’t upload video directly to Portfolio but instead, use the embed code from the site that hosts your video.

You can add your video to a project or to a page.

To import video on a page. You can use a page that you have already created, or make a new page. In this example, I’m going to create a dedicated page that  will display slideshows that I’ve created and posted to YouTube, but you can add video to any page (for example, the contact page that we created earlier in the week).

To get started, click the Add Content icon in the left margin.


Choose Page.


Name the page and click Create Page.


Click “Find files to upload” to add an image to your page, or choose “Skip this step” (you can always add images later). Portfolio creates a new, blank page.

On the floating remote, click Embed Media.


In the Embed Media window, paste the embed code for your video and click Embed.


Note that the embed code is different from the Web Address. On whichever site you used to post your video, look for a button that says “embed”. In the case of YouTube, click the Share button (under the video), and then click Embed. Copy the code in the space below, return to the Embed Media window in Portfolio, and paste the embed code for your video.


Use the floating remote to add additional videos, images or text (to add a caption, for example). When finished, click Update Page, and then Return to Home.

The page will have the same look as other pages that you have previously added. To make changes to the style, click the pencil in the navigation area and choose Customize. To reorder the Page, in the navigation area, click the Manage Content icon and drag the grabber handle to reposition.

To import video within a project.

In the Navigation area, click on the project in which you want to embed video.


Use the floating remote and choose Edit Project Content.


Use the floating remote and choose Embed Media.


In the Embed Media window, paste the embed code for your video, and click Embed.


Note that the embed code is different from the Web Address. On whichever site you used to post your video, look for a button that says “embed”. In the case of YouTube, click the Share button (under the video), and then click Embed. Copy the code in the space below, return to the Embed Media window in Portfolio, and paste the embed code for your video.


Click the pencil icon next to the video to reorder, add a caption, change width and alignment, resize margins, replace, or delete the embedded video.


Use the floating remote to add more videos, images, and so on.

When finished, click Update Project, and then Return to Home.

And that’s a wrap for today’s challenge. Have a great rest of your day and I’ll see you back here again tomorrow!

5:05 AM Permalink