#CreativeFriday – Blending masks in Photoshop CC

Masks in Photoshop CC are extremely handy, and will give you lots of control when applying controlled adjustments to your images. This post is set to address and give an example of how to re-use a mask within another mask.

Let us take this image. To get the “pop” in the image, I would like the monk’s robe on the right hand side to have the same colour and vibrancy/saturation as the monk on the left.

1.Initial imageTo do this, there are a few steps that we can make, this will also show off a way to re-use a masks selection.

First things are to make a selection of the monks robe on the right hand side. For this, I’ve just used the Quick selection brush.

2.intial selectionAs soon as this is complete, a new Layer Adjustment to adjust the Brightness/Contrast is added. This adjustment will bring the robes to the same luminosity as the monk’s robe on the left.

3.adjust brightness and contrastNow that the robe’s are up to the same luminance, we can look to increase the Vibrancy/Saturation and make sure they are at the same level, to give the maximum pop in the image. The monk’s robe on the left has been selected with the Quick selection brush.

4. vibrance selection

At this point, we can create an Adjustment layer for this robe and increase the Vibrancy/Saturation.

5. apply vibrance and saturation

You can see that the adjustment only affects the robe on the left. We now need to make this reflect in the robe on the right as well.

Rather than re-selecting the robe on the right, we might as well re-use the existing mask from the previous adjustment, then blend this into this adjustment. To do this, hold the CMD (Mac)/ CTRL (Pc) down and click on the mask of the layer that you would like to use, then hold down SHIFT+CMD(Mac)/CTRL(PC) down and click on the next mask (in this case, first click the right robe, then use Shift click the left robe). This will in effect create a selection from the mask and append a selection of the next mask to it.

At this point, you will see both selections appear on the image.

Because this new selection is newer than the one that we already have for the Vibrancy/Saturation Adjustment, which was copied last, this selection can be removed.

6. remove old mask

To do this, make sure the correct layer is selected (you can do this whilst the selection is active), then right click on the mask and choose “Delete Layer Mask” (this will remove the mask). Then click new layer mask (marked in red below)

7. New MaskNow the new mask will have the selection for the monk on the left, as well as the same selection used for the Monk on the right, but will match the mask which is being used for the Brightness and Contrast adjustment layer. Of course, the additional benefit is that both the vibrancy/saturation and the Brightness and contrast.

You can see that the red robes look great and really give the image “pop” against the light stone walls and grey steps.

image with pop

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#CreativeFriday – Adobe UK’s Photography Jam

Last month on a sunny evening in Shoreditch, London, Adobe UK held it’s first Photography JAM. The idea of the event was to invite 10 local Photographers to take part in a challenge, as well as present and inspire to a live audience, the new and improved tools in Photoshop and Lightroom as part of the Creative Cloud Photography plan. We also engaged some local talent and had talks from a range of luminary speakers including photographer and director Sophie Ebrard, Photoshop expert Gavin Hoey, and fine art, fashion and conceptual artist Bella Kotak, all of whom shared their tips and tricks on how to make your photographs even better. To catch all the content on demand, head over to our YouTube channel.

While all the action unfolded, the contested challenge was taking place behind the scenes. We the 10 photographers to take to the streets of Shoreditch and capture shots that linked back to the following quote:

“What makes photography a strange invention is that it’s primary raw materials are light and time”

They then had just two hours to create a unique photo story using Adobe Spark.

After a nerve-wracking afternoon, London-based graphic designer Michael Goldrei and South African food photographer Brett Field were chosen as the finalists.

Michael’s work, entitled The Dark Green Line, looked at the painted green strip which leads from Old Street station to Moorfields Eye Hospital. Michael followed the line from the tube station to Moorfields, photographing both patients and staff along the way, asking them for their experiences of darkness and light and how changes to their sight has influenced the way they see the world.

You can check out Michael’s full entry here and see more of his work on his website.

Unfortunately, there could only be one winner and it was Brett Field took the crown. We were lucky enough to catch up with Brett to discuss his work, future plans and what winning the Photography Jam means to him.

Tell us about your submission – what was the inspiration behind it?

The manipulation of time and light. Time and light were the key aspects to the brief so I set out to distort reality by manipulating them. Using a glass prism held in front of my lens, I was able to refract and reflect images and/or light back into the lens and my shot.

This essentially placed components of reality into the final image that were not within the original frame resulting in a narrative of distorted reality. Having multiple images from the same moment in time in the same frame was a distortion of light and time.Image 2How did it feel to win the Photography Jam event?

The atmosphere was amazing. The contestant comradery and audience feedback was even better. To win such a unique competition when up against such an extraordinary array of talent was a career highlight.Image 3What are your career plans for the near future?

I am currently writing a food photography book due for release early 2017. I would also love to host an exhibition of my Fine Art photography.

Seeing my work printed and displayed vulnerably for anyone to see is what photography is all about. Exhibitions are the perfect forum to achieve this.

Are you planning to compete in more events like the Photography Jam?

Absolutely. I am competitive in nature and love creative challenges like Photography Jam bring.

I think competition forces you out of your comfort zone. My comfort zone makes me uncomfortable, as only when I am out of it am I truly progressing.


You can view Brett’s winning Spark page in its entirety here. You can also keep up to date on his latest work on Twitter and Instagram.

We also wanted to recognise the other participants as well, as there was some amazing work created in such a short period of time, far exceeding the expectation that we had envisaged.

You can check out all the other incredible Photography Jammer’s entries by clicking on their names below:

We look forward to hosting more events like this, so please keep an ear to the ground and maybe you can be part of the next exciting series.




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#CreativeFriday – Upload and Edit your RAW images direct to Lightroom mobile (iOS)

We have been hearing from photographers, especially those out in the field when travelling, that it would be great to have the ability to take the SD card from the camera and edit RAW files, on the go with Lightroom mobile, without having to go back to the studio.

This remote workflow if finally here for iOS, and it’s great !

You will need to get a card reader, like the SD card reader to ightening adapter shown below.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.14.04

All you need to do is to put the SD card into the adapter and plug into the iOS device. Upon doing so, iOS will recognise the card exists, and will ask if you would like to import images to the Camera Roll.

RAW Images on your card are displayed on the import screen. Images marked in Green already exist, the ones in Blue have been selected for import on this occasion and those images without any ticks are not imported.

Import from Card Reader


Once “Import” is clicked, Import All or just selected can be chosen.

Import Selected


Once the import has completed, the import will ask if you would like to keep or remove the images on the memory card. I personally keep the images, then, depending where I am, back up the images to a separate drive using Lightroom desktop on my computer (I always keep an additional back up at this point, then I’ll remove the images from my card).

Import Complete

In Lightroom mobile on the iOS device, I would typically create a new collection (which will sync to Lightroom desktop automatically, most likely when I next have a WiFi connection).

New Collection

Once the collection has been created, clicking the … (three dots) by the side of it, will allow you to “Add Photos”.

Add RAW Files

Add Photos will take you to the camera roll, where the RAW images will be waiting for you. To import them, just tap on each one (each image will have a blue edge to show it’s been selected), then choose import.

View RAW files in Cam Roll

Lightroom Mobile will import them into it’s database and then show them in the collection. Once imported, I tend to remove the images from the Camera Roll (for space reasons).

LR Mobile RAW

To edit the RAW image in Lightroom mobile, just select the image as you normally would do.

Single RAW Image

As soon as the edit has been completed, and you move to the next photo, the RAW file and any adjustments will be synced to Lightroom desktop.



To determine where the images from Lightroom mobile are transferred to on your desktop, you can configure a folder on your destination catalog, under the Lightroom preferences / Lightroom mobile.

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Correct the Lens Profiles

The correction of lens profiles are also part of this update, and work the same way as on the desktop version of Lightroom. To turn these corrections on, you need to make sure it’s configured. Within Lightroom Mobile you can get to the app preferences by clicking the LR banner on the upper left hand corner.


This will open the preferences panel, where you need to scroll down, then select import.

Corre Pref

Under import, you can then turn on the Lens Profile for RAW files.


Ability to urn on/off the profile corrections on each image, is available from the “Edit” option, then selecting the Lens Profile icon in the adjustments list.

ProfileCorrection combo



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#CreativeFriday – Face Aware Liquify – Photoshop 2015.5

You may have seen the great new Face Aware Liquify feature in the last update to Photoshop CC. It’s a wonderful tool, and designed to help with your image manipulation around the face and remove the complexities that existed around working with faces previsouly.

Let’s take this image. I met this father and son in Bhutan a few years ago and I thought would make a great image. The only issue is that, whilst taking the shot, the son is looking away from the camera.

The second and last shot that I have is the following

On this occasion, they are both looking at the camera, but not smiling.

This is a great real world usecase for the new Face Aware liquify in Photoshop CC 2015.5. Face Aware Liquify first made an appearance in the mobile application Photoshop Fix.

The Face Aware liquify is available under the Filter / Liquify menu option (i’m using this on a Smart Object, which gives me a way to apply the effect, then to change it if required, or to fine tune, all non destructively of course).

FixSmile-FaceAwareLiquifyOnce inside the Liquify tool, with the Face selected. Photoshop will automatically recognise all faces, and intelligently search and find the eyes, nose, mouth and face edges, then allow you to re-configure using the sliders on the right hand side.

Just a quick movement on the smile tool, either directly on the picture, or by using the slides on the right hand side panel, will correct this image and put a slight smile on the both people.

SmileFixedIt’s a very simple process and takes a couple of minutes. It’s worth an explore to see what else is achievable, you might event want to create something like the following.

Young handsome man in glasses smiling

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#CreativeFriday – Photoshop 2015.5 – Match Font

Inside Photoshop CC 2015.5 a new feature for designers was introduced, Match Font. The idea of match font is to help and identify and find similar fonts from an image or any kind of capture that has no information about the font that was used, then to provide similar fonts for you to use in your own designs. This feature has the ability to save huge amounts of time to create your masterpiece. Let’s take this image below, which I grabbed from my phone camera.


To identify the font and provide a list of similar matched fonts, just place a marque around the font or letters required and let Photoshop CC 2015.5 do the work. In this case ‘ZOO’ is marked and the menu item Type / Match font is selected.


Once ‘Match Font’ runs, the similar fonts will be shown. These fonts can be from Typekit, as well as fonts on your system. If the font that is similar is on Typekit, and it’s not been downloaded to your system yet, then click the cloud download icon and it will be installed on the fly, directly into the desktop applications (without the need to close anything down).


Once the font has been downloaded, it will be available without closing down Photoshop CC.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 21.18.39

This feature is a welcome addition to anyone that finds a font in the real world, but would otherwise be tricky to identify, saving you huge amounts of wasted time, and allowing you to get on with your creativity.


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#CreativeFriday – Adobe Stock Creative Cloud Update (2015.x)

You might not have noticed, but in the last Creative Cloud update, Adobe Stock received an update as well. Adobe Stock now has deeper integration from the outset, both in the desktop apps, as well as from the browser. This release really streamlines the Stock usage and licensing process.

1. If you are searching for Stock Assets, you might have noticed on the browser view the open in…


When engaging with the asset, you now you have “Open Preview in …” as well as “Open in..”. The top Open in is from the last session and will open the Stock asset (either Licensed or Preview) directly into the last application that used in the last session. The Open In at the bottom of the panel, will open the asset in an application of your choice. This means there is no more downloading to the desktop and manually placing into your canvas/timeline of the desktop app.

Also, you still have the ability to load the asset direct to the Creative Cloud Library from this panel as well.

2. If you prefer to use the save to Creative Cloud Library, the asset (either preview or licensed) will automatically sync to the Library that was selected on the browser, and into the library panel with the Desktop applications.


In previous release you had to license the asset from the Library panel itself. In this update, you can now right click on the layer that contains the preview/watermarked stock asset, and from within the pop-up menu, the asset can be licensed.


Now licensing Adobe Stock imagery only takes a single step to license an image, regardless of if anything has been adjusted (using Layers, Effects, Adjustments etc). If lots of Stock imagery has been used across many layers to complete your composite or artwork , then this licensing feature will save you heaps of time.

Did you see the Make A Masterpiece series yet ?


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#CreativeFriday – Content Aware Crop in Photoshop 2015.5

Well big news this week with the launch of the new update to Photoshop CC 2015.5 !

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 10.01.27

Content aware crop is a super feature that I think will save lots of time when working on crop correction with some of your images. Take this image below.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 10.06.37

This shot was taken in Mongolia at a Buzkashi, at one of the Nadaam’s outside of Ulgi (Western Mongolia). This event is fast paced and the scene is changing every second, so grabbing the perfect shot is challenging. I also shot this on a 90mm lens, so we were pretty close to the action.

One of my philosophies with photography is trying to fill the frame with activity and elements of the scene, in turn, my images tend to be quite tight to the edges (not to tight of course). In this case, the image horizon is not level, and neither are the horses. In this case I would normally leave the image alone and not do anything with it, as fixing it would take to long (probably more than 5 or 10 minutes, as well taking a few steps to correct the errors). However, with the new content aware crop tool, things now are managed for me and takes seconds, with just a single step.

When the image is rotated and the crop previewed (without the addition of content aware) the problem is evident.

The tail of the horse on the right hand side will be chopped off, as well as the nose of the left hand side horse. As soon as the Content-Aware check box is turned on, the canvas will be extended to accommodate the original aspect ratio and Photoshop CC will automatically manage any empty spaces that have been created.


Also Photoshop CC 2015.5 comes with performance and quality improvements to the content aware family, so the results should be significantly superior than before.


Final image, the crop is complete and the image is completely useable in just a few seconds of work.

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Ankur Patar Recreates Rembrandt Masterpiece with Adobe Stock | Adobe Creative Cloud

Ankur Patar is a digital artist from India. Watch as he re-­creates Rembrandt’s stolen masterpiece The Storm on the Sea of Galilee entirely out of Adobe Stock, without ever leaving Photoshop. Learn more about the Make a Masterpiece campaign: http://adobe.ly/1YByHLk
See more inspiring work at the Adobe Stock – Make a Masterpiece website.
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#CreativeFriday – 3D Look’s in Photoshop CC from Adobe Capture

Adobe Capture on the iPhone/iPad and Android phones has supported 3D Look /LUT creation for a while, but recently Photoshop CC was enhanced to be able to consume this content for application to a video(s) or still image(s).

Adobe Capture is a lovely app which allows capture of real world textures, patterns, colours as well as a colour spectrum for 3D looks/LUT’s from anything that you point the phone camera at. Below is a screen shot of some tones captured from a series of regular household items.


Because Adobe capture is configured to automatically sync to the Creative Cloud and then to the desktop apps (in this case MyLibrary), any assets that are created, will be available in Photoshop CC (in this case), almost immediately, marked below in the bottom red box.

PS Library Look

Once in Photoshop CC, it can be added to an image or video, really quickly.

Images. To use on an image, just click on the Look in the Library and it will be applied as a layer to the layer stack.

3d lut image examples

When used on video, just click the Look and a new layer with the Look will be applied, but you will most likely want to drag it out of the group, into it’s own layer, depending how it’s going to be used.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.03.56

I think that this support for Colour Looks’/Lut’s has got a lot of mileage to be very creative on making these types of assets for use on video or images in Photoshop CC.
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#CreativeFriday – Lightroom CC 2015.6 – Guided Upright

Lightroom 6.6 and Lightroom CC 2015.6 was were released this week. The post is focused on the new features that are now shipping with Lightroom CC 2015.6, which is the new Guided Upright tool.


I’ve found that working with the tool for my recent film scans is incredible (as well as for my digital work of course). The reason why i’ve focused this blog on traditional film, is that it’s quite challenging to get the images corrected without having to head over to Photoshop CC, especially when working with complex angles. Typically i will head to Photoshop CC and use the “Adaptive wide Angle filter”, but does cost me time when i have many images to process.

Let is take this image, of this old school scanned negative


As this Helter Skelter is quite tall, the angle of the photo was taken from below, therefore the converging verticals are to strong.

2.5 copy

Selecting the “Auto” feature in the Transform panel, does’t fix the issue, just rotates the image.

So, on this occasion, i’m going to select the new “Guided Upright” tool, marked in red (Notice the tool has be taken from the left hand side of the Transform panel). Once the tool is moved over the image, a loupe will appear, this loupe will give you more precision when selecting the areas that need to be corrected.

in this case, i am going to use the sign on the Helter Skelter and drag two horizontal lines (using the top and bottom of the sign only), as well as two vertical lines on each of the sides. This should give me the right perspective.



To set this up, position the Loupe on the image and select the edges that will help control the perspective/converging verticals. Just click on the image and drag a guide out, in this case the verticals are added first (but there is no right and wrong way to do this). Also, adding one guide will do nothing, you will need the opposite to create the correction.

As you can see above, the result is very impressive. You will also notice, the “Constrain Crop” is turned on, this means that the crop will be applied automatically.

You can see below, when the “Constrain Crop” is turned off, in conjunction with the scale slider, you can re-scale the image in Lightroom. The other options here are the X offset and Y offset sliders, these are used to re-position the image, left/right and top/bottom.


If, once the edit is completed, it needs to be re-edited, then just re-click on the guided tool, and the correction can be altered.

This is a super addition to Lightroom within the Creative Cloud (including the Photography plan) and there are very many pictures that I am sure will benefit from this tool.

For more details about Lightroom 6.6 and Lightroom CC 2015.6 (including camera support and bug fix details), please head over to the Lightroom Blog, Lightroom CC 2015.6/6.6, Camera Raw 9.6.

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