Changing Layer Opacity while Placing Documents in Photoshop CC

To help with the placement/alignment/scale of an object that is being placed (File > Place Embedded and/ or File > Place Linked), the placed layer’s Opacity, Fill, and Blend Mode can be modified in the Layers panel. Note: a layer’s Opacity, Fill and Blend Mode can also be modified while being transformed (Edit > Free Transform).

5:33 AM Permalink

Changing Layer Effects Global Lighting Default Settings in Photoshop CC

To change the default Angle and Altitude for the Global Light feature (which is used by several of the Layer Effects / Styles), close all documents, then select Layer > Layer Style > Global Light and make your desired changes. These new setting will become your new defaults.

5:25 AM Permalink

Adding Layer Styles (Effects) to Multiple Layers in Photoshop CC

To copy and paste Layer Effects (Styles) from one Layer to another,  Control (Mac) | right -click (Win) the “fx” icon on the Layers panel and select Copy Layer Style from the context sensitive menu. Then, select the layer(s) that need the Layer Style applied and Control (Mac) | right -click (Win) to the right of the layer name in the Layers panel and select Paste Layer Style.

Or, it might be easier to place all of the layers into a Group and then add the Layer Style to the Group (instead of adding the Layer Style to each layer). That way, if you have to make changes to the Layer Style, you only have to  make the change to the Layer Style on the Group.

I the example below, I put all of the layers that needed the same Layer Effect into the “Fish” Layer Group.

Because the Layer Style was applied to the “Fish” Layer Group, the Layer Style is automatically applied to all three layers included in the Group. Notice how the large “fish” on the left has a gradient and pattern overlay while the two other “fish” (whose layers aren’t included in the group) do not.

Any layers that I add to that Group will automatically have the Layer Effect Applied.

layer Styles are automatically applied as additional layers are added to the group.

Here, all of the layers that make up all three of the “fish” have been added to the “Fish” Group, so they all have the same gradient and pattern overlay (because Layer Styles applied to a Group are automatically applied as additional layers as they are added to the group).

One word of caution: if you have layers within the Group that overlap one another, Photoshop is going to act as if all of the layers within the Group are merged and then applies the Layer Style. In the illustration below, see how repositioning the two shapes in the Layer Group so that they overlap creates a very different result than when the Layer effects are added to each individual layer.

Even though the three Seaweed layers are within the group, each layer has it's own Layer style applied and we get the same results that we would if the layers were not with in a group

In this example,the same layer Style is applied to each plant layer.


layer style

In this example, the Layer Style is applied to the Layer Group. Notice how it appears as if the three plant layers are merged before the layer style is applied.

5:17 AM Permalink

Moving and Duplicating Layer Effects and Styles in Photoshop CC

To move Layer Effects from one layer to another, drag the fx icon (or the word Effects). To copy Layer Effects from one layer to another, Option -drag  (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the fx icon (or the word Effects).

To move an individual Layer Effect from one layer to another, drag the name of the individual effect (Stroke, Drop Shadow etc.). Add the Option  (Mac) | Alt  (Win) key to copy the individual effect from one layer to another.

5:22 AM Permalink

Displaying Layer Effects in Photoshop CC

When Layer Effects are applied to a layer, the effects are displayed in a list under the layer in the Layers panel. Depending on how many effects are applied, as well as how many layers have these effects, the Layers panel can quickly become crowded.

To collapse the Layer Effects stack, in the Layers panel, click the disclosure triangle to the right of the fx icon.

To collapse all Layer Effects, Option-click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the disclosure triangle to the right of the fx icon.

To  collapse Layer Effects when they’re added, from the Layers panel fly-out menu, select Panel Options and uncheck Expand New Effects.

5:21 AM Permalink

Adobe Stock Contributor Portal 

Last week, both Lightroom and Bridge launched upload functionality for the Adobe Stock Contributor workflow.

In Adobe Bridge CC, drag JPEG files from the Content area directly to the Preview area to upload your images. You can then finalize your submission using the online Adobe Stock Contributor portal by clicking “Go to Adobe Stock” in the Publish Panel.


From Lightroom CC, use Publish Services to publish images. Click on the Adobe Stock service, drag images into the  collection, and click Publish. Then, use the online Adobe Stock Contributor portal to tag and finalize your submission.


Here are additional resources that you may find informative:

 A step by step tutorial demonstrating how to upload content to Adobe Stock

A step by step tutorial demonstrating how to use the Contributor portal on Adobe Stock (if you prefer to upload directly).

Learn the tips that will increase your chances of being successful selling photography, video, and vector design work through Adobe Stock’s Contributor program.

And general help for the Stock Contributor process.


5:55 AM Permalink

The Clone Stamp and Healing Brush in Photoshop CC 

While working on images from Antarctica, I used the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush constantly, but found it distracting to see the sampling point icon each time I tapped with my pressure sensitive pen. While I realize this might otherwise be helpful, because I was constantly resetting the source point based on the contents of the image, I knew where the sample point would be and, as a result, wanted to hide it.


Be default, the sampling point icon (crosshair) is displayed while cloning and healing.

Command + H (Mac) | Control + H (Win) toggles the View > Extras feature to hide the sampling point icon.


Toggling View > Extras, hides the sampling point icon while cloning and healing.

Note, the first time you use this shortcut on the Mac, Photoshop will display a dialog asking “Would you like to use Command + H to hide Photoshop (Mac standard), or to hide/show selections, guides, etc. (Photoshop traditional)? Click “Hide Extras” unless you want to “Hide Photoshop” every time you use the shortcut. If you do choose to “Hide Photoshop”, you can change this behavior later by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Set the “Shortcuts For” to Application Menus and toggle the disclosure triangle for the View menu. Scroll down to Extras, change the Shortcut back to Command + H and click Accept and then OK.

Often when using the Clone Stamp tool, I would also unchecked the Show Overlay option in the Clone Stamp panel (this hides the preview of the source content in the brush preview). Holding Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) to temporarily display the overlay when you need to see it.

5:22 AM Permalink

Images from Antarctica

2016_09_29_antarctgridI’m back, and I have to admit that I enjoyed my time off immensely – primarily due to the fact that I was able to spend the majority of time working in Photoshop! I know that might seem a bit odd to many of you, but even through I work in Adobe products on a daily basis, I seldom carve out large chunks of time to work on my own photography. Having time to tone, retouch, and publish photographs for my gallery as well as create a body of work from my visit to Antarctica, was certainly a gift. In the next few weeks I hope to share my thought process, techniques, and shortcuts used to tone and enhance the images from Antarctica that I’ve been posting to my Behance and Adobe Portfolio site.

But for today (while I catch up on email and all-things Adobe), here are links to the four galleries that I’ve posted thus far:

Blue Ice

Quiet Moments

Antarctic Reflections



5:05 AM Permalink

Adobe’s Fantastic Sabbatical Program!

I’m going to take the next two months to rejuvenate, revive, and replenish my creativity thanks to Adobe’s sabbatical program. I will not be posting to my blog, nor answering comments (or email), but will be working on my own special  projects instead. I will be returning on October 4th and look forward to seeing what has evolved in my absence.


11:24 AM Permalink

Scrubby Sliders in Photoshop

Positioning the cursor over the text or icon next to a numeric entry field in the Options bar (and in most panels and dialog boxes) displays the “Scrubby Sliders” icon (a hand with small arrows pointing to the left and right). When the Scrubby Slider icon is visible, clicking and dragging decreases/increases the value as you drag left/right. Adding the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + dragging decreases the values more slowly while adding the Shift key increases the values more quickly.

5:09 AM Permalink

Resizing Images Using Open Documents

To make a document the same size as another open document, while in the Image Size or Canvas Size dialog box, select the other open document from the bottom of the Window menu (PS will automatically fill in the values).

5:36 AM Permalink

Making Finer Adjustments in Lightroom’s Develop Module

When making adjustments in the Develop module, you can click within any of the numeric entry areas to set a specific value. Then, use the arrow keys to modify the value (add the Shift key to modify in larger increments). However,  if you prefer to make changes using the sliders, click-drag to extend the develop module panel to make finer adjustments. Adding the Option (Mac) Alt (Win) key will allow you to expand it even farther.

Position the cursor over the left edge of the panels. The curser changes to double headed arrows. Click and drag left/right to resize.

Position the cursor over the left edge of the panels (where the red arrow is pointing). When the cursor changes to a double headed arrow, click and drag left/right to resize.

Note: this shortcut works with any of the panels in Lightroom.

5:25 AM Permalink

Resetting Files in Lightroom

Clicking the Reset button in Lightroom’s Develop module resets the image to Lightroom’s default settings. If, however,  you want to zero out all of Lightroom’s settings (including sharpening and noise reduction), apply the “Zeroed” preset in the Lightroom General Presets folder.

2016-07-23 Zeroed

If you have applied a preset on import, and want to reset the image to its imported state, use the History panel and click the Import state.

2016-07-23 HIstory

The video below describes how to change the default Develop module settings in Lightroom (to enable Lens Correction and/or Remove Chromatic aberration for example). Because the video was recorded when Adobe announced Camera Matching profiles (in LR2!), the first six minutes of the video discusses these profiles. However, it then goes on to explain how to set your default settings in either Lightroom or Camera Raw and even though a lot has changed since then, you can still use the same method today for changing default settings for panels other than Camera Calibration – including Lens Correction.

5:11 AM Permalink

Opening a Composite (Flattened) document from a Layered PSD File

If you ever need to open a flattened (composite) version of a layered document, choose File > Open and navigate to the image. Then, hold Option + Shift  (Mac) / Alt + Shift (Win) and click Open. A dialog appears with the message “Read the composite data instead?” Click OK to confirm.

2016-07-23 comp

You can use the same keyboard modifiers and double click a PSD file in the Operating System to open a flattened version of the file

Note: this shortcut only works if the file was saved with the Maximize (PSD and PSB) File Compatibility preference turned on.

5:08 AM Permalink

Adobe Spark Page – The Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island

I had the opportunity to visit the Great Ocean Road as well as Kangaroo Island earlier this year and used Adobe Spark Page to put together a small portfolio of images from the adventure. Click on the photo below to view the Spark Page.


And here is a video that demonstrates how to create your own Adobe Spark Page.

5:41 AM Permalink