Archive for September, 2012

Travel Photography Live!

A group of renowned photographers are converging on London’s Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) next month for Travel Photography Live! – a three-day festival of travel photography staged by Travel Photographer of the Year from October 5th-7th. Nick Danziger, Steve Bloom, Eamonn McCabe, Chris Weston, Nick Meers and Tom Mackie are just a few of the photographic ‘giants’ who’ll be sharing the secrets behind their iconic images, and insights into their work, with the audience. The event runs from October 5th-7th, tickets and further information are available at:

Sneak Peak of Project Chapman 3D

“A Liar’s Autobiography” Filmmakers Switch to All Adobe Workflow for Tribute to Monty Python Member

Here is a sneak peak behind the scenes of the “A Liar’s Autobiography”, a film made using the Adobe Production Premium tools. This short video gives an overview of how it  was made possible.
Made Visual Studio and Bill and Ben Productions switched to an all Adobe workflow based on Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium to bring the animated Graham Chapman memoir to life. Watch this video to learn about the making of the film, the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro, and the filmmakers’ experiences using the latest versions of Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium, including Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Flash Professional, and Photoshop Extended.

UK Lightroom 4 & Photoshop CS6 Travel Photography Master Class

As you know I look after Digital Imaging for Adobe in the UK, with a focus on Photoshop and Lightroom. I am also a Photographer and have also been taking Photographs for over  20 years, and have been working in the digital world for over 10 of these. My personal focus and interest lies around Travel and Street Photography and I have wanted to share my knowledge on this topic for a while, but with a focus on post processing, vision and retouching.


I have been working with the London Photographic Adobe User group and we have decided to host a master class, therefore, I will be presenting a Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 travel master class on Sunday 23rd September at the London Photographic Adobe User Group (


In this Master Class I will be covering travel and street photography and how to get the best from the tools in Photoshop CS5 and CS6 as well as Lightroom 4 to make your images really stand out. This class will be based upon real world photographs as well as my actual workflow, encompassing RAW processing, Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6. This master class will also help define where the two solutions overlap and clear distinctions of when to use which and why. We will also have a small section on Screen and Printer Colour Management as well as Camera calibration and I’ll bring along some hardware along on the day and can answer questions on this topic as well.


Lightroom 4 – We will look at how to manage your catalog and optimise your time in the Library module with a focus on organising & key-wording your Photographs. We will also look at when to use the Lightroom develop module and the RAW conversion engine, combined with Photoshop Camera RAW. We will look into the enhanced  highlight, shadows and clarity sliders, as well as the the more powerful adjustment brush and gradient filter. Also for the people with less time on their hands we will look at the Lightroom Presets to do a lot of the heavy lifting.


In Photoshop CS6 –  We will look at working with eyes, skin and dodge and burning tools to enhance shape and form, we will also look at color and black and white processing. Other aspects of image making will be looked at as well, i.e. masking, selections, blending modes, Content Aware Technologies as well as simple image compositing. We will also spend a bit of time focused on toning and sharpening of your final images.


If you find this class of interest and are already a travel photographer, are planning a travel photography trip for yourself or just looking for ideas and are excited at looking at other areas of Photography (including lighting, street photo walks, re-touching etc), then this IS the place to be! The group is full of people of all ages and have a real passions for the craft of Photography, as well as the social side of course, it’s free to join with a small fee for the sessions (just to cover the costs of room hire) and it’s a lot of fun!!


For more information on other activities or joining the group,  then please head on over to or to find out more.

Southampton Photovision – The Rose Bowl, Tuesday 9th October 2012

Come and see Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Lightroom 4 in action. Join Dave Mallows and myself at the Southampton leg of the Photovision roadshow. We will be running demonstrations throughout the day featuring both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and Adobe Photoshop CS6. Including real world examples, we’ll be giving key hints and tips in how to get the best from the features in the latest versions of the Adobe Photoshop Family. The Photovision Roadshow is a fantastic photographic trade event, see all the big names under one roof, including top name seminar speakers at The Rose Bowl, Southampton.

Using Lightroom 4 Skyline plugin Presets to achieve Traditional Film vintage looks

Whilst moving to digital photography has been an amazing revolution, we now live in a world where images are cleaner, crisper, have more tonal and dynamic range and provides the photographer with more creative freedom than ever before. As a creative professional in today’s world of unlimited digital choice and free flow there is still a place for the vintage look that traditional film can provide. The problem is that each film type has a very different look and feel, i.e. Kodak Tri-X 400 is Black and White , fantastically grainy combined with a deep contrast, Fuji Velvia is able to produce amazing greens with high saturation, Kodak Kodachrome creates saturated reds which just pop out of the print and are truly amazing, however, you had/have to commit to the look and feel in the camera. All these vintage film types are totally achievable using the Development Module of Lightroom, but replicating these older looks is complex and demands an understanding of how each film type would represent colour, tone, saturation and grain, without the many years of experience and a bucket load of free time it’s going to be challenging to create all of those traditional looks.

I recently came across a photographer that is so passionate about film and the look that it provides, SkyLine media have dedicated a vast amount of time re-creating these vintage looks and using the inbuilt power of the Lightroom Development module and harnessing the Preset Module. SKYLINE MEDIA with the help of professional photographer John G Moore have created this series of powerful presets that provide a whole toolbox of traditional film looks as well as a set of fun presets in the Skyline series (

I decided to see how good these were for my self and found an image that I would like to try to achieve the vision that i had in my mind when i took this image.

Above the original image of this bicycle in Paris. Here follows a collection of presets within the Skyline series and are easy achieve with the click of the mouse.

Skyline – Classics – B&W Portrait Selenium

Skyline – Classics – B&W Portrait Sepia + Contrast

Skyline – Classics – Vintage Chocolate

Skyline – Kodak 400 T-Max Pro

(I have shown a 1-1 preview (above) to show the film grain that is added as part of this preset, but notice how the details are still kept and are amazingly well defined, creating a beautiful image)

Skyline – Fuji NeoPan 1600

(The above tone happens to be my favourite preset, with an amazing film grain, fantastic contrast and works really well on this type of image as well as a both male and female portraits)

Skyline – Cross Process C41 – E6 (Red)

(Even C41 – E6 cross process film looks are covered as part of the X-Process Presets)

As you can see a whole lot of effort has been placed in created these film preset bundles utilising the incredible flexibility of the Lightroom 4.1 RAW processing engine, this will save a huge amount of time for the amateur and professional alike  , provide a way to learn more about the Development module but also try those vintage looks within the digital world. We are also able to modify the Development module panels to tweak the output to add my own creative flair.

To find out more about the Skyline series, navigate over to and try some examples out.



Adding a 3D LUT or colour lookup table for toning to your image. No 2

Photoshop CS6 introduced a new adjustment layer called Colour Lookup. This new adjustment layer will allow you to add a 3D LUT to your Colour or Black and White image. Before we get into the how, let’s explain the what, you are probably asking “What’s a 3D LUT”. In the film industry, 3D LUTs (or a 3D lookup table) are used to calculate a colour correction (also known as colour grading or sweetening, like white balance in Digital Photography, only more powerful) of how the final film will look on the big screen. (For some more information on Colour Grading, you can see Dado Valentic’s webs site at film or show you watch in the movies or on the TV will have a certain look to it, this will look initially  like a colour cast i.e. blue to signify cold or amber to signify warmth as well as many other types (film makers also use grading to invoke emotion, horror films are a great example, and tend to shy towards a blueish cast). However, 3D LUT’s take white balance/colour cast to a whole new level, as they can work on other areas of the image or moving picture, 3D LUT’s can work on the highlights as well as the shadows and provide a flat image with a wonderful boost (similar to Curves, and other features in traditional image processing in Photoshop or Lightroom). The reason that i like 3D LUT’s is that it can give your image a very different look and feel from the traditional adjustment layers.

1. Open your image in to Photoshop CS6.

2. You may want to add a layer which will apply a Black and White conversion (Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Black and White) or any other initial layer adjustment (to get the image exactly where you need it), it maybe that you would like to keep the image in colour, it’s worth while trying different options here)

3. Apply the colour lookup adjustment layer (Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Colour Lookup). You can bring in a LUT from another application like SpeedGrade (that is available with Adobe Production Premium suite, or with the Creative Cloud), however, the Photoshop team have included some 3D LUT’s inside Photoshop CS6. On the Colour Lookup panel, make sure the 3D LUT is turned on, and click the combo box, you will see a great starting point (Filmstock_50, Bleach Bypass etc). Select one of the ones from the list and see how the image changes it’s appearance. I would suggest that you have a play around with the list and also the opacity of the layer to achieve a new look that you want to work with (don’t forget to try this in colour as well as Black & White images). There are also other options on this panel, and we will explore them in another blog post.



Adding a Colour tone to your Black & White pictures No.1

Have you ever wanted to add a classic vintage tone like Sepia, Cyanotype or an old style to your picture? I learnt this technique ages ago and use it for a lot of my work, so thought i would share it.

1. Open your image into Photoshop and convert it to Black & White using a black and white adjustment layer (Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Black and White), rather than converting to grey scale (not only do you protect the image using layers, you are also able to work on the colour channels independently after the B&W conversion to get exactly the look you want. For this technique to work you also need the image in RGB mode). Once the layer has been applied, you can work on the colour channels.

2. Apply a Hue/Saturation layer to this image (Layers/New Adjustment Layer/Hue & Saturation or from the adjustment panel (Window/Adjustments). Once this panel is displayed, make sure the small check box colorize, is ticked on.

3. In the preset combo box (above at the top of the Hue/Saturation panel (see point 2)) choose your tone that you would like to apply to your image. You are obviously able to change the opacity in the layer to suit to look that you want for your final image.