Archive for October, 2013

Hasselblad shootLDN re-touch winner – Kornel Flint.

A couple of weeks ago, Adobe were at the Hasselblad shootLDN event, and partnering with Wacom and Datacolor we had a re-touching competition. to win a complimentary years subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. I am excited to say that Kornel Flint won the competition with this re-touch of one of the models, and i am sure will be creating even more beautiful imagery with the new software.



Model from Leni’s Model Management –
(The show was also made up of Photo Pro Magazine, Urs Recher at broncolor or Karl Taylor).


Kornel is a Polish-born photographer, who moved to London in early 2012, he fell in love with the city, and also enjoys shooting it. Kornel is primarily focused on widely defined portraiture and is always looking for creating an unusual image that stands out, and a strong story that the image is telling, by using creative lighting and editing.





AOP – Best in show award 2013 – Neil Buchan-Grant

The winner of the AOP‘s best in show award for 2013 was Neil Buchan-Grant, Neil also wins a year’s complimentary subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud for this winning image.
Neil has been taking photographs for over 30 years, but only really got serious about it in the past few. In 2004 he won a travel photography competition in the Independent on Sunday, which led to regular commissions throughout Europe with Insight Guides and Berlitz. Neil had always been a Canon user, but when the Leica M9 came out, he sold up and switched to a new way of making photographs. Neil says “The Leica forces the photographer to manually focus everything, and ultimately slows the process of taking pictures down and forces you to work at a more considered pace. The Leica also forces you to engage with your subject”. Before his next commission, after spending a month in Sicily, Neil contacted Olympus who loaned him their latest equipment, which he used in conjunction with the Leica lenses. Neil has developed a close working relationship with Olympus ever since and now regularly produces advertising images for them.
The shot which won the AOP Open award was made on a peat bog near Galway in Ireland. The girl was the daughter of a friend’s neighbour and she was playing there with her siblings. As Neil was chatting to her parents, she came scampering up to his lens, momentarily transfixed by her own reflection. Neil shot 4 frames using autofocus, aperture priority, lens wide open and the camera lower than waist level using the flip out LCD screen of his OMD. They were all sharp but unfortunately in the other 3 pictures she looked almost angelic, needless to say, her mother preferred those!
Neil knew the picture was different but it was shot on a gloomy day with a good sky but flat light. Its was only when he used Photoshop CS5, Lightroom and Nik’s Siver Effex Pro II that the it came to life. The software just helped to bring out the drama that was already there.
More of Niels work can be found at

#CreativeFriday – #Lightroom – Develop your Photos using Global Adjustments

The Editing Process using Global Adjustments

The previous 2 tutorials (Intro to Lightroom & Importing your imagesRanking and Selecting your Images) have been focused on importing images into Lightroom, as well as how to rank and fine tune the selection of images that will be edited using the develop module.

Editing in Lightroom

Lightroom was designed for RAW image processing, but can also be used on other formats (i.e. JPG, PNG, TIFF, Photoshop PSD etc.). RAW files are special as they are just a collection of data or numbers and not yet finalised into an image. To make an image out of a RAW file, a RAW image processor (Lightroom) is used. RAW files don’t have any effects (including colour, sharpness etc.), therefore tend to look flat or lack impact out of the camera. The development sliders in Lightroom are designed to add lift, excitement and drama to the image.

Video to show how you can use Global Adjustments

Non Destructive

Lightroom supports non destructive editing. This means that any adjustments that you make to the picture using Lightroom, will not be permanent and can be removed/reset at any time.  You can remove previous adjustments sequentially by using the CMD(Mac)/CTRL(Pc) +Z key and undo adjustments one at a time. You can also go back to the original state any point in time by clicking on the adjustments in the history panel.

History Panel

All adjustments can be reset by pressing the key combination SHIFT+CMD(Mac)/ CTRL(PC)+R (or menu option Settings / Reset all settings).


Lightroom does not enforce a particular sequence of steps in the editing process; adjustments can be made at any point in time. i.e. A crop can be applied, then the exposure adjusted, then the crop can be adjusted without affecting the exposure. This extremely effective and flexible workflow will allow experimentation on your pictures, ensuring that the original file is not damaged and your best work can be published.

Development module

Simple editing can be achieved within the Library module in Lightroom. However, more powerful editing is achieved in the development module.

There are two types of development/editing processes, the first is enhancing the whole image using global adjustments, the second is by using selective enhancements and applying local adjustments.

This tutorial will look at editing the pictures using global adjustments.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 21.26.37

Global adjustments

Global adjustments are applied to the whole image, and the starting point to these enhancements is in the BASIC tab.

Histogram and clipping points

Lightroom automatically calculates the histogram for you. The histogram will show how the pixels are arranged in the image. It is designed to show the shadows, highlights and mid-tones, and will provide a guide to the image pixels when editing.

The left hand side of the histogram shows the shadow area of the picture, the middle area shows where the mid tones are and too the right the highlights are represented.

Histogram shot

In photography we are always after the perfect exposure, this is typically where all tones in the scene come in from both sides and create a hill type structure. You can see in the picture below there is an example of a good exposure. The shadow area (left) is snug to the edge and is not clipping in the scene, the highlights on the right are snug and are also not clipping; the mid-tones of the picture are nicely distributed.

good exposure

Before you work on your pictures, it is always good to look at the histogram and determine any issues, i.e. highlights and shadows may be clipping, or the image appearance is a little flat.

To check the highlight and shadow clipping, turn on the highlight clipping indicators (pressing the J key will turn on both indicators). The Clipping indicators are the two arrows on the histogram (see shown above) and are currently turned off; they will have white boxes around them when they are turned on.

The clipping indicators show where in the picture and pixel data is potentially being lost and is just pure white (in the highlights) or pure black (in the shadows). You can also turn on/off the clipping indicators individually by clicking on them. Within the picture, highlights that are clipping are represented as red and shadows are represented as blue.

The histogram is vital to making sure that we have an amazing image to publish.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 21.26.49

Solo mode

The way in which Lightroom has been designed and the layout of the tabs are logical to the photographic workflow. However, sometimes if you have more than one tab open, then the slider bar down the right hand side becomes long and cumbersome and can slow down the development/editing process. There is a special feature that allows us to have only one panel open at a time, this is called “Solo” mode. Solo mode is available by right clicking on any tab name and choosing “Solo Mode” from the fly out menu.


Lightroom process version

There are many tabs in Lightroom and they are all designed for a particular part of the editing process. The processing mathematics within Lightroom are controlled by the Lightroom process version. To check the process version is set to 2012, open the tool bar menu and choose Settings / Process, this tutorial assumes that you are using 2012. If the 2012 process version is available and is not selected then please select it, if it is not available then you are probably not using Lightroom 4 or 5.

Basic Tab

The basic tab in Lightroom contains very powerful adjustment sliders for enhancing the original image, elements such as exposure, highlights, shadows can be modified here.



The treatment option enables your photo to be converted into color or black and white. You can try both, by just by clicking on either option. Any adjustments can be removed, by using Undo or by resetting the picture back to the original import by pressing the SHIFT+CMD(CTRL on PC) and R (or Settings / Reset all settings).

Colour & White Balance

Most cameras today have an automatic white balance and it is extremely accurate and shouldn’t need to be changed. However, a more accurate method is to use a grey card or white balance card when taking your pictures (A grey card can be used to correctly the white balance, but is not covered in this tutorial).

The WB option in Lightroom will show the white balance that was used when the picture was taken. The image’s white balance below is “As Shot”, which means that it was created in the camera. There are other values in the drop down box that represents specific lighting conditions. You can manually alter the white balance and tint in Lightroom by changing the temp and tint values, using the slider controls (this can be a challenging process, so using the presets may be a safer option).


You can also use the white balance eyedropper tool to create a custom white balance. When using this tool to set the white balance, a patch of 18% grey is desirable (a grey card is designed for 18% grey). An alternative approach to setting the white balance is to move the eyedropper loupe around the picture and look at the base of the loupe (shown below). When the three figures read roughly the same value, then click on that point to set the white balance.



This slider will adjust the overall exposure of the image and will be measured in stops. +/-.3 is equal to a third of a stop and +/- 1 is a full stop (- is under, + is over the original exposure. Stops are a photographic measurement and is also referred to as f-stop). Moving this slider to the right will increase the overall exposure of the scene (as if more light is being applied to the image), moving left will reduce the exposure.



Contrast adds interest to the picture by increasing or decreasing the difference between light and dark parts of the scene.


Highlights and Shadow recovery

In Lightroom 4 the shadow and highlight recovery sliders were new additions and have been designed to work independently of each other. They are used to extract as much information as possible from highlight/shadow areas and potentially recover any lost information from the areas that are shown as clipping.


White and Black points.

Setting the black and white point will create a good foundation for the image. When the whites slider is moved to the right or the blacks sliders is moved to the left, any clipping parts of the scene will be displayed (clipping means that there is a possible loss of data and highlights are displayed as pure white and shadows as pure black). If the clipping indicators are turned on, you will see red patches (highlights) or blue patches (shadows) appear in the picture. If the clipping indicators are not turned on, press the ALT key at the same time as moving the sliders, the areas of clipping (using same colours as described above) will show on a black background. You may decide that the image needs a little bit of clipping to give it drama (as part of my workflow, I tend to place a small amount of clipping in the shadows to provide impact).

A combination of setting the white and black clipping points as well as adjusting the exposure slider will give the image a good starting point for further enhancement.



A positive amount of clarity is used to add mid-tone contrast to the image; a small amount can add dimension and impact. A negative amount of clarity can be used to smooth and soften the image.


Vibrance is designed to increase saturation but is careful about what it affects. Vibrance is kind to skin tones and won’t affect them as much as saturation will.



This slider increases global saturation and will brighten and deepen colours within the picture.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-24-at-22.07.55_saturationBefore and after

Showing the before and after adjustments can be useful to see the difference between the start and current image.



The Details slider is used for adding sharpness to the picture.


The sliders in this panel do the following:-

Amount – This is the amount of sharpening that will be applied to the image. A zero value will turn off sharpening. A lower amount can also result in a cleaner image

Radius – Controls the size of the edges that are affected by the amount slider. A smaller number here will reduce the number of pixels that the amount slider is working on (i.e subtle sharpening), a higher value means that more pixels will be included and the edges of sharpening (ALT can be pressed to see what areas of the picture will be affected)

Details – This controls the amount of fine details that will be included in the sharpening process. Fine details can include pores of skin etc. and in this case you would want to use a smaller value. For larger areas with less fine detail, a larger details value may be required (ALT can be pressed to see what areas of the picture will be affected).

Masking – this controls how many pixels at the edges receive sharpening, a zero value means everything receives the same amount of sharpening, a larger value moves towards just the edges and creates mask over the image to restrict the sharpness (ALT is used to display the mask), white areas are affected, black are not.

Sharpness is always a subjective issue and requires careful consideration for every image. An amount of trial and error will be required to find the combination that suits each picture.

Lens correction

We work directly with a selection of lens manufacturers to make sure that any natural vignetting and distortion of the lens is corrected. If the lens has been calibrated, then Lightroom should pick up it up from the meta-data that is brought in from the import process. If no lens profile is found, then it is likely that the lens is not supported by the version of Lightroom that is being used.

Lens profiles are typically added in a full release (i.e 5.0) or a .dot (i.e 5.2) of the application.



The Effects panel is used add a vignette to the picture. Adding a vignette is a classic darkroom technique to keep the viewers eyes within the picture.


Grain is used to add a film grain effect to the image. This can be used to make the image look grittier or provide a grungy look.


Black and White mode

Black and white mode will convert the image to gray scale.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 21.29.13_BlackandWhiteSummary

I hope this tutorial has given you a good insight into the power of using global adjustments within Lightroom development module, and that you are now able to start to create images that look amazing.

Final colour version of the picture used in this tutorial.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 22.32.34_FColour

An alternative final black and white version

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 22.32.48_FBlackWhite



Adobe UK November Events – Ask a Pro E-Seminar: Photography Retouching Seminar With Tigz Rice


Ask a Pro E-Seminar: Photography Retouching Seminar With Tigz Rice

5th November, 2013, 2:00pm
This free eSeminar will look at the new versions of Lightroom and Photoshop for the Creative Cloud. Tigz Rice will walk through techniques for getting the best results from your photographs using the new tools that are available exclusively for the photographic retoucher, as well as tips for publishing your work on Behance and Pro-site community to raise your profile in the creative field.Register here

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 17.26.29

Top Tips with Adobe Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC as well as colour management?

Presenter: Richard Curtis (Adobe) & Richard West (Datacolor)
Attendees: Amateurs, Semi-Pros, Pros
Start & Duration: Starting at 7pm, GMT for Approx. 60 Minutes
Content: Join Richard Curtis (Adobe) and Richard West (Datacolor) in this joint Webinar from Datacolor and Adobe and you’ll learn some of the latest tips and tricks on how to get the best out of Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop softwares as well as how to combine this into a colour managed workflow with Datacolor’s range of Colour Management solutions.

Register here

Adobe at the upcoming Canon CPS road shows


CPS Roadshow 2013

The Canon Professional Services Roadshow has been designed to cover the entire Canon workflow from capture to output and all the steps in between.

There will be photo and video seminars, including live subjects to photograph, workshops and demonstrations. EOS, Cinema EOS, PIXMA Pro, Canon Speedlites, Projectors, Large Format printing and Canon software will be all covered and demonstrated.

Whether you are thinking of upgrading to the Cinema EOS range, wanting to get the best from your EOS-1 series camera or want to shoot timelapse or edit with our software, we will have something for you on the day.

The Canon Professional team will be on hand to answer your questions and any technical queries you may have.

The roadshow takes place over 8 days at 4 different locations across the UK

  • Doors will open at 09.30am for tea and coffee. Demonstrations and seminars will commence from 10.00am.
  • A light sandwich lunch will be provided
  • Seminar sessions are bookable on the day and will run on a first come first served basis.

CPS Roadshow – Birmingham

For videographers and photographers.

Tuesday 22nd October – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 23rd October  – 10am – 4pm
CVP, Priory Mill
Castle Road
Studley, Warwickshire
B80 7AA
mapAdobe will be running seminars on Lightroom and Premiere Pro at this event

Register here

CPS Roadshow – Manchester

For videographers and photographers.

Tuesday 29th October – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 30th October – 10am – 4pm
Hire2 Studios, Blackett St
Manchester, M12 6AE
mapAdobe will be running seminars on Lightroom at this event

Register here

CPS Roadshow – Glasgow

For videographers and photographers.

Monday 4th November – 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 5th November – 10am – 4pm
IET Glasgow: Teacher Building
14 St Enoch Square
Glasgow, G1 4DB
mapRegister here

CPS Roadshow – Reigate

For videographers and photographers.

Monday 11th November – 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 12th November – 10am – 4pm
Canon UK Ltd
Cockshot Hill
Reigate, RH2 8BF
mapRegister here



Intro to 3D in Photoshop CS6/CC

Introduction to Photoshop 3D Tutorial

This tutorial will show and explain how to use the basic 3D tools and functions in Photoshop CS6/CC to create and render a piece of 3D text.


A new canvas is created in Photoshop CC (the one below is 1024px by 768px).

Creating the 3D object

Two text objects are created with letters in each as shown below.

At this point you can set a colour on the text, as this will be transferred to the 3D object when it is created.

Select one of the pieces of text and click on the ‘3D’ logo (marked red) in the tool bar. Photoshop will then turn this 2D text into a 3D object. This same is performed for the second piece of text.

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Create one 3D object by Merging 3D layers

When Photoshop creates 3D objects, they are each placed into a 3D layer, as shown below.  Ideally these 3D text objects should be in the same 3D layer, this will enable them to interact with each other, share lights etc.

To merge the two 3D layers into one, both layers (marked red) are selected and menu item  3D / Merge 3D layers (marked orange) is selected.

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Re-arranging the 3D objects

Once the 3D objects are in their own layer, the objects will most likely need to be re-arranged.

Everything 3D in Photoshop CC is on the move tool or keyboard shortcut ‘V’ (marked red below). The move tool is chosen and the 3D letters are selected, Photoshop CC will place a cage around the 3D text and show the on screen widget (marked yellow). The widget has 3 modes and they can be accessed by pressing the ‘V’ key multiple times

  • Positioning of the object
  • Extrusion, twist and taper
  • Bevel and Inflate

3.5 rect

The movement widget (marked red below) has 3 arrows; each arrow corresponds to a direction of movement.

  • The arrow will move the object in the direction it is pointing
  • The second element on the arrow will rotate the object across it’s axis.
  • The third element will scale the object along this axis.

For the object to be rotated it’s axis, the rotate widget (second element) is selected on the red arrow below.

The object can then be rotate freely, it is moved so that it is 90degrees to the other text object. The second window can be used to align the objects to each other (the secondary window (marked orange)).

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Moving the light source

3D objects usually have a light source that will be used to illuminate the scene, as well as cast shadows (if needed). Creating an object in Photoshop  3D will, by default, create an infinite light. The white light icon (marked yellow) is  used to select a light source, moving the this widget is done by dragging the small ball (marked red). This will re-position the light source and move the shadows. The shadows can also be moved into position without using the widget, by holding the SHIFT key and dragging within the scene (the pointer will turn into a cross hair).

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Editing the source document

Photoshop CC creates the 3D object with non destructive editing in mine. A 3D objects source can be changed even after the 3D object have been created. Once the 3D object has been clicked, the cage appears and an ‘EDIT SOURCE’ option in the properties panel will be displayed. Clicking the ‘EDIT SOURCE’ button will open up the source for this object. Anything can be changed at this point, including the text, font, colour etc. Closing and saving any changes will cause Photoshop CC to automatically update the 3D object.

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Changing Materials

An objects material is changeable by clicking on the object twice (once to select the cage, the second time to select part of the object (the front face element is marked green below (any that are visible are selectable))). To select the front face, click on the front of the object twice, Photoshop CC will select the front extrusion (as shown in the 3D panel below, marked pink), selecting the appropriate part of the object in this panel, will also select it’s properties (marked red)).


The material currently selected is shown in the small square box in the properties panel (marked yellow), and clicking on the down arrow will show materials that can be applied the selected part of the object (marked orange).

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Changing physical appearance

The physical appearance of the 3D model can be changed. Clicking on the object once will show the movement widget, and pressing the ‘V’ key twice more, will show the bevel and inflate widget (marked red below). The left hand side of the widget will increase the bevel edge of the object (it’s strength is controlled by the outer widget). The bevel is modified on the right hand side widget (it’s strength is also controlled by it’s corresponding widget)

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Ray Tracing

Once the 3D object has been created it needs to be rendered or ray traced. The ray tracing process will apply light to the scene, the ray-tracer will render the materials, illumination, texture, shadows, bump maps etc., to create the final 3D object. The quality of the Ray-tracer can be configured in the menu option Preferences/ 3D / Ray Tracer.


The screen shot below shows the final ray traced render, which is available for download at

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The 3D capabilities in Photoshop CC are much deeper that what is shown here. For more information on Photoshop CC 3D you are able to download the Dimensions book This book has been created by the Adobe Photoshop 3D team and will show more features, capabilities and examples that are possible in this version of Photoshop.


The 3D engine in Photoshop CC requires a minimum of 512mb of Video RAM (VRAM) on the computers graphics card to operate.

Learn Creative Cloud for Photography with Adobe.

Learn Creative Cloud for Photography
We have launched a new learning show just for photographers.  Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC work hand-in-hand with the Creative Cloud. Start in Lightroom to organize and edit photos. Work in Photoshop for advanced retouching, editing, and compositing. Come back to Lightroom to print and share your photos. View the show here.

The tutorials cover key elements such as the Lightroom and Photoshop photo workflow (here). We’ve also commissioned new photography episodes that use Cloud services, including:

‘1 over rule’ in photography

Hi guys,

Met a lady at the weekend who asked why a picture was quite noisy. After a couple of questions realised that she wasn’t familiar with the ‘1 over rule’ in photography. The particular picture was taken before the sun had risen at a long focal length (possibly 300mm or more), therefore chose a high shutter speed with an f-stop of 3.5 to f4. Obviously this will push the ISO to a high value to get a good exposure, therefore introduced some colour noise into the picture.

Modern day cameras have amazing high ISO values with minimal colour noise, but if we are not careful can still cause some colour noise in the picture. There are great tips on getting the ISO down to something reasonable in awkward shooting situations (especially low light).

The ‘1 over rule’ is one of them, it suggests, that the slowest shutter speed that you can get a sharp image from your camera whilst hand holding it (i.e. no tripod), is to not go lower than 1/the focal length of the lens. I.e. if you have a 35mm lens, then your slowest shutter speed hand held is 1/35 second, if using a 300mm lens, then it will be 1/300 second. But what if you have a telephoto zoom lens? Well it will be the focal length you are using at the time, i.e. on a 70-300mm zoom lens, it will be 1/70 at 70mm and 1/300 at 300mm. Of course it may be that you want the colour noise, or the blurriness in your pictures, so sometimes this rule of thumb won’t apply, depending on your creative vision.


Hope that helps you work out that exposure and give you a good guide for when you are hand holding the camera in low light.


Oh, and as caught by @sPECTre on Twitter, don’t forget to consider the crop factor of your cameras sensor. It may be a 0.6, 0.3 or something different (like a 4/3’s format), so please refer to your owners manual and multiple the 1/the focal length of the lens by the crop factor.



Adobe Exchange for Photoshop CC

There is a new way to access and learn some of the great new features in Photoshop CC. The Photoshop CC Features Panel is available exclusively from Adobe Exchange for Creative Cloud subscribers.
Also on Adobe Exchange from Adobe:
LevelUp – Learning Photoshop is just a game!
Dreamweaver Server Behaviours and Database – Get the functionality from CS6 and earlier back in CC.
Speech Models for Premiere Pro and Prelude CC – Lots of different languages for speech to text workflows