Archive for October, 2016

#CreativeFriday – Adobe Creative Cause and The Prince’s Trust

What is the Adobe Creative Cause
Adobe is a passionate supporter of The Prince’s Trust Charity, who are a charity that help transform the lives of thousands of disadvantage young people each year.  As an initiative to support this organisation, Adobe has created a “Digital Art Competition”, referred to as “ADOBE CREATIVE CAUSE“, to raise money and awareness to help them continue this empowering and important work.

What is the Competition (active from 20th October – 1st December, join in by following this link)

Bullying, poverty, disability and abuse are just some of the contributing factors that lead to a lack of confidence in a person’s ability to change their future.  These are just some of the triggers that stop our young people from developing to their full potential.  As part of the competition we want to highlight that this does not have to be the case, and that great organisations such as The Prince’s Trust exist to change and help empower people to believe that they can transform their own lives.

We are therefore looking for digital artist to help visualise the emotional journey many young people make through The Prince’s Trust and this can be anything that you see on their website or maybe a visualisation of your own transformation or empowerment from a difficult time in your life.

To start this visual journey and get you off to an amazing start, we have spoken with Josephine Johns, who’s is relatively new to the design/photographic/compositing world and who’s work really speaks out and defines the visual expression of these young people. You can see an example of Josephine’s work below.

Hi Josephine, thank you for your time in working with me on creating this blog post about your creativity. Would you be able to introduce yourself to the audience please.

My name is Josephine Johns. I’m a photographer and digital artist. I am a mum of four with only my youngest daughter of 11 at home now. I work in a school canteen which is hard manual work and hot too! I’ve had an interesting life, which, at times has been hard. I have always been the square peg but it makes me who I am!

Over the past couple of years your creativity has really blossomed, can we go back to the start and talk about what inspired you to start Photography?

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, even from when I first started taking photos of my children. Photography lets me look at the world in a different light, giving me the opportunity to be creative.

Since you started Photography, your skills in Photoshop have come on a long way, what inspired you to start working with composites?

I’m rarely able capture the artistic vision that’s in my mind in one photo. Composites give me the freedom to bring in many different elements, which I can then assemble arrange and compose to produce the image exactly as I imagine it.

How did you learn Photoshop, what were your largest hurdles and what would you say to someone who is starting out that is keen to lean the product?

I had already begun using Photoshop with the Photography package. I was lucky enough to win a year’s subscription to the full Creative Cloud package. This gave me access to all the apps, which really inspired me to throw myself in and learn Photoshop. I was helped by my partner, David, and also spent time watching tutorials online, as well as books and magazines. The most important thing is practice. Practice. Practice!

What is your favourite 5 features in Photoshop CC for Creative Cloud?

This is a tough one! There are so many great features. I would say, for the work I do, Blend Modes are high on the list, as I use a lot of texture in my art. The latest selection refining tools and masking features are an absolute necessity for composites. Free Transform and Puppet Warp are great for making my ‘models’ do what I want them to! The Blur Gallery is a really powerful tool and really helps me to build my scenes. I also like the way third-party plugins can be seamlessly added to Photoshop panels; I use Paper Texture Pro and PixelSquid 3D a lot! The same goes for Adobe Stock, the ability to add a low-res asset in the early stages of my work and then licence the full size image later is fab!

What is your favourite innovation in the Creative Cloud

This has to be the way the mobile apps integrate with my Creative Cloud libraries and allow me to send composites I’ve started roughing out in Photoshop Mix straight to Photoshop to finish off!

Have you done anything with stories and used Adobe Spark Page,  if so are you able to share some and  tell the readers how your approach making stories to show your work off.

Hi yes, this is the first time that I have used Adobe Spark and I really enjoyed working with it.   It was so easy to use that at first I thought that I was doing it wrong as it seemed so easy!  The instructional tutorial was fab and easy to follow and I think I can safely say there was plenty of templates to choose from that I would most definitely use it again!

What advice would you give someone that is looking to learn more about Photoshop and enter the Creative Cause competition?

If you’re interested in learning Photoshop, there’s a wealth of information on  the Adobe channel on YouTube and sites like Phlearn, TipSquirrel, PhotoshopCafe to name just a few. I’ll say it again: Practice. Practice. Practice! There’s no right or wrong way to create an image and you can’t break Photoshop! Just let your ideas flow and everything else will come together.

If you were to pick some of your work that represented the brief of the Creative Cause Competition.  Which images would you pick and why?

The journey and transformation that people go through via The Prince’s Trust is truly amazing and after researching the stories on their website I felt deeply emotional about the experiences they went through.  I have selected some of my images below which I feel have a strong emotional link to some of these stories:

What does the future hold for Josephine

The future for me is to develop my photography and imaging skills so I can leave my current job and pursue a career in doing something I love; where work ceases to be work!

Josephine, we would like to thank you for your time today and we look forward to the next session which will give our audience a great starting point to create something for this amazing cause.


Solitude :   Sometimes we find ourselves in solitude and so this image depicts a veil reinforcing the feeling of Solitude but it is only a thin view meaning that if we open our eyes we can see through and see ahead.

One voice : One Voice amongst many, sometimes there are so many people giving you advice that you find it hard to find the one that can touch you, The red telephone shows that amongst many voices one will reach you and you will understand and find your way.
Reveal : Reveal: Sometimes we just need a glimpse of what lies beyond and this image feels to me that you can sometimes just need a little glimpse of what great things are out there for you.
In the Beginning : This image is uplifting, It makes me feel inspired that from such a little glimmer of light (idea) you can shine and grow.
Tranquillity : This represents my escapism, a place where all is tranquil and calm, a place to be alone and at peace.
Sunset Ride: Dreams can come true and I wanted to illustrate myself riding off into the sunset riding a giraffe.  This makes me feel anything is possible with the golden sunset giving you that warm feeling inside and a feeling of contentment.

So, as you can see above, Josephine has a lovely way way of taking the emotion and transforming it into images/composites. So, don’t hesitate, why not give it a go, it’s all for a wonderful cause.


Don’t forget to join the competition visit, and/or Josephine’s Behance page, if you are struggling for inspiration! Good luck with your entry.

#CreativeFriday – Re-using Adobe Camera RAW settings for other images

Recently, I have had the need to re-use camera RAW settings and take them from one image to another, via Camera RAW.

Take this set of adjustments that I have made to an image, which I took in India a couple of years ago

The processing used allows me to create a consist look / feel and tone to any image. I’m always trying to find a way to link images together to tell the wider story.

The settings in Camera RAW cross almost every tab, from shadow/highlight recovery, split tone etc, and re-entering this each time is time consuming and can create errors in the processing.

Within ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) there is an option to save the current settings

Once “save setting” has been selected the following screen will be displayed


Here individual elements can be selected and turned on/off. Once the required items have been selected, clicking Save will save the .XMP file to the local disk (Personally, I’ll save this to my Creative Cloud folder so I can use it anywhere that I am editing).

When editing the next image that will use these settings, I’ll  just need to add the Camera RAW filter (at which ever point in your process from the Filter menu), then load the XMP saved file into ACR and the settings will be adjusted as appropriate.