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T H E A D O B E ® P H O T O S H O P ® “ H O W- T O ” M A G A Z I N E
A P R I L / M A Y 2 0 0 8
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PHOTOSHOP PROFESSIONALS
VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.PHOTOSHOPUSER.COM
DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 3, 2008
OUR IMAGE. YOUR STORY.
iStockphoto.com | Provocative royalty-free stock images as low as $1
8 | About PhotoshopUser Magazine
10 | From the Editor
14 | ContributingWriters
18 | Photoshop News
22 | NAPP Member News
92 | From the Help Desk
130 | Photoshop Q&A
120 | Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
121 | Digital ROC, SHO, GEM, GEM Airbrush
121 | Imagenomic Professional Plug-in Suite
122 | Fluid Mask 3
124 | Black-and-White Infrared
124 | LensCoat
125 | Image Doctor 2
126 | PhotoTools 1
127 | NIKKOR Lenses
128 | Photoshop Book Reviews
40 | Wedding PhotographyTips from
the ProsWho Know
Are you ready for wedding season? David Ziser
shows you the path to becoming the best of
the best; Matt Adcock inspires us with his studio’s
interpretation of the“Trash the Dress”phenom-
enon; and Cliff Mautner shares his wisdom from
a darkroom perspective.—David Ziser, Matt
Adcock, and Cliff Mautner
We’re proud to announce the winners of the third annual
Photoshop User Awards! See who prevailed from more
than 1,200 submissions across 11 categories.
Have you ever wanted to fly through one of your favorite
images? Well now you can using Vanishing Point and
After Effects CS3.—Richard Harrington
But Wait—There’s More: Wherever you see the symbol at the end
of an article, it means there’s additional material for NAPP members at
26 | Down & DirtyTricks
Learn how to create an extreme video game cover, craft intricate
ornaments for your wedding album templates, and make your
designs rip from the page.—Scott Kelby, Felix Nelson, Corey
Barker, and Matt Kloskowski
50 | Photoshop Mastery
If you overlook the relationship between brush diameter and hard-
56 | From Bert’s Studio
Bert uses the Blend If sliders to take the newlyweds for a dip in the
champagne…with a nonalcoholic alterative too!—Bert Monroy
58 | Photoshop Speed Clinic
Annoyed because your colors go flat every time you upload an
image to the Web? Be frustrated no more!—Matt Kloskowski
62 | The Fine Art of Printing
The bonàtire (BAT) tradition is an essential tool for keeping your
fine art prints consistent over the years.—John Paul Caponigro
66 | Creative Point ofView
Katrin plucks a page from Goldilocks and the Three Bears and
places it in the context of image editing.—Katrin Eismann
70 | Deke Space
Deke continues his quest to explain how Photoshop uses blurring
to sharpen, this time with Smart Sharpen.—Deke McClelland
72 | Photoshop for Educators
Learn about the Image Processor and how to string actions
together to maximize your productivity.—Jan Kabili
74 | Beginners’Workshop
If you get that glazed-over look in your eyes when someone says
“nondestructive editing,”quickly flip to p. 74.—Dave Cross
78 | Digital CameraWorkshop
Ever dreamed of putting your images up on theWeb but thought
you lacked the expertise? Not anymore!—Jim DiVitale
82 | TheWOW! Factor
Here’s how to get pristine landmark shots even if you have
people traffic trying to get in the way.—Linnea Dayton
84 | Mastering Photoshop withVideo
Here’s the conclusion (Part 3) on how to create a graphic
animation for a newscast from a 2D image.—Glen Stephens
86 | Digital Photographer’s Notebook
Kevin gives us an exceptional skin-softening technique, using
model Catherine Norcom as his muse.—Kevin Ames
88 | Classic Photoshop Effects
Making a movie poster is a timeless technique. Here’s how to
make it look more complex with less hassle.—Corey Barker
94 | Photoshop CS3 Extended for Research
Here’s an overview of the types of data you can get from an
image using the Analysis tools.—Eric J. Wexler
96 | Photoshop CS3 Extended for Engineering
Integrating a 3D model into a 2D image can help the client real-
ize your vision and imagine the possibilities.—Scott Onstott
132 | Photoshop QuickTips
Go click-crazy in the Layers panel; restrict your cropping; and learn
powerful ways of using the Option (PC: Alt) key.—Sherry London
154 | Photoshop Beginners’Tips
Back up your presets; create cool spiral artwork; use shortcuts to
navigate the Filter Gallery; and more.—Colin Smith
ContentsApril/May 2008 | www.photoshopuser.com
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104 | Let Lightroom ManageYour Color Printing
Some Lightroom users have difficulty when it’s time to print. Once you
have everything set up properly in the Print module, you can achieve
quality prints every time.—Dave Huss
108 | Featured Photographer
This issue, we take a look through the lens of world-renowned
editorial and corporate photographer Maggie Hallahan.
111 | LightroomTips &Tricks
112 | Under the Loupe
The Export dialog was upgraded in Lightroom 1.3. Users are
now able to extend export functionality through third-party
114 | Working Creatively in Lightroom
The Camera Calibration panel is typically used to make adjust-
ments for specific camera sensors, but it’s more fun when used
as a creative tool.—Angela Drury
116 | Under the Hood
When you have lots of photos to edit from a shoot, use the Sync
function and take the rest of the day off.—Matt Kloskowski
118 | Lightroom Q&A
or years now, the Photoshop World Guru Awards have been recognized as the competition to win
in the digital imaging industry, and winning a “Guru” has been the career springboard for dozens of
talented designers, photographers, and Photoshop artists—kind of the “Oscars of Photoshop.” But
there’s always been a downside to the Gurus: Entry into the competition is just for those who attend the
NAPP’s Photoshop World Conference & Expo.
I actually think it’s pretty cool that the Gurus are what they are, and all who enter the Gurus are
there together at the live awards ceremony (part of the Photoshop World opening keynote). You can
feel the excitement and anticipation in the room when we start showing the nominees’ work in each
category—you can feel the electricity and it’s really something you have to experience firsthand.
But “firsthand” is also part of the problem. That’s why three years ago we set out to create a new com-
petition: a worldwide Photoshop competition open to every Photoshop user, everywhere. And I’m proud
to say that in our third year, the level of competition, the incredible prizes, and international recognition
that winning The Photoshop User Awards brings now rivals the prestigious Photoshop Guru Awards, and
we just couldn’t be more proud to host this annual competition.
a cover for this magazine). In year two, we sent the Best of Show winner and a guest to Rome and this year,
we’re sending the Best of Show winner and his guest to beautiful Maui! I’m honored to announce that this
year’s Best of Show winner is…(well, you’ll have to turn to page 51 where we reveal this year’s Best of Show
the competition, and look for our special winner’s cover image on a future issue of PhotoshopUser.
It’s also worth noting that this is our largest issue ever (150+ pages!)—we’ve come an awful long way.
When NAPP first started 10 years ago, our first issue was 32 pages and was published only four times a year.
For this issue’s cover story (starting on p. 40), we have an absolute rock-star lineup of the hottest wed-
ding photographers sharing their insights and techniques including: David Ziser on “In the Driver’s Seat”
(where David shares his philosophy of excellence in wedding photography); Matt Adcock on “Trashing the
Dress” (about the phenomenon of trashing the bride’s gown); and Cliff Mautner on “Stepping Outside the
Darkroom” (all about encouraging people to use Photoshop without drawing attention to its use).
We also have a special second feature (p. 98) from digital video wizard (and Photoshop World instruc-
tor), Richard Harrington, on how to use the Vanishing Point filter to create a VPE file that you can export
to After Effects and create a 3D flyby look—all from a 2D image. This guy is just sick!
One last thing: If you want to get the most from your NAPP membership, stop by the member website
once a week and watch Larry Becker’s “NAPP News” video report. It’s right there on the homepage, it’s just
5-minutes long, and it quickly brings you up to date on the latest member discounts, deals, and news you’ll
want to know. We’re getting loads of great feedback from members who watch it religiously and if you
haven’t caught it yet, put down the magazine, head over there, and check it out.
Thanks so much for your support of the NAPP and what we’re trying to do as an association. It’s great to
have you on board!
All my best,
Editor and Publisher
“We just couldn’t
be more proud
to host this
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Jim DiVitale is an Atlanta-based
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Angela Drury isanaward-winning
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Daniel East is an author, freelance
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Dave Huss, with more than 25
years’experience as a photographer, has
authored more than 18 books on digital
book is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
1.1 for the Professional Photographer. Dave is a popular
conference speaker in the U.S. and Europe.
Katrin Eismann isauthorofPhoto-
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in Digital Photography Department at the
was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2005.
Laurie Excell has28yearsofphoto-
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sales experience. Her images have been
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dars, Camping Life Magazine, Amtrak
publications, and BT Journal. Check out her website at
Jan Kabili is a popular Photoshop
author and educator. You can see her
Photoshop video podcast at http://photo-
shoponline.tv or subscribe to Photoshop
training videos, including Photoshop CS3 Essentials for
the Web, at www.lynda.com.
Sherry London is author of
Photoshop CS2 Gone Wild and has
written a number of other books on
Photoshop, Illustrator, and Painter.
Sherry also writes tips and product
reviews for Photoshop User and Layers magazines,
as well as tutorials for Planet Photoshop.
Bert Monroyis considered one of
the pioneers of digital art. His work has
been seen in countless magazines and
of many well-known institutions, written
dozens of books, and appeared on hundreds of TV shows
around the world.
Deke McClelland is recipient of
the Videographer Award for Excellence, the
full-color Adobe Photoshop CS3 One-on-
One (Deke Press/O’Reilly Media). He also
hosts the online series, Photoshop Channels & Masks and
Photoshop CS3 One-on-One (www.lynda.com/deke).
Colin Smith,an award-winning
designer, lecturer, and writer, has
authored or co-authored 12 books on
Photoshop and has created a series of
PhotoshopCD.com. Colin is also the founder of the online
Scott Onstott, author of Enhanc-
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has written and edited dozens of books
and videos on AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max,
Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. Subscribe
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check out his website at www.scottonstott.com.
Rob Sylvanis a trainer, instructional
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NAPP Help Desk Specialist, he’s a Senior
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Check out his Lightroom tips, tutorials, and presets at
Glen Stephens,developer of the
Tools for Television, Photoshop Toolbox
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video industry. His company, Pixel Post
Studios, provides training and design services for the
broadcast video industry.
Ben Willmore istheauthorofAdobe
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Up to Speed: Photoshop CS3, as well as
co-author of How toWow: Photoshop for
Chris Orwig, a photographer and
author, is on the faculty at the Brooks
Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.
His publications include Photoshop CS3
for Photographers, Photoshop Lighroom
Essentials, and more. Check out his website at www
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Thin and light, the new Cintiq 12WX gives you the ﬂexibility to work directly on screen
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Adobe Stock Photos
Adobe Systems Incorporated
released a notice in February
2008 announcing that it will dis-
continue its Adobe Stock Photos
operations as of April 1, 2008.
Customer support, however,
will still be available through
June 1, 2008. The company
reports that the service hadn’t
performed as well as they’d
originally hoped and that it will
turn its focus to new features
in current products and ser-
vices with their ever-evolving
According to James Alexan-
der, Adobe’s Director of Product
Management, “There is an on-
going additional cost factor, and
inga service has to look at how
effective it really is for our
business and our customers.”
Looking forward is Alexander’s
mission and he states that,
“Based on the Stock Photo
experience, there are certain
capabilities that will help us to
roll out these [new] projects
to the professional audience.
I don’t think this is the last time
Adobe is going to attempt to
bring content to its customers.”
Alexander says that Adobe
is looking at other services to
provide for video and online
PDF creation and photo-editing
services. “People are going to
see us experiment with more
of the online services…I think
it is the natural evolution.”
Adobe also reports that some
of these new offerings will be
revealed later this year and
in early 2009. For additional
information, visit www.adobe
Pentax offers new digital SLRs
The Pentax faithful will rejoice with the announcement of the new K20D digital SLR.This feature-
filled camera finds focus with 14.6 megapixels, a nearly 3" LCD display, and new noise-reduction
technology for improved image quality. Add to that shake and dust reduction, enhanced dynamic
range, a new LiveView function to view the image on the monitor when you’re shooting, six image
modes, and a weather-resistant body—a lot of value for the $1,299.95 price tag (body only).
Should you need a more compact system, check out Pentax’s new K200D with 18–55mm at
$799.95. The K200D offers many of the same new technologies
found in the K20D, but with a 10.2-megapixel CCD (charge
coupled device) sensor as opposed to a CMOS sensor. While
the K20D uses a rechargeable li-ion battery, the K200D runs
on AA batteries. Both models feature 11-point autofocus and
16 segment metering systems.
Bring in the new smc Pentax DA lenses due to ship in May
and you’ll have a lot of camera in your hands for a very good
price. Get more details from www.pentaxslr.com.
D60 digital SLR now available from Nikon
The new Nikon D60 compact, digital SLR camera is very fast—a stunning 0.18-second startup—
and includes the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6GVR image stabilization lens. Nikon’s
smallest digital SLR, the D60 has lots to offer with big features, such as a 10.2-megapixel CCD
sensor with Active D-lighting to optimize quality under extreme lighting conditions.
Like many new products in this category, the in-camera features now include special effects
and modest retouching abilities. The D60 sports dust-detecting technology that actually shakes
the particles from the sensor and uses Nikon’s Airflow Control System to reduce dust with each
shot. A 2.5” LCD monitor makes images easy to see and
menus easy to use. The D60 accepts SD, SDHC, and
Eye-Fi wireless memory cards.
In terms of performance, this is all-Nikon with
continuous shooting up to 3 fps, eight shooting modes,
EXPEED image processing, and 3D Color Matrix Meter-
ing II with three-area autofocus (similar to high-end
Nikon systems). The package is priced at around $750
with a body-only option in the mid-$600 range. Visit
Nikon at www.nikonusa.com.
Kodak unveils brand-new sensor
Imaging pioneer Eastman Kodak has announced an innovation in image-sensor technology
that further reduces the size of the device required to get impressive image quality. The Kodak
KAC-05020 image sensor is the first 1.4-micron, 5-megapixel device that’s small enough to make
even a camera-equipped mobile telephone produce quality images.
The new sensor outperforms other smaller-pixel technologies by increasing the sensitivity
and reversing the polarity of the silicon to improve the integrity and structure of each pixel.
According to Kodak, this produces a CMOS sensor that rivals the CCD sensors found in top-end
hardware. Kodak has also increased the light sensitivity with its TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern
to add panchromatic (clear) pixels to the sensor to detect all wavelengths of visible light. This
is reported to dramatically improve images in low-light conditions and reduce motion blur in
high-speed motion images.
The new sensor is capable of imagery up to ISO 3200 with support for 720p video at 30 fps.
It supports Texas Instruments’ OMAP and OMAP-DM to employ enhancement features, such
as image stabilization, red-eye reduction, and facial recognition in mobile communication
devices. To find out more, check out www.kodak.com/go/imager.
onOne Software, known for
its imaging and design tools,
announced that it has acquired
a method of image resizing
originally developed by Ramin
Sabet and Irmgard Sabet-
Wasinger in Vienna, Austria.
Mike Wong, Vice President
of Marketing at onOne Software,
explains, “The technology [of
Liquid Resize] that we acquired
is entirely different than the
patented resizing technology
that we have in Genuine Fractals,
which is intended when you
need to make a photo signifi-
cantly larger. The Liquid Resize
technology will allow users to
change the aspect ratio of a
digital image while minimizing
distortion. You’ll be able to take
a 4x5 aspect ratio, ‘stretch’ it to
a panorama format, and keep
all of the details in the image in
For more details, go to
their website, www.onone-
Check out the new and considerably improved Aperture 2. Apple Inc. has kept all of
the power and functionality of Aperture while updating the interface to simplify using
the product. Aperture 2 has more than 100 new features added to its photo-editing
and management software—most notably a streamlined user interface and entirely
new image-processing engine. Also, Aperture 2 has new image-adjustment tools,
including one called“Recovery,”which pulls back“blown”highlights.
Priced at $199 (upgrade $99), Aperture now seamlessly integrates with Apple’s
.Mac, iLife, iWork, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV products.
In addition, Apple continues to roll out hardware products with the new MacBook
Pro models. The update to the line unleashes the power of Intel’s new super-efficient Penryn chips and NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
graphics cards, with up to 512 MB of video memory, plus the addition of multitouch gesturing on the track pad.
Offered with either the base 2.4-, 2.5-GHz, or the seemingly inexplicable 2.6-GHz option (for an additional $250), the build-to-order
options include a 200-GB, 7200-rpm hard drive and up to 4 GB, 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM.
All of the connectivity is there too, with FireWire 400 and 800, USB 2 (15” offers two; 17” offers three), Bluetooth 2.1/EDR, Express-
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with the option for a mercury-free LED display. Pricing starts at $1,999 with lots of options available.
For more information on Aperture 2 and the new MacBook Pro, visit www.apple.com.
By Daniel M. East
Apple updates Aperture and MacBook Pro
Sony develops new CMOS Sensor
Sony Corporation announced the development of a 35mm full-size (diagonal 43.3mm /Type
2.7), 24.81 effective megapixel, ultrahigh-speed, high image quality, CMOS image sensor that’s
designed to meet the increasing requirement for rapid image capture and advanced picture
quality within digital SLR cameras.
In addition, Sony’s Column-Parallel A/D (analog to digital) conversion results in less image
noise with improved performance. While full production is said to be under way for later this
year, there’s no information about which models might contain this new sensor.
FontAgent Pro Server 2.5 announced
Insider Software has announced its new font-manage-
ment system, FontAgent Pro Server 2.5. The company
promises Web administrators a way to get consistency
and control over font use by providing access to only
those fonts that have been designated for specific users,
groups, and projects.
FontAgent Pro Server 2.5 boasts new zero-config-
uration architecture that can access user information
stored in Active Directory servers, and it has also been
updated to take advantage of the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
operating system. FontAgent Pro can help organizations
to manage and reorder fonts easily while tracking license usage. The new font server will also
warn administrators when license limitations are exceeded.
For more information, visit www.insidersoftware.com.
Sharp and Sony sign LCD Memorandum of Intent
Sharp Corporation and Sony Corporation have signed a nonbinding memorandum of intent
to create a joint venture for new, large-sized LCD panels and modules. Assuming they receive
government approval, the Sakai City, Osaka, Prefecture LCD production facility (currently under
construction) will manufacture the new 10th generation mother glass substrates for the new
products. According to a press release from Sony, a new company name will be announced by
April 2009 with the majority of the total investment and capital (66%) coming from Sharp vs.
Sony’s 34%. Visit www.sony.net for details.
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PhotoshopUser TV now on
the FOX Business Network
PhotoshopUser TV made the transition from the Web to
cable television February 5 with its debut at the I-was-up-
late-anyway timeslot of 1:30 a.m. (EST) on the FOX Business
Network. Reaching more than 30 million homes nationwide,
the FOX Business Network can be found on multiple cable
operators, including Time Warner, Comcast, Charter, and
Direct TV. (Check your local cable provider or Satellite service
for availability.) Of course, PhotoshopUser TV will still be
posted on the website (www.photoshopusertv.com), and
the iTunes/iPod version will be available as always. But now
you can watch Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and Dave Cross
from the comfort of your favorite couch or chair.
Climb inside the mind of photography
guru, Joe McNally
Joe McNally’s vivid, dramatic photography has appeared in the
pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, and National Geographic. Now
he is breaking new ground with his newest photography
book, The Moment It Clicks, by elegantly blending the stunning
images and layouts of a coffee table book with the industry tips
and tricks of a training manual. Joe breaks down pithy photogra-
phy concepts into bite-size pieces and shares personal insights
based on a lifetime behind the lens. Although unheard of to most
photography books, he even gives readers the“inside scoop”on
how each shot was taken and the challenges he had to overcome.
TheMomentIt Clicks is currently available to NAPP members at
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NAPP members can get a copy of Layers:TheCompleteGuide
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By Bryce Smith
Visit the NAPP member website (www.photoshopuser.com) for more info regarding any item on
these pages or anything concerning your membership.
If you have suggestions or ideas for enhancing your NAPP membership, please send them to
the NAPP Executive Director, Larry Becker, at email@example.com.
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It came from the forums
The NAPP member community is one of the greatest, yet most overlooked benefits of
belonging to the largest image-related association in the world. We have thousands of
members who frequent our member forums, and besides Photoshop World or a 1-day
seminar, the sense of community is strongest there in the forums. And it’s an incredible
resource for getting others to help you with suggestions, critiques, and referrals to resources
Sure, NAPP professionals are great. Scott Kelby, Dave Cross, Matt Kloskowski, Corey
Barker, Rafael Concepcion, and others will show you all kinds of Photoshop tricks and
techniques. And if you ask a question of Peter Bauer over at the Help Desk, you’ll get
an answer right away. On the other hand, if you want some group input to help you improve
a project or if you want to ask a few hundred people if they have seen a technique that
will improve a design you’re working on, your answers are just a forum post away.
There’s really no way we can convey all the great ways people meet, network, and trade
great information in our forums, so you should visit them at your earliest convenience
and go to the “Introduce yourself!” thread. Oh, and for the record, you’ll find that the NAPP
member forum is an incredibly friendly environment with great moderators who keep
everything moving in a positive, helpful direction. So if other forums out there have turned
you off, don’t worry! The NAPP forums are friendly, safe, fast, and amazingly helpful!
[Note: This member surely meant “pimping” in the kindest sense of the word and did not intend
for it to sound the way that might get a news correspondent suspended.—Ed.]
The following conferences and seminars are sponsored or produced by the National Association of
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STEP THREE: Because of the varying contrast in this image, we’ll
process two versions of it: one for the roof portion and one for the
lower chassis. Click-and-drag the Background layer to the Create a
New Layer icon to add a Background copy layer. For this copy layer,
go under the Image menu and choose Adjustments>Threshold. In
the dialog, choose 50 forThreshold Level and click OK. If there are
noisy areas, that’s okay, because we’ll paint later to eliminate them,
STEP FIVE: Click the Background layer to select it and press
Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to invert the values of the image.Then go
into the Image menu, under Adjustments, and choose Thresh-
old.This time we enter 145 and click OK. (Remember that some
experimentation may be needed depending on your image.)
STEP FOUR:The areas around the top of the car will be our focus
for this layer. Click on the Lasso tool (L) in the Toolbox and make
a selection around everything that you want to remove—for
our example, it’s the bottom section including the wheels, the
bottom of the car, and the shadows.Then press Shift-Delete (PC:
Shift-Backspace) to open the Fill dialog, choose White from the
Use menu, and click OK to fill the selection with white (as shown).
Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to deselect and click the Eye icon
next to this Background copy layer to hide it.
continued on p. 30
STEP EIGHT: It’s time to open the image that will be masked
within the graphic (our cityscape). As we’ll need a final RGB
document to composite the elements into, click on File>New.
In the dialog, we used 6.5" for Width, 8" for Height, and 200 ppi
for Resolution, and then clicked OK. With the Move tool (V),
drag your background image into this new document and posi-
tion it at the bottom (as shown). Note:You may have to use Free
Transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]) to resize your image; remem-
ber to press the Shift key while resizing to constrain proportions.
STEP SEVEN: Press Shift-Command-E (PC: Shift-Ctrl-E) to Merge
Visible layers and you should now have a black-and-white shape
of the car on one layer. Now we’ll load the white area as a selec-
tion. In the Channels panel
the Command (PC: Ctrl)
key, and click on the RGB
composite channel. This
will load the Luminosity
as a selection. Which, in
this case, is all the white
area of the image.
STEP SIX:With the Background layer active, use the Lasso tool to
select the top area of the car and fill this area with white, as we
did in Step Four. Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to deselect.
Next, click the Background copy layer and its Eye icon to make
it visible and active. Set this layer’s blend mode to Multiply, which
color to black, choose a
small, hard-edged brush,
and paint the small areas
of white around the car.
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STEP TEN: Be sure the cityscape layer is active and the selection
is positioned over the image, then click on the Create Layer Mask
icon at the bottom the
Layers panel. This will
mask the street image
in the shape of the
graphic. Now unlink
the layer mask from
the layer by clicking on
the chain icon between
STEP NINE: Go back to your base (car) image with the active
selection. Click on any selection tool (it doesn’t matter which one
but make sure the New Selection icon is clicked in the Options
Bar) and drag your cursor over the selected area—it will change
to a move-selection indicator (circled below). Drag-and-drop this
selection onto your working document.
If you need to scale this selection, go to the Select menu and
choose Transform Selection, press the Shift key (to constrain the
proportions), scale the selection to fit within your document
boundaries. Press Enter (PC: Return) to commit the changes.
STEP ELEVEN: Click the layer mask thumbnail to highlight it
and press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to bring up the Free Trans-
form bounding box. Slightly rotate the mask counterclockwise
to add a little more dramatic effect, then reposition, if neces-
sary. Now click on the layer (not the mask) to make it active and
use Free Transform to similarly rotate the image to somewhat
match the angle of the car. Reposition this image to reveal the
best part through the mask.
To complete our composition, we used Levels (Command-L
[PC: Ctrl-L]) to increase the contrast of the street image with a
quick adjustment then added some text. ■
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■ BY SCOTT KELBY AND FELIX NELSON
I saw this subtle design technique used on sample pages from Australian wedding photographer Yervant,
who sells a large collection of wedding templates (for more info, visit www.yervant.com.au). One of his
templates had this embossed corner effect I hadn’t seen used in this way before.
STEP ONE: He also used it with type for a similar effect. But to
get to that point, it takes a little setting up first. Begin by creating
a new RGB document (File>New) in whatever size you’d like for
your wedding album page (in this case, an 8x10"), then open
three photos in portrait orientation that you’d like to appear on
the page (as shown here). Choose a light-to-medium gray as
your Foreground color and press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Back-
space) to fill your Background layer.
STEP TWO: Take the Move tool (V), drag the main photo you
want to appear on the page into that new document, and then
press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to bring up the Free Transform
bounding box. Press the Shift key (so your photo resizes propor-
tionally), grab a corner, and size it so it appears approximately the
size you see here. Now, press Command-R (PC: Ctrl-R) to make
the Rulers visible, then click-and-hold on the top ruler and drag
down a guide; position it along the two center handles of the
bounding box (as shown here). Now you have a guide in place
for aligning your next two photos. Press the Return (PC: Enter) to
commit the transformation.
STEP THREE: Drag the next photo over to the document and
bring up FreeTransform again.You want this photo to be nearly
half as tall as your main photo. So grab a corner, hold the Shift
key, and drag inward to scale it down. Make sure it fits to the left
of your photo but slightly above that center guide. Press Return
(PC: Enter) when the size looks right. Now do the same thing
with the other photo, but place it below the centerline so all
three photos are in place (as shown here). Now click on the top
layer and press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E) twice to merge the three
photo layers into a single layer.
Now you’re going to add a black stroke border around your
photos. Choose Stroke from the Add a Layer Style (ƒx) pop-up
menu at the bottom of the Layers panel. When the dialog
appears, choose Inside for Position (so your corners don’t appear
rounded), change your stroke Color to black, then click OK.
STEP FIVE: Now that our setup is out of the way, let’s do what we
came here to do: create blind-embossed initials and ornamentals
on the background. First, click the Background layer, then go to
the Toolbox and choose the Custom Shape tool (nested under
the Rectangle tool). Now go up to the Options Bar and click on
the Custom Shape Picker. When the library appears, click on its
flyout menu and choose to load the Ornaments shapes set (as
shown here). Once you choose it, a dialog will appear asking
if you want to replace the existing shapes, or add (Append) to
them. Click Append and these Ornament shapes will appear at
the bottom of the Shape library.
STEP FOUR: Press Command-R (PC: Ctrl-R) again to hide the
Rulers. Now you’re going to convert these photos to black and
white by choosing Black & White from the Create New Adjust-
ment Layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers panel.
(Note: If you don’t have Photoshop CS3 yet, you can press Shift-
Command-U [PC: Shift-Ctrl-U] instead to do the conversion.)
When the Black and White dialog appears, choose whichever
built-in preset looks best to you, or create your own custom
black-and-white conversion using the sliders, and when it looks
good to you, click OK.
■ BY MATT KLOSKOWSKI
Energy drinks are popping up all over the place these days. Recently, we saw a can with a scratched surface,
almost like it was ripped from the can—really cool. And you know what happens when we see something
cool—yep, we have to re-create it in Photoshop.
STEP ONE: Start out with a blank canvas (File>New). For flexibil-
ity, start out big: We used 1200x2000 pixels with a Resolution of
300 ppi; however, if you’re creating something for theWeb, 72 ppi
will work just fine.
To set the mood for the image, we’ll fill the background with
black: Press the D key to set your Foreground color to its default
black and then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill it.
STEP TWO: Now comes the logo or whatever object you want to
make look like it was scratched. (This technique works best on thin
objects because a claw mark doesn’t leave a very wide opening.)
We called our energy drink“Mammoth,”so using the Lasso tool (L),
we drew a jagged M on the canvas (to add to your selection just
press-and-hold the Shift key).We were deliberately unsteady with
the mouse to give the impression of jagged edges. Click the Select
menu, choose Modify>Smooth and in the dialog, enter a setting of
5 pixels, then click OK to smooth the selection a bit.
STEP THREE: Next, click the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of
the Layers panel to create a new layer (Layer 1). Click on the Fore-
ground color swatch at the bottom of theToolbox and set the color
to bright green (we used R:124, G:189, and B:53), then click OK to
close the Color Picker dialog. Press Option-Delete (Alt-Backspace)
to fill the selection with the green color we just chose, and then
deselect (Select>Deselect) the logo selection).
STEP FOUR: Our“M”is kind of flat so let’s give it some depth.
Click on the M layer to make sure it’s active in the Layers panel,
then click on the Add a Layer Style icon (the small ƒx icon) at the
bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Inner Shadow. Make sure
your settings (ours are the default) are as shown (or similar) but
don’t click OK yet.
STEP FIVE: Next, click on the words“Inner Glow”in the Styles
list on the left (make sure you click on the words, not just the
checkbox) to add an Inner Glow layer style. Again, your settings
should be similar to what’s shown here. Don’t forget to change
the color as well—click on the color swatch and when the Color
Picker opens, drag your mouse (it changes to an eyedropper) and
click on the green in your image. Go ahead and click OK to close
the Layer Style dialog.
TOP LEFT BY MATT ADCOCK AND SOL TAMARGO;
TOP RIGHT BY CLIFF MAUTNER; BOTTOM BY DAVID ZISER
edding photography has seen the greatest increase to its
ranks in years, and we all know why: digital cameras. Hey,
the cost of membership into the “Wedding Photography
Country Club” is a lot lower than it used to be. In pre-digital days, you
practically had to mortgage the house for the equipment—Hassel-
blads, Mamiyas, and Bronicas. And I haven’t mentioned lenses; you’d
need to purchase the big “potato-masher” flash units to go with
those fancy, expensive cameras. The cash outlay was often around
$10,000–$20,000 or higher if you wanted pro results for your client.
How can the influences of the digital age help us become better
wedding photographers? Here are the facts: Equipment and lab
prices are getting cheaper, faster, and better in this digital age, so
photographers are poised in the driver’s seat to have the most profit-
able times ever. It’s no wonder that so many people are jumping on
the wedding photography bandwagon, as it seems like an easy way
to earn a few extra dollars. For most emerging pros, however, that’s
not enough to make the house and car payments. So, if you want to
be a better wedding photographer and become more successful,
buckle your seatbelts because here’s what you have to do.
What can you do to make your images stand out from the crowd?
The reality is that wedding photography looks pretty much the
same these days—just Google “wedding photography” and you’ll
see. Sure, there are some good shooters, but much of what you’ll
see is pretty standard. Maybe you need to ask yourself, “ How are my
images the same and how are they different from the competition?”
Start by looking at what kind of images your competitors are
producing. Take note of the kind of customer service they’re known
for, what kind of products they offer, and where they are in terms of
pricing, etc. Make lists and be specific. Then determine how many
of the items on your list are the same as your competitors. The trick
is to change as many of your similarities as possible into differences.
(Did you know that customers will spend a lot more on perceived
differences than similarities?) Work this list diligently, revisit it regu-
larly, and make changes quickly when more parallels creep back.
Otherwise, if everything looks the same, then price becomes the
choice, and cheap wins!
Something else to consider is what kind of passion you bring to your
wedding photography? An article I read recently claimed that many
wedding photographers are overpriced, based on the premise that if
Several years ago, during a weeklong wedding class I was teach-
ing, one of the class members asked another (who had traveled from
Israel): “Why are weddings such a big event for people of your faith?”
His answer is as clear to me today as it was 10 years ago. “In the over
5,000-year history of people of my faith, we endured by living from
one joyous event to the next!”
That’s when it became crystal clear to me that the role of the
photographer was more than just about shooting a wedding. It’s
about capturing the most joyous events in our clients’ lives. As we
look through our viewfinders, each wedding photographer must see
and feel that “joyous event” and only then will we be able to capture
all the heartfelt images our clients deserve. It’s an honor for us to
participate in such an important event.
What’s your basic lighting and shooting technique?” Do you set your
camera to “P for Professional” and just shoot away? Or have you read
the manual cover-to-cover and learned all the magic your camera has
to offer? Have you reviewed all the custom settings for your camera
settings? If not, your camera’s only firing on half its cylinders and it’s
time for a “tune-up.” Read the manual, then practice on your spouse,
practice on your kids, practice on your friends and family. Just keep
practicing until it feels natural.
It’s not about having every lens in your gear bag. For weddings,
my basic gear bag would contain just two Canon 40Ds, one with
50mm f/1.4 lens, (the f/1.8 version will save you about $275), the other
would be outfitted with a 17–85mm IS lens, with a third 70–200mm
f/4 IS lens also in the bag. Couple this with two Canon 580EX II flashes,
a monopod, 36" translucent umbrella, and a Quantum FreeWire,
radio-controlled setup and I’m ready to go. Down the road, you can
mix it up with a 10–22mm super-wide-angle fisheye lens, room lights,
etc.—but that’s after your wallet begins to fatten up.
So how do you get the creative juices flowing? Arrive early and start
building a plan. First I walk around the interior, exterior, grounds, and
any special nooks and crannies I can find, familiarizing myself with
the location and looking for the places that give me the best, some-
times the most dramatic, elements for my compositions. Remember,
you have to work fast on the wedding day. Don’t do your research
after things get started—that’s way too late!
Another way to get great images I learned from the late Monte
Zucker, legendary portrait and wedding photographer, who said,
“First be a good copier.” Otherwise, first learn the techniques of a
master photographer you admire, then get those techniques down
cold so it becomes routine. Once they’re burned into your brain,
you’re ready to add your own creative juices to the mix. (I studied
with some of the greats: Monte Zucker, Rocky Gunn, Al Gilbert, Dean
Collins, and many more. After a while, I broke away from the comfort
of their styles, incorporated my own spin on what I’d learned, and
eventually developed my own style.) Also, remember, nobody knows
it all. We should be students for our entire life—it’s the only way to
continue to learn and grow.
How about going back to school? For free! It’s easy, just head
over to Google.com, Flickr.com, and Photobucket.com and search
for “wedding pictures.” On Google, you’ll get more than 19,000,000
matches; Flickr more than 200,000; and Photobucket more than
45,000—a lot of inspiration and many great ideas. The Flickr site even
lets you group your favorites. As you add to your favorites, you’re
continually creating a go-to resource of ideas for your wedding
shoots. (Remember, these are just for your personal review and can-
not be used in any promotional way.) The point is that as you save
your favorite photographers’ site links and your favorite images from
your image searches, then compile them into your very own reference
library, the learning possibilities are endless.
Okay, you have a great set of ideas, you’re all fired up and ready to go,
but how are you going to use this energy and inspiration to improve
your photography? Try this: Before every wedding, promise yourself
that you’ll try something new and different and that you’ll work on
the weakest aspects of your technique. Tiger Woods does it every day,
so if you want to be a “Tiger” in this profession you should do it too!
Get a plan together based on your meeting with the client, your
timeline, and past experience of the venues. Set the schedule, mak-
ing sure to fit “Murphy’s Law” (if things can go wrong, they will) into
the equation. Some photographers have the “If you can’t shoot ’em
good, shoot ’em fast” motto but forget that philosophy and just
For every action, there’s an equal but opposite reaction and this
holds true for a wedding shoot. Watch the action but also develop a
sixth sense and be ready to anticipate how those around the action—
moms and dads, wedding party members, and guests—might react.
An action combined with a reaction creates a moment captured for
the client and it’s your job to capture more moments on the wedding
day than just the action.
Remember too that it’s not all about the bride and groom: The
parents also played a big part in planning and preparation for this
wedding day. Take images that the parents want—extended families,
grandparents, godparents, Aunt Minnie from Milwaukee—and get
the group shots that are special to the couple too—friends from col-
lege, work buddies, childhood friends, and fraternity/sorority pals.
In this photojournalistic age of wedding coverage, many impor-
tant images are missed, so have you thought about a second shooter
to help cover the wedding? Here in Cincinnati, we’re asked all the
time how many photographers will be at the wedding. I work with a
second shooter on many occasions to capture the peripheral action
at the wedding. These images supplement the coverage nicely and
can add substantially to your sales.
One last idea: Form a “brain trust” of like-minded photographers
and get together occasionally to discuss the status of wedding
photography and how can you improve on it. More importantly,
practice together and critique each other’s work. Hire college kids or
use friends’ children to be your models for portfolio development. It’s
a great way to hone your skills and create a knockout set of sample
images. Some bridal shops have clearance racks where you can pick
up an inexpensive bridal gown for about $100. Split the cost with your
brain-trust buddies for cheap “tuition” to improve your photography.
These are just a few things that I think make a good wedding photo-
grapher but it’s all about practice, patience, and passion. If you’re
giving the client 100% of your effort, talent, time, and energy…you
need to give them more!
Although he holds degrees in physics and engineering, David Ziser continues to enjoy a successful career as one of the coun-
try’s top wedding photographers and has shared his passion for the profession with tens of thousands of photographers
around the world. Once again he’s heading up the wedding photography track at Photoshop World this April in Orlando.
for some free “photography lessons.”
of your photography.
dial on your camera and flash does.
before the event so you can work
faster on the wedding day.
your style and technique while you’re not under the time con-
straints of the shoot.
to update those images.
room tutorials, and the latest happenings in the profession.”
ALL IMAGES BY DAVID ZISER
n 2003, del Sol Photography started receiving requests to cover
unusual photo sessions that allowed almost 100% creative free-
dom without the pressure of wedding-day stresses. The catch?
The bride wanted to wear her wedding dress for a photo session in
a seriously hostile environment.
These clients weren’t interested in any “formal portrait” or a session
that reminded them of their friends’ wedding photos. They wanted
something extreme—and extreme is what they got! On one of del
Sol’s first Trash the Dress (TTD) sessions, the client arrived in Mexico
with a stack of photocopied images. She had tear sheets with shots
from Howard Schatz’s underwater photo sessions and from model
and fashion magazines. This bride wanted to do a fairytale session.
For us, the del Sol TTD phenomenon was born.
As a recent groom myself, I enjoy photographing these sessions with
my insanely talented new wife, Sol Tamargo. Sol’s work and vision
are constantly inspiring me, and as a team, our portfolio reaches the
most dynamic level possible. Our studio, del Sol Photography (www
.delsolphotography.com), is comprised of two photographers in love
who spend their time photographing love. Talk about the dream job
of a lifetime!
Our studio serves the Mexican Caribbean coastline of the Riviera
Maya, based out of Playa del Carmen. Being local to this region opens
the door for more creative photo sessions. Our clients know that the
beaches are magnificent and the Yucatán offers pristine jungle set-
tings with some of the most amazing underground caves in the world.
Having a Spanish-speaking tour guide on hand is a bonus too (thank
you Sol!). After discovering some really amazing places, we began
booking TTD sessions and have had many requests for repeats since.
For this TTD shoot, Sol and I were standing in a cave sinkhole in
the middle of the Mayan jungle 10 miles inland from the Yucatán
coast. We were in water up to our knees. In some places, the ground
appeared solid, but we had to be aware because there was quicksand
mud. Bats were flying all around—lots of bats. In this part of the
country, the indigenous bats have an 8–10" wingspan. Looking up,
there was a 6' hole in the ceiling with a root system from the trees
above, all reaching down to drink water from the cenote, a water-
filled sinkhole usually found in South America. The water in places
was waist deep and crystal clear. Each step took us deeper into the
squishy dirt sediment. There were these oddly hard, small balls under
our feet randomly scattered on the bottom…my guess—bat guano.
We inserted the bride and groom in this absolutely anti-wedding
atmosphere and indulged in one amazingly exotic photo shoot.
Due to proximity of the wedding date (usually the day after), the
clients are enjoying the time of their lives. These day-after sessions
release all their tension. Some of the most amazing energy we’ve
ever witnessed flows from the souls of our brides and grooms. For us,
covering one of these sessions is a chance of a lifetime.
The lighting setup and final product are results of dynamic team-
wouldn’t exist without the help of our associate photographers and
technical assistants. These sessions require lighting skills; excellent
equipment; backup equipment; a subject (bride) who is ready for the
excitement; and location, location, location! After three or four hours
of shooting, we may end up with 1,200 photos that we sort through.
assistance of Photo Mechanic (www.camerabits.com), to complete a
tight edit for our clients.
Photoshop enables us to finish the artwork in postproduction. On
these controlled shoots, we try to nail the light from the start; how-
ever, sometimes the rustic qualities of our location prevent capture
of the ideal frame. Photoshop allows us to perfect the original vision
by using simple masks and levels adjustments. We use some del Sol
custom actions for brightening, darkening, masking, and toning. We
also enjoy the versatility of the History Brush tool (Y) and a few other
professional actions that help us balance for tungsten- or cooler-toned
images, which makes our life way, way easier.
Typical treatment in Photoshop involves some color correction and
cropping. Occasionally, we’ll combine faces from one photo to another
You can take snapshots of your image while you’re processing by
opening the History panel (Window>History) and clicking the Create
New Snapshot icon at the bottom of the panel. Snapshots enable
excellent History panel navigation, allowing endless variations of the
same photo during one edit session, and you can always repaint the
last state of the image with the History Brush tool.
When working on an image, we generally apply actions to create
different results. For example, we may crop an image and fix a few dust
spots on the sensor. Then we’ll make a snapshot to save our progress
while we’re still working on the same image.
Later on during the session, we can make a black-and-white
version of this image with some minor contrast adjustments. After
those adjustments, we’ll create another snapshot to save the results
of the black-and-white editing. Then we can revert back to the first
snapshot to start another postprocessing effect and see what the
image looks like after applying another set of actions that converts
the image to cross-processed.
After fine-tuning the results of the cross-processing, we’ll make
another snapshot to save that history state. If we aren’t yet satisfied
with the results of the image, we can go back to the first snapshot
we made and start another creative batch of techniques and actions
to achieve more artistic results. Basically, a snapshot provides us with
the ability to review results of countless postprocessing techniques
applied to one image during a session of editing.
We use the History Brush tool, with its blend mode set to Screen
or Multiply in the Options Bar, as a brightening or darkening tool,
respectively. It works similarly to the Dodge and Burn tools; it’s just
a different way to get the job done.
We look forward to many more exciting adventures. Creative freedom
is important for the growth of all wedding photographers. For us, the
del Sol TTD is a gift that keeps on giving. Every time we photograph
a session that blows our minds, a client requests an even crazier ses-
sion. This industry owes many thanks to all the photographers and
skilled artisans who have been involved with helping Trash the Dress
become its own artistic genre. Specifically, many thanks to Mark Eric,
author of www.trashthedress.com and all the participating photogra-
phers who perpetuate this worldwide phenomenon.
for photographers while showcasing del Sol Photography and featuring other professionals throughout the indus-
try. Del Sol Photography is comprised of Matt Adcock and Sol Tamargo, two photographers in love who spend their
time photographing love—a dream job of a lifetime.
You might be asking yourself, “Why in the world would anyone
want to wreck something that costs thousands of dollars?” Well,
I’m happy to paraphrase Mark Eric, wedding photographer and
author of www.trashthedress.com, by saying: “Why? Why not?
You’ve made your commitment to your one true love, so why let
something so beautiful go the way of the slow rot in the closet?
Just trash it! Especially if you can have a blast and get some
fantastic images out of it at the same time.”
ALL IMAGES BY MATT ADCOCK AND SOL TAMARGO
ome kind folks from this publication saw my images while
I was giving a presentation for Nikon at their Imaging USA
booth earlier this year in Tampa, Florida. When I was asked to
contribute to Photoshop User magazine, my first inclination was to
laugh—and laugh hard. I mean, I’m not exactly known as a Photoshop
With all of the amazing Photoshop artistry going on around us,
it’s easy to become awed and intimidated when gazing at the vari-
ous styles and techniques used to manipulate photographs. But,
after getting over my Photoshop-skill envy, I had a revelation: My
knowledge of Photoshop, however limited I may think it is, allows me
to work on my digital images in a similar fashion as if I were still in a
“wet” darkroom. Why not share what I know? After all, while I’m no
Eddie Tapp, I can give my images the necessary treatment to make
them look their best, while still maintaining a sense that the postpro-
duction doesn’t trump the original image. Simply put, I don’t want
people to think I’m just polishing trash; I want my images to speak
loudly on their own, not by the Photoshop work done to them.
My background is in photojournalism: I shot 6,000 assignments
in the 15 years I spent with the Philadelphia Inquirer. I learned dark-
room skills from some of the very best printers on the planet. With
an enlarger, light, lenses, and chemistry, we were able to enhance
our film images to complete a vision for our work. Hand move-
ments, exposure time, burning, dodging, and masking, were the
ancestors of the Wacom tablet, mouse, and Layers panel. In the
darkroom, however, there was a “truth” to the enhancement. Henri
Cartier-Bresson, considered by many as the father of photojournal-
ism, once said, “The picture is good or not from the moment it was
caught in the camera.” Today, it’s fairly simple to overprocess images
to compensate for inadequate photography skills. The “shoot first,
Photoshop later” mantra is fairly widespread and, in my opinion,
has enabled some photographers to cover their lack of a skill set with
a decent knowledge of Photoshop. The only thing worse than an
overprocessed, bad image, is a strong image that’s so overcooked in
Photoshop that the original shot becomes secondary.
I do my best to use Photoshop in a way that completes the vision for
an image, but never distorts or trumps the original. My approach to
Photoshop is fairly simple: Treat the image the same as if I were in
A technique I frequently use is perhaps one of the most basic in
Photoshop: Click-and-drag the Background layer to the Create a New
Layer icon to duplicate it, press Command-L (PC: Ctrl-L) to open the
Levels dialog, and bring down all the too-bright areas that distract
from the center of attention in the frame. Then I’ll click the Add Layer
Mask icon, set the layer Opacity between 30–50%, and paint in black
with the Brush tool (B) to bring back areas that are too dark, while
leaving the hot spots down where they should be.
There are also times I like to vignette an image. When in the dark-
room, it was common to burn the edges of a print to draw the viewer’s
attention to the subject. It’s easy to overdo this so for me it’s usually
very subtle. Here’s how: First, duplicate the layer, then select the
image to select the outer area that you’d like to vignette. Press Shift-
Command-I (PC: Shift-Ctrl-I) to invert the selection, go to the Select
menu, under Modify, and choose Feather. Enter 150 pixels or so in the
Feather dialog and click OK. Then, open the Levels dialog and bring
down the area you’re vignetting to the desired amount. If done right,
out at you. Not all images need vignettes, but when used in a subtle
fashion, it’s an invaluable printing tool.
ALL IMAGES BY CLIFF MAUTNER
I know you’re saying, “Simple,” right? The answer is, “Yes, it is.” The
trick is to be subtle. The goal is to use Photoshop on an image without
being obvious that it’s ever been in Photoshop. The greatest printers of
yesteryear were those who worked hard in the darkroom but you could
never tell exactly how hard they worked. Halos around heads, highlights
The truth is, if I can learn the basics of Photoshop, anyone can. You
don’t need masterful Photoshop skills to make great prints. Also, for
those who purchase and use another’s actions to save time, that’s great.
But do your best to avoid just pushing the Play button all the time:
When this happens, so many images begin to look the same. I’ll use
certain purchased actions, but I’ll use them for basic color tweaks, not
to polish a finished print.
Developing an individual Photoshop style is crucial. Even a neophyte
like me has been able to learn enough of the basics to give life to my
work and complete the vision I have for an image. When PhotoshopUser
asked me to write about my favorite techniques, I bet they had no clue
that I was so clueless. Maybe that’s the beauty of it! I know so many of
my colleagues who are intimidated by the thought of using Photoshop,
yet they have no idea how simple the basics are. I’m a living example
that you can teach an old “photodog” new tricks. I may never be a Photo-
shop Yoda, but when I tweak an image that completes my vision, it’s a
feeling of great satisfaction. The only difference now is that when I’m
done, I don’t smell like fixer. ■
Cliff Mautner’s photography career spans 26
years. After working 15 years as a photojournalist,
he launched his wedding photography career;
600 weddings later he hasn’t looked back. He’s
been recognized by Wedding & Portrait Photogra-
phers International as, “one of the top photogra-
phers and educators in the world.”
EXCLUSIVE LESSONS INCLUDE
Closeness and Direction of the Light Source
Keeping Your Subject Involved
The Model and the Light
Size and Distance of the Light Source
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My training is
as I work,INREALTIME.
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Taking Photoshop to the next level
When painting on a layer mask, brush hardness and diameter are critical to producing an accurate mask—
changing one without the other is a recipe for failure. Think about the relationship between these two
settings and you just might want to go back and rework your old images.
PhotoshopMastery ■ BY BEN WILLMORE
half (again 50 pixels) will cause the brush
to fade out with a soft edge. Switch to a
50-pixel brush and you end up with half as
much space used for the fadeout because
50% of 50 pixels is 25 pixels for the opaque
region and an equal amount for the fade-
out zone. Larger brushes have softer edges
because more space is available for the
Working with various brush sizes
This can cause problems when you’re
using a semihard-edged brush because
you might use a large brush for most of
brushwhen you run into a tight area, such
as a corner. If you leave the Hardness set-
or this tutorial, we’ll assume that you
already know how to create and use
layer masks. That way, we can concen-
trate on the details of which brush settings
should be used when editing a mask.
Determining hardness settings
The hardness setting of a brush should
attempting to mask. If the edge of the object
is crisp and in focus, you need a Hardness
setting near 100%; on the other hand, if the
object is out of focus or in motion (causing
motion blur), you’ll need a lower hardness
setting. The blurrier the edge of the object,
the softer the edge of your brush should be
to match the edge quality of the object.
I rarely use the Brush Preset Picker that
you access by clicking the Brush Preview in
the Options Bar at the top of your screen.
Instead, I use keyboard shortcuts, which are
faster and more efficient. For instance, to
increase or decrease the Diameter setting
for the active brush, type ] (right bracket) or
[ (left bracket), respectively, and to change
the Hardness setting, add Shift to the above
keyboard shortcuts. With these keyboard
shortcuts, you can cycle through Hardness
settings of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.
Changing diameter affects hardness
When you change the Diameter of a
changed—even though the actual Hard-
ness setting hasn’t. Here’s why: Consider
that the Hardness setting is expressed as
a percentage, where 50% means that 50%
of the brushwidthwillbeopaquebeforeit
asoft edge. If your brush Diameter is 100
ting the same, there will be a visual differ-
ence between the areas created with the
larger and smaller brushes.
To solve this problem, consider reduc-
ing the Hardness of your brush when you
switch to a smaller brush. For instance,
when switching from a 100-pixel/50%
Hardness brush to a 50-pixel brush, be
sure to switch the Hardness setting to 0%
to maintain the same apparent hardness.
Here’s the math: 50% of 100 pixels is 50
opaque pixels, leaving 50 pixels for the
fadeout. To get 50 pixels of fade-out on
a 50-pixel brush, you’d need a Hardness
setting of 0% to allow all those pixels to
be used for fadeout.
Fine-tuning the results
resulting mask directly by holding the
Option (PC: Alt) key and clicking directly
on the LayerMaskthumbnailintheLayers
Using this technique, you can usually cor-
rect for those times when you forgot to
BenWillmoreisthebest-sellingauthorofAdobe Photoshop CS3 Studio TechniquesandUp to Speed: Photoshop CS3,aswellasco-authorofHow to Wow:
Photoshop for Photography.Benspendsmanyofhisdaysontheopenhighway,adigitalnomadinhis40'motorcoach.Learnabouthislatestadventureat
Same size brush with Hardness settings of (from
top to bottom): 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%
From top to bottom: 50-pixel brush/50%
Hardness; 100-pixel brush/50% Hardness;
50-pixel brush/0% Hardness
Mask created using three brush sizes with
identical hardness settings (left); result of
touching up the mask with the Blur tool to
produce a more consistent edge (right).
PhotoshopUserand the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) are excited to announce the
winners of the 2008 Photoshop User Awards. After several rounds of judging by a creative panel led by Felix
Nelson, the NAPP Creative Director, the winners were selected from more than 1,200 creative entries in
11 categories. Check out their marvelous images on the next two pages.
And the prize for“Best of Show”goes to Gregory Carter for his creative entry,“Take the Field.”He’s won an
all-inclusive five-day assignment to Maui, Hawaii (with an assistant) to create a future cover for PhotoshopUser.
Congratulations also to the winners in each category who will receive a product package worth more
than $2,500 from contest sponsors B&H, Peachpit Press, Imagenomic, KelbyTraining, and Layers magazine.
Winner: Den Cops London, UK
Title: The Mandrake
Winner: Susi Lawson Wytheville, VA
Title: “Hey! I’m Trying to Read Here!”
Winner: Deeneshen Sabapathee
Winner: Christopher Sellers Los Angeles, CA
Title: 1959 Dodge Royal Lancer
Winner: Karen Metrin Lake Mary,FL
Title: Oklahoma Homestead
Winner: EugeneYoung Richmond, CA
Winners:Johansen,Tyskerud&Lundvold Rælingen, Norway
Title: Inferno Angel
Winners: Jose Luis & Claudia Soleto
Title: Food for the Gods
Winner: MikeTompkins Sarasota, FL
Title: White Christmas
Winner: Jared Martin
Winner: Adam Daniels Tampa, FL
Title: Summer Keepsake