August 10, 2016

Using the Preset Manager in Photoshop

Well it’s already August and for some of us in New England that means summer is dwindling away. I hope you're all getting out with your cameras as much as possible? Here is a little quickie tip I hope you’ll enjoy.

If you’ve been using Photoshop for a while, you probably already know that there are a ton of presets that come  pre-installed with Photoshop. Things like Patterns, Shapes, Brushes, Styles and Gradients. Maybe you’re like me and you enjoy playing around in Photoshop when you’ve got some free time. Personally I like to create posters and play with graphics, so I’m always creating new brushes or shapes, importing new colors or making new patterns. Sometimes I’ll be working on a photo or image and change the settings on a particular tool to get the effect just the way I like it, but after I close my document, I can never remember my settings again? Does this ever happen to you?

Fortunately, one of the lessor known features in Photoshop is also one of the handiest, the Preset Manager. Because there are so many features in Photoshop, a lot of people don’t even know that it exists? This is a convenient place to save your custom tools or brushes so you don’t have to remember all your settings the next time you want to use a particular tool or brush or one of the colors or shapes you've downloaded. This is especially nice when you tweak brushes or adjust scattering or other shape dynamics, you can just save it in the Preset Manager and next time you want it you've got it. 

Try this the next time you’ve created a new brush or shape. When you get all your settings just right, just click on the drop-down menu in the top left of the toolbar (next to your current tool icon) and you’ll see a little gear symbol. Click that and your first choice is New Tool Preset. Give it a name you’ll remember and next time it’ll be there when you want to use it again.  Beauty is, you can also sync all your presets with the Creative Cloud. All you do is go up to Edit>Presets>Export/Import Presets then select the presets to migrate. If you're like me I'm sure you'll find this little tip useful.

July 4, 2016

Camera RAW Filter in Photoshop CC

Everyone knows that Photoshop includes some pretty incredible tools when it comes to fixing color and lighting, but on some images, I personally find it’s actually easier to use the sliders in the Basic panel of the Camera RAW plug-in or Camera RAW filter.  One of the best new features of Photoshop CC is the fact that we can now open our images in Camera RAW anytime we’d like.

If you shot your photograph in RAW format, Camera RAW opens automatically when you double-click the file. But did you know that you can open the plug-in as a filter in Photoshop on any file format? 

If you’re a Cloud member then you might know you have this option just by choosing Filter>Camera RAW filter. Personally I like the option of changing my mind after the fact and prefer to work on Smart Objects so I can do this non-destructively. So I will first duplicate my background layer and then convert that layer to a Smart Object before I choose the Camera RAW filter. This does double our file size and in the old days we tried to save space on our drives, but seriously, drive space is so cheap these days that my file size really isn’t all that important anymore. 

Now I’ll convert that layer by either right clicking next to the layers name in the layers panel and choosing Convert to Smart Object or using the Filter drop-down menu and choosing Convert to Smart Object. Then, when you want to open that layer in Camera RAW you go up to the Filter drop-down menu again and choose Camera RAW Filter. Pretty easy huh?   Try it for yourself, I think you’ll like it. 

And remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!

June 8, 2016

20 Things Most Photographers Get Wrong

I recently watched an episode of a podcast I follow that I think that anyone who is new photography should watch. It’s called  "20 Things Most Photographers Get Wrong" It’s from a weekly podcast of a show called “Tony and Chelsea Live”.  The show is hosted by Tony Northrup and his wife Chelsea. Maybe you’ve seen the show yourself? They cover all sorts of topics on their program. Seriously, even if you’ve been shooting for years I think you could pick up a tip or two. 

You could be new to photography or maybe you’ve been shooting for years, either way, this video will smash some of those age old photography myths that we’ve been told since the days of film. Film? Whats that? Some of the things they cover on this episode will surprise you. Tony will also give you some practical advice on certain photo gear that could possibly save you some money or frustration. Maybe you’ve been thinking about purchasing some new gear yourself? 

Tony is a professional photographer, author and video instructor. He has published 32 how-to books covering Windows systems and software development and photography. He’s often been called a technology expert and I think you’ll agree.

Maybe you already watch his show and have not seen this particular episode?  Each episode is about 45 minutes long and Tony and his wife Chelsea cover a wide range of topics on photography and photo related things.  Tony and Chelsea now have over 400 episodes online, so a lot of other people also like the show.  Here’s another link to the episode called "20 Things Most Photographers Get Wrong"  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography