August 16, 2017

Scott Kelby’s 10th Anniversary Worldwide Photowalk is coming!

About a week ago it was officially announced, the 10th Anniversary Worldwide Photowalk is scheduled for Saturday October 7th.  Photowalks are scheduled every year on the first Saturday of October and this year is sort of special because it marks the 10th Anniversary of the Worldwide Photowalk.  The Photowalk proudly supports the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. Although donations are not mandatory, every dollar donated helps feed, educate and provides housing for these kids.

If you’ve never been on one of these Photowalks, you might want to check one out. They are totally free and are a great way to meet fellow photographers. Plus you could enter the annual Photowalk Contest and get a chance to win some awesome prizes from companies like Canon and B & H Photo. I’ve attended six of these personally and look forward to this year’s event. 

I love Photowalks and think they are a lot of fun. You start by joining a group of your choice; there are thousands to choose from all around the globe. On the day of the photowalk you begin by meeting up with your group at a specific meeting place. Groups can be up to up to 50 other photographers.  Then your group leader leads your group on a pre-determined route through an area that is photographically interesting.  I try to go to new areas when I go on these and I’ve attended photowalks in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. These are a great way to see new things that I don’t usually get to photograph and meet other photographers. The Photowalks usually last around two hours or so and when you’re through your walk, all the attendee’s meet up at a local restaurant or pub (chosen in advance by the walk leader) where you can have a meal or some drinks and share photos and stories from the walk. It’s a great way to make some new friends and get out shooting with other photographers.
If this sounds like something you might enjoy, sign up quickly and mark your calendar. Remember, it’s not mandatory to make a donation but every dollar helps take care of some children who could use your support. Participating on a Photowalk also gives you chance to enter the contest and take a shot at winning some great prizes. Maybe you’ll win one of these fantastic prizes? Every year Scott picks one Grand Prize winner and 10 finalists. This year’s Grand Prize winner wins a Canon EOSM5 Mirrorless Camera with an EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS lens, and a Canon Pixma Pro color printer and a $250 B&H Gift Certificate, plus some other really cool prizes. They also have beginner’s contest and another contest for best video. The video part of the contest includes a Canon EOS 80D, complete with Lens, Microphone Power Zoom and a 32GB card.  A complete video package! Nice huh?

Check out all the great prizes to see what you could win. Maybe they don’t have a photowalk in your area?  You could sign up to be a Photowalk Leader. All leaders will receive a copy of Scotts book, The Photoshop CC book for Digital Photographers.  Click on any of the Photowalk links for more info and a list of all the great prizes.

Who knows, maybe I’ll bump into you on this year’s photowalk?

July 12, 2017

Fixing fine details in Photoshop

Here’s a simple trick that could help you work on images easier. Did you ever notice that sometimes when you’re working on a large image or document that has a lot of detail, that it can make your monitor feel pretty small? This can happen even if you have a large monitor. Do you find yourself zooming in to touch up some of the fine details and then zooming out to see if the changes look good, only to find out it doesn’t work? Or maybe you’re working on an image that you know you’re going to put up on your website or send in an email and you only want to see how the final image will look with the changes? Here’s an easy way to help you solve this problem.

In Photoshop, just go up to the Windows drop-down menu and choose Arrange. At the very bottom of that menu you’ll see New Window for (name of your document). This will open a second window for your document that will update in real time with each change you make. You can keep your main image regular size and zoom in tight for working on the finer details in the second window. 

Tip: this works really well if you have a two monitor set-up.  Try it yourself the next time you’re fixing those fine details. Nice huh?

Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!

June 14, 2017

Quickee Matt Style photos

Here’s a simple lesson that you might find useful to see if your image might look good with a matted style border before you go thru all the work printing and cutting matt board etc.

1.  Open the image you want to add the border to in Photoshop. This tip works quicker if you have a single layered image. If you have multiple layers, it’s just one more step, no biggie. Click on the top layer and press and hold the Shift-Ctrl+Alt keys and then tap the letter E. This will put a flattened copy of all your layers on top of the layer stack that we can work on.

2. Maybe you like your image as it is and it doesn’t need to be cropped, then jump down to Step 3. If you’d like to crop your image a little, just hit the C key for the crop tool and press and hold the Alt key and drag a corner handle inwards until it looks good to you and then click the checkmark of the title bar to accept the crop.  By holding the Alt key, you keep it in the same orientation as your original.

Now we’ll add a stroke to our image to help separate our photo a little better.

3.  Click on the Add a layer style button on the bottom of the Layers Panel (fx). On my image I chose a 5 pixel stroke in black because I was going to use a white background around my image and I like the way it looks. You can set the color and width of the stroke to your own liking.

Tip: When your adding your stroke, make you sure you set the Position to Inside (underneath size) because that will give you nice sharp corners around your image.

4. Now we’ve got our stroke around our image we’ll add our border, but first we need a blank layer beneath our image to make this work properly. Make sure your background layer is unlocked, then press the Ctrl key and click the Create a new layer button on the bottom of the Layers panel (next to the trash can icon) If your image is locked you won’t be able to add a layer beneath it. By holding the Ctrl button, it will put a new layer beneath your image layer. Now click the image layer to make it active and choose the Crop tool again. You’ll see the crop border around our image.  Press and hold the Alt key and drag a corner handle outwards until you have enough border. When it looks good, click the checkmark on the title bar to accept the crop. 

You’ll notice you now have a grey and white checkerboard around your image indicating blank canvas. To fix this, make the blank layer active by clicking on it and then fill it with your choice of color. You can do this easily by pressing the Shift key and tapping the F5 key to bring up the Fill dialog box. 

Select your choice from the dropdown menu and your all set. You can flatten your document and print it this way or just use it as a guide, you decide. There are also ways to add different widths to a single side or multiple sides, but that’s a lesson for another post.

I use this quick method just to see if I might like to make a print of an image before going through the whole process cutting a matt and framing the print. I wrote a pretty lengthy post on another method back in Feb. 2011, check it out here if you’d like to see it.   Gallery Style Templates   I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful.

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