October 5, 2016

How do I do that in Photoshop – Book Review

Back in February of this year I wrote a quickie review on a book that I thought a lot of people could benefit from, it was called “How do I do that in Lightroom?” by Scott Kelby.

Chances are that if you’re into photography you’ll recognize that name. Scott’s written over 50 books on photography, Photoshop and Lightroom so he knows his stuff.  In fact he’s been the best-selling computer/ technology author in the world since 2005. I actually ordered a copy of that one as soon as it went on sale because I can always use more help with Lightroom. Personally, I find it very useful. If you want to read my post on that book, click on this link:  How do I do that in Lightroom?

Scott also has a very popular daily blog (The Photoshop Insider) that I try to read daily. I’ve really enjoyed it for many years. Each time he comes out with a new book he has a little contest where you get to post a comment on why you’d like to win the book and you get entered for a chance to win a copy, usually before they’re in the stores. 

Because his book on Lightroom tips was so successful, he wrote a follow up for Photoshop called “How do I do that in Photoshop”. These days more and more people are using Lightroom but sometimes you’ll find that some things you just can’t do in Lightroom or where Photoshop is just faster or easier to use. Unfortunately because of the power of Photoshop, sometimes the things you need are kind of hidden or hard to find. Most of us know that Photoshop can do just about everything but sometimes it seems like Adobe sort of hid the feature we’re looking for or made it not so obvious to find. Ever have that problem?

That’s what makes this book so handy. It was laid out in the same format as his previous book of tips on Lightroom, so I added my comment and actually won a copy of this new book myself. I’ve actually won two or three times myself and considering how many people follow his blog I think that’s pretty cool.   Truth is, I would’ve purchased the book even if I hadn’t won because I find his books extremely helpful. Even if I only picked up a tip or two, to me it would be worth it. I’ve been using Photoshop since version 6.0 so I know a thing or two about the program, but if you use Photoshop yourself you know there are usually several ways to accomplish the same thing right?  I’ve actually learnt quite a few time saving tips and work arounds from the book already. Each page has a single photo with a description of which button to click, which setting to use and exactly how and when to use it. 

Maybe you could use one of these books yourself? You can purchase either one of these books for under $20, which won't break the bank. If you're new to Photoshop or even if you've been using it for years, I’m sure you’ll pick up a tip or two yourself.  Click on these links to send you over to Amazon where you can purchase them from a name you can trust. How do I do that in Lightroom or How do I do that in Photoshop

I hope you enjoy my post and as always, remember to keep shooting and have some fun! 

September 5, 2016

9th Annual Worldwide Photowalk

A couple weeks ago the date was announced for Scott Kelbys - 9th Annual Worldwide Photowalk. This year’s walk is scheduled for Saturday October 1st. If you’ve never gone on one of these you owe it to yourself to check one out. Groups are filling up fast so you’ve got to sign up quickly if you’re interested in participating.

I’ve been lucky enough to go on seven of these walks myself and they’ve always been fun. I’ve gone on Photowalks from Providence, RI all the way up to Bar Harbor, Maine. I always like to  explore new places but this year I’m staying kind of local (Boston, MA) The first year the photowalks started (2008) I signed up for one in Boston and had a really good time. This year I’ve signed up for another one in Boston, in another part of the city. Boston has tons of shooting possibilities. It should be a great time and I’m looking forward to it.

Photowalks are a fun way to explore new places, meet new friends and be part of a great cause. The Photowalk itself is totally free but when you sign up you have the option of donating a dollar towards the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. Most of the children at SOHK have been orphaned, abandoned or abused and have nowhere else to turn. Since the first year they teamed up with the orphanage, back in 2009, these Photowalks have helped to raise over $100,000. Donating is totally optional, but some people donate more and it really helps out. 

Photowalks are great social events where groups of photographers (up to 50 photographers) get together for a couple hours and explore new areas while making new friends and taking photos. At the end of the walks, they all get together at a local watering hole or restaurant and compare photos and talk about the day. Then to make things even better, they have the option of uploading their best photo of the day to their walk leader and he (or she) will pick a winner from their group and submit it into a worldwide competition for some really great prizes. This year’s event is being sponsored by Canon and the grand prize is a new Canon 5D Mk III complete with lens. There is also a Canon 80D all set up for video with a Robe microphone and Wi-Fi grip. There are all sorts of other great prizes including gift cards and Kelbyone memberships. If you want to find out more, check out this link. Worldwide Photowalk
Who knows, maybe I’ll see some of you on my walk? In the meantime, keep shooting and have some fun!

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.
© D. Gould Photography