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.

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!
© D. Gould Photography