The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 11/09/09

by on Nov.08, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop Elements, Webcast, Workshops

Photoshop Elements Webinar is Saturday, 11/14

On Saturday, 11/14 from 9AM to 1PM PST, Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer Magazine, NANPA Fellow (North American Nature Photographers Association) and author of over 2 dozen books on all aspects of photography, will teach a 4-hour webinar on Photoshop Elements for Digital Photographers. In just 4 hours, you’ll learn how to use Photoshop Elements (PSE) to get the most out of your digital images. Rob strongly believes that PSE and Lightroom are the best combination for digital photographers and he’ll show us how and why.

Students will be able to hear, watch and ask questions as Rob edits and enhances images on his PC desktop using PSE. All 4 hours will also be recorded so students can review the videos for free for 60 days.

Did I also mention there’s a pot full of “door” prizes? “Door” is in quotes because there really isn’t a door as such. Maybe I should call them URL prizes? Anyway, one of the hot prizes is a bundle of Topaz Labs plug-ins (Adjust, Clean, DeJPEG, Denoise, ReMask and Simplify). Today’s video MMT happens to be a quick overview of the first module I’ve tested, Adjust 3. See the video below.

Video Monday Morning Tip – Topaz Adjust 3

Topaz Labs plug-ins were demonstrated at Photoshop World last month and I can honestly say it’s some of the most amazing software I’ve seen in a long time. At the same time, to get the most out of the software, you have to read the manual and practice (There Ain’t No Free Lunch). Like almost any software, you can use the preloaded presets for good results or you can learn how to create your own effects and get some amazing results. It’s all up to you and how much effort you invest.

Video Monday Morning Tip, 11-09-09
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In the future, if there’s interest, I’ll cover the other modules in more detail. Also, if enough people request it, I’ll ask Topaz Labs to conduct a short free webinar using my webcast system. So, if this looks interesting and useful, leave a comment.

If you’re new here and want access to over 100 past MMTs, register using the form to the right. Most MMTs are behind a password to keep web scrapers and other creeps from taking everything off this site and fooling people into thinking they’re visiting a legitimate site.

Quick Tip

If you have a laptop or desktop PC with a biometric authenticator and want to upgrade to Windows 7, I’ve got a great tip for you.

A biometric autheticator is a device on your PC that you wipe or lay a fingertip across and it identifies you by your fingerprint. As with any computer device, there’s a hardware portion (the scanner) and a software portion (the analyzer).

My Fujitsu laptop came with an Authentec scanner and Softek software. Together, the system allowed me to use long, nearly impossible to hack passwords like “yDBr5#228%nN4” without breaking my brain.

When I upgraded to Windows 7, the Softex software no longer worked but it turned out to be a good thing because Microsoft has standardized biometric systems with a handy protocol called Windows Biometric Framework.

Fortunately for users, we don’t need to understand any of this. All you need is the make and model of your biometric scanner. If your scanner meets WBF standards, you’re golden because you can use any WBF compliant software. In my case, when I contacted Softek about upgrade pricing, they blew me off and tried to charge me for a whole new package. After a bit of poking around, I discovered a company called Upek (where do they get these names?). For US$19.95, I was a bit skeptical but decided to give the free trial a spin. It’s a bit more complex than the Softex program because it does more but, overall, I’ve been pleased with it.

Bottom line, if you have a biometric scanner and want o upgrade to Windows 7, search for “windows biometric framework scanners” and you’ll find lots of programs that now work with your scanner. You’re no longer stuck with whatever software that originally came with your scanner.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Dick

    Lee, Thanks for the VMMT this morning. I found it quite interesting & I’m very much looking forward to the Webinar on Saturday,


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