The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: acr

Freebies and Low Cost Goodies

by on May.15, 2011, under Lightroom, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Webcast, Workshops

FREE Photoshop Elements Webinar

On Wednesday, May 18 at 7PM Pacific Time, the first 10 people to register will be able to join my Photoshop Elements in 6 Weeks class for a sample session. The webinar is 1 hour and this session covers Selection Tools. Non-paying attendees will not be able to ask questions or interject comments and will not have access to the recorded video afterwards.

To register, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the log-in information. Registration is open until Tuesday midnight or when all 10 seats are filled.

Learning Lightroom 3.0

With the release of Lightroom 3.0, there’s been a lot of interest LR training. Recently, I received an e-mail from Adobe with a list of LR classes and workshops. From the list, I checked out the website of George Jardine, a Denver photographer/LR instructor and I was blown away!

George offers 3 video tutorials (over 16 hours) covering LR Library, LR Develop and Adobe Camera RAW (ACR.) These are not cheesy, jerky, blurry homemade videos but full up professional productions of LR and ACR tips and techniques for every level of LR, PSCS or PSE user. Best of all, George offers a “bundle” deal. The LR Library and Develop tutorials are $24.95 each and the ACR tutorial is $34.95. However, if you buy both LR videos for $$49.90, George gives you the ACR tutorial for FREE! It don’t get no better’n that!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to immediately recognize George as a “Conscious-Competent” among Photoshop trainers. George is not just very knowledgeable but he knows how to transfer that knowledge to others in a clear, succinct manner without the over-hyped, self-promotion of many Photoshop trainers.

George gives you the tools so you can make better decisions about your adjustments. Unlike many so called “gurus,” George recognizes there are no quick & easy formulas for excellence, each of us needs to make our own decisions about our photography. George gives us the tools for making those decisions. Lest I sound like George’s #1 Fanboi, I’ve never met George and I get nothing by promoting his video tutorials. I just want my readers to get the maximum “bang for their buck” when seeking training.

Here are some photos that have nothing to do with LR training but how can I possibly post a photography blog without a few photos?

Join me in the Eastern Sierras this October     

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Correcting White Balance in JPEGs

by on Aug.11, 2010, under Articles, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements

Questioning Conventional Wisdom

We all know that for maximum post-processing flexibility, we should shoot in RAW. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that force us to shoot in JPEG. For example, a Canon T2i is limited to 6 RAW files in Continuous Mode before the buffer is full and the camera stops to digest the data. At 3.7 fps, that’s just 1.6 seconds of action. If you’re trying to capture lots of action, the camera may not be ready for the next burst. In this situation, it might be better to use JPEG.

Conventional wisdom says, with JPEG, the trick is to nail white balance in-camera because it’s messier to make corrections once the in-camera processor has mucked with the data. Besides, who wants to adjust WB for dozens of photos.

This week, I tested conventional wisdom by scrounging around for some old jpegs with bad WB. I used 3 different techniques for adjusting WB and I think you might be surprised at the results.

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Monday Morning Tip – 09/21/09

by on Sep.20, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photoshop Elements, Webcast, Workshops

Photoshop World in Las Vegas

PSW is just around the corner so I’m making last minute preparations. The actual conference is Thu, Oct 1 thru Sat, Oct 3 but there’s a day of Pre-Conference Workshops on Wednesday and a NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) Meet & Greet on Wed night. If you plan to be at PSW, let me know and we can make plans to grab lunch.

On Sunday, after the conference, there’s a VW show, Bugorama at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway that I hope to walk around for a while. There should be lots of photo ops at that show.

Afterwards, I’ll be driving up to Bishop, CA to photograph bristlecone pines in the Eastern Sierras with Rob Sheppard.

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers with Ben Wilmore

On Monday, Oct 19, at the San Diego Convention Center, Kelby Training will be offering Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers with Ben Wilmore. I’ve never taken a class with Ben but he’s said to be an excellent instructor. Ben drives around the country in a converted bus RV to take photos and teach Photoshop. This class is a fast-paced, lecture in a room for 875 people so don’t expect a lot of hand-holding. Also, CS4 concepts don’t always translate to Photoshop Elements (PSE) and there won’t be any help for that.

Photoshop Elements Webinar with Rob Sheppard

There are still a few seats left for the November 14 Photoshop Elements webinar with Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine and author of dozens of photography books. Rob is working on a book about the newest version of PSE so, if you’re thinking of upgrading, you’ll want to view this webinar before buying PSE.

Someone asked me to describe a webinar. A webinar is like watching TV where you can interact with the people on screen. If you’ve ever watched Jeopardy and shouted the answer at the screen, you’ve experienced half of a webinar. In a full webinar, Alex Trebeck looks at you and says, “Sh-h-h, no help for the webinar audience.”

Anyone who still thinks of PSE is the ugly duckling step-sister of Photoshop needs to take a look at the new PSE. For most digital photographers, scrappers and busy people, PSE will do 90% of what PS CS4 can do. What can’t be done in PSE can be done through low-cost “plug-ins”, handy little tools that plug-in to PSE and acts like an original feature of PSE.

Future Photoshoot Workshops

Planning has started for Desert Wildflowers at Joshua Tree National Park and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in the March-April 2010 timeframe. As always, each workshop will be limited to just 4 students so eveyone gets maximum assistance.

In November, I’ll be going to Salton Sea to photograph burrowing owls. This is a planning trip for future burrowing owl workshops so there won’t be instruction as such but past students are welcome to join me. Watch this site for details.

I’ll be going back to the Deer Park Winery in Escondido, CA for more scouting and planning in the next few weeks. Again, this isn’t a workshop as such but you’re welcome to join me and watch how I set up and devise lessons for my workshops.

Monday Morning Tip

Today’s MMT is a video of my workflow. Workflow is just a fancy way of saying how I do things. The video is about 15 minutes because I’m explaining each step but, in reality, I usually go through this in about 3-5 minutes after I download photos until the first image is done. After that, each image takes as little as 30-90 seconds.

During the Photoshop Elements portion of my Wild Animal Park Hands-On Photoshoot yesterday, one subject that seemed to intrigue the students was the ability to simply fix one RAW photo in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) then drag & drop the same fixes to all the other photos taken under the same conditions. This is a real time-saver that I’ll address in a future video MMT.

Unlike regular MMTs that are behind a password and only available to registered readers, this MMT is open to all viewers.

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Monday Morning Tip – 08/24/09

by on Aug.23, 2009, under Articles, Monday Morning Tips, Photoshop Elements, Schedule, Webcast, Workshops

Rob Sheppard to Teach Photoshop Elements

On Saturday, November 14 from 9AM until 1PM, Rob Sheppard will teach a 4-hour Photoshop Elements class jam-packed with tricks, tips and shortcuts used by professional photographers. Whether you are a complete newbie or an experienced PSE user, you will learn more about Photoshop Elements than you ever imagined possible. After this class you will be able to enhance and edit digital photos faster, easier and more precisely than ever before. Most of the material from this class also applies to Photoshop CSx.

If that’s not enough, you’ll receive 60 days of e-mail support after the class. That’s right, for 60 days, if you encounter a problem and just can’t figure out how to apply Rob’s tips, send me an e-mail and I’ll get you an answer. What class have you ever taken that offers that kind of help?

Anyone with the slightest interest in photography knows the name Rob Sheppard. He’s the editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine and editor/founder of PCPhoto as well as author of over a dozen books on photography.

I literally ran into Rob at the NANPA (North American Nature Photographer’s Association) summit earlier this year and asked him to teach a Photoshop Elements class for my readers. He was enthusiastic but, understandably, his schedule was filled.

Rob is now available to teach that class on November 14 via webinar. Even better, the cost is just $59.95 ($49.95 early bird special until Sept 30). If you had attended Rob’s class at NANPA, you would have paid $155 plus hotel, meals & travel to Albuquerque so this is a screaming deal!

Click below to register today. Seating is limited.

Monday Morning Tip

When I first converted to digital in 1998, almost everyone used JPEG. This was reinforced for me because I was a sports photographer who came home from events with upwards of 1000-1200 frames. All the frames except total disasters were quickly processed for levels and sharpness before resizing and uploading to my web site for people to order. As orders came in, I reprocessed each photo for printing but, during the initial rush, there wasn’t time for messing about with RAW files.


Today, one of the most frequent questions I hear is, “Should I shoot in RAW or JPEG?” Even rank newbies are pressured into thinking they should be shooting RAW because “that produces better photos.” Let’s set the record straight. It’s just as easy to capture crappy RAW photos as it is to capture crappy JPEGs.


Today’s MMT addresses this question head-on for newbies. This MMT will answer this age-old question once and for all. As always, the MMT is in the Tips & News page of this site.

Quick Tip

One of the trickiest things to do in Photoshop or PSE is selecting hair when you’re trying to knock out a person’s head from a photo. Let’s say you took a family photo at the reunion but Cousin Ernie couldn’t attend. You try to paste Cousin Ernie’s photo from last year into this year’s photo but it’s nearly impossible to get a good selection of Cousin Ernie’s curly blonde hair which was photographed against a white wall.

Whenever you have friends and family together, take several head shots against a contrasting wall. Cousin Ernie’s blonde locks will stand out nicely against a dark wall while Aunt Ruthie’s mousey brown hair contrasts with the standard Navajo White found on most interior walls.

Next time you want to knock out Cousin Ernie from a busy background, use hair from the easy photo. You don’t want to use too much because the light and angle probably won’t match but little wisps here and there will help fill out areas where his hair blends into a white object in the background.

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Monday Morning Tip – 6/15/09

by on Jun.14, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

(Added Photoshoot info at the bottom)

Monday Morning Tip

OK, I know you’re probably sick and tired of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) so this is the last one for a while. We’ve really only begun to scratch the surface but there’s a limit to how much time I can spend playing with and writing about ACR and I’m sure there’s a limit to how much you want to read.

Today, we cover the Histogram in ACR and, in passing, mention the Exif data and RGB values below the Histogram. BTW, per Japan Electronic Industry Development Association (JEIDA), the keeper of Exif standards, the proper terminology is Exif with a capital “E” and the rest in lower case and it is an ancronym for Exchangeable image file format.

As always, the full MMT is in the Tips & News section and requires a password that is e-mailed to you upon registeration. Registration is simply a means of preserving the value of the MMTs for readers. Without registration, there would bots slurping down all the MMTs and who knows where they would end up.

Quick Tip

When using an external flash, did you know that there is a modeling light feature? A modeling light puts out a low power, pulsed light so you see what the scene will look like when the flash fires. It’s great for detecting where the light and shadow will fall. In the old days, photographers often used Polaroids to get a sense of the lighting and pose but a modeling light is more convenient. Like a Polaroid, it won’t give you a completely accurate view of the final image but it gets you in the ballpark.

To activate the Canon modeling light, press the Depth of Field Preview button on your Canon camera. On current Nikon flashes, only the SB800 and SB900 have modeling lights. They are triggered by a separate Modeling Light button on the back of the flashhead. Check your manual for specific details.

A cool use for modeling lights on strobes is Light Painting. By pressing and holding the button, the flash can be moved around an object to “paint” it with light. This handy when you want a photo of a small object with absolutely no shadows. With Canon flashes, I use the High Speed Sync function to do the same thing but it’s a bit more effort to set up. You can do the same with a Nikon but the modeling light is quicker to set up.


On Sunday, June 21 (yeah, I know it’s Father’s Day), I’ll be at the Torrey Pines Glider Port with the San Diego Photography Meetup Group. The group is meeting at 10AM but I’ll be there in my RV by about 8AM. If there’s nothing happening that early, you can have a fresh cup of coffee from my RV. I’ve lived in San Diego for nearly half my life and have never been there so it’s about time. You don’t have to join the Group, just show up.

If you’re using Canon, you’re welcome to try my 300/2.8 or 100-400 to see if a long lens is in your future.

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