The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: Topaz ReMask

Topaz Labs Webinar Video

by on Dec.20, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements

Wild Animal Park Workshop
Flash Photography in a Flash
Pin-Up Shoot – Sock Hop Theme
Palomar College – Spring 2011
Spring Desert Wildflowers, late March 2011

How to Wow with Adjust4 and ReMask3

If you missed the Topaz Labs webinar you can watch the video HERE. The actual webinar starts at minute 15:50. Here’s a pdf of the Video Controls to help you find the exact point you want on the video. Use the scrubber to fast forward or rewind.

Greg Rostami and Ashley Robinson of Topaz Labs presented a great webinar despite some glitches due to rain. Until Dec 25, Christmas, use the discount code “leeotsubo” to get $20 off the ReMask3 price of $69.99. For all other Topaz Labs plug-ins, use the code “digitalphotoguy” any time for a 15% discount. After watching this video, if you aren’t amazed and blown away by the power of Topaz Labs products, you need to check for a pulse!

 

The above images show what ReMask3 can do in less than 30 seconds. Just think of all those complex masks you’ve always wanted to create.

Workshops and Webinars

Wild Animal Park Workshop Rescheduled Due to Wild Weather

The WAP Photoshoot Workshop on Sat, Dec 18 has been rescheduled to Sat, Jan 8 from 9AM until 1PM. This is one of my most popular “hands-on” workshops. Learn how to get your camera under control by watching and listening to my demonstrations. Then, try it on your own camera with me by your side. Have a question? No problem, I’m right there to help. Register HERE. (You DO NOT need a PayPal account to pay via PayPal, just a credit card)

Flash in a Flash, Saturday, February 26, 2011, 10AM-1PM

If your flash baffles and scares you, this workshop is for you. Learn to take control of your external flash (aka, Speedlite, Speedlight, strobe, etc) and make great flash photos that don’t scream, “This deer-in-the-headlights look created with FLASH!” Learn what all the knobs, dials, switches and menus do on the back of your expensive flash. Register HERE.

Sock Hop Theme Pin-Up Shoot – Sun, Jan 16, 2011

On Sunday, January 16, 2011, I’ll be photographing 3 cute models for a Sock Hop Pin-Up shoot. There’s no formal instruction but you’ll have the opportunity to work with me and a few other experienced photographers. There are 3 spots left. If you’d like to join me, send me an e-mail. There will be a $25 fee plus an $8 entrance fee for the venue. The $25 goes to the models for their time, makeup and accessories.

Palomar College – Spring 2011 Schedule Posted

Palomar College has posted my Spring 2011 classes. I’ll be teaching both Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners (Feb 1 & 3) and Beginning Adobe Photoshop Elements (Mar 1 & 3) via webinar so you can learn from the comfort of your own home computer. Back by popular demand is the my popular Hands-On Photoshoot (Apr 2) at Kit Carson Park in Escondido.

Spring Desert Wildflower Workshop, late March 2011

One of my perennial favorites, spring is a magical time in the desert when everything comes to life. Get down low for amazing macros of flowers. Get up high for gorgeous sunsets and landscapes. Make beautiful photos from almost every vantage point in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. More details as conditions in the desert firm up and I can better predict the spring bloom.

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Resizing and Compressing Photos

by on Dec.06, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photos, Workshops

Sandhill Cranes at Cibola NWR
Wild Animal Park Workshop
Pin-Up Shoot – Sock Hop Theme

Resize and Compress Before Sending Photos

Each week, I receive lots of photos and I’m constantly amazed at the different sizes and shapes that are sent. Today’s MMT is a primer for resizing and compressing photos sent via e-mail. I’m using the dimensions and qualities I prefer but I believe these are  pretty universal.

Let’s start with the basics. A typical dSLR produces images about 12-18 megapixels in size. For example, a Canon 40D image is 3888 x 2592. Multiply the two numbers to get 10.07 million pixels (advertised as 10.1MP). If the photo was taken in Large, Fine JPEG, the file size is about 3.5 megabytes. This is obviously too large to send via e-mail, especially if you send 3-4 images.

The easiest way to resize and compress all photos to a similar size and compression is to use Windows Photo View in Windows 7, Vista or XP. Unless you’ve changed the file associations, double clicking on a jpeg file should launch Win Photo Viewer. (below, left)

     

Notice the E-mail command along the top left. Clicking this will launch the resize dialog (above center). For photos you simply want to share with me, select the smallest size, 640 x 480. For photos you want me to critique, select either Small (800 x 600) or Medium (1024 x 768). If I ask you to send me a large photo, use 1280 x 1024. Rarely, I’ll ask for the original. Next click Attach and your e-mail client (the software you use for e-mail) will launch (above right). In this example, the original file was 3MB while the resized & compressed file is only 195KB.

Notice how a generic Subject has been enterd. PLEASE change that. I receive lots of e-mails from spammers, scammers, hackers and dirtbags trying to get me to open a virus laden or other yucky e-mails. If it has a generic subject, it will be trashed.


Sandhill Cranes at Cibola NWR – Sat, Dec 11

This coming Saturday, Dec 11 at 6AM, I’ll be at Cibola NWR near Blythe, CA to photograph sandhill cranes. If you’d like to join me, send me an e-mail and I’ll send directions for where you can meet me. The temperature will be about 40F-45F. Once you photograph these magnificent birds, you’ll be hooked.


Wild Animal Park Workshop – Sat, Dec 18, 9AM

Learn to control and master your dSLR during a “hands-on” workshop at Wild Animal Park. In just 3 hours, learn tips and techniques that can be applied under any condition. Practice the techniques on the spot to make it easier to remember. This has always been our most popular field workshop. Includes 1 hour Photoshop Elements class at WAP. Click for more details.


Sock Hop Theme Pin-Up Shoot – Sun, Jan 16, 2011

On Sunday, January 16, 2011, I’ll be photographing 3 cute models for a Sock Hop Pin-Up shoot. There’s no formal instruction but you’ll have the opportunity to work with me and a few other experienced photographers. There are 3 spots left. If you’d like to join me, send me an e-mail. There will be a $25 fee plus an $8 entrance fee for the venue. The $25 goes to the models for their time, makeup and accessories.

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FREE Topaz Labs Webinar Registration Open

by on Dec.01, 2010, under Photo Editing, Photos, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Webcast, Workshops

FREE Topaz Labs Webinar – Registration Open

The much anticipated Topaz Labs webinar is now open for registration. Follow this LINK to the registration page. Registration is optional but, without registering, you are not guaranteed a seat at the webinar. Also, registration gives you the option to enter the door prize drawings. NB – There are two (2) lines for drawing numbers. Be sure to fill in both. Otherwise, it’s like losing 50% of your chances.

What: Demo ReMask3 and Adjust4 plus overview of all Topaz Products
Who: Ashley Robinson, Topaz Labs & The Digital Photo Guy
When: Thursday, Dec 16 at Noon Central Time (1PM EST, 11AM MST, 10AM PST)
Where: Webinar URL will be e-mailed to registered attendees
Why: If you have to ask…

If you choose not to register, the webinar URL will be posted on the registration page 5 minutes before the webinar starts assuming there are open seats. If it’s not there, all the seats are taken.

Please feel free to post this information on other photography & photoshop sites you frequent as well as any social media sites. We have about 30 seats remaining of 50.

Here are some examples of Topaz Adjust4, ranging from the mild to wild.

  

  

  

Evaluating the Value of Magazines

Looking through a recent issue of Photoshop User magazine, the official rag of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), I was struck with the breakdown of the contents. A quick count of every page from front cover to the back cover yields 46 pages of ads out of 120 total pages (38%). Another 10½ pages (9%) is dedicated to overhead (Table of Contents, Title pages, masthead, index, etc). The remaining 63½ pages are allocated as follows: 9½ pages (8%) for reviews & press releases, 25 pages (21%) is dedicated to graphics techniques not applicable to most photographers, 15 pages (13%) of material that straddles both graphics & photography (tablets, Help Desk, Q&A, Beginner’s Tips, etc) and 9 pages (8%) applicable directly to digital photography. The remaining 6½ pages (5%) cover LightRoom, useful if you have LR but definitely not part of every workflow.

Outdoor Photographer magazine for that same month has 132 pages including the front and back covers. Of these, 70 pages (53%) are ads. The remaining 63 pages are divided as follows: Overhead 5.33 pages (4%), profiles/showcases 19.33 pages (15%), reviews/PR 10.66 pages (8%) and 20.66 pages (16%) direct, actionable photography related articles. The remaining 4% are subtle infomercials.

The last magazine I analyzed was Photoshop Elements Techniques, a beginner’s guide to PSE. I typically disassemble this magazine upon arrival, scan the pages of interest and discard the rest. I believe the current issues are about 36 pages but the only intact one I could find was 32 pages from late 2009. This magazine only has 1 ad on the back cover, 3 pages of overhead including the front cover and 28 pages of actionable articles. The articles comprise 16 pages (50%) on graphics/crafts and 12 pages (38%) digital photography related. Although this is a much higher percentage, the total pages dedicated to digital photography related articles is much less than the other two.

So, what does all this mean? My point is that we pay for a lot of “stuff” that’s not very useful or relevant to us as photographers. On a per page basis, I pay about 51¢ for a page of useful info in Photoshop User Magazine, 6.6¢ for Outdoor Photographer and 82¢ with Photoshop Elements Techniques. Think about your ROI before shelling out hard earned cash because not everthing is as useful as it may frst appear.

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Photoshop Elements 9 – First Look (Part 2)

by on Nov.24, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop Elements, Workshops

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

The previous VMMT about PSE9 was preempted by PSE8 interface features since I was upgrading from PSE7 and hadn’t yet seen or tested PSE8. In this video, I’ll wrap up with a look at one final PSE8 interface feature carried over from PS CS4. Then, we’ll move on to the two biggies introduced in PSE9, Content Aware Healing and Layer Masks.

[swfobj src=”http://www.thedigitalphotoguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/PSE9_pt2.swf”]

Pin-Up Model Photoshoot – Jan 16

On Sunday, January 16 from 10AM to 1PM, I will be shooting pin-up models at Deer Park Winery. If you’d like to join me, the cost is just $25 plus $8 museum entry fee. All the money goes to the models since I’m not about to ask these great gals to spend 3 hours of their weekend posing for nothing. There are just 5 spots so reserve your spot quickly. To reserve at spot, e-mail me and I’ll send directions for sending payment. Once the models are confirmed, there are no refunds. There will be 1 to 3 models at the shoot.

There won’t be any formal instruction but, as always, you can borrow any of my gear that isn’t in use. The intent for you, the students, is to gain experience directing models and shooting under studio conditions.

Topaz Labs Announces InFocus

Topaz Labs has released InFocus, a sharpening tool that promises to change the way we sharpen digital photos. All digital images benefit from sharpening because of the way digital works. Until now, the “go-to” tools were either Unsharp Mask, a good but confusing tool or various 3rd party tools of varying efficacy. Now, InFocus promises to make digital image sharpening a simple task.

Until December 3, Topaz Labs is offering InFocus for an amazing $29.99, a discount of $40 off the regular price. Use the discount code “supersharp” when ordering. For other Topaz Labs products, use the code “digitalphotoguy” for a 15% discount.

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Topaz Labs and receive no remuneration from Topaz Labs.

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Fake High Key Photograph

by on Nov.19, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Website

If You Can’t Dazzle ’em With Your Brilliance

Baffle ’em with Photoshop Elements. Obviously, in-camera is the best way to make high-key photos but, you may have noticed, not all photos are made in studios. Some are made inside dark, cluttered places where it’s tough just to set up a backdrop, never mind controlling the light.

  

Technically, this isn’t a candidate for high-key based on some definitions. In true high-key, Tina would be wearing pastels or whites, no dark colors. OK, so much for technicalities. The following video shows how you can achieve this look with Photoshop Elements.

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