The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: Webcast

Monday Morning Tip – 09/28/09

by on Sep.27, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photoshop Elements, Workshops

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed this week due to so many tasks and projects so I’m taking the easy way out. I have a series of links from disparate sources that should keep you occupied until I get a chance to write some new material later this week (as if I’m really going to have time to write during Photoshop World).

Photoshop Elements 8 for PC and Mac Announced

The biggest thing this week has been the release of Photoshop Elements version 8 (PSE8) for PC and Mac. The PC version is shipping and the Mac version will be available late-October. Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine, has written a book about PSE8 and will share his findings with us during the webinar on November 14 from 9AM until 1PM. Learn Photoshop Elements in just 4 hours for only $49.95 (early bird special good until Wed, Oct 30).

One of the new features incorporates Content Aware Scaling (CAS), a Photoshop CS4 (PSCS4) technology, into an easy-to-use tool for PSE8. CAS in PSCS4 is a very powerful tool that lets you tell PSCS4 to scale (resize) a photo but not change some objects in the photo.

It’s easier to demonstrate than talk about it so here’s a photo from the first and only time I photographed a polo match. The first photo is the original and the second has been squished (that’s a technical term) with PSCS4 Content Aware Scaling. Notice how the ball, which I didn’t tell CAS to preserve, is deformed in the second photo. Without CAS, the players and horses would have suffered the same fate.

CAS Demo - Original   CAS Demo - Squished  

If I had tried to use something like the Transform Tool, the horses and riders would have become distorted like a house of mirrors. With CAS, only the non-selected (unprotected) areas of the photo are squished while the rest is kept intact.

While CAS is a powerful tool, it’s a bit more involved than most amateurs will want to futz (another technical term) with. In PSE8, the Recompose Tool is touted as a way to turn landscape photos into portrait orientation in a few short clicks. It’s really CAS with a fancy interface so the user doesn’t have to futz.

Coronado Speed Festival

Pam Davis of San Diego got the Press Passes for the Coronado Speed Festival and has now posted some photos on her blog. Not only is Pam a great photog but she also writes a fun blog. Please check out her blog and leave a comment. Bloggers like comments.

Some Fun Stuff

A friend sent me this link. It’s a riot, especially if you’re a cat person. Dog people will wonder what the fuss is all about but cat people will understand.

Photoshop World

I’ll be in Las Vegas for PSW from 9/30-10/3. On 10/4, I’ll be at Bugorama, a huge VW show in Las Vegas. That should be a target rich environment. Remember, I’ll be giving away a PSW Symposium Proceedings (1000 pages of PS tips) during Rob’s Photoshop Elements webinar.

Bristlecones Around Bishop, CA

From Oct 4th through the 11th, I’ll be in the Eastern Sierras around Bishop, CA to photograph landscapes and the legendary bristlecone pines made famous by Galen Rowell.

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Monday Morning Tip – 09/07/09

by on Sep.07, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

Sorry for the Wrong Date on MMT

Normally, I don’t correct minor typos on MMT posts because that causes everyone to receive a new notification e-mail but, in egregious cases like when the date is off by a month, I feel it’s important to correct it. Sorry for the double notice, everyone.

Serious Case of Writer’s Block Today

For some reason, I couldn’t organize my thoughts today. The MMT was written and I had ideas about photos I took at the Barona Indian Pow Wow in Lakeside, CA but my mind wouldn’t cooperate.

Few Spaces Left for the Photoshop Elements Webinar with Rob Sheppard

Click HERE to read how you can learn Photoshop Elements in just 4 hours from Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine. Don’t let the magazine title scare you, the class covers all aspects of PSE, not just outdoor or nature photography. Most of what this class covers also applies to Photoshop CSx. Best of all, you get 60 days of e-mail support in case you have problems applying what Rob’s tricks, tips and shortcuts.

To sweeten the pot, I’ll be giving a copy of the 2009 Photoshop World Workbook (1000 pages) to one lucky student after the class. We’ll also give away, to a 2nd lucky student, a copy of 1-2-3 of Digital Imaging, the award-winning program that teaches you Photoshop and Photoshop Elements via DVD .

Monday Morning Tip

Today, we extend our previous discussion about lenses for new dSLR owners. We started with the Essential 3-Lens Kit (in the MMT archives) but owners quickly find that they want a longer lens. We have some good news and some bad news. First, the good news. Canon and Nikon have some really nice 400mm lenses but they’re in the US$1000 range. Others such as Sigma and Tamron have 400mm and 500mm lenses but they have severe limitations such as lack of autofocus. Now, the bad news, really good long lenses typically start at US$4000 and go up from there.

To read about your choices before you lay out your hard-earned cash, read this week’s MMT to understand your options. As always, MMTs are behind the password protected area on the Tips & News page.

Barona Indian Pow Wow

The Barona Pow Wow was this weekend and I went hoping to get more portraits of participants. Unlike the Pala Pow Wow, this one was held on a ball field and the background sucked (that’s a technical term). I had to practically lie on my back so I could shoot up high enough to miss the bleachers and fence.

I also got an object lesson in the term “Indian Time”. Unlike the Pala Pow Wow, much of the festivities started at 6PM. Since I was really interested in the Grand Entry, I took only my 17-40/4L and 70-200/4L. I didn’t take my 50/1.4 or 85/1.8 assuming the Grand Entry would be over before the light faded. Bad mistake. I was told about “Indian Time” at Pala but Barona practices that concept much more rigorously than Pala, probably because Pala was a smaller event. In short, “Indian Time” means nothing starts or stays on schedule.

By the time the Grand Entry started, light was fading fast and I was 150 yards from my RV where my fast lenses were. I had to crank up ISO and hope for the best. Here’s an example of what could have been a “money shot” if I had’t been at ISO 1600.

Grand Entry

It’s OK as a snapshot but certainly won’t make the cut as a  high quality print. Bottom line, when you need a fast lens, nothing else will do. Don’t depend on high ISO to bail you out of a situation like this. Had I used my Canon 50/1.8, I could have regained 2 1/2 stops over my 70-200/4. Those 2 1/2 stops would have let me drop to ISO 400 and bumped up shutter speed from 125 to 180.

On a positive note, I got some really cool cloud formations for my cloud collection. In case you don’t do this, always try to capture nice clouds so you can replace a bland sky in an otherwise great photo.

4645_cloud

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Monday Morning Tip – 08/31/09

by on Aug.30, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

Lots to Report Today

First, be sure to check out the details of the 4-hour Photoshop Elements class. This class is for those who don’t want to waste time. In 4 hours, in the comfort of your own home, Rob Sheppard will teach you everything you need to know to immediately start doing useful, creative, fun projects with Photoshop Elements. Take advantages of the Early Bird Special pricing before Sept 30.

Second, Photoshop World in Las Vegas is just around the corner. On Oct 3, 4 and 5, three million crazed PS users will descend on Las Vegas for 72 hours of ’round-the-clock Photoshop (OK, so it’s only 3000). If you’re an old hand, you know how much learning can be crammed into 72 hours. If you’re a noob, you’ll be blown away by how much you learn in 72 hours. If you’d like to connect at PSW, let me know.

Third, for San Diego locals, great news. Deer Park Winery in Escondido has reopened after a hiatus of several years. The winery boasts one of the most complete antique American car collections in the US. Over the next few weeks I’ll be scouting the site for photoshoot classes so if you’d like to join me, send an e-mail. Entry is just $5 and there’s a nice deli on the grounds. The winery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10AM until 5PM and is located on Old Highway 395 between Welk Resort and Old Castle Road.

Fourth, in case you missed my earlier announcement, 2 more videos have been uploaded to the video area. I’m finding videos easier to produce and pack more information than MMTs so I’ll be doing more videos over the next few months. For the moment, low resolution versions will be on YouTube and high rez versions will be on this site. As I get more proficient, I’ll start differentiating by putting more complete videos on this site and using YouTube for teasers and trailers.

Fifth, I’ve posted a bunch of SoCal events on the Tips & News page so check out what’s happening from Native American Pow Wows to Bates Nut Farm to Art Tours to Canon Events. If you know of any photo ops that may be of interest to others, send me the link and I’ll post them here. Also check out the Fall Photoshoot schedule. Wild Animal Park photoshoots are back starting on September 19.

Sixth, you may recall my post where I mentioned Benjamin Kanarek, a Paris-based fashion photographer. He must have followed my link from my post on his site. The guy actually posted a reply on this site. I was surprised that he took the time to review and comment on my post. Now, if I can only figure out a way to get him to hire me as an assistant on one of his shoots!

Finally, Canon has agreed to give away 1D Mark III dSLRs to my readers (kidding, just checking to see if you’re still awake). This is the year I finally get off my duff and photograph some burrowing owls at Salton Sea. If you’re interested in joining me, let me know and we’ll coordinate. Since I can probably get away easier than most of you, I plan to go out to Salton Sea on a Wed or Thu and have prime locations scouted by the time you arrive on the weekend. This is tentatively scheduled for November.

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. Obviously, it’s not easy to book someone as much in demand as Rob.

The cost is just $59.95 ($49.95 early bird special until Sept 30). Rob’s classes typically range from $150 to $950 so this is a screaming deal. Click HERE to register today. Seating is limited.

Monday Morning Tip

Until I started teaching digital photography, I didn’t realize there are just as many female gearheads as there are male gearheads. (A gearhead lusts for shiny new toys regardless of whether they know how to use it or will ever need it.)  One of the regular questions I see on forums is, “What lens should I buy?” This is usually from someone who hasn’t even learned how to use the current lens(es) they own. Somehow, digital photography has become enamored of the idea that buying a new lens will improve one’s photography. I think this is an extension of the first era of digital photography when everyone was convinced that buying more megapixels would improve one’s photos. Allow me to disabuse you of such silly notions. Buying more lenses means you have less money in your wallet.

Today’s MMT is for the more rational among us who are interested in the art of photography and not in being a one person economic stimulus program for camera companies. As always, the full MMT is in the password protected area of Tips & News.

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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 – 7/27/09

by on Jul.26, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Workshops

This week’s MMT wraps up Exposure Basics. By now, you should know the three main components of exposure and how to adjust each. Today, the “when” and “why” of changing exposure instead of just accepting the camera’s metered exposure.

As always, the MMT is in the password protected Tips & News page. Register to the right where it says, “Yes! I want immediate access to FREE weekly Monday Morning Tips.” Registration is a 2-step process. After you fill out and send the form, you’ll receive an e-mail verifying that you’ve registered and it wasn’t a vindictive co-worker who’s soing around, signing you up for al sorts of thing you don’t want. After you confirm that you really want to register, you’ll receive a second e-mail with the password.

As to why I ask for registration, it keeps people from “scraping” all the MMTs off my site and reposting on some malicious site to make it seem legit. With registration, if that happens, I have some hope of catching the low-life. (I’m probably just kidding myself!)

Quick Tip

Today’s QT is about using this site. If you look on the right side, you’ll see an area titled, “Tags (Kinda like keywords to search)”. Each of the words and phrases are hot links to articles containing those tags. If you want to find all the articles and MMTs that address Photoshop Elements, you’ll see that it’s in a large font near the middle of the “cloud” of tags. The bigger the font, the more articles there are with that tag.

If you look further down on the right side, you’ll also see Catergories. I hope these are self-explanatory but it’s another way to sort the posts on my site.

Down at the very bottom of the page, you’ll find a Monthly Archive of all my posts.

San Diego Zoo Photoshoot

On Monday, July 26, I’ll be at the San Diego Zoo from about 5PM until about 9PM. If you’d like to join me, send an e-mail and I’ll send you my cell phone number. I’ll be in the main parking lot in my white 24′ Winnebago View RV but I imagine there will be lots of RVs there.

Palomar College – Fall Schedule

Like all businesses, Palomar College is feeling the effects of the economy. This fall, they will only offer my Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners webinar class. Fortunately, for those who want the “Hands-On” Photoshoot workshop orwebinar Photoshop Elements class, I’ll be offerring those through my own site.

Keep an eye out for Wild Animal Park Photoshoot workshops starting around October and Photoshop Elements webinars around September.

You can find a full schedule of my workshops on, are you ready for this, the Workshops page of this site. Former students are eligible for a discount on all future workshops.

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