Thursday, December 22, 2011

Setting IN-Camera picture styles...

Barry  Blanding
Message: If one wishes to create images in RAW format exclusively (no jpg), what should the "picture style" camera setting be set to (e.g., Standard, Faithful, etc.)?
Good Question! (Barry asked this question a week or two ago…  )

I presume you are using a Canon camera ;}
In order for you to see the raw data you captured, the Raw Data needs to be converted to a rendering in RGB so that you can actually see it as a picture.
It's that .jpg reference file that you see in your camera's display, and on your computer.
Canon, Nikon and other camera engineer's give you some choices as to how the .jpg picture will look… just set your favorite choice 'in-camera' Then in the Camera Raw "Camera Calibration" Panel, the drop down menu let's YOU match the setting you used in your camera.

CR Nikon CamCal
In these panels the Canon choices are on the left, Nikon choices are on the right… If you have an "other" Camera, you'll see their versions of Standard, Landscape, etc…
(Some Nikon's also use Mode 1, Mode 2 and Mode 3.)

What do you choose  in your Camera? Simply what looks best to you!

Take the same subject with each setting and choose…

But, ALWAYS REMEMBER, in your RAW image processing work flow, this "rendering" is just a starting point!

You can either, Calibrate your camera and use that setting as it will be the most accurate, or you can simply choose what's pleasing to you.

Later, if you wind up making adjustments in Camera Raw that you always prefer you can save those adjustments as your default Camera Profile in Camera Raw.
Camera Calibration Menu > Save New Camera Raw Defaults...

In Camera Raw's preferences you can even make defaults specific to the photograph's ISO.

Just set parameters for noise reduction in the Detail Panel in Camera Raw using photos with each ISO setting and save those settings for each IS0 setting in the Camera Profile requester...
Camera Raw will use those settings automatically when you load photos for viewing in the Bridge and editing in Camera Raw with those specific ISO settings and the Noise Reduction values set in the Detail panel.

(btw these camera profile defaults also apply to what you see in the Bridge.)

Currently don't know what to set?
In-Camera set what looks most pleasing…
In Camera Raw just set Adobe Standard and remember it's just a starting point based on what the Adobe "engineers" decided what is best!
In Lightroom you'll find the same Camera Calibration panel in the Develop Module.
As you become familiar with the program, and what you are seeing, you will want to change all that to your liking.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Where to from here?

... A Collection of Photoshop Websites, it's a bunch of Links to most visited/popular blogs

A Collection of LightRoom Websites

Photoshop Tutorials from Layers Magazine

National Association of Photoshop Users

The best Photoshop Magazine PhotoShop Creative


Garry's Favorite web sites

The Luminous Landscape

Join a Photoshop Forum


There are lots of videos on the Adobe TV web site

Stay in touch


Practice! Practice! Practice!

Best  Wishes for the New Year

Garry Stasiuk



Review Week 8 --Part 1 Links to Class Notes


  • Fixing Problems
    • Use the Clone Tool, Healing Brush, Spot healing brush and patches
  • Skin Tones
  • Softening the skin
  • Texturing the skin


Upload your master pieces to the blog and share with your class mates and the Universe.

Up Next: Where to from here!



Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Class Saturday!

Last Class Saturday


Just a reminder… Saturday’s agenda

  • Objectives:
    • Perfecting Landscapes & Portraits
    • Output/Export in Bridge: Displaying your photos


  • Fixing Common Problems: A quick review of techniques
    • In Camera Raw
      • Crop/Straighten, Targeted Tones, The Adjustment Brush ---Super Dodging & Burning, The Gradient Tool
    • In Photoshop
      • Using the Clone Tool, Healing Brush, Spot healing brush and patches, and
      • Layers and Masks
      • HDR
      • ?
    • Focus on
      • Skin Tones
      • Softening the skin
      • Texturing the skin
  • AND your questions!

Up Coming Classes

How Do I Take Better Digital Photographs: 2 class one March 24 and the other  April 7 (9-4 PM)

Photo Walk April 14 (9 - 4 pm)

Create Your Own Web Site May 9th - (6 weeks)

PS4P I April 28 (4 weeks)

PS4P II June 2 (4 weeks)

In the summer I'll do a Photoshop Projects class for Beginners (It's Valeri's Basic Photoshop Class, except we work on actual projects)  First week in July (date tentative)

Also Adobe Lightroom Thursday 7/5 6-9:30pm
See you in class
Got something you want to work on? Send that e-mail!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Signing Your Prints --Digitally

Why Sign Your Prints?

This blog article, says it all… It's on a web site named Epic Edits, a resource and community for photography enthusiasts.

Making Fine Art Prints: Signing!

Here's how to add your signature to a print.

1. Use the Studio Print Action. The action adds a blank space around the image, fakes a matt and adds an electronic version of your signature.

2. You can leave the signature area blank and actually sign the print in the blank area. Many photographers use a pencil do do this! Some photographers mount the photograph on a mat and sign the mat after the print has been mounted and matted. If you choose this method… Practice! Your signature, Practice writing on a mat, Practice first!

3. Some folks buying a print prefer to have the actual print signed!  If you are buying a print, don't be afraid to ask the photographer to sign it the way you want!… I purchased a print from Michael Reichmann, and since it was a photo he took in China, I asked him to sign it with his "chop." He did! Nice!

Here's how to do it electronically!

Step 1: On a good piece of white paper, write your signature with a good pen!

Step 2: Scan it at the highest resolution possible. If your scanner has the setting "Line Art" choose that and save it as a .tif file

Step 3: Load the scan into photoshop and paste the signature onto a blank layer.




Step 4: Use the color selection tool to select the white background. Click okay.

Step 5: Invert the selection


Select > Inverse

Step 6. Copy the selection to a new blank layer

Command + J (Mac)

Control + J (PC)









Step 7: Delete the layer with the white background


Step 8.

BTW Crop the signature as small as possible...

Then save the file as a .psd file for the next step, and save the signature as a .png file to paste as a "watermark" on your "signed" photos.









A Fancy Electronic Signature

If you have a logo, or a symbol or your own "chop", you can use that...

I'll use my chop...

Step 1: Scan the chop, make the background transparent and arrange the chop and signature on a new blank layer



Step 2: Merge the layers and select fx at the bottom of the Layers Panel and choose "Blending Options"




Step 3: Play, fiddle until you get something nice...

Step 4: Save a PSD version for future editing and save a .png version for Digitally Signing your prints!




Next up: retouching your Portraits...


Some Loose Ends --CR Adjustment Brush and Editing Actions

The Camera Raw Adjustment Brush

Adjbr crWant to undo what you just brushed?

Undo (Unlimited???? )

Command Z (Mac)

Control Z (PC)

What to delete what you did all together?

Click on the "pin" to highlight it and then,

yep, press the delete key!

Delete (Mac)

Backspace (PC)



Editing Actions...

I found a tutorial that explains how to edit Photoshop Panel Actions in detail…

The web site is called Photoshop Essentials

The link takes you to page 9, of a 17 page tutorial… Pages 9 through 12 should answer any questions you might have

In summary here's what you need to know


Open the Action Panel

Window > Actions

Step 2
Load the action you want to edit or locate it in the list. We want to make a copy of it, but first we need to make a folder for the action.























Most steps in an action can be edited… In the GTS Studio Print Action You'll want to edit the text, maybe the stroke...

Just double click the step… wait a bit… either a requester will popup or you can make edits right on the canvas. See the Text Tool Example below.



But, what if a step isn't editable?  Just delete the step and re-record it!


Or, just make yourself a new action… Practice what you want to do… write the steps down...


and Camera! Lights! Action!


Here's the steps I recorded  for the Studio Print


Step 1.
Duplicate your picture
(pc) (Control + J) (Mac) (Command + J)

Optional Step
Select an Adjustment layer like "Levels" or "Hue & Saturation or "Black and White" to change the photo an arty Sepia, duotone or Black and White!

Step 2.
Add white space around the photo.
PhotoShop: Menu: Image > Canvas Size
PSE: Menu: Image > Resize > Canvas...

Choose relative and 2 inches, 2 inches
Click OKAY



Step 3.
In the duplicate layer on the thumbnail of the photo
Press the (PC) Control key + click (left) mouse once
Press the (Mac) Command key + click the mouse once
this will put a selection around the photograph.

Step 4.
Create a new blank layer

Step 5.
Go to the Menu: Edit > stroke
choose 1 pixel (I like at least 4 pixels) and set the color (Black)(I like mid-gray) in the color swatch button
location, choose center.

Step 6.
Click Okay (You can change opacity if you wish)

Step 7.
Go to
menu Select/Transform
In the tool bar change 100% width to 102% and 100% height to 103% Click the check mark

Step 8.
Go to
Menu: Edit > Stroke
Choose 1 pixel (I like 4 pixels) and change the color to black (I like a mid - gray) Click Okay

Step 9.
Use the type tool (Tool Bar), use a 36 pt fancy font Script like Minion or Trajan for the title "Yourname Studio"

If you run this "action" and if you don't have any of the indicated fonts, Photoshop will substitute the "default" font.

Step 10.
use a written font like Hand Writing Dakota for the Number of the print (1 / 100) at the bottom left and your name at bottom right


Have fun!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Watermarking and Digitally Signing your prints.

Is there a right way to do this?

Placing a copyright notice on the images you post on the internet and signing your prints (digitally, or not) are two different issues!

One places a watermark on an image to tell the world that the image is copyrighted, and in order to use the image in any kind of publication, the publisher must have the copyright holders permission.

Only in the United States of America
A photograph is copyrighted the moment you take the photograph, but in the US of A, if you need to take legal action you must have first registered the photograph with the US Copyright Office! Here's a link to the eCO online registration system. The registration allows you to obtain punitive and compensatory damage in a court of law if your image has been used without YOUR permission. Download the necessary form here.

Since 1989 and the Berne Convention you no longer need the © Copyright symbol, you can type the symbol on a Mac it's:

Keyboard Option G (Mac), on the PC it's  Alt plus the numeric keypad sequence 0169

You also do not need the Phrase "All Rights Reserved" for foreign country copyright protection.

However, the © symbol is so engrained that seeing it automatically tells one that the image is copyrighted.

Watermarking a photograph
Do you really need to? Generally the images you place on the internet are too small (Around 800 pixels or so) to make decent prints. It's my opinion that a watermark really distracts from the image.

If you do watermark the image, don't make it hard for whom ever is viewing the image to contact you!

In Photoshop

Start with a new blank page with a transparent background. The Photoshop default size for a new page will work just fine, but set the background to transparent. You can name the new page mycopyright















Step 2:
Choosing a font, and size… If you have a favorite font or one that you have chosen to use on your website or with your stationary, use that.
You can always change your choice later. I'm using Myriad Pro. In the Text Tool Bar also choose "smoothing" in the ant-alias method drop down menu.






Type the following

  1. Include the copyright symbol: ©

    Keyboard Option G (Mac), on the PC it's  Alt plus the numeric keypad sequence 0169

  2. Include the year, or more precisely the date of your photo's publication

  3. Include your professional photography business name and add "All rights reserved" on a separate line


    © 2011 Garry Stasiuk                        (If I'm shooting "professionally" It's © Copyright  2011 Stasiuk Enterprises)
    All rights reserved

Step 4

Crop to only include the text you typed…

I used:

Tool Bar > Rectangular Marquee


Menu Image > Crop






Step 5:

Control D (PC), Command  D (Mac) to deselect the "marching ants"


Emboss the text…

Menu: Filter > Convert For Smart Filter

Menu: Filter > Stylize > Emboss...

Because it's a smart object, if you want to change the embossing effect, you may do so...

Save as a .psd file. my copyright.psd

If you are saving for use in Lightroom or some program other than Photoshop save the file as mycopyright.png

(The .png file format allows transparency)









Step 6:
Open an image that you want to apply the copyright notice.
Drag and drop the image "my copyright" on the new photo and place it with the move tool at the location you want on the image.


Step 6…
Nice for one image, but what if you have 1,000's you want to watermark!!!

1. If you use Lightroom to output Web Pages, you'll discover that most of web page "engines" have a watermark feature built in, that automatically paces your watermark on the images. You'll need to use the .png file "mywatermark.png" that you saved earlier.

2. In Photoshop you can make an action, and batch the action so that it'll be applied to as many images as there are in the folder...

But,  better still you can install a Russell Brown Adobe Extension that does it all for you!



You'll find Russell Brown scripts on this web page along with CS5 Panel: Adobe Watermark Panel 2.1.0

Right Click here to dowload the extension

In Photoshop you'll find the extension at the menu

Window > Extensions > Adobe Watermark

Have fun!
But, ask yourself… do you really need to watermark your images?

Next up: Making a "Digital Signature" for your Prints!





Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 7 Review --Black and White Conversion

Sometime a photo just looks better as a "Black & White" ...

Black White  1 of 2

Bkack White  2 of 2

This image was shot way under exposed, as my electronic "finder" had just failed and… I was in the Forbidden City at the time!

Even though the resultant photo was way under exposed, and the recovered photo was really noisy, conversion to Black and White really helped the "image".

Note that Lightroom's export function has a built in watermark utility that lets you add a text or a graphic watermark to any image you save from Lightroom... I'll write a "blog" about how to make your own "graphic" watermark in Photoshop and a batch method to add it to folders of photos in a few steps.

In Adobe's Bridge program the only place that you can export an image with a watermark is in the Output Module and saving the image as a PDF! In the OUTput PDF Module there is dialogue for entering copyright text or a graphic… BTW if you use a PC the copyright symbol can be typed using the alt key and typing on the keypad the numeric code 0169. More about that later...

Black and White Video

I found a really excellent video on Black and White conversion using Lightroom on the Luminous Landscape web site. The Video features Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe. It is an excerpt from their video tutorial sequence Camera to Print and Screen.

Michael takes us from his original photo through to the black and white conversion in this video step by step. To detail his process of how he arrived at the final image Michael uses Lightroom "presets". (Quite innovative!) Watch the video full screen! I really found the video refreshing and inspiring. The whole series is outstanding!




Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo Opportunity - Lunar Eclipse Early Saturday Morning


The diagram shows where the moon will be ink the western sky at 5 am about 20 minutes or so after the partial eclipse has started

Put your camera on a tripod, have fun, and at least enjoy the event!

Eclipse 5am





















If there are hills on your horizon, or you live in a valley...the moon may be obscured by the hills at Totality

This diagram is for 6:30 am near Mid-eclipse

Mid eclipse




















For details about the eclipse go to Sky & Telescopes web site














You have almost an hour  when the Moon is Totally eclipsed from 6:05 to to 6:57 am

But Moon will be really low in the sky in the North West , it will set when the sun rises.

Sunrise Saturday morning is: 7:39am

December 10th's Total Lunar Eclipse


Penumbra first visible? 12:05 6:05 a.m. 5:05 a.m. 4:05 a.m.
Partial eclipse begins 12:45 6:45 a.m. 5:45 a.m. 4:45 a.m.
Total eclipse begins 14:05 7:05 a.m. 6:05 a.m.
Mid-eclipse 14:32 7:32 a.m. 6:32 a.m.

Total eclipse ends

14:57 7:57 a.m. 6:57 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends 16:18




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

PS4P - Week 6 and 7 and Your Topic!

Review Week 6

Just a reminder that there is a web page with complete step by step instructions on how to use the pen tool to create a selection and convert the selection to a mask.
The instructions go on and detail what you need to to do to "refine" the mask using the Refine Edge dialogue.
Click here to go to the Selection and Masking Tutorial

Preparing for Week 7 and beyond

Bring to class images that you would like to convert to Black & White, or split Tone. The class is partially about how to convert your images into Black and White. We'll also look at how to split tone images.
We will also be looking at techniques that used to belong to the realm of Photoshop, but can now be better accomplished in Camera Raw.
In this class we will begin to look at how to deal with "retouching" portraits, but concentrate on that during week 8's class. Bring to class a portrait that you'd like to work on...

It's Your Topic!

Is there a technique or subject that hasn't been covered in class?  Send me an e-mail! Is the a technique YOU developed that you'd like to share with the class?
Either leave a comment on the blog, or send me an e-mail.
See you in class!


Post some pics to the blog and share them with your class mates!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review -Week 6, Part 1, Smart Layers

The rest of the story...

Photoshop CS 5 has the following different kinds of layers

Normal, Text, Fill, Shapes, Adjustments. 3D, Video and Smart Objects.

Smart Objects Layers

Originally Smart Object layers was introduced for just importing data created outside of Photoshop. Raw photographs. 3d objects, and file formats native to other programs like Adobe Illustrator, e.g. illustrator vector drawings.

Now, you can now convert any layer into a smart object, and you can turn all layers into a single smart object layer for export to other programs like Dreamweaver and Illustrator.

Why make an ordinary layer a smart layer? If you need to scale down a layer for it to fit with the other layers, and then perhaps later up rez (scale up the layer) you can do so with out causing pixelation from the loss of data when the layer was first first down sized. The smart object retains the original image data that normally would have been thrown away when the normal layer was scaled down…

If a Dreamweaver web designer uses smart objects on a web page that was created in Photoshop, the graphic on the web will be automatically updated when the edited object is simply saved again from Photoshop as a smart object.  Dreamweaver automatically detects that the graphic was changed, and it will replace the object displayed on the web automatically!


Here's a Photoshop Killer Tip from Matt Kloskowski on Kelby/TV on how to duplicate 2 different kinds of smart objects andy how to use them in Photoshop.

Editing Raw Images in Photoshop

When you have a single photo where global edits in Camera Raw cannot process detail in highlights (sky) and shadows (landscape) or other similar situations without blowing away details in one or the other... Use smart objects to merge a blending of 2 copies of the same image, one processed for highlight recovery and the other(s) for mid-tones and shadows.

Using Raw Smart Objects in Photoshop

Your homework!  Share with us in/on the class blog images that you have edited using layers in Photoshop!










Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bring to Saturday's Class...


Saturday we are going to learn about the "Pen Tool" --The pen is indeed mightier than a sword...

We will be using the pen tool to cut out a person, portrait, pet or object that would be difficult using any other selection tool.

We will then place the person/object into another scene…

In this process we will learn how to make paths, masks, and use the "refine edge" dialogue in Photoshop CS5 that makes selecting complicated edges like hair… easy.


Children 6 of 53






You'll also need to bring some background pictures to….


I will bring some photos to work with in class, but, it's much more fun to work with your own.


See you in Class