Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: Adobe Photoshop

95 Amazing Photography Links

We get so much benefit from following Lightstalking, maybe you should too…..it’s been a really exciting week in the world of photography and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching everywhere for the very best links to share here.  This week’s comprehensive list contains some terrific tutorials, reviews, collections, special features, great photography and interesting blogs, enough to keep the avid enthusiast busy for quite some time!  The Toad hopes you dive right in and enjoy this list as much as he did in bringing it to you.

Here is a taste of those 95 links

TUTORIALS

How to fix skin tone in Photoshop: Video tutorial – this 10 minute video tutorial takes the viewer through the process of using a curves adjustment layer and its associated making layer.  Lee Brown’s comprehensive tutorial shares techniques that can be used in many other ways during post-processing, expanding the horizons of those who view this presentation.

 

Posing Tips: Expressions & Hats – a great article by Joe Farace that discusses the how’s and why’s of the importance of facial expression and props like hats for portrait photography.  This brief post shares some great insights into the topic, with the points being useful for a wide range of work.

 

How to Get the Perfect Photo of a Steaming Cup of Coffee – this 5 ½ minute video tutorial shows the viewer how to stage, light, compose and capture that quintessential steamy cup of coffee shot.  Commercial photographer Robert Grant takes you on a detailed and entertaining journey through the entire process, with phenomenal results.

 

Camera Settings for HDR Photography – this ten minute video presentation takes the viewer through the basic steps to get into HDR photography.  Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro host this feature, both of them leaders in the field.

 

REVIEWS

Gitzo Series 1 Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod & Markins Q-Ball Q3 Traveler Ballhead – Edith Levy writes and delivers a completely comprehensive review of this tripod and ballhead combination, sharing some great insight into how versatile and stable these units are.  Use cases and features are discussed here, producing a well-rounded article that covers the topic.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

The Body in Nature: Unusually Beautiful Photographs – the human body has been used as an art subject since the beginning of art itself, so it’s highly unusual to come across a body of work that takes on an entirely different perspective of how the body imitates the natural world through a composition focusing on the abstract.  The black-and-white photographs by Arno Rafael Minkkinen are just this, with many of the pieces leaving the viewer with many questions left unanswered.

 

Silhouettes in a Giant Moonrise, Captured Using a 1200mm Lens – the compression effects introduced by lenses with super-long focal lengths are exploited in the creation of this picture.  As a full moon crests over a hill, Philipp Schmidli positions himself almost a mile away and has a bicycle and rider ride in front, producing a striking result.  This is an absolute must-see post in this week’s list.

Just for a bit of good luck let a caged bird go free….

Laos

 

©Keith Barnes Laos 2012

Click Here: 95 Amazing Photography Links

Subscription only Photoshop

It has been a while now since professional users of Adobe products, which include Photoshop, have had the opportunity to pay a subscription and have all of the products available on line. This means that  applications are downloaded onto your computer but need to be authorised regularly (my words) as such and that the new versions and updates have been instantly available. Sounds good? Well yes if having the most up to date version of software is important to you but for those who like to buy software, own it, install it and decide if they want to upgrade it then perhaps no. Until this point it has been possible to use much older versions of Photoshop as long as they were compatible with your operating system (OS). I found that when I upgraded my OS so that I could install Lightroom 4 I could no longer use Photoshop CS2 which I was happy with.

This extended article on Photo.net explains more about this process and I am sure you have worked out that Adobe are doing this for their benefit not yours. Not having software you can buy means you pay, and you pay and you pay, every month or year as you prefer but pay you will. Maybe this is the way of things to come and all software will be this way in the future, somehow hosted in the cloud and ready for you when ever and where ever you want it……hmmm. I only want it on my desk computer in my office and I don’t need the latest versions all the time.

How does it work?

You need to download and install the apps on your computer and that’s where the software lives. Your current version of Photoshop, or other CS applications, do not have to be uninstalled; they’ll continue to work even with CC software on the same computer (there have been some issues with CS6 reverting to a trial version after the CC install but Adobe should have fixed that issue by now). And, you do not have to be online for CC to work…….

Pricing

The best Creative Cloud pricing is based on an annual subscription. You’ll pay more for month-to-month leasing of the software. Prices also depend on how many applications you want to access, whether you choose an individual or teammembership or are a student or teacher.

Adobe is currently offering special promotional prices for current Creative Suite users. If you have a serial number or have registered your CS3, CS4, CS5 or CS6 product (Photoshop or the entire suite, for example), your first year will cost $10 a month with an annual contract. Access to a complete subscription for CS6 users is $20/month for the first year; $30 for CS3 and later….…MORE

What do you think about this, we have been bludgeoned into thinking the cloud is everything and will free us but unlike clouds in the sky this cloud is going to be finding new ways to grab our money.

17268054-smThe shape of things to com….

Lightroom Tutorials and Tips

We have recently started our first Lightroom course and it is going really well. What we have learned from our students is that many, prior to the course, hadn’t realised the vast array of processing options available through this wonderful program. Lots of people assume it is good for sorting out a bit of exposure problems or to correct colour vagaries but have not comprehended how much improvement both technical and creative Lightroom offers. I have gathered here some tutorials available on line that you will find interesting. Often, because of the space available, the tips and tutorials are more a bit, ‘do this and you will improve your pictures’ whereas when we teach we explain how and why there will be an improvement. Understanding the process is important because it gives you much better creative control and that is what we all seek.

3 Easy Lightroom Adjustments to Add Drama to a Landscape from Lightstalking

An old adage of photography is that you should try to create the image you want with the camera rather than relying on post-production. And that’s good advice. The less post you need to do on a photograph, the easier your life will be (as post-production throws up an extra set of challenges). But sometimes, for one reason or another, you might want to make your landscapes shots pop a little more by applying a little well-considered post production to them. Here are a few ways you add the drama you are looking for.

Play With the Blacks Slider – Lightroom has a convenient little slider called “Blacks” in develop mode that allows you to have more control over the contrast in your images. Dragging the slider to the right to increase your blacks will usually result in a slightly more dramatic image in landscapes owing to an increase in contrast. Be sure not to clip too much (you can see exactly how much clipping you’re doing by holding down the “option” key on a Mac or “alt” key on a PC as you use the slider with your mouse). For a great little video on using the black slider, check out this tutorial.

Click Here: 3 Easy Lightroom Adjustments to Add Drama to a Landscape

Using Lightroom 4 to Recover Almost Unusable Photos from Lightstalking

Adobe Lightroom 4 has some significant changes within its develop module that gives us photographers several new impressive tools when post-processing images. Adobe came out with a new image process version (2012) which is basically the image processing engine behind Lightroom and Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw plug-in. This new process version provides many significant updates, including more options when making local adjustments and the new highlights and shadows sliders (which essentially replaces the recovery slider in Lightroom 3). Because of these new powerful features in Lightroom 4 we can now, with much greater ease, recover those photos which we may have thought were unusable.

Tumihay the Hunter (before Lightroom 4 post-processing and then after) by Jacob Maentz

How to Import Photographs into Lightroom By on Lightstalking

Before you can truly harness the power of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, the most essential thing you must know is how to import your digital photography files into a catalog. As mentioned in the previous tutorial, Lightroom is a modular based program where you can organize, develop, print, share and display your photography, among many other things. In order for Lightroom’s vast number of features to be useful to you, you must first import your images into a catalog so you can work on them. The importing process is done via the “import dialogue box.” There are two ways to quickly access the import dialogue box:

There are endless numbers of site offering advice as well as the excellent Lightstalking here are some of my favourites  you might like to check out:

Adobe Tutorials

Lightroom Queen

Presets Heaven

A Killer Collection of Adobe LightRoom Tutorials

Lynda.com

 

Keeping it Real in HDR using Photoshop

There are many articles on our blog about HDR, we have always thought that using HDR to try to recreate what the eye sees is the best use of the technology and advocate the excellent tutorials on the Cambridge in colour website. This article By on Lightstalking says much the same and gives a step by step guide to doing so

IMG_0331If you would like to read more of this article on Lightstalking go here

Photography Courses starting January 2013

We have now released our most recent schedule of courses for next term, we have places on all the courses listed and full details can be found on the Oxford School of Photography website

Here are the dates, I will post more details later, if you are interested in taking a course please send me an email

Understanding Your Digital SLR Evening Classes:start dates 23.01.13; 7.03.13

Understanding Your Digital SLR Saturday Morning Classes start date 02.03.13

Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera – starts: 24.01.13

Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements starts 20.02.13

Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – starts 06.03.13

Understanding Flash Photography starts 05.03.13

Portrait Photography: starts: 04.02.13

Intermediate Photography – starts: 21.02.13

Black and White Digital Photography – starts 04.03.13

Travel Photography starts 04.03.13

One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 27.01.13; 17.02.13; 24.03.13

Understanding Flash Course

Thanks to the repeated requests from our students we have written a new course on flash photography. This course will look at the use of on camera, off camera and studio flash. We aim to explain how flash works and why and when you might use it. We are also interested in the creative possibilities of using flash both at night but more so during the day. We have investigated the various equipment options and will advise on what you might need to buy to become a serious and considered user of flash.

This course starts on Monday 12th November and runs for 3 x 2 hour sessions, full details can be found on our website here

We have a new schedule of courses for this coming term with dates for most of the courses we teach, if only there were more days in the week!

Here is a list of the dates for this term, currently the Intermediate and Photoshop courses are half full.
 

Understanding Your Digital SLR Evening Classes:start dates 17.9.12 (now full) ; 7.11.12  This is always a very popular course and very well received, if you don’t use your camera properly give this one a try.

Understanding Your Digital SLR Saturday Morning Classes start date 3.11.12 as above really…

Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera – starts: 26.9.12  After we revamped this course to include the chance to do some assignments

Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements starts 25.10.12 not  a must for everyone but if you intend to use Photoshop or already do then this course is ideal in understanding the basics

Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – starts 15.10.12 This course is one of our most popular and really successful in changing the way our students see the world and take photographs

Understanding Flash Photography starts 12.11.12 A new course that we know hits the parts others don’t. If you intend using flash this will get you where you want to be

Portrait Photography: starts: 25.9.12 Most photographers want to take better portraits but shy away from the idea because people are difficult aren’t they. well no they aren’t if you know what you are doing

Intermediate Photography – starts: 23.10.12 This is our most advanced course and is not about cameras but about how we see and react to our world. It is a serious course for those who already understand their cameras and really want to be interested in photography as a subject. This is a great course.

Black and White Digital Photography – starts 27.9.12 Specialist in nature in that making b/w images is not difficult but this course is designed to stretch the way you look at a monochrome world and make images that reflect the works of the great photographers from the past

One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 23.9.12; 21.10.12; 18.11.12;  This is an ideal start point for those who have a  DSLR camera and want to use it rather than being led by it’s automatic functions. It suits many people who just cannot commit to the 4 session version of the course but still want the basics.

How to Choose Your Next Photo Laptop

What to look for when choosing a laptop computer for serious digital photo processing. by Andrew Darlow.……on Photo.net If you are in the market for a new laptop (a.k.a. notebook) computer, you are not alone. More photographers than ever are choosing laptops in addition to a desktop computer, or making a laptop computer their primary computer. A few reasons for making a laptop a primary computer are as follows: major processor performance boosts in recent years; decreased weight; increased storage capability; higher RAM limits; better screens and enough specs and features to make most photographers’ head spin. Plus, due to the nearly constant updates to applications, security patches, and applications like iTunes, it’s often just easier to use the same computer at home, in the studio and when traveling. Another option, thanks to recent advances, is to keep a high-powered laptop or desktop at home, while a lightweight, yet still powerful machine is taken on the road for card downloads, backups, image viewing, etc……READ more of this extensive article here

You might also like to check out the less specific for photographers, Laptop Review site

Photography Course Dates for the autumn term

We are now able to release the dates for the next term starting in September.

We have our new schedule of courses ready for the next term which starts in September. We have most of our usual courses available and plan to have a couple of new courses available in time for the new term. Details of these will follow in early September. Full details of our courses can be found on our website

Understanding Your Digital SLR Evening Classes: 4 sessions 2 start dates 17.9.12;      7.11.12

Understanding Your Digital SLR Saturday Morning Classes  4 sessions start date 3.11.12

Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera – 4 sessions starts: 26.9.12

Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements 6 sessions starts 25.10.12

Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – 4 sessions starts 15.10.12

Portrait Photography: 4 sessions starts: 25.9.12

Intermediate Photography – 6 sessions starts: 23.10.12

Black and White Digital Photography – 4 sessions starts 27.9.12

Travel Photography next start March 2013

One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 23.9.12;     21.10.12;     18.11.12;

Most courses are 4 sessions one per week, (Photoshop and Intermediate Photography are 6 sessions) all run on consecutive weeks from start dates. 1 Day DSLR is a one day course, there are 3 dates this term

Evening classes start at 6.30pm and the Saturday morning Understanding Your DSLR Camera starts at 10am. All classes are 2 hours in duration

To book a place please send us an email with the course title and start date you wish to attend.

18 Essential Free Photoshop Tutorials for Black and White Photography Lovers

From those very nice people down under another great post from Lightstalking

Black and white can add drama and emotion to many different kinds of photographs. There are however, many different ways to convert your digital images to black and white and an almost limitless amount of effects that you can apply after that. Here are some of the best Photoshop tutorials for black and white lovers that we could find.


Hitchcock by 85mm.ch, on Flickr

Standard Black and White Conversions in Photoshop Tutorials

7 Black and White Photoshop Conversion Techniques – You should probably familiarise yourself with the different basic options available to you when you want to make black and white images from your colour digital files. This is a good start.

Converting to B&W – There are a lot of ways to use Photoshop to convert your colour files to black and white. This tutorial gives a fast rundown of 4 of the main ways you should know about.

Fast, High Quality Black and White Conversions in Photoshop – This is a solid way to quickly convert your colour digital images into high quality black and white images. Simple steps and plenty of screen shots too!

5 Steps to Getting Better HDR Photographs in Photomatix

Photomatix is one of the most popular HDR software options, when you read blogs everyone seems to be talking about it. Over at Lightstalking they have produce a short list of tips that will help you to get the best out of HDR using Photomatix

Photomatix has been the leading HDR photography software since 2003. While HDR photography has been around as an idea for many years, HDRsoft made it a public sensation with the advent of Photomatix. The most recent release of the Pro version of the software, version 4.2, is a major step up and ensures that Photomatix will stay among the HDR leaders in software for some time to come.

While the software is very easy to use, and pretty self-explanatory, there are some helpful tips for the beginner to HDR photography.