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20. Beyond Photoshop: Plug-Ins

Lesa Snider O'Reilly Media ePub

With enough patience, practice, and keyboard shortcuts burned into your brain, you can get smokin fast in Photoshopbut youll never be as fast as a computer. As youve learned, some thingslike creating complex selections, correcting colors, retouching skin extensively, and so onare darned difficult, so theyre going to take you a long time no matter how fast you get.

Thats where plug-ins come in handy. Think of them as little helper programs that run inside Photoshop (though a few run outside Photoshop, too) and let you do the hard stuff faster. You can get plug-ins from all kinds of websites, and they range from free to pricey. The really good ones give you amazing results in seconds, rather than the hours it would take you to do the same thing manually (if you can do it at all). Plus, the newer ones do their thing on a separate layer and, in some cases, run as Smart Filters, so you dont even have to duplicate your original layer first. Nice!

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Medium 9780596522964

5. Controlling Color with Channels

Lesa Snider O'Reilly Media ePub

At the heart of any Photoshop file lie channelsstorage containers for all your images color information, saved selections (Saving a Selection), and instructions regarding special printing inks. Channels sound intimidating at first, and folks have been known to shudder at their mention and avoid them completely. But to really understand Photoshop, you need to understand channels. Luckily, you dont need a PhDjust a little patience.

This chapter gets a little technical at times, but if you soldier through, youll be rewarded with wisdom thatll help you perform some amazing pixel wizardry. Youll get that warm, fuzzy enlightened feeling as you learn to:

Use channels to make complex selections (Basic Channel Stunts).

Perform highly targeted color adjustments (see the figure on Making Colors Pop).

Create stunning grayscale conversions (The Lightness Channel).

Map one image to the contours of another (Mapping One Image onto Another).

Sharpen your images without introducing noise (Sharpening Individual Channels).

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Medium 9781937538491

Chapter 9: Accessory Lenses

Brian Matsumoto D Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

To get the most out of the Sony a7/a7R cameras, you have to use the highest quality lenses. Sony currently sells five lenses for full frame coverage and promises to release 10 more lenses by the end of 2014. Although they use the NEX E-mount, this is a new line of lenses. Their optics can fully illuminate a 24mm x 36mm sensor, which is 1.5X larger than the sensor traditionally used in the NEX camera bodies. As a consequence, the new lenses are classified as belonging to the FE series. The 24-70mm and the 70-200mm zooms cost more than $1200 and are designed for high-resolution imaging. We assume that the other, not-yet-released lenses will also be expensive. While this can be daunting for those building a complete system, keep in mind how expensive it is to produce excellent optical lenses. This high quality is necessary if you want to fully exploit the capabilities of the a7 and a7R sensor.

The 28-70mm Sony zoom is the lowest-priced lens of the FE series. It is a good performer but it is not built to the same standard as the 35mm and 50mm lenses, and the 24-70mm zoom. The Zeiss 24-70mm f/4.0 lens has a wider zoom range and a fixed aperture as you vary its focal length. The 35mm and 55mm lenses have high-resolution and a large maximum aperture for work under low light conditions.

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Medium 9781937538248

1 Printing Techniques

Uwe Steinmueller Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

There are various methods of printing your own photographs. We only address one method in detail – printing using inkjet printers. In this chapter, we take a glance at different printing methods and discuss which are good and why. Most are not recommended for fine art printing.

The special focus of this chapter – and the general focus of the entire book – is fine art printing, and our reader is assumed to be the ambitious amateur, as well as the professional photographer. There are many reasonably good books on prepress work and commercial printing of books, magazines, brochures, or posters using offset printing, silk-screen printing, rotogravure or intaglio printing. We do not cover these methods, as they are either too complicated or too cost-intensive for the reader we target. Nor do they deliver the kind of quality that may be achieved with today’s photo inkjet printers.

In image processing, there are several terms with a similar meaning, often used interchangeably for image and print resolution: dpi (dots per inch), ppi (pixels, or points, per inch), and lpi (lines per inch). Apart from this, the resolution of an image is stated by its dimensions in pixels or in inches (at a certain ppi or dpi resolution). So let’s try to clean up this mess:

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Medium 9781937538477

Chapter 5: The Art and Science of Composing Compelling Images

Glenn Randall Rocky Nook ePub

FIGURE 5-1 The Sangre de Cristo Mountains from Star Dune, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great landscape photography begins with a strong emotional reaction to the scene. Raw emotion by itself, however, is not sufficient to create a compelling photograph. With that emotion as the foundation, you now face the challenge of composing a photograph that will generate the same feelings in your viewer.

Don’t let the word composition intimidate you. And don’t be put off by the legions of dry, theoretical books that have been written on the subject. As Edward Weston once said, “To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the laws of gravitation before going for a walk.” The principles of composition are useful, and it can be helpful to read a book or two on the subject, but learning to use those principles is like learning to walk. Although learning to walk was hard and we all fell down a lot at the beginning, the activity comes naturally now that we have mastered it. In a similar way, experienced photographers simply feel that a composition is right—which means that for them composition is a highly developed but largely unconscious process. Skilled photographers don’t run through a checklist of compositional principles before snapping the shutter.

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Medium 9781449316150

One. The Basics

Lesa Snider O'Reilly Media ePub

Photoshop CS6 is bursting with amazing features thatll help you edit and create your very own digital masterpieces. If this is your first foray into the world of Photoshop, all these features will be new to you. If youre an experienced pixel pusher, there are some surprises waiting for you, too. No matter which version youve used previously, Adobe has introduced major changes to the work environment in CS6like a brand-new color themeand while these changes make Photoshop easier to use, they take some getting used to.

This chapter gives you a good, solid foundation on which to build your Photoshop skills. Youll learn how to work with the Application Frame and how to wrangle document windows and panels. Once youve gotten them placed just right, youll learn how to save your setup as a custom workspace. If youre a beginner, the section on using Undo commands and history states will teach you how to fix mistakes and back out of almost anything youve done. Finally, youll learn how to fine-tune Photoshops behavior through preferences and built-in tools (called presets) that let you personalize your experience even more. Lets dive in!

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Medium 9781937538019

Chapter 5: Customizing the Camera

Carol F. Roullard Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

Navigating the menus and setting the commands on the Sony A77 can be frustrating. The number and diversity of commands and functions can make it difficult to find, select, and choose the settings you need. To remedy this, the camera has some customization opportunities.

You may find that you change a specific function frequently and you want easy access to it. You have that capability with this camera. Three of the camera buttons can be reassigned to execute different functions.

In addition, you may find you frequently utilize a complete set of camera settings. Instead of setting and resetting your camera’s command values, you can store up to three customized set of command values for instant recall. This can give your camera a whole new personality; it can be like having four cameras instead of just one.

Using the camera’s predefined color schemes for your pictures and movies can even eliminate the need to post-process your images. Lastly, you can take advantage of a couple of command settings to facilitate your camera utilization style.

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Medium 9781937538101


Markus Varesvuo Rocky Nook-IPS ePub


Find out where the birds go and when they show up, and hide well.

Over the past 10 years I have built more than 100 blinds, and no two are identical. Every site has its own surprise to figure out. In the following paragraphs I will outline some essential factors to consider when you design a blind.

A blind has to completely conceal you from the surrounding world—sometimes not only visually, but also by cutting off sounds and smells. Most animals rely on their vision for safety, and as soon as they become suspicious of unusual movements, your chances of wearing out your shutter are lost. Sounds, especially snapping noises, can also cause animals to leave the area, so build a blind that keeps most of the noise inside. When you are photographing mammals with a keen sense of smell, you need to stay downwind or in an airtight blind with a vent that keeps the smells several yards high.

It’s crucial to be able to see and photograph in all directions without obstructions, but the better you hide yourself, the more difficult this becomes. Most photographers use traditional fabric blinds, but the field of view in them is very restricted. If you’re not always a step ahead of your subjects, and you have no idea what to expect and what direction the action will come from, then unfortunately you’ll miss most of the action.

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Medium 9781937538453

10 Autofocus, AF-Area, and Release Modes

Darrell Young Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

Taking Prey – Rocky Fletcher (rf10956)

Autofocus (AF) and Release modes are active settings that you’ll deal with each time you use your camera. Unlike adjusting settings in the menus, which you’ll do from time to time, you’ll use Autofocus and Release modes every time you make an image or movie. You will adjust AF-area modes less often; however, these critical functions affect how and where the camera focuses on your subject.

To take pictures and make movies, you need to be very familiar with these settings, so this is a very important chapter for your mastery of the Nikon D610. Grab your camera and let’s get started!

This chapter is divided into three sections:

• Section 1 – Autofocus in Viewfinder Photography

• Section 2 – Autofocus in Live View Photography

• Section 3 – Release Modes

The Nikon D610 has two types of autofocus (AF) built in, with different parts of the camera controlling AF in different shooting modes (figure 10.1). When you take pictures through the Viewfinder, one type of autofocus is used, and when you shoot a picture or movie using Live view, a different type is used. They are as follows:

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Medium 9781933952635

2 Composition, Framing, and Exposure Basics

Jack Howard Rocky Nook ePub

The basic rules for successful photographic composition hold true for high dynamic range imaging just as they do for traditional single-shot photography. Don’t think that the high dynamic range (HDR) process will miraculously turn a boring, ill-composed scene into a masterpiece simply by capturing multiple frames and tweaking it with the HDR workflow. In fact, because high dynamic range imaging can hold detail information across a much wider exposure value range than traditional imaging, composition and framing are more important than ever. In this chapter, we’re going to explore some basic photographic composition tips and focus on maximizing the strengths of the various lenses.

There’s a rule out there that it is not possible to publish a photography technique book without at least a passing mention of the rule of thirds. The simple reason for this is because this rule generally works. Take a look at many of your favorite photographs—whether they be your own compositions or photos that really speak to you. Odds are the greater percentage of successful images will prove to fall under the sway of the rule of thirds. If you overlay these images with a tic-tac-toe grid, the primary point(s) of focus will fall on or very near the intersections of the vertical and horizontal dividers. In fact, many cameras with live view LCDs have built-in rule of thirds grids for compositional assistance.

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Medium 9781933952529

8. Setup Menu

Darrell Young Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

The Setup Menu on the Nikon D5000 consists of a series of basic camera settings not generally related to taking pictures. They cover things like how bright youd like the LCD, firmware version, the default language, and image sensor cleaning.

These options are most likely the first youll use when you prepare your new D5000. Youll have to set your cameras time zone and date right away, format a memory card, and set your LCD brightness.

Figure8-1.The Setup Menu

The icon for the Setup Menu looks like a wrench (e.g., wrench icon). It is about midway down the menu tree, on the left. See Figure8-1 for a look at the Setup Menu location.

In this chapter, well examine each setting in detail.

(Users Manual pages 23 and 24)

Youll need to learn the location of this particular function on the Setup Menu since youll be using it frequently. It is a good idea to use your cameranot your computerto format the memory card that holds your pictures. That way, the cards format is customized to the camera. Its a relatively simple process to format the card. Figure8-2 shows the screens involved in the process.

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Medium 9781933952642

6. Retouch Menu

Darrell Young Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

Free Climber Courtesy of Octavian Radu Topai (Tavi)

Retouching allows you to modify your images in-camera. If you like to do digital photography but dont particularly like to adjust images on a computer, these functions are for you! Obviously, the cameras Monitor is not large enough to allow you to make heavily creative changes to an imageas you could do within Nikon Capture NX2 or Photoshop. However, it is surprising just what you can accomplish with the Retouch Menu.

The D300S has 11 Retouch Menu selections, while the D300 has eight. Here is a list of each function and what it does:

D-Lighting Opens up detail in the shadows and tends to protect highlight details from blowing out. This is similar to the Shooting Menu > Active D-Lighting function, but its applied after the image is taken.

Red-eye correction Removes the unwanted red-eye effect caused by light from a flash reflecting back from the eyes of your human subjects.

Trim Creates a trimmed (cropped) copy of a selected photograph. You can crop the image in several aspect ratios in the D300S, including 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 5:4, and 16:9. The D300 only has 3:2, 4:3, and 5:4.

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Medium 9781937538217

03 Shapes and Lines

Cora Banek Rocky Nook-IPS ePub

When photographers talk about image design, the conversation almost reflexively centers on two topics: the golden ratio and prevailing lines. The conversation often never extends beyond these two issues. Aside from the arrangement of subjects, the process of designing with points, lines, shapes, and patterns guides the discussion of image design and the way we perceive the elements of the photograph. Yet shapes and lines are only a small portion of the whole range of design tools.

These graphical design tools are very important for the layout and rhythm of the entire image, partially because photographers use these tools to direct the viewer’s gaze. In an exaggerated sense, the photographer can use this element of design to create a well-marked map for a hike along a paved trail or an adventurous backpacking tour through the backcountry. Not every viewer will care for both types of journeys, and the difference between a visual hiking path and aimless wandering often lies in the eye of the beholder.

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Medium 9781937538101


Markus Varesvuo Rocky Nook-IPS ePub


Interesting species can be seen in the middle of Finland.

The region and city of Oulu in central Finland borders the northeast shore of the Gulf of Bothnia, and it’s a meeting point of two different avifaunas: the birds of the shallow shores of the Baltic Sea and those of the northern coniferous zone. Open fields in flat landscapes are distinctive to this coastal area, where snow melts earlier than in the surrounding areas during spring. The open patches revealed by the spring sun draw geese, cranes, and swans. Graylag Geese breed in the area and are easiest to photograph in early April, just as they arrive but before they start breeding. Many other geese in the area are in transit, such as Bean, Pink-footed, Greater White-fronted, and the endangered Lesser White-fronted Geese.

In the beginning of May, many waterbird and wader species are busy feeding on the shores in the region, and the large network of surrounding bogs is rich in bird life. Most of the bogs have Black Grouse leks, with the males fighting for supremacy in spring, and cranes nest in these bogs.

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Medium 9781449381684

14. Creating Artistic Text

Lesa Snider O'Reilly Media ePub

Text has the power to make or break your design and Photoshop has a veritable smorgasbord of text creation and formatting options. But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. The act of creating text is something of an art form (called typography), but it's all too easy to get carried away with decorating rather than creating legible prose.

Keep in mind that Photoshop isn't always the right place to be wordsmithing in the first place. The box on Photoshop and Text gives you some pointers to help decide whether to hunt and peck in another program altogether. Nevertheless, Photoshop has plenty of tools that, when used tastefully, can help create beautiful type. Some of these tools are easy to find, while others are hidden so deep in the program that you'd need a treasure map to find 'em. This chapter guides you in the right direction, and more importantly, teaches you when and how to use each tool. You'll also learn quite a lot about the art of type in the process.

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