This week we're running a series of workflow tips by pro photographer Richard Peters. Check back each day for a new tip!
Ever had one of those shots that ‘almost’ worked but the framing was just off? Or you wanted to clone out a small distraction near the edge of the frame but there was too much detail to try and match with the clone stamp? Well here is a very quick and neat way to add in some extra canvas, and fill it with original picture information so it matches the rest of the image perfectly. It takes 30 seconds and requires no fiddling with the clone stamp and paint brush – which also makes this technique ideal for Photoshop beginners as well as more advanced users.
Before and After canvas extension
Ok, so the base image I am using for this demonstration is a little tight in the frame but it’s nice enough and serves as a good image to do this quick tutorial with. It’s a simple duck swimming across the water, however, I ran out of room to pan and so caught the duck too far to the right of frame so the composition isn’t ideal. The image would of course look better if the duck had a little more room in front of it than behind. The way a lot of people would tackle this is to extend the canvas and use the clone stamp and paint brush to try and put some detail back in the shot. This method is fine if you only want to touch up a plain area, but, as soon as you start needing to add in area’s that have some detail or a variation in light/colour change etc…well, things can start to get fiddly and time consuming as you try to match the old canvas with the new…but without having duplicate area’s of detail or patches of light and dark that don’t flow together well – the tell tell sign of a rushed clone job.
With this image there are some texture/ripples in the water and although they are quite simple I don’t really want to have to spend time trying to clone them. So, let’s see how I quickly gave the duck a little more space to swim
In the top photograph, a remote flash, mounted on a stand and placed in an octodome softbox, was used to freeze the action of the model jumping. Compare the contrast and detail in that image to the second image. That image looks flat, because the day was overcast, and overcast days produce flat lighting.
A couple rock climbing near the top of Cathedral Ledge. Echo Lake State Park in North Conway, New Hampshire. White Mountains.
This last April I attended the American Society of Picture Professionals’ reinvention weekend in Boston, and the major theme was finding ways for those working in the picture industry to keep working while the landscape of the industry is rapidly changing. Both stock and assignment prices have been deteriorating for years, if not decades, challenging both stock agencies and photographers to change business tactics in order to survive. It’s no secret what is causing the decline in prices – digital technology. To some extent, digital cameras have leveled the playing field on the content creation side of things. More importantly, digital distribution has drastically reduced the cost of selling images. On the stock side of the business, digital distribution (first in the form of royalty-free CDs, then with the advent of microstock) has enabled stock companies to be profitable without charging large rights-managed fees as the administrative costs of managing a large stock library have been drastically reduced due to digital image management and distribution. Lower stock prices have also led to lower assignment fees, both on the commercial and editorial side of the business, though to a greater extent in the editorial world, as newspapers and magazines are downsizing and going out of business.
Look for the direction of light (above: back light), the contrast range in a scene (above: medium), and the color of light (above: warm).
In the opening shot for this post, back light, which created beautiful rim light, makes the shot more than snapshot. The back light also adds a sense of depth to the image, much like a background light adds a sense of depth to a portrait.
If there is one thing I like, it’s to spend more time taking my photo’s than editing them. Of course some degree of processing IS part of the workflow that can’t be avoided…but…you can decrease your time sat in front of the PC by using a few keyboard shortcuts to speed up your Photoshop operation. And what better way to fully show these in operation than a video tutorial!
Less Is More
I try not to do too much editing to my images, with the thought process that if an image requires too much work to get it looking good, I should just go and shoot it again. However when using Photoshop, one of the things that I quickly learned was this…shortcuts make editing a much faster process. There are however MANY to be learned, so I thought I’d go back to basics with a video to show a few of the more commonly used ones as a beginners guide. They may be simple, but once learned, I guarantee they will speed up your editing.
Further down you can see a brief list of what is covered in the video for quick reference. However do check out the video to see examples of them in action, as well as a couple of extra tips that show examples of how you can really use them to your advantage.
In a nutshell
The video above talks about and demonstrates the following basic functions amongst other tips:
Bto select the paintbrush Sto select the clone stamp Cto select the crop tool
I now have my 2011 workshops dates available.
I will be doing them at the Casa Santa Ana in South Texas. This is a beautiful B & B with grounds that back up to the Santa Ana National Wildlife refuge. It is about 20 mins from McAllen.
We will be spending 3 mornings at the feeder setups, [...]
From books, to iPhone apps, to podcasts, Facebook and Twitter, Rick Sammon is everywhere. A Canon Explorer of Light, Rick is also everyman’s photographer. One of Rick’s basic photography tenets is that he “Specializes in not specializing”.
When we talked to Rick for this article, his opening comment to us was “I never thought, in 1969, when I was 19 and dancing naked in the mud at Woodstock, I’d have 36 books and a bunch of iPhone and iPad apps”. We knew we were in for a good story.
After Woodstock, Rick attended the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, receiving his formal education in Arrangement and Composition. He wanted to play jazz, and play he did. Late night shows and jam sessions over the next few years left him plenty of free day time, so to stir his creative juices, he began shooting images and submitting them to publications.
In 1978 Rick submitted an image and article to Studio Photography Magazine. On this first submission, the magazine invited him to be their editor. Rick traded in one keyboard for another, and entered the publication world.
Much as been written on the web about waiting years and years for all the elements in a scene to come together for a “once-in-a-lifetime shot.”
That’s all well and good, and sometimes it’s true.
But sometimes a good shot is just dumb luck. Here is an example.
In the above photograph, the five subjects are completely isolated, the side lighting is wonderful, the reflection is perfect, the background is effective in adding to the “sense of place” of the image, the dog adds an extra element of interest, and the exposure is good.
In light of this country’s holiday weekend, we are proud to bring you products from our friends at Wimberley—a company whose products are made right here in the USA, and whose products set the bar for the highest standard worldwide.
Photographers all over the world know and respect Wimberley products for being the pinnacle in their category. Gimbal heads, flash brackets, lens plates and quick release clamps by Wimberley are procured by photographers who demand only the best.
The Wimberley story is a true example of the American Dream. David Wimberley started in 1991 with a unique idea of a tripod head. This gimbal mount design became so popular with nature photographers that Wimberley grew from a backyard project into a full-fledged company.
David was joined by his son Clay five years later. Together, their drive for quality precise solutions added new dimensions to their business, and pushed Wimberley to the worldwide stage, all while maintaining their American value of loyalty to their customers.
Wimberley takes a great deal of pride in the name that they have built for themselves over the years. Always striving for excellence, Wimberley has provided the global photography community with quality products—Made in the USA.