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T H E A D O B E® P H O T O S H O P

Digital cameras need a little help when it comes to neutralizing the color of light


“ H O W -T 0 ” M A G A Z I N E ›



See page 14 for a message from Scott Kelby on our move to an all-digital magazine







wysiwyg printing

getting your prints to match what’s onscreen The Official Publication of

Visit our website at


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Layout: Jessica Maldonado, Images: Adobe Stock


The Challenge of WYSIWYG Printing WYSIWYG stands for “What you see is what you get,” which is the goal for most photographers and designers whether they’re sending their images and designs to an inkjet printer, a photo lab, or an offset press. In other words, all the beautiful colors they saw on their displays after all those hours of hard work should be the same colors they see in the final printed pieces. Lesa Snider tells us how to achieve this lofty goal. From calibrating your monitor to paper profiles, you’ll learn how to enter the wonderful realm of WYSIWIG. Lesa Snider


From the Editor

Contributing Writers

About Photoshop User Magazine

KelbyOne Community

Exposed: Industry News

6 52


10 12 64


Colorful Lies

14 19 102



22 44


The Hot Tips Issue Cover Art

30 48


Spider Hole

How-To London on the Grid

How to Add Motion to Skies

Curves Adjustment Layer


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Lightroom Magazine LIGHTROOM WORKSHOP Setting the White Balance

UNDER THE LOUPE Consistency Is Key

Reviews 71 92 76





ColorChecker Passport Photo


Antonio Martez

93 94 95

90 96



Sony aR7 II

Intel Solid-State Drive 730 Series Canon PowerShot G9 X

DxO One Adobe Photoshop Fix

Powergorilla and Solargorilla Atomos Ninja Assassin

Photoshop Book Reviews

Colorful Lies When it comes to making photographs, the human brain can tell incredibly colorful lies. Kevin Ames explains how the human eye and digital cameras perceive the color of light differently and how we need to use white balance and color targets to avoid color casts. Kevin Ames

Shalana Roberts

Tina Zito


But Wait—There’s More KEY CONCEPTS

These icons at the beginning of columns indicate there’s a short video on a tool or function used in that tutorial at the Key Concepts KelbyOne member webpage at Dodge & Burn tools

Lasso tool

Layer masks

Pen tool

Smart objects

Quick Selection tool


Whenever you see this symbol at the end of an article, it means there are either downloadable practice files or additional content for KelbyOne members at All lighting diagrams courtesy of Sylights

Click this symbol in the magazine to return to the Table of Contents.


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From the Editor

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

looking forward to an amazing new year


The year 2016 is already here (by the way, I thought we’d all be flying around with jet packs by now), and I want to kick off the year by sharing our vision for KelbyOne, and how we’re going to deliver our most helpful and meaningful education yet (before we get too deep into this, make sure you read my announcement about our transition to an all-digital magazine—that’s on page 14). One of my main jobs as Publisher of the magazine, and as President of KelbyOne, is to help chart the course of this huge educational community. I think the core of that is making sure that we’re staying on top of current trends—not just in our industry, but in education in general—and making sure that we continue to lead and grow the Photoshop community. As an educator, that’s my job—to make sure we’re delivering the type of training our members have told us they’re looking for—and that’s one of the reasons we’ve come to you a number of times this year, asking for your input via polls and surveys. Some of them have been short, one-question surveys and some of them have been more in-depth (with a lot of questions across a broad range of topics), and so many of you have been gracious enough to take part. I cannot tell you how much hearing from you has helped. We focused on two big things this past year. The first thing was turning out a ton of top-drawer training. We really cranked out a lot of amazing classes in 2015—some of the best, most useful classes we’ve ever produced—and our content team, led by RC Concepcion, has done a phenomenal job this year. It’s also the “Year of Mia McCormick,” and we couldn’t be happier to see her emerge as such an important part of our content team. Thanks to everyone who has written to tell us how awesome Mia is (believe me, we know). And second, we spent the entire year working on launching our new Web experience. Based on your comments on the new site, it was worth the wait. As I mentioned in the last issue, this launch is just version 1.0; version 1.1 will bring more new features, and will fully integrate the old website into our new site so you can access everything in one place (finally!). So, here’s what’s next: (1) building community. It was always a special part of what we do and who we are, so our next focus is on community interaction and growth on the new site, which will include all-new updated member portfolios; individual member profiles so we can better target the type of training you, personally, are interested in; and making it easier than ever to get right to the training you want, faster than ever. And, (2) creating the most relevant, important, concise, and inspirational training we’ve ever produced. In the first half of the year, you’re going to see a lot of fantastic new training, including the launch of Corey Barker’s new online Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks course; but it’s a course that keeps growing as Corey releases a new Photoshop special effect each week. On the photography side, we’ll have an in-depth training class on every major new camera release, so you can get up to speed fast. On the design side, we’re adding more design-centric classes on the Adobe applications than we have in years. Lots of business and inspirational sessions will round out an aggressive educational schedule for the first half of 2016. Thanks so much for your support throughout 2015, and for your patience as we got all the building blocks in place to deliver a 2016 that will be truly impactful, helpful, and fun. See you next issue!

Scott Kelby KelbyOne President & CEO Editor & Publisher, Photoshop User

The official publication of KelbyOne JANUARY 2016 • Volume 19 • Number 1 • Printed in USA


Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief Chris Main, Managing Editor

Contributing Writers

Ajna Adams • Kevin Ames • Steve Baczewski • Corey Barker Peter Bauer • Pete Collins • RC Concepcion • Michael Corsentino Seán Duggan • Sean McCormack • Colin Smith • Lesa Snider Rob Sylvan • Scott Valentine • Erik Vlietinck


Dave Damstra, Production Manager Jessica Maldonado, Associate Art Director Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer Angela Naymick, Graphic Designer


Ajna Adams • Kleber Stephenson


Mike Keilty • Brandon Nourse • Mario Ocon • Yojance Rabelo Aaron Westgate


Scott Kelby, Publisher David Moser, Executive Publisher Kalebra Kelby, Executive V.P. Jean A. Kendra, Business Manager


Kevin Agren, V.P., Sales 813-433-2370 Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-738-8513 ext. 152 Veronica (Ronni) O’Neil, Director of Circulation/Distribution 800-738-8513 ext. 235


U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East • Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922 Voice: 813-433-5005 • Fax: 813-433-5015 Customer Service: Letters to the Editor: Letters to the Lightroom Editor: World Wide Web Including the Photoshop Help Desk, Photo Gear Desk, and Advice Desk:


Photoshop User was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 and Adobe InDesign CC 2015. Roboto was used for headlines and subheads. Frutiger LT Std for text.

This seal indicates that all content provided herein is produced by KelbyOne, LLC and follows the most stringent standards for educational resources. KelbyOne is the premier source for instructional books, DVDs, online classes, and live seminars for creative professionals.

| fuel for creativity

All contents ©COPYRIGHT 2016 KelbyOne, LLC. All rights reserved. Any use of the contents of this publication without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Photoshop User is an independent journal, not affiliated in any way with Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop are registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned belong to their respective owners. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of the publisher. ISSN 1535-4687


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Contributing Writers KEVIN AMES creates photographs for clients such as Westin Hotels, AT&T, and Coca-Cola. He has authored four books, including a Dummies book, and his photos have appeared in Time, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal. Visit

STEVE BACZEWSKI is a freelance writer, professional photographer, graphic designer, and con­sultant. He also teaches classes in traditional and digital fine arts photo­graphy. His company, Sore Tooth Productions, is based in Albany, California

PETER BAUER is an Adobe Certified Expert that does computer graphics consulting for a select group of corporate clients. His latest book is Photoshop CC for Dummies. He was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2010.

PETE COLLINS is an education and curriculum developer and website overseer for KelbyOne. He is one of the Photoshop Guys and co-hosts Photoshop User TV. With a fine arts background, Pete is well versed in photography, graphic design, and illustration.

RAFAEL “RC” CONCEPCION is director of content and education for KelbyOne. An Adobe Certified Instructor in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, RC has 10+ years in the I.T. and ecommerce industries. RC has held training seminars in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.

MICHAEL CORSENTINO is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer, Photoshop and Lightroom expert, author, columnist for Shutter Magazine and Resource Magazine, and speaker and international workshop leader. Learn more at


› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

is the co-author of Photoshop Masking & Compositing, Real World Digital Photography, and The Creative Digital Darkroom. He leads workshops on digital photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom (


SEAN McCORMACK is the author of Essential Development: 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 5. Based in Galway, Ireland, he shoots subjects from musicians, models, and actors to landscapes and architecture. Learn more at

COLIN SMITH is an award-winning digital artist, photographer, and lecturer who has authored 18 books and has created a series of training videos. Colin is also the founder of the online resource and president of

LESA SNIDER is the author of Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual, several eBooks, and more than 40 video courses. She also writes a weekly column for Macworld. For more info, visit

ROB SYLVAN is the Lightroom Help Desk Specialist for KelbyOne, on staff at the Digital Photo Workshops, and the author of Lightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process. You can learn more at

SCOTT VALENTINE is an Adobe Community Professional and Photoshop author. His latest book is The Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers (Adobe Press). Keep up with him at

ERIK VLIETINCK founded IT Enquirer in 1999 ( A J.D. by education, Erik has been a freelance technology editor for more than 20 years. He has written for Macworld, Computer Arts, Windows NT Magazine, and many others.

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Photoshop User Magazine

Adobe Stock

Photoshop User magazine is the official publication of KelbyOne. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Photoshop User ten times a year. Each issue features in-depth Photoshop, Lightroom, and photo­ graphy tutorials written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry.

About KelbyOne KELBYONE

is the world’s leading resource for Adobe® Photoshop®, Lightroom®, and photography training, news, and education. Founded in 1998 as the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), KelbyOne has evolved from NAPP and KelbyTraining to create a singular hub for creative people to learn, grow, and inspire. From photographers to graphic designers, beginners to professionals, KelbyOne is open to everyone. There’s no faster, easier, and more affordable way to get really good at Photoshop and photography. You can join for only $19.99 per month or $199 U.S. for a full year of training. To learn more, visit


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Ten issues of the best Photoshop tutorial-based magazine in the industry.




Save anywhere from 2–4 times your membership cost by using our many industry-related discounts.


Fast, friendly Photoshop, Lightroom, and photo gear help; equipment advice; and more from certified experts.


KelbyOne members range from beginners to pros and love to lend each other a hand. Together, we have built the friendliest, most knowledgeable Photoshop and photography community on the Web.


Unbiased coverage on the latest equipment, plug-ins, and programs in the marketplace.

Our extensive website features time- and money-saving content.


Thousands of Photoshop and photography tutorials, full online classes, and quick-tip videos.


The KelbyOne Insider is your weekly connection to everything KelbyOne. It’s produced exclusively for members to keep you informed of everything new in the industry and at KelbyOne headquarters.

FIND KELBYONE MEMBERSHIP DETAILS AT or call 800-201-7323 Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.

KelbyOne Community › ›

Inspiration, information, and member musings to fuel your creative think tank BY SCOTT KELBY

A Message from our Editor and Publisher, Scott Kelby, on our move to an all-digital magazine Here at KelbyOne, we all knew that the day would come when the demand for the digital edition of Photoshop User would surpass the print edition, but none of us thought it would happen so quickly. We started the digital edition a few years ago for a number of reasons, sparked by the fact that our members were asking for a “green” edition of the magazine. One of the benefits of a digital edition was that we could finally have instant and pretty-much-guaranteed delivery to our international members in more than 102 countries around the world. (In some countries, customs often delayed the magazine by one or two months, and sometimes the magazine never made it to the member at all—they “disappeared” in transit.) So, this digital version was a way our members would always receive the magazine on time without any delivery issues. Plus, there were other features we wanted to bring to our members that we could deliver only in digital format, so there were educational and user experience benefits beyond just timely delivery and saving trees (both of which were the main catalysts for creating the digital edition in the first place; all the other benefits are just icing on the cake, but that’s some pretty sweet icing). The trend of more and more people choosing the digital version has picked up tremendous momentum, and today nearly 80% of new KelbyOne members choose to receive only the digital edition, and that number continues to grow. That’s why in 2016 we’re transitioning to an all-digital version of Photoshop User magazine, and laying the print edition to rest. One of the things we’re excited about bringing to the all-digital magazine this coming year is embedded videos: quick video tips or tutorials that appear right within your issue of Photoshop User. We think the ability to integrate video with the written tutorials is a big plus. Other benefits of the digital version are that you can zoom in to see images at larger magnifications, as well as more easily read text; highlight features; share articles; and so much more. We’re just beginning to unlock the power of what an all-digital subscription can bring to our members. So, while one part of me is kinda melancholy to see the print version go away, the other side of me is excited for what the all-digital world brings. I know it’s the end of an era, especially for those who have been with us since the NAPP days, but many of you have already switched to the digital version, and we’re glad you’re moving with the trends that we’re seeing industry wide and within our own walls. We also know that by far the #1 reason that people join KelbyOne

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

is for our growing library of world-class online training. We have an incredible lineup of new classes and new instructors,


as well as a totally new Web experience for our members that will help you stay in touch, stay engaged, and keep you learning, laughing, and loving the education and inspiration designed to help you unlock your creativity to make the kind of images you know are inside you. It’s our job to help you bring those images out, and 2016 will be an incredible opportunity to do this together. I want to thank our members for their boundless patience, their suggestions, their attaboys when we did something right, and for being straight with us when we did something wrong. It has guided us to a place we’ve wanted to be for a long time in delivering the kind of member experience we’d want for ourselves. We have you to thank for your unwavering support that helped us to bring KelbyOne 2.0 to life and into your lives.





Who's Who in the kelbyone community


A KelbyOne member for more than four years, Gilmar M.

the most intimidating, humongous camera I’ve ever seen, but

Smith was born and raised in Venezuela, but currently lives

I was determined to learn how to use it. So, I did a search

and works in Orlando, Florida. Obsessed with all things pho-

online and found KelbyOne (at that time Kelby Training) and

tography, she is up to any creative challenge. She describes

got a membership. I watched a video on how to use a Canon

herself as a risk taker, cupcake lover, and social media junkie.

5D Mark II, and right away started playing with my camera. By the second day, I was sleeping less and I was glued to my com-

How does KelbyOne make a difference in your work?

puter screen, watching tutorial after tutorial. I was hooked!

In the creative world, there is always room for improvement.

Then I received this email from Kelby Training saying Scott

It’s very competitive out there. My mind is always running

Kelby was gonna stop in the Orlando Convention Center in

with new ideas, but sometimes I get stuck trying to do some-

two weeks on his “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It” tour. I got my

thing in Photoshop. I know then that I can find a tutorial

ticket immediately. At the end of the presentation, Scott men-

about it through KelbyOne. There is so much great content.

tioned he had this Elinchrom lighting kit put together and on

When I think I know it all—Bam!—one of the Photoshop

sale on B&H. I went ahead and bought the whole thing, got

Guys shows a trick that could have saved me lots of time in

home, cleaned the garage, painted it, and transformed it into

my workflow.

a studio. I could say KelbyOne created this monster!

When and how did you first become involved

Do you have any pieces of inspiration for our fellow

with KelbyOne?

community members?

Well, that’s a funny one! I believe it was at the end of 2011.

Take a close look at what moves you, what makes you feel

I got a camera. I didn’t have any idea how to use it. It was

something, then try to turn that feeling into an image. It

doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. You can set the

to see the image coming to life. We weren’t done until

mood to an image using color, adjusting the tones, using

my son was happy with all the elements in the picture

moody light, etc. Use photography as therapy!

and everything was placed where he thought it should be. That’s, to me, one of the most magical things about

What keeps you inspired day to day?

doing this kind of portrait. Having him involved so much,

My kids are my biggest source of inspiration. My boy has this

the image represents who he is and what he’s into in this

brilliant mind. He sees the world from a completely differ-

stage of his life.

ent perspective and I love to get in there and let him show me what his world is like. Emotion is another great source

A theme song plays everywhere you go—name it!

of inspiration. Whatever it is—happiness, joy, anger, frustra-

I have been obsessed with Adele’s new record, 25. There is

tion, sadness, deception, fear, love, passion, etc.—I always

this song that hits me deep in the core; it completely takes my

think of emotions as a portrait. Well, I think I’m so obsessed

breath away and makes me ugly cry. It’s called “Million Years

with photography that I turn everything into a portrait in my

Ago.” Adele, you owe me big money on mascara!

head. Music is great inspiration, too, and if you mix it with exercise, it’s even better. I come up with great ideas while

What would be a surprising fact that people may not

listening to music during my daily workout, and I write them

know about you?

down with sweat! LOL!

I’m the most awkward person when I’m nervous, especially in big crowds with new people. It’s like I get verbal diarrhea

This image is so intriguing. Tell us about your

or something, so I try to stay in my quiet, safe shell some-

creative approach.

times. (This answer right here pretty much defines how awk-

I absolutely love creating with my kids. I wanted to create

ward I get. I can’t believe I just wrote that!)

a portal to my son’s imagination, to his little world. So, I approached him with the idea of taking a picture of him,

And, finally, if you had one superpower, what would

having all of his favorite things coming out of a book, and

it be?

that got him really interested. I made a little sketch to

Oh! That’s a good one! I would like to have the ability to

show him what I had in mind and for him to have an idea

make every child in the world feel loved and happy.


part came after, when we sat together for a while plan-

If you’re intrigued by Gilmar’s work, you can see much more

ning what images to add to the composite, and we started

at ■

Gilmar Smith

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

of what he was supposed to do in the picture. The fun

Exp sed: Industry News The latest news about photography gear, software, and services BY COREY BARKER, PETE COLLINS & RC CONCEPCION

A Look at What’s New in Photoshop CC 2015.1 So back in late November, Adobe released a major update to the Creative Cloud. Many apps got some heavy updates and, as usual, Photoshop was no exception. Most of the Photoshop updates are enhancements to existing features that make your workflow much more streamlined. For one thing, the overall interface has a smoother, more simplified, and more consistent look, and it even has some advanced touch and gesture features, if you’re using a touch system like a Microsoft Surface. Another big enhancement is the ability to customize the main Toolbar and save multiple Toolbar configurations as part of different saved workspaces. You can now reduce clutter by hiding the tools you don’t use—very handy. For you 3D lovers out there, Adobe rolled out a new app called Fuse CC in this update, which is a 3D character modeler that works in conjunction with Photoshop (see “Adobe Releases a New App—Adobe Fuse CC” on the next page). Finding fonts is a lot less of a hassle, as you can now mark fonts as favorites for quick access. You can also narrow your font search further with new filtering options that allow you to show similarly selected fonts, your favorites, Typekit fonts, and even filter by classes such as serif, sans serif, handwritten, etc. The Libraries panel is becoming more robust with each version. Not only can you manage all your Cloud-based assets in this one panel, you can also do better searches across all libraries and even search through Adobe Stock. You can create full-asset libraries now based on individual files. And, you can pull images, styles, swatches, etc., from a working file and include them in your libraries to use in other Adobe apps or to share with other collaborators. The artboards, which were a huge update in the last version, have now gotten even better with more accessible features to add and manage multiple artboards. Also, with better guides and layer support, you can manage multiple projects much easier. The Dehaze feature was introduced in Adobe Camera Raw in the last update, but the drawback was that it was a global adjustment. You can now apply Dehaze by using the Adjustment brush, Radial Filter, or Graduated Filter, allowing you to isolate the adjustment to a specific area of the image. These are just a few of the major updates, in addition to better Export features, better options when working with SVG files, a new way to manage and search glyphs, and not to mention a lot of JDI (just do it) fixes that will help with overall performance and workflow. Oh, and they brought back that cool Oil Paint filter, as well. All in all a good update with some real enhancements that serious users will find extremely helpful.

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e x p o s e d: i n d u st ry n e w s

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Adobe Releases a New App— Adobe Fuse CC In addition to all the updates and enhancements in Photoshop, Adobe has also released a new 3D application called Fuse CC that you can use with Photoshop to build and animate fully realized 3D characters! This user-friendly interface allows you to create full body 3D characters with minimal training. Originally designed to build video game characters, you can build a fully customizable 3D person in a matter of minutes, import them into Photoshop via your Creative Cloud libraries, and then light and position them using Photoshop 3D tools. Fuse is a stand-alone application that you’ll need to download from the Cloud. Once you launch it, you can immediately get started building a new character. You start with the head, then the workflow guides you through the process of adding all the body parts from a large library, and then you can customize your model by adding clothes and other accessories. You can go even body shape and age. Once you have the model created, click the Save to CC Libraries button in the top-right corner, name it, and choose a folder to save it in your CC library. Oh, and you, of course, need to be logged into your Cloud account to do this. Next, it’s just a matter of going into Photoshop and pulling the model from your Library into your Photoshop document. You can then apply preset algorithms that will pose or animate your character. You can also use Photoshop’s 3D lights and cameras to add dramatic lighting and camera angles to your subject, as part of an overall composite or short animation. This addition to the 3D workflow is another giant leap forward and sets up numerous possibilities to explore. Be sure to check out Corey Barker’s new course on on using Fuse and Photoshop together and learn more about the other new Photoshop features from our Photoshop CC 2015.1 Learning Center at

What’s New in Lightroom CC 2015.3 Lightroom has been the gold standard for photographers when working on and managing their ever-growing library of images. This latest release gave users a couple of features that were great for the desktop version, but really unlocked the power of using Lightroom anywhere, including tablets, computers, or on the Web. Let’s cover the desktop version first: Back in June, Adobe added Dehaze as an effect to bring out details in hazy pictures. They have now taken this effect further by allowing you to paint Dehaze onto specific portions of an image using the Adjustment brush, Radial Filter, and Graduated Filter. After a quick change in the import process, Lightroom also reverted back to the original Import › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

window for importing images, illustrating Adobe’s commitment in keeping an open dialog with photographers in this space.


Just like the desktop version, the Lightroom app for iOS and Android devices also now has the option to Dehaze a picture by using the Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, and Adjustment brush. Android users can get precise control by manipulating color, tone, and vignettes; iPad and iPhone users have the option to better find their images by sorting photos and videos by date. As awesome as all these additions are, there are two features that really stand out to us. First is the iPhone and iPad in-app camera, which is amazing! You can do things like select white balance settings, manipulate exposure compensation, and set timers. It even gives you useful overlays for taking a shot. These little adjustments really make a difference in creating great shots. The second thing we’re most excited about with this new release is Adobe’s commitment to having Lightroom available to you, no matter where you want to access it. While Lightroom now has great options for mobile and the desktop, they’ve taken it to a completely new level by bringing this kind of editing right to a Web browser! Go to and sign in with your Adobe ID. If you have set your collections to sync with your mobile device, you’ll notice that the collections are also available in the Web browser. You can even perform edits on the images in these collections! These kinds of changes take a program that was already great to a completely new level.

Illustration: Corey Barker

further by modifying the character’s facial expression and other attributes, like

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e x p o s e d: i n d u st ry n e w s

What’s New in Illustrator CC 2015.2 The new updates in Illustrator are great for speeding up your workflow and allowing you to work more efficiently and precisely. A good sign that an update is helpful is when you find yourself saying, “I didn’t know I needed this feature, but now that it’s here, how did I get along with out it?” One of the great new features in Illustrator is the Shaper tool. Without having to switch from tool to tool, you can now draw out crisp shapes and then combine, subtract, and merge them easily. What makes this even better is that when you merge or cut out shapes, Illustrator retains the base shape’s information in case you change you mind or want to edit any of the parts of the shapes after the fact. It’s as if the Pen tool, Shape tool, and Pathfinder merged together to make a new super tool. Another bonus in this update is that drawing and aligning shapes is even easier with Hinting and Smart Guides. These dotted lines, points, and data appear automatically to help show you important information, such as the center point of a line for rotating it, and the precise spacing between objects. At first blush, you might not see how much they help, but give it some time and you’ll be a believer. There are also improvements to Creative Cloud Libraries, faster GPU processing, enhanced mobile integration, and touch capabilities that make a great program even better.

What’s New in InDesign CC 2015.2 screen device. Combine that with the more robust Creative Cloud Libraries, and you can work wherever you want on more devices, and it will convert your shaky finger motions into crisp clean shapes, text frames, and even populate with placeholder text. Once you’ve created your document, you can publish it online, and still have the ability to make changes to the original that will populate back onto the Web—so, you have on-the-fly editing for a faster exchange of information and updates. There have also been improvements in working with glyphs and great integration with Adobe Capture CC to create and use elements from your mobile devices. Working in InDesign is now easier than ever and open to more avenues of input, as our working environment becomes more and more mobile. ■

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A great new feature in InDesign is the improved touch capabilities, which means you can do amazing layout work on a tablet or touch-


HOW TO › ›

Down &Dirty Tricks

london on the grid BY COREY BARKER

Here’s a cool design layout technique I saw a couple of years ago. It’s a really simple way to get creative with text and grids. This is made much easier with the new Grid Layout feature in Photoshop CC. Once you have mastered the technique, be sure to experiment with other images and text arrangements.


Step One: Start by creating a new blank document (File>New) that’s 1350x2000 pixels at 100 ppi with the Background Contents set to white. This will be the base document in which we’ll build the design.

Step Two: Go under the View menu and choose New Guide Layout. When the dialog appears, set the

Step One

Number of Columns to 4. Click on the checkbox for Rows and set the Number to 6. Set the Gutter for both Columns and Rows to 25 px. Check on Margin and set all sides to 25 px, as well. Finally, check on both Center Columns and Clear Existing Guides, and click OK. This creates a grid in your document using guides.

Step Three: Select the Rectangle tool (U) in the Toolbox. In the Options Bar, make sure the Pick Tool Mode drop-down menu on the left is set to Shape, and then set the Fill color to a neutral gray color or any color other than white so it doesn’t blend with the background. Before we start making the squares for the grid, go under the View menu and make sure that Snap is checked on so the shapes will snap to the guides when they get close. Step Two

Step Four: Starting in the upper-left corner of the first square, click-and-drag out a box to the guide edges to create the square. › › k e l b yo n e . c o m

You don’t have to hold down the Shift key with the Snap feature turned on.

Step Four



Step Five: With this new shape still selected, press Option-Command-T (PC: Alt-Ctrl-T) to copy the shape and enter Free Transform. Click-and-drag the duplicate shape to the second square to the right, minding the gutter until it snaps in place. Press Enter. The duplicate shape should still be on the same layer in the Layers panel. If it’s not, then that means your shape wasn’t selected when you initiated the step and repeat. Step Five

Step Six: Hold down Shift-Option-Command (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl) and press T twice to create two more duplicates and to repeat the transformation. This will fill in the two remaining squares in the top row.

Step Six

Step Seven: Press A to switch to the Path Selection tool (the black arrow directly below the Type tool in the Toolbox), hold the Shift key, and click on the shapes to select all four squares. Then, once again, press Option-Command-T (PC: Alt-Ctrl-T) to duplicate the shapes and enter Free Transform. Click-and-drag the four duplicates straight down to the next row. You can add the Shift key as you drag to constrain the movement. Once it snaps into the next row, press Enter. Step Seven

Step Eight: Now repeat Step Six except press T four times instead of twice. This will complete the entire grid of shapes. (Once again,

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all the shapes should still be in the same layer.)


Step Eight


Step Nine: With the Path Selection tool, click on a white area in the document so that none of the shapes are selected, and then make a duplicate of the shape layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). Double-click the duplicate’s layer thumbnail in the Layers panel to open the Color Picker. Here, we’ve picked a deep-red color. You can use these settings or try a different color altogether. Click OK when done. You’ll notice that it changed all the squares to red.

Step Nine

Step Ten: Select the Type tool (T) in the Toolbox. Move the cursor inside the second square on the top row. You should see the Type cursor with a dotted circle around it; this indicates that you’ll be putting text inside a shape. Click once to set a text layer based on the shape. Step Ten

Step Eleven: In the Options Bar, set the justification to Center Text. We chose a font called Factoria Bold (this is available through Adobe Typekit; you can see a video on how to load 225 pt and set the color to white.

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Typekit fonts over at Set the type size to



Step Twelve: Now just type the letter L in the box. The letter needs to be centered in the box, so instead of messing with a bunch of settings, just use the Path Selection tool to click-anddrag the text box down a little until the bottom edge of the text box snaps to the top edge of the red square below. This essentially centers the letter in the box.

Step Thirteen: Switch to the Move tool (V), hold down the

Step Twelve

Option (PC: Alt) key, then click-and-drag a duplicate of this text box to the red square on the right, again making sure the box edges snap into place. Use the Type tool to highlight the text and change the letter to O.

Step Fourteen: Repeat the previous step for the last box in the top row and enter the letter N. Continue this process, adding the remaining letters for LONDON ENGLAND and position them as you see here.

Step Fourteen

Step Fifteen: Click the red squares layer in the Layers panel to make it active. Using the Path Selection tool, hold the Shift key and select all the red squares that do not have a letter in them. When done, press Delete (PC: Backspace), and click Yes in the › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

resulting dialog. You should see the gray squares from the origi-


nal layer after the red ones are deleted.

Step Fifteen


Step Sixteen: Open the image that you want to use for the background. Here, we have a foggy day image of Big Ben; however, we don’t want it to be in color, so we’ll do a quick blackand-white conversion. Press D on your keyboard to set your Foreground color to black and your Background color to white, and then go to the Image menu, to Adjustments, and choose Gradient Map. It should automatically be using the Foreground to Background gradient; but if not, just click on the gradient bar, choose the very first preset in the Gradient Editor, and click OK. ©Adobe Stock/Bikeworldtravel

Click OK in the Gradient Map dialog. [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.] Step Sixteen

Step Seventeen

Step Seventeen: Using the Move tool (V), click-and-drag this image into the main design layout, and position the layer in between the two grid shape layers in the Layers panel. Press Option-Command-G (PC: Alt-Ctrl-G) to clip the image inside the gray squares below.

Step Eighteen: Once the image is clipped, press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform. Scale and rotate the image to fit better in the visible squares. Hold the Shift key when scaling to maintain proportions. When done, press Enter to commit the change. (Note: If you’re using the low-res practice file, you’ll have to scale it up quite a bit, which means it will look pixelated.)

Step Eighteen

Step Nineteen: To boost the contrast a little, press Shift-Delete (PC: Shift-Backspace) to open the Fill dialog. Set the Contents drop-down menu to Black, the Blending Mode to Overlay, the Opacity to 90%, and click OK. This will force the darker gray

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areas to black, thus boosting the overall contrast.

Step Twenty: Finally, just press Command-; (PC: Ctrl-;) to turn off the guides and see the finished design. ■

Step Twenty


HOW TO › ›

Down &Dirty Tricks

the hot tips issue cover art BY COREY BARKER

The October 2015 issue of Photoshop User was our annual “100 Photoshop Hot Tips” issue, and I created the comic-book inspired 3D text for the cover entirely in Photoshop. Here, we’ll go step by step through the process and you’ll see how you can create fully realized, custom 3D text without ever leaving Photoshop.


Step One: If you’re a KelbyOne member, download and open the start file for this exercise. You can use your own file if you like, but if you’re new to 3D in Photoshop, I highly recommend using the provided exercise file because it has the paths already in it. Once you open the file, go to the Paths panel (Window>Paths), and you’ll see the path for the number 100. [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.] Step Two: Click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. The new layer will appear above the blue Background layer. Click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom of the Toolbox to open the Color Picker and set the RGB numbers to what’s shown here to get a goldyellow color. Click OK. Now fill the blank layer with this new color by pressing OptionDelete (PC: Alt-Backspace).

Step One

Step Two

Step Three: Make sure the yellow-filled layer is active in the Layers panel and the path layer is active in the Paths panel, then go under the 3D menu, and choose New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path. This will extrude the text applying the yellow fill to the front face.

Step Three

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Step Four: The first thing you’ll notice is that the text has a shadow on the invisible ground plane. This is by default, but we don’t need it in this case, so open the 3D panel (Window>3D) and the Properties panel (Window>Properties). You’ll need both of these panels to edit 3D. Select Environment in the 3D panel, and then in the Properties panel, locate the Ground Plane Shadows settings and change the default Opacity setting of 60% to 0%.

Step Four



Step Five: Back in the 3D panel, select Layer 1, then go to the Properties panel and set the Extrusion Depth to 100 px. Step Six: Click on the third tab at the top of the Properties panel to access the Cap settings. In the Bevel section, set the Width to 30%. Then, click on the Contour preview thumbnail to open the Contour Editor. In the Preset drop-down menu, choose Cone. Click on the middle control point at the top of the curve and drag it down to the center mark, or just set the Input and Output values to 50%. This will produce a nice curved bevel along the edge of the numbers. Click OK when done.

Step Five

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Step Seven: Back in the Cap settings, go just below the Bevel settings to the Inflate properties, and set the Angle to 90° and the Strength to 10%. This will bulge out the front face of the text.


Step Eight

Step Eight: We need to change the color of this new bevel because it’s the same yellow as the front face. Back in the 3D panel, select Layer 1 Front Bevel Material. At the top of the Properties panel, click on the document icon to the right of the Diffuse property, and choose New Texture from the menu.

Step Nine: When the New dialog opens, set the Width and Height to 500 pixels and click OK. If the new texture file doesn’t open automatically, just go back in the same Diffuse menu and choose Edit Texture. Once it’s open, press D to set the Foreground color to black, then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the Background layer with black. Close the document and save the changes. Now the bevel is black and the front face of the numbers should still be yellow.

Step Nine


Step Ten: With the Layer 1 Front Bevel Material still selected in the 3D panel, go to the Properties panel and set the Shine and Reflection settings to 50%. You’ll see some reflected elements in the text. We’ll get to these in a just a bit. Select the Layer 1 Front Inflation Material in the 3D panel and set the Shine and Reflection for this mesh to 50% as well. (Note: The reflections in your text may appear in slightly different locations than shown here. We’ll take care of that in a later step.)

Step Ten

Step Eleven: With the Layer 1 Front Inflation Material still active in the 3D panel, go to the Properties panel and choose Edit Texture from the Diffuse menu. A new document will open with the yellow background and a wireframe of the numbers. This is just a visual aid to help with the placement of objects on the 3D object. You can modify this wireframe in the Properties panel in the UV Overlays section, which allows you to change the Color and Opacity.

Step Eleven

Step Twelve: In the wireframe document, create a new blank layer and select the Gradient tool (G) in the Toolbox. Press D to set the default colors and then click on the preview thumbnail in the Options Bar to access the gradient presets in the Gradient Editor. Click on the very first preset, which is the Foreground to Background gradient, and click OK. Select the Linear Gradient icon in the Options Bar.

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Step Thirteen: Start the gradient at the bottom of the wireframe and drag it about two thirds of the way up toward the top of the numbers. The idea is to have the main transition of the gradient within the lower area of the numbers as shown here. Step Thirteen



Step Fourteen: Now go under the Filter menu to Pixelate and choose Color Halftone. When the dialog opens, set the Max Radius to 7 pixels and then set all four channels to 0. Click OK.

Step Fourteen

Step Fifteen: We want this dot pattern to be red, so we need to first make a selection. Open the Channels panel (Window>Channels), hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, and click on the RGB channel thumbnail at the top. This will load the white areas as a selection.

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Step Sixteen: Go under the Select menu and choose Inverse, or just press ShiftCommand-I (PC: Shift-Ctrl-I). In the Layers panel, click the Eye icon next to the original halftone layer to turn it off. Then, create a new blank layer, click on the Foreground color swatch in the Toolbox, choose a deep-red color, and click OK to close the Color Picker. Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the active selection with this new color. Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to deselect. Finally, close the document and save the changes.


Step Seventeen: Now, go back to the 3D panel and select the Environment property again. Then, click on the document icon to the right of the IBL thumbnail near the top of the Properties panel and choose New Texture from the menu. Again, set it to 500x500 pixels in the New dialog and click OK. If the document doesn’t open automatically, then go back into the IBL menu and choose Edit Texture.

Step Fifteen

Step Sixteen


Step Eighteen: Start by setting the Background layer to black by pressing Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to invert it. Create a new blank layer and select the Elliptical Marquee tool (nested under the Rectangular Marquee tool [M] in the Toolbox). Draw an oval selection on the blank layer then switch to the Gradient tool (G). Press D then X to set white as the Foreground color. Then, go into the Options Bar, click on the preview thumbnail, choose the second gradient preset (the Foreground to Transparent gradient), and click OK. Starting a little ways beyond the upper-left edge of the selection, drag the gradient down and to the right about halfway through the selection to add a little fade of white inside the selection. When done, close the document and save the changes. You’ll now see a much more interesting lighting effect in the numbers.

Step Nineteen: While you still have the Environment property selected, switch to the Move tool (V), and you’ll see a small sphere in the middle of the canvas. This represents the sphere surrounding the 3D object that has the IBL wrapped around it, which only lets light through the gradient we created. You can use the Orbit the 3D Camera tool in the 3D Mode section of the Options Bar to drag the light around on the object. Do this until you get the light shining on the object in an interesting way. Finally, go back to the Properties panel and set the Intensity to 110%.

Step Eighteen

Step Nineteen

Step Twenty: Once you have the object textured and the lighting set, go under the 3D menu and choose Split Extrusion. This will split the numbers into independent 3D objects, allowing you to reposition each one separately. You can use the 3D tools in the 3D Mode section of the Options Bar to move the numbers closer to each other, and overlap them so they reflect on each other. You can also move them forward and backward using the axis widget. Step Twenty

After the numbers fully rendered, I created a couple of burst elements using the same steps we just covered and then put all the elements into the context of the magazine cover you saw at the beginning of this tutorial. So as you can see, we can create fully rendered, custom 3D text entirely in Photoshop. ■

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Step Twenty-One: When you have the numbers in position, go under the 3D menu and choose Render. You’ll start to see the reflections and other elements take shape as it progresses through the render. If you see any problems, just press Escape to cancel the render, make any tweaks you want, and then render again.

Step Twenty-One


HOW TO › ›

Down &Dirty Tricks

spider hole BY PETE COLLINS

In the James Bond poster for the new movie Spectre, two things caught my eye: the spider image in the bullet hole and the special treatment of the font. In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to do both effects so that you too can become a criminal mastermind, er, I mean a movie poster guru.


Step One: Open the bullet hole image from Adobe Stock.

©Adobe Stock/Sascha Burkard

Use the keyboard shortcut Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to make a copy of the Background layer. The top layer will be the working layer and the bottom layer will be the resource layer for the cracks. [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.]

Step One

Step Two: Since we want to create some longer cracks, resize the top layer by pressing Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to bring up Free Transform. Hold the Shift key, click-and-drag a corner point to make the top cracks smaller, and drag it to the upper center of the document. This will mean that the cracks on the bottom layer will be a bit bigger when we select them and use them with this layer. Press Enter to commit the transformation.

Step Two

Step Three: Hide the top layer by clicking on its Eye icon in the Layers panel, and click on the Background layer to make it active. Now we’ll use the Lasso tool (L) to select different parts of the original bullet hole. Look for nice long cracks and any parts that have a bit of character. Once you locate a good section, trace around it to make a selection, and then copy just that selection to a new layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). Click back on the Background layer each time and repeat for as many parts that you want to use.

Step Four: In the end, you should have a bunch of layers with different cracks above the Background layer. Now you’ll want to start arranging the cracks to look like the legs of a spider. Show the top layer with the smaller bullet hole by clicking where its Eye icon used to be, and drag it to just above the Background layer in the Layers panel. Click the Create a New Layer icon, drag this new layer to just above the Background layer, press D to set the Foreground color to black, and press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill it with black to hide the Background layer (but keep that Background layer around if you need more cracks). Now all of the cracks that you created should be above the smaller bullet hole layer so you can see all of the parts.

Step Four

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Step Three



Step Five: Each of the new crack layers will have both the crack and some of the black background around the edges that you copied as part of the selection. To keep those black areas from messing up the look of the cracks, change each layer’s blend mode from Normal to Screen in the Layers panel. Grab the Move tool (V), and on the left side of the Options Bar, check on Auto-Select and set it to Layer instead of Group to make it easier to grab and move each crack layer. Now all that remains is to place the cracks so that they feel like they’re part of the bullet hole, but give the impression of the legs of a spider. Use Free Transform to rotate the cracks as needed and move them into place. Also, make duplicates as needed to complete the legs. One thing that will help the copies look different is to resize them, flip them around, or possibly mask out parts. To flip them, Right-click inside the Free Transform bounding box and choose either Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical.

Step Five

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Step Six: The final touch is to create a new blank layer at the top of the layer stack, press X to switch your Foreground color to white, grab the Brush tool (B), and select a speckled brush from the Brush panel (Window>Brush). There are several in your brush presets; try out different ones to see which looks best. The goal is to paint little flecks of light coloring to help sell the idea of the glass being fractured. That should finish up the first part of the poster.


Step Six


Step Seven: This is the perfect time to resize the document to make it a poster ratio. With your Background color set to black in the Toolbox, switch to the Crop tool (C), and drag the bottom-center point of the crop boundary below the edge of the document to expand it so it has more of a poster shape. Hold the Option (PC: Alt) key and drag in one of the side middle points to decrease the width of the document. Press Enter to commit the crop.

Step Eight: For the title you’ll want a nice, bold thick font. The original poster used Gotham Bold, but a good alternative is Avenir, or try to find a similar one. The main thing is to use a font that’s bold and wide enough to handle the bevel and embossing that we’ll apply in the next step. So, switch to the Type tool (T), make sure your Foreground color is set to white, type the word “SPIDER” in all caps, and size it accordingly. (Tip: Here’s a quick way to visually resize and position your type: With the cursor inserted somewhere in your text, hold the Command [PC: Ctrl] key and a bounding box will appear around your type. Start dragging a corner point, and then add the Shift key after you start dragging to maintain the proportions. Click-and-drag inside the bounding box to reposition the type.)

Step Seven

Step Nine: The key to the whole look of this type is found in the Bevel & Emboss settings in the Layer Style dialog. Doubleclick to the right of the SPIDER layer’s name in the Layers panel to open the Layer Style dialog and click on Bevel & Emboss in the list of Styles on the left-hand side. Set the Style to Inner Bevel, the Technique to Chisel Hard, and the Direction to Up. This is the base setup for this effect; now it’s just a matter of playing with the sliders to get the right look.

Step Eight

Step Ten: Depth will determine the severity of the beveling

Step Eleven: In the Shading area, set the Angle to 89° (just short of 90°) so that you get shading on the right side of the letters. Set the Altitude to 1°. The only thing left is to increase the Shadow Mode Opacity at the bottom of the dialog (the Highlight Mode settings don’t matter here). If you set it to 100% the shadow will be completely black, so try backing it off just a bit to around 93%—but that’s up to you. Now click OK, and you have a dramatic beveled and shadowed text.

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and it works in conjunction with Size, so you may have to go back and forth between the two to get the right settings for the size of your type. The settings for this example are 200% for Depth, 48 px for Size, and 0 px for Soften. (Use your Up and Down arrow keys with any of these settings to increase and decrease the size by 1, respectively.) Watch the preview of the text to see how each attribute affects the look and where the optimum setting should be for each option.

Step Eleven



Step Twelve: If you want to create an even more exact copy of the original text from the poster, then you can use the Polygonal Lasso tool (nested under the Lasso tool [L] in the Toolbox) on a new layer to select the curved shadow areas and fill them with white so their angles match the shadows at the top and bottom of the letters. This will have to be redone if you edit the text, so leave this as the final step.

Step Thirteen: The finishing touch is to add some movie poster text at the bottom and you’re all set. You can find different templates for this with a simple Google search. This is where you can have fun and give your friends a role in your fake movie.

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Well, there you go. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how the Bevel & Emboss settings work and maybe you even discovered some new unique looks that you can use on another project in the future. ■


Step Thirteen

Step Twelve

HOW TO › ›

Beginners' Workshop


how to add motion to skies

A great way to add the illusion of motion to skies is to photograph them using a slow shutter speed. If the clouds are moving, they appear beautifully blurred. That can be a time-consuming and challenging project, however. Happily, you can easily simulate the effect using the Radial Blur filter in Photoshop, which is available in any version.

Step One: The first step is to prepare the image layer(s) for use

©Adobe Stock/vvoe

with smart filters, which protects your original image and gives you some nice editing flexibility. If the image isn’t open, choose File>Open as Smart Object and navigate to where the image lives. If the image is open, and you have but one layer, choose Filter>Convert for Smart Filters. If the image is made from multiple layers—say, you used an adjustment layer to correct the image, as we’ve done here—Shift or Command (PC: Ctrl) click to activate the layers and then choose Filter>Convert for Smart Filters. Either way, Photoshop sandwiches the layer(s) inside the protective wrappings of a smart object, so the filter will happen to the wrapper instead of what’s inside. Feel free to doubleclick the layer name in order to enter something meaningful. [KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.]

Step One

Tip: If you manage your images using Adobe Lightroom, you can send an image from Lightroom to Photoshop as a smart object by choosing Photo>Edit In>Open as Smart Object in Photoshop.

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How are smart filters exciting? Let us count the ways:


(1) You can double-click the filter’s name in your Layers panel to reopen its dialog and adjust its settings; (2) you automatically get a layer mask that lets you hide the effect from part of the image; and (3) if you don’t like the effect, you can delete the filter by dragging it to the Trash icon at the bottom-right of your Layers panel. If you need to access your original layers again, simply double-click the smart object’s thumbnail and they open in a new, temporary document. Make your changes in that temporary document, choose File>Save (not Save As), and when you close the temporary document, your changes magically appear in the original document. Sweet!

Step Two: Choose Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. In the resulting dialog, set the Amount between 10 and 40. The higher the amount, the blurrier the clouds get. Start with 20 and see how the image looks. If you’re working with a really big

Step Two


©Adobe Stock/rasica

image, you may need to use an amount higher than 40. (Note: You won’t see what the actual blur looks like until you click OK.) Next, set the Blur Method to Zoom and Quality to Best. Before closing the dialog, drag within the Blur Center box to tell Photoshop where in the image the blur should emanate from. Notice how the zoom lines inside the box change as you drag within the box. Think of the box as a miniature representation of your document. For example, if you want all of the clouds to appear to move upward and toward you, set the blur center (circled) at the bottom middle, as shown here. Click OK to apply the blur.

Step Three: To reopen the filter and experiment with a different blur Amount or Blur Center, double-click the filter’s name in the Layers panel (circled). For a quick before-andafter comparison, click the visibility Eye to the left of the filter’s name to temporarily turn it off; clicking the same spot turns the filter back on.

Step Three

a selection before you run the filter. Start by creating a smart object as described in Step One and then use the selection tool of your choice to select the area you want to blur. For example, if the area you want to blur is rectangular in shape (as in our example), press M to grab the Rectangular Marquee tool.

©Adobe Stock/rasica

Step Four: If you want to blur only part of the image, create

Step Four

Step Five: Mouse over to your image and then click-and-

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drag diagonally downward to draw a selection around the sky. Leave a little space between the sky and the horizon so the blur doesn’t bleed onto the horizon.

Step Five



Step Six: Choose Filter>Blur>Radial Blur and in the resulting dialog, set the Amount to 15, Blur Method to Zoom, and Quality to Best. To make the clouds appear to be moving slightly rightward in this photo, set the Blur Center on the left side of the box. To keep the clouds somewhat level, set the Blur Center higher inside the box. Click OK to apply the blur.

Step Seven: When you’re finished, choose File>Save As, and in the resulting dialog, choose Photoshop as the format so your layers remain intact. This lets you reopen the file later on if you want to tweak the blur amount. To generate a version in a different format—say, JPEG or PNG for posting online— choose File>Export>Export As or File>Export>Quick Export as PNG in Photoshop CC 2015, or in earlier versions of the app, choose File>Export>Save for Web. Here are the before and after versions.

Step Six

As you can see, blurring the sky introduced some interesting movement. Until next time, may the creative force be with you all! ■

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Step Seven




HOW TO › ›

Photoshop Proving Ground curves adjustment layer


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Curves gives you a way to manipulate a mathematical function by drawing a line. Before those of you who hate math start screaming and covering your eyes, you won’t have to do any math yourself; Photoshop will crunch all the numbers!


A “function” is something that takes input, does something to it, and gives an output. It’s kind of a translation from one number to another. In the case of Curves in Photoshop, the input is the brightness value of a pixel and is represented by the bottom line of the graph. The output is a new brightness value, and that is shown on the left edge. When you first apply a Curves adjustment, the default is a straight line with black in the lower left and white in the upper right (the “identity” line). As you adjust the curve at

any point by clicking-and-dragging, you’re telling Photoshop to adjust all pixels with the brightness value at the level measured along the bottom to the new value measured along the left. So why is it a curve and not something like a discreet knob or slider that controls only one brightness value? Mostly because it’s not necessary. The point of using a Curves adjustment is to vary the relationships between brightness levels smoothly. If you were to change the brightness of one single value, it wouldn’t blend well with its neighbors in most cases. Think of the difference between stairs with varying heights versus a hilly but smooth trail. In an image, “stairs” would look like hard, sharp, jagged edges, and changing the height of some of them would just make things worse. So the curve softens those small transitions and spreads out changes across the entire image. Of course, I’m simplifying to explain the general concept. Masking, pixel-level corrections, and image sharpness are all outside of this discussion. And there’s a special feature of the Curves adjustment layer where you can use a Pencil tool to draw extremely complex curves and target very specific values. For now, just keep in mind that Curves are meant to manage the relationship between brightness values in your picture.

Contrast Let’s use this description to check out two amazingly useful curves: contrast and solarization. The classic curve most of us are exposed to first is the standard “S” shape used for contrast enhancement. In this shape, it lowers the darks and raises the lights. When looking at the graph, note that the


curve dips below the identity line on the left, passes through the middle, and goes above the line on the right. Now if I drag the left control point down to where it touches the bottom of the graph, I’m telling Photoshop that everything to the left of the Input value (66) should be black (the output reads 0). Likewise, I can set everything greater than some value to white (255). In this case, I dragged the right control point to about 166 for the Input, so everything that was brighter than that is now white and without detail. I’ve reset the definitions for “black” and “white” points in the image based on brightness.

but there’s still a somewhat smooth transition from black to “not quite black,” and the same goes for the white areas. If you want more precision, click along the line where you want to adjust the brightness value—that adds a new point where you can change the width of the curve. (Geek Points: This is sometimes referred to as the Q, or Quality factor, of a curve.) There are two cool things to notice about this little exercise. First, you can add more points not only to refine the curve, but you can also use those points to create multiple curves along the line. Second, the sharper the bend in the curve, the more harsh the transition is. Adding more points gives you more precise control, but also opens you up to taking a smooth gradient and introducing bands or edges.

[For the Fotolia stock image used in this tutorial, go to For the image used here, search for 53249796. The discount code is good for five free images within a 12-month period. We’d like to thank Scott Valentine and Fotolia for arranging this special offer for our readers.] But remember the relationships! Everything between the new black and white points has been squished. I’ve added so much contrast to this image that much of the detail is lost,

› › k e l b yo n e . c o m and use the discount code 353BN3GF.



Solarization It turns out we can use this second feature in an unusual way. Retouchers may already be familiar with this trick, and it’s seriously handy for everyone to know. Creating an extreme curve with multiple peaks gives you a kind of solarization effect that lets you see some hidden elements in your image. For photographers, this is a great way to check out the smoothness of gradients with low tonal variation, such as skin or some skies, and it highlights dirt and dust that might otherwise be hidden.

Add a solarization curve to your images and toggle it on and off a few times while looking at specific details. You’ll begin to see how areas of color and brightness vary and relate to the curve’s changes.

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Now how do you use this trick?


Effectively, this trick increases contrast to absurd levels but also gives you a kind of visual echo that exaggerates the relationship between similar tones. Introducing this artifact temporarily is a great way to check your retouching for errors that may otherwise be hidden on your screen, but visible when printed or viewed on another device. The image looks pretty good by itself, but after adding a solarization curve, you can clearly see dust in the gradient. The model’s skin looks very smooth, with even transitions everywhere. (Disclosure: Because this is a stock image, I had to add in some dust during processing, but the technique works as advertised and is great for finding sensor or lens dust.)

Well, add the solarization curve to the top of your layers stack in Photoshop. For healing and stamping the dust spots, ensure your tool is set to work on the target layer (the one that needs correction) only; or if you heal to a blank layer (great idea!), you’ll have to turn the solar layer on and off while you work. For working on gradients, such as you might do during frequency separation, you can leave the layer on if you’re using Blur or Smudge tools on the target layer. This is especially helpful if you have to correct larger skin blemishes or makeup smears. Got questions about this technique? Ask on the KelbyOne Facebook page ( or in the forums and tag #PSPG. And don’t forget about those relationships! ■

D E PA R T M E N T › ›

Photoshop Tips

boost your productivity and creativity


Welcome to a new year! New slate, new start, and new goals. Maybe your goal is to become an amazing machine of efficiency in Photoshop? That’s an awesome New Year’s resolution to have. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Make sure to check out my little column here in each issue of Photoshop User magazine and you’ll be amazed at how far you’ll go in 2016. Cheers!

Solid Color; it’s the very first option at the top of the menu. A Color Picker will pop up where you can choose the color you want to use. Select your color and click OK. Eek! The whole image is just one solid color. Don’t panic; change the layer blend mode (near the top of the Layers panel) to Color and voilà, you now have a tinted photograph. You can adjust the Opacity and mix the color with the original version.

Tinted Photographs

Walk the Line

Have you ever seen a photo that has a strong color tint to it? Perhaps you jumped into Curves and tried to replicate it, or maybe turned on Colorize in Hue/Saturation? While these methods will totally work, here’s a quick-and-easy way to do it. Best of all you can choose the exact color you want. Click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon (half-white, halfblack circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel, and select

This tip has multiple uses, but all of them deal with drawing straight lines. This works with any tool that uses a brush, including retouching brushes and even varying pressure sensitivity between two points with a Wacom tablet. Here’s how it works: Click once to set the starting point, then hold Shift and click anywhere to have a straight line drawn between the two points. This works really well for removing power lines in Adobe Camera Raw with the Spot Removal (B) brush.

High Pass Sharpen While there are a number of ways to sharpen an image, some work better than others. Here’s one that works really well; but it doesn’t involve any sharpening tools at all. This is a popular method of nondestructive sharpening used in the entertainment industry. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to duplicate your layer and change the layer blend mode to Overlay. Don’t worry that the image looks weird at this point. Choose Filter>Other>High Pass. As you drag the Radius slider, you’ll see the sharpening effect on your image. I love this method and use it the most.

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Anchor Point Transform


One of the cool things about using Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]) is that you can do a number of things in one place, including scaling, warping, and rotating. You may or may not have noticed that when you’re scaling or rotating, Photoshop does this around an anchor point. The reason you may not have noticed is that, by default, the anchor point is in the middle of the bounding box and you may have never changed it. You can reposition the anchor point by holding down the Option (PC: Alt) key and clicking-and-dragging anywhere inside or outside the bounding box. Now when you rotate your object, it will rotate around the current location of the anchor point instead of the center of the bounding box. This is great for things like points on a clock face, etc.


Free Distort

Align and Distribute

When you press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T), you go into Free Transform mode, where you can Right-click and choose from a number of options to bend or warp a photo or a shape. A favorite is the Distort option, because you can position each of the four corners of the bounding box wherever you like for some great perspective-matching results. Did you know that you don’t have to Right-click to distort? Once you’re in Free Transform you can hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and grab any of the corner points and manipulate them individually right there on canvas.

Have you ever had to arrange multiple objects onscreen and struggled to find the exact same spacing between objects? This could get really tedious; “could” being the operative word. Because you’re reading this, you won’t be one of those poor struggling souls anymore. When the Move tool (V) is selected, there are a number of tools in the Options Bar that can help you align and arrange things neatly. These are the Align/Distribute options. Align does what it says; it perfectly aligns multiple objects by their tops, bottoms, sides, or centers. Distribute also does what it says; it evenly distributes or spaces objects onscreen. I usually start by positioning the leftmost object and then the rightmost object. Then I select all the layers for each of the objects and click the desired alignment and distribute options. Bam! It’s that easy.

Horizontal or Vertical Guides?

It’s very possible that you’ve copied images or even layers between documents. Using the Move tool (V), you click on the image or layer in the document, drag to the tab of another open document, wait a second for that document to come to the front, then move your cursor into the middle of the document and release the layer or image. Did you know that you could drag anything directly from the Layers panel to another document, as well? The catch is that you can’t do it with tabs. Here’s how: With two documents open, choose Window>Arrange>Tile All Vertically (you can use any of the options, but the Tile All Vertically option works well). You’ll see the two documents side by side. You can now drag anything directly from the Layers panel—including layers, masks, styles, adjustment layers, and even paths—between documents. This isn’t new; the ability to do this has been around for years.

Automatically Create Guides This carries on from the previous tip on guides (I didn’t want to have a collection of tips in a single tip). You can now create a set of guides around a shape. For example, if you have a rectangle and you want to have guides hugging each of the four sides, it’s as simple as choosing View>New Guides from Shape. This isn’t something you’ll use every day, but if you remember to use it when you need it, it’s a huge timesaver. ■ ALL IMAGES BY COLIN SMITH

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Copy the Good Stuff

Guides were long overdue when they were introduced into Photoshop. Before that, you could hear clacking sounds coming from design studios. This was the sound of a wooden ruler against a glass screen. (I’ll spare you the pain of the metal ruler sound.) Okay, I think you now understand the importance of guides. So how do you get ’em? Open the Rulers by pressing Command-R (PC: Ctrl-R). All you need to do is drag out from one of the rulers and a guide will appear that you can place wherever you like. Not a big enough tip? How about this? When you’re moving a guide, you can hold the Option (PC: Alt) key to toggle the guide from vertical to horizontal and vice versa. To top it off, Photoshop CC users can now create guide grids by using the Guide Layouts: View>New Guide Layout.



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WYSIWYG (pronounced “wiz-e-wig”) is an acronym for “What you see is what you get.” For image-editing buffs, it describes the elusive goal of getting prints to match what’s onscreen. When you think about the different ways that monitors and printers produce colors, the problem starts to

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make sense.


A monitor’s surface is made from glass or some other trans-

most of the primary colors—red, green, and blue—so you see

parent material, and it produces colors with phosphors, LCD

what’s left over: dark brown. To extend the range of colors,

elements, or other light-emitting doodads, which is called

some printers use additional colors such as light cyan, light

an additive color system. In this system, the areas where

magenta, several varieties of black, and so on.

red, green, and blue lights overlap appear white. Does that

Given these two completely different approaches to cre-

ring a bell from high school physics? Think about it this way:

ating colors, it’s a miracle that the images on your monitor

If you aim red, green, and blue spotlights at a stage, you’ll see

look remotely similar to the ones you print. And, because

white where the three lights overlap. Interestingly, you’ll also see

there are a bazillion different monitors and printers on the

cyan, magenta, or yellow where two of the three lights overlap.

market (each using different technologies), you can see a big

Areas where no light is shining appear jet-black.

difference in how your images look depending on the moni-

In contrast, printers use a combination of paper, reflected

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light, and cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks, which is called


tor or printer you use. Heck, even changing the paper in your printer affects how your colors print.

a subtractive color system. In this system, different-colored

The only way to get consistent prints is to have a calibrated

inks absorb different-colored light. For example, cyan ink

and profiled monitor of decent quality (you’ll learn about that

absorbs red light and reflects green and blue light back at

stuff shortly) and to know the following: which printer your

you, so what you see is a mix of green and blue—in other

image is headed for; in which color mode that printer wants the

words, cyan. Similarly, magenta ink absorbs green light and

image to be; which range of colors that printer can reproduce;

reflects red and blue light—in other words, magenta. One

and exactly what type of paper you’re using. Whew! Once you

last example: A mix of cyan, magenta, and yellow ink absorbs

have all that info, you need to communicate it to Photoshop.


As a first step toward WYSIWYG printing, remember that, in most

on the specific combination of printing technologies you’re

cases, your image starts life in RGB color mode and eventually

using, including:

ends up being converted to some variation of CMYK when it’s

• Colorants (color-producing substances): Some

printed (the image’s colors can be converted by the printer or you

printers, like commercial offset presses (shown here), use

can do it manually, though these days digital printers generally

pigment-based inks to produce color. Others, like inkjets,

prefer to do the conversion themselves). The next step is to under-

use either dye-based or pigment-based inks, and still oth-

stand more about how those two color modes differ. Enter the

ers—like laser printers and digital presses (which are like

concept of color gamut.

fancy laser printers)—use powdered toners.

A color gamut is the range of colors a given device can

• Dot pattern: All of the printers mentioned above

reproduce. An RGB monitor, for example, can reproduce one

use a pattern of dots to reproduce images. Commercial

range of colors, and a CMYK printer can reproduce another

offset presses typically use halftone dots that are com-

(and there’s not a monitor or printer on the planet that can

monly made from ellipses and diamonds.

produce a color range as wide as your eyes can see). While

• Paper type: Each printer can also use a wide range

the color gamut of monitors and printers frequently overlap,

of paper, from plain to matte to super high-quality

they’re never identical. Your printer’s color gamut depends

glossy. (Quick Tip: You’ll usually get much better quality

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Understanding Color Gamut and Profiles


using glossy paper.) If you want your inkjet printer to

profile, you can access it via the Printer Profile menu in Photo-

reproduce its full gamut of color, you need to use a spe-

shop’s Print Settings dialog.

cially coated paper made to work with your inks.

Tip: For high-quality ICC profiles—color profiles that have been vetted by the International Color Consortium Registry—

To account for all these variations, you can use color pro-

visit their website ( The

files to tell Photoshop exactly which colorants and papers

ICC’s website also has a ton of great (and heady) info about

you want to print with. Color profiles contain detailed info

color management.

about the printer’s color gamut and, in some cases, the paper you’re using, although that info usually lives in a separate

Profiles Aren’t All Equal

file called a paper profile. Photoshop comes with a variety

It’s shocking but true: Some profiles are just plain wrong. Pho-

of all-purpose, generic profiles, but you can also get profiles

toshop comes with many built-in color profiles—such as Adobe

from printer and paper manufacturers.

RGB (1998) and sRGB—that include general color-mode info for displaying images, as well as slightly more specific (though still

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Finding and Installing Drivers and Color Profiles


generic) color profiles (e.g., U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2) that contain gamut information for printing on a “typical” sheetfed press

Most of the time, you can download printer drivers—the soft-

using standard inks and coated paper. If your printing conditions

ware that lets Photoshop communicate with your printer—right

are indeed standard, you may get decent results by using one of

from the printer manufacturer’s website, though you might have

these built-in profiles.

to poke around a bit to find them. It’s always best to get printer

You can also use printer-and-paper-specific profiles, com-

drivers straight from the company that made the device. The

monly referred to as paper or output profiles, created by such

manufacturer’s site should explain how to install them.

manufacturers as Epson and Canon, who make profiles to

Similarly, you can typically download color profiles from

match almost every kind of paper they sell: glossy, luster,

the paper company’s website (be sure to get the profile for

matte, and so on. The more closely a profile matches your

your printer), though you can also get custom color profiles

printing conditions, the more accurate and useful it is. You’ll

from professional printing companies (they’re usually happy

find that high-quality paper profiles, like the ones from Epson

to share them with you if you ask). Luckily, the profiles you

and Canon, provide invaluable help with proofing and print-

get from larger companies, such as Canon and Epson, come

ing. In fact, when you’re shopping for paper, it’s wise to con-

with an installer program. If yours doesn’t, ask the company

firm that the paper manufacturer offers paper profiles that

it came from where you should put it on your computer (it

match your printer and ink. And be wary of buying paper

depends on your operating system).

from companies that don’t!

Every printer and paper manufacturer’s website is differ-

You’ll also want to test the profiles by actually printing

ent, but they all have similar options. Typically, drivers and

with them. If you’ve been printing with other paper and pro-

profiles live in the download or support section of the site,

files, print some test images using the same image for both

but it’s usually easiest to Google your printer’s name plus the

sets of papers and profiles, and then compare the results.

item you’re after, such as Canon PIXMA profile, Epson R3000

You’ll probably find that some paper manufacturer’s profiles

profile, and so on. Once you’ve installed the appropriate color

are better than others.

Calibrating Your Monitor

( or Datacol-

To ensure accurate prints, it’s also important to make certain

or’s Spyder5EXPRESS (

that your monitor is displaying colors accurately. Both the Mac

lio-view/spyder5express) come to mind. But to be able to

and Windows operating systems come with built-in calibration

truly trust the colors your monitor is showing you, you’ll need

programs, though for best results, you should use an external

to spend more. Options include the Spyder5PRO, which runs

measuring device like a colorimeter or spectrophotometer (hand-

about $190, or the Pantone i1 Display Pro (www.pantone

sized gadgets that clamp onto your monitor and measure the

.com/pantone-i1display-pro-2), which is around $270.

colors it displays). The calibration process involves adjusting your

A simpler and perhaps more accurate solution, however, is

monitor so that it displays a series of colors and images consis-

to buy a monitor that comes with its own calibration software

tently. Having a calibrated monitor also lets you preview more

and colorimeter, such as an NEC model with SpectraView II

accurately how images and colors will print (a process called


soft-proofing, discussed later in this column).

You can pick up a 27" model for around $1,550 (the 30" version is $2,250).

your monitor for around $100, although the more sophis-

Another step toward seeing your images the way they’ll

ticated ones cost a little more. There’s no harm in starting

look when printed is by telling Photoshop what color work-

with an affordable model: Pantone’s ColorMunki Smile

space your monitor should use. Choose Edit>Color Settings

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As of this writing, you can buy a calibrating device for


plug-in and Photoshop Lightroom. Choose this mode if you’re a pro photographer shooting in RAW format and working with 16-bit files in Photoshop. In the infographic shown below, the ProPhoto RGB workspace is shown in white with the other workspaces super­ imposed on top of it. The bottom image shows the ProPhoto RGB workspace compared to the color gamut of


the truly incredible human eye.

Photoshop Color Settings

and, in the Working Spaces section of the resulting dialog, choose a profile from the RGB menu. These color workspaces differ greatly in color gamut, and here’s what you need to

ProPhoto RGB vs. Adobe RGB (1998)

know about choosing the one that’s right for you: • Adobe RGB (1998): To date, this is the most popular workspace, and it includes a wide range of colors, so it’s perfect for designers and photographers. It’s also great for printing on inkjet printers and commercial presses.

ProPhoto RGB vs. Apple RGB

Tip: You can also change your digital camera’s color profile to match what you use in Photoshop. For example, most cameras are initially set to sRGB mode, but you can switch to Adobe RGB instead. Alas, you’ll have to dig out your owner’s manual to learn how, but the increased range of colors and monitor consistency is worth it!

ProPhoto RGB vs. sRGB

• Apple RGB: This workspace was designed for use on small Apple monitors. It’s slightly smaller than Adobe RGB (1998) in that it contains a narrower range of colors. So, unless you’re rocking a vintage 13" display, steer clear of this workspace. • ColorMatch RGB: Designed to match the color-

ProPhoto RGB vs. CMYK

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space of the old Radius PressView monitors, this work-


space has a slightly smaller gamut than Adobe RGB (1998). If you’re using one of those Radius monitors, this workspace is a good choice. • ProPhoto RGB: Currently the largest workspace in use, this one is used by software that processes RAW images. It’s the native workspace of the Camera Raw

ProPhoto RGB vs. human eye

• sRGB: Also slightly smaller than Adobe RGB (1998),

View>Proof Colors or press Command-Y (PC: Ctrl-Y) to see

this workspace is great for prepping images for use

your image in sRGB. If the image looks good, you’re done. If it

on the Web, in presentation programs, in videos, and

doesn’t, use the method of your choice to make the colors look

submitting to online printing companies (labs such as

like you want (say, using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer). This is the RGB workspace Photoshop

When you’re finished, choose Edit>Convert to Profile, and

uses unless you pick another one.

in the resulting dialog, choose sRGB (or whatever colorspace

The CMYK workspace, on the other hand, represents the

you soft proofed) from the Profile drop-down menu in the

smaller number of colors that are reproducible with ink on a

Destination Space area, and click OK.

commercial printing press. If you routinely edit CMYK images, then pick a profile from the Color Settings dialog’s CMYK menu that most closely describes the kind of press on which your images will be printed. If you don’t know which one to choose, ask your print shop.

Printing on an Inkjet Printer If you’re a photographer, you probably use an inkjet printer, most likely one with an expanded-gamut that uses 6–8 inks, technically dyes). The most common combination of expanded-­ gamut ink includes the four standard process colors—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK)—plus light cyan and light magenta. You may also have a choice of black inks; for example, glossy or photo black, matte black, light black, and even lightlight black. Nearly all expanded-gamut inkjet printers can convert RGB images to CMYK (plus any additional inks they may have). For the brightest and most saturated colors, let the printer

Step One: Make sure you’ve cropped, corrected, and resized the image and set its resolution (pixel size) to be appropriate for your printer. Press C to activate the Crop tool and choose W x H x Resolution from the crop size drop-down menu in the Options Bar. In the fields to its right, enter your dimensions, including the unit of measurement for the width and height fields: 10 in x 8 in at 350 ppi in this example. Resize and reposition the crop box to your liking and then press Return (Enter) when you’re finished. ©ADOBE STOCK/MAYA KRUCHANCOVA

rather than the standard 4 (most folks call them inks, but they’re

convert the colors for you; however, to get the most accurate results, manage the conversion yourself in the Photoshop Print Settings dialog. Here’s how to do that when printing a high-quality image on an expanded-gamut printer: Tip: If you’re working with an image with a different profile than you want to print—say, the image is Adobe RGB (1998) and you need it to be in sRGB because you’re having an online lab do the printing—you may want to view it in that choose View>Proof Setup>Internet Standard RGB (sRGB) or whatever colorspace you want to soft proof. Next, choose Step One

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other color space first and then convert its profile. To do that,


Step Two: Choose File>Print or press Command-P (PC: Ctrl-P). From the Printer menu at the top of the dialog, pick your printer. (If your printer isn’t listed, visit the manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver for it.) Click the icon of the layout you want, portrait or landscape, and then click Print Settings. The resulting dialog belongs to your printer, not Photoshop, so the settings you

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see may be slightly different from the ones shown here.


Step Two

Step Three

Step Three: From the Paper Size menu, choose your paper’s

Step Four: In the Photoshop Print Settings dialog, make sure

dimensions. If you’re printing borderless, be sure to choose a

your image perfectly fills the print preview area at left. If it

borderless version of the paper dimension you picked. Next,

doesn’t, you may need to adjust the size or resolution you used

choose Printer Settings from the menu in the middle of the dia-

in Step One, or you can turn on the Scale to Fit Media check-

log. The wording of your printer’s dialog may vary, so you may

box in the Position and Size section farther down in the dialog

have to root around for these, or similar, settings.

(see image in Step Five) to make the image fit the paper. (If you

From the Media Type menu, pick the paper you’re printing

go that route, make sure the Print Resolution that Photoshop

on (say, Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster). Leave the Print

reports to the right of the checkbox is high enough to produce

Mode menu alone, as your printer automatically sets it to the

a good print.)

appropriate mode for the Media Type you choose. The Color

Next, use the Color Handling menu to control whether Photo­

Mode menu is controlled by the Color Management section of

shop or your printer driver converts the image’s colors from RGB

the Photoshop Print Settings dialog (discussed next). Think of

to the printer’s colors. For the brightest and most vibrant colors,

the Output Resolution menu as a quality setting; your printer

choose Printer Manages Color, and then skip to Step Five. For

automatically adjusts it based on the Media Type you chose

more accurate results, however, choose Photoshop Manages

earlier so you don’t need to change it. The High Speed check-

Colors, and Photoshop automatically turns off the Color Mode

box lets your printer’s print head print while it’s moving in both

menu in your printer’s dialog (mentioned in the previous step).

directions instead of one. (If you turn it off, your image will

It’s worth experimenting with both options, but you’ll likely

print more slowly, but it might look a little better.) Click Save

find that letting Photoshop manage colors gives you higher

(or OK, or the equivalent button) to close your printer’s dialog

quality and more consistent results if you’re using paper-specific

and return to the Photoshop Print Settings dialog.

profiles. If you pick Photoshop Manages Colors, take a peek

Step Four

Step Five

beneath the print preview and make sure Match Print Colors

corner of the paper. In the Scaled Print Size area, make sure the

and Show Paper White are turned on, which gives you a decent

Scale option is set to 100%.

onscreen proof in the preview area. Tip: You can drag the lower-right corner of the dialog to enlarge it, and the preview area, to get a good sense of what

Step Six: Click Print and listen for the pitter-patter of your printer firing up.

the print will look like. From the Printer Profile menu, pick the profile that matches the paper you picked in the previous step. From the Rendering Intent menu, choose Relative Colorimetric, and then make sure the Black Point Compensation checkbox is turned on. These options help maintain the color relationships in your image, and preserve contrast by making sure that the black shadows in your original RGB image are black in the final print. If you’re printing a 16-bit image, be sure the Send 16-bit Data checkbox is turned on. Step Five: Scroll down in the dialog and in the Position and Size section, make sure the Center checkbox is image before starting this process, this

Step Six

setting makes your image print from the center outward—as

When it’s finished, you’ll finally see the fruit of your hard WYSI-

much of it as will fit on the paper size you picked—instead of

WYG labor in the form of a gloriously accurate, high-quality print.

aligning the upper-left corner of the image with the upper-left

Until next time, may the creative force be with you all! ■

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turned on. If you didn’t crop your



colorful lies

by Kevin Ames


› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6




Color, as recorded by a camera, is much different than it appears to the eye. Why? The brain lies. Actually, it doesn’t lie at all: The brain understands what is white no matter what the light’s color may be. That doesn’t mean the brain sees color accurately. It simply makes things look right to us. A white mouse sitting on a table in a room lit with incandescent bulbs looks white; but is it really white? Look at it again. Our brain says, “Yup. It’s white.” The white of the mouse (and any other color) appears as we believe it should. Yet incandescent light in photography is yellow, so what gives?


Temperature of light

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Managing color in photography means working with the color of the light, which always has a color. Think of candlelight, which is very warm and yellow-red in color. A light bulb gives light a yellow hue. Daylight, while chosen as the standard of “white” most of the time, is blue(ish). And overcast light shines really blue. Colors of light are measured in degrees Kelvin (º K), also known as color temperature. The lower the temperature, the warmer (redder) the color of light becomes. Thanks to our brains, our eyes see the mouse as white no matter what color the light illuminating it happens to be; however, the camera doesn’t share the brain’s predilection to prevarication. In this image, when we photograph the mouse with the camera’s white balance set on daylight, it reveals the true colors of the light from a bulb, daylight, and open shade.

True colors of light



While the ordinary light bulb is close in color to late afternoon sunlight, other sources add challenges to controlling color photographically. Fluorescent light tubes historically have a green component. This is easy to see when you go shopping: Stand with the outside window slightly behind you, look into the store, and you’ll notice that signs close to the windows are white while those farther into the store take on a greenish hue. The advent of LED and fluorescent replacements for light bulbs make color control even more important. Other sources of the hideous color variety are found lighting streets, parking areas, and in older arenas; for example, sodium vapor and similar outdoor lights have truly awful color.


Compare this burning streetlight to the daylight around it.

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White balance is for the camera’s recording of color, similar to what the brain does for the color of light. Setting the white balance filters the color of the incoming light digitally to a close approximation of white light. Since photography started with daylight as the only light source, it’s considered photographic white light at 5500º K. The tungsten (Canon) or incandescent (Nikon) white-balance setting adds blue filtration to the yellow light from a bulb to bring it back to white. Warming filtration is added when the setting is for shade or cloudy. Fluorescent’s green light is handled by the addition of magenta (the complement of green) to neutralize it. White-balance settings get the photograph close to white; however, there are situations where even the best white-balance choice leaves something to be desired. Consider a bride in a beautiful white wedding gown photographed standing on a lush lawn on a sunny day: White dress plus light bouncing off green grass equals a green tinted gown. Not good. And what color is snow on a bright sunny day? It’s not white. The Alaskan sky behind me in this image is bright blue; the white balance is daylight; and the snow is blue. These are all examples of color cast.


What color is snow?

White balance brings image back to white


COLOR CAST What is color cast? It’s a color that affects a photograph in a global way. Both the greenish gown and the blue snow are examples of color cast. So is the golden light of late afternoon sunshine. The first two are unwanted, while the latter is highly desirable. It’s a matter of aesthetics.

CONTROLLING LIGHT’S COLOR Simply put, when one color of light is stronger than the others, there will be a color cast in a photograph. When all of the colors are of equal strength, the photograph will be neutral. This color wheel shows the primary colors of photography: red, green, and blue. Where two colors overlap it creates their complements: yellow, cyan, and magenta. All three combine to make white.

NEUTRALIZING COLOR Using white-balance settings in the camera is one method of neutralizing color; for example, photographs shot as JPEGs must be neutralized in camera using the white-balance

tools. On the other hand, RAW files don’t have any color in them at all. Instead, they have black-and-white data about the image and a lookup table (LUT) that tells the RAW converter the color of each pixel on the camera’s sensor. RAW files don’t care what the color of the light was during capture, because it can be set easily in the RAW processor. I’ll show you below how to do this in Camera Raw. [Note: Sean McCormack covers some tools in Adobe Lightroom in “Maximum Workflow” on page 82.—Ed.] Since the brain is a lousy judge of color, photography requires a neutral third party in the form of a known reference, and X-Rite makes the industry-standard known as ColorChecker Targets for this purpose. I carry the ColorChecker Passport Photo in my camera bag, and I also have one on the shooting cart in the studio and another clipped to the tray of my studio stand. I use both when shooting tethered. The ColorChecker Passport has the standard 24-patch color target that was developed by Macbeth in 1976. Additionally, it has a set of patches designed to warm or cool a photograph consistently just by clicking with the White Balance tool. Even when I’m not shooting tethered, I include a ColorChecker whenever the light changes. It can be as simple as holding it at arm’s length in the same light as the subject, then releasing the shutter.

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By the way, Auto White Balance (AWB) is the camera’s best guess at what the color of the light is. To my way of thinking, however, guesswork is best left to psychics.



CAMERA RAW As I mentioned, the ColorChecker is my known reference. Each Passport has a line of six identical, colorimetrically neutral patches running from white to almost

black. (Usually, the ColorChecker is the first photograph I make, because if I wait to do it last, I’ll probably forget to shoot it at all.) After a shoot, I open the ColorChecker photo in Camera Raw through Bridge. I get the Color Sampler tool by tapping S on the keyboard, then click on the white patch (#1), then the black patch (#2), and finally on the third one away from the white one (#3). The screenshot shows the results out of the camera. Looks great, doesn’t it? That’s our brains going about their lying ways. The RGB numbers for the samplers show the true story: R(ed): 202 and G(reen): 201. These two are very nearly the same. B(lue), at 192, is a lot less. Now, let’s look at the color wheel: Yellow is the complement of blue and exactly what occurs when equal numbers of red and green overlap. And so, this photograph has a yellow color cast.

The ColorChecker photo

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A tap on the I key brings up the White Balance tool and then a single click on the #3 patch equalizes the RGB numbers to 200 each. Equal numbers remove the color cast. Compare this image to the ColorChecker photo above with the yellow color cast—a really big difference. Once the color is balanced, I click Done, and back in Bridge, the shot with the white-balanced ColorChecker is still selected. I choose Edit>Develop Settings>Copy Camera Raw Settings, and then I select all of the photographs shot in the same light as the ColorChecker. Finally, I go back to Edit>Develop Settings and choose Paste Camera Raw Settings. All of the selected photographs are now white-balanced with great accuracy and impressively fast. The ColorChecker is the truth detector that keeps our brains from telling us those colorful lies. ■

After removing the color cast


Scott Kelby

Sean McCormack

Rob Sylvan

Scott Kelby




Tips Tricks


Questions Answers

Maximum Workflow BY SEAN McCORMACK

colorchecker passport photo

Under the Loupe B Y R O B S Y LVA N

consistency is key

Lightroom Workshop BY SCOTT KELBY

setting the white balance

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Rob Sylvan

71 76 82 88 90

Lightroom Workshop

setting the white balance BY SCOTT KELBY

I always start editing my photos by setting the white balance first, because if you get the white balance right, the color is right, and your color correction problems pretty much go away. You adjust the white balance in the Basic panel, which is the most misnamed panel in Lightroom. It should be called the “Essentials� panel, because it contains the most important, and the most used, controls in the

Excerpted from The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers

entire Develop module.

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Step One:

In the Library module, click on the photo you want to edit, and then press the letter D on your keyboard to jump over to the Develop module. By the way, you’re probably figuring that since you press D for the Develop module, it must be S for Slideshow, P for Print, W for Web, etc., right? Sadly, no—that would make things too easy. Nope, it’s just Develop that uses the first letter. (Arrrrgggh!) Anyway, once you’re in the Develop module, the White Balance controls appear at the top of the Basic panel, and the photo is displayed using whatever you had the white balance set on in your digital camera (that’s why it says “As Shot” to the right of WB. You’re seeing the white balance “as it was shot,” which in this case is way too blue).

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Step Two:


There are three main ways to set the white balance, and we’ll start with trying out the different builtin White Balance presets (if you shot in RAW, Lightroom lets you choose the same white balance settings you could have chosen in the camera. If you shot in JPEG mode, all these presets won’t be available—just Auto will be available because your white balance choice is already embedded in the file. We can still change the white balance for JPEG files, but aside from choosing Auto, not from this pop-up menu). Click-and-hold on As Shot and the pop-up menu of White Balance presets appears (as seen here).

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Step Three: In our photo in Step One, the overall tone is really blue (not very flattering to most folks), so it definitely needs a white balance adjustment. We need to make it warmer, so choose Auto from the White Balance pop-up menu and see how that looks (as you can see here, it’s much better all-around, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one, so we have to try a few others to see which one gets us closest to how he looked in real life). The next three White Balance presets down will make things warmer (more yellow), with Daylight being a bit warmer, and Cloudy and Shade being a lot warmer. Go ahead and choose Cloudy (just so you can see it), and now the whole photo is much too warm.

the next two down—Tungsten or Fluorescent—they’re going to be way crazy blue, so you don’t want either of those. In this case (since I lit the shot with flash), I tried the Flash preset (as shown here), and it looks pretty decent. It’s warmer than Auto and people generally look better with a warmer skin tone, so I might stick with that one. By the way, the last preset isn’t really a preset at all—Custom just means you’re going to create the white balance manually using one of the two other methods we’re going to look at. Now, here’s what I do: First, quickly run through all the presets and see if one of them happens to be right on the money (it happens more than you might think). If one looks right on the money, that’s it. I’m done. If not, then I just use the one that is closest as a starting point, and I go on to method #2.

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Step Four: If you choose either of


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Step Five: Method #2 is, again, to start with a preset that is close to what you want, then tweak it using the Temp (short for Temperature) and Tint sliders found just below the WB preset menu. I zoomed in here on the Basic panel so you can get a nice close-up of these sliders, because Adobe did something really great to help you out here—they colorized the slider bars, so you can see what will happen if you drag in a particular direction. See how the left side of the Temp slider is blue, and the right side graduates over to yellow? That tells you exactly what the slider does. So, without any further explanation, which way would you drag the Temp slider to make the photo more blue? To the left, of course. Which way would you drag the Tint slider to make the image more magenta? See, it’s a little thing, but it’s a big help. Note: To reset both the Temp and Tint sliders to their original settings, double-click on the letters “WB.”

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Step Six: Let’s put this to use. I wound


up sticking with the Flash preset, but I felt it was a little too warm (yellowish). So, let’s drag the Temp slider slowly toward the blue side (to the left), so the skin tone doesn’t look quite so yellow. In this case, that had me dragging over to 5168 (when I chose the Flash preset, it set the Temperature to 5500—the higher the number, the warmer the color). That’s all there is to it— use a White Balance preset as your starting place, then use the Temp and/or Tint sliders to tweak it until it looks right (here’s a before/after from the original to the one we corrected). Okay, those are Methods #1 and #2, but Method #3 is my favorite and the way I think you’ll usually get the best, most accurate results, and that is to use the White Balance Selector tool (it’s that huge eyedropper on the top-left side of the white balance section, or press W).

Here’s the White Balance temperature settings when you choose the Flash preset

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Step Seven: First, choose As Shot from the White Balance pop-up menu, so we’re starting from scratch with this. Now click on the tool to get it, then ideally, you’d click it on something in your photo that’s supposed to be gray (that’s right—don’t click on something white, look for something gray. Video cameras white balance on solid white, but digital still cameras need to white balance on a gray instead). All you have to do for this image is click the White Balance Selector tool on his jacket (I clicked just to the right of his jacket collar) and the white balance is fixed (as seen here).

tip: dismiss the white balance selector tool In the toolbar, there’s an Auto Dismiss checkbox. With this turned on, after you click the White Balance Selector tool once, it automatically returns to its home in the Basic panel.

Step Eight:

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This is more of a tip than a step, but it’s super-helpful. When you’re using the White Balance Selector tool, look over at the Navigator panel on the top of the left side Panels area. As you hover the White Balance Selector tool over different parts of your photo, it gives you a live preview (as shown here) of what the white balance would look like if you clicked there. This is huge, and saves you lots of clicks and lots of time when trying to find a white balance that looks good to you. Next, you’ll probably notice a large pixelated grid that appears while you’re using the White Balance Selector tool. It’s supposed to magnify the area your cursor is over to help you find a neutral gray area but if it drives you crazy (like it does me), you can get rid of it by turning off the Show Loupe checkbox down in the toolbar (I’ve circled it here in red, because my guess is you’ll be searching for that checkbox pretty quickly). ■


Under the Loupe

consistency is key B Y R O B S Y LVA N

One of Lightroom’s greatest strengths is its ability to help you create a consistent foundation to your workflow that saves you time through its efficiency, and gives you dependable results. We love Lightroom for the power of the Develop module, but there’s so much more to love about how Lightroom can streamline our entire postprocessing and asset-management workflows. In fact, there are a number of things you can do right from the start that will help you create a more consistent workflow.

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consistent naming practices One of the first things you should do is create a consistent file-naming and folder-naming convention. I don’t believe that there’s a single right way to name files and folders, but as long as the method you choose makes sense to you and (most importantly) it can scale up over time, then that should do the trick. Lightroom can help you with both of those jobs, so let’s look at folder names first. I like to use Lightroom to create folders as part of the import process, and I also like to use the automated date-based folder-name structure, as it scales nicely into the future without my having to do anything more. The one thing I don’t like about Lightroom’s automated folder-naming functionality is that you can’t customize the date-generated names to include more than just a date; however, this limitation is easily overcome after import. Here’s my approach:

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step three: Configure the rest of the Import dialog options and click the Import button. Once the import process is complete, you’ll see the new folder(s) appear in the Folders panel. At this point, I have the date-based folders, which is great, but I also want to add a descriptive word or two to the folder name to help me know what the folder contains. To do this, simply Right-click the folder name and choose Rename from the contextual menu that appears. This opens the Rename Folder dialog where you can add a word or two and click Save, which renames the folder on your drive and updates the catalog to reflect this change. This process gives me the best of all worlds: an automated process that contains meaningful information and scales nicely into the future.

step one: In the Destination panel of the Import dialog, set the Organize option to By Date and choose a Date Format that suits your needs.

step two: Select the par-

Note: Lightroom creates the subfolders based on the capture date of the photos being imported, and these new folders will appear in the Destination panel in an italicized font.

filenames When it comes to individual filenames, I also look to Lightroom to automate the process. Again, this is an area with lots of room for individual customization, as we all have our own needs to fill; but the basic process starts by creating a custom filename template that includes information that’s important to you. Once you create a filename template, you can configure it to be applied from the File Renaming panel of the Import screen, or you can apply it at will from the Library module after import. You’ll need to decide where it best suits your workflow, but I know some people prefer to rename after import so that they can delete photos they don’t want, and then rename all the remaining files in a continuous sequence that doesn’t contain any missing numbers. You can access the Filename Template Editor from anywhere you can rename photos, including the Library module and the Import screen. From the Library module, go to Library>Rename Photo(s), then click the File Naming dropdown menu in the Rename dialog, and choose Edit. From the Import screen, expand the File Renaming panel, check on Rename Files, click the Template drop-down menu, and choose Edit. Once the editor is open from either location, the steps for creating a new template are the same:

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ent folder where you want Lightroom to create these date-based subfolders.


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step one: Delete any existing tokens from the editing window to start fresh. To delete a token, click on it to highlight it, then press the Delete (PC: Backspace) key. step two: Choose any combination of tokens to create a template that suits your desired filename convention. Note: You can hard-code data into the filename template simply by typing into the editing window. For example, I often enter a hyphen or underscore separator by typing this character between tokens.

step three: Click the Preset drop-down menu and choose

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Save Current Settings As New Preset to save your template for reuse. Give it a meaningful name that represents the tokens used, click the Create button in the New Preset dialog, and then click the Done button in the Filename Template Editor. Here’s a simple template I use, which consists of the Date token in YYYYMMDD format, followed by an underscore, followed by the Filename number suffix token (this is the camera-generated sequence number without the three letter prefix). These filenames can be quite sophisticated, but I lean toward keeping it short and sweet.


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A metadata template containing your core contact and copyright information is another way to ensure that you’re consistently applying the same information to all of your photos. Once created, this can be applied during import via the Apply During Import panel. You can create a Metadata template from the Import screen by clicking the Metadata drop-down menu and choosing New, or you can access the same editor from the Library module by going to Metadata>Edit Metadata Presets. Once the Edit Metadata Presets dialog is open, you only want to enter information that applies to all photos equally. For me, this includes all of the IPTC Copyright and IPTC Creator fields (with the exception of my street address). One thing to keep in mind with this template is to check only the box next to a field you’re customizing with your own information; otherwise leave the boxes unchecked to retain any metadata that may already exist. I’ve seen some people make the mistake of checking the box for the GPS field only to find that this makes Lightroom wipe the data from that field. Similarly, make sure there’s no unwanted information (such as keywords way at the bottom) that you don’t want to include. Once configured (and double-checked), click the Preset drop-

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down menu, choose Save Current Settings As New Preset to save it for reuse, and click Done. Oh, and don’t forget to update the year in your Copyright come January.

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consistent metadata

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consistent develop starting place With your basic file management and metadata under control, you can now shift your attention to creating a consistent default setting for your RAW photos that can help your photos look more like they do in-camera right out of the gate, and save you a lot of clicks down the road. This also allows you to save any Develop presets you might want to apply during import for more creative pursuits. Here’s how:

step one: Select an unprocessed RAW photo and move to the Develop module. Click the Reset button to make sure there are no settings applied.

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step two: Apply any settings you always want to use as your starting place for your postprocessing. Only include settings that you want applied to all photos by default. The main


settings to consider applying are: camera profile (Camera Calibration), Lens Corrections, capture sharpening (Detail), Tone Curve, and any secret “special sauce” you might want all your photos to have. Note: I don’t recommend checking the Enable Profile Corrections box in the Lens Corrections panel without considering the impact this will have on Lightroom’s rendering of previews and working smoothly later on. This is a wonderfully useful setting, but it does require Lightroom to work a bit harder. I save this one for a preset I can apply on a case-by-case basis when I’m ready. Your mileage may vary.

step three: Once you’ve dialed in your settings (and made sure there are no unwanted ones), go to Develop>Set Default Settings, then click the Update to Current Settings

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button to commit. Note that there’s always the Restore Adobe Default Settings button if you decide you want to go back later, so you can always change this if you want. All this does is give you a customized starting place. This will not change any previously imported photos, but will affect only the default Develop settings for RAW photos imported in the future from the same camera model used to create this custom default, or photos from the same camera model when you click the Reset button (which resets to the new defaults). If you use more than one camera you’ll need to repeat this process with a RAW photo from each camera. The best thing about creating export presets is that, once you have them, you can skip the Export dialog completely simply by going to the File>Export with Preset menu, and selecting your desired preset. Lightroom does the rest just the way you configured it. ■

consistent output You’ve brought your photos into Lightroom’s care, you’ve processed them with your consistent style, and now you’re ready to send them out into the world. You can save yourself time here too by creating custom export presets that allow you to reproduce the same results consistently during output. Like me, you probably export copies for a wide variety of reasons, but there are probably some core destinations that you revisit frequently, such as a regular client, an online lab, a stock agency, some photo-sharing site, your blog, etc. In each of these cases, the photos will vary, but the specifications that the photos need to meet for each situation will stay the same. These are the cases that will benefit greatly from export presets. For example, when I export copies destined for Stocksy United, a stock photography co-op to which I belong, I have an export preset that controls every parameter, so I know that each submission is consistent with previous ones. Here’s how to create your own export preset:

step one: Select the photos for export and click the Export button. › › k e l b yo n e . c o m

step two: Configure the Export dialog to contain only the settings needed for this specific output destination.

step three: Click the Add button under the Preset window to open the New Preset dialog, and give it a meaningful name. Optional: Store the preset in a folder for better organization of your presets.


Maximum Workflow

colorchecker passport photo BY SEAN McCORMACK

Color accuracy is one of the more important fundamentals of digital photography. We’re used to setting our cameras to auto white balance, or using the preset white balances in either the camera or Lightroom to get more accurate color. Some even go the route of setting a custom white balance in camera using a gray card, or shooting one to use in Lightroom.

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On top of white balance, Lightroom allows us to choose

There is indeed such a way. It requires a chart with a known

how the colors in our photos will render via the Profile

set of colors that gets mapped from your photo of the chart

section of the Camera Calibration panel. The position of

to the actual chart colors. There are quite a few of these on

the panel belies the importance of Profiles, something

the market, all at various price points and usability. For me, the

I and many other Lightroom experts feel should be in

ColorChecker Passport Photo from X-Rite (http://xritephoto

the Basic panel. Lightroom ships with Profiles to match

.com/colorchecker-targets) combines the right mix of price,

the color Modes and Picture Styles we find in modern

robustness, compactness, and ease of use (both physically

cameras, but what if I were to tell you there’s a way to

and in software) that makes it my number-one choice. For

get accurate color that’s tailored to the light you’re shoot-

the record, I bought mine, though I did recently win another

ing in, as well as the camera and even the lens you’re

in a Twitter giveaway. I’m not affiliated with X-Rite, but would

shooting with?

be more than happy to be because the product is that good.

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Simply take a photo of the card at the start of the shoot.

The ColorChecker Passport comes with a disk that installs the

Back in Lightroom, you can click the White Balance Selec-

Lightroom Plug-in required to create the custom profile. You

tor (shortcut W) eyedropper on the White Balance Target in

can also download the software from (http://kel

that photo to remove color casts. Copy the white balance to

.by/1XvaQhN). Let’s look at the install from a download,

the other photos in the shoot via Settings>Copy and then

which is slightly more complex than a disk install. The Mac Ver-

Settings>Paste Settings or Sync. Note that this assumes the

sion installs as a DMG disk image, while the PC version is a Zip

lighting hasn’t changed. Each lighting change requires a new

file. Run the DMG, or open the Zip. Inside the Passport_Plugin

Passport shot. This is also true for using the Profile generator.

folder is a file called XRiteColorCheckerPassport.lrplugin. You

The second chart is the Creative Enhancement Target. This

need to move this plug-in somewhere safe, preferably some-

is a row of defined colors followed by two sets of gray tar-

where it won’t be deleted, and will be backed up as part of

gets, then a set of grayscale swatches. This is an alternative

your normal backup routine. I use a folder called LR Plugins

method to set white balance. The bottom swatches allow

in my Documents folder, where I keep all of my downloaded

you to choose a different gray from which to set your white

Lightroom plug-ins. Move the plug-in into your safe folder.

balance. The two center rows let you vary the color away

Inside Lightroom go to the File>Plug-in Manager. At the

from neutral. The top one is for portraits; note the person

bottom left of the panel is an Add button; click this and browse

icon, which should be faced upright when using the pass-

to where you put XRiteColorCheckerPassport.lrplugin.

port. The first swatch is neutral grey. As you move right, each

Select it and click the Add Plug-in button. The plug-in is

swatch is bluer than the previous, so clicking the swatch adds

enabled and ready for use; no restart is required. Click Done

more yellow to the white balance. While not accurate color,

to exit the Lightroom Plug-in Manager.

warmer skin looks much healthier and pleasing than neutral tones; hence the massive fake tan and sunbed industries. The second of these rows is for landscapes. This time, the neutral tone is in the center. Clicking to the left makes the image cooler; to the right warmer.

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To use the plug-in, go to File>Export with Preset and select


ColorChecker Passport below the X-Rite Presets section. Obviously, you need to have a photo of the ColorChecker Passport for the plug-in to work, so let’s look at the practicalities of getting the shot and prepping for the plug-in.

using the colorchecker passport

The third chart is the one we’re really concerned with here: the Classic Target. The 24 colors here are industrystandard, color-reference swatches for evaluating specific colors. The reason why they’re so accurate is they’re actu-

The Passport is a hinged plastic case with two sections con-

ally made with paint. For this reason, you need to be care-

taining three charts. The design means it can self-support in a

ful that your models don’t touch them, as oils from your

scene (e.g., on a tabletop for product photography). The first

fingers can affect the color. When you run the plug-in, it

section is the White Balance Target, and it contains a gray

will compare each swatch in the photo with the color it’s

card. This can be used to set white balance in Lightroom.

supposed to be, and match them in the profile. For por-

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traits, shoot with the Passport aimed at your key light at

Here I shot with a Fuji X-T10 and 35mm lens. The scene

face level or close. Make sure you don’t overexpose the

was lit with an Elinchrom BRX 500 modified by a 95cm

white swatch, or the plug-in will fail to generate a profile.

Octabox, so I included this information in the filename so I’d

To help the software, you can zoom into the Passport, but

know exactly what the profile does. It may seem overly pedan-

it’s not essential, though it needs to be reasonably large in

tic, but other lenses and lights will be different. Even the age

the frame. Also, make sure the person icon is upright. Take

of the flash tube on a light can change the color emitted.

the photo, then remove the passport, and carry on with your shoot.

If you’re running from the Export dialog, select X-Rite

using the plug-in When the shoot is imported, go to the photo of the Passport. Use the White Balance Selector in the Basic panel of the Develop module and select the second or third brightest swatch to set the color balance before running the plug-in. While the plug-in will run with a full photo, I’ve had times where the profile generation failed because it couldn’t find the Passport, so it’s good practice to crop into the swatches. If you look closely, you’ll notice there are four crop marks around the swatches making it easy to select exactly what the plug-in needs. With the chart cropped, run the plug-in, either from the

Presets in the Export To drop-down menu at the top. In the Export dialog you get more information about profiles, including that you can make Dual Illuminant DNG Profiles. These are made with two images: one with Daylight, the other Tungsten. Adobe’s own profiles are dual-illuminant; however, as you’d normally make a profile for a specific lighting situation, there’s little need to do this. You can click Learn More to find out more about them. The next section basically explains that you need to restart Lightroom. The plug-in can also detect if you’ve run a custom monitor profile and display if you need to update it. Click Export to generate the Profile. This takes about a minute. If successful, you’ll get a dialog asking you to restart.

File>Export with Presets menu, or by opening the Export dialog. If you use the Export with Presets menu, enter a name in the resulting dialog and click Save. Often people assume that just the camera name and lighting type are good enough as will render the image differently. You’re better off creating profiles that are lens specific.

If it fails, try again, checking that you’ve cropped correctly. Restart Lightroom to load the new Profile. › › k e l b yo n e . c o m

a filename, but, in truth, each lens you use with your camera


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applying the profile

switch next to the Sync button to turn on Auto Sync, then

To apply the new profile, open the Camera Calibration panel.

select the new Profile.

The Profile section will say Adobe Standard. Click this and

Alternatively, use Settings>Copy Settings with only Cali-

select your new profile. To apply it to all of the photos from

bration and Process Version selected, then Settings>Paste

the shoot at once, select the images in the Filmstrip, click the

Settings. If you used Auto Sync, remember to turn it off.

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Comparing the two versions, the image with the new profile applied shows more vibrant colors and richer tones.

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on mine, and regret when I don’t use it. It just speeds up color correction! ■

You can make profiles for any and every situation you


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shoot. Personally, I’ve become more and more dependent





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Questions Answers

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I have a preset that I’ve developed in my desktop version of Lightroom. How can I bring that preset over to my mobile device so I can use it there?


Here’s a great way for you to get those presets across all of your devices. Make a collection in the Lightroom Library module called “My Presets.” In the Collections panel, click on the little square icon to the left of this collection and it will now be synced with all of your devices. Once that’s complete, place images inside of this collection that use each of the presets you want to sync over to your mobile device (I would recommend that you change the name of the image to the name of the preset that it’s using). Once you have that image in your collection, it will sync across to Lightroom Mobile in no time. In Lightroom Mobile, press-and-hold on the image and a menu will appear. Click on Copy Settings at the top of the menu. A dialog will appear allowing you to select all of the settings that you want to paste to the new image. Finally, navigate to the new image, press-andhold on it, and select Paste Settings from the top of the menu.

I’ve been syncing my Lightroom collections with my mobile devices and now, all of a sudden, I don’t see them there. Is there something that I’m doing wrong? If you hover over the Lightroom CC badge on the upper left of the screen, you’ll see a drop-down arrow appear. Click on it and a couple of different processes will appear—one of them being Sync with Lightroom Mobile. If you see the word “Paused” and a play button next to it, chances are


the syncing has been inadvertently stopped. Click on it and you’re off and running again.

How many catalogs can I have open in Lightroom at the same time? Lightroom only allows you to sync to one catalog at a time. If you attempt to sync to another catalog, it will replace the images that you have in the existing catalog with the images in the catalog to which you’re trying to sync.

I took a bunch of pictures with someone else’s camera and don’t have my computer with me. Is there a way to import the card to my phone to get the images to my computer at home? I have an even better solution for you. One of the newest features of Lightroom CC is the ability to access your images over the Web! Navigate to in any Web browser and sign in with your Creative Cloud ID. Once you’re there, you’ll see a screen asking you to either drop the images in the window or click to select the files you want to upload. The high-resolution images will automatically be uploaded into the cloud for you. Create a collection for them (you don’t really have to but it’s a good habit to get into) and you’re good to go! Once you get back to your desktop at home and launch Lightroom, you’ll see the images being synced to your catalog.

I noticed that there are two sets of images inside my Lightroom Mobile app: the ones in my collection and the ones on my phone. Are these duplicate images? There are two ways for you to work inside of Lightroom Mobile: One of them is to work with individual images and import them as you need them (which is what I prefer). Once you start Lightroom, you can go into the Camera Roll and

› › Lightroom Magazine

When I look at my images in Lightroom Mobile, I want to see the camera settings and star ratings for each of the images. How do I control when I see those details? Once you have the image open in Lightroom Mobile, press on your screen with two fingers. An overlay will appear showing you the metadata information for the picture you took. Single press on the details and it will cycle through the rating and star information for the picture. If you press on it another time, the overlay will show you the histogram for the image. Pressing on it again with two fingers will then turn the overlay off.

This not only works in single image mode but also in the grid view for the pictures. It’s a good idea to know how to turn this on and off as sometimes it can be a little unwieldy to see that information on smaller screens.

How can I quickly create a slide show video of the images that I’ve made to share online? Adobe has introduced a new program for mobile devices called Adobe Premiere Clip that will take care of all of that for you! Click on the three dots to the right of the collection and a menu will appear letting you send the information over to Adobe Clip (make sure you have it installed). Once that’s sent over, the slide show will automatically be created, and a song will be chosen for you. Of course you’ll be able to change the music and duration, but you can’t beat getting it done fast! From there you can publish the slide show, save it to your Camera Roll, or edit it in Premiere Pro.

What’s the difference between Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Express? Photoshop Express was designed to make quick corrections to images—things like cropping, straightening, color adjustments, and redeye removals. Photoshop Fix is built on Photoshop technology that really gets in there and does serious image retouching, letting you paint effects, smooth out and defocus parts of images, and access powerful features such as Liquify, Patch, and Heal. You can send images into Photoshop Fix right from inside of Lightroom when you need that extra step of image editing—just make sure you have it installed on your mobile device! ■ ALL IMAGES BY RC CONCEPCION

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select the images that you want to work with. Clicking on the Import button will bring them over into Lightroom Mobile. Once those images are imported, you’ll see them in the Camera Roll area in Lightroom with a checkmark. You could also let Lightroom manage all of the images you take with the mobile device’s camera by selecting the Auto Add Photos button at the start of the Lightroom screen. In both cases, you’re going to want to be sure to empty the images out of the Camera Roll once they’re in Lightroom.




Lightroom Magazine › ›


TipsTricks Lightroom provides many ways that you can adjust the color in your image, either to correct for an obvious and unwanted color cast, such as that produced by certain types of artificial light sources, or to apply color more interpretively. In this month’s column we’ll take a look at the different ways you can alter color in Lightroom.

the white balance eyedropper tool

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The primary way for correcting for unwanted color due to artificial light sources, as well as setting a custom white balance in the image, is to use the White Balance Eyedropper tool. You can activate it from either the Library or the Develop modules by pressing W on the keyboard, which places the white balance eyedropper in your cursor. Pressing W again docks the eyedropper back in the Basic panel. To use it, simply click on something in the image that should be a neutral tone, such as gray or a white with tonal detail (more on that below).


using gray targets to set white balance Placing a gray or color target in the scene and taking a few well-exposed test shots will give you an accurate reference that can be used to set white balance when you process your shots. I use the SpyderCHECKR 24 by Datacolor. In addition to neutral gray areas for measuring white balance and midtone response, the reverse side also has several color patches if matching the precise color in the reference target is critical for the subject you’re photographing. Once in Lightroom, you can use the White Balance Eyedropper tool to click on a gray swatch in the target to set a correct white balance for the shot.


using neutral guides to correct white balance Even though many gray targets are small and easy to carry in a pocket or camera bag (or as a patch you can stick to the inside of a lens cap), there will always be those times when they’re not available for a shot. If there’s any area in the scene that should be a neutral, or close to it (e.g., the gray in a cloud, the whites of the eyes, gray metal, gray cement, a white shirt), you can use these with the White Balance Eyedropper tool to get started. If you’re clicking on a reflective metallic object, zoom in and make sure you’re not inadvertently clicking on a reflection that has color in it. I like to call these areas “neutral guides,” because they can help me determine a neutral, or close to neutral, color balance for the image. Of course, elements you find as part of the scene may not be strictly neutral in terms of setting a correct white balance, but it will get you much closer to the mark, and you can then fine-tune with the Temperature and Tint sliders, if needed, to arrive at a visually pleasing color balance.

syncing white balance across multiple files Once you’ve corrected the white balance in one shot, you can apply the same setting to multiple files that need the same correction. With the corrected shot still selected in the Develop module filmstrip, select the other shots. If they’re in a contiguous row adjacent to the first shot, simply Shift-click on the last shot to select the entire row. If you need to select noncontiguous shots, Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on the thumbnails you want to select, and then press the Sync button on the lower right. In the Synchronize Settings dialog, click

› › Lightroom Magazine


the Check None button, click the checkbox for White Balance at the upper left, and click Synchronize to apply the white balance from the source shot to all of the selected files. The reason to first choose Check None, and then only select the White Balance correction is that other adjustments you may have applied to the first image (e.g., Brightness, Contrast, etc.), may not be appropriate for the other images.

tive, and for those the HSL panel offers controls over the three primary ways we think about color: Hue, which is the general “flavor” of the color; Saturation; and Brightness or Luminance (the “L” in HSL). Clicking All at the top of the HSL panel will expand it to show all three controls in one panel. Click on one of the other headers (Hue, Saturation, or Luminance) to return to a single-panel view.

save a custom white balance preset

using the targeted adjustment tool

If you routinely find yourself in the same location and lighting conditions for a specific and recurring job, consider saving a custom white balance preset that can be applied to images as they’re imported. To do this, follow the steps above for using a gray target to set white balance, and then click the plus symbol next to Presets in the left-hand panels. In the New Develop Preset dialog, click Check None, and then select White Balance and Process Version (the latter will ensure predictable results in future versions of Lightroom). When you import files, you can access the custom preset in the Import module. Open the Develop Settings menu and find your white balance preset for that location and lighting conditions.

At the top left of the HSL panel (or to the left of each panel section if you’re viewing all three at once), you’ll see a small target symbol. Click on this to activate the Targeted Adjustment Tool (often called the TAT, this tool can also be found in the panels for the Tone Curve and the Black & White treatment). With the tool active, click-and-drag up or down on an area of the image to apply a change. The change you get will depend on what adjustment you’re applying. For fine-tuning color with the HSL panel, this is a good way to identify what color you might want to adjust. Although Lightroom offers eight different colors that you can target to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of colors, on some images it may not be clear which slider you need to work with. Clickingand-dragging on an area with the TAT will move the sliders that affect colors in the area you’re targeting. When you’re finished making your color fine-tuning adjustments, be sure to click the TAT target button again to turn it off.

fine-tuning color with the hsl panel White balance corrections are some of the most common color adjustments that photographers make in Lightroom. In addition to correcting white balance and removing color casts, they can also yield pleasing color results in many situations. But some color changes may be more interpretive and subjec-

In the same group as the HSL panel, you’ll find the Color panel. At first glance, this may seem to be a different panel; however, it’s really just another way of applying the same type of changes you can do with the HSL controls. You can work with an individual color by clicking the color buttons (these are the same eight colors you can adjust in the HSL panel), or you can click All in the upper-right corner to see all eight colors and their corresponding hue, saturation, and luminance sliders in one view. ■ ALL IMAGES BY SÉAN DUGGAN

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the color panel


Product Reviews SONY a7R II High-Resolution, Versatile Camera

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Review by Steve Baczewski


The new full-frame, 42.4 megapixel, Sony a7R II is the successor to its a7R with a list of notable improvements, many of which reflect that Sony has been paying attention to professional photographers’ comments. Key is the development of an EVF system instead of the bulkier mirror-box optical viewfinders found in most Canon and Nikon DSLRs. The result is that Sony’s camera/lens systems are smaller, lighter, and easier to carry around. The a7R II’s black magnesium alloy body is solidly constructed with a deeper, more comfortable grip and a beefed-up lens mount for heavy lenses. The shutter button is larger and relocated on top of the grip for easier access, and the mode dial now locks in place. Oddly, the front and back control dials are smaller, which might become an issue when shooting gloved in cold weather. The 3" LCD tilts up and down but doesn’t swing sideways, and sadly it isn’t touch-sensitive, which is so practical for rapidly changing the area of focus. The 2.36M-Dot EVF on the a7R II is wonderful to compose with: It’s large and bright, refreshes rapidly, and has a 0.78x magnification for enhanced viewing. The EVF display’s pertinent exposure information (including a histogram) and, when combined with the camera’s “zebra” feature, is meticulous for achieving precision exposure. Of note is the convenience of adjusting the zebras without moving your eye from the viewfinder because of its proximity to the exposure compensation dial. As you turn the lens barrel to focus in manual mode, the EVF magnifies the subject and, when used in combination with focus peaking, there’s the feel of a precision tool. The a7R II is slightly bigger and heavier than the a7R, because a built-in, 5-axis image stabilization unit now bolsters the sensor, which effectively adds 2–3 stops of breathing room when shooting handheld: You can also set your minimum shutter speed in the menu. Embedded in the sensor, and broadly distributed, are 399 autofocus phase-detection and 25 contrastdetection points. The phase-detection points work with all lenses and react accurately and faster than contrast-detection, with less hunting in low-light situations. They efficiently lock on and track subjects when shooting continuously at a7R II’s 5-fps RAW. The sensor is now back-illuminated, which improves light-gathering efficiency and noise handling, especially in lowlight situations, and enables the ISO range to go up to a rather

fantastic 102,400. Realistically, I found ISO 6,400 and 12,800 very usable. There’s also added sharpness by not using an AA (anti-aliasing) filter in front of the sensor and, despite conventional wisdom, I didn’t see any moiré patterns even after several months of shooting. Alone, and in partnership with Zeiss, Sony has marketed a number of high-quality prime and zoom lenses, and to gild the lily, the a7R II can use many of Canon’s EF lenses via adapters, while maintaining image stabilization, auto aperture control, and phase-detect autofocus, without loss in speed. The issue of shutter vibration with the previous a7R has been reduced by the implementation of an electronic front curtain. If you use the electronic shutter in full mode, the shutter becomes 100% silent—very handy for situations that call for discretion like weddings or solemn occasions. With a recent firmware update, the a7R II now shoots uncompressed, 14-bit RAW files, which are full of detail with a wide dynamic range. The camera responds quickly to changing situations, in part because of 10 programmable buttons that make frequent trips to the menus unnecessary. The a7R II supports internal recording onto your SD card of full-frame and cropped APS-C 4K (UHD) video, as well as recording 1080p at 60 fps and 720p at 120 fps for slow motion. While not flawless, the a7R II is an impressively versatile, enjoyable-to-use, high-resolution camera. ■ Company: Sony

Price: $3,199.99


Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Still and UHD video quality; built-in Wi-Fi with NFC

Not: Poor battery life; menus; single memory-card slot

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Intel Solid-State Drive 730 Series Fast and Sturdy Memory Storage Review by Erik Vlietinck

It’s a pity that few DSLR video shooters know Intel’s solid-state drive (SSD) range because their 730 Series performs well in today’s available video recorder/monitors, and it has a few unique benefits. The Intel 730 Series is the company’s top SATA SSD, delivering up to 3,760 Mbit/sec. (A DCI 4-KB 60-fps ProRes 422[HQ] recording using an Atomos Shogun or Ninja Assassin requires a 1,886 Mbit/sec throughput.) But speed isn’t everything. In the world of video recording, reliability is another important aspect. With 50-GB writes per day (91 TB over its lifetime), the Intel 730 S outperforms the competition. I briefly tested the unit’s performance with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app for OS X. I mounted the SSD in a RocketStor 5212 Thunderbolt disk dock and managed a 450-MB/sec read and 275-MB/sec write speed. I then installed the SSD inside an Atomos Master Caddy II for use with a Ninja Assassin. With the Assassin and Shogun, recording disks sit at the back of the unit, but not enclosed by it, and the result from any spinning disk after a couple of minutes’ warming up is a disturbingly loud noise—a problem you don’t have with an SSD. In addition, the SSD enclosure of the 730 S is metal, which is better than plastic when using the SSD in a production environ-

ment where it might be dropped or jostled, and a metal enclosure has the added benefit of dissipating heat. I tested the SSD by recording uninterrupted for 2 hours, and even after that amount of time, it wasn’t really hot. It operated with flying colors and recorded the footage without a glitch. The Intel 730 Series sits in the middle of the 240-GB SSD market price range, but it offers better-than-average performance, a metal enclosure, and excellent reliability. ■ Company: Intel

Price: From $149.99


Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Fast; metal enclosure; reliability


Canon PowerShot G9 X High-Resolution Performer in a Small Package Convenient, versatile, and powerful, the Canon PowerShot G9 X has a 20.2-megapixel sensor and a nice 3x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 28–84mm zoom). The 1" sensor is larger than most point-and-shoot or smartphone cameras, so the image quality is better too. The camera is loaded with features, including a 3" LCD screen (also a touchscreen); a built-in pop-up flash; and a mode dial on top, with a variety of automated and manual shooting modes for stills and video. The zoom lens has built-in Intelligent Image Stabilization so it will correct for a variety of movement, or camera shake, so you get the sharpest possible stills and video. And, when it comes to video, you can shoot full 1080p at frame rates of 60, 30, and cinematic 24 fps. There’s also a dedicated movierecord button on the back in addition to the shutter button on top. Sharing those gorgeous images is important too. The builtin Wi-Fi and Near Field Communications (NFC) means that the Canon PowerShot G9 X can wirelessly offload images so you can use your smart device or computer to upload pictures straight to social media or an online portfolio. Keep in mind that this is fine for an image or two, but wireless file transfer of an entire SD card

would take a long time; instead, you’ll want to pop out the SD card and offload bulk images that way. Some interesting in-camera special features and processing give users a number of different star shooting options including Star Trails and Star Nightscapes. Special photo effects include Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, and a number of additional color-finishing options. There are also in-camera editing options such as red-eye correction, photo book and print settings, and more. All in all, the Canon PowerShot G9 X offers features and performance in a compact camera for amateur photographers or professionals looking for a backup to their DSLR. ■ Company: Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Price: $529.99


Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Size; image quality; pro-level controls; touchscreen

Not: Grip

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Review by Larry Becker



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DxO ONE The Camera Your iPhone Always Wanted! Review by Michael Corsentino

The DxO ONE camera is the iPhone’s new must-have imagemaking partner! As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you, and more often than not, that’s an iPhone. The iPhone’s gorgeous retina screen and connectivity provide the perfect platform for image review and sharing; however, it’s not a dedicated camera. That’s where the DxO ONE shines! If you’ve been longing for full control, RAW-format support, high-end optics, awesome low-light performance, and oodles of dynamic range, without having to carry a bulky camera, you’re going to love the DxO ONE; it’s a game changer. A first of its kind in many respects, the DxO boasts a ton of enviable specs. Here are the highlights: Lightning port connectivity with ±60° camera swivel; 20.2-megapixel still resolution; 1080p at 30 fps/720p at 120fps video resolution; CMOS BSI sensor; 32mm-equivalent aspherical lens with a variable sixblade iris aperture from f/1.8–f/11; two-stage, shutter-release button (for easy focus and recompose); digital 3x zoom; spot, center, weighted, and multi-zone metering modes; shutter speeds from 1/8000 to 15s; 100–51,200 (Hi 2) ISO; JPG, DNG,

DXO (SuperRAW), MOV (H.264) file formats; microSD UHS-I U3 (not included); storage port; and more! What does all this mean to you, the iPhone photographer? It means flexibility and full creative control over your image making! The DxO ONE unlocks the iPhone’s potential by giving photographers a dedicated, high-performance camera to drive it, all in a highly compact package that’s smaller than the palm of your hand. Think about it, full control over aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on your iPhone, and a camera that swivels! You can finally shoot portraits from the hip at f/1.8 on an iPhone and get soft backgrounds, bokeh, high-end image quality, and RAW files without having to carry a DSLR. ■ Company: DxO

Price: $599


Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Full manual control; high dynamic range; micro SD memory slot

Not: Price; currently only one aspect ratio available

Adobe Photoshop Fix Retouching on the Go

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Review by Michael Corsentino


Adobe Photoshop Fix has armed mobile users with a first-of-itskind, powerful, retouching toolset for use on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Available from the Apple App store, Photoshop Fix is noteworthy for its ease of use, intuitive touch interface, and for bringing retouching capabilities to mobile devices that were previously found only in desktop versions of Photoshop. Photoshop Fix comes with a full suite of the editing and retouching tools you’ve come to rely on. Top level toolsets include Crop; Adjust (add vignettes); Liquify; Heal and Patch; Smooth (soften or sharpen skin); Lighten and Darken; Color; Paint; and Defocus. Powerful retouching tools include Liquify, Warp, Swell, Twirl, Reconstruct, and Face Aware Liquify, each controlled via touchscreen sliders and gestures. Additional must-have tools, such as Spot Heal, Patch, Clone Stamp, Fix Red Eye, and Restore are also included. Best of all, everything is accomplished nondestructively. Burning and dodging are tackled with the Lighten and Darken tools, where you’ll find controls for Brush Size, Hardness and Opacity, and a Structure tool for additional contrast. Brush size is relative to the actual screen size rather than the image, which means less time spent adjusting the brush size as you zoom in and out to make adjustments.

If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, Adobe’s CreativeSync keeps your apps, the cloud, and the desktop connected. Photoshop Fix is deeply connected to Lightroom and Photoshop, which makes for a seamless operation when handing off an image from one app to the next, or exporting to desktop apps. Once you’re done editing, you can save the file locally as a project, or publish the image to social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Behance, etc. In fact, Photoshop Fix even allows you to save a layered PSD of your project file to your Creative Cloud account for additional work in the desktop version of Photoshop! ■ Company: Adobe

Price: Free

Web: Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Full-featured mobile retouching; touch interface; support for Tiff files


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Powergorilla and Solargorilla Portable Power Solutions for Indoor/Outdoor Use Review by Erik Vlietinck

The Powergorilla is a 21000-mAh battery pack that will power your laptop or other 5–24V devices. The Solargorilla is a rubberized, foldable solar panel that can charge the Powergorilla or anything else that works with 5V or 20V electric current. Each is approximately the size of an iPad; however, the Powergorilla is heavier, and both are thicker. The Powergorilla is made of aluminum with a rubber bumper for extra protection. It has a status LCD, a button that acts as an on/off switch, and a voltage selector. Along the top of the unit you’ll find DC/In and DC/Out ports and a USB interface. You can power multiple 5V devices and one device with a higher voltage simultaneously. For example, I ran two BALLED Pro photo lamps off the USB port, and one Akurat Lighting video lamp at 8.4V off the DC/Out port. The unit comes with two complete sets of plugs to power all kinds of equipment. You charge the unit with its adapter, a supported laptop adapter, or the Solargorilla. When recharging the unit from the universal AC mains adapter, you can keep on charging other devices, including your laptop.

Recharging a fully depleted Powergorilla using the Solargorilla takes well over a day; but you can buy a split (Y) cable (about £8.50) and have two Solargorillas charge the unit simultaneously. The Solargorilla's full charging capacity is only reached in open air, but I tested it from behind a window, and it worked well. Although you can charge a device using the Solargorilla, its primary use is to charge the Powergorilla; therefore, it may not work well with some laptops requiring 40W electric current. The Powergorilla/Solargorilla combination is great for use in a studio as well as in the field. ■ Company: Powertraveller Ltd.

Price: Powergorilla: £160; Solargorilla: £145

Web: Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Form factor; lightweight; sturdy; adapter system works well


Atomos Ninja Assassin Taking the Pain out of 4K DSLR Video Production Ninja Assassin is a generous-sized but lightweight HDMI-only monitor/recorder. It shares the same 4K/60 fps ProRes 422 recording capabilities and huge screen as Shogun, its SDI sibling from Atomos. It’s packaged in a soft EVA carrying case with one disk caddy and a power adapter. The device is made from the same material as the first brightly colored iMacs, and with its red silicon Armor Bumper, it can withstand rough handling. The Ninja Assassin comes with a LANC, HDMI in/out, and minijack audio in/out ports. It also has a DC/In power port and a large on/off switch. With eight channels of audio over HDMI and two analog audio channels, plus an awesome screen, it’s the perfect monitor/recorder for a Sony A7 or a Panasonic-Lumix DMC-GH4. While the hardware is a joy to work with, a large part of the agreeable experience is due to AtomOS version 6.5, which is exclusively available to the Ninja Assassin and Shogun. This latest version supports tagging clip ranges with metadata (10 FCP X keywords) while recording, or during playback. The large screen lets you comfortably monitor color, white balance, exposure, and focus. AtomOS 6.5 also supports 3D LUTs for display output and recordings, saving time when color grading, as well as allowing you to match color balance from different cameras.

One great addition is the ability to record time lapses that you can make as simple or as complicated as you wish. A motion blur capability takes 65 consecutive frames and merges them together into one frame, which is great to get those smooth automobile light streaks. And for screening or showing clients a rough cut, you can now create entire playlists. For example, I could create a rough cut of all clips that I tagged with the metadata keyword “Talent 1.” ■ Company: Atomos

Price: $1,295


Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Screen size; quality; productivity and efficiency features; time lapse


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Review by Erik Vlietinck




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The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits By Peter Hurley

The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography By Grant Scott

“I may be shooting their head, but I’m aiming for their heart.”

What this is not is a book about how to take professional

That one short sentence tells you just about all that you need

photos. In fact, you’ll find almost no information about actu-

to know about the way Peter Hurley approaches headshots.

ally capturing images. Instead, it’s a primer on how to get into

For the author, it’s about photographs that show expression.

the field of commercial photography (with the assumption

If you look at enough headshots, you’ll see that the majority of

that you already know how to make excellent photos). The

the subjects have a rather blank or bland expression: The photo

reader may find sections to be rather dogmatic and with some

is about the look of the subject, not about the subject herself

internal contradictions, for example: “This may also require

or himself. That may be enough if the selection process is only

you to shoot in a way that you don’t agree with…” followed

about finding a look that meets a need. But when there’s more

two paragraphs later by “It is essential that the photographer

at stake, say when casting a role that requires a certain kind of

leads a shoot.” The first part of the book is about finding your

personality, the headshot may be the difference between the

niche (“photographic voice”), but it also spends time on devel-

call (or a callback) and being cast aside (so to speak). A variety of

oping contacts, creating a specialized website, and how to

headshots will enable a client to submit the one most appropri-

effectively use Twitter. (There’s also a hardcover version of this

ate for the potential role.

book available for $89.95, but I can’t imagine any advantage

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

over the less-expensive paperback and digital version.)


Publisher: New Riders

Pages: 223

Publisher: Focal Press



Price: $44.99; ebook $28.79 Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Pages: 182

Price: $29.95 (paperback and Kindle) Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Photoshop January 2016




For advertising information, please contact Kevin Agren, V.P. Sales, at 813-433-2370. email:

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Miller’s Professional Imaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28–29

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B&H Photo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

Best of The Digital Photography Book Series, The* . . . 43



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From The Help Desk › ›

Answers to Photoshop and gear-related questions BY PETER BAUER

I’ve been experimenting with Photoshop CC 2015’s Select>Focus Area command and am getting uneven results. It seems to work very well when there’s also a big color difference between the infocus and the out-of-focus area, but not so well when the foreground and background are similar in color. Any tips?—Jake

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › j a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

To: Jake From: KelbyOne Help Desk


While color can make a difference, the most important factor in the effectiveness of Select>Focus Area is how much difference there is in focus between the foreground and the background. For an example of Focus Area doing a great job when both the subject and the background are the same color, take a look at my prize-winning photo, “Frozen Berry,” which can be found at www.IndyPixels .com. Using the default settings, Focus Area flawlessly separates the in-focus areas of white ice from the out-offocus white snow and overcast sky behind. There are a couple of factors that determine how out-of-focus the background will be when capturing an image. Usually the most important factor is the lens aperture, how wide open the lens is—how much light is reaching the camera’s sensor. (Or, in days of yore, “reaching the film.”) Remember that when reading an aperture value the smaller the number, the larger the lens opening, and the more light reaching the sensor; and the larger the number, the smaller the opening, and less light. Most zoom lenses in use today have variable apertures, depending on the zoom factor. At the shortest zoom factor, that aperture may be f/4.5 or f/5.6. Typically, the farther out you zoom, the smaller the minimum aperture. (Some top-of-the-line—read “expensive”— zoom lenses have a fixed minimum aperture throughout the zoom range, sometimes as large as f/2.8.) “Prime lenses,” those that have only one zoom setting, often offer considerably larger openings through which light passes. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens, which I used to capture “Frozen Berry,” has a very wide open-

ing. That creates a very shallow depth of field (the distance measured in inches or millimeters from the lens that remains in focus). The out-of-focus tree branch behind the berry in “Frozen Berry” was actually only a couple of inches away. Capturing that image at f/4.5 would have included the branch within the depth of field, keeping it in focus. And that brings us to another factor that helps determine what is in focus and out of focus in any given image: the distance from the lens. If the subject is as close as possible to the lens (at the lens’s minimal focus distance) and the background is very far away, even an aperture of f/4.5 can capture a sharply focused subject in front of a blurry background. To get the best results from the Photoshop Select> Focus Area command, your subject should be in very sharp focus, and the background should be as blurry as possible. You can set your camera to Aperture Priority (usually represented by the letter A on a dial on your camera), use the smallest f-stop available (the largest opening), perhaps boost the ISO setting a couple of steps to speed the shutter, and get as close to the subject as your lens allows. With suitable separation between your subject and the background, you should have enough difference in focus—regardless of color difference—to get a great selection from Select>Focus Area. If you think you’ll regularly want to have a very sharp subject in front of a very blurry background, consider investing in a prime lens with a very large aperture. The 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm lenses are usually the most versatile. ■

The KelbyOne Member HELP DESKS

Are you taking advantage of the Help Desks at the KelbyOne member website? This is the place where you can get all of your Photoshop and Lightroom questions answered either by other KelbyOne members or by our Help Desk experts. Not only that, you can get photo and computer gear help and advice, as well. What are you waiting for? Visit the Community section on the KelbyOne member site today! ■

Photoshop User magazine is the official publication of KelbyOne. Each issue features in-depth Photoshop tutorials written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Photoshop User delivered right to your door (or digitally) ten times a year.