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T H E A D O B E® P H O T O S H O P


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how to craft captivating DYNAMIC Learn images of kids with creative RANGE photography and Photoshop

The new Select and Mask workspace is perfect for selecting soft edges like hair



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Kevin Newsome

COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU Charlotte, NC | Sacramento, CA | Denver, CO | Las Vegas, NV 10/17/16



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October 2016



17th Annual 100 Photoshop Hot Tips

Images: Adobe Stock; Layout: Jessica Maldonado

Every year, we ask the best designers and photographers in the industry to share their favorite Photoshop tips and tricks. These tips will not only help boost your productivity but they’ll also kick your creativity into high gear. And with 100 tips, even the most advanced users will find something that will make them go, “OMG, I never knew that!” So what do you have to lose? Turn to page 59 and start learning, and when you’re done, be sure to show off your new skills to you friends and coworkers.


From the Editor

Contributing Writers

About Photoshop User Magazine

KelbyOne Community

Exposed: Industry News

Photoshop User Quiz

From the Advice Desk


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DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT 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


Wrapping Text Around a Portrait in Photoshop

Selecting Hair Using the Select & Mask Workspace

Taming the Magic Wand

Hit the Beach

Advance and Enhance Your InDesign Skills

Lighting the Commercial Way

All lighting diagrams courtesy of Sylights

Click this symbol above to access the Table of Contents.

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Lightroom Magazine


Using Image Overlay to Fit Images to Your Layout

Lightroom Mobile Updates



Creating Compelling Images of Kids People are always asking Gilmar Smith where she gets her inspiration for creating her amazing portraits of children. So we decided to ask her that exact same question, and she was kind enough to write an article for us to show her workflow from idea to finished image.

Gilmar Smith

Gilmar Smith


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Four New ExpoImaging Products

Phottix Odin II CalDigit Tuff

Godox LP-800x Power Inverter Prisma Sony A7S II Kingston HyperX Fury 120 GB

Photoshop Book Reviews

Scott Kelby

Topaz Texture Effects


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From the Editor

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100 photoshop hot tips


This is the issue KelbyOne members tell us that they look forward to the most every year—it’s our “Annual 100 Photoshop Hot Tips” issue, which we’ve been doing since the late ‘90s. Thankfully, Photoshop keeps changing and evolving, adding new features on a more frequent basis than ever before, so there’s always a new batch of hot tips every year. Add Lightroom and Camera Raw to the mix, and you have lots of fresh new content each fall. Each year, our managing editor, Chris Main, puts together a fantastic team of Photoshop tipsters, and this year is certainly one of our best teams ever, which includes yours truly, along with Corey Barker; Dave Cross; Glyn Dewis; Adobe’s own Bryan O’Neil Hughes; “Hot Tips” freshmen Kirk Nelson and Jesús Ramirez; the retouching shark herself, Kristina Sherk; Colin Smith; and Scott Valentine. If you can’t wait any longer, just turn to page 59 and start tipping! (Well, you know what I mean.) Since last we met, a lot has been going on, and one of the new features that we’ve added to your KelbyOne membership is our private Member’s Only Webcasts, which have truly been a huge hit. These live, topic-specific webcasts are created exclusively for our members so we can interact directly with you to answer your questions and get your input and ideas. We get thousands of members from around the world watching these webcasts, and the feedback has just been over the moon. By the way, if you miss a live broadcast, we archive them just for members: log in to the KelbyOne site and click on Webcasts in the left sidebar. They’re available to watch 24/7 on your schedule. Our next Members’ Only Webcast is on travel photo­ graphy and postprocessing, and I’m hosting it based around my experiences from my trip to Venice and Italy’s Dolomite Mountains from my 9th Annual Worldwide Photowalk. That will air on Thursday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (so it will most likely be in the archives by the time you read this). That webcast will be followed up by our live, in-studio photo shoot and portrait lighting workshop—just for members, of course—so keep an eye out

for your email invitation. It’s the first time we’re doing a live lighting workshop of this scale, and we can’t wait to see what you think of it. In other news, hopefully you’ve been noticing the recent speed boosts we’ve been adding to the members’ website, with pages now loading significantly faster. We have a lot more enhancements on the way, as our number-one job is making your educational experience the very best it can be and making your membership more valuable than ever. Here in the magazine, we’ll soon be making a cool new change that’s pretty exciting. Starting with our next issue (November 2016), we’re taking the Lightroom Magazine section in Photoshop User magazine and making it its own standalone magazine (instead of being just a magazine within a magazine). Lightroom has become such a big part of the photographer’s workflow that it deserves a place and identity of its own, and we’re excited to be giving Lightroom Magazine its own wings. Look for it next month as part of your KelbyOne membership. Photoshop User, of course, will continue to focus on Photoshop, news, reviews, and all the other fun stuff we already know and love (well, we love it and we hope you do too!). One more thing—on October 17, Photoshop World Orlando 2017 registration officially opens, and the early bird gets the worm with our best pricing for people who register early. The longer you wait, the higher the registration price will go, but if you reserve your tickets now, not only do you get the best price, but KelbyOne members also save $100 off the non-member pricing. So make plans now to join us next April as we bring Photoshop World back to the East Coast for the first time in three years. We’re psyched! Okay, that’s all the big stuff for now. While the “Hot Tips” feature takes over a good chunk of the magazine this issue, the rest of your favorite columns, reviews, and news are still here, so after the “Hot Tips,” make sure you check out everything else that’s going on (and there’s always a lot of cool stuff going on with Photoshop). All my best,

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

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The official publication of KelbyOne OCTOBER 2016 • Volume 19 • Number 8


Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief Chris Main, Managing Editor Kim Doty, Associate Editor

Contributing Writers

Sean Arbabi • Corey Barker • Peter Bauer • Dave Clayton Michael Corsentino • Dave Cross • Glyn Dewis • Seán Duggan Bryan O’Neil Hughes • Sean McCormack • Kirk Nelson • Jesús Ramirez • Kristina Sherk • Colin Smith • Gilmar Smith Lesa Snider • Rob Sylvan • Scott Valentine • Erik Vlietinck Jake Widman • Dave Williams


Jessica Maldonado, Art Director Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer Angela Naymick, Graphic Designer


Adam Blinzler • Kleber Stephenson • Melissa White


Adam Frick • Brandon Nourse • Yojance Rabelo • Aaron Westgate


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


Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-201-7323 ext. 152


U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East • Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922 Voice: 813-433-5000 • Fax: 813-433-5015 Customer Service: Letters to the Editor: Letters to the Lightroom Editor: Advice Desk:


Photoshop User was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 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 2470-7031 (online)


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Contributing Writers COREY BARKER is an award-winning designer and illustrator. A featured instructor at the Photoshop World Conference and an Adobe MAX Master Instructor, he has produced numerous training titles for KelbyOne. Look for his latest book Photoshop Tricks for Designers.

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.

DAVE CLAYTON is a KelbyOne instructor, designer, and creative specialist with more than 30 years of experience. He specializes in creating branding projects and logos and has been published by Peachpit and KelbyOne. He’s also an Adobe Influencer and ACA in InDesign.

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

DAVE CROSS has been helping people get the most out of their Adobe software for more than 25 years. Dave has a bachelor of education degree, is an Adobe Certified Instructor, and is in the Photoshop Hall of Fame.

GLYN DEWIS is a photographer, retoucher, trainer, and author based in Oxford, UK. His clients range from athletes to the BBC. An Adobe Influencer and Photoshop World Dream Team Instructor, he teaches around the world, including at his own series of workshops.

SEÁN DUGGAN 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. Learn more at

BRYAN O’NEIL HUGHES is Adobe’s Head of Outreach & Collaboration, working with product teams, partners, and press. He spent 15 years on Photoshop, a decade as Product Manager (CS3–CC), and then drove the expansion to mobile. Bryan was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2011.

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

KIRK NELSON is a professional graphics artist in the Washington, D.C., area. He has a B.A. from George Mason University and is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop. Kirk’s career has touched on a broad range of subjects from logo design to animation. He can be reached here.

JESÚS RAMIREZ is an Adobe Community Professional, speaker, and author for the Adobe Creative Cloud Blog. Jesús is best known as the founder of the Photoshop Training Channel, one of the most popular Photoshop YouTube channels in the world.

KRISTINA SHERK considers herself a software translator for those who don’t speak Photoshop and Lightroom. While majoring in digital art at Elon University, she received four years of uninterrupted Photoshop training and grew to love the software.

COLIN SMITH is an award-winning digital artist, photographer, and lecturer who has authored 19 books and has created a series of training videos. Colin is also the founder of the online resource and president of

GILMAR SMITH was born and raised in Venezuela, but currently lives and works in Orlando, Florida. Obsessed with all things photography, she is self-taught and up to any creative challenge. Specializing in creative portraiture, you can follow her ventures at

LESA SNIDER is the author of Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for Photographers: Classroom in a Book (2016), Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual,, more than 40 video courses, and the “Creaticity” column for Macworld.

ROB SYLVAN is the Lightroom Advice 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.

JAKE WIDMAN is a writer and editor who lives in San Francisco. He’s been covering the intersection of computers and graphic design for about 25 years now—since back when it was called “desktop publishing” and Photoshop was just a piece of scanning software.

DAVE WILLIAMS is a well-seasoned, UK-based travel photographer with internationally published work and a passion for sharing his knowledge of Adobe software. Dave lives by the mantra, “Lend me your eyes and I’ll show you what I see.”

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SEAN ARBABI has been a widely published commercial photographer the past 25 years. He authored The Complete Guide to Nature Photography (Crown Publishing) and produced a video series on the Nik Collection (Peachpit). For more info, visit


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Photoshop User Magazine

Images: 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


Save anywhere from 2–3 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 at the KelbyOne Advice Desk.


Member Benefits › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6



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


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, Lightroom, and photography tutorials, full online classes, and quick-tip videos.


The KelbyOne Newsletter is your monthly 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.


Extend the Power of What You Do in Lightroom on Your Mobile Device The best-selling Lightroom book author of all time is back to show you, step by step, how to unlock the power of Lightroom Mobile, and extend the power and reach of what you do in Lightroom on your desktop. Scott Kelby gets straight to the point to show you how to get up and running fast, how to make the most out of Lightroom Mobile’s amazing capabilities, and even how to use it to do things that Lightroom for the desktop can’t do. You’ll learn all about organization, editing, and sharing— the entire process. And, you’ll be up and editing like a boss in no time. Scott’s been working with Lightroom Mobile and teaching people how to use it from the very beginning, so he knows first-hand which parts of the process users struggle with and where they get confused, and he knows exactly how to get you past those stumbling blocks and really enjoying the newfound freedom editing on a mobile device can bring. Get your copy today from your favorite bookseller.

fuel for creativity

KelbyOne Community › ›

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

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By Chris Main and Dave Clayton


Photoshop World Conference 2017 Registration Opening this Month

One of the benefits of being a KelbyOne member (besides all of the amazing online classes, Photoshop User magazine, and discounts) are the live Members’ Only Webcasts. As the name implies, you have to be a member to watch these live streams, but don’t worry, we always archive all the shows on the KelbyOne site so you can watch them anytime you like. Each episode lasts around 60 to 90 minutes and they cover some of the hottest topics of the day; for example, as soon as Photoshop 2015.5 was released, we had Adobe’s own Terry White on the show to answer all of your questions about the latest update, and when the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV was announced, we had Canon’s top tech advisors, Rudy Winston and Brent Ramsey, showing off all the new features.

Registration for Photoshop World Conference 2017 opens on October 17, 2016. And in even better news, this show will take place on the East Coast at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. That’s right! We’re back to doing an East Coast show this year! The Orlando conference will take place April 20–22, 2017.

And we have more shows coming all the time. In fact, there’s a new webcast with Scott Kelby on his photographic journey through Venice, including the ­walk he led in his Worldwide Photowalk event. Speaking of the Wordwide Photowalk, on October 1, thousands of people in thousands of different cities around the world took thousands and thousands of amazing photographs. They all walked with like-minded photographers, learning from each other and making new friends. Participation was free, but it was also an event to raise money for The Springs of Hope Kenya, an organization that feeds, houses, educates, and empowers young orphans. Hopefully, you were one of the more than 22,000 people who participated. In an upcoming issue of Photoshop User magazine, we’ll be publishing some of the winning entries from the walks.

Kevin Newsome

Members’ Only Webcasts and Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk

So if you haven’t been to Photoshop World because you live on the East Coast, or you haven’t been since our last East Coast show, this is the perfect chance for you to get lost in three days of training, networking, and just pure fun. And when you come out on the other side, you’ll feel like you’ve learned three year’s worth of tips, tricks, and techniques on everything from Photoshop to Lightroom to photography. Don’t forget that you always save money when you register early for the conference, and you always get a discount for being a KelbyOne member. So why not be the first to register on October 17 so you can start telling all of your friends and coworkers, “I’m going to Photoshop World!”

“@KelbyOne thanks! Learnt a lot thanks to your tutorials :)”—@ewakabza “1ST time @PhotoshopWorld_had a great wk. Thanks @KelbyOne staff, instructors & partners for making #PSW2016 great!”—@ThomasJBecker “@ItsDaveClayton Just watched your lessons on @Kelby­ One and loved your approach. Are there any more in the pipeline? #newtoindesign”—@heulwynroberts



KelbyOne ARTIST SPOTLIGHT >> Sian Elizabeth Robertson MEMBER SINCE 2014


KelbyOne ARTIST SPOTLIGHT >> Svetlana VanKempen MEMBER SINCE 2011

KelbyOne Community Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community

What made you want to enter the Guru awards? I’ve been thinking that my photography has been improving year after year. At least that’s what my wife has been telling me! We visited Myanmar and Cambodia earlier this year where I took some very nice photos of incredible subjects, receiving accolades from others than my wife. With my confidence brimming, I felt I should compete against some of the best photographers around. And I am very glad I did. What was your inspiration to become a photographer? I started getting serious about photography about four years ago. My father-in-law got hooked by the photography bug and started winning local contests. My wife and I, being very competitive, decided to start learning the craft so we could spend time with him shooting and hopefully surpass him. Unfortunately, he got very ill and passed away soon after we started. He gave me his camera (a Nikon D800), which only spurred me on further. In the beginning it was for him. But after a bit, the students surpassed the teacher. Now it’s all about going to fantastic places and taking the best images we can. Why do you shoot mostly travel and landscapes? I started with landscapes because they don’t move. It gave me plenty of time to set up my shot and shoot it over and over until I got it right. It didn’t hurt that I was shooting sunrise and sunset at beautiful locations. I worked hard at capturing the light. Then the travel bug hit. I tried to capture the essence of the locations we visited, then write about it in our blog. Family and friends started to follow us and enjoy what we were writing. It was a great feeling to share what we were seeing and feeling at locations all around the globe. As soon as we finish a trip, we’re planning the next one. It’s a great life.

Why did you decide to start teaching workshops? I have teaching in my blood, as my father was a teacher in New York during my formative years. Although I didn’t go into that profession (I went into software instead), I always like helping people learn. Doing workshops is very new to me. I have taken workshops with excellent professionals and have learned a lot. But what could I offer that they do not? I don’t want our workshops to be a “me too.” We want to set ourselves apart and offer something unique. We settled on offering workshops where we go to great places but also provide the ability for our customers to travel and eat gluten free (my wife being celiac). We now offer “Gluten Free Photography Workshops.” We’re hoping to mesh safe travelling with excellent instruction. What’s in your kit bag? My trusty Nikon D800E (hopefully to be upgraded to a D5), a 14–24 f/2.8, a 24–70 f/2.8, an 80–400, and some ND filters. These, with my Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead, make me ready for most anything. When and why did you become a KelbyOne member? I joined about four years ago. I’d been looking for online training and came across a video clip of Scott Kelby and another of Matt Kloskowski, one teaching composition and the other teaching Lightroom. I was hooked with the content but mostly their style. I quickly joined and have watched many courses since. The education is top-notch. What have you learned from being a member? Being a member has helped me quite a bit. First and foremost, the classes are superior. I also take advantage of the KelbyOne community. I didn’t realize how strong the community was until I went to PSW last year. Now I’ve built a nice network of photographers that I can shoot with and confer with. For new members, I recommend watching a class and then go out and shoot. Then, watch another and shoot some more. I did this for a couple of years and my photography improved dramatically. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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First, congratulations on your Guru award. Was this your first Photoshop World? No, this was my second Photoshop World. My first was last year and I liked it so much that I signed up for a second one. Now that I was fortunate enough to get a Guru award, I have to go next year too!

Jeff Dannay

Last issue, Dave Clayton interviewed Jocelyn Petruccio, this year’s Best of Show Guru winner at the Photoshop World Conference 2016 in Las Vegas. This issue, Dave spent a few minutes with Jeff Dannay, the Guru winner in the Photography category.



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Join Scott Kelby and learn how to design with type. Calling all non-designers who have the need to create slideshows, photo books, watermarks, and other items that may require type. Scott will share tips and tricks that will make your layout more impactful, show you some of the cool type features in Photoshop, and more.


Join Larry Becker as he gets you up to speed on everything you need to know to get started with this amazing camera. From getting oriented to all of the buttons and dials to making the right choices for shooting modes, autofocus, exposure, and video, Larry steps through the features and functions you need to know.



Join Steve Hansen for an in-depth look at all of the steps involved in creating a large format fine art print. Learn how Steve takes a photo from capture to postproduction to print, the importance of a test print, and how to decide what type of paper, ink, and printer is best for your type of photographs.

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Join Roy Ashen from Triple Scoop Music as he talks about how important the emotional connection music has in all of your projects, and how using music, especially the right kind of music, can help increase your sales, marketing reach and your business.


Exp sed: Industry News › ›

The latest news about photography gear, software, and services By Chris Main

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New Camera and Lenses from Canon


Canon U.S.A., Inc., recently announced the latest additions to its EOS M series system: the new Canon EOS M5 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera and compact EF-M 18–150mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM lens. The EOS M5 camera features a 24.2 megapixel APS-Csized CMOS sensor, DIGIC 7 Image Processor, and the fastest AF speed in the EOS M series, enabling photographers to capture clear, sharp, high-resolution images and Full HD videos. It’s also the first in the EOS camera line to include the low-energy Bluetooth Smart feature that can maintain a constant connection with your compatible smartphone or tablet when you use the Canon Camera Connect application and both applications are active. The EF-M 18–150mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM lens is compatible with all Canon EOS M series digital cameras, and is a great option for photographers looking to capture images from scenic landscapes to close-up shots from afar. The new Canon EOS M5 camera is scheduled to be available in November 2016 for an estimated retail price of $979.99 for the body only. The new Canon EF-M 18–150mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM lens is scheduled to be available in December 2016 for an estimated retail price of $499.99. Canon also announced the Canon EF 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6 IS II USM lens featuring NANO USM technology for high-speed and near-silent focusing in both still and video modes. The lens also features a new LCD information display and four-stop image stabilization. This new lens is scheduled to be available sometime in November 2016 for an estimated retail price of $549.99.

Profoto Releases the D2, the World’s Fastest Monolight with TTL According to Profoto, the D2 is redefining the definition of speed in monolights. First, the D2 brings pinsharp clarity with a flash duration of up to 1/63,000, which makes it faster than most high-end studio packs on the market. Better still, it offers super-short flash duration across the full energy range. It also allows you to shoot up to 20 flashes per second. Catching 20 versions of the same moment can make the difference between capturing a good image and a great image Bringing yet another dimension to speed is Profoto’s High-Speed Sync technology (HSS). This allows the D2 to sync with the fastest shutter speeds available. The D2 can also speed up workflow with its patented TTL technology, automatically adjusting its output for perfect exposure. But manual mode is available at the click of a button, so switching between both modes with settings intact just makes everything move faster. The D2 is available in 500Ws and 1000Ws versions. Both versions come with a super-wide 10 f-stop energy range and superior color consistency over the entire range. Both the 500Ws and 1000Ws versions are available in different kit configurations.

Tether Tools Introduces Case Air Wireless Tethering System The new Case Air Wireless Tethering System is a compact camera controller that connects to your camera’s hot shoe and transfers images instantly to a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The Case Air allows you to remotely control advanced camera settings, such as focus, exposure, bracketing, time-lapse, and HDR. It’s scheduled to ship in early November and is available for pre-order now for $159.99.

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Nikon Inc. announced the new line of KeyMission action cameras that offers users a hands-free way to document their adventures through high-quality video that puts the viewer in the middle of the action. First up is the rugged KeyMission 360, which is the first Nikon camera capable of full 360° video in 4K UHD, turning the entire environment into the canvas. Two f/2 lenses and two 20-megapixel CMOS sensors combine to create stunning videos and photos without blind spots. An in-camera stereo microphone helps provide crisp and clear accompanying audio, while Electronic Vibration Reduction (VR) is available after-capture to help steady playback. The KeyMission 360 is compact, waterproof (98’), shockproof (6.6’), and freeze proof (14°F) with no housing required. Next up is the Nikon KeyMission 170, which lets users tell stories from an individual’s point of view. A super-wide 170° angle-of-view, f/2.8 lens, and 8.3-megapixel CMOS sensor combine to capture brilliant 4K UHD or 1080p Full HD video. The camera sports a rear LCD that helps frame shots in live view, play back video, and change settings with ease. Finally, the wearable Nikon KeyMission 80 allows users to chronicle life’s journeys with high-quality stills, Full HD 1080/30p video, time-lapse recording, and interval timer functions using a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and 25mm (80° angle-of-view) f/2 lens. A secondary front-facing 5-megapixel camera with a 22mm (90° angle-of-view), f/2.2 lens helps users snap selfies. The new Nikon KeyMission products will be available starting in October 2016. The KeyMission 360, 170, and 80 will be available for suggested retail prices of $499.95, $399.95, and $279.95, respectively. For more information on these new Nikon products and pricing for optional accessories, please visit

New Light, Trigger System, and Softboxes from Phottix Phottix has announced the first studio light compatible with Canon’s radio flash system: the Indra500LC TTL. Based on the Indra500 TTL (introduced in 2014), the Indra500LC takes things a step further by incorporating the radio control and triggering of both the Canon RT and the Phottix Laso triggering systems. The Indra­ 500LC gives pho­ tographers 500W/s of TTL power, and with the High Speed Sync function, photographers can shoot at wider apertures while still controlling ambient light. With Stroboscopic Mode, the Phottix Indra can be used for creative shooting as well. The Phottix Indra500LC will ship in mid-October 2016 with an MSRP of $1,299. Phottix also introduced the Triton II, their newest budget-friendly flash trigger system. The transmitter and receiver system boasts the latest technology and is perfect for manual shooting with studio lights or hot-shoe flashes. Features include LCD displays, 16 channels, 4 groups, and a range of 150m. It also uses a Digital ID function for secure triggering. The Phottix Triton II will ship in early November 2016 with an MSRP of $99. And finally, Phottix also announced the Solas Series of softboxes. Constructed from a new material called SL-Tech, the Solas series are lightweight and strong. With fire and heat-resistant properties, SL-Tech fabric is both highly reflective to minimize light loss and durable enough to stand up to years of use. The four new models include the 48" Solas Octagon Softbox with Grid, the 14x55" Solas Strip Softbox with Grid, the 16x71" Solas Strip Softbox with Grid, and the 36x48" Solas Softbox with Grid. All Phottix Solas Softboxes come with an inner baffle, outer diffuser, mounting rods, and grid. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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Nikon’s New Line of KeyMission Adventure Cameras

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


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Down &Dirty Tricks

evil dead with attitude BY COREY BARKER

It’s that time of year when we get to do something “creepy-cool” and not feel weird about it because it’s Halloween. For this tutorial, I was inspired by movies of old, specifically the Evil Dead series. I found the perfect skull image on Adobe Stock and it just demanded to be Evil “Deadified.” Download the exercise files and follow along to see how.

Adobe Stock/SS1001


Step One

Step Two

Step One: Let’s begin by opening the skull image, which is part of the exercise download. This is an Adobe Stock image that was shot at the perfect angle for this effect. First, we need to extract it from the white background. [KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.]

Step Three: Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected area to a new layer. Go to Matting at the very bottom of the Layer menu and choose Defringe. Set the Width to 1 or 2 pixels and click OK. This will clean up any anti-aliased fringe pixels around the edge that were picked up from the white background. (Note: We’ve hidden the Background layer so you can see the copied skull on the transparent background.)

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Step Two: Since the image is on a solid white background, select the Magic Wand tool (nested under the Quick Selection tool [W] in the Toolbar) and set the Tolerance in the Options Bar to 20. Click once on the white background to select it. Then, go under the Select menu and choose Inverse to flip the selection from the background to the skull image.

Step Three


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Step Four

Step Four: Create a new document that’s 1400x2000 pixels at 300 ppi. Click on the color swatch next to the Background Contents dropdown menu, set the color to black in the Color Picker, and click OK. Click OK in the New dialog.

Step Five: Back in the skull image, switch to the Move tool (V), and click-and-drag the skull to this new document. Use Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]) to scale the image in the canvas as you see here. Hold the Shift key while dragging the corner points to maintain proportions. Press Enter when done.

Step Five

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Step Six: I mentioned earlier that the skull was shot at the right angle, but let’s add a little attitude to it by altering the eye sockets. With the skull layer active in the Layers panel, go under the Filter menu and choose Liquify.


Step Seven: Once the Liquify dialog opens, uncheck the Show Backdrop option in the View Options section of the Properties panel because we only need to see the layer we’re working on. Make sure the Forward Warp tool (W) is selected at the top of the Toolbar on the left side. At the top of the Properties panel, in the Brush Tool Options section, set both the Pressure and Density to 50. You can adjust the brush size using the Bracket keys on your keyboard. Step Seven


Step Eight: Using the Forward Warp tool, push up the top edge of the eye socket on the right to give the skull a snobby eyebrow raise. Push down the area between the eye sockets to enhance the effect. This gives the skull image a little humor so it isn’t completely creepy looking—but don’t overdo it. Click OK when done. Step Nine: Make a duplicate of this layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). Press Shift-Command-U (PC: Shift-Ctrl-U) to remove the color from the layer, and then near the top of the Layers panel, change the layer blend mode to Overlay and drop the layer Opacity to 75%.

Step Nine

Step Eight

Step 11

Step 10: Now we need to smooth out the detail in this layer a bit. Go under the Filter menu to Blur and choose Surface Blur. Set both the Radius and Threshold to 10 and click OK. This will smooth out the image without affecting edge detail. Step 11: Go under the Filter menu again but this time go to Artistic and choose Poster Edges. (Note: If you don’t see Artistic under the Filter menu, go to Photoshop CC [PC: Edit]>Preferences>Plug-Ins, turn on Show All Filter Gallery Groups and Names, and click OK. Now you’ll see the complete list of filters under the Filter menu.) When the dialog opens, set the Edge Thickness to 2, Edge Intensity to 1, and the Posterization to 3. Click OK. This will add an illustrated look to this blended layer, taking away more of the realism of the skull image.

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Step 10


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Step 12: Immediately after you apply the Poster Edges filter, go under the Edit menu and choose Fade Poster Edges. Drop the Opacity to 75%, which essentially undoes the filter by 25%. Click OK. Fade will only be available immediately after the filter is applied. If you do anything else in Photoshop before you try to access the Fade option, it will be grayed out. (Tip: If you make the layer a smart object [Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object] before applying any filters, it will apply the filters as smart filters, allowing you to access the Blending Options feature where you can change the Opacity of the filter at any time. Just double-click the icon of the two small sliders to the right of the filter’s name in the Layers panel.)

Step 12

Step 13: With the top skull layer active (Layer 1 copy), run a Levels adjustment to boost the contrast a little. Go under the Image menu to Adjustments and choose Levels, or press Command-L (PC: Ctrl-L). Just drag in the shadow slider below the histogram to around 50, and click OK.

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Step 13


Step 14: Add a new blank layer at the top of the layer stack. Select the Gradient tool (G) and click on the Radial Gradient icon in the Options Bar. Click on the gradient preview thumbnail in the Options Bar, select the Foreground to Transparent preset in the Gradient Editor, and click OK. Press D to set the Foreground color to black, and then proceed to draw several gradients at the top and right side of the skull to create a fade so it appears as if the skull is peering through the darkness. Step 14

Adobe Stock/dundanim


Step 15

Step 16

Step 15: Now it’s time to add some eyes. Here we have an image of a guy with a rather sinister look on his face that just happens to be close to the same angle as the skull. This will work fine since we only need the eyes. Using the Move tool, drag the entire image into the main skull design image. Step 16: The layer of the man should be at the top of the layer stack, but if it isn’t, just drag it to the top in the Layers panel. Drop the layer Opacity to 50% so you can see the background for better placement. While the subject is close in position to the skull, it isn’t perfect, so we’ll use a separate layer for each eye. For this layer, line up the man’s left eye with the left eye socket. Use Free Transform to scale, rotate, and position the eye as needed, and press Enter to commit the change.

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Step 17: Return the layer’s Opacity back to 100%, hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key, and click on the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a Hide All (black) layer mask. Select the Brush tool (B) and choose a simple round, soft-edged brush. If you’re using a pressure-sensitive tablet, go to the Transfer setting in the Brush panel (Window>Brush) and turn on Pen Pressure for the Opacity Jitter. If not, then drop the brush Opacity to around 75% in the Options Bar. Press D to set white as the Foreground color and start painting in the area of the eye to reveal it in the eye socket of the skull. If you reveal too much, press X to switch the Foreground color to black and paint those areas away.


Step 17

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Step 18

Step 18: Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to duplicate the layer of the man. Drag the layer mask thumbnail of the duplicate layer to the Delete Layer icon (trash can) at the bottom of the Layers panel. Click Delete in the resulting dialog to reveal the entire image of the man. Repeat Steps 16 and 17, but this time line up the right eye of the man with the right eye socket of the skull.

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Step 19: Add another new blank layer at the top of the layer stack and change the layer blend mode to Linear Light. Get the same round, soft-edged brush again and make it a little smaller than the pupils in the skull. Click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom of the Toolbar, choose a dark-red color in the Color Picker, and click OK. Then, paint over the pupils of the eyes. It’s getting meaner now.

Step 20: Click on one of the eye layers to make it active, and press Command-U (PC: Ctrl-U) to open Hue/Saturation. Check on Colorize, set the Hue to 360, the Saturation to 20, and click OK. Do this to the other eye layer as well. This adds a red tint to the whites and the areas around the eyes.


Step 19

Step 20


Adobe Stock/Leigh Prather

Step 21: Here we have a cool little smoke element to make the scene a bit more ominous. Open this image from the download files, then press ShiftCommand-U (PC: Shift-Ctrl-U) to remove the color. Use the Move tool to drag this image into the skull image and place it at the top of layer stack. Step 22: Set the blend mode of the smoke layer to Screen and drop the layer Opacity to 50%. Press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform, rotate the smoke into a vertical position, and then scale and position it. Right-click inside the Free Step 21

Transform bounding box and choose Warp from the contextual menu. Click-and-drag in different areas of the grid to stretch the smoke element along the bottom and push it to the left a bit. This will help it look like it’s flowing around the skull. Press Enter when done. Add a layer mask to this layer and use the Gradient tool with the same settings we used in Step 14 to draw a few radial gradients to fade out the smoke that obstructs the center of the skull.

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Step 22


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Step 23: Now for an HDR finish. Make a duplicate of the file by going under the Image menu, choosing Duplicate, and clicking OK in the resulting dialog. Once the duplicate is made, go under the Layer menu and choose Flatten Image. Step 24: Go under the Image menu, to Adjustments, and choose HDR Toning. When the dialog opens, set the Saturation slider at the bottom to –100. Then, push up the Detail and adjust the Exposure and Gamma in the Tone and Detail section. Finally, adjust the Edge Glow settings at the top and click OK.

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Step 24


Step 25: Using the Move tool, drag this image back to the original layered file. Hold the Shift key while dragging so it lands centered and aligned when you drop it. Make sure this layer is at the top of the layer stack, set the layer blend mode to Multiply, and drop the layer Opacity to around 40%. Step 26

Step 26: Finally, press Command-U (PC: Ctrl-U) again to open Hue/Saturation. Check on Colorize and set Hue to 25 and Saturation to 20 to add a subtle warm cast to the HDR layer. Just drop in some text if you want and there you have your own Evil Dead-inspired design. ■ CLICK TO RATE

Step 25

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Down &Dirty Tricks

wrapping text around a portrait in photoshop BY DAVE WILLIAMS

In this project, we’ll blend a headshot of a model with a block of text using various layer and masking techniques to create a portrait you can see and read. It’s not dissimilar to a double exposure, which is a very hot technique right now, but rather than combining a portrait and a scene, it uses text. We’ll learn how the layers interact to create an image that can be used for promotional materials, to tell a story in a unique way, or just for fun. I once used this technique to overlay a musician’s lyrics on his portrait. Another example that went viral is a police officer with a story of the hardships of his job.


Step One

Step One: When selecting an image for this technique, it’s worth noting that darker negative space isn’t your friend if you want to retain as much readable text as possible. Because the blending technique picks up highlights and shadows, it reduces the legibility of the text in the shadows. If viewers need to be able to read the text all the way to the edges of the frame, then a lighter background will allow for this. When we take this into consideration, it emphasizes the necessity for a tight crop in most cases.

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Step Two: Start by cropping your image to a 1:1 ratio. With the Crop tool (C) selected, choose 1:1 (Square) in the drop-down menu near the left side of the Options Bar at the top of the screen, and drag out your crop boundary. When you’re happy with the selection, press Enter. [KelbyOne members may download the cropped file used in this tutorial at http:// All files are for personal use only.]


Step Two

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Step Three: Next we’ll create a new layer above our image. From the Layers panel, click the Create a New Layer icon, or press ShiftCommand-N (PC: Shift-Ctrl-N). When you create this new layer, it’s important to ensure that the blend mode is set to Normal and Opacity to 100%.

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Step Four: Our new layer needs to be filled with black. With Layer 1 active in the Layers panel, go to Edit>Fill and you’ll see the Fill dialog appear. Select Black in the Contents dropdown menu, and make sure the Mode is set to Normal and the Opacity is 100%. Note: If it’s more your style to fill using the Paint Bucket tool (nested under the Gradient tool [G] in the Toolbar), then go ahead and do that. This layer of black is going to be a buffer between the original lower layer and the new upper layers, which are the ones that will be visible in our final image.


Step Three

Step Four

Step Five: It’s time to bring our text into play. It goes without saying that the script we use should fit the photo in order for it to be both appropriate and complementary. In this tutorial I’ve used a model who is heavily into yoga, so we’ll be using a series of yoga-inspired quotes. The more you know about the person in the photo, the more interesting the effect can be. You could write about what the person means to you, share a story, or describe something amazing they’ve achieved. Whatever you decide, now is the time to have your text ready. (You can find the text file that we’re using here in the download files.) Once you have your text, press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to select it, and then press Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to copy it to the clipboard. Step Five


Step Six: Adobe Photoshop gives us the option to add either point type or area type. Area type is useful for large amounts of text that we need to keep within the confines of a pre-determined area. We need a white font to work in contrast with the black layer, so press D then X to set your Foreground color to white. With the Type tool selected (T), drag a text box across the entire image, ensuring you’ve completely filled the space. The box will look like a selection made by the Rectangular Marquee tool, and you can adjust its size by dragging anywhere along its edge. (Note: We’ve temporarily hidden the black layer in this step and the next, so you can see the subject’s face.) Step Six

Step Seven: Open the Character panel (Win­ dow>Character) to enter your text settings. The settings we’re using here in this tutorial are Arial Bold at 5.5 pt, 6-pt leading, and All Caps (the two uppercase Ts in the row of Ts in the Character panel). You’ll also want to select the Justify All option in the Paragraph panel (Window>Paragraph). In this step we’ll paste the text into the text box by pressing Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V). To preserve as much detail as possible, we need to use a small font size, but this of course means that we need more text to fill the image, so paste the text a second time to fill the space. Use either the Options Bar or Character panel to fine-tune your text to make it work best for your image. The things that have the biggest impact on the overall look of the image are the font size and the spacing. When you’re done editing your text, press Enter.

Step Seven

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Step Eight: To get this “Down And Dirty Trick” off the ground and make our text portrait pop, we first need to add a layer mask to the text layer, so click on it to make it active. Right now we have three layers, with the text on top. When we click on the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel, a layer mask thumbnail will appear to the right of the text layer’s thumbnail.


Step Eight

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Step Nine: Next up, we need to take the original photo, Layer 0, and put it into the layer mask we just created. Click on Layer 0 in the Layers panel to make it active. Press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to select the entire layer, and then press Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to copy the selection from Layer 0. Step 10: To paste the selection into the layer mask, hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key while clicking on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. This will make the mask visible inside the main window, which will change to white, allowing us to paste directly into it. Paste the image into the mask using Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V). The photo will now be visible in the layer mask thumbnail. Note: Layer masks only deal with black and white, so bear in mind that if you paste a color photo, it hasn’t gone wrong when it changes to black-and-white.

Step Nine

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Step 11: This step is our moment of truth. We need to exit our layer mask by holding the Option (PC: Alt) key and clicking on the layer mask thumbnail again in the Layers panel. Voilà, our text and portrait are now visibly blended.


Step 10

Step 12: We can now lose the marching ants from the edge of the image by pressing Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to deselect, which will take us back to a normal view of the document. What’s happening here? The photo that we pasted directly into the layer mask is masking the text. The clever algorithm is using the contrast between the black and white areas to determine which parts of the text are visible: Black areas in the mask will completely hide the text; white areas will completely reveal the text; and shades of gray will reveal the text in different opacities. Step 13: If you’re happy with what you have, you can stop now, but I usually find that the image is a little too dark. Let’s remedy that. First, make sure the text layer is active by clicking on its thumbnail in the Layers panel, then press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to duplicate this layer. That’s all you need do to brighten the Step 11


Step 15

overall image. You can continue duplicating the layer as many times as needed until you attain the desired brightness. Step 14: When working on this technique, I back away from my computer screen several times and then come back to it. Try it! You’ll see that when you’re close to the screen, you can easily read the text, but when you’re farther away, the portrait becomes the most prominent feature. It’s a great illusion when you get it right.


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Step 15: Our last task is to fine-tune the brightness. If you find that the last duplicate layer makes the text too bright, you can deal with that by lowering the layer’s Opacity. (The Opacity slider is located above the layer stack in the Layers panel.) The lower you set the Opacity of the top layer, the more you allow the layers below it to show through. In this case, because the layer below is darker, lowering the Opacity of the top layer results in the darkening of the image. Move this slider around until you’re happy with the aesthetics of your image. And…we’re done! That’s how we can create a portrait from text using Adobe Photoshop. There are so many things we can do with this technique: Here are a couple more ideas. Lend me your eyes and I’ll show you what I see. ■


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Beginners' Workshop

selecting hair using the select and mask workspace


Hair and objects with soft edges are among the most difficult items to select, but the new Select and Mask workspace is built for that task. In this column, you’ll learn how to use it to refine a selection of a subject with curly hair in order to swap in a more colorful background.

Step One: Choose File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack. In the resulting dialog, click Browse and navigate to the photos of the woman and the colorful bokeh background. (Bokeh refers to the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in the highlights of photos taken at a wide aperture, say, f/2.8 or wider.) Shift-click to highlight both files and then click Open. Click OK in the Load Layers dialog. If you use Lightroom, you can Shift-click two thumbnails in the Library module and then choose Photo>Edit In>Open as Layers in Photoshop. Either way, the images open in a single Photoshop document on separate layers. [KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.]

Step One

Step Two: If necessary, drag the layer thumbnail of the woman to the top of the layer stack in the Layers panel.


Adobe Stock/Monkey Business

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Step Two

Step Three: Activate the layer of the woman and press W to grab the Quick Selection tool (press Shift-W to cycle between the Quick Selection tool and the Magic Wand). In the Options Bar, turn on Auto-Enhance and then drag atop the lady to select her. The size of the area that Photoshop selects is controlled by your brush size: use a bigger brush for larger areas and a smaller brush for smaller ones (a 200-pixel brush was used here but you can use a smaller brush for the lower-res practice file). Tip: Use the Left and Right Bracket keys on your keyboard ( [, ]) to quickly adjust brush size. Step Three


Step Four: In the Options Bar, click Select and Mask. In the workspace that opens, click the View drop-down menu in the Properties panel on the right and pick the view that lets you see the edges that aren’t yet included in your selection. You can cycle through the views by tapping F on your keyboard. In this case, Overlay works well. Click outside the View menu to close it and use the Opacity slider to adjust the opacity of the

red overlay so you can see strands of hair (50% was used here). If the red overlay is over your subject, change the Indicates dropdown menu just below the Opacity slider from Selected Areas to Masked Areas. Tip: Alternatively, you can summon the Select and Mask workspace first and create the selection there. To do that, choose Select>Select and Mask and then use the Quick Selection tool at the top of the Toolbar at the left.

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Step Five: In the Properties panel, click the disclosure wedge to the left of Edge Detection to expand that panel and then drag the Radius slider rightward to about 30 px to widen the area Photoshop takes into consideration as it refines the selection. (Note: For the low-res practice file, set the Radius to 15 px.) To view that area, turn on Show Edge (circled here) and then turn it back off. The Smart Radius checkbox tells Photoshop to adjust the radius for both hard and soft edges. Since there are no hard edges in this photo, turn it off. Expand the Global Refinements section and set the Smooth, Feather, Contrast, and Shift Edge sliders to 0. Don’t click OK yet. Step Five


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Step Six: To include more hair in the selection, and to remove the white background where it shows through her hair, brush over those areas with the Refine Edge Brush tool (R) in the Toolbar at the left. Zoom in if you need to by pressing Command-+ (PC: Ctrl-+) and reposition the image onscreen by Spacebar-dragging. Use the Bracket keys on your keyboard to adjust brush size. On this image, you can use a fairly large brush (say, 80 pixels for the practice file), though for finer detail you may get better results using a smaller one. Tip: If Photoshop suddenly excludes a giant swath of your subject in the selection (you see the red overlay over you subject), press Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) to undo your last brushstroke and try again using a smaller brush or make shorter brushstrokes (or both). You can also press B to activate the Brush tool and then brush across those areas to include them in the selection again.

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Step Six


Step Seven: When the selection looks good, scroll down the Properties panel and expand the Output Settings panel. Turn off Decontaminate Colors, which tries to remove any remaining background pixels that may be loitering in the selection; if your selection looks good you may not need it. From the Output To drop-down menu, choose Layer Mask. Click OK at the bottom right of the Properties panel and Photoshop masks the active layer with your newly refined selection, allowing you to see through to the new background layer below. Step Seven

Adobe Stock/sergio37_120

Step Eight

Step Eight: Here you can see the final result. Choose File>Save As and pick Photoshop from the Format drop-down menu so your layers and mask remain intact. If you opened the files from within Lightroom, choose File>Save instead. Either way, press Command-W (PC: Ctrl-W) to close the document. As you can see, the Select and Mask workspace made short work of refining a selection of hair in order to swap backgrounds; however, the resulting selection could also be used to alter the selected area of the image in a specific way. In that case, in the Select and Mask workspace, pick Selection from the Output To drop-down menu instead of Layer Mask, and then add the adjustment layer of your choice. Until next time, may the creative force be with you all! â– CLICK TO RATE

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Dynamic Range

creating compelling images of kids


The two things that I get asked the most on social media is how I create the images I post of my kids and how I get them to collaborate with me on the shoot. I’m going to guide you through my personal process from the idea to the final image, including how I get my kids involved, how I let them tell their own stories, and what I do when things don’t go as planned.

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Coming Up with an Idea


It’s kind of hard to explain how I come up with concepts for my shoots. It usually comes randomly, and I stop what I’m doing and write it down on my phone. Inspiration is everywhere. Just take a moment and look around, pick one thing that catches your eye, and write down five ways you could use that certain thing in an image. Then do it again the next day with something different. Make it a habit. By doing that, you’ll train your brain to think creatively, so every time you look around, you’ll see a world full of possibilities. When I work with kids, I’m interested in hearing their ideas. I want to open a door into their imagination. They grow up so fast, and I think it’s important to keep those childhood fantasies alive somehow. My goal is to keep a memory of that spark of innocence that sadly gets washed away with adulthood. I want these images to reflect their personalities and what they were into at a specific stage in their life. The way I work when I photograph my two-year-old daughter is completely different than when I photograph my ten-yearold son. With my daughter, I still have control of the concept and wardrobe of the shoot, but when it comes to my boy, he’s my creative director.

“The main rule when photographing kids is to let them have fun and make them feel comfortable so they look forward to being in front of the camera.”


Let your little subjects take the lead. Ask them how they’d like to be photographed, as well as what they want to be doing, what elements they want in the final image, what’s their favorite color, what makes them laugh, and what’s their favorite character. If they can make you a drawing of what they have in mind, then that’s even better. The main rule when photographing kids is to let them have fun and make them feel comfortable so they look forward to being in front of the camera. Be a goofball, let them run the show, and when you see something that’s making them uncomfortable, fix it immediately. Kids’ sessions have to be fast; you’re only going get their attention for a short period of time, so shoot away!

Photoshop is your best friend! And costumes are a great way to get kids (and adults) in the mood for pictures. When I got this costume for this image, I knew my girl probably wouldn’t want to put on that big headpiece—and I was right! I tried it on her and saw that she wasn’t very comfortable with it, so I immediately took it off. She played with the cane for a while but never got it in the position I wanted, so I decided to shoot the cane and the headpiece separately. I got the perfect shot of her face but I noticed she was too close to the camera and her feet were out of the frame. (The camera was on a tripod so I could play around with her as I shot.) I took another full-body shot and then swapped her head in Photo­shop and added the headpiece and the cane.

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Tribal Princess


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Chef Enzo and Sous-Chef Norah

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Let them light your fire! This image started with the background. I shot this beautiful kitchen a few years ago and always wanted to create a composite with it. I approached my son and asked him for ideas on what he’d like to do with that image. We sketched his ideas, and he even practiced in front of the mirror to get his expression right. Involvement makes a huge difference when working with kids; they’ll give you their best when they feel part of the project. My son also wanted his sister in the picture, so I sat her on a bench to get the perspective I needed to add her on top of the kitchen counter of the background picture. I gave her a bowl and a whisk to play with, and shot away like crazy! I used CTO gels on my lights to create the right tones to match the fire that I was going to add to the final image, and I tried to mimic the light in the background image.



We were walking home from the pool one day and my son was still wearing his diving mask, making all kinds of funny faces. As soon as we got home, I told him I wanted to take pictures of him wearing his diving mask and making some of the same faces that he made on the way home. (I have a little home studio set up in the corner of my dining room, all ready to go.) I shot his picture, found a background in my Lightroom library from a beach wedding I photographed recently, added a little clownfish for fun, and was done! This was a fast one to make.

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Finding Nemo


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Chess Queen

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The starting element in this image was the dress. The dress has a chess pattern on it and I obviously wanted to go that route. Note that my daughter didn’t want to wear her crown, but I knew I could easily add it afterwards in post. I shot the chess pieces separately, created a chess pattern in Photoshop to use as the chessboard, and used textures to blend the images and create the mood.


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The Bunny Whisperer


Use their appetite! I approached this shoot blindly. I dressed my daughter up, but I didn’t have a plan or a concept. I gave her a rose with a couple of goldfish in the petals to keep her distracted (she loves to eat). She dropped the flower and when she leaned down to get it, she held her dress so graciously. When I looked at the back of my camera, I knew that was the shot I was going to use. The background is a shot that I had taken one day on the way home. Every time I drove by, I kept looking at those trees so perfectly lined up, so one afternoon, I finally stopped to get a few shots of them. I added the bunny to tell a story and give it more of a fairytale mood. As you can tell, I don’t have a book of golden rules. Each of these pictures was approached differently. Sometimes everything starts with the background image, sometimes it all starts with a costume, and other times things happen organically. One thing I do that helps my creative process immensely is keep myself busy

photographing. The more I shoot, the more I come up with new ideas, and the more I learn. You don’t have to be a Photoshop master to create a piece of art. The only way you can step up your game is to let go of fear, follow tutorials, and practice techniques with your own images: Play with those sliders and have fun! As Halloween approaches, I’d like to challenge KelbyOne members to make some magical images of their own. Show me your best Photoshop creations of your kids, your neighbor’s kids, or your niece and nephew. I’ll be choosing a winner on November 15, 2016. The winning image will be published in an upcoming issue of Photoshop User magazine and receive either a copy of Scott Kelby’s How Do I Do That in Photoshop? or Corey Barker’s Photoshop Tricks for Designers. To enter, go to KelbyOne’s Facebook page and submit your photo to the challenge posted on KelbyOne’s wall. To submit on Twitter, use the hashtag #KPWG (kids photography with Gilmar). ■




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HOW TO › ›

Photoshop Proving Ground taming the magic wand


Man, oh man, there must be a million ways to make selections in Photoshop, and all of them are useful. But exactly what’s going on with the automated tools? Why do we need so many variations? The Magic Wand, Color Range, Quick Selection, Focus Area, Select and Mask…. Each of these has a place, and while they all accomplish a similar task of making a selection, they all have their pros and cons. Let’s take the oldest tool, the Magic Wand, into our lab and see how it works! In a nutshell, every automated selection tool compares pixel elements in your image and tries to make a somewhat intelligent decision on what to include in a selection and what to reject. The sometimes-maligned Magic Wand tool has some quirks that are worth investigating. Start by downloading this Photoshop file from KelbyOne. It’s designed to give you a range of colors and brightness levels to test the various selection tools (except Focus Area). While I’m talking about the Magic Wand tool, you should try out all of your favorite auto-select tools to get a feel for how things operate. [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.]

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Testing Tolerance


Open the experiment file in Photoshop and take a look at it. It’s a spectrum RGB gradient, with some blend mode trickery to give you a range of brightness and saturation levels. I’ve also included a layer at the bottom of the layer stack of a simple default black-to-white gradient. Let’s start there by making Gray the active, visible layer, and turning off the Color layer by clicking its Eye icon in the Layers panel. Select the Magic Wand tool (nested under the Quick Selection tool [W] in the Toolbar) and set the Tolerance to 8 in the Options Bar. For the Sample Size drop-down menu, choose Point Sample, and deselect all of the other options in the Options Bar (see above). I randomly placed three vertical guides on the gradient to ensure that you click the same place every time you change the Tolerance. (If you don’t see the guides in the practice file, press Command-; [PC: Ctrl-;]). When you click on any of

the guides, you get a rectangular marquee selection that’s 16 levels of gray in width. That’s, –8 to the darker side and +8 to the lighter side. If you clicked on a point with a gray value of 100, the selection would be from 92 to 108. So the Tolerance setting represents the maximum difference in tonal value allowed based on the point you click. (Tip: Think of the Tolerance setting as a “distance” away from the point you click in terms of RGB values.) It then selects all values between that maximum difference and the sample. Since all the values going vertically are the same, we get a selection that goes from the top to the bottom. Pretty much what you’d expect! Try it a few times on the same guide using different Tolerance values—it can go from 0 to 255. Note: You can keep track of the color values by using the Color Sampler tool (nested under the Eyedropper tool [I] in the Toolbar) and opening the Info panel (Window>Info).


Now try clicking another gray value on the gradient using a Tolerance of 8. Did you get the same size rectangle? If not, why not? It turns out that the default Black to White gradient in Photoshop isn’t “linear.” That is, it doesn’t represent a continuously smooth transition from black to white. Each selection you make will be 16 levels of gray wide, but the physical distance on your screen will vary.

Now, Adobe won’t give me the mystical equations behind this tool, so I’m forced to guess. Here’s what I think: the Magic Wand tool has to evaluate all of the available channels when making a color selection. The Tolerance value you choose is divided up among the various channels and used to build an array of possible colors and luminosity values. The next part of my guess is that the tool tries to include all of those variations and creates a boundary of them. In the case of the plain gradient, this means the selection stops at the first value that meets the conditions. But in a photo, or a more varied spectrum, it tries to create a selection where all the values that can build up to the same Tolerance are included.

Compare the difference in selection widths

The “Tragic” Wand

Off-center marquee

Boundary selection

While this may sound complicated, the thing to remember is that the tool is taking a somewhat simple approach to selecting similar colors. The theory is that the range will have some cohesive nature to it based on the possible combinations of values that add up in some way to the selected Tolerance. Of course, the bigger the Tolerance number, the more possible colors will fit the criteria, making things a little difficult to control. Fortunately, you don’t need the math to tame this beast; just read on.

Using Channels “Okay, Scott, that’s all well and good, but pray tell just how do I use this in the real world?” I’m glad you asked! There are some direct results of this observation that you can combine with your knowledge of modifier keys in

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If that’s not exciting to you, just hang on, we’re about to see why some people refer to this tool as the “Tragic” Wand. Turn on the Color layer and make it active in the Layers panel. The horizontal middle 1/3d bar is a standard spectrum gradient. In the Options Bar for the Magic Wand, click to enable the Contiguous option; this will keep things manageable for the moment. Now, click on the guide going through the yellow region of that middle horizontal bar and you’ll get the standard rectangular marquee selection. But notice the selection isn’t perfectly centered on the guide. Indeed, as you click around the center gradient, not only does the width change, but the centering changes too! This can be confounding and mysterious when trying to make selections in real photographs. Things you expect to be selected may be completely missed, even though they look really similar to the point you clicked. Or you may end up selecting tons of areas that don’t seem related by color. Refining the selections can be frustrating, but you can get really good results with a little patience and insight.


HOW TO › ›

Photoshop. Remember that you can adjust the Tolerance setting down to single digits to constrain your selection. That can help you refine the automated selections with some accuracy. You can also add to or subtract from the selections by holding Shift to add or Option (PC: Ctrl) to subtract. Combining these two ideas, you can now make complex selections. Check it out.

Step Four: We want to remove the white areas. (Note: It may be helpful to open the Info panel and see where the values are 255 consistently to find a pure white area.) Hold Option (PC: Alt) and click with the Magic Wand on a pure white area on the canvas. This removes just the areas where Red is 100% saturated on the channel in the highlights.

Step One: A fast way to make manual luminosity selections is to use the Magic Wand on a channel. Let’s say you want the highlights, but not red highlights. Select the Magic Wand tool and set the Tolerance to 64, and place a check in the Contiguous box in the Options Bar. Step Two: Open the Channels panel (Window>Channels) for the practice file, hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, and then click on the RGB thumbnail. This loads the Luminosity of the currently active layer.

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Step Three: Now click on the Red channel away from the thumbnail to make it visible.


Step Five: This works because the luminosity selection takes values that convert to a gray level of 128 and above. By setting the tolerance to 64 and selecting the white (255) value of the Red channel, you are subtracting about half of the Red luminosity contribution. That leaves only Red values between 128 and 191 (about a quarter of the total) in your selection, basically the lights and some mids.


Learn to Cheat You can use similar tricks to make selections with adjustment layers. My buddy Mark Heaps demonstrates this technique with a Black & White adjustment layer and changes the mix of colors that equate to the same gray level. This can help increase contrast between similar tonal regions, or blend a bunch of colors together to make one simple selection for a range of colors. In the practice file, note where the green areas are in the image, make the top Black & White adjustment layer visible, and double-click its thumbnail to open the Properties panel so you can see its settings. Click in one of the brightest areas of the image with the Magic Wand to select the green areas. Now hide the adjustment layer again.

Indeed, you can use many different approaches to help isolate colors and tones and carve out very specific automated selections very quickly. In other words—cheat! Use other selection tools and methods, and dial in as you go. The key to success is moving quickly with the automated tools, so if you spend more than a few minutes trying to get the perfect selection, move to manual methods. The whole point of automated tools is to make life easier!

Summing Up the Key Points: • The Magic Wand uses a “distance away” calculation to pick colors and gray values related to where you click and the Tolerance setting. • U  se the Magic Wand on channels, and in combination with other selection tools and techniques. • C  hange Tolerance and use the add/ subtract tricks to refine your selection. • Try making “cheater” layers with adjust­ment layers to make differences or similarities easier to select.

Happy selecting! ■

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Result of selection with a Black & White adjustment layer




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DesignMakeover JAKE WIDMAN


Silicon Beach Magazine

hitting the beach

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Karen Hassett launched Playa Vista Today in 2007 as a way of connecting the community she lived in. “It started as a newsletter template that I emailed out to people,” she recalls, “and it just grew and grew,” eventually even attracting advertisers. Four years ago, she turned the newsletter into a flipbookstyle magazine on the digital magazine platform Joomag. At that point, some corporate sponsors came on board as well. “That’s when the Clippers, Whole Foods Market, and Doubletree Hotels became corporate partners.” Hassett now has 29,000 subscribers, with more signing up all the time. Twice a month, she sends out an email with a link to the current issue, as well as advertising from her corporate sponsors. Readers access the magazine on Joomag via their browsers, or they can download a PDF. For now, it will remain an online-only publication: “I’ve been asked many times about printing it,” says Hassett. “I have major advertisers that want us to print. But for me to print a magazine is kind of ridiculous. If you go into a Starbucks anywhere in Santa Monica, down to El Segundo or Culver City, you’re not going to see people focused on a magazine with their coffee. They’re on their iPhone, iPad, or computer.” That habit of her local readership is indicative of the reasons Hassett recently undertook a rebranding of Playa Vista Today. Tech companies such as Google, YouTube, and Facebook have been moving into the area, along with a large number of advertising agencies—enough so that some have nicknamed the region “Silicon Valley South.” Keeping up with the changes, Playa Vista Today now goes under the title Silicon Beach Magazine. The rebranding involved a new logo, as well as ongoing layout tweaks within the issues themselves

makeover submissions We’re looking for product packaging or labels, print advertisements, websites, and magazine covers that are currently in the marketplace for future “design makeovers.” So if you or someone you know has a design that you’d like us to consider making over, or if you’re a designer and you’d like to be considered for a future “Design Makeover,” send us an email at (Note: This is purely a design exercise and the designers do not work directly with the client, create functioning websites, etc.) We’ll also be covering real-world makeovers in this column, so let us know if you recently had a branding makeover or if you did a branding makeover for a client that you’d like us to consider.

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Silicon Beach Magazine

First stab at a new logo

After nine years, Hassett was starting to think the name Playa Vista Today was limiting the growth of the magazine. “Part of it was the connotation of ‘Playa Vista,’ that it didn’t have a broader vision—like ‘you only reach Playa Vista, so I don’t know if you’re really going to be enough for us,’” she says. “I wanted to get a wider range for our reach for our advertisers and our readers.” At the same time, the demographics of the area were changing with the influx of tech companies—and their employees. “I wasn’t attracting people who work at YouTube, Google, or the creative agencies,” she recalls. “It wasn’t trendy or hip enough, and our advertisers want the younger market.” For both those reasons, it just made sense to look at rebranding the magazine in order to reach the full potential audience. That thinking coincided with her search for a designer to work on Playa Vista Today, which Hassett had been designing by herself (as well as producing all the content). In the fall of 2015, she consulted with some PR firms about the magazine’s direction and also posted a job listing for a creative director. She ended up contracting with Justin Piccari to work on the magazine’s covers. “I received a lot of entries, but Justin understood the goal,” she says. Piccari started work in January of this year. “One or two issues in, I softly suggested a rebrand,” recalls Piccari. If nothing else, the magazine’s lengthy name was a challenge when it came to designing the covers. The suggestion hung in the air for a while, “and then one day she said, ‘We need to do a rebrand,’” says Piccari. “All the ducks lined up finally. So we started working towards the current Silicon Beach Magazine, which would debut with the June 10 issue.”

about the client The digital magazine Playa Vista Today offered news and events of interest to the Playa Vista community, a Los Angeles neighborhood roughly bordered by Marina del Rey, Culver City, and Westchester. Its founder and editor-in-chief, Karen Hassett, launched the publication in 2007 to cover “the fresh, the fashionable, the flavorful from Playa Vista to Santa Monica.” With a bimonthly email blast, the magazine is the Westside’s premier source for the latest in food, real estate, and local events. The magazine was recently updated for a new demographic moving to the area, which has been nicknamed Silicon Beach due to the number of tech companies that have offices there. The new Silicon Beach Magazine provides a link to the community and promises to cover uplifting and positive aspects of local news, events, and businesses. “Silicon Beach is where we reach!”

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the problem



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SB SB SB SB SB the process SB SB SB SB SB

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Various treatments of the SB combination


Interior/Full Logo

Front Cover & Symbol

Justin Piccari

Early on in the collaboration, Piccari suggested the title Life in Silicon Beach, so that became the basis for his first stabs at a new logo (see previous page). He worked up a set of options that explored different treatments of the o in Silicon and asked Hassett to pick her favorites—“more of a ‘here are things I like and don’t like’ than ‘choose the one you want,’” says Piccari. One clear direction that came out of the exercise was that Hassett didn’t want a palm tree in the logo because so many other L.A. companies use that symbol. At the same time, though, Piccari was lobbying for “short, effective, and punchy,” he recalls. “If you want to get that ADHD millennial crowd, shorter is better.” In a conversation, one of Piccari’s friends suggested just calling it SB, in line with young Angelenos’ tendency to shorten place names (L.A., MDR for Marina del Rey, Cali). So he worked up another set of options focusing on various treatments of the two-letter combination. “I really tried to keep it basic—not much styling on the fonts—until I had some kind of direction,” he says. Hassett liked the idea (so long as there weren’t any palm trees). As he stared at the “SB” letter pair for hours while working on it, Piccari says, it started to take on the shape of a rounded rectangle, which to his tired eyes suggested a speech bubble or word balloon. It struck him that that symbol would go along with the magazine’s focus on interviews and social interaction. “We’re trying to connect this huge area together, so the speech bubble made sense because it’s about talking to people,” he says. A little more back and forth about the font for the word Magazine (the final uses Casady & Greene’s Bodoni FLF Bold), and the logo was ready.

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Justin Piccari

First redesigned cover


Both client and designer are happy with the result so far. “Playa Vista Today had around twenty thousand subscribers,” says Hassett. “We’ve jumped by ten thousand, and it grows weekly.” The big challenge now, she says, is to find ways to spread the word about the magazine. She relies on social media—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—but “right now it’s just word of mouth,” she says. Piccari believes the new logo is working well for branding, too. “People respond to graphics better than they do the written word,” he says, “and if you put the graphic in their face, they start to recognize it. People have seen some of the covers we’ve done under this new brand, and it’s really starting to click. They’re seeing ‘tech’ immediately.” Going forward, he’d like to simplify the logo still further by dropping the words “Silicon Beach Magazine” as often as possible. “If you take those words out of it, you have an icon that can be used throughout the magazine in different ways,” he says. He believes he has some freedom to experiment with that approach because of the way the magazine’s distributed—it’s not on a newsstand, so it doesn’t need to announce itself on the cover the way other magazines do. “Unless you’re actively looking for the magazine, it’s not something you’re going to stumble across,” explains Piccari. “When you subscribe, you get an email, and the email blast says ‘Silicon Beach Magazine’ all over it. While certain redundancies are good as far as branding, I don’t feel it’s necessary to have it on the cover.” Some of the most recent issues have dropped the words on the cover, but it’s not a permanent change yet. Piccari would also like to extend the logo to the rest of the magazine’s identity. “I’d love to brand everything across the board—Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, the homepage—and find a consistency of color palette and iconography across all that,” he says.

about the designer Justin Piccari likes to say he “arts” for a living. A Los Angeles-based artist specializing in graphic design, photography, and full video-production services, Justin was trained in graphic design at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia before moving west to pursue the nonsensical dream of never getting a “grown-up” job. Adulting is hard, after all, and Justin’s whimsically charming nature and emphasis on levity in every part of life adds a fun-loving flair to all of his artwork. Justin loves using art to make someone pay attention. In a fast-paced world where brevity rules all, Justin tries to steal just a moment more of his audience’s time. Justin freelances locally in Los Angeles with Silicon Beach Magazine as well as national brands such as Z Palette and Aeroflex (among others). He often travels for photographic assignments as well. After all it’s his job to make pretty things. ■

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the result


HOW TO › ›

InDesign Tips

advance and enhance your indesign skills

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PRINTING PAGES Have you ever been working on a multipage document and wanted to print a page or two instead of the entire document? You could open the Print dialog and select Range, but then you have to figure out the page numbers for the pages you want to print. Instead of going to File>Print, first Shift-click all the pages that you want to print in the Pages panel (Window>Pages), go to Layout>Pages, and then look for one of the following options based on the number of pages you selected: Print Page (for a single page), Print Spread (for a spread), Print Pages (for more than two pages). The Print dialog will open with the printing Range set to the pages you selected in the Pages panel. This is perfect for quickly proofing specific pages, saving you ink and time!


DISTRIBUTE SPACING In the default Align panel (Window>Object & Layout>Align), you have two groups of options from which to choose: Align Objects and Distribute Objects. But there’s a third “hidden” option that’s way more useful than Distribute Objects. To find this option, go to the flyout menu at the top right of the Align panel and select Show Options. Now you’ll have a new group of options called Distribute Spacing at the bottom of the panel. Imagine you have five rectangles of different widths and you want to change the spacing between them. If you select them all and click the Distribute Horizontal Centers icon in the Distribute Objects section, the result would look like this.


If you select the same rectangles and select the now uncovered Distribute Horizontal Space icon in the Distribute Spacing section, you get this. Distribute Horizontal Centers is great for repeated shapes of the same width, but when it comes to shapes with various widths, Distribute Spacing is the better option. Not many people realize this option is there, but it’s a great timesaver. And there’s more! If you want a specific distance between a group of items, tick the Use Spacing option, set the distance you require, click the Distribute Horizontal Space or Distribute Vertical Space icons, and Bob’s your uncle! MOVING PAGES When you’re working on two documents that are very similar and share some of the same content, there may be times when you need to move content from one document to the other. Copying-and-pasting is one option, or you could duplicate or move an entire page or multiple pages. Start by selecting the page(s) that you want to move, and choose Move Pages from the flyout menu at the top right of the Pages panel (or go to Layout>Pages>Move Pages). In the Move Pages dialog, you can select which page(s) you want to move and where you want to move them. Since you already had pages selected in the Pages panel, those pages will appear in the Move Pages field. The default option is to move the page(s) to another place in the same document, but you can choose any document that’s open from the Move To drop-down menu. Once selected, you can decide where in the new document you

› › I N D E S I G N T I PS

CHANGE THE SIZE OF THE PASTEBOARD The InDesign pasteboard is always narrow on the top and bottom and wider on the sides, but you can change this if you want. Maybe you have a lot of assets you want on the pasteboard for the document while you work. To change these dimensions, go to InDesign (PC: Edit)>Preferences>Guides & Pasteboard and change the Pasteboard Options at the bottom of the Preferences dialog. Alter the Horizontal Margins or the Vertical Margins to a different size, wider or narrower, and you can see the change when you click OK. Like I mentioned, its all down to personal preference but it’s useful to know.

COLOR-CODING MASTER PAGES If you use master pages in InDesign (and you should), it can be difficult to see which master is being applied to each page. But you can make this easier by color-coding your master pages. Hidden away (there’s a lot of good stuff hidden away in InDesign!) in the Pages panel flyout menu is the option to color-code a master page. Just go to Page Attributes>Color Label and pick your color. When a color is applied to a master page, it’s automatically applied to all of the pages that use that master page, which makes it much easier to quickly see which master is applied to each page. This is useful when working on a large multi-page document such as a magazine or brochure where you have multiple page types.

THE POWER OF THE CHECKBOX! This tip is super simple: There’s a checkbox in InDesign that opens a load of additional options—and a lot of people miss it. When you go to File>Place, at the bottom of the Open window there’s an option to Show Import Options. With this option turned on, when you select a file and click open, a dialog will appear giving you additional options that will be based on what kind of file you chose. For example, if you place a PDF, Illustrator, or InDesign file, then you have the option to choose which pages you want to place. You can even turn on and off layers. The example below shows the import options for placing a PDF. Yep, you can actually place every single page of a multipage document.

If you’re placing a Word file, you can map the style sheets in Word to their equivalent in InDesign. My preferred option, however, is to Remove Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables, which then converts the Word file to a text file. I then have formatting control over my text. There are other options available for other file types. It’s a nice little hidden feature, but it can make your life much easier when placing files. QUICK MEASURING TIP You can quickly switch from inches, millimeters, pixels, etc. without leaving the document page. Right-click anywhere on a ruler (to enable the rulers, press Command-R [PC: Ctrl-R]), select your measuring system of choice from the handy contextual menu, and you’re good to go. The zero always defaults to the top-left corner where the rulers intersect. If you want your zero to start anywhere else in the document, just click into the small square where the rulers intersect and drag the zero to the new position. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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want the page(s) to appear, as well as if you want the page(s) to be deleted from the source document by ticking the Delete Pages After Moving option.


This is a life choice. You choose to live creatively. You decide that at any minute you could capture a moment and turn it into something greater. From then on, you keep your camera ready and the perfect image in your mind. Because if you only get one shot at something, you’re going to take it for all it’s worth. Fuel your creativity.

Easy training from the best in Photoshop, Lightroom & Photography



Sometimes when you try to convert a complex path or shape into a 3D object, you get a warning that the path is too complex. You can try to simplify the path but if you still get the warning then one workaround is to convert the shape layer to pixels or change the path to an active selection before converting to 3D. It will be a pixel-based extrusion vs. a pathbased one but it will work. To convert a shape layer to pixels, Right-click on the layer and choose Rasterize Layer. To convert a path to a selection, Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on the path thumbnail in the Paths panel (Window>Paths).



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In Photoshop, when you have a 3D text layer, Photoshop treats all the letters as one 3D object even though they’re separate, which means that when you move the object around, all the letters move at the same time. But what if you want to change the angle and position of a single letter? Well, first make sure your word is spelled correctly because you won’t be able to edit the text after you do the following: Go under the 3D menu and choose Split Extrusion. Though all the letters are still in the same 3D layer, you can now move each one individually in the 3D space.


Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selection to a new layer and then change the layer blend mode to Multiply near the top left of the Layers panel. Finally, drop the layer Opacity between 50–75%.


If you’re like me, then you like to have all of the available filters appear in the Filter menu when you’re experimenting with effects. When you first load Photoshop, however, and go to the Filter menu, you’ll only see an abbreviated list of available filters; the rest are located in the Filter Gallery. But if you want to see the whole list in the Filter menu, just go to Photoshop CC (PC: Edit)>Preferences>Plug-Ins and check on Show All Filter Gallery Groups and Names. Now when you go to the Filter menu, you’ll see all of the filters just like the good ol’ days.



If you have an image that’s underexposed or lacking in contrast, here’s a cool trick to crush the shadows a bit and add contrast to the overall image. Go to the Channels panel (Window>Channels) and hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key as you click on the RGB channel thumbnail. This will create a luminance-based selection. Go under the Select menu and choose Inverse to reverse the selection to the darker areas.


When you want to edit a texture on a 3D object, select the material layer that you want to edit in the 3D panel (Window>3D), click on the icon to the right of the Diffuse color swatch near the top of the Properties panel (Window>Properties), select Edit Texture, and make the edit. When you open the texture, however, you’ll see a wireframe graphic overlay. Sometimes it will cover the entire canvas and make things confusing and difficult to see. Just uncheck UV Overlays in the Properties panel to hide the wireframe. The wireframe is only handy when you need to precisely place something on the 3D surface.





If you’re working on a project in Photoshop and you want to be able to use things such as the color swatches and layer styles from that project in other projects, you can actually save these things into your Libraries to access them at any time. With an open project, go into the Window menu and choose Libraries. When the panel opens, go to the panel flyout menu at the top right and choose Create New Library from Document. It will detect what’s available to save to the library but you can uncheck any assets you don’t want. When done, just click Create New Library.



Create a text or graphic layer, then scale and position the text/graphic in the layout. Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) its layer thumbnail in the Layers panel to create an active selection, then go under the Select menu and choose Inverse. Next, create a new blank layer and click on the Eye icon next to the original text or graphic layer to hide it. Choose the Brush tool (B), and use the Brush panel (Window>Brush) to customize the brush options. Then paint on the selection to reveal the graphic or text in negative space.

Adobe Stock/AndreasJ

This is a nifty little design trick. Open an image and make the rulers visible by pressing Command-R (PC: Ctrl-R). Then, drag a vertical guide to the center where it should snap into position (if it doesn’t snap, make sure View>Snap is turned on). Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to make a duplicate of the Background layer, and go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal. Switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool (M), and drag a marquee selection over half of the image to the guide in the center. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and click the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel. Voilà! If you click on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to make it active and press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to Invert it, you’ll get a completely different version.




For those of you who don’t want a cluttered Toolbar with a lot of superfluous tools, you’re in luck. You now have the ability to create a custom Toolbar easily. Click-and-hold on the three dots near the bottom of the Toolbar and choose Edit Toolbar. In the left column of the Customize Toolbar dialog you’ll see the existing toolset. Just drag the unwanted tools to the Extra Tools column on the right. You can even regroup existing tools to create custom subsets, turn on and off the features that appear at the bottom, and save Toolbar presets to share. Any tools that you move to the Extra Tools column will appear in the flyout menu of those three dots that you clicked on to edit the Toolbar. To get back to the default Toolbar, just click on Restore Defaults in the Customize Toolbar dialog.



Here’s a cool trick I use on text and other effects like smoke when I want to blend them with backgrounds where they might be tough to see. For instance, if you have a subject on a white background and you want to overlay text as a design element but not obstruct the subject, just fill the text or graphic element with white and then change the layer blend mode to Difference in the Layers panel.

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Here are some important shortcuts to use when working with a layer mask: • P ress X to swap the Foreground and Background color (this is incredibly useful so you can switch between painting with black and white). • P ress the Left Bracket key ([) to reduce your brush size, and the Right Bracket key (]) to increases the brush size. • P ress the first number of the Opacity you want to use for your brush (e.g., 2 for 20%, 4 for 40%, etc.). Press 0 to put the Opacity of the brush back to 100%. • S hift-click on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to hide the effect of the mask; Shift-click again to show the effect of the mask. • T o switch the brush to the Overlay blend mode using only the keyboard, press Shift-Option-O (PC: ShiftAlt-O). To set the brush back to Normal blend mode, press Shift-Option-N (PC: Shift-Alt-N).



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Here’s a method to make an adjustment layer that’s like a preset that you make from a combination of adjustment layers, blend modes, etc. First, add a series of adjustment layers and experiment with blend modes and Opacity until you’ve created a look that you like. Then, from the File menu, choose Export>Color Lookup Tables. Enter a Description (if you want) and choose a format: 3DL works well with RGB files, or you could use ICC Profile to create a LUT that’s not dependent on a particular color space. After clicking OK, you’ll be asked to name the LUT—this is the name you’ll look for when you load the LUT. Then, in any file, click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon (half-black, half-white circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel, and select Color Lookup. In the Properties panel, click on the drop-down menu next to 3DLUT File, select Load 3D LUT, and choose the LUT that you exported.




If you’ve already applied settings in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and want to simply open the file into Photoshop—bypassing Camera Raw—do this: In Bridge, hold down the Shift key as you double-click on the RAW file. It will open in Photoshop using the current Camera Raw settings. Note: Even if you have ACR set to open RAW files as smart objects, this shortcut will override that option and the file will open as a regular layer, not a smart object.



Here’s a simple way to find the center of a document. From the View menu, choose New Guide Layout. Change the settings to 2 Columns and 2 Rows, with the Gutter set to 0 in both cases. Then use the Preset drop-down menu and select Save Preset. Choose a name and save the preset. Click OK to close the New Guide Layout dialog. From now on in any document, use View>New Guide Layout and use your preset to find the center of the document.



Add a Curves adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves), click on the top-right corner of the curve in the Properties panel, and drag straight down: this will darken the entire photo. Then on the mask of the Curves adjustment layer, use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) to select the middle area, leaving a border. Press X until the Foreground color is black, and then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the selection with black, hiding the Curves adjustment layer in that area. Finally, in the Properties panel, click on the Masks icon (circle in a square) at the top, and use the Feather slider to soften the edges. Now you can adjust the Curve, the size of the mask, and the Feather amount— and you can copy the adjustment layer onto another document.



You can apply the Lens Flare filter in a much more editable manner using this method. Add a layer above your photo, press D to set your Foreground color to black, and then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the layer with black. Using the Elliptical Marquee tool (nested under the Rectangular Marquee tool [M] in the Toolbar) set to a high Feather amount in the Options Bar, draw a large oval selection in the middle of the window and apply the Lens Flare filter (Filter>Render>Lens Flare). After you click OK to apply the Lens Flare, change this layer’s blend mode to Screen in the Layers panel, and press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to deselect. Now you can use the Move tool (V) to reposition the Lens Flare. The reason you want to create a feathered selection is to better blend the edges of the Lens Flare into the image. Otherwise, when you move the flare, you’ll see its edges.

Dave Cross






Hold down Option (PC: Alt) while moving the Exposure slider in ACR to preview where the highlights are clipped. (Clipping is the shifting of pixel values to either the highest highlight value or the lowest shadow value. Clipped areas are either completely white or completely black and have no image detail.) Move the slider until the highlights (not specular highlights) are completely clipped, and then reverse the adjustment slightly. Black indicates unclipped areas, and color indicates areas clipped in only one or two channels. Dave Cross

Use Select and Mask (formerly Refine Edge) to create an unusual edge for your photo. Start with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) to make a selection that leaves a small area around the border that’s not selected. (This is one of the factors that you can experiment with as you try this method.) Click the Select and Mask button in the Options Bar. In the Properties panel, move the Radius slider quite high, and experiment with turning on the Smart Radius option. Take advantage of the preview to see the results you’ll get from different settings.



If you select two or more layers in the Layers panel, you can change some settings for all of the layers at once. First, hold down the Shift key to select more than one layer, or the Command (PC: Ctrl) key to select non-adjacent layers. Then you can change the blend mode, Opacity, and Fill opacity of the selected layers all at the same time. You can also click on the Delete Layer icon (trash can) at the bottom of the Layers panel to delete all the selected layers at once.



In the Output Settings area, change the Output To dropdown menu to Layer Mask and click OK. (You can use the mask in another document if you drag the layer and its mask into another photo, and then drag the mask onto the layer that contains the new photo.)

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You may know that I “always” advise against merging layers, but here’s one exception. If you create two (or more) shape layers in order to make a resulting new shape, you can select all the shape layers in the Layers panel and merge them (Command-E [PC: Ctrl-E]). Unlike regular layers, though, the individual shapes remain editable: Use the Path Selection tool (A) to select and move individual shapes, and use the Direct Selection tool (nested under the Path Selection tool in the Toolbar) to select individual points to transform the shapes.





Adding color effects to your pictures can make a huge difference, enhancing the overall mood and feel that you’re after, and it’s amazing the effects you can create simply by experimenting. For example, to add the warm tones of a sunset to an otherwise flat image, start by opening a sunset image, going to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, and setting the Radius to around 250 pixels. Use the Move tool (V) to drag this blurred sunset image to the flat image, and place it at the top of the layer stack. Change the blend mode to Overlay in the Layers panel. Control the strength of the effect by using the Fill slider (predominantly reduces the color but keeps the effect of the blend mode).

If you ever struggle with knowing exactly how much to feather a selection, there’s a way to use Quick Mask that will help you nail it every time. When you have an active selection and can see the marching ants, simply press Q to enter Quick Mask mode. Then, if you go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, you can blur the red overlay. When you press Q to exit Quick Mask, the blur will have feathered your selection. (Bonus Tip: Doubleclick on the Quick Mask icon near the bottom of the Toolbar and make sure Selected Areas is clicked on.)


Glyn Dewis



Glyn Dewis

A great way to not only make eyes really stand out but also change their color is with a Selective Color adjustment layer. Start by making a selection of the eyes (excluding the pupils), and then with the selection active, add a Selective Color adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Selective Color). Change the blend mode from Normal to Linear Dodge (Add) in the Layers panel. Control the intensity by using the Opacity slider in the Layers panel. In the Properties panel, choose Neutrals from the Colors drop-down menu, and then you can also use the sliders to make any changes to the overall eye color.

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Speed up your workflow in Photoshop by using droplets. I use this to perform a series of steps on images before I send them to a lab for printing. Simply record an action of steps that you use on a regular basis and then go to File>Automate>Create Droplet. In the Create Droplet dialog, in the Set drop-down menu, select the set where the action lives that you want to use, and then select the action in the Action drop-down menu. By saving the droplet on my desktop and choosing Save and Close in the Destination drop-down menu, I can simply drag a folder of images onto the droplet, the steps are carried out, and the images are saved and ready for uploading in double-quick time.



When using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the colors within a picture, you can simply choose the color that you want to affect in the Master drop-down menu in the Properties panel, and then use the Hue/Saturation/Lightness sliders to make changes. This may not, however, affect all the colors that you’re trying to change, for example, all the various blues in a sky. To do this, choose Blues from the Master drop-down menu and then group together the Color Range Limiting Bars at the bottom of the Properties panel by dragging together the outer triangles that appear between the two color bars. Then grab the Eyedropper tool with the + symbol, and click-and-drag all over the sky to pick up all the blue tones.



Add a sun flare effect to your pictures by first dragging out a circular selection with the Elliptical Marquee tool (nested under the Rectangular Marquee tool [M] in the Toolbar). With the selection active, click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon (half-black, half-white circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. In the Properties panel, choose a yellow/orange Hue (increase the Saturation to clearly see the Hue you’re choosing) and then increase the Lightness. Click on the Masks icon at the top of the Properties panel and increase the Feather to around 240 px, and reposition the flare in the image with the Move tool (V). You can brighten the sun flare by changing the blend mode of the adjustment layer to Screen in the Layers panel, and you can also resize it using Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]).




Save your most commonly used files in your Creative Cloud Library for instant access anywhere and on any computer (that you’re logged into). Rather than saving your most commonly used files (e.g., your logo) on your computer, by saving them in your Creative Cloud Library, you can simply drag them into your working document. Speed up the workflow even more by creating folders within your Creative Cloud Library. Just click on the drop-down menu at the top of the Libraries panel (Window>Libraries) and choose Create New Library.


The more layers you add, the better it is to keep things organized. One way to do this is by grouping layers together. Shift-click the layers to be grouped together in the Layers panel and press Command-G (PC: Ctrl-G). To ungroup the layers, simply click on the group and press Shift-Command-G (PC: Shift-Ctrl-G).



If you don’t own something like a Wacom Cintiq that enables you to work more freely on your pictures with the ability to rotate the screen, the Rotate View tool is a very handy alternative. Found in the Toolbar and grouped with the Hand tool (H), to use the Rotate View tool, press R on the keyboard to activate it, and then simply click-and-drag in your image to rotate to the angle you want. To get back to normal view, double-click the Rotate View tool icon in the Toolbar.


Give your portraits extra depth and dimension and the feeling of coming out from the screen/page by adding varying levels of contrast. Start by making a loose selection around the face (use the Quick Mask tip above to feather your selection) and then go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. Add 10 for both the Amount and the Radius and click OK. Then, go to Select>Transform Selection, decrease the size of the selection by about 20%, and then apply the same amount of Unsharp Mask. Repeat this process until you have a selection just covering the eyes. Apply the Unsharp Mask and click OK.

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In each of my Photoshop World courses back in July, I asked for a show of hands on who had switched to an Adobe Creative Cloud or Photography Plan ($9.99 for Lightroom and Photoshop!)—and I was thrilled to see almost all of the attendees with their hands in the air, smiling. I have yet to meet anyone who has tried a plan and regretted it. Our promise is to continue innovating, constantly, and we’ve done that with Photoshop features and improvements—large and small. We’ve also added new services such as Adobe Stock and Portfolio, and we’ve delivered a whole portfolio of connected iOS and Android apps that all play together. Our applications are no longer islands.




If you’re a member of the Creative Cloud or Creative Cloud Photography Plan, you now have Adobe Portfolio. Portfolio will push Behance galleries to a website in minutes, but fear not if you aren’t using Behance; it only takes a few minutes longer. The results have a unique URL, free hosting, and the designs are both adaptive and highly customizable. Here’s mine:


Change is uncomfortable and I’ll admit that I loved Refine Edge, but give the new Select and Mask workspace (available with a live selection or from the Select menu) a few minutes and you’ll understand why this is the most powerful place to make difficult selections.


simply by selecting a segment of their face). This magic has now arrived in Photoshop CC’s Liquify filter—direct manipulation has never been so fun or easy.



In a recent update to Photoshop CC, users found that crop can now take away and add—let me explain. Have you ever rotated a crop to straighten or adjust a composition, only to lop off valuable content in the corners and edges? Savvy users preserve those blank pieces on a larger canvas and then methodically fill the gaps with Content-Aware Fill. Well, you don’t have to do that anymore, ContentAware crop does it for you, and more often than not, it just works—magically. Just turn it on in the Options Bar when you have the Crop tool (C) active.

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Bryan O’Neil Hughes

Photoshop Fix, the mobile app that brings powerful Photoshop retouching tools to the iPhone and iPad, introduced Face-Aware Liquify (the ability to change a person’s expression



Bryan O’Neil Hughes


Really. Using the latest version of Lightroom Mobile and the Camera Connection Kit (or USB adapter to the card reader of your choice) you can import RAW files to Apple Photos and then into Lightroom Mobile. Once there, you can edit using around 85% of the functionality you love in Adobe Camera Raw—even local adjustments!



This is an oldie, but if you aren’t using it, you should. When sharpening in the Detail panel of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom (which is a great spot for some sharpening, but not too much—save that for Smart Sharpen in Photoshop), hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key while dragging the Masking slider—what’s white is sharp, what isn’t, isn’t!



Watching Photoshop engineers deliver magic, I always wished for the ability to apply a polarizing filter (removing non-metallic reflection and atmospheric haze) in postprocessing. Like a lot of wishes, that seemed far-fetched, and then Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw introduced the Dehaze tool—wow!

(You can find it in the Effects panel.) My only gripe was that it also darkened the image (like a polarizer), but fear not, in either Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, you can use it as a Graduated Filter (G). If by some chance you’re on an older version of Lightroom, or you want to enjoy the power on your phone, try it free in Lightroom Mobile!



Video is great, but editing it can be a hassle. Wouldn’t it be great if you had Lightroom for video? Well, here’s the next best thing: open a video in Photoshop (did you know you could?), turn that into a smart object (Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object), and go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter— it all works on the whole clip. When you’re finished, go to File>Export>Render Video—done!



Astropad is an amazing app that has deep built-in support for Photoshop and Lightroom. Connect via Wi-Fi or USB (which I prefer for speed and stability) and see your Photoshop screen, completely drivable, on your iPad. If you’re using an iPad Pro, you get the full pressure-sensitivity of Apple Pencil.

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You probably already know that Adobe added the ability to “brush away” (or mask) areas of your image that you don’t want affected by the Graduated Filter (G) or Radial Filter (J), and since you already know that, you’re going to want to know this keyboard shortcut that toggles between the tool and the brush. It’s simply Shift-K. Each time you press that shortcut, it toggles back and forth between the filter and the brush.

This one is kinda hidden because you wouldn’t see it unless you opened multiple photos in Camera Raw, so do that first (open the frames that make up a pano). Select all the images in the Filmstrip along the left side of the window, and press Command-M (PC: Ctrl-M), or go up to the upper-right corner of the Filmstrip where you’ll see a little icon for a pop-out menu. Click on that and choose Merge to Panorama (as shown here). This brings up the Panorama Merge Preview window where you can apply the awesome Boundary Warp feature to fill in the gaps (make sure Auto Crop is turned off), and then click the Merge button. It will ask you to save the resulting file (which will be a DNG file if you started with RAW images), and then it will add this merged pano to the bottom of your Filmstrip, ready for you to start editing.


Scott Kelby



If you’re painting with the Adjustment Brush (K) over something like the sky or the foreground, and your brush is either really lagging, or worse yet, leaving little gaps as it paints, here’s the culprit—the Auto Mask feature. While you’re painting with the brush, it’s doing all sorts of crazy math to try and determine where the edges of things are so it doesn’t accidentally “paint outside the lines” (so to speak). Well, when you’re painting over large areas such as the sky or a foreground (let’s say you’re darkening the Exposure amount on one or the other), having Auto Mask on (1) slows down the brush performance, and (2) if you move quickly, it will leave little gaps where it thought an edge was. What’s the way around this? Turn off Auto Mask anytime you’re painting over large areas (press the letter M to toggle Auto Mask on and off), and then when you get to an area where you’re near an edge that you don’t want to paint over, toggle it back on. This will give you much faster and more reliable results from the brush.


If you Right-click anywhere within your image in Camera Raw, a pop-up menu will appear, and at the bottom of the menu is Scrubby Zoom. If you choose to turn this feature on, when you switch to the Zoom tool (the magnifying glass), you can now click-and-drag the tool to the right or left to quickly zoom in and out, respectively. Try it once—it’s fairly awesome (and of course, if it’s not for you, just choose Scrubby Zoom again from that same menu to turn it off).



Think of Dehaze as just another form of contrast. Sometimes it’s most effective when you apply it to just part of your image using the Adjustment Brush (K), as shown here where I brushed with Dehaze over just the reflection part of the image. Scott Kelby

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To quickly have Camera Raw automatically straighten your image, just double-click directly on the Straighten tool (A) up in the toolbar, and a crop boundary will appear to show you the angle it will rotate the image and the parts that will be cropped (this gives you the opportunity to see if you agree with the auto straighten before you commit to it). All you have to do is press the Return (PC: Enter) key to lock in the straightening and crop the image.

To have Camera Raw expand your image’s tonal range by automatically setting the white point and black point for you, do this: Hold the Shift key and double-click directly on the slider “nub” for both the Whites slider and the Blacks slider, and they will expand (or contract) to set the white and black points for you.



After you convert to black-and-white in Camera Raw and then tweak the image (adding Contrast, Clarity, etc.), when you want to see a before and after of the image, generally you want to compare the original black-andwhite conversion against the edits you made, but Camera Raw uses the original color image for the before image. Here’s how to see a “before” that takes you back to the original black-and-white conversion. Once you make that original conversion, before you do anything else, go to the Snapshots panel (the far right tab), click the Make New Snapshot icon at the bottom of the panel, and click OK. This makes a capture of the image when it’s first converted to black-and-white. Now, you can edit the black-andwhite as you’d like, and any time you want to compare the two, go back to this Snapshots panel, click on Untitled-1 to switch to the original black-and-white conversion, then press Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) to toggle between the original black-and-white conversion and your current image with all the edits.



If you’re a Histogram freak (you know who you are), you’re so going to love this. First, start by taking your cursor and just moving it over the Histogram. As you hover over the Histogram, you’ll notice that areas behind the cursor highlight, and right below the graph it shows exactly which sliders in Camera Raw control the section that’s currently highlighted (oh, but there’s more!). If you click-and-drag left or right within the Histogram itself, it will actually move the corresponding sliders for you, letting you edit the image solely by dragging in the Histogram. I told you that you were so going to love this!



Here’s one you might find helpful when dealing with clipping warnings. It’s a shortcut that gives you more clipping info than just the triangle up in the right corner of the Histogram because it shows you what’s clipping in a particular channel. Simply Option-drag (PC: Alt-drag) the Whites slider, and the screen will turn black. Any areas that are clipping in the highlights will show up in the color that’s clipping (as shown below where the reds are clipping). You’ll notice that in the Histogram, it shows a solid white triangle, which is very misleading in this case where the subject is shot on a white background, and that’s just one case where this Option-drag (PC: Alt-drag) trick is more valuable.

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Scott Kelby






There may be times when you want to create a new document with the same dimensions as your current document and copy a single layer from your current document to the new document. The conventional method is to create a new document first and then drag the layer onto it. A much faster process is to use the Duplicate Layer command. It’s found in the Layer menu or by Right-clicking on the layer in the Layers panel. In the Duplicate Layer dialog, set the Destination Document to New and click OK. Photoshop will create the fresh document and copy the layer into it all in one single step!

Photoshop’s 3D modeling tools are comparatively limited, which means that sometimes you need to be creative with the tools the program does have to accomplish what you want. Any 3D object can be sliced along any axis by using the Cross Section render option in the Scene properties (select Scene in the 3D panel and you’ll see the Cross Section option in the Properties panel). This feature is intended to allow easy rendering of cross-section diagrams. Click the Apply button next to the Cross Section option and the cross section is applied to the object mesh. This means you can actually carve objects to create mesh shapes that aren’t possible with the other modeling tools in the program.



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There are a handful of automated processes in Photoshop for creating several layers in a single document. Whether it’s using layer stacks, Photomerge, or creating layers from video frames, there’s a good chance that the resulting layers are in the exact opposite order of what you expected. That’s just the way life works sometimes. Instead of having to reorder each layer manually, select all the layers in the Layers panel that you want to reverse and use Layer>Arrange>Reverse. Photoshop will do that work for you!




Working on a large design document with lots of detail can make even the largest monitor feel small. How many times do you find yourself constantly zooming in for tight detail work just to zoom back out and realize the latest edit doesn’t work in the context of the wider view? One great solution to this is to create a duplicate window for your document. Do this with Window>Arrange>New Window for [name of document]. This will create a second window for your document that will update with each operation. Keep one window at the wider view, and the other zoomed in tight. This is particularly helpful when using a two-monitor setup.




Artboards are a relatively new feature to Adobe Photoshop. They can be extremely helpful for designing content for a variety of sizes or layouts. But if you didn’t start out your design by using artboards, does that mean you have to start over to add them? Not at all! Select one or more layers in the Layers panel, Right-click on one of the selected layers, and choose Artboard from Layers from the contextual menu. This changes the conventional document to an artboard document. The same technique can be used to turn each layer or group of layers into a different artboard.



The Filter>Render>Clouds filter is arguably the closest thing Photoshop has to creating fractal patterns. Other than holding down the Option (PC: Alt) key to add more contrast, there aren’t a lot of options with this filter. But due to the algorithm used to produce the pattern, the clouds will render out as a seamlessly repeating tile on any canvas with dimensions that are a power of two. So that means the pixel measurements must be 2, 4, 8, 16, 64, 128, 256, 1024, 2048, 4096, etc. The canvas doesn’t even need to be square, although that is preferred, but both width and height measurements must be a power of two. Because…math!



By default, the origin, or zero point for the document rulers is the top left of the document. But it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes you might prefer to have the origin at a different location, like inside the document bleed, or perhaps at the center of the document to make mathematical transformations easier. This is easy enough to accomplish by first making the rulers visible with Command-R (PC: Ctrl-R) or with View>Rulers. Then, click-and-drag the origin point out from the top-left gray square that sits at the corner of the horizontal and vertical rulers.


If you ever find that Photoshop starts lagging or complaining about scratch disks, it usually means that the program is hungry for more memory. Before you start trying to reassign free memory space in your preferences, try this first: go to Edit>Purge. There are a handful of options but the All option is the most effective. This makes Photoshop release any memory it was holding onto that you’re not currently using. In turn, this frees up that memory for your active processing. This should always be your first step when trying to resolve memory issues with the program.



Smart filters are certainly smarter than using filters in a destructive, traditional way. The primary benefit is that the filter settings are still live so the filter can be readjusted even after application. But there’s more to using smart filters than that. In the Layers panel, to the far right of each Smart Filter line is a small icon that looks like two slider controls. Doubleclick this icon to open the smart filter Blending Options. These options allow you to set the blend Mode and Opacity for the filter. This alone can open up new creative applications for using the same tired old filters.

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Adobe Stock/tonito84

The Lens Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Lens Blur) is an excellent tool for approximating a depth-of-field focal blur. To get the best results from this filter, use a Depth Map of your scene. But what if you don’t have one? Traditionally, this means you would need to craft one yourself through a series of selections and gradients. But you can get a much more accurate result by building a 3D scene with simple standin objects and rendering out a Depth Map by using the Depth Map option in the Presets drop-down menu in the Scene properties.



Adobe Stock/ZoomTeam





The default blend mode for layer groups is called “Pass Through.” If you change the group’s blend mode to Normal in the Layers panel, any adjustment layers that live inside that group will no longer affect layers outside the group. This technique gives you more flexibility because you don’t have to re-create layer masks on multiple adjustment layers since you have the ability to move layers around your composite, as long as those layers are inside the group.


When working with a Curves adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjust­ment Layer>Curves) to color correct an image, you may sometimes inadvertently make the image darker or lighter. To apply your color correction without affecting the tonal values of the image, set the Curves adjustment layer’s blend mode to Color in the Layers panel. This will allow you to change colors only, without changing the lightness or darkness of the image.




To work nondestructively when working with the Blur, Sharpen, or Smudge tools, create a new blank layer and click on Sample All Layers in the Options Bar. Then, make your adjustments in the blank layer. This will generate the new edited pixels in the blank layer, without editing the pixels in the original layer.

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Photoshop allows you to save an HTML file that contains a list of all keyboard shortcuts, even the custom shortcuts that you’ve created. You can view that HTML file in your browser or you can print it. To save this HTML file, open the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus dialog by pressing Shift-OptionCommand-K (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-K). Then, under the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, click the Summarize button, select a location and name for your file, and click Save.


When using the Clone Stamp tool (S), go into the Window menu and choose Clone Source. This will open the Clone Source panel, which will give you extra options and tools for the Clone Stamp. With the Clone Source panel, you’ll be able to adjust the width, height, and rotation of the source point. You can also save up to five sample points from the same or different images, with no need to resample when switching between them!



To make a document the same size as another open document, start by opening either the Image Size or Canvas Size dialog (Image>Image Size or Image>Canvas Size). Then, while the dialog is open, go to the Window menu at the top of the screen and select any open document, which will be displayed at the bottom of the Window menu. Photoshop will automatically fill in the values for that image. Click OK and the image will resize.


To open a flattened version of a layered PSD file, go to File>Open, navigate to the PSD file that you want to open, click on it once so that it’s selected, hold down ShiftOption (PC: Shift-Alt), and click Open. Photoshop will then ask, “Read the composite data instead?” Click OK, and a flattened version of that file will open. This is a great way to open a large file that usually takes a long time to open when you simply want to show it to someone or save it as a JPEG to share it online. Note: If you make any adjustments and save the file, you’ll override and lose the layered version. Make sure that you only do a File>Save As or a File>Export>Save for Web.


When you’re using the Type tool (T), Photoshop will only let you enter up to 1296 points into the Font size field on the Options Bar. If you try to go higher, a pop-up tells you “a value between 0.01 and 1296.00 points is required.” If, however, you ever need your text to be larger, you can scale it up using the Free Transform command. Press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T), hold the Shift key, then clickand-drag the transformation handles outward to enlarge the text further.

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You can crop an image using another image’s dimensions as the measurements for the crop by using the Front Image feature in the Crop tool. To do so, open both images, go to the image whose dimensions you want to copy, select the Crop tool (C), click on the Crop Size drop-down menu near the left side of the Options Bar, and choose Front Image. Then, go to the second document, and you’ll see the Crop tool active with the dimensions of the first image applied to the width and height input boxes. You can then press Enter to apply the crop.



Photoshop can detect colors found in HTML, CSS, or SVG files and load them as color swatches. To do so, open the Swatches panel (Window>Swatches), and from the flyout menu at the top right, choose Load Swatches or Replace Swatches. You can then select an HTML, CSS, or SVG file from your computer.

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While using the Patch tool (nested under the Spot Healing Brush tool [J] in the Toolbar) to fix blemishes, remember to hold down the Shift key so you can draw a selection around more than one blemish at a time. That way, you can fix all of the spots in one move (just click-and-drag one of the selected areas to an area you want to use for the patch).

Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key as you click the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of your Layers panel to immediately add a black-filled mask to a layer. A black mask will hide everything on that layer.


Choose the workspace that’s right for the work that you’re doing! For example, in the Photography workspace, Adobe has expanded the Toolbar with some of the most valuable tools for photographers. The Spot Healing Brush tool, the Healing Brush tool, the Patch tool, and the Content-Aware Move tool, which all used to be grouped together in one flyout menu, now each have their own space on the Toolbar. To access the different workspaces, click on the dropdown menu at the far right of the Options Bar, or go to Window>Workspace.



You can use Select>Color Range to create extremely intricate masks that isolate specific tones in your image in less than five seconds. Once in the Color Range dialog, choose Mid­tones from the Select drop-down menu, and then use the Fuzziness and Range sliders to refine your selection (make sure your Selection Preview drop-down menu at the bottom is set to something besides None). When you click OK, you’ll have a selection. Click the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel to convert the selection into a mask. Kristina Sherk




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Creating an action that needs input from the user? No problem! While recording an action, use the Insert Stop or Insert Menu Item command located in the Action panel’s flyout menu to add a note in the middle of your action as it plays. [For more on creating actions, see Photoshop User, July/August 2016, page 45.—Ed]




Instead of using Liquify to change something’s shape, try using the Lasso tool (L) to select a certain area of the image, copy (Command-C [PC: Ctrl-C]) the selected area, and paste it into place (Shift-Command-V [Shift-Ctrl-V]) on its own layer. Then, press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to enter Free Transform, and click the Warp icon (curved grid above a curved, double-headed arrow) in the Options Bar to change the shape of the item. Just click-anddrag inside different areas of the grid and on the various control points to warp the shape. Click Enter to commit the transformation.



Kristina Sherk

When dodging and burning skin, select dodge and burn colors that are custom to the skin color you’re working on, but then save those two colors in your Swatches panel so that you can always return to them whenever you need to re-visit your dodge and burn layer! To select your colors, click the Foreground color swatch in the Toolbar to open the Color Picker. Once you select your color, click the Add to Swatches button in the Color Picker to save that color in the Swatches panel.



Got an image with a slight motion blur? Not a problem anymore thanks to Filter>Sharpen>Shake Reduction! This tool can quickly take a reading of your image and guess which way the camera was shaking, and then apply an algorithm to try and reduce the motion blur or shake. If the default settings aren’t perfect, expand the Advanced section to reveal the blur estimation region (the marquee-looking box with the circle in the middle). Just reposition this region to a different place in the image and see if that works better. Tip: Use areas of the image that are in focus and are very detailed.


When removing flyaway hairs, use the Spot Healing Brush tool (J) with these settings in the Options Bar: set Mode to Replace, Type to Content-Aware, and make sure Sample All Layers is checked on. When using this tool to remove flyaway hairs, your brush size should only be slightly bigger than the hair you’re trying to get rid of (use the Bracket keys on your keyboard to quickly resize your brush). The last, and most important tip, is to extend the end of the area you’re trying to heal past the hairline by 1/4" to give the tool the information it needs to correctly erase the hair from the hairline and not bleed/blend together the two different colors (background color and hair color).



Kristina Sherk

If you have any of the painting tools selected (such as the Brush tool) and you want to quickly change the brush’s blend mode in the Options Bar, simply press Shift-+ (Plus key) or Shift- – (Minus key) repeatedly to cycle through the active brush’s blend modes.

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When you’re inside the Layer Style dialog creating a Drop Shadow (Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow), you can push the sliders to set the Distance and Angle of a drop shadow, or you can simply click-and-drag right on the canvas to set its placement.



Whenever you see a number field in a dialog, panel, or dropdown menu, you can type in your desired settings. A faster way is to hover over the name of the field, such as “Opacity,” and then click-and-drag left or right to change the values. The values can change pretty quickly, so maybe you want to slow it down a little to get a precise setting. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and it will now change at 1/10th the speed. If you want to speed things up where there are large values, hold down the Shift key as you drag, and the speed with now be 10x faster than normal.



Have you ever wanted to place something in the center of the page? I’m sure it happens all the time. Maybe you measure or use guides? Here’s the fastest way in the world. With your object’s layer active in the Layers panel, press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to select all. Choose the Move tool (V). In the Options Bar at the top, you’ll see the align and distribute icons. Click the Align Vertical Centers icon followed by the Align Horizontal Centers icon, and bingo, instantly centered. This also works on a selection, where you can align to the selected area if you prefer.


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Sometimes when things get weird in Photoshop, you might be tempted to do a complete re-install. Stop! Try this first to fix many Photoshop issues. When you launch Photoshop, hold down Shift-Option-Command (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl). You should see a pop-up that asks if you want to “Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings File.” Click Yes, and Photoshop will launch with a fresh set of preferences. This overrides everything back to the factory settings and fixes issues that can be caused by a corrupt preset or some setting you accidently changed. Make sure you back up all your custom presets first.


When you make a layer style, all its settings are fine-tuned for the graphic for which you originally created it. Maybe it was a thin line, or it could have been a thick one. Perhaps it was a really small graphic, or an extra large one. A layer style that’s created for a large graphic always looks a little weird when it’s applied to a smaller graphic. Often, the bevel is so large it just looks like gum on the smaller graphic. The lesson here is that one size doesn’t fit all. It’s really easy to fix though: Right-click on the word “Effects” in the Layers panel and choose Scale Effects. You’ll now see a slider that enables you to make the layer style a perfect fit.



Oftentimes, when you’re working on an image and you output it to Save for Web, the colors look completely different than they did on the original image. It’s because of the color profile. If this happens to you, go back to your original image and choose Edit>Convert to Profile. Under the Profile dropdown menu, change the setting to sRGB and click OK. Now when you use Save for Web, the colors won’t shift anymore.



Sometimes you can invest a lot of time carefully painting a layer mask to get it just perfect, and there are times when you may want to use that same layer mask on another layer; perhaps you’re using an adjustment layer with a masked layer. You could make a selection, copy the contents, and paste it into another mask, but here’s a faster way: Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and click-and-drag the mask you want to copy onto the layer to which you want to copy it. If there’s a mask already present, such as an adjustment layer, it will offer the option to replace the mask; otherwise, it will drop a copy of the mask onto the layer.




After you’ve created an animated GIF, by default it will stop after it’s finished playing. You can set it to play a set number of times or loop forever by choosing this option when you’re exporting from Save for Web (File>Export>Save For Web). In the Animation section (near the bottom of the settings on the right side of the Save for Web dialog), just click on the Looping Options drop-down menu and choose your desired setting.


When you want to preview your work, press the F key to go into Full Screen Mode with Menu Bar, and then press F again to go into Full Screen Mode without menus (presentation mode). To return to normal (Standard Screen Mode), tap the F key one more time. Play a game and see how many times you can do it in a minute (don’t do that last one—I was kidding!).



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This one is actually a trick; you can’t actually convert your video to black and white, but you can make it look that way. Open your video in Photoshop (File>Open) and select the video clip. With the video layer active in the Layers panel, apply a Black & White adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Black & White). You can even adjust the tones on the video using the Properties panel, just the same as you do a photograph.





Scott Valentine

Sometimes I want a neutral density gradient in Photoshop Mix on my iPad Pro, but there isn’t a direct way to get this effect. My cheat is to build some black-to-white gradients as square documents in Photoshop on my desktop, then sync them to my Creative Cloud Libraries. Then, I just add one to a layer in Photoshop Mix and change the blend mode to Multiply or Screen.


…not the image/canvas. One of the more useful differences between desktop and mobile versions of Adobe creative imaging apps is how brush size works. On your desktop, the brush size is relative to the canvas or document size; in mobile apps, it’s relative to your screen. That means on mobile you can zoom into your image for more or less coverage without having to constantly change brush sizes. Using pinch gestures on iOS makes this incredibly fast!



Most of Adobe’s mobile apps allow you to send files to your desktop versions directly. In Photoshop Mix, Fix, or Sketch, click the Share icon in the upper right, and choose the application that will get your image. If your desktop machine is running Creative Cloud, that application will open and be ready for you.



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Adobe Capture CC is a great way to import your doodles and paper sketches directly into Photoshop as cleaned-up line art. Grab your phone and snap a shot of your drawing, then clean it up a little on your mobile device, and sync it to a library in your Creative Cloud account. Back in Photoshop, you can place the image as an EPS file and refine from there.




For those of you who love to build brush libraries like I do, Adobe Capture CC offers an amazingly simple way to use your mobile device. Launch the app, find the Brushes option, and either snap a picture of whatever is around you, or load one from your camera’s gallery. You can even load up images from Adobe Stock, which is fantastic for using illustrated shapes!



“I think I’d like to see how scripted fonts look,” muses your client. Still in the Typeface drop-down, you select the Filter drop-down and choose Script. Your client now thinks you have some kind of type super power, with a cape and X-ray kerning vision.

So your design client wants “something kind of like that font over there,” as she points to a sign across the street. Naturally, you snap a picture with your phone and import the image into Photoshop. After you drag a selection around the type with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M), you go to Type>Match Font. You’re presented with a list of similar fonts that you have installed, as well as some available immediately on Typekit. You appear wise and insightful! Alexandra



But now your client wants to see a few different fonts in her design, and she’s standing over your shoulder. Choose the Type tool (T) and select the type layer in the Layers panel, then open the Typeface drop-down in the Options Bar. As you hover your cursor over the various fonts in the list, the text on that layer automatically shows a preview of the font in the menu. Now you look efficient, fast, and flexible.


“That font is very close, but not quite right. What else do you have that’s similar?” asks your client. You open the Typeface drop-down again and click the Show Similar Fonts icon (it looks like a wavy equals sign). Boom! You’re presented with a selection of variations installed on your computer and available on Typekit. And now you look like a super genius!





“Wow! That’s the perfect typeface, but if only there were a way to spice up that ‘g’ in the middle.” With the Type tool active, click-and-drag over a letter to select it. If there are any alternative glyphs available for that letter, you see a little shaded block at the bottom of the highlighting surrounding the letter. When you hover your cursor over the highlighted letter, Photoshop presents you with alternate glyphs in a pop-up contextual menu right onscreen. You select one of the glyphs, and you have now become a Design Deity. Your client passes out from the magnitude of your magnificence. Or she may just be impressed that you were able to work with her so quickly and easily. Either way, it’s a win! ■

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Knowing the moment when the ambient light balanced with the city’s artificial lights was key to creating this cityscape of the Golden Gate Bridge at dusk.

the commercial way By Sean Arbabi

Making the jump from amateur to pro photographer can be a big leap. Numerous steps in the process toward being a successful pro become vital, and one rung in the ladder is learning how to light your subjects. Although camera companies wax rhapsodic on how easy it is to capture a stunning image, pros know the difficulties of the job and how each shoot is a multi-layered puzzle assembled piece by piece.


WHAT LIGHT DOES FOR YOUR SUBJECTS The original definition of photography comes from the French “photographie,” which combines the Greek words

“phos” (light) and “graphis” (stylus or paintbrush), also defined as “drawing with light.” As a critical component of our two-dimensional medium, light adds shape, form, color, contrast, depth, direction, and detail to your images. How you use light can result in a mundane or a dynamic scene, or somewhere in between. Controlling the light through time of day, direction, subject matter, and angles can help you transform an ordinary scene into an extraordinary one. Mastering how you light your scenes not only brings more command over your image-making and a professional look to your scenes, it also allows less fixing in postproduction, thus avoiding that over-processed, unrealistic look caused by attempting to expand the dynamic range or adding light where there was none. Your workflow becomes more about fine-tuning and stretching your RAW files in a subtle, natural way instead of drastically repairing them.

The steep trail to Upper Yosemite Falls delivered stunning views; and this angle, when combined with the moment the light left the pines in shadow, helped create the depth and layers to make this successful landscape image.

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This month’s “Photography Secrets” illuminates the world of lighting in commercial photography, taking some of the mystery out of a technical and creative subject. Light adds a variety of information and content to your scenes. Expanding your comprehension of light and use of additional lighting lets you expand your exposure capabilities and crest that creative plateau you’ve been struggling to rise above. This is when you begin to create instead of make images. Understanding a realistic approach, as well as some technical aspects, can save you hundreds of hours processing your RAW files while giving your images a high-quality professional look; one that may bring more jobs and assignments your way.



Backlighting a Southern California scene at sunset emphasizes shape and form while adding a pleasing intensity of color.

Snow mounds in Yosemite Valley

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Shape and form come from the direction of light creating highlights and shadows, one major way to re-create a three-dimensional feeling in a two-dimensional medium. Side light a subject, such as a face, and you begin to feel the round or oval shape of it, with the subtleties of a protruding nose and inset eyes. In the example at the top right, the angle of the low morning sun on snow mounds helps to illustrate their shape. Form happens mostly from backlighting—when the light is behind your main subject. This produces the outline shape of your subject, such as when you photograph a silhouetted person, tree, bicycle, etc. The sun, our one source of natural light, can be enough to create powerful moments when you know how to utilize it. Color is determined by the angle and intensity of light, as well as your exposure: The more you underexpose, the deeper the tone becomes; and the more you overexpose, the lighter the tone. When capturing larger scenes, such as cities and landscapes, finding ways to force the light to work for you is critical for your endgame. Weather conditions, location, and the time of day also determine the direction, quality, and color of the light. One favorite rule that professional photographers use is to shoot 30 minutes

San Francisco’s famous “painted ladies” and skyline balanced nicely once the pink and purple glow of dusk was within the proper exposure of the artificial city lights.


ADDING ADDITIONAL LIGHT As wonderful as ambient light can be from our sun (the specular source of illumination on this planet), it’s still only one light. Whether raw on a clear day, diffused by clouds, or tinted by atmospheric conditions, it changes often and can be difficult to control, depending on weather/location. And this is why photographers began to adapt their shooting environment, controlling the light to fit the needs of their commercial clients. Depending on the subject matter and the client’s final needs, photographers modify the light properties, reduce the intensity, or cut the harshness of the light by using additional lights, fill cards, scrims, softboxes, and umbrellas to create the look they desire. Contrast is created from the difference of highlight to

shadow, known as the ratio of light, which is often measured in stops. You can cut down the contrast by softening the main source of light (i.e., an overcast sky or large softbox) or adding an additional light to fill or illuminate the shadow areas. Detail, and subsequently color, is often obtained through more light, whether added or naturally created, so when you fill in the shadows, you provide more information for the viewer. Simply adding fill flash can assist in controlling natural or artificially created contrast, adding color while lessening contrast in the dynamic range our image sensors can cover.

TAKING THE LIGHT OFF CAMERA Direction of light is determined by the main source or key light, which, depending on the placement of the source, helps to create shape or form. It’s not as difficult as it sounds; however, you do need technical knowledge of exposure, flash power, and ratio of light. On-camera flash generates flat lighting on your closest subject with a strong falloff of light for subject matter further away. Placing the light off camera returns the control to the photographer to

Dark interior scenes, such as in this aquarium, are nearly impossible to create without providing additional light from a strobe, not only to freeze the moving subjects, but also to provide detail and color to the models.

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after sunset during the 5–10 minute window when the surrounding low ambient glow of dusk matches in exposure with the radiating city lights. This combination during what’s known as “the magic hour” (when it’s almost too dark for the eye to see) provides a wonderful balance of color and light that no other time of day could deliver.


bring back shape and control contrast, all while bringing a higher quality look to your final image. Another determination is how much equipment you can handle, because using off-camera flash can go from one additional small strobe and stand to a 100-lb. lighting case filled with strobe packs, strobe heads, umbrellas, and multiple stands. Sometimes the budget may allow for an assistant (or two) to bear the burden of this additional equipment, but many times you need to carry it on your own. You can approach each shoot two ways: Consider renting the gear you need (the downside is not knowing the equipment and possibly not having the ability to test it out before shooting) or buy what you can afford with the understanding that the more powerful the strobe the better, but also the more expensive. It’s best to determine what you can handle in any given situation.


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We used three off-camera strobes to light this model and give shape to her face: A softbox (above and to the left) was the key light; a raw light (to the right) highlighted her hair; and a third light evenly exposed the backdrop.


Two assistants helped haul battery-powered strobe packs and lighting for this shoot in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Controlling the ever-changing light with additional strobes while on a 55' sailboat was critical to produce the images needed for this timeshare client.

Whether indoors or out, understanding exposure is key when balancing ambient light with artificial strobes. The more powerful the flash you can use, the more options you have, since aperture (f-stop) is controlled from the strength of your strobe or strobe pack. When shooting indoors, the lower ambient light makes it easier to match with a strobe. Outdoors, the brighter light is often much stronger, and a more powerful strobe is needed. To determine this balance, pros use an incident meter, a handheld device measuring direct light on the subject, as opposed to the reflective meter in your camera. When working with on- or off-camera flash, it’s also important to evenly light your subjects because the falloff from the flash can be extremely noticeable. To address this, pros will feather the light. The source of light, such as a strobe, is brightest and most powerful the closer it is to its subject. This provides two options: One is to set your light up closer, not only to use a smaller aperture for more depth of field, but potentially for a better balance with the available ambient light, depending on its strength and the power of the flash. Two, when illuminating multiple subjects or a larger subject, point the flash more toward the distant object and away from the closer one to even out the light. Using an incident light meter can check the evenness of the light. Ballparking it visually (although less accurate) can also work. Note that when feathering your light, the flash can often look as if it’s barely pointing at the closest subject, yet the results will show a more even balance of light across the scene.

Combined and balanced with numerous interior lights of the restaurant, only two strobes were used for this scene: one large softbox to the left of camera as the main light, and one umbrella at back right to provide highlights on the models.

Two main strobes were used to re-create a holiday party ad for a large wine company: One large softbox off camera to the right lit the models and wine glasses, while a raw light (back left) provided highlights in the hair and also illuminated the background wall. The main softbox on the right was feathered toward to the model on the left to adjust for light falloff from the strobe.

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"When working with on- or off-camera flash, it’s also important to evenly light your subjects because the falloff from the flash can be extremely noticeable."



THE MEDIUM’S POSTSCRIPT The stunning capabilities of Lightroom and Photoshop continue to open photographic doors and, when combined with true photographic knowledge, they become even more amazing. Enlightening yourself to the ways of commercial lighting can expand your photography's quality and streamline your postprocessing efficiency. If this makes you nervous, remember this: When asked how he took the guesswork out of lighting his subjects, Dean Collins, the well-known commercial pro who revolutionized the art of commercial lighting during the 70s to the 90s, simply responded, “This isn’t rocket science, folks.” ■

"Expanding your comprehension of light and use of additional lighting lets you expand your exposure capabilities and crest that creative plateau you’ve been struggling to rise above."

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Producing this image of an Argentine-style barbeque was more difficult than it appears. The shiny metal surface required a large light source (a softbox for even, smooth highlights), while the fire had to burn at a specific intensity to balance with the light of the outdoor ambient shade, which slowly diminished the closer it became to sunset.









Lightroom Mobile has come a long way in a short time. Learn about its latest updates, including working with RAW files. p96 PHOTO BY SCOTT KELBY


Since this is our annual Photoshop User hot tips issue, we’re giving you twice as many Lightroom tips as well. p112

Scott Kelby

Sean McCormack

Rob Sylvan

Scott Kelby




Tips Tricks


Questions Answers

Maximum Workflow BY SEAN McCORMACK

topaz texture effects

Under the L oupe B Y R O B S Y LVA N

lightroom mobile updates

Lightroom Workshop BY SCOTT KELBY

using image overlay to fit images to your layout

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Seán Duggan

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Lightroom Workshop

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using image overlay to fit images to your layout BY SCOTT KELBY

This is one of those features that once you try it, you love it, because it gives you the opportunity to make sure an image you’re shooting for a specific project (like a magazine or brochure cover, inside layout, wedding book, etc.) looks and fits the way you want it to, because you get to see the artwork as an overlay in front of your image as you’re shooting tethered. This is a big time and frustration saver, and it’s simple to use (you just need a little tweak-

Excerpted from The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers

ing in Photoshop to set up your artwork).

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step one:

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You’ll need to start in Photoshop by opening the layered version of the cover (or other artwork) you want to use as an overlay in Lightroom. The reason is this: you need to make the background for the entire file transparent, leaving just the type and graphics visible. In the cover mockup we have here, the cover has a solid white background (of course, once you drag an image in there inside of Photo­shop, it would simply cover that white background). We need to prep this file for use in Lightroom, which means: (a) we need to keep all our layers intact, and (b) we need to get rid of that solid white background.


step two: Luckily, prepping this for Lightroom couldn’t be simpler: (1) Go to the Background layer (the solid white layer in this case), and delete that layer by dragging it onto the Trash icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (as shown here). Now, (2) all you have to do is go under the File menu, choose Save As, and when the Save As dialog appears, from the Format popup menu (where you choose the file type to save it in), choose PNG. This format lets you keep the layers intact and, since you deleted the solid white background layer, it makes the background transparent (as seen here). By the way, in the Save As dialog, it will tell you that it has to save a copy to save in PNG format, and that’s fine by us, so don’t sweat it. [KelbyOne members may download the magazine cover file used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.]

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step four: Once you select your layout overlay image, your cover appears over whichever image you currently have onscreen (as shown here). To hide the cover, go under the same Loupe Overlay menu, and you’ll see that Layout Image has a checkmark by it, letting you know it’s visible. Just choose Layout Image to hide it from view. To see it again, choose it again. Or press Command-Option-O (PC: Ctrl-Alt-O) to show/hide it. Re­mem­ber, if you hadn’t deleted the Background layer, what you’d be seeing here is a bunch of text over a white background (and your image would be hidden). That’s why it’s so important to delete that background layer and save in PNG format. Okay, let’s roll on, because there are a few more features here you’ll want to know about.

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Scott Kelby

step three: That’s all you have to do in Photoshop, so head back over to Lightroom and go to the Library module. Now, go under the View menu, under Loupe Overlay, and select Choose Layout Image (as shown here). Then, find that layered PNG file you just created in Photoshop and choose it.


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step five:

Scott Kelby

Now that your layout image overlay is in place, you can use the Left/ Right Arrow keys on your keyboard to try different images on your cover (or whatever file you used). Here’s what it would look like with a different shot.

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step six: When you look at the image in


the previous step, did you notice that she’s positioned a little too high? Luckily, you can reposition the cover to see what it would look like with her a little lower. Just pressand-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and your cursor changes into the grabber hand (shown circled here in red). Now, just clickand-drag on the cover and it moves left/ right and up/down. What’s kind of weird at first is that it doesn’t move your image inside the cover. It actually moves the cover. It takes a little getting used to at first, but then it becomes second nature.

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Scott Kelby

step seven: You can control the Opacity level of your Overlay Image, as well (I switched to a different image here). When you press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, two little controls appear near the bottom of the overlay image. On the left is Opacity, and you just click-and-drag to the left directly on the word “Opacity” to lower the setting (as seen here, where I’ve lowered our cover image to 60%). To raise the Opacity back up, drag back to the right.

step eight:


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The other control, which I actually think is more useful, is the Matte control. You see, in the previous step, how the area surrounding the cover is solid black? Well, if you lower the Matte amount, it lets you see through that black background, so you can see the rest of your image that doesn’t appear inside the overlay area. Take a look at the image here. See how you can see the background outside the cover? Now I know that this image has room for me to move her either up or down, and parts of her are still there. Pretty handy, and it works the same as the Opacity control—press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and click-and-drag right on the word “Matte.” ■


Under the Loupe

lightroom mobile updates B Y R O B S Y LVA N

Lightroom Mobile gets updated so frequently it’s hard to keep up with the latest features and functionality. If you’re unfamiliar with Lightroom for mobile you can catch up with the basics in the “Maximum Workflow” column by Sean McCormack in the April 2016 issue of Photoshop User. Throughout Lightroom Mobile’s development, the iOS version has usually led the way for new features (at the time of this writing the iOS version stands at 2.5 and Android at 2.1).

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importing raw images The top billing for this release goes to what Adobe is calling a RAW Technology Preview, which means that we can

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now import RAW files directly into Lightroom Mobile on iPads and iPhones. This requires the camera connection kit dongle (I used the Lightning to SD card) to first import the RAW photos to the Camera Roll using the native Photos app. Once imported into the Camera Roll, you can bring the photos into Lightroom Mobile as you would any photos on the Camera Roll, where they are then copied to the Adobe Cloud, and eventually a copy of the original will be downloaded to the synced catalog on your computer running Lightroom desktop. This definitely takes longer than when working with JPEGs, but that’s to be expected with a fullsize RAW file. The bonus is that you now have all that RAW data to play with on your mobile device, and as long as you have an Internet connection, your RAW photos are automatically sent to your computer. This alone has the potential to add new opportunities to your workflow. After the initial import into iOS you’ll be prompted to either delete the files from the card or keep them. I think it best to keep them so that you can later format the card in

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One feature that Android users got first was the ability to capture in native DNG (RAW) format. The 2.1 release for Android improves that experience with an updated interface and a Pro mode for the Lightroom Mobile built-in camera that allows manual control over ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and focus. There’s also a new widget that will allow you to jump right into the Lightroom Mobile camera. With the iOS 2.5 release, people who have devices with 12-megapixel sensors (iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, or the 9.7" iPad Pro), and have upgraded to iOS 10, are now also able to capture in DNG format through the Lightroom Mobile camera. The rest of the features I’m going to cover are for iOS only (though I suspect that they’ll likely appear on Android in the future), and there’s even some news for Apple TV owners.

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camera, and also wait to be sure they make it to your primary (and backup) storage before wiping the card. If you’ve set up Lightroom Mobile to import photos automatically from the Camera Roll, then you just need to wait for your RAW photos to be brought in as you would your JPEGs. In my case, I opted to import a few photos I took in my backyard directly into a collection I made for that purpose. You can differentiate RAW photos from non-RAW photos by the Raw label that appears over them in the import screen. I tested it using both an iPad Pro and an iPhone 5s, and while it’s clearly a better editing experience on the iPad, it was pretty cool to be able to import RAW photos into my iPhone, edit them, export copies, and know the originals were automatically being transferred back to my computer—all while sitting on my patio. I don’t see myself using this to bring in a very large shoot, but I really like having the option to import a select few RAW files no matter where I am, and without my laptop being involved. A recent example was when I went out on a whale watch. I didn’t want to bring my laptop on the boat, but my iPad Pro fits nicely in my camera bag, so that and my DSLR made for a nice mobile workstation while bobbing around the Atlantic. Keep in mind that Lightroom Mobile storage doesn’t count against your Creative Cloud storage, so you’re really only limited by the amount of free space on your device.

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linear and radial corrections


RAW importing aside, there are a few other significant new features in this release. The most exciting of which is the ability to apply Linear and Radial corrections to your photos. To start, tap the Local Adjust icon below the photo and then choose between the Linear or Radial Selection via the menu on the left. Once you’ve chosen the type of selection you want to use, simply tap-and-drag your finger over the area where you want to apply the adjustment. As you tap-and-drag, you should see the mask covering the affected area of the selection.

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These adjustments work just as they do on the desktop version, so after drawing out your selection, you can configure any combination of the included settings to apply to that part of your photo. Similar to the desktop version, you can also add multiple adjustment pins, and even apply both Linear and Radial adjustments to the same photo. Tap-and-hold a pin to open a popup dialog with the options to duplicate or remove that pin (you can also delete the active pin via the Trash icon that appears at the top of the screen).

While not as sexy as the local adjustments, there’s now also the option to toggle on/off Lens Corrections for supported camera and lens combinations. The toggle is available in editing mode (click the Edit icon below the photo). Click on the icon to the far left and choose Lens Corrections from the list. Click on Profile Correction to turn it on and off. With the addition of new import options on Lightroom Mobile, however, you may never need to access that toggle. From the main interface, tap the Lr logo to expand the app’s settings panel. From there, tap Import, where you can enable lens profile corrections to be applied as part of the import into Lightroom Mobile. You can choose to have profiles applied to All Files or just Raw Only. Below the Lens Profile option, you now also have the ability to apply a copyright notice to all imported photos. This only populates the Copyright field of the photo’s metadata, so you’ll need to add any additional copyright or contact information after import in the Library module on the desktop version. I have a smart collection set to Copyright Status is not Copyrighted that I periodically check as a reminder to fill in that additional information. One last tidbit for those of you who use a keyboard with your iOS device is that they’ve added a limited set of keyboard shortcuts. They aren’t terribly easy to find, but if you hold down the Command key while in an area that has a keyboard shortcut, you’ll see a bevel appear with a list of all the

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other new features


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shortcuts for that area. For now, the main place to find them is where you can apply ratings and flags to your photos, but the “I” key will also cycle through info overlays when looking at the grid of thumbnails.

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apple tv


Not long after the Lightroom Mobile update was released, Adobe announced that there was now an app for Lightroom on Apple TV too. No, you can’t edit photos in this Apple TV app, but it does provide a very simple method for viewing through your TV all of your photos contained in synced collections. It does require the fourth-generation Apple TV (currently the latest available) to run this app, as this is the first iteration of the device to have an App Store. You’ll also need a Creative Cloud subscription to be able to log into the app and access your synced collections. The app is free and easy to install; just search for Lightroom in the App Store and choose Get. Once installed, launch the app and go through the signin process, which does involve going to lightroom.adobe .com/tv in a Web browser on another device. As soon as

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you’re logged into the app, your synced collections will start to appear. From there you can choose All Photos to view all synced photos at once (similar to the Lightroom Photos collection on the mobile app) or you can navigate to any single collection and view its contents. You can move through full-screen photos in a collection by swiping left or right using the Apple TV remote, and even zoom in on a selected photo. There’s also a filmstrip at the top that appears when you swipe down on the remote, which is handy for jumping to a specific photo within a collection. Swipe up again to hide the filmstrip. Pressing the remote’s Play button will launch a slideshow of the selected collection (the same

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button will pause the slideshow). You can’t play music with the slideshow through the Lightroom app, but, as a workaround, I was able to play music through the Pandora app, then switch to the Lightroom app and manually swipe through full-screen photos (pressing the Play button stops the music). There’s one setting for the slideshow that’s worth experimenting with: Choose Settings at the top of the screen, then go to Slide Duration and choose between Slow, Medium, and Fast to see which option you prefer. Remember, there wasn’t much to Lightroom Mobile when it was first released, but it has come a long way in a short time. It will be interesting to see how Lightroom for Apple TV evolves in the future. ■

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Maximum Workflow

topaz texture effects BY SEAN McCORMACK

Topaz Labs makes plug-ins that are really good at one thing. They’re never trying to do everything at once, but simply take a premise and do the best they possibly can with it. We’ve looked at Impression before, and today, we’re looking at Texture Effects, a relatively new plug-in in the Topaz arsenal. [Note: Just days before we published this issue, Topaz Labs released Texture Effects 2. Click here to learn what’s new in the latest version.—Ed.]

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Texture Effects does exactly what it says on the tin: It allows you to add texture overlays to your photos. In reality, it does far more than that. It comes with more than 145 effects and a huge library of textures, borders, light leaks, and dust and scratches images. Not only that, but it mixes these to give a huge bank of presets to get you going. If you create something you love, you can save these as presets and upload it to the Topaz Community, or you can browse and use presets created by other Texture Effects users— a win for Topaz and the Community.


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Run the installer to place Texture Effects on your computer and follow the registration process to activate it. Unlike a lot of plug-ins, Texture Effects doesn’t create an entry in the Edit In menu, so you need to create one yourself. It’s really straightforward. Topaz also recommends that you run the standalone application before using it as a plug-in. Begin by opening Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences. Go to the External Editing tab, and in the Additional External Editor section, click the Choose button. This opens a file browser window. Browse to where Texture Effects is installed (probably in Applications [PC: Program Files]) and select it. For best quality, leave the settings as TIFF, ProPhoto RGB, and 16-bit. If you need speed and don’t mind lower quality, use JPEG, AdobeRGB, and 8-bit. In the Preset drop-down menu, select Save Current Settings as New Preset. Give the preset a memorable name (I’ve just gone with “Topaz Texture Effects”). Click the Create button to create the preset. Now when you go to the Photo>Edit In menu, Topaz Texture Effects shows as an option in the preset section of the menu. Select it to start the program.


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layout Topaz uses the same layout across a number of its plug-ins, so if you’ve already seen one, this will look instantly familiar. 1. The Login button will take you to the Topaz Community. To get access to the Community presets, you need to click the Register Online link and create an account to log in. 2. When zoomed in, select the Pan tool to move about. You can view the original image with the second icon, and zoom in and out with the magnifying glass icons. You can also select Fit or 100% views from here. 3. This is the main image area where all the presets and effects are previewed. 4. Choose to show more presets by clicking the Browse icon (grid), or select from a different category in the dropdown menu.

Clicking the Browse icon reveals more presets

5.  These are the thumbnail previews of the presets. The currently selected preset has a blue border and contains a circle with a set of sliders. You can click this icon to open the parameters layer stack, which are the panels that you can use to customize the effect.

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Clicking the circle-with-sliders icon reveals the control panels

In general, Texture Effects is a finishing plugin. Yes, you can process your image completely here, but since you’re working with a rendered file, rather than a RAW file, you’re better off doing your corrections in Lightroom first. When you’re happy with the tonal and color balance in the photo, use the Edit In menu to open the file in Topaz Texture Effects. [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at http://kelbyone .com/magazine. All files are for personal use only.]

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choosing a preset Use the Browse icon to open more presets. The breadth of choices shouldn’t be daunting if you use the preset management bar located at the top to narrow down the amount of presets you’re viewing. You can also enter text to search for specific presets. Choose from preset types such as Lo-Fi or Pop Grunge, or by photography types such as Food, Land­ scape, or Portrait. Narrowing down to Local and Nature, I quickly see that I like the Fading Canvas preset. Clicking the circular slider icon opens the parameters for the preset. Once zoomed in, I can see that the canvas texture is a little strong, but we’ll start from the top panel and work our way down.

There’s a Basic Adjustment panel at the top. Note that there’s a second Basic Adjustment panel at the bottom in this preset too, so it’s worth looking at both of them, as you may be counteracting effects; for instance, while Saturation is 0 in the first panel, it’s –0.32 in the bottom panel. The first thing I noticed was that the center of the flowers was blown out. They’re very yellow and the detail has been lost, so reduce the Highlight slider to 0. The image looks a little dense, so open up the Shadow to 0.4. There’s a Mask option at the bottom of each panel so you can reduce or remove each effect separately. I’ll leave this one as is (set to None). The second panel in the Fading Canvas preset is Texture (see next page). Just like the Basic Adjustment panel, there are two Texture panels in this preset. We’ll use the first Texture panel to add a color base to the image. To change texture, start by narrowing down the list from All to Color Wash using the dropdown menu at the top, and then pick a gritty orange texture from the scrolling swatch panel. The icons beneath the texture thumbnails allow you to move the texture around,

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flip it horizontally or vertically, or even invert it. Size allows you to change the size of the texture, Keep Aspect Ratio holds the original shape of the texture when on, and Opacity controls the strength of the texture (Opacity works the same throughout all the panels). The next most important option is the Blending Mode. The options here are pretty comprehensive and match those of Photoshop. As there are entire books on blend modes, suffice to say that Overlay, Soft Light, Multiply, and Screen are used more frequently. Just try out each mode and see which one best suits your image. Here, let’s use Soft Light, which has less contrast and saturation compared to Overlay. What’s great about Texture Effects is that as you move your cursor down the list, the blend mode previews in the main window, so you know what will happen without having to apply the mode. Detail controls the level of detail in the texture (the lower the number, the softer the texture looks), while Saturation increases the depth of color in the texture (rather than the whole image). Color Strength increases the intensity of the color chosen in the Color control below. This color blends with the texture image. After a little play, I’ve gone for a Detail of 0, a Saturation of 0.48, a Color Strength 0.99, and a Color of 1.00. The next panel is Borders, which is pretty much identical to Texture, except that you choose a border instead of a texture file. The second Texture panel is next (see next page). This is where we can control the strength of the canvas look. I mentioned earlier that the canvas texture was too strong, so we’ll reduce the Opacity to 0.37. Let’s also remove the texture from the main flower in the center, so click Brush in the Mask section to open the masking tools. Black removes the effect; White brings it back. You can also Undo or Redo a stroke, Reset to begin again, or Invert your mask. Use the Strength to

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control the opacity of the brush, Brush Size to change the width, and Hardness to control the feathering on the brush edge. The thumbnail at the bottom of the panel shows what the mask looks like. Next is the Split Tone panel. This works like Lightroom’s Split Toning panel. You can choose a Highlight and Shadow Hue, and adjust their Saturation, as well as the Balance between them. The current toning is one of the things I liked about the Fading Canvas preset, so leave this one as is. The final panel in this preset is the second Basic Adjustment panel. I want more saturation in the image so change the Saturation from –0.32 to –0.2.

By clicking Add Adjustment below the panels, you’ll get a drop-down menu where you can choose from a range of other effects or texture panels. These include Edge Blur, Edge Exposure, Film Grain, Posterize, and Vignette. For Textures, as well as Texture and Borders, you can also choose from Color Overlay, Double Exposure, Dust/Scratches, and Light Leak. We’ve mentioned how Texture and Borders are essentially the same panel, just using a different set of images. This is true of Double Exposure, Dust/Scratches, and Light Leak. In each panel, hover over an image thumbnail to see a preview of the texture. After experimenting with the settings in a panel, if you decide you don’t want to use the effect, just click the Delete Filter icon (trash can) at the far right in the header of that panel. Color Overlay is different from the abovementioned panels though. In this panel, you select a color from the Color swatch, and then choose a Blending Mode. Finally, set the Opacity to suit. Now let’s take a look at the remaining effects panels that are available in the Add Adjustment drop-down menu. Diffusion creates a glow on the image. We won’t use

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it for the final image, but it has three controls: Strength, Softness, and Blur. Strength controls the amount of the effect, Softness controls the glow or defocus, while Blur removes the detail from the image. Next is Edge Blur, which defocuses the edges, giving an old lens effect. Click on Blur Shape to get a radial-like control for the edge position, size, and shape. Use Blur to change the amount of blur, and Transition to change the feathering of the blur. Edge Exposure lets you lighten or darken the edges. First, choose an edge to which to apply the effect. Each edge can have a different look. Exposure controls how light or dark it is, Size controls the distance from the edge, while Transition controls the fading of the effect. Color Strength controls the hue added via the Color slider Film Grain emulates the look of old film. Size controls the size of the grain from small and fine to large and more visible. Strength controls the amount of grain, and Randomizer changes how the grain looks. Posterize reduces the total number of colors in the image, while reducing the transitions between colors. Depth controls the number of tones: the number on the slider equals the number of tones in the image. The Details slider controls the amount of detail left in the image. Vignette is the final effect (see next page), and darkens (or lightens) the corners and edges. We’re going to add a vignette in this example. First, choose black for the Color, then use Strength to control the amount of vignette. Size controls how far into the image the vignette extends, Transition controls the fading of the effect, and Roundness changes the shape of the vignette from an oval to a

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rectangle, where a setting of 0 produces a rectangular vignette. Opacity controls the effect level. Center lets you reposition the middle of the vignette; just click on the Center icon and then either click or drag in the image where you want to place the center.

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As you can see, there are a lot of options in Texture Effects. It’s definitely a great tool for finishing images. The ease of previewing textures and blend modes gives it a big advantage over Photoshop, not to mention the sheer wealth of included textures. You can, of course, add your own, making it even more versatile. ■



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Questions Answers I noticed that there are a lot of missing images in my Lightroom library. Is there an easy way to find all of the images that are unlinked so I can relink them to the originals? Thankfully, there is. In the Library module, go under the Library menu and choose Find Missing Photos, and it will display all the photos that are missing their originals. By the way, Lightroom lets you know that a photo is missing by displaying an exclamation mark in the upper-right corner of its thumbnail in Grid view (G).

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Is it better to apply a vignette in the Lens Corrections panel or in the Effects panel?


Okay, there’s no official ruling on this, so I can only give you my opinion, but I think the vignette effect you get from the Effects panel (which is Post-Crop Vignetting, meaning that it automatically reapplies itself if you crop the image) is much better (has a better look) than the one in the Lens Corrections panel. I use the Lens Corrections panel for fixing vignetting problems, and not applying them as an effect. But hey, that’s just me. Anyway, another way that’s really great for creating a vignette effect is to use the Radial Filter (Shift-M) instead, and darken the Exposure amount outside the oval it creates. That way, you can have your vignette appear exactly where you want it in the image—not just on the edges. Give it a try and see what you think.


When I look at the Sharpening controls in the Detail panel in Lightroom, I’m totally intimidated; I don’t understand all the sliders, so I don’t add any sharpening at all. Is there an easier way to sharpen in Lightroom? There actually is—it’s just a little hidden. If you go to the Quick Develop panel in the Library module, you’ll see a bunch of controls, but Sharpening isn’t one of them. Well, that’s unless you hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and then you’ll notice that the Clarity option changes to Sharpening. Now you can use the single arrows (a small amount) or the double arrows (greater amounts) to add or reduce your sharpening, and it’s just one simple control. (Note: You actually have to double-click the Sharpening arrows to apply sharpening in the Quick Develop panel. All of the other settings only require a single click. This is a bug on which Adobe is currently working to fix.) That being said, the Detail panel sharpening in Lightroom is easier than you’d think, and since you’re a KelbyOne member, I’d recommend watching our Lightroom Series: Sharpening class. (There are a number of different ways and places to sharpen besides the ones we’ve mentioned here.) Watch that class, and you won’t be intimidated any longer, and you’ll unlock some very powerful, but easyto-use techniques.

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I find all the little icons that appear on my thumbnails really distracting. Is there a way to get rid of them? There is—go to the Library module and press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to bring up the Library View Options dialog (shown here). In the section called “Cell Icons,” turn off the checkbox for Thumbnail Badges, and now those little icons will be hidden from view. If you change your mind and want them back, you now know where to go.

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I don’t have two monitors, but I wish there was a way in Lightroom (like there is in Photoshop) to have a zoomed-in view of the image I’m working on, but still have a zoomed-out view so I can see how what I’m doing affects the entire image. Well, there’s kind of a way to do this. Even though you don’t have a second monitor, Lightroom allows you to open a separate floating window that displays what would appear on a second monitor if you had one. Just click on the little rectangular box with a “2” in it at the top-left corner of the Filmstrip. This brings up a floating window with your image inside it. Now you can zoom in tight on the image you’re working on in Lightroom, and the floating window will keep the zoomed-out view. See if that works for you.

Is there any way for me to find out which of my images don’t have smart previews so I can create smart previews for them?

I often like to see if my color images would make good black-and-white images. Is there a quick way to compare the color image to a black-and-white version? One of my favorite keyboard shortcuts of all time is simply the letter V. This lets me see, in just one key, whether my current image would make a good black-and-white or not, as it does a Black & White conversion instantly. If I like the way it looks, I’m set. If I see it doesn’t make a good black-and-white, I just press V again and it’s back to the original color version. ■ CLICK TO RATE ALL IMAGES BY SCOTT KELBY

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You bet! In the Library module, start by making the Filter Bar up top visible by pressing the Backslash key (\) on your keyboard (if you had it open already, this will just toggle it off, so press the Backslash key again to toggle it back on). Go to the Catalog panel (in the left side panels), and click on “All Photographs.” Now, click on the Metadata tab in the Filter Bar. Click on the header of the first column at the top left of the Metadata filter, and from the pop-up menu that appears, choose Smart Preview Status. It will display the number of images that have smart previews and how many don’t have smart previews. Click on “No Smart Preview” to display all those images. Now go under the Library menu, under Previews, and choose Build Smart Previews. If you only had one photo selected, Lightroom will ask if you want to build a smart preview for just that one image or for all of them. Click Build All and it will build smart previews for all your images that didn’t already have them. Easy peasy.


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importing images drag-and-drop importing You can drag an image, or a folder of images, onto the Lightroom icon in the Dock on a Mac, or in both Mac and Windows, you can also just drag images onto the Lightroom interface (i.e., drop it right on the Grid view of thumbnails). This will prompt the Import dialog to open and the location of the folder or images you’re dragging will be pre-selected as the import source. import into a specific folder Right-click on a folder in the Folders panel in the Library module and choose Import to this Folder. The Import dialog will open with that folder already selected as the destination. Just select a source for the images you want to import, and you’re good to go.

If there are un-cataloged photos, the Synchronize dialog will tell you how many there are and give you the option to import them directly or to open the Import dialog so you can apply keywords, metadata, or Develop presets as the photos are imported. use import presets To speed up the import process, create import presets for common import locations and configurations. Don’t add anything specific in terms of metadata (such as keywords) since the preset needs to work with all of the photos. Once you have the details and import destination set, click on the right side of the black Import Preset bar centered at the bottom of the Import dialog to open the preset menu and choose Save Current Settings as New Preset. You can access your saved preset from this same menu.

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synchronize folder If you know that you’ve added photos to a folder in the Finder (PC: File Explorer) that’s already part of your Lightroom catalog, or you just want to check to see if there are any un-cataloged images in a folder, Right-click on that folder in the Folders panel and choose Synchronize Folder.


compact import dialog Press the Backslash key (\) or click the button with the triangle in the lower-left corner of the Import dialog to switch to the compact version of the Import dialog.

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library module apply process-oriented keywords For multiple-shot series such as HDR or panoramas, apply keywords such as “HDR” or “pano” to all of the shots so you can easily find them again. Many HDR and pano images aren’t assembled right away, but if the files have those keywords, it’s much easier to find the source images via a keyword search.

into a stack (they need to be in the same folder) and use the shortcut Command-G (PC: Ctrl-G), or choose Photo>Stacking>Group into Stack. Find the Unstack command in the same menu or use Shift-Command-G (PC: Shift-Ctrl-G). show or hide images in a stack and change stacking order With a stack selected, tap S to expand or collapse the stack. Shift-[ or ] will move the selected image up or down within the stack. Shift-S will move the selected image to the top of the stack.

turn search filters on and off When you have a search filter turned on in the Filter Bar above the thumbnails (for example, a Keyword search under Metadata), you can turn it on and off via the keyboard shortcut Command-L (PC: Ctrl-L), or by using the menu command Library>Enable Filters. lock search filters To set a search filter so that it will remain the same when moving between folders or collections, click the lock icon on the far right side of the Filter Bar.

synchronize metadata or develop changes to a stack When a stack is collapsed (closed), and metadata or Develop settings are applied via the Sync Settings button at the lower right, the changes are only applied to the top image in the stack. To have the changes apply to all of the images in the stack, expand it first by clicking the two lines to the right of its thumbnail, or by Right-clicking on a collapsed stack and choosing Stacking>Expand Stack. Then Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) to add the other images in the stack to the selection, and click Sync Settings.

group selected images into a stack Stacks are a way to group similar images together, and they can help simplify the Grid view of thumbnails. In the Grid view (G), select the images you want to group

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auto stack by capture time You can stack images together based on the interval of time between shots. In the Library module, choose Photo>Stacking>Auto-Stack by Capture Time and use the slider to set the time between stacks.


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develop module drag-and-drop history or snapshots to before view When in the before/after view (Y), you can drag-and-drop different History states or Snapshots onto the Before view to compare the current state of the image with other states in the Develop history. To return the Before view to the default state, drag the Import History state onto the Before view. cycle through before-and-after views There are four different before-and-after views. You can choose different ones using the following shortcuts: Y will toggle between the standard Develop view and, in the default setup, a left/right arrangement of the before and after. Option-Y (PC: Alt-Y) will show you a top and bottom view of the before and after. While in either

before-and-after view, Shift-Y will toggle on and off a split view of the image. If you leave it set to a split view, this will be the view you toggle back and forth between when using the Y or Option-Y (PC: Alt-Y) shortcuts. quick access to the graduated and radial filters Access the Graduated Filter via the keyboard shortcut M and use Shift-M to access the Radial Filter. duplicate graduated or radial filters Press-and-hold Command-Option (PC: Ctrl-Alt) and drag on the pin of a Graduated or Radial Filter to make a copy of it and its settings. Or, Right-click on the pin and choose duplicate from the contextual menu. use brush tool to customize graduated and radial filters

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Some adjustments you make with the Graduated or Radial Filters may need to be customized a bit if the area you’re modifying has sections that you don’t want affected by the filter. To fix this, make sure the pin for the Graduated or Radial Filter is active and click on the word “Brush” at the top of the control panel for the filter (not the Adjustment Brush icon above the panel). Click “Erase” near the bottom of the panel, or hold down Option (PC: Alt) to access the Erase brush and then paint to subtract areas that are being affected by the Graduated or Radial Filters.


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lightroom magazine

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lightroom mobile tips

specify a folder for mobile downloads In the Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences, click the Lightroom Mobile tab and enable the checkbox for Specify Location for Lightroom Mobile Images. Click the Choose button, and select a folder location within your image archive directories that makes sense for these images. This is where images shot on your mobile device will be stored (if you use the Lightroom Mobile camera, or you have Auto-Add turned on in the mobile app—more on that in the next tip). If you don’t specify a folder, Lightroom creates a hidden folder with a ridiculously long name within the Mobile Downloads.lrdata file. If the catalog is already synced with Lightroom Mobile, you can also set a folder for Lightroom Mobile downloads by Right-clicking on a folder in the Folders panel and choosing Set as Lightroom Mobile Downloads Location.

mobile app: to auto-add or not to auto-add In the Lightroom Mobile app on your phone or tablet, tap the Lr logo at the upper left to view the app preferences. There’s a setting here that will auto add every photo you shoot with your phone into the Lightroom Photos contained within the app (it makes a copy of the photos). Use this with caution, or you’ll have all the trivial, temporary shots that you take with your phone— remembering where you parked at the airport lot, photos to make sure you buy the right part at the hardware store, etc.— added to your Lightroom Mobile photos and your Lightroom catalog. ■


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turn on lightroom mobile syncing In the desktop version of Lightroom, mouse over the Lightroom icon in the upper left of the interface (or the Identity Plate if you’ve personalized it), and click to open the Activity Center menu containing the sync options (this is also where you can turn on Face Detection and Address Lookup). Lightroom Mobile can only sync with one catalog at a time.


Product Reviews Four New ExpoImaging Products Create Softer Light Effects with New Rogue Super Soft Silver Reflectors and White Grid Inserts

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6

Review by Erik Vlietinck


ExpoImaging has released a small avalanche of new products, including the Super Soft Silver Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro model, which has a specially woven silver surface. The company also released a 32" reflector with the same silver backing as well as a natural white surface; White Grid Inserts for the Rogue 3-in-1 Grid; and an Indicator Battery Pouch. The company created the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector with Frank Doorhof, one of the most prominent Rogue lighting product evangelists. Doorhof is a well-known fashion photographer whose signature now proudly figures on the back of the newest Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro. Super Soft Silver refers to the silvery surface that appears to be woven differently when compared side-by-side with normal silver backings. The effect is a subtler, softer reflection than the rather harsh one that ordinary silver creates. The amount of reflection is the same as with traditional silver backings; it’s only the quality of the light that changes. I found the new silver to work brilliantly as a wrinkle softener; but even when shooting objects such as in product photography, you’ll find the Super Soft Silver works well with gray areas or with chrome metal, for example. The effect is less outstanding than with a traditional silver reflector, but it’s undeniable and very pleasing to the eye. The FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector retails for $59.95. The second new product ExpoImaging released, the Rogue 2-in-1 Collapsible Reflector 32" - Super Soft Silver/ Natural White, was sold out only a couple of weeks after it was announced, and there’s a good reason for its popularity. Its low price gets you two differently colored surfaces with a collapsible reflector that folds down to a 12" package. In addition, its Super Soft Silver surface does the same great job as the FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector. I found the reflector’s size, portability, and two surface colors worked well with video as well as photography— especially when I was interviewing someone and had little control over where the light was coming from. The reflector is just big enough to make a difference, while the Super Soft Silver coating does a great job of softening a subject’s facial contours. The Rogue 2-in-1 Collapsible Reflector 32" - Super Soft Silver/Natural White retails for $29.95.

The White Grid Inserts for the Rogue 3-in-1 Grid is the third new product on the list. These create a softer falloff than the black ones. The falloff closely resembles a halo that’s drawn around the light circle you’ll get with the black grid inserts. What’s more, I tested the black and white inserts with one of the gels ExpoImaging makes for the Rogue 3-in-1 honeycomb grids, and (contrary to my expectation) the halo falloff wasn’t affected by the colored gels when used with the White Grid Insert. The White Grid Inserts for the Rogue 3-in-1 Grid retail for $19.95. The last item in this release is ExpoImaging’s Indicator Battery Pouch, which is a nice organizer for your tool chest— even though it isn’t an AI, sensor-driven gadget. It’s a pouch with two reversible red/green inserts. The Pouch has two compartments, each of which can hold two 9-V block batteries, four AA batteries, or six AAA cells. The idea is to fill the Indicator Battery Pouch with freshly charged batteries and hang it on your tripod by its hanging tab or attach it to your belt with the loops. When you need to switch batteries, you return the used batteries to the pouch and flip the green insert to red. That way, you’ll know how much power you have left. Of course, it only works if you use each compartment’s batteries at one time. If you don’t, it’s still better than the original blister or clamshell packaging. The Indicator Battery Pouch retails for $9.95. ■ Company: ExpoImaging, Inc.

Prices: See above

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Soft silver effect; reflector size/folded size; white grid light falloff

Not: Battery pouch should allow per-battery color insert

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Phottix Odin II TTL Flash Trigger Transmitter for Sony Review by Michael Corsentino

I love the Sony ecosystem of mirrorless cameras. They’re compact, lightweight, and chock-full of enviable high-end features such as full-frame, high-megapixel sensors, wide dynamic range, and amazing glass. As we know, the lack of dedicated flash trigger/transmitters for market-leading strobes has until now been a sticking point for many Sony shooters. Well, the wait is finally over for Phottix off-camera strobe and hot-shoe flash users! The Phottix Odin II Flash Trigger Transmitter for Sony puts a fully featured TTL or Manual control center right on top of your camera. Compatible with the entire range of Sony A7, A6000 series, and A99 and A77 II A-mount cameras, the Odin II triggers all Phottix lights including the Indra 500/360 and Mitros Plus hot-shoe flashes. The Phottix Odin II Flash Trigger Transmitter for Sony comes complete with all the best-in-class features that photographers have come to expect: full manual or TTL control; up to five individual groups, each with 32 channels; a user-assignable digital ID (to eliminate potential radio interference); HighSpeed Sync (up to 1/8000) for those wide-aperture portraits with flash; Second-Curtain Sync; and a wireless range up to 332' (100m). Other noteworthy amenities include Odin II’s simple, intuitive, fast navigation and control using the center Navigation Wheel, and a bright, clear, easy-to-understand digital LCD screen interface. In addition to full control of strobes,

modeling lights for each of the five strobe groups can also be adjusted using the Odin II. Having one trigger that can control both Phottix strobes and hot-shoe flashes at the same time gives photographers the best of both worlds! (Note: This is the transmitter only. Phottix Odin II Receivers are available separately for Canon and Nikon, but aren’t available for the Odin II for Sony transmitter.) Phottix and Elinchrom’s recent collaboration to create the new Elinchrom Skyport HS flash trigger leaves me wondering if a Sony-compatible trigger for Elinchrom users is also around the corner? ■ Company: Phottix

Pricing: $215

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: High-Speed Sync (up to 1/8000); easy navigation via interface

Not: Wireless range could be better

Rugged Mobile USB-C Disk Drive Review by Erik Vlietinck

If you’re shooting video or photos in the wild, you need a rugged mobile drive. CalDigit may perhaps be late to the game, releasing its bus-powered Tuff drive only recently, but it beats forerunners by a large margin. The CalDigit Tuff has a backward compatible USB-C port that will also work on Thunderbolt 3 machines. It comes with a Type-C and USB 3 converter cable and complies with USB 3.1, which allows for 10-GB/sec throughput performance. The Tuff comes in a 2-TB hard-drive configuration with a 1-TB SSD in the pipeline. The drive is MIL-STD-810G shockproof. Dropping the Tuff on a wooden floor from about one meter indeed didn’t cause any damage. The company doesn’t explicitly specify the maximum drop height the Tuff will survive, but I think it will be around two meters. As far as I know, the Tuff is the only drive on the market to have full IP57 Certification. It’s waterproof and dust proof

when the USB-C port has been properly sealed with the silicon bumper’s port plug. I could have left the drive submerged a full 30 minutes before the silicon plug would start to leak, at a maximum depth of one meter. CalDigit ships the Tuff in a half-transparent rugged archive box that closes with two clips and a latch. Better yet, the box has a spot for a label on the inside so you can tag the box without damaging it and quickly see which drive you’re working with, even without opening it. The Tuff is fan-less, but it never became warmer than my hand. Heat dissipation was flawless, even at a moist 30°C. Speed is excellent: I tested with a USB 3 connection, and Blackmagic Design’s Disk Speed Test reported a write speed of 121 MB/sec and a read speed of 129 MB/sec. ■ Company: CalDigit, Inc. Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Ruggedness; speed; price; capacity

Not: 20-cm cables are too short

Price: $179.99

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CalDigit Tuff



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Godox LP- 800x Power Inverter Versatile, Portable Battery Pack has AC Outlets and USB Ports Review by Michael Corsentino

The Godox LP-800x is a lightweight, portable, lithium-ion battery pack power inverter. It provides an ample supply of AC power on location or in the studio as an emergency backup. Previously, photographers needed two sets of strobes, a mains-powered set for the studio, and a battery-operated set for location work. Not everyone has the luxury of owning two different sets of lights for two different purposes. Even if you do, when you add the fact that most battery-operated portable strobes max out at around 500 Watt/s, you may be left wanting when it comes to overpowering the sun. The Godox LP-800x gives you options. It allows you to take your AC-powered studio strobes on location and use them anywhere, anytime. That’s huge! So if you only have one set of mono block lights, and you’ve been lamenting about a lack of funds to acquire a location kit, now you have a considerably less-expensive option while you wait. The LP-800x delivers an impressive 1,200 flashes from a 300 Watt/s mono head with fast recycle, more than enough even with multiple lights.

With its three AC outlets and three USB power ports, devices such as laptops, smart phones, constant lights, and fans can also be powered with ease. The one caveat is that AC and USB charging cannot be done at the same time, so you’ll need to make a choice about what to charge and when to charge it. Rock-solid build quality, a durable carrying case with a shoulder strap, and trapdoors for the Godox LP-800x’s intelligent fans make protected transport and use easy. Keep in mind that there’s no lock on the power button so, during transport, you’ll need to remove the top half of the LP-800x (where the capacitors, electronics, and distribution center are housed), and flip it around on its lithium battery lower-half to avoid inadvertently powering on the unit as you travel. ■ Company: Elinchrom SA

Price: $799

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Portable; up to 1,200 flashes from a 300 Watt/s head

Not: AC and USB can’t be used at the same time

Prisma Free App Transforms Your Photos into Works of Art

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › O c t o b e r 2 0 1 6

Review by Peter Bauer


Photoshop has lots of nifty ways to make your photos look like painted art and, of course, there are a variety of thirdparty plug-ins to do the same thing; but there’s also a free app named Prisma that deserves your attention. Available for both iOS and Android, it uses artificial intelligence to replicate the styles of some of the greatest painters of all time. Since it’s an app, you can use the photos on your device, take photos from within the app, or move photos from your computer to your tablet/phone. After using the app, you can send the images to your computer via email, message, Facebook, iCloud, AirDrop, or a variety of other methods. And it’s easy to use: Once you’ve downloaded, installed, and launched the app, you can take a new photo or click on Photos or Gallery at the bottom of the screen to open thumbnails of all of the photos already on your device. Scroll through until you find the photo you want to use, and click on it. You’ll be presented with the option to crop the image and rotate if necessary. The Next button takes you to the wonders of Prisma: 30 different styles that can be applied to the image. Feel free to experiment, because the styles aren’t cumulative. The variety of styles will blow your mind! After you apply a style, you can click-and-drag on the image to lower the intensity of the effect. The button at the

top right enables you to enter several different split screen modes, comparing the original to the new look. When you have the look you want, click the downward-pointing arrow to save the file (as a new image by default—it doesn’t replace the original). Then, to send the image, click the share button or the Facebook button. ■ Company: Prisma Labs Inc. Price: Free Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Great free app for painterly effects from your photos


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Sony A7S II Low-Light Experiences Review by Erik Vlietinck

The Sony A7S II has dramatic low-light capabilities—manually from ISO 50 to 409,600—making low-light photography accessible to everyone. That doesn’t mean you’ll get perfect images out of the camera, regardless of the RAW editor you’ll be using. The test unit came with a silent Sony Vario-Tessar f/4 24–70mm lens. Picture quality was great and noise virtually non-existent up to ISO 6400. Above that threshold, noise became visible; but it got worse much less quickly than with my old Alpha 700. The maximum ISO value of 409,600 lets you shoot in almost complete darkness, but the image straight from the camera will have a lot of noise. Although I couldn’t test the 409,600 value (even with very little light, the camera at this level blows out what little “highlights” there are), I did test ISO values up to 64,000 ISO. I found that these high ISO images are usable only if your RAW editor has been optimized for the camera. I tested with DxO Optics Pro 11 and Capture One Pro 9. (I don’t have Adobe Lightroom, so I couldn’t test with this more commonly used app.) With DxO Optics Pro, the images were almost free of noise without any adjustment. To make them completely noiseless, I had to set a tiny bit of PRIME noise reduction, and the

resulting image was razor-sharp. Capture One Pro came in second. The same images were slightly noisier, but not by much. Cranking up noise reduction made the images a bit blurry, more so than with DxO Optics Pro. The 16,000-ISO images were much less noisy than equivalent images shot with my A700, but you won’t win prizes with them either. Only after processing them through one of the two RAW editors I have available, did they become suitable for publication. ■ Company: Sony Corporation of America

Price: $2,999.99 (body)

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Low-light capabilities; video capabilities

Not: Picture quality and noise level heavily dependent on RAW editor

Slower Writing Speed than a Platter-Based Drive Review by Erik Vlietinck

The Kingston HyperX Fury range of SSDs is a cheap way to add storage space and, as I’ve always been happy with Kingston RAM updates for my Macs, I decided to give the 120-GB model a go. The HyperX Fury series is the lowest specified in Kingston’s product portfolio, and the 120 GB is the cheapest of the Fury series. For my test of the HyperX Fury 120 GB SSD, I shot a 3-minute 1080p60 video clip with a GoPro HERO4 and an Atomos Ninja Assassin. Much to my surprise, that didn’t work out well: The SSD couldn’t even keep up with the 440 Mbit/55 MB per second data stream of a ProRes 420 HQ 1080p60 recording. To investigate what had happened, I tested the SSD with the Blackmagic Design Speed Test. The app reported this SSD to be capable of a Read speed of 277 MB/sec and a Write speed of 122 MB/sec. To put this into perspective, a SanDisk Extreme Pro reads at 402 MB/sec and writes at 330 MB/sec on my system. More worrying, however, a

122MB/sec speed is more than double what I needed for the video recording. To make sure this was right, I ran the SSD through a number of additional tests on the Ninja Assassin. These revealed that the 120-GB HyperX Fury would only reliably write a video stream when the frame size isn’t bigger than 1280x720 at a frame rate of 50p. In short, you shouldn’t use the HyperX Fury 120 GB SSD for higher video frame size/rate combinations; but it’s probably reliable enough to serve as a cheap backup medium. Still, although I couldn’t find any further flaws and the drive lives up to its advertised performance, I’m puzzled about the 120-GB model not even keeping up with a 7,200 rpm, 2.5" hard disk drive. ■ Company: Kingston Technology Company

Price: $48

Rating: ◆ ◆

Hot: Price; read speed is acceptable

Not: Write speed is lower than a platter-based disk; becomes very hot

› › k e l byo n e . c o m

Kingston HyperX Fury 120-GB SSD


› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6

BOO K RE V I E WS › › P E T E R B A U E R › ›


Photoshop: From Absolute Beginner to Professional—How to Start Using and Mastering Photoshop in Just 10 Days!

Photoshop Lightroom: 17 Tips You Should Know to Get Started Using Photoshop Lightroom!

By Daniel Gordon

By Edward Bailey

This is the future of Photoshop training—self-published eBooks and videos that are already dated by the time you find them. With the pace of updates and new releases, it’s hard for the publishing industry to keep up. Yes, you’ll find regular paperbacks on Photoshop, most often on a specific aspect or set of techniques, and occasionally a beginner book. More often, it seems, products like this are available, publications that lack the vigorous proofreading and editing of books from established publishers. One example from this book: “All you have to do is click on the desired shape and then go ahead and draw it on the canvas.” A good editor or proofreader would note that you don’t draw with the Custom Shape tool; you click-and-drag the tool to create a shape. Other problems include missing Mac shortcuts and misnaming tools, like “the eclipse Marquee tool.”

First, $16.99 for 40 pages? Naw, if you’re interested, stick with the Kindle version. And there’s a link for a free copy of another of his books, too. Now, if you’re an inexperienced or brandnew user of Lightroom, you may find yourself saying, ”Whoa! That’s not what the book says!” For example, importing photos: When you insert a USB card and select it as the Source, you can import all or just selected photos. You have a couple of Copy buttons at the top and an Import button at the bottom, but no button named “Copy New Paragraphs.” Also you won’t find it confusing, but after Image 1 and Image 2, none of the images have numbers. Chapter 7 provides the author’s own very specific formulae for certain effects, but doesn’t actually define the effects you’re creating. (For example, you never learn that HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range.”)

Publisher: Self-published

Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing

Pages: 30 (Kindle)

Price: $2.99 (Kindle); $8.95 (paperback)

Rating: ◆ ◆

Price: $0.99 (Kindle); $16.99 (paperback) Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆

Pages: 40





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D E PA R T M E N T › ›

From the Advice Desk

answers to photoshop & gear-related questions


At Photoshop World this past July in Las Vegas, you showed me a shortcut that nobody knows about—one I could use to “Stump the Experts” in my local group. Not only have I forgotten the shortcut, I somewhat recall that you said never to use it. Refresh my memory, please?—Paul

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6

To: Paul From: KelbyOne Advice Desk


I showed a way to access the Stamp Visible command through a menu command rather than using the standard keyboard shortcut Command-Option-Shift-E (PC: Ctrl-AltShift-E). Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and select the menu command Layer>Merge Visible. The menu command’s name doesn’t change when you hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key, but the behavior changes. Merge Visible takes all of the layers visible in the Layers panel and creates a new layer from their content, deleting the original layers. Stamp Visible makes a new layer and merges the content of all visible layers in the new layer, but retains the original layers. I often use the Merge Visible command, but not Stamp Visible. When do I use Merge Visible? If I have a number of layers whose content doesn’t overlap (say a logo in the upper-left corner, a copyright notice in the lower-right, and perhaps some additional artwork or image content that doesn’t overlap with the other elements), then I can simplify the Layers panel by merging these non-overlapping layers into one layer, deleting the originals. (Be sure to check the Layers panel to ensure that only the layers you want to merge are visible.) If you have clipped adjustment layers, you can click on one and use the menu command Layer>Merge Down. Repeat for others. And since the layer’s elements don’t overlap, changes can be made to anything on the layer without affecting the rest of the layer content. Using Stamp Visible with those non-overlapping layers would generate a new layer with the content of those layers, but it does nothing to simplify the Layers panel. But that’s not how most people use Stamp Visible. More than

KelbyOne Member ADVICE DESK

likely they have all of the layers visible and use Stamp Visible to generate a single layer of all of the content below. Okay, great! Now they have a single layer with all of the existing content and can go merrily on their way, continuing to be creative with the artwork. So what’s my beef with Stamp Visible? Let’s say you used the Stamp Visible command and continued to add layers, masks, adjustment layers, layer effects, and so on. Then suddenly you realize that there was something wrong on one of the existing layers when you used Stamp Visible! You’d need to go back in the History panel to the step prior to Stamp Visible, make the change, Stamp Visible again, then re-do everything you did after the original Stamp Visible command. Here’s an alternative to Stamp Visible: Use smart objects. When you want to make a new layer that includes all of the content of the visible layers, select all of the layers in the Layers panel and use the command Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object. Like Merge Visible, you have simplified your Layers panel. Like Stamp Visible, you have a single layer with all of the existing content. If you need to go back and change something on one of the layers from which the smart object was created, simply double-click the smart object’s thumbnail in the Layers panel to open it in its own window, make the changes, save (not Save As), and close. The smart object in your working document is updated automatically. Might you then need to make changes to layers added after creating the smart object? Perhaps, but you don’t lose that work. Here's hoping your “Experts” don’t read this before your panel! ■


Are you taking advantage of the Advice Desk at the KelbyOne member website? This is the place where you can get all of your Photoshop and Lightroom questions answered by our Advice Desk experts. Not only that, you can get photo and computer gear help and advice, as well. What are you waiting for? Visit the Advice Desk section under My Account 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 digitally ten times a year.


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