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T H E A D O B E® P H O T O S H O P


“ H O W -T 0 ” M A G A Z I N E ›

your visions into reality DYNAMIC Turn using all of your photography RANGE & Photoshop knowledge

Discover how Hollywood artists add eye-catching texture effects to text using photographs


201 6




the demo reel

create amazing video demo reels in Photoshop to help jump-start new career opportunities

Visit our website at


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April 2016



Creating a Visual Portfolio for the Video Industry Now that just about every DSLR on the market can capture HD video, and you can edit that video in Adobe Photoshop, it’s time to put together a demo reel of your mad video skills. Whether you’re trying to get a local gig filming a wedding or land a job on that next Hollywood blockbuster, you need a killer demo reel. Rod Harlan tells you everything you need to know to build the best video demo reel that you possibly can.

Layout: Jessica Maldonado

Rod Harlan


From the Editor

Contributing Writers

About Photoshop User Magazine

KelbyOne Community

Exposed: Industry News

Photoshop User Quiz

From the Advice Desk


006 009 010 012 016 109 112


Frame Effect for Your Photos

How to Add Texture to Text Using a Photo

Color Three Ways

Boost Your Productivity and Creativity

Opportunity Knocks

Advance and Enhance Your InDesign Skills

Grids Are Essential

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

All lighting diagrams courtesy of Sylights

Click this symbol below to access the Table of Contents.

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Lightroom Magazine


Managing Your Catalogs for Travel



New in Town: Compositing Uses Several Skills! To build a composite image, you’ll need to use nearly everything you know about photography and working in Photoshop. Scott Valentine gives us a serious Photoshop workout with lots of techniques and tools to create his New in Town image.

Scott Valentine

Scott Valentine


104 106 107 108

Broncolor Para 133HR

Lighttools Grids Sony RX100 IV Moment iPhone Camera System Smart GPS Sync Photoshop Book Reviews

Sean McCormack

Lightroom Mobile


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From the Editor y ou don’t want to miss this show

Every year for the past 19 years, thousands of Photoshop users just like you, from all over the world, have come together for three days to leave the rest of the world behind and totally immerse themselves in a creative learning environment where they get really, really good at Photoshop, Lightroom, lighting, and design. I want you to be one of those people. It’s called the Photoshop World Conference, and it’s a training conference created from the ground up for KelbyOne members. My job at Photoshop World is Conference Technical Chair. In short, that means I’m in charge of finding the world’s best instructors—the most talented, the most gifted, and most giving teachers—and bringing them all together in one place to teach you live onstage their very latest techniques, to share their best-kept secrets, and to help you in any way they can to give your career, or your passion, or your hobby, a big, big boost of knowledge and fun in just three days—there’s just nothing like it anywhere, period. The conference, which will be held July 19–21, 2016, in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, has eight training tracks, so whatever you’re into, we have you covered. Photoshop. Lightroom. Photography. Adobe Creative Cloud. Lighting. Inspiration. Business. You name it. And for the first time ever, Adobe has their own full-conference track dedicated to teaching you the simply amazing Adobe Mobile Apps. This stuff will blow your mind, and mobile is where everything is going, so we’re excited that Adobe added this full three-day track to the conference. Of course, the core of Photoshop World is training—it always will be, but the heart of Photoshop World is about having an amazing time, making new friends and connections, and laughing while you’re learning, so we have more new events, instructors, shooting opportunities, and just more cool stuff than ever before. Our attendee party is at probably the most amazing venue ever: Simply called “LIGHT,” it’s a three-story, state-of-the-art nightclub where you’ll mix and mingle (drink and dine) with all the instructors and your fellow attendees, play team foosball on a giant 16-player table, and dance to all your favorite old-school hits and some of today’s most popular dance songs in an amazing atmosphere. With all the get-togethers, networking events, and late-night sessions, don’t plan on getting much sleep (you can sleep when you get home). Of course, Adobe will be there in a big way. From the Opening Keynote to the Photoshop and Lightroom teams that make it all happen to the Adobe Evangelists who will be teaching some of the classes, you’ll be face-to-face with the awesome folks from the mothership for all three days. There’s so much more to Photoshop World, and if you do nothing else, click here to watch this short video with highlights from last year’s event, and you’ll totally “get it.” But I have to warn you, if you watch, you’re really, really going to want to go, and that’s perfectly fine because this event is for you, and we really, really want you to be there with us. You can get all the details at, or check out more details starting on page 43 here in the mag. Don’t just hear about it after the fact and wish that you had gone. Make plans right now to come, while the airfare is cheap and while we still have discounted room rates for attendees at the Mandalay Bay where all the KelbyOne staff and instructors are staying. As › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

a KelbyOne member, you save $100 off the full-conference pass, but if you register before June 10, you can save another $100.


So register now before it’s too late, and we’ll see you in Vegas this summer! It’s going to be (wait for it, wait for it) epic! (You knew that was coming, right?) All my best,

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

Focal length: 85mm Exposure: F/3.2 1/100sec

The Power of Great Portraits is in Your Hands Make a closer connection with your subject. Introducing the Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 lens with Vibration Compensation. SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F016) For Canon, Nikon and Sony* mounts Di: For APS-C format and full-frame DSLR cameras * Sony mount model without VC

The official publication of KelbyOne APRIL 2016 • Volume 19 • Number 4


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

Contributing Writers

Ajna Adams • Steve Baczewski • Corey Barker • Peter Bauer Dave Clayton • Michael Corsentino • Seán Duggan • Rod Harlan Sean McCormack • Colin Smith • Lesa Snider • Rob Sylvan Scott Valentine • Erik Vlietinck • Jake Widman


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


Ajna Adams • Kleber Stephenson • Lindell Stover


Brandon Nourse • Yojance Rabelo • Aaron Westgate


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


Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-738-8513 ext. 152 Veronica (Ronni) O’Neil, Director of Circulation/Distribution 800-738-8513 ext. 235


U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East • Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922 Voice: 813-433-5000 • 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 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 upcoming 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

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 (

ROD HARLAN is an industry veteran with 25 years’ experience as an author, educator, photo­grapher, multimedia artist, and Photoshop addict! He shares content at RodHarlan .com and is a trainer for Adobe, NAB, FMC, WEVA, and KelbyOne, among others.

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

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

LESA SNIDER is the author of Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for Photographers: Classroom in a Book (2016), Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, several eBooks, and more than 40 video courses. She also writes a weekly column for Macworld. For more info, visit

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

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

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

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.

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


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Compositing: Jessica Maldonado; Stock Images: Adobe Stock

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

About KelbyOne KELBYONE

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


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




Save anywhere from 2–3 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.


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


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

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


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


The KelbyOne 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.

KelbyOne Community › ›

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

Moose Peterson Co-Hosts The Grid! Moose Peterson recently stopped by the KelbyOne studios to film some new aviation photography courses, and while he was here, he co-hosted an episode of our weekly live photography show, The Grid, alongside Scott Kelby. The show was one of the most-watched Grid episodes in recent history, garnering more than 20k views on YouTube so far, and for good reason—it was all about what photographers should stop doing so they can be successful. The feedback for this episode was great. Just after the episode aired, we received lots of awesome tweets from our viewers. A huge thanks to Sian Pearce, Douglas Glover, Jeff Macholz, and Alexandra’s Corner for chiming in on Twitter after the show. Let’s do it again, guys!

“Where can you make money in photography today?” Scott asks. Watch the clip to see what Moose has to say!

Be sure to tune in to The Grid every Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST. Did you know that we like to give away prizes to our viewers just for watching? Hope to see you there!

Make Your Magazine Even Better! Be sure to rate each article in each issue of Photoshop User after you read it (just click on the star rating box like you see here), and then take our quiz on page 109 to test what you learned in this issue!

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

Every Friday is Photo Tip Friday!


Have you seen Photo Tip Friday yet? Every Friday, we post a cool, short tip to help you sharpen your photography skills. You can see our tips on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and on our YouTube channel.

KelbyOne Artist Spotlight

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013 KelbyOne Artist Spotlight ELYSSA HAEUSSLER > TWITTER: @3LYSSA

KelbyOne Artist Spotlight

KelbyOne Artist Spotlight



KelbyOne Artist Spotlight MARTIN GLEIXNER > MEMBER SINCE 2014

KelbyOne Community Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community Martin Gleixner

Martin Gleixner is 37 years old, lives in Burghausen, Bavaria, Germany, and works as a teacher at a so-called “Gymnasium.” He teaches German language and history, but his passion, of course, is photography. How did you come to find KelbyOne? I found KelbyOne with the help of YouTube. Randomly, I saw a YouTube video from Scott Kelby explaining the Book module in Lightroom. He explained that so well that I immediately wanted to learn more. So I searched for “Scott Kelby,” found KelbyTraining, and became a member—and now two years later I’m in the “Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community.” For me, that’s an incredible story. I’m very proud to be a part of it.

The Karersee in South Tyrol, Italy

Why KelbyOne? You have other options out there for training, but why train with us? In my opinion, KelbyOne provides the best training content out

work of other photographers. Currently, here in Burghausen,

there, has great instructors, and is such a great community. The

there’s an exhibition with the work of Jim Brandenburg called

courses are clearly structured, the instructors teach with an incred-

“A Pristine Vision.” Awesome pictures. When one sees his

ible passion for their cause, and they can inspire you immediately.

images, one would like to immediately engage again facing the camera. Personally, my wife inspires me the most.

Do you have a favorite recent course? on KelbyOne. My favorite recent course may be How to Build an Audience in Instagram from your own Scott Kelby. Is there a specific instructor that you connect with? In my case, it’s Joe McNally. Why? Because he’s Joe McNally. In my opinion, he’s a genius in working with light, and he knows no obstacles on the way to get “the picture.” Currently, what is your goal professionally? My current goal is to get better in using my flash units. So far, I’ve worked almost exclusively with natural light. What keeps you motivated and inspired—professionally and personally? Six months ago, two of my pictures were shown at a photo exhi-

If you had one (professional) superpower, what would it be? Hmm, my superpower? Never thought of it. Maybe I have a good eye for detail and composition. And I love the postprocess, if that’s a superpower. What’s your dream job? I love to teach my students. For me, photography is a huge passion. But traveling the world, taking pictures, and getting paid for it—maybe that’s the dream job for every photographer. Any nuggets of inspiration for fellow KelbyOne members? My favorite quote is from Jay Maisel: “Always carry a camera; it’s tough to shoot a picture without one.” And if I may give a second tip: Follow your passion for photography and start your first personal project.

bition. That was a big motivation for me. Now I’m working on a coffee-table photo book about my hometown of Burghausen—

Well, thanks for inspiring us, Martin! To see more of Martin’s

this also motivates me. I find inspiration in many things: music,

work, check out his portfolio at You

books, and movies. The most inspiration I get is through the

can also see his work on Instagram. ■

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That’s a tough question, because I haven’t seen one bad course


Exp sed: Industry News › ›

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

Virtual Reality, Character Animation, and Sound Innovation Coming to Adobe Creative Cloud Ahead of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, Adobe revealed new features across its Creative Cloud tools for video editing, motion graphics, audio, and collaboration. In the next release of Creative Cloud—available in early summer—Premiere Pro CC will add new virtual reality capabilities, including “field of view” mode for spherical stitched media. In addition, Adobe Stock will have enhanced connections with CC apps and new workflows will enable Adobe Bridge and Lightroom users to contribute to the Adobe Stock marketplace directly from within the application. Other feature highlights coming soon to Creative Cloud include: • Edit immediately during ingest allows Premiere Pro CC

users to get straight to work, while importing their video and audio files in the background. •  Powerful proxy workflows in Premiere Pro CC and

Adobe Media Encoder CC enable users to easily work with heavy 8K, HDR, and HFR media so editors can switch between native and proxy formats freely—even on lightweight machines. •  Enhanced Lumetri Color tools within Premiere Pro

CC add HSL Secondaries to expand the editor’s toolkit

for making color correction and adjustment easier for all filmmakers. •  New video and audio preview engine in After Effects

CC delivers superior playback of cached frames for a smooth experience. • Easier and more efficient Character Animator includes

a simplified puppet-creation process that enables users to easily tag puppet layers and record multiple takes of a character’s movement. Users can animate puppets to respond to motion and trigger animation accordingly. •  New Essential Sound panel in Audition CC enables

anyone to mix audio content for professional results. •  Quickly find Adobe Stock assets with new filtered

search in Creative Cloud Libraries. Licensed assets in your library are now badged for easy identification, videos are displayed with duration and format information, and saved videos are linked to video previews on the Adobe Stock site. Adobe also announced that there are now more than 100,000 native 4k videos available on Adobe Stock. For more information on the upcoming new features in Adobe’s pro video tools, visit

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Keep Your Camera Dry and Accessible with the Brand-New Matador Camera Base Layer


Matador recently announced a solution to keep your camera and equipment protected, dry, and easily accessible with the Matador Camera Base Layer bag. Designed for photography enthusiasts, amateurs, and professionals, the ultralite Matador Camera Base Layer allows you to remove your camera from the bag in less than a second for full access to all buttons and controls. The waterresistant lining and padded shell protects your camera from dust, water, and bumps, and comes with an attached waterproof fly to deploy when needed. The one-size-fits-all roll-top design can house DSLR and Micro 4/3 camera lenses, making the Camera Base Layer versatile with every camera model and size. For more on the Camera Base Layer bag, visit the Matador website.

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

Manfrotto Introduces Advanced Rear Backpack Manfrotto—a leading global innovator and manufacturer of premium photo, video, and lighting support products and accessories—announced the launch of the Advanced Rear Backpack. This versatile bag can be used as a camera backpack, a laptop backpack, or just as a protective camera case. The lower part of the bag, dedicated to photographic equipment, safely holds a professional DSLR camera body with up to three lenses, thanks to the Manfrotto Protection System. Further protection is ensured by the zippered camera compartment, which hides on the backside of the backpack close to the body. The camera compartment can be completely removed, transforming the bag into a spacious daypack. The new Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack includes many solutions for personal belongings while you’re traveling: the front pocket can store a 13" laptop, A4 documents, a 10" tablet, and a small book; the side pocket is suitable for a notebook and water bottle; and the upper compartment can contain other documents and personal items. The bag also comes with a dedicated tripod compartment and a branded rain cover to keep equipment protected in all weather conditions. The Advanced Rear Backpack is available now nationwide for $159.99. For additional information, visit

Topaz Labs Releases ReMask Prime on the Mac App Store The newly announced ReMask Prime is based on Topaz ReMask, a masking application from Topaz Labs that works both as a standalone application and a Photoshop plug-in. ReMask Prime is a simplified version of ReMask that only works as a standalone app, but it takes advantage of all the power and technology of its parent application. It uses the Topaz tri-map functionality to quickly replace backgrounds and create cutouts. Paint in blue to define the edges of your subjects, and then use green to define the areas you want to keep and red for the areas you want to cut. ReMask Prime analyzes the color-coded sections and creates the mask in seconds. To learn more visit the Mac App Store.

Priolite North America recently announced the world’s first HotSync solution for high-speed flash photography with high-powered Li-ion battery-operated studio and location strobes that’s compatible with SONY cameras. Similar to the Priolite Remote Control for Nikon, Canon, and Pentax, SONY users are now able to synchronize their cameras with the help of the Priolite HotSync System, and use Priolite’s high-powered Li-ion battery-operated strobes at up to 1/8000th of a second. The Priolite HotSync System allows photographers to shoot with wide-open apertures in sunlit environments, freezing motion of fast-moving subjects, and enables them to create images that were previously difficult or impossible to capture. The ability to remotely control high-powered battery-operated studio strobes anywhere between 9Ws and up to 1000Ws per light with the 2.4-GHz Priolite Remote Control opens up endless possibilities for photographers all around the world. Visit Priolite for more information on pricing and availability. ■

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Priolite Introduces High-Speed Flash Support for SONY Cameras


HOW TO › ›

Down &Dirty Tricks

blended double-exposure effect BY COREY BARKER

Double exposures are a very popular effect these days among photographers, and lately designers have been embracing this look a lot as well. Here, we’ll show how you can blend images and graphic elements in rather interesting ways for a symphony concert ad.

©Adobe Stock/olly


Step One

Step Two

Step One: Open the image of the violin player that’s part of the exercise download. This will be the main subject and base shape of the overall design. First, we need to extract him from the background. [KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tuto-

Step Three

rial at All files are for personal use only.]

Step Three: Once the selection is made, click on the Refine Edge button in the Options Bar. Grab the Refine Radius tool (E) on the left side of the Refine Edge dialog, and then brush around the hair area and other soft areas of the subject. Remember to keep the brush size rather small by adjusting it with the Bracket keys on your keyboard. Once you have the selection refined, go back to the Refine Edge dialog and nudge the Radius slider just a little. Then, go down to the Adjust Edge section and push the Contrast to

Step Four

around 7%. Lastly, set the Output To drop-down menu to New Layer with Layer Mask and click OK.

Step Four: Create a new document (File>New) that’s 1000x600 pixels at 100 ppi. This will be the file in which we’ll build the design.

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Step Two: As usual, we’ll use the Quick Selection tool (W), but feel free to use whichever selection method you prefer. Just paint over the entire subject to make the selection. Even though the background is textured, it’s still light enough for the Quick Selection tool to detect the edges of the subject. If the Quick Selection tool does select part of the background, just hold the Option (PC: Alt) key and paint over that area to remove it from the selection.



Step Five: Go back to the violin player image, switch to the


Move tool (V), drag the extracted layer to the new file, and position him as you see here. Then, open the background texture file in the exercise download, and drag it into the main design, as well. Drag the texture layer below the violin subject layer in the Layers panel, and then position it so it fills the background.

Step Five

Step Six: Click on the subject layer in the Layers panel to make it active and change the layer blend mode to Multiply. This blends the subject with the background texture, but some areas are darker than we want; we’ll address that in a little bit.

Step Six

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©Adobe Stock/fazon

Step Seven: Now open the Colosseum image. This will be the image we blend with the subject to get that double exposure effect. Using the Move tool, drag it to the main design. Make sure this layer is at the top of the layer stack and then drop the layer Opacity to 50%. Press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform then scale and position the image over the subject like you see here. Press Enter when done.

Step Seven


Step Eight: Set the layer Opacity to 85%. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and click-and-drag the layer mask from the layer below to this layer. This will copy-and-paste the layer mask in one move. This will make the Colosseum image only visible in the shape of the subject.

Step Eight

Step Nine

Step Nine: With the initial mask in place, we need to edit it some more, so grab the Gradient tool (G) in the Toolbox. In the Options Bar, click on the preview strip to open the Gradient Editor, choose the Foreground to Transparent preset, and click OK. Then, choose the Radial Gradient icon to the right in the Options Bar. Press D to set black as the Foreground color.

Step Ten: Make sure the layer mask of the Colosseum image layer is active in the Layers panel, and then add a few gradients in areas where you want to reveal the subject below—mainly the violin, face, and hands. This will create that double-exposure effect. Step Ten

Step Eleven: Switch the Foreground color to white by pressing

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X, then add a couple gradients over the shoulder of the subject to reveal more of the Colosseum beyond the edge of the subject. After you’ve applied the gradients, you may find that you want to adjust the position of the Colosseum, but if you move the layer, the mask will move with it. In the Layers panel, click on the chain icon between the layer thumbnail and the mask thumbnail to unlink them, then you can click on the layer thumbnail to make it active and move just the layer.

Step Eleven



Step Twelve: Now we’re going to add another element. Create a new document that’s 2000x2000 pixels. Press D to set the default colors then go under the Filter menu to Sketch and choose Halftone Pattern. Go to the Pattern Type drop-down menu and choose Line, then set the Size to 3 and the Contrast to 0. Click OK. (Note: If you don’t see Sketch in the Filter menu, go to Photo­ shop [PC: Edit]>Preferences>Plug-Ins and turn on Show All Filter Gallery Groups and Names.)

Step Thirteen: Go under the Filter menu again, but this time go to Distort and choose Polar Coordinates. Check Rectangular to Polar and click OK.

Step Fourteen: Using the Move tool, drag this new element into

Step Twelve

the main design file. Again, set it at the top of the layer stack, and change the layer blend mode to Multiply. Then, position it so that the center of the circles is right where the bow touches the strings on the violin. Use Free Transform to scale the graphic so the outermost edge of the circle is outside of view. Press Enter to commit the Transformation, and then drop the layer Opacity to 10%.

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Step Thirteen


Step Fourteen


Step Fifteen: Add a layer mask to this layer, and switch to the Gradient tool. Using the same radial Foreground to Transparent gradient we used earlier, draw a gradient out from the center of the circle.

Step Sixteen: Click on the Create New Adjustment layer icon (half-white, half-black circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Hue/Saturation. Check on Colorize and set the Hue to 25 and the Saturation to 40. In the Layers panel, set the layer blend mode to Hard Light and drop the Opacity to 75%.

Step Fifteen

Step Sixteen

Step Seventeen: At this

Step Seventeen

©Adobe Stock/JeremyWhat

point it looks pretty good but the subject is now a little too dark in the face, hands, and neck areas. To fix this, create a new blank layer and place it below the subject layer in the Layers panel. Using the same Gradient tool we’ve been using with the Foreground color set to white (press D then X), add a few gradients in the face, hands, and neck areas. Because the subject layer is in Multiply, these subtle highlights will show through. Finally, just drop the layer Opacity to 90%.

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Step Eighteen: We have one more element to add as a finishing touch. Here we have some sheet music to blend in to the background. Just open the image, drag it over to the main design, and place it to the left side of the composition. Also, make sure the layer is above the adjustment layer at the top of the layer stack in the Layers panel. Step Eighteen



Step Nineteen: In the Layers panel, set the layer blend mode to Color Burn and drop the Opacity to 65%. Add a layer mask to this layer and use the Gradient tool with the Foreground color set to black to fade the right side of the sheet music.

Step Nineteen

Step Twenty: Now that the overall design is complete, we just need to add some text. Choose the Type tool (T), set the Foreground color to white, and click on the canvas in the upper-left corner to set a text layer. Here, we set “CLASSICAL ROME” in Trajan Pro, with “ROME” set at a higher point size in the Options Bar. To change the space (leading) between the first and second lines, highlight the word “ROME,” hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and press the Up Arrow key several times.

Step Twenty

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Step Twenty-One: Once the


text is set, use the type cursor to highlight the R. Go into the Font menu in the Options Bar and change the font on the R to Zapfino. This will give you a more stylized R. Go under the Window menu and choose Glyphs. Reselect the R and in the Glyphs panel, scroll down to find the various R styles. Choose one by simply double-clicking on it. When done, you may need to adjust the text formatting. Here, we moved “CLASSICAL” over to the right side of the R using tabs and spaces, then tightened the kerning between the R and O by placing the cursor between the letters, holding down Option (PC: Alt), and pressing the Left Arrow key a few times.

Step Twenty-One


Step Twenty-Two: Once the text is set, change the blend mode to Difference, then click on the Add a Layer Style icon (ƒx) at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Drop Shadow. The settings here were used for the original high-res files; for the low-res practice files, you’ll need to use a smaller Distance and Size. (Tip: You can click-and-drag directly in the document to position the Drop Shadow.) This will blend the text with the sheet music. Click OK when done. There you have it; the overall design is complete. At this point, you can make any tweaks you want. ■ Step Twenty-Two

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HOW TO › ›

Down &Dirty Tricks

frame effect for your photos BY SCOTT KELBY

This is a technique I sometimes use to show my images online, maybe on my blog (, or on my Facebook page (, and whenever I do, people always ask, “How do you get that frame around it?” Well, I do it just like this.


Step One: Create a new blank document (File>New) at the size that you need, and then click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of your Layers panel to create a new empty layer. Take the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and draw out a selection at the shape and size that you’d like for your frame. (Tip: Press-and-hold the Spacebar while you’re drawing your selection to reposition the selection.) Press the letter D to set your Foreground color to black, then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill your selected area with black (as seen here). Now you can Deselect by pressing Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D).

Step One

Step Two: Take the Rectangular Marquee tool and make a selection just inside the edges of your black rectangle (or square) like you see here, and then press the Delete (PC: Backspace) key on your keyboard to knock out a hole in your black layer. Now you can deselect. What you have at this point are the edges of the frame on their own transparent layer.

Step Two

Step Three: Get the Polygonal Lasso tool (nested under the

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Lasso tool [L] in the Toolbox), and make a selection like you see here—cutting the corner at a 45° angle, and selecting way outside the edges of your frame border.

Step Three



Step Four: To select just the frame, we’re going to use a cool little trick: Hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and press the Down Arrow key one time. This forces the selection to immediately snap to the edges like you see here.

Step Four

Step Five: Go to the Layers panel and create a new blank layer. Now, get the Gradient tool (G) from the Toolbox, go up to the Options Bar at the top of the screen, click on the down-facing arrow next to the gradient preview thumbnail to open the Gradient Picker, and choose the third gradient from the left in the default set of gradients; it’s a black to white gradient. Now take that tool, and about an inch from the bottom of your selection, drag straight upward like you see here so the bottom is black and it graduates to white at the top.

Step Five

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Step Six: Now you can


deselect. To make this look more like a highlight, rather than a solid white fill, go to the Layers panel and lower the Opacity of this layer to 40% as shown here.

Step Six


Step Seven: Now you’re going to do the same thing to the top edge of the frame on the left side, once again using the Polygonal Lasso tool to select that area. Click on the frame layer in the Layers panel to make it active, and this time while holding the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, press the Right Arrow on your keyboard to snap the selection to the frame. Create another new blank layer right above your frame layer, draw your gradient, deselect, and then lower the Opacity.

Step Seven

Step Eight: Do the same thing to the top of the left edge of the frame (this time pressing the Down Arrow to snap the selection to the edges), and to the left of the bottom edge, so you have highlights in a few different places as you see here. When finished, click on the top layer in the Layers panel, and then Shiftclick the main frame layer to select all the layers that make up the frame. Then, press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E) to merge them all into one layer. Step Nine: Now we’re going to add a little bit of depth by adding a drop shadow. Click on the Add a Layer Style icon (fx) at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Drop Shadow. When the Layer Style dialog appears, choose how blurry you want your drop shadow using the Size slider. Use the Distance slider to choose how far away you want the shadow from the frame. I usually keep mine fairly close. When it looks good to you, click OK.

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Step Eight

Step Nine



Step Ten: Now open the image you want to appear in your frame and copy-and-paste it into this document. Use Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]) to resize it so it’s the size you want it to be, holding the Shift key to maintain proportions. Because I’m going for a fine-art look, I leave lots of white space below the image and a pretty large amount on the top, left, and right sides. Press Enter to commit the transformation.

Step Ten

Step Eleven: Now we’re going to add the look of a mat around our photo. Add a new blank layer below your photo layer. Get the Rectangular Marquee tool and make a selection that’s slightly larger than your photo, as shown here. Press the letter X to swap your Foreground and Background colors so white is now your Foreground color. Press Option-Delete (PC: AltBackspace) to fill this selected area with white.

Step Eleven

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Step Twelve: Click on the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers


panel and choose Inner Glow. When the Inner Glow Layer Style dialog appears, set your color to black, make sure your Blend Mode is set to Normal, and lower the Opacity to around 24%. The Size slider controls the amount of glow; in this case, I set it to 7 pixels because this is a low-res image for the Web, but you can choose however much you like. If you want it to look like a real mat, don’t make it too blurry.

Step Twelve


Step Thirteen: When you’re done, click OK and now that white box has a slight inner glow all the way around that makes it look like the shadow and depth that would be cast by a real mat.

Step Fourteen: The final step is optional and that’s to add a signature plate below your image. In this case, I opened a scan of my signature, copy-and-pasted it into this document, and lowered the Opacity way, way down to like 14%. Then, I added some text using the font Gil Sans Light. I increased the tracking between the letters to give it more of an airy feel. You can do that by highlighting the text and then pressing Option Right-Arrow (PC: Alt-Right Arrow) a number of times to add space between the letters. And that completes the effect. ■

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Step Thirteen




HOW TO › ›

Beginners' Workshop


how to add texture to text using a photo

Design trends come and go, but textured text seems here to stay. In this column, you’ll learn how to add texture to text Hollywood-style, wherein you prepare a photo for use as the texture and then plop it into a layer mask. Happily, your text remains editable throughout the technique. Read on!

Step One: Choose File>New to create a new document at the size you desire. Press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to invert the Background layer from white to black. Click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom of the Toolbox, select a nice red color, and click OK to close the Color Picker. Next, press T to grab the Type tool and add some text to your document. Short words in a thick font at a large point size work best; that way you have plenty of surface area to texturize. Impact was used here at 479 points on the first line and 278 points on the second line (this will depend on the size of your document). Tip: If you have trouble vertically aligning two rows of text— say, the two Bs—insert your cursor at the beginning of the line that you want to adjust, and use the Paragraph panel’s indent field (in this example, 7 points was added

Step One

to the second line). To adjust the space (leading) between the two lines, highlight the second line, press-and-hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and tap the Up Arrow key on

©Adobe Stock/Anatolii

your keyboard to move the line up.

Step Two: Find a photo to use as your texture and open it by choosing File>Open. Pick an image that’s fairly high in contrast (a nice mix of shadows and highlights) and that has interesting texture, lines, or a recognizable › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

shape. For example, you could use a close-up of some-


thing in nature (wood, leaves, flowers, etc.), something with an interesting shape (people, cars, architecture, landscapes, etc.), or something that has fur like the fluffy bunny shown here. (It’ll take experimentation to find a photo that works well, so don’t despair if your first few choices fizzle!) Because you’ll likely need to tweak image contrast, go ahead and duplicate the image layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at All files are for personal use only.] Step Two


Step Three: Now let’s prepare the photo for use as texture inside a layer mask. Click the halfblack, half-white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Threshold. In the Properties panel that opens, adjust the Threshold Level slider so the photo’s details appear in black: drag left to lighten or right to darken. Here you can see what the photo looked like before (left) and after adjusting the Threshold slider (right). Any areas in black will become the texture later on.

Step Three

Step Four: To fine-tune contrast, you can darken and lighten certain areas by hand. To keep from harming your original photo, activate the duplicate layer you made in Step Two in the Layers panel. To darken, activate the Burn tool (nested under the Dodge tool [O] in the Toolbox), set the Range to Midtones in the Options Bar, and then brush across areas that need darkening (the bunny’s ears and sides of his head). Keep painting until the details appear.

Step Four

Step Five: To lighten certain areas, switch to the Dodge tool and then brush across them repeatedly until you’re happy with the results. Here, that’s the top of the bunny’s ears, nose area, and chest. Keep switching back and forth between the Burn and Dodge tools until your subject › › k e l b yo n e . c o m

is recognizable, as shown here. Tip: You can alter the strength of the Burn and Dodge tools using the Exposure setting in the Options Bar. Also, when you have either the Dodge or Burn tool active, you can temporarily switch to the other tool by pressing-and-holding the Option (PC: Alt) key.


Step Five


Step Six: Copy the high contrast image into your computer’s memory. Since you can only copy the contents of one layer at a time, create a stamped copy: a new layer that contains the contents of all visible layers (you could flatten your layers but you’d lose the ability to tweak contrast of the texture image later on). To do this, activate the topmost layer (the Threshold adjustment layer) and then press Shift-Option-Command-E (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-E). With the new layer active, press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to select all. When you see marching ants surround the image, press Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to copy it.

Step Six

Step Seven: Switch to the new document you made in Step One (the one with the text). Activate the type layer and add a layer mask by clicking the circle-within-asquare icon at the bottom of your Layers panel (circled). The mask appears as a white thumbnail to the right of the T in your Layers panel. Open the mask by Optionclicking it (PC: Alt-clicking). Your entire document should be white; if it isn’t, you’re not inside the mask.

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Step Seven


Step Eight: Paste the image into the mask by pressing Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V). To resize it, summon Free Transform by pressing Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T), and then Shift-drag any corner handle to resize it. Tip: If you can’t see the corner handles, press Command-0 (PC: Ctrl-0). Press Enter when you’re finished resizing the image. Step Eight


Step Nine: Get rid of the marching selection ants by pressing Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D). Activate the Move tool (V) and drag to reposition the texture within the mask. Don’t worry too much about positioning as you can adjust it in the next step.

Step Ten: Click the text layer’s thumbnail (the big T) to exit the mask. To fine-tune positioning, use the Move tool. To move the mask independently of the text, or vice versa, head to the Layers panel and unlink them by clicking the chain icon between the two layer thumbnails (circled). Grab the Move tool and then click the thumbnail of what-

Step Ten

ever you want to reposition—the image or its mask—and then drag it into place. To relink them, click between their pears. The final result is above along with the Layers panel. Now that you know about this technique, you’ll feel smug when you spot it in the wild on movie posters and book covers. Until next time, may the creative force be with you all! ■

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thumbnails in the Layers panel and the chain icon reap-


HOW TO › ›

Dynamic Range

new in town: compositing uses several skills!


How do you write a big story? By writing it in small parts and putting it all together! In my regular “Photoshop Proving Ground” column, I spend a lot of time getting you familiar with Photoshop’s tools so you can use them to build big things from small. This month, I’ve taken over the “Dynamic Range” to show you how to combine a few tools I’ve written about in the past to take on bigger challenges by tackling the smaller ones first. In this way, you get to tell bigger and bigger stories.

New in Town


Scott Valentine/

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Step One: Get the Shots “New in Town” is built from a mix of photos from Adobe Stock and my personal collection. When I got the chance to shoot this amazing costume by Nicole Fullerton of Mad Girl Clothing, I knew I had to tell a story with it. My model, Annette, and I headed out to the Railyard district in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to get a Western Steampunk feel. I gave her a couple of NERF guns and set up behind her with a 14mm NIKKOR rectilinear lens on my Nikon D800. Once I had an angle I liked, I went back to my image library in Bridge and searched for other shots I’d taken with the same lens. Out came a shot of this little hill from the Valles Caldera, also in New Mexico (see next page).

Scott Valentine/


(Note: Due to space constraints, I will stick to showing how I aligned the buildings, and what effects were applied to the sky. Watch this video to see how I painted the toy blasters!) [KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tutorial or watch the above video via the online version of this issue at]

Step Two: Gather Up the Pieces

As I hunted for the right pictures, I paid attention to the quality of light, shadows, and approximate point of view. Color wasn’t important to me because I’d planned this image to be heavily toned for a vintage look. While many characteristics of an image can be modified with enough work, things like shadow angle and quality are extremely difficult to change. In my original costume photo, the sunlight is direct and somewhat hard; but using a reflector during the shoot kept the contrast down. From there, I could easily cheat on the model’s ground shadow by simply cloning over it. The rest of her costume has enough texture that there are very few hard edges in the shadows, and since she’s somewhat isolated, the viewer’s eye is not likely to compare shadows on her outfit with those of the much larger buildings that will be around her.

Step Three: Make a Rough Mask for the Model Now it’s time for strategic thinking—what’s going to make things easier to work with? In this case, since the model will be on top of everything, click the Eye icons next to the other layers in the Layers panel to hide them, and then use the Rectangular Marquee (M) to make a selection around her on

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©Adobe Stock/Fotomicar

Then it was off to find the right stock images to set up an Old-West theme. I found an old movie-set town that was nearly perfect, except it appears to have been shot a little higher up, and with a longer lens—probably a 50mm. That will have to be dealt with to get the same vanishing point as my 14mm lens.

Let’s get everything into the same document on its own layer. I don’t generally have a strategy for layer order when I start out—I just put things in as I think of them for the final image. I do, however, try to keep things organized with names and groups. In this case, I opened my model’s photo as the base layer because I wanted to ensure that she was centered in this composition. Next, I added (File>Place Embedded) the sky and far background (the Valles Caldera image), temporarily lowering its Opacity in the Layers panel for easier alignment. Finally, the buildings were placed and oriented. Each time an element is placed, I keep it as a smart object, at least until I’m done transforming (in Photoshop’s Preferences, on the General panel, select Always Create Smart Objects when Placing).



Step Four

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Step Five


the Background layer. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy her to a new layer and drag that layer to the top of the stack. Using the Quick Selection tool (W), make a rough selection of the model and then click the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel. This is just a rough mask for placement; you can refine the mask around her later on, once you know how detailed she’ll have to be. Later, we’ll also use the Clone Stamp to hide the asphalt and concrete on the ground where she’s standing. Now, let’s work on the setting.

Step Four: Draw Some Perspective Guides The buildings need some serious work to make the scene blend together. This calls for Perspective Warp! While you’ve probably seen this tool used mostly for correcting perspective in single images, it’s great for situations like matching

focal lengths. Fortunately, I have some scene elements from the background image to help guide me. Click the Create a New Layer icon to create a new layer at the top of your layer stack and grab a brightly colored sketching brush (press B for the Brush tool, click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom of the Toolbox to pick your color, click on the brush preview thumbnail in the Options Bar, and set the Size to 3 px and the Hardness to 100%). With only the Background layer (the layer you’re trying to match) and the new layer visible, start drawing some perspective guides on the blank layer. A strong horizon is critical, and in this case we can get away with single-point perspective—draw radial lines along the building’s lines, giving hints about building height and distance from the center of the composition. (Tip: To create a straight line with the Brush tool, click once where you want the line to start, and then Shift-click where you want the line to end.)


Step Five: Mask Out the Sky in the Buildings Smart Object I prefer to mask in advance when I’m going to be matching up elements. In this case, I first made sure the Buildings layer was a smart object, and then used Topaz ReMask 5 to isolate the sky to mask it out. Some of the mask edges are left semi-transparent, which will help blend the sky and building elements together in the final image (I’ve hidden the other layers in the image shown here). Note: To quickly mask out the sky in Photoshop, make the Buildings layer visible and active, double-click the smart object thumbnail to enter the smart object, use whatever tool you want to select the sky, press Shift-Command-I (PC: Shift-Ctrl-I) to inverse the selection so it’s around the buildings, click the Add a Mask icon, and then close and save the smart object file. The reason we want to add the mask inside the smart object is because when we use Perspective Warp in the next step, we want it to affect both the buildings and the mask at the same time; otherwise, it will reveal part of the sky above the buildings.

Step Six

Step Six: Define Planes of the Architecture Once the mask is applied, it’s time to add the Perspective Warp (Edit>Perspective Warp). First, draw out three connected quad shapes as shown here. I drew the boxes to the building perspectives, going outside the canvas bounds to minimize distortions in those areas. These buildings weren’t completely square, so I got as close as possible. (Tip: Once the Perspective Warp tool is active, you can no longer toggle visibility of other layers—turn on your perspective guides layer before warping! I left them off here for clarity.)

another pass at Perspective Warp. (A great reason to use smart objects is that you don’t have to start over to make small changes.) Notice that you can still see some of the original background elements peeking up over the western town. That will be taken care of when the sky is added to the mix. You can now turn off the perspective guides layer.

Step Seven: Warp the Architecture

Step Eight: Mask to Reveal Train Tracks and Gravel

Next, click on Warp in the Options Bar, and start dragging the corner pins to change the perspective. Making the perspective changes requires some guess work and old-fashioned eyeballing. The guides we drew were for hints on the image elements themselves, not the Perspective Warp guides. In this scene, I needed not only to adjust perspective, but also to scale down vertically. Once you have the buildings lined up against the guides, click the checkmark in the Options Bar to commit the changes. Don’t be afraid to finish up with a little extra transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]), scale, or even

Next up is a little mask work on the Buildings layer to reveal the railroad tracks in the Background image below. This is straightforward painting and selecting to get the details right. Remember that you don’t want hard edges on your masks! Leave a little softness to sell the pieces all being in the same place at the same time. I only included one set of tracks to the models left in the final image. (Note: I’m not showing the masking process in this article; look for an upcoming “Photoshop Proving Ground” that deals with specialized masking techniques.)

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Step Seven



Step Nine

Step Nine: Clone Out Asphalt and Concrete To clean up the asphalt and concrete, create a new layer directly above the Background layer, and use the Clone Stamp (S) tool with the Sample drop-down menu in the Options Bar set to Current & Below. Also in the Options Bar, deselect the Aligned checkbox (a.k.a. Use Same Offset for Each Stroke) so that every time you pick up the mouse or pen, you’ll start over with the same sampled area. In this way, you can use the same patch of rock for different areas, like a collage. The point of this is to lay down copies of little pieces over a larger area to be filled. In the Clone Source panel (Window>Clone Source), I also changed rotation and scale as I worked, which broke up any patterns. For highly textured areas where direction of shadow is difficult to discern, this works really well. It took several passes, always sampling new areas and painting only small pieces at a time, but the result is worth the effort to avoid patterns.

Step Ten: Finish Model’s Mask and Paint Shadow

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Once that’s done, finish the model’s mask on the top layer and then add a basic shadow, since the original was covered up when you cleaned up the ground. The shadow is just a blank layer set to Multiply, and painted with a soft, low-flow black brush. Nothing fancy, and again, I’m just eyeballing the placement.


off all the other layers at the same time, and then click on it to make it active. Add a layer mask; switch to the Gradient tool (G); click on the gradient thumbnail preview in the Options Bar to open the Gradient Editor; select the Black, White preset; click OK; and choose the Linear Gradient. Now, hold the Shift key and click-and-drag upward a very short distance just below the hill to draw a gradient that will hide the foreground. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the sky layer. Right-click on the copied layer’s name and choose Rasterize Layer, and then Right-click on the layer mask thumbnail and select Apply Layer Mask. That’s a destructive move, but there are two great reasons for it: (1) The Path Blur tool (see next step) can be a little intensive on the graphics card, so giving it less to work with is preferable whenever possible; and (2), when you use a blur, all the surrounding pixels can get mixed in. Since there were elements on the horizon I didn’t want blended with the sky, I left them out so they wouldn’t contaminate the edges when I added everything together. (Note: You want to turn off other layer elements so you don’t get confused with all the other things going on, because when you enter the Blur Gallery, you’ll see everything that’s currently visible on the canvas, but only the active layer gets the effect. It can be disconcerting to see that some things don’t react to your changes!)

Step Twelve: Blur the Sky Step Eleven: Mask out the Foreground in the Sky Layer The last major piece to work on is the sky. The original sky in the base image had some really nice texture on one side, but not much detail elsewhere. Something I liked was the breezy, directional look on the left side, so let’s replicate that in our new sky. In the Layers panel, Option-click (PC: Alt-click) where the Eye icon used to be for the Sky layer to turn it on and to turn

Go to Filter>Blur Gallery>Path Blur. I’ve added two blur paths. The top is curved, and set to a Speed of about 80% in the Blur Tools panel. The end shapes are selected, and I curved them (turn on Edit Blur Shapes in the Blur Tools panel to see the end shapes). Using end shapes in this way allows for more texture and complexity; otherwise, blurs can end up looking like you simply ran a comb over them. A little extra texture from the shape may not be completely natural, but it certainly looks more interesting!


Step Twelve

Step Twelve

take advantage of the western town’s cutout, and hides the original background, including some elements that might stick out around the edges and rooftops. To get more contrast in the sky layer, I clipped a Curves adjustment layer to it and lowered the shadows a bit.

Step Thirteen: Drama, Please! The finishing touches here are pretty simple, but really add some pizazz. The main tone comes from a Color Look­up (CLUT) adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Lookup), using the Gold-Crimson preset found under Abstract in the Properties panel. I wanted a tintype feel, without losing all of the color. Just above the CLUT adjustment is a Gradient fill layer (Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient) for the vignette. It’s a simple radial gradient from transparent to black at the corners. Vignettes help draw the eye in to the center of the image while providing some depth. I’ve set the blend mode of the Gradient fill to Multiply and lowered the Opacity to 68%. Finally, it’s time for the texture! I used a combination of some really grungy rust and some old parchment paper, both from Adobe Stock. The rust layer was treated with a clipped Black & White adjustment and some Curves to smooth it out, then set to Overlay blend mode and 41% Opacity. At the top of that is the paper texture also set to Overlay, with 36% Opacity. All of the texture elements are grouped (select all of the layers in the Layers panel and press Command-G [PC: Ctrl-G]), then the group’s Opacity is lowered to 15%. The reason for this is to maintain the relationship between

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To keep the horizon from being blurred, the second path is a straight line with the End Point Speed set to 0 px at both ends of the line. This little trick is important to know; each Blur Path can have its own speed setting, and that’s what gives this tool its amazing power. After selecting OK in the Blur Gallery, the result is rendered back to the layer stack. I then flipped the Sky copy layer horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Placing the Sky copy layer between the ground and the Buildings layer (and turning all the layers back on) lets me



the texture elements, so as to have them both be raised or lowered by the same amount with the group Opacity.

Something I love about building composite images is that they exercise nearly everything you know about photography and working in Photoshop. You need to understand composition and what to look for in a scene. You also need some engineering skills to disassemble the various images, look for important common elements, and identify what needs to be changed. And in Photoshop, you’ll get a serious workout with lots of techniques and tools all mashed together in a single project. There’s no single path to success here, so trust yourself and keep your story in mind. Organization and a little planning will also help a great deal. What you’re really doing is performing your art of visualization, giving your perspective and choosing the emotion and narrative you want to tell that didn’t exist until you opened Photoshop. Go tell your story! ■

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Step Thirteen



WHO COMES TO PHOTOSHOP WORLD Photoshop users, Lightroom fanatics, photographers and graphic designers are all there. They’re creative professionals, soccer moms, artists, educators and students, video creators, hobbyists, wedding photographers and folks who use Adobe’s tools to create, excite, inspire and communicate. They’re beginners, intermediates and advanced users. They’re ad agencies and “mom-and-pop” shops. They’re tattoo artists, brain surgeons, painters and pilots. They’re a bunch of really cool, fun, creative people—like you. People from all over come to this conference to leave the world behind and totally immerse themselves in three days of incredible in-depth training, creative inspiration and fun. It’s about losing yourself in a flood of new ideas, new techniques and newer, faster, better ways to do things.

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Photoshop, LIghtroom, Creative Cloud, Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp, Adobe Capture and Photoshop Mix are all registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Incorporated. Images courtesy of Brad Moore, Kevin Newsome, Kathy Porupski, Jeff Limebaugh and Randy Van Duinen.



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You’ll be right there with them, learning, interacting and growing as they share their latest techniques.

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For a full list of our instructors visit

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS Besides over 100 class sessions and in-depth workshops, there’s a lot more to Photoshop World than just training. Here’s a quick list of just a few of the highlights:



Network and socialize at our Meet Up, Peer-toPeer roundtables, Pub Crawl and Dinner With a Stranger social events.

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We offer a wide variety of creative explorations that allow you to work on your own project with the guidance of our PSW instructors.

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FIND YOUR TRACK...FOLLOW IT BY COLOR One of the best things about Photoshop World is that you can build a custom training experience that’s just right for you, choosing from over 100 sessions in eight different training tracks— all open to you with a full conference pass. We also color-coded each track, so you can easily indentify the ones you want to follow.









JOIN US IN LAS VEGAS | JULY 19TH–21ST Our home for Photoshop World is the fabulous Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino right on the Vegas Strip. With dozens of beautiful shops, exciting eateries and dazzling nightclubs, it’s the ideal location for a conference. Best of all, you can stay right where the conference is—where our staff and instructors stay—at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino or the trendy Delano (both attached to the convention resort), and get our special discounted room rate of just $119 /night (Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino) or $139 /night (Delano). To receive our special rates, book your room by Friday, June 24, 2016 and tell them you’re a registered Photoshop World attendee. To reserve your room, visit


TO REGISTER Visit or call 1-800-201-7323 After June 10th, pricing will increase to full conference pricing. *Alumni and KelbyOne member discounts cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. To qualify for the $50-off alumni discount, you must have attended a previous Photoshop World (your name must be in our database). **Proof of educator or student ID required at conference check-in. To qualify for the $100 off KelbyOne member discount you must provide your username & password at checkout.

Photoshop Proving Ground color three ways


Sometimes a photo needs a little extra color to give it a particular feel or mood. In a previous article, I talked about using Color Lookup Tables (CLUTs) to develop a look that can be saved and used across multiple images or video; however, for those times when you don’t need the supercharged capabilities of CLUTs, there’s a very simple trick involving blending modes. But you know I can’t let you off with one easy trick!

The basis of this technique is pretty widely known, so if it looks familiar, stick around for some cool variations. There’s more than one way to do most any task in Photoshop. In fact, let’s do it three ways.

Version 1 Open a photo with a reasonably good range of color and brightness. Add a blank layer above your base layer, then fill the blank layer with any color you like using Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace). We’ll call this the Blend layer from here on. In the Foreground Color Picker, I’m using R: 236, G: 78, and B: 27, which is a reddish orange. Now you have some choices to make. You could simply lower the Fill or Opacity values of the Blend layer in the Layers panel (I’ve used 70% Opacity for this image). This gives a great reduced-detail graphic look, perfect for adding photos as design elements on a webpage or advertising collateral. But we’re after a more photographic look, which requires some blending.

Color blending; the top half uses Hue blending (I’ve left the middle of the spectrum uncovered so you can compare it with the blended versions). Notice that the spectrum gradient is treated nearly identically by both blending modes, but the grays are very different until you get to black and white. This is the key difference between the two modes, and we’ll use that information at the end of the article.

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Hue blending mode

Instead, keep Opacity and Fill at 100% and choose Hue or Color blending mode from the drop-down menu at the top of the Layers panel. Here, I’ve created a test image for the two different blending modes that has a set of gray bands from black to white, with a spectrum gradient in the middle. The bottom half of the image is covered by a solid fill set to Color blending mode


HOW TO › ›

Version 2 Filling with a solid color is easy enough to do but Version 1 isn’t very flexible if you want to try a variety of colors. Another option is to use a Color Fill layer (Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color). When you apply this adjustment as the Blend layer, you can sample colors from the Color Picker or your open Swatches panel. This lets you choose very specific colors, but also lets you try several before deciding—the preview is live and updates immediately after clicking on a color sample.

retouching portraits to even out makeup and skin tones. The Hue blending mode provides a more natural look, and reacts based on the saturation of the base image. That means you can add another clipped Hue/Saturation adjustment to your base image (below the Blend layer) and have more control over where and how strongly the effect is applied. It also means that deep shadows and bright highlights tend to be much less affected, so having more obvious visuals would need something different. For affecting highlights, such as simulating a gelled strobe, use the Version 3 method with the 50% gray layer set to Color blending. Start by working with color affecting the entire photo at 100% Opacity and Fill for the color layer, then add a black-filled layer mask to the 50% gray layer (hold the Option [PC: Alt] key while clicking the Add Layer Mask icon [circle in a square] at the bottom of the Layers panel). Choose a medium-sized soft Brush (B), and lower the Flow of the brush in the Options Bar to about 25%. Then, paint with white on the mask over the areas you want a splash of color. Here, I wanted to simulate an orange-gelled strobe to the left of the model, so I only painted in along those areas facing the

An added bonus of this method is you don’t have to worry about changing canvas size and having unfilled areas as you would with Version 1. Simply filling a blank layer with a solid color only fills to the canvas boundary, so if you increase the size of your canvas, there will be blank areas that you have to refill. That being said, if you have a specific element that you want to color separately from the rest of the image, you can paint the mask on the Color Fill layer. You can also cut out that element and place it on a layer by itself, then clip the Color Fill layer to that element layer to restrict the effect. To clip the layers together, make sure the Color Fill layer is on top of the image element layer, then hold down Option (PC: Alt), and click between the two layers in the Layers panel.

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Version 3


Here’s one for the geeks and experimenters: Fill a blank layer with 50% gray (press Shift-Delete to open the Fill dialog and select 50% Gray in Contents), set it to Color or Hue blending, then clip a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation) on top of that. In the Properties panel, click on Colorize, and now you have more control over previewing and choosing a tone for your photo.

Exploration Now let’s explore some options you have with these techniques. One of my favorite applications of this trick is in

strobe. I then lowered the overall Opacity of the 50% gray layer to about 75%.


Advantages by Version All three of these versions give the same initial results; however, each one has some advantage. • Version 1 is fast and you can paint your colors directly onto a blank layer, including using multiple colors, which is great for makeup.

• Version 2 gives you immediate previews and lets you select very precise colors. • Version 3 blends elements of the first two by letting you paint with gray on a blank layer while allowing you to change the colors with a slider. (Note: Version 3 can similarly be accomplished with just the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer; adding the 50% gray layer is a foundation for more advanced techniques, so it’s helpful to get used to doing it this way.) When you throw in other tricks, such as using Blend If sliders, or putting a Selective Color adjustment layer between your photo and the Color Fill layer, you add lots of flexibility and control. I always advocate learning multiple approaches to doing things in Photoshop. Besides being a cool party trick, it does help build familiarity with how the tools actually work, and that lets you troubleshoot or explore new techniques with ease. ■

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Of course, you can stack up the Blend layers. For example, using blue on a Hue blend layer, combined with an orange layer below set to Color, creates a duotone effect that’s very easy to control and apply. In this case, the orange Blend layer (set to Color) is set to 60% Opacity, but there’s no other masking. The blue Blend layer (Hue) is 100% Opacity, but I’ve used the Blend If sliders to keep the blue out of the darker tones. To find the Blend If sliders, double-click next to the layer’s name in the Layers panel to open the Blending Options dialog. Hold Option (PC: Alt) while dragging the black Underlying Layer triangle to the right. This splits the slider to make a smoother transition. Just drag the two halves around until you get the desired effect. Finish with your favorite vignette effect, and you’re all set!


D E PA R T M E N T › ›

Photoshop Tips

boost your productivity and creativity


It may be April, but you ain’t no April fool! I know that because

Get Rid of that Screen Door

you’re reading this column, which means that you care about

When you zoom into an image 600% or more, you’ll notice that

getting things done fast. Every time you pick up a new time- (or

it looks like you’re peering through a screen door or window

frustration-) saving tip, then your reading time is an investment.

because there’s a white grid around all the pixels. This enables

I could say that by reading this column, you’re actually getting

you to clearly see the individual pixels in an image. This is actually

time back. But don’t give up that Healing Brush just yet; this

called the pixel grid and you can turn it off if you like. Choose

isn’t the fountain of youth, just a fountain of knowledge.

View>Show>Pixel Grid. When you uncheck this option, you’ll

Blend Colors Together

see just the image without the grid, which is sometimes better depending on the task at hand.

When using the Brush tool (B), there are times when you need to blend two colors together. A gradient won’t work because you’re painting on an uneven shape, so what you need are in-between colors. Here’s a way to do that: Sample one of the colors and then reduce the brush Opacity to 50% in the Options Bar. Paint up to the edge of the other color. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and sample the new color. Paint over most of the way at 50%. Sample the new color and repeat. With a little practice, you’ll be able to blend any two colors together very quickly, especially if you’re using a pressure-sensitive stylus.

Custom Line Spacing for Text This tip is for those times when you have a block of text

Top left: Pixel Grid on; Bottom right: Pixel Grid off

with a header or footer and you want them to have different line spacing than the rest of the text block. (You adjust

Hiding Overlays on the Healing Brush

the whole block using the leading controls in the Character

When you’re using the Healing Brush tool (nested under the Spot

panel [Window>Character].) Select the entire line of text and

Healing Brush tool [J] in the Toolbox) in Photoshop it shows an

then hold down Option (PC: Alt) and then tap the Up or Down

overlay. Let me explain: Select the Healing Brush tool, hold the

Arrow keys to adjust the line spacing. If this doesn’t work, try

Option (PC: Alt) key, click to sample an area, and then paint to

including the very last letter of the line above in the selection

heal the new area with the sampled area. When you do this,

(or the first character of the line below if you’re trying to add

you’ll see an overlay of the sampled area inside your brush cur-

space under your text).

sor. What if you don’t want to see the overlay? Where are the

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settings? Here’s a clue: What tool does this remind you of? If


Get that Circle Selection Right where You Want It

you said the Clone Stamp, then you’re correct. Open the Clone

One of the most difficult tasks for me when I first started using

Source panel (Window>Clone Source). Here you can turn the

Photoshop was making a decent circular selection. I’d grab the

overlay on or off, change the Opacity of it, and even adjust the

Elliptical Marquee tool (nested under the Rectangular Marquee

scaling and angle of the sample source.

tool [M] in the Toolbox) and drag out a selection, but it would never end up where I wanted it—so frustrating! Then one day

Droplets—Actions on Your Desktop

I discovered this simple tip: Hold down the Spacebar while creat-

There used to be a lot of talk about droplets and people used to

ing a marquee selection and you can move the selection wherever

use them all the time. These days, I hardly ever hear people talk

you like. This even works for the Crop tool (C), so you can recom-

about them, which makes me think there’s an entire generation

pose your crop without having to redo it.

of users who have no idea that they exist. First introduced back


in the ImageReady days and then integrated into Photoshop in

Mask Panel

5.5 (not CS), droplets are actions that can by exported as a stand-

A while back, Adobe added a Masks panel. This panel allowed

alone icon that sits on your desktop (or any other location of

the user to do a lot of things that used to be difficult, such as

your choosing). When you drag an image into the droplet, it will

softening the edges of a mask or changing its density. Then the

launch Photoshop and perform the action on the image all by

panel disappeared. But where did all those tools go? They’re

itself. You can find it hidden under File>Automate>Create Drop-

now in the Properties panel. The Properties panel is a smart panel

let. I’ll be honest, I had forgotten all about droplets until some-

that changes its contents to work with whatever tool or feature

one recently asked me this question at the Adobe booth at WPPI.

is active in Photoshop. To launch the Masks options, double-click on a layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. That’s it. All the options will now be awaiting your interaction.

Stuff at the Bottom Did you know that you can display a lot of different information about your document, including document dimensions, resolution, and even how efficiently your computer is working? No? That’s okay; you’re not alone. If you look at the bottom-left corner of a document window, you’ll (probably) see document sizes. If you click the little chevron (arrow) to the right of the numbers, you’ll see a drop-down list of all the things that you can have displayed in this portion of the screen.

Quick Mask Settings The Quick Mask is a super useful tool. When active (press the letter Q), a selection becomes a mask on which you can paint. Press Q again to exit Quick Mask and it transforms back into a selection. So essentially, Quick Mask is a paintable selection. By default, it’s a reddish color. This is a throwback from a Rubylith mask in the real world. What if you’re working with a red image and it’s really hard to see the mask? You can change the color of the Quick Mask by simply double-clicking on the Quick Mask icon near the bottom of the Toolbox. Choose the Color and Opacity of your liking, and click OK.

Select Layers as Easy as Illustrator Are you an Illustrator user and wish that selecting layers in Phosomething and its active. You can set up Photoshop to work the same way. All you need to do is choose the Move tool (V), turn on Auto-Select in the Options Bar at the top, and set it to Layer. Just to help you see what’s happening, also turn on Show Transform Controls. ■ ALL IMAGES BY COLIN SMITH

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toshop were as easy as Illustrator? All you have to do is click on



› ›

DesignMakeover JAKE WIDMAN


Global Opportunity

opportunity knocks

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makeover submissions

Global Opportunity acts as a bridge between small manufacturers and the retailers who want to sell what they make. Up until recently, it was called Goods 4 U Global; that was when Robert Ungemach and Keith Emmons acquired it. Emmons and Ungemach were already the owners of a store called Opportunity Market in Dallas, Texas, a boutique specializing in fair trade items from around the world, as well as U.S.-made items. But their retail journey actually started much smaller. About 10 years ago, they began making their own body care and candle products and selling them at flea markets under the name Shambhala Soaps. “As a home-based business with not a lot of cash, we did what so many others do: Just picked a font for our logo, found a lotus graphic from iStock Photo, and changed the colors according to the fragrance of the product,” says Emmons. Eventually, the two men opened a permanent location in Dallas’s Bishop Arts District, a historical neighborhood known for its restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques. They started looking for other unique items to sell in the store to distinguish themselves from the other shops in the neighborhood and discovered fair trade products. “We decided to let go of the body care and candle line and spent two years coming up with a concept and store redesign, all the while putting aside cash to pay for it,” says Ungemach. The neighborhood was becoming a local hotspot, as well as gaining national attention, and the duo knew they needed to “step up our game. Along with the national increase in Web shopping, we knew we needed a more professional look while still maintaining the handmade artisan feel.” Working with designer Ben Loiz, the partners rebranded their boutique to Opportunity Market. They closed Shambhala Soaps in February 2015, remodeled, and reopened in May as Opportunity Market. They purchased Goods 4 U Global in late 2015 to extend their store and leverage their relationship with the kinds of artisans whose products they sold themselves. They decided they needed the same sort of rebranding to relaunch the rep agency, and turned again to Ben Loiz for a new logo and a new look.

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.

› ›



Global Opportunity

Having purchased Goods 4 U Global, Emmons and Ungemach decided to change the name to Global Opportunity to echo their existing Opportunity Market retail operation. The new name demanded a new logo, but they also wanted to make sure the agency had a distinctive, sophisticated identity. “We wanted to separate it from the previous owners,” says Ungemach. “The company never really had a personality or branding before. The previous logo didn’t capture what we were putting together.” For the new logo, the duo turned again to designer Ben Loiz, who had masterminded the rebranding of their shop from Shambhala to Opportunity Market. “I first worked with them about a year ago on their store,” says Loiz. “It was a good experience. About a year later, they sent me a note about this new project.” Loiz didn’t see the task as simply an updating or reworking of a single company’s logo but rather as a whole new project. “It was more like a merger between two companies,” he says. For that reason, he didn’t feel compelled to use the existing Goods 4 U Global logo as a starting point. “Honestly, I didn’t think a lot about the old logo,” he says. “I had to figure out how to express the goals of the company they were acquiring. It’s a new name altogether, so I wasn’t looking for anything that could make its way over. I kind of looked at it as a new project.” From their previous work with Loiz, Emmons and Ungemach already understood the importance of thinking through their business’s brand personality and knew how to boil it down into a few keywords. They realized that Global Opportunity’s branding had to communicate strength, growth, and trust. “We’re working with small business owners, and we know how challenging growth can be when you have to do everything yourself,” says Ungemach. “And we knew other businesses needed to trust us.”

about the client GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY

Global Opportunity was founded, its website says, “to help retailers and their customers create change in the world.” The company acts as a manufacturer’s rep agency, giving small retailers access to products they can sell in their own stores or online. It focuses on artisanal goods from small businesses that design and manufacture in the United States, and on fair trade jewelry, gifts, and fashion items from other countries. “We work with brands that are transparent in their business model,” says co-owner Keith Emmons. “We vet each brand on their business philosophy, how they work with their artisans, and how they treat the environment.” Because of that attention to the way their suppliers do business, Emmons says, “these purchases improve the lives and families of people both here in the U.S. and abroad.”

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the project



› ›


Ben Loiz

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the process


Loiz’s idea was to focus on the word Opportunity since it already appears in the name of the owners’ store and would be in the rebranded agency’s name. But he still needed to make a clear distinction between the two operations. “One of the initial things I wanted to bring out was that this organization is a kind of support for the people they work with,” Loiz says. “They focus on fair trade, U.S. products, and social enterprise brands. But the thing is that they support the artisans who are doing the work. The producers may have a great product, but they need an organization to help them reach buyers.” Loiz undertook to express a sense of coming together and support, and started looking for a way to express that with letters. That led him to the idea of connecting the g and the o in a way that would communicate a mutual strengthening. “I experimented with approaches to ligatures,” he says. Opportunity is a long word, so he wanted to lock the two words together without creating something that would be too long and unwieldy. He stacked the two words to shorten the overall width of the logo. That lent itself perfectly to a way for the g and o to connect vertically, aided by that fact that they’re both almost circular. The letterforms are based on Futura Md BT, an appropriate choice for a logo emphasizing circular letters. “I wanted to give an artisanal effect, a human feel, to match the focus of their specialization,” says Loiz. “So I printed it out, then hand-drew over it on tracing paper, and scanned it back in.”

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Ben Loiz

the result

“Ben’s first iteration knocked it out of the park,” says Ungemach. “We didn’t ask for any revisions at all.” Emmons concurs: “We liked the cleanliness of the design. It was able to incorporate something that was subtle but impactful.” As a bonus, the g-o ligature is also something they can use on its own, as a branding piece. The Global Opportunity business and name is in the process of being launched at the time of this writing, so it’s too early to have any firm metrics about its effect. “It did have its debut at a trade show in Chicago,” says Emmons “and got positive feedback.” (The company had some display materials printed up for the trade show with the new identity.)

“Loiz undertook to express a sense of coming together and support, and started looking for a way to express that with letters.”

about the designer Ben Loiz is owner of Ben Loiz Studio and design director of Bibles for America. He works in Los Angeles creating beautiful and thoughtful designs that solve problems and have a positive impact in the world around us. His studio specializes in developing memorable and iconic logos, identity systems, and branding for a range of clients from large to small. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and has been featured on His work has been exhibited internationally and published in PRINT, LogoLounge, +81 Magazine, Logo Design by TASCHEN Books, Experimenta Magazine, and Typo by Monsa Publications, among others. In 2006, Tokion Magazine recognized him as one of their favorite art directors, and in 2014 he was a PRINT Regional Design Annual winner. Ben’s clients include Nike, UCLA, Coca-Cola, the University of Southern California, A+R, The Hollywood & Highland Center, and TMC America. ■

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D E PA R T M E N T › ›

InDesign Tips

advance and enhance your indesign skills


First, I’d like to say how cool it is to have InDesign in Photoshop

Keep Assets Local

User magazine, and I’m very honored to have a chance to write

As a rule, I always gather all my assets and put them in a folder

an article about some of my favorite little tips and tricks I’ve

on my desktop. Why? Because if your Internet goes down and

picked up while using the software. Like all Adobe software,

you have everything saved offline, InDesign isn’t going to like

there’s always a big learning curve, but the beauty is that you

it, so always create your folders and folder structure on your

can create some awesome work right off the bat. Just getting

desktop first. When you’ve finished your project, you can then

used to the basic tools and learning some tricks as you go, you

save items into CC Libraries or into your Cloud storage.

can start building your own workflow and start knocking your designs out of the park!

Presentation Mode This is a simple tip but so useful when working on any project. When you’ve set up all of your grids, guides, and bleeds, and start working on your document, you’ll find that all these lines can become distracting when trying to see how everything looks. Just make sure you aren’t clicked in a text or image box, and press W to quickly switch between Normal and Preview modes. The extra little tip here is that you can use InDesign to create a presentation like Keynote or PowerPoint. Just create a multipage, landscape document; create your presentation; and then when you’re in front of your client, class or club, you can

Pagination When designing a booklet, leaflet, or pamphlet for print, always remember to set out your pages in multiples of four. Think about it physically: Get a piece of A4 paper and fold it in half. You now have four pages. If you add another sheet it becomes eight pages and so on in multiples of four. This will make your local printer

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very happy! For a digital-only PDF, it doesn’t matter if it’s not


just press Shift-W and the document will go into Presentation mode. In Presentation mode, not only do the grids, guides, etc. disappear, but also the entire InDesign interface. Then, to navigate from page to page, just press the Right or Left Arrows on your keyboard.


being printed into a booklet format. You can create as many

with your cursor. When you’re satisfied with the result, just click

or as few pages as you require. You’ll be surprised how many

outside the frame. ©Adobe Stock/mrcats

people forget this!

Use High-Res Photos When using photos for projects, always try and get the largest size available. If you’re creating a postcard or small flyer but then your client asks for a 2-meter high pull-up banner, your small image won’t cut the mustard. So always try and get the big 300dpi image in your client folder.

Placing Images on a Grid This is a great shortcut for laying images on a page in a grid-style layout. First, to make life easier for you, make sure all of your images are in the same folder, and for the best effect, choose all portrait or all landscape images. Have your page ready and go to File>Place, select all of the images you want to place, and

High-Quality Display of Images—Always

click Open. You’ll see the little image placeholder “gun,” but if

One thing that bugs the heck out of me is when I add an image

you then hold down Shift-Command (PC: Shift-Ctrl), you’ll see

to a document and the image appears low-res and fuzzy, even

the small icon change to a small grid. While holding these keys

though I know the image is crisp and clear. To see the image as

down, drag the cursor across the page and when you release

it should appear, click on it with the Selection tool (V) and go

the mouse button, your images will be laid out in an equally

to Object>Display Performance>High Quality Display. So you

spaced grid.

don’t have to do this for every image, just go to InDesign (PC:

Placing Multiple Images

Edit)>Preferences>Display Performance, and where it says Options, click on the Default View drop-down menu, select High Quality,

Let’s say you want to quickly lay out multiple images on a page

and click okay. This makes all your images appear exactly as you’d

in a pre-determined order, there’s a tip for that too! Just go to

expect to see them. Today’s computers are powerful enough to

File>Place, choose all of your images, click Open, and when the

display high-quality images, so make your work look beautiful!

placeholder “gun” appears, press the Right Arrow key on your keyboard to scroll through the images; a small thumbnail pre-

Visually Resizing Images

view will let you know which image is ready to be placed. Do this

Here’s a cheeky little image-resizing tip. When you place an

for each image you want to place.

image in your document and want to resize it, you’d normally If you do this, you’ll see that the frame resizes proportionally but

Say you want to place an image in some text, you can do this,

the image stays the same size, and then you’d have to choose a

but the text will no longer be editable, so first make sure that

fitting option to fill the frame again. If you hold Shift and Com-

you have your type correctly set and sized on the page. (For this

mand (PC: Ctrl) when resizing, however, the frame and image

example, we’re using the word “CAMERA” in Antique Olive

will resize proportionally. But there’s more…when you do that

Nord from Typekit.) Then, click on the text frame with the Selec-

last step, you’ll notice that the frame resizes, and as you release

tion tool (V), and go to Type>Create Outlines, which converts

the mouse button, the image snaps to the new size of the frame.

the text into shapes. To place your image into the text, select the

If you’d like to see the image resize while dragging, after you’ve

text frame once more, go up to File>Place, choose your image,

held down Shift-Command (PC: Shift-Ctrl) and clicked the corner

and click Open. If you want to move the image inside the text,

you want to drag, just hold it there for an extra second, and you’ll

just double-click anywhere on the image to select it. You can

the see the small double arrow change from black to white. Now

then move the image with the Arrow keys on your keyboard or

when you drag, the image resizes in full view! ■

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hold Shift and click-and-drag a corner to resize it proportionally.

Place Image in Text


COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU IN 2016 Seattle, WA | Portland, OR | San Diego, CA | Orlando, FL Ft. Lauderdale, FL | Minneapolis, MN | Milwaukee, WI

For more dates and information visit

Kevin Newsome

Creating a Visual Portfolio for the Video Industry

By Rod Harlan

For years, you’ve honed your craft. You’ve been to classes, read books, attended conferences, and most importantly, you’ve spent time with your camera learning your craft. You’ve learned the technical settings of your camera, as well as the composition and framing that make each image unique. You’ve learned to develop your images in your digital darkroom while adding your own special flair and creative touch. You’ve even taken the step forward to begin mastering the art of video and audio capture with your camera. On the side, you’ve acquired an impressive Photoshop skillset that lets you manipulate any image into a work of art, and have even tried your hand at animating some of those still images as motion graphics. Or better yet, you’ve attached a camera to a drone and captured sweeping panoramas made of multiple still frames or glorious vistas captured in

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the stunning detail of 4K video resolution. But what’s next?


If you’re anything like thousands of other photographers and artists, you’ll turn your attention to the video industry to expand your creative path—as well as your bank account. And just as photographers present a print portfolio of their best work to get hired for jobs, artists in the video industry present a video-based portfolio known as a demo reel to land their next job.

Exactly What Is a Demo Reel?

Ten Things Every Demo Reel Should Have

A demo reel is a video portfolio that shows

While the content of every demo reel is unique, its overall struc-

your best work in the fields in which you spe-

ture shouldn’t be. Here are the basic items all demo reels should have

cialize (including photography, video, anima-

in common.

tion, 3D, audio, compositing visual effects,

1.  Open with your name or company logo: Let people know who you are up front. A cool intro with your name or company logo

show an employer what you’re capable of doing so that they give you the job. There are two basic demo reel types: scene-based and

is a great way to grab the viewer’s attention. 2. First impressions are very important: Sometimes a first impression is all you get with a potential client or employer. Because of the

collage-style reels.

number of submissions they review, you’ll only have their attention

Scene-based reels usually contain 15–20-second segments showcasing a technique or specific theme. These reels are best for showing

for the first 20 seconds. 3. Show a variety of work: The more the merrier—and the better chance you’ll have of showing something that interests others.

off one’s cinematography, documentary, or narrative work. Click here for an example of a

4. Only show your best current work: Replace clips that show

scene-based reel.

an older style or aren’t as strong as your later efforts. Show only

Collage-style reels are cut to music and

clips that showcase a modern style and make a strong, profes-

contain many short clips of your best work. These reels are best for showcasing shortform commercial work, also known as “spot

sional impression.

5. Keep it short: A  successful demo reel doesn’t show all of your work but rather highlights your best work. Most employers agree that 1–2

work.” Click here for an example of a col-

minutes is enough for them to determine whether your reel is what

lage-style reel. This tutorial series focuses on

they’re looking for. Indeed, many professional editors feel that 90

assembling a collage-style demo reel.

seconds is the sweet spot for a great demo reel.

Why You Need a Great Demo Reel

back or hyperactive, let it shine through in your reel. You may be just

Whether you’re trying to land a dream job at a major movie studio or impress potential clients as a freelancer, you need a great demo reel to show them what you’re made

6. Show your personality: Whether you’re serious or a prankster, laid the personality the client or employer is looking for.

7. Add a musical soundtrack: Pick music that complements your pro­ fessional, even personal, brand and then cut your reel to that beat.

of. Demo reels showcase your work. This is

8. Show some emotion: Let people see what you’re passionate about.

your primary sales tool for getting good work

that pays well. The best demo reels not only show what you can do but also who you are. By displaying a bit of your personality, demo reels convey to your audience why you’re the person they should hire and work with on important projects.

9. Focus your reel on the type of work you’d most like to be doing: If you’re really excited about editing music videos, cut a reel that focuses primarily on that type of editing. If you don’t have much content of that type, then go out and create it!

10. Close with your contact information: This is your call to action. Include your full name, phone number, website, and professional email address—that is, one with your full name, not a quirky or forgettable nickname, unless that’s part of your professional brand. Your reel is worthless if people don’t know how to contact you.

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and so on). The purpose of a demo reel is to


Six Ways to Make Your Demo Reel Stand out from the Rest

Don’t Make these Four Mistakes

Assembling a successful demo reel is an art. But the follow-

a first impression. Take time to review (and re-review) your

ing tips will help yours stand out from others:

reel so that errors don’t slip in; they will get noticed.

1. Show your most recent work first: No one wants to

1. Don’t repeat any footage: It gives the impression

see what you worked on five years ago. Show them

that you haven’t done enough work to fill a reel.

what you’re working on now.

Make your demo shorter instead.

2. Cut to the beat of your music if it lends itself to

Mistakes will happen, but you only get one chance to make

2. Don’t include errors! You would be amazed at how

this treatment: This will separate you from novice

many demo reels contain spelling errors, audio glitches,

editors who just plop any old audio clip onto their

clips with squeezed-looking aspect ratios, and so

timeline. It also shows that you pay attention to detail

on. Nothing loses you work faster than errors on your

and that you know how to present visuals in a profes-

demo reel.

sional manner.

3. Don’t use unlicensed, copyrighted music: Not only

3.  Highlight work you’ve done for recognizable

is it illegal, it also shows your recklessness (or at least

brands: If relevant, give a little extra screen time to

a lack of awareness of the issue). After all, if they

logos that people will recognize. The more people

can’t trust your reel, they won’t trust you with their

who recognize the companies you’ve done work for,


the better. 4. Show “before” and “after” clips: This is especially true if you’re a specialist like a matte painter or colorist. 5. Show sequence shots: This is especially true if you

4. Don’t take credit for work you didn’t do: Clearly label any clips in your reel where you only did part of the work. Adding a text overlay to the clip that simply says “Premiere Pro editor,” “3D modeler,” or “respon-

build visuals in stages, like 3D modelers or composi-

sible for motion tracking” goes a long way toward

tors do.

clearing up any confusion, and speaks volumes of

6. Handle aspect ratios professionally: Frame your 4x3 footage with stylized sidebars when they appear in a 16x9 frame to show not just a level of added pro-

your character.

Creating Your Demo Reel in Photoshop While most video editors will prefer to use a software pack-

fessionalism but also an awareness of how to handle

age such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro to edit their

different aspect ratios.

demo reel, you can certainly use Adobe Photoshop to create your reel if that’s the only software you have access to or is the one software package with which you’re most comfortable. There are many tutorials online for how to create video with Photoshop, including this one on Adobe’s web-

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site. And this one from Scott Kelby on his own blog from


The Grid. Or even these instructions from the Adobe Help Page. However, here is a quick run-through of the basics:

Place Your Footage First, you have to get your video into Photoshop. The easiest way is to just drag-anddrop your clip right onto the PS icon. You can also choose File>Open and navigate to your folder of video clips on your hard drive to import clips into Photoshop. No matter which method you choose, Photoshop creates a new document the size of your video and adds the clip to a video track in your Timeline panel. You’ll also notice that Photoshop creates a Video Group in the Layers panel, and places your clip(s) inside this group.

Trim a Clip

Move Your Playhead

The next thing you’ll probably want to do is trim your clip to

The playhead (sometimes referred to as the timeline marker)

show only that perfect moment. Luckily, trimming a clip is as

is the vertical line that shows you where you are exactly in

easy as clicking-and-dragging its start or end point. As you

your clip. When it comes to moving the playhead to a spe-

click, your cursor turns into a bracket with a double-sided

cific time, you can use the playback control buttons to move

arrow while showing you a video preview of the frame

the playhead, or simply click-and-drag to move it manually.

you’re trimming.

While those are the most common ways of moving the play-

If you click the little triangle at the top right of your clip,

head, they’re not the only ones. Depending on the task at

you’ll open a panel with additional video and audio features.

hand, you might prefer to: (a) click anywhere on the time

Click the Video tab to enter a precise Duration for the clip

ruler to reposition the playhead to that point; (b) double-click

along with playback Speed. Or click the Audio tab to set the

the timecode display near the bottom left of the Timeline

Volume of the clip, as well as Fade-In/Fade-Out times. You

panel to launch the Set Current Time dialog where you can

can also mute the audio entirely.

enter a time or frame number; (c) hover your cursor over the timecode display and when it turns to a double-sided arrow, click-and-drag to move the playhead left or right; or (d) choose Go To>Time from the Timeline panel’s flyout menu, then enter a specific time. These other options for moving the playhead can be very useful when recording an action or

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editing a clip from someone else’s notes.


Split a Video Clip Sometimes you’ll need to split a clip because it’s too long, or because you only need a section of it. To split a video clip, simply select it on the timeline and then position the playhead where you want the clip to split. Then, click the icon that looks like a pair of scissors to split the clip at the playhead. The split adds a new video layer, within the Video Group, at the top of the layer stack and automatically names it “[layer name] copy.”

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Remove a Section of Video


To remove a section of video from inside a longer clip, you

Once you have the work area defined, you have a cou-

need to set its Work Area. First, drag the video layer outside

ple of choices to make. Do you want to cut out an area of

the Video Group onto its own layer in the Layers panel. Next,

the clip and leave a gap in the middle to fill with something

you need to define the work area by locating the work area

else, or do you want to have the two separated areas join to

sliders that are located directly below the time ruler toward

make one seamless clip? If you want to be left with a gap,

the top of the Timeline panel (little gray bars with short bars

go to the Timeline’s panel menu and choose Work Area>Lift

in the middle). Then, drag the sliders to select only the part

Work Area. This divides the original clip into two clips and

of the clip that you want to remove.

leaves a gap in the middle the length of your work area. If,

Tip: Another way to place the work area sliders is to posi-

however, you choose Work Area>Extract Work Area, it will

tion the playhead at your start point and then choose Work

also divide the clip into two parts, but it will remove the gap

Area>Set Start at Playhead from the Timeline’s panel flyout

and play both pieces seamlessly instead. When done, be sure

menu. Then reposition the playhead at the end point and

to reset your work area sliders to the beginning and end of

choose Work Area>Set End at Playhead from the same menu.

your project.

Add a Transition

Hide Clips

Now it’s time to add a transition to your project, connecting

Just like when you have too many layers in Photoshop and

two or more clips. To begin, simply click the Transition icon

you find it helpful to hide certain layers for a better work-

(it looks like a half black/half gray square) and choose a tran-

flow—the same can be said for too many video clips. You first

sition style and Duration from the Transitions panel. Then

need to set them as favorites by choosing Show>Set Favorite

drag it to the beginning or end of the clip you want to add

Clips from the Timeline’s panel menu. Then you can choose

it to. If all you want to do is Fade In or Fade Out of the clip,

Show>Favorite Clips Only to hide other clips from sight.

then you’re done.

To see all of your clips again, choose Show>All Clips.

However, if you want your transition to connect two clips, you have a little more work ahead of you. First, drag the transition style you want between two clips: Notice how the icon appears as if you’re dropping the transition on both clips at once. To gain further control, simply Right-click on the transition’s icon that appears on the clip. A pop-up menu will appear that lets you change Duration by entering a number into the field or by using the slider (available by clicking the down-pointing triangle). You can also change the transition style here.

But, for simplicity’s sake, I prefer to just drag the edges of the transition to lengthen or shorten the duration. It’s not as precise, but it’s a whole lot faster. And you can even Optiondrag (PC: Alt-drag) to adjust the length symmetrically from each end if you so choose. Lastly, to delete a transition, select it in the Timeline and then press the Delete key (PC: Back-

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space key).


Show Track Properties Last, but certainly not least, is the ability to expand a track to

among others. To get to these additional properties, simply click

work with layer properties that can be animated. These include

the triangle to the left of the track name to see an expanded

the position and opacity of an image, text layer, or layer mask,

panel showing each of the layer properties individually.

Four Vital Questions to Ask When Your Reel Is Done

Sharing Your Demo Reel

Before you turn your demo reel over to a client or possible

site such as YouTube or Vimeo so that you can send out a

employer, ask someone to critique it, and then ask someone

link to possible clients or employers for easy viewing. You’ll

else. Get as many opinions as you can from mentors and col-

also want to add the URL to your résumé and write it on any

leagues whose opinions you trust. Ask them these questions:

applications you fill out for work. Adding your demo reel to

1.  Is the reel too long?

your profile on LinkedIn is another smart move. And if you

2.  Is there any clip included that doesn’t represent me well? 3.  What would you like to see more of? 4.  Would you hire me based on this reel?

Once your demo reel is complete, you’ll want to post it to a

have a few dollars for promotion, you’ll want to create a profile and upload your reel to, which is the industry site to find work by searching their Job Board, as well as advertising your services to the people that matter most. The site has more than six million searches a year while

Another important note: Most working professionals will

serving up more than 24 million page views connecting busi-

create several versions of their best demo reel to successfully

nesses with professional content creators to make their proj-

cater to different clients. You need to be aware of what your

ects come to life. It’s an excellent location to advertise your

clients or potential employers need, know what they want to

skillset to the world. Here’s my profile on ProductionHUB.

see, and how they want to see it. This can mean the differ-

Exceptions to the Rules

ence between getting the job or not.

As with all things, there are always exceptions. While this article lists the best practices for creating your best demo reel, there are niches in our industry that have their own specifications and qualifications that you’ll need to meet. Case in point would be a job as a technical director or

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animator at Pixar. As they explain in Creating a Demo Reel


on their website, they prefer demo reels that are not in the collage style and that do not have any audio. Also, they will consider reels up to four minutes in length.

What If You’re not Ready for a Demo Reel? If you’re a student or you haven’t been a working profes-

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you’re

sional for very long, you may not have enough quality mate-

ready to build your reel. If not, don’t worry. Take the time to

rial to include on a demo reel to help you get the work you’re

build a body of work that you’d be proud to show to strang-

after. So, answer the following questions honestly:

ers—not just your friends and family.

•  Do you have enough different, quality pictures/clips to last at least 60 seconds? •  Are you incredibly proud of the work you’ve done? Every photo and video clip that you include in your demo reel must present your very best work. •  Is the work you’re showing the result of your creative efforts and not those of a lesson in a class or an online tutorial? Industry professionals will easily recognize

Many pros will tell you that it’s better not to have a demo reel than it is to present an amateurish demo reel. If you don’t have enough good content for your reel, offer to do a job for a notable non-profit organization (American Heart Association, Red Cross, etc.) for little or no pay. They’ll get a great deal on a multimedia project and you’ll get to add their very recognizable name and logo to your demo reel. ■

assets and tutorial content from learning sites such as KelbyOne,, or Video Copilot.

Rod Harlan is an industry veteran with 25 years experience as an author, educator, videographer, animator, multimedia artist, and Adobe addict! He’s an in-demand speaker at some of the most influential industry conferences and a trainer for some of the largest and most reputable organizations, including Adobe, NAB, FMC, and WEVA among others. He shares content at and can be contacted via Twitter @RodHarlan. Here’s Rod’s demo reel that he created for the fictitious Adobe Studios that’s currently being shown by Adobe at tradeshows such

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as IBC in Amsterdam and NAB in Las Vegas.



When you think about it, lighting is all about control. By this I mean being able to control exactly where you want light and where you don’t. Grids are one of the top tools in my

GRIDS ARE ESSENTIAL arsenal for light shaping and control. Grids are placed in front of other modifiers such as softboxes, reflectors, and beauty dishes to further modify


Courtesy of Mola Softlights

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Courtesy of Lighttools

the beam of light being created.

Grids control the spread of light, creating a narrower beam from the strobe-and-modifier combo being used. They’re typically available in honeycomb patterns ranging from 10º, 20º, 30º, and 40º, and are just as at home in the studio as they are on location. Grid degree ratings are simply an expression of how wide or narrow the beam of light will be: the lower the number, the narrower or smaller the pattern of light. While they all perform essentially the same task, grids come in several varieties, each meant for a different purpose and application.

Soft Egg Crate Grids Soft Egg Crate grids (like those from Lighttools reviewed in this issue) are used to control the width of the beam of light created when using softboxes, stripbanks, and octabanks. As their name implies, they’re soft, constructed out of black fabric, and collapsible. With Soft Egg Crate grids, the larger the dimensions, the more sagging at the center can become a potential issue. For this reason, I favor solutions that incorporate an internal frame to provide rigidity, such as the Lighttools ez[POP] system.

Grid Spots The second category of grids is rigid discs or strobe caps, known as grid spots. These are used in conjunction with reflectors and beauty dishes and also available in patterns ranging from 10º, 20º, 30º, and 40º. While historically black, white grid spots are now available, as well. These were developed by Mola Softlights for their line of beauty dishes and are now available for numerous brands via White grid spots still channel the light like their black counterparts do, but by their nature, they provide a more feathered edge, softer transitions, and a softer center core of light. Soft and rigid grids are available for strobes, as well as speedlights, so there’s a grid for every level of lighting geek!


A few of my favorites for speedlight use are the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid, Manfrotto’s Strobo line, and Lastolite’s Ezybox line

of fabric grids. Any one of these tools would be a great addition to a speedlighter’s toolkit!

Lighting Degrees Black grids (both soft and rigid) focus and channel the light from a softbox or reflector, creating a central core of concentrated light with varying degrees of spread and falloff depending on the degree of the grid’s honeycomb cell structure. This results in a more defined circle, shaft, square, or rectangle of focused light. Because of this, you’re able to more confidently control where the pool of illumination from a strobe lands. Grids are extremely useful multifaceted tools both in the studio and on location, so let’s take a look at the various ways grids are most commonly used.

Avoid Background Contamination

For this fashion portrait on black, I’m using two Elinchrom stripbanks, one medium for the accent light, and one large for the key light. Both are fitted with Lighttools Soft Egg Crate grids to channel the light exactly where I want it while not contaminating the background.

As mentioned above, grids excel at confining the light from your strobe into a narrower beam of light, and help you place it only where you want and nowhere else. This is exceptionally useful when it comes to eliminating light that’s spilling onto a background and causing unwanted illumination. This is also referred to as contaminating the background. Using a grid allows you to keep the light from your strobe on the subject and off your background. It’s especially helpful in smaller studios where you don’t have the benefit of distance to control background illumination.

Accent Lights

This image illustrates the effect of a reflector with a 10º grid spot used as an accent light. I’ve eliminated all other lights to clearly show the contribution the light with grid is providing.

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Courtesy of Westcott

Another useful technique I often rely on is adding a grid to the stripbox or reflector I’m using as a rim, accent, or hair light. This is a great way to use either soft or rigid grids, again because they keep the illumination on the hair or accent area while avoiding unwanted areas such as bare skin on shoulders and other areas that can present problematic hot spots. I sometimes combine this technique with another useful light-shaping tool called a net. This allows me to cut some but not all of the light where needed.



The grid spot I’m using here creates a soft circle of light with gradual “fall off” behind the model.

Background Illumination Just as you sometimes need to avoid light spilling onto the background, sometimes you want to illuminate the background. Grids are great for this, as well. Different photographers prefer different methods; some use grid spots and others use soft egg creates. In the end, they’re both doing the same thing, creating a defined, controllable shape of illumination on the background. With a grid spot this will be a soft circular shape, while a soft box will cast a soft rectangle, octagon, or square pattern.

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Fill Lights


For the same reasons that grids are useful as accent and hair lights, they also shine when used as fill lights. When I’m using a beauty dish as a key light, I’ll often add a stripbox just below it to add fill light on the model’s clothing. Adding a grid to the stripbox helps control its light, keeping it on the clothes and off the background. Other times, my fill light is on the opposite side of the key light. In this case, using a grid serves the same purpose, keeping the fill light where I want it rather than all over the place.

Lens Flare There are many lighting patterns that require lights pointed toward the camera position. In these cases, the interaction

Here’s the final image with all the lights turned on. Grids allow me to put the light exactly where I want.


between the lights and camera lens can easily cause unwanted lens flare. Adding grids to these lights is a quick-and-easy way to eliminate flare. This technique is used for a variety of lighting effects from edgy sports portraits to high-key fashion looks.

Turn up the Drama The ability of grids to quickly amp up the drama in your lighting is another checkmark in the plus column for these versatile tools. Attaching a 10º grid spot to the front of a 7" reflector and using it as a closely placed key light is a surefire path to dramatic lighting with lots of deep shadows and rapid transitions to highlights, contrast, and deep fall off. This is a great technique to use when you need to eliminate light that’s spilling onto the background. The same technique can be used with a beauty dish using a black or white grid spot to create a softer effect without background spill.

Adding Contrast to Soft Light

Using a grid spot on a reflector is an excellent way to create dramatic lighting and eliminate any unwanted light spilling onto your background. I shot this image using a 10º grid spot with the model right up against a white backdrop.

If you’re looking to create soft light overall but want a way to add some additional illumination and contrast on your subject’s face, grids are perfect. Using a large source such as an Elinchrom Octa softbox for the key light and a beauty dish with a grid for a fill light is my go-to setup. Using this method is a great way to add a subtle pop of light and contrast on your subject’s face. You’ll have a controllable source of channeled light just for the face, giving you additional contrast without sacrificing the overall soft look.

Here’s a medium shot using the same setup as the image above. As you can see, the grid puts nearly all the illumination from the strobe only on the model, leaving the white background nearly black.

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Just as grids excel at creating an edgy look, they also do double duty with soft light. For this high-key fashion portrait, two large Elinchrom softboxes with Lighttools 40º Soft Egg Crate grids have been placed right and left of the model for the side light.



For this sports portrait I’m using two small softboxes on either side of the subject to create an edgy effect.

Here I’m using a Lighttools Soft Egg Crate grid on a large Elinchrom stripbox for my key light. This helps confine the light and create a dramatic focused effect.

Super-Edgy Sports Portraits

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That crazy cool sports portrait look! You know the one I mean, where there are two lights, one on the left and one on the right, creating that super-edgy, chiseled, athletic look that drives people nuts. Grids are your friends there too, helping create the look, keeping the light where you want it, and preventing unwanted lens flare. Essentially the same technique can be used with a few simple changes to modifier size and distance to create a much different-looking high-key fashion look! Check out Joel Grimes for more on both of these methods.


As you can see, grids offer a tremendous amount of utility and creative options. They’re certainly a tool I wouldn’t want to be without. If you haven’t worked with grids yet, I encourage you to check them out. And if you have used grids, hopefully this article has provided some inspiration and new ways to think about using them in your work! ■


Adding color to shadows is another fun way to use grids. Here I’m using a Lighttools Soft Egg Crate grid on a medium Elinchrom stripbox to fill in the model’s shadow with colored light while not contaminating any other areas of the image.






Scott Kelby shows us everything we need to know about editing video, including how to apply Develop settings. p77 PHOTO BY SEAN McCORMACK





Learn how to create a catalog for travel, and then import all your new and edited images back to your main catalog. p88

Scott Kelby

Sean McCormack

Rob Sylvan

Scott Kelby




Tips Tricks


Questions Answers

Maximum Workflow BY SEAN McCORMACK

lightroom mobile

Under the Loupe


managing your catalogs for travel

Lightroom Workshop BY SCOTT KELBY

working with videos

lightroom magazine › contents › ›

Seán Duggan

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Lightroom Workshop

lightroom magazine

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working with videos BY SCOTT KELBY

In earlier versions of Lightroom, you could import video clips from DSLR cameras and…well… that was pretty much it. In Lightroom CC, you can do everything from trim a video to add special effects, like black and white, or split-tone looks, or well, basically, a lot of the stuff you can do to photos, you can now do to video (including applying curves, adding contrast, changing hues, or standard stuff like matching color across

Excerpted from The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers

multiple videos). Here’s whatcha need to do:

lightroom magazine

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step one:

You import a video into Lightroom just like you would a photo, but you’ll know it’s a video because you’ll see a video camera icon in the lower-left corner of its thumbnail when it appears in the Import window (Light­­ room supports most major DSLR video formats, so chances are your video clips will import with no problem). Once it’s in Lightroom, you can do all the organi­zational things you normally do with an image (like put it in a collection, add flags, metadata, and so on). Once the video(s) is imported, you won’t see the little camera icon any more, though. Instead, you’ll see the length of the video displayed in the bottom-left corner of the thumbnail (as seen here, where the length of the select­­ed video clip is 26 seconds).

step two: You can see a visual preview

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of what’s on the video by moving your cursor over the thumbnail itself and dragging either left or right to quickly “scrub” through the video. Although you’re not going to see all the frames in the video by doing this quick scrub, it comes in handy when you have two or three similar clips, and you want to find the one you’re looking for. Let’s say, for example, you’ve got a number of short clips of a bride and groom about to cut a wedding cake. Well, to find the one where they actually do the cutting (and not the cutting up), you can quickly scrub through each clip and find what you’re looking for without having to actually open the video.



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lightroom magazine

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step three: If you want to watch your

step four: If your video needs to be trimmed down to size (maybe you need to cut off the end a bit, or crop the video so it starts after a few seconds or so), you can click on the Trim Video button (the little gear icon on the far-right side of the control bar) and the trim controls pop up (seen here). There are two ways to trim: One way is to just click on an end marker handle on either side of the video clip (they look like two little vertical bars) and drag inward to trim your clip (as shown here). The other way to trim is to set Trim Start and Trim End points (which basically means “start here” and “end here”) by hitting the Space­bar to let the video play, then when you reach the point you want your video to actually start, press Shift-I to set the Trim Start point. When you reach the point in the video where you want the rest trimmed away, press Shift-O to set your Trim End point. Both methods (dragging the end markers or using the shortcuts) do exactly the same thing, so choose whichever you’re most comfortable with.

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video clip, just double-click on it and it opens in Loupe view (as seen here). To play the video, you can click the Play button (duh), in the control bar under the video, or just press the Spacebar on your keyboard to start/stop it. If, instead, you want to scrub through the video (kind of like manually fast-forwarding or rewinding), you can just drag the playhead in the control bar. When you play the video, it plays both the video and audio, but there’s no volume control for the audio within Lightroom itself, so you’ll have to control the audio volume using your computer’s own volume control.


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step five: There’s something very cool

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you need to know about trimming your video clips: it doesn’t permanently trim your video—it’s non-destructive, so the original is always protected. The trimming is applied to a copy when you export the file (more on exporting later), so while that exported video will be trimmed (and what you see in Lightroom will be trimmed, as well), you can always come back to the original video clip anytime and pull those trim handles right back out (as shown here).


step six: Okay, let’s look at another handy feature: Have you ever had a friend upload a video they made to YouTube, and when you see the thumbnail for that video, you see them in mid-sentence with their mouth gaping open? Not the most flattering look, right? That’s because the thumbnail is chosen randomly from a frame a few seconds into the video clip itself (if it chose the first frame, and the video faded in from black, the thumbnail would be black, which doesn’t help identify the video clip, right?). Well, in Lightroom, you actually get to choose which individual frame becomes your thumbnail (called a “poster frame” in video speak). Being able to choose your poster frame is especially handy if you have four or five similar-looking clips—you can choose thumbnails that show which video has which important part in it (you don’t just see it here in Lightroom, that thumbnail goes with it when you export it outside of Lightroom, too). To choose your custom thumbnail, first find the section of the video that has a frame you’d like as your thumbnail, then go to the control bar, click-and-hold on the Frame button (the little rectangle icon to the left of the Trim Video button) and choose Set Poster Frame (as shown here) and now your video clip will have that current image as your thumbnail.

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step seven: If you want to pull a single frame out of your video and actually make a still image from it, then you’d do the same thing you did in the previous step: find the part of the video where you’d like to pull a still image from, then click on the Frame button, but this time choose Capture Frame. This creates a second file (a JPEG image file just like any other photo) and puts it to the right of your selected video clip in the Filmstrip (as seen here). By the way, if you haven’t added this video to a collection yet, instead, the JPEG image gets stacked with your video clip. You’ll know it worked if you see a “2” in the upper-left corner of your thumbnail (that’s letting you know you have two images in your stack). Again, that’s only if your video isn’t in a collection (like mine is here).

step eight: Knowing how to create a

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still frame like we just did is really important, because now we’re going to use that technique to get into the really fun stuff, which is applying effects to your video clips. Now, just for fun, click on your video clip, then press the letter D on your keyboard to jump over to the Develop module. You’ll see “Video is not supported in Develop” appear in the center Preview area, but don’t worry, you’re not out of luck. Press G to jump back to the Library module’s Grid view, and then look over in the right side Panels area. You see those Quick Develop controls? That’s right, baby, we can use ‘em on our video (well, not all of them, but some of the most important ones. I’ll show you the trick to getting more editing controls in a moment).


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step nine: Let’s try it out: double-click

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on your video clip, then click the Contrast double-right-arrow button three or four times and look at how contrasty the image onscreen looks. That’s not just affecting the thumbnail—it applied that to the entire video (cool, right?). You’ll also notice that a number of editing controls here are grayed out, and that’s because you can’t apply all the Quick Develop controls to video (for example, you can’t apply Clarity or use the Highlights and Shadows controls), but again, I’ll show you in a moment how to get at least some more controls than these.


step 10: So, while you can apply overall changes like changing the white balance for the entire video (how handy is that?!), or making your whole video clip brighter or darker using Exposure, or more vivid using the Vibrance controls, there probably are still a lot of things you wish you could do that are over in the Develop module, right? Right! But we just learned that the Develop module doesn’t support video, right? Right. So what do we do? We cheat. There’s a cool workaround that lets you use a lot more (but not all) of the controls in the Develop module by pulling a single frame from the video, taking that over to the Develop module, tweaking it there using everything from the Tone Curve to the HSL panel, and while you’re applying these tweaks, the same edits are being applied to your entire video in real time. Totally sick. I know! :) Okay, let’s try it: Click the Reset All button at the bottom of the Quick Develop panel, then grab a frame from somewhere inside your video (choose Capture Frame from the Frame pop-up menu), and then when the JPEG image appears next to your video clip in the Filmstrip at the bottom, press D to jump over to the Develop module.

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step 11: Now, what you’re going to do is use Light­­room’s Auto Sync feature, which takes whatever effects you apply to one image and applies them to any other selected images (or even a video clip, in our case). Give this is a try: Down in the Filmstrip, click on your still image, then Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on your video clip, so they’re both selected. At the bottom of the right side Panels area, make sure the Auto Sync switch is turned on (it’s shown circled here in red). Now, you can tweak the White Balance, Exposure, Contrast, Vibrance, etc. You can use the Camera Calibration panel, make it black and white, add a duotone or split-tone effect, use the Tone Curve—basically, have a ball—and those changes are automatically applied to your selected video, as well. Not too shabby, eh? Here, I increased the Exposure to +1.15, increased the Contrast to +25, and decreased the Saturation to –50. Then, I went to the Color panel (in the HSL/ Color/B&W panel) and decreased the Red Saturation to –8 to get this type of bleach bypass look. (Note: It may take a minute or two to see the adjustments reflect in your video thumb­­nail in the Filmstrip.)

cool look and think you’ll want to use this exact look again on another video clip? Save it as a pre­set, and then you can apply it with just one click from the Quick Develop panel in the Library module. To save a preset, go to the Presets panel (in the left side Panels area of the Develop module) and click the + (plus sign) button on the right side of the panel header. When the New Develop Preset dialog appears, start by clicking the Check None button, then turn on the checkboxes for the changes you just made, give your preset a descriptive name, and click the Create button (as shown here).

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step 12: Okay, so what if you create a


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step 13: Okay, now that we’ve got our pre­set, let’s put it to use. Click the Reset button at the bottom of the right side Panels area, then press G to jump back to the Library module’s Grid view, and double-click on your video clip. Now, go to the Quick De­velop panel’s Saved Preset pop-up menu (at the top of the panel), go under User Presets, and you’ll see the preset you just saved. Choose that preset and now that effect will be applied to your entire video (if you have the Trim Video bar visible, like I do here, you can see the effect has been applied to the entire video).

tip: what you can’t apply to video

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You can’t add Clarity, Highlights, or Shadows from the Basic panel in the Develop module, or anything in the Lens Corrections or Effects panels, and you can’t use the Adjustment Brush. What might throw you off is that these sliders aren’t grayed out, because at this point you’re just working on a still image, so everything’s fair game. So, how do you know if what you’re doing can be applied to video as a preset or when you sync? One way is to look at your thumbnails down in the Filmstrip while you’re editing. If you only see one thumbnail changing (the JPEG image file), then it’s not being applied to the video. Another quick way to tell is when you go to save a preset. See all those things that are grayed out in the New Develop Preset dialog in Step 12? Those edits, even if you did them, won’t be applied to video.


step 14: Remember, these are all “nondestructive” edits you’re making here, so if you apply these effects to your video and you decide you don’t like them (right now, or a year from now), you can remove all those effects by clicking the Reset All button at the bottom of the Quick Develop panel (shown circled here in red).

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step 15:

Once you’ve got your video just the way you want it, you’re probably going to want to save it outside of Lightroom, so you can share it somewhere (or open it in a video editing program as part of a bigger video project). Although you can’t email your video directly from Lightroom (most likely, the file size would be too large to email anyway), you can post the video directly to Facebook or Flickr using the Export presets or Publish Services. Otherwise, click on the video clip you want to export, then click the Export button at the bottom of the left side Panels area (as shown here).

tip: video preferences

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There are really only two video preferences and they’re found in the Library View Options (press Command-J [PC: Ctrl-J]), on the Loupe View tab. In the General section, at the bottom, Show Frame Number When Displaying Video Time does just what it says—it adds the frame number beside the time (yawn). The option beneath that, Play HD Video at Draft Quality, is there to make sure the playback of your HD video is smooth if you don’t have a super-fast computer—the lower-resolution draft-quality video takes less power to display the video in real time than the full HD version does.


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step 16:

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When the Export dialog appears, if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see an area dedicated to exporting video (seen here). Since you clicked on your video file to export it, the Include Video Files checkbox should already be turned on, so all you have to do is make two simple choices: (1) Which video format do you want to save your clip in? I use H.264 as it’s a widely supported format, and makes the file size smaller without losing much (if any) visible quality (kind of like JPEG does for image files), but of course, how much it’s compressed is based on (2) the Quality setting you choose. If you’re going to be sharing this somewhere on the Web (YouTube, Animoto, etc.), then you’ll probably want to consider a lower quality than Max (the physical size and fps will appear to the right when you choose a Quality size from the menu, so you know what each delivers). However, if you’re taking this video over to a dedicated video editing application, that’s when you’d want to choose Max quality.


step 17: Here are a few great examples of what kinds of things you can use Lightroom’s video editing features for that might make your life easier. One I use a lot is to warm up skin tones. Although we set proper white balance for video by using a white card (rather than a gray card for still photos), that white balance, while being technically accurate, is a bit on the cool side, and people generally look better a little warmer. So, by capturing a still frame of the video, taking it into the Develop module, and dragging the Temp slider to the right, toward yellow, you can make the skin tones of people in your video look much more pleasing. Be sure you have Auto Sync turned on and have the video selected in the Filmstrip, along with the still frame.

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step 18: Another very important tweak is

step 19: If you want a more film-like look for your videos, you can increase the contrast by going to the Library module, clicking on the video clip, and clicking the Con­ trast double-right-arrow button once or twice. Do the same thing with the Vibrance to give your video a little more “pop.” Those are “every day” types of edits, but of course, there are other things, like special effects, that are easy to do, too. For example, how about having your video look like it’s black and white, but have one color that stays in color throughout the entire video. To do that, capture a still frame, then take that frame over to the Develop module. Pick one color to avoid (like red), then go to the HSL panel, click on Saturation at the top, take the Targeted Adjustment tool (near the top left of the panel), and click on any color but the one you want to keep. Now, drag straight down until everything else is black and white (this video isn’t the perfect example for this trick, but here I desaturated the colors, and left some of the veil and flowers, her lips, and the stained glass in color). Then, go back and apply those changes to your video. ■

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making sure the color is the same between multiple video clips—especially important if you’re going to be putting these clips together in a video editing application. The quickest way to do this is to capture a still frame from one video, open it in Loupe view, then select that frame, along with all the video clips, and right there in the Library module, use the White Balance controls in the Quick Develop panel to tweak the still frame, and all the other selected video clips will now have the same white balance. Be sure, though, that the Auto Sync switch at the bottom of the right side Panels area is turned on.


Under the Loupe

managing your catalogs for travel and more B Y R O B S Y LVA N

The Lightroom catalog file is where all the work you do in Lightroom is stored. There may be times when you need to create a smaller version of your main working catalog to take on a trip and continue working, or perhaps to show to a client on location, and then be able to merge that catalog back into your master catalog again. The same process can be helpful for anyone who may have created multiple catalogs for other reasons and now wishes to merge the data contained within them into a single catalog. All of these operations are possible thanks to Lightroom’s catalog export and import functionality.

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exporting a smaller catalog I have one main catalog on my desktop computer that manages all of my photos and contains all of the work I’ve ever done in Lightroom; however, sometimes when I travel, I take a subset of images with me on my laptop so that I can edit those photos and import new photos I create while away. Then when I return, I bring all those images back into my main catalog. Here’s how I do it:

step one:

In the main catalog, create a new collection

in the Collections panel and name it something that makes sense for your purpose (you might include the name of the place you’re going, the date, client name, etc.). Here’s a tip: When creating the new collection, check the box to Set as Target Collection, as this will make it super easy to add photos to the collection simply by selecting the photo and pressing the B key.

step two: Add all the photos you want to bring with you. step three: Right-click the collection and choose Export this Collection as a Catalog.

step four:

After choosing the Export as Catalog option,

you’ll see the Export as Catalog dialog, where you’ll need to make some choices. Let’s go through the options. First, give your new catalog a meaningful name so that you know what

Note: It’s not required to create a collection before export-

Then you need to choose where on your system you want this

ing a catalog, as you can simply select any number of pho-

catalog to be created. You can choose an internal drive for

tos and go to the File>Export as Catalog menu to export a

now and copy it to another drive later, or simply choose a loca-

catalog; however, by creating a collection, it gives you a way

tion on an external drive that you can connect to your laptop

to thoughtfully gather up the photos you want to bring, no

and bring with you. In my case, I chose a connected external

matter where they may reside on your drives.

drive (Sparta).

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it contains when you see it later. (I’ve named mine Yosemite.)


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step five: Now you need to decide what you want to be

working with the exported catalog

able to do with the photos in this catalog while you travel. Do

If you exported the catalog to an external drive, you can con-

you want the ability to export copies, send a copy to an ex-

nect that drive to your laptop (or any other computer running

ternal editor for additional processing, use Lightroom’s Photo

Lightroom) and open the exported catalog into Lightroom via

Merge options, be able to zoom to 100% in Develop, or to

the File>Open Catalog menu. All of the work you do in that

print? If so, then you should check the box for Export Nega-

catalog while you’re away—from adding metadata to process-

tive Files, which tells Lightroom to include copies of all source

ing in Develop—is stored in that catalog, and can seamlessly be

photos in a folder alongside the exported catalog.

transferred later back to your main catalog. (if you opted to include negative files) are all stored in a folder

bilities or need to zoom to 100% in Develop, then you can

with the same name you gave the catalog in the Export as

save some disk space and uncheck Export Negative Files and

Catalog dialog. You can move that folder to any other drive as

just use the Build/Include Smart Previews option instead. This

needed to make it work for you. While on my trip, I’ll import

tells Lightroom to include only smart previews for each of the

any new photos I take into that same folder to keep things

source photos included in this catalog export. Smart previews

organized and easy for my return. It’s not necessary to add

allow you to use the Develop module (albeit with a poten-

new photos to the collection you created earlier because when

tially smaller version of the source photo) even though the

you get back you’re going to transfer all of the data back to

catalog can’t access the original source photos. You can, of

the main catalog.

course, use all of the other functions for adding and editing metadata (key­words, flags, ratings, titles, captions, etc.) with smart previews, too. In my case, I want the ability to send to an external editor, so I chose to include negative files, but skipped smart previews. Including available previews is a good way to avoid having to re-render them later. Once the dialog is configured to your liking, click Export Catalog (PC: Save) to start

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the process of creating the new catalog.


The catalog (.lrcat), the preview cache (.lrdata), and photos

step six: If you don’t need those types of output possi-

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bringing it all home Now that I’ve returned from my trip, I want to bring all of the changes I made to the original group of photos into my original catalog, as well as copy all of my new photos to my primary storage location. Here are the steps:

step one: Connect the drive containing the exported catalog to the original computer.

step two: Open your main working catalog into Lightroom. step three: Go to File>Import from Another Catalog, navigate to the drive containing your travel catalog, select the previously exported catalog file, and click Choose.

step four: In the Import from Catalog dialog, you can decide what to do with any new photos, as well as how to handle existing photos that changed since exporting the catalog.

step five: If you imported new photos into this catalog, they’ll show up under the New Photos section. In the File Handling drop-down menu you can choose to Add New Photos to Catalog without Moving them (helpful if you want to keep the photos in their current location and add them to the catalog), Copy New Photos to a New Location and Import (most likely choice), or choose not to import them at all (unlikely). I chose to copy them to a new location and import so that they can be stored with my other photos.

step six: If you made any edits to the existing photos while you were away, you have some additional choices to make in the Changed Existing Photos section. You could choose to do nothing, but that seems unlikely if you went through the trouble of making the changes. The other two options are to replace Metadata and Develop Settings Only, or to replace Metadata, Develop Settings, and Negative Files. If you choose the option to replace negative files, an additional option is enabled below to limit the replacement to non-RAW files, tive files (such as making pixel-based changes to a PSD file in Photoshop while away).

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which is really the only reason you’d need to replace nega-


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step seven: I opted to replace Metadata and Develop Settings Only. When you do this, you also have the option to Preserve Old Settings as a Virtual Copy via the checkbox below the Replace menu. This is really helpful if you’re not sure your new edits are better than what was there before (or you can’t remember and want to play it safe), but if you know the new work was intended to replace the existing settings, then leave that option unchecked and avoid creating unwanted virtual copies. When you’re happy with the settings, click Import.

clean up Once all of the data has been imported into your main catalog and the new photos safely copied to a new destination (and backed up), you can go back and delete the exported catalog from the external drive (and any associated files) using your file browser. That catalog was intended to serve a temporary purpose, and now that the job is done and you’re home, you don’t want to waste space with those files or stumble on it later and not remember what it was for. Better to clean up now and be ready for your next adventure with a clean slate (drive).

merging multiple catalogs into one I regularly encounter people who, for one reason or another, have created multiple catalogs when they were learning Lightroom and would like to have all of that work contained in a single catalog. The same exact process of importing the data from one catalog into another can be used to merge any number of catalogs into one; you just do it one at a time. Here’s the advice I give them (along with the steps shown above): • Be methodical in your approach. • Outside of Lightroom, you may not know what any one catalog file contains. Open each catalog into Lightroom and make some notes about the contents of each catalog, its filename, › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

and where it’s located on your system.


• Ensure you have a good backup before you start. • Once all data has been imported into one catalog, you’ve confirmed all is well, and everything is backed up, go ahead and get rid of any catalogs (and associated files) you no longer need. ■


Maximum Workflow

lightroom mobile BY SEAN McCORMACK

Given that the processing power in phones and tablets is lower than that of even basic laptops, it was inevitable that Adobe would have to create a new way to handle and process files on these devices. That way is Lightroom mobile. The premise is simple: Collections in Lightroom are assigned to sync to servers hosted by Adobe, and these files are then viewable and editable on your mobile device. You can also opt to store files on the device so you can make edits when you don’t have an Internet connection.

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The key is, of course, that initial Internet connection. The files have to get onto the server before you can get them back down to a device. In the latest releases, Lightroom mobile can act as your main camera app, so you can have files go straight back to Lightroom on your desktop from the device. Without signing into an Adobe ID account, Lightroom mobile acts as a standalone photo-management and -processing app for the device. You get full access to the tools for free. It’s only when you want to sync to a computer that you have to start paying. You’re not paying for the service directly, though; it’s part of the Creative Cloud Photography bundle, where for $9.99 a month, you get Lightroom, Photoshop, and Lightroom mobile. Because it’s a subscription app, it’s regularly updated, with the Android version slightly lagging the iOS, but this lag gets smaller with each update. Because of these constant updates, any article on Lightroom mobile can only ever be a snapshot of current features.

getting started Let’s assume you’re going the whole hog and syncing between your computer and your device. First, Lightroom mobile syncs to one catalog only. If you start syncing a different catalog, Lightroom mobile will wipe the previous catalog from the device and start syncing the new one. Beware, because you do get offered the choice. For this article that’s what I’m doing.

step one: I’ve created a new catalog for this tutorial to show how it all works. To begin, click the › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

Identity Plate in the top-left corner of your desktop


version of Lightroom to open the Activity Center and press Start to begin sync.

step two: For this exercise, create a new collection that you want to sync. To create a new collection, click the plus icon at the top right of the Collections panel. Note the Sync with Lightroom Mobile checkbox in the Create Collection dialog. Ticking this will make the collection start syncing immediately.

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step three: When the collection has been created, a little sync icon (highlighted in red) appears next to the name. The Identity Plate also shows the sync progress as you add photos into the collection. Lightroom is taking the files, making smart preview versions, and uploading these to the server, where they take up less space and work well on the limited processor on most devices.

on the device Now it’s time to switch to your device. Launch Lightroom, click on the Lr icon at the top left, click Sign In, and then log in with your Adobe ID.

step four: Once logged in, you’re taken to the Organize screen. Here, you see the Lightroom Photos collection, which is everything in Lightroom mobile, and below this are your synced Collections.

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step five: Tap on a collection to see a grid view of the contents.


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step six: Click on a thumbnail to go into an image. Two-finger-tap the image to cycle through the info views, which include name, metadata, and a histogram, or variations thereof.

step seven: Below the image are four icons: Filmstrip view, Crop, Presets, and Adjust. To the far left at the bottom are three dots, which switch you to a flagging and rating view. You can tap the icons to add a flag or rating or swipe up and down to change flag.

step eight:

Filmstrip view adds thumbnails

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it along.


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step nine: Press Crop to open the crop options. From here, you can choose the crop aspect ratio, straighten, and rotate tools. Click the checkmark at the bottom right to commit the crop. Remember that any change made in Lightroom mobile will be synced back to the desktop.

step ten: Presets gives you a whole range of predefined looks that you can apply to your images in Lightroom mobile. You can’t add your own, but it’s possible to apply a preset to a file in your desktop version of Lightroom before syncing the image, and then using the Copy and Paste settings to apply it to other images. To copy, hold your finger down on an image. This brings up a contextual menu. Tap Copy Settings, make sure there’s a checkmark next to each setting that you want to copy, and tap OK. Go to another image, hold down on that image, and select the Paste Settings option.

step eleven: Finally, Adjust gives you a whole range of Develop adjustments on your device. Initially, the settings match the controls in the Basic panel of the Develop module. Clicking the Aperture symbol (for Basic) brings up even more options. Choose from Tone Curve, Vignetting, Split Toning, Color/B&W, and Dehaze. For the most part, these work the same as their desktop counterparts.

step twelve: Let’s take a look at how the Tone Curve translates the controls available in the desktop version, but using a color image. The first option is Mode. Tap this to reveal the different curve normally have Parametric and Point Curves, with a channels selector. Here you have direct access to the channels in the menu.

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types available. On the desktop version, you’d


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step thirteen:

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Each of the RGB channels

from the Point Curve is here, as well as the composite channel. The Parametric Curve allows you to change the four ranges: Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows. You can change the split points, as well. On any of the Point Curves, tap to create a new point and then drag it, or even move an end point. To see a before view, hold down three fingers on the image. To undo or redo, use the curved arrow icons at the top right.

photo management Let’s take a look at some of the other options that you have for each of your synced collections.

step fourteen: To sort or filter your images, tap on a collection on the Organize page, and then tap on the name of the collection at the top of the screen above the grid of images.

step fifteen:

To edit images without an

Internet connection, the images need to be downloaded to the device in advance. To do this, go to the Organize page, tap the three dots to the right of the collection for which you want to download, and choose Enable Offline Editing while still connected to the ’Net.

step sixteen:

Share Collection is another

option in the collections menu. This creates › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

an online gallery that you can share with oth-


ers. Click Share in the next menu to enable it. Click View on Web to see the gallery online, or click Share Link to send it to any of your devices open in connections.

step seventeen:

You can also send the

Collection to Adobe Slate or Premiere Clip. The final control option in the collection menu is Present, which will run a slide show of the images. Other options include Remove and Rename.

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uses for lightroom mobile We can see that Lightroom mobile allows us to do quite a lot with our images, but how exactly do we incorporate it into our workflows? The concept of Lightroom mobile is based around “the couch.” It’s designed to let you work away from the computer so you could be rating images while watching TV, or just using it to pass the time while waiting for someone at a coffee shop. It’s also a great portfolio app. Because you can easily change what’s synced, you can tailor a presentation at any time for your prospective client. One workflow I really like for my phone is getting files to Instagram, which only works on phones, so it’s awkward to get camera photos onto it. This is how I do it.

step one: On my main account, I have a collection called Instagram. Any photos I want to post to Instagram, I add to this collection on the desktop. These sync to my phone, where I can tap the image, then click on the Share icon (box with arrow) at the top right to start sharing.

step two:

A menu opens from which I select

Open In.

step three:

From the resulting menu, I select

Open in Instagram, where I can now get the image ready to send out on the service.

step four: The file opens, where I can zoom out in Crop to select the whole image. After cropping I click the Next button where I can edit the photo further. One more click on Next and I’m ready to post it to Instagram. This is really only the tip of the iceberg for what Lightroom Web integration and an easy path to Premiere Clip and Adobe Slate, there’s a lot more we haven’t touched on here. If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, I highly recommend giving Lightroom mobile a try. ■

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you can do with Lightroom mobile. Along with


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Questions Answers


When I save my Lightroom images as JPEGs and post those images to the Web, the color looks kind of drab and muted compared to what I’m seeing in Lightroom on my screen. Do I need to calibrate my monitor?

My Adjustment Brush seems to leave little “bits” behind when I paint over an area. Is that normal?

Yes, you need to calibrate your monitor, but that’s probably

Mask feature turned on. When you have Auto Mask turned on,

not what’s causing this problem. It’s most likely that when you

the brush is constantly doing math as you paint to determine

exported your JPEG from Lightroom, you used the default color

where the edges of things are so it does its masking properly, and

space (Lightroom’s native color space), ProPhoto RGB, which

if you paint over an area quickly, it misses making the adjustment

sadly isn’t supported by most Web browsers, so the colors in

on some of those areas that “fooled the math” (so to speak). To

your images look drab and muted when you see them on the

get around this, turn off Auto Mask when you’re painting over

Web. Luckily, the fix is easy: When you export an image from

larger areas and you’ll get full coverage. When you get near the

Lightroom, in the Export file window, under File Settings, choose

edges of things, turn on Auto Mask and use a small brush along

sRGB as your Color Space, and now your JPEG image on the Web

those edges, and you won’t lose anything there either. Give that

won’t look bland and awful. Well, at least the colors won’t. ;-)

a try: I’ll bet those “left behind bits” are gone forever.

What you’re most likely seeing isn’t “little bits;” they’re areas the brush actually missed while you were painting with the Auto

I recently upgraded to Lightroom CC from an older version of Lightroom, and my question is this: Do I have to start over from scratch using this new version? Do I have to build all new catalogs, or is there a way to use my old catalogs? Good news: You don’t have to start over; just open one of your old catalogs and Lightroom CC will automatically convert it for use with CC, so you’re good to go.

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I see a lot of people raving about the Dehaze feature. Are that many people taking photos with a lot of haze in them or am I missing something?


I was told to use a “gray card” to get my white balance right. During a recent portrait shoot, I had my subject hold a gray card in the first shot, but I’m not sure what to do next. Any ideas? You bet. You could have used the gray card to fix the color while you were shooting, but since the shoot is already over, here’s

If you’re an outdoor photographer, you may find that haze can

what to do: In the Library module (or down in the Filmstrip) select

come from heat vapors in the summer, or the mist coming off a

the image with your subject holding the gray card, and all the

waterfall, or fog coming off the water, or a dozen things that the

other images from that shoot that use the same lighting setup.

Dehaze filter handles like a boss; but there’s more to it than just

Click on that first image (with your subject holding the gray

that (and I’m not just talking about the fact that adding a nega-

card), and then go to the Develop module. Look at the bottom-

tive amount of Dehaze actually adds a fog-like effect to your

left corner of the right side Panels and make sure that Auto Sync

images). Dehaze is another form or style of contrast, and you

is on. If it’s not turned on, click the little switch to the left of the

can use it to enhance and add a dynamic look to images that

Sync button to turn it on. This tells Lightroom that whatever you

have no haze whatsoever. Give it a try the next time you have a

do to this one photo, it should do the same thing to all of the

flat-looking shot, whether it’s an interior shot or a product shot,

other selected photos. Get the White Balance Selector tool (eye-

and you might be surprised at how much it helps.

dropper at the top left of the Basic panel) and click it once on the

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gray card in the image. That’s it! Now, all of the other selected

in the right side Panels, click on the Red Eye Correction tool; then

images share the same white balance. (You’ll see the thumbnails

click on the Pet Eye button. Now, click the tool once in the center

update in the Filmstrip at the bottom or in the Grid view of the

of your dog’s eye in the image and that’ll usually do the trick.

Library module, shown here.)

If it doesn’t, well, it’s time for a new dog (you knew that was coming, right?).

I have a green fringe around the edges of some things in my image. How can I to get rid of that? Usually it’s a cinch, because Lightroom will get rid of it for you— if not automatically, almost automatically. The fringe is called a “chromatic aberration” and it usually shows up in green or purple, or both. Here’s how to get rid of it: Go to the Lens Correction panel, click on the Color tab, turn on the Remove Chromatic Aberration checkbox, and then you can drag the Purple or Green Amount sliders to the right just enough to where the fringe goes away. (Tip: Don’t forget to zoom in tight on a fringe area before adjusting the sliders so you can clearly see the problem and you won’t over-adjust.) One more thing: Those Hue sliders under the Amount are to help you target the exact hue of purple or green that’s causing the problem, so if raising the Amount didn’t fix the problem, you might have to move the Hue slider until it targets the right hue of purple or green to make it go away.

I’ve heard that applying Noise Reduction to an image blurs it, so I’m really hesitant to use any Noise Reduction on my images; but sometimes they’re really noisy. Is there a happy medium between a noisy image and a blurry image? First, I’m totally with ya on the whole “adding-noise-reductionblurs-the-image” thing, because that’s pretty much what noise reduction does: It blurs the image a bit to hide the noise. That’s why I avoid using Noise Reduction like the plague; however, if there’s a particular area in your image where the noise is really bad (like in the shadow areas), try this: Get the Adjustment Brush (K) and set all the sliders to zero (double-clicking the word “Effect” at the top of the panel will reset all the sliders to zero for you). Now, drag the Noise slider to the right (try start-

It depends on the photo and the severity of the reflection, but I’m

ing with +50) and then paint over just the areas that contain

going to say a qualified “maybe.” There actually is a feature in

unbearable noise. That way, you don’t blur the entire image,

Lightroom for removing what they call “Pet Eye.” To use it, go to

just the noisy parts. ■

the Develop module and in the toolbar right under the Histogram ALL IMAGES BY SCOTT KELBY

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Is there a way in Lightroom to get rid of the reflection I see in my dog’s eyes in photos?


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TipsTricks Making photo books is a wonderful way not only to share your work, but also place it in a sequential or narrative context. It’s also very satisfying to see your images presented in this format. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few useful tips and suggestions for working the Book module in Lightroom CC.

work from folders or collections? If all the images for your book are in one folder, you can certainly use that as the source for your book images. But what if you’re working with images that are stored in several different folders? If that’s the case, then it’s best to create a collection for your book project, because one of the benefits of collections is that they can contain images from multiple folders. Although folders are certainly important in terms of how the images in your archive are organized on a hard drive, collections are the better way to organize images for specific projects. Folders can only be accessed in the Library module, whereas collections are available in all of the different modules.


create a saved book Lightroom will create an auto layout from the images in your collection. This can be easily modified later. Before you start to modify the layout, click the Create Saved Book button in the upper-right corner of the main content area. This will create a book collection that you can return to later for further edits. As with any collection, a saved book can be placed inside other collection sets, and will appear in the list of Collections on the left side of the interface. I find it useful to place my saved books in a collection set of book projects, so all my books are located in one place.

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editing and sequencing


Before heading over to the Book module, spend some time editing your images to narrow the group down to only the best shots that will work for the book you want to create. If your book tells a story, as opposed to being a collection of your best shots, consider how some shots may help to fill in the gaps, or support the overall story, even if they’re not “hero” shots. As you start to work on the book layout, some shots may still end up being cut, but by starting with a collection that is pre-edited with the book format in mind, it will speed your work in the Book module. Once you have a solid collection of candidates for the book, start thinking about sequencing the images. This doesn’t mean you can’t reorder images once you’re working with the book, but having the general sequence established first lets you take advantage of the auto layout feature to get up and running quickly.

choose book type When you enter the Book module, the first step is usually to choose the type of book in the Book Settings panel. If you choose to have Blurb print the book, all of these options will affect the cost of the book. Using the Logo Page option will place a Blurb logo at the bottom of the last page and reduce the price by approximately 17%.

creating custom auto layout presets Below the Book Settings panel is a section for Auto Layout. As the name implies, the Auto Layout feature will take the images in your collection and, based on the type of book you’ve chosen, create an initial book layout, preserving the sequence you’ve already established. But instead of just clicking the Auto Layout button, open the Auto Layout Preset drop-down menu and choose Edit Auto Layout Presets. This allows you to set up the left and right pages exactly as you want by specifying how many photos appear on the page,

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the zoom behavior, and whether photo text is added. In the Preset menu at the top of the dialog you can save your changes as a new preset that can be used with Auto Layout on other book projects. Auto Layout is just a starting point for creating a layout that will work for most of the book. You can still make page-specific changes to the layout at a later time.

modify individual page layouts, save as favorites Although choosing an Auto Layout is a good starting point, there will probably be times when you need to customize the layout of a specific page. Fortunately, Lightroom lets you modify existing page styles. Click on a page to make it active and then go to the Page panel on the right and click the triangle button to open the Page Picker. Choose a category and then scroll to select the page style you want to use. To add a page style to the Favorites category, Right-click on the thumbnail in the Page panel and choose Add Layout to Favorites. You can remove a page from the Favorites the same way.

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modify cell padding Speaking of cell padding, you can change it either by using the sliders in the Cell panel on the right, or by dragging on the edge of the photo on the page. Initially, it will change the padding equally for all four sides. In the Cell panel, uncheck the Link All box to allow you to change the padding separately for each side, either with the sliders, or by dragging on the edge of the photo. This will allow you to create noncentered placement of an image within the cell.

apply a page style to multiple pages To apply a page template, whether one of the included templates or a custom page style you’ve saved, to multiple pages at once, click on the first page to select it and then Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on the other pages you want to select. Then open the Page Picker in the Page Panel (or click the Page Picker menu in the lower right of one of the selected pages) and choose the page style you want to apply.

page numbers In the Page panel, check the Page Numbers checkbox and then use the position drop-down menu to specify where on the page the numbers will appear. Lightroom defaults to starting the page numbers on the first non-cover page but you can change this by Right-clicking on a page and choosing Start Page Number. If there are pages where you don’t want the page number to appear, you can choose Hide Page Number from the same menu.

save custom page styles

To style the page numbers, highlight one of the numbers and then use the controls in the Type panel to set the font, weight, color, size, and Opacity. Right-click on the page and choose Apply Page Number Style Globally (this is usually the default). ■ › › k e l b yo n e . c o m

In addition to choosing a page-specific style, you can also apply a custom modification to a page and then save your edits as a custom page style that you can then apply to other pages in your book or to future projects. After modifying a page template, Right-click in the page and choose Save as Custom Page. Any custom page styles that you save will be available under the Custom Pages category in the Page Picker, which you can access in the Page panel, or by clicking the small page menu button that’s visible when a page is selected. Due to the template-driven way that Lightroom uses page styles, you can’t change the placement of the photo cells in the template, but you can modify the cell padding for individual cells to control where the images are placed within the cell, and then save your changes for use on other book projects.


Product Reviews Broncolor Para 133HR Not Your Typical Modifier Review by Michael Corsentino

I recently incorporated the Broncolor Para 133HR into my fashion, beauty, and portrait work, and I’ve been nothing short of blown away by its versatility and quality of light. I wanted to share my initial experiences, provide feedback, and offer a few sample images for those curious about or considering this bestin-class modifier. Right off the bat, this is no ordinary modifier. There are certainly less expensive parabolic reflectors out there, and some of them are quite good; but the fact remains that the Para 133HR is in a class of its own. Because of its unique front-to-back focusing system, it’s able to do things no other single modifier can. Essentially, with a Para 133HR (or any Para modifier for that matter), and its companion focusing rod, you have several modifiers built into one. By sliding the focusing rod from front to back, it’s easy to quickly move from soft light to hard light, or anything

Michael Corsentino

in between with one tool. Consequently, because the Para is multifaceted, you don’t need to invest in as many modifiers to achieve the same variety of looks that are possible with it. This allows unmatched flexibility, creative options, and a signature look that isn’t found anywhere else. It certainly can be used like a traditional octabank with one of three optional diffusion panels available; however, this is just the tip of the iceberg where the Para is concerned. Out of the box, it’s clear that Broncolor pays attention to the details. The kit I received comes with a rugged rolling case for the Para and focusing rod, and the 133HR’s superior build and high-quality fabric and hardware are standouts, assuring trou› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › a p r i l 2 0 1 6

ble-free use for years to come.


The Para 133HR is a true parabola or parabolic shape, with a 24-facet silver interior. This uniquely deep conical shape, along with its silver interior, creates a highly efficient light source with a signature 24-facet catchlight. Trust me, you’ve seen this catchlight in fashion, and you probably wondered how it was created. In addition to the strobe version I’m reviewing here, the Para 133HR is also available in a hot-lights-compatible FT model. It’s compatible with Broncolor strobes but adapters are available for most other brands. The Broncolor Para line of modifiers is well known for its prowess in fashion and portrait work so that’s where I decided


Michael Corsentino

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to start my initial tests. For the first series of images, I placed the Para directly in front of my model Kat, positioned above my camera lens and angled down at approximately 45º. From this position, I began shooting with soft light and easily switched to hard light by simply moving the Para’s focusing rod from front to back. I also added a reflector from below to open the shadows under Kat’s neck and eyes. This first look is a classic fashion/ beauty lighting setup that produces minimal shadows due to the light’s lack of direction relative to the model. Once I had a few fashion/beauty images nailed down with hard and soft light (opposite page), I moved on to my next look. For the next set of images, I moved the Para to the camera right side of my model. This gave the light direction, something absent in the first look. Doing so added considerably more shadkind of lighting is still right at home in fashion but also perfectly suited for portraits. I began with hard light by recessing the Para’s focusing rod to create a much more focused, specular source. Next, I repositioned the focusing rod so my strobe was at the front or widest part of the Para’s opening and delivering its softest direct light without diffusion. I also added in a fill reflector and stripbox for a kicker light, camera left (top-left image). Lastly, for the softest look of the day, I added a Diffuser 2 panel (optional) to the front of the Para, which softens, broadens, and cuts the light by half a stop (bottom-left image). I’m not going to lie and tell you that the Para’s price tag doesn’t take a minute to swallow. Like any high-performance machine, you get what you pay for. The Para 133HR is an extremely impressive, versatile tool whose value becomes increasingly clear the more you work with it. So for the right person (this photographer being one of them), the Para is the right tool for the job. ■

Company: Hasselblad Bron Inc.

Price: $3,948.95

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Hot: S oft and hard light; build quality; 24-facet catchlight Not: P rice prohibitive for some (it can be rented)

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Michael Corsentino

ows and created what I like to refer to as an “editorial” look. This



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Lighttools Grids Get on the Grid!

Review by Michael Corsentino

I can tell you from personal experience that grid spots and soft

in the buy-it-once-and-

egg crates should be at the top of the list of indispensable light-

use-it-for-a-lifetime phi-

ing tools. Good lighting is as much about controlling where the

losophy. And, if you’re

light isn’t as where it is. When deconstructed, lighting can be

an Elinchrom shooter,

viewed as one or more pools of light illuminating a subject. Grids

they’re pretty much the

provide control over exactly where those pools of light fall, and

only game in town. Many of the Light-

how wide they are. [See page 70 for more on grids.—Ed.] Now there are grids and then there are Lighttools grids. Light-

tools grids are available

tools does one thing and they do it extremely well; they design

with their patented ez[POP] system, a self-tensioning pop-up

and manufacture Soft Egg Crate grids for softboxes offered by top

internal frame. These collapsible internal frames create a taut

brands such as Chimera, Briese, Broncolor, Wafer/Plume, Profoto,

surface for the grid. This prevents any sagging of the grid fabric,

Elinchrom, and others. In the case of Elinchrom, they’re the only

which would compromise the uniformity of the honeycomb grid

grids available for a large part of Elinchrom’s range of modifiers.

cells and the quality of light created—yet another reason Light-

Soft Egg Crate grids come in varying degrees: 20, 30, 40, and 50.

tools grids stand out from the crowd! ■

The lower the number, the tighter the pattern of light created.

Company: Lighttools

Lighttools grids are built to last. In my opinion, having used a lot of grids, these are the best grids on the market because of

Price: See website

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Hot: Quality & components; ez[POP] system; Elinchrom compatible

their design, fabrication, materials, and build quality. They’ll cost

Not: Price

you more, but I’d argue that the cost is worth it. I’m a firm believer

Sony RX100 IV High-Performance Compact Camera Review by Steve Baczewski

Sony continues to evolve their RX100 brand with the fourth version of their popular 20.1 megapixel, high-end compact camera. It has a newly designed 1" stacked CMOS sensor that speeds up data transfer and general performance. This allows for electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32,000, bursts of 16 fps (JPEG)/9 fps (RAW), and 4K video that includes a wonderful HFR (highframe rate) mode for slow-motion video capture at up to 960 fps. For HDR aficionados, there’s increased options for exposure bracketing, including shooting up to nine frames. The RX100 IV’s magnesium compact body has a solid feel,

IV can focus down to 2". Contrast focusing is fast in both bright and low light.

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fits in any pocket, and includes a remarkable built-in pop-up EVF

full-frame DSLR. For macro buffs, when set at 24mm the RX100

that’s bright, displays data clearly, and a pleasure to compose

The RX100 is highly customizable, letting you assign from

with. The articulating 3" LCD angles down 45° for overheads

more than 45 menu items to buttons, making it very responsive to

and up 180° to face front for selfies. Sadly, it’s not a touchscreen,

individual needs. The 4K video looks great, but is limited to 5-min-

so instead of quickly positioning the focus area with a tap of the

ute captures due to heat buildup. The increasing sophistication,

finger, you have to fiddle with the menu, making what could be

versatility, and quality output of Sony’s compact camera make

a quick procedure, relatively slow.

the RX100 IV a useful addition to a photographer’s tools. ■


I was able to make 17x22" prints easily that were on par with my

The image-stabilized 24–70mm f/1.8–f/2.8 ZEISS lens, while comparatively modest in range, is bright, fast and very sharp throughout. As a veteran landscape photographer, I was impressed with the amount of image detail, especially below ISO 200, and

Company: Sony Corporation of America

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Hot: EVF; ZEISS lens; high ISO performance Not: Battery life; no touchscreen; expensive

Price: $949.99

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 oment iPhone M Camera System Step Up Your Mobile Photography! Review by Michael Corsentino

Kudos to the folks at Moment for a beautifully packaged and presented iPhone case, trio of lenses, and app eco system. The Moment case is battery-powered, requiring a CR2032 Lithium battery. For me, this is a negative. Coin-sized batteries can be difficult to find, and with as much heft as the Moment case has, I was expecting a rechargeable solution. You also have to use

The Moment app is a closed eco system meant for use only

the Moment app to turn on and off the case rather than one of

with Moment lenses, which are the heart of the Moment system.

the case’s buttons.

The 10mm macro, 18mm wide-angle, and 60mm telephoto are

Moment’s case facilitates a wireless Bluetooth connection

impressive, robust, well-built, and optically superior glass com-

between it and the iPhone, allowing the multifunction button

pared to the usual offerings for iPhone lenses. Each lens also comes

on the case to be used to activate exposure, focus, and shutter

with a labeled carrying pouch.

control. The app’s GUI is clean and adequate but left me wanting

I love Moment’s sleek black case and genuine wood insert, a

more control. Graphical sliders, one vertical and one horizontal,

nice earthy tip of the hat to Moment’s Pacific Northwest origins.

are invoked by touching the screen. These can be configured to

The case does, however, add considerable weight and bulk to

control numerous attributes in the apps settings; the defaults

the iPhone, which could become a burden over time. A camera

are exposure and manual focus. You can also opt to use the

strap attachment point is included at the bottom of the case—

app’s auto mode. Each slider can only control one variable at a

now that’s cool! ■

time. If you’d like to control another variable, such as Tone Curve or White Balance, you need to change the slider’s assignment in settings. This arrangement is less than ideal. With plenty of

Company: Moment, Inc. Price: Cases: from $49.99; Lenses: $99.99 each

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Hot: Superior optics; image quality; strap attachment point

unused screen space available, I’d rather have as many controls

Not: No built-in battery

at my fingertips as possible.

Smart GPS Sync Add Location Data to Images without In-Camera Tagging Review by Erik Vlietinck

Smart GPS Sync allows you to tag images with geographic data

third mode works in both directions. With it, you obtain geotags

even if you don’t have a GPS or when you’re shooting in loca-

from the nearest shot. Every untagged image will receive loca-

tions with no signal. If you have a smartphone with GPS, you

tion data from the tagged image chronologically closest to it.

can simply make a snapshot close to your shooting location and

To extract location data from those tagged images that have

propagate the GPS coordinates.

been shot at a specific time before or after an untagged one (or series), you can set a time limit.

photos or latitude and longitude data to any number of photos

Last but not least, you can define tags by manually setting

without GPS tags. The app will write the data to the appropriate

latitude/longitude values. Existing geotags will be overwritten

EXIF field of each photo. You have multiple transmission modes

in this mode, so you need to be careful. Also, if you leave the

to choose from. For example, when a photo containing a GPS

latitude/longitude fields empty, any existing geotags will be

tag has been taken before a series of untagged images, Smart

deleted. The app accepts any data you can copy from Google

GPS Sync will transfer the location data from the first tagged

Maps, Bing Maps, Apple maps, etc. ■

image to the others until it finds another image containing GPS

Company: Picture Instruments

data, then use that data on the next set of images, and repeat this until it reaches the end of the list. A second mode lets you tag a series of images shot after a tagged image. This mode is the opposite of the previous one. The

Price: $25

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Hot: Ease of use; logical modes; manual lat./long. entry capability Not:

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With Smart GPS Sync, you can transfer GPS data from tagged




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The DSLR Filmmaker’s Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques, 2nd Edition

The Visual Effects Producer: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX

Now that we’re shooting so much video with our DSLR cameras, perhaps it’s time to dream bigger—family parties, graduations, kids playing, and cute kittens are just a start for DSLR video. Using this book, you’ll learn how to create grander, more interesting and creative projects. The author starts with an overview of capturing video with DSLRs, which should not be skipped unless you already know all of the acronyms and about sensor size. He then looks at gear, custom settings, being “on location,” adding motion, lighting, sound, and storing data. In addition, you’ll find chapters on troubleshooting, converting and editing footage, a look at audio, compression dos and don’ts, post-production, and a final chapter that discusses such subjects as shooting under­ water, shooting in or at moving vehicles, and adjusting video speeds for special effects. (The Kindle version of this book, less expensive and more portable, is reviewed here.)

While not updated as recently as hoped, this is still a good book to pick up if you want to take your DSLR video projects to the next level. Say that the next great The Blair Witch Project is in your head and you want to get it on your hard drive. In today’s market, even for short films, some special effects are going to be needed if you want to get noticed. This book looks at the history of visual effects—some of those older techniques may be just what you need (and all you can handle)—as well as some very practical information about what you need to prepare for capturing visual effects, blue/green screens, motion control, high-speed photography, lighting, and even renting specialized equipment. You’ll also find info about scheduling (and budgeting), major special effects, and postproduction, as well as business and legal issues and shooting overseas.

Publisher: Sybex/Wiley

Publisher: Focal Press/Taylor and Francis

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By Barry Andersson


Price: $49.99 (paperback); $26.39 (Kindle)

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Pages: 480 (paperback)

By Charles Finance and Susan Zwerman

Pages: 416

Price: $39.95 (paperback); $9.46 (Kindle rental); $30.58 (Kindle)

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆





POP QUIZ! Test what you learned in this issue View the online version of this issue to take the quiz.

| fuel for creativity


From The Advice Desk › ›

Answers to Photoshop and gear-related questions BY PETER BAUER

I understand you recently developed a technique to speed continuity checks during filmmaking using Adobe Bridge. Care to share?—Karen

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To: Karen From: KelbyOne Advice Desk


Most certainly! Last year, I worked as 1st Assistant Director to the award-winning director/screenwriter Devi Snively on her short film The Bride of Frankie. Since my background is theater rather than film, the whole process was a learning experience. In theater, most rehearsals (and all performances) are linear—you start at the start and run through to the end. In film, typically, you set up the camera and lighting and shoot everything in the film that takes place in that area, regardless of what scene the action is in. For example, if you’re filming in a kitchen, you may shoot Scene 1 Part B, Scene 7 Part A, and Scene 9 Part E, sequentially. Even if that involves one or more costume or makeup changes, it’s much more efficient than moving the camera and lighting from place to place and back again to shoot sequentially. Because continuity (making sure all of the little details match when putting those various scenes and parts in order) is critical, the director may need to review footage that was shot hours or even days before to ensure all the details match. (How many times have you noticed or mentioned something like, “The clock in that background now says 4:30 when it showed 9:10 just a moment ago!” Or “Look at that, his bow tie was tied, then untied, then tied again all in the space of one conversation.”) On our first day of shooting, when the director needed to check continuity, she had to pull the director of photography/cinematographer away from resetting the camera to scroll though digital footage until she found the spot she needed. Not only was that

process often a bit long, it also slowed the reset of the camera to its new location. Starting on the second day of shooting, I set up a DSLR to capture JPEG images from a monitor connected to the camera. During each take of each scene or part, I took shots at critical moments of the action and, most importantly, immediately as the director called “Cut!” Between shots, I downloaded the photos to a laptop. When the director needed to check something for continuity (“Were the flowers in his hand or already on the floor when we shot the preceding part yesterday?” for example), I’d ask the script supervisor when we shot that part (“Second take after lunch yesterday, so probably about 1:30”). In seconds, I could jump to that day/time in Bridge and show the director what she needed to know. And that was not only much faster than scrolling through footage, it also let the cinematographer concentrate on setting the camera for the next set of shots. Over the course of the shoot, I refined my technique, tweaking this and that to make it less obtrusive and more efficient. Sometimes the director would watch the actors while shooting a scene and sometimes she preferred to watch the monitor. You never want to interfere with the director’s view of the monitor, so I suggest mounting the camera on a tripod, slightly below the monitor, centered, and pointed up. I also suggest (very strongly) using a remote cable so that you don’t need to be at the camera itself, and also using a mirror-less camera so that there’s no “click” that may be captured by a microphone. ■

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