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OU £4 R 00 BI 0 G O CO F M GE PE AR TI IN TI ON

Britain’s best-selling photography mag!

COM TRA PACT TRIPVEL GRO ODS TESTUP PAG E 102

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ISSUE 131 JULY 2010 £4.99

D-SLR

COMPLETE GUIDE

USER SPECIAL!

Find out all you need to know to: » Buy the ideal camera for travel PAGE 92 » Improve your shooting skills PAGE 22 » Enhance your images in Photoshop PAGE 32

B YOURUY NEXT

D-SLR

CAN & SONON, NIKON Y REVIE MODELS WED & RATED

NEW DIGITAL SKILLS

FIX YOUR HOLIDAY SHOTS PLUS

» MAKE A LOMO-STYLE EFFECT » MASTER GRADIENT MAPS IN PHOTOSHOP

PAUL RUNNESTO

Say goodbye to dull shots – just follow our expert advice


R L S D USER SPECIAL

NEW DIGITAL SKILLS!

FIX YOUR

HOLIDAY SHOTS 22

DIGITAL PHOTO

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WHAT YOU NEED A D-SLR & PHOTOSHOP OR ELEMENTS WHAT YOU’LL LEARN HOLIDAY SHOOTING SKILLS

By showing you how to use your camera and software in the right way, this special guide will solve all your holiday shooting problems – it’s a bit like travel insurance for your pictures! WWW.PHOTOANSWERS.CO.UK

PAUL RUNNESTO

V LESIDEO ON SONS T CD!HE

TURN OVER TO GET STARTED DIGITAL PHOTO

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AVEL IMPROVE TRIN G PHOTOS US OP H PHOTOS TS & ELEMEN

IMPROVE PHOTOS WITH THE POWER OF In RAW mode you can grab shots on the move and worry about tweaking the exposure later TECHNIQUE BY KINGSLEY SINGLETON

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DIGITAL PHOTO

RAW

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WHAT YOU NEED PHOTOSHOP CS3 OR HIGHER WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IMPROVE TRAVEL PICS IN RAW

the problem With the sun in the wrong place (as usual) and much too high in the sky we’ve got another flat and lifeless landscape to deal with here. Not only that, the modern hut on the left edge of the frame is spoiling the composition...

VI LESDEO ON SON T CD!HE

the solution START IMAGE HUTS.JPG

... this time though, because it was shot in RAW, we don’t need to import a new sky from another pic, just create a better exposure with multiple conversions of the original file and mask them together.

TURN OVER FOR THE FULL STEP-BY-STEP TECHNIQUE WWW.PHOTOANSWERS.CO.UK

DIGITAL PHOTO

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RN W A E L L-NE AL ILLS SK

Photoshop Masterclass

» Your expert guide to the tips, tools & techniques that really matter...

Gradient Maps BOOST THE TONAL QUALITY IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS FINAL IMAGE

GE START IMA

HOW WE CREATED THIS IMAGE The image we’re going to be working with this month, Fashion.jpg, was taken on a dreary day in dismal lighting conditions. It was lying forgotten on our hard drive, so we decided to rescue it and turn it into a fashion-style image using Photoshop’s Gradient Map adjustment. On these pages we’ll see what it takes to create custom-made Gradient Maps in the Gradient Editor, before adjusting the Blending Mode of each Adjustment Layer to produce a much-improved split-toned result.

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DIGITAL PHOTO

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WHAT YOU NEED PHOTOSHOP CS2, CS3 OR CS4 WHAT YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO USE GRADIENT MAPS

Photoshop’s Gradient Map offers the finest control when you want to improve the tonality in your images – and they’re easier to use than you think! BY MICHAEL TOPHAM

I

F YOU’RE NOT HAPPY with the natural tones in your images, there are a few ways to modify and enhance them in Photoshop. Adjustments like Color Balance and Hue/Saturation are great for editing single and multiple colours, but if you fancy assigning specific colours to the shadows, highlights and midtones there’s one command that offers control like no other and that’s Photoshop’s Gradient Map adjustment. You may have used it before without really

knowing how it works, so this month we’re going to explain everything you need to know ahead of putting this knowledge into practice in a detailed step-bystep technique.

How it works

Adjustment Layer ➔ Gradient Map, the command automatically assigns the Foreground colour to any shadows, and the Background colour to any highlights. Midtones are mapped to the graduations in between and you’re given the option of controlling this area

The role of the Gradient Map is to apply different shades of colour to the varying tones in an image. When you specify the Foreground and Background colours in the Toolbox and go to Layer ➔ New

further in the Gradient Editor by adding Color Stops in-between the two endpoint colours. You’ll get a lot out of exploring Photoshop’s range of Gradients in the Gradient picker and finding one that’s best suited to your image takes up the most time. We’re going to be working with Gradient Maps as Adjustment Layers, which means we can edit them quickly and adjust the way they interact with the image by switching the Blending Mode. Before we get our teeth into this month’s technique, let’s cast an eye over the dialog box and Gradient Editor...

“ You’ll get a lot out of exploring Photoshop’s range of Gradients... ”

KNOWLEDGE THE GRADIENT MAP OPTIONS

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FRE GRA E MA DIENT PS O THE N CD

THE GRADIENT MAP OPTIONS Moving into the menu bar and going to Layer ➔ New Adjustment Layer ➔ Gradient Map opens the dialog. It doesn’t look complex at first, however when you click on the Gradient to load the Gradient Editor it appears more daunting. We’ve broken the Gradient Map down into its constituent parts. Examine the notes opposite and you’ll have a better understanding of how the controls will affect your images.

SET UP YOUR GRADIENT MAP When you load the Gradient Map dialog box and click on the Gradient Picker there’s a list of presets you can use. Photoshop has many more which can be found in the Gradient menu, but we’ve made an extra 12 for you. Go to Image ➔ Adjustments ➔ Gradient Map and load the Gradient Picker. Click on the small right arrow to load the Gradient Menu and click on Replace Gradients. Locate the file DP Gradient Maps.grd on the CD and click on Load. You’ll now have plenty of gradients in your collection to choose from.

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REVERSE

DITHER

Switches the direction of the gradient fill, reversing the Gradient Map.

Adds random Noise to smooth the appearance of the gradient fill and prevents banding.

COLOUR STOP The shadows in your image are mapped to the colour stop at the far left of the Gradient. Double clicking on the stop will let you alter the colour.

COLOUR STOP The Highlights in your image are mapped to the colour stop at the far right of the Gradient.

ADD A STOP Colour stops can be added beneath the Gradient to change the gradation between the two end stops.

DIGITAL PHOTO

55


R L S D USER SPECIAL

SHOOT AN ACTION SEQUENCE Set up your camera the right way and create your very own multi-shot action image! TECHNIQUE BY GAVIN HOEY WE LIVE IN A FAST-PACED world where things can happen very quickly, but capturing that sense of movement and action in a still image is not easy. One way of conveying movement is to shoot an action sequence. The idea is pretty simple – take multiple images

to show the motion of an object or person as they move across the camera’s viewfinder. But while it might look a bit complex to do, it’s actually quite straightforward. So, with a little practice and the help of this tutorial, you’ll be shooting your own action sequences in no time at all.

EXCLUSIVE LIVE ACTION VIDEO LESSON ON THE CD!

Watch Gavin’s video on the cover disc, and see this entire technique ‘live’ on your computer. Once you’ve seen the video, give it a whirl yourself with your own action subject!

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DIGITAL PHOTO

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WHAT YOU NEED ANY D-SLR & PHOTOSHOP WHAT YOU’LL LEARN SHOOT ACTION SEQUENCES

VI E O LESD S O ON T N H CD! E

Our five shots of a child jumping off a swing have been combined into the finished image above using Layers in Photoshop.

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DIGITAL PHOTO

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R L S D USER SPECIAL

ALL-IN-ONE

D-SLRs A lightweight D-SLR with a superzoom is the perfect travelling companion, so which D-SLR kit deserves a good holiday?

FOR TRAVEL

TEST BY PHIL HALL

92

DIGITAL PHOTO

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ALL-IN-ONE D-SLRS FOR TRAVEL

�EAR

WHAT WE TESTED Mid-price D-SLRs suitable for travel – all equipped with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM lens. Canon EOS 550D with lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1023 Nikon D5000 with lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £887 Sony Alpha 550 with lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £937

LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE GREAT D-SLRS OVER THE PAGE WWW.PHOTOANSWERS.CO.UK

DIGITAL PHOTO

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R L S D USER SPECIAL

LIGHTWEIGHT

TRIPODS FOR T OR HORAVEL LIDAYS

102

DIGITAL PHOTO

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LIGHTWEIGHT TRIPODS FOR TRAVEL

Lugging a weighty set of sticks on your travels is no fun at all – opt for a lighter travel tripod and you’ll be able to pack it in your suitcase and get the stable base you need for your D-SLR or compact. We look at six options costing less than £80.

GEAR

WHAT WE TESTED A range of lightweight travel tripods from six manufacturers, weighing 1.4kg or less. Hahnel TRIAD 30 Lite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £40 Hama Traveller Mini Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £40 Manfrotto 7321YB M-Y MINI 3W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £79 SLIK Sprint PRO II 3 WAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £69 Vanguard Espod 203AP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £79 Velbon Ultra Maxi L . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £59

TEST BY MICHAEL TOPHAM

CHECK OUT THE FULL TRIPOD TEST OVER THE PAGE

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DIGITAL PHOTO

103

Digital Photo - July 2010  

Digital Photo July 2010

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