Sometimes you end up with something in your photo that you wish wasn’t there. When that happens one great way to remove the unwanted item is with the Patch tool in Adobe Photoshop. Here’s how you use it:
1) Find the icon on the toolbar that looks kind of like a Band-Aid. Click and hold on that icon and you’ll see several other icons pop up. These are your “healing” tools. Select the Patch tool.
2) With the Patch tool selected circle the object in your photo with your mouse and then click and drag the selection to a different part of the image you’d like to use to replace the unwanted object.
3) Release the mouse button and the object will then be replaced.
One of Lightroom’s strongest benefits is the ability to quickly make changes to a large number of images. One way I use it is to create both color and black and white versions of images for clients. Customers really appreciate having both options and Lightroom makes it easy. The way I prefer to do this is using a feature called “Collections.”
Here’s how to create Collections (see also video below for more details):
1) Select all of the images with which you want to create a Collection and then with those images highlighted create the Collection:
2) Name your collection something like “Concert Color.” Since this is going to your color versions (aka unmodified) make sure to leave “Make new virtual copies” unchecked.
3) After you’ve created your first Collection with the same files still highlighted repeat Step 1 but name these something like “Concert B&W” This time you’re going to make sure “Make new virtual copies” is checked.
4) Now apply your favorite black and white preset to your Concert B&W Collection and you can switch between the two and export each into a different folder.
Watch the video below to get a better look at the process start to finish. If you’d like to learn more about the power Adobe Lightroom sign up for one of our two Lightroom classes:
Taking photographs on a cloudy day can be challenging. Colors tend to be dull and contrast in images is difficult to attain. Simply increasing the Contrast with software is a bit of a fat-fingered approach. If you use image editing software there is a different way to get more Contrast in your images.
To accomplish this you need to be shooting in Raw mode. If you own Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you’ll be performing these changes in Camera Raw (included with both programs). If you use Lightroom these adjustments are built right in.
The adjustments we’re going to make are going to be done using the Luminance tool. This tool allows you to darken or lighten a specific color in an image. If you were to take pictures of a corn field on a cloudy day you may try darkening the greens and brightening the yellows in an image resulting in more contrast.
In the below example I wanted to bring out more detail in the grass, specifically the flowers. From experience I know that grass isn’t just green, it’s a combination of green, yellow and sometimes orange. By brightening the yellows and oranges and darkening the greens a lot more detail and contrast was revealed in the grass.
If you’d like to learn more ways to improve your images with software sign up for one of our introductory editing classes:
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is designed by photographers for photographers with the specific goal of making photo editing faster. One way to make working in Lightroom even more fast is by using keyboard shortcuts. Below are some examples:
Show/Hide All Panels: If you use Lightroom on a laptop or have a small monitor sometimes the image previews can be a bit small. Hiding the panels above and the side gives you more room to quickly see a larger preview of the image and then switching back to make further adjustments.
Show/Hide All Panels: [Shift + Tab]
Switch Between Library and Develop Modules: I like to view multiple images at a time in the Library module when I am rating pictures to narrow down which will be the “final” ones to give to a client. When I’m going through them I also tend to test different editing techniques to while I go through them so I’m often switching between the the Library and Develop modules.
Switch to Library Module: Win: [Ctrl + Alt + 1] Mac: [Command + Option + 1]
Switch to Develop Module: Win: [Ctrl + Alt + 1] Mac: [Command + Option + 1]
Flag or Rate Image and Move to Next: If you’ve taken a lot of photos and need to narrow them down to a few you may use the Flag option or give images 1-5 stars to do so. If you press 2 Lightroom will rate an image two stars and then you usually hit the right arrow to go to the next one. If while you’re doing this you hold down the Shift key Lightroom will rate the current image and then automatically take you to the next image, cutting your keystrokes in half!
Flag Image and Go to Next: [Shift + P]
Set Star Rating and Go to Next [Shift + 1-5]
These are just some of the keyboard shortcuts available to you. For a full list go to this link:
Most people think of Adobe Lightroom as a tool to organize photos and to do batch edits like resizing images or converting them to black and white. When you talk about things like softening skin or removing blemishes from portraits most people think of Photoshop. While Photoshop is the tool to turn to for heavy photo manipulation, the retouching methods available in Lightroom would work in most situations. This week we’ll look at a technique of simply softening skin (i.e. diminishing the fine shadows and wrinkles in the skin).
1) To do this open up a photo in Lightroom in the Develop module (click on images to enlarge):
2) Select the Adjustment Brush tool:
3) Under "Effect" select "Soften Skin" from the list:
4) Now place the adjustment brush over the image and click and hold while you draw over the areas you’d like to soften (if you check "Show Selected Mask Overlay" you’ll see where the effect will occur in red):
5) When you’re finished click "Done" and you should see the difference:
Below is a before and after image (click to enlarge):
Hopefully this tip will speed up the process of making simple skin retouches. If you’d like to learn more about the power of Adobe Lightroom sign up for one of or Lightroom Seminars!
You may have heard of people talking about "Raw files" or "shooting Raw" and wondered what the heck they were talking about and why you should care. Whether you should care will depend upon how and what you photograph.
A Raw file is an unaltered picture file, unlike a JPEG which is altered and compressed by your camera. They contain more colors than a JPEG and do not have the Compression Artifacts that JPEG’s may contain.
These alterations your camera make to an image in creating a JPEG are not necessarily a bad thing. Some would even argue the camera does a great job of this. However for people who really like to tweak photos after they’re taken with a software program like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
Changing White Balance
Black & White Conversions
Brightening or Darkening Images
Tinting and Altering the Color of an Image
Larger file sizes than JPEG’s Requiring More Storage
Printing or Uploading Raw Images to the Web Requires Software to Convert the Files First
In recent years software like Adobe Lightroom has made working with Raw files much easier. Whether or not shooting Raw is right for you depends on your individual needs. If you like to play with your photos with software though shooting Raw can greatly improve your results. If you’re interested in learning more about working with Raw files sign up for our Adobe Lightroom class!
One of the most powerful and controversial tools in Photoshop is the "Liquify" tool. The tool puts any digital photograph into a "liquid" state where you push and pull on parts of the image without smearing the image. The reason it’s so controversial is because it’s often used for thinning a persons appearance in photographs. Often when Photoshop is in the headlines it’s because someone has gone a little overboard with the Liquify tool.
The Liquify tool can be used in many legitimate ways however: to fix clothing that’s bulging out, correct an unflattering pose, fix issues with lens distortion to name a few. It is located under the "Filter" menu in Photoshop. Below is a brief video demonstration of the tool in action:
This is just a taste of what you can do in Photoshop. If you would like to learn more about retouching photos sign-up for our Adobe Photoshop for Photographers class starting February 8th!
Over the holidays I discovered a box of old photographs and spent hours with my family going through them and getting the story behind them. Many of these I’d never seen and most of them, if they had anything at all, only had the date the photo was taken and nothing else. If weren’t so lucky to have both of my parents to help me navigate through the disorganized pile I never would’ve known that I am actually a third generation photographer and my grandfather seemed to have the same affinity for low light with shadows like I do.
I wouldn’t have known that the picture on the right was taken when my father took my mother back East to meet his family for the very first time. I just would’ve thought it was some old photo and the significance of that moment at that time in there lives would’ve been completely lost on me.
In today’s digital world we’re taking more photographs than ever and if you’re not keeping your collection organized it would be easy for the significance of the photos you’re taking to be lost forever for your kids and grandkids.
While you can’t write on the back of a digital photo. Digital pictures do allow you to embed descriptions within the digital file with software like Photoshop Elements and Adobe Lightroom as well as many others. These allow you to add "tags" which are keywords you can later search like a location or a person’s name. Other fields like "Title" and "Comments" can hold more detailed information about a photo.
Hopefully this tip will help you better preserve your precious memories for future generations! If you’d like to learn more about managing your photo collection sign up for one of our Photoshop Elements or Adobe Lightroom classes.
If you have been using your cameras built-in black and white setting (aka Monochrome or Grayscale) and getting lackluster results this tip is for you. For whatever reason, despite the continued popularity of black and white photography, it’s very difficult to get a modern digital camera to produce the two-tone look we’re accustomed to. Instead cameras tend to produce images that are more of a bland grey than either black or white. To get the best results you should first take pictures in color and then use software to convert them to black and white. Below is how you do it.
Open Your Image in Your Favorite Photo Software
To get the best results you want to convert images to black and white using a colored "Filter." In the days of film people used to actually attach a colored cover to their lens that produced different black and white looks. Today we do the same thing with software but the name "Filter" stuck.
The odds are the software program you use most will be able to do this. At least I know personally a variation of this can be done in the 5 most popular photo programs:
Adobe Lightroom (as a preset that can then be fine tuned)
Adobe Photoshop (as a "Black and White" adjustment layer)
Adobe Photoshop Elements (as a "Black and White" adjustment layer)
Google Picasa (under Effects > Filtered B&W)
Windows Live Photo Gallery (under Effects)
Below are a few variations achieved using the default Red, Green and Blue black and white filters:
If you’re using one of the Adobe products you can tweak the results even further by making custom adjustments to each individual color:
Moving the slider right will lighten anything with that color in the image. Move the slider to the left will darken it. Below is the image using my custom adjustments:
Hopefully this will help you get better black and white images! If you’d like to learn more about improving your images with software sign up for our Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements classes.
If you’re like me you have thousands of digital pictures on your computer that aren’t perfectly organized. I have a particularly bad habit of renaming files when I post them on the web and then forgetting what the original hi-resolution files name was. Because of this I’m always on the lookout for software tools that can help me find those images. An experimental feature in Google Picasa that allows you to search for images by color is the latest tool I’ve found useful.
How to Use
Once Picasa is installed and has analyzed the pictures on your computer (note: if you’re not already using Picasa this can take a very long time depending on the number of photos you have) go to:
Tools > Experimental > Search for… > [select your color]
As you can see in the video the results are pretty good though not perfect for the color Red. Green, Blue and Purple also worked well for me. Colors that were less useful were Yellow and Orange because those colors are found in the skin tones of a lot of people bringing up thousands of results.
Hopefully this tip will help you manage your growing collection of images!