photoshop CS6

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Using Adobe’s Adjustment Brush in Photoshop or Lightroom to rescue awkwardly-lit scenes

_djc9137adjDespite the power of post-processing tools, one area that has always been labor intensive and error-prone is correcting images that have multiple light sources with multiple color temperatures. Since white balance is best set on the raw image, correcting for two or more different light sources has required “developing” the image multiple times and then using layers and layer masking to composite a version that shows each area lit correctly. Fortunately Adobe has changed all that… Read more »

Using HDR for texture

_djc9628hHigh dynamic range (HDR) images aren’t just for extreme lighting conditions and special effects. They can be used to provide more depth and texture to an image than is possible with a single shot. These statues of daemons lining the bridge approach to the South Gate of Angkor Thom in Cambodia show a good example. By the time they are lit (with side light from the southeast in the morning in this case) the light is a little hard and wouldn’t have shown detail in the rocks. Read more »

Book Review: Photoshop CS6–the missing manual by Lesa Snider

The well-liked “missing manual” series has finally tackled Photoshop, and the result is quite a magnum opus. I’ve never seen so much information about Photoshop packed into a single volume. At 862 pages it may be a little daunting, but it is well-organized, colorfully-laid-out and has an excellent index. As someone who has watched with dismay as the documentation provided with Photoshop decreases and its complexity and price grows, this book is very much needed.

Photoshop CS6 – the missing manual’s strength is its broad coverage of Photoshop, and its appeal to all levels of users. There is a soup to nuts treatment of almost every aspect of the program, starting with the very basics of each piece – from opening images to using layers. That breadth is also the source of the book’s biggest shortcoming, that in trying to be all things to all people it risks not being ideal for anyone. Read more »

Using Iris Blur in Photoshop CS6 to direct attention

djc_6713cOne of the niftiest new filters in Photoshop’s bag of tricks is the Iris Blur filter. It mimics the behavior of limited depth of field by blurring the image outside a customizable “iris” shape. As usual, Photoshop provides plenty of options for controlling the radius of the non-blurred area (both an inner “hot spot” and outer "total effect” area), the shape of the iris, and the amount of focusing you want within the iris. Unlike using a wide-open aperture on your camera to blur the background, Photoshop doesn’t “know” which objects are close or far, so you need to craft the shape of the iris yourself. Fortunately Photoshop also lets you add multiple different iris blurs to create effects that would not be possible with a camera… Read more »

Fixing lens flare using Photoshop CS6’s Content-aware Patch tool

djc_6163hgLens flare can be a major problem when photographing wide-angle scenics, especially through large groves of trees. Sometimes the sun is close enough to the frame that it isn’t possible to completely block it out without changing the composition of the photograph. Removing it after the fact is difficult if not impossible with traditional photo editing tools. One common approach is to use the Patch tool in Photoshop. Fortunately for all of us, the new Photoshop CS6 Patch tool can be made content-aware, and does a remarkably solid job helping fix lens flare… Read more »