Blog

Using Quick Mask Mode To Enhance Depth of Field

Quick Mask Mode. Guys it's pretty awesome. Does anyone ever use this? If you're sitting there like "IDK, what's a Quick Mask," the answer is, "No, it's not when you use a layer mask as fast as you can." Quick Mask is a tool in Photoshop that lets you more precisely edit your selections. You can activate it by pressing the "Q" key or clicking the little rectangle-with-a-dotted-line-circle-in-it at the bottom of your tools palette. Some of you may already know what it is but hardly ever think to use it for anything. Well I'm here to let you know that it can be incredibly handy if you use it correctly.

Read More

Create a Safety Net

If you're in the gym and trying to lift something heavy, odds are you need a spotter. Even if you fancy yourself to be a big strong macho man (or woman). You may think you can just do it yourself (and maybe you can), but wouldn't it be safer to have an extra set of hands to yank that weight off your chest if you try to bite off more than you can chew? Perhaps you and your silly pride can struggle through it, but odds are you're going to have bad form; the sloppy reps just aren't going to deliver the results you were hoping for. Creating a piece of artwork is no different. Sure, you can do it all by yourself and get something done, but it's always a good idea to find an artwork spotter to have your back.

Read More

How I Get the "Illustrative" Look

I can't tell you how many times I get comments like "Wow this is so cool; it almost looks like a painting!" Not that I'm complaining about that whatsoever; I take it as a compliment. It's one of my goals when creating a work of art - to make something that isn't quite a photo, but isn't quite a painting. "Yes, but how do you make it look like that!?" Well, since you asked I guess I could explain some of the process. Obviously a LOT goes into making my images look the way they do. Fancy studio lighting and a hefty amount of digital painting play large roles, but one technique that really pushes my work towards that sort of hyper-real-digital-illustration-y-type-look is the use of the "Shadows/Highlights" adjustment.

Read More

Using Motion Blur to Create Action

A super easy way to add motion to an edit is to apply a motion blur filter. I know it's so obvious it seems silly, but there is definitely more to it than just slapping a filter on top of your image. First of all you have to decide what is in motion and what direction it's going in. For "The Retreat" I knew that he (the dragon ... well subsequently Niall too, I guess) would be charging towards the left side of the frame, so the angle of my motion blur was easy enough to figure out. I was attempting to emulate the look you get when you pan the camera following along with a moving subject. For example, if you were to try to take a picture of a passing motorcycle, you could track it in the center of your frame, then when you snap the photo the motorcycle would be more or less crisp and the background would have the motion blur.

Read More

Working With Color Harmonies

Being a full-time huge fan/buddy of the guys over at the RAWexchange store, I often get asked to check out their new material. (Just to clear the air, no one is paying me to say any of this. I just love them and everything they put out ... like, for real. I DO get a cut of the sales if you happen to purchase something through one of my links, but that is besides the point. The RAWexchange Store really does just have top notch stuff that I ACTUALLY use in basically every image ... ok moving on.) Well friends, let me tell you that their newest endeavor to start selling in-depth tutorials is one of their best ideas yet. Stefan Kohler created a "Colors & Photoshop" tutorial that is two and a half hours jam-packed with everything you could ever hope to know about colors and how/why they work the way they do in Photoshop.

Read More