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

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

7 Tips and Tricks for Expanding Your Frame

One of the techniques I frequently use when shooting on location (by frequently I mean pretty much every time) is to expand my frame. I believe that many of you know of this fancy maneuver and are probably already doing it like total pixel gathering pros. (Well done, friends.) However, we are all at different levels on our journey towards creative greatness, so for those of you who haven't tested out this handy trick yet - allow me to elaborate. ALLOW ME!! K thanks. (And for those that do know this technique, kindly stick around for some tips and tricks that will hopefully take your expanding game to the next level.) 

Read More

Creating Armor in Photoshop

Sooooooo I made some armor. Not tangible armor, though (maybe one day). You see, the site ShiftArt.com does a monthly photo contest where they give you a selection of stock images to edit however you choose, as long you use a certain amount of them. This month the prize was a 13-inch Wacom Cintiq. So yeah, um duh, of course I was going to enter. I came in second place, but I still feel like I won because I ended up putting together this badass image that I never would have made otherwise. :)  

Read More