Friday, February 27, 2009

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Photoshop Don'ts

Received this from my PCPhoto E-Newsletter and tho't it was worth sharing. I'd recommend looking into a subscription, but at the very least I'd recommend getting set up on their email newsletter list. Keven

Five Things to Never Do with Photoshop
PC Photo E-Newsletter 02/16/09
By William Sawalich

The old adage “never say never” is often appropriate in life, but when it comes to digital imaging there are certain things you should never do. Be it for reasons of bad karma or bad technical results, take heed these warnings, friend. There are some things you should never, ever, ever do with Photoshop.

1. NEVER click a funky filter and assume the outcome will be unique. Just because it’s new to you doesn’t make it new; imagine how infatuated a caveman would be with even the worst show on television. Every digital photographer experienced a honeymoon phase when we first started working with computers, and we looked at all those weird and wacky filters and the wild results they produced and felt like we couldn’t go wrong. But we did. Thankfully, we eventually grew out of it. Even better is to never grow into the habit in the first place. Skip the “one-stop-shop” filter effects and remember that they’re better served as a subtle part of the whole equation. Running a photo of Angelina Jolie through the Emboss filter isn’t going to make it art. It will just make an ugly picture of Angelina Jolie. Trust us. Don’t do it.

2. NEVER sharpen an image before you work on it. This is especially true if you’ll be resizing the image in later steps, or if you’re only doing one-step sharpening. Many photographers apply a subtle sharpening—often during the RAW conversion—before working on the image. That’s fine, as long as it’s not the only sharpening to be done. Because resizing affects sharpness, and because every other modification you make to an image will affect the perceived sharpness, it’s always best to save the sharpening until the last step of the process before saving a file. When you sharpen, you create (along with the positive sharpening effect you intend) little artifacts from the process. When sharpening is the last step—i.e. sharpening for the specified output—you’re able to use your eyes to verify that artifacts are minimized and the correct sharpness is applied.

3. NEVER work on the only version of an original file. Make a copy, and don’t wait until it’s too late! It only takes one accidental Ctrl-S and Ctrl-W combo (saving and then closing—throwing away the undoable abilities of the history menu) to make this one sink in for good. When you’re working on the only version of your high-resolution 40-megapixel file and you make the web-sized version, save and close, and then realize that you’ve gone from 40-million pixels to 40 pixels… ouch. (Along with that, don’t forget to save often as you go, and always back up those files too. No matter how tempting the space-saving may be, never save originals as anything other than a lossless TIF, PSD or RAW file format like DNG.)

4. NEVER downsize an image (for emailing or anything else) before you fix it up. It can be tempting to resize first to make the edits go faster, but you need to think of an original, maximum-resolution file as your digital negative. For the entire history of the medium photographers clamored for the largest negatives they could get, and the same is true for digital files. All edits should be done on a file that can be downsized later. After all, you can always make a big file smaller, but you can’t make a small file much bigger without destroying the quality. Since so much computer processing is all about eliminating extra steps, remember that it’s easy to shrink an image but not to expand it. Always work on a high-res file knowing that you can easily shrink it later.

5. NEVER destroy a beautiful image with an ugly watermark. If you’re a high-paid photographic master who’s images are really in demand, I can understand your hesitation to post a high-res file unprotected online. But there are so many better ways than obliterating a beautiful image with a trashy watermark or logo—particularly if it’s only a web-res file. Not only do obnoxious watermarks make your photos look bad, they make you look obnoxious too—like you’re more afraid of someone stealing your precious photo than you are interested in showing it to the rest of us. The point is simply to be smart and protect your work within reason. Include important information in the metadata, and even run a copyright notice across a portion of the picture if you’d like. But completely ruining an otherwise lovely landscape with a tacky logo? That’s a real travesty.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Call for Entry

New Haven-Adams Township Park & Recreation Department

Community Photography Show

Opening Reception: March 6, 2009 5:30-7:30 pm

Visit their web site at to download the entry form. Go to the recreation tab in the top right hand corner to get to our page. Once there, they should see the entry form.



Ball in the Basket


Hole in the Sky