Photoshop Smart Objects for Photographers – Part 1, Soft Proofing and LAB Color Mode

One of the great things that has happened since Photoshop CS2’s release, is the introduction of Smart Objects. Today we’ll talk about how photographers who shoot RAW can use smart objects in Photoshop to their advantage.

One the features that we have been all waiting for is soft proofing in Lightroom. Lightroom has so many quick and efficient workflow tools, but does not support one of the most fundamental tools of modern digital editing, soft proofing! (are you listening Adobe?)

We’ll see how we can virtually soft proof a RAW file undergoing adjustments for conversion.

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How to enhance colours in photographs with Photoshop

Welcome to my second tutorial, looks like we’ve made it for another one! Today we’ll talk about enhancing colours in a photograph. In particular, we’ll talk about increasing the saturation or vibrancy in an image. Not so much the changing of, or adding of color casts, but enhancing the look of the colours that are already in the photograph to begin with.

This is one of those subjects that if you ask 10 photographers, you’ll probably get 10 different answers on how they do it. For me, I have two methods I love to use, to enhance the colours in an existing photo. They are both Photoshop techniques.

Squids Ink Jetty

Channel mixer

This method is quick and convenient, the feel of the image isn’t as good as the next “LAB method”, but for most purposes it works very well. This method is also often called “Velvia” action, mainly due to the look it produces which has a similar appearance to the highly saturated look of the famous Fuji Velvia transparency film.

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Newcastle Harbour

There were some pretty dark clouds yesterday evening on the harbour with a little light rain pouring down. But it made for some interesting photos towards the light.

The following shot was made with a 5D Mark II and  17-40 f/4L lens at f/8 with a ND400 filter. Initially adjusted in Lightroom 2 and further edited in Photoshop CS3. The exposure for the water was 2.5 minutes, and a separate exposure blended in for the sky.

Newcastle Harbour

It wasn’t a straight linear gradient blend as i wanted to keep the cloud movement from the long exposure. The only portion of the scene that needed the shorter exposure is the little bright section where the sun is setting, so that is the only part that was blended in from the shorter exposure.

Some colour adjustment was performed also, to give it a little blue colour cast (which it really was blue-ish when i was there).

There was a little drizzle of rain at the time, and while taking long exposures like this, you just have to cross your fingers that the rain doesn’t fall down any heavier while you’re still exposing. Luckily for me, about 30 seconds after i finished the 2.5 minute exposure, the rain started to come down pretty heavy, but my gear was all away safe in the car by then!

Until next time…

Multiple Exposure Blending for Landscapes

Welcome to my first tutorial. Today we will be talking about multiple exposure blending. We will be blending multiple exposure to capture more dynamic range in a scene. This technique is more suited towards landscapes, such as those with sky and water/land structures in them where the scene is bright on one section (e.g up high in the sky) then gradually darker to the other (e.g bottom end of image).

Long Jetty 3

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