Toggling through Adobe Photoshop Blending Modes using a shortcut key is very useful and easy to do. Here lately, I have been making a conscious effort to streamline some of my keystrokes while working in Adobe Photoshop by using the shortcut keys Photoshop offers and also programing my Wacom Intuos 4. I must admit it has helped. Not only is it helping with speeding up repetitive key stokes but also with my body mechanics on the computer. One shortcut key that I have found particularly useful is for changing Photoshop Blending Modes in the Layers Palette. I often find I do an edit on a New Layer, but the Normal Blending Mode just doesn’t look right. By toggling thru the various different Photoshop Blending Modes, my art takes on a different look. To utilize this function, first select the Move Tool (first one on the Photoshop Toolbar), then press the Shift and + (plus) key to toggle through all of the different blending modes. You can also use the Shift and – (minus) key to reverse the order.
There are many shortcut keys preassigned in Photoshop. You can do a quick search on the internet to find a list. In Adobe Photoshop you can also go to Edit>Assign Shortcut Keys to view or change any shortcut key. It is one of those administrative tasks that does pay off with saving time during the editing stage of your images.
I just got back from a workshop where the topic of Color Profiles came up and light bulb went off in my brain. Maybe that is why learning is called enlightenment. Back to the subject of profiles; the ones I have most often have used are sRGB and Adobe RGB (1998). At the workshop ProPhoto RGB was discussed and recommended for photographic images.
Just what is a Color Profile you may be asking. It is a set of numbers (data) that allows you to define characteristics of how color on a device will be handled and /or the range of colors that will be displayed or printed. It is an important aspect of color management and an integral part of displaying or printing your imagery. Below lists some of the main color profiles we use today along with information on when to use them.
sRGB is probably the most widely known and used profile with the most limited color range. It is my understanding most browser (but not all) on the internet display images in this profile. If you ever upload an image to the web without that color profile your work may look rather dull or muted.
Adobe RGB (1998) displays a wider color gamut than sRGB and is often the industry standard for printers and displays. This is the profile I have historically assigned to my images.
ProPhoto RGB color space was originally developed by Kodak and also known as ROMM RGB. It offers a very large gamut of color range and capable of capturing more detail especially in saturated colors. It does have its drawbacks though and appropriate for use on 16 bit files only. It is not recommended for 8 bit images.
My workflow is to capture in RAW, where no color profile is assigned yet. I process using Adobe Bridge and in ACR will be now assigning ProPhoto RGB during that process. Prior to printing, I will be converting to Adobe RGB and prior to uploading anything to the web I will be converting to sRGB. The theory it is best to capture and store the widest color possible, especially with the rapid development in technology. This way you have the data for the future when the technology is here.
I have a little money burning in a hole in my pocket these days due to a possession I sold specifically with the idea of using the proceeds to finance a new camera. Photokina occurred last week and Vendors are announcing new cameras and gadgets. I am definitely looking everything. I grew up shooting Nikon and Fuji and then five or six years ago I made the switch to Canon. Recently I have been looking at the Nikon’s D800E and it’s 36 megapixel capabilities and contemplating a switch back. Of course, as we all know when it comes to great photography the person behind the camera and the vision is really what makes it happen.
A self assigned Architecture project yielded some great images on a recent trip to New York.
Summer is winding down in most parts of the country, but it’s still hot-hot in Florida. A great time to go to the beach, swim in the pool and have generally laid back tropical days. Sometimes it is hard to get motivated to take photos and for me that is when a self-assign assignment comes in handy. This past month, my assignment has been architecture. It helped that I had a trip planned to NY City, the land of meg sky scrappers and lots of positive energy. It was very steamy there also, so I didn’t get quite as many images as I had planned, but I love the ones I got. I have uploaded a few to my site, that I invite you to visit. Here is one to entice you.
Interior courtyard of city building.
Thanks for visiting and more of my work can be viewed on my website.
Although I am posting this a few weeks after my birthday, I wanted to tell about my trip to the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida. I had been there once before and was totally inspired and will say this repeat trip did not disappoint. The museum in St Petersburg, FL is a new building designed specifically to house his work and reflects his vision in many ways, so a visit is a total submersion in Salvador Dali and a truly a delightful experience.
It was a very busy Sunday, so we walked through the museum opposite the crowds, which allowed me to view his pieces with a different perspective. I was astounded with the artistic development in Dali’s work. Although, his initial pieces were perfectly crafted with incredibly detailed, they came across more simplistic in thoughts and concepts. As Dali evolved as an artist his work become massive and complex, with many underlying themes reflecting the social themes of the decade and I am sure his personal experiences. Also evident was the influence of other artist’s and masters of the times, proving even the best need others to craft their vision. Dali even broke out into different modalities, at one time designing jewelry. This reminded me of celebrities designing a line of clothing, fragrance or jewelry. Who knows what further notoriety and success Dali would of claimed had the Home Shopping Network had been around.
Sometimes Chromatic Aberration is noticeable on an image and a technique is needed for Chromatic Aberration Removal. You may be asking what is Chromatic Aberration, so let me explain. It is often found in images where there is an extreme contrast between the light and dark colors and/or highlight and shadows. The dynamic range and sensors on most cameras just cannot record the two extremes, thus purple fringing occurs or sometime it comes in the form of green or red contamination on the darker color.
Here is a great technique I stumbled upon today to remove Chromatic Aberration using Photoshop CS5.
Here is one method for removing chromatic aberration:
1) Open the image in Photoshop CS5 and copy the Background Layer (CMD-J).
2) Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. You can experiment with the amount of pixels here, but I had good luck using 15 pixels.
3) Change the Blend Mode on the Layer to Color.
4) Add a Mask to the Layer and then invert the Mask. (CMD-I)
5) Paint with White to areas where you want to remove the CA. If you apply too much, change to Black and paint to remove. Also, using the Opacity slider on the brush will help control the intensity of the filter.
I also read Lightroom 4 has a great tool to remove CA. I guess I will put that piece of software on my Wish List.
The more I learn about photography, Photoshop and art the more I find I need and want to learn.
July is the month of much celebration during the summer. The obvious holiday of July 4th and also my birthday occurs during the month of July. I will be away for the first half of the month and plan on bringing back images to share with you. Although I shot this image a few years back, it is one of my favorite flag images. I have a great giclée print available if anyone is interested. You can contact me through my website susanmcanany.com. It is for sale online at my Etsy Store. Thanks for visiting.
Creative experiments are a great way to jump start your ideas and give you a break from routine creative work patterns and flow.
“Leone On Shore”
Low tide in Madagascar
The last couple of weeks I have had a very out-of-box experience. I had been a little fatigue from working digitally and thought I would stretch myself and try a little analog work, so I enrolled in week and a half art class at the local college of art and design. It was a Mixed Media class taught by Brian Haverlock, who is an outstanding artist and teacher. I took the class with an open mind, hoping I may find new ways to take my work to a different level. Needless to say it was harder than I anticipated, especially since I found my actual painting and crayon skills were at perhaps a kindergarten level and advanced maybe to 3rd grade during the class. However despite my inadequacies in some areas, I did gain valuable lesson in other areas. Here are some of my insights:
Exposure to the work of accomplished artists outside of photograph, such as Max Ernst, Scott Eagle, Joseph Cornell or Brain Haverlock will stimulate ideas and inspiration.
I look at my own art different and for more ways to take even a simplistic image a step further, whether that be with lighting, color, texture and or combining multiple images.
A lot of photography is based in facts and computations so take time to let loose and experiment. I plan to continue trying several methods that were taught to stimulate creativity, like Decalcomania or drawing and cutting with my non dominate hand. Never know what might emerge.
Each exposure to something new helps me craft my vision for my own body of work.