Understanding Masking in Photoshop

Masking is a key tool when using Photoshop.

A good tutorial for masking in Photoshop can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

The tutorial also has links on the bottom of the page for other tutorials on masking.

Understanding Masking in Photoshop.

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23 Free Photography E-Books

http://www.lightstalking.com/23-free-photography-e-books

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Portrait retouching in Photoshop

Here’s a fast and  simple tutorial for retouching portraits in Photoshop.

▶ Scott Kelby’s Portrait retouching techniques in Photoshop – YouTube.

Portrait retouching can be accomplished using a variety of tools from Lightroom to third party software such as onOne. This is my preferred method since it allows you the most control over your post processing retouch. If you use something other than Photoshop such as Gimp or Paint Shop this tutorial can also be applied to the software of your choice as well.

Here’s an example of a before and after image. I shot this model about three years ago and used this post processing retouching method to smooth her skin.

 

Before (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Use of Geometric shapes in Photography

DSC_8951 - Copy (Small) DSC_8951 (Small)

When composing an image, the addition of geometric patterns or basic shapes such as lines, circles, squares and triangles can add structure and organization within that photograph. It can help the photographer convey an idea or feeling to the viewer. The overall purpose of this is simple, to keep the viewers eye within the frame of the image. The viewer may perceive only a “pleasing image” without ever knowing or asking why.

There is a psychology behind the use of geometric patters in art and how the human mind perceives each of these shapes.  Geometric shapes have been used in all types of art throughout the centuries and photography is no exception. The human mind perceives squares and rectangles to suggest conformity. Circles  suggest  completeness, triangles represent tension and lines represent movement.  Be aware there are variations of these shapes such as vertical versus horizontal lines versus diagonal with each representing something different but the basic idea is the same.  The goal being to engage the viewer.

There are two basic forms of geometry in photography, true and perceived.  A true form would be the rectangular window or doorway on a house. A perceived triangle could be three people in an image that when connected by an imaginary line form a triangle. Which form is used weather perceived or true depends on the opportunity presented to the photographer at the time.

This is one of the techniques used in composition. Examples of other techniques used include the use of opposing colors and  perspective  Again, depending on the subject, intent and overall goal of the message to be conveyed by the photographer will determine the technique used.

The above image shows an example of use of a few geometric shapes within an image. Also note the the image is in black and white to place emphasis on the shapes rather then the color version which may distract the viewers attention from the basic geometric shapes.

 

 

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Adding color to your images with flash gels.

Adding color to your images using flash  gels can give an ordinary image a little “pop”. Gels are generally plastic colored filters that are placed over a light source, in this case a flash, that  add or correct color in a photograph. In this image, 2 flashes were used. One on the model that was filtered with a warming colored gel and one hidden behind the pillow on the scanner  table with a blue gel to give the scanner a high tech bluish “glow”. Color used was a personal preference and could have been any number of colors that gels come in.

Sometimes gels are used to correct color in a scene. If shooting a scene that has ambient florescent lighting with a flash the lighting color in the resulting photo can be an undesired orange. To correct this, a gel can be placed over the flash to compensate.

Gels are fairly inexpensive and a great way to add a splash interest in a photo or correct unwanted color.

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