digital imaging

Adrian, a regular follower of the Tangents blog, (better known as the ever-helpful Trev in the Tangents forum), has the guest spot this week. Adrian has expanded on his explanation of the actions that he mentioned in the comments section of the recent article on Selective Sharpening in Photoshop. Even better, he has made it available as two downloadable actions as well.

Photoshop actions to help with Post Processing (free download)

guest post by Adrian, at Five Star Studios
wedding photographer, Mackay, Queensland in Australia

The following downloadable actions with the instructions on their use can save some time and grief on getting a good result after RAW conversion. Even using your RAW converter may not get a fully desirable end result and these very easy to use actions will help in that regard. They are not complicated and you don’t need any plug-ins to achieve a simple lift to your final image.

The actions, while still utilising the features in photoshop, do it in a different way to what you may have learnt or been shown, by using layers and masks you keep the integrity of your image at the same time giving it that lift.

Things like a simple contrast can be achieved in less than 1 second running the action, but, without the undesired color shift you would get with the ‘generic S Curve’.

Once you have run it through the RAW converter, you can still open the RAW file itself [from ACR] and have an image adjusted quicker and easier than during the RAW stage, or once exported, having a batch opening and then checking selected images make further adjustments much easier.

Learn more inside…


The best way to deal with digital noise in photographs is to start with having a correctly exposed photograph taken by a high-ISO capable camera. Then digital noise mostly isn’t an issue unless you start pushing the upper limits of what the camera is capable of. But sometimes (hopefully only sometimes), you have to deal with an under-exposed photograph from an older camera … and then the digital noise becomes apparent. Then we have to use software to clean the image up …

Learn more inside…


Photoshop tips – making your images pop – soft-light layer

As much as I am a firm believer in getting it as close as possible in camera, by using proper exposure and proper camera settings, and good light .. most often an image can be enhanced in Photoshop with a few simple techniques.

There is an entire industry built around software and plug-ins and add-ons and action sets for Photoshop to enhance and manipulate images in Photoshop.  However, I’d first like to go over some of the simpler ones that you can use in Photoshop without additional software.

These Photoshop techniques are well-known to the more experienced digital photographer, but I thought this might make a great on-going series on simple Photoshop techniques.  As always, I’d love to hear everyone’s input, especially since my own Photoshop skills can’t quite be regarded as skillz yet.  ; )

The first technique that I’d like to cover, is quite simple:
– you add an adjustment layer (such as Levels) to your image;
change the blending mode to Soft Light, and then
– adjust the opacity to taste.
– erase the layer mask of any areas you want to bring back (or close) to the original.

Here it is in a bit more detail.  Starting with this image ..

Learn more inside…


image size & resolution – 72dpi or 300dpi

I live 20 miles at 65mph outside New York. Yes, that sentence is pure nonsense. I live 20 miles outside of New York. That’s it. The complete description of the distance. Now that 20 miles of course could mean either 30 minutes or 3 hours of driving, depending on traffic through the Lincoln tunnel. But I digress.

I could have described my distance from my house to New York as 20 miles, or disregarding traffic, as 18 minutes at 65mph. But it is nonsensical to describe my distance from New York as 20 miles at 65 mph. The 65mph becomes a superfluous bit of data when stated like that.

So why the strange title for this posting? Because as a digital photographer I see the same kind of nonsense perpetrated on a daily basis when image size is described in terms of absolute pixel dimensions (600 x 400 pixels) and a specific dpi such as 72dpi or 300 dpi also demanded.
It  is unnecessary, or worse, confusing.

Learn more inside…