Friday, June 29th, 2012

Photographing in Black and White Part 6 Filters


Traditionally, when shooting with black and white film, photographers use filters to enhance the colours in the image.

Using red, yellow or orange filters when shooting landscapes or shots where the sky has interesting detail can help darken the blues in the sky giving them more punch than they would otherwise have.

You can purchase coloured filters that screw onto the lens of a digital SLR or which can be placed over the lens of a point-and-shoot camera using an adaptor ring.

The images captured with these filters will show different conversion of colours to black and white than you would see if you were to shoot in regular black and white without the filter.

The image at the top shows two different renderings of a single image the first with a red filter and the second with a blue filter.

Helen Bradley

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Anchor an Object with a Shadow in Photoshop



When you add an object to another scene you will typically want to anchor it using a shadow.

Here I have an image of a zebra that I want to incorporate in a larger image.



I masked out the zebra to add it to the image and included its own shadow with it.



In place, the result is less than satisfactory.



I would prefer to create my own shadow so the first thing to do is to remove the shadow that I brought in with the zebra which can be done by simply masking it out. With a mask you’ll paint on with white to reveal the layer it is attached to and in black to conceal it. In this case I want to paint in black to remove the shadow.



Once this is done I duplicated the zebra layer to create a second version of it and then dragged this layer’s mask into the trashcan. When you do this you’ll be asked if you want to apply the mask before removing it, and I clicked Apply to do this. This puts one version of the zebra by itself on a layer.



Now Ctrl + Click on the layer thumbnail for the zebra layer to select it. Press Delete to delete the zebra but to leave the selection intact. You’ll still see the zebra but you’re seeing the one from the layer below not the one you just isolated. Make sure that black or a dark gray is selected as the foreground color and press Alt + Backspace to fill the shape with the black color.



Target the Move tool and click on the shape. Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical to turn the shadow upside down and then drag it into position. You will need it to line up correctly with the feet of the animal or with the base of the object that you’re trying to put into the image. In this case it didn’t line up exactly and needed to be rotated to the correct angle. Drag it into position and you can then shrink the shadow by dragging on the sizing handle to make it smaller.

You can also hold the Ctrl key as you drag on the corner handles to skew the shadow into shape. When you’re done, click to confirm the transformation. You can still continue to work on the shadow after this if necessary.



For example, you can also use Edit > Transform > Warp if you really need to bend the shadow into position. If the animal’s feet are on the ground the shadow should be attached to the bottom of the foot. Legs that are in the air like the rear leg of this zebra can be left floating.

Another tool that can be used is the Puppet Warp tool if you are using Photoshop CS5. You can also use the Liquify filter and use the Forward Warp tool to push the shadow around so that it matches the feet.

When you’re done blend the shadow into the underlying image using a blend mode. Modes such as Multiply and Overlay are good choices. Reduce the Opacity of the shadow layer until you get a blending of the shadow into the underlying image.

To move the shadow and the animal together make sure that you select both layers in the layer palette before moving them so that the two travel in unison.



For this image I finished off by cropping the image to remove the bottom part of it leaving just the zebra on the blue background.

Helen Bradley

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Bulk delete photos from the iPad



I’ve been taking a lot of screenshots lately and I have over 1,200 photos on my iPad – a lot more than I really want to store there.

When I went to delete the photos in bulk, I banged my head pretty quickly up against a problem with the iPad. It’s not immediately apparent how you delete a lot of images at one time and deleting them one at a time will get very cumbersome very quickly.

Here’s how to do it:

To begin, launch the Photos app, tap the Albums link and then make sure you’re viewing the Camera Roll or the place where your image are stored. I wanted to remove them from the Camera Roll so I tapped that.



Now press the bent arrow icon in the top right corner of the screen and you’ll see options on the left for Share, Copy and Delete.



Tap an image to select it and then go ahead and select each of the images to delete – they’ll get checkmarks on them to show they are to be deleted. To undo the setting, tap the image again.



Then when I you have those you want to delete selected, tap the Delete button and choose Delete Selected Photos to remove them.



It is, as you might have expected this is ridiculously simple once you know how to do it but difficult until you do.

The good news is that the images aren’t removed from your iCloud download folder on your PC. So, for example, if you’ve previously had the images synched so they appear on your PC in a folder of iPad downloads, the images will still be on your PC at the end of the process – they’re just removed from your iPad.

Helen Bradley

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Trevor’s tip of the Week – 100% zoom

(photo by: Luis Gustavo)

A quick tip for Photoshop that will save you some time.  To see an image at 100% size all you have to do is double click the zoom button in the tool bar.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Create a Custom Frame in Photoshop

Check out our New YouTube channel for more great tutorials!

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Excel fill intermittently empty cells

Often when you’re working in Excel you won’t enter all the data because it is repetitive.

In this example, the cells in column B really should be filled with the months but because the month only changes periodically I have only typed it when the change occurs. If I need to work with this data such as in a PivotTable it may be necessary to fill the data down column B.

This can be done easily by selecting the cells in column B and choose the Home tab  on the Ribbon, click Find & Select > Go To Special > Blanks to select the blank cells.

Type =B2 in the cell, this represents the first cell in column B with the data in it.

Press Control + Enter.

Now, to fix the cells so they contain words and not cell references, select all the filled cells in column B, choose Edit > Copy and then Paste > Values and click Ok.



Helen Bradley

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Photographing in Black and White Part 5 Composition


The same rules for composing an image in colour apply when you are shooting in black and white. Make sure the subject of the photo is placed in an interesting position in the shot, make sure the camera is square to the horizon and that the subject is in focus.

When you are photographing in black and white pay attention to how the colours are converted.

Some colour pairs like green and red which contrast so strongly in colour photos convert to the same shade of grey in a black and white image. Depending on what you are shooting this can be an advantage or a disadvantage.

In the image above the solid black of the nuns’ habits ensures that the image will be a strong one and placing the subjects off center makes the image more dynamic.

If you are unsure how the image will convert, check the camera’s viewfinder or on a digital SLR take a reference shot and look at the result in the LCD screen to evaluate the composition and to check that what you are seeing in the scene will render well in black and white.

Helen Bradley

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Dreamweaver to Photoshop



While Dreamweaver has some rudimentary tools for photo editing, if you want to do some real image editing, you’re better advised to take the image to a photo editor to do so.

From Dreamweaver you can send an image to Photoshop by right clicking it and choosing Edit With > and choose the image editor to use from the list. If Photoshop is not in the list you can browse to find it, if desired.



However, it’s better still to add Photoshop permanently to the list and to do this, choose Edit > Preferences > File Types/Editors and in the Extensions list, select the file extension to set the external editor for. In most cases you will be choosing .jpg .jpe .jpeg.



In the Editors box, click the plus (+) symbol above the box and browse to find the executable file for your version of Photoshop (or another program if desired). In most cases this will be in your C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) folder.



You can make an editor the primary one by selecting it in the list and choose Make Primary and then click Ok.



Next time you choose Edit With, you’ll be able to choose Photoshop and the image will be passed from Dreamweaver to Photoshop – if Photoshop isn’t open it will be opened automatically for you.

Helen Bradley

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Photographing in Black and White Part 4 Light



When the light is lacklustre because the weather is overcast it is often a bad time to shoot in colour because the colours are bleak and uninteresting.

These are times when black and white works particularly well because, by removing the colour problems, you can focus on the interesting things in the scene.

If the scene is monochromatic anyway and even flat but shooting it in black and white you can reinforce the desolation and age of the scene.

However, that’s not to say that a sunny day or sunrise and sunset is not also a good time to capture photos in black and white – when the sunlight is strong, the contrast between areas of light and shadow become very obvious and black and white is a wonderful way to capture this.

Helen Bradley

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Resize Images in Dreamweaver



If you don’t pre-prepare your images before adding them to a page in Dreamweaver, you’ll need to resize them in the program.

If you click an image and check the Properties panel, you’ll encounter your first problem. The selectors that let you adjust the Width and Height of the image do not do so proportionally so it’s perilously easy to skew your images out of alignment.



One alternative for resizing an image is to click the image and use the sizing handles to resize it. Hold the Shift key as you do this to scale the image in proportion.



There is also another way and that is to click the image and choose Commands > Optimize Image. This is the same dialog as you get if you click the image and click the Edit Image settings button in the Properties tab (it’s just difficult to work out what button this is because it is so tiny). This opens the Image Preview window.



Click the File tab and you can scale the image to a fixed percentage or check the Constrain checkbox and adjust either the width or the height and both will be adjusted automatically in proportion.

Under the image are tools for moving around the image in the dialog, cropping it, zooming in and out of it and setting a magnification for viewing it in the dialog.

From the Saved Settings dropdown list you can select an optimization setting for your file, if you select JPEG – Smaller File the image will be saved as a low quality JPG. JPEG – Better Quality will result in a better quality but overall larger size file. For photos always select a JPG option and never GIF.



With the Preview enabled you can read off how long it will take to download the image at the currently selected quality at a 56kbps download rate.

There is also a button in the bottom right of the left hand panel that allows you to optimize to a fixed size. Click it and you can set a target size for your image such as 20kb, click Ok and the image quality will be adjusted to give you file that is no larger than the size requested.



In the Options tab you can select to sharpen the color edges if desired. When you’re done, click Ok to configure the changes for your image.



Other image options include Brightness and Contrast and Sharpening both of which you can select by clicking the respective Brightness and Contrast, and Sharpen buttons in the Properties panel.



These options can also all be found by clicking Modify > Image. Here are options for optimizing the image, editing with an external editor, editing the original with an external editor, cropping, brightening, adjusting contrast, resampling and sharpening the image.


Helen Bradley

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