How to Optimize Photoshop for Your Computer

editing-656500_640 Have you ever wondered if you were getting the best performance out of Adobe’s Photoshop Creative Cloud? Depending on your particular workflow and individual needs, your favorite image editing software can be tweaked and adjusted for optimal performance. Today, we are taking a look at some of the settings available in Photoshop to get you running more efficiently on your personal computer. To begin, start by opening Photoshop CC’s Performance Preference window. If you are currently on a Mac, this task can be achieved via the top menu bar by going to ‘Photoshop CC’, then selecting ‘Preferences’, and lastly ‘Performance’. If you are on a PC running Windows, choose ‘Edit’ from the menu bar, select ‘Preferences’, and finally ‘Performance’. Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.40.19 PM copy The screen displayed allows us to adjust a number of settings including how Photoshop manages our system’s memory and utilizes our graphics card. On another screen, we can also modify how
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‘What You Put in the Frame Determines the Photo’

Here’s an inspiring 5-minute video in which renowned street photographer Joel Meyerowitz talks about his approach and mindset to making photos. Meyerowitz believes that being aware of what’s going on outside the frame lines of your shot is just as important as knowing what’s inside your shot. Instead of photographing a singular object in the world, his aim is to capture the relationship between things — objects both inside his frame and outside of it. “If you choose to only make objects out of singular things, you’ll wind up shooting the arrow into the bullseye all the time, and you get copies of objects in space,” Meyerowitz says. “I didn’t want copies of objects. I wanted the ephemeral connections between unrelated things.” (via Phaidon Press via Photography Bay)

A Day in the Life of Street Photographer John Free

Los Angeles-based street photographer John Free just published this inspiring 14-minute video in which he discusses and demonstrates his street photography mindset and technique. It offers a glimpse into a day in the life of a man who has been doing and teaching street photography for over 30 years now. After drinking some morning and coffee at home, Free drives into the city and starts roaming the sidewalks (the picture-making starts at about 3.5 minutes into the video). As he walks, Free shares a photographer’s quote that has inspired him: “The more I learned to photograph, the more I realized how unimportant it was where you photograph. It doesn’t really matter where you photograph,” he says. screenshots If you’re at all interested in the subject of street photography, give the video above a watch: Free’s passion for life and photography are infectious. You can also find a collection of his
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How to Capture Beautifully-Lit Wedding Ring Photos with a Cheap LED Light

Wedding photographer Paul Keppel created this helpful 3-minute video tutorial on how he goes about shooting consistent wedding ring photos using a cheap LED light and a macro lens. Keppel says he struggled to get consistent shots of rings until he started using the Yonynuo 160II LED light, which costs less than $60 online. yongnuo The trick he discovered was placing the LED light on its barn doors with the lights facing straight down at the rings, thereby creating a mini makeshift light tent. upsidedown method You’ll want to set the rings on a shiny black surface if you can find one. Keppel has used things such as toasters, trash can lids, glass cooking surfaces, and TV stands. Paul Keppel Photography 5 Keppelling wedding ring Method Paul Keppel Photography 29 Keppelling wedding ring Method Here are some ring photographs Keppel has made using this technique: Paul Keppel Photography 3 Keppelling wedding ring Method Paul Keppel Photography 7 Keppelling wedding ring Method Paul Keppel Photography 16 Keppelling wedding ring Method Paul Keppel Photography 27 Keppelling wedding ring Method Paul Keppel Photography 18 Keppelling wedding ring Method Paul Keppel Photography 19 Keppelling wedding ring Method The technique is by no means limited to wedding rings: you can photograph all kinds of jewelry and small objects using this makeshift light
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Primer: How to Get a ‘Film Look’ with DSLR Footage

Want to give your DSLR footage a cinematic look? DSLR filmmaking enthusiast Jake Coppinger made this 11-minute video tutorial to teach you how you can do so. To make your video look like something you’d see on the silver screen in a movie theater, there are a number of simple things you can do in-camera and in-post. Here are some of the pointers Coppinger covers in the video:

Frame Rate

Using a frame rate of 24fps or 25fps, since that’s what’s traditionally used in theaters.

Shutter Speed

Set your shutter speed at double the frame rate (the “180-degree shutter rule”).

Picture Style

Use a neutral picture style to have more flexibility in post-production. picturestyles

Color Grading

Use color grading to convey the mood of your footage visually. colorgrading

RGB Curves

A popular cinematic look is to have darker darks and brighter highlights. rgbcurve

Three Way Color Corrector

One trick is to make your
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For a Cheap Light Painting Stick, Buy a $4 Tube Guard

tubeguardheader Want a light stick for light painting but don’t want to spend a lot buying a commercial product? Light painting photographer Eric Pare recently discovered a cheap and easy solution: tube guards (also known as lamp guards). Tube guards are strong plastic tubes that are designed to protect against glass and sparks when fluorescent lamps break and shatter. Pare got his by visiting a TAP Plastic store, but you can find them for sale on Amazon as well (with shipping fees, though). What’s great is that the tube guards cost just $2.5 for clear ones or $4 for colored ones.
Pare's new tube guard light painting sticks.

Pare’s new tube guard light painting sticks.

Pare purchased some tube guards and turned them into light sticks by shining flashlights into them. “I used 2 tactical flashlights at 300 lumens power each,” Pare tells PetaPixel. “The brighter you go, the less opacity you’ll get.” IMG_6820-1600 IMG_6802-1600 “Most of this
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You Need More than ‘Natural Talent’ to Make it as a Photographer

Movies on the big screen sometimes have valuable nuggets of wisdom that can be applied to photography (and life). We recently shared one such clip from the movie “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.” Here’s another one from the movie “Boyhood.” In this 3-minute clip, the main character, Mason, has a conversation with his photography teacher, Mr. Turlington, in the class darkroom. It turns out to be a fatherly lecture about the importance of adding hard work and other qualities on top of natural talent. Here’s a snippet of what is said: Mr. Turlington: The images you’re turning in, they’re cool. You’re looking at things in a really unique way. Got a lot of natural talent. Mason: Thanks. Mr. Turlington: Yeah, but that and 50 cents will just get you a cup of coffee in this old world. I’ve met a LOT of talented
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5 Photoshop Tricks You (Probably) Don’t Know

The Photoshop Training Channel published this great 9-minute video with 5 useful Photoshop tricks that the majority of casual Photoshop users probably have never learned before. Here’s a quick overview of the different tricks and techniques shared in the video (watch the video above for details on how to use them and for examples of what they do).

#1: Advanced blending options

uncheck Uncheck “Transparency Shapes Layer” in the Layer Styles panel to make pixels blend differently when using blending options.

#2: Precise lens flare

preciselensflare You can bring up a special “Precise Flare Center” box to add a lens flare to exact coordinates in your photo.

#3: High contrast clouds

cloudscontrast Instead of the usual clouds layer you get when you render clouds, you can render high contrast clouds.

#4: Black and white for color control

blackandwhitecolor You can use a black and white layer to control the luminosity of specific colors in
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How I Used Bigfoot to Say ‘No Hard Feelings’

bigfoot This is a story of when life gives you lemons, you try and not cry yourself to sleep. The names in this story have been omitted to protect the mistaken. A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call — the kind of phone call I’ve been dreaming about for a while now. The person on the other end of the phone asked me if I would be interested in shooting in Chicago for them the following week. My mind went into overdrive! I spent some time over the weekend running down some possible assistants, and come Monday, I was on the phone with a rental house nailing down gear. I had been emailing back and forth with the editor all day and we had covered some day and time changes. We finally decided to hammer out some details on the phone. And that’s when it all went horribly
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How to Shoot Portraits of Strangers on the Street Like a Ninja

While teaching a street photography workshop in Chicago recently, photographer Chuck Jines saw an opportunity to teach his students how he’s sometimes able to shoot portraits of strangers from extremely close distances without them noticing. “I had the opportunity to demonstrate just how much a photographer can get away with when people are lost in thought or occupied with a task,” Jines says. His unusual demonstration is seen in the 1.5-minute video above. Here’s the gist. After noticing a woman staring intently at her phone, Jines walked right up and knelt down just a few feet in front of her. When she looked up to see what he was doing, Jines diverted her eyes by staring up at the side of a building. diversion After the woman looked back down at her phone, Jines immediately pointing his camera at her and shot a portrait from up close. She was aware
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10 Tips for Getting Hired as a Photographer, From Industry Pros

10tips What are photo editors really looking for from professional photographers? And how can you make connections with potential clients and land gigs? We asked a number of photography trailblazers to share their best tips for how to get hired as a photographer.

1. Brad Smith, Director of Photography, Sports Illustrated

“I am exceptionally interested in a photographer with original story ideas. That’s one thing you can’t put value on. Some ideas might be cliche and have already been done, but I remind photographers that when you pitch an idea, the worst thing that can happen is someone says no. Don’t be shy about sharing.”

2. Elizabeth Krist, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic

“The most important feature I look for in a photographer is dedication to long-term projects. Another major plus is having access to rare events or hidden worlds, and nowadays, expertise in video as well. Photographers who happen
Photo by Landon Nordeman
Photo by James Bellorini
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Photo by Jodi Cobb
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7 Tips to Save You From Wasting Time and Money on the WRONG Photo Workshop

photographercaution Note: I don’t name names in this article, but if you’ve been in the wedding industry for while, you will know who I am referring to. If not, you really do need to read this. A photography industry workshop can be a fantastic way to learn and help your business grow. Industry leaders can share information that they have gathered over the years, distilling it that knowledge into a valuable seminar or workshop. Great education can save time on the learning curve, and save you from making big mistakes. Unfortunately, for every great educator out there, there are 10 people who have absolutely no business teaching. Anyone can teach, so how do you know who is worth investing your hard earned money in? Do your research… Here are 7 tips to keep in mind when looking for a workshop to attend. I’ll be discussing the wedding in industry in
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How to Hold Your Camera: Tips from a Chiropractor

howtoholdchiropractor As a chiropractor, I’m always looking for improved biomechanics that reduce injury and fatigue. Proper camera technique increases stability, improves capture quality and protects your joints from repetitive microtrauma. The techniques I’ll be sharing work best for left eye dominant photography. If you have always been right eye dominant, experiment with using your left eye.

Tip #1: Your Stance

stance Begin with your connection to the ground. An athletic stance will maximize your stability. Assume the heel-toe line of a boxer’s stance. Place your feet shoulder width apart with an even distribution of weight. Use your legs to support the weight of your camera. Avoid muscling with your arms, shoulders and back. Relax your shoulders, do not hunch. Keep your feet not too close or far, not too squared, not too sideways. Do not lock out your knees.

Tip #2: Your Grip

gripping With your left hand, find the balance point of
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How I Prepare for Travel Photo Assignments Around the World

amishgirls My name is Susan Seubert, and I’m a editorial and commercial photographer based in Portland, Oregon, and Maui, Hawaii. As an assignment photographer for National Geographic Traveler for the last 10 years, I’ve learned that being prepared prior to leaving is the most important thing.

Research, Research, and More Research

The Internet has become my essential tool. I use a Google Image Search to help identify good locations for making iconic images. I also use it to find locales for an insider’s perspective. Locating a good paper map is also critical, particularly if you are heading to a place where satellite connectivity might be an issue. I also look at as many guidebooks as possible. In Portland, I’m lucky to have Powell’s Bookstore, where I can find just about anything in print I might need. Prior to any trip, you can find me in the travel section, picking out the
Horses in a meadow, Beaujolais, France.
Decked-out cows on parade in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Strolling along a quiet street in Mâcon during the Fêtes des Conscrits.
Two Amish girls looking for flat stones to skip on the shore of Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park.
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Create a DIY Battery Charging Board to Help Organize Your ‘Battery Insanity’

If you have multiple cameras and powered accessories at your disposal, you know that battery charging can quickly become an unorganized nightmare. Prepared to solve one of humanity’s greatest first world problems, the team at Vimeo Video School set out to create a neatly arranged battery charging board. If you choose to follow along and build your own, all you’ll need for this DIY project are a few simple supplies from your local hardware store. 141_400 The video crew begins by purchasing a fiberboard and then attaching their various chargers, along with a few power strips and cable management tools, to create the almighty ‘BattBoard’. The result of the team’s hard work is a portable battery charging station for just over $110. batteryboardscreen The board even has a hole on one side that lets you move it around and hang it on a wall. Watch the video above if you’d like to
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13 Exercises for Photographers That Can Help Jump-Start Creativity

headerinspiration Like the world’s tidal waters, photographic creativity ebbs and flows for many of us. Sometimes creativity can use a jump-start, an artificial method to get the photographer to start looking at the world in a new way in order to facilitate, restart, refine, or improve your photography. There are many ideas on how to get yourself to push through an artistic block or inspire you to further expand your boundaries. Not all of them involve the camera. Several websites and books publish a mix of assignments or exercises for the intrepid photographer. I prefer the exercises that 1) involve using your camera, 2) are less assignment-based, and 3) are fun! These are my versions of various exercises that have been passed down from one creative generation to another. If I have reproduced a favorite, I apologize in advance for the inability to credit the original artist/inventor of the exercise.

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Why I Stopped Using the DNG File Format

dngheader A couple of years ago, when I switched careers and moved into photography full time, I did a lot of research on multiple aspects of running a photography business. One of those areas, digital asset management (DAM), deals with, well, managing your digital assets, your image files. I discovered Adobe’s open standard Digital Negative Graphics (DNG) file format. There are a number of advantages to converting your proprietary raw files (CR2, NEF, etc.) to DNG files, including file size, embedded file verification, future compatibility, and speed. In Lightroom, DNG files open and render previews faster than raw files. Two years ago, that may have been beneficial, but now Lightroom has graphics-card hardware acceleration, SSD drives are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to install, and RAM is inexpensive to upgrade and easy to install. On a good computer, the speed difference is microseconds, so small as to be unnoticeable.
Kit FitzSimmons
Kit FitzSimmons
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Practical Pointers for Getting Your Photos Noticed on Flickr and 500px

keyboard-338505_640 You have just composed your photographic masterpiece. After hours of planning, precise composition, and utilizing your technical knowledge, you have captured the perfect image. It’s now time to share it with the world, but hours after posting your pièce de résistance, you’ve only received a meager two views. In this article, we’ll be discussing some basic tips for helping you make your work shine and become more noticeable on photo sharing sites. To help your photographs get noticed online, we are going to make sure they are easily discovered by a broad audience. Our simple guide can be applied to any of your favorite site, but for this feature we are using Flickr and 500px. Keep in mind that although these tips can help your photograph get discovered more, its real worth ultimately depends on your eye and vision.

Establish Titles, Descriptions, and Tags

One of the most important aspects
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8 Simple DIY Ideas for Smartphone Photography

COOPH just released this fun little 3-minute video that shares 8 tips, tricks, and ideas for smartphone photography. It’s a dose of inspiration for getting creative with the camera in your pocket. Here’s a quick rundown of the ideas demonstrated by photographer Richard Schabetsberger in Salzburg, Austria (watch the video to see more instructions along with examples of results):

#1: Use a Balloon for Aerial Shots

COOPH_Richard_Schabetsberger_004 You can use a helium balloon and fishing line to shoot aerial photos and videos on the cheap.

#2: Sunglasses as a Filter

COOPH_Richard_Schabetsberger_005 Gradient sunglasses can be used as a filter for scenes to even out bright skies and dark landscapes.

#3: Make a Pinhole with Cardboard

COOPH_Richard_Schabetsberger_009 You can punch a hole in some cardboard to create a makeshift pinhole lens for your phone.

#4: Hold up a 3D Picture Frame

COOPH_Richard_Schabetsberger_011 Frame your subjects in 3D using a cutout Polaroid picture frame.

#5: Create
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