Archive for the 'Photoshop' Category

Three 30 Second Tips to Better Photos:

by Gavin Seim:

Ready in 60 Seconds: After you choose the subject but before before you release the shutter, try taking a full minute to think about your scene and how you’re about to capture it. Really. Don’t just look at it. SEE IT. Sometimes we feel pressured to click. But even with a portrait, learn to take a little time and you’re images WILL improve. With some scenes you can even spend longer. Check out the 111 Project.

Sparks: I stood outside well before the exit. Experimenting, considering the scene, trying to predict the light. The effort paid off with a great candid from a challenging scene.

Cut The Trash: I know, you’ve already taken 60 seconds, you have a plan. But look again. Maybe even take a test frame. Controlling tone, removing clutter and distracting elements is one of the most neglected elements in art making. If something is not adding to the image, it should not be in the frame. Either you move, move it, or it will move the quality of your final image down to LOW.

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Gavin’s Thoughts on Photoshop CS5. The Straight Dope

by Gavin Seim: I’ll keep this brief because Photoshop CS5 has been out for months now and reviews have been floating all over. Rather than get redundant with an ultra in depth review, I’ll just talk a little about what I think. I’ll be frank and you can make your own decision from there.

Photoshop CS5. Full = $699 – $999.
My overall rating 6.5/10.

New features worth noting…

  • Content Aware tools are the big news in CS5. It works when lassoing and deleting sections of an image, using the healing brush and more. Neat tool, but not perfect. More on that below.
  • New “Mixer Brushes” blend color like paint, similar to something like Painter (but less powerful).
  • Crop has a rule of thirds overlay now (finally).
  • Remastered HDR tools and Pseudo HDR with HDR toning. Better, but not perfect.
  • Remastered Refine Edge. Will find more detailed edges for better masking and has automatic edge decontamination.
  • Puppet Warp allows you to modify in a new ways. Move limbs, horizon lines and more by defining control points.
  • New process versions and improved camera RAW.
  • Mini bridge right within PS.

Content aware fill. This feels more like a beta feature. It got hyped a lot prior to release. Probably over hyped. Once we got the product in our hands, reality set in. Content Aware was not the magical tool that Adobe made it out to be in demo videos and they took some flack for it. I think the problem was that they showed it as being so perfected. Erasing entire areas of photos, cleaning out power lines with a single stoke. It looked wonderful in theory.

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Pro Photo Podcast #68RT – Raising The Prices

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The Panel... Gavin SeimScott & Adina HayneDennis ZerwasBarry Howell
This week the panel discusses the latest news, CS5, LR3, ways to deal with business, Facebook, marketing and more. It’s a nice long episode so some of you may want to break it up into two listens.

Podcast #68 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Intro and tidbits.
  • 02:45 Talking CS5 LR3 and more
  • 21:50 70-200 MK2 and 1D MK4 (see images below).
  • 30:30 Taking about Flash and websites.
  • 38:55 Facebook, pages and business sense.
  • 1:02:38 Barry Senior Portrait market research.
  • 1:19:20 Surviving business, marketing, price talk.

Today’s Show brought to you by Seim Effects photo tools.

CS5 is coming next month.

Free Aperture Presets.

Deals page for promo codes mentioned in the show.

Check out the No Rules Workshop with Scott and Adina.

Gavins HDR workshop is going on the road.

CCS Edit for Mac is how Gavin alter WordPress.

Most if Gavs sites are built with a modded K2 theme.

TTG iPhone gallery is what Gavin used for mobile.

Set your Facebook page user name.

LR 2.7 and cam RAW 5.7 is on the Adobe updates page.

Canon 70-200 MK2 lens comparison and review.

Canon 5D MK2 vs 1D MK4 Noise Test.

Photographer jailed for not fulfilling his obligations.


Due to the length of the show we skipped picks this week. Back next time.

OnOne Releases Free Photoshop Plugins.

by Gavin Seim: Those who listen to the podcast know that while I spend much of my time in Lightroom, I’m a fan on OnOne’s plugins for Photoshop and I look forward to getting my review copies to check out and tell you about. Well I learned that they’ve released FREE versions of their Photo Tools and Photo Frame plugins. Yep I said free. Of course the paid versions are still available, but this free sample model is cool. It’s something I’ve used successfully for my Seim Effects for some time and it’s always a winner.

What more is there to say. Obviously these are stripped down form the pro versions, but useful tools just the same. You can get the free downloads here. By the way we also have a PPS reader deal with OnOne so if you decide you want to pick up any of their paid products use code PRPHTPC at checkout and you’ll save 15%. Enjoy… Gav

50+ Twitter Length Photography Tips.

by Gavin Seim. Updated 05/2012:
I enjoy quick bursts of information and chat frequently as @gavinseim on twitter.  I’ve made this list of my favorite tips that I plan to update it going forward. You can add your favorite and tips in the comments with your twitter name. I might even RT them myself.

I give credit to the speaker when I can, using names in parenthesis. Many of these are my own musings from Twitter and I’ve indicated myself with an (S). If there’s no name then I probably don’t know the source. These are not always exact quotes, but ideas I’ve re-formed to fit in under 140 characters on Twitter

Random Things:

  • Every image needs a subject. Just one. If it has less or more, than that it’s probably time to reboot. (S)
  • Presentation is as much part of a photo as the image itself. An image on a disk means little to the world. A well presented wall piece does. (S)
  • Don’t wait for the photo establishment to show you how to stand out. Because if you do, you won’t (S)
  • The line between a snapshot and a quality photograph are lost when everyone is a “photographer” but have not actually learned to be one! (S)
  • I’m not afraid to change my opinion, but I am afraid of not having one. (S)
  • Competition. A powerful tool that makes you stronger. Complaints about it are often cop outs from photographers not motivated enough to excel (S)
  • In photography rules mean conformity, and to conform is the opposite of creativity. (Whitmire)
  • Be Positive. It’s not just a blood type. (S)
  • Each time I think I’m really good, I learn that I’m not as great as I thought. Then I actually start getting really good (S)
  • Always do the best you can with what you have, but always push yourself to the next level. (S)
  • As photographers we often overlook the power of just practicing. It’s like giving ourselves our own workshop for free. (S)
  • Photography is painting with light. So if light is paint, why do we spend more time pressing buttons than mixing our paint? (S)
  • It’s not the location you take your photos in. It’s the photos you take in your location. Anything can be a good background. (S)
  • Being edgy is cool until everyone is doing it. Then it’s not edgy. It’s just boring and usually annoying. (S)
  • Every really good photograph I manage to make is a class in making the next one. (S)

Posing n more:

  • Portraits. Guys tilt the head towards the low shoulder = macho. Girls tilt head towards high shoulder = pretty (Celentano)
  • Bridal Portraits, Hold that bouquet on the hip to look thinner. Hands (and bouquets) held in front from make the bride look bigger. (Celentano)
  • Group portrait. Just before the shot have everyone lift up their shoulders and lean towards the center. (Celentano)
  • Portrait Tip: Look for triangles in your group poses. Use bodies, sitting, head position etc to form triangles. (Celentano)
  • If posture pose and light is correct it does not matter where the camera sits. The pose is still set. (Gardener)
  • Posing tip: If it bends, bend it. Play around with joints, elbows, fingers, everything.
  • Posing tip: Leave some open space between those bent elbows and the waist. Helps make your subject slim n trim. (S)
  • Don’t over pose the subjects in your groups. Their not solders, their free people. (Whitmire)


Continue reading ’50+ Twitter Length Photography Tips.’

Cool New Goodies At Seim Effects

I want to take a moment to plug a few new products over at my Seim Effects store, since these are what help keep this all going. I just released Hollywood Effects 2, the follow up to my first special effects actions for Photoshop. Also in a separate collection a brand new set of cool actions called Portraitist.

HE2 is filled with some pretty amazing effects. I love Lightroom, but it’s not a solo runner. These are the effects that simply can’t be done in LR and really make my best images shine. When you get HE2, it includes the Portraitist actions, which are my new skin retouching tools that perform tasks similar to expensive plugins, but right from an action and for a lot less money. They even include skin smoothing that retains detail in critical areas like eyes.

Anyways I’m stoked about how good they work. It’s the best actions I’ve ever made and has been a very successful release thanks to many of you. Of course I  still love Lightroom. You can find my presets there as well. If you want to learn more head over to Seim Effects. Other than that, have a great weekend… Gavin Seim