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How to add
realistic-looking falling
snow to your winter scenes

H O W -T 0 M A G A Z I N E



Printing 3D models
from Photoshop CC is
easier than you might think

201 5





Scott Kelbys 10th Annual

gonzo holiday
gear guide

Visit our website at

The Official Publication of





Layout: Jessica Maldonado


Scott Kelbys 10th Annual

Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide
Do you need some gift ideas for the photographer on your Holiday
list? If yes, then youve come to the right place. Scott Kelby shares
all the gear, gadgets, software, and services that he just couldnt live
without in 2015. From stocking stuffers to quadcopters, youll find
something to bring tears to the eyes of your friends and loved ones.
Or, you could just keep it all for yourself, but thats not staying true
to the spirit of the Holidays, right? Right?
Scott Kelby




Extend Your Lightroom Workflow with Plug-Ins

98 116


104 117

Organizing a Travel Shoot

Using One-Click Presets (and Making Your Own!)


6 58

Contributing Writers

10 72

About Photoshop User Magazine


KelbyOne Community


Exposed: Industry News




Avocado Advocacy


Kris Kowalewski

From the Editor


24 46



Painter 2016
Ultimaker 2 Extended
EL-Skyport Plus HS
Phottix Laso System
DXT Wireless Mouse 2 Light Click
Cerise Custom Desktop
Photoshop Book Reviews

Printing in the
Third Dimension
A longtime expert in Photoshop 3D, Corey Barker finally delves
into the world of 3D printing. Using Photoshop and an Ultimaker 2
Extended, Corey shows how easy (and addictive) it is to take your
3D creations that have only lived in a digital space until now and
print them into three-dimensional reality.
Corey Barker

Make Eye-Catching Composites with iPhone Shots

How to Add Artificial Snow to a Photo

But WaitTheres More


Splash Proof

18 126


112 120

Cynthia Hollingsworth


Genevieve Groves Martin




87 114

Lightroom Magazine


A Brush with the Holidays

The Third Dimension

32 54


Retouching Toolkit for Photoshop

40 76


These icons at the beginning of columns indicate theres a short video on a tool
or function used in that tutorial at the Key Concepts KelbyOne member webpage
Dodge & Burn tools

Lasso tool

Layer masks

Pen tool

Smart objects

Quick Selection tool


Lighting Frida


Whenever you see this symbol at the end of an article, it means

there are either downloadable practice files or additional content
for KelbyOne members at
All lighting diagrams courtesy of Sylights

Click this symbol in the magazine to return to the Table of Contents.



From the Editor

its time for some
cool holiday gifts

Its that time of year, and you know what that meansthats right, its my 10th Annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide! (Wild cheers
ensue!) Its hard to believe this gonzoness has gone on for 10 years, but theres no sign of the gonzo going away. So, what you hold
in your handsyes, in this very issueis my handpicked collection of ideas for the creative somebody on your gift list (or, you can use
it to drop hints to someone for some goodies youd like to get this year).
As always, Ive included everything from inexpensive stocking stuffers to the perfect gift for the rich surgeon or NFL defensive back
on your holiday list. The guide starts on page 60, in case you want to get right to the goodies now.
As much as wed all like the entire magazine to be all about gear and stuff, alas we cant go without including a bunch of education
to round out the year, so heres a quick look at whats in this issue: In the Beginners Workshop, Lesa Snider teaches us how to add
falling snow to an image. In our Dynamic Range column, our own Corey Barker talks about printing 3D models from Photoshop
to a 3D printer (this 3D printing stuff is for real!). In Photography Secrets, adventure photographer Tom Bol tells us the secrets to
capturing amazing over/under images in warmer waters. And, in our Lightroom Magazine section, RC Concepcion shows us how
to organize our travel shots and create a book that we can use in either PDF form or send to a printerall directly within Lightroom.
Outside the magazine, we have some exciting things going on. By now, many of you have tried our totally new, revamped-fromtop-to-bottom member website. It is such a vast improvement from anything weve ever been able to offer our members beforethe
videos play faster and smoother, and the search feature is also faster and so much more refined to help you get to the training you
want quicker than ever before. We have a totally reimagined member dashboard that gives us a way to interact directly with you
(without having to send you emails), and youll always know which classes and which special member discounts are new.
But, all that is just version 1.0 of the new sitethe first step. Were already hard at work on version 1.1, which well be releasing
after the first of the year. This will integrate the old member site with the fantastic new KelbyOne site, so finally
well all be on just one site (yay!). But, were not going to just move the old features over to the new sitenosireebob. We have
created a totally enhanced online member community, which includes new-and-improved member portfolios, online forums, easier
access to one-on-one help, and more of the stuff you told us you want from a member organization like ours. More on that when we
launch, but I did want you to know that theres lots of great stuff on the horizon.
Weve spent the last two years in a transition with one goal in mind: our job is to make your experience as a member more valuable
than it was the year before. And, not just through delivering world-class training from the industrys best instructors, but by delivering
a better experience all across the board. Weve been heads-down, working hard on all this, but while weve kept our eyes on the
goal, weve kept our ears open listening to what members have been asking for, and Im so proud to finally be able to bring you the
experience you expect and you deserve.
Were very grateful that youre here with us, and honored that youve chosen us as your online educational community and training
p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

partner in the coming year. Its a job we take very seriously, and one were 100% committed to being the very best at for our members.


See you next issue!

Scott Kelby
KelbyOne President & CEO
Editor & Publisher, Photoshop User

The official publication of KelbyOne

DECEMBER 2015 Volume 18 Number 10 Printed in USA


Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief

Chris Main, Managing Editor

Contributing Writers

Ajna Adams Corey Barker Peter Bauer Bruce Bicknell Tom Bol
Pete Collins RC Concepcion Michael Corsentino Sen Duggan
Daniel East Sean McCormack Rick Sammon Colin Smith Lesa
Snider Rob Sylvan Scott Valentine Erik Vlietinck Jake Widman


Dave Damstra, Production Manager

Jessica Maldonado, Associate Art Director
Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer
Angela Naymick, Graphic Designer


Ajna Adams Kleber Stephenson


Mike Keilty Brandon Nourse Mario Ocon Yojance Rabelo

Aaron Westgate


Scott Kelby, Publisher

David Moser, Executive Publisher
Kalebra Kelby, Executive V.P.
Jean A. Kendra, Business Manager


Kevin Agren, V.P., Sales 813-433-2370

Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-738-8513 ext. 152
Veronica (Ronni) ONeil, Director of Circulation/Distribution
800-738-8513 ext. 235


U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922

Voice: 813-433-5005 Fax: 813-433-5015
Customer Service:
Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the Lightroom Editor:
World Wide Web Including the Photoshop Help Desk,
Photo Gear Desk, and Advice Desk:


Photoshop User was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 and

Adobe InDesign CC 2015. Roboto was used for headlines and subheads.
Frutiger LT Std for text.

This seal indicates that all content provided herein is produced by KelbyOne, LLC
and follows the most stringent standards for educational resources. KelbyOne is
the premier source for instructional books, DVDs, online classes, and live seminars for
creative professionals.

| fuel for creativity

All contents COPYRIGHT 2015 KelbyOne, LLC. All rights reserved. Any use of the
contents of this publication without the written permission of the publisher is strictly
prohibited. Photoshop User is an independent journal, not affiliated in any way with
Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom,
and Photoshop are registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in
the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned belong to
their respective owners. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the
representative views of the publisher. ISSN 1535-4687


is an Adobe Certified Expert that does computer graphics consulting for a select
group of corporate clients. His latest book is Photoshop CC for Dummies. He was
inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2010.

is the founder of Digital Blue Productions. He has been an instructor on Adobes
in-box training, and is an instructor at His clients include Time Inc.,
NFSTC, DTCC, and magazines that include People and National Geographic.

is an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in adventure sports,
portraits, and outdoor lifestyle photography. His images and stories are used
worldwide. You can see more of his work at

is an education and curriculum developer and website overseer for KelbyOne.
He is one of the Photoshop Guys and co-hosts Photoshop User TV. With a fine arts
background, Pete is well versed in photography, graphic design, and illustration.

is director of content and education for KelbyOne. An Adobe Certified Instructor in
Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, RC has 10+ years in the I.T. and ecommerce
industries. RC has held training seminars in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.

is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer, Photoshop and Lightroom
expert, author, columnist for Shutter Magazine and Resource Magazine, and speaker
and international workshop leader. Learn more at

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5



is the co-author of Photoshop Masking & Compositing, Real World Digital

Photography, and The Creative Digital Darkroom. He leads workshops on digital
photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom (

is an author, freelance writer, presenter/trainer, and consultant with more than
20 years experience in photography, pro-audio, and marketing. Daniel is also founder
and president of The Apple Groups Team support network for user groups.

is the author of Essential Development: 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 5.
Based in Galway, Ireland, he shoots subjects from musicians, models, and
actors to landscapes and architecture. Learn more at

is a longtime friend of KelbyOne, and he has more than a dozen
classes on Check em out! For more of his work,

is an award-winning digital artist, photographer, and lecturer who has authored
18 books and has created a series of training videos. Colin is also the founder of
the online resource and president of

is the author of Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, Photos for Mac and iOS:
The Missing Manual, several eBooks, and more than 40 video courses. She also
writes a weekly column for Macworld. For more info, visit

is the Lightroom Help Desk Specialist for KelbyOne, on staff at the Digital Photo
Workshops, and the author of Lightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography
Process. You can learn more at

is an Adobe Community Professional and Photoshop author. His latest book
is The Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers (Adobe Press). Keep up with him

founded IT Enquirer in 1999 ( A J.D. by education, Erik
has been a freelance technology editor for more than 20 years. He has written
for Macworld, Computer Arts, Windows NT Magazine, and many others.

is a writer and editor who lives in San Francisco. Hes been covering the intersection
of computers and graphic design for about 25 years nowsince back when it was
called desktop publishing and Photoshop was just a piece of scanning software.


Photoshop User

Adobe Stock

Photoshop User magazine is the official publication of

KelbyOne. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically
receive Photoshop User ten times a year. Each issue
features in-depth Photoshop, Lightroom, and photo
graphy tutorials written by the most talented designers,
photographers, and leading authors in the industry.

About KelbyOne

is the worlds leading resource for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and

photography training, news, and education. Founded in 1998 as the National
Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), KelbyOne has evolved from
NAPP and KelbyTraining to create a singular hub for creative people to learn, grow,
and inspire. From photographers to graphic designers, beginners to professionals,
KelbyOne is open to everyone.
Theres no faster, easier, and more affordable way to get really good at Photoshop
and photography. You can join for only $19.99 per month or $199 U.S. for a full
year of training. To learn more, visit

Member Benefits

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Ten issues of the best Photoshop tutorial-based magazine in the industry.




Save anywhere from 24 times your membership cost by using our many
industry-related discounts.


Fast, friendly Photoshop, Lightroom, and photo gear help; equipment

advice; and more from certified experts.


KelbyOne members range from beginners to pros and love to lend each
other a hand. Together, we have built the friendliest, most knowledgeable
Photoshop and photography community on the Web.


Unbiased coverage on the latest equipment, plug-ins, and programs

in the marketplace.

Our extensive website features time- and money-saving content.


Thousands of Photoshop and photography tutorials, full online classes,

and quick-tip videos.


The KelbyOne Insider is your weekly connection to everything KelbyOne.

Its produced exclusively for members to keep you informed of everything
new in the industry and at KelbyOne headquarters.

FIND KELBYONE MEMBERSHIP DETAILS AT or call 800-201-7323 MondayFriday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.

KelbyOne Community

Inspiration, information, and member musings to fuel your creative think tank

Its a Successful
periscope party!
Wow! What a party. A Periscope party, that is. On November 2, a team of Periscopers joined us in the KelbyOne
studios for a simultaneous Periscope broadcastone of
the first of its kind. The event included broadcasts from
nine different accounts that have a collective audience of
more than 500,000 people! Thousands tuned in, commented, and tapped for hearts (its a Periscope thing).
The result was lots of fun and a handful of winners; we
gave away an Arkon mount to @LoriMBS, a handful of
Scott Kelby books to several viewers, and a full one-year
KelbyOne membership to @GilmarSmith.
Our lineup of broadcasters included: Arkon (, who sponsored the event; Kim Garst, founder and CEO
of Boom Social (; Terry White, principle worldwide design and photography evangelist for Adobe
(; and long-time KelbyOne member Victoria Pavlov, who is also featured in this issues Whos Who
in the KelbyOne Community on page 17. From the KelbyOne team, our broadcasters included KelbyOne president, Scott Kelby;
director of content, RC Concepcion; on-air talent, Larry Becker; and KelbyOne social media manager, Ajna Adams (thats me).
By the way, if youre not familiar with Periscope, its a live-video streaming app for iOS and Android developed by
Twitter and launched March 2015. Be sure to follow @KelbyOne and @ScottKelby!



Canon Explorers
of light announced
Social media was abuzz when Canon announced its new lineup of Canon Explorers of Light. Many of our KelbyOne
members took to social media to congratulate our KelbyOne instructors who made the list, and now its our turn.
A huge congrats to Peter Hurley, Joel Grimes, David Bergman, Roberto Valenzuela, and Lindsay Adler! Wed also like to
congratulate Jimmy Chin and Charles Glatzer who also made the list. For more information on the Canon Explorers of

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Light Program, visit


Congrats to Newlyweds
tim and angela wallace
Many of you took to Twitter and Facebook to congratulate KelbyOne instructor Tim Wallace on his recent marriage to his
beautiful new bride, Angela, in Scotland. Thank you all for your kind tweets and Facebook posts.

+ tweeting = #winning
We love you allin real life and on Twitter. If youve been to a KelbyOne Live event, youll
probably notice some of your fellow attendees busy on their phones Tweeting for a chance
to win cool stuff during the event. At Scott Kelbys seminar tours, we give away these awesome Secret Sauce tour shirts to attendees who post awesome tweets. To learn more about
KelbyOne Live, visit



Who's Who
in the kelbyone community
Victoria Pavlov is a photographer, digital painter, and
designer. Born into a musical family, she started practicing
music at age 3, but that didnt stop her from starting to draw
at age 7. At age 15 she had her first big exhibition, where she
was surprised by all the wows from the people attending.
At age 8 her uncle introduced her to photography. His
work inspired her to see how different photography and
painting could be. Because of her artistic background, her
photography is about telling a story. The technical aspect
in her photography is very important to her, so she spent
about two years finding the lighting technique that she
loves and is happy with.
Introduced to version 1.0 of Adobe Photoshop, it has
become her method of communicating and expressing herself. Victoria says, I truly believe that with Adobe Photoshop,
we can make this world more beautiful with less violence.
What kind of design and photography do you specialize in?



Victoria Pavlov

Portrait photography, digital painting, and photo manipulation.


Tell us about your first experiences with KelbyOne. How and

when were you introduced?
I joined KelbyOne about eight years ago (when it was still

The stage is yours. Share your proud achievements (both

NAPP). I was using some online graphic design forum and

personally and professionally).

they published a blog about NAPP. I went to the NAPP web-

Professionally, Im proud when my students say that Im

site and fell in love right away. Great source for training and

their inspiration, and Im proud to see all my students

inspirationand amazing discounts!

progress after our sessions. Personally, Im proud of being

where I am now after all the difficulties that Ive had.

How has KelbyOne helped you grow in your creative


How do you stay inspired?

I believe that if youre a real professional, you would never

Music, movies, and most importantly, people.

say, I know it allI dont need any training. KelbyOne

is always helping me with all my photography and design

If you could photograph any person in the whole world,

needs, plus it gives me a lot of inspiration. I would say that

who would it be and why?

KelbyOne is one source for everything in photography and

Thomas Knoll. Photoshop is a huge (79%) portion of my life,

designfrom news to training. One stop for all.

and I have no idea where I would be now without Photoshop.

We like helpful tips. What is a favorite tip or tutorial that

What would we be surprised to know about you?

you learned from KelbyOne recently?

Probably that Im a good cook.

I loved the tip from Scott Kelby on how to use Photoshop

to create a reflection of your object. [See http://scottkelby

If you could go back and give your younger self advice,


what would it be?


If I could, Id go back and never listen to people when

wrong and not good enough. I would trust my instincts and

Why is this one of your favorites?

be myself all the time.

Location Lighting with the Elinchrom ELB 400 by Scott



Kelby. Im more of a studio photographer, so for me to go

Well, Victoria, were glad that you believed in yourself, and

out and shoot, well, its not what Im looking to do most of

were proud of what youve achieved. If youd like to be

the time. Scott Kelbys course showed me how I can use my

inspired by Victorias work, be sure to visit www.pavlov-

creativity outside my studio.

k e l b yo n e . c o m

theyre saying that Im nothing, that everything Im doing is

Tell us about a favorite course that youve watched recently.


Exp sed: Industry News

The latest news about photography gear, software, and services


The New Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

professional inkjet printer
Canon recently announced a new 17" large format inkjet printer
that is jam-packed with some impressive technological advances. For
starters, the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 has a new print head that
improves on the Canon PIXMA PRO-1 printer. The print head is 50%
larger and expands the number of nozzles to 18,432 for each of the
12 channels. That means faster print speeds while still maintaining
high-resolution prints. A real-time ink ejection system helps keep
a consistent print head temperature for consistent ink droplets
and to limit clogs.
The imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 uses the new LUCIA PRO 11-color
plus Chroma Optimizer ink system. These inks have an increased color
gamut of up to 19% over the PIXMA PRO-1 printer because each pigment has an optimized resin-coating that allows denser droplets
to be applied to the media. It also has an improved level of black density for rich, deep blacks and for finer detail in darker areas. Photo
black and matte black inks have their own dedicated nozzles so users dont have to manually switch inks. The new ink system includes
matte black, photo black, gray, photo gray, red, blue, magenta, photo magenta, cyan, photo cyan, yellow, and Chroma Optimizer.
According to Canon, The new processing engine, L-COA PRO, controls the balance of inks and the precise placement of ink droplets, carefully calculating best results for each print mode and media using various factors including color reproduction, tonal gradations,
black density, graininess, glossiness, anti-bronzing, and elimination of metamerism, all of which contribute to creating an amazing
printed image. Combined with 1 GB of memory, the L-COA PRO allows high-speed processing of large volumes of image data. An Air
Feeding System keeps the media flat and even to ensure accurate ink ejection.
The new imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 also comes with Print Studio Pro, a plug-in that works with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop
Elements, Lightroom, and Canon Digital Photo Professional software. This plug-in exports files directly to the printer and has 16-bit
processing capabilities so fine details are improved, gradations are smooth, and images can be accurately reproduced. Other software
that will be included are the Media Configuration Tool and Accounting Manager.
The imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is available now for an MSRP of $1,299.95. For more information, visit

These are the 1,197 eye movements a photographer

made while obsessing over the details.

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Mylio is Now Available

for android devices


Myliothe award-winning software that allows people to organize,

edit, protect, access, and share their photos and videos across platformsis now compatible with Android devices. Mylio organizes photos and videos across devices so users can enjoy access to their media
library even on space-constrained devices. Those devices include Mac
and PC computers, iOS devices, external hard drives, memory cards,
and now Android devices.
Consumers can easily view their images by knowing exactly where
every photo and video is located. They can enjoy a simplified search and
editing process while viewing their media in a unique calendar view or
through a slideshow. Photos are now centralized in one place and automatically cataloged based on date, name, and other information associated with each photo and video, quickly and automatically. Mylio
users can also customize folders and create albums based on their preferences.
Mylio is available in three plans. The Basic Plan ($50/year) offers users the ability to sync up to three devices and import up to 50,000
photos. The Standard Plan ($100/year) allows up to five devices to be synced and 100,000 photos to be imported, as well as Lightroom
integration and RAW file editing capabilities on desktop, laptop, and tablet devices. The Advanced Plan ($250/year) is perfect for large
libraries up to 500,000 images and up to 12 devices. The Advanced Plan includes all Standard Plan features, as well as the ability to back
up images from multiple locations. For more information, visit
Joel Grimes

tooka alook
insidea aphotographers





e x p o s e d: i n d u st ry n e w s

Athentech Imaging
announces lucid
Athentech Imaging, the makers of the Perfectly Clear
Plug-ins, has announced Lucid for iOS and Desktop
(Windows and Mac). Perfectly Clear is an amazingly
powerful application for pros and licensing for businesses that can instantly fix a multitude of imperfections in photographs. This application has some serious
science behind it. Were talking 14 years of R&D along
with 20 unique algorithms and multiple patented processes. So it was only natural that Athentech wanted to
bring this technology to the everyday photographer in
the form of Lucid.
Lucid is designed to counteract a cameras limitations, so with one click it will bring out the colors and light that you remembered
when you took the shot. It also includes powerful presets, such as Beautify, to make everyone look their very best in every photo
no editing expertise or extra work required.
We all want great-looking photographs; a chance to capture a memory and then share it with others, says Brad Malcolm,
president of Athentech Imaging. But frequently your smartphone or camera doesnt quite get the job done. Lucid does the work
for you so you can focus on the fun part of photography. We want you to enjoy capturing the best moments instead of spending
your time tossing on filters and adjusting countless sliders and buttons. It simply improves photos in an instant and lets you rescue
the shots you used to delete.
Lucid is available now at the App Store for only $2.99. Lucid Desktop for Mac and Windows is available at
for $49.


17 imagePROGRAF PRO-1000
Anti-clogging technology for consistent high quality prints
Stunning shadow reproduction and higher density blacks
Remarkably precise and accurate color recreation



ted images simulated. 2015 Canon U.S.A., Inc. Canon and
gePROGRAF are registered trademarks of Canon Inc
Inc. in the United
States and may be trademarks or registered trademarks in other countries.

Epson recently announced the SureColor P400, a 13" desktop photo printer that uses
Epsons UtraChrome HG2 pigment inks. This set of inks uses eight colors, including
Red and Orange for deeper reds and richer skin tones. It also has dedicated channels
for both Matte and Photo Black inks, which the printer will select automatically.
The MicroPiezo AMC 1" wide print head with a 1.5 pl minimum droplet size
and ink-repelling coating provides more accurate dot placement and reduced
maintenance. The SureColor P400 also features enhanced AccuPhoto HD imaging
technology and a unique Gloss Optimizer to produce consistent output with smooth
gradations and better highlight and shadow detail for exhibition-quality prints with a professional-lab look and feel.
Advanced media handling, including a front-in and front-out paper path, enables borderless photos up to 13 x19" on a wide
variety of glossy, matte, and ne-art papers, while improved roll paper support allows for panoramas more than 10' long. In addition, custom images can be created and printed directly onto canvas, art boards, and CD/DVDs. The printer also offers connectivity
via USB, Wireless n1, Wi-Fi Direct, or Ethernet. Designed for photography enthusiasts, advanced amateur photographers, and
creative hobbyists, the Epson SureColor P400 is available now for an MSRP of $599.
At the recent PhotoPlus Expo in New York, Epson also introduced Epson Legacy Papers, their most advanced line of photographic papers. They worked closely with the worlds greatest artists, revered European papermakers, galleries, and chemical
engineers to develop these papers for artists who intend to exhibit and sell their prints. Heres a rundown from Epson of the first
four Legacy Papers to be announced: Legacy Platine100% cotton fiber paper with a bright OBA-free, smooth satin finish. With a
unique feel of an artistic paper of centuries past, along with an outstanding color gamut, this paper is exceptional for both color and
black-and-white printmaking. Legacy Fibre100% cotton fiber paper with an exceptionally bright OBA-free, smooth matte finish.
With an outstanding black density, this paper is ideal for all types of high-end printmaking. Legacy Baryta:A baryta paper with a
white, smooth satin finish, using two barium sulfate coatings. Inspired by the F64 group, this paper takes the best of revered silver
halide technology to new levels of quality. Legacy Etching100% cotton fiber paper with a bright OBA-free, uniquely textured
matte finish beloved by artists for centuries. This paper has the feel of traditional etching papers.
For more information on the Epson SureColor P400 and the new Legacy Papers, visit

k e l b yo n e . c o m

Epson Introduces
new printer and papers




Step One: Start by opening

the shot you want to use, or
if youre a KelbyOne member, you can download the
image were using here. This
was captured shortly after
taking off from Las Vegas in
the middle of the day, so it
looks pretty bad and would
most. Or is it?
[KelbyOne members may
download the files used in this

Corey Barker

be considered useless by
Step Two

tutorial at
All files are for personal use only.]

Step Two: First, lets dehaze the photo. Go to the Filter menu
and choose Camera Raw Filter. When the Camera Raw dialog
opens, click on the Effects (x) tab below the histogram, and youll
see the Dehaze slider. Drag it to around 75%. Dont click OK yet.

Step Three: Now go to the Basic panel, which is the very first
tab. Dial down the Exposure setting to about 0.30. Then boost

Step Three

the Contrast to around 25. Now click OK.

Step Four: Once back in Photoshop, make a duplicate of the

Background layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). Near the
top of the Layers panel, change the blend mode of the duplicate
layer to Multiply, and drop the Opacity to 50%.

Step Five: Click the Create New Adjustment Layer icon (halfwhite, half-black circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel and
choose Hue/Saturation. In the Properties panel, drop the Saturation to around 25%. This will adjust for the slight oversaturation
of color created by the last few steps; however, it also dials back
the contrast just a little.


Step Six: To fix the contrast, go back into the Cremenu at the bottom of the
Layers panel and choose




I was flying home from Las Vegas a couple of months ago and I was
intrigued by the view of the desert outside my window, so I grabbed a

top of the layer stack in the

shot, but I knew there was something there. Join me and see how to

Step Six

ate New Adjustment Layer

adjustment layer is at the

few shots with my iPhone. I wasnt all that thrilled with what I initially

Step Five

Layers panel. Change the

layer blend mode to Overlay
and drop the layer Opacity

turn a seemingly bad shot into something much more interesting

to 25%. Then, adjust the

with a few Photoshop tricks.

shadow and midtone sliders

as you see here to bring back some of the contrast.

k e l b yo n e . c o m


make eye-catching composites

with iphone shots

Step Four




Step Seven: Now cre-

appears to fade into the stars. I could never get this shot from

ate a new document

the plane, huh?

(File>New) in which to

Also, click on the layer thumbnail of the star layer to make it

build the design. Here

active and run a simple Levels adjustment (Command-L [PC: Ctrl-L])

weve made it 1250

as shown here to boost the contrast so the star image blends with

pixels wide by 2000

the ground scene a little better.

pixels tall at 300 ppi.

Click OK. Once the

Step Thirteen: Now lets take a look at the bright spot in the cen-

document is created, press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to invert the

ter. It occurred to me that it would be interesting to make it look like

background layer to black.

a rocket leaving Earth with smoke trails and such. So start by going
to the Toolbox and choosing the Brush tool (B). Click on the brush

Step Eight: Go back to the original image, and click on the top
layer to make it active. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key, go

Step Thirteen

Step Fourteen

Step Fifteen

Step Sixteen

preview thumbnail in the Options Bar to open the Brush Preset

Step Eight

Picker and locate the brush thats aptly named Per Stroke Brightness

Step Nine

into the Layer panels flyout menu at the top right, and choose

Variance, which is part of the default Photoshop brush set.

Merge Visible. This will flatten all the layers into a single new
layer at the top of the layer stack, leaving all the original layers

Step Fourteen: Open the Brush panel (Window>Brush), and

intact below it.

click on Brush Tip Shape in the left sidebar. Set the brush Size to
35 px and the Spacing at the bottom to 37%.

Step Nine: Using the Move tool (V), drag-and-drop this merged
layer into the new document. Once there, press Command-T

Step Fifteen: Activate Shape Dynamics on the left of the Brush

Ctrl-0) to expand the document so you can see the entire trans-

panel. Set both the Size Jitter and the Angle Jitter to 100%. Also,

form box. I wanted to make sure that no roads or trails were

check on both Flip X Jitter and Flip Y Jitter at the bottom.

Adobe Stock/sutichak

(PC: Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform. Press Command-0 (PC:

visible in the shot so I cropped in and positioned it to where the

massive dry lake bed was somewhat centered in the composition. Also, leave about a quarter of the black background visible
above the image. Press Enter once its in place.

Step Ten

Step Eleven

Step Sixteen: Next, activate Transfer. Set the Control dropdown menu below Opacity Jitter to Pen Pressure, even if youre
not using a pressure-sensitive tablet. Make sure that the Control
drop-down menu for Flow Jitter is set to Off, and then uncheck

Step Ten: Add a layer mask to this layer by clicking the Add Layer

Color Dynamics on the left side of the panel.

Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Press D then X to set the Foreground color to black and the Background color to white. Then, select the Gradient tool (G), click

Step Seventeen: Choose the Pen tool (P) in the Toolbox. Click

the gradient preview thumbnail in the Options Bar to open the

the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel,

Gradient Editor, choose the Foreground to Background preset,

and click directly on the bright start to start a path. Then, go

and click OK. Also, make sure the Linear Gradient icon is selected

down and to the right just below the horizon and click-and-drag

in the Options Bar. Now add a gradient to the layer mask starting

downward to create a slightly curved path like you see here.

Step Seventeen

just below the top edge of the sky and dragging down a little


Step Eighteen: Open the Paths panel (Window>Paths), click on

the flyout menu at the top right, and choose Stroke Path. When

Step Eleven: Now open the starfield image thats also part of

the Stroke Path dialog appears, select Brush in the Tool drop-

the exercise downloads. Drag this image into the main design.

Step Eighteen

down menu, check on Simulate Pressure, and click OK. Now you

Use Free Transform again to scale and position the image in the

have a cool smoke trail. In the Paths panel, click in an empty space

composition. As a happy accident, there was one bright star or

below the path so that its no longer active in the document.

even a planet in the image. That gave me an idea, so I decided to

position the stars to where the bright spot was in the center just

Step Nineteen: To give the smoke a little dimension, were

above the horizon of the Earth shot.

going to add a layer style effect. Click on the Add a Layer Style

Step Twelve: Next, add a layer mask to this layer and add a

icon (x) at bottom of the Layers panel and choose Bevel &

black-to-white gradient to the mask just like we did in Step

Emboss. The default settings should work fine for this. You can

Ten, only this time start the gradient at the bottom edge of the
star image and drag up so the original blue-sky horizon below

k e l b yo n e . c o m

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

ways so the lighter horizon fades into the black background.

see the difference when you uncheck Preview on the right side
Step Twelve

of the dialog. Click OK when done.

Step Nineteen



Step Twenty: Now lets add a flare to the rocket ship. Ive provided a flare brush as part of the downloads for you to load
and use for this effect. Just double-click the brush file and it will
automatically load into the Brush Preset Picker. Go into the Brush
Preset Picker, choose the flare brush at the very bottom of the
list, and set its Size to around 500 px. Set the Foreground color
to white by pressing D then X. Create a new blank layer and then
just dab one flare on top of the bright star.

Step Twenty

Step Twenty-One: Go back into the layer style menu at the

bottom of the Layers panel and choose Outer Glow. Click on
the color swatch, choose a blue color, and click OK to close the
Color Picker. Set the Blend Mode to Hard Light and then set the
Opacity to 70%. Also, set the Size to around 27 px, and click OK.

Step Twenty-Two: Add another blank layer and make sure its
at the top of the layer stack. Grab the Pen tool again and draw a

Step Twenty-One

single curved path like we did earlier, but this time make it curve
in the opposite direction as the previous path, and draw it way
above the star/rocket effect.

Step Twenty-Three: With the Brush tool selected, go into the

Brush Preset Picker, choose a basic round, hard-edged brush, and
set its Size to 1 px. In the Brush panel, activate Shape Dynamics,
and set the Size Jitter Control drop-down menu to Pen Pressure.
Apply this new brush to the path just like we did in Step Eighteen. This will add a subtle shooting-star effect.
Step Twenty-Two

Step Twenty-Four: Now, just

add one more layer at the top.
Choose the Gradient tool and
select the Foreground to Trans p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

parent preset in the Gradient


Editor. Also, leave the gradient type set to Linear. Start at

the top edge of the image and
drag down just a bit to fade
the top to black. Finally, drop
the layer Opacity to 50% and
youre done.

When I first created this effect, I was so pleased with it that

I made it the wallpaper on my phone, and it looks amazing. What
can you do with your throwaway shots?

Step Twenty-Three



Step One: Open a new document (File>New) thats

3,000x900 pixels at 300 ppi Resolution, with a white background, and click the Create a New Layer icon. Were going
to create a base shape that will be the foundation of all our
holiday brushes.

Step Two: Grab the Custom Shape tool (nested under the
Rectangle tool [U] in the Toolbox), and then up in the Options
Bar, click on the Shape preview thumbnail to open the Custom Shape Picker. In the top-right corner of that panel, click
on the little gear icon and choose All from the drop-down
menu, and click OK in the resulting dialog. Now you should
see all of the shapes. Choose the Diamond Card shape from
somewhere near the middle of the shapes. Also, make sure
the Custom Shape tool is set for Pixels (instead of Shape or
Path) in the drop-down menu near the left side of the Options
Bar, and press D to set your Foreground color to black.

Step Two


For this Holiday season, we thought wed give you a gift that will

Step Three

keep on giving all year long. This brush will be simple to make, but it
can give you myriad looks. Youll have three different styles of brush
when were done, but that will just be the starting point for what you
can do with this brush.

Step Four: In the Layers panel, click on the layer thumbnail for
the javelin shape so the layer mask is no longer active. Now
all you need to do is go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Feel free
to name it if you want, and then click OK. Thats all it takes
to make this brush. Now the fun part is getting the brush to
behave how you want, and well be making three brushes
from this base shape.

k e l b yo n e . c o m


a brush with the holidays

Step Three: Now that you have the Diamond Card shape
ready to go, click on the left-hand side of your document and
drag across the page to the other side to make more of a thin
javelin shape rather than a diamond. Click on the Add Layer
Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (third icon from
the left) to apply a mask. Grab the Gradient tool (G), press D
then X to set the Foreground color to black, and in the
Options Bar, select the Reflected Gradient icon, and check on
the Reverse box. Now, simply start in the middle of the shape,
drag a gradient out to the right edge of the document, and
release. This should cause the ends of the javelin to be a soft
fade instead of a hard point.

Step Four




Step Ten: This last brush is the most complex, but it really adds
only a couple of extra settings. In the Brush Presets panel
(Window>Brush Presets), click once again on your Flare brush
to use as the base (it should be the second to last brush in the
list). Back in the Brush panel, well once again start with the
Shape Dynamics (this is generally the most-used tab). Change
the settings to the following: Size Jitter to 100% (Control
drop-down menu to Pen Pressure or Off); Minimum Diameter
to 75%; Angle Jitter to 100% (Control set to Off); Roundness
Jitter to 100% (Control set to Off); and Minimum Roundness
to 25%.

Step Six: Set the Shape Dynamics as follows: Size Jitter to

100% (set the Control drop-down menu to Pen Pressure
if you have a tablet; set it to Off if you dont); Minimum
Diameter to 25%; Angle Jitter to 100% (Control set to Off);
Roundness Jitter to 100% (Control set to Off); and Minimum
Roundness to 25%.

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Step Seven: To save all of the settings youve applied, click on

the flyout menu at the top-right corner of the Brush panel
and select New Brush Preset. Name it Flare, and click OK.
Now press D then X to set your brush to white and, keeping
your cursor in the same location, click twice or more wherever you want a bit of flare. The Angle Jitter will cause the
shape to rotate so that the stroke will have a random look
each time you click.


Step Eight: So now that youve warmed up with the Flare

brush, its just a matter of adding a couple settings to get
an entirely different look. Starting with the Flare brush you
just made, open the Brush panel again. Keep everything the
same, but now go to Scattering, the third item on the left.
Make sure that Both Axes is checked on and move the slider
to 498%. (Yes, you can do 500% if the random number
bothers you.)

Step Six

Step Seven

Step Eleven: Now youll want to give your garland brush

some color, so click on the Foreground color swatch near the
bottom of the Toolbox, pick the darkest shade of green that
you want to use for your garland, and click OK to close the
Color Picker. Now click on the Background color swatch and
choose the lightest green that you want to use for your garland. Well use the Color Dynamics options on the left side
of the Brush panel to set up the brush so it uses those colors
as reference when it lays down each needle of the garland.
Change your settings to the following: check on Apply Per
Tip; set Foreground/Background Jitter to 19% (Control set to
Off); Hue Jitter to 31%; Saturation Jitter to 56%; Brightness
Jitter to 29%; and Purity to 0%.
Step Twelve: Test your stroke and see how the colors change
for each needle of the garland; you can adjust the sliders
or change the Foreground and Background colors to get a
different look. (Tip: Use the Bracket keys on your keyboard
to quickly change the size of the brush.) Now the only thing
left is to decide how full or skimpy the garland is going to be.
Go to the Brush Tip Shape options at the top left of the Brush
panel and move the Spacing slider around and try different
strokesthe less spacing the fuller the garland. Once again,
save this as a brush preset. You can name this one garland.

Step Eight

Step Nine: Thats it, now you just need to save that brush like
you did the Flare brush. Maybe name it Ice Cracks. Take
that brush and set it to white and paint with it in any area
where you might want to add a touch of frost; the brush will
scatter outward and give you a complex random pattern that
looks cool.
Step Nine

Step Thirteen: So now that we have our three brushes, lets

try them out. If youre a KelbyOne member, download and
open the practice file. Click the Create a New Layer icon at
the bottom of the Layers panel. Choose the Flare brush, hold
the Option (PC: Alt) key, and click to sample the color of an
area that could use a little sparkle. That color will now be
the color for the Flare brush. Resize the brush as needed and
click multiple times on that same area. The Christmas lights
through the window are an easy choice. Repeat for other
areas in the image (dont forget to Option-click [PC: Alt-click]
each time to sample the color first).
[KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at
All files are for personal use only.]

Step Ten

Step Eleven

Step Twelve

k e l b yo n e . c o m

Step Five: With the Brush tool (B) selected, click on the Brush
panel icon (the third icon from the left) in the Options Bar.
This is where the magic happens. The main options that
youll want to change for this brush are under Shape Dynamics, the second item in the list on the left side of the Brush
panel. Here, youll see several Jitter options. Jitter is another
name for randomize, so that means the more Size Jitter you
apply, the more diverse sizes will be created as you draw out
a stroke. You can see the changes taking place in the preview
window at the bottom of the Brush panel.

Step Thirteen



Step Fourteen: Now switch to your Ice Cracks brush, and

set it to a very small brush size. On another new layer, paint
with white around the windowpanes to add some frost.
You can always lower the Opacity, as well as add a layer
mask and use a round, soft-edged brush set to black to
paint out any overspray of the ice on the window frame.
Step Fifteen: Now, lets add the Garland. Add another new
layer, and once again set your Foreground and Background
colors to a dark green and a slightly lighter green, respectively. Start at the top, and drag down so that you finish with
a clean stroke. If the stroke looks too thin, either press Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) to undo it, decrease the Spacing in the
Brush panel, and paint the stroke again; or press Command-J
(PC: Ctrl-J) to make a copy of that stroke layer, and use the
Move tool (V) to move it over slightly to make it fluffier. A
Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow can be the finishing touch
that helps settle the garland into the scene. Use a layer mask
to hide the garland from areas where you dont want it, such
as over the ornament closest to the window. You may also
need to drag your flare layer to the top of the layer stack.
Thats it! Youve made three useful brushes in no time and
hopefully, youre excited about playing with the different settings to create your own looks. We only tackled a few of the
brush options, but theyre some of the main settings that
youll use most often. In the final image here, we added some
extra flares and blurred them for snow. Try adding some
more settings from the Brush panel and see how they change
things. Above all else, have fun and be creative.

Step Fourteen

Step Fifteen

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5





Step One: Youre going to want to create a new document for

this project, so go to File>New. If youre using your own vector
files, the file size for this example is 5400x4200 pixels at 300 ppi.
The reason for creating a large document is that its always easier
to shrink a large image, but things get blurry when you try to
increase the image size after the fact. This will create a document
that can be printed at 18x14" at 300ppi with no degradation of
image quality. If youre a KelbyOne member and youre using the
low-res practice file, or you just dont need to work that large,
then youll need to scale down accordingly, so set your new
image size to 800x600 pixels instead. We want the Background
layer filled with black, so to avoid having to fill the background
later, click on the color swatch to the right of the Background

Step One

Contents drop-down menu in the New dialog, select black in the

Color Picker, and click OK twice. (Note: If youre using the practice
file, you can skip to Step Three at this point.)
[KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at
All files are for personal use only.]

Step Two: The file with the symbols was originally in the EPS
format, so it took an extra step to open it in Photoshop. If youre
using your own EPS file, locate it in Adobe Bridge, Right-click on
it, and choose Open With>Adobe Photoshop [your latest version].
Adobe Stock/senoldo

The great thing about an EPS file is that you can size it up as large
as you want, so when the Rasterize EPS Format panel appears,
this example, we set it to 6000x6000 pixels. Once the file opens,

the third dimension

youll see a transparent background (checkerboard) and that can


of the Layers panel, drag this layer beneath the symbols layer,

By taking a few scientific symbols and equations and adding a little

Photoshop magic, you can create a wonderful environment full of
depth and drama. The end product seems complex, but the steps to
achieve the look are really quite simple.

be distracting, so click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom

Step Two

press D to set your default colors, and press Command-Delete

(PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to fill the new layer with white.

Step Three: Once the symbols are on a white background, you

can see that theres a faint blue grid pattern behind them (most
EPS files wont have this, but this is a good teaching opportunity).
You can either try to mask out any of these lines that get in the
way, or you can use this faster method. Go to Select>Color Range
in the Menu bar, and the Color Range dialog will open. In the doc k e l b yo n e . c o m


make the dimensions way bigger than you think you need. In

ument window, click on one of the black lines that make up one
of the symbols (you may need to press Command-+ [PC: Ctrl-+]
to zoom into your document). When you do this, the thumbnail preview in the Color Range dialog changes to show whats
selected in white. Slide the Fuzziness slider to around 166 so that
all of the symbols are selected.

Step Three




This may be a little trickier for the low-res practice file. If all of

Step Six: With the new smart object layer chosen, press Com-

the symbols arent selected, hold the Shift key and youll see a

mand-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to bring up the Free Transform handles. Right-

+ symbol appear next to the Eyedropper (which is your cursor).

click on the image and choose Perspective from the options. Now

Click on various shades of gray to add them to the selection. If

grab the bottom-left handle and pull downward. Both the top-

this selects the blue grid lines or any of the white background,

and bottom-left corners will be pulled out so the equation no

hold the Option (PC: Alt) key (the + will change to a [minus

longer looks like its facing flat in front of you, but now appears as

sign] next to the Eyedropper) and click on one of the blue lines

if its receding at an angle. Distort is the other option in the drop-

and the white background to remove them from the selection.

down menu that you could use, but because you have to adjust
each corner individually, most folks get along better with Perspective. Its up to you. Press Enter to commit the transformation.
Step Six

Step Seven: Heres the secret sauce recipe for making this equation look like its interacting with depth of field, sort of like a
giant HUD (heads-up display) from Iron Man. Choose Filter>Blur
Gallery>Tilt-Shift to bring up the Blur Gallery interface already
loaded with the Tilt-Shift filter. Were only using one half of the
filter for this image, so move your cursor to one of the white dots
on one of the solid white lines, and click-and-drag to rotate all the

Once all the symbols appear in white on a solid black back-

lines until theyre vertical. Then, move the center point just to the

ground in the Color Range dialog, click OK. You should now see

right end of the equation. Youll notice that the right edge of the

marching ants just around the symbols and not the grid. Press

equation is in focus between the solid white line and the center

Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the symbols onto their own layer.

Step Four

point. Your goal is to get a smooth transition from full blur on the

Hide the original symbol layer by poking the Eye icon to the left

left to in-focus on the right, so drag the solid white line (transition

of it in the Layers panel.

line that sets the progression of blur) and the dotted line (full blur
boundary line) into position as shown here. The blur will be too

Step Four: The symbols are black and we want them to be white,

strong in the low-res practice file, so set the Blur to 3 px in the Blur

so press Command-I (PC Ctrl-I) to invert them, then click on the layer

Tools panel. Press Enter to commit the blur.

filled with white at the bottom of the layer stack, and invert that, as
well. The end result is just a little blah, so click back on the duplicated
symbol layer, press Command-L (PC: Ctrl-L) to bring up the Levels
dialog, and drag the highlight and midtone sliders toward the left to

Step Seven


Step Eight: Using the Move tool, drag the symbol closer to the

Step Five: Your symbols are ready to be put to use, so grab

left edge of the document. Dropping the Opacity in the Layers

your Lasso tool (L) and draw a selection around one of the equa-

panel to about 95% and adding a slight gradient mask to the left

tions. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to put a copy of this symbol

side of the equation will help it settle into its space a little more.

on its own layer. Now grab that equation with the Move tool (V)

To add a gradient mask, click on the Add Layer Mask icon (circle

and drag it to the new black background document we created

in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel, press D then X to

in Step One. (Tip: If you hold down the Shift key while dragging-

set the Foreground color to black, select the Gradient tool (G),

and-dropping the equation, it will land right in the center of

click on the gradient thumbnail in the Options Bar to open the

the document.) Now before you do anything else to this equa-

Gradient Editor, choose the Foreground to Transparent preset,

tion, Right-click on its layer name in the Layers panel and choose

click OK, select the Linear Gradient icon in the Options Bar, and

Convert to Smart Object from the drop-down menu. This will

give us more flexibility if we need to make changes later.

k e l b yo n e . c o m

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

boost the contrast and up the white factor. Click OK.

then drag from the left edge of the document to the middle of
Step Five

the symbol.

Step Eight



Step Nine: Now you can repeat the process with a new equation
or symbol. We used Distort on this second one to make it look like
it was angling in from the top-right corner, and then we applied
the Tilt-Shift filter right in the middle so that both the top and
bottom edges were blurry.

Step Ten: Now its just a matter of putting in all of the elements
you want and blurring each of them to look the part. How much
and where to blur is going to be driven by where the symbols
fall within the scene. The goal is to create a cocoon of clarity in
the center of the image while having all of the edges fading into
blurriness. This may take a little bit of tweaking, but because
each layer is a smart object, you can double-click on the words
Blur Gallery in the Layers panel and redo the blur for any layer
at any time.

Radiation Suit: Adobe Stock/dedMazay

Step Nine

Step Eleven: If youve been successful in working the symbols,

then it should be easy to drop a person or other element into
that cocoon of clarity and make him the center of the story. In
this example, we masked out a couple of the lines over where his
hand sticks out to add to the interaction. Finally, to round out the


layers, and set it to Hard Light in the Layers panel (the image we
used was from Adobe Stock and it was called blue shiny bokeh
background). This will give the eye of the viewer a reason to
accept the wonky depth of field and not be so critical if there are
any inconsistencies (an old compositors trick).
Bokeh Background: Adobe Stock/nikkytok

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

picture, grab a nice debris image, place it on top of all of the other

So there you have itdistort a few symbols to change their perspective, add a little blur, and youre done. It took longer to write
this article than it will take for you to get the hang of this technique. Its a great go-to design option that can take you from
stuck to styling in no time. Instead of symbols, try leaves, flowers,
rain, etc.; the possibilities are endless.

Step Eleven



Beginners' Workshop
how to add artificial snow to a photo

Step Five: With the snow layer active, choose Filter>Sketch>

Graphic Pen. Set the Stroke Direction drop-down menu to VerLESA SNIDER

tical to make the snowflakes fall straight down. Next, set the
Stroke Length to 5 for low-resolution images or 1015 for highresolution images, and then set the Light/Dark Balance to about

The Sketch category of filters is handy for adding texture to an image. It houses a variety of pens, crayons, paper,
etc. that give images a hand-drawn look. In fact, the Graphic Pen filter generates random streaks in the direction
and length you choose, which makes it perfect for adding realistic snow. Read on!

90. You can think of Stroke Length as flake size and Light/Dark
Balance as the volume of snowfall: Set it to 60 for a blizzard or
to a higher number (like 90) for lighter snow. Click OK when
youre finished.

Step Six: Soften the snow-

Step Five

flakes by choosing Filter>Blur>

Step One: If youre running CS6 or later, choose Photoshop

Gaussian Blur. In the result-

(PC: Edit)>Preferences>Plug-Ins and turn on Show All Filter

ing dialog, enter a Radius of

Gallery Groups and Names. This enables you to see all the filters

about 1.55 pixels, depending

in the Filter menu; otherwise, the menu is truncated and you have

on image resolution, and then

to use the Filter Gallery to get to many of them. This maneuver

click OK.

also causes the filters real names to appear in the Layers panel
when you run them; otherwise, theyre generically named Filter
Gallery. If the filters dont immediately appear in the Filter menu,

Step Seven: To enlarge some of the flakes, as if theyre closer

choose Photoshop (PC: Edit)>Quit and then relaunch Photoshop

to your lens, choose Filter>Distort>Diffuse Glow. In the result-

for the change to take effect.

ing dialog, set Graininess to 0, Glow Amount to 20, and Clear

Amount to around 17. Click OK.

Step Two: When Photoshop reopens, open a soon-to-be-snowy

Step Seven

Tip: To create rain instead of snow, pick a diagonal option

Step One

photo and set the Background color chip at the bottom of your

from the Graphic Pen filters Stroke Direction drop-down menu

Toolbox to white. To do it with a keyboard shortcut, simply press

and try skipping Steps Six and Seven.

the D key on your keyboard to set your Foreground and Background color chips to the default of black and white, respec-

Step Eight: If the snow

tively. If your color chips are already black and white but white

looks too intense, trot

is on top, press the X key on your keyboard to flip-flop them so

over to the Layers panel

white is on bottom.

and lower the Opacity

setting. (To alter how the

Step Three: Add a new image layer filled with black and

snowflakes look, reopen

Step Two

the Graphic Pen filter by

change its layer blend mode to Screen. To do that, press Shift-

double-clicking its name in

Command-N (PC: Shift-Ctrl-N), and in the resulting dialog, enter

the Layers panel, and then

snow in the Name field and set the Mode drop-down menu

adjust the filters settings.)

to Screen. Turn on Fill with Screen-neutral Color (Black) and click


completely ignores black, so the snow-like streaks youll create in

the next step will lighten the photo while the black disappears.

Step Nine: Choose File>

Step Three

Save As and pick Photoshop as the Format to pre-

If the new layer isnt at the top of your layer stack, make it so by

serve your layers. This lets you reopen the file and tweak the

dragging its thumbnail upward.

effect later if you need to. To generate a version in a differFile>Export>Export As or File>Export>Save for Web. Here

for Smart Filters. This puts the protective wrappings of a smart

are the before and after versions.

object around the layer so any filters that you run affect the
wrapper instead of whats inside. The filters name also appears
as an entry in your Layers panelif you dont like the result, drag
the filters name to the trash icon at the bottom right of your
Layers panel.

Step Four

k e l b yo n e . c o m

ent formatsay, JPEG or PNG for posting onlinechoose

Step Four: With the snow layer active, choose Filter>Convert

Adobe Stock/hkuchera

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

OK. The Screen blend mode lightens the underlying photo and

The snow made a big difference in this wolf image; however,

adding snow to completely inappropriate photos can also produce a slick special effect. Until next time, may the creative force
be with you all!

Step Nine




Dynamic Range
printing in the third dimension


Many years ago when I was starting my career, I was hired at a sign shop in Orlando as a designer and also to run
the printers. As a working sign shop, it was just getting into large-format printing, and they were mainly using a cutplotter machine to cut the vinyl for the signage. This was my first exposure to this kind of technology and I found it
rather interesting. A vinyl sign plotter is like a printer but, instead of a printhead with ink, theres a small cutting blade.
Once the vinyl sheet is loaded into the machine, the knife cuts along a predefined vector path thats already been set
in the computer, resulting in a precise decal. Then you peel away the background to reveal the sign.

Ultimaker 2 Extended

once youve done that, its time to load the filament mate-

A couple months ago, Chris Main, the managing editor of

rialwhich Ill get into in just a moment.

this very magazine, reached out to the folks at Ultimaker, the

The model we received is the Ultimaker 2 Extended, which

manufacturer of an impressive line of prosumer 3D printers,

is currently the largest 3D printer in their lineup, with a print

requesting a device for review. I was all too excited to try it

volume of roughly 8x8x12". [See page 115 for Coreys review

out, and anxiously awaited its arrival. I was admittedly kind of

of the Ultimaker 2 Extended.Ed.] The machine is attractive

nervous too, because I figured there would be a massive learn-

and eye-catching. In fact, not minutes after setting it up (even

ing curve, and Id have to do a lot of assembly and research

before I started printing), people were stopping by my office

before actually printing. I couldnt have been more wrong.

to check it out. It has a heated build-plate that helps to keep

When it finally arrived, I actually had the device out of the

the model secure to the base while printing. How does it

box and printing in about 20 minutes. There was minimal

work? The printhead is at the top and can only move on the

The precursor to this technology was the old pen-plotter

trayed in so many movies and TV shows; but the technology

assembly, and the printer looks very slick. The interface on

X and Z axis, while the build-plate rises up to the printhead to

machine, which would draw out CAD designs on large pieces

is very real and very cool. While 3D printing has been around

the machine is intuitive with a simple LED panel and a dial

start printing, and then slowly moves down the Y axis as the

of paper. The writing head could move along left-to-right

for a few years now, it only recently started to become avail-

wheel to access key features. It takes you through some

printer lays down each layer of plastic. The plotter element

and up-and-down to draw whatever the computer program

able at the consumer level. Like most major technological

startup procedures to get the machine ready to print, and

works the same way as a regular printer, only now instead of

drew. As the technology moved along, there was a point

advancements, it started at an industrial level, but it eventu-

one pass, it makes hundreds, if not thousands, of passes one

where someone looked at the plotter and said, What if we

ally trickled down to the consumer as tabletop 3D printers

on top of the other to build a 3D form.

put a cutting blade on it instead of a pen? And then vinyl

that allow you to print virtually whatever you want right in

plotters were born.

your own home.

So, with my printer all set up and ready to go, the next
thing to do is load the material.

Fueled by industry demand and innovation, the technol-

Being a big user and advocate of 3D in Photoshop, Ive

ogy evolved into many uses from pen-plotting machines,

had my hand in just about every aspect of 3D except for 3D

A Word on Printing Materials

vinyl-sign cutting, and even laser cutting. Eventually, some-

printing. There are services, such as Shapeways, that let you

The 3D printing materials, or filaments, are essentially the

one came along with the idea to make the printhead lay

send a 3D model to them right out of Photoshop, and theyll

ink for your 3D printer. There are several types of filament,

down heated plastic through a small extruder, making pass

print and ship the 3D model back to you. And this is a great

but the two most common are called acrylonitrile butadiene

after pass to build a 3D form.

alternative for those who dont have the budget to purchase

styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA).

Up until a few years ago, 3D printing was something you

thought of as pure science fiction, just like it had been por-

a 3D printer; however, I really wanted to get my hands on a

ABS is a strong, durable plastic thats used in a variety

3D printer and experiment with what might be possible.

of ways, such as automotive components, electronic parts,

small appliances, and even Lego bricks. Although extremely
durable (its recyclable), ABS has a few drawbacks: Its
non-biodegradable and can generate mild fumes. So, the
printer needs to be in a well-ventilated space, but its still
a good choice for strength and longevity. ABS even has a
high resistance to heat, so you can expect the printer to run
very hot to make the plastic pliable enough for printing.


more earth-friendly than ABS. Its commonly used in food

packaging and doesnt have an issue with fumeslike ABS
has. In fact, some PLA filaments can smell like candy, though
Ultimaker 2 Extended

I dont recommend eating it. Also, PLA doesnt warp as easily

as ABS, especially under high heat. If your 3D printer has a
heated build-plate, the temperature it is set to when printing
can affect the shape of the plastic.
The Ultimaker 2 Extended we received came with a roll
of gray PLA filament, which is a good neutral color and
easy to paint, if needed. The material is simple to load into

Converting a Photoshop file into reality

Ultimaker 2 LED

the machine: The filament hangs on a spool at the back of

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PLA filament is a biodegradable thermoplastic and is much




the machine and feeds into a tube that leads to the print-

highly recommended if youre a beginner to 3D printing, is

page (,

installed in Photoshop so be sure to check if your printer is

head. Just like loading paper in a regular printer, you set the

to download the free proprietary 3D software called Cura

click on the link for the latest 3D printer profiles, locate your

already there, before downloading.

machine to load material and then follow the prompts. After

from the Ultimaker website ( It

printer brand, and download the profile.

that, theres a simple calibration of the build-plate distance to

has a simple user interface and intuitive tools to help you set

the printhead and then youre ready to print.

up your model quickly and easily. When youve imported the

model and sized it correctly, you can export directly to the SD
card with the file in the proper print format. Once you plug
the SD card into your computer, the Cura software will locate
it, so when you export the finished model it will automatically
send it to the card.

Cura interface

The other method allows you to process and export the formatted model right out of Photoshop but youll need to install
the printer profile first. Just go to the Photoshop 3D printing

Photoshop Properties panel

Whichever method you use, you need to transfer the final

Filament on back of printer

3D print file to the SD card, and then plug the card into the

Setting Up a Model and Printing

printer. Id recommend using the Basic mode of the Cura

The workflow is rather simple. The Ultimaker printer has an

software until you have a good grasp of the workflow. After

SD card slot in the front. It comes with an SD card that con-

that, you can then switch to Expert mode to access more

tains some sample 3D models that you can print right away,

advanced features.


and I was able to work out a few bugs and tweak a few
things before printing my own creations. Id certainly recom-

List of available drivers from the Photoshop webpage

mend doing this. You can also connect the printer directly to
your computer via USB; however, the manufacturer recommends the SD-card method, because a direct connection can

Then just load it into Photoshop by going to File>Scripts>

be inconsistent, and could ruin the model if the connection is

Browse, navigating to the Install Profiles.jsx file that was

lost. Furthermore, if youre printing multiple parts of a model,

downloaded, and click Open. Once the driver is loaded and

it helps by keeping the files all in one place. Not to mention

you have a 3D file open, go to the 3D menu and choose 3D

that the machine looks cool so you can put it somewhere on

Print Settings, which will open the Properties panel. You can

display while its printing.

now choose Ultimaker 2 or whichever brand printer youre

using in the Printer drop-down menu in the 3D Print Settings

When using Photoshop, there are two ways to prepare

a file for 3D printing on the Ultimaker. One way, which is

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to ensure the machine is working properly. Thats what I did,

Photoshop webpage

of the Properties panel. Some printer profiles are already

Expert screen




Some Final Thoughts

Ive found that laying down a little glue as well as adjusting

printing. The longest print Ive done on the Ultimaker was 6.5

Of course, I couldnt wait to start printing my own stuff and,

After printing a few items, I have to say that Im extremely

the heat really helps keep it all in place.

hours, and that was for a 3.5" tall model of R2-D2. So, plan

because Im a big movie fan, I started with movie props.

impressed with the results. I started by printing a couple of

The workflow is really quite simple. Whether youve built

your printing time accordingly; for example, set up and start

Awhile back I created Thors hammer in Photoshop, so I

models that came with the printer, because I knew thered

the model in a 3D application or in Photoshop, its very easy

your prints later in the day, and leave them to print overnight.

decided to print that first, and it came out okay until it got to

be no problems with the files, and then, when I knew it all

to export the model in an OBJ or STL format and then run

By the way, we actually recorded a print job using a GoPro,

the handle, which was smaller than Id imagined. The printer

worked, I moved on to creating my own models. I noticed

the file through Cura to set it up for printing. When you load

and have sped it up for you so you can see the entire process.

also hollowed out the handle, making it very flimsy so that it

too that having a heated build-plate is a big plus, as it helps

the model, the software also displays information about the

You can see that video at

eventually broke off. But this is how we learn, right? I con-

to keep the model in place while printing. The printer also

printer, such as estimated print time and how much filament

tinued playing around with other models, figuring out a few

came with a standard glue stick so you can apply a thin layer

will be needed for the print.

things as I went, but I also realized how much fun it was!

of glue on the build-plate to help the model stick even more.

As accessible as this technology is, my feeling is that, at a con-

So, despite my early trepidations about the complexities

sumer level, 3D printing is still more a novelty than a practical

of printing, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at

need. I can see a future perhaps where we have the ability to

how easy the setup and output was. If theres anything truly

print spare parts for home appliances and such. But there are

complicated about the process, its on the front end with the

those innovative few who are making big strides using the

model creation. If youre unfamiliar with 3D applications or

technology in very helpful ways. For example, an organiza-

even Photoshop 3D, that will be your biggest hurdle; but the

tion called The Collective Project uses 3D printing technology

printing process itself is pretty much down to a science. If

to build prosthetic limbs at a fraction of the cost of other

youre going to venture into 3D printing, the only thing you

prosthetic devices. Thats an impressive use of the technol-

must have, however, is a great deal of patience. As cool as 3D

ogy, and I cant wait to see what future innovators bring to

printing is, its extremely tedious waiting for a model to finish

the table, as this technology continues to evolve.


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When I was ready to print, I did a couple of test prints.

Thors Hammer




Photoshop Proving Ground

retouching toolkit for photoshop


This issue, Im taking a little departure from talking about how Photoshop does its thang. Instead, lets talk
about my favorite kind of extension: the kind that helps you do your own work faster and more efficiently.

brush action chooses a soft-edged round brush and sets the

I rarely applied those tricks myself because it interrupted

Flow to very low values so you can build up the effect gently,

my workflow, and I always convinced myself I would just

which is key for getting a refined, smooth look. But the script

be extra careful. So I tried an experiment where I com-

goes one step further by setting the Blend If sliders so that

pleted a retouch as normal, then went back to do the same

the effect is applied differently based on the values in the

thing with various helpers. Wow! It was so much faster to

image. This little tweak is a serious insiders refinement that

find defects and work on tricky corrections. Since theres

most people dont know about. It helps keep treated areas

literally a button to add these helpers, and you can toggle

from standing out from the surrounding areas.

them on or off at will, theres no excuse not to use them

whenever possible.

Eye Help Layers

Check out the highlights in this crop. Can you see them easily?

One element that really surprised me was the inclusion of

While I do sometimes use artistic and stylized plug-ins,

And there are three varia-

I generally prefer to do things as manually as possible to get

tions to choose from that

the most control over the final result. And since this months

employ different methods

issue also has a fantastic and drool-worthy gift guide (see

for isolating the frequen-

p. 60), I thought you might like to see one of my personal


recommendations: the Retouching Toolkit by Conny Wall-

alone is insanely helpful,

strom (

and reduces a minute or



so of setup to a couple

What the Toolkit Does

of seconds. It also auto-



matically groups the lay-

squarely at retouchers, but

ers and locks them so you

has enough power and

dont accidentally move

options that it really should

and misalign anything. As

be in any photographers

a finishing touch, it gives





you the blur radius you

is a panel that has all the

used in case youre doing

major features you need

multiple passes for differ-

for serious retouching right

ent areas or features.


p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

inside Photoshop. The trick


Dodge & Burn

Another feature I use

build layers and set up

constantly is the Dodge

tools. They dont apply any

& Burn function, along

changes or give you effects


to tweak.

action. The Toolkit uses


a similar approach to one

apply some frequency sep-

I described in an earlier

aration (FS) to a portrait

article (see Comparing

(see Understanding Fre-

Dodge and Burn Meth-

quency, Photoshop User,

ods, Photoshop User,





find problem areas very, very quickly. There are other helpers
for color, hue, luminosity, and saturation. You can work with
these turned on above your editing layer, or toggle them
on and off for quick checks as you work. I tend to leave the
Solar (solarization) layer on when Im doing my first pass at
frequency separation.

easily. Pretty cool, right?


Lets say you want to


tone and contrast so you can keep transitions smooth and

Now check out the solarized version of the same area.

off scripts and actions that


tion, for example, lets you see otherwise subtle changes in

The highlights, tonal variations, and color shifts all stand out

here is that the panel fires

changes youve made or need to make to an image. Solariza-



Rather than going through

which sets up Curves

all the steps to duplicate,

adjustments with filled-

blur, and apply other filters

in masks. The idea is that

The reason these helpers are so important is because

to get your layers set up,

you create two Curves

we tend to get somewhat blind after looking at an image,

the Retouching Toolkit goes

layers, one for dodge and

or doing a particular technique, for a long time. Chang-

through those steps for

one for burn, then paint

ing things up is vital to avoid missing details or simply

you. Boom! It also pauses

on the mask with white

overlooking mistakes we might have made in the process.

to let you adjust the blur.

to apply the effect. The

Why was that surprising to me? To be perfectly honest,

k e l b yo n e . c o m


Eye Help layers. Theses are tools for helping you to see the



So Much More

Photoshop User, December 2014, p. 100). And Smart

And the features arent limited to what Ive described, not

Liquify makes it easy to use Liquify in a nondestructive way.

by a long shot. If youre a fan of luminosity selections, you

There are utilities for cleaning up unused channels, remov-

need to use Generate All Zones, which builds up alpha

ing or flattening masks, and even for laying out composition

channels for you to use as masks (see Channel Selections,

guides on a Path layer.

A Better Path
Heres the takeaway: the Retouching Toolkit enables faster,
more consistent workflow. This is not trivial or just a feelgood message; its a professional-grade set of tools. Ive
found myself going to them for almost every image that
needs traditional retouching and cleanup, including landscapes and abstracts.
The Retouching Toolkit wont be a fix for poor technique,
and it wont give you a signature style, special effect, or anything like that. Its much, much more. It gives you a better
path to getting the tools out of your way and into your service. And that is, after all, why I write this column.
[The Retouching Toolkit normally retails for 59.95
(around $66), but KelbyOne members can get a 15% discount at through December


Model: LeAnne Parsons

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

31, 2015.Ed.]





Photoshop Tips

boost your productivity and creativity


Welcome to the last issue of Photoshop User magazine for 2015.

and all styling and filters will be applied to it automatically. Now

Consistent Color

Combine Images

Ive really enjoyed bringing you tips all year and for more than the

thats a time saver.

Have you ever combined two photos and one of them looks really

Say you have two images open in separate documents in tabs and

weird because the colors are all muddy and desaturated? This is

you want to combine them into a single layered document. What

last decade. I wish you Happy Holidays and a great New Year.
Here are some tips for you to enjoy with a nice hot drink (unless

Mind the Gap

because the color spaces of the photos are different. Color man-

do you do? There are several ways to do this, but heres the most

youre Down Under, then a cold one). Ill see you all in 2016!

Theres no bigger giveaway that its amateur hour than bad

agement can get really deep, but heres what you need to know:

efficient way. Choose the Move tool (V), click in the middle of the

kerning on type. Kerning is the space between different letters.

The source and the destination profiles need to match. You

first image, and drag it to the tab of the second document. Wait a

CC Libraries

While youd think that computers and advanced programs such

can change an image to a different profile without significantly

second and the document window will appear. Drag-and-release

CC Libraries are amazingly useful. If you arent on Photoshop CC,

as Photoshop would set the ideal space each time, this isnt the

changing its appearance by going to Edit>Convert to Profile and

into this document and youll now have the two images on sepa-

just proceed to the next tip; if youre on CC, I hope youre using

case. Sometimes whats mathematical just doesnt look cor-

choosing the Destination Space Profile. There are three main RGB

rate layers in the same document. Bonus tip: Hold down the Shift

the Libraries. Theyre a convenient way for you to keep assets

rect (hence Optical kerning). Other times its just off. One place

profiles that we use: ProPhoto RGB, which supports the most col-

key and the image will be perfectly centered when you drop it.

that you reuse, such as logos and layouts, nice and handy. You

where its usually off in Photoshop is when you have an upper-

ors; Adobe RGB (1998); and sRGB, which is the smallest but best

can save all kinds of things to your Libraries (but I did say lay-

case character followed by a lowercase character. Theres usually

for Web. Note: Youll lose some colors going to a smaller profile,

Custom Workspace

outs, right?).

too much space added. Its easy to fix, though. Grab the Type

so try to stay in the largest profile until youre ready to share the

Most people I know (really everyone, but Im being generous)

file, then its more important for the colors to look right.

end up using only a subset of the panels available in Photo-

Do you have trouble saving a layered document in the Librar-

tool (T) and place the insertion point in between the two charac-

ies panel? By trouble, I mean it doesnt work. Heres a simple

ters youd like to kern. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and

shop. You know how it is. You find your favorite panels that

tip to make this possible. Group the layers together into a smart

tap the Left Arrow key to close the kerning (tighten), or the Right

you use all the time, and there are others that you never use.

object or a layer group (I prefer the latter), and then add the

Arrow key to open the kerning (make characters further apart).

Im sure the panels that you never use are useful for someone
else; you just dont need them. So why deal with panels that


be available to you anywhere as long as youre logged into your

Preset Control Center

get in your way and have to hunt for the ones you use all the

Creative Cloud account.

There are a ton of presets in Photoshop: Patterns, Brushes, Cus-

time? Then, heaven forbid, you need to clean up all the open

To create a layer group, click on the Create a New Group icon

tom Shapes, Styles, Gradients, and more. You can also load in

panels. What you and every Photoshop user needs is to set up

(folder) at the bottom of the Layers panel and drag your layers

custom presets, as well as save your own. You could dig around

a custom workspace. Close the panels you dont use and open

into the group (youll have to unlock your Background layer). To

in each panel to work with the various presets but theres an

the ones you use most often. Drag the panels around to group

place all the layers into a smart object, select all the layers in the

easier way. Im surprised that a lot of people dont realize that

and dock them together until you have your perfect working

Layers panel, Right-click on one of the layers, and select Convert

theres a central source for all the presets: the Preset Manager

environment. Click on the drop-down menu at the far right

to Smart Object.

(Edit>Presets>Preset Manager). Use the Preset Manager as the

of the Options Bar, and choose New Workspace. Once youve

one place to load, organize, and save all of your presets. You can

named your workspace, you can recall it anytime from that

Smart Object Contents

also sync your presets with Creative Cloud if youre on CC. Go

same drop-down menu.

Smart objects are useful for many things, the most obvious of

to Photoshop (PC: Edit)>Preferences>Sync Settings to see what

which is their nondestructive behavior such as resizing objects

you can sync.

and applying filters as smart filters. They also have another

advantage and thats the ability to replace their contents; for
example, you could create templates with placeholder images.
All you have to do is switch out the images for the working ones,
and youre ready to go. To do this, first Right-click on the place-

Layers Beneath

holder layer in the Layers panel and choose Convert to Smart

Whenever a new layer is created in Photoshop, it appears directly

Object. Add your filters, layer styles, adjustment layers, etc. Now,

above the currently active layer. You can alter this behavior by

when you want to update the image with a real working image,

holding down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key while clicking on

Right-click on the smart objects name in the Layers panel and

the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

choose Replace Contents. Choose a new image and it will be

When you do this, the new layer will now be created directly

inserted at the size and positioning of the current smart object,

below the currently active layer.

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p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

group or smart object to the Libraries panel. This Library will now


The Rules

These are my annually self-imposed guidelines for which products make it into the guide. Its just two rules actually.
First, to be listed here, they have to be products that I use myself, and that I absolutely love, and now cant live without
(well, I could live without them, but I just wouldnt want to). Second, if a product makes the guide, it has to be one Id
recommend to a close friend without hesitation, especially if my friend was Justin Bieber.

Also, to make things easy, we put up a webpage with direct links to all the products in the guide, so you dont have to
wonder if youre getting the exact right one. Just go to Okay, folks, hang on to any
loose body parts; here we go!
As is my sacred Gonzo tradition for more than a 10th of a century, Im breaking things into three distinct categories:

S tocking Stuffers: But you can use these as actual holiday gifts if youre not that crazy about the person.
Great Value Gear: Stuff thats a really good deal for the money, and even though its not a lot of money, theyll
still totally dig it.

Cha-ching!: Stuff you buy for the surgeon/Wall Street banker/rap mogul on your Holiday gift list. This is the stuff that
makes them burst into spontaneous tears of joy. Well, at least I would.


elcome to my 10th Annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide. I know its hard to
believe that its been ten years. When I wrote the first one, Roosevelt was still
President, The Dick Van Dyke Show was a prime-time hit, and the Spice Girls

had just released Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (please dont dwell too long on
any of thatjust let it go). Anyway, thats not important; whats important is that there
are some really cool, fun, and tasty gear in this years guide (including my throwback
pickthe Flowbee). Its almost time to unleash the gonzoness of this guide upon you,

605C W
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05N: $39
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but first, some housekeeping stuff.

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p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5



Some Cool Books

If theyve ever wanted to create really professionallooking headshots, theyll love Peter Hurleys The
Headshot. It came out this year and its already
going into its third printing. A huge hit! (Full
disclosure: I was the development editor, and
despite thatits still a good book.)

If they shoot people(let me rephrase that). If they take portraits,

this is an awesome gift because it helps them get the white
balance right on the money. Its super portable (it collapses like
a diffuser or reflector so its really small and fits in any camera
bag), super lightweight, and pretty cheap.
Price: $32.88

Tether Tools RapidMount

SLX Speedlight Holder

Okay, so technically its for mounting a flash just about

anywhere, but its really for mounting just about
anything anywhere. So clever, and very affordable.

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5
Price: $24.95


Our dear friend Glyn Dewis wrote quite an

awesome book this year. Its called The Photoshop
Workbook and its packed with great techniques for
intermediate users and up.
If you have a few extra bucks to spend, check
out Jay Maisels Its Not About the F-Stop and Light,
Gesture & Color. Both brilliant books (from us and
Peachpit Press).

Perfectly Clear Plug-in 2.0

This plug-in is pretty much your retoucher-in-a-box type of

plug-in (for Lightroom or Photoshop) in that it applies up to
20 automatic image corrections. Yes, there are other plugins that do automatic corrections and retouching, but this is
probably the best Ive ever seen. Good stuff.
Price: Photoshop or Lightroom Plug-In v2: $149
Photoshop and Lightroom Bundle v2: $199

k e l b yo n e . c o m

Lastolite Ezybalance 12"

18% Grey/White Target

Every photographer and/or graphic designer/

illustrator needs Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznickis
The Copyright Zone book. Its full of invaluable
information for protecting your work, and lots of
great business advice, as well. Good stuff.


CamRanger: Wireless Camera

Control & Tethering

The Everyday Messenger by

Trey Ratcliff and Peak Design

This is one of the most useful, smart, and just brilliantly

designed things to come along for photographers in a while.
It lets you wirelessly control your Canon or Nikon camera for
everything from tethering (with touch focus) to time-lapse
photography, to making movies, and more with your iPhone
or iPad, Android-based mobile device, and even your Mac or
Windows desktop computer, and the level of control you get
is pretty astonishing. You can view images, save images (RAW
and JPEG), adjust the controls all wirelessly, change metering
modes, do bracketingits just sick! Its won about every
industry award you can win and its fan base of evangelists
around the world grows larger every day.

This awesome little camera bag/messenger bag was designed

by travel photographer Trey Ratcliff, and funded through a
Kickstarter program that raised more than $500,000 its first
day (raising nearly $5 million total), and when I got mine, I saw
exactly why. Its beautifully made, thoughtfully constructed,
very clever, holds a little or a lot (and cleverly adjusts for
both), and overall its just an awesome camera bag that the
photographer on your gift list will love you for.
Price: $249.95
Price: $299.99

Platypod Pro Deluxe Kit

This is a very slick, small, lightweight camera support

that you use in place of a tripod (you just put a
ballhead on this incredibly sturdy plate and youre
good to go). Its small size lets you use it in places
where tripods arent allowed, which is a big thing.
I love it for doing interior photography with a wideangle lens down low, or travel photography for
getting a really low perspective in a cathedral or
palace, but Im also using it for remote cameras at
sporting events. It also has a very well thought-out
carrying case.


Tether Table Aero System

This is a shelf that attaches to a tripod to hold your laptop for tethered shooting, which by itself is incredibly convenient
for shooting in-studio or on location, but the optional accessories they make for it are awesome, including a little
under-mounted holder for external hard drives, to a secondary holder for your iPad, to a pullout drink holder that
I personally just love. Its totally worth it.
Price: Starting at $175.95
k e l b yo n e . c o m

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5
Price: $49.95


Use MPIX to Print, Mount, Frame, and Deliver One

of Your Own Images

Westcott Apollo 50"

Mega JS Softbox for
Hot-shoe Flash

This is a really personal giftgiving one of your images, framed, to someone else. The impact this will make is pretty
incredible. Expect them to follow you around like a puppy for the rest of the year for giving them something only
you could do. You upload your image to; pick your mounting, framing, etc.; and theyll ship it directly to
the person on your gift list. Dont go chinchy on the sizeget a 16x20" or larger (figure around $100 with mounting,
framing, printing, and delivery or more if you choose a larger size).

Its a big, beautiful, super portable, lightweight

softbox thats a miracle for the money. Perfect for
lighting portraits, full-length shots, or even group
shots, all with just a single flash. It collapses like an
umbrella but forms into a big ol 50x50" softbox,
and at $169.90 you cant beat it.
Price: Varies
Price: $169.90

Vello Shutterboss Version II Timer

Remote Switch


If you have an iPhoneographer on your Holiday

list, this gift will blow them away. Its a pro-quality
20-megapixel camera lens and sensor that attaches
to your iPhone via a lightning connector, and the
results are pretty stunning. With its f/1.8 aperture,
now you can take shots with those soft out-of-focus
backgrounds right from your iPhone, but it integrates
directly into your iPhone so you can still do all the
iPhone stuff to the images it captures. The images are
sharper, clearer, better in low light than your iPhone,
and well, its basically a whole new experience in
quality and size.
Price: $599
Price: $49.95

The B&H Photo Gift Card

Not exactly sure what to get them? Get them this! That way they can get whatever they want (within the limit of
how much you put on the card, of course) from the greatest photo store on earth. You can order gift cards directly
from the B&H site. Theyll send a card and a catalog so it looks pretty substantial.
Price: Up to you
k e l b yo n e . c o m

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5


This is so inexpensive that it probably should go under Stocking Stuffers, but it

doesnt look cheap, so Im sticking it here. This accessory does double-dutyit acts
as a cable release for your camera, but then it also does time-lapse photography
(well, thats actually its main act). Its pretty well made (mine has lasted for years
now), and its only $49.95 at B&H.



Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L

USM Ultra-Wide-Angle
Zoom Lens

This is the greatest super-wide-angle lens Ive ever used,

and I believe its the widest wide-angle lens ever made
without becoming a fisheye lens. Its sharp as a tack, its a
rectilinear lens so it minimizes distortion, and the images
youre able to capture with it are just stunning. Its just
so darn wide! I love it! Of course, this much love doesnt
come in a cheap package. Its around $3,000 but for the
greatest wide-angle ever made, its worth it.
Price: $2,999

If you want the photographer on your list to fall in love with you with a burning passion that knows no bounds,
get them this awesome little battery pack that can use two small lightweight (but very powerful) flash heads. This
is what I use when I want studio-quality light on location, and this latest version is better than ever. It has its own
built-in (better) version of high-speed sync for freezing motion and strobe special effects thats just awesome. Very
lightweight battery back, well designed, and incredible for the money.
Price: $1,019 (without optional Lithium-ion battery or strobes)

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

An Ultra-Wide-Angle
Fisheye Lens


Im just saying a fisheye, because you have to pick one that

fits the camera make and style (crop sensor or full frame) that
the photographer on your Holiday gift list uses, but whichever
brand you wind up getting, theyll super-dig this special-effect
lens. I use the Canon EF 815mm f/4L Fisheye USM zoom (for
full-frame cameras), and its a gem ($1,249). For crop-sensor
bodies, a lot of folks like the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal
Fisheye (around $600). Nikon makes an AF Fisheye-NIKKOR
16mm f/2.8 for full-frame cameras thats right around $1,000.
Their AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8 for cropped sensor
DX bodies is around $771.
Price: Starting around $600

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Flying Camera

Everybody wants a drone copter for taking aerial shots

these days. Everybody! Its a thing. I know I included
a copter in my list last year, but however popular they
were last year, its pretty much quadrupled for this year,
so I had to include one. Its a really fun thing, and the DJI
Standard is, well, its the standard! (Note: If you give this
to someone, prepare to receive the same reaction a dog
gives his owner when he returns home: Theyll jump up
on you and lick your face. Just sayin.)
Price: $699

Canon imagePROGRAF
PRO-1000 Professional
Inkjet Printer

We have one of these in our offices, and its among the

best printers Canons ever made. Its a 17" wide-format
pro-quality printer with all new guts (printhead, new
inks, new technology, new special magic, etc.) to make
prints that are just unbelievable in quality, sharpness,
and vibrance. Theyll not even believe you bought them
a printer. It will totally freak them out (in a good way).
Price: $1,299

k e l b yo n e . c o m

Elinchrom ELB 400 Battery Pack


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The California Avocado Commission

The California Avocado Commission

avocado advocacy


the project

CAC website when the project started

At Red Door Interactive the project got under way with a review
of the websites Google Analytics data stretching back to 2010,
and measuring it against key performance indicators. The review
showed that site visitors engaged most with recipe-oriented
content and how-to information focused on growing, buying,
ripening, and using California avocados. It also revealed that
dated content and pages located deeper in the site structure
didnt attract much interest from users. Similarly, while the site
contained a popular blog called The Scoop, it wasnt integrated
within the main site structure. Users had to follow a link to view
the blog content, so one goal for the redesign was to achieve a
more unified experience.
The designers also felt that the visual aesthetic of the existing
website had grown dated and didnt match up with modern design
trends. We wanted to leverage long scroll pages and interactive
components to raise the visibility of high-value content, and avoid
unnecessary levels of navigation, says Charles Wiedenhoft, Red
Door Interactives director of strategic planning. A lot of focus
was on making it easier for users to discover new recipes by showcasing them in a visual mosaic, and improving search functionalityshowing more recipes up front instead of requiring users to
dig into the recipe categories.
Specific redesign strategies included optimizing the site for
smartphone and tablet devices; better visual communication to
enhance the overall site experience; simplifying global navigation
that would make it easier to scan, with labels representative of site
content; cross-linking related information to increase engagement
throughout the different sections; integrating social content and
the blog; and increasing the size of the social icons and on-page
sharing features.

about the client

makeover submissions

Were looking for product packaging or labels, print advertisements, websites, and magazine covers that are currently in the marketplace for future design
makeovers. So if you or someone you know has a design that youd like us to consider making over, or if youre a designer and youd like to be considered for a
future Design Makeover, send us an email at (Note: This is purely a design exercise and the designers do not work directly with
the client, create functioning websites, etc.)
Well also be covering real-world makeovers in this column, so let us know if you recently had a branding makeover or if you did a branding makeover for a
client that youd like us to consider.


Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California Avocados through advertising, promotion, and public relations, and
engages in related industry activities that benefit the states approximately 4,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information
source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.
For consumers, the Commission offers educational materials, practical tips, and facts about avocados, plus appealing avocado recipes. For growersfamily farmers,
some whose farms have been handed down for generationsthey offer support through educational meetings, the latest news and research, legislative updates, and more.
Other constituencies serviced include retailers, food-service operators, and chefs. The Commission supplies retail buyers and in-store produce personnel with the
information they need to make informed shopping decisions, such as point-of-sale materials; best retail merchandising and promotional practices; sales data management;
behind-the-scenes training on avocado handling; and more. And they work with chefs to come up with avocado recipes for consumers and food-service operators, as
well as supplying the latter with product information, promotional ideas, materials, an industry calendar of events, and so on.

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p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

The site as it was in 2010

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) was set up in 1978

with the mission of increasing demand and preference for California-grown avocados through promotions on and offline, as
well as supporting the states avocado growers. A key part of that
effort came through the CACs website, In 2010 the Commission refreshed the website,
which, according to online marketing manager Zachary Benedict,
was very successful in achieving the objectives at the time.
That website was widely praised for its ability to connect consumers with the names and places behind their avocados. In line with
the trend for consumers who want to know more about the source
of their food, the site featured photos and videos that focused on
individual growers and their stories.
While the content on the site remained relevant, the way people used the Internet continued to change. By 2014, the Commission noticed that smartphones and tablets were accounting for
an increasing amount of site traffic, so they decided it was time
to fully implement responsive design, an approach theyd been
testing on certain pages since 2013. The redesign wasnt so
much about what wasnt working, explains Benedict. Rather,
the Commission recognized an opportunity to better position the
site with todays top-performing websites.
While updating the site to meet the demands of current Internet users, the Commission wanted to make sure it continued to
represent top-notch design. The California avocado is the premium avocado in the domestic market, says Benedict, so it was
important that our website felt high quality while communicating
all of our competitive advantages. With that in mind, the Commission approached marketing and design firm Red Door Interactive about giving the site a refreshed, responsive look and moving
it to a new platform, as well as implementing a managed hosting
solution that would scale as the Commission grew its online and
offline initiatives.




Red Door Interactive

the process

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Just a small section of the sit map


Red Doors website redesign process follows a data-driven

approach, Wiedenhoft explains. For example, the existing website had a vast amount of content, which was organized in a broad
and deep information hierarchy. From the beginning, we focused
a lot of effort on ensuring that only the highest-value content was
migrated to the new website. This process led to the development
of a new website content audit tool and methodology.
The audit tool revealed the value of the Avocado Commission
websites content as it correlated to various dimensions such as
search engine equity, social sharing, and user engagement. The
Red Door team also solicited feedback from creative agency partners, public relations, and the Commissions consumer marketing
and trade marketing teams to make sure they understood how
the needs of various stakeholders had changed since the previous
website launched.
Based on those efforts, Red Door developed wireframe schematics, homepage sketches, and site maps to define how users
would interact with various website features, such as global site
search and recipe content, and to validate their usability. The wireframes also provided a context for client feedback and approval
before moving into the visual design aspects.
As for the details of the visual design, there werent a lot of
questions. Because of our close relationship with the client and
clear brand guidelines, we had a unified sense of direction on
creative aesthetic and main messaging, says Wiedenhoft. The
firm did experiment with some minor variations along the way,
though, such as white sans-serif type on a dark-green background
with a diamond texture vs. black serif type on a light-colored
background for the body copy.
As with every website redesign project, Red Door found itself
having to make tradeoffs with scope and features as the project
went along. There are far too many unknowns in the beginning
to anticipate the required level of effort precisely, says Wiedenhoft. The team maintained close collaboration with their primary
client contact, which helped remove communication hurdles and
allowed for rapid reprioritization of website features and functionality throughout the project.


Red Door Interactive

the result

From the Commissions side, the redesign effort was a great success. When landing on, youre
now greeted with appealing visuals, a clear distinction that youre
on a website that focuses on California-grown avocados, and delicious-looking recipe images that entice the appetite and reinforce
CACs premium positioning, says Benedict.
He also points to the successful integration of the site with the
Commissions offline campaign efforts, saying, There are subtle
nuances throughout the site that tie in to the offline look and
feel. Red Door Interactive is also involved with the Commissions
existing creative efforts, which both makes it possible to incorporate the upcoming campaigns overall appearance and lets the
Commission adapt the site to future campaigns.
The site redesign also came at an ideal time: Just a week or two
after it was launched, Google announced a change to its search
algorithm that would penalize websites that didnt have a mobilefriendly presence. The responsive design effort should pay off in
that respect.
Red Door has continued to run analytics on the site. In its first
full month since the launch, the site attracted an all-time high
number of visitors, while page views increased almost 150% over
the same month last year. More than half of the site traffic is coming from mobile devices (a year-over-year increase of 1,000%), and
visits from organic search have remained steady.
As the manager of the project on the client side, Im pleased
and satisfied with where we ended up, says Benedict. Red Door
Interactive did a fantastic job.

about the designers


Experimenting with design variations

Started in 2002, Red Door Interactive ( currently comprises a team of more than 60 people distributed among three offices: at Petco Park in San
Diego, California; by the beach in Carlsbad, California; and in downtown Denver, Colorado. With more than a decade of experience, a competitors attitude, and a
yearn to learn, the firm claims the ability to help its clients find opportunity in the haze of constant battle, zig when others zag, and work a plan.
Red Door builds its culture on such management and leadership tools as StrengthsFinder 2.0, Topgrading, Ownership Thinking, and Lean Six Sigma. The result
is award-winning work and a workplace to attract and retain the best talent.
The company culture is defined by the values of inspiration (working with passion, pride, and purpose to encourage each other to take chances); sharing ideas,
skills, and philosophies; evolution, or changing in order to grow; and exceeding, or looking for ways to take the next step. The company is also committed to a
100% jerk-free culture of open-minded acceptance and respect.

k e l b yo n e . c o m






more to the subject than when a portrait is taken above or

below eye level; however, if you take a look at some of the
models in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, youll notice
that some of the photographs are taken below eye level.
That technique gives the model a great sense of strength and
power in a photograph.



The opening photograph for this article, made with my new

Canon EOS 5Ds and Canon 100mm f/2.8 lens, is my version of
the Frida Kahlo poster. The detail captured by the Canon 5Ds
(including the smallest eyelash) is astounding. I like using the
100mm lensactually a macro lensbecause its super sharp,
provides comfortable working distance between my subject and
me, and, at wide apertures, puts the background slightly out of
focus so the subject is more prominent in the scene.
Speaking of backgrounds, separation between the subject and the background is often important, but not always.
Putting the background out of focus is just one way to separate the subject from the background; another is to use an
additional light (which I didnt do in this case). If you want
more ideas for separation, try positioning a light (out of sight)
behind the subjects head, aiming it toward the subject. Or,
for a pleasing hair light, place a light behind and off to the
subjects side and aim it toward the subjects head.
When taking a portrait, I usually like to shoot eye to eye,
i.e., at the subjects eye level. When a photographer uses this
technique, the person looking at the photograph can relate

As I dont have a professional photo studio, I turned my office

into a temporary studio, and heres a shot I took of Glo before
the official shoot. I asked her to pose so I could test the lighting before we got seriousif you can call having this much fun
being serious. I always do test shots to ensure that I have the
lighting right, because the last thing you want to do when working with a model is to waste her time while you make lighting
Unlike my good friend and fellow KelbyOne instructor,
Frank Doorhof, I dont use a hand-held light meter to get a
good exposure. Rather, I use the light meter thats built into
my camera. I use the histogram to make sure that I dont have
a spike on the right, which would indicate an overexposed
image, and the highlight alert to make sure I dont have blinkies, which also indicates overexposed areas of the image.
My lighting consisted of two daylight-balanced Westcott
Spiderlites in softboxes, which provided beautiful, constant,
even, and soft light. Why did I use Spiderlites over Canon
Speedlites in Westcott Apollo softboxeseven though I use
these quite often? Because Ive found that the Speedlites

By Rick



k e l b yo n e . c o m


hen I say we, I mean my model, Gloriana

Glo Gonzalez (my friend Gonzalos daughter),
and my stylist/photo assistant, Susan Sammon,
who happens to be my wife. The project was surely a team
effort, so I only take one-third of the credit (honestly) for the final
photograph, which is one of my favorite studio portraits.



it displayed on Glos iPhone, so we could match the position

of the props as closely as possible.
Note: Good make-up makes all the difference in the world,
which is why make-up artists on pro photo shoots can make
several hundred dollars a day. And never underestimate the
importance of a good model; thats why top models make
thousands of dollars a day.

Here are two fun shots of Glo, my model for this shoot. The one
on the left is while I was testing the lighting; and on the right,
I was joking around with Glo so shed be relaxed for the shot.
I find this pre-shoot time is important in developing a rapport
with my subject.

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Earlier on the day of the shoot, our team went to a Jo-Ann Fabric
and Craft store to pick up the props that we needed: material
background, flower headpiece, and costume jewelry. (Cost was
$80 with Glos student discount.)
I took this shot in our kitchen, as Susan helped Glo get
ready. We had a printed copy of the Frida poster, and also had


Glo has a natural inner and outer glow about her, but to
enhance that glow and soften her skin, I used Perfectly Clear,
a Photoshop and Lightroom plug-in from Athentech Imaging ( Its my number-one plug-in for
enhancing portraits: softening skin, reducing shine, removing
dark circles, and so on.

And heres my photograph of Glo (top of next page) after

applying the Beautify+ effect in Perfectly Clear. For a realistic
photo effect, I like the image.

k e l b yo n e . c o m


If you want to learn about lighting and portraiture, try this: Find
a photograph or painting that you like and try to re-create it,
but using your own style. Try to re-create highlight and shadow
patterns, and to capture the same kind of expression.
Another way to put it is like the title of the best-selling
book by Austin Kleon: Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody
Told You About Being Creative. I found the book to be inspiring. My favorite inspiring quote by Salvador Dali is: Those
who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.
To illustrate this idea further, do a search on the Web for
Rick Sammon Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Rick Sammon
Old Man in a Military Custom, and youll see how I recreated two other images.

Here are some tips for creating softer light on your subjects.
The larger the light, the softer the light.
The closer the light, the softer the light.
Dont point the lights directly at the subject; instead,
place them so the light falls across her face at an angle.
The pros call this technique feathering the light,
which produces a softer light than direct light.
And heres a softbox tip: Get a softbox with a recessed
diffusion panel, as opposed to one with a panel thats
flush with the face of the softbox. The recessed panel
lets you shape and model the light on a subjects face
more accurately.

After looking at the image for a day, however, I thought Id

try a more artistic approach. To add a painterly quality to the
image, I applied the BuzSim filter in Topaz Simplify, another one
of my favorite plug-ins (see the image that opens this article).
My advice, as with all plug-ins, is to select a preset, and then
fine-tune the effect with the available sliders to create a oneof-a-kind image.
This behind-the-scenes photo (below) by Susan captures
Glos surprise when I showed her the first shot. Added to this
surprise, we, as a team, nailed it on the very first shot. I took
six more photographs, but the first image was our favorite.

Susan Sammon

bright flash can intimidate a subject, and Glo isnt a professional model. Its also easier to see the shadows and highlights
on a subjects face when using constant lights. (Although having said that, with some Speedlites, like the Canon 600EX-RT
that I use, you can get a modeling light when you hold down
the depth-of-field preview on some Canon cameras, such as
the Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 5Ds.)
One advantage of using Speedlites over constant lights is
that you can shoot at a lower ISO (for less noise) and a smaller
aperture (for more depth of field). So, when using constant
lights, you may need to shoot at ISO settings of 400, 800, or
even higher. If you do get some noise in your photographs,
dont worry: You can reduce the noise in Adobe Photoshop,
Lightroom, or with plug-ins such as Topaz DeNoise. For more
advice on lighting, see Lighting Tips.





by Tom Bol

But over/under photography had a lot of challenges 20 years

ago, and only dedicated shooters attempted it. First, you had
to set up a bulky, massive, dive housing to hold your camera.
(Imagine carrying around a 20-lb basketball-sized camera setup
on the beach.) Housings were finicky; one bump and the entire
housing purged. Ill never forget when a model asked me if the
round dome port holding my lens was supposed to have sea
water sloshing around in it. Say goodbye to that camera. And
lets not forget that there were no LCD preview screens back
then, and after 36 exposures you had to open the housing and
change film. Ugh!
Heres the good news: Today, your grandma could shoot
over/under photographs on your next summer vacation. Cameras, housings, and technology have dramatically improved to the
point that for a few hundred bucks you can create terrific over/
under images. How do I know? Ive shot numerous assignments
using underwater cameras and housings. I just returned from a
shoot in the Caribbean where I used three different types of cameras to get over/under shots. So, lets look at todays options, and
what techniques to use to create stunning water shots.


Over/Under Photography Offers Fresh Perspectives

Ever since I started my career as an adventure sports photographer, Ive been floating in the water with a
camera in hand. On one assignment I might be documenting a two-month kayaking trip in southern Chile,
and the next month photographing a famous trout fisherman in Wyoming. Editors wanted fresh imagery,
and that meant figuring out a way to shoot in the water. And not just simply shooting underwater, but
creating a photograph that revealed both under and above the water at the same time. These images,
referred to as over/under images, always caught the viewers attention.

There are three basic camera systems you can use to shoot over/
under images. Ill start with the least expensive compact cameras
($200300), which offer a lot of performance and great image
quality. Most major camera manufacturers, including Nikon,
Canon, and Olympus, to name a few, have a waterproof compact camera in their lineup. Im a Nikon shooter, and I love the
bombproof (waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof) Coolpix
AW130. Similar to other compacts, the AW130 has minimal
doors, which means less rubber gaskets (i.e., fewer places for
water to seep into your camera). The lens is the equivalent of a
24120mm, and this is important for over/under photography, as
you need to have a wide-angle lens that can capture below and
above the water. The 24mm is about the minimum, and a wider
angle is better and easier to create these images.
Most compacts are waterproof to 100' or more, so you
dont have to worry about shooting on the surface. Perhaps
the best thing about these cameras is that you can knock them
around and they still dont leak. And theyre small enough to
put in a shirt pocket. (The GoPro could also qualify in this category; but I put this camera more into the video category, rather
than a dedicated still camera.)
Next in the lineup is a unique camera offered by Nikon: the
mirrorless AW1. This camera is the only one on the market that
is waterproof and has interchangeable lenses. Each lens firmly
attaches to the camera body, and a rubber gasket keeps the
water out. For over/under photography, use the 10mm lens for
a wide-angle perspective. The image quality in this camera is
noticeably higher than in the compacts, and with this comes a
steeper price: $699.95. The Nikon 1 AW1 has more doors and
interchangeable lenses, so you need to be a little more care-

ful to avoid hard knocks on the lens. This is, however, a great
option between a compact and DSLR with housing.
Last, and most expensive, is a system that uses a dedicated
housing with your DSLR. Often the housing costs more than your
camera, and will only
work with that particular
model; but you have full
access to all your controls,
and the ability to use different lenses with different lens ports attached
to the housing. Hands
down, my favorite lens
for shooting over/under
images is a 16mm fisheye
with my full-frame DSLR.
The 16mm lens gives
you a 180 view, making
over/under images simple, with room to spare. I use an Aqua
Tech housing ( with dome port for my fisheye lens. The AquaTech is a sport housing thats meant to be
used at or near the surface, and it can take a lot of bumps and
knocks and still keep your camera safe and dry.
Note: You can go deeper with a standard dive housing,
which is meant to keep things sealed tight as you descend into
more water pressure; but at the surface, these housings can leak

k e l b yo n e . c o m

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

The Gear



Once youve chosen your gear, the fun begins. You get to jump
into the bathtub-warm, cerulean waters of the Caribbean and photograph marine life and super models snorkeling past! Well, maybe
something like that, but you do get to shoot in the water. Lets
discuss a few tips that will help you with your over/under shooting.

Start shooting first in shallow water, ideally where you can stand:
Most people arent nearly as agile in the water as they are on
shore, especially with a camera in hand. If youre standing on the
bottom, its easier to get a good shot; however, be careful not to
stir up the sand as this will reduce clarity and cause backscatter.

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Shoot in calm water: Next, shoot in the calmest water you can
find. If youre shooting with a small waterproof compact camera,
the lens diameter may only be 1" across. To perfectly split the


Cree Bol

Shoot at noon: First, start celebrating because you dont need

to get up early for first light. In fact, shooting in midday sun is
best for over/under photos. Why? Because water absorbs light
and, just a few feet under the surface, you lose stops of light. To
avoid the huge exposure difference between above and below
the water, shoot at midday with lots of sunlight to minimize the
contrast. Along the same lines, try shooting in sandy shallow
areas, as sand reflects light. If youre shooting in 3' of clear water
in the Bahamas with a sandy bottom, theres minimal exposure
difference between above and below the water.
Avoid backscatter: Backscatter is created when your flash hits
particles in the water and reflects them back to your camera. In
essence, it looks like a snowstorm underwater and the images go
into the trash. Keep the water as clear as you can.
Dont wear a dive mask: Over/under images are created at the
surface, so technically your head shouldnt be underwater. Unless
your camera/housing is designed to be used with a dive mask,
dont wear one, as this pushes your eye further from the viewfinder, which makes composing the shot harder. I will sometimes
use a snorkel, as my mouth might be underwater; but my eye is
above the water. Note: Compact cameras have viewfinders for
normal viewing, but housings often have special eyepieces so you
can use a mask to compose underwater. If Im shooting with my
fisheye, I may not even look in the viewfinder while shooting.
Because theres such a wide angle of view with this lens, I just
point it in the general direction of my subject with half the lens
port above water, and shoot away.

If Im photographing a sea turtle or snorkeler underwater,

then Ill put the focus point underwater. And, if Im using my
16mm fisheye, I often set my focus to infinity, and tape the lens
at this point. When shooting at f/16, Ill have everything from a
few feet to infinity in focus.

k e l b yo n e . c o m

Over/Under Techniques

Focusing: With over/under photography, focusing can be tricky.

Your camera may have a hard time if the focus point is right at
the surface. If my subject is above water, I normally put my active
focus point in the above-water area.

under and above water parts of the image, you need flat water.
Even the smallest waves will cause lots of trouble when youre
trying to capture the perfect over/under shot. (But you may get
some cool creative shots just trying.)

Cree Bol

with just one little bump. And the inexpensive, plastic waterproof
camera bags will keep your gear dry, but they often fog up and
dont give you much access to camera controls and settings.




Bring a lens cleaning cloth: Now this might be impractical if

youre going out snorkeling; but if Im in the shallows and
shooting over/under shots, I try to have a dry, cleaning cloth
handy (let your friend hold it while you shoot). Every little droplet of water that lands on the above-water part of your lens will
show up in your final shot, so using a cloth to wipe these off
is helpful.
Submerge your camera: Heres another technique to try if youre
getting a lot of droplets on your lens: Submerge the camera
entirely underwater, then quickly bring it up and shoot. Sometimes this gives you better results than shooting through a lens
with lots of water spots on it.

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Over/under photography can be addictive. Imagine the

strange looks youll get as you hike down a trail in the mountains with a DSLR underwater housing in your hand; but just
think how incredible your over/under fly-fishing image will be.
The viewer will see the massive brown trout hooked to the
fly underwater, and the grinning fisherman above the water.
Now thats a cool shot!



organizing a travel shoot


One of the greatest joys of photography is our ability to go out and make
beautiful pictures of the places that we visit. Lightroom is one of the best
places to collect and organize these travel images. Unfortunately, many of
us spend lots of time shooting the images, only to mass-import them into
Lightroom, and then never really do anything with them. In time, we forget
all of the details of this vacation, and we dont go back to these images to
find those great moments. Id like to give you a few tips and ideas to keep in
mind for your travel shots that will help mitigate this process.

Model image by Ted Belton

Rob Sylvan




Tips Tricks


Questions Answers

Maximum Workflow



Under the Loupe


extend your lightroom workflow with plug-ins

Lightroom Workshop


using one-click presets (and making your own!)

After the Shoot


organizing a travel shoot

lightroom magazine contents

Scott Kelby

Rob Sylvan

Scott Kelby

RC Concepcion

87 92 98 104 110 112

lightroom magazine

import the images as soon as you

get home
One of the best suggestions I can give you is to import all of
those travel images into one spot. During the Import process,
Id recommend that you change the import destination in the
To field at the upper-right corner, and create a folder on your
desktop for the entire vacation.

apply general keywords to images

during import

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Once youve created the parent folder for the vacation,

you can then import the images directly into this folder.
If you have pictures that youve taken over several days,
import them into separate subfolders by using the Destination panel in the import process. This will help you keep all of
your images organized on a folder level.


During the import process is a great time to apply some keywords to your travel images; but its not the time for you to
get specific. In the bottom-right of the Import panel, add
keywords to your images
that will apply generally to
the trip that youve taken,
but dont try to add individual keywords to individual images. (Doing so will
just separate you from the
excitement of looking at all of these pictures.) Once youve set
general keywords for your images, you can always go back
and add specific keywords to them at a later point in time.

try to set your images to a map

The Map module, one of the most under-appreciated modules in Lightroom, can give you another way to remember the
trip youve taken. Click on the Map module at the top to see
an interactive map. (Note: For some of the map functionality,
you may need an Internet connection.)
If the images that youve selected have GPS information
attached to them, theyll appear on the map as bubbles.
Some bubbles will have a number that corresponds to how
many images you have at that location.
This is great except that many of us dont have a GPS locator on our cameras; but now, this is where your phone can
be a great asset for your image organization in Lightroom.
When Im on location taking pictures, I always make sure
that I take a couple of pictures with my iPhone. If the Location Services on your phone is turned on, and your camera
has access to it, your location will be placed in the picture.
Import this iPhone picture into your Lightroom Catalog, and
place it inside the collection for that portion of your trip.

Here are a couple of things that you can do to speed up

the process:
After you create one collection set inside the main collection set, you can Right-click on it and create a Duplicate
Collection Set. Then, Right-click on the new collection set
and choose Rename.

create a collection set that works

When I get back from vacation or from a travel location,
Ill usually create a collection set that encompasses the entire
vacation, then inside that set, Ill create three collections
named, All Images From Trip, For Book, and To Print.
Of course, Ill start by placing all of the vacation images into
the All Images collection for later sorting into individually
named collection sets.
Once Ive created these collections inside this collection
set, Ill create additional collection sets for each of my vacation locations. If you were just at one location, but were there

In an earlier article, I discussed a file-naming convention

I use that involves a combination of camera card and day
numbers. If you wanted to keep another level of organization, this would be a good place for you to do this. [Note: See
Photoshop User, July/August 2015, p. 81.Ed.]

for several days, you could do something similar, for example: Create multiple collection sets in this main collection set
for Day 1, Day 2, and so forth. In each of those collection
sets, you can then place two additional collections named,
All Images and Favorites.
While this may sound a little time-consuming, youll be
surprised how fast you can get it done after youve tried it a
couple of times. Having an organization like this will solve a
few issues:
When your Lightroom collection is really big, the All Photographs view is hard to navigate, and you may find it difficult
to isolate the set of images for your vacation without overshooting them with your mouse. Having all of the images
in one place makes scrolling within that subset a lot easier.
By focusing your editing sessions on one location (or day)
at a time, you can speed up the culling/editing process.
If you want to build a site or a book, this type of organization will give you a good foundation to start laying
out your trip visually.

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Select your cell phone image first, then Shift or Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on all of the other images in the
Filmstrip to select them, then click on the Sync Metadata
button at the bottom right of the module. A Synchronize
Metadata dialog will appear, allowing you to copy the GPS
Once youve created a couple of collections inside a collection set, you can select those sets by Shift-clicking them
and then Option-drag (PC: Alt-drag) those selected collections into a new collection set to copy them.

Now you can drag the images into the appropriate collections inside the collection sets and get your travel shoot a
little more organized.

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lightroom magazine

matically add these pages in a book by clicking on the Preset

drop-down menu in the Auto Layout panel.

information from your original iPhone picture to all of your

other DSLR pictures. With one click, all of these images will
now have tagged GPS information.
Theres also a faster way to do this: With the iPhone
image selected, go to the Map module, select all of the other
images that you want to add to this location, and drag them
onto the pin on the map in the Map module. Now youll see
the picture number change, providing GPS information for all
of these pictures.
While a slideshow is usually the default format for sharing your images, let me take a moment to remind you that
your pictures are worth printing, and would look really good
in a book format. Lightroom has a great Book module that
you can use to create a keepsake of your travels. I think its
definitely worth exploring. You can also leverage the power
of this Book module by not sending the book to print just
yet; instead, save it as a PDF. And even in PDF form, you can
choose the size and quality of the PDF that youll be creating.

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5


about which image will go where. If you want to swap images

around in the book, its as easy as dragging the image from
one page to another. This gives you complete control of how
your book will read for the viewer.
Now that the final images have been set and the book
has been organized and cleaned up, Id recommend that
you click the Create Saved Book button near the top right,
and then in the Create Book dialog, save the book inside
your master collection set. This will also save the organization of those images and the settings for the book, should
you want to make another copy later. Its also great for it to
stay there as a reminder: You can always switch it to Blurb,
and print a hardcover copy to peruse.

You can take this further by creating your own custom

arrangements for your book by selecting the Edit Auto Layout
Preset in the Preset drop-down. Once you specify how you
want these individual pages to look in the Auto Layout Preset
Editor, you can save them for later use.

present your images in a book

When youve gone through all of your images and edited
them to be their very best, place your edited pictures into
your Favorites collection for each of the sets. Proceed to the
next collection set, make your edits, and move the finished
files to the Favorites folder. When all of the images are complete, you can add all of those Favorite images into a larger
For Book collection in the main collection set.
The images will be sorted in chronological order, but you
can rearrange them into your own order (one of the other
benefits of holding these images in a collection). This will
let you focus on telling the story that you want to tell for
your presentation.

lightroom magazine

Click on the Export Book to PDF button on the lower-right

side of the Book module, and the book will export to a single
PDF for you to view with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Having this
as one PDF also helps in that you can email it to others to
experience your photography laid out and developed exactly
as you saw it.

When youve finished sorting your images, click on the

Book module. If youve created another book in the past, you
can just click on the Clear Layout button in the Auto Layout
panel to stop Lightroom from working on that book. Once
in this layout, you can customize how Lightroom will autoClick on the Auto Layout button and all of the images
will be placed into the book, eliminating the need to worry

With this travel shoot complete, youre now ready to tackle

the next one! Oh, where will go you from here?

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lightroom magazine

step one:

Well start by looking

at how to use the built-in presets, then
well create one of our own, and apply it in two different places. First, lets
look at the built-in presets by going to
the Presets panel (found in the left side
Panels area). There are seven built-in
Lightroom collections (and a User Presets collection, where you can save and
store your own presets). When you look
inside each collection, youll see that
Adobe named these built-in presets by
starting each name with the type of preset it is (for example, within the Lightroom Effect presets, youll find Grain.
Thats the type of preset, then it says,
Heavy, Light, or Medium).

tip: renaming presets

To rename any preset you created

(a user preset), just Right-click on the
preset and choose Rename from the
pop-up menu.


using one-click presets

(and making your own!)

Lightroom comes with a number of built-in Develop

module presets that you can apply to any photo with
just one click. These are found in the Presets panel over

step two: You can see a preview

of how any of these presets will look,
even before you apply them, by simply
hovering your cursor over the presets
in the Presets panel. A preview will
appear above the Presets panel in the
Navigator panel (as shown here, where
Im hovering over a Color preset called
Cross Process 3, and you can see a preview of how that color effect would
look applied to my photo, up in the
Navigator panel, at the top of the left
side Panels area).

in the left side Panels area, where youll find eight dif-

put there by Adobe and a User Presets collection (that

ones empty for now, because this is where you store
the ones you create on your own). These are huge time
savers, so take just a minute or two and learn how to
Excerpted from The Adobe Photoshop
Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers

put them to use (and how to create your own).

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ferent collections of presets: seven built-in collections


lightroom magazine

step three: To actually apply one

step five:

step four:

step six: Now, go the Split Toning panel. In the Highlights section, set
the Hue to 54 (for an amber tone) and
Saturation to 80, so theres a lot of it.
In the Shadows section, set the Hue to
218 (kind of a powder blue) and the
Saturation to 45. The Balance slider in
the middle lets you choose the balance
between the Highlights Hue and the
Shadows Hue. Drag the Balance to 36,
so the image is leaning toward the blues
in the shadows. Now, lets save it as a
preset. In the Presets panel, click on the
+ (plus sign) button on the right side of
the panel header to bring up the New
Develop Preset dialog (shown here).
Give your new preset a name (I named
mine SK Cross Process 1), click the
Check None button at the bottom of
the dialog (to turn off all the checkboxes), then turn on the checkboxes beside all the settings you edited (as seen
here). Now, click the Create button to
save all the edits you just made as your
own custom preset, which will appear
under the User Presets collection in the
Presets panel.

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of these presets, all you have to do is

click on it. In the example shown here,
I went to the Lightroom B&W Filter
presets and clicked on the Green Filter
preset to create this black-and-white
conversion. I could be done right there
with one click, but the nice thing is
if you want to tweak things after the
preset has been applied, you can just
grab the sliders in the Basic panel and
go to town!


For example, here

I lowered the Contrast to 17 (lowering Contrast is something I rarely do,
but it looked way too contrasty), and
I lowered the Highlights a bit more
than the preset had (to 95), so I could
darken the sky a bit. I opened up the
Shadows a bit to +10, so you could see
more detail in the dark parts of her hair,
and I backed off the Clarity amount to
+16 to keep the image from looking so
crunchy. Also, once youve applied a
preset, you can apply more presets and
those changes are added right on top
of your current settings, as long as the
new preset you chose doesnt use the
same settings as the one you just applied. So, if you applied a preset that
set the Exposure, White Balance, and
Highlights, but didnt use vignetting, if
you then chose a preset that just uses
vignetting, it adds this on top of your
current preset. Otherwise, if the new
preset uses Exposure, White Balance,
or Highlights, it just moves those sliders
to new settings, so it might cancel the
look of the original preset. For example,
after I applied the Green Filter preset,
and tweaked the settings I mentioned
above, I went to the Effect Presets collection and applied the preset called
Vignette 1 (as shown here) to add a
dark edge effect. The Green Filter didnt
have a vignette, so it added it on top.

lightroom magazine

Now, of course you

can use any built-in preset as a starting place to build your own preset, but
lets just start from scratch here. Click
the Reset button at the bottom of the
right side Panels area (shown circled
here in red) to reset our photo to how it
looked when we started. Now well create our own cross-process fashion look:
Increase the Exposure amount to +1.15
to brighten things up, and the Contrast to +64, set the Highlights to +64
to make it even brighter, the Whites to
58 (a more high-key look), Blacks to
15, Clarity to +4, and Vibrance to 32
to desaturate the image a bit. Thats it
for the Basic panel.

Note: To delete a user preset, just click

on the preset, then click on the (minus
sign) button, which will appear to the
left of the + button on the right side of
the Presets panel header.

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lightroom magazine

step seven:

Now click on a different photo in the Filmstrip, then hover

your cursor over your new preset. Look
up at the Navigator panel, and youll see
a preview of the preset (as seen here).
Seeing these instant live previews is a
huge time saver, because youll know in a
split second whether your photo will look
good with the preset applied or not, before you actually apply it.

tip: updating a user preset

If you tweak a User Preset and want

to update it with the new settings,
Right-click on your preset and choose
Update with Current Settings from the
pop-up menu.

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step eight: If youre going to ap-


ply a particular preset (either a built-in

one or one you created) to a bunch of
images youre importing, you can actually have that preset applied to your
images as theyre imported, so when
they appear, they already have your
preset applied. You do this right within
the Import window. Just go to the Apply During Import panel (seen here),
where youd choose which preset you
want from the Develop Settings pop-up
menu (as shown here, where I chose
that SK Cross Process 1 preset I just created), and now that preset is automatically applied to each photo as its imported. Theres one more place you can
apply these Develop presets, and thats
in the Saved Preset pop-up menu, at the
top of the Quick Develop panel, in the
Library module.

tip: importing presets

There are lots of places online where

you can download free Develop module presets (like from my site). Once theyre
downloaded, go to the Presets panel,
Right-click on User Presets, and choose
Import from the pop-up menu. Locate
the preset you downloaded and click the
Import button, and it will now appear in
your User Presets.

photoshop as external editor


extend your lightroom workflow

with plug-ins

From additional image editors to small productivity helpers to

full-fledged website management, there are a growing number
of software tools you can plug into your Lightroom workflow to
help you get more done.

Lets start with a look at popular external editors and how

to get them to work with Lightroom, and whats more
popular than Photoshop? I know that there are many Lightroom 6 users who are still working with Photoshop CS6,
so I want to start there, and then well move up to Photoshop CC, and then other editors. If you go to Lightroom

(PC: Edit)>Preferences and click on the External Editing tab,

youll see the primary external editor listed at the top.
The latest version of Photoshop installed is automatically set as the primary external editor, so theres nothing
more to configure if youre happy with the default settings
(which work for me). If youre using Photoshop CS6, theres
an important change you should be aware of moving forward. Adobe announced back in July that Camera Raw 9.1.1
would be the last update provided for Photoshop CS6. From
here on out, if you continue to update Lightroom 6 (for new
camera support, new lens profiles, and bug fixes), youll see
an incompatibility prompt when you send a copy with Lightroom adjustments to CS6.

Since youll no longer be able to update the Camera Raw

plug-in in CS6, you can just choose Render Using Lightroom
to have Lightroom create the copy instead of passing the
data along to the Camera Raw plug-in. This way you still
get the new camera and lens support in Lightroom 6.2 (and
above) without having to convert to DNG. You can check
the Dont Show Again box and just move forward without
interruption. If youre using Lightroom CC, then I assume
youre also using Photoshop CC (which will be set as your
primary external editor), and as long as you keep both
updated simultaneously, youll never see that prompt, and
can just keep moving forward.

additional external editors

Moving beyond Photoshop, there are a growing number of
image editorssuch as ON1s Photo Suite, apps in the Google
Nik Collection, Photomatix Pro, Perfectly Clear, Topaz Labs,
etc.that photographers incorporate into their Lightroom
workflows (Ive no doubt there are more on the horizon). In
my experience, these third-party image-editor apps all seem to
have built the installation of the Lightroom plug-in component
into their own app installers; for example, when I installed Perfectly Clear, I just ran the installer and found the option to send
an image from Lightroom to the Perfectly Clear app under the
Photo>Edit In menu, so there was nothing more for me to do
except enter my serial number the first time I launched the
program. This makes things much easier for users.

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The word plug-in can conjure up many different meanings

in the Lightroom world. Its most often used to describe
third-party image-editing applications such as the ON1 Photo
Suite, but in those cases the only part that really plugs into
Lightroom is the ability to hand a photo (or a copy of the
photo) off to the third-party app, and then have that work
appear back in the Lightroom catalog. In this light, you could
even consider Photoshop to be a plug-in for Lightroom.
Beyond these external editors, there are a wide range
of much smaller apps built by third-party developers (many
of whom seem to be fellow Lightroom users) that focus on
improving small, yet important, workflow tasks right inside
Lightroom, such as one I use called TPG Snapshotter, or one
of the slew of Publish Service plug-ins for online services
such as SmugMug, 500px, and many more. Another flavor
of Lightroom plug-ins are third-party Web galleries (or Web
engines) that can be used in the Web module. In this column
I want to take a closer look at each type of plug-in designed
to help you get more out of your Lightroom experience by
expanding its current out-of-the box capabilities.

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lightroom magazine

If, however, you have some other image editor that

youd like to incorporate into your Lightroom workflow
that doesnt automatically install a hook into Lightroom,
you can manually configure additional external editors,
too. Heres how:

step one: Go to Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences, click

on the External Editing tab, and look in the Additional External Editor section.

step two: Click the Choose button and go to the Applications folder (PC: Program Files).

step five: Click the Preset drop-down menu and choose

Save Current Settings as New Preset. Enter a descriptive name
in the New Preset dialog and click Create. Youll now see that
preset name available under the Photo>Edit In menu.

You can set up as many of these additional editor presets as

your workflow requires. While these external image editors
are great, there are also a number of cool apps that you can
plug right into Lightroom itself.

lightroom magazine

place where you can enter your serial number to get out
of trial mode.

using the plug-in manager

Under the File menu youll find the option to open the Lightroom Plug-in Manager, which is how you can add small tools
designed to assist you with a wide range of tasks, such as
exporting directly to a compressed zip file, search-and-replacing text in the metadata fields, or the batch creation of snapshot settings, to name a few.

step three: Select the application executable file you

want to use. In my case I selected an old copy of Snapseed
for the desktop. Click Choose (PC: Open) to confirm your
selection and return to the preferences.

When it comes to using these types of plug-ins, accessing it

will somewhat depend on the task with which its designed
to assist you; for example, the Snapshotter plug-in can be
found under the File>Plug-in Extras menu, while other plugins, such as the Zip Exporter plug-in, might only be found in
the Export dialog. Each plug-in author provides some level of
instruction and support for their plug-ins, so be sure to check
the authors website for info specific to your plug-in.

step four: Back in the Lightroom preferences, configure

the File Format, Color Space, and Resolution fields to your liking. These will be the settings Lightroom uses when it creates
a new copy to send to that external editor.


step one: Unzip the plug-in file, which will have an .lrplugin file extension, and place the plug-in in a folder that youll
be able to find easily. I created a folder named Lightroom
Plugins for this purpose.

extending the web module

step two: Open the Plug-in Manager via the File menu.

but you can add a number of third-party Web engines to

step three: Click the Add button and manually navigate

to the folder where you stored your .lrplugin file. Select the
plug-in and click Add Plug-in to confirm your selection. This
adds the plug-in to Lightroom.

The Web module often gets overlooked for being too simple,
Lightroom that can greatly expand your website options.
There are a few Web engines available on The Photographers Toolbox worth checking out, including some that
allow you to go way beyond the basic Web gallery. My
favorite source for Web module plug-ins is The Turning Gate

step four: Confirm that the plug-in is installed and run-

(, which has the most full-featured

ning. If youve purchased the plug-in, there will also be a

and robust Web plug-ins Ive ever found.

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p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

My favorite place to find these practical and useful Lightroom

plug-ins is The Photographers Toolbox (, but you can also click the Adobe Add-ons
button in the Plug-in Manager to visit the Adobe Add-ons
website, where a large number of developers have made their
work available. Once you find a plug-in youd like to try, youll
download the file (and most that Ive encountered have a freetrial option), which will most likely be compressed into a zip
file. Heres how to install this type of plug-in:


lightroom magazine

Like the previously mentioned plug-ins, the third-party

Web engines will be downloaded in a zip file that youll
need to unzip before installing. Once unzipped, youll see
that the Web engines have an .lrwebengine file extension.
These arent installed with the Plug-in Manager, though. The
basic installation process requires copying the .lrwebengine
file to a special Web Galleries folder on your operating
system. Consult the installation instructions for the Web
engine youre installing for the proper path on your ope
rating system.
Once installed, you can access the new Web engines
from the Layout Style panel just like the built-in Web galleries. The big difference with these Web engines is the
range and depth of new options you can configure, some
of which can empower you to create an entire Web presence right from the Web module.

As Lightroom continues to become the central hub of a photo

graphers workflow, I expect to see more of these tools enter
the picture to help us do more, and do it more efficiently.


lightroom magazine

what is palette?
Palette is a modular system based on magnetic modules with
pins and contacts. The Palette power module (called the
Palette core) connects to the computer via a USB cable. No
further power is required; it all comes from the USB connection (theres a power adaptor connection, so its possible to
power it externally). The Palette core contains an OLED screen
thats bright and easy to read, showing the currently active
profile. There are three module types that connect to the
Palette core: the slider, the dial, and the button. The button
looks like a proper arcade gaming button with a reassuring
feel in use. The dial rotates continuously, while the slider is a
simple but efficient fader. The modules are well constructed
and reassuringly solid, with an Apple laptop aluminum finish
(theres a wood version in the works, as well). Each top panel
is surrounded by a small gap near the edge where an internal
programmable LED shines through.
Each module has pins on one side, and contacts on the
other three. The pins from any module must connect to the
Image courtesy Palette; Picture of model: Ted Belton

connect to the Palette core. The second module pins must

connect to the first and so on. The connection is made with


The install process for Palette

strong magnets, so the modules remain connected, as long

step two: In PaletteApp, choose Lightroom from the list

as you leave them on your work surface. It can be picked up,

to start creating a new profile. Profiles contain the settings

but is liable to disconnect more easily.

you apply and can be saved for reuse. The application will tell

As well as being a MIDI, Palette works with a number of

you to connect the Palette core.

Adobe products, including Lightroom, Photoshop, and Pre-

Maximum Workflow has looked at a lot of soft-

miere Pro. Its also profile based, meaning you can change

ware to help when working with your images in

setup for rating, another for editing, one for lens correction

Lightroom, but software isnt the only thing that

can boost your workflow. This issue were looking at an awesome gadget that speeds up this
work. Its called Palette and is available from Palette began as a Kickstarter project and launched last July. It has
been rolling out product and kits ever since.

what the setup does by changing the profile. You can have a
or split toning, etc. Any of the Lightroom functions available
can be added to any profile. You can also program buttons
to change between profiles for quick access.

setting up palette
Lets take a look at how to install and set up Palette.

step one: Download the current version of the software

from Install the software
and then run PaletteApp.

k e l b yo n e . c o m


previous module. So the pins from the first module must


lightroom magazine

step three: Once connected, the name of the current

lightroom magazine

step six: To name the profile, click on the Profile 1 tab

where the party asked for another shot. For images I want to

step eleven: Finally, press the keyboard shortcut you

profile (Profile 1 in this case) will show on the Palette core

or click on the Palette core in the app. Type the name and

keep, I just move on to the next shot.

want to apply. Here its the Right Arrow key (KEY Right). Click

module, and the core will appear in the software window.

click Done.

Youll also see the name of the profile in the tab at the top

step eight: Go through the modules until youve as-

of the application. Its neat how the app reflects the current

signed a function to each. I have one left to do here, but

physical module configuration.

the option to move to the next shot isnt in the menu. Thats

Done to apply the setting.

okay though; I can add it manually. I could add a Pick button, but really I just want to go to the next image, so I need
to add a Right Arrow shortcut.

step twelve: The Palette is ready to go! But thats not all
we can do to help speed up our workflow. Each module also
has a colored LED surround that can be changed to make

step four: Start to attach the modules to suit your task.

it easy to remember what it does. Plus, it looks cool. Its my

sons favorite feature!

As each module is attached, the app will update to reflect

Click on the light-blue square at the top right of a module

the addition.

step nine: To get this, click on the unassigned button

module, and from the list, choose Keyboard Shortcut.

in the PaletteApp to select a different color for that module.

Things like red for reject and green for next/keep are a good
idea, and make sense visually.

step seven: To assign a function to a module, click on

it in the app. Dials, sliders, and buttons all have different options. Once a module has been assigned a function by the
PaletteApp software, it remembers it. Even if you disconnect and reconnect it, the function remains active. Im going
to create a profile to suit my nightclub processing. For this,


little, and occasionally Ill use Shadows. I find dials better for

als, and two sliders. You can purchase a few different kits and

commonly used controls (see Using Palette for why!). For

add-ons depending on the number of modules you need,

nightclub shoots, I tend to reject images Im not going to

and Ive listed those at the end of the article.

deliver (e.g., shots that were out of focus), or duplicate shots

step ten: Next, click the green button to activate the Press
Action button.

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p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

step five: The setup I have contains two buttons, two di-

I generally use Exposure and Highlights a lot, Crop Angle a

Congrats, youve just made your first profile.


lightroom magazine

working with profiles

In use, the dials and sliders can control the same things,

Now that youve created your first profile, its worth saving it

but there are definite differences in how they operate. The

for easy access and for sharing. Click Save Profile on the top

dial has no center and rotates indefinitely. This means it picks

right of the screen. For easy reference, use the same name

up the current setting immediately, and changes depending

as the profile for the filename. To load a profile, click Load

on how you rotate the dial. You can also press the dial down

Profile, navigate to the folder in which youve saved your pro-

to get a greater amount of the dial setting applied as you

files, and select one.

twistin a similar fashion as holding down the Shift key.

A recent feature addition is Share Profile. Clicking this

Sliders, on the other hand, jump the setting to wherever the

opens a webpage ( where

slider is situated when you start to move it. As much as I like

you can upload a saved profile. You can also download

that the sliders represent what you see with Lightroom slid-

profiles that other users have shared. In fact, youll find my

ers, I prefer the action of the dial, so for my next addition,

Nightclub Photo Workflow profile there.

itll be dials.

purchasing a palette system

Palette can be purchased in a number of configurations starting at $199 for two arcade style buttons, one slider, one dial,
and the power module. The Expert kit is $299 and contains
a more useful setup: the Palette core, three dials, two sliders,
and two buttons. Theres also a Professional kit thats available in aluminum, as well as wood, which lists for $499 and
$899, respectively. Both contain the Palette core, four buttons, six dials, and four sliders. Buttons can be added for $29,
with dials and sliders listing at $49 each. Note: You must have
a kit for these add-on modules to work. If youre looking to
get started with Palette, the Expert kit is the best value.

You can create a series of profiles to perform different

tasks. Clicking a profile tab in the app will switch the Palette
to those settings, and the Palette core will flash the name of
the new profile to show its loaded. This way you can perform
many tasks with a smaller kit. Id recommend getting an extra


Image courtesy Palette

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

button and setting it to Next Tab in the Palette Functions

menu option. This will allow you to toggle through all the
profiles that are available. Another additional button would
allow you to add the Previous Tab function.

using palette

The Professional Wood Kit

Once a profile is created and the PaletteApp is running,

Ive used MIDI-based systems with Lightroom in the past, and

launch Lightroom. A bezel will flash up saying, Palette:

I have to say I really like using Palette. Its halved my process-

Connected! The hardware will now run as if it were native

ing time on my nightclub work, which is done directly after

to Lightroom.

the shoot. It means I get to bed quicker, which is fantastic

motivation for using a product like this. If youre looking for a
gift idea, this is an excellent one. It ticks the boxes for looking
great and saving you time.

Lightroom Magazine

Lightroom Magazine


Questions Answers
I dont see the advantage of Lightrooms
built-in HDR except for the fact that it
combines three images into one. When
its done, it looks just like the normal
exposure. What am I missing?
Well, I always say it looks like the normal exposure with a
1/2-stop or so brighter; but youre right, it doesnt look
HDRd or tone-mapped, as youd normally see. So, whats
the advantage? Its mostly that you can now open up the
shadow areas quite a bit without seeing noise, so you can
push what you do farther in Lightroom postprocessing without the image getting all noisy on you. Ive also found that
the images seem sharper (to my eye anyway), and oftentimes,
I dont apply any sharpening to these combined HDR images
for that reason: They already look on the edge of crunchy.
Give it a look and see what you think.

I know that Lightroom has a built-in

tethering feature, but when I start it up,
it never connects to my camera. Ive
watched videos on it, and Im following
the step-by-step instructions, but it never
connects. Am I doing something wrong?

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

First, make sure that you have the latest version of Lightroomtethering support is often added in free updates from
Adobe, so check that first. If you do have the latest version,
its possible that your camera make/model isnt supported for
tethering. Adobe posts a list of cameras they currently support at this link: If your camera isnt on that list, it
wont tether (and my guess is, thats what the problem is).


Sometimes when Im working on an

image, the name of the image and
some EXIF data appears over the
image in the upper-left corner, and
sometimes it doesnt. Why is that?
Its probably because youre accidentally toggling this Info
Overlay on and off during your work in Lightroom, but its
not your fault. Its easy to
accidentally engage/disengage, because the shortcut
is simply the letter I on your
keyboard, so you see how



you might accidentally switch it on/off during any session. By

the way, depending on which module youre in, you might
have to tap I more than once to hide it again.

If I imported a bunch of images and forgot

to ask for smart previews when I imported
them, is there a way to have Lightroom
build smart previews now, or do I need to
re-import them, and apply it then?
You can convert them
now. Go to the Library
module and choose the
collection (or folder if
thats how you work) of
images that you want to
have as smart previews.
Press Command-A (PC:
Ctrl-A) to Select All (so
that all of the thumbnails are selected), then
go under the Library
menu, under Previews,
and choose Build Smart
Previews. Thats it!

Lately Lightroom has been running

pretty sluggishly for me. As I have
82,000+ images in my main catalog,
am I getting close to the limit, or is it
something else?
I dont think its the 82,000 images; you can add a lot more
than that with no problem. But heres something you should
try: Go under Lightrooms File menu and choose Optimize
Catalog. This runs a cleanup routine that could well put that
spring back into your catalog, and get you back to full speed.
My guess is that will do the trick. Give it a try.

I went back to a book I created last

year in the Book module and the layout
was a messphotos were missing
and in the wrong order. Is there a way
I can keep my photos in order and in
the layout where theyre supposed to
be, without replacing them manually?
Absolutely. Once youve completed a layout, look up in the
top-right corner of the layout area where you see your book,
and you should see a button called, Create Saved Book. If you
dont see it, press the Backslash key (\) on your keyboard, and
the button will appear. When you click the button, it creates
a new collection with your images in place, and in the right
order, so you can go back to it anytime, and your layout will
still be perfectly intact. This new Saved Book collection will
appear in the Collections panel right under your original collection, but the icon will look like a little open book, so youll
instantly know which is which.

I love the new Dehaze

slider in Lightroom, but
I dont always like what
it does to the entire image; for example, sometimes it makes the sky
look noisy, or it has
weird colors. Will Adobe
ever add Dehaze as a
brush so we can apply
it just where we want?
While its not a separate brush
in the latest update of Lightroom CC, Adobe added the
Dehaze slider to the Adjustment Brush (K). Youll find it
in the Adjustment Brush panel, between the Clarity slider
and the Saturation slider. I have to say I was thrilled to see
this because, as much as I love Dehaze, in some situations,
I had the same results you were getting in the sky and such.
Glad theyve added it.

I heard that there are a bunch of new

featureslike built-in vignettes and a
black-and-white conversion toolin
Lightroom Mobile, but I cant figure out
where they are. Are they hidden?

Well, kinda. When you tap on the Adjustment icon at the

bottom of your image, it takes you to the Basic panel adjustments; but if you look over on the far left, to the left of the
White Balance pop-up menu, youll see a little icon that looks
like a lens opening. Tap on that icon and a list of other adjustments appears, including the Vignette and Black & White
options. And in this latest update, Adobe has added Dehaze
as well, but its on a slider. You cant brush it on like you can
in the desktop version of Lightroom (see the Dehaze question above), but I hope thats coming soon.
(Note: Adobe has done some amazing brush-on-screenwith-your-finger technology in the free Photoshop Fix app,
which is pretty remarkable unto itself.)

Is there a way to get rid of the gray bar

that appears beneath my photo? I dont
use it for anything, so why should I need
it if its just taking up space?
Thats a secondary toolbar, but it mostly has options for
tools youve chosen from the toolbar at the top of the right
panel area or elsewhere (like the White Balance Selector [W]
eyedropper in the Basic panel). You can hide it altogether
by pressing the letter T on your keyboard, which toggles it on/
off; but you can also hide it temporarily by just pressing-andholding T. While you hold T down, its out of sight; when you
release it, the toolbar comes back.

I know we have multiple undos through

the History panel, but I have two questions: How many undos do we get;
and is there a keyboard shortcut for it,
or do I have to go to the History panel
every time?
Well, there are things it shares with Photoshops History
panel, and things it doesnt. For example, youre not limited to just 50 undos in Lightroom (which is the default
setting in Photoshop): It automatically keeps track of all
your changes. If you made 500 changes, you can undo 500
times, and get back to where you startedor you could, of
course, click Reset to get back to where you imported the
image. Like Photoshop, though, Lightroom uses the same
keyboard shortcut for undos without your having to go to
the History panel at all: Command-Z on Mac, or Ctrl-Z on
a Windows PC.

k e l b yo n e . c o m



Lightroom Magazine

Lightroom Magazine


soft proofing in lightroom cc


Soft proofing is a way to alter the display of the image onscreen

so that its appearance will reflect how that image will look
when converted to another color space, or when printed using
a specific printer and paper combination. Its known as a soft
proof because its one thats created on a screen display, as
opposed to a hard proof, which is an actual print.

For an inkjet printer, choose the profile that represents your

printer and the type of paper youll be using, or the printer/
paper combo used by your print vendor. There are two rendering intents you can use: Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric.
Depending on the image and the profile youre proofing to,
these may produce slightly different results. On some images,
you may not be able to discern any difference between the
two. Give each one a try and see how it affects your image. If
you prefer one over the other, you can use this same rendering
intent when you go to make the print. Theres also a checkbox
here for simulating paper and ink properties. This can be useful
in the print visualization process since backlit displays are much
brighter than reflected light on paper.

calibrate and profile your display

create proof copy

In the previous column, I covered some useful tips for working

in the Print module in Lightroom. For this issues column, well
take a look at a topic related to printing, but one that can be
found in the Develop module: Soft Proofing.

proofing is enabled. If youd rather use a different neutral color,

Right-click on the background and choose another option from
the contextual menu (this shortcut also works for changing the
background color when you arent in Soft Proof mode).

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

what is soft proofing?


Soft proofing relies on accurate ICC profiles, both the profiles

that describe the printer and paper combination, as well as
the one that describes your display. Having a calibrated and
profiled display is an essential component in a color-managed
workflow. You may not feel the need to calibrate your display,
especially if the prints you make or receive from print vendors
come back looking as you expect and are a reasonably close
match to what you see on your screen. But if theres ever an
issue with the appearance of your prints being significantly off
from what you see on your display, and you bring this up with
the lab that does your printing, one of the first questions theyll
ask is whether or not you have a calibrated and profiled display.
To get the most benefit from the soft-proofing capabilities
in Lightroom, make sure that you do have a calibrated and profiled display. Products such as the Spyder5 by Datacolor or the
i1Display Pro and ColorMunki by X-Rite, are important tools to
ensure that what you see on your display is an accurate representation of the colors in your images.

soft proof keyboard shortcut

set profile and intent

Use the Profile menu under the histogram to set the profile for
the destination space, as well as the rendering intent, which
controls how the conversion from one color space to another
is handled. For images destined for the Web, or for proofing a
book project that youll send to Blurb, use sRGB. If youre using
a different online vendor for your book project, double-check
with them to see what ICC profile they recommend for their
reproduction process.

When viewing the soft proof of the image, you may decide that
you want to make some changes to get certain colors to look
better. Since changes made to an image for a specific output
device may not be how you want the main version of the file
adjusted, click the Create Proof Copy button under the histogram to create a copy for soft proofing. Or, once you begin to
make any changes to the Develop settings, Lightroom will ask
you if you want to make a proof copy. Proof copies are essentially the same as virtual copies, but are used for soft proofing.

view out-of-gamut colors

Soft proofing for the Web to the sRGB color space

To activate soft proofing, you need to be in the Develop module. Turn it on and off by clicking the Soft Proofing checkbox
under the large preview or simply use the handy keyboard
shortcut of S. A label on the top-right side of the preview area
will indicate that youre viewing a Proof Preview.

change the background color

The background surrounding the image preview, which is
normally a gray tone, will change to paper white when soft


Soft proofing for an inkjet print to an Epson printer/paper profile

some areas of highly saturated blue colors are showing up as

out of gamut for Epson Velvet Fine Art paper. Glossy coated
papers do a much better job at reproducing brighter, more
saturated colors.

adjust out-of-gamut colors

To adjust out-of-gamut colors, try using the HSL controls along
with the Targeted Adjustment Tool (the small target icon in
the upper-left corner of the panel) to click-and-drag down on
the affected colors to bring them back into gamut, either by
decreasing the Saturation of that color, modifying the Luminance, or sometimes by slightly altering the Hue value. If this
affects other areas of the image in a way that isnt acceptable,
try using the Adjustment Brush (K) to paint in a lower Saturation value over just the affected areas. In the example of the
night photograph, the blues had been saturated quite a bit
prior to the soft-proofing process. By backing off on this adjustment, the blues were brought back into gamut for the targeted
printer/paper profile.

In the top-left and -right corners of the histogram where the

shadow and highlight clipping buttons normally appear, youll
see an icon on the left side for monitor gamut, and another on
the right for destination gamut. Click the Destination Gamut
Warning icon to turn it on and see if any colors in the image
are out of gamut for the current print profile space. The keyboard shortcut to toggle this on and off is Shift-S. A bright-red
overlay color will appear over these colors. (The out-of-gamut
overlay color for the Monitor Gamut Warning [icon on the topleft corner of the histogram] is blue.) Youre more likely to see
out-of-gamut warnings with bright and highly saturated colors,
especially if youre proofing to a watercolor or matte surface
fine-art paper. In this example of a night photo, for instance,

k e l b yo n e . c o m



Product Reviews


Corels Painter Particle Brush Technology
Comes to Photoshop
Review by Corey Barker

New Brushes, More Natural Painting,

and Photoshop Integration

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Review by Erik Vlietinck


Painter 2016 has received some much-needed inerface improve

ments as well as new brushes and capabilities that enable
artists to have more fun and get closer to an analog painting
experience. Photoshop artists will be happy too, with brush
import capabilities.
The first thing youll notice when launching Painter is the
updated Welcome screen that has a cleaner look and direct
access to the online Painter store where you can buy brushes
and media. Another improvement (but it wont blow you
away) is what Corel calls Document Views. Give it a try, and
youll discover it just boils down to a better integration with
OS X capabilities, like Full Screen mode. There were a couple
of more hollow phrases in the marketing talk for this upgrade,
but most of the new features are really worthwhile.
For example, Painter 2016 has the ability to import Photoshop brush files as well as to export your tools to the Painter
box format, which in essence is the format of custom tool
palettes. It comes with many benefits, and the ability to create
custom tool palettes for export allows you to really make the
interface look and work the way you want.
What Im always most curious about when a new version of
Painter is released, is whether there will be new brushes, and
surprisingly, theres an awesome new set of them. Dynamic
Speckles brushes combine the Particle System physics that
were introduced in Painter 2015 with brush-thickness controls
(pen touch, speed, pressure, etc.). The result is that your painting experience gets unbelievably close to painting with natural
media brushes. The Dynamic Speckles brushes add a subtly
random feel to your strokes, and best of all, you can tune
them to your liking by fiddling with the many advanced brush
controls at your disposal without losing that subtle touch.
Strangely enough, these totally artificial-looking brushes come
closer to the real thing than Painters copies of the real ones
(Real Watercolor comes to mind), if a natural feel is possible
at all without replacing a plastic or glass graphics tablet surface by physical media.
Among the new painting features, theres also one that
I personally think is no more than a gimmick: Audio Expression. With this feature you can play music or recite your favorite Shakespeare sonnet, and the brush will respond to the

sound level and frequency. Its fun, but I doubt if it will add
much to your creative control.
In my opinion, new dab types are more useful, and Painter
2016 has a few. The new dab types apply to both Particles and
Liquid Ink or Watercolor brushes.
Paper and Flow Map rotation are also a big improvement.
These two allow you to change the angle of the texture and
Flow Map, resulting in subtle or dramatic changes (depending on the media) in the look of a stroke. Its the grain that
gets rotated, which makes it look like youre really working on
physical media.
Blending 2, an improvement thats probably long overdue,
improves multicolor blending so you wont have to put up with
white or black fringes anymore.
A last overdue feature that I welcome is a set of Hints and
Tooltips. Unless you turn them off, youll now get help with
almost anything you do. Change a brush parameter? A Tooltip
shows you graphically what to expect. Brushes come with a
complete help panel (Hints). For a complex app like Painter,
these two helping hands will appeal to newcomers as much as
experts who dont want to memorize every brush.
Company: Corel Corporation

Price: $429



Hot: Improved help; new brushes; rotation of Flow Maps and grain

Not: The Audio Expression feature looks far-fetched

The user interface is remarkably simple and intuitive. You can

be up and running in no time and integrate the brushes into your
workflow with a minimal learning curve. The recent 1.1 update
has nondestructive layer support so you can apply the effect to a
duplicate layer, and when it returns to Photoshop, it appears on
a transparent layer.
The plug-in retails for $49.99 and comes with a brush Starter
Pack that includes 11 sample brushes, one each from the 11 brush
packs, which are available at an additional cost of $29.99 per pack.
Ive played with all the brush packs and theyre all very cool.
Company: Corel Corporation

Price: $49.99



Hot: Easy interface; impressive effects

Not: Starter Pack could use more brushes

Ultimaker 2 Extended
Easy-to-Use 3D Printer
Review by Corey Barker

Ive been using 3D in Photoshop for quite some time, but 3D

printing was one thing I hadnt tried yet, so I was excited when
we received an Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printer for testing. The
Ultimaker 2 Extended is really easy to set up; it was out of the box
and printing in just under 30 minutes. You can connect via USB,
or it comes with an SD card and a built-in card reader for transferring your 3D models. Whether created in Photoshop or another
3D application, the 3D models must be processed through the
Ultimaker proprietary software called Cura, which is available as
a free download at the Ultimaker website. Prepping the file using
the Cura software is straightforward and intuitive.
The printer is rather simple and the instructions are easy to follow. The filament is spool-fed from the back of the machine and
its easy to load. The build plate is heated with a removable glass
sheet, which is a big help in keeping the models in place as the
print progresses. LED light strips illuminate the print job, and they
make for a cool display to show off the final 3D print, as well.
The Ultimaker 2 Extended can print models up to about
8x8x12", which is about 4" taller than the standard Ultimaker.
You get a roll of gray filament with the printer but can purchase

a variety of colors starting around $41 per roll. Both PLA and ABS
filaments are available.
Since I havent used other 3D printers, I cant say with certainty
how well it ranks with the others, but all-told its an impressive
tool thats effortless to set up and use. While 3D printing at a
consumer level is still somewhat a novelty, the costs have come
down. When it comes to 3D printing, the one thing you need
regardless of the printer is patience!
Company: Ultimaker B.V.

Price: $3,030



Hot: Ease of setup


k e l b yo n e . c o m

Painter 2016

As a longtime Photoshop designer, Ive rarely been a user of special effects plug-ins. Many have come and gone over the years,
and some have even ended up in Photoshop as a standard feature,
but Ive never discovered one that became a key part of my special effects workflowuntil now. Corel, which is best known for
Painter, its extremely powerful painting software (see review on
the opposite page), has released a new brush plug-in for Photo
shop called ParticleShop.
The coolest thing about Painter has always been its brush
engine. You can create unique brushes to achieve effects that you
just couldnt do in any other applicationnot even Photoshop. Id
often go into Painter to generate a brush effect and then bring
it back to Photoshop to finish a design. Well, that process is
history for me, because ParticleShop brings the very brushes
that I love in Painter to the Photoshop workspace. Using the
Corel Painter Particle brush technology, ParticleShop allows
you to create photorealistic effects from dust and debris to fur
and hair, to flames, smoke, and steam. Corel refers to these
as living brushes, which means that theyre not simply static
brushes; they spring, flow, gravitate, and glow, based on the
artists pressure and stroke.


EL-Skyport Plus HS


The Skyport Youve Been Waiting For

Small Business Management Suite

Elinchrom strobe users rejoice! The much-requested, long-anticipated refresh of the Skyport radio transmitter has finally arrived,
and Im happy to report its been well worth the wait. Elinchroms
new EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus HS (Skyport HS for short) is a
quantum leap forward, boasting must-have features, real-time
visual feedback, and a simple, easy-to-use digital interface.
First and foremost, the Skyport HS features a large LCD screen
that allows users to visually monitor and precisely adjust strobe
power from the camera position. Designed in collaboration with
Phottix, and sharing the same physical housing as that companys
Laso Transmitter (reviewed below), the Skyport HS has four function buttons and a large digital dial for fast setup and control.
With 20 Channels and four Groups for both Normal and Speed
Sync modes, users get a ton of built-in flexibility.
Additional amenities include features such as Hi-Sync, up to
1/8000 sec with Canon and Nikon cameras; an AF illumination
beam; a sure-lock mounting foot; and an extended working
range up to 656' (200 m). Created with the future in mind, the
Skyport HS also includes a built-in USB port, allowing new fea-

From a one-person operation to a small- or medium-sized business, you must have intuitive and easy-to-use software to stay
organized. Simple tasks, such as getting complete contact information or following up on contracts, can fall by the wayside if
you dont have your workflow under a standard operating procedure. With 17hats, you have an effective online-based process of
going from business lead to receiving payments, and the followups and automated tasks can also save a lot of time.
Theres a slight learning curve for anyone who has used a similar product, so its best to use a forget-what-you-think-you-know
approach and start fresh. The interface is in very direct language,
and each aspect of a new entry is done in a simple, step-by-step
method. Its also not much of a chore to add contacts, send
quotes, or even use the questionnaire feature; however, the best
results come from using 17hats from beginning to end.
The time-tracking and workflow features help ensure that you
have all of the elements you need in a format that syncs with
both Google and Apple Calendar (they still refer to it as iCal).
Your daily overview lets you know at a glance whats due and

Review by Michael Corsentino

Review by Daniel M. East

tures to be added as they become available, and making firmware upgrades fast and easy.
The Skyport Transmitter Plus HS is currently available for Canon
(model EL19366) and Nikon (model EL19367) cameras. According
to the company website, Sony will follow. The Skyport HS runs
on two AA batteries and is compatible with the three previous
generations of flash units, including the EL-Skyport Transceiver
RX module for Style RX, Digital RX, and Ranger RX systems; and
the integrated EL-Skyport modules for D-Lite RX, BRX, ELC Pro
HD, and ELB series.
Company: Elinchrom

Price: $249.95



Hot: Large LCD; real-time feedback; precise power control from camera


Phottix Laso System

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

who has responded to you; however, theres no apparent way to

share tasks or projects, as this is targeted to smaller businesses.
For some, 17hats may be too casual (compared to software
like QuickBooks), but its a powerful suite with a lot to love for a
reasonable price. The companys marketing makes it look easy
and it is. Its well worth looking at the demo video or even taking
a test drive with the free trial version. Let them wear the 17 hats
in your business so you can wear the one you like the best!
Company: 17hats

Price: $13/month (Two-Year); $17/month

(Annual); $29/month (Monthly)



Hot: Complete solutions; features; e-commerce; ease of use

Not: No collaboration tools

DXT Wireless Mouse 2 Light Click

New Life For Old Canon EX Speedlites!

Upright Design Helps to Reduce RSI

Loving whats possible with your Canon 600EX-RT Speedlites, but

wishing your older non-radio-based EX flashes were doing more
than just collecting dust? I have great news for you. The folks at
Phottix have come up with a brilliant solution to bring all your
flashes into the modern age. Its comprised of a radio transmitter
and receiver, and they call it the Laso System.
With radio-based communication, there are no line-of-site
requirements between transmitter and receiver, which opens up
a world of creative possibilities. Now you can put your Canon
580EX inside a soft box, behind a wall, or outside a window, and
successfully trigger itsomething thats not going to happen with
an optical system.
At about half the price of the Canon ST-E3-RT, the Laso Transmitter provides an option for Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite users
who are looking for a controller, while the Laso Receiver makes
it possible to retrofit older, non-radio-based Canon EX Speedlites
with full radio capabilities. And it gets better: Laso Receivers are
also fully compatible with the Canon ST-E3-RT, which means if
you already have an ST-E3-RT, all you need is a Laso Receiver to
convert your older EX Speedlites into radio-based units. The Laso
System makes it easy to mix new and older flashes and enjoy the
flexibility of radio-based communication.

Making micro-movements with our hands in a rotating position may generate pain that evolves to permanent agony (read
carpal tunnel or repetitive strain injury [RSI]). The DXT Wireless
Mouse 2 Light Click is an ergonomic mouse that helps to prevent this from happening.
The small DXT Wireless Mouse has an upright design so you
can keep your hand in a handshake position. It has a curved front
with two upward-sloping buttons and a generous wheel. In the
back, it has a molded recess for your thumb, allowing you to
pick up and move the mouse without effort. There, youll also
find a button to switch from left-handed to right-handed use, a
micro-USB charging port, an on/off switch, and a button to cycle
through four speed settings from 5002000 dpi.
The mouse is light as a feather, and a precise grip (like writing
with a pen) is all it takes to operate it. Most other mice, including
ergonomic ones, require you to use a pinch gripsimilar to turning a key to open a door.
The DXT mouse may be ergonomically close to perfect, but it
takes some getting used to. I started using it with my left hand,
and one of the frustrating things I found was the light clickno
muscle tension required at all. After a couple of days, I realized

Review by Michael Corsentino



Review by Erik Vlietinck

The Laso Transmitter has an AF Illuminator, something missing

on the ST-E3-RT, and it allows up to 15 flashes in five groups. Flash
modes include Ext.A, MULTI, Linked Shooting, E-TTL II/E-TTL, and
Manual. Users familiar with the 600EX-RT and ST-E3-RT will be
right at home with the Laso System, as the transmitter sports
nearly identical functionality, navigation, communication lamps,
and the simple-to-use interface that made Canons radio-based
system a hit.
Company: Phottix

Price: Transmitter $159.95;

Receiver $99.95



Hot: Mix new and older Speedlites with radio-controlled communication


that I was pinching when I didnt need to; then moving the mouse
around felt immediately natural. Using my right hand took another
couple of days before it felt okay. Once it did, I could switch hands
using the mouses L/R button, and be comfortable using it with
either hand.
One thing that bothers me (a little) is that, because its vertical,
I sometimes bump it when I reach for something across my desk!
Company: City Ergonomics

Price: $99



Hot: Small; ambidextrous; accurate to 2000 dpi; no effort to use

Not: May be too small for someone with very large hands

k e l b yo n e . c o m




Cerise Custom Desktop

Lives up to The AMG of Computers

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Review by Bruce Bicknell


As many of you know, Im no stranger to Cerise computers:

I dubbed the last one I reviewed the AMG of computers for
good reason. When I was asked to review this new one, I wondered what they could possibly have done to improve on the last
one. Ive been impressed with the company and the high-quality
product they manufacture, so I was intrigued.
Well, I wasnt expecting the huge box that I received. My first
thought was that the tower must be the size of a mini-fridge, and
when I thought about lugging it upstairs to my office, I let it sit for
a day. Needless to say, I was a little bummed before I opened the
box; but I should have opened it right away, because the reason
for the larger box was the exceptional packing! The form factor of
the new Cerise Desktop is much smaller and sleeker, and its black
aluminum case is easy on the eye. And it will fit easily into small
places, so space isnt an issue.
The computers case is exceptionally well designed with whisper-quiet operation (I hit the power button before I realized that it
was already on), and it has outstanding ease of use with access to
all of the drives and ports. One feature that the company has continued is the top-accessible audio and USB ports, which are great
for quickly attaching headphones or external drives (particularly
thumb drives, as theyre a pain to insert/remove from the front or
back of a computer).
So what does this computer have under the hood, and what
can it do? Let me start by saying that Cerise builds desktops for
pros (and consumers) who need to process large photography,
video, graphics, and audio projects. The computers are built by
one person (hence the AMG reference) to the consumers specs so
that every component is matched for the best performance possible. The setup is unique in that the processor is an Intel i7 Haswell
4.0-GHz Quad-Core processor, backed by 20 GB of RAM, which
was enough horsepower to chew through any project that I threw
at it. (Note: My tests involved one major photo/video shoot that
included more than 800 corporate headshots, award ceremonies,
a party, and more than 100 interviews for video reels/corporate
commercials, as well as a conference graphics project that utilized
almost the entire Creative Suite and Lightroom.)

Its not enough that the Cerise included the horsepower, it also
incorporated three solid-state hard drives (SSD) in this unit: One
Intel 480-GB SSD for the operating system and applications; one
Intel 400-GB SSD for multimedia editing; and a third Samsung
500-GB SSD for storagea brilliant plan that allows the drives to
operate cleanly and uncluttered! What I think is the best addition,
however, is the PNY Quadro K2200 VCQK2200-PB with 4-GB of
128-bit GDDR5 GPU memorya true workstation card. It handled my two hi-res 27" monitors with ease, and gave better detail
than the card in my Mac Pro. Needless to say, this card is a game
changer, and pushes the computers capabilities above anything
I could have expected. Other notable features are: an Atech Flash
Technology PRO-77U 5.25" USB 3 Hub & Card Reader, and an
In conclusion, this computer didnt disappoint at all, and
deserves a very hard look if youre thinking about purchasing
a machine thats dedicated to your profession. The cost is reasonable for this high-quality machine, and the attention to your
needs by the staff is invaluable. Im thinking that this one is the
replacement for my desktop.
Company: Cerise Computers LLC

Price: $3,174 (as tested)


Hot: Horsepower; killer graphics card; quiet; configurability




Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers:

2015 Release

The Photographers Pricing System: Get Paid

What Youre Worth for Portraits and Weddings

This comprehensive volume (its almost too large to call it sim-

This book provides very specific information about running a

ply a book) has a table of contents and index that each runs

professional photographic business. Filled with worksheets and

almost 14 full pages. These are great for finding information on

charts, youll find the authors very precise suggestions on run-

a particular feature or technique. The table of contents entries

ning a profitable studio or other photo operation. (The work-

for Chapter 1 Photoshop Fundamentals number almost 100.

sheets and the authors gross-earning calculator are available

Chapter 2, Camera Raw Image Processing, has three full

on the books website so that you can re-use them as your

pages of entries for a chapter about 175 pages long. I mention

business changes.) The author offers suggested pricing systems

these points to demonstrate the incredible comprehensiveness

as well as different business models. She advocates finding a

of this book. This revision to the authors 2013 Photoshop CC

niche, becoming the best in the niche, and marketing to clients

for Photographers includes not only all of the new features, it

who match that niche. Youll also find her recommendations on

also shows changes made to the programs interface since the

how many days and hours to work each week (as well as how

original Creative Cloud version of Photoshop. The books web-

many weeks to work per year). Charts show her recommenda-

site includes helpful information and charts, as well as updates

tions on what percent of your gross income should be devoted

on features added to Photoshop CC 2015 since the books pub-

to taxes, your paycheck, cost of goods sold, marketing, sav-

lication. The website,,

ing for emergencies, education and growth, and outsourcing

is open to all Photoshop users.

for both start-up and established businesses.

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

By Martin Evening


Publisher: Focal Press

Pages: 729 (plus, associated website)

By Alicia Caine

Publisher: Peachpit Press



Price: $59.95 Rating:

Pages: 190 (plus, associated website)

Price: $39.99 Rating:

December 2015




For advertising information, please contact Kevin Agren, V.P. Sales, at 813-433-2370.
4 Over, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123



Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for

Digital Photographers, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97


Epson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC3

Profoto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC

Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing

Headshot Portraits, The* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124


Adorama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
How Do I Do that in Lightroom?* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Really Right Stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Athentech Imaging, Inc.* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC


KelbyOne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3839, 71, 119, 124
B&H Photo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

Bay Photo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3031, 124


Squarespace* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
KelbyOne Live . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

Best of The Digital Photography Book Series, The*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121


Millers Professional Imaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57


Elinchrom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Mpix* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Tamron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Topaz Labs* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

*Advertiser offers discount to KelbyOne members. Visit for more information.
While every attempt has been made to make this listing as complete as possible, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.


From The Help Desk

Answers to Photoshop and gear-related questions


How come when I zoom in on a subject my images are often blurry compared to the same shot not
zoomed in?Irene

p h ot o s h o p u s e r d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

To: Irene
From: KelbyOne Help Desk


Most point-and-shoot cameras and zoom lenses have different maximum apertures at different zoom factors. Keep
in mind the relationship among aperture, shutter speed,
and ISO settings: These three factors determine your exposure. (Also keep in mind that the larger the aperture number, the smaller the aperture opening.) When the aperture
is smaller (higher aperture number), less light enters the
camera, and to create a proper exposure, either the ISO
must be increased or you need to use a slower shutter
speed. When your camera is shooting in Auto, Aperture
Priority, or Program mode, the camera adjusts the shutter
speed to compensate for changes in the aperture. (The ISO
is typically set manually by the photographer.)
If youre shooting wide open (using the largest
aperture available) to keep the shutter speed at its fastest,
or to minimize the depth of field (the range of distance
from the lens thats in focus), perhaps for shooting sports
or wildlife, your zoom factor can determine the aperture
size. (If youre shooting at an aperture of the smallest
available for the maximum zoom or smaller, the shutter
speed wont change, regardless of zoom factor.)
Some zoom lenses have a fixed maximum aperture
setting throughout the zoom range; but that comes at a
cost. Lets take a look at a real-world example:

Canons 24105mm f/3.55.6 lens has a maximum
aperture of f/3.5 when shooting at 24mm, but the maxi-

mum aperture shrinks to f/5.6 when zoomed to 105mm.

Our friends at B& H ( currently list this lens at $599.
Canon also offers a 24105mm lens that has a fixed
maximum aperture of f/4, regardless of the zoom factor. B&H currently offers this lens at $999.
When zoomed to 105mm, the difference between
f/4 and f/5.6 can be significant for your shutter speed,
depending to some degree on the ISO setting. That can
make the difference between freezing the action and having a blurred subject in front of a focused background.
Lets look at another, more dramatic comparison,
using two of my favorite Canon zoom lenses for capturing sports action:
My 70200mm lens has a fixed maximum aperture of
f/2.8. When shooting fully zoomed (200mm), the aperture can be as large as f/2.8.
When I need to get closer to the action or want to have
the capability of shooting wider than 70mm, I switch to
my Canon 28300mm f/3.55.6 lens. (I think of this as
my all-in-one lens, and after shooting with it for a while
without a tripod, it seems to weigh about as much as all
of my other lenses together!) When this lens is zoomed
to 200mm (using the same ISO), the maximum aperture
is f/5.6. And the difference in shutter speed between
f/2.8 and f/5.6 is extremely significant.

The KelbyOne Member


Are you taking advantage of the Help Desks at the KelbyOne member website? This is the place where you can get all of your
Photoshop and Lightroom questions answered either by other KelbyOne members or by our Help Desk experts. Not only that, you
can get photo and computer gear help and advice, as well. What are you waiting for? Visit the Community section on the KelbyOne
member site today!

Photoshop User magazine is the official

publication of KelbyOne.
Each issue features in-depth Photoshop
tutorials written by the most talented
designers, photographers, and leading
authors in the industry.
As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Photoshop User delivered
right to your door (or digitally) ten
times a year.