Sharpen your Adobe Photoshop techniques with Outdoor Photographer. Our articles offer Photoshop tips on topics ranging from resizing images to enhancing color. Begin your lesson in Photoshop for wildlife and nature photography now.
The Targeted Adjustment Tool—a geeky name for a wonderful part of Lightroom
Wouldn’t you like a magic button that would allow you to get the most from your photography, make digital easier to work with and shorten your time in front of the computer? Of course, you would! Any nature photographer would, especially if it means less time inside and more time outside.
Turn your good images into your best images by using Photoshop to bring out those details that are too bright or too dark
Do you have that potentially great shot sitting on your hard drive, ready to be made into a beautiful print or sold to some publication that could really use such a brilliant image? Except for one little problem. The photo is too dark or too light to be used in those ways. Maybe it’s not even the whole photo, but just a part of it; but that part is too important and serves as a distraction to the overall image.
How a much maligned adjustment tool can help you work images like a darkroom master
As soon as I mention the Brightness/Contrast adjustment control, I know some Photoshop sophisticates will turn up their noses and figure that I’ve lost it. Brightness/Contrast is the adjustment control that the experts love to hate and denigrate. Yet it has powers that are perfect for anyone interested in going beyond basic Photoshop adjustments.
While tilt-shift lenses can be used for both practical and extreme purposes, they also can be utilized to increase your image file size and creativity in unexpected ways
Why not create your own focal length? This concept rattled around in my head for some time after going digital. Then again, many things rattled around in my head after I went digital. But one concept that rattled louder than others was how to utilize a moving lens mounted on a camera body to achieve multiple formats and compositions. With this in mind, I started using a Canon tilt-shift lens and began combining two offset digital files of the same scene. I began creating new compositions and aspect ratios and also increased the file size of my images—all without the use of panoramic equipment.
What does it take to visualize luminosity in black-and-white and color photography, then see and control it in Photoshop?
Luminosity is represented in a photograph by tones of black, white and gray. Luminosity is light. It represents all that we can see about the world we photograph. Every object, event and mood depends upon visible light represented by luminosity in the photograph.
Shoot in B&W or convert in Photoshop? That is the question...
If you’d like to simulate the results produced by specific films or film/developer combinations, reach for Exposure from Alien Skin. Based on detailed analysis of actual film stock, Exposure not only re-creates the film coloration and contrast, but also actually reproduces the size, shape and color of the film grain. If you like the look of push-processed Kodak TRI-X, for example, you can re-create it digitally—with authentic results. Exposure performs other editing functions as well. The options include a monochromatic toning filter set (blue, gold, sepia, selenium and sulphide) that allows you to re-create the look of old-fashioned image recording techniques.
Lightroom is a program designed for photographers and the way they work
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has grabbed the attention of many photographers, and for good reason. It’s a significantly different way of approaching images than Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or any other traditional image-processing software.
Using Photoshop to repair problem skies when the light is too contrasty for your film or sensor to record properly
One of the great challenges I find with photography is the inability to capture the full range of tones and colors I see in a scene. My camera just isn’t capable of doing that. This Photoshop technique allows you to repair an image that didn’t record the original scene correctly, turning a throwaway shot into a photo suitable for framing.
Hamlet's new D-SLR dilemma: to underexpose or not to underexpose?
I know you’ve heard this or something like it: "I always underexpose my digital files. I want to be sure my highlights are protected, so underexposure, for me, is like insurance for the highlights. Anyway, I shoot RAW, so it really doesn’t matter if my image is underexposed."
Use these tips to make the most of this key Photoshop tool
Working in an image-editing program without utilizing Layers is, from my perspective, like using a pro SLR and leaving it on manual all the time. You’ll still be able to make quality images, but you certainly won’t be taking advantage of all the technology that makes life easier!
Interpret a scene optimally to match your vision of the subject
One of the great challenges for any nature photographer is to use photographic tools, such as lens, filter, film, flash and digital camera choices, to control the photographic process so that you can interpret the world true to how you saw the scene. Perhaps an even greater challenge, though, is to use tools with discretion and craft—in other words, use that lens choice in a way that enhances the subject, the filter so that its use doesn’t overpower the subject, the film so colors aren’t garish and the flash so it doesn’t look alien.
A graphic pen and tablet can make a difference in the digital darkroom
How do you work with images in the computer? I’m not asking what program you use, what file formats are preferred or even if you use Mac vs. Windows. Nor am I wondering what workflow you choose or if you have a certain style of image processing.
Reveal the color and contrast in your murky digital images
Flat and dull. While the tones in your images sometimes can be described by these two words, simple techniques in your image-processing software allow you to quickly take out the grays and add depth, detail and a punch of color.
When do you really need the 16-bit capabilities of RAW files?
More isn’t always better, but sometimes it helps. More strokes in a golf game is a bad thing, while more runs is good for baseball (unless you’re on the losing side). More heat is great for baking bread, but awful for storing eggs.
Change and enhance color with precision using this adjustment tool
The Hue/Saturation adjustment is found in most image-editing applications, and offers one of the best ways to change colors both globally and selectively. This easy-to-use tool creates remarkably different looks to your color images.