The January meeting of the Calvert Photography Club was called to order on Saturday, January 16, 2016 by our President, T.O. Galloway. We were reminded that club dues are payable for the 2016 year - $25/single, $35/family. Also there is a list of books and other resources available for club members to borrow – see list on the Members Only section of this website.
Our guest speaker today was our club President, T.O. Galloway, whose topic was “Tips and Tricks with Photoshop and Lightroom.” He began by showing us one of the tutorials by Von Wong that were donated to us by club member Anik Sales. These tutorials are available to all club members. Just bring a flash drive with at least 4 GB of available space to the next club meeting to get your copy!
T.O. then took us through some examples of what can be done in LR and PS. Lightroom is essentially a cataloging program which can be used to organize your photos including assigning of keywords which then enables you to search for all photos in a certain category based on the keywords that you have assigned. You can also do some basic editing in Lightroom. However, Photoshop does a better job for more intensive editing. You can get from Lightroom to Photoshop either by clicking on Photo – Edit in Photoshop, or by using the shortcut Ctrl-E.
T.O. showed us an example of how to present an image by increasing the canvas size and adding some details to make your own mat. The basic steps are:
Click on: Image – Canvas size (or shortcut Ctrl-Alt-C.) Type in numbers to increase the size of the canvas thus adding some white space around the image like a mat and click ok. You can also make one side wider or narrower by clicking on various anchor points in the dialogue box. Now choose the rectangular select tool and select an area around the image that is slightly larger than the image itself (so the select box will be in the canvas area around the image.) Now Click on: Edit-Stoke. When the dialogue box comes up you can change the stroke width and the color. You can either choose a color from the image itself by clicking within the image, or from another image or anywhere outside of the subject image by clicking and dragging the eyedropper off the image to the desired color. Press ok, and then Ctrl-D to de-select and you are left with a line around the image. Try repeating this technique again by making another selection outside of the previous selection and using a wider stroke width to give your “mat” some depth.
You can add text to your image by clicking on the Text tool. Customize the text using the type options to change to the desired font type, size, alignment, and color. If you don’t see a font that you like there are additional fonts that can be downloaded from Typekit by clicking on the green Tk at the top of the dropdown font menu (included with Creative Cloud). To center your text with the image, select the text layer and image layer together by clicking on the text layer in your Layers panel and then holding Ctrl and clicking on the image layer. Then at the top, click on: Layers – Align and choose the appropriate option to align the text as desired.
Further adjustments can be made to the image using adjustment layers to correct things such as brightness/contrast, exposure, vibrance, and hue/saturation to name a few. An adjustment layer affects all layers below it.
One way to reduce highlights in an image is to make a new blank layer in PS, fill it with 50% gray (Edit – Fill – change Content to 50% gray), change the blending mode to overlay, and use the brush tool to paint in the highlight areas.
To straighten a building try Edit-Perspective Warp.
Other Club Business:
A slide show entitled “People, Places, and Things” was presented by Debbie McIntosh. Our photo theme for this month was “Temperature”. This year we are starting something new with the monthly photo theme. All entries will be presented at the meeting and all those who are present at the meeting will get to vote for their top 3 choices. This month’s top 3 entries were from: 1) Anik Sales 2) Brenda Nuse 3) Marie Ventrone. The photo theme for next month is Still Life Macro.
Our monthly photo trip for January, 2016, was actually our annual hands-on workshop. We met at the Fairview Library in Owings. The goal of our yearly workshop is to learn indoor photography options to entertain us during cold months where it might be hard to get outside for photo shooting.
Sandy guided us at a station for Macro Photography, where various flowers and plants, vases, light sources, glycerin, small objects such as shells and starfish, cut vegetables, and colorful backgrounds were available to inspire creativity.
Karl had targets and instructions to learn how to use custom white balance to achieve more accurate color in our photos. Even though I’ve learned custom white balance in the past, I learned I was doing a couple of extra, unnecessary steps with my camera, which will save me time in the future.
Rick had the always popular Lens Align target available to test and adjust the focusing accuracy of our lenses. I haven’t done this adjustment, personally, since my camera doesn’t have the necessary function for this process.
Tammi reviewed smart phone photo apps that she enjoys using to manipulate her photos with varying fun and beautiful results. I made note of several to try on my own later, such as Snapseed, Vapp, 1 SE, Distressed FX, Place My Face, and Light Meter.
T.O.’s amazing set up of speed lights, transceivers, laser triggers, and a tank of sand was used to help us understand freezing items in motion. It was fun but frustrating to properly time dropping a heavy metal ball into the sand and firing at the correct time to get the result we wanted, such as capturing the ball hovering in midair, or the ball just hitting the sand so particles of the sand are in midair in the photo.
Although winter has been kind enough to us so far that it hasn’t made outdoor shooting difficult, these ideas we tried at this workshop will certainly come in handy when the weather does turn on us.
Thanks to Karl, Sandy, Tammi, Rick and T.O. for coming up with these ideas for us!
Thanks to Gloria Occhipinti for the photos used in this blog. See our group Flickr page for some of the Macro photography shots, plus others that may be shared there after the posting of this blog.