Photoshop Automator Actions Now Compatible with Photoshop CC

February 5, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: General 

The latest version of the Photoshop Automator Actions collection, version 5.0.7 is now compatible with Photoshop CC, in addition to CS4, CS5, CS5.5, and CS6. All users will want to upgrade, though, since the new version includes important bug fixes to file naming and the Edit IPTC Info action. Requires Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks. The update is available for free to current owners of the CS6, CS5, CS5.5, and CS4 packages. For new users, there’s still a free version, and a $20 pro option. Note that upgrades only work within Photoshop versions. So, if you have, say, the CS6 version and want the CC version, you’ll have to buy the CC version separately. (Yes, that’s a very messy sentence, but it’s late and I’m too tired to clean it up.) Check out the actions here, at our sister site.

Upcoming Photo Workshops

September 21, 2013 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Features 

I’ll be teaching or assisting in three different photo workshops in October at the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute at the beautiful Quartz Mountain State Park lodge. This is a beautiful location, teeming with landscape potential, colorful small towns, and interesting people. If you’ve seen my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Composition, then you’ve seen a fairly detailed view of the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute. Workshop details below.

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Wondering about Polaroid?

September 20, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Features 

On The Practicing Photographer this week, I talk to fashion photographer Troy Word about his use of Polaroid. Along the way, he brings us up-to-date on where the current state of Polaroid is, how you can easily get into Polaroid gear, how to mix it with digital, and what you can expect to spend along the way. Most importantly, he speaks to how it can change the way your photographic eye works. You can watch it right here.

A month in Mongolia with an iPad photo workflow

September 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Features 

This summer, for some reason, a friend and I drove a tiny Fiat Panda from London to Mongolia. Though I have a 13″ MacBook Air, I decided to take my iPad with me on the trip instead of a “real” computer. I also took a good amount of photography gear, which meant that the iPad had to support a fairly full photo workflow. This article details how I made it work, and what I found I could and couldn’t do. The good news is that, if you manage your expectations, and grab the right apps, you can run an effective post-production workflow directly from your iPad.

New Lynda Course: Lens-Reversal Macro Photography

April 15, 2013 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Features 
In my Lynda.com Macro and Close-up course, I cover the simple basics of reversing the lens you already have to turn it into a macro lens. This gives you an extremely easy way to start shooting macro, without having to invest in any special gear. If you give this technique a try, and find it useful, then you’ll want to watch my Lens-Reversal Macro Photography course which goes into more detail of how to get good macro results when shooting with a reversed lens. You’ll see how to re-gain aperture control, how to mount your lens to your camera backward, and how to stack multiple lenses to get even more macro power. Check it out now!Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.

New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Macro and Close-up

April 15, 2013 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Features 
There are a lot of small things in the world, and many of them make great photographic subjects, provided you know how to shoot at a macro scale with your camera. In this course, you’ll see all the basics of macro shooting. If you don’t have a macro lens, don’t worry, because the course starts with instructions on how to shoot macro shots with gear you already have. From there, we work up through extension tubes, add-on lenses, and finally to full-on macro lenses. Focus, metering, composition, and basic lighting are all covered. If you’re interested in macro or close-up photography, you’ll want to check out Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.

The Fuji X-E1 – Some thoughts and impressions

March 13, 2013 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Last year, not long after it came out, I bought a Fuji X100 because I was intrigued by the promise of a small, rangefinder-like camera with a fixed 35mm lens. I liked the idea of being forced to shoot with a specific field of view; I loved the look and feel of the camera; and it’s hard to beat Fuji’s lens and image quality. What was easy to beat, at the time, was the X100′s autofocus and clumsy menu system. These issues were so frustrating that I sold the camera not long after I bought it. I came to mildly regret this decision as Fuji released firmware updates that addressed many of the issues that had bothered me, but didn’t think seriously about returning to the camera. But with the release of the Fuji X-E1, I couldn’t resist giving Fuji another chance. Here are some of my impressions and thoughts about Fuji’s latest mirrorless camera.

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New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Specialty Lenses

January 9, 2013 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Mostly, good photography is about the skill of the photographer. That said, a lot of photographs are only possible with the right type of lens, and there are a lot of lenses out there tailored to very specific types of shooting. In this new course, I go into detail on how to shoot with ultra-wide-angle lenses, super telephotos, fisheyes, Tilt/Shift, and more. If you’ve been wondering if any of these types of lenses are right for you, or you’ve already got one and want to know more about what it can do, then you’ll want to check out my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.

Shooting Macro Photos With Deep Depth-of-Field

January 9, 2013 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Features 

I’m currently deep in the process of preparing a macro shooting course for Lynda.com As anyone who’s ever dabbled in macro knows, as you get closer, your depth of field gets more shallow. Sometimes unusably shallow. However, there are things you can do to get much deeper depth of field.

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Alien Skin Exposure 4

November 9, 2012 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

To me, one of the most unexpected byproducts of digital photography is that it has rekindled tremendous interest in film processes of one kind or another. Alien Skin’s Exposure 4 plug-in for Photoshop lets you explore all sorts of film processes without ever having to soak your hands in noxious chemicals. I recently spent some time with the latest version, and was pleased to find that it remains an excellent option for users who want either a specific traditional film look, or any kind of analog, or grunge process. You can read my entire review here.

Now Available: Lynda training for the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III

November 9, 2012 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Features 

If you’re the lucky own of a Nikon D800 or Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and you’d like to know more about how to use either camera, then you’ll want to check out my two latest Lynda.com courses. Both classes walk you through all the critical features and operations of each camera, and are designed to work in concert with my Foundations of Photography series. Note that the 5D Mark III class is also ideally suited for users of the 5D Mark II. Click here if you’re a 5D user or click here if you’re a D800 user.

Some Notes on Canon’s Evaluative Metering

September 20, 2012 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: Features 

I’ve been shooting with Canon SLRs for a long time, and for the most part, I’ve always been pleased with the camera’s metering. Granted, I can never remember which icon corresponds to which metering mode, but now that I keep the PDF of the manual on my phone, I can always look it up. During a recent shoot, though, I came across a curious detail about Evaluative metering that I never knew – one that can dramatically alter metering behavior in certain situations.

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Now available: Inkjet Printing for Photographers

September 14, 2012 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Features 

While our topic of choice at this site is digital photography, when it comes to final output, I still want my photos on paper. These days, quality output to paper means inkjet printing, and in this course, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get fine-art quality inkjet prints. Whether you’re working on color or black and white, with or without a color-managed system, this course will show you how to get the best prints possible from your inkjet print. Click here to get started watching now.

Shooting on the Road, from Gear to Workflow

July 17, 2012 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Better gear won’t necessarily make you a better photographer, but having the wrong gear can certainly make it more difficult to get the shots you want. In this 3-hour Lynda.com course you’ll see my entire thought process as I equip and prepare for three different kinds of shoots. Through examples of heavyweight, mid weight, and lightweight shoots, you’ll see how I tackle the problems of choosing shooting gear, power, storage, and post-production equipment. You’ll also see how I strategize methods for carrying all this stuff. Discussing everything from tripods to bags and batteries, this course is ideal for anyone who shoots while traveling, and wants a better plan for selecting the right gear. Click here to get started watching now.

Now Shipping: Complete Digital Photography, 7th Edition

July 16, 2012 by · 18 Comments
Filed under: General 

The seventh, and latest, edition of this site’s namesake book is now available. The newest version of Complete Digital Photography features full updating for Photoshop CS6, the latest version of Camera Raw, and new sections on composition, low light shooting, printing, and workflow. For the most part, the book maintains the organization of the last edition, with a few new sections and a few others eliminated. In addition to the included step-by-step post-production tutorials included in the book, many additional tutorials are included on the companion web pages. Order your copy now!

Turning Any Bag Into A Camera Bag

June 18, 2012 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Hi. My name is Ben and I’m a bag addict. It’s true, I have a problem. For years, I was convinced that there was a single, perfect camera bag out there in the world somewhere. So, over the years, I have amassed an embarrassing assortment of bags. A while ago, I came to realize that there is no single camera bag that’s appropriate for every situation, which only exacerbated my problem, because now I have a perfect justification for owning still more bags. Alas, the discovery of Mountainsmith Kit Cube has made the whole situation even worse, because with the Kit Cube, I can turn any bag into a camera bag. This means my bag fetish is no longer constrained to just camera bags!

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Nikon Capture NX 2 Essential Training

May 3, 2012 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Nikon Capture NX provides a complete editing environment and workflow tool, all built around Nikon’s exceptional raw converter. A complete, non-destructive image editing system, Capture NX also uses Nik software’s uPoint technology for selective editing. This gives you incredibly powerful editing without having to hassle with masks, keys, paths, or any other traditional selection tools. You can learn all the ins and outs of this great image editor in this new five hour and forty minute course at Lynda.com. Watch it now right here!

Photoshop Automator Actions 5.0.4 Update

April 30, 2012 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: Automator Actions, Features 

The Photoshop Automator Actions v5.0.4 Updater is now available. If you’re not familiar with it, this is a piece of software that lets Mac users drive Photoshop from Automator, which allows you to create very sophisticated automated workflows. This is a very important update for anyone who’s currently using the package. With this release, the entire package has been ported to the AppleScript-Objective-C platform that Snow Leopard and Lion prefer. This offers much better stability, and possibly improved performance. Along the way, I also fixed a lot of bugs. Finally, with this release there is finally a Photoshop 5.5-specific version. You can learn more about the collection here. If you already use the collection, you can get an update here. Available for CS4, CS5 and CS5.5. CS6 coming soon!

Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

April 27, 2012 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Digital cameras offer tremendous convenience over their film counterparts, but one of the most dramatic changes opened up by digital imaging technology is the world that exists in low light. Whether you need to shoot an event in a dark auditorium, a landscape at night, or simply want to shoot in your house after the sun goes down, you need a particular skill set, and this Lynda.com course will give it to you. This four-hour course will walk you through all the details of preparation, shooting, and post-production for any kind of low-light or night shooting that you might be interested in. Watch it now right here!

iPhoto for iOS

April 6, 2012 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

It’s taken a while, but Apple has finally crafted a version of iPhoto for iOS. Of course, there are already lots of other image editing apps available for both the iPhone and iPad, so where does iPhoto fit in? This detailed review takes a look at iPhoto from the perspective of the more serious, even professional, shooter.

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  • Nothing Else to Buy!



    Seventh Edition
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    Complete Digital Photography
    by Ben Long.

    Everything you want and need to know about digital photo-
    graphy - from buying a camera, to editing your images, to making your final prints. Completely reorgan-
    ized and loaded with more content than any previous edition!



  • Classes at Lynda.com



    Exposure

    Foundations of Photography
    by Ben Long.

    Three-and-a-half hours of comprehensive instruction in all things related to photographic exposure. If you can't tell your f-stop from a hole in the ground, then this is the course for you. From shooting modes to shutter speed, aperture, f-stop, focusing and more, this will get you through all those pesky exposure basics you've always meant to learn.




  • More To Read

    Real World
    Capture NX2


    Real World Capture NX

    Order Now!

    by Ben Long.

    Learn the ins and outs of Nikon's exceptional image editing application. Capture NX 2 provides revolutionary selective editing tools, and a fully non-destructive image editing environment that can be used on any TIFF, JPEG file or Nikon raw file.

    Click here for more info!