I read a thread today on flickr! where someone asked if anyone else loves the Magic Wand tool. Predictably, most of the replies said they used to, then they learned how to use masks, etc.
I'm not sure that I know what it means to say you don't use the Magic Wand tool because you learned how to use masks. ;) I'm pretty sure it was the equivalent of giggling or eye rolling. "Only a raw newbie would use the Magic Wand!"
I was chatting just yesterday by e-mail with a friend about how everyone is an expert on everything these days. It seems to be a deep-rooted psychological feature of American culture. Votes count equally. So do opinions, it seems.
Another American cultural trend is talk radio and talk TV, where strong opinions expressed with a menacing tone are good substitutes for facts, it seems.
I purchased the Lightroom 2 and Adobe Camera Raw videos from Michael Reichmann's ste: The Luminous Landscape. I've been wanting to review them for a while. So expect that soon.
As I sit and wait for these downloads to come across what it very obviously no more than a 10mbps connection (and probably a fraction of that, given the rather pokey download), I've been reflecting on which format is more user friendly.
I've posted a gaggle of links to tools, tutorials, and videos this week.
I don't have a backlog of TLR-branded resources to share. When I get busy in my professional or personal life, new releases of resources that I author slow down. I try to compensate by posting more links to resources around the Web.
Bruce Fraser wrote about the perils of using 100% zoom for capture sharpening photographs. I've written about it, too, in my eBook on sharpening. I've also written about the perils of using 100% zoom for judging noise reduction.
Thinking about the proper zoom for sharpening has evolved over the years. A few years ago, the recommendation was to use 100% zoom. I even had a tip way back when making that recommendation.
I'm going to create a new ction set for Photoshop to add more realistic film grain effects. I'd like to do this in a more open and community-like fashion. That means, I'd like input here, using the comment system.
Nearly every tutorial and action starts with a layer filled with midtone gray. An overlay layer blend is added. Since the layer is filled with gray, this means the overlay layer has no visible effect until the Add Noise filter is run.
There was one major reason for the redesign of The Light's Right site. I wanted to a community site. I spent a lot of time building the site in Drupal, adding forums, adding support for comments and ratings, etc.
I also wanted to give voice to others. A handful of Photoshop gurus have high visibility. We can learn a lot from them. But I also know from my experience in digital photography forums around the Web that there are many smart and experienced digital photographers out there.
I've seen a few presets recently to automate B&W conversions, add digital infrared effects, with Lightroom 2. In particular, I saw this featured preset from Pierre at Presets Heaven:
Honestly, the faux digital film effects for this preset do not look realistic to me. ;)
I cut my photographic milk teeth on B&W roll film with a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex nearly forty years ago. (Yes, I'm 49.) I helped my father build a B&W darkroom in the basement of our farmhouse. Later, we built a color darkroom in an upstairs bedroom. I worked with Kodak, Ilford, and Agfa B&W film for years. (Mostly Ilford and Kodak Plus-X/Tri-X/Panatomic-X film.) These digital substitutes look nothing like Plus-X, Tri-X, etc. in my opinion.
Matt Kloskowski's recent video on using camera-specific profiles gave me reason to stop and think about several points.
Let me start by disclaiming that I've een a fan of Matt's tutorials for years. Matt has an engaging personality in his tutorials. He's very knowledgable about Photoshop and Lightroom.
I was reading a commentary by Bob Johnson last week. His topic was Iterative Composition. Bob was talking about the ease that digital photography gives us for shooting the same scene again. You get immediate (if imperfect) information about your shot while you're out in the field. You can, for example, with a little experience, use the histogram to judge whether you made a serious under- or over-exposure. You can also improve your composition.