Author: Rod Lawton

Using Lightroom 5’s Radial Gradient tool

The editing tools in Lightroom 5 are steadily improving to the point where many photographers won’t need any other software for their day-to-day image enhancement, and the new Radial Gradient tool in the Develop module takes this one stage further. It offers a way to quickly highlight the focal point of your pictures, subdue backgrounds and improve the composition with a subtle (or not so subtle) framing effect. Incidentally, some of the most important new features in Photoshop CC are the extra editing tools in Adobe Camera Raw, which is also the processing engine behind Lightroom – so if...

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Find your photos fast with Aperture’s Smart Albums

This is one of the strengths of an image cataloguing program like Aperture – the ability to quickly find a specific set of images out of a collection of tens, or even hundreds of thousands. It’s where the limitations of Photoshop and Bridge become so apparent – they’re fine if you want to work on individual images and you know where you’ve stored them, but no good for managing your photo collection on the kind of scale that most of us do these days. So anyway, back to smart albums. These aren’t like regular albums – you don’t manually...

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How to save a preset for Kodak Tri-X black and white in Silver Efex Pro

Anyone who used to shoot with black and white film will have a favourite, and I always had a soft spot for Kodak Tri-X. I didn’t mind the grain because I liked that gritty, ‘documentary’ feel, and sometimes I push-processed during development to get a little more contrast, especially in the depths of the Northern European winter. But that all came to an end with the swap to digital. There are a thousand and one ways to convert colour images to black and white in Photoshop, but none of them ever seemed to me to capture the ‘look’ of...

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Create a mist effect in Elements with blend modes and masks

Have you ever used a ‘mist’ filter with your camera? These are pretty weak – they usually produce an overall hazy glow to your pictures that doesn’t look that realistic. But there is a way to create ‘mist’ effects in Photoshop Elements that’s a lot more realistic. It uses adjustment layers, masks and blend modes, and while that might sound pretty complicated it’s actually quite straightforward. It’s also really easy to tweak the results once you’ve finished. Here’s our start shot. It’s a good candidate because it has some three-dimensional depth which will make the mist effect look more...

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How to apply graduated filters in Perfect Photo Suite

OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite has a number of different modules, rather like the Nik/Google Collection. In Perfect Photo Suite, though, you can access them all from a single, central interface, rather than loading them as separate plug-ins. For this walkthrough, I’m just going to use the Perfect Effects module. Like Nik/Google Color Efex Pro 4, this lets you ‘stack’ effects using a kind of internal layers system. I’m starting with a travel shot with some nice, colourful rooftops but a rather blank sky, and I want to see if I can make it look more vibrant. 01 Add a...

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Life after Photoshop is dedicated to the wider world of image-editing beyond Photoshop and its technical, image-by-image approach. Here you’ll find tips, tutorials, reviews and ideas for everything from mobile photography to asset management, from one-click effects to professional workflows. Rod Lawton

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