Author: Rod Lawton

The secrets of stacking in Aperture

The ability to ‘stack’ related images is, I think, one of the single most important features of image cataloguing applications. And Aperture’s stacking system is the simplest, most effective and most versatile of all. To show how it works, I’ve set up a project with just a single image. It’s going to be a lot easier to see what’s happening if the screen isn’t cluttered up with other pictures. There are lots  of screenshots with this walkthrough, but don’t worry about that because it’s not a complicated process – they’re there just to make every single step crystal clear....

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How to create a fine art effect with Silver Efex Pro 2

Fine art can mean a whole lot of different things, but here I’m just going to show how to turn a colour image into a simple graphic composition that could work quite nicely when you hang it on your wall. There are two things you need in order for this to work. One is an image with a strong, simple composition that’s going to work well at different viewing distances. Big, bold shapes are best, and details from nature work well. The other thing you need is a combination of subtle tonal adjustments to bring out the graphic arrangement...

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Three things you can do with a Photoshop Elements Gradient Map

Photoshop Elements Gradient Maps can create a wide range of effects from black and white conversions to sepia toning and colour tints, so how do they work? Gradient maps take the brightness values in the picture and ‘map’ them on to any gradient you choose, and this is actually rather useful. Let’s say you pick a straightforward black-white gradient – the tool then maps all the pixels in your picture onto the different shades of grey along this gradient according to their original brightness. In this instance, you’ll get a black and white conversion of a colour original, which...

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Create a dirty Kodachrome with Perfect Photo Suite!

Photographers are never happy. We couldn’t stop complaining about our dirty, faded colour transparencies when they were all we had, and we couldn’t wait to swap to nice, clean, everlasting digital images… only now they’re the norm, we miss our grubby old transparencies. So I’m going to use Perfect Effects to try to recreate that old transparency look, complete with the characteristic round-cornered Kodachrome frame, some random dust and debris, faded colours and even a minor light leak for good measure. I’ve started with a Pentax D-SLR image I shot in Bruges a couple of years ago on a...

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Get an HDR effect from a single image in Color Efex Pro

There are so many filters in Color Efex Pro that it can take a long, long time to work out all the things that it can do. Some of the tools are obvious, like Levels and Curves or Graduated Filters, but some are less so, and the Detail Extractor is a prime example. It sounds like a tool for making your images sharper, but it’s actually something else entirely. It’s a kind of localised contrast adjustment tool which brings out details in both shadows and highlights with the kind of power and simplicity that you might wish your favourite...

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About this site

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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