Author: Rod Lawton

Create a beautiful gum bichromate effect in Perfect B&W

OnOne Software’s B&W tool doesn’t just create black and white pictures! You can use it to recreate a whole range of delicately-coloured vintage effects too, like this digital version of the gum bichromate process. To be honest, digital versions of old chemical processes do take some liberties with the look and feel of the original technique, and this one is no exception. However, I hope the result is in the spirit of the gum bichromate process, even if it doesn’t have the same element of craft and skill. This is also an opportunity to take a closer look at...

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Use Color Efex Pro control points to mask your graduated filters

Graduated filters are perfect for toning down bright skies, but they have a problem. Any object sticking up into the sky gets ‘graduated’ too! But Color Efex Pro control points are the answer… All the filters in Color Efex Pro have opacity control points. You can use them to hide the filter effect in areas you don’t want it, or add them to apply the effect only in specific areas. They use Nik Software’s clever ‘U-point’ technology, which automatically masks the adjustment based on the tones underneath the control point. This becomes a lot easier to understand when you...

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How to use the Capture One Color Editor to fine-tune your image’s colours

The Capture One Color Editor is designed for subtle manipulation, not wholesale colour substitutions. It has much in common with the Replace Color tool in Photoshop and Elements, but restricts itself to modest hue shifts rather than complete colour changes. It’s really useful where the image as a whole is more or less right, but individual colours are slightly off-key or over/under-saturated. This moody Welsh landscape is a good example. It’s already had some editing work done on it to enhance the clarity, contrast and overall saturation, but I’m not happy with the greens (they’re more brown than green)...

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How to adjust the point curve in Lightroom

Curves adjustments are tricky to get right. Small changes can have a big impact on the image, and it’s easy to make things worse not better. That’s why Adobe’s provided a secret weapon – the Adjust Point Curve tool in Lightroom. Normally, you make curves adjustments by estimating or measuring the position of the area you want to adjust on the curve display, then add a control point and drag it up and down to change the brightness of that area. If you drag upwards that area becomes lighter; if you drag downwards it becomes darker. You can add...

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Maximising dynamic range in Aperture

One of the biggest advantages of shooting RAW is the extra dynamic range in your files – but how do you recover those blown highlights? Here’s how to maximise dynamic range in Aperture, while minimising the impact on your overall exposure. It’s done using Aperture’s Recovery slider, which pulls back extreme highlight detail without affecting the rest of the tones in the picture. Lots of RAW converters aim to do exactly the same thing, but in my opinion Aperture does it best. To me, the highlight recovery tools in other programs affect too much of the tonal range, encroaching...

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