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The term “texture” is a catch-all term for adding either abstract images, detailed photos, or patterns of different surfaces, like metal, cracked paint, sand, etc. as an overlay on your image. This is a type of “compositing”, combining multiple images into one finished work. Adding textures to your images can change the mood, create special effects, strengthen the composition, or help better tell a story.  These five concepts will help you add textures more easily, realistically, and quickly in Adobe Photoshop

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On many social media sites, for various reasons, we are seeing a high degree of censorship and banning for anything consider “Mature”. Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, for those of us producing fine art nude or boudoir photography it’s becoming increasingly difficult to share our uncensored work over the internet. Here is a quick tip on how to create a frosted glass effect that nondestructively blurs only the parts of your image you choose, to satisfy the interweb censors and people parts police.

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I have a new article published today on Photofocus, titled “How to Enhance Your Photos With Textures – Part 2: Blending”. Here’s a sneakpeek… ” …” Check out the rest of the article at this link: How to Enhance Your

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In photography a texture image or “texturing” is used to enhance or accent some part of the image in your digital darkroom.  Although they can help you create eye-catching works of art, textures also can be very easy to overdo. In this article I’ll explain my process for adding textures to my photography, using Adobe Stock and Photoshop,  to create more impact, transform the mood of the image, or improve on the composition.

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Curves layers are one of the most misunderstood, yet more powerful adjustments you can make. Our images are all made up of pixels, which each have values for color and luminosity. With Curves adjustments, we can remap the pixels’ values for these, changing them to be brighter or darker, or changing their color.  In Skylum Software’s Luminar you can add multiple curves filters, and make each layer target very specific parts of your image.  This will give your images more depth, dimension, and beautiful color.

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While Adobe has come to be nearly synonymous with digital photography, their customers are creatives of all types. With the creation of Adobe Stock they recognized that creative people often need the work of other artists to complete their own projects. As Creative Cloud has rolled out, we have seen an even deeper integration of Adobe Stock with their library of software, building access into their products for an easy way to add stock images to projects.

On the flip side, Adobe has also recognized the people who use their products are the same ones who create the content they sell on Adobe Stock. So, they also made it easy for artists to submit their work to this ever growing marketplace of imagery. Adobe Stock is a easy way for image creators to market their work, providing a good resource to learn how to submit quality stock photography with a consistent workflow. This article covers the process for getting your contributor account set up, and ready for you to start uploading images.

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Digging into Skylum’s newest version of Luminar, the first question I had to answer is, “what can it do that will save me time, make my images look better, and not take forever to learn?” Once you open the program up, you find a tremendous amount options for processing. But, it is an easy to learn program that I have found can help you make quick adjustments to get great results.  These tips and techniques will help you sift through the options and features, so you can develop (pun intended) your own workflow, not just for your landscapes, but any type of photography.

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I would say, without a doubt, that Lightroom is one of the most used programs on my computer, second maybe only to Chrome. However, even as a convert from the first version of Lightroom and having logged about a zillion hours using it since then, I am still always learning something new that I can do with it. Partly from the consistent upgrades and improvements over the years, but, also because there are many hidden features for those of us willing to do a little spelunking around the program.

One of these buried treasures is not in Lightroom itself, rather a repository that Adobe maintains called the Lightroom Developers SDK. Short for “Software Development Kit”, this is a library of information and “how to’s” for anyone who wishes to build their own plugins to extend Lightroom’s features. Inside this library is also a selection of sample plugins that you can use as a foundation for building your own. Each of these samples is a fully functioning plugin on its own, offering some feature or functionality not available in the regular program. One of my favorite, and most used, is the FTP sample plugin. This gives us a way to send batches of large images to a file server straight from Lightroom. Below is a tutorial on how to find, install, and use it, so you can get those beautiful images of yours to the people that want them as quickly and easily as possible!

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For this composite, my goal was to produce a version of my galloping wild horses image that looks like it’s been drawn and woodburned onto an old board. Not sure why, I just thought it would look cool, the inspiration behind many my composites. Having an idea of what you want to make before you start usually produces the best results. But, don’t be so in love with your idea you can’t change as you create your composite.

At this point, I have my horse picture processed and saved as a high resolution TIF file, and have found a nice wood texture I want to use as the background texture. Ideally you want these texture files to be high-resolution also, so that you can print your finished piece later. Using a 400 pixel wide texture will result in a blurry grainy mess, it’s too small to print it big later.

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In the digital darkroom, we can take two paths with our images. The first is to use your photo processing software to get your image looking as close to what you saw when you took it. This is your standard digital darkroom workflow, adjusting your exposure, getting rid of spots, cropping, etc., with more of a focus on realism.

The second path is to take that photo and transform it into something completely different. It may be combined with other photos as a composite, have various effects applied, and generally will look completely different from what you started with, but in a good way! Here the focus is on creating something new, using your original image only as the first ingredient. This is compositing, combining multiple images and effects to produce an original piece of art. In this article I’ll take you down the second path, introducing how to use Skylum’s new Luminar 2018 to start doing your own composites.  

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I recently noticed my camera had a lot of dirt on it, so I took it to the nearest creek and threw it in for a good scrubbing. OK, maybe not, what actually happened was every photographer’s nightmare. Setting up on the side of a creek to photograph a series of rapids, I tripped, with the result of my camera getting a solid dunking.

Now, speaking from experience, this is what we call an “Oh [email protected]#t!!!…” moment. A 10 on the “Brown Pants” scale. In other words, an unpleasant experience.  However, quick action and a proper drying out process can, in some cases, save your gear from an untimely demise. Despite its underwater expedition, my DSLR is still alive and well thanks to the tips below.

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Being an outdoor/adventure/”hike all over the place” type of photographer, I love any gear that can do more than one job, without weighing a ton.  When you have to backpack everything in, you learn to simplify and use as much multipurpose lightweight gear, as possible.
One trick I have learned is to turn my Oben travel tripod into a light stand for flashes or continuous lights.  At just a few pounds, it’s light enough to hike with, and serves double duty as either a camera or flash support. This versatility means it gets a place in my pack, instead of staying home with more specialized gear that won’t make the hike.

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HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing of your photos by its nature can result in a lot of noise or graininess in your final image. While Macphun’s new Aurora HDR 2018 for PC’s does a great job overall reducing noise, there are still times when noisy areas appear in your processed HDR. This can be caused by many reasons, but most commonly it’s due to your settings in camera (such as shooting at too high of an ISO) or any image processing you have done to your images before merging them in Aurora (such as exposure adjustments). Regardless of the cause, you can remove most of this noise by using a “Luminosity Layer”. This technique saves a lot of time, giving you consistently good-looking results, quickly.  

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