Tag Archives: software

Dust Spots!

Dust spots and artifacts are my pet peeve… cannot stand them because they are so easy to fix. However, they can be hard to find! They are definitely the bane of any landscape photographer’s existence, but they can show up in any image and they never show up until you have published or printed an image! It is like magic. As soon as your friends, family, and world can see the image, the dust spots/artifacts miraculously appears and of course, you are at best, the second person to see it. :-/

Even those folks with great eyesight miss them. But here is where we can look to technology for a solution. Lightroom Develop and Photoshop Camera Raw both have dust spot removal tools. But for real success, you have to “visualize spots” to get the most of these tools. Let’s take a look at how this one little checkbox can make a world of difference.

Take this image… unprocessed, right out of the camera. We can see some spots (red arrows) right off the bat. So those can be easily fixed. But the real question will be…. have we missed any? So at a glance, we would like to say we haven’t, but how can we be sure?

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As I mentioned, the best tools for the identification of dust spots/artifacts that I have found are the spot removal tools in Lightroom Develop (the icon shown to the right) ,Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 2.20.38 PMand in Photoshop Camera Raw (icon shown to the right).  Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.48.12 AMAs these programs are the same, these spot removal tools are also the same. The only difference is the icon used to access them.

Now the tools themselves are great and do an amazing job (most of the time) of identifying the pixels from which to clone the dust spot. But the true beauty of these tools is their ability to identify spots and artifacts in images that we simply cannot see with the naked eye.

Here is how this works. Take the image noted above, we identified 5 dust spots/artifacts that need correction. Let’s see what the spot removal tool finds. To make this a bit easier, I have drawn arrows to re-identify the spots we found in the above image and then circled the additional dust spots/artifacts identified by the software. Take a minute to look back at the color image. Those spots in the sky do not stand out and could easily be missed if it wasn’t for the spot removal tool. So how do we get this masked image, show below? In both Lightroom Develop and Photoshop Camera Raw spot removal tools, there is a checkbox that says “visualize spots”.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.41.46 PM

 

 

In Lightroom, the Visualize Spots can be found to the bottom left of the center panel: Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.03.43 PM.

In Photoshop, the Visualize Spots can be found at the bottom of the right hand panel: Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.03.26 PM

To emphasize the spots, check the box and then drag the slider bar to the right. This tool will even identify spots in the middle of clouds! In fact, it will identify spots anywhere in an image. Dust spots stand right out, as they have distinct round edges. Notice the dust spots in the sky above, they are hollow round spots and very noticeable. Now you can use the cloning feature (in both programs) to clone out the dust spots.

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In a few minutes, hundreds (which can happen) of dust spots/artifacts can be removed!

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Now, you can finish processing the image! I suggest removing dust spots first, so that whatever processing you do to the image doesn’t exaggerate or further emphasize spots that need to be removed. It is simply easier to fix the spots before their edges are more pronounced with contrast or clarity.

For this image, here is the final result:

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Happy Holidays and Creative New Year!!

Valentine’s Day Gift from MacPhun!

Get Two of the Best-Selling Mac Apps to Make Your Pictures Perfect for the price of ONE!  Regular Price: $40 Now $29.99

Save 25% on Tonality and Snapselect, plus be entered for a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

These great savings are available from now until February 16, 2015.

_XT17391-EditTonaScreen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.50.29 PMlity: Create fascinating black and white images. Inspiring presets, film emulation, layers & innovative features ensure the most romantic pictures you ever made!

This image was converted to B&W using Tonality! The software is amazing and with the layer technology embedded, the amount control you have over the end result is unparalleled.

 

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Snapselect: Sort and organize your pictures quick and easily. Easily find your best images and get rid of duplicates. Save disc space & have more time to do what you love!

 

Click here to purchase!

Exclusions: Raffle of ten $15 Amazon Gift Cards: Everybody who purchases from Macphun Software USA Valentine’s Special is automatically entered and has a chance to win. You must be a resident of North America in order to receive an Amazon Gift Card.

New eBook demystifying Lightroom 5!

Denise just completed her first eBook – Lightroom 5!  The book demystifies Lightroom, from setting up preference for optimal functionality to importing images and organizing your workflow to developing images to their full potential to creating watermarks and exporting images to share.

This eBook is 65 packed pages of information on how to best use Lightroom in your workflow. With lots of step by step instructions and illustrative images to guide you!

http://roadrunnerphotographytours.com/educational/e-books-2

The book is priced at a very affordable $5.99 and payments are handled thru PayPal.

If you have any problems downloading the book please send me an email

don@roadrunnerphotographytours.com

Thanks,

Denise and Don…

Macphun Black Friday Specials Are Coming Early This Year!

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BlackFriday is fast approaching and Macphun has some great gift ideas!

 

Save $80 on the Creative Kit Plus (Black Friday Special) & get a $25 Amazon or Apple iTunes Gift Card with purchase.Valid: Nov 25 – Dec 1
copy_1_ckplus_icon_92Details: Creative Kit Plus includes 4 award-winning Mac photo software products worth $210 (if purchased separately) for JUST $129.99. Nearly 40% off (an $80 savings). Plus, customers from the United States get a $25 gift card of their choice from the Amazon or iTunes stores with purchase of the Creative Kit Plus.Black Friday special is only valid on Creative Kit Plus (Black Friday Special). Gift Card only available to customers in the United States.

Use our discount code ROADRUNNER, if you are interested in purchasing individual products such as:
tonpro_icon92Tonality Pro – Awesome program for creating stunning black and white images! Great flexibility as the plugin has its own layer and masking capabilities!

 
 
 
 
 

intpro_icon_92Intensify Pro – Create powerful images with unprecedented drama, clarity, and detail! Great flexibility as the plugin has its own layer and masking capabilities!

 
 
 
 
 

shpro_icon_92Snapheal Pro – Easily remove unwanted objects, heal skin imperfections, get rid of pesky dust spots! Snapheal Pro features multiple erasing modes and adjustable precision for pixel-perfect results.

 
 
 
 
 

focpro_icon_92Focus 2 Pro – Create images with selection focus, lens blur and tilt-shift effects with just a few clicks!

 

Artistic License

Artistic License… what does it really mean…?

The freedom to create artwork based on the artist’s interpretation.

Often, photography is not seen as “art”. This is really a tragedy, as photographers spend hundreds of hours honing their craft, learning their tools, improving their skills, understanding light and composition, just as other artists do… yet, they are not given the same respect or credit. How often have we heard… “Wow, great pic, you must have an excellent camera” or “If that were in a gallery, I would buy it”? I personally, need more than two hands to count the number of times I have heard these or similar comments.

Simply put, photography is a form of art and definitely a form of expression. From Photojournalism to Abstract Photography; photography runs the gamut of styles and subjects. I consider my photography art. I consider myself an artist. I consider my medium a camera. I consider Photoshop and its various plugins to be my palette.

Sometimes we exercise our artistic license in how we create images. In this image, I was standing in a grove of Poplar trees. The grove was long and narrow, which to me felt like a tunnel. I tried to convey that feeling by using a telephoto lens, and moving from telephoto to wide angle while the shutter was open. Other than adding some contrast and checking for blown highlights, this image has not been “processed”.

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In this next image, I exercised my artistic license in how I processed this image. For this image, I used Topaz Clean 3, and started with the FlatStyle preset. I liked how it flattened and smoothed the image, while leaving the pattern of light created by the moving clouds. This image now conveys the simplicity and peacefulness of the rolling dune-like hills for which the Palouse is known. It takes the focus off the grain, off the labor of the land, and sets a dreamy-mood, in which one can get lost in thought. If you are interested in learning more about Topaz Plugins, click here.

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At RRPT, we love to share our passion for all-things photography. If you would like to experience a photo tour that focuses on getting you to the right place at the right time, while in a supportive environment that encourages you to express your artistic vision, then you should check out our 2014 fall tours and newly announced 2015 tours! Click here for more information.

Happy Shooting!

Black Friday Sales, Discounts, Video Tutorials and More!

RRPT would like to announce the launch of a couple of new pages on our website!

Software/Gear

In time for Black Friday sales, we are launching our Software/Gear page. This page contains links to the software and gear companies that we find to be invaluable to our creative processes, from hardware that enhances our ability to create images in camera, to software and textures that enhance our images during post-process. Its all here. Many of these fine companies are offering Black Friday deals. If you are not able to take advantage of these sales, don’t fear, as RRPT has established affiliate relationships with a number of them, so that we can bring our participants and friends discounts all year long.

So check out RRPT’s Software/Gear page for a little early holiday shopping!!

 

Tutorials/Workshops

RRPT would also like to announce a new Tutorials/Workshop page. This page features both video tutorials and personalized photo processing workshops! Get ready to take your photography to the next level by learning the tricks and tips on Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop, Photomatix, and other software tools! As we are building our library of video tutorials, check back regularly for new launches. We are currently featuring videos on Importing Images into Lightroom (great for beginners and folks new to the Lightroom platform) and Merging Images in Photoshop HDR pro and editing in Adobe Camera Raw (great for all levels of photographers, who bracket images, but are new to the HDR process).

For photographers who perform hand-on training or have particular images they wish to develop, the Personalized Photo Processing Workshops, may be the way to go. If you are local, we will set up a time to get together and work on the skill areas you specifically want to improve, on your images, so that you can learn by doing! If you are out of this area, but have some questions or areas of photo processing on which you need help, use our contact page and let us know. We will work on developing video tutorials to meet your need!

Click here to learn more about our Tutorials/Workshops page.