Tips & Tricks

Presentation September 20th Improving Problem Images by Michael Smyth

With this presentation, Michael followed on from his previous presentation on processing RAW files. This time we were taken through the process of ensuring that Lightroom and Photoshop “talk” to each other, then we were shown how to process “problem” images in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Michael Smyth showed how to take this uninspiring image into the image below.

Minnamurra rocks at dawn (c) Michael Smyth 2018

Problem images can be defined as those where the lighting falls on the wrong part of the image, or where there is too much contrast, or an image with distracting elements. Using a combination of techniques, Michael showed how many images that would otherwise be discarded can be rescued and made into creative and meaningful images. Comprehensive notes have been prepared and can be found on the club’s Support Page.

Workshop - Night (or Low Light) Photography and Freelensing with Almitra Hill and Ian Cambourne

Freelensing Example (c) Almitra Hill 2018

This week we had one of our in-house workshops where we utilise the experience and expertise of our members to demonstrate various techniques to the membership.  This time it was the turn of Ian Cambourne and Almitra Hill to share their knowledge and experiences.

Ian Cambourne started the night with a demonstration and presentation documenting his experiences with low light and night photography.  By showing us the many pitfalls and problems to be solved with low light image making, Ian has helped the members to avoid the same issues and to be able to approach low light work with interest and confidence.  As Ian said on the night, it is all about having fun and learning.  Each time we fail, we learn something and go on to develop our skills.

Almitra Hill followed Ian with a presentation on Freelensing that was a bit scary for some of the members, but Almitra's results encouraged everyone to have a go.  Freelensing is a fascinating techniques that brings a unique aesthetic to the images and can become quite addictive.

At the end of the presentations, the members broke into two groups, the first went outside to try their hand at photographing the lovely sandstone church next door, whilst the others experimented with freelensing using a series of still life props that Almitra had brought along.  After a short time, the groups swapped over and everybody had an opportunity to  try both techniques. 

To aid members in experimenting with Freelensing, Almitra has prepared some notes.  To access these notes, click HERE  or go to the Support Page and look for the title under the heading "Presentations". 

Congratulations to both Almitra and Ian for their presentations and enthusiasm.

Annual General Meeting and Special Presentation Thursday 16th November

Our AGM started with a brief formal meeting where the existing committee was re elected for another year, a great vote of confidence in the hard working members who have helped make LCCP one of the leading amateur photographic groups in Sydney.

As part of the AGM proceedings, our ever hard working Secretary, David Edmonds was made a Life Member by popular assent of the members and Committee.  David has held the Secretary's position for over 10 years and his dedication and commitment to the club has been outstanding.  Well done David.

Mauve Flower taken with a self made lens - (c) Jim Crew 2017

Following the AGM we were treated to not one, but two special presentations.

Michael Stevens demonstrated the simple Artist's easel he has made as a temporary display stand for his many finished prints.  Using the easel, you can display your prints for a brief time with a simple way to change them around without having to frame and fix prints to a wall.

Our second Presentation was in two parts.  Jim Crew demonstrated a home made lens he has made using an old set of bellows, some PVC waste pipe, a few "aperture" plates and a single lens element.  An example is shown above.  Jim demonstrated how the simple lens can be used as a creative tool in image making.  Obviously Jim has too much time on his hands, but for those with a desire to experiment, making a simple lens can be a lot of fun.

The second part of Jim's presentation centred around the use of Photographic language.  Using several examples of the photographic language terms and a brief outline of Gestalt Theory we were presented with example images and the audience was asked to identify the language used.  An interesting and thought provoking night that everyone enjoyed.

New updates to Lightroom and Photoshop

PS Splash screen.jpg

Adobe has released new versions of Lightroom and Photoshop and each of these is a major upgrade that requires installation of a new full version.  To make matters more confusing, there are now two versions of Lightroom - Now called Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC.

For those who are still using the fully paid for version of Lightroom (Version 6) the news is that there will no longer be an option to purchase a new standalone version of the software.  The coming upgrade will be the last ever.

Does this mean the end of civilisation as we know it ? 

Not quite, but in an age when the major players are all moving to subscription based models, this was probably inevitable.  We think that most photographers will eventually move to the subscription Photography plan that remains at $14.29 per month, or $171.48 per year.  This plan now includes 20 Gb of online storage, for those who want to use this facility, however many of us have very large files that would eat up this space in no time, so its not much of an option for storage.  Realistically, $171.48 per year is little to pay for software that is continually being upgraded and fully supported.

Lightroom now comes as two versions, most people who keep their images stored locally will remain with Lightroom Classic,  with Lightroom CC designed for people who need to have their image files accessed from several devices including mobile phones and tablets.  For those of us that have large image collections, this is going to be a difficult choice, particularly with our below par internet speeds.  We recommend using Lightroom Classic for most users.

LR SPLASH.jpg

For those who will be upgrading, the new versions are available from the CC panel, where you can also still download and install older versions.  Once the new versions have installed, you will need to move your NIK filters from the old version of Photoshop to the new version.  We have tried this on 3 different installations and it has worked successfully (on Windows machines at least).  The method of copying the NIKsoftware is outlined below.  (Note: we don't recommend using NIK directly from Lightroom as it does not allow for use as a Smart object or as a separate layer with Blend Modes and Opacity adjustments).

Note to all users of the NIK collection:  After installation of the new version you will need to move your NIK plug in to the new version of Photoshop.  You do not need to reinstall NIK ! In fact  if you have created your own presets and recipes, it is important that you do NOT reinstall NIK as you will probably lose your presets.

For Windows users, to copy your NIK plug ins to the new version of Photoshop you need to do the following.  Note - do not start Photoshop CC2018 before completing these steps:

1.  Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the old Photoshop program.  It should be found on your C Drive here:  C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC2017.

2.  Go to the folder called "Plug Ins" and select the folder called "Google"  Copy this folder (Right Mouse click and choose "Copy").

3.  Next go to the folder containing the new version of Photoshop, which will be visible under the Adobe folder and will be called Adobe Photoshop cc 2018 ( C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC2018.  Next open up the main folder and select the folder called "Plug Ins".  

4.  Next Paste the Google folder you copied in step 2 into this "Plug Ins folder".  This folder will already contain a folder called "Generator".   Now close Windows Explorer and you are all done.

If you launch Photoshop from a shortcut on your menu bar, you will need to create a new shortcut.  The program icon should appear at the top of the Start menu (Windows 10). Right mouse click on the Photoshop icon, then choose "More" and select "Pin to Taskbar" 

For Mac users we are advised that the source path for the Plug Ins folder is :  Mac HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2018/Plug-ins/Google.    As always, these recommendations are given with all care and no responsibility.  If you are unsure what to do, seek help from an expert.  Please also note that with the coming Mac OS upgrade, it will only allow 64 bit programs to run, so Nik will not work.

For further information on the updates, go to Adobe or DPreview where there are details and demonstrations of the new features.

The real cost of printing your own images

See this print at the next Evaluation night in December

If you have thought about printing your own images instead of the indifferent quality from in-store or online print services, but were put off by the cost and presumed difficulty, now you can see the costs for yourself.  Phototutor has just updated their analysis of the real costs of printing yourself.  The results are quite surprising.  See the details HERE... 

From Lightroom to Photoshop and back again

Following a lot of discussion and enquiries following our last presentation on Blend Modes, Phototutor has added an in depth tutorial on how to work with Lightroom and Photoshop without getting hopelessly tangled up with the way files should be handled.  This covers how to seamlessly move from one to the other and how to manage the Catalogue.  Read More... 

Couta Rocks Tasmania by Michael Smyth (c) 2016.  Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop

Photoshop 2015.5 Release installation notes UPDATED

Photoshop release 2015.5 Update

For everyone who is on the Creative Cloud subscription plan, there is a new release of Photoshop available as of today.  This is a major update and entails a new installation.  To download and install the update you need to open the Creative Cloud application (the shortcut is a small red Square with a cloud symbol).  If you have not updated the application recently, you will be asked to install the CC console update first.  When that has completed you should click on the "Apps" tab and look for the Photosop icon.  This should appear with a large "Update" box next to it.  Click on this box to commence the download and installation process.  To see what is new in this update, click HERE.    

The most important feature in the new version is the new content aware fill option in the crop tool.  There are several other updates including the scary sounding "Face Aware Liquify".

Note to all users of the NIK collection:  After installation of the new version you will need to move your NIK plug in to the new version of Photoshop.  You do not need to reinstall NIK ! In fact  if you have created your own presets and recipes, it is important that you do NOT reinstall NIK as you will probably lose your presets.

For Windows users, to copy your NIK plug ins to the new version of Photoshop you need to do the following.  Note - do not start Photoshop CC2015.5 before completing these steps:

1.  Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the Photoshop program.  It should be found on your C Drive here:  C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC2015.

2.  Go to the folder called "Plug Ins" and select the folder called "Google"  Copy this folder (Right Mouse click and choose "Copy").

3.  Next go to the folder containing the new version of Photoshop, which will be visible under the Adobe folder and will be called Adobe Photoshop cc 2015.5 ( C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC2015.5.  Next open up the main folder and select the folder called "Plug Ins".  

4.  Next Paste the Google folder you copied in step 2 into this "Plug Ins folder".  This folder will already contain a folder called "Generator".   Now close Windows Explorer and you are all done.

If you launch Photoshop from a shortcut on your menu bar, you will need to drag the new Photoshop CC2015.5 icon from the Start Menu onto your menu bar.  When Photoshop starts you will see a new splash screen with an Escher like image of an impossible triangle.  When you see this you will know you have completed the update successfully and your NIK plug in will also start.   

UPDATE:  For Mac users we are advised that the source path for the Plug Ins folder is :  Mac HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2015/Plug-ins/Google.    As always, these recommendations are given with all care and no responsibility.  If you are unsure what to do, seek help from an expert

How to Take Control of Texture

Thursday night the 21st April saw our good friend Alfonso Calero present "How to Take Control of Texture" .   In his usual style Alfonso presented an informative and thought provoking journey through many aspects and types of textures

Aerial Landscape (c) Alfonso Calero 2016 

Texture in an image should evoke a sense of touch.  Touch can be hard or soft, rough or smooth, wet or dry.  For more information click here...    The E-book "Inspiration Feed" contains an extensive discussion of Texture.   

PhotoTutor Course 2015

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jim & Michael are running the photo course again this year, following on from the Parallaxis exhibition to be held in March (more on this shortly).  The course will run from Monday 13th April to Monday 1st June at the same venue as our club meetings.

We have a maximum of 12 places available for the course and it will be on a first come first served basis.  Financial members of Lane Cove Creative Photography will get a discounted rate of $215.00 ($25.00 off the regular cost).  The course includes a comprehensive bound copy of the notes and a CD on completion.  

During our 1st Evaluation Night a number of people took the flyers but those who weren’t there more information can be found here