Review: Disc Cover by BeLight Software

Even though CD's are becoming less used, DVDs for data storage are still going strong, and personal projects such as iMovie and iPhoto still have a strong usage of labeling  for stored material. Disc Cover 3 is a delightful software that allows you to print DVD labels and covers and case booklets for music, archives, and anything you are saving to disc.  Jewel case inserts can be made easily and cleanly from a tremendous number of pre-designed templates with layouts and art importable from i … [Read more...]

Download: Dr. Roach’s Photoshop CS4 for Beginners

Update: Now that CS5 version has been released as an app, we are no longer offering this pdf for free However, Adobe Photoshop CS4: An Introduction by Dr. Michael N. Roach is now for sale as a PDF Price: $4.99 Sample Pages: There are still a lot of people using Photoshop CS4 even though Photoshop CS5, and now Photoshop CS5.5, has been out for some time. We were contacted by a few students who are still in need of this information so, in the spirit of sharing, this series … [Read more...]

Dr. Roach’s Guide to Photoshop CS4 For Beginners: Preferences

There are still a lot of people using Photoshop CS4 even though Photoshop CS5 has been out for some time. In the spirit of sharing, this series of downloadable lecture notes for CS4 is placed online for those who may need some help with the basics of the program. Much of the basics remain unchanged in CS5 and I believe that the original tutorial will prove useful for many of the steps of the revised Photoshop CS5, but there are minor differences sometimes. Originally, these notes were part of … [Read more...]

Review: THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY: An Approach to Personal Expression

I always enjoy receiving a review copy of any book from Rocky Nook Press because I know two things about it in advance: (1) the book itself will be printed on Acid-Free paper, and will still show its illustrations with brilliance and clarity for years to come, and (2) the book will be bound in such a manner that it will behave itself and lie open beside my computer without the necessity of putting weights on each side of the open volume in order to make it lie down quietly and allow me to enjoy … [Read more...]

Review- Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3: A Photographer’s Handbook

I recently received a review copy of Rocky Nook's Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3: A Photographer's Handbook by Stephen Laskevitch. I always enjoy receiving a book from Rocky Nook to review because they print their books on acid-free paper and the reproduction quality is as outstanding as the content. As a workshop teacher I am always interested in another teacher's approach and quite admire the methodical, logical, and easily-understood approach that Stephen Laskevitch uses in Photoshop CS5 … [Read more...]

Review: ART TEXT v2.2.2 by Belight Software

Editor's Note:  Wouldn't you know? Just as we released this article, a newer 2.3 version with a vector editor has been released. Dr. Roach will review it at a later date. Back in April, 2009 I last reviewed BeLight's ART TEXT and found it a useful headline and logo designing tool, but time passes and the new 2.2.2 version appeared as a review copy (from BeLightsoft. Com)on my desk with a new, revamped look and a greater ease of usage. … [Read more...]

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Review: Pixelmator 1.6

About a year and a half ago (January 7, 2009 to be exact) I wrote a review of Pixelmator as a potential light-weight image-editing software. At that time I found it a very useful and inexpensive image-editing software that was well worth its $59.00 cost. (Download from Pixelmator.com) A new version of Pixelmator (1.6) is available as a free upgrade to current Pixelmator owners, but a word of caution goes along with it. Pixelmator has been rewritten for Snow Leopard 10.6 and the new version … [Read more...]

Photographs by Britt Stokes

These Files sizes are large. Please be patient. Taken in 2010 with The Infrared Conversion Digital Camera … [Read more...]

Build A Better Photograph: A Disciplined Approach To Creativity by Michael E. Stern

Rocky Nook Press recently sent me a review copy of Michael E. Stern's new book Build A Better Photograph: A Disciplined Approach To Creativity, and since I am always interested in the creative process (especially when it involves disciplined thought), I was happy to sit down with it for some quality time. I gravitate towards that word "disciplined" because I am an analytical and systematic individual. My trusty Mac computer dictionary provided the following: With that in mind, I have … [Read more...]

Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity, and Personal Style by Alain Briot

For those of you who follow The Luminous Landscape web site, Alain Briot's name will be a familiar one from his informative and insightful writings for the photographer. If you are new to his writings you will be in for a treat in his second book published by Rocky Nook (his first was Mastering Landscape Photography). Rocky Nook produces beautiful volumes printed on acid-free paper that reproduce the dynamic tonalities of the fine-art prints that they showcase, and the long-term … [Read more...]

Lighting On A Budget – Pt. 2

My 6-light CFL fixture worked well in the studio, but I wanted more light and the option to add a light modifier.  I decided to move up to 3” PVC and install eight lamp sockets around the outside of the pipe. We're going to call this fixture a SPIDER, you'll see why in just a moment. Here is my original collection of parts. A 3” clean-out plug serves as a hub for the sockets.  My original idea was to attach the clean out plug to a 3” bushing … [Read more...]

Topaz Labs DeNoise: Another Winning Photoshop Plugin

UPDATE: Dr. Roach reviews the latest release of DeNoise here A few weeks back I wrote about TopazLabs application TopazAdjust3, and I liked it so well that it obviously influenced me to take a look at its sister (brother?) application DeNoise.  Topaz Labs makes applications for both still and video imaging, and it is the digital still imaging area that have my interest because Photoshop from Adobe is the center of my workflow and I like things that plug-in to Photoshop.  I … [Read more...]