Books Graphics Photoshop Reviews Workflow

Review: Gimp 2.8 for Photographers

GIMP WITH PICTUREWith Adobe’s Photoshop moving to the cloud and a subscription basis, there has been a strong movement of hobbysists and amateur photographers to seek an alternative image editing software that is less expensive and unthethered.

I have been teaching workshops on Image Editing for the past thirteen years and in the past few months the inquiries and requests that I teach a workshop with alternative image editing software have increased. I had absolutely no skills in any image editing software other than Photoshop and so I began to look into other ways to edit images to see what was available.

Right on time for my needs Rocky Nook sent me a review copy of Klaus Goelker’s new book Gimp 2.8 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software, and I immediately opened the back of the book and removed the DVD that is attached there and loaded Gimp 2.8 onto my computer.

Since Gimp 2.8 is an open source software, it is designed to run versions on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Though the screen shots of the application may look slightly different on each platform the essential elements and tools remain in the same menu places in each version.

The DVD explains how to install the application, and in addition to the application itself, the DVD contains a PDF version of the book. I immediately downloaded a copy of the PDF to my Dropbox account and then retrieved the PDF on my iPad mini so that I could read the book where ever I was and that it would lie flat (as an iPad is wont to do) and would not entail fighting the tendency of book pages to flip themselves out of position.

It took a while for the PDF to upload to Dropbox, and an a slightly less equal time for it to be retrieved by my iPad.  Transferring the PDF to a reader as my iPad mini gave me choices of iBooks, Notability, GoodReader, NoteTaker HD, Skitch, FileApp, and FileApp Pro, Bluefire Reader and Kindle as these were all reader applications I had loaded on my iPad mini. I chose IBooks for no other reason than it was the first of my options. I downloaded it first to my iPad mini but found the diagrams a bit small for my old eyes so I dug out my older iPad 2 and downloaded it again, and again opened it in iBooks. My old eyes appreciated this larger display of the screen shots that are used continuously throughout the book.    

As an aside here, I think that including a PDF version of the book along with the printed copy is a fantastic benefit. One of the things that I have always hated when I am trying to follow a step-by-step procedure in a printed book is the usual need to put weights on opposite sides of the book to hold the pages down to keep the book open while I work on the computer. The ability to use an iPad or similar reader to lie nicely flat beside my computer while I am working is of great value to me.  This keeps me from having to break the spine of the book so badly in order to lie flat that the pages start to break away from the binding. Damaging the book seems like a real waste when it is printed on acid free paper and of really excellent printing quality. OK, that’s my $.02 on that subject. On to Klaus Goelker’s excellent instruction book itself.

He begins his instruction with an introduction to the GIMP program itself and a general look at the arrangement of the windows and menus encountered in beginning to work with the program. This is followed with a discussion on printing and the drivers necessary for GIMP to work with various makes of printers.

Scanning and image calculation for scanning follows, along with the usual problems encountered in scanning. This includes moire effect and unsquare scanning that requires rotation to solve the unsquare image. This is done in a step by step manner that the newcomer to GIMP should practice. Moving on,  the author picks up correction in levels and color and exposure. (I should mention here that all the images that the author uses as examples are available on the DVD that accompanies the book and it is suggested that the student new to GIMP download the images and follow the step by step procedures as Klaus Goelker demonstrates them.)

Curves and the placement of control points (as well as how to remove them) are next demonstrated. Hue and saturation adjustments are next. Then there’s an overview of the functions from the Colors Menu. Saving an image for the Internet is next.

As demonstrations contine, Touchup work is the next topic. This includes Color Casts, then we move on to removing spots, dust, and scratches. Cloning  for retouching and rebuilding damaged images is shown. 

(While not all key commands are the same between the Mac and the PC and while it seems that most of these commands are demonstrated in the Windows versions, translating each to the Mac is relatively easy with a little experimentation –using only a single button mouse on the Mac is the culprit.)

Healing, filters, sharpening, noise reduction, Gaussian blur, Non Linear, Edge Enhancement, Simulating Film Grain, are all demonstrated in step by step procedures which use the sample images provided on the DVD which accompanies the book.

Part 3 of the volume introduces us to Masks and Layers and the corresponding painting, filling, and color tools. Selections and edit menus give us means of modifying our selections. Red eye removal is demonstrated along with suggestions as to how to avoid it in the first place. The seemingly magic abilities of layers and how they work is explored. Correcting over and under-exposed images can be corrected in layers. Using Perspective Correction shows how to eliminate out of parallel appearing lines in images taken at less than optimum camera angles.  Removing Lens Distortion, Making Perspective Corrections, and Reducing Vingetting are next.

Freshening a Dull Sky gives us another eleven pages of step by step procedures, and this is followed by adding a sun and sunlight modifications. Now the author introduces the procedures of adding text to an image; this includes creating three-dimensional text and drop shadows. Creating Vignettes and picture frames are next, followed by Lighting Effects and Shadow Layers.

Next in the step by step procedures is Extracting Image Objects with Select and Masking Tools. Using the Paths Tool to create Vector Forms and Selections is followed by the use of Filters for Light Effects.

Paths and Text are demonstrated, aligning images with the alignment tool, and the Cage Transform Tool are defined and demonstrated step by step. Cross-Fading with Masks and Selections are followed by ways to modify the canvas size.  This is well explained in nine pages of diagrams and screen shots.

One of the more interesting tools is the Foreground Select Tool and it is thoroughly explained over another seven pages. Then another six pages cover how to do the same masking technique with brushes. It’s complex, but the illustrations are more than adequate to grasp the technique. My only complaint up to this point is to wish that the author had at times used an annotation program to draw a square or circle around a particular menu so it was easier to more quickly follow just where an item was located.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging is defined. HDR imaging is beyond the standard download of GIMP until a number of add-ons on plug ins are added, but the author tells you where to go on the Internet to find the appropriate PC and Mac software to add HDR techniques.

Layer Masks are introduced with five pages of step by step instructions, and will work slightly differently than what the Photoshop user will expect. However, following the steps that are demonstrated will siffice for the novice user of GIMP.

Section 4 of the book concerns Working With Black and White and Color Images and is broken down into a number of exercises. It begins with Converting Color Images Partly or Entirely Into Grayscale Images. Using the Channel Mixer begins the discussion of converting color images to black and white, and using the GEGL techniques are briefly discussed. But GEGL techniques are an as yet incomplete part of GIMP 2.8 and leave much yet to another discussion when completed. Threshold, Desaturation, and simulated Infrared techniques are discussed and shown as exercises. The tricky techniques of using the Threshold function to separate hair from a background is demonstrated. It’s followed by the method of using Channels to extract an object from the background, and that section was followed by methods of Coloring Grayscale Images. That took another fourteen pages so you can see that it covered a number of techniques.

Section 5, looks at working with Other File Formats. Raw, Gimp and UFRaw (a user installed addition to the basic GIMP 2.8.0 but not the 2.8.2 version, but UFRaw can be operated as a stand-alone program), and RawTherapee take twenty five pages of discussion and explanation.

Finally, the use of PDF Formatting to Share Print Layouts begins to end the book. How to use GIMP to produce PDFs and a discussion of the available free alternative PDF Creation and Viewing Software. Open Office, Libre Office, and the PDF Import Plug-in for Open Office are introduced. NitroPDFReader includes PDF editing tools—available in both PC and Mac versions. Exporting and reading Photoshop’s PSD files with GIMP are not 100% compatible as so functions of PSD files fail to make the translation. A chart shows which functions are compatible.

An Appendix gives a couple of “Easter Eggs”—almost hidden gems of wisdom and a THANK YOU to the translator (Mr. Jeremy Cloot) who took the original text and translated it into English, and who did a very good job of it in my opinion.

It’s taken me 1,600 words or so to cover this review, as well as a solid week of following the exercises on my computer. I’ve taken the time because I honestly wanted to learn GIMP as an alternative Graphic Editing Program. A week is not enough time to become totally proficient with GIMP, but it is enough time to decide that Klaus Goelker’s book is an excellent one. It will most certainly be read again as I try to become competent with GIMP, and I can recommend it whole-heartedly to the beginning photographer or graphic designer who cannot enter into the long term contract with Adobe in the company’s new approach to renting their software as opposed to selling it. I wanted to itemize the contents of Mr. Goelker’s book so the reader can have a full idea of what the book covers. It’s 400 pages (in paperback) of thorough instruction, with a DVD of GIMP and a number of Plug-Ins or add-ons, as well as practice images. It’s a good buy!

GIMP 2.8 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software by Klaus Goelker, Rocky Nook Press, ISBN 978-1-937538-26-2, US$ 39.95, CAN$ 41.95 and $24.65 from Amazon. Amazon can also deliver a Kindle version alone for $16.95 and if you have good eyes and a larger screen iPad or Kindle device that $16.95 is a real deal; it might even convince you to buy the full sized book version just for the ease of reference usage.

Hardware MacOsX Workflow

Apple: C’mon, already… update the MacPro

OK, a general rant on Apple and folks who make their living using Apple computers.

I’ve got a production suite at my photo studio, and another at home. They do the same thing… edit and store images and video. My MacPro at home is from 2006; my MacPro at the studio is from 2009. It has been several years since the line was updated, and the updates were just little housekeeping features_subnav_macthings like slightly faster processors.

Other Mac lines have enjoyed some nifty technology boosts, like Thunderbolt connectivity and USB 3.0 — but you can’t get a MacPro with either. I put an aftermarket USB 3.0 card in my MacPro at the studio and still get USB 2.0 speeds with it. Argh!

Rumors have had it that the MacPro will receive the love this year – but with Apple behind in iPad and iPhone development, who knows if it will happen. All told, I’m admin for five MacPro’s and one aged but still fighting G5. I need to replace at least four of them this year! I’m maxed-out on OS – 10.7.5 is the highest I can go on any of the machines I have.

For years the MacPro ruled the personal computer roost with it’s robust processors, the ability to put a lot of RAM to use, and great graphics speed. Couple that with a case that has four internal hard drive slots and room for two DVD burners, and you had the perfect production machine. Now Windows-based machines have closed the gap and probably surpassed even the MacPro. 

Apple, where’s the love? Don’t forget the people who for years have been your bread and butter, too.

Photography Photoshop Reviews

Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6

Adobe Photoshop CS6 is here.

I’d been working with the Beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS6 since it came out as I prepared a tutorial version with which to teach workshops, and I was excited when I received a review copy of Photoshop CS6.

I’d prepared a tutorial version of an App for the Apple Store on the CS5 Photoshop and its had a good run and has been well received. I was looking forward to getting a CS6 version ready to coincide with the launch of Photoshop CS6, but I got a little behind and Adobe released first the Beta version and then the completed version of Photoshop CS6 before my tutorial was finished. As I write this my new tutorial is in the pipeline for approval in Apple’s App Store; look for it soon as Adobe Photoshop CS6: A Tutorial for Beginners. The CS5 version is already in the Apple Store as almost the same name, Adobe Photoshop CS5: A Tutorial for Beginners.

So, now that I’ve had the release copy of Photoshop CS6 in my hands for a couple of weeks this is what I can say about it.

It’s fast!

It’s really fast!

The first time you load Photoshop CS6, the application has to spend a little bit of time extra while it finds all of its parts. The second time you open it, you will be suitably impressed.

On my three year old Mac Pro I barely have time to note the splash page before the application is open, and only a few seconds later the image I’ve selected is showing itself in the Camera Raw window. I feel almost the same way when it opens on my equally old 17″ MacBook Pro. I can only imagine what it must be like on a new computer. Admittedly, that’s not very scientific with no stopwatch involved, but the speed is noticeable.

This new version of Photoshop is not a big, splashy rewrite where you feel like it’s a completely new program that you are learning. Rather, it is a polishing and honing process that enhances speed, ease of use, and efficiency. It’s a bit like a gem cutter taking a sparkling stone and cutting those facets onto it that turns it in a fiery diamond.

The number of new features that are first noticeable are varied but not so much so that an older user of CS5 won’t be right at home. In fact, many of the new features are not instantly noticeable; instead, they are hidden in menu columns that we think we already know.

But the overall look of Photoshop has changed to a dark  gray background with white lettering and light gray symbols as the default—you actually have a choice of four colors ranging from near black to pale gray.

The first thing that I noted was that a window appeared on the top right of the adjustments pane that allowed you to select between: Essentials, New in CS6, 3D, Motion, Painting, Photography, and Typography.

When you select one of those options the open tools which usually appear to the right of the open image are automatically opened to the relevant tools for the procedure you have chosen to perform. I find this a great time saver and convenience. Once the tools are selected, a previous user of CS5 will feel right at home.

The graphics acceleration that I already mentioned shows itself in things like the liquify filter which previously was a slow and sluggish movement and is now a real-time tool. If you have processor enough in your computer and enough ram, most of Photoshop’s filters and adjustments run in real time.

Camera Raw now begins its adjustments with a “0” as the center number, thus adjustments can be “-” or negative numbers as well as the traditional “+” or positive numbers; this makes it much more intuitive.

The cropping tool now shows a overlay of a rule of thirds, a grid, a diagonal, a triangle, Golden Ratio, and Golden Spiral to aid in determining composition. About 50 years ago in college I had a course called “Structural Analysis of Masterpieces” where we laborously drew analyses of paintings on transparent acetate taped over photocopies of famous paintings. Looking at the options that Photoshop can bring up to analyze a composition as it is cropped brings back fond classroom memories and makes me aware of how far technology has come and how much the current Photoshop user can take (and use) for granted.

Oh, you’ll still have to buy the Extended version of Photoshop CS6 if you want to use the 3D tools. Since my primary use of Photoshop is in teaching the basics of the program itself with an emphasis on retouching, I have limited experience with the 3D tools and video editing which are the main the differences between the regular and extended editions of Photoshop CS6.

The blur tools bring new options with the Field Blur, Iris Blur, and the Tilt-Shift blur. Each of these duplicates the effects often seen with the popular adjustable tilt-shift effects lenses that can be had in various camera mountings.


Background Save means that you can hit the SAVE button and keep on working without having to worry about how long those PSD files used to save as you worked.  Auto save can be set in Preferences > File Handling and can be set to save in as short a time as 5 minutes behind your working moment. If I had a wish, it would follow as close as one minute behind me—well, maybe Adobe will do that someday.  But as stable as the program is in reality there is not much of a gamble involved.

People sometimes send me images that are the exact size where they have forgotten to set up a bleed on the edges. The Content Aware tool has become a welcome additon as it has two modes. Move (where it will seamlessly remove and replace equally seamlessly) and extend (where it will copy and replace seamlessly) thus it can extend the edges of an image without your having to clone and repair. It’s a wonder.

I almost forgot the Adaptive Wide Angle filter with which you can make corrections from the distortions of various lenses.  Barrel and pin-cushion as well as straightening are all readily available from this filter.

There are some other things that probably should be considered and will be by other reviewers, but each reviewer goes after those points that influence their own work, and I’m no exception. I’ve picked out the things that seem the most important to me, and those are the ones I’ve emphasized. For me, the speeded up workflow and the acceleration of the graphics have made a great deal of difference and probably allowed me to get an additional six months or more out of both a desktop and a laptop that I thought had become too slow for my purposes and that I felt needed to be replaced; and like a lot of artists, the replacement equipment budget is always under consideration.  But I heartily recommend the upgrade as it should pay for itself in time saved in increased graphics performance and improved workflow alone and all the new features are almost whipped cream on top of the dessert… Am I excited; in a word YES!

Adobe’s Photoshop CS6 (US $699.00) and CS6 Extended (US $999.00) are available in single user units that can be installed on one laptop and one desktop machine. Photoshop is also available as part of the CS6 Design and Web Premium (US $1899.00), CS6 Design Standard (US $1299.00 to $1899.00), CS6 Production Standard (US $1299.00 to $1899.00) and the Master Collection (US $2,599.00).  Too, it is available as a part of The Cloud subscription structure and in Education and Institutional Pricing. Upgrade versions are also available.

Books Photoshop Workflow

Review: Cracking Camera Raw by Michael N. Roach

Cracking Camera Raw: The Illustrated Guide To Working With Raw Images in Adobe Photoshop CS5
by Michael N. Roach

I’ve just read and appreciated this new work by Dr. Roach on Camera RAW. I was an early adopter of RAW files. After seeing what I could do, even with early versions of Photoshop, I was sold. I learned just enough to actually use the basic features, and got good results (mostly) with my methodology.

Adobe CS5 is a game-changer. The Creative Suite’s fifth version is bullet-proof on functionality, and Photoshop CS5 was more than an incremental step up from CS4. One significant portion of that is the enhanced RAW capabilities it offers. Enhancements in de-mosaic, sharpening, and the new processing engine put this version far ahead.

Dr. Roach offers this tutorial in a step-by-step presentation and analysis of each and every tool within the Camera RAW module. I learned new tricks… I especially like the local adjustment tool and the graduated tone tool, neither of which I had noticed before. The section on tools has concise descriptions of all the tools, and the illustrations show the results of the tools on images. I had never realized the full potential of the detail tool, but you can bet I’ll be using it more now.

As with all of Dr. Roach’s writings, the reader will benefit from clear discussion with ample illustrations. Build your standard RAW file methodology from these tips and explanations, and you’ll be well on your way to true mastery.

PS – as I write this, CS6 has just been announced by Adobe. The upgrade prices are (as usual) a little steep for my budget. I’ll be using CS5 for a while yet, probably until well into next year. I think this illustrated guide is a sound investment for today, and for months or years to come.

Graphics Software Workflow

QuickFix: Why does Pages creates HUGE files?

In an effort to accomodate clients who wish to continue editing content, I sometimes export files out of Pages to .doc for their use. And sometimes, the exported file is so huge its unworkable.

After dealing with this issue a few times, I have come to the conclusion that drag/dropped jpg images in MSWord get somehow corrupted in the conversion to iWork Pages which tries to fix the issue by creating a .pdf out of the image. 

It seems to occur regardless what combination of versions of MSWord and Pages. Why none of the powers-taht-be thought to fix this, I couldn’t say…

When the file is the exported back to MSWord, it inflates to some unimaginably big and unworkable file with thousands of pages and huge images that never load.


Don’t have one. Not an easy one anyway. In the latest incident, I used FileJuicer from EchoOne to extract all the images, which I then batch converted to .jpgs

And then?

 I  replaced each image in my Pages file in the most mundane painful manner:

1.) Choose the image

2.) Insert > Choose


This seems to work pretty well but its time consuming and totally sucks.


apps Digital Lifestyles Gadgets iOS SDK iPad Reviews Workflow

(Review) ASKetch for the iPad

OK, I’m still playing with my iPad and loving it, and I found another software App that is a lot of fun. ASKetch by Andrew Kern is supposed to work with finger motions and strokes alone, and not be used with a stylus or pen tool.

I’ll tell you what it is supposed to do (and it does it very well). Let’s look at ASKetch as Mr. Kern meant it to be.

First, I’ll quote:

ASKetch is a simple black & white procedural sketching program for drawing with your fingers. It is designed from the ground up to take advantage of the multi-touch interface of the iPad and the iPhone, allowing you to forget about the tools and concentrate on your art. It stays out of your way so you can simply draw. It is perfect for both beginners and advanced artists; from figure drawing to cartoons to abstract masterpieces; easy to pick up and hard to put down.

Absolutely true.

Get on your iPad and run to the App store and read all about it, bearing in mind that it is NOT optimized for a stylus,, but sometimes I use one anyway when I want a very thin line and less shading. You have to use a stylus that is optimized for the iPad. Wacom makes one, and so does several other companies.  They’re priced from $13 to $30 on Amazon. The Wacom one is the most expensive of the choices at $30; but so far all that I have tried have worked properly.

But your finger does it as well. The controls are brought up by a two finger tap on the blank page of the app. The first line below is the normal “drawing page” which has five squares visible, and the drawing line (extreme left) active. The second line below is when the eraser is active.

Beginning with the pen tools facing to the left you will get a hard line; if you stroke across the pen tool to the left you will switch from a hard line to a soft, furry tone and the pen will face to the right as it appears in the second line of tools.. The rest of both lines of tools are pretty self-explanatory. There are some more subtitles so read all the instructions and see the demo video. But below is the short form.

Now, let’s draw a little bit. I’m using it for gesture drawing which is a kind of rapid sketching where the artist is supposed to capture the “feel” and proportions of a model or figure and do it in less than 15 seconds. Here’s some examples. Some of these are drawn with just a finger tip, and some are done with a stylus even though Mr. Kern wants you to work just with finger tips‚Äîand yes, you do get better tonality when you use only your finger.

Sketching with Fingers vs. Stylus

I said I wasn’t going to tell you, but here I am doing it. The drawing on the left was done strictly with the fingertip, and the drawing on the right was done with a Wacom Bamboo Stylus..

Here’s another drawing done with fingertips…

…particularly rolling the finger in the hair areas.

Now here’s one more drawing…

…remember each drawing is saved automatically into the total set of drawings each time you go to the saved area (the two mountains square) and select a new blank page. This drawing was done with my fingertip in less than 15 seconds. Its intent is to capture the essence and proportions of the figure.

Remember, the square that looks like two mountains hides the strip of saved images and gives you access to a new blank page each time you go to it. Once you have images saved into the sketchbook, all you have to do is hold a finger down on an image for a few seconds and this window will appear.

Saving the image selected into the photo album allows it to be reselected and emailed where-ever you want to send it.

Here’s three more sketches that Mr. Kern supplied me that I think are really worth showing that give you a look at what the App can do in the way of toning.


Read all the instructions to get all the strengths of the App under control because I have only touched on the surface of its possibilities; but I’m having so much fun I had to share the joy, and hope you’ll take a look at the app. Check ASKetch out on the App store for the iPad.


ASKetch by Andrew Kern

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad


Website & Support:

iPad Photoshop

Review: Dr. Roach’s Photoshop Tutorial App for the Ipad

Dr. Michael Roach’s newest version of Photoshop tutorial is a hit. Roach takes aim at photographers and artists who are ready to take a systematic, measured approach to learning arguably one of the most difficult photo editing programs to master. With this tutorial open on an iPad in view, a user can go through and unlock many of Photoshop’s mysteries.

Systematic is a word that best describes Roach. During his tenure of 30+ years teaching photography at an East Texas university, Roach devised a systematic methodology of instruction that turned thousands of students into photographers. Roach adopted Photoshop at version 3.0 and has taught every version since.

Have you ever bothered to look at every menu item and every tool? I know I haven’t. I’ve been using Photoshop as long as Roach has taught it, and in the first 30 pages of the tutorial I learned several things I had not known. I learned more about functionality I had never used in the next 150 pages.

The illustrations are excellent, set up in a cartoon/graphic novel approach, with just the right amount of detail on each topic. Some items are fully explained, and some are noted as being beyond the scope of the beginning tutorial… watch for a more advanced tutorial in the future, I suspect.

Because a user can set their pace, and learn in a systematic approach, I can highly recommend this tutorial. If you have used Photoshop some and have upgraded to version CS5, there are new tools and techniques covered in the tutorial that will give you a jump-start on this version. If you have never used Photoshop and are just realizing what you can do with it, this is definitely for you.

As a digital photographer, I use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop daily. Lightroom to me is the plate, and Photoshop is the gourmet entrée that you are going to ravenously consume. The bonus is that after consumption, you won’t feel bloated, but rather confident in your new familiarity with Photoshop CS5.

Get the App here.


iPad Photoshop Software

For The iPad- Adobe Photoshop CS5: Tutorial for Beginners Available in the Apple Store

If you have noticed my free version of Adobe Photoshop CS4 Tutorial which has been available here for download at, I have to tell you that Apple has just accepted my Adobe Photoshop CS5—A Tutorial for Beginners as an App in the iPad section of the Apple App Store.Searching by my name from your iPad is the fastest way to find it, and it is available for $3.99 until the first week in October (October 9, to be exact) as a “Back to School Special.” After that it returns to its $9.99 pricing.I designed the CS5 version to run only on an iPad because I wanted it to “lie flat” beside the computer and not be like the typical book that is continually trying to close. One of my pet peeves when I am working from or reviewing a book about photography or Photoshop is that I usually have to put a heavy weight on each side of the pages in order to keep the book in a readable position. An iPad seems to me to be the ideal companion that will behave itself and be available to switch forward and backward between pages so that the reader can go over a technique in a step by step manner and can refer back easily when needed.

Numerous comments from previous students convinced me that if a photographer has already invested in their computer and a legal copy of Photoshop© that the odds are high that they also have access to an iPad, and the ease of use of an iPad as a resource makes it an outstanding learning tool. So I was convinced to make the current version of my workshop lessons available only for the iPad.

If you want to know how Photoshop CS5 works, I think you will find this a valuable tool to take you step by step, and menu by menu, through the set up and utilization of the program. I’ve tried to show the reader how the same problem can often be solved with different tools, and which tool to use is often a matter of choice or preferred workflow.

Considering how many people have taken advantage of the free CS4 download I am hopeful that my graphic novel approach (done in Comic Life by Plasq) will appeal visually to both the new and experienced user of Adobe’s incredible Photoshop CS5 .

Photography Photoshop Software Workflow

Photoshop CS4 for Beginners: General Retouching Techniques using Brushes, Red Eye, Layer Masks

The primary focus for this section is general retouching of images.

Cloning vs. Healing Brush: the very basic difference is that cloning creates an edge to the cloned area which is visible while the healing brush depends on an alogorithm that tries to blend the corrected area.

The rest of this section deals with red eye correction and then, layer masks.

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 of downloadable lecture notes for CS4 has been made available.Originally, these notes were part of the material given out with the demonstrations and lectures during Dr. Roach’s Photoshop workshops. Much of the basics remain unchanged between CS3 and CS5, though the tools may have moved around.

Some of The Topics Covered Include:

Ready to buy?

Buy Now

Photoshop Software Workflow

TabletDraw Update: has expired

UPDATE Monday 7:12 AM  CDT- is back.

I was working with TabletDraw by Moosoftware last night, and turned it off around 11:30pm. The next morning it kept crashing upon startup. It would open, hang, and then crash. It took me a while to figure it out, but Tabletdraw is set to automatically update by default and would go belly up as soon as it tried to reach the Moosoftware website. Evidently, sometime right around midnight the domain name expired.

The solution?
1. Temporarily disable your internet
2. Launch Tabletdraw
3. Turn off the auto-update.

But you might want to start saving your Tabletdraw docs to TIFF until they pop back up on the scene.

IN case you missed our review of TabletDraw:

“TABLETDRAW® a simple drawing program that uses the pressure sensitivity of the various Wacom tablets to allow you to draw freely. It’s a sketching and drawing program with the look of pencil, pen, or felt marker.”

Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop CS4 Retouching: Curves, Levels & Exposure.

In reality, most images can be fixed with curves, levels, and exposure, and perhaps sharpening. 90% of post-production image editing will use these tools. This section is devoted to revisiting the most fundamental of photoshop tools in depth.

Virtually every image benefits by some adjustment. Whether you decide to begin each adjustment with curves because i said it’s most often used for beginnings, or whether you decide to go with levels first will be something that will develop as a matter of taste.

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 of downloadable lecture notes for CS4 has been made available.Originally, these notes were part of the material given out with the demonstrations and lectures during Dr. Roach’s Photoshop workshops. Much of the basics remain unchanged between CS3 and CS5, though the tools may have moved around.

Some of The Topics Covered Include:

Ready to buy?

Buy Now

MacOsX previews Mac OS X Lion 10.7

I was about to write about zapping unwanted apps or publish another section of Roach’s Intro to Photoshop, but Matt Braga’s  review of the upcoming Lion made my tail wag. Considering I drag my feet when it comes to upgrading, it must be special, yes?

Just the visual presentation of information on the About This Mac page is enough to make any graphic designer happy, but don’t miss out on the new crash handling . Wow! It lets you keep working!

Read it all : The 10 Best Things About OS X Lion 10.7 Developer Preview