Deke's Techniques 376: Developing the Perfect Holiday Portrait
Deke takes an ordinary outdoor snapshot and turns it into a holiday portrait suitable for framing.

Photoshop Top 40: The Final 10 Contest

For those unaware, Photoshop Top 40 is my countdown of the most essential features in Photoshop, starting with Feature #40: Reset & Purge and working my way up to #1. And lest you think it sounds like a trivial concept ("hey gang, Feature #38 is Vector Type cuz type in Photoshop is scalable, ain't that just the swellest?"), I go into detail and share tips and tricks on every topic. For free, because my name starts with a G for Giver (not Geek, although I embrace that too).

Now that I'm poised to unveil the Final 10 Features, I thought I'd ratchet things up a notch with a contest. And not just any contest either. The best contest possible. One with a winner every week with gobs of prizes from a host of sponsors.

Photoshop Top 40: The Final 10

You'll need to be a member to see what's in store. Which is a lot. Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #11: Opacity and Blend Modes

Feature #11: Opacity and Blend Modes

Welcome to a block of the most powerful options inside Photoshop: Opacity and Blend Modes. These include the options at the top of the Layers palette, not to mention those associated with the brush tool, the Calculations command, and a whole lot more. What these options do is blend pixels together, entirely parametrically--meaning no harm done--using math. Beautiful, lovely, gorgeous math. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 050, In Which Colleen Discovers Real Men Like to Share

No we didn't overindulge on cocktails to the point of spilling our darkest secrets on air (which would probably be way more boring than it sounds), rather we spent this week's Martini Hour talking about sharing photos with two of our photographer friends, Ben Long and Mikkel Aaland.

Oh, sure, "sharing" has a bit of a group-hug vibe about it (and of course we did plenty of that), but it's really the best catch-all word we could come up with to describe that last phase of the digital workflow---actually getting your work off the computer and out where others can see them. And this week's conversation is about the myriad ways you have at your disposal these days for letting your images go out into the world---whether the purpose be making people happy, communicating your important message, or bringing home truckloads of cash (yes, Deke added that last one...twice). 

Here's what we have to share this week: Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #12: Camera Raw

Feature #12: Camera Raw

A couple of years ago, I petitioned a group of 50 or so photographers to seed me with raw images for some Camera Raw videos I recorded for The project went swimmingly, but I was troubled by the number of photographers (12? 15?) who told me they didn't shoot raw, even though they owned digital SLRs. Why not? Because the few raw images they had captured didn't look as good as the equivalent JPEGs.

Fair enough I guess. But it's rather like saying that your film negatives don't measure up to your Polaroids. The first are waiting to be developed and the second are processed by robots. Initially, you may marvel at the work of the robots--machines are a clever lot!--but in time you'll discover that you can do a better job yourself. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 049, in Which Deke Is Invited to Rub a Guest's Feet

We're joined this week by our good friend Mikkel Aaland, who, as Martini Hour Faithful know, was there at the inception of the original, offline Martini Hour. But in addition to his going olive-for-olive with me and Deke in Las Vegas, Mikkel has also authored two amazingly beautiful Lightroom books. And it's a great time to talk about Lightroom, because the beta of Lightroom 3 is currently available for download at Adobe Labs. So after you're done enjoying this show, you can go check it out for yourself. Because we imagine it's much more interesting for you to listen to us be loungy fools, then go try the products we talk about for yourself!

Here's more raw data from this week's show: Read more » 

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