Martini Hour 069, In Which Deke Recognizes the iPhone 4 and Before (b4)

Call it the iMartini Hour. You know we like to sit around, shoes off, sipping cocktails with our our good friends Chris Breen and Ben Long, talking about things that start with with a lowercase i. In case you hadn't heard, there's this device called the iPhone. Some guy (Steve... something) unveiled something about a new one just this week. Well, turns out iChris and iBen specialize in the thing...Super-specialize, actually, in that they teach a super-session at Macworld Expo all about the iPhone. So we sync our brains to theirs this week, and learn a thing or two about how to enhance our iPhone experience.

Martini Hour 069: Apple's iPhone 4 and Before

From now until June 15, these are the hottest tips you need. Read more » 

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Nested Smart Objects Tutorial

I don't usually do wee-hours-of-Sunday-morning posts. But I happened upon a pingback message in my inbox. And besides, I was supposed to review some contracts tonight. (Ug, contracts.) So I felt compelled to blow off my real work and do this instead.

An article that I wrote for Layers magazine got picked up as part of a big Smashing magazine compilation of "50 Excellent Digital Photography Photoshop Tutorials." (Mine is the very last one. Many of the others are very good, so check it out.) It's all old news. Both the compilation and the article appeared in 2008. But I hadn't seen either before so I thought, what the hey, I'd pass 'em along.

The topic of the article (entitled "Nesting Smart Objects for Multimask Effects in Photoshop") is every bit as relevant now as it was last year. It explains how to take an image that requires some advanced applications of sharpening and smoothing, and achieve both using a combination of nested smart objects, which in turn permit you to apply independently masked smart filters.

Along the way I take this uninspiring bison photo (that I shot, mind you):

And turn it into the elegantly finessed one below. (Damn, you one fine, sesame-sprinkled bison, Bison.)

The one thing missing is the full-res sample file. The Layers post includes a downloadable "before" file, but it's been downsampled so you'll get different results. Which is why I'm including the full-res file here. Read more » 

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Don't Fear the Lab Mode

To help you make sense of the most recent episode of dekePod, I've written up a discussion of how I modified the colors of my backyard in the Lab mode. Although it flies by in the video, the technique is not particularly difficult. I don't use Curves or masking or anything terribly complicated. Just Levels and -- brace yourself -- Brightness/Contrast. In Photoshop CS3, Brightness/Contrast has not only turned into a respectable command, but it has been elevated to pro status when combined with Lab. And it remains as easy as ever to use.

Lab + Brightness/Contrast

Some portions of this article have been excerpted from my upcoming article, "Don't Fear the Lab Mode," which will run in the September, 2008 issue of Photoshop User magazine. So as not to diminish the impact of that article (as well as the two that will follow it), I have purposely made the steps here brief, illustrated with thumbnail-resolution imagery. You should still be able to follow along, but you'll have lots more to look forward to in Photoshop User. Read more » 

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