MacVoices #894

It's entirely possible that a few of you have had your fill of the "101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes" piece and the navel-gazing that accompanies it at this site. (If it’s any consolation, Colleen and I are actually trying to balance things with a steady stream of content.) But if my manic performance somehow leaves you wanting more, you can listen to Chuck Joiner's audio interview with me at It’s largely my personal behind-the-scenes story of the making of the video, which as you’ll learn, wreaked havoc on my thighs. (Colleen’s article documents the day and a half of live-action shooting, but quite a bit happened before that.)

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Setting the Background in Photoshop or InDesign

When you're working in various Creative Suite applications, you can change the color of the background in a document to suit your mood, reduce distractions from your work environment, or test to see how your project is going to look in the environment where it will eventually live.

In Photoshop, it's relatively simple. You have two options:

1) The first is to right-click. (Do I still need to say Control-click on the Mac? Is anyone out there foolish enough to not have a two-button mouse? Seriously, I need to know because Deke and I are bound to butt editorial opinions on this!) On the background, and choose from one of three options: Gray, Black, or Custom. The other item in the context menu, Select Custom Color, brings up the somewhat annoying but familiar Color Picker that lets you change that Custom color item to anything you want, including any number of choices from the Color Libraries.

2) The second way is to Shift-click with the Paint Bucket tool (which lives in the same slot as the Gradient tool), to fill your background with whatever you have your foreground color set to.

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Smoke Filled Skies over Northern California

No, that's not an eerie full moon rising, it's an even eerier not quite setting sun. The skies all over in Northern California are filled with smoke due to hundreds of burning wildfires. I thought it was pretty freaky I could shoot at the sun and not completely blow out highlights—or my retina. (Despite the smoke, looking through the viewfinder directly at the sun probably wasn't the most intelligent thing to do). Usually summers here in the Sacramento Valley have several days of unhealthy air, due to auto exhaust and high temperatures, but this feels worse, and downright odd.

One of the fires further north is threatening the home of one of our beloved Planet Deke colleagues. Team Deke is sending out our strongest heat-shield, fire-retardant, force-field energy to Toby and others whose homes (and persons) are threatened by the fires. The particular fire threatening Toby's homestead is one of those going entirely unmanaged. Read more » 

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dekePod hits #9 on iTunes

In less than 40 hours from launch, dekePod hit #9 on the technology podcast list, making it (for slightly more than 24 hours) the top-ranking Photoshop podcast on iTunes.

Mind you, it didn't stay there. In fact, my guess is that the strong initial showing was due at least in part to the backlog of folks who began subscribing to dekePod back in 2006.

I guess the challenge now is to stay regular and see how it fares.

Note: this entry has been edited -- cuz I can!

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FIrst Impression

Okay, my little team (Paul Legomski on the Web site, Colleen Wheeler on articles, Laura Painter uploading the various formats of dekePod) and I were up till all hours getting the pieces put together for today's launch. I got 3, maybe 4 hours of sleep last night. Paul and Laura are East Coast, so I don't know if they slept at all. The last email I got from Paul ("I’m about to start the migration. Please try and hurry up whatever youre doing within 5 minutes while i put on another pot of coffee. Eeeek im nervous") was after 5:30am his time!

Anyway, the point is, I wake up this morning, stumble into the office, and waiting for me is an email from Russell Preston Brown, Senior Creative Director at Adobe, the man largely responsible for bringing Photoshop to Adobe. He wrote to tell me of my "101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes" video: Read more » 

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