One of the things that listeners told me while we were in Vegas is that, as fun as our guests are, every once in a while it’s fun to listen to a classic Deke-and-Colleen conversation. After listening to this week’s show, I think I know one of the reasons: Deke and I can really go nerdy when we’re not entertaining. This week is a case in point, as Deke and I delve into his recipe for making a great screenshot. Yes folks, Deke has sound, meticulous advice for creating great screenshots, especially for print. Advice he imparts often when one (that would be me) is working on a book in his series (that would be Photoshop Elements 8 One-on-One which Deke and I are co-authoring due out shortly). If you’ve ever wondered why those images in One-on-One books look so sharp and clean, and so wonderfully readable, Deke reveals his secrets in this episode.
Here’s our thinking:
Anyone who has had to teach a digital technique or review a piece of software or document a Web site has done a screen shot. And while screen shots might seem like child’s play—there’s the screen, just shoot it, right?—it’s more involved than that. Whether you know it or not, you’re assembling a cinematic narrative. And what’s the first rule of cinema? Start wide and then close in.
Okay, so you’re working with still images, so what? You are nonetheless telling a visual story, so you subscribe to the same rules. Meanwhile, the still-image narrative asks its own questions: What portion of the screen should you capture? Why does low resolution work better than high? And how do you combine a piece of high-resolution artwork with a low-resolution screen element? All these questions (and many more) are answered in this week’s Martini Hour, with classic Bombay Sapphire martini’s no less.
This episode even comes with a dekeGift, the Photoshop action that Deke has devised to keep us One-on-Oners from going crazy as we create those hundreds of screenshots that go into a One-on-One book. Note: because you have to use your own display color profile for it to work properly, you’re probably best to just use this one as a template to record your own action. So I’ll post a screenshot of mine here, replace with your own profile! (Not familiar with how to create such a monstrosity? I’ll post the actual instructions in a follow up post for members of deke.com.)
And the toast, of course, is to Photoshop 5 which gave us all these lovely tools, and especially to that brilliant mind at Adobe who thought of actions, which save my sanity night after lonely night. Cheers, lonely engineer, I feel your pain!
Where else can you hear Deke reveal the trade secrets that made him the training wonder he is today? Nowhere, so pour yourself a drink and have a listen. Here’s the regular-quality (128kbps) audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save.
Don’t forget the usual blather: Subscribe via iTunes. Call 1-888-dekepod with your questions. (That’s 1-888-335-3763.)