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July, 2012

Welcome to my share page. Each month I'll try to bring you an enlightening thought, quote or tip. Questions or feedback is always welcome at: roger@imageinations.com



The following can apply to both Elements and CS unless otherwise noted.

Brushes, brush pre-sets, and customizing brushes seem to be one of the least explored areas in Photoshop. As you will see, brushes can be used for great graphic effects but I have used various brush techniques for creating grassy fields, flower boxes, mountains of trees, and cloudy skies, just to name a few.f-b

1. FOREGROUND AND BACKGROUND: Whatever brush you choose, it will pain with the foreground color. Press D to return the foreground and background colors to their default of black and white. At any time you can press X to swap foreground and background. To change the foreground color, click on the foreground color box. The color picker dialog box opens. Drag the vertical slider (A) to choose a color range.color picker Click anywhere in the color box (B) or in your image to choose a color. You can also choose WINDOW>COLOR SWATCHES to choose from common colors. Click OK. Follow the same procedure to choose a color for the background.

2. BRUSH SIZE AND SOFTNESS: Change the size of the brush by using the left or right brackets [ or ]. Change the softness of the brush edge by using the brackets while holding down SHIFT. Choosing a different MODE from the drop down menu changes the way the brush interacts with your image. For instance, choosing COLOR mode allows you to color part of your image and still keep all the detail. You can also change the OPACITY of the brush in the Options Panel so that you can see through the strokes.

TIP: When using brushes creat a NEW LAYER for each new brush effect rather than painting on your ogiginal image.brush styles

3. BRUSH STYLES: Click on the drop down menu next to the brush stroke sample box to open the Brush Style Sets drop down menu. Click on any set and replace the Default Brushes with the new set. Pick a set and run through the brush choices and experiment. Many brushes that are custom shapes often require only a single click.

4. BRUSH OPTIONS: Click on the Brush Icon in the tool options bar to open the Brush Options window in Elements. In any CS version choose WINDOW>BRUSH. Jitter is Photoshop speak for variation. Hue Jitter: Increasing this value varies the color between the foreground and background colors. Scatter: Spreads the brush stroke around, more like dabbing with a brush. Spacing: Controls the distance between dabs.

CS USERS: In any CS version open the Brush Window by pressing F5. Click on any of the choices on the left to open its options on the right. The only way to really get a sense of what these variations do is to experiment, experiment, experiment! There are dozens more choices in CS than in Elements. NOTE: The CONTROL options refer to using an external stylus pad that can be used to draw in a more conventional manner than using a mouse. Google: "Stylus Pad for Photoshop" and "Wacom" for more info on this subject.

5. TUTORIAL: Open an image that is 8x10 at 300 ppi. A sky or landscape will do. Click to open the Brush Presets Menu. Next to "Brushes" click to open the Brush Sets drop down menu. Choose Special Effects. From the special effects brush set click on the butterfly brush. Set the brush size to about 300 px. For the Foreground color choose a deep blue. For the background color chose a medium pink. Click on the brush ico (Elements) or WINDOW>BRUSH (CS) to open the brush options menu. Note than many special effects brushes come with default jitter settings. Set the Hue Jitter to about 90%, Scatter to about 60%, and Spacing to about 25%. Create a new blank layer above your image. Now drag your brush across the image. You should see something like the example below. End sampleExperiment by changing the brush mode to Color Burn, Overlay, or Difference. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

NOTE: Try Googling "Free Photoshop Brushes." You'll find hundreds of sets. You can dowload these to a folder on you hard drive. To access the new brushes: Open the Brush Presets window. Click on the arrow in the top right corner to open the Brush Manager Window. Choose LOAD BRUSHES and navigate to the folder where you saved the new brushes you downloaded.






ROBERT DOISNEAU (1912-1994) French

DoisneauThe photographer must be absorbent--like a blotter, allow himself to be permeated by the poetic moment.... His technique should be like an animal function...he should act automatically. - Robert Doisneau

If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time. - Robert Doisneau

A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there -- even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity. - Robert Doisneau - Weekend Guardian (London, 4 April 1992)

The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street. - Robert Doisneau , The picture history of photography: From the earliest beginnings to the present day by Peter Pollack , ISBN: 0500271011 , Page: 144 This book is available from Amazon.com

To see more Robert Doisneau images, click here


Helmut NewtonWhile in Paris in April of this year I was lucky to happen upon a large exhibit of photographs by Helmut Newton, certainly one of the most controversial photographers of the twentieth century. We were all enthralled with the photos, from the size (some taller than six feet), to the content, the message, and the total control of his vision and technique. I purchased a documentary film on DVD and came away with some interesting thoughts from his narrative. "I'm not an artist, I'm a hired gun," he says at one point. People ask if he feels if he is photographing the soul of his subjects. "I'm happy to get the face and body." He shows up for photo assignments with just one assistant, and sometimes just by himself, carrying his 35mm film camera. An interesting approach for a man who has created some of the most iconic images of our lifetime. Want a little controversy in your life: Sit down with a friend and go ahead and Google him and scan through his images. His style is as immediately recognizable as Adams but in a whole different universe. Bottom line: Technique is a given, vision is king.

For information on studio or home lighting consider my book on lighting, signing up for the seminar, or checking on-line tutorials.

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