August 20, 2009

The Tourist Remover in Photoshop CS4 Extended

Thought it was about time for a new tutorial in Photoshop. Have you ever been out photographing, and just when the scene is all set for the perfect image, people start getting into the frame? I really hate that. It’s always that way. I don’t have the patience for this nonsense. Next time you're ready for an Adobe Photoshop upgrade, think about getting Photoshop Extended. There is a great feature hidden deep in this software version that is one of the best time saving approaches to file enhancing ever invented. I like to call it the “Tourist Remover”. Now you might think the Extended version of PS CS4 is for medical and science applications only, but this one feature alone makes PS Extended a must have for anyone who shoots location or travel photography. (Click on any image to enlarge)

This is how it works. When shooting a scene with subjects moving around in the image area, start by setting the camera up on a tripod. Compose the scene, set your exposure, and lock in your white balance. Shoot a sequence of frames of the same scene several seconds a part while the people in the scene are constantly moving into different positions. They can be anywhere in the frame, but hopefully not in the same position. Shoot enough to make sure the unwanted people are moved around a bunch to new positions. Process the group of files as you normally would and put them in a folder. From the Photoshop Menu, choose File>Scripts>Statistics.

A very simple dialog box opens that prompts you to browse for a folder of images to blend. Select the images in the sequence and choose the Statistics mode of Maximum. Think of it as a type of layer blend mode that examines all the images, stacks them, and then looks for anything that is not in all the images in the same place and removes it completely. The results are just unbelievable in some cases.

In this example shot at Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC, I shot several images with a infrared converted Canon digital camera on a tripod as other visitors toured through the middle of the garden scene I was photographing. Photoshop CS4 extended blended all the frames together and removed 99% of all the people saving a lot of needless time cloning them all out individually. This very small investment in software can yield a very large increase in productivity. Check it out......

August 10, 2009

Creative Fine Art Montage Class At The Light Photographic Workshops

Just got home to Santa Barbara from a great weekend teaching at the Light Photography Workshops in Los Osos California. Victoria and Hal Schmitt do a wonderful job of creating a comfortable environment to really let the creative juices flow. This was my first experience teaching at this facility, and I must say it is the most well equipped digital photography workshop training facility I have ever worked in. Most workshops have you bring you own computer with you. The attendees don’t have to bring anything to these classes. Each student has a two-monitor workstation and share large Canon 5100 printer between each station. This is one of the few classes that I have taught where I spent the entire time on creating fine art and illustrative multi-image compositing for the entire length of the workshop. We really had lots of time to explore many different avenues of how images can blend together. I was very impressed with the how the attendees really just exploded with new directions of image compositing with each project they took on. I really like this type of workshop better than the ones where I only cover a small part of image composite training among many others aspects of the digital photography workflow. I highly recommend keeping up with their blog and website for many other creative photography courses in the future.

August 02, 2009

Back From Ireland

Just wanted to post some of the first images I have processed after returning from our two weeks in Ireland. We had a great time with our friends touring around the countryside. We visited lots of historic sites along the way to Westport , Galway, the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher. Killarney, and the Ring of Kerry. We stayed for some extra days in Dublin and visited the Guinness and Jamison Breweries and the Dublin Zoo. Click on any image to enlarge. More to come……