Just a quick question for the readers that are interested in photography, or photo editing: I’ve had a few requests to continue doing some more tutorials. I’ve done one or two, and I intended to put up some more, but I’d really like to know what you’re all interested in hearing/learning about.

I had someone ask me today if I could put another one up about basic portrait retouching (rather than headshot/glam retouching, which is what the last one focused on – that’s too heavy for standard portraiture and is usually used in acting/television/etc headshots), as well as one on how to make eyes “pop” more in photographs.
If anyone has any suggestions on tutorials they’d to see in both photography AND photo editing, leave it in the comments!

Comments

comments

Categories: Uncategorized

87 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I think you should do an occasional photo critique series, where LJers submit photos and you offer suggestions in composition, camera settings, post-processing, etc. etc. to improve it.

    I know there are many reasons why you shouldn’t and wouldn’t want to do this, but I love that type of thing. πŸ˜‰

  • I’d love to hear more about how you manage to convince your clients to look so relaxed and natural in poses that don’t look staged, awkward or silly. Little kids always act natural, but it seems a lot of adults freeze whenever they see a camera pointed at them.

  • I’d love to hear more about how you manage to convince your clients to look so relaxed and natural in poses that don’t look staged, awkward or silly. Little kids always act natural, but it seems a lot of adults freeze whenever they see a camera pointed at them.

    • This! My friend asked me to take her engagement photos, and while some turned out really well, her fiance really wasn’t into it at all. It was really frustrating, and I couldn’t think of any way to tactfully say, “Look more like you’re in love with each other and want to get married.” I would love to know what you do to keep things loose and comfortable, but still get good photos taken.

  • Anonymous says:

    photo business

    So glad you are asking. I would love more editing tutorials. Another specific question I have is about taking your photography business from more of a hobby to the real deal. My business is really starting to take off this year, and I think by next summer I hope to be a legitimate player in my area. I am just so overwhelmed though by everything that I need to do/figure out/research. Besides the obvious of a website, blog, business card…how do I figure out everything needed and where do I find it? I’m talking where do you get contracts, how do you figure out pricing, what is the best way to communicate with potential clients, and it goes on and on. Are there any great forums out there that discuss this stuff? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated! Thanks

  • Anonymous says:

    photo business

    So glad you are asking. I would love more editing tutorials. Another specific question I have is about taking your photography business from more of a hobby to the real deal. My business is really starting to take off this year, and I think by next summer I hope to be a legitimate player in my area. I am just so overwhelmed though by everything that I need to do/figure out/research. Besides the obvious of a website, blog, business card…how do I figure out everything needed and where do I find it? I’m talking where do you get contracts, how do you figure out pricing, what is the best way to communicate with potential clients, and it goes on and on. Are there any great forums out there that discuss this stuff? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated! Thanks

    • admin says:

      Re: photo business

      This is a much more complicated question… the best answer I have for that is to research. A LOT. They say 90% of photography businesses fail inside two years, and I don’t doubt it. It’s way harder than you ever think it will be, no matter how much you think you know about it, you don’t know enough! I’m not saying that to be insulting, I’m saying it from the bottom of my heart, as someone still learning that lesson every day… even years into it!
      Pricing yourself fairly is one of the hardest things, and there’s no ‘cheat’. You can’t just copy off someone else, or make it up as you go along because it “sounds good” (I made both of those mistakes) because those will fuck you in the end. You have to take everything into account… but most importantly your experience.

      Before you move officially from “hobby” to “pro”, make sure you take a long time to portfolio build. At LEAST 6 months, and more like 12-18. The longer, the better. This not only builds a solid client base (assuring your success much faster once you ‘go pro’) but it also introduces you to a lot of client/vendor concepts with your training wheels on. You’re free to make mistakes without seriously screwing something up (or getting into legal trouble). Make sure people know you’re portfolio buildling, and start off with “trade for print” (they pay nothing, and in exchange for their time as your ‘practice’ you get to use their pictures in your portfolio and they receive a disc). Then, over time, start asking for time or travel. Continue to say that you’re portfolio building, but allow for some recoup of losses. As you get better and better, learn more about the business, and gain more experience, read books, research, etc… you’ll gain more confidence. Take notes all the way so that when you do open your doors you’re totally prepared with a kickass marketing scheme and intimate knowledge of your base. πŸ™‚

    • admin says:

      Re: photo business

      This is a much more complicated question… the best answer I have for that is to research. A LOT. They say 90% of photography businesses fail inside two years, and I don’t doubt it. It’s way harder than you ever think it will be, no matter how much you think you know about it, you don’t know enough! I’m not saying that to be insulting, I’m saying it from the bottom of my heart, as someone still learning that lesson every day… even years into it!
      Pricing yourself fairly is one of the hardest things, and there’s no ‘cheat’. You can’t just copy off someone else, or make it up as you go along because it “sounds good” (I made both of those mistakes) because those will fuck you in the end. You have to take everything into account… but most importantly your experience.

      Before you move officially from “hobby” to “pro”, make sure you take a long time to portfolio build. At LEAST 6 months, and more like 12-18. The longer, the better. This not only builds a solid client base (assuring your success much faster once you ‘go pro’) but it also introduces you to a lot of client/vendor concepts with your training wheels on. You’re free to make mistakes without seriously screwing something up (or getting into legal trouble). Make sure people know you’re portfolio buildling, and start off with “trade for print” (they pay nothing, and in exchange for their time as your ‘practice’ you get to use their pictures in your portfolio and they receive a disc). Then, over time, start asking for time or travel. Continue to say that you’re portfolio building, but allow for some recoup of losses. As you get better and better, learn more about the business, and gain more experience, read books, research, etc… you’ll gain more confidence. Take notes all the way so that when you do open your doors you’re totally prepared with a kickass marketing scheme and intimate knowledge of your base. πŸ™‚

  • My curiosity stems mainly from that eye-popping skill you have, but I’d also like more direction in what to do to get better contrast in nature-esque scenes…

  • My curiosity stems mainly from that eye-popping skill you have, but I’d also like more direction in what to do to get better contrast in nature-esque scenes…

  • sgtmian says:

    i’d love to know more about how to use natural light to my advantage. i guess knowing exactly how different light behaves comes with practice, but i’d love some tips if you have any. and sunflares, but you already mentioned that.

    i would also like to know more about making eyes pop and image selection πŸ™‚

  • sgtmian says:

    i’d love to know more about how to use natural light to my advantage. i guess knowing exactly how different light behaves comes with practice, but i’d love some tips if you have any. and sunflares, but you already mentioned that.

    i would also like to know more about making eyes pop and image selection πŸ™‚

  • j_lew says:

    that beautiful tone you get in your outdoor shots, and tips on shooting outdoors in general, Id be interested in the actual photography aspect rather than the editing as thats what I suck at in general ;/

  • j_lew says:

    that beautiful tone you get in your outdoor shots, and tips on shooting outdoors in general, Id be interested in the actual photography aspect rather than the editing as thats what I suck at in general ;/

  • chispita_666 says:

    Black and white. I know there are countless ways to do it, but it’s hard to find step by step tutorials. I also agree on the “making the eyes pop” thing.

  • chispita_666 says:

    Black and white. I know there are countless ways to do it, but it’s hard to find step by step tutorials. I also agree on the “making the eyes pop” thing.

  • mammaopal says:

    I would love to know how you make eyes “pop” in photos!
    I don’t have photoshop and use GIMP to edit my photos. I’m totally self taught and know that there must be better ways to do what I do. Do you have any advice for using GIMP?

  • mammaopal says:

    I would love to know how you make eyes “pop” in photos!
    I don’t have photoshop and use GIMP to edit my photos. I’m totally self taught and know that there must be better ways to do what I do. Do you have any advice for using GIMP?

  • carbonish says:

    do you have any tips/tricks to getting good sunflare?

    any good, but simple, noise-reduction techniques in photoshop? is that even possible? my d40 is the pits at anything higher than iso 200. really. i’m not a professional, so “noisy photos!” isn’t reason enough for me to put a camera upgrade into our budget. πŸ™

  • carbonish says:

    do you have any tips/tricks to getting good sunflare?

    any good, but simple, noise-reduction techniques in photoshop? is that even possible? my d40 is the pits at anything higher than iso 200. really. i’m not a professional, so “noisy photos!” isn’t reason enough for me to put a camera upgrade into our budget. πŸ™

  • Ever since you showed us that photo where you swapped all the kids faces/heads around I’ve been dying to know how you did it so seamlessly. I think in that same photo you also talked about having removed really large objects from the background and, again, that’s something I can never do without it being noticeable.

  • Ever since you showed us that photo where you swapped all the kids faces/heads around I’ve been dying to know how you did it so seamlessly. I think in that same photo you also talked about having removed really large objects from the background and, again, that’s something I can never do without it being noticeable.

    • admin says:

      To be honest there’s no “trick” to that except constant practice. You get better at sensing how to do it and setting up shots for it *in camera*… and that’s really my best piece of advice. Prepare for it in camera for best results! You learn to anticipate which shots are more likely to need it, and take multiples. Always shoot on manual when prepping, otherwise you risk having huge lighting/contrast changes between shots and that’s a bitch to correct.

    • admin says:

      To be honest there’s no “trick” to that except constant practice. You get better at sensing how to do it and setting up shots for it *in camera*… and that’s really my best piece of advice. Prepare for it in camera for best results! You learn to anticipate which shots are more likely to need it, and take multiples. Always shoot on manual when prepping, otherwise you risk having huge lighting/contrast changes between shots and that’s a bitch to correct.

  • starzysky says:

    I was just thinking about your tutorials the other day! I got a copy of photoshop & was thinking I need to learn how to use it. Maybe you could do a top 10 quick & dirty ways to make a pic “pop”! I have no idea how to do anything except change contrast, light/dark balance, and soften/sharpen…

  • starzysky says:

    I was just thinking about your tutorials the other day! I got a copy of photoshop & was thinking I need to learn how to use it. Maybe you could do a top 10 quick & dirty ways to make a pic “pop”! I have no idea how to do anything except change contrast, light/dark balance, and soften/sharpen…

  • danica says:

    I want to know more aboot flash and ghetto studio lighting, a friend of mine shoots amazing portraits with lighting he set up with stuff from canadian tire, I’m too pregnant to look into it at the mo but it’s always something I’ve wanted to do.

  • danica says:

    I want to know more aboot flash and ghetto studio lighting, a friend of mine shoots amazing portraits with lighting he set up with stuff from canadian tire, I’m too pregnant to look into it at the mo but it’s always something I’ve wanted to do.

  • inertiaflux says:

    yes yes yes! I can’t decide on what I’d like to see but tutorials would totally make my day!! <3

    Oh and I took some of your icons that you posted. They had me rolling. πŸ™‚

  • inertiaflux says:

    yes yes yes! I can’t decide on what I’d like to see but tutorials would totally make my day!! <3

    Oh and I took some of your icons that you posted. They had me rolling. πŸ™‚

  • bondo says:

    I would love to know how you make your PS actions. It looks like you use the same one for your colour family shots. Is that an action or a LR preset? Your black and whites are stunning too, same question action or preset? Did you make it or did you buy it?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  • bondo says:

    I would love to know how you make your PS actions. It looks like you use the same one for your colour family shots. Is that an action or a LR preset? Your black and whites are stunning too, same question action or preset? Did you make it or did you buy it?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    • admin says:

      I have not bought actions/presets. I don’t usually use Photoshop actions at all, to be honest… I do it all in Lightroom. The ones I use are my own makes. Eventually, once I perfect them for general use a little more… I plan to sell a pack of them. As they are now it’ll be impossible to get much use from them as an average user… they’re much to … unspecific? I’m not sure how to describe it. Anyway, I need to clean them up a lot more. The point is that right now I’m really the only one that knows how to “work” them, and that doesn’t come of any use to anyone. πŸ™‚

    • admin says:

      I have not bought actions/presets. I don’t usually use Photoshop actions at all, to be honest… I do it all in Lightroom. The ones I use are my own makes. Eventually, once I perfect them for general use a little more… I plan to sell a pack of them. As they are now it’ll be impossible to get much use from them as an average user… they’re much to … unspecific? I’m not sure how to describe it. Anyway, I need to clean them up a lot more. The point is that right now I’m really the only one that knows how to “work” them, and that doesn’t come of any use to anyone. πŸ™‚

  • singhappy02 says:

    Yes to this x100000.

    I’m willing and happy and excited to read anything you want/can/desire to throw out there. I’m just at the point where I’m now comfortable enough with my camera (basic Rebel T1i, shoot mostly with the Canon 18-200 3.5/5.8) to really start learning the nitty gritty. I mostly do concert/event shooting but now that I’m branching into kid stuff, I’m a willing student that will fall at your feet.

  • singhappy02 says:

    Yes to this x100000.

    I’m willing and happy and excited to read anything you want/can/desire to throw out there. I’m just at the point where I’m now comfortable enough with my camera (basic Rebel T1i, shoot mostly with the Canon 18-200 3.5/5.8) to really start learning the nitty gritty. I mostly do concert/event shooting but now that I’m branching into kid stuff, I’m a willing student that will fall at your feet.

    • singhappy02 says:

      As an unfair follow up to this and to be more specific: tips on shooting children? (Wow, that sounds horrible) I’m starting to have a lot of moms call me and want to do sessions with their kids. While I do LOVE LOVE LOVE kids and am very comfortable around them, I have no idea what to do with them during a shoot….

      • admin says:

        Let them be themselves! Play with them. Get them to sing, and dance, and show off their favourite moves. Ask them what their favourite colour is, if they’re excited about school, and if they can see your eye inside the lens of the camera… what colour is it? Play “I spy”, jumping jacks, tag, jump off rocks, barter (first I’ll pick a pose, then you pick a pose! Here, let’s pick one together for mom and dad. Now lets do a silly one!). etc.

        Kids are happiest when they cam be themselves. I let them do their thing 90% of the time and then occasionally say, “Oh, hey [name]?” or, “Look here!” for quick eye contact. you have to be damn fast with kids and anticipate. Don’t machine gun the camera, wait for the moment. πŸ™‚

  • ayanamisama says:

    I am interested in anything you feel like sharing. All I’ve learned how to do so far is use basic things in Lightroom to clean up my photos, and I know if I want to start marketing myself eventually I’m going to need to learn better editing skills.

  • ayanamisama says:

    I am interested in anything you feel like sharing. All I’ve learned how to do so far is use basic things in Lightroom to clean up my photos, and I know if I want to start marketing myself eventually I’m going to need to learn better editing skills.

  • misti_k says:

    OMG YES. Basic retouching would be excellent! How to get the perfect bokeh or, a photoshop cheat for the perfect bokeh. πŸ˜‰

    Also, if there are any filter sets out there you find useful. Or! If you there are any online photoshop tutorials, done by other people, that you think are well done.

    And finally. I kill myself trying to get lovely auras of light (sunspots?) in my photos and it just doesn’t work out most of the time. Help?!

  • misti_k says:

    OMG YES. Basic retouching would be excellent! How to get the perfect bokeh or, a photoshop cheat for the perfect bokeh. πŸ˜‰

    Also, if there are any filter sets out there you find useful. Or! If you there are any online photoshop tutorials, done by other people, that you think are well done.

    And finally. I kill myself trying to get lovely auras of light (sunspots?) in my photos and it just doesn’t work out most of the time. Help?!

  • I’d love to know how to take a black and white picture and make one part of the picture color.

  • I’d love to know how to take a black and white picture and make one part of the picture color.

    • admin says:

      Ah, sorry… I’m way too proud to come anywhere near an official selective colour tutorial. πŸ˜‰ It’s the bane of a photographer’s existence. However, a quick Google search will find you TONS of tutorials on that one because it’s deceptively easy.

      Take a colour image into your favourite editing program (Photoshop, Paintshop, Gimp, etc) and copy the background layer. Name the top one “black and white” (or whatever). From the image/edit/colour menu (depending on the program you’re using) select “Desaturate” for a basic greyscale.
      You should have two layers: one black and white on top, and the colour beneath it. Add a layer mask to the B&W layer. Layer masking works in black and white as “code” for visible and invisible (masked). Most programs work with black as the “masked” colour and white as the visible colour. So when you first click “add layer mask” it’ll probably show you a black square next to your layer. πŸ™‚ Use a pure white, soft brush at 100% opacity and 10% flow and start colouring in where you want your colour to show through. What you’re doing is drawing a mask on your black and white layer so that it is disappearing, and the colour layer underneath is showing through. If you make a mistake, switch your brush to black and “black and white” it back in. When you’re done you can flatten the image and add your contrast bumps to make the image look better and you’re done!

      • Thanks, I know the ideo of this technique makes good photographers shudder, and it’s certainly not something I want to do on a regular basis but I had a particular photo in mind and wanted to try it.

        Thanks for your reply πŸ™‚

      • Thanks, I know the ideo of this technique makes good photographers shudder, and it’s certainly not something I want to do on a regular basis but I had a particular photo in mind and wanted to try it.

        Thanks for your reply πŸ™‚

    • admin says:

      Ah, sorry… I’m way too proud to come anywhere near an official selective colour tutorial. πŸ˜‰ It’s the bane of a photographer’s existence. However, a quick Google search will find you TONS of tutorials on that one because it’s deceptively easy.

      Take a colour image into your favourite editing program (Photoshop, Paintshop, Gimp, etc) and copy the background layer. Name the top one “black and white” (or whatever). From the image/edit/colour menu (depending on the program you’re using) select “Desaturate” for a basic greyscale.
      You should have two layers: one black and white on top, and the colour beneath it. Add a layer mask to the B&W layer. Layer masking works in black and white as “code” for visible and invisible (masked). Most programs work with black as the “masked” colour and white as the visible colour. So when you first click “add layer mask” it’ll probably show you a black square next to your layer. πŸ™‚ Use a pure white, soft brush at 100% opacity and 10% flow and start colouring in where you want your colour to show through. What you’re doing is drawing a mask on your black and white layer so that it is disappearing, and the colour layer underneath is showing through. If you make a mistake, switch your brush to black and “black and white” it back in. When you’re done you can flatten the image and add your contrast bumps to make the image look better and you’re done!

    • Anonymous says:

      Selective coloring… it’s bad :/

    • Anonymous says:

      Selective coloring… it’s bad :/

  • Anonymous says:

    This is…. abstract. But! I would love to hear more about how you make your selects. I know you must whittle down from thousands of raws and I would love to hear more about what really makes a moment for you. How far you’re willing to go to “rescue” really stellar moments that might be a bit over or under, do you do a lot of head-swaps in group shots, etc. Would love to get a deeper look at that part of your workflow.

    As well, you do gorgeous blurb-style (but not blurb) books… I’d love to hear about your techniques/process for grouping/pairing images on spreads, creating your layout?

  • Anonymous says:

    This is…. abstract. But! I would love to hear more about how you make your selects. I know you must whittle down from thousands of raws and I would love to hear more about what really makes a moment for you. How far you’re willing to go to “rescue” really stellar moments that might be a bit over or under, do you do a lot of head-swaps in group shots, etc. Would love to get a deeper look at that part of your workflow.

    As well, you do gorgeous blurb-style (but not blurb) books… I’d love to hear about your techniques/process for grouping/pairing images on spreads, creating your layout?

  • I would love love love to learn more about photo editing. Cleaning up photos, adjusting levels, making grainy or darker images look better.

    I would love to learn more about photography too, but I don’t really know what my camera is capable of haha. It’s just a simple Nikon something or other. I got it last year for my birthday and my parents spent about a hundred on it.

  • I would love love love to learn more about photo editing. Cleaning up photos, adjusting levels, making grainy or darker images look better.

    I would love to learn more about photography too, but I don’t really know what my camera is capable of haha. It’s just a simple Nikon something or other. I got it last year for my birthday and my parents spent about a hundred on it.

  • Would love to learn more about the nitty gritty of sharpening, selective sharpening, etc. What do all the different tools/sliders mean?

  • Would love to learn more about the nitty gritty of sharpening, selective sharpening, etc. What do all the different tools/sliders mean?

Leave a Reply