Monday, 24 October 2016

Photoshop CC Projects, an Online Class

This is an entirely new class hosted by, called Adobe Photoshop CC Projects - launched this September. It runs for two months, comprises 30 online tutorials, has four multi-part assignments and costs US$159. (These tutorials remain available to students for a couple of years after class finishes).In it I try to introduce students to tools and techniques that many regular users of Photoshop miss out on - the Quick Mask, Pen tool, custom brushes - these are just a few of the features that we look at using creatively in this class.

But, the best way to illustrate this is to show you some of the impressive and highly creative way my students have responded to the four assignments.

In no particular order, this is just a snippet of their work:

Original shot by John St Pierre
Same image, overlaid with a David Hockney-esque Polaroid framing technique.
Original barn shot by Pam Cone
Here Pam demonstrates perfectly how to add clouds using one of the many free Photoshop custom brushes available off the 'net (we like the word 'free').
All that is needed is a sharp edged selection in the main image to allow the brush effect to drop into the sky and to not bleed into other parts of the frame.
Sculpture by John St Pierre
John St Pierre amply demonstrating the power (and seamless accuracy) of the Pen tool in selecting the foreground detail, while adding a stock shot into the background, transforming the picture from simply 'ok', to an image with a lot more visual impact.
Original streaky night shot by Erin Cori
A simple transformation is made by duplicating the layer once, then flipping the top layer horizontally and changing that (top) layer's Blend Mode from Normal to Difference.
Nice result from Erin Cori.
Radically defocussing parts of this harbour scene produces a great Miniature Mode effect.
(Pic by John St Pierre).
Home spun goodness from Debbie Lieske
Part of this class is designed to push students into learning how to deal with clip art, fonts, camera RAW tools and of course, selections...
We also delve into the world of art by testing out the Art History Brush to transform a regular image into one that looks more painted than shot with a camera.
(image by John St Pierre).
Family group shot with a difference...
John Reveley demonstrates nicely what you can do with the Art History Brush

Another exercise involves adding a dot screen over a regular image to produce what I call the
Roy Lichtenstein 'look'.
Here's a great example from Jo Horne.
Another successful screen overlay effect from Corinne Bramwell
OK, so here's a grumpy cat photo (top) that seems to have a naturally-designed balancing space on the top of its head for an apple, or so Debbie Lieske thought.
It's a great example of what you can do with the Pen tool in Photoshop.
Debbie Lieske's Polaroid effect landscape.
Though this technique does take a bit of time to get right, it's a useful lesson in learning how layers, and clipping paths, work in Photoshop.

Another great result by Debbie Lieske
This time defocussing the foreground and the background for emphasis on a grand scale...
Another near-perfect Pen tool extraction by Jo Horne
Great example of what you can do using the Art History Brush in Photoshop
Image by Jo Horne

Monday, 17 October 2016

Using the Refine Edge Tool

One of the most asked questions I get is around how to perfect selections - Photoshop has a neat feature called the Refine Edge tool and while it is pretty good, the bare truth of any selection making process is patience. Making a selection is rarely going to be a cinch because we have a habit of shooting complex looking subjects. Here's how the Refine Edge tool works.
  Refine Edge Tool from Robin Nichols on Vimeo.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Lights ON at last

It was a moment of great concern for all of us.
It was time to hang the big light that we'd purchased almost a year ago.
Though we were told at the time it was Spanish, I think it looks more like a product from Morocco.
We loved it at first sight - but getting it hung was quite a different proposition...
Here's Con the sparky in his specially hired 'Skyreach' vertical platform.
On the day I was more concerned about it being driven into the paintwork or cracking the parquetry than whether the chain would hold the lamp!

Here's the final shot with our gorgeous lamp finally in position...
Having added the 10 globes, we immediately blew the electrical circuits, indicating that there was a fault
- with the unit, or the globes.
We spent 20 minutes resetting the power and, after removing all the globes, replacing them one by one.
Luckily for all concerned it turned out to be two faulty LED globes.
Hopefully the rest last a long time because I don't want to have to hire a Skyreach lifter again!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Cuba 2016

Here's a link to my latest travel book: Cuba 2016 featuring images edited in Lightroom and Jix Pix

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

InDesign from Scratch - with Robin Nichols at UDEMY

Learn the basics of this impressive and highly creative application with my new online class Learning InDesign from Scratch though

This class is completely online though and represents terrific value with 47 tutorials and more than 4.5 hours of video to help you set up new and exciting InDesign projects - from making a simple business card to creating flyers, brochures, page layout, text flowing, image handling, export options, multimedia .pdfs, and much more.