Category Archives: Projects

Projects hosted or participated in by Epic Edits.

Which Photo Shall We Use for the Project?

As mentioned a few weeks back, we’re ramping-up for another project here on Epic Edits. To recap, we’ll be doing another “Edit my Photo” project, but with one of YOUR photos rather than one of mine. The first stage of the project was to submit candidates for the photo to be used. We didn’t have a huge turnout, but we did have a few people submit images.

So now we’re in “stage 2″ of the project where we vote on the image to be used — just ONE. I’ll leave it up to you guys which photo you want to work with for the final stage of the project. Here are the 6 candidates, and there’s a poll below them where you can cast your vote. And of course, a big thanks to the contributing photographers (linked via their photo).

1.
Photo by John Huson

2.
Photo by Thias

3.
Photo by Pat R

4.
Photo by Robert

5.
Photo by TikiPundit

6.
Photo by Bob Simmons

The above images are all available at high resolution, and most of them are in raw format. So pick one that looks like it would be fun to work with and we’ll start the photo editing soon enough!

{democracy:63}

Seeking Photos for an Upcoming Project

I’ve been pretty lazy for the last few months, and I’m feeling like the community aspect of Epic Edits has been drifting (which is my own fault). So I’m thinking we should do another project to bring everyone back together and get things rolling again. I have an idea for this project… but I need your help.

A long time ago, we did the “Edit My Photo” project where I gave you an unprocessed raw image and you were asked to process it as you saw fit. We had a good turnout with 28 entries, all of which were very creative and drastically different. I think everyone was pretty impressed with the diversity and quality of the results.

Several months later, I participated in similar projects at LeggNet.com, CamerPorn.net, and PhillPrice.com — these all link to the project results pages where you can see my entry along with entries from the other participants. Each time, it was a big hit and everybody was quite happy with the entries.

I want to do it again — but I want to mix it up a little bit. Instead of editing one of MY photos, we’re going to edit one of YOUR photos. We’ll call it the “Edit Your Photo Project”. And by YOU, I mean ONE of you. We’ll do this in two parts: in the first part we’ll decide which photo to use for the project, and in the second part we’ll all process that one photo in any way we’d like.

So if you’d like to have your photo considered to be “the one”, leave a link or embedded image in the comments of this post. I’d prefer to see an unprocessed image, but it’s not totally necessary. After about a week, I’ll pick out a handful of them and put them up for a vote. Whichever photo wins the election, we’ll use it as the basis for part two of the project (so you’ll need to have a full-res unprocessed photo available, and you’ll need to be willing to hand it out to complete strangers).

By entering your photo, you understand that we could possibly use the photo for this project and participants will receive a full resolution copy of the image. You will retain full copyright of the image, but you’ll be granting permission to project participants for displaying their derivative works online only for the purpose of this project — nothing else.

ONE IMAGE ENTRY PER PERSON… Let’s see ‘em!

Photography Business Project Winner

In early March, Tasha Schalk wrote an informative article about the business of photography and we launched a project to go along with it — all you had to do was tell us your business plan for the upcoming year. Tasha and Tracy Tesmer also offered up a few prizes to go along with the project.

After reviewing the project entries, we’ve all decided that “the_wolf_brigade” deserves the prize package with this business plan:

My goals for 2009 are mixed are possibly not related, which has made it hard to work on both at the same time.

The first is to hold a solo exhibition based around my work at the Lithgow Blast Furnace. My intention is to highlight the beauty of this place and to document the changes as it undergoes restoration as part of the Lithgow council’s plan to make Lithgow more attractive to tourists. I’m struggling with this due to time, but also on how to find new angles and ways to highlight the way in which the structure changes over the seasons. Additionally, a solo exhibition from (at this point in time) an unknown and unestablished artist in the area is an ambitious task.

The second goal for 2009 is based around my concept of Professions. My aim is to identify what makes a strong portrait in terms of how it represents a persons character, and how best to portray emotion through my work. I’m trying to work mainly in large format as that requires forethought and planning, although I have been using some medium format for when more spontaneous sessions present themselves. The moo cards would be brilliant in this respect as I often see charismatic people on the street that I’d love to photograph, but as yet I haven’t had the confidence to approach them. Having a small card with my details and a smaple of my work on it would boost my confidence and hopefully facilitate more work with people who I consider interesting.

I suppose both are ambitious tasks, but it’s helped to have to explain it here in this comment, as it has made it even clearer in my mind and has solidified my intentions to pursue both goals more strongly this year.

Personally, I voted for the_wolf_brigade because he identifies a couple of specific goals with his intent and plan of action. These are important aspects of any business plan, photography or not. There were several other good business plans in the project, and I wish everybody the best of luck with fulfilling those goals!

Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract

Phill Price | 02/07/2009 | London | 135mm * f/2 * 1/3200s * ISO100
[See the Project Details] [See it at Flickr]

This photo is a joint effort between myself and Phill Price. He’s running an “Edit My Photo” project (see details here) and I decided to jump in. Over the last year or two, several of these projects have been hosted by various photography bloggers, including myself. If you want to view the results of these projects (all three of which I also participated in) you can visit: Brian Auer, Rich Legg, and Ryan Goodman. I think it would be cool if another blogger picked up the project in a few months!

OK, so on with the photo… I really struggled with this one. The original image is a bit on the minimalist side of things, so it was hard to get creative at first. Not a ton of colors to tweak, strong simple shapes and lines — I ended up getting quite frustrated that I couldn’t come up with something more unique. So I dug a little deeper and for some reason I had the notion to do a faked-in double-exposure type of thing. Now, this isn’t something I typically do (actually, I don’t know that I’ve ever done it with my photos), so I fumbled around with it for a while until I got something that looked interesting to me. Read below for more on my post processing.

Opposites Attract

  1. UNPROCESSED RAW
    So here’s what I started with.
  2. PROCESSED RAW
    I tried all sorts of things in Adobe Camera Raw, but I ended up settling on a toned black and white version of the image. I was fairly happy with the photo at this point, but I wanted to experiment a bit more.
  3. FINAL IMAGE
    After getting the idea to create a double exposure I had to choose a photo… what a painful experience that was. I landed on one of my cross processed film photos from Venice Beach shot with my Diana+. From there, I just transformed the layer to fit the layout I wanted, set the opacity to about 40% and the blend mode to Overlay.

And the title? It seemed suiting considering that the two images used were about as opposite as humanly possible. Phill’s was simple, clean, geometric, shot in London, and with a digital camera equipped with nice glass. Mine was busy, messy, organic (that’s a hemp bikini for crying out loud!), shot in California’s Venice Beach, and with a film camera equipped with a crappy plastic lens. But hey, they look good together!

Photography Business: The Next Level

This article was written by Tasha Schalk of Redwall Photo. Read on for great information and details on a project (with prizes!). And be sure to read her full bio at the end of the article.

You know how to take great pictures, you get a lot of praise on Flickr and from friends and family, but what next? How do you market yourself as a photographer? How to do you start up a small business? Photography and marketing are two completely different talents, and it can be daunting to make the leap from amateur photographer to semi-professional. Below are a few steps that might make the transition a little easier.

Also, in the spirit of start-up businesses, I am providing a $25 gift certificate to Moo.com and Tracy of Three Heart Photo is donating a 50% off gift certificate for select design services at Three Heart Design. Both of these prizes will go to one winner – to enter, either leave a comment or a link to a blog post about your photography business goals for 2009. What is one thing you want to accomplish in 2009? It can be anything from second shooting at a wedding, to booking a certain number of paying shoots, or to creating a portfolio. Let us know! Brian, Tracy, and I will be chosing the winner.

PROJECT DEADLINE: MARCH 20, 2009

And remember, a comment and/or a link to a blog post will enter you in the contest.

1. Branding

From wikipedia, “a brand is a collection of symbols, experiences and associations connected with a product, a service, a person or any other artifact or entity.” Branding is important because it conveys what your photography and style are all about in one brief glance.

The first step is to devise your company name. Many photographers base their business name off of their own name, others chose something a little different. Whatever you chose should reflect you and your style of photography, and it should be concise and timeless. Pick something that you will not get tired of.

A logo is an important step in branding. The colors and style of your logo should reflect who you are as a person and an artist. For example, if you are a maternity/baby photographer, your logo might be comprised of soft pastels. If you are an event or corportate photographer, you would want clean lines and neutral colors to communicate your professionalism and flexibility.

An extension of a logo is a watermark. A watermark is placed on photos to mark that photo as yours. Many people also employ watermarks as a deterrant to theft. I am a fan of watermarks, not so much for the theft issue, but because it constantly puts your name out there. There are several types of watermarks – those that are intended to deter theft and cover vital parts of the image, and those that are small and unobtrusive along the bottom of an image or in a frame. Which watermark you chose to use is up to your priorities.

2. Business cards

Business cards are a necessity. They are an old-school form of marketing, but effective and cheap. You never know whose hands a business card can fall into. And even better, give friends business cards so that they can hand them out when they run across someone that needs a photographer.

Much of business comes from word of mouth and referrals, so make it as easy you can for people to refer others to you.

3. Get a website/portfolio

Portfolios are necessary so that those people that you hand your business cards can see a showcase of your work. A portfolio should have no more than 15-20 of your absolute best images, with your strongest image at the end, and your second-strongest image at the beginning (first and last impressions are the most important!). Try to show diversity in your images (if possible, only one image per shoot), but remember to make sure that the photos represent your style.

Photoshelter recently released the results of a survey that they conducted on image buyers. The report is a good resource to use when designing (or buying) a photo site design. The report can be found here.

If creating your own webpage, a few cheap and reliable hosts are godaddy.com and 1and1.com. If buying a pre-made portfolio, bludomain.com is popular for higher-end portfolios, while carbonmade.com is a cheaper (but not as flashy) solution. If creating your own website, simpleviewer and autoviewer are easy to use and customizable flash galleries.

Also, don’t forget to get a domain name to match your business name!

4. Network, network, network

Everyone knows someone. Talk to everyone you can. Sign up for social-networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Get your photos out there, so others can see your talent.

Always be on the lookout for photo-ops – this can include businesses and individuals. For example, if a business is having a grand opening, contact a manager to see if they would like photos throughout the day. If you know of someone that is graduating, ask if they would be interested in graduation photos. Once you get a large enough client base, word of mouth will travel, and you will have offers coming in to you.

Along with networking comes networking with other photographers. Do not be afraid to refer clients to other photographers if you cannot cover an event or job, not only will other photographers begin to refer jobs to you, but you will also have a client that remembers you for taking an interest in their needs. Part of being a professional is also ensuring that you can deliver whenever you book a job. If you do not have experience in a specific area, do not book the job (refer the job to a fellow photographer!). Your clients will respect and trust you for maintaining high expectations for your own work.

5. Pricing

This is one of the hardest areas of starting up a small business. What to charge? You want to charge enough to make it worth your time, but worry about driving away clients with too-high prices. The short answer is that there there is no definite answer.

One way to figure out how much to charge for a shoot is to develop an hourly rate that you would like to earn, then multiply that by how many hours it will take you to plan the shot, take the pictures, and edit and deliver the shots. Don’t forget to figure in travel time/costs if the shoot is not local. Then add in 10-15% for gear wear-and-tear and other unforeseen expenditures:

Rate * (planning + shooting + editing + travel) * (10% incidentals) = PRICE

Remember, that fee is just for shooting – you need to figure in licensing costs and printing fees if you are licensing or printing images.

Also helpful is a program called FotoQuote that provides quotes for a variety of types of photography.

Finally, once you have your prices figured out, create a concise, but complete, rate sheet that shows your prices and packages that you can either post on your website or can send to potential clients.

6. Legal mumbo-jumbo

If you are working with clients, it is important to have a contract that outlines what both parties have agreed to. These contracts should (at the least) outline what work is being delivered, dates and times of shoots, what the price is, and what reproduction rights, licenses, and copyrights the photographer and client have. A fantastic resource for basic contracts is the book Business and Legal Forms for Photographers by Tad Crawford.

Also, insurance is highly advisable. Most major insurance companies will offer business insurance, which will not only cover theft/damage of equipment, but will also offer medical and liability insurance for when you are on-location on a shoot. In my experience, the piece of mind that business insurance brings is well worth the relatively low fee. For more reading on business insurance, check out photo.net’s info page.

Conclusion

Above all, be professional and have fun. Nobody wants to work with someone who does not return phone calls and emails, or shows up to consultations in their pajamas. On the flip side, photographers most often shoot joyous or exciting events, so potential clients want someone that will enjoy their day with them. If you are enthusiastic about your job and work, then others will get exited about your work!

If you have any other tips or invaluable resources, please speak out in the comments!

About the author: Tasha Schalk is a professional photographer in the Chicago-area and owner/photographer of Redwall Photo. Her passion and specialization is music photography, which is evident by her sleep-deprived eyes and arsenal of fast lenses. She also is the full-time photographer for Concordia University Chicago, where she is laden with assignments for event, editorial, and portrait photography. She spends way too much time online, frequenting her Flickr, Twitter, and Myspace accounts.
About the sponsor: Tracy Tesmer is the owner/photographer/designer of Three Heart Design and Three Heart Photo. She helps photographers, artists, designers, and independent businesses market and re-brand. She is an eco-friendly studio and designer with a background in painting, set design, makeup design, photography, and drawing. Three Heart Design can be found on Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook.

Digital WakeUp Call + Photo Contest

Digital WakeUp Call

Learning about photography online is a great method for improving your game, but real-live instruction and interaction is far more valuable. I’m excited to announce that David Ziser will be traveling the country (to 58 US cities!) and sharing his great knowledge of photography, lighting, post-production, and marketing with his Digital WakeUp Call.

The class alone is worth the entry fee of $79, but David is taking things a step further. Everybody will receive $350 worth of extended content and giveaways. PLUS, he’s got $3,500 in prizes to give away at each session and $6,000 in grand prizes for the whole tour!

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

David Ziser is a master of his trade, and he’s a well established photographer and educator. The class is aimed at wedding and portrait photographers, but it will certainly be useful for any type of photographer. In this program, he’ll be covering three main topics over the course of a full 4-hour evening:

  1. Lighting Techniques
    An intensive session on creative lighting and exciting composition, for both on-camera and off-camera flash.
  2. Post-Production Workflow
    A discussion of five major workflow techniques, tips, and shortcuts aimed to reduce your time at the computer and improve your quality.
  3. Business Strategies
    A discussion of creative and effective business strategies, no matter what level you’re at with your photography business.

$20-OFF PROMO CODE: ZEEDWC09

If you want to register for the program, just visit the Digital WakeUp Call Tour website, find a location near you, and register for that spot. Be sure to use the promo code above to get a $20 rebate on the registration fee! That brings the price down to $59 — totally worth it for what you’ll be learning!

COMPETE FOR A FREE PASS

Not only is David giving out $20 discounts, he’s also offering a free ride for one reader of Epic Edits. We’re doing this as a photo contest, with the topic of “Exciting Lighting”. Just submit your image or link in the comments below — 1 photo/entry per person.

Here’s the only catch: the image must have been created using a portable flash. It could be on-camera or off-camera, either way is fine. The contest is open to US residents only (David’s tour isn’t international this year).

I’ll pick the winning image in one week — March 12, 2009.

SO REMEMBER…

First and foremost, visit the official Digital WakeUp Call website to read all about this program. If you’re interested in attending, use the promo code above to save yourself $20. Or if you want to try for a free ride, post your best “Exciting Lighting” photo in the comments of this post.

And for you photography bloggers out there, check out David’s recent blog post for more information on offering your readers the same $20 discount while getting yourself a free pass to the program.

I’ll definitely be attending the San Diego session on May 21. Though I’m not a wedding or portrait photographer, I know that I’ll learn a ton of great stuff from David.

Epic Styler Contest Winners and Download

Download the Epic Styler Package

I’ve been putting this one off for way too long. If you remember back a few months, I announced the 8th Epic Edits project: “Action and Preset Extravaganza“. The deadline was over a month ago, and we had 6 people contribute 15 different Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets.

Neil Cowley of Make Light Real, sponsored the project and gave out three grand prizes to the best entries. He’s also hosting the package of presets and actions as a free download, so don’t forget to jump over to his site and grab them!

THE WINNERS

  1. Tasha Schalk with her Rock Concert Photoshop Actions.
  2. Martin Kimeldorf with his Photoshop Action for exposure blending.
  3. Phill Price with his monochrome architecture pink Lightroom Preset.

The other entries included a color pop Photoshop Action from Tom Weeks, a Flickr resizer Photoshop Action from me, and a 300 movie style Lightroom Preset from Mike Lao.

THE PRIZES

  • 1ST PLACE: LIGHTSPEED WORKFLOW PACKAGE
    Valued at $290, this prize includes a Nostromo n52 left-hand keypad, “ONE” Lightroom/ACR preset, “ONE” Photoshop Action, and tutorials. This is an awesome package! This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 2ND PLACE: PHOTOSHOP LIGHT REAL VIRTUAL COURSE
    Valued at $250, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” workflow scripts plus a 4 hour training course covering the workflow scripts and working in LAB color space. This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 3RD PLACE: ONE ACTION AND GOLDEN TOUCH PACKAGES
    Valued at $79 and $49, respectively, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” scripts and presets for Photoshop and Lightroom, plus extra training materials along with additional Photoshop actions and 30 textures.

A BIG THANK YOU!

First of all, I want to thank all the participants that took the time to post their actions and presets for the greater good of the community. It’s great to see people willing to share their knowledge and their tools with fellow photographers.

I’d also like to thank Neil for sponsoring the project and hosting the final download package. He’s had a very active role in this project, and I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Don’t forget to download the actions and presets from the project entries. And if you’re into free stuff, check out Neil’s other free downloads.

My Favorite Photos from 2008

The “yearly roundup” of best photos seems to be standard protocol for photography bloggers, so here we go! I did a similar thing last year, but with just 10 photos. This year, I took way more photos (somewhere around 12-13K) so there was no way I could keep it down to just 10 — plus I uploaded around 1000 just to Flickr in 2008.

Hitesh had a good idea for breaking things down by month, so I figured I would give that a try. Each month, I picked around 4 or 5 of my favorite photos (though some months have a few more). I’m also writing this article as a project entry for Jim Goldstein — there’s still time to participate if anybody else is interested.

JANUARY

January was a slow month for photography. We had a few family visits and we spent most of our free time hanging out at the beach, going to the zoo, and partaking in various other family activities.

Feet on the Beach
Into The SeaGorilla GazeMormon Temple

FEBRUARY

February was a little more active with photography stuff. I upgraded from my Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (6MP) to a Sony a700 (12MP). I was also participating in the February Challenge. I took a ton of photos at the La Jolla photowalk, which had a great turnout.

Wide Open
The Place to BeSimply Religious
Table for OneHostile Takeover

MARCH

March was super busy. We had two big photowalks (Venice Beach and Laguna Beach), lots more family gatherings, and I managed to go back home to North Idaho for Easter and a bit of skiing. March was also significant because I started shooting film with a camera my Dad gave me… and it’s been all downhill from there.

Jess
Abused and IgnoredGraffiti Artists
RadiallyThe Rail

APRIL

April was a little more relaxed than previous months. I spent a lot of time photowalking by myself in various towns in San Diego County. I was also going full steam ahead with the film camera, and learning the ropes. The kids were up in North Idaho with their Grandparents, so my wife and I got to hang out and pretend to be childless.

Cove
My SunshinePatrick
CruisersUncle Pat

MAY

May was pretty laid back, not much different from April. Family visits, trips to the zoo, hanging out at the beach, etc. One exciting thing that happened was I picked up my first medium format film camera — my 1956 Minolta Autocord TLR. So yeah, the film saga continues.

The Dock
Chrome SpokesThe Lifeguard
Watching Over the RosesWalking on Water

JUNE

The start of Summer was certainly busy. I went on two more group photowalks: Hollywood Blvd and Huntington Beach. The Hollywood photowalk was also a photographer’s rights rally, so it was pretty interesting. The one at Huntington Beach was just a few good friends, but we had a great time as usual. I also did a few solo photowalks down in Little Italy of San Diego. Again, lots of film photography — and I picked up a “Polaroid” (it’s actually a Minolta InstantPro) to add to my growing collection of cameras. I believe June is also when I started shooting 110 film (as did my son).

It's Lonely Out Here
3 CopsWarp SpeedO's
Subway ShuffleBig White BoxesMetro Timetables
Darkness Creeps InThe Wind CatcherThe Guys at Huntington Beach

JULY

July was a slower month for some reason… I seem to go in cycles, on and off about every other month. No group photowalks in July, just some solo stuff in Little Italy and Ocean Beach.

Surfer and Board
Battling Fuel PricesI'm a Survivor
Ford Mustang SVT CobraCup-O-Barbie

AUGUST

August was again busy. Two more group photowalks: Newport Beach and Long Beach. Plus a solo photowalk at Mission Beach (yes, we have lots of “beaches” around here). August was also the month that I got my Diana+ and I’ve been shooting way too much medium format since then (not that this is a bad thing).

Flying and Floating
Rescue BoardGhosts of Queen MaryWavehouse Surfer
My HefferMerry-Go-RoundCommodore

SEPTEMBER

September stayed pretty busy even though Summer was officially over. I did two more group photowalks with just one or two other photographers. One was all over San Diego with Richard Wong including Border Field State Park, Coronado, La Jolla, and the Torrey Pines Gliderport. The other photowalk was at Santa Monica with my pal Bryan.

The Watchman
On The Other Side of the FenceYou Can Trust MeMarlin
To the WestKiller Whale EncounterI Poop Little People and Ride Away

OCTOBER

I kept somewhat busy in October. We did one group photowalk at Venice Beach — which always makes for some good photo ops. I also had jury duty for two weeks and I ended up being an alternate juror. So at the end of the trial I just had to be “on call” while the others deliberated. That gave me three full days to wander around downtown San Diego with some black & white film loaded up!

A Dreary World
Over the CanLow Aircraft #2Moving with the Music
I'm So Hot That I'm RedVj Day StatuePurple Skies

NOVEMBER

November slowed way down compared to previous months. No photowalks, solo or group. Lots of hanging out with family as we approached round 1 of the holidays. I also got my darkroom up and running in November, so I spent a lot of time in there rather than doing other things — well worth it though! You can see some of my prints on Flickr.

Analog Fruits
Winter BeachThe Little Mermaid
Down the HillRyan

DECEMBER

December was also pretty slow for photography. I don’t know what happened, but I got so busy with things and I hardly had time to pick up a camera. I did get one shot that I really like though…

My Girls

Exposure-Blend and Shine-Be-Reduced Photoshop Actions

This article and project entry comes from Martin Kimeldorf. The content in this post comes from the PDF documents that Martin put together for his actions.

EXPOSURE BLEND

Exposure Blend Example, by Brian Auer

Photo by Brian Auer showing (L) under exposed, (M) over exposed, and (R) exposure blended image using Martin’s action.

Most people find the outcome of my little action to be very similar to Photomatix… certainly cheaper… and I think a bit easier since you just mouse click away. I don’t charge for this action as re-payment for all the people who helped me along the way.

Put the camera in Aperture Priority or Manual and set to your preferred f-stop and ISO. Use auto-bracketing to take three frames with different exposures: normal, under exposed, and over exposed. Make sure the auto-bracket is set so the images are at least 1.5 stops apart from normal.

The following notes are also embedded in the action to prompt you.

Prepare a file with two images labeled as Under and Over Exposed. Place both the under exposed and over exposed image in a new Photoshop file. Neither file should be locked as a background layers, so unlock any background layer by double clicking on them. Make sure the over exposed layer is labeled as such and sits on top of the under exposed file.

In the end you will get 3 image version to choose from:

1) The basic Composite or exposure blend
2) the same composite with shadow recovery applied
3) The shadow recovery image with soft light blend applied for more contrast.

You then take your final image and apply noise reduction if needed and then sharpen.

DOWNLOAD THE ACTION
DOWNLOAD THE PDF FOR MORE INFO

SHINE-BE-REDUCED

Install this Action in your Photoshop program (see sample at the end). Run the action, and then “paint away” the shine from the areas that offend your sensibilities. Paint away distracting shines from flash on nose, cheeks, foreheads.

Most people leave shines on hair and lips and pupils. This will be done by creating a second duplicate layer over your original layer. Then you can brush in the amount of “shine removal” that you want. Here are the steps to follow for removing the shine, AFTER the action is run.

1) A new adjusted layer is placed above your original, and is masked (blacked) out.
2) While viewing at 100%, select a soft WHITE brush, Set the brush so it is slightly larger than the shine area, and Set brush opacity to 30% opacity
3) Then paint over the shine…on the black layer mask.
4) For real finesse, select the layer mask by holding down the Command Key and click on the layer MASK. This will make the selection come alive with marching ants. Then apply a Gaussian blur of about 4 to this mask to soften the edges.

DOWNLOAD THE ACTION
DOWNLOAD THE PDF FOR MORE INFO

Flickr Resizer Photoshop Actions

I find resizing photos for web output to be one of the most boring and repetitive tasks in post-processing. My workflow consists of only creating JPEGs as needed, and deleting them when they’ve done their deed. My photo archive also consists of RAW (from the dSLR), TIFF (from film scans), and PSD files, in both AdobeRGB and grayscale color spaces.

So with all these requirements, I found that a Photoshop action is the way to go. I process a big batch of photos with Bridge/ACR, and I use a batch process to create all my Flickr files at once. The really cool thing about the action I’ve created is that it doesn’t care what kind of file you have or what color space it’s in. The output is always the same — 800 pixels on the long edge, sRGB, a quality of 12, etc.

HOW IT WORKS

The action was built to be fairly robust against an array of possible image settings and file types. The main idea behind the action is to be “hands free” so it can blast through a big set of photos with no interaction from the user.

The action first flattens any layers that may be present. Then it moves on to scale it down while still in the original color space and bit depth. After downsizing, the action converts to RGB mode just in case you were working in LAB or grayscale. And since the intent is to create images for the web, we then convert to sRGB color space. And so we can save as a JPEG, we then convert to 8 bits. Now it’s time for output, so the action saves the file to a set destination at high quality while maintaining the original file name and metadata. The last step is to close the image without saving so it can move on to the next one if using a batch process.

If you don’t have things like layers or other color spaces, the action just keeps going without warning you — it’s no big deal, those steps are just to make it more robust.

BEFORE YOU USE IT

The action is intended to be customized for each person using it. At a minimum, you’ll want to change the location of the saved file. I put my Flickr exports in a folder on my desktop, but you can put yours wherever you want.

To change the location of the saved files, first open up a file to work with. Then go into the action and uncheck the last two lines — “Save” and “Close”. Run the action. Now double-click on the “Save” command to modify it. When you do this, you’ll see a save dialog box. Simply navigate to the folder of your choice and press “Save” — don’t mess with the file name or you’ll end up saving every single image in the future with the same exact name. After you re-record this step, you can check the “Save” and “Close” lines and you should be in business.

You can also do the same type of thing with the “Image Size” command if you want something other than 800 pixels. Just make note of which action you’re editing (horizontal or vertical) because you have to type the values into the corresponding box (width or height, respectively).

HOW TO USE IT

As I just mentioned, there are two actions. This is to take care that vertical and horizontal images maintain a common maximum size. If you run a vertical image through the horizontal action, you’ll get a photo at 800 pixels on the short edge rather than the long edge. And square cropped photos don’t care which one you use.

You can run the action on single photos if you’d like — just be aware of the “Close” command at the end of the action. Uncheck it if you don’t want to close the image after exporting.

The best way to run this action is with a batch process. You can do this from Bridge by selecting the photos you want to export and clicking “Tools >> Photoshop >> Batch…” You can also do it straight from Photoshop by clicking “File >> Automate >> Batch…” Either method gets you the same dialog box. Then you pick the action from the drop-down menu. If you run it from Bridge, all you have to do is hit “OK” and it starts running. If you run it from Photoshop, you’ll have to tell it where to get the files from too.

DOWNLOAD THE ACTION

I hope some of you will find this useful with your workflow. I know it saves me a ton of time! This article is one of my own project submissions to the Action and Preset Extravaganza.