Penguin Splash. Video with a Galaxy phone.

I don’t do a lot of video, and even less using a smart phone but I wanted to see how my Galaxy phone would tackle the task. So,back at the end of September, I was in Calgary and took a few minutes to shoot a small video in the Penguin Splash area of the Calgary Zoo.

I came home and played around with the short footage in Photoshop, and then, as one does with other things going on, I completely forgot about it until watching the weather channel a couple of weeks ago when they showed the penguins at the zoo.

This was my first time using the new video editing tools in Photoshop CS6 and once I play around and experimented a bit, I found it fairly intuitive. That is to say you can manipulate layers and add adjustment layers such as curves etc. just as you would a static image.

It had been really noisy in the small area so this meant playing with sound and adding music. A big thank you goes out to Dexter Britain, http://dexterbritain.co.uk/ . for the use of his music “The Tea Party.”

You can watch Penguin Splash on You Tube.



Fun with fonts and typefaces.

Image

I love playing with fonts. There are designers who have made careers simply by designing fonts. Fonts can make or break a design or stand alone to evoke a mood. There are hundreds of thousands of fonts to choose from but only a relative few that are in common use.

Whats the difference between a typeface and a font?

Examples of script, sans-serif and serif fonts.

The Business Dictionary definition of a typeface is:

“Letters, numbers, and symbols in consistent type-weight and typestyle that make up a complete set (type family) of a distinctive design of printing type such as Ariel, Helvetica, Times Roman and thousands others.”

And a font as:

“Complete set of all characters that comprise a given typeface in a specific point size: capital (uppercase) letters, common (lowercase) letters, small caps, numbers, and mathematical and other symbols.”

Comparing fonts using pangrams:

A pangram is a sentence that contains all the letters of the alphabet in a given language.
In English the sentence best known and most often used is:

“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Examples of fonts.

(My French isn’t fluent but I’m told that the French equivalent is:

“Buvez de ce whisky que le patron juge fameux.”

which translates to: Drink some of this whiskey, which the boss finds excellent. )
French Pangram

Serif and Sans-serif.

All fonts can be broken into two groups Serif – such as Times and Sans-serif such as Ariel.
Serif and Sans-Serif fonts
A serif is the small line,decoration or “curly que” that is at the end of an individual letter. Fonts with out serifs are called sans-serif (without serif).

Usable fonts.

The font you use depends on your medium, print and/or the web,and your good or bad taste.

Conventional wisdom is that a sans-serif font is easier to read on screen and serif fonts are easier to read in print but it’s generally agreed you should never combine the two.(However rules are made to be broken.)

There is a growing number of overused fonts that Graphic Designers love to hate. You will find numerous blogs on why you should never use Comics Sans MT, or Papyrus but I bet you can’t go a week without seeing one of the “Terrible Ten” which are:

Overused fonts.

(OK, so “Chiller isn’t on the list, that’s my own personal peeve!”)

  1. Comics Sans MT
  2. Papyrus
  3. Courier
  4. Impact
  5. Curlz MT
  6. Bradley Hand, (infact almost all script fonts hit someones hate list)
  7. Frankenstein
  8. Trajan
  9. Bank Gothic
  10. Garamond

The other two fonts that nearly always hit peoples lists of overused and most hated are:

  1. Ariel (in all its various forms)
  2. Times New Roman

The trouble with Ariel and Times is, if you are designing for the web you almost have to use one or other as a default.

Fonts on the web

If you want to make sure that your text appears exactly the same way on all browsers, and platforms you have to make an image. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of your audiences browser and have to guess how your text will appear. Guess? Well yes. It is an educated guess but let me explain.

Back in the early days of HTML the only way to place your text where you wanted it was to use a table.(This practice is now frowned upon.) Then the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) decided to split content from design. HTML takes care of the text content and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) takes care of the text design or “style” of your text. (For many reason I won’t go into here this was actually a good thing.)

Style (for web typographical purposes) covers:

  • font
  • color
  • spacing
  • positioning

So what’s the problem? I don’t know what fonts my audience has installed on their devices! I’ll say that again.

“I don’t know what fonts my audience has installed on their devices!

I can specify what ever font in whatever size I like but, if for whatever reason your computer/tablet/phone doesn’t have that font installed, your browser will render its default serif or sans-serif font.

For just that reason CSS allows you to choose a list of alternatives. Having said that even two very similar fonts can display dramatically differently on two different devices. This is why you see so much of Ariel and Times, they are safe because almost all computers have both fonts installed. You will have plenty of pre-installed fonts on your computer but if you’ve been installing your own you can run into problems.

Slightly geeky bit over.

Fonts for Photography, and Images.

If none of the fonts on your device convey the image or message you want or you just want to have fun playing there are lots of places to find fonts. Many are free but some specialty fonts you will have to pay for.
Here is a list of places to start looking:

not to be confused with…


Feel free to pin this blog and follow Lyn’s “Safe 2 Pin” board on Pinterest.
Follow Camera Photo Art and Lyn Safe 2 Pin on Pinterest

A really basic introduction to Color Space.

Color is a whole science unto itself. Most people are aware of the color wheel, hue (adding black to a color) and tint (adding white) but what is color space?

Color Space

In its simplest terms a color space is:

An ordered list of numbers that represents specific colors.

That’s why you have numbers when you use a color picker/tool. Anyone familiar with HTML may have used the standard HTML (Hexadecimal) Color Space part of which is pictured below.


Example of Web Color Names and Hexadecimal Values.

Color Management.

Why do we worry about color space? Color space is really all about color management. In most cases I want the colors I see on my screen to be as near as possible to the color of the that images I print.
There are lots of color spaces but the most well known are RGB and CMYK.

RGB and CMYK

RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue and CMYK for Cyan, Magenta,Yellow and Black. RGB and CMYK are the two color spaces that most people are aware of but they are many color spaces, in fact you can even make your own.

RGB

When you view an image on screen you’re viewing RGB color. Three color guns project Red, Green and Blue onto the screen.
RGB Red, Green and Blue combined.

A few years ago if you were designing your images for use on the web you were advised to use the 256 web safe colors. That was because most computers could only accurately reproduce those 256 colors. Nowadays most computers and devices can see in millions of colors.

Note:

256 Colors is also known as 8 bit color. Each pixel is made up of one 8 bit, byte. (A byte being made up of the amount of information it takes to store 1 character on a computer.) A 16 bit system gives thousands of colors, and 24 bit system renders millions of colors.

RGB also has sub groups or think of them as different flavors of RGB color.

For example:

  • sRGB is a color space that came about in 1996 when Microsoft and Hewlett Packard got together to decide on a standard for their monitors, and printers.
  • Adobe RGB was created by Adobe in 1998 to coincide with the release of Photoshop 5.0.

CMYK

CMYK is used in printing. The four inks are applied in the order Cyan, Magenta, Yellow then Black. I always thought that they decided to take the last letter of black, because the B for blue was already taken but the K actually stands for Key. The four printing blocks were originally “keyed” in alignment with each other the key plate on the bottom being black.

CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

Other Color Spaces.
Greyscale
Greyscale is exactly what it says
If you are a Photoshop user and you look under the Image Menu – Mode You will see a list including Lab (Pronounced L-ab and not lab) This is a quite interesting color space based on the human ability to see differences in colors opposite to each other on the color wheel.

This has barely touched the surface of color so for those of you who have a need to satisfy your inner Geek further reading can be found at:

International Color Consortium

Adobe RGB (1998) color image encoding

Right click to download a PDF version of this blog.





The Mystery of the Dissapearing Duck.

OK, so its not much of a mystery but I am just having so much fun with the Content Aware Fill that I thought I’d share.



Creative Commons License
The Disappearing Duck by Lyn Tuckwell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.cameraphotoart.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.cameraphotoart.com.


To follow along with this tutorial download Quakers, (the duck) by right clicking on the image.
Quackers the duck.
Creative Commons License
Quackers by Lyn Tuckwell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.cameraphotoart.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.cameraphotoart.com.

Making a Metadata Template.

A couple of weeks ago I touched briefly on the topic of copyright. One of the things that you can do to help establish your ownership is to embed your copyright information into your images using a Metadata Template.

Metadata Templates can store a whole host of information besides copyright; you can embed your e-mail and website address, keywords and model release information.

Most cameras allow you to enter at least some of your information, directly into the camera. Things like ISO and F stop info is usually automatic but you can add your information afterwards using a Digital Assets Management System. The two most popular are Adobe Bridge and Adobe Lightroom. Here’s how.

Note

Adobe Bridge ships with Photoshop, and six other Adobe stand alone products. It is a useful tool for cataloging you images.

With the new features for editing camera raw added to Lightroom 4 many photographers have abandoned Bridge altogether. (If you are taking advantage of the Adobe Cloud you will have both available to you so it is your choice.)

Adobe Bridge

  1. Open Bridge


    Adobe Bridge desktop icon

  2. Navigate to the Tools Menu.


    Tools Menu

  3. Select Create Metadata Template.


    Select Create Metadata Template from the drop down menu.

  4. You should now have a template that looks similar to this.


    Create Metadata Template

  5. Fill in as much, (or as little) of your information as you want but the important lines are when you scroll down to copyright.


    Fill in your copyright information.

  6. Note:

    The copyright sign © is made by holding down the Alt key and then typing the numbers 184. For years, and in many tutorials, you will see Alt (or Cmd on a Mac) + 169 which now gives the ® sign.


  7. Make sure that the information you want to save has the check box marked


    Only items with checked / ticked boxes will be saved.

  8. Click the Save button.


    Click Save.

Now your template is ready to go.

Attaching your Metadata Template to a file in Bridge.

To attach your new Metadata Template to a document you just:

  1. Select the Image/s


  2. Select your image

  3. Go back to theTools Menu and navigate down to Append Template


  4. Append Metadata

  5. Select your template.


  6. Select your template.

  7. Done!

Adobe Lightroom

The procedure in Lightroom is very similar.

  1. Open your version of Lightroom. (You can download a trial version of Lightroom 4 here.)


    Open your version of Lightroom.

  2. Select your catalogue


  3. Select your catalogue.

  4. Select the Metadata menu.


  5. Select the Metadata menu

  6. Select Metadata Presets from the drop down menu.


  7. Select Metadata Presets from the drop down menu.

  8. Fill in your template.


  9. Fill in your template.

  10. Don’t forget to make sure the check/tick boxes are marked for the information you want to embed, then click Done.


  11. Click Done.

Having saved your template it will then be available for you to use on other images. You can attach templates as you import your images from your camera or you can pick individual images as you please.

Camera Raw Images.

The first time you try to append a template to any camera raw images you will get the following dialogue box.


Saving Metadata to a camera raw image.

What this is basically saying is that if your images are in the Camera Raw format the Metadata Template will be saved in a separate file and not embedded into the Camera Raw file.

You can download a PDF version of this tutorial here. Click to open or Right Click on the link to download.

For complete tutorials on both Bridge and Lightroom I suggest you check out Lynda.com.

If you enjoyed this article please share.



Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Creative Cloud, in my opinion, is one of the best things that has happened in a long time. I read Adobe’s announcement and thought WOW! You get everything for just $49.99 (USD) a month if you subscribe on a yearly basis, that’s brilliant!

So I was really surprised by the some of the negative opinions I’ve seen in the last week on some of the forums and user groups. I think this comes from a lack of understanding, and in some cases, fear of what Adobe is doing. The two major issues I’m seeing:

  1. Is all of the software on the Adobe Creative Cloud (Server)? Or the same question asked in reverse. Do I have to download all the software?
  2. Are all my files saved to the cloud?

The Cloud is like a subscription only better.The biggest issue/concern I hear is that people think the software and all of your creative work resides on Adobe’s servers; it doesn’t. You download the programs you want. That’s right you can download and install:

Well you get the picture… This is only a partial list, the whole list, including six new programs for tablets, can be found at Adobe’s creative cloud tools page.

The only real issue is how much space do you have on your hard drive. Your single license allows you to download to two machines as long as you don’t use them both at the same time. You work just as you normally would and you save your files locally to your machine.

So here is the big question:

Where does my work get stored?

You only use the Cloud when you want to share.

If you use automatic cloud syncing then yes all your work goes to the cloud but you do not have to sync everything.

The following is taken directly from Adobe’s FAQ page:

Do I have to save my files to the storage space on Creative Cloud?
No — just sync what you want. You can save every file to your desktop and choose which ones you sync to Creative Cloud.”

When you want to share with others you do it by providing an e-mail link.

The above two questions are the ones that I have heard over and over again. If Adobe has a fault it is that they make so much of their information so very difficult to get.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Adobe and its not that they haven’t thought of the issues or that the answers aren’t there if you look. I am convinced that there web site is designed by programmers who don’t understand what is important to more creative types. You ask a question and they give you half an answer. Two days later you find the answer to your original question when you are looking for something completely different. That said the effort to search is a small price to pay for such amazing products.

I started subscribing to the Adobe Creative Suite in May last year. My reasons at that time were as follows;I wanted to:

  • Go from Photoshop CS4 to CS5
  • Upgrade my Illustrator skills from CS2 to CS5
  • Learn Dreamweaver. (I code HTML & CSS but I was finally forced to give up GoLive)
  • Learn InDesign
  • Play around with Premiere and After Effects

Now to buy all those programs at once was just out of my budget but the subscription option opened a whole new world. The subscription options was one of the best decisions I ever made, I see the Creative Cloud as just an extension.

Announcing the addition of Camera Photo Art’s Online Store.

Today I’m excited to announce the addition of Camera Photo Art’s online store.

Powered by Amazon, (so that you know it’s secure) the store has two departments featuring the most popular items for Photographers and Photoshop devotees.

Cameras

Books and Magazines

Please take a few moments to peek at what’s there and let me know what else you would like to see included. Leave a message below or e-mail Lyn.

Photoshop CS6 Beta

My inbox was flooded today with the news. This is a great day to start my blog because as of last night the real buzz is about the much anticipated Beta version of Photoshop CS6.


The really good news is it is a Public Beta. (This is only the second Public Beta that Adobe has released for Photoshop.)


The industry gurus all have their tutorials lined up, and if like me, you are a Photoshop addict you’ll probably want to peruse all of them. Of the afore mentioned gurus the three must reads are:

  1. Scott Kelby and the Photoshop Guys
  2. Deke McClelland
  3. Terry White

For photographers there are a whole slew of enhanced features for Camera Raw and updates to Bridge.

Content aware adjustment is now good for wide angles, (also good for panoramas). Non destructive cropping is also a welcome addition.

If you’re a Graphic Designer you’ll be thrilled with some of the new text enhancements, the addition of airbrushes to the brushes palette and the now searchable layers menu.

You can get your free preview from Adobe labs:

http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/photoshopcs6.html

Free until the release of Photoshop CS6. Take this opportunity to try it now and let me know what you think.