How to remove that ugly blue “Share” button in Photoshop CC

        I mean, seriously – what in the heck is Adobe thinking with that goofy blue “Share” button, smack-dab in the middle of a graphics environment?!?     Do you want to get rid of that incredibly distracting, hideous & ugly blue “Share” button in Photoshop CC, and replace it with an environment-appropriate GRAY button? Then download and install my already-prepped “hack” file, UIColors.txt – – OR modify the file yourself to customize!   How to load the “hack” file:    NOTE: these steps are generic for both Mac & PC – there may be slight variations …   1)  Download my already-prepped “hack” file UIColors.txt

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Photoshop Workflow for Photographers

        One of the critical factors in using Photoshop properly is to Standardize your Workflow: Contrast should be adjusted before Color Correction, Cropping should be done before Sharpening, and so on.   With that in mind, you’ll find a handy downloadable Photoshop Workflow Chart below, designed specifically for Photographers.   •  By the way, the picture above is a visual representation of a proper workflow for photographers – the downloadable version below is a detailed “step-by-step” checklist.   ___________   Notice that the downloadable Workflow Chart is divided into 4 sections which further clarify a proper workflow (see vertical boxes

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Using “Zones” in Photoshop

    The method / procedure described below is inspired by the great Ansel Adams’ Zone System – – consider this the post-processing “digital equivalent” for Photoshop (see more here, near the bottom) …   Also, this blogpost is material straight from my personalized online Small Group Workshop, “The Power of Layer Masks in Photoshop”: https://wattsdigital.com/small-group-workshops   ___________________   By dividing your image into separate “Zones” of contrast, color, density (brightness), sharpness, etc., you’ll have complete creative control, performance & flexibility over how your overall image looks.    •  These “Zones” are created by shaping your Layer Masks, and you’ll usually have multiple Adjustment

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File Backup Strategies for Photographers

      Redundancy, Redundancy, Redundancy …   I was 13 years old when man triumphantly walked on the moon. One of the finer attributes of NASA and the space program at the time was the concept of redundancy.   It was one of the reasons that Apollo 13, despite all of its incredible challenges, made it back safely. There was a backup for every system, and even the backups were frequently backed up. In the harsh and unforgiving environment of outer space, nothing was left to chance.   You should be treating your digital files the same way. This lack

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New to Photoshop? Need a “Lesson Plan”? Read this Post!

      •  Are you brand new to Photoshop?  A total beginner?  Or, are you just digging into the program, and not sure what to do next?  Or, are you having challenges with the “basics”?   •  Do you need guidance – a “Lesson Plan”, if you will – on how to learn Photoshop for Photographers?  Do you need a “Photoshop Coach”?   If so, read on …   •  Photoshop is indeed a complex program – but as a photographer, you’re only going to need to use 10-15% of the programs’ functionality to achieve your best results, and

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How (& why) I use Adobe Bridge – NOT Lightroom

    PLEASE NOTE: Due to an abundance of requests (especially since I’m not a big proponent of Lightroom), I submit the following post for your consideration … ___________________   Amongst the vast majority of photographers, the 2 most popular programs used in selecting, culling & identifying those awesome images deserving of a Master File (created in Photoshop) are Bridge & Lightroom.   When it comes to digital post-processing, I’m a YUGE advocate of the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method – – life is complicated enough, don’t ya think?   So, I use Bridge exclusively (rather than Lightroom), mainly for its sheer simplicity.  Even as a graphics professional, I don’t

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“Study” Video – Photoshop 101, Class 2: Control your Contrast & Color

    So, have you ever asked yourself, “What makes a good color print, and how do I use the basics of Photoshop to achieve my desired results?”   If so, then this video is for you! Using the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method, you’ll learn how to take well-exposed digital images and improve them, sometimes dramatically, with just a few key but critical functions.   When it comes to a good color print, it’s essential that you know what you’re aiming for before you can properly use the tools in Photoshop. I mean, what IS color, anyway?? Get

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“Study” Video – Photoshop 101, Class 1: The Foundation

      •  New to Photoshop? Need to brush up on the basics? Then you should watch this video to learn some foundational stuff!   •  This is the first of 5 free “I-just-got-Photoshop-now-what” online Meetups – recorded live, ALL focusing on the fundamentals.   •  Think of this Meetup as the Roadmap to Photoshop – – I’ll show you how to effectively navigate through a complex program, showing those functions you really need and want as a photographer. You’ll learn what’s important and what you can ignore. Without this Roadmap, you’ll truly be lost.   •  We’re going to talk

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Lightroom to Photoshop Migration (& safely back) …

    FYI, this is Part 3 of a 3-part series on this subject – –    I’d encourage you you to check out these 2 previous blogposts first to put things in their proper context:   •  “Photoshop vs Lightroom?  Wrong Question!”   •  “Photoshop vs Lightroom?  Wrong Question! – – Part 2”   ____________________________   Those that have worked with me know that I have a “love/hate” relationship with Lightroom  (mostly hate, because of it’s continued mis-use!).     I am not fond of the program (an understatement!), and personally don’t use it (I use Bridge, mainly for its sheer simplicity).      I

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Camera RAW 12.3 – RADICAL changes to the User Interface … with VIDEO

    ____________________________   Click once to embiggen & explore …   _____________________________   Well, gollie … as Gomer Pyle used to say, “surprise, surprise, surprise!“ … and, shazam – was he ever the prognosticator!   As you can see from the video & screen grab above (or if you’ve updated your CC apps in the last few days), Adobe has made radical changes to it’s Camera RAW plug-ins’ User Interface (UI) – – The new look is completely different.   I know, I know – change can be frustrating, and at first, I was indeed skeptical  – but, this new UI is growing on

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Video – Photoshop 101, Class 3: RAW Fundamentals

08/21 – See Updated Videos using Camera RAW 12.3 here:  Click for more       One of the most misunderstood (and mis-used!) concepts in digital post-processing is how to properly work with RAW files.   •  What to do with all that digital information?  How do you work with the format correctly & maximize your image’s potential?   •  When enhancing your image from RAW, what are the “Goals”,  and why?  What the heck are you even aiming for?   This video will answer those questions, and much more – enjoy!   __________   Download the notes for this

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Video – Photoshop 101, Class 5: Color Management 101 PLUS Editing for Success

      Howdy to all,   Class 5 is a “2-Fer”:   1) Color Management 101 (One Hour):   •  Proper Color Management allows you to accurately reproduce what you see on your monitor in printed form, whether it is to your photo inkjet printer or files you send to a custom lab. Being able to print with a great degree of consistency and accuracy saves you time, frustration, and money.   •  The old adage, “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get) readily applies when you are properly color-managed. John will show you the 3 steps to

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Video – Photoshop 101, Class 2: Control your Contrast & Color – 05/27/20

  So, have you ever asked yourself, “What makes a good color print, and how do I use the basics of Photoshop to achieve my desired results?”   If so, then this video is for you! Using the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method, you’ll learn how to take well-exposed digital images and improve them, sometimes dramatically, with just a few key but critical functions.   When it comes to a good color print, it’s essential that you know what you’re aiming for before you can properly use the tools in Photoshop. I mean, what IS color, anyway?? Get ready

Read More Video – Photoshop 101, Class 2: Control your Contrast & Color – 05/27/20

Photoshop vs Lightroom? Wrong Question! – – Part 2

    FYI, this is Part 2 of a 3-part series on this subject – –    •  Part 1 is here:  https://blog.main.wattsdigital.com/?p=1840   •  Part 3 is here:  https://blog.main.wattsdigital.com/?p=2637   To see why Photoshop vs Lightroom is the “Wrong Question” (& much more), I’d encourage you to check out Part 1 (at the link above) before perusing Part 2 below – that way, some of the things discussed below will be put in their proper context …   __________________   So, here’s the perspective I’m coming from:   •  I am, at my core, a custom photographic printer, and have been professionally since the early 1980’s

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“Study” Video: Photoshop 101 – Class 4: Master File Creation & Workflow

      10-01-20:  Pssssst … wanna see more free Photoshop videos like the one below? https://wattsdigital.com/free-photoshop-101-videos   ___________________   •  Master File Creation and Proper Workflow should be essential elements in how you approach and use Photoshop, regardless of the version.   •  Creating a Master File is NOT for every image: it’s for those images that you want to spend time with, doing all that’s necessary to make your image “pretty”.   •  Here’s where you pour your artistic “blood, sweat and tears” into your image – more on Master File Creation here: https://blog.main.wattsdigital.com/?p=1853 … and on my webpage:

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The Philosophy of RAW

  Updated 05/01/22     Psssst – wanna see the Adobe Camera RAW User Interface in action?  WITH VIDEO … https://blog.main.wattsdigital.com/?p=3025   __________________________   One of the most misunderstood (and mis-used!) concepts in digital post-processing is how to properly work with RAW files.   What to do with all that digital information?  How do you work with the format correctly & maximize your image’s potential?   When enhancing your image from RAW, what are the “Goals”,  and why?  What the heck are you even aiming for?   First, what is a RAW File?   A Camera RAW file contains unprocessed, uncompressed 16 bit

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Need to Calibrate and Profile your Monitor? Here’s how to do it correctly – WITH VIDEO

  Update 03/01/22:  See more on this subject in my post: Color Management 101 for Photographers”: https://blog.main.wattsdigital.com/?p=3858     There are 3 steps necessary to successful color management – Profiling your Monitor is “Step #1”. A properly calibrated & profiled monitor will closely match the output of your photo printer or favorite custom print lab.  It’s crucial even if you don’t want to print your images, as it will allow you to see your image as accurately as possible – and in accordance with photo industry standards. Think of your monitor as your photographic “Window to the World”.   But let’s face it: 

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Photoshop CC: Soft-Proofing, plus RGB Color Spaces

  Updated 08/26/21       Two questions from Patrick C in San Diego, CA:   Should I be “soft proofing” my images before I send them to you? If so, do you provide any ICC profiles for your LightJet printer to view my images before uploading to you?   Do you use ProPhoto RGB Color Space (or something else) as your working Color Space in Photoshop?   The answers:   Interesting questions – some real “In the weeds” stuff – let me put on my “propeller-head” hat, and we’ll look at these one at a time …   _____________

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Photoshop: What is a Master File, and why do you need one? – WITH VIDEO

Updated:  09/09/21 – BONUS:  See my short video from YouTube below: X ___________ Question:   From Matthew S in San Diego, CA:   “Once you capture an image in RAW (or a 16-bit scan), what is the best way to save the image for printing purposes? Or should I convert the image to another format? I typically convert everything to a max quality JPG.  Supposedly any “lossy” degradation will be unnoticed to the eye, or so I’ve been told. But, is this the best way? I’d love to have this clarified.”     Answer:   Before I can fully answer your question,

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Why shoot in 16 bit (RAW), rather than 8 bit (JPG)?

  Updated: 08/26/21     I’ve been asked versions of these two questions so much lately that I had to share – In this post, we’ve got two important questions (and two timely answers) as seen from a “post-processing” point-of-view …   _____________________   Question #1:     From Kris K in Gilroy, CA:     “You’ve mentioned shooting in 16 bit RAW files, and I’ve always used 8 bit JPG’s.  What would be the advantages and disadvantages of using 16 bit versus 8 bit for a landscape architectural photographer?”     Answer:   Before I can fully answer your question, Kris, allow me

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