Category Archives: Software

One Thing Everyone Must Do

Good Morning New World,

dsc_0005I know it has been a while, and I do apologize. I am in the process of putting my life in a position where I can be back to being me. I realized that during the process of unemployment, you go through a process of redefining. It is very hard, to say the least. In the midst of unemployment, school bankruptcy, etc., we get clouded with moving forward and feel comfortable staying where we are. Wait a minute, you didn’t come here to read about my philosophy. Did you?! Probably not.

So, I will chat about something everyone needs to do. The African American Museum, in Washington DC, is finally built. The outside of the building, is a really eccentric design, but it’s what’s inside that really counts. “The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. When the NMAAHC opens on September 24, 2016, it will be the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.” (nmaahc.si.edu, 2016) It has seven floor of history and, from my understanding, the floors goes from the darkest hours, on the bottom floors, to the lighter times. Unfortunately, due to my past injury, I could not view the entire museum. However, I will show you what I did see.

TTYL!
And Enjoy

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Astropad Review


Good Morning New World, 

I know, a day late. I was going through a migraine, so my apologies. 

I wanted to give do a review on Astropad. I was on the App Store, looking for new apps that worked with my iPad and Apple Pencil. I just wanted something new. I found an app called “Air Display 3“. I bought it, and it sucked. I hate, and I mean HATE, when an app lags. I did, however, like the idea of “digital mirroring”. In fact, prior to me getting the IPad Pro, I was thinking heavily on getting the Wacom Cintiq tablet. I saw it in B & H Photo, and I fell in love with it. So, I had to make a choice, and the iPad seemed more useful than the Cintiq. However, in a way, I still longed for the Cintiq. So, I did some research, and Terry White, from Kelby One, did a review on Astropad. So, I decided to give it a try. Hell, I had spent, and had returned 15 bucks. What’s an additional 15?! 

So let me start off by saying that I am very pleased with this app. Absolutely, NO LAG! The app runs so smoothly. I tried it, during a quick retouch, and it made it sooooooooo easy. I can see doing a digital retouch, way faster. I only have two major complaints. The first is the screen size. The screen mirrors in widescreen. Just me, but it can be slightly annoying. The work around for this is the drag and zoom option, but it’s a temporary fix. The second is the screen color. I am not totally sure if it’s my MacBook or the app, but I noticed the screen, while running the app, ran a little hot. Meaning- the screen ran heavy on red tones. Customer service was very helpful, and I even received an email thanking me for the purchase. However, the app I still pretty awesome and I recommend this app to any digital artist. 

Screen shot from my iPad while running Astropad.


TTYL!
Astropad

My Retouch Tutorial

Good Morning New World,

First off, I want to say

🎉🎉Happy July 4th🎊🎊

😂

I know those emojis have nothing to do with July 4th, but that is what Apple has!

I was talking with a friend of mine, and she began asking me about cameras and photo retouches. So, when you start me on photography, prepared to get your ear chewed off! I can talk about that all day long. Little did she know, she had given me the idea for my next blog post. I don’t normally do this, but I think that this may be good to know for both models and photographers, even though I am lightly touching on the subject. So, I just wrapped up my Photoshop 2 class, and anyone that knows me, is probably asking why the PS2 class. Well, I never received certification as a photographer, and I am in the process of doing that. During the class, we lightly touched on photo retouching. I wanted to give a basic tutorial of where my eyes go, during the process of photo retouching. I will be using a recent shot of one of my school’s administrators. It was for a commercial.

skin

 

1. Skin- The first thing I look at, is the subject’s skin. I try to clear up any skin imperfections that may have shown up on camera. Here is a little side note. For models, if either a photographer or make up artist gives you a list of things to do, prior to the shoot, please do it. Trust me, it shows!
eyes

2. Eyes- With a subject’s eye’s, I try to bring those out more so than anything else. The reason is because a person’s eyes are what speaks to you, before anything else. Usually I would use the dodge tool to brighten a person’s eyes. For photographers, this is also a handy little cheat. When a subject’s eyes are properly lit, you can see what type of lighting the photographer used to light his subject. Hmmmmm……..that will be my next post.🤔

 

3. Skin (again)-This time, we go into smoothing of the skin. It gives the appearance of soft, smooth skin in your subject. With this step, there are a thousand and one ways to achieve this. The real question, once you have smoothed the skin, is “Does it look natural?” If the answer is no, then you need to rethink your smoothing technique. Oh, and I know there are quiet a few photographers that do this, but it needs to be said. If you use a PS plug in, third party app, or etc, please learn how to properly use it. I hate seeing a beautiful image ruined because the photographer did not fully understand the software or allow the software to fully run without making any adjustments.

 

color adjustment4. Color adjustments-Okay, so I am guilty of this one. At times I am so enthused about working on an image that I bypass minor color adjustments. This is actually a pet peeve of mine. In the image of the circled arm, her arm was actually lighter that her body. My quick fix? If you have PS6 or PSCC, use an adjustment layer. For this image, I used the Photo Filter, on warming tone. Don’t quote me on the name. I turn it up, in the adjustment layer, fill the mask with black, paint the arm white, lower the opacity down to 0, and gradually bring it back in. Now, that fix is a 50% shot, but when all else fails, it’s my go to.

hair

5. Hair- I am a big stickler for beautiful hair, which is only next to eyes. So what I do is use the dodge tool to add sheen to the highlighted tresses. Also, I use the clone stamp tool to fill in any gaps in the subject’s hair (and of course, we are talking about women).

 

 

6. Lint or Dusts-Last step would be to look for any imperfections on the clothes.

lint

Although, that is not the full extent of what I do, this gives y’all an idea.

TTYL!

PC or Mac? Which Are You?

Hello New World,

20140429-205230.jpgSo I decided to touch on a topic that will go on and on for years.

PC or Mac?

That is the question!

Well, here is my take on it. My very first laptop, was a Dell Inspirion E1705. It was the first laptop I had customized. I love it. In fact, to this day, I have it running in a very decent order. I just changed the operating software from XP to Windows 7. What an uphill battle that was?! Anyway, I put PS4 on it, and from there, everything from graphics to retouching ha taken place on it. Later on, I decided to have the memory maxed out on it. I was able to do my Sims movies and work on Photoshop. Hey, I even had room for Lightroom 3. It’s a nice machine. Later on, I started to notice an abundance of Apple user coming forth. I was wondering what the “big deal” was with the MacBooks. I am big n Apple’s mobile products, such as the iPad, iPod, and iPhone. Trust me, it took an extremely long time to figure that once you have one of these products in your life, without them, you can’t function.

So, when my tax money came in, I decided, what the hey, I will splurge and go for a MacBook Pro. The thing was, I didn’t want a 15inch. I want something close to my Dell. I wanted a Cadillac model. I wanted a 17inch. The problem was Apple stopped manufacturing the 17inch MacBook Pro’s. What am I to do? Thank sweet baby Jesus for Amazon. I found a 17inch MacBook Pro, and we have been like peas and carrots ever since.

Now, as far as photo editing software goes, I have CS6 for both Mac and PC. Although PC’s are tough and can take virtually whatever program you give it, Mac is definitely faster, with a better color calibration. I was able to get a retouch out the way in 15mins., instead of an hour! I know, but perfection takes time. It is lighter, as far as the weight of laptops. My Dell was luggage and my MacBook Pro it a tote. So freakin’ light, I forget it’s there! Mind you, I am talking about their 17inch older model. I assume that by now, the newer models are probably that “scary light”. You know what I mean?! Scary light is that light you don’t want to touch, because it feels easily breakable. You feel me on that one! Oh, and the most important part, for me. You can sync Apple products to work together. You can link the iCal to work with the iPhone or iPad calendar. You can iMessage on the MacBook Pro, as well as Facetime. Since buying my MacBook Pro, I haven’t touched my PC. In fact, below are two images. One was done on my Mac and the other on my PC. Can you tell the difference?

TTYL!

20140429-205321.jpg

20140429-205333.jpg

HE’S BBBAAAACCCKKK! Scott Kelby’s “Shoot Like

946822_10152919245255328_514848032_nHello New World,

I have ultra exciting news! Scott Kelby……………is coming back to DC!

Yep!

Scott Kelby, one of my photography idols, is doing his “Shoot Like a Pro” tour. The tour will be in different cities, and one of the planned stops will be in DC. It will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, on October 25, 2013. The seminar is from 10am to 5pm. Also, is seminar includes a detailed workbook, an issue of Photoshop User, 16×20 print from MPIX, and onOne Perfect Effects Software. That is a vicious deal!

Oh, and let me give a quick run down of the schedule.

10am-11am Work Your Settings Like a Pro
11:25am-12:45pm Shoot Travel & Landscape Like a Pro
12:45pm-1:45pm Lunch Break
1:45pm-3pm Create Portraits Like a Pro
3:15pm-4pm How to Make Better Photos
4:15pm-5pm Photo Recipes: From Start to Finish

My personal opinion: If you can go, you should go. I know I am a late player, but I am trying to get in early before all the seats are taken.
Note-You need to get your ticket early, because he sells out very fast! Scott explains information as you would if you were talking to a buddy. Simple and to the point!

So check it out! Vistit Kelby training, and check out the video, below. It will give you an idea.

TTYL!

Adobe Creative Suite 6 Is Here!

Hello New World,

Well………….the excitement has finally built up to this day. I can’t believe the greatness of today! Photoshop World practically advertised for it. The flyers were in every graphic design magazine. Now, it is finally here.

ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE 6 IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE TODAY!

Yes, all us geeks, yeah I am talking about myself, have been waiting for this. I know this may sound, kind of dilly, but I normally buy the suite, as oppose to one particular program, because, in my opinion, I think that it is better to own a majority. You never know when you may need to use several products, in a day. Just me, is what I’m saying. So for me, my feature list would be in PS 6. Some of the features include:
Dark UI
Oil Paint By Default
Face Detection in Select>Color Range
Adaptive Wide Angle
Auto-correction for Adjustments (Who ever thought of this, I would like to personally thank them.)
Lighting Effects Using the 3D Engine
White Balance and Noise Reduction as a Brush (HALLELUJAH)
New Controls for Black/White/Highlights/Shadows
Video (Yes photographers and creatives, we have options)
And the biggest advancement
CS6 can be purchased on a monthly basis.

These are great new features, you would think that Adobe would change one thing, student versions. I am very grateful at Adobe has done soooo much, as far as CS6 goes, however, Adobe, I am a poor student. I don’t know if anyone else got suckered, but let me tell you my story. I was sooooo impressed with the new features that I made it a priority to save up and buy it. So, my school put down an advertisement for buy Adobe CS5.5 and get CS6 for free. Who could pass up a deal like that?! So I bought it, got CS5.5 and began some learning, on it, and found out that when CS6 comes out, I need to delete CS5.5 because student version are not upgradeable. So I am stuck with CS5.5. With that being said, Adobe, please make student versions upgradeable to other student versions. Students are broke! I could have kept my money and waited for CS6! Seriously!
You know I have to find something to complain about.

TTYL