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Adobe Photoshop: The First 10 Years

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As we near the 20 year anniversary of Photoshop on Feb. 18, 2010, I have a special treat to add to the festivities. Ten years ago, with the help of Erin McCabe and Glenn Knoll, I published an article titled, From Darkroom to Desktop -- How Photoshop Came to Light.

To celebrate two decades of greatness, you can download the PDF of that original article that includes some terrific old Photoshop toolbars, application icons, history of Photoshop timeline, and photos of the Knoll brothers shot by Jeff Schewe.

One of my favorite passages in the article tells how the foundation was poured for what would become photography's killer application:

The story of one of the original "killer apps" begins in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a college professor named Glenn Knoll. Glenn was a photo enthusiast who maintained a darkroom in the family basement. He was also a technology aficionado intrigued by the emergence of the personal computer. His two sons, Thomas and John, inherited their father's inquisitive nature. And the vision for future greatness began with their exposure to Glenn's basement darkroom and with the Apple II Plus that he brought home for research projects.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The journey is as important as the destination. Are you missing opportunities for good photographs during your travels? Do you have a camera with you when riding in a cab? Have you ever been in a glass elevator? And please tell me you've taken cloud shots through an airplane window!

This week we're talking about taking photographs through car windows and other crazy places that normally we don't think to pull out the camera. Once you get in this frame of mind, you'd be surprised at how many good images you get.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (20 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Slippery is the Jan. 2010 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Jan. 31, 2010.

TDS Workshops Update

The TDS Hot Air Balloon Photography Workshop in June 2010 is sold out. If you'd like to get on the waiting list for upcoming workshops, please send me email with the subject line: "TDS Workshops." Those virtual camera club members who are on the waiting list get first opportunity to register for newly announced workshops. Attendance is limited to 6 for each TDS Workshop to ensure a personalized experience.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


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Podcast Sponsors

SiteGrinder lets you take ownership of your websites. Effortlessly output pages right from Photoshop.

Red River Paper -- Try the $7.99 Sample Kit.

Add Magic to Your Slideshows -- FotoMagico presentations are so amazing that your audience will be asking how you did it.


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I just read a good, short piece on George Eastman and the first Kodak camera. It's a slice of history that has an impact for all of today's photographers. The article, Eastman, Kodak, and Roll Film: A history of revolution and evolution in photography is also a good reminder of how good we have it today as shooters.


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What are you doing on Saturday, Feb. 27? If you're going to be in Northern California, please join me for an all day workshop titled, Digital Photography from Start to Finish. This event is hosted by the Diablo Valley Mac Users Group, and will take place at Meadow Homes School, 1372 Detroit Ave., Concord, CA. The workshop begins at 9am and concludes at 4pm.

The day begins with a series of easy-to-master pro tips for both compact and DSLR photographers. Then we'll cover how to make great portraits, how to tame those unwieldy group shots, and fire up iPhoto to explore the powerful tools available to improve our images even more. You will learn how to:

  • Capture professional looking portraits
  • Master your flash
  • Shoot in low light
  • Take great shots of kids, pets, and sports
  • Create digicam movies
  • Edit images in iPhoto
  • And much more!

There will be plenty of Question & Answer time throughout the day, too.

The workshop is only $75, so this is a real bargain for an all day event. You can attend by downloading the PDF registration form and mailing it in. You can also call (925) 689-1155 for more information. Register today!

Free eBook on Wildflower Photography

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For those of us in North America, it's not too early to start thinking about the Spring wildflower season. I've just downloaded and perused a free eBook titled, 13 tips for better wildflower photography, and it contains lots of helpful information and some terrific shots. If you want to improve your flower pictures this Spring, you might want to download a copy for yourself.


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Cool Gadget: Flipbac Angle Viewfinder

flipbac_finder.png The Flipbac Angle Viewfinder protects your 3" camera LCD and makes it easier to compose shots at high and low angles. It opens to more than 180 degrees in both landscape and portrait positions, and reflects the LCD image on its mirror-like surface. When you're done shooting, the flipbac folds up and protects the surface of the LCD. It fits most cameras with 3" screens, and is available for $18.95 US.


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I shoot in all sorts of locations, most of which are more cramped than I want. So I bring along my 6-foot wide rolls of white, black, and colored photographer's backdrop paper and do the best I can. Fortunately, if I shoot on black or white backgrounds, I can increase the space later in Photoshop CS (any of the versions) using the Canvas Size dialog box (Image > Canvas Size). This technique works best if you keep your background whites bright, or your blacks saturated.

In the top image you'll see that I ran out of space and don't have much background area around the subject. This can be a particular problem if you need to add another element to the shot, such as type. But the fix is easy. Just open the Canvas Size dialog box and adjust the settings as I have here.

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Notice how I select the bottom/center box for the anchor. That adds white space to the top and sides of the image. You can control this by selecting the anchor that best suits your needs for that picture.

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I usually work with white or black as the Canvas Extension Color, but you have nearly unlimited options via that popup menu at the bottom of the dialog box. Once you have your settings in place, click OK, and your backdrop suddenly becomes much more spacious.

I dug around a bit and found a good tutorial that also shows a similar technique for Photoshop Elements. Check out the article titled, Add Space to Your Studio in Photoshop. About half way into the article the author shows the technique for Elements.

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Some lessons come easier than others. For example, you would think by now I have the USB cord situation straight for all of my cameras. But nooooo! And there's other things that I've insisted on learning the hard way.

Plus, I have an update on the TDS Workshops I discussed last week. The TDS Hot Air Balloon Photography Workshop in June 2010 is a go. I'm already working on ideas for the Fall event. Thanks to everyone for the great feedback, and a special thanks to those who registered.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (23 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Slippery is the Jan. 2010 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Jan. 31, 2010.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter

-


Podcast Sponsors

SiteGrinder lets you take ownership of your websites. Effortlessly output pages right from Photoshop.

Red River Paper -- Try the $7.99 Sample Kit.

Add Magic to Your Slideshows -- FotoMagico presentations are so amazing that your audience will be asking how you did it.


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The TDS Hot Air Balloon Classic Workshop is scheduled for June 25-28, 2010 in Sonoma County, CA. The focus of this 3-day event is food, photography, and fun.

This photo gathering will include three classroom sessions at The Digital Story Headquarters in Santa Rosa, CA, two morning shoots at the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic, delicious lunches and snacks, personalized instruction, cool swag, and three days of relaxation in beautiful Sonoma County located in the heart of Northern California Wine Country. Class size is limited to 6 participants to ensure personalized instruction.

The workshop fee is $495. Reserve your spot today, or ask follow up questions, by sending me email with the subject line "TDS Workshop." Contact information is on our Member Participation page. More details are available on the TDS Workshop page.

I hope you can join me in June. It's going to be a blast!

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Inevitably, when you're thinking about buying a new camera, it comes down to a horse race between two models. That's where a new site, Snapsort becomes invaluable. Just type in the names of your two finalists and let Snapsort provide you with an easy-to-read, highly useful, feature comparison.

It's also fun. I learned all sorts of interesting details about cameras I was curious about. The interface is clean. Performance is fast. Very nice.

You can keep up with Snapsort by reading their blog and following them on Twitter.


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