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Category : Uncategorized

28 Feb 2020

25 Free Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Matte Cobalt-Carmine Acton with Soft Blur
Photoshop Matte Cobalt-Carmine Acton with Soft Blur

I am giving away 25 Adobe Photoshop Actions to anyone who wants them. 13 of the actions are Matte Effect Gradients with the option of adding a soft blur. The other actions are a variety of actions I have demonstrated in my YouTube Videos. You will be transferred to my John Whitehead Images Tutorial Website. All you need to do to get these actions are to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and sign-up for my newsletter. The goal of this newsletter is alert you when new actions are available, so you won’t be receiving emails everyday. You might get an email once or twice a year.

If you would like to to see examples of the gradients, I have created a page showing the before and after effects. Note: actions are great but you need to be able to change opacities and apply masks for the best effect. That page also has links for my newsletter and YouTube page. I hope you enjoy the actions.

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21 Feb 2020

Sunset Portrait

Photography isn’t all about just using a camera. Sometimes when working with clients the day just does not turn out that spectacular. Lighting can be a key element in location or environmental photography. Weather is always unpredictable, especially when you book day or months in advance.

Post processing or editing an image can be key in bringing a so-so image to life. Every client has an idea in their head of what they what. I love to examples before shoots because it give me an idea of their style.

I teach photography and Adobe Photoshop. I created a series of videos for my students to follow as a secondary method of learning. In the video below I walk you though the process of creating this image. Some will like the before and others will like the after. The goal is always to have the ability to create exactly what the client is looking for. I have a whole section in the INFO menu on tips to improve your portrait. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Soft Warm Sunset Portrait

Warm and Softened Sunset Portrait
AFTER

In the image below I softened the skin. Sometimes when you shoot in this style the shadow areas need to be opened up a lot and can start to show grain. I increased the yellow, red and magenta colors, added a faded background blur, a red to yellow warm gradient and enhanced the lens flare.

CoolSunset Portrait
BEFORE
How I toned this image.

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20 Jan 2020

Hard Drives for Photographers

There are basically two different types of hard drives on the market. One is a spindle hard drive and the others is an SSD or solid state drive. The spindle drive has been around for a long time. These drives are found in 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch drives. 3.5 inch drives usually need auxiliary power. 2.5 inch drives usually run on bus power(gets power though data connection). These drives are electro-mechanical data storage devices. The platters rotate between 5400-7900 rpm and a magnetic arm moves across the platter to read and write data. The read/write speeds of these drives are around 115-250 MB per second. An issue with a spindle drive are the read/writing speeds are slow and can easily break because they have moving parts. Their pros are they hold large amounts of data and are the most cost effective.

Spindle Hard Drive
Spindle Hard Drive

The 2.5 inch drive is usually a portable drive that runs at 5400 rpm on bus power. They are most common in laptops, but most new computers use solid state drives and portable external hard drives. It is one of the more common drives found in box stores and it is most likely a consumer drive. The 3.5 inch drives runs at 5900-7900 rpm. Usually, the faster the rotation the faster the read/write speeds. They offer the most bang for the buck but usually require separate power. These drives are usually found as a desktop internal drives, NAS drives or external non-portable drives. Spindle drives come in consumer and enterprise variants.

Enterprise drives are usually made for NAS(network attached storage) or servers and are much more reliable, rated for around 1 million hours and have better warranties. The main spindle drive brands are Western Digital and Seagate. Toshiba is also in the market. Hitachi or HGST used to make spindle drives but Western Digital bought the company. Examples of Enterprise drives are Western Digital Red Pro and Seagate IronWolf Pro. You can get enterprise hard drives in external drives. I use one by Glyph, Glyph does not make drives. Most likely it uses Western Digital or Seagate. I usually just call the manufacture and they will tell you the exact specifications.

If you are ever wondering which drives are the best, a company called Backblaze publishes the failure rates of the drives they use. Backblaze is a personal and business backup service. I use and love this company. They backup your computer and all hard drives for $6 a month but you can get a discount if you pay for the year. This is not an offsite cloud like google drive but a backup solution. The process is automated in works in the background.

SSD or Solid State Drive

SSD or Solid State Drive
SSD or Solid State Drive

The SSD is a flash memory drive that has no moving parts and work with semiconductors and NAND style chips. They are lighter and more portable, require less power and crazy fast. SSD’s are found as internal hard drives as well as external drives. Most computers these days are using SSD’s are the main hard drive. The speed of the drives lets you computer boot up and work at much faster speeds. The down side is they are more expensive(but prices are dropping) and they don’t hold as much data. It is typical these days to see smaller SSD’s in a laptop to run your OS and all other data saved on external drives instead of the internal SSD. This is the way I have been working the last 6 or 7 years. I actually made on old 2010 MacBook Pro useable by replacing the spindle drive with an SSD. SSD speeds vary on a variety of factors but read/write speeds are around 450-3000 MB per second. Just like any drive they do have a limited life and will slow down when the reach the number of times they can read/write data.

I presently use an internal SSD in my laptop, an external SSD as my working drive, two external spindle drives one enterprise and one consumer, and four Western Digital NAS Red drives in a Qnap Network Attached Storage running Raid 5.

If you would like to learn about the differences in SD cards check out this blog I wrote https://www.jcwphoto.com/sd-cards-are-not-created-equal/

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04 Jan 2020
Studio Portait

Studio Portraits

Are you looking for a studio portrait? I am completely mobile. I can work at home or on location. Hey and you can always do a combination of studio and location work. I do prefer to photograph outside but indoor studio portraits is a great option in the colder months. This image was toned with the matte look and gradient map to give it that color graded effect. The lights used in this image were simple, just a hair light and beauty dish. It was taken with a shallow depth of field so it would quickly fall out of focus. Feel free to take a look at my other portraits on contact me for more information. Hey don’t forget about photos when it is snowing. It is a great time for portraits. If you are not available when it is snowing I can ad falling snow to any image.

Outdoor portrait during snow storm.
Outdoor portrait during snow storm.
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03 Jan 2020
Portrait Retouching

New Portrait Retouching Section

I have added a new section on portrait retouching for those interested in retouching. I use high frequency retouching which is a professional retouching technique. This technique lets me retouch but retain the detail in the subject. This helps get rid of the that fake air-brushed look. Retouching is always up to the individual. How much is up to the client. My retouching is done in layers so it is easy to turn something off, lower the amount or change. This page includes a YouTube video in which I walk you through the process. It should give you a better understanding of what can be done and how easy it is to make alterations. Retouching is free and included with every portrait.

Professional high frequency retouching on portraits.
Professional high frequency retouching on portraits.

This example is a little more extreme. I was after the fashion magazine look in this example. It was part of a YouTube retouching video I made.

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25 Oct 2019
Photoshop for Photographers

Photoshop for Photographers Video Tutorials

This is the first video in a new series called Photoshop for Photographers. I will be making a series of 10-15 minute videos to teach you the process of using Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is used for photography, graphic design, video, web development, painting, and other mediums. I will cover the non-destructive use of Adobe Photoshop for a Photographer. Videos will contain free links to download images and work along. Best of all everything is totally free. You can follow the series on my webpage or on my YouTube page. I hope you enjoy the content. If you have any suggestions for videos feel free to comment below.

Photoshop for Photographers Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmpKZFKAjAEQQ_DDqnXMBOB1vTrBrzoIl

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15 Oct 2019
Sunflower Macro Photography

Sunflower Version 3

I purchased a pack of unopened Sunflowers this weekend. This is my third photo of this series. Today, I have three different versions of the same image. Let me know which one you like in the comments below. This image is one straight image not stacked like the last one. If you see any image you would like to purchase, please contact me with the form on this web

Sunflower Macro Photography
Sunflower Macro Photography version 2
Sunflower Macro Photography version 3
Sunflower Macro Photography version 3
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14 Oct 2019
Focus Stacked Sunflower

Focus Stacking a Sunflower

Depth of Field can be an issue when photographing in macro photography. Focal length, aperture, and distance to subject all play a part in the depth of field of an object. Even though I was shooting at F 22, a very high aperture the distance to the subject reduced my depth of field.

My goal with this image was to have all the little hairs stand out. The only way this could be achieved was a process called focus stacking. I took six sequential frames, moving the focus on each frame. (Note, you will need a tripod to do this. ) Using Adobe Photoshop, I then stacked the images together and told Photoshop to blend the in-focus areas of each frame. The result is an extended depth of field. If you are interested in learning this process check out this YouTube tutorial.

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14 Oct 2019
Macro Photograph of Watch

Tabletop Macro Photography

Looking for a Camp Hill or Central Pennsylvania photographer to photograph your products. I can photograph food or other complicated commercial setups such as this reflective watch. This image is a combination of multiple layers to help control the values and give it that pop!

My first job in school was product photography for John Snyder Photography in Chicago. We photographed products for Williams Games and Plummer-McCutcheon magazine. I can put those technical skills to work for you.

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12 Oct 2019
Photo Mechanic 6-Ingest

Photo Mechanic 6-Ingest

Learn how to use my favorite photography browser Photo Mechanic 6. This is the first of three videos covering the program. I will go over the jobs, iptc, variables and the rest of the ingest or import process. Hope you find the video helpful.

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