Category Archives: How to

1940s Glamorous Photo Shoot Post Processing

Doing decades photo shoots can be really fun and glamorous and with PortraitPro you can make your images look even better within minutes.

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Open your image in PortraitPro, the software will identity the face and have a pretty accurate mark up,  You can move the mark up dots to make it as accurate as possible to get the best results.

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Once you have adjusted the mark up, chose the Preset Glamorous on the top of the right hand side. This does most of the work for you, leaving you to just make your own personal preference tweaks to the images.

unsharpen the eyes a little bit

I reduce the sharpness of the eyes a very small amount.

make up lipstick

I also change the color of lipstick, red was a very popular color for lipstick in the 1940s, but due to the softness of my image due to her outfit I have gone for a pink color instead.

Simply chose your preference shade for the selection, it is important to make sure your lips are marked up accurately, it is simply if they aren’t quite right. You can change the mark up on the left hand image at any time.

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Next I change the color of the hair, as auburn hair was a popular color back then.

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To do this, under the hair settings, click the View/edit Hair Area button. All the hair should appear pink, go over any bits that aren’t selected and click OK.

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Click through all the hair colors selecting the colors, that you like before deciding on your final color.

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The last change that I make to the image is under Picture Controls, I move the  Vibrance slider up to full on this setting, this make the colors move in line with what you would get in the 1940s.

before and after

This took hardly anytime and you can really see the improvement in the image, and with Studio Max you can batch process them to save even more time.

To try this out for yourself, download a free trial of PortraitPro now.

Smart Photo Editor Transformations

You can completely transform your images with Smart Photo Editor, here are some ideas of the transformations you can make, with links to the tutorials.

ballet before and afterBallet Dancer

Untitled-11Changing the background to black and white.

double exposure before and afterDouble Exposure

bear before and afterTriple Exposure and Mirror Effect

rhino before and afterBlack and White Wildlife 

polariod before and afterPolaroid

elephant before and afterWatercolor

org all threeSharpen 

Click here to download a free trial of Smart Photo Editor, to try this tutorials out for yourself.

Lillian Bassman Style Tutorial

Lillian Bassman was an amazing photographer, who shot Fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar in a new and exciting way from the 1940’s all the way til the 1960’s. Her black and white images are striking, due to her developing techniques in the darkroom, using tools that included tissue paper, bleach and spatulas.

Open your image up and identify the gender.

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The software will mark up the face for you, but you can tweak it to make it exact.

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Under ‘Presets’, I chose ‘Full Lighting’, as it gives the face more of a glow.

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Under ‘Skin Smoothing Controls’, using ‘Master Fade’ to apply the changes to all areas, go quite high with the slider as image will be in black and white and this will help with the contrast.

Also I changed the around mouth in this section with this image, but this is just personal preference.

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If the lighting isn’t quite right you can change the direction that the light is coming from, we want the light hitting the front of the face, leaving a slight shade on the other side.

Under ‘Make up Controls’, I have added red lipstick, mascara, highlighter and blusher just a little, this is to create more of contrast when made black and white and makes her features stand out.

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The last change I make in PortraitPro is have the ‘Baby Skin’ slider all the way to the top, this makes the skin as smooth as possible. The facial features will now looks slightly blurred, don’t worry.

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I also crop the image slightly under ‘Picture Controls’. Save the image as a Jpeg/Tiff/Png and then open it up in Smart Photo Editor.

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In Smart Photo Editor the first thing I do is to apply a Black and White effect to the whole image. The effect I pick is called ‘Portrait’.

To do this, you click ‘Effects Gallery’ on the right hand side at the very top, then on the left hand side click ‘Color’>’Black and White’. Then pick with effect you like best.

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Blurring the background is the next step, click ‘Select Area’ button on the right hand side, click ‘Background’ and work your way around the person.

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When you have completely done around the person, click the ‘Bucket’ that appears to fill in the rest of the background.

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Now click the ‘Confirm Selection and Browse Effects’ button.

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We want a blurred background, there is a small search bar, just type in blur, the effect I picked is called ‘blur’. You can change the strength of the effect by moving the slider. Click ‘OK’ when you are happy.

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My image isn’t quite right, so going to crop the image again, click the ‘Crop’ button on the right hand side and resize your image.

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After Cropping the image I apply two effects to the whole image, firstly ‘Constrast f6′ followed by ‘Brighten faces 2b’.

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Now just save the image.

Finished image

This is the end result. With the background blurred and the facial features smoothed out, you can really see the effect the strong black and white colors have against each other.

To try this tutorial for yourself click here to buy PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor, or download free trial of PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor.

How to Improve Your Landscape Photographs

So you have taken your photos and are now back home looking through them. They are good but not exactly how you pictured them, slightly dull in color. This simple tutorial takes your photographs to that next stage in minutes using LandscapePro.

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After loading your image into LandscapePro, label everything in the picture and click continue.

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LandscapePro does a pretty good job and selecting the area for you but you will need to adjust the selection a little, simply click on a label and drag covering everything that is said object. Do this for each label.

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Once you have finished click on ‘Continue’.

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Now if you have a horizon in your picture you can match this up to it, then click ‘Continue’.

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There are now a row of tabs, the first is Global Presets tab, there are many choices, I chose ‘Improver’ for my photo.

Next I work way down one at a time, some I turned off as they didn’t need changing as I had already applied a preset to the whole image.

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Work your way through each section, one at a time. There are preset options or if you prefer you can click the sliders option and adjust everything yourself, or pick a preset and edit it if its not quite right for your photo.

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before and after

The photograph still looks recognizable, but vastly improved with the few changes made, that took a matter of minutes.

Click here to buy LandscapePro and download a free trial.

Posing Tips for Portraits

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Posing for portraits isn’t something I would call relaxing and as a photographer you want your clients to feel relaxed to get the best photos, so here are a few tips to help:

  • Try to build rapport with your clients, by asking them questions, keeping it light helps get that natural smile rather than a forced smile.
  • The background is important, if you are having a screen background, think about what color.
  • Instructing your clients where to put their hands really helps, as they always feel awkward when taking photographs, having a set place there to put them, helps the client relax.
  • Movement can be interesting in portrait photos, especially the hair can make a great image.
  • A 2/3rd turn is a very flattering position.
  • Don’t overdo the lighting as it can quickly go from being flattering to blinding, and your clients won’t feel relaxed with so much lighting pointed at them. Natural lighting is best, if possible.
  • People have a habit in photos to have their chin up too much, to get a good definition of the chin, your client should be looking at you, not down at the ground.
  • Guide your clients as to how to pose don’t say act natural with no directions, they aren’t models.
  • Clear communication is the most important thing to remember, you don’t want to confuse your client or getting them overthinking their poses.
  • Be happy and smile, you being in a good mood puts your client in a good mood.

I hope you found these useful, and don’t forget to try out PortraitPro, to give your portraits that extra wow factor.

How to Improve Your Wildlife Photos in Minutes

When you look through your photos, do you sometimes feel like you didn’t quite capture the true colors?

Animals are often one of these photos. Well here is a short tutorial on how to improve these photos, using LandscapePro and takes only minutes to do.

 

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Once you have opened LandscapePro and uploaded your photo, you get asked to label what is in your photo.

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After labeling the area, LandscapePro does a pretty good job and selecting the area for you but just need to go use the Pull tool and others on the left hand side to get this how you want, though you can come back and correct this later.

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The next step is choosing what to change first, for this I am going to be getting the animal (tiger) first, so click on the animal tab to get the sliders to show.

It’s really easy to adjust the appearance of the animal, its easy and quick, moving the sliders you seeing the change instantly. If you liked it best how it was originally just double click on the slider.

There is also Presets tab at the top where you opened the animal tab, click on this, there is a long list of different presetting you can apply to your picture rather than trying to get your desired outcome using the sliders.

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Next I click on the water tab, to change the settings, just a little bit.

After this you can change the picture as a whole, but if you have already edited all the image separately you don’t need to use this.

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The Tigers orange fur really stands out now in the finished photograph.

tiger before and after

To see just how dramatic the difference is, above is the before and after, side by side. This only took a few minutes to do!

Making your wildlife photos really stand out, download your free trial of LandscapePro today.

Check out this tutorial on black and white wildlife photography.

 

How to Get Your Photographs Noticed When You’re Getting Started

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Thinking of the best way to get yourself noticed as a photographer can be scary, and a bit daunting, where to upload your photos, should you try and approach galleries right away??

If you have to think whether it is a good idea to approach galleries, then you aren’t quite ready for that, you aren’t confident enough in your work just yet and that’s fine.

Here are some good first steps to take to make it seem more manageable and less daunting:

  • Create your own style, don’t try and copy photographers work you admire. By all means look at them for inspiration, but be yourself and it makes your work more memorable.
  • A first good step is setting up an Instagram and/or Facebook page for your photos; this is a good way to get people to see your work and doesn’t cost you a penny. If you feel nervous about this set the page to private until you feel confident enough to make it public and invite your friends to like your account/page. There are also a lot of forums out there, where you can upload your images and connect with people doing the same thing as you.
  • The next step is to set up your own website or blog (this step can be done with the previous step). You can have a blog for free or if you want a more professional feel, you should go straight for the .com. This will cost you a little but it looks a lot more professional, and depending on your budget you could sell prints of your work on your site. There are also websites out there were you can sell your prints and the company prints and sends them for you, this could be a good thing but you can’t rely purely on them for your work to sell. You still need to market yourself.
  • By this point, you will look a lot more professional and established when you approach galleries about your work, another good step if you are planning approaching them in person is to get some business cards printed.

 

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”

Irving Penn

Good luck and don’t forget to check out any of our photo editing software (PortraitPro, LandscapePro, PortraitPro Body and Smart Photo Editor), that will help your photos be their very best, and all are currently on offer with 50% off.

How to Steal Man Ray’s Portrait Style

Man Ray is one of the great first iconic photographers; his portrait style has something magical about it even to this day. He was one of the first artists that started to use photography as an art form.

He was revolutionary with his photographic techniques, including double exposure (which we will look at in a future blog) and early experiments with color, though black and white is what he is well known for.

Man Ray’s portraits were often around shoulder length, though there are some full length, you can see old photos of his that he would ‘crop’ by making what he wanted the photo to be.

This is a quick tutorial into how to turn your photos into his signature portrait style.

shape sliders

After marking up the photo in PortraitPro Body, I play around with the sliders a little bit, to see what looks best, the only setting I changed on mine was the Curves one, in this image you can’t see the difference too much.

face body

Don’t worry too much about the color and look of the make up, we are concentrating more on striking features, as this image will be made black and white in a minute.

black and white

In the picture settings, I move the slider to fully black and white, then move the others back and forth to get the lighting that I want.

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This is the photo I export from PortraitPro Body and import into Smart Photo Editor.

cropped photo

The first thing that I do in Smart Photo Editor is crop down the size of the photo (the crop tool is on the right hand side.

object removal photo

After cropping the image to your chosen look, the background needed work on, a out of focus light grey background is what we are aiming for, it my photo there was somethings in the background that I needed to get removed to have that nice out of focus background. I used the Object Removal Tool which is found on the right hand side of the screen. As you can see, I have edited quite a few pieces. Don’t worry if like mine it doesn’t look great, we just want to remove the defining features.

select area

Next we are adding an effect to the background, you do this by selecting the Select Area button on the RHS, click on background, then color in what you want to add an effect to, on your left hand side of the screen, you can adjust the size of your selection tool.

Don’t worry if you go too far over, you can correct this easily by the erase from selection button on the right.

Click the Confirm Selection and Browse Effects button on the left when you have finished.

blurred background

The effect I chose was called ‘Blur’, you can change the strength of the effects you choose but I kept mine as full.

This created a lovely blurry effect with a slightly shadow look from the darker part of my background.

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Here is my end result of a Man Ray style portrait.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and try out PortraitPro Body and Smart Photo Editor, they are both currently 50% off in the sale.

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Camera Tips for the Perfect Photo

 

It is now officially spring, what is better than finally putting on your walking shoes and a warm coat, grabbing your tripod and obviously your camera and getting outside to capture the first moments of spring.

Whether it’s a photo of morning dew, of a newly born lamb or the sunrise it is revitalising to get out into the spring sun and enjoy the fresh air. What better way than to get some experimenting done out in the great outdoors.

Camera tips to remember to get that perfect shot

  • Shutter speed – is used to control motion, the faster the shutter speed the fast speed being what you are trying to capture is moving
  • If you are taking photos using a long shutter time, remember to use your tripod
  • Subject matter/where you shoot from – check that you have the best angle you can get
  • Lighting – this is very important, to get the right lighting might mean having to get up early or stay up late, but it will be worth it
  • Filters if needed – a great filter for landscapes is polarising lens filter
  • Practise – this goes without saying

Don’t forget you can then edit your photos with PortraitPro or LandscapeProimage-2

new years resolutions goal setting

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of the New Year it’s easy to have lots of good intentions for the coming year, and it’s easy to allow them to slide pretty quickly.

As a professional photographer, running your own business, it’s important to take the time to refocus on where you’re going and what you want to achieve in the coming year.

Here are some top tips for staying focused in the year to come.

  • Set goals.

Thinking about what you want to achieve in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, even 10 year’s time can help you figure out what you need to do now in order to get there.

  • Add milestones.

Having achievable milestones can help you feel that you are working towards achieving your bigger goal.  Set yourself small markers that will help you know that you’re on the way to achieving what you want.  Perhaps it’s a number of clients, or having a number of weddings booked for the year ahead that will help you know that you’re on your way.

  • Take Action

Take Massive Action – Make a Massive Action Plan. Like writing a business plan, writing a Massive Action Plan can help you stay focused on what you’re doing, on what you need to achieve, by when; and unlike a Business Plan, can give you that emotional connection and drive to achieve what it is that you want to achieve.

  • Don’t give up

Get used to the fact that the process of carrying out the day to day tasks may be boring.  You’re a photographer, maybe you don’t love doing your accounts, or advertising yourself, but in order to make your business work, you need to get used to, and learn to enjoy the tasks that keep everything else going.

  • Start now

The sooner you start doing something, even the smallest start means that you’re a little bit closer to achieving your goal.

Download the trial for PortraitPro now, and see how much time you can save on your photo editing.