14 Sep 2015

Monitors for photographers and retouchers

No comments Equipment, Retouch

A monitor for photo editing is a completely different structure than an ordinary display for office or home use. I will try to explain below what a photography monitor is, why you won’t find any in offers of companies such as Dell, Samsung, LG and the like as well as which models are suitable for photo editing. It’s going to be quite a long text, but this topic cannot be briefly summarized. Moreover, the text also includes a list of all monitors appropriate for retouch, together with the differences between them – I believe that such a list may be useful in making the decision.

If you plan to buy a monitor for photo editing any time in the future, this text may prove very helpful. If you deal with photography and reckon that you don’t need such a monitor, you should read this all the more…

Last significant update: 20.03.2016 Read more

23 Jul 2015

Colors in the photos – natural skin color

1 comment Retouch

Natural skin color is a torment for many people. Various cameras render colors in different ways; for instance, Nikon has a reputation of producing yellow photos, while Canon – red ones. People also say that Canon’s photos are much better and more natural. If someone takes photos in JPG format, it may matter, but since you read my website, you know my opinion about taking JPG photos: they are only suitable as ready photos after the retouch, not as input material before editing.

This kind of photos is taken as RAWs. In case you don’t know what RAW is, let me explain that it’s an equivalent of the film in analog cameras. It’s a raw file undestroyed by camera editing and processed e.g. in Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, or Capture One. All the parameters used to take a photo when you press the shutter release (contrast, white balance, color space etc.) can be changed in the RAW file. JPG is a file with 8 bits per channel, while RAW usually has (depending on the settings and the camera) 12-14 bits. It contains a lot more information; for instance, you can lighten the shadows by several EV. RAWs have various extensions depending on the producer of the equipment, e.g. *.raw (Panasonic), *.nef (Nikon) or *.cr2 (Canon).

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22 Jun 2015

Photoshop in subscription – about $10 per month

No comments Software

CC 2015, the new Photoshop, has just been premiered. Many people don’t understand at all what Creative Cloud is about and what it means to buy PS in subscription instead of in a box, so I will try to explain to you how it works and whether it’s actually profitable.

The evolution

I saw no big difference between Photoshop CS2 and subsequent versions until CS5.5. The change from 32 to 64 bits was certainly a breakthrough, but the use of the program itself remained the same. CS4 featured Vibrance filter, which I use in many ways, but it was only Photoshop CS6 that made me feel much better while retouching: an incredibly improved speed and saving files in the background were the most important changes to me, but there were more of them. That was the last Photoshop available to buy according to the old rules, that is, by spending a substantial sum of money in advance and getting the program to have it forever (at least in theory). Instead of CS7 you may now get Photoshop CC: the version to buy in subscription.

CC did introduce a few improvements, but they were insignificant in retouch (they were a bit more useful in general editing of photos). The latest version from 2015 changes a lot more to me, though. The priority was to make the program faster, so the skin correction tools were souped up pretty much: the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch Tool now work many times quicker (120 times according to the announcements). Still, I’m much more interested in the Healing Brush (not the spot one). This one currently works live: if you correct anything, you can see the changes immediately (in previous versions, the final result was loaded only after you had finished the corrections). Read more