New Drive-Lapse


I am still experimenting with time lapse videos. This one was taken with my iPhone 6 using its standard video mode. I then used Premiere Elements 14 to speed up the video by a factor of four.

I have experimented with the iPhone’s Time-Lapse mode for this type of time-lapse video, but the resulting video is too jerky, even when you slow it down. However, I really like it for scenes like moving clouds etc.

Here is the link to the video.

Quick Video Tour of Don’s Digital Photo Corner


Many of my students who come to my blog as the first step of accessing the handouts for their class have no idea just how much other content is in the blog itself and its pages. Hopefully this post, which includes a video, tour will help them find the additional digital photography information contained here.

Below is a quick video tour of my blog and its pages.

I have had my blog now for over four years, so there is a wealth if information that, which I hope will be of interest and useful to you. The video shows where you can search for a title topic, and I have put together a list of all of my posts for the last couple of years. This list is at the link below. It is an Excel spreadsheet. Once you open the file, you can click on its title and go immediately to that post in my blog. Your browser may ask you whether or not you want to open the file or save it. Just follow its prompts.

http://www.donstouder.com/digital-photo-corner/blog%20posts%20list.xlsx

Please comment, Like, and share this post if you have found it useful.

Scratching the Surface of Nik Color Efex Pro 4 to Work

Photo Examples 13-182_edited-1 Multi Layed Nik Effects

About a week ago Google made its complete Nik Collection suite of plug-ins for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements available as a free download. In an earlier post I explained what was in the collection and where to download it.

In my last post on this subject, I illustrated how the Dfine 2 plug-in can be easily used to reduce the noise that results when an image is captured using an extremely high ISO.

This time, we take a very brief look at what  Nik Color Efex Pro 4 can do. It has so many presets and effects that there is no way to do it justice in one short blog post. So instead, I’ll just illustrate what I did to pretty overexposed image. I chose to use Photoshop Elements 14 for this post, but earlier versions of Elements, and of course Photoshop could be used as well.

  1. First, I added one of the image Border presets in Color Efex Pro 4.
  2. Then I added one of the Color Efex Pro 4 Tonal Contrast presets.
  3. At that point,I added a traditional Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer.
  4. I then merged these layers into a composite layer using Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E.
  5. Finally, I applied the auto profile setting of Dfine 2, since the adjustments I was adding to this small JPEG image were beginning to take its toll.

Shown below is the layer stack I ended up with.

Efex Pro Layer Stack

A couple points are worth noting here. First I had set the Options in Color Efex Pro 4 to apply each effect on its own layer. Among other things, this allowed me to tweak the impact of the effect by adjusting the Opacity of the layer. Also, note that you can intermingle Color EfexPro 4 layers with layers dealing with Photoshop Elements commands. Think of the multitude of presets embedded in Color Efex Pro 4 as starting points for you to adjust to create your own vision of the captured scene.

The figure below compares my before and after for this simple example.

Efex Pro Before After.jpg

I hope you found this post helpful. If so, click on the Like and share it with others using the buttons below. Also, let me know what you think of the Nik Collection in the comments below.

Using the Folder View in Photoshop Elements


Using the Folder View in Photoshop Elements can really help you manage the physical locations where you store your pictures and videos. Using the commands within the Folder View, you can do disk housekeeping without leaving the Organizer. This helps you avoid breaking the Cardinal Rules for using the Organizer: Once the you have imported a picture into the Catalog, you must not move it, rename it, or delete it, unless you do it using the applicable command within the Organizer. Otherwise you will disconnect it in the Organizer.

Using the Folder View expands upon those commands you find under the Menu bar. The video below demonstrates its use.

If you found this helpful, and would like to see more videos, click on the Like button below as well as on YouTube.

Using Nik Collection’s Dfine 2


In my previous post, I relayed the news that Google had made the popular Photoshop plug-in, Nik Collection suite, available as a free download. I took them up on their offer, and have been exploring some of its modules. In this post I want to highlight the Dfine 2 noise removal component.

I started with an under exposed RAW photo taken at night. I had my camera set on an ISO of 16,000, but even then I had to bring up the exposure in the Adobe Camera RAW editor. I then opened the image in Photoshop Elements 14. The Nik Collection works nicely with PSE. You access the various modules using the Filter menu in the Expert mode of Elements.

PSE Accessing Nik

The only processing I did within the Editor was to apply the Dfine 2 using its default Automatic Profile settings. The results are shown below  at 100%.

Dfine 2 After Before

I may have been able to get similar results using the Noise Reduction Filter in PSE 14, but I know from experience, it would have been much more work. I am also pretty sure that tweaking the settings of Dfine 2 would have also produced better results.

Have any of you tried the Nik package yet? What do you think? I’ll report back on other  modules in the suite as I further explore them. Stay tuned.

Download Nik Collection Software From Google For Free


You may have seen this announcement elsewhere, but just in case you haven’t, Google is providing the complete Nik Collection of plug-ins as a free download.

For those of you not familiar with the Nik Collection, it is a suite of several plug-ins that integrate with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom that adds a variety of effects and advanced settings for enhancing your images.

These tools include:

  • Color Efex Pro
  • Analog Efex Pro
  • Silver Efex Pro
  •  Viveza
  • HDR Efex Pro
  • Sharpener Pro
  • Dfine

You can find out much more about the plug-ins and download the complete suite from the link below.

https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

You really should take advantage of this opportunity. Up until this announcement, the software package  sold for about $150, and was one of the most popular packages of its kind.

I will have more to say about the Nik Collection in future posts.

 

How to do a Full Backup in Photoshop Elements 14


In watching the video in my previous post, I was struck by just how poor the video quality was. However, it still has some value, since it covers the Restore command as well.

I decided to redo the video using the Backup command in Photoshop Elements 14. To keep the length of the video down, I only demonstrate the Backup command. I will address the Restore command in a future video.

 

Using the Backup Command in Photoshop Elements


 

How one should go about backing up their photos when using Photoshop Elements continues to be one of the most frequent questions asked by new and more experienced users of Photoshop Elements.

I have written on this subject a few times in the past on this blog. If you enter applicable keywords in the area provided at the bottom of the string of posts near the bottom of this page, you will get links to those earlier posts.

In this post, I will provide a link to a video tutorial I made some time ago, which covers both the Backup command and the Restore command in the Organizer of Photoshop Elements 6.

However, the same process and screens that are displayed when using these commands remain the same in Photoshop Elements 14. The video quality is certainly not the best, but I believe it is adequate to clearly describe the process. I plan to update the video with a better quality version soon, but in the meantime, I hope this one will help answer the many questions that keep coming up about the subject.

Click on the figure below to watch the video.

Download Adobe’s Bridge for Free


Bridge

If you have ever used Photoshop, you know that Bridge is part of the installation. It comes with Photoshop but is a separate program. Bridge is a very good file manager program and is an excellent tool for quickly viewing and finding your photos.

Even though I have Lightroom  and Photoshop Elements, I find myself on occasion using Bridge to quickly view photos.

What I was not aware of until today is that you can download Bridge from Adobe for free. You do not have to have Photoshop to use it. The free version is not the latest one. From the name on the website, it appears to be the version that was supplied with Photoshop CS6. I suspect that it may not support RAW files from the latest cameras, but I am not sure of that.

Here is the link to the download page.

https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/thankyou.jsp?ftpID=5502&fileID=5496

I did download the file, but to be frank, I did not install it. I already have Bridge on all of my computers.

So if you are not a Photoshop or Lightroom user, or if you use Photoshop Elements, but not its Organizer, you may find that Bridge will help you keep better track of your images.

If you download and try it, let us know how it works for you by leaving a comment.