Saturday, July 14, 2007

Histogram, Workflow, and NAPP…

I was reading an article on workflow by Matt Kloskowski in the latest Photoshop User Magazine (reading is usually on the second pass through the magazine, the first one is "oooohh, pretty pictures"). Have you ever had one of those "DUH" moments, when you learn something and your first thought is "WOW" quickly followed by "how dumb am I that I didn't already know that?". I had one of those moments, Matt was talking about why one of the first things you do (prior to tonal or color correction) is to crop the image (assuming you are going to crop) "why leave an area in the photo that may have a large impact on the histogram if you are going to crop it out anyway". His comment made such perfect sense, and made me feel like such an idiot all at the same time. So, I wanted to share that simple (but powerful) tip with you and to reinforce that yes, at times, I'm an idiot.

A quick word about Matt, he has two websites you MUST visit, Photoshop Killer Tips and Lightroom Killer Tips, if you use either of these programs and have not visited his sites, you are missing a lot! And besides, I think it is a law or something that you have to go there.

Now onto Photoshop User Magazine and NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), if you want to know about Adobe Photoshop, and if you want to learn what it can do and how to apply it to your photography, NAPP is the Garden of Eden. The annual membership includes a great magazine, members only access to a ton of articles, tutorials, and instructional videos on their website (and yes, I have weighed them all it is a TON), and a "Best of Photoshop User" DVD (about 3 hours of instructional tips and tricks videos).

Usually the NAPP membership is $99 (and worth every penny) but you can get it for a mere $69. How you ask?

Here is my tip for this week. If you join (which is free) the Duke University Macromedia Users Group (DUMUG), they have a discount Code that will save your $30 on your NAPP membership. They also have a bunch of other cool stuff too, enough that makes it worth joining even if there wasn't any financial incentives.

DUMUG membership will also save you 30% off any O'Reilly.com books you purchase as well. I think that officially qualifies as tip #2.

Have a great week, and please, don't talk with your mouth full.

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