Category Archives: tutorials

Making Your Own Website

No matter what kind of artist you are, if you want to be noticed and/or hired, you’re gonna need your own website. People are going to need a place to go to so that they can view your work, see what your future projects will be, and contact you.

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Simon Cade, English filmmaker and creator of YouTube Channel “DSLRguide”, has recently posted a video about creating your own website, and how your page should be laid out. He does a walkthrough of him updating his website, giving the viewers seven tips on how to design their own.

His tips include: Look at other sites, Make it easy to find the important parts, Test it out (often), Display the kind of work you want to be doing, and Experiment.

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While creating your own website may seem like a small task when you think about all of the projects you’ll be working on, there is a wrong way of designing a website. There are many factors that come into constructing it, and every detail matters so your future viewers, fans, and employers.

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Simon Cade’s Full Video

DSLRguide Channel


– Brenton Wiseman


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How to Photograph Lightning.

I know we talked briefly about photographing lightning in one of our first classes, but this video explains how to take good pictures of lightning. I’ve always wanted to capture a picture of lightning and watching this tutorial has helped me learn some simple steps. A couple things I learned was that the ISO needs to be low so the picture has a good quality, and won’t look grainy since it’s dark. Also, you need to be sure the focus is on the cloud where the lightning strikes from. The guy’s name is Robert Vasquez, and his YouTube channel is FontanaKnowledge. He has many tutorials about photography, as well as Photoshop.
Just a few examples:









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Masking Basics in Photoshop CS5 Video

Since I needed reminding on how masks work in Photoshop, I searched out video to help. I found a video that was helpful to me, even though it’s just over 12 minutes long. This video shows the basics, but also shows tips on how to easily refine selected areas that I was unaware were available within CS5. Hopefully, by watching this video, you’ll take away something new you didn’t already know how to do within CS5.  GingerJ

Here’s the link, in case the video doesn’t load correctly within this blog post:

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How to add cinematic flair to your images

While researching some possibilities for my completing and expanding on my final project, a horror narrative, I stumbled across this handy tutorial on giving your photos a cool cinematic look written by FanHow users Kzion and Sunny, and decided to share the fruits of their labors with you all.

01. Open the image you would like to make cinematic in Photoshop.

This is the base image I will be using for the purposes of my tutorial.

02. Create a ‘Duplicate Layer’  and set the ‘Blend Mode’ for this new layer to “Overlay”.

This will give the image a darker and more contrasted look.

03. Bring up the Image Adjustments shortcut in the Layers menu and click on ‘Hue/Saturation’ (or you can simply hit Ctrl+U).

Reduce ‘Saturation’ to -65.

04. Bring up ‘Image Adjustments’ again, but this time select ‘Levels’ (or Ctrl+L).

Set the black slider on the left to ’20’ and adjust the middle slider to ‘1.30’.

05. Once again in ‘Image Adjustments’, click on ‘Curves’ (or Ctrl+M).

Using the above image as reference, add two anchors on the curve and adjust them as shown into a slight “S” shape.

Once you have done this, your ‘Output’ should be around 55, and your ‘Input’ set to roughly 65 (Click on the lower left anchor to get your reading).

06.  Now ‘Merge All Layers’ (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E), which should create a New Layer at the top of the stack.

07. Next, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and change the value to ‘3’, as shown below.

08. Create a New Layer.

09. Select your ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’ to create two rectangles on the top and bottom portions of the image, using the below image as reference.

The easiest way to do this is to just create one large rectangle that covers all but the top and bottom, then right-click the rectangle and click ‘Select Inverse’. This will create two rectangles on the top and bottom respectively.

10. With the ‘Paint Bucket Tool’, click on one of the rectangles to fill the area with Black.

This creates a wide-screen ‘letterbox’ format, similar to the ones used in many films.

And that’s it! Now you have a cool, cinematic effect for your pictures, which will make them look like a movie still. Here’s a “Before and After” of the original image and the altered one.

Depending on your needs/tastes, you may want to play with the levels used in this demonstration to get maximum effect. For instance, with the image I used, I would probably want to make sure the final result was a bit brighter, but you get the general idea.

TIP: If, like myself, this is an effect you’d like to use repeatedly, it would probably save you a lot of time and grief to go ahead and record an ‘Action’ for this effect.

– Wayne Sisson

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Photoshop Tutorial: Resizing Multiple Images

Tired of the tedious and time-consuming task of resizing and bordering each image individually in Photoshop before uploading?

You can make this task much faster and more efficient by using Photoshop’s “Image Processor” feature.

(Note: This tutorial is written specifically for Photoshop CS5, certain information may have changed from earlier versions.)


01. Go to File > Scripts > Image Processor.

02. Choose the images you want resized.

You can select either already opened files or an entire folder’s contents.

03. Choose a destination folder for the saved images.

If you put a check in “Save in Same Location”, the resized pictures will be added to a sub-folder within the source folder, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally overwriting your originals.

04. Choose your desired file type and image quality.

05. Put a check in ‘Resize to fit’ so you can change the image(s) dimensions.

If you’re unsure of how to convert from inches to pixels, here’s a link to a handy little conversion tool:

(Alternatively, you could just remember that 100 pixels = 1.33 inches, and do the conversion on your own.)

It also might be handy to have the conversions for the photo size you’re looking to make beforehand.

06. Click ‘Run’ and let Photoshop do the rest of the work for you.

For more information on other options available with the Image Processor tool, check out this link from Adobe’s website.

– W. Sisson

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Using Picasa To Edit Photos

Not everyone can afford their own copy of Adobe Photoshop (even with the student editions offered by sites like JourneyEd or CampusTech), and it’s not always convenient to drive to the campus just to touch-up your pictures.

A good alternative program to consider for “basic” photo-editing, in my experience, is Google’s Picasa.

Like most Google products, not only is Picasa free, it also focuses on user-friendliness and intuitive controls.

Though Picasa is lacking in sheer power compared to Photoshop, it’s also has a much smaller learning curve to use effectively.

The following is a quick crash-course on the tools available in Picasa for editing your photos.

Uploading Photos With Picasa

Uploading your pictures is painless with Picasa. With computers running Windows, when you put in your SD card, it should bring up a prompt with “upload pictures using Picasa” among the options.

After selecting this option, Picasa will run and begin automatically copying your photos.

While this operation is running, you can select or create a destination folder for your uploaded images.

After copying has finished, you can either select which images you’d like to upload, or simply ‘Upload All Photos’.

After the pictures have uploaded, you’ll be taken to your Picasa Library, from here it is simply a matter of selecting a photo to edit.

Double-clicking an image opens it in the Picture Editor, though you can easily select other pictures to alter without having to exit the screen.

Editing Photos In Picasa

Editing and altering your photos is intuitive and easy with Picasa. Most of the available tools are labeled in a self-explanatory way, and the level of adjustment is controlled with a slide bar.

As you move the slide bar, Picasa will render the changes in real time, allowing you to preview the changes without committing to them.

If you change your mind about the alteration, a prominently displayed and easily-accessed ‘Undo’ button is found in each tool’s menu.

Editing tools in Picasa are found in three tabs located to the left of your selected image. Here’s a brief description of the three tabs and the tools they contain:

Basic Fixes

While most of the tools shown in the image to the left are pretty self-explanatory, a few are worthy of further explanation.

I’m Feeling Lucky: A Google standard, this tool makes automatic alterations based on algorithms and image characteristics.

Auto Contrast: This tool attempts to correct the contrast of the image without user input.

Auto Color: Similar to the aforementioned tools, this feature gives the colors in your image a tune-up.


The second panel of Picasa’s tool suite consists of four slide bars,

The last slider, ‘Color Temperature’, changes the dominant color in the photo, similar to changing your camera’s white balance setting.


From the ‘Effects’ tab, you can add various properties and filters to your pictures.

With ‘Effects’, you can accomplish many tasks with photos.

Change color pictures to black and white or sepia tones, sharpen or blur the focus, and the like with ease.

With most of these options, you can select only specific areas to adjust, or target the entire picture.

The only real drawback I can think of with using Google Picasa for editing your photos, is that there is no simple and easy option for adding borders to your pictures without printing them.

While there are methods to add photo borders using Picasa, it is a bit involved for the scope of this tutorial. That, and other advanced features of Picasa will have to wait for future blog entries…

Picasa 3.8 is available for download on Windows and Mac operating systems.

– Wayne Sisson

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skilz to pay the bilz

(melting camera)

Looking to enhance your photoshop skills? Try doing some tutorials. It can help to enhance your skills, and explore all that photoshop has to offer.

A couple of links:


50 tutorials for beginners

30 essential tutorials for beginners

If you find additional resources with great tutorials,

please share them in the comments section.

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