Monday, 30 August 2010

Reworked Photoshop Video Tutorials - now in HD

Two of my older video tutorials weren't great quality - partly down to my getting used to the complexities of compression, video codecs and other stuff I still don't really understand(!) and partly because High Definition has come along on YouTube since...

Perfect contrast

This one is about achieving perfect control over the contrast in your shots. The quality is so much better that it's a lot easier to see the subtle changes in contrast that are shown using this 2-step technique. Highly recommended



Sky Rescue

This one shows you how to go about rescuing a blown (i.e. a too bright) sky. It works using a novel technique for combining two shots of the same scene, one exposed so that the sky gives plenty of detail, and one exposed for the ground.

If you shoot using the format called RAW (available on most mid-range cameras) then this will be something you can do on existing shots. If not you'll need to shoot a scene twice at the two different exposures.

Whichever is right for you, this is a great 3-step technique. It has the advantage over other methods of making the transition imperceptible as it moves from perfectly exposed sky to perfectly exposed ground.



Both are  (I hope!) simple to follow and understand and should make great additions to your toolkit, whether you're a beginner or someone who wants to expand their knowledge.

I'd love some feedback; you could think about: a) Was my voice clear enough? b) Were my descriptions clear and easily understood? c) Was my pace about right, too fast, too slow?

You don't have to answer any/all but feedback will help me improve the vid tuts, which has got to be a good thing for everyone! :)

I hope you enjoy,
~~Mark
comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

New Vid Tut: subtly bring a viewer's attention to the centre of your photos

Another of my occasional Photoshop video tutorials... (similar techniques exist in Corel Photopaint and Gimp)

Centering their attention

Here's a video tutorial I recorded in HD that shows a great 2-step finishing effect for your photos. It shows a simple yet effective way to bring your viewers' attention into the centre of your photos (and other graphic images too). It's a technique I use on pretty much all my photos, black and white and colour.

This how-to won't make bad images good but it will make good images better!

I used my image of a Dartmoor Pony mare suckling her yearling foal to demonstrate the technique and in the video you'll see the before and after compared.
When you do, I'm sure you'll agree that it's both subtle and effective and a technique you'll want to use on your own photos.



To see this best, pop out the video and watch at full screen size - make sure you watch in HD (720p) to see the subtlety of the effect as the tutorial progresses. If you use this technique, drop off a link to the results in the comments so we can all share. Thanks from all of us :)

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

40% Off My Posters

Great news but you'll have to hurry!

40% off all my posters over at Zazzle.com

Until 22nd August 2010 all my posters over at Zazzle have a massive 40% off, so if you've had your eye on any of them, what better time to buy than now!

As a reminder, here's my best-selling Desiderata poster - click the image to buy...


To get your 40% off, use the code BTSRULEPRINT when you get to the checkout. Full terms and conditions are here

See all my poster prints and take full advantage of this amazing offer by choosing a selection for friends and family.

It's a great time to be getting Christmas presents, especially at these reduced prices. So buy today, save tomorrow!!

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

Monday, 16 August 2010

My Latest Designs on Zazzle

Some of my latest designs available on a range of products on Zazzle - here's a few to whet your appetite...

Iridescent Dragon Design




This really great design is available on a range of products including mugs, car stickers, hats and ties.

Calendars with US holidays

US size Avery Binder - takes 8 1/2 x 11inch paper


One of the many great things about Zazzle is their 30-day satisfaction guarantee - so what have you got to lose? Go ahead and buy one of these today! Click any of the images and you'll get taken to Zazzle where you get the chance to personalise before you buy.

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Dartmoor Pony Head and Mane Study

After a few recent colour shots...

Back to Black and White


Dartmoor Pony Head and Mane Study

I love the texture of the manes and the jaw-lines of these beautiful creatures. They roam free on Dartmoor and those that run true to the Dartmoor Pony form, like this one, are a direct link to our prehistoric past. They are ideally suited to a life on the unforgiving moors, making the most of the poor vegetation and able to withstand the cruel and harsh winters.

They're a great hit with visitors to the moors, being quite approachable and unfazed by close human proximity, as this shot shows.

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

I aint movin' Mum!

Here's the shot I promised in my last post...

Awww, Mum


This foal had been lying down having a sleepy snooze, then woke up a bit and got onto it's knees, still chilling out. Along comes mum and gives a nudge as if to say, "night time is for sleeping, day time is for eating, now get up!"

Disgruntled Foal

Take a look at the lips of the foal -- now that's surly! I'm sure many of you parents reading this recognise that look!

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Some more Dartmoor Pony shots

A couple more from Dartmoor...

Dartmoor at its best

Another shot of that cute yearling foal from my last post. S/he kept trying to lie down and have a snooze but mum kept nuzzling her up again. It was a hot day so I think it was just sleepy and not sickening for something -- at least I hope not!

I've got a shot still in the digital darkroom showing that happening -- and the reluctance of the pony to be shifted. Lets hope it makes it out of there so I can share it with you :)

Kneeling Dartmoor Pony Yearling Foal

This next shot shows a couple of the branded but free-roaming ponies at a watering hole, quite full from the recent rains. The way the late afternoon sun was catching their coats really made them look their best.

At The Watering Hole

The branding of the new foals won't take place until the Autumn drift, a yearly round-up in late September / October of all the ponies so they can be sorted into the herds that belong to each farmer.

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)

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