Monday, May 3, 2010

Tips, tricks, techniques!

Hello all. Firstly, thanks to Jayden Dave and the TeamSixteen Family. I am humbled and proud to consider myself a newly acquired distant cousin of sorts. I'm a photographer among many other things living in Portland, OR. I see photography as a passion that happens to pay me from time to time as opposed to a profession that I enjoy.

I had started my own blog, a few months ago, primarily to provide others with tips and tricks that I have developed into my own photographic workflow. From photoshop techniques to lighting set ups, I try to approach it from a technical, but accessible angle. Some tutorials, reviews, software walkthroughs and the like, all done to try and pay back the internet which I have used for so much of my own education. It has grown into its own through a few review articles which have pushed me into a variety of places from various websites to the New York Times. Mainly luck with a bit of tireless self promotion and trying to pay attention to how best to network with others and use various free outlets available. Hopefully I can continue to help others in the same vein that I've so greatly benefited from.

Saying that, here is a snippit from my most recent blog post. Through a conversation on a GF1 specific photography forum, someone had purchased a photoshop action (for around $35 I think) which seemed to me to be one that I could more or less figure out as it seemed to be doing something similar to an action that I had recorded for myself. After a little searching around, I found a nice balance between both a local and global contrast as well as sharpening to create a strong effect for most any image.

The basic idea comes out in two parts, first using an 'unsharp mask' layer to help boost local contrast throughout the image. I borrowed this particular 'unsharp mask' technique from another blogger named George from as I'd never thought to use unsharp mask like this. Secondly, on top of that layer, I combine a 'smart sharpen' layer which then has a strong 'high pass filter' blended to overlay applied on top of it creating a sharpened and globally contrasted layer resulting in deep contrast both between highlight and shadow as well as color creating a punch. Without entirely reiterating the process, if interested it lives on my blog under "Free Photoshop Pop Action" and I hope that it can help others. It has been useful for me and now, including George's local contrast, has even further progressed the overall effectiveness. I'd be curious to see how well it works for others. I have a flickr group here and would love to combine it with a team16 approach. Please feel free to join up and promote your own blog, website or others that you find useful. It is in its early development stages, but I would like to see it grow as a good resource for all things (legally) free and provide those of us looking to network, the means.

Here's to seeing Team6teen grow.

All the best,



  1. so tight dude, i'll definitely be looking into this for my next editing period.

  2. Sweet. Let me know how it goes for you man. I have a couple other actions that I'm working on geared around portraiture, eyes, skin, etc. Hope to get posts up within the next few weeks.