Tutorial

Thanksgiving Weekend Sales!

So it's Black Friday - Cyber Monday weekend, and there's a TONNNNNNNNN of sales going on out there. So to help save the sanity of my photographer and videographer friends i've decided to compile a list of some great deals all in one place!

To start things off we'll launch with the latest and greatest Tutorial from the team at RGG EDU!

Sports Photography & retouching with Tim Tadder!

Have you ever had an "AHA" moment in photography? Something that changed the way you approach a subject, a light, or post-production? That's what we've created in our newest tutorial and we're excited to share it with you. Tim Tadder is one of the leading image makers in the world and left nothing behind in this tutorial documentary about his approach to creating an image and philosophy behind creating images. He's actually the most appreciated photographer on Behance.

We're excited to bring this tutorial to you on Black Friday with our biggest discount we've given on an opening day launch. Use the code BF1 to save 25% off his 20+ hour tutorial. Be sure to check out the full Black Friday Bundle and Save Deals over there and take part in their insane giveaways!

Make sure to go through their whole library as the RGGEDU team has covered everything from Food Photography, Products, Fashion, Portraits, and much much more!

Next we have not one, but FOUR awesome tutorials available from the incredible team at the ALL on sale now!

BLACK FRIDAY SALE DISCOUNTS:

Master Dodge & Burn - use promo code BFMDB80 for $80 OFF = $89

Color Grade - use promo code BFCG20 for $20 OFF = $69

Go Pro: Studio Beauty - use promo code BFMBP120 for $120 OFF = $79

Beauty Retouch Panel - $20 OFF = $49

First up we have the awesome GO PRO: Studio Beauty Video Course

Go Pro: Studio Beauty video training by Julia Kuzmenko McKim and Aleksey Dovgulya In this training we will cover: CHAPTER I: INTRO & PREPARATION CHAPTER II: FLAWLESS EXECUTION CHAPTER III: LIGHTING SETUPS For full table of contents please visit our product page: http://bit.ly/1Ur384P 

Buy Now

Second, the incredibly detailed Color Grade Video Course by Michael Woloszynowicz!

http://bit.ly/2fNlHjD Our brand new 8-lesson intensive course on color grading in Adobe Photoshop for portrait, beauty and fashion photographers and retouchers with Michael Woloszynowicz. Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video or, in our case, a digital image. Although every step of your retouching workflow is important, color grading has the potential to be the most impactful one and can easily make or break your final result. With skillful color grading you can make your images to pop off the page even with the simplest subject matter. Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced Duration: 3h 37m Practice Files: Layered .PSD files are provided for your analysis and practice Additional Materials: Digital Guide + Michael’s Custom Actions Learn more here: http://retouchingacademy.com/product/color-grade-video-course/ Our goal when creating this course was to provide you with a solid system and a set of versatile and intuitive color grading tools to help you masterfully color grade your personal and client work. Not only do we want you to understand what specific tools to use, but more importantly when and why to use them.

Buy Now

Third, we have the Master Dodge & Burn Video Course by Michael Woloszynowicz!

http://bit.ly/2guL9LU  In this 4-part intensive course we’ll be taking a deep dive into one of the most important tools and techniques in retouching known as Dodging and Burning. Our goal when creating this course was to provide you with real-world, non-destructive retouching workflows to help you create beautiful, natural looking images and elevate your knowledge of D&B and retouching in general. Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced Duration: 3:35 hours

Buy Now

Fourth, and Lastly, we have the Beauty Retouch Panel by Julia Kuzmenko-McKim!

https://retouchingacademylab.com/faq-beauty-retouch-v3-0-installation-released-2016/ To update your old RA Panels please login to your Member Area on our website using the User ID with which you initially purchased Beauty Retouch panel. Download the new installation packages, which include the updated panels as well as the new User Manual. More videos on how to use the panel and its new features are coming! Stay tuned!

Don't miss out on some the industries BEST education and training out there!!!!!

Now it's time for some fun stuff! Lately i've been playing with an awesome tool called Plotagraph Pro!

I've only had my hands on this application for about a solid 24 hours at the time of writing this, but i'm already in LOVE! It lets you take your still images and create a motion image, or "cinemagraph". Quickly, and easily animate your photos to create something captivating and truly is the future of advertising, marketing, and social media content! In the day and age of everyone having an incredible camera, it takes something special to make a viewer stop and take in your product...here's where Plotagraph comes in!

"More people than ever are getting their entertainment and information from their mobile devices. This provides opportunities and challenges for both marketers and companies trying to get their information out in a relevant way without being drown out by all of the competition. When creating a campaign its also important to know what platform and size the content will be viewed. Images that are on small screens need to have more movement than content that is shown on a large billboard. Studies show that people not only respond better to Dynamic Content but also retain information and learn better through moving images. The Plotagraph® Team not only creates top notch artistic content but we are also pros at knowing the proper speed and file exports for the appropriate platform. In the past year All of the major social media platforms now accept either animated gifs or looping videos. No matter what website or social media platform we have the perfect export at the best compression for you. It's exciting to think about the future of marketing, advertising and social media. We are happy to do our part in helping to make it more Dynamic."

Check out a few of the images i've created in just a few minutes each! Personally I can't wait to spend more time with the application and become a master with it!

Try the free Demo available here and if you're interested in trying the PRO account out (which I highly recommend), use the Coupon Code - CREWE for 10% off your membership! As an added bonus, sign up this weekend for a PRO membership and get a $50 Amazon Gift card!!!!

Still looking for more awesome?

If you know me, then you know I like to Timelapse nearly everywhere I visit.  Well a tool I ALWAYS use is an awesome Lightroom Plugin and Extension App called LRTimelapse

I could go on for hours and hours about how useful and timesaving and powerful this application is, but I'll let these videos speak for themselves!  Click this link here to learn more; http://bit.ly/2fhipJ7

Save up to 70% on Macphun Apps like Luminar & Aurora HDR Pro!

Take a look at how Luminar edits different types of your photos. To learn more about, visit: http://bit.ly/2fNv7eJ

I've worked with the Macphun team now for several years and can honestly say they make some of the most powerful and easy to use photo editing applications for Mac's on the market! Click this link to learn more and SAVE A TON this weekend; http://bit.ly/2fNv7eJ 

Want to save 20% on Gear Rentals from Borrowlenses?!?!

This one's real simple! Just click the image below and use the code BFUSED20 to save your money! 

MAGMOD Black Friday deals

Save up to 20% on all products, get a FREE MagGrip or MagGel wallet and get a $30 Bonus Gift Card on orders over $300! Click here to learn more; https://magnetmod.com/?mm=50

Want even more amazing?  Well the team at Photofocus has put together an insane list of products available at great discounts here! https://photofocus.com/2016/11/24/the-best-black-friday-deals-for-photographers/ 

Find discounts from vendors like ThinkTAP Learn, Athentech, Drobo, B&H, Platypod Pro, and more!

Seeking even more educational resources?  Well my old team at Phlearn is having a 30% off sale this whole weekend!

Use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY to get 30% off everything in their store!!! Click here for more info; http://bit.ly/2guMdzy

Save on Capture One Pro by Phase One!

Save 10% on Capture One Pro with the coupon code AMBCREWE

Use Coupon Code: AMBCREWE for 10% off!!!

Use Coupon Code: AMBCREWE for 10% off!!!

Do you know of some more deals going on this week? Post them in the comments below and i'll update them all weekend long! Cheers and happy shopping!!!

Understanding Tone Mapping - Via Macphun

Here's another from my series of Educational blogs with Macphun!  Be sure to check them all out on https://aurorahdr.com/blog


What's the first image that pops into your mind when someone says HDR? For most people, they think of dark, grungy, over-saturated images with halos surrounding every hard edge in the photo. The truth is, that's not actually HDR, but in fact, a form of Tone Mapping.

Understand HDR first!

To understand Tone Mapping we need to first explain HDR. So what is HDR exactly? Well High Dynamic Range images simply mean that the photo has more dynamic range in it than any camera (currently) can capture in one single shot. To be able to create a real HDR image, you have to take 3 or more photos at different exposure values. 

 

Typically one frame will be at a proper exposure, then the rest are overexposed and underexposed at various increments to let you capture the details in the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows. Then these images are merged together to create a 16-32 bit file.

As I've explained in a few other blog posts and videos on our YouTube channel, most every camera available on the market currently has a sensor in it that can record information with a very specific dynamic range, (somewhere between 5-14 stops of light), which is FAR LESS than what the human eye can perceive. Therefore we combine these bracketed exposures together to create an HDR image.

If you try to take a high contrast shot with a single exposure you typically end up with either completely blown highlights, or all details lost in the shadows.

When you've taken a proper mix of exposures (under, balanced, and over), and merged them with an HDR software app, you're left with a relatively flat and low contrast image. This is where tone mapping comes into play.

What is tone mapping?

It's the process of converting the tonal values of an image from a high range to a lower one. For instance, an HDR file merged from multiple images with a dynamic range of 100,000:1 will be converted into an image with tonal values ranging from around 1 to 255.

Why do we want to reduce that tonal range so much? Well the reason is simple. Most standard display devices (and printers) can only reproduce a low range of dynamic values (between 100 or 200:1 or lower). The goal of tone mapping is to reproduce the appearance of images having a higher dynamic range to fit/display properly on standard display devices, thus keeping the image looking realistic.

The algorithms that tone mapping use to scale the dynamic range down attempt to preserve the appearance of the original image captured by breaking the information up into two categories: global and local.

Global operators map each pixel based on it's intensity and global image characteristics. The process ignores its spacial location or if it's in a dark or light area. Using global only tends to leave you with a flat non-contrasty image after the conversion process.

Local Operators uses the pixels location in the image when analyzing the appropriate scaling for it. This allows each pixel of a given intensity will be mapped to a different value depending on whether it's found in a dark or light area. Local tone mapping requires the system to look up surrounding values for every pixel mapped. This makes it slower (and more memory/system intensive), but leaves you with a much richer and eye pleasing image when correctly done.

Does shooting in RAW matter?

Short answer - YES! While you can still get amazing images from JPGs, tone mapping using RAW files provides much much much more information for the HDR program to work with. While it may take longer to process, you'll be left with a much more accurate image when working with RAW.

When using Aurora HDR to merge your brackets, you're given one of the most human-realistic representations of the scene possible, and when using raw files, you have a TON of information and tools within your 32-bit image to generate a finished photo with the exact look and feel that you desire!

The reality is, you don't need multiple exposures to tone map your image. You can have a single frame and create just as epic and breathtaking details, however, you will have less dynamic range to play with so remember that.

This is why Tone Mapping and HDR are not the same thing! To create an HDR image, you need at least 2 bracketed images. It boils down to availability and style. It's up to you to create an image that's either realistic, or fantasy like.

Go Pro: Studio Beauty Video Training

It's here it's here it's finally here! My good friend and amazing Photographer & Retoucher has released her latest pro tutorial - Studio Beauty Video Training and it's nothing short of amazing! 

Julia Kuzmenko is one of America's best beauty photographers and retouchers. Her work has been seen millions of times, she's been featured in websites and international printed magazines countless times. While most will believe her work is as phenomenal as it is due to her retouching, (which _IS_ amazing), the fact is, she's an absolutely brilliant photographer and master of light! Thus, the announcement of this video tutorial!

The video has 3 segments, (about an hour each), and an ebook, (Read that first!), thats jam packed with information covering everything from beginner subjects like lens selection and strobes to Intermediate and Advanced topics covering workflow and technique! 

The thing i like about this tutorial is its focused on the artistic and technical aspects of the photoshoot on set, helping you get everything as right as possible in camera. This will make you AND your client happy beyond belief, and save your retoucher a lot of headaches!  So be advised, this video will NOT cover retouching/post production efforts. 

As Julia says "Our goal is to teach you to confidently set up beautiful studio lighting and produce amazing images, as well as to lead your creative team and manage the creative process from inception to completion including selecting the right talent, working with models, make up artists and stylists for both commercial assignments and personal projects."

Check it out now for the sale price of $169!!

CHAPTER I: INTRO & PREPARATION      

  • About the Authors & This Training    
  • Your Career & Ultimate Artistic Goals

Your Knowledge & Vision

  • The Basics Every Photographer Must Know
  • Developing Your Vision, Taste and Aesthetics
  • How to “Read” Lighting

Cameras, Lenses & Lighting equipment

  • Choosing the Right Cameras & Lenses For Your Work
  • Choosing the Right For Specific Projects
  • Camera Sensors: Full Frame & Crop Factor
  • Crop Factor & Focal Length Multiplier
  • Studio & Backdrop Choice
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Common Monolight Controls & Triggers
  • Light Modifiers
  • Accessories

Preparation is King

  • Idea, Concept of a Shoot & Choosing the “Right” Team
  • Helpful Documents For Your Work

CHAPTER II: FLAWLESS EXECUTION    

  • Shooting Tethered
  • Standard Camera Settings
  • Common Mistakes to Avoid While Shooting
  • Day-of Briefing & Backup
  • Working With Your Model

CHAPTER III: LIGHTING SETUPS      

  • Establishing Our Starting Point: Why & How
  • Classic Portrait Setup: Various Types of Lights, Light Modifiers, etc.
  • Celebrity Portrait: And More Ways to Fill in the Shadows 
  • Movie Style Setup: Cinematic Lighting: Adding Drama; Working with Smoke 
  • Hazy Colors Setup: Colorful Theme; Working with Color Gels and Smoke
  • Jewelry Ad Setup: Another Colorful Setup; More on Working With Color Gels 
  • Clean Beauty: Other Ways of Creating Rim and Fill Light; White Background
  • Full-Body: A Few Notes on Proper Full-Body Lighting 
  • Doubled Colored Shadows: Even More Ways to Use Color Gels 
  • Creative Mixed Lighting:
    • Mixed Lighting: Fundamentals
    • Mixed Lighting: Reflective Fabrics
    • Mixed Lighting for Beauty

YOUR ASSIGNMENT LIST

Practice not until you can get it right, but until you can’t get it wrong.

BONUS MATERIALS

  • Call Sheet / Template
  • Estimate for a commercial project / Template
  • Model Release / Template
  • Agency Test Package Request / Sample Letter to a Modeling Agency
  • Client Project Questionnaire / Template

http://bit.ly/1Ur384P

A 15-second overview that comes with the Go Pro: Studio Beauty video training.