In this section we have added a series of tutorials aimed at assisting in the processing of RAW files into images

and enhancing images using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.


How to Use Clarity in Lightroom by Michael Smyth

The Clarity tool is often misunderstood and not used correctly in processing RAW files.  In this short tutorial we explain what Clarity is, how it should be used and how to use it for creative effect.  Click HERE for details.

Images with fine detail can benefit from using the Clarity tool, together with other processing in Lightroom. (c) Michael Smyth 2017

Images with fine detail can benefit from using the Clarity tool, together with other processing in Lightroom. (c) Michael Smyth 2017

The importance of Sharpening Image files by Michael Smyth

 Many photographers are unaware of the need to sharpen their image files, at the RAW processing stage, during editing in Photoshop and for output.   This short tutorial gives an overview of the types of sharpening to be applied as well as the when and how.  Click HERE for details 

Above Left: original RAW file, no Sharpening   Above Right:  RAW file with RAW Sharpening and Photoshop Sharpening

Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts

Thanks to a free download from The Lightroom Queen,  here is a list of available keyboard shortcuts for use in Lightroom.  Click HERE for details

From Lightroom to Photoshop and back again by Michael Smyth

Many people struggle with the digital workflow and deciding what to edit in Lightroom and what to edit in Photoshop.  Some find it difficult to work out the relationship between Lightroom and Photoshop.  Some also struggle with the Lightroom catalogue and how to keep everything updated and synchronised.  

As a general rule, photographers who are primarily interested in “Documentary” or “Eyewitness” style of photography may never need to move into Photoshop for completing their images.  Those who wish to infuse their images with a degree of creativity, or who want to work to restore the 3rd dimension in their work will almost certainly need to work with Photoshop as well as Lightroom.  

This tutorial has been updated and is now part of our workshop series.  Click HERE for details

Couta roacks Tasmania (c) Michael Smyth 2016 Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop

Practical use of Blend Modes in Photoshop by Jim Crew

Layer blend modes in Photoshop offer a quick and easy method for editing to perform processes
such as adding contrast, darkening skies, lightening shadows and adding soft focus effects to name
just a few.  Photoshop CC includes 27 different layer blend modes.  The examples used here are for illustration purposes only.    Read more

Removing Bright Fringes in Photoshop

This tutorial demonstrates a method of removing unsightly bright edges around image elements on photographs that have been extensively edited in Photoshop.  Often, after spending a lot of time refining and polishing an image in Photoshop you can end up with some rather nasty bright lines or fringes around contrasting edges of image elements.  Here is my method of removing these edges.  Read more...

The Crashed DC3, Iceland 2015 (c) Michael Smyth

Above: Detail showing the bright edges before treatment

Above: Detail showing the bright edges before treatment

Above: Detail of the finished image

Above: Detail of the finished image

Introduction to Photoshop layers by Michael Smyth

This tutorial introduces the concept of "layers" arguably the most important function within Photoshop.  Layers are a way of making "local" or "selective" adjustments to an image.  Layers are also a way of applying adjustments to the whole of an image non destructively. 

Local or selective adjustments are changes made to a part of the image only, whereas “Global” changes apply to the whole of the image.  Without layers you are pretty much restricted to global changes to your image, apart from things like cloning.  

This tutorial has been updated and now forms part of our workshop series.  Click HERE for details

Customline - from the Series "Extinct" by Michael Smyth

Creative technique - Adding textures and replacing skies by Michael Smyth

In this tutorial we will look at some of the most common and creative techniques available to enhance images and add a touch of creativity to photography.  Isn't this cheating ?

Manipulating images and using creative techniques to produce images that reflect your vision of the world are nothing new and have been practiced since the beginning of photography.  In-camera double exposure can create similar effects to the texture technique and darkroom techniques that replace elements of an image have been used for well over a hundred years by skilled photographers.  The new digital techniques arising from digital capture and processing have made these techniques more widely accessible.  In other words, no, it isn’t cheating !  Read More...

Dak-Dak graveyard by Michael Smyth

Dak-Dak graveyard by Michael Smyth

Exposure for creative image making by Michael Smyth

This tutorial discusses how to use exposure as a creative tool in image making and how it is used to convey meaning in our images.

WHAT IS EXPOSURE:  Exposure in its simplest form is the process of allowing a specific amount of light to fall on the sensor (or film) in our camera.  The camera controls that affect the amount of light that reaches the sensor are:  the Aperture of the lens being used; the Shutter Speed selected, and  The ISO sensitivity setting applied.

 WHAT IS “CORRECT” EXPOSURE:  Wikipedia defines exposure thus: “Correct exposure may be defined as an exposure that achieves the effect the photographer intended”  Read More...

Monk with butter lamps, Samye Monastery, Tibet By Michael Smyth

Monk with butter lamps, Samye Monastery, Tibet By Michael Smyth

Establishing a colour managed workflow by Michael Smyth

The goal of any photographer in the Digital age is to capture, process and print images with consistent and accurate results.  In addition, you may also want to have your images presented on a website, projected at a camera club on a data projector, or publish a book through a third party publisher.  In each case you will want to ensure that colours are represented accurately no matter where or how they are viewed.

 Therefore a system of managing and controlling colour both within your working environment and across all other devices is of paramount importance.  This is what a Colour Managed Workflow seeks to achieve.  Read More...

Colours of Greenland by Michael Smyth

Colours of Greenland by Michael Smyth

Backing up your data by Jim Crew and Michael Smyth

A computer expert was recently discussing the issue of backups on a radio talk show.  He summarised the situation as this:  "There are two types of people who use computers:  Those that have had a disc failure, and those that are going to have one".

Backing up your valuable data (not only your photographs, but all of your personal information is not only wise, it's essential.  There are several ways to create backups and we discuss several methods and processes in this tutorial.  Read More...

Lightening strike by Michael Smyth

Lightening strike by Michael Smyth

Camera Basics by Michael Smyth

A camera in its most basic form is merely a light proof box with a lens (for focusing on a subject) and a shutter and aperture to allow a fixed amount of light to pass to a light sensitive material ( either film or a digital sensor). 

The name “Camera” derives from the Latin term “Camera Obscura”, which literally means a dark room. 

In the days before photography the Camera Obscura was a popular diversion for the wealthy and were room sized contraptions where you could see the outside world through a small pinhole or lens.  

Gannet landing by Michael Smyth

Gannet landing by Michael Smyth