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DMA Digital Photography and Photoshop Courses Jump Starts a Photography Business

 

Copyright Heather Reid Kwok Photography

Images Copyright Heather Reid Kwok Photography

In July of 2006 I spent two weeks at the Digital Media Academy immersing myself in the world of digital photography and Photoshop. Since Photoshop was not the most intuitive software to me, I was glad for the hands on training to get a handle on the basic and more advanced editing tools that it provides.  The instructor knew his stuff!  He was able to show us how to achieve the same result using at least three different methods and explain which method he thought was best which helped me grasp just how much Photoshop had to offer.  It felt like drinking from a fire hose at times!  However by the end of the week, everything would start to come together and it was amazing to see how much I had learned in such a short time.

The courses were a great combination of out in the field shooting and in the classroom learning Photoshop.  I learned some valuable photography skills that helped me take better photos from the start and in the end saves me tons of time since getting the shot right the first time takes less time then trying to correct problems in Photoshop.  The small class size made it easy to get personal time with the instructor to ask my questions and learn what I was specifically looking to learn in these courses.

After two weeks I had gone from never using Photoshop to using Photoshop to edit all of my photos.  DMA’s courses allowed me to gain the skills and confidence to launch my photography business shortly thereafter.  Without the DMA course I never would have gotten my business off the ground and running so quickly.  Since the summer of 2006 my photography business has taken off thanks to DMA!    It’s the best investment of time and money that I’ve put into my business and I recommend these courses for any aspiring photography who is looking to lauch or take their photography business to the next level.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Digital Photography Lesson : Tips from DMA Pros with Aperture

Written by Jeff Sobel of the John Lennon Bus

In my last post I talked about the saturation and vibrancy adjustments in Aperture 2.  I mentioned that these powerful tools are great when you want to adjust the color in the entire image but not a good solution for selectively adjusting color in only parts of the image.  Aperture provides an often overlooked tool which is fantastic for making these types of selective adjustments.  It’s the Dodge and Burn plugin and it can be found in the Images>Edit With> menu as seen in the screen grab below:

aperture_dodge_and_burn_menu_thumb

Though Dodge and Burn is included with Aperture 2 it is actually a plugin so when you select it in the menu your image opens up in a new window.  It’s much like sending the image to an external editor except that it’s more tightly integrated with Aperture.  The name Dodge and Burn comes from the darkroom technique of using a card to dodge (lighten) or burn (darken) select areas of a photo print while it is in the chemical bath to manipulate the exposure of the photograph.  The Dodge and Burn plugin in Aperture 2 allows you to do the same thing with your mouse, no noxious chemicals required.  The great thing about the D&B plugin is that it not only allows you to adjust light/dark but a half-dozen other effects as well, including saturation (see screen grab below).
dodge_and_burn_menu_2

 

By playing with this tool you’ll quickly learn how to manipulate the color saturation in certain areas of your image while leaving other areas in their natural state (or manipulating those areas in a different way).  Here are some examples (all images can be clicked to embiggen).

I took some photos at a friend’s wedding last year.  They were married in Golden Gate Park and the grass and trees were a vibrant green.  I found that even though I had a fairly shallow depth of field that threw the background out of focus the vibrant color of the plants was distracting the eye from the important parts of the image (the bride and groom!).  
mukh_1_thumb wedding photo edit

I wanted to reduce the saturation of the plants and people behind my subjects to separate the bride and groom from the background.  However, I couldn’t simply reduce the saturation in the whole image because I certainly didn’t want to take away from the bride’s amazing gown.  So I turned to the Dodge and Burn plugin.  Using the Desaturate setting I ‘painted’ desaturation onto the background.  It took a little time but I loved the results:
wedding photo edit 2

By applying the same effect to all the photos a consistent look can be achieved which can really tie an album together (much like a good rug ties the room together).  Here are a few more examples of using the Dodge and Burn plugin to desaturate the background while leaving the subjects vibrant:

Before: 
Wedding Photo Before being Edited
After:
 After Editing the Photograph

Now here’s one final example that has a similar look but was produced using a slightly different method.  Instead of using the D&B plugin to desaturate the background in this photograph I first reduced the color by adjusting the saturation and vibrancy sliders in Aperture:
Before Editing Photo in Apeture

Then I sent the image to the Dodge and Burn plugin and using the Saturate setting I added color back into the photograph by carefully painting the bride’s dress and the flower lei each is wearing.
After Editing the Photo in Apeture

Spend some time with the Dodge and Burn plugin and I think you’ll find it can do some interesting things to your photographs.  These are the same techniques you will learn in this summer’s Digital Photography and Photoshop courses at Digital Media Academy.

Or, you can learn Photoshop with DMA on a Final Cut Pro and Photoshop Cruise this summer! Learn more about DMA on the Sea!

dma on the sea : final cut pro and photoshop cruise

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments