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Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday! This is a weekly video series which focuses on helping people improve their post processing skills.

In this video I explain the basics of using layers, layer masks and adjustment layers in Photoshop. This is something that can be confusing to new users at first (I know it was to me), and I hope this video will help you learn some useful tips to make you more successful. We’re going to have a look at two different images today and we’re going to learn how to blend these together in using layer masks and make additional refinements using adjustment layers.

If you have any questions on today’s video or requests for a future episode, be sure to leave a comment below!



The Final Images:

Lower Antelope Canyon

Grand Canyon

One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is that I really get into the groove when I’m photo processing. The artistic side of processing photos is really something that I enjoy very much and I can get lost in it for hours (and sometimes spend hours on a single image). I love to try out new techniques and find new and creative ways to process images to get the most out of my photos.

So for today, I wanted to post a then and now version of a photo I took at the Grand Canyon last year. It’s a mark of how much I’ve learned about post processing, but also through revisiting some of my older photos I am able to learn about what I need to improve. Many times when we get our photos back from a shoot, it’s easy to love them right away. By going back and reviewing them after the “glow” has worn off, it’s easier to see with a clear eye.

This was processed last July using a combination of Photomatix, Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz Adjust:

Cape Royal

This was processed last month using only Photoshop:

Cape Royal

Thanks for looking and be sure to leave your thoughts and feedback!

When photographing something as expansive as the Grand Canyon, it’s important to find strong foreground element. In this case, I used the roots which lead your eye into the center of the image and the tree on the right which provides a natural frame to edge of the photo. Having a distinct foreground, mid-ground and background creates a much stronger image and is a great way to show depth.

Next time you’re out photographing, take the time to look around and see what interesting elements you can find and how you can arrange them in your composition.

Grand Canyon

Hello everyone! I just got back from spending several nice relaxing days shooting at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. I was hoping to catch some nice storms over the canyon but nothing big developed while I was there. There was some absolute stunning light at sunrise and sunset and I’m happy to share some of those images this week. This shot is from Point Imperial which is overlooking the east side of the canyon. The light on Mt Hayden in the foreground was absolutely stunning at sunrise and yielded to beautiful pictures.

This is a multi row panorama shot at 70mm with my 28-300 and blending in Photoshop. Be sure to click the image to view in the lightbox

Point Imperial

Things have been really hectic around here over the past couple months. I have a few posts going live this week that I have already written talking about some of the things going on for me lately which I hope you will have the opportunity to read. One of the more recent discoveries is little Oliver here. My wife and I had been hearing a lot of very loud mewing going on outside over the past few days and on my second attempt, we were able to discover the source. It turns out that little Oliver here had taken refuge on our neighbor’s patio and was in desperate need of help. We gave him food and water and took him to the vet to make sure that he was ok. He was given a clean bill of health and we have been caring for him since. He is fast becoming part of the family and we are very glad that we could help to save him. Here is a picture of our new family member Oliver with his new friend Sam!

I had a great time shooting at Toroweap about a month ago. I ended up with a really nice shot of the Supermoon, but I also had an opportunity to grab a couple of shots at sunrise as well. I have to say that the post processing with this shot was a pain in the ass. For sometime, I have not been using any tone-mapping software to blend my images, favoring to do it manually in Photoshop. That technique lead to a lot of complications that had to be overcome with this particular image. The great thing about challenges is that you get to learn a lot in the process and I’m pretty happy with how this one came out, although that probably won’t stop me from processing it again to refine some techniques.

Toroweap, Grand Canyon