Exploring Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is known to be one of the most powerful and incredible image editor application. If you don’t have any idea about what Photoshop is, then this article will help you understand the basic functionalities of the program.

There are a lot of video tutorial scattered online, all of it are focusing on how to use the program to modify an image. However, in this article, we will discuss the basic features, functionalities and services of Adobe Photoshop. We will get to know more of the program’s toolbar, menus, editing modules and more.

If you are not a current Adobe Photoshop user, you may want to subscribe or purchase to their 30 days free trial and downloadable for free. Within this 30 day period, you can have the opportunity to explore and scan through the features of the program. It is already enough to understand the basic functions of Photoshop. Although the program is only developed and intended for manual editing.

Listed below are some of the basic features and adjustment tools located on the left side corner of the program.

Commonly Used Toolbar Features

  • Move Tool
  • Lasso
  • Magic Wand
  • Crop Tool
  • Eraser Tool
  • Blur, Sharpen, and Smudge Tools
  • History Brush
  • Marquee
  • Eyedropper Healing Brush
  • Paintbrush and Pencil
  • Burn, Dodge, and Sponge Tools

These toolbars can also be seen in the latest Adobe product called Lightroom 6. However, the program contains more useful and convenient functions such as Lightroom 6 presets, slideshow maker and more. These adjustments panels that we see in Photoshop are where we can manually edit the images and use layers. Lastly, these panels are also non-destructive to image alterations.

Hopefully, this article will help you understand the program and its basic functions. It is never easy to understand all of these features, but when you have understood everything of it, the entire editing process will be as easy as counting.


Adobe Lightroom 6 Detailed Review

pic222Few months ago, Adobe System, the developer of the entire famous post processing tool in the market, has just released the latest version of Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6. Both programs have a lot in common but Adobe Lightroom has more useful and effective editing tools than CC. In addition, Lightroom CC can only be acquired through Adobe’s creative cloud plan.

One of the biggest advantages of Lightroom CC is that users can enjoy the easily enjoy the benefits of Adobe. It can also sync image collections to all types of gadgets such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and desktop PCs.

On the other hand, Adobe Lightroom 6 contains a lot of new and exciting additional features such as basic editing tools, default Lightroom presets, and Lightroom mobile. Users can choose to purchase the program in straight payment or in creative plan subscription together with Lightroom CC.

Features and Services of Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a well-known professional image post processing tool from Adobe. It was created to assist professional photographers in their editing workload. Moreover, it is also developed to help them save time and effort in the process of editing thousands of images. While a lot of people say that Adobe Lightroom is similar to Photoshop; Lightroom has more easy-to-use editing tools than Photoshop.

However, photographers and other users still use Adobe Photoshop for major tweaking tasks such as mask layout, manual editing and more. However, when it comes to basic editing such as contrast and brightness adjustments, healing and spot tool, exposure modification, Adobe Lightroom can deal with it alone. Moreover, the program is capable of creating customized Lightroom presets and Lightroom actions or commonly known as filtered images.

More of Adobe Lightroom 6

As of writing, Adobe system has launched several updates and tools for image editing in Lightroom 6 such as HDR and merge panorama, radial tools and more.


Four Essential Tips for Beginners

pic10Have you ever thought of being a good photographer? All it takes is a little skills, knowledge, experience and idea to be one. Most professional photographers suggest that it is better to read more useful and helpful articles to help you start a career in photography.

In this article, we will discuss the five essential tips to be a good photographer. For more information, check out several best lightroom presets 2015 at infoparrot now.

Keep an eye-contact on your subject

Maintaining a direct eye contact to your subject is important to have a good image outcome. When taking a picture, you have to hold the camera on the subject’s eye level. Doing so will have a good effect to both the subject and the outcome. When taking pictures to young children, it is best to use eye-catching objects that will help them focus.

Use Simple Background

A plain and simple background is also important. Using simple background such as plain green, white or other light colors will help your subject stand out. Moreover, it will help you customized the whole background.

Adjust Flash Properly

The most common mistakes people commit when photographing is using an inappropriate flash effect. Photographers tend to use beyond the maximum flash range which leads to dark image outcome. Before taking a picture, make sure to adjust the flash range properly within 2 to 3 feet.

If you’re not knowledgeable about your camera’s flash setting, it is best to scan through the manual or look for essential tips online. Flash range is important as it has a great effect on the image.

Maintain a good distance

When taking pictures, make sure that your subject will not be as small and tiny as an ant or big as a giant. Make sure to maintain a good distance to your subject. Move closer if your subject is small and move a little farther if your subject is so near to the camera.


Is Lightroom An Alternative to Photoshop?

pic2Some people often consider Adobe Lightroom is an alternative or replacement to Adobe Photoshop. While some professional photographers don’t agree with these speculations and idea since they consider Lightroom as a unique and convenient tool than Photoshop. Moreover, the processing tool is way cheaper than any other existing software.

We are all aware that Adobe Photoshop is one of the most effective and useful tool for photo editing, however, as day goes by, photographers need something new to help them organize, manage and modify their images in the most fast and convenient way.

Adobe Lightroom is known to the public for its reliability, fast interface and flexibility of features. It has a lot of useful editing features such as lightroom portrait presets, Jpeg and RAW conversions, slideshow editor and more. Moreover, it has the ability to organize and sort images in one folder or image collection. The program is also a non-destructive tool which preserves the original file setting of an image.

Photographers loved using the program since it gives them the opportunity to relax while editing their images. Lightroom is a stress free program which allows photographers and other users to have more time in taking pictures and doing other task for their clients.

Another feature to enjoy in lightroom is that it has the ability to share images straight from the Lightroom interface or thru the lightroom mobile version. This goes to show that the developer, Adobe system value the opinion and suggestion of their users.


Overall, Adobe Lightroom will never be a replacement to other image processing tool such as Photoshop. The features and services of Lightroom are all unique and reliable. There’s no doubt why most photographers and other users chose Lightroom over Photoshop since they want to save more time and effort in editing their hundreds or even thousands of images.


Keyboard Shortcuts Stop Working in Photoshop

Recently my keyboard shortcuts quit working in Photoshop. I use them almost exclusively, so this left me more than a bit useless. Today I finally decided to google the answer.

I don’t know why I was surprised, but almost every thread on the subject immediately turned into accusations of piracy and closing the thread.

Now, unless Adobe is in the business of selling pirated CDs directly from theirwebsite, I can be 100% certain my CD is not pirated. So, cast away by the photoshop community as a leper for having a problem with my legitimate software, I searched for the answer on my own.

And whaddya know, after 15 minutes of poking around my computer, I discovered the problem was the popular chat program, Trillian. It uses a LOT of keyboard shortcuts of the ctrl-shift variety that photoshop loves. They can be changed or turned off completely by going to preferences->advanced->automation.

Yes, I’m aware that there are some “bad cracks” out there that cause photoshop shortcuts (particularly ones that use the ctrl key) to stop working, but maybe people should take a few minutes to think “hey, maybe there’s a legit reason for this issue” instead of immediately going after their stones and nooses.

White Balancing Made Easy

So you just took a bunch of photos, you insert the memory card into your computer and open them up. Come to find out, they have a tinge of orange, or green, or blue. How do you fix this? You could use selection masks and hue/saturation, but this never seems to come out right. Or you can white balance the way that Photoshop likes to white balance: by the numbers!

This tutorial will cover a relatively quick way of white balancing. If you setup Actions for some of the more generic tasks, you can do this in about 10 seconds flat. Any “Actionable” item will appear in italics.

First thing you’ll want to do is open up your offending photo. I’ll be using one of my good friend Chris trying to look sly while drinking his tasty beverage.


As you can see, the image has a bit of a green tinge to it. This is no good. If I adjust the hue and saturation, I’ll lose the orange neon lights, and setting up the proper selection masks could take far too much time- more time than I’d want to put into a job like this.

Bonus Tip!
This step isn’t necessary, but good practice, especially if you’re going to be printing your images. You never want to have absolute black or absolute white in your printed images. It’s unnatural and just doesn’t belong on a printed sheet. Luckily we can fix this as part of the white balancing process.

  1. Open your Curves Editor (Image->Adjustments->Curves, or CTRL-M on PC)
  2. This brings up your…Curves Editor! On the bottom right, just above “Preview” you will see three eyedroppers.


  1. Double click the first (black) dropper. This sets your black point. Change it toRGB: 10,10,10 and press “OK”. Double click the third eyedropper to set your white point to RGB: 245,245,245. Now double click the center dropper to set your greypoint to RGB: 133,133,133
  2. Go ahead and close the Curves Editor. This only needs to be done once, ever.

The Actual Tutorial!
Ok, now that we got all that out of the way, we can get to business.

  1. Open your Adjustment Layers flyout. It can be found on the bottom of the layers palette. It’s a little black and white circle.

5Choose “Threshold”.

  1. Slide the slider all the way to the left and begin sliding it upwards until you get your first hint of black (you can use your arrow up/down keys to nudge it one level at a time). Once you have a black area, hold shift and click to set a dropper marker. Now move the slider all the way to the right, nudge slightly to the left until you get some white, and create another marker. Click Cancel to exit.


  1. Create a new Layer (CTRL-Shift-N). Fill it with 50% Grey (Edit->Fill orShift+F5. Under Contents choose “50% Grey” and Press OK. Set this layer’s blending mode to Difference. Now any area that is 50% grey will show up black in your image.
  2. Create a Threshold adjustment layer again. Move the slider all the way to the left, and once again inch towards the right until you have a nice black spot, and shift-click to mark it. Click Cancel to exit.
  3. Now that we have our three markers set (if you don’t see them now, Select your eyedropper tool and they should appear, numbered), we can begin balancing. But before we do that, we want to make the eyedropper collect an average sample of the area, not just the pixel it happens to be on. This will result in more natural white balancing. With the eyedropper tool selected, right click anywhere in the image and choose 3 by 3 average.
  4. Now, Create a new adjustment layer, but this time choose “Curves”.
  5. Press Caps Lock to turn on the crosshair cursor. This will let you line up your cursor with where you placed your markers more easily.
  6. Click the left-most eyedropper in the Curves palette, and click the first marker you set (it will have a “1” next to it). Click the right-most eyedropper and choose the second marker to set your white point. Click the middle and click your third point to set your grey point. If you have “Preview” checked, you can watch the changes before your very eyes!
  7. Press “OK” and you’re done!

The Final Product:


You can see the green tinge caused as a side effect of having the lights in the shot is gone, replaced with a much more natural blue, while keeping the color variation of the neon lights in the background. There is a slight contrast loss due to setting the black point to 10,10,10 and the white point to 245,245,245, but this is what we want for printing.

It should be noted that this method, like most photoshop effects, is less effective the more extreme the coloration. If you have an image that came out almost completely pink, for example, there’s no way you’re going to get that looking right.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and please leave any questions or comments here and I’ll be more than happy to answer them! Happy Photoshopping!

Google Spam!

As you’re probably well aware, Google has been overridden with spam for a while lately. It seems some guy from Moldova created a script on his ad-laden site that caused the server to generate billions of subdomains upon being visited by a google-bot. Since Google treats sub-domains as regular domains (something that shouldn’t change because of this, more on that below), the pages got indexed fully. Google is currently in the process of cleaning up the wreckage.

The problem doesn’t stem from subdomains, it stems from the spambots he initially deployed to leave messages on messagebaords and blog comments to create links to his site (making his sites seem that much more popular to the google-bots). Google has already admitted that Link Popularity is no longer a reliable way to gauge a site’s value, due to spam tactics like this, and will be valuing it less in future updates to the engine.

There must be a better way of determining a spamsite than by just looking for the existence of a subdomain. Many sites (including this one, but also biggies likewikipedia, slashdot, pretty much every major site on the web) use and rely upon subdomains to categorize content. So these site owners are faced with a challenge: change organization methods to maintain inclusion, or drop from the search engines (could you imagine wikipedia on page 50?).

Google-bot, listen to me! Bring this message back to your creators! For the love of sanity, don’t punish subdomains just for being subdomains! You’ve got some really smart people there, some of the smartest in the world…you can find another solution!

Cuisine Navi on Nintendo DS

Via Slashing Games:

Nintendo Japan is releasing (has released?) a new game (I guess it falls under edutainment?) that is essentially a digital cookbook. I need to get one of these, because the 3 steps I have to take from my kitchen to my computer are just too many.

Seriously though, Nintendo’s recent marketting toward the adult user really has me considering going back to them (okay, that and their way-below-competition pricing). For example, this program utilizes the DS’s built in voice recognition, enabling the would-be short order chef in us all to have absolute freedom in the kitchen. Long gone are the days of running back to the cookbook and flipping the page with our salmonella covered hands (or in my case, clicking my mouse with my salmonella covered hands). Step-by-step narration allows you to concentrate on your recipe while leaving the DS aside. I wonder if there are any celeberity voices. “I pity the foo that don’t bring the water to a rolling boil!”

Just about all this seems to be missing is a synch with online cookbooks. That would sell me completely.

Windows XP Tip: Change “Open/Save” Dialogue To Suit Your Workflow

This tutorial will show you how to configure your Windows common open/save dialogue so you can change the five default locations (Recent, Desktop, My Documents, My Computer, My Network Places). These are nice, generic locations, but really…how often do you really use the “Recent” folder?


If you’re like me, you have your projects in sub-folders located inside one main folder (for me, it’s G:\Projects\). Ideally, I’d like to be able to update the sidebar on the fly with my most recent working folders, but alas Windows doesn’t let you do that. Until it does, we can still get us one step and a few clicks closer to the folders we actuallyuse most.

Note: These instructions involve editing the system registry. If you are not comfortable with doing this, do not proceed. I take no responsibility for any harm you might cause while in there. Remember to always back up before making any system changes.

Configuring the Default Places Bar:

  1. Decide which 5 locations you want located there. For me, it will be Projects and my “pics” directory, replacing “Recent” and “My Network Places”
  2. Open RegEdit: Start->Run (or Win+R) and type “regedit” and press OK.
  3. In the tree on the left, navigate toHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies.
  4. Create a key “comdlg32”: Edit->New->Key
  5. Inside this new key, create another key titled “Placesbar”
  6. Inside Placesbar, you can create the new five items.
    1. Create string values or DWORD values (see substeps 2 and 3 below to decide which) naming them Place0, Place1, Place2, Place3, Place4
    2. Adding a common Windows place: Create a new DWORD Value (Edit->New->DWORD Value) and insert the desired DWORD from this complete list of Shell Constants, Enumerations, and Flags You want to use the hex values (they look like 0x000000, only enter the numbers after the x)
    3. Adding a specific folder or drive: Create a new stringNew->String Value) and enter the desired folder path (“G:\Projects” for a directory, or “G:\” for a drive)
  7. Done. Now you can go to any open/save dialogue to see your work. No restart necessary for this reghack.

While it’s possible to setup network drives this way, I wouldn’t recommend it if the pc is not constantly connected to the network, as it can cause painfully sluggish response time when opening the Open/Save dialogue when you aren’t connected.


If you decide you want your old default bars back (why??), simply go back into your registry and delete the comdlg32 key you created!

Why Do We Enjoy Photography?

Here’s a simple question that is applicable to all. Why do you love and enjoy photography? What thrill does it give you when you hold the camera and take pictures? Basically, when I ask this question to myself, I said that it will improve my skills, thus it could be my future profession. However, as the days and years go by, I realize that it’s not about taking pictures and earning from it, it’s about great passion to create stories.

pic1During the time when I still don’t have any idea about the benefits of photography, I really got curious about how the DSLR camera works. So when I bought my very own and first camera, I didn’t waste time, I immediately explored the features and settings of it. Fortunately, I was able to understand the basics such as how to adjust the exposure, aperture and ISO.  Fortunately, I became addicted to my camera. Whenever I have extra time, I make sure that I’ll go out, travel and capture beautiful scenarios. I love and enjoy photography because it gives me the opportunity to see natural emotions, wonderful creations and more.

Photography is not just about a camera and a subject, it’s about the story behind the people, environment and the place. Whenever I see my photographs of nature, such as sunrise/sunset, I still don’t believe it exists because for me, it’s part of my wildest imagination. Everything in photography is fabulous. I still feel the excitement and thrill whenever I go to new places and meet people. Today, I can say that my love for photography still grows since it gives me the chance to capture different scenes, events, and emotions.

I also love photography because it gives me the opportunity to mingle and bond with the people I’m working with. Seeing the smiles on their beautiful faces makes my heart melt and make me realize that life is indeed wonderful. These wonderful experiences I have as a photographer were life changing to the extent that I provide photo shoots to underprivileged people for free for them to have a portrait of their self/family. Also, it is also my way of giving back.

To sum it up, here’s why I enjoy and love photography:

  • It gives me the chance to capture special events
  • It enables me to meet new friends
  • I can enjoy working with my subject using my smartphone

I believe that there is a reason why I became a photographer. I never thought that my curiosity/hobby would eventually become my profession even if I am a graphic designer. That’s why I decided to create georgegumpert.com, for me to be able to share my thoughts and ideas about photography. Also, this site will give you more helpful tips in photography, graphic and web designing and photo editing.

So just sit back, relax and enjoy reading helpful blog articles here at georgegumpert.com!