Proof That Newborn Photoshop Actions Are Not Just For Editing Babies

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One question we get asked often is “Can I use Newborn Necessities Photoshop Actions on other images?”  The answer is “YES, it can be used on any images.”

The follow up question is often, “Why did you name it Newborn Necessities and market the actions for editing baby images?”  Great question. When we started working on the newborn actions in 2011, we wanted a product that would help the growing industry of newborn photographers. Editing baby images is tough.  Babies are so beautiful, but sometimes their skin-tones range from gray and drab to yellow and jaundice.  Often they have purple or red feet and hands.  At first, we aimed to smooth their skin and fix these issues. We ended up building the set around that foundation and added workflow and toning actions as well as finishing actions – we built a complete solution for retouching and dealing with hard to edit baby images.

 

Photo by: Blythe Harlan Photography

While we truly focused on newborns when we developed and started selling the Photoshop actions, we never really considered that they are a perfect solution for a light, airy, clean edit for all images.  Photographers who buy these rarely limit the use to just babies.  We’ve even considered changing the name or re-marketing it.  In the end, we’ve decided to just let people know that in can, in fact, be used on all kinds of photographs.  Here are a few examples. We hope you enjoy!

Newborn Photoshop Actions used on non-baby images:

Photo by Holly Stocks – she’s just been in business since mid last year.  Beautiful!

Photo by: Jane Atwell

Photo by Atina King Photography

The Next Two Photos by: Impromptu Photography

07 26 2013 Before and After MCP 1 600x800 Proof That Newborn Photoshop Actions Are Not Just For Editing Babies
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pin it4 Proof That Newborn Photoshop Actions Are Not Just For Editing Babies

Photo by Jessica Dyck

Photo by Nicole Baldwin

Photo by Lauren Tomten

Photo by Jackie Scarpari

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Batch Editing in Lightroom – Video Tutorial

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Batch editing is one of the best benefits of using Lightroom as a starting point for your photo edits. It’s quick and easy! And once you’ve done all that you can with your photos in Lightroom, you can even open them into Photoshop in a batch for any final edits you’re looking to make.


batch edit lightroom before after Batch Editing in Lightroom   Video Tutorial
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You have two options for batch editing in Lightroom.

  1. You can edit a group of photos at the same time
  2. You can edit one photo and retroactively apply the same changes to a group of images.

Note that any of the techniques I describe below work in both the Develop and the Library modules. We think of editing in terms of the features available in Develop, but in the Library module, you could apply keywords in batches, update metadata, or even make simple exposure and white balance adjustments.

 

How to Edit A Group of Photos All At Once

 

Start by selecting the photos that you’d like to edit. You can select contiguous photos by clicking on the first, holding down the shift key on your keyboard, and clicking on the last. To select photos that aren’t next to each other, hold down command or control while clicking on each photo you’d like to edit.

Once the photos are selected, look for the Sync or Auto-Sync button at the bottom right corner of either your Library or your Develop module. We want this button to say Auto-Sync. If it doesn’t, click on the light switch to toggle from Sync to Auto-Sync.

sync auto sync Batch Editing in Lightroom   Video Tutorial
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When this button says “Auto-Sync,” any change you make to one image will be applied to all selected images. The Auto-Sync method is for great changing exposure and white balance on images taken in the same lighting conditions.

Retroactively Applying Changes from A Previously Edited Photo

 

Personally, I generally use the Sync method, when I’m applying creative looks to a photo. That’s not to say that you can’t Auto-Sync instead, this is just what works best for my personal workflow. To use this method, I’ll play around with one image until I’m happy with the look. And then, with this photo still selected and active for editing, I’ll add to my selection using command/control or the shift key. By adding other images to the selection, the photo you have already edited is primarily selected, as seen below.  You can see from this image that the photo on the right is “more selected” or has a brighter highlight than the others.  This means that I will sync edits from that photo onto the others.

filmstrip Batch Editing in Lightroom   Video Tutorial
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I’ll make sure that Sync is displayed on the button, and then click it. Clicking it opens this window:

 

sync settings600 Batch Editing in Lightroom   Video Tutorial
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Using this window, you tell Lightroom which adjustments from your first photo should be applied to the photos you selected after editing. This method is particularly effective for photos that weren’t all taken in the same white balance or exposure conditions. I can tell Lightroom not to sync WB or exposure settings, but only to sync the tint I added through Split Toning along with Vibrance, Clarity and Sharpening.

Batch Edit with Presets

 

Everything previously mentioned above applies to presets as well. As an example, I’ll edit these 6 photos in one batch. Also, as mentioned above, I typed command/control A to select them.

filmstrip example Batch Editing in Lightroom   Video Tutorial
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And then I applied these presets:

Taking Photos into Photoshop in Batches

 

If you have photos that need extra work in Photoshop, select them together, as I described above. Right click on one of them and select Edit In, and then select your version of Photoshop. All of the selected photos will open for you to edit. Please note, however, that I don’t recommend doing this with more than 5 or 6 images at a time – it might take a long time with more images and tends to slow down the process.

Video Tutorial – Want To See This in Action?  Click the Video Below To See the Ins and Outs of Editing Photos in Batches Using Lightroom

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The 4 Best Tax Tips for On Location Photographers

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Being a self-employed photographer, filing income taxes can be stressful. Even more so if you are not prepared, or are just unaware of what Uncle Sam expects his cut to be, especially when you are traveling for your photography business. These four tips should help.

1. Track your mileage

Other than driving from your home to your business, you want to write down the miles you are putting on your car related to visiting clients, driving to an on location shoot, or other activities directly related to your business. At the end of the year, you can deduct 56 cents per mile, which is the 2014 standard mileage rate. The IRS recommends you keep a logbook in your car and write down the date, miles, and business reason for each trip. Also, write down what your odometer says at the beginning and end of the year. Keep in mind, that when you charge a client mileage, you are not excluded from claiming this deduction.

2. When traveling for your business, you can eat without keeping the receipt

Every professional gets paid per diem when they are out of town for business, but what about the self-employed photographer? Fortunately, you can deduct it. Better yet, you don’t need a receipt from every meal while you are out of town.  The IRS just requires you to “keep records to prove the time, place, and business purpose of your travel”. The deduction amount varies by location so look up the per diem rate of your destination at www.gsa.gov before recording it in your expenses. For example, if you travel to Los Angeles to shoot a wedding, your per diem is $12 for breakfast, $18 for lunch, $36 for dinner, and $5 for incidentals.

3. Don’t use your frequent flyer miles for business trips

If you plan to fly out to a workshop or a destination wedding, buy the tickets. When you have a receipt for traveling related to your business, you can deduct that expense in your taxes. If you were to use frequent flyer miles to get a free flight, you can’t deduct anything for it, since it didn’t cost you anything. Save your frequent flyer miles for vacations and other times you plan on traveling, which have no chance of being deducted for your business.

4. In general, keep receipts for business purchases over $75 (required by the IRS)

Even if you track your expenses in a software or spreadsheet, keep the receipts. The IRS suggests you keep receipts for four years after you file your income tax return. The easiest way to keep your expenses in order is to make a list of them for the year. Update the list with purchases as you make them, and then store the receipts in a file labeled “Throw Away in 4 years from…” whatever the date is.

Bonus: Get the Right Look from the IRS

Click here for a Guide filled with Tax Tips for Photographers

 

Nate Taylor is a small business consultant and the owner of PhotoAccounting, where he shares tax tips and tools with photographers.

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Quick Edits to Add Artistic Flare to Your Images

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Sometimes on the MCP Blog and on MCP Show and Tell we teach photographers how to fix an image or make drastic changes to a photo.  But one important use for Photoshop actions is to do quick edits and add artistic flare to an already strong image.

The “before” photo had light skin smoothing. All edits used just one action on top of the before using the MCP Inspire Actions for Photoshop and Elements.  Photo courtesy of Kruithof Photography.

Which is your favorite edit?

Before Inspire

TS9A1655 600x400 Quick Edits to Add Artistic Flare to Your Images

Inspire Beaming – Warm Toned Color Action

Inspire Countryside – Pastel Toned Action

Inspire Denim and Pearls – Classic Vintage Toned Action

Inspire Rainforest – Rich, Contrast Action

Inspire Sun-drenched – Warm Light Action

Inspire Sweet Dreams – Peach Toned Action

Inspire Chic – Matte B&W Photoshop Action

Inspire Vogue – High Impact/High Contrast B&W Action

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10 Secret Ingredients to Get Powerful Sunflare

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10 Secret Ingredients to Get Powerful Sunflare

When I started in my photographic journey more than a decade ago, I was warned “use a lens hood to avoid lens flare at all costs.”  Most photographers thought of flare and excess light as a bad thing for photos.  Some still do.

I love light.  I love the way light can bounce off an object, can stream through a window, and can even create a soft haze on an image.  I have chosen to purposely “use” light to craft starbursts and sunflare.  And yes, I even sometimes add extra sunflare in Photoshop or add streams of light in Lightroom. Cringe! icon smile 10 Secret Ingredients to Get Powerful Sunflare

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Here’s a few tips on how to get great bursts of sunlight on your own terms.

  1. Shoot the sun against a vibrant blue sky.
  2. Switch to Manual, if not already there.  You’ll get the best results this way.
  3. Set your speed. Aim for ISO 100, but closer to sunset (or after sunrise) you may need ISO 200-400+. If you want a “burst style” flare, set your aperture between f16-f22. If you want a hazier look with less definition, you  can open the lens wider though.
  4. Lastly set your shutter speed.  You will need to vary this setting quite a bit depending what you want to preserve (sky or subject).  I usually try to retain the blue sky and slightly under expose my subject. I then adjust the exposure in Lightroom or Photoshop.
  5. For more control over the light, use a reflector or a flash to light your subject if they are “in range” of your source.
  6. If you are shooting objects further away, such as a building, take two exposures. In one, expose for the sky. In the next expose for your subject.  Then merge in post processing.
  7. This technique works best when the sun is not directly overhead.  Look for times where the sun is lower in the sky.
  8. Edges work great. While you can get sunflare and the starburst effect in mid sky, you can get even more dynamic results when it gazes the edge of a building or object.
  9. A lens hood “can” be your friend. If you want a hazy look, take it off.  If you want a bolder starburst flare effect, keep it on to enhance the contrast.
  10. Results will vary depending on the type of lens you use.  I get completely different results using my Olympus OMD EM5 than I do with my Canon 5D MKIII.  When I use a prime lens versus a zoom, and depending on the aperture and focal length, the look changes too.  Experiment to find your favorite looks.

Have fun with this new technique.  I love the look and I often take a few images like these in different locations – just for entertainment… As with anything, you can have too much of a good thing.  Beware – this can be addicting!

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Now it’s your turn.  Add your sunflare images below!

 

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