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Articles by Michael Hoffman

About Michael Hoffman (224 Articles)
Mike has been a photographer, artist, educator, and technophile for most of his life. Early in his career, he created technical illustrations and photographs for electronic equipment manufacturers, and taught classes in computer aided drafting and 3D modeling software. When digital cameras became widely available in the late 1990s, the move was a natural one, and has led to a happy combination of technology, software, photography and art. Mike is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Acrobat, and is well versed in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, as well as Illustrator and InDesign. He has also contributed his time and efforts to the excellent work being done by Operation Photo Rescue, in restoring photographs damaged by natural disasters. As an active member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, he continues his quest for excellence in art, excellence in design, and excellence in education.

Live Shapes in Photoshop CC

September 24, 2013

Photoshop CC continues the progression started in version CS6, of offering ever more powerful and flexible vector shape capabilities. In addition to true fill and stroke, we have live shape properties adjustable on the fly. Learn how to take advantage of the new live shapes in Photoshop CC. [More]

3D Filmstrip Effect in Photoshop

September 17, 2013

Take advantage of the 3D capabilities of Photoshop to make a real film strip that you can twist, move and position in your composition with complete flexibility. [More]

Tonemap 32 bit Images in Lightroom

September 10, 2013

Lightroom has the capability to work with 32 bit images. This allows you to use all the familiar Lightroom Develop Module controls for adjusting and enhancing your high dynamic range (HDR) merged images. The results are natural and realistic, and it's a pleasure to work with the full range of adjustment controls and tools with which we're so familiar right within Lightroom. [More]

Photoshop Image Extraction with Channels

September 3, 2013

If you're creating image composites, and especially if you're working with stock images, you'll find yourself needing to extract image elements from a white background. This can be a straightforward task with Photoshop, and often you'll get better results with some of the old school techniques. For example, take this image from Shutterstock. Here we have a figure on a white background, and your first thought might be, "I can make short work of this with Quick Selection Tool." (Or the magic wand). [More]

Add Copyright Information in Photoshop – Automatically

August 27, 2013

It's always a good idea to copyright your work, and that includes embedding the appropriate information into your image metadata. Learn the three step process to create a template to add copyright metadata, to create an action to apply your template, and to use Photoshop's Script Events Manager to run your action every time you work on a file. It may sound scary, but it's a simple process, and you can "set it and forget it." I’ve written about this before a few years back, but this is a good reminder, I’ve brought it up to date with the latest version of Photoshop, and here is a video tutorial for those who prefer video learning. [More]

Data Driven Images in Photoshop

August 20, 2013

You may find yourself with a list of images to create, each one based on a template but with unique data and imagery. An example would be sports team cards, or trading cards, with images and text on each one. Photoshop can help to automate this process, and all it requires is a bit of planning and up front work - and a small text file. Learn to take advantage of data driven images in Photoshop and save yourself loads of time. [More]

Lightroom Catalog Cloud Backup

August 13, 2013

With all the cloud backup solutions available today, you have access to lots of free online storage. Be it Dropbox, SpiderOak, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Skydrive… you have access to many gigabytes of storage in the cloud. Why not use some of it to back up your Lightroom catalog? It's easy, and it's a good way to keep your backup. [More]

Fixing a Bad HDR Sky in Photoshop

August 6, 2013

HDR Tools are great for creating interesting images, but they can really destroy a sky. Here's a quick tip for rescuing an over baked sky and giving a more natural feel to your images. [More]

Image Based 3D Lights in Photoshop

July 23, 2013

Photoshop CS6 and later offers the traditional light sources for your 3D models: infinite lights, point lights, and spot lights, all fully customizable. However, there's another kind of light - an "image based light," or IBL - that has some special features. We can use any image as a light source, and in doing so, we can help our 3D model to more closely match the colors of its environment, adding an extra touch of realism. [More]

Lightroom’s Filename Template Editor

July 16, 2013

There are various places within Lightroom where you can rename files - during import, during export, and within the Library module. But, in each case, Lightroom offers a Filename Template with a powerful editor. Understanding the capabilities of the Filename templates is the key to unlocking tremendous flexibility in renaming your image files. [More]

Single Image Collage in Photoshop

July 9, 2013

Starting with a single image in Photoshop, we can create the illusion of a casually stacked collage of smaller snapshots. It's a great look for event and vacation images! [More]

Camera Raw Integration in Photoshop CC

July 2, 2013

Photoshop Camera Raw as a filter? That's right, and even more besides. The Adobe Camera Raw toolset is becoming more and more integrated into our workflow in Photoshop, giving us a common set of tools and a more efficient workflow. [More]

Overview of Topaz Clarity 1.0 for Photoshop and Lightroom

June 25, 2013

Topaz Labs has recently released the newest addition to their line of plug-ins for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture: Topaz Clarity 1.0. In today's video, I provide an overview of the Clarity plugin, and demonstrate why it has the potential to become one of my most-used tools. [More]

Lightroom History and Snapshots

June 18, 2013

History and Snapshots are two Lightroom tools that work well together. Learn how to take advantage of the History Panel, and how to avoid losing your history states and save them permanently with a snapshot. [More]
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