Each month, we will endeavour to post internet articles and videos relating to the most recent tutorials.

Information is being provided to assist you in developing your photography skills abilities.

September 2016 – Tutorials


For this webpage, we have included below some recent articles on the topic of tutorials and editing software.


Forget Retro Filters, This New Software Instantly Colorizes Old Photos – It is worthwhile checking out this website to test the application which is free.  You upload your black and white images and see the transition. – CHECK WEBSITE HERE

104 Photo Editing Tools You Should Know About – Hello, photographers. For the last two months, I’ve been doing market research for my project Photolemur and looking for different tools in the area of photo enhancement and photo editing. I spent a lot of time searching, and came up with a large organized list of 104 photo editing tools and apps that you should know about.

I believe all these services might be useful for some photographers, so I’ll share them here with you. And just to make it easier to find something specific, the list is numbered. Enjoy! – READ MORE

Post Processing With Intent By Rafael Rojas – It is very tempting to think that post-processing in photography is something disconnected from the rest of the photographic process, and particularly so from the capture of images in the field. The truth, however, is that post-processing should not be considered a separate step in photography, but rather as the continuation, or should we say culmination, of a whole photographic process which started the moment we had an idea in our mind that we wanted to capture in a photograph. – READ MORE

9 HDR Photography Myths – HDR (high dynamic range) is a subject that gets a lot of attention, both positive and negative, within the photography community. Because the topic can be so polarizing it seems like there are many myths or misunderstandings surrounding HDR photography. In this article we’ll take a look at nine common myths and why they are not true. – READ MORE



What To Expect From The Upcoming ON1 Photo Raw Editor – A feature I will like is local adjustments (exposure, clarity, sharpening, shadows, etc.) with an intelligent brush that finds automatically the edges, like in Camera Raw.” Great news! This is one we are working on right now and are pretty exited about. The new Local Adjustments tab will let you use the Brush, including the Perfect Brush, and the gradient masking bug to selectively apply local adjustments that can be edited inside of Develop and Effects with Photo RAW. – READ MORE


Lightroom Quick Tip – Make Photos Pop with Blue Primary Saturation – We’ve all been there. You get home from a shoot, offload your photos, grab a cup of coffee and start editing. You go through your normal workflow — a little exposure increase here, a little saturation bump there, +10 contrast and clarity, a little bit of sharpening and maybe even a slight vignette. Your photo looks great, but you feel like it’s lacking something and just seems a little “flat”. Wouldn’t it be great if there was one slider in Lightroom to make your photo pop? Blue Primary Saturation can do just the trick! Check out the effect that it has on the photo below, and then I’ll show you where to find it in Lightroom. – READ MORE

Use The Detial Tab In Lightroom Light A Pro – One of the last, and arguably most important stages of post production is sharpening and noise reduction. In Lightroom, Adobe has placed both of these tools in a tab called Detail in the Develop Module. It is found towards the bottom of the tools tab on the right side of the screen, perhaps to signify it should be one of the last stages of post-production.

Whilst not an overly complicated tool, it is important that care is taken when using the detail adjustments. Too much sharpening leads to ugly looking images whilst too much noise reduction can give us smeary, blurred looking shots. Today we’re going to look at the tools of the Detail tab and how to use them. – READ MORE

Step By Step How TO Make A Moody Desaturated Image In Lightroom – Often times we occupy our processing time with thoughts of what can be added to our images in order to make them more impactful; more sharpness, contrast, or color. But, this may not always the best route to take. The old expression “Less is more” can be applied to many aspects of photography, and it is especially true when it comes to dealing with colors. – READ MORE



Auto Shine Tutorial with Glow 2 – Topaz Glow 2 is a great way to create unique images with illumination and energetic sparks of light. You can create vibrant, beautiful images with easy to use pre-made effects or you can create your own. By using internal adjustments, ready-made effects, and settings, it’s simple to use Glow 2 to enhance images in a variety of ways! – READ MORE

Paint Your Pets with Impression 2 – Topaz Impression 2 is a fun way to create beautiful images that are artistic, soft, & romantic or loud, bold, & extreme. It turns photographs into works of art with various combinations of brush strokes, surface effects, and more. By using internal adjustments, presets, and settings, it’s simple to use Impression 2 to enhance your images.

Today we’ll cover how it can be used to enhance photographs of pets and animals. This tutorial will showcase effects that will compliment subject matter that has soft features such as fur and feathers but will also show how masking can enhance details such as eyes, teeth, and other sharp parts of your subject. – READ MORE

June 2016 – Photography Tutorials


For this month’s Photography Tutorial webpage, I have included the following recent articles and videosfor your review and information.


To Process Or Not To Process – Often when I’m looking at photos in forums online, or interacting with photographers in person, inevitably someone will proudly claim that the image in questions is “Straight out of the camera”. Almost without fail, this leads to a huge discussion as to the merits of post-processing images, with those on the side of straight-out-of-the-camera images acting as if those photographers who process their images are somehow in the wrong, or are being deceptive.

There are merits to both sides, to be sure, but what’s amazing is how staunchly both sides defend their positions. At times the discussion becomes more heated than “Mac versus PC” or “Canon versus Nikon”. Having been on both sides of the debate, due to the nature of the work I’ve done in the past, I can understand both sides. However, I can also say that both sides can be somewhat misguided in their arguments at times. – READ MORE

An Overview Of Google’s Nik Collection Filters For Post Processing – By now, if you have not downloaded Google’s Nik Collection, at the very least you have heard that this once $500 software, was made free for download in March 2016. The Nik Collection, as it has been known for over a decade, is a set of photographic filter plug-ins, and image enhancement tools, that delivers another look and feel to your photo.

The Nik Collection is comprised of Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Viveza. As you see, the suite is quite extensive, thus this overview will just touch on its potential uses, and hopefully encourage you to further explore the collection more in-depth. – READ MORE


Opacity And Blending Modes – A layer’s opacity determines the degree to which it obscures or reveals the layer beneath it. A layer with 1% opacity is nearly transparent, while a layer with 100% opacity is opaque. Transparent areas remain transparent regardless of the opacity setting.

You use layer blending modes to determine how a layer blends with the pixels in layers beneath it. Using blending modes, you can create various special effects.

A layer’s opacity and blending mode interact with the opacity and blending mode of painting tools. For example, a layer uses Dissolve mode at 50% opacity. You paint on this layer with the Paintbrush tool set to Normal mode at 100% opacity. The paint appears in Dissolve mode at 50% opacity. Similarly, if a layer uses Normal mode at 100% opacity, and you use the Eraser tool at 50% opacity, only 50% of the paint disappears from the layer as you erase. – READ MORE

LIGHTROOM (Photo Editing)

The 6 Most Important Things You Need To Know About Lightroom’s Develop Module – Lightroom is powerful, but it’s also complex and has a steep learning curve. If you feel overwhelmed by all the options, there’s great value in taking a simple approach and learning to use the tools that are most useful first. Leave the more advanced features until you have more experience.

With that in mind, I’ve put together this list of the six most important things you need to know about Lightroom’s Develop module. Learn these and you will be well on the way to Lightroom mastery. – READ MORE

4 Steps To Make Your Images Pop In Lightroom – In this article, I share with you the start of my post-processing workflow for pretty much all of the photos I take. I’m mostly using Lightroom for 90% of my post-processing and very rarely do I go into Photoshop for some extra stuff.

Before we begin I must confess that I’m no post-processing master, nor do I know Lightroom inside and out, and I definitely don’t know Photoshop inside and out. But, as I learned, and I hope you will too, it turns out you don’t have to be a master in order to be able to bring your Raw photos to life. It can be done by just about anyone with just a few simple steps as I’m going to show you. – READ MORE

How To Make Your Photos Shine Using Clarity, Sharpening, and Dehaze in Lightroom – The goal of any photographer is to make each and every photo stand out from the crowd. Making an image that pops is something that we all strive to achieve, but it’s not always easy to do. Luckily, there are tools at our disposal in Adobe Lightroom that can go a long way to help us achieve an image that we can be proud of, and that catches the attention of the viewer. What are these tools? They are many and varied, but there are three central processing techniques that can make your images transcend the average, and reach the potential you intended. They are Clarity, Sharpness, and Dehaze.

These three tools are deceptively simple and subtle. When used properly, the enhancements they will make to your photos will be nearly imperceivable. They can take your image from good to great, with just a few simple clicks of the mouse. In this tutorial, I will show you how each one of these processing tools affect your photos, and how they can be put to best use, so that your photographs really stand out from the rest. Let’s get started! – READ MORE

Total Beginner’s Guide To Lightroom – I had tried Lightroom in the past, but always preferred using Apple’s Aperture photo editing program. But in the spring of 2014, when it was announced that Apple was no longer supporting Aperture, I decided to make the leap to Lightroom. At first I found it difficult to use and not really intuitive, but I soon found my way around and I was a Lightroom convert.

If you are new to Lightroom and don’t know where to start, or have thought about using it but feel overwhelmed, then please know I feel your pain, and know where you’re coming from. I wrote this Beginner’s Guide to Lightroom to help you, and I wish I would have had something like this when I first got started. It’s designed to help you through a few basic steps from opening up Lightroom for the first time, making two basic edits, and exporting (saving) a final version of your picture. – READ MORE

ON1 PHOTO 10 (Photo Editing)

TOPAZ LABS (Photo Editing)

April 2016 – Photography Tutorials


For our April photography tutorials, I have included some recent articles and videos on Adobe Lightroom and Topaz Labs.


Digital Pho to Editing Workflow -This article summarizes the most important steps to incorporate into your digital photo editing workflow (aka “post-processing workflow”). It isn’t necessarily a procedure that you’ll want to implement with all of your photos, but whenever you want to get that “keeper” looking just right, these steps can make all the difference. – READ MORE

A Beginner’s Guide To Choosing The Right Post-Processing Software -When it comes to choosing your first piece of post-production software you may find yourself spinning in circles. There’s so much to choose from, and the whole idea of learning to do something new can be intimidating. This article will cover a number of the most well known software options available, and hopefully lead you towards the right decision for you. – READ MORE


How To Create 5 Different Looks Using Lightroom – Most often you may strive to capture photos which most closely reflect the scene the way it looks to your eye.

On the other hand, with having powerful editing software at your fingertips and an insatiable creative streak, sometimes you may find yourself experimenting with altering your images to create different “looks”. – READ MORE

How To Use Lightroom’s Graduated Filter To Improve Landscapes – Lightroom’s graduated filter is an extremely powerful tool when used with purpose. For landscape photographers there are several different things that you can accomplish with the graduated filter, and in this article we’ll look at four specific uses. – READ MORE

5 Quick And Simple Lightroom Edits To Make Your Images Pop – Since its original release, Adobe’s Lightroom has grown into perhaps one of the best tools a photographer can use. Initially designed as an image management tool with limited post production tools, it has blossomed into a product that can rival its older cousin, Photoshop in many aspects of image editing. It’s possible to spend hours on a single image using Lightroom’s extensive tools but the raison d’être of Lightroom is to speed up the photographer’s post production workflow. Today we are going to look at some very quick and easy edits that can dramatically improve the look of your photos. – READ MORE


Urban Landscape Photo Editing With Topaz – During a recent visit to San Antonio, Texas, my goal ahead of time was to obtain a rooftop, urban landscape shot of the city. At the heart of downtown, this image of the well-known Alamo and partial SA skyline achieved this goal and was the chosen one to use in this tutorial: – READ MORE


March 2016 – Tutorial Tips


For our March 2016 Tutorial Tips, I am including some tutorial which club members have enquired about. In addition, I have provided details on some most recent software upgrades.


Over the past week, two post-processing software applications were updated.  Details are as follows:

Aurora HDR Upgrade Is Now AvailableCHECK OUT THE DETAILS HERE

Topaz Labs’ Denoise Version 6CHECK OUT THE DETAILS HERE


How To Process Raw Images The Right Way In Photoshop Elements – Many photographers prefer to shoot in JPEG format so that they don’t have to spend time processing raw images to get better colours and tones within Photoshop Elements’ standard editor. Because JPEG photos are already processed in the camera, they instantly take on the colours produced by the camera’s picture style and white balance settings.

However, a lot of the colour and tonal information is thrown away when you shoot in JPEG, so you can end up adding noise or blocky compression artefacts to the shot if you do need to edit it later. – READ MORE

Top 3 Photoshop Elements Sky Fixes – And it’s a good thing Photoshop Elements gives us so many options for improving skies. Lackluster or even pure white skies are very common in photography. Cameras can’t expose properly for bright skies and darker foregrounds together. They can expose for one or the other, and it’s better to choose your subject over the sky when setting exposure.

We you have an image whose sky just doesn’t reflect the deep color that you remember, these are the methods you can use to improve it. – READ MORE


7 Lightroom Workflow Tips For Simple, Stunning Landscape Photography – Post processing allows photographers to put their final spin on an image, creating a landscape that’s just as breathtaking as the original scene. But, editing can quickly turn into a long and tedious process, instead of a nice break from that long hike you endured to capture the shot in the first place.

Lightroom is a great tool for landscape photographers, but there’s a few tricks to actually using the program to cut back on the time spent at the computer so you can spend more time behind the camera. Here are seven ways to improve your Lightroom workflow and still get that stunning end result. – READ MORE

5 Quick and Simple Lightroom Edits to make your Images Pop –Since its original release, Adobe’s Lightroom has grown into perhaps one of the best tools a photographer can use. Initially designed as an image management tool with limited post production tools, it has blossomed into a product that can rival its older cousin, Photoshop in many aspects of image editing. It’s possible to spend hours on a single image using Lightroom’s extensive tools but the raison d’être of Lightroom is to speed up the photographer’s post production workflow. Today we are going to look at some very quick and easy edits that can dramatically improve the look of your photos. – READ MORE

How To Use Lightroom’s Graduated Filter To Improve Landscapes – Lightroom’s graduated filter is an extremely powerful tool when used with purpose. For landscape photographers there are several different things that you can accomplish with the graduated filter, and in this article we’ll look at four specific uses. – READ MORE

Topaz Labs

Top 10 Features In Topaz Adjust For Bringing Out The Best In Any Photo – Topaz Adjust includes tools that work on color, curves, detail, noise and exposure manipulation. Local adjustments can be made with brushes that dodge, burn, smooth, and mask out. In the opposing left panel, photo effects organized by collections composed of pre-made settings, or presets, can be applied to your photo; ‘Exposure Correction’ ,’Detail Light’, ‘French Countrysid, ‘Spicify’ and ‘Light Pop Grunge’ are to name a few. At the end of the workflow, finishing touches can be added, such as a vignette, grain, or border.

With an array of offered components, here are ten features that you should know about in Topaz Adjust: – READ MORE

Review Of Topaz Clarity: Boost Colour And Contrast Without Artefacts – Keith Cooper has been looking at Clarity, the latest of the image processing plugins from Topaz Labs.

Whilst we use Photoshop for image editing at Northlight, the Topaz plugins work with a wide variety of image editing packages, including Paintshop pro and iPhoto. – READ MORE

Review: Topaz Labes Glow – For years Nik Software was an innovation leader in photo editing, but ever since they were bought out by Google not much has changed. In that time Topaz Labs has really stepped forward with a fantastic line of products featuring outstanding innovation their newest products like Impression and now Glow.

Like many Topaz products which offer unique effects not found by the other major products in the photo editing industry, Glow has some really cool things I haven’t seen before. In fact, I’d couldn’t replicate most of the filters manually in Photoshop as there seems to be some nice low-level image processing happening here. – READ MORE

Creating Fog with Topaz Labs Lens Effects – Earlier this week, Topaz Labs announced a free upgrade (for existing users) to its Lens Effects plugin. One of the more interesting and useful features it offers is a simulated Fog Effect (who doesn’t enjoy a nice holiday mist? 😉 ), using either Lightroom or Photoshop as your “launch point”. Here we’ll use Lightroom, showing how simple a process it can be to enhance your overcast shots with a bit of fog or mist, once you’ve made the appropriate raw edits. Note: in order to use Topaz Labs plugins with Lightroom, you first need to install an extra “widget” called “Fusion Express 2″ during the plugin installation process. – READ MORE

January 2016 – Tutorial


old shed - sheldon boles

For this month’s tutorial website, I have included a number of photography tutorials and general information to enhance your photography skills.


How To Establish Your Photographic Style -OK, you’ve bought all the right camera equipment. You have three camera bodies, 10 lenses, a stack of lighting gear, all the filters and attachments you can think of. You’ve read the manual and gained some experience in taking different types of shots, but you’re still not happy with your results. You’ve even copied other people’s styles but they’re just good photos and they look the same as everyone else’s. They don’t stand out and nobody would instantly recognize them as yours. In other words, you have no distinct photographic style. What is photographic style and how do you establish your photographic style?

Photographic style is not a destination, it’s the journey itself. You don’t suddenly develop style. It’s the result of your experiences, an extension of who you are and how you see the world. It’s what you evoke in people viewing your work that makes you unique. Photographic style is not copying someone else’s style, but it’s about making your photography an extension of yourself. In other words, don’t just copy the masters, try to be one! – READ MORE

The Focal Length vs Shutter Speed Rule – During a recent webinar I briefly touched on a rule of thumb that I’ve used for years. It connects the focal length of a lens and the shutter speed of the camera with the sharpness of a photo. It generated a few questions so let’s get some answers.

Camera shake is where the camera moves, motion blur is were the subject moves and they’re two very different things. In this post I’m focusing just on camera shake, in other words where you photograph a static subject such as a landscape or seated portrait with a handheld camera. Getting sharp shots of speeding cars is another skill all together. – READ MORE

A Helpful Checklist To Use Before Photographing Anything – If you are reading this you probably find photography exciting, maybe even so exciting that from time to time you forget changing your camera settings according to the subject you’re shooting. You have probably already missed at least one amazing shot, just because you forgot to change the ISO or shutter speed.

You are not alone. This happens to both amateurs and professionals, however there are a few simple tricks to avoid ever missing that shot again due to unpreparedness. In this article I’m going to share with you the simple steps I follow before going out to photograph, the steps I have learned the hard way. A helpful checklist to use before photographing anything. – READ MORE


Photography Composition Essentials: Depth Or Perspective – If your photograph engages a viewer for more than five seconds, it means it has something for the viewer to look into. If we brush aside the story part and strictly look into the aesthetic aspects of a photograph, what composition rule or principle is actually responsible for all that viewer’s attention? It’s depth—or perspective—in a photograph.

As we all know, a photograph is a two dimensional plane and normally it doesn’t fully recreate the actual emotions of what we saw at that time (and it never will). That’s why we should enjoy the process of taking photographs whether we get a shot or not). If anything can help a viewer to feel a little bit of reality in a photograph, it’s depth. It’s the third dimension of a photograph and one of the key composition rules in photography. – READ MORE

Diagonal Leading Lines In Photography Composition – Of all the lines used in photography, diagonals are the most dynamic. You can use them to create a strong impression of movement or you can use them to create a tremendous sense of depth. All images are created with lines—some vertical, horizontal and others converging—but knowing how to place them affects the mood and composition of the final image.

A sense of order is created with vertical and horizontal lines, implying stability and strength. Diagonals are unbalanced and appear to be unstable. What they communicate is dynamic, yet precarious. They always appear to be falling over or not quite secure. This is what lends itself to a dramatic image.READ MORE

10 Common Composition Mistakes In Photography – Sometimes a central subject works, but normally it’s better to shoot it positioned to one side, as explained in the rule of thirds. Most cameras are capable of showing a grid in the viewfinder that can help us split the scene into thirds—horizontally and vertically. The main subject should ideally be positioned where the lines cross each other or in a full third, with the rest of the elements aligned with the grid lines. – READ MORE


Tips for Creating Landscape Photos during the Golden Hour – The golden hour. Even if you haven’t been involved in photography for very long, you undoubtedly have heard the term thrown around. As photographers we are in the business of capturing light, and there is no better light to have cast on our subjects, than sun light that is low on the horizon.

The golden hour is defined as periods of time; specifically, the hour after sunrise, and the hour before sunset. The length and time of these occurrences depends on your location on our planet, and time of the year. – READ MORE

5 Tips to Take Your Landscape Photography from Good to Great – Landscape photography is one of the most favoured genres of photography. It also happens to be the one genre that is not easy to master. The reason is simple, to become really good at landscape photography, you need to spend hours trying to master it. Most photographers are not able to dedicate that amount of time, so it becomes frustrating. Many photographers end up being disappointed with their images, but there are few things that you can do to make sure you get better results, in a short space of time. – READ MORE

13 Tips To Perfect Your Landscape Photography -In my opinion, landscape photography actually only requires you to be at the right place at the right time. One of the keys to success for landscape photography is patience, and that’s it! Just click and there you go!

Having said that, there are some small details which are often forgotten. Let me discuss those small details; you can read them while sipping your coffee: – READ MORE


6 Reasons To Try Long Exposure Photography – The purchase of a nine stop neutral density filter two years ago changed my approach to landscape photography. It allowed me to take photos using shutter speeds of one minute or longer and gave me a new way of photographing the sea (I live on the coast at the bottom of New Zealand’s North Island).

Long exposure photography is very enjoyable and rewarding, and if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? – READ MORE

Simple Trick for Long Exposure Photography Without Using a Filter -Who doesn’t love the look of long exposure photography? The peaceful, serene waters underneath a clear blue sky of clouds makes a landscape scene look almost surreal. To create long exposure photography, especially in the daytime, you usually need some sort of filter. Otherwise, your images will be overexposed because it’s too bright. – READ MORE


How To Photograph Wildlife – To get good shots of animals and birds, you will have to learn to be quick in setting up and framing your shots. Waiting until you get out in the wilderness to learn these tricks is not a good idea. What I found to be very helpful was practicing on my cats and on birds in my yard or local parks. You learn to anticipate their behavior and react fast to get the good shots. Here are some tips on how to get the best shots of animals and birds in the wild (or at your local zoo).

Practice taking shots of moving targets. Learning how to pan moving targets will allow you to take dramatic photographs with a sense of speed. – READ MORE

January 2016 – Software Applications & Updates

yellow flower by Sheldon Boles

For this month, I have included some recent photo editing software update notices and tips on how to use various editing software applications used by our club members.


Macphun Released A Major Update V1.2 To Their Aurora HDR Pro Software – Macphun released a major update v1.2 to their Aurora HDR Pro software. The new version brings support for Photos for Mac extensions, better RAW file handling for a variety of cameras and improved performance when used as a plug-in to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. – READ MORE


The Three Rules Of Noise Reduction – One of the main problems of any HDR workflow that involves tone-mapping is noise. The most widely used tone-mapping operators are based on local contrast enhancement. Unfortunately, they also “enhance” the noise in your images. Thus, noise reduction (NR) is imperative. But what is the best way of doing this, and at which point of your workflow should you apply NR? In this recipe, I will show you the best way of reducing noise. I will present three simple rules that help you optimize your own workflow, and I will show you the results of a series of experiments in order to prove my point. – READ MORE

ADOBE ELEMENTS (Mac & Windows)

Brighten Eyes In Photoshop Elements – First, you need to open your file and to do this you go to File>Open, find the image you want to work on and either double click on it or click the Open button.

As we want to work on the eyes and not the whole face zooming in will make editing the image a little easier and there are several ways to do this: One, click the Magnifying tool and then click on the image to zoom in, two, press Z (On a PC) on the keyboard to select the Magnifying tool and then click on the image, three, go to the View menu and click zoom in or four, press the Control key with the +/= key. Whichever method you prefer, zooming in to about 100% will be enough to see the areas you want to edit. – READ MORE

4 Photoshop Elements Tricks To Make An Average Landscape Stunning – Your digital camera can produce landscape shots with wonderful colours and contrast. But even if you get all your camera settings spot-on, you’ll sometimes find that images lack punch, especially if the contrast is strong and the camera overexposes shadows or underexposes highlights as a result.

Take our landscape image for example: it looks flat and dull, and certainly doesn’t do the dramatic subject justice. – READ MORE

Elements: Resizing Images – The image size (or pixel dimensions) of an image is a measure of the number of pixels along an image’s width and height. For example, your digital camera may take a photo that is 1500 pixels wide and 1000 pixels high. These two measurements indicate the amount of image data in a photo and determine the file size.

Resolution is the amount of image data in a given space. It is measured in pixels per inch (ppi). The more pixels per inch, the greater the resolution. Generally, the higher the resolution of your image, the better the printed image quality. Resolution determines the fineness of detail you can see in an image.

Although a digital image contains a specific amount of image data, it doesn’t have a specific physical output size or resolution. As you change the resolution of an image, its physical dimensions change, and as you change the width or height of an image, its resolution changes. – READ MORE


5 Lightroom Develop Module Secrets Revealed – When you’re new to Lightroom, some features of the program aren’t immediately apparent, or easily discoverable. In this article I’ll introduce you to five Lightroom Develop module secrets that will help you get more out of photo editing in Lightroom. – READ MORE

Four Ways To Improve Your Photos With Clarity Slider In Lightroom – The Clarity slider is one of the most useful in Lightroom when it comes to giving your images extra punch and impact. Today I’m going to show you several ways you can use it to improve your photos. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what the Clarity slider does, and how it differs from its cousin the Contrast slider. – READ MORE

How To Isolate Your Subject In Lightroom – One of my favourite portrait techniques is to isolate the model by using a short telephoto lens and a wide aperture. The idea is to throw the background out of focus and keep the subject sharp, so there is a clear distinction between the two. This creates beautiful bokeh and the illusion of depth. – READ MORE

How To Easily Improve Your Skies In Adobe Lightroom – It’s a fact that even the most beautifully composed image will fall apart if it includes a dull, lifeless sky. A great sky, on the other hand, can boost the impact of an image immensely. The problem is that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature and she is not always forthcoming about giving us the sky we need. Of course this being the digital age, there are things that we can do about it and today we are going to look at some ways to improve your skies using Lightroom. – READ MORE

This Is How To Achieve A Blue Sky Using HSL And Filters In Lightroom – In the days of analogue photography, it was a necessity to use a filter in order to achieve a quality deep-blue sky. The filter types varied depending on the lens and the type of film, but a graduated neutral density filter was usually the filter of choice.

Nowadays, with digital photography, you have three choices: Use a neutral density filter, a circular polarizing filter, or using Lightroom to edit the sky to a deeper blue. – READ MORE

On1 Photo 10 (Mac & Windows)

In-Depth Review On On1 Photo 10 Software – Last April, Contrastly took an in-depth look at OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.5. You can find that review here. The software scored high and was packed with features geared toward photographers of all skill levels.
Six months later, OnOne is back with an updated offering of their already very capable Perfect Photo Suite 9.5. The update brings some heavy hitting improvements that deserve some attention. You spoke up about what you liked and didn’t like about the 9.5 build and the developers at OnOne were listening. In this review, we’ll take a close look at version 10 and show you some key features you might or might not like in this latest offering from On1. – READ MORE

Macphun Software (Mac Computers Only)

Intensify Pro – Intensify Pro is a photo editing app and plugin for the Mac. It can be used stand alone or as a plugin to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture or Photoshop Elements. A free trail is available from the Macphun.com website.

Intensify is great for boosting detail, structure and colour in your photographs. It can take a dull looking image and really make it pop. It’s something I’m very happy to have in my toolkit and I’m already working it into my regular workflow. – READ MORE & VIEW VIDEOS

Tonality – Welcome to Tonality! Tonality is the most advanced and feature rich black & white image editor on Mac OS. With a fantastic and wholly complete set of darkroom-inspired features, Tonality allows you to easily create amazing fine art monochrome photos.

Tonality is sold in two versions: one is available from the Mac App Store and works as a standalone app only. The other, Tonality CK, is a key part of Macphun’s Creative Kit and works as a standalone app for Mac OS, runs as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom as well as Apple Aperture, and also operates as an editing extension within Photos for Mac. There are also a number of additional capabilities only available in Tonality CK which are discussed elsewhere. – READ MORE

December 2015 – Tutorial Tips


For this month’s Tutorial Tips webpage, we have included the following articles and videos on various photo editing applications our club members are using:


Macphun Aurora HDR Pro Software – First Impressions – HDR originally started as an attempt to correct the limited dynamic range for standard camera sensors, compared to what the human eye can see or perceive. This is not a new concept, but in case you’ve never heard of it, allow me to explain.

Back in the day, camera sensors had an average dynamic range of about 5–7 stops, where our eyes can easily adapt and recognize ranges from 11 to 14 stops. Nowadays, sensors of modern cameras are much more capable in terms of dynamic range, but they still, depending on the situation, can’t capture the whole range. – READ MORE

Aurora HDR Professional Review – High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is like Taylor Swift’s music; a lot of people claim to hate it, but truth be told everyone likes it. Some people, like Trey Ratcliff, fully embrace the dreamy glow and punched-up shadows of HDR while others openly bash the technique but dabble in it secretly.

There’s no question that the process of creating HDR images has been abused, we’ve all seen the Velvet Elvis images. Hyper-saturated colors, noisy shadows and smudgy haloes have festooned many shots, but beyond the horrors of over-cooked HDR lie masterful works with rich details and compelling tones. Ratcliff and the engineers at Macphun Software have been working to bring photographers a new HDR processing tool that promises to make high-quality HDR processing easy. – READ MORE

Photoshop Elements (Just over $100 at London Drugs)

Photoshop Lightroom ($199 at London Drugs or can be obtained on the Adobe Cloud for $9.99 (US Funds) per month.

Using The Develop Module In your Lightroom 5 Photography Workflow – More and more photographers are turning to Adobe Lightroom 5 as their choice post-processing software. While Adobe Photoshop CS6 equips all manner of visual artists with tools for their various crafts, Lightroom is a streamlined processing software tailored to photographers who need advanced image editing and management capabilities without unnecessary clutter. – READ MORE

How To Save Images Using Export In Lightroom – Reader feedback tells me that some people are confused by Lightroom’s Export process. I think the confusion is caused by not completely understanding how Lightroom works, especially when processing Raw files. So let’s start by recapping the process that a single Raw file goes through when you import it into Lightroom. – READ MORE

How To Use The Graduated Filters In Lightroom – Lightroom’s graduated filter is an extremely powerful tool when used with purpose. For landscape photographers there are several different things that you can accomplish with the graduated filter, and in this article we’ll look at four specific uses. – READ MORE

Topaz Labs (14 modules & over $499 (US Funds)

Macphun ($109 to $199 (Canadian Funds) Only available on Apple computers)

 On1 Photo ($109 US Funds)

On1 Photo 10 review: From suite to sweet: photo editing app does it all – For about a decade, On1’s photo editing tools have been marketed and used primarily as plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, or Adobe Photoshop. Each tool was an independent, one-trick pony and appropriately named: Perfect Black and White, for example, or Perfect Portrait. A couple of versions back, On1 began rolling these mini-apps into a Perfect Photo Suite that allowed users to access all the tools from a central dashboard independent of Lightroom or Aperture. The latest version—renamed On1 Photo 10—takes this plan to the next level. Photo 10 is no longer a suite in name or design: It’s now a pretty well integrated app. – READ MORE

Affinity Photo ($45.00 US Funds)

Affinity Photo Receives Its First Major Update – Serif released a new update today to its photo editing software Affinity Photo. It is the first major update, and it includes quite a few exciting features. To celebrate these welcome changes, Serif also announce a discount on the Mac App Store.
A couple of months ago we shared with you the release of Affinity Photo, a competitor to Adobe Photoshop for Mac OS. Since then, the software has convinced some photographers to make the switch, or at least, the number of 5-star ratings they received from the Mac App Store let me believe so. As if it wasn’t enough, Apple even made Affinity Photo app of the year 2015. – READ MORE

November 2015 – Tutorials

Langley Car Show

For this month’s photography tutorials webpage, we have focused on providing tutorials on the Photoshop Elements application which many club members are using.

These tutorials are only an introducing.  You can easily search on internet for Photoshop Element to discover both step-by-step tutorials and videos.  I have included some of the material below for your reading pleasure.

Photoshop Elements 11/12/13/14

What Is The Difference Between Adobe PSE 13 vs Versions 12 & 11? – It’s that time of year. Early each fall, Adobe launches a new version of Photoshop Elements, and this year is no exception… Last week the company introduced Photoshop Elements 13 (with brand new free trials to download), and one of the common upgrade questions we see is what’s new, what’s different, and what’s improved in version 13 compared to the previous Elements 12? Or more essentially, what are the key new features in PSE 13, versus PSE 12 or 11?

The bottom line is you probably want to know what’s changed since the last release (or two) – but how about a version-by-version, feature-by-feature table? You’ll find this down below (or take a shortcut here), but first let’s take a quick look at some of the major additions. – READ MORE

Photomerge (HDR) With Photoshop Elements – Taking multiple images at different exposures gives us the oportunity to merge them together to make a single image where we can see in the shadows as well as the highlights. You may think this is just for third party software of Photoshop, but its available in Photoshop Elements too!

In this tutorial I’ve used three exposures at +1, 0 and -1 stop. – READ MORE

How To Use RAW Photos With Adobe Photoshop Elements – Once you go with RAW files, it seems like you never go back. I’ve said before that RAW photography isn’t for everyone. Even so, I feel that there comes a time in every photographer’s life when making the switch to RAW just makes sense. For me, it came just after my purchase of a high powered computer with a nice 500GB hard drive. Now that I can store all those digital negatives, I want nothing more than to take all of my pictures in RAW. Here’s how you can get on the RAW bandwagon with Adobe Photoshop Elements. – READ MORE

Adding Contrast And Drama To Cloudy Skies In Photoshop Elements -Sometimes we don’t get to shoot in perfect weather. Especially when you’re traveling—you don’t get to pick the day, time, or weather forecast. It has happened to me a hundred times. I get somewhere cool and I’ve got gray skies. Well, there’s a sweet little adjustment in Elements that can take those gray skies and make them look pretty darn cool and dramatic. And more often than not, when you apply this and show it to people, they’ll comment on how good the sky looks. – READ MORE

October 2015 – Photo Tutorials


For this month’s Photo Tutorial webpage, we selected the theme of a photo editing application called Lightroom.  On Wednesday (October 28, 2015), Dennis Ducklow provided us a very informative presentation on the new features in Lightroom 6.

Beyond the features demonstrated by Dennis, the earlier versions of Lightroom share many functional features.  Therefore, I have provided some articles and videos on Lightroom for your information.

In the forthcoming months, we will select another photo edition application for a theme.

LIGHTROOM – Versons: 3.5,  4,  5, & 6

A Brief Introduction To Lightroom – Lightroom’s Book module lets you create photo books to publish using Blurb’s print on demand printing service. – READ MORE

Since the first version was released over eight years ago, Lightroom has become the go-to software for many photographers, both hobbyist and professional. But if you’re new to Lightroom you may be wondering exactly what it does, what you would use it for, and how it differs from other well known programs like Photoshop.

Next Steps To Getting Started In The Lightroom Develop Module – A previous article showed you how to get started in Lightroom’s Develop module by using the Camera Calibration, Lens Corrections and the Basic panels.

In this article you’ll learn how to use the remaining right-hand panels in the Lightroom Develop module:

Tone Curve panel
HSL / Color / B&W panel
Split Toning panel
Detail panel
Effects panel

This guide is aimed at photographers who are new to Lightroom, so it doesn’t cover every aspect – just the important things you need to know if you’re just getting started with it.READ MORE

How Understanding Clarity And Vibrance In Lightroom Can Improve Your Images – Adobe Lightroom offers two excellent tools for increasing the apparent contrast and saturation of an image without resorting to taking everything to the max. These are the Clarity and Vibrance sliders found at the bottom of the Basic tab in the Develop module under Presence. Lets take a look at what they can do for your images. – READ MORE

How To Improve Any Photo In 8 Or Less Steps In Lightroom – When perusing photography articles and tutorials across the Web it’s not uncommon to encounter various takes on “getting it right in camera.” From exposure to white balance to composition, the idea is to get as many things as possible right in camera, thereby reducing your reliance on software after the fact. While getting right in camera can certainly save you some time, it simply isn’t always possible for your photos to be perfect straight out of camera. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to spend hours on end working on an individual image. – READ MORE

How To Use The Local Adjustments Tools Inside Lightroom – Whenever you take a photo, no matter what the subject, it would be extremely unusual if it couldn’t be improved in some way by making local adjustments in Lightroom.

Local adjustments affect part of the image. Whenever you carry out any processing action in Lightroom you are either making a local adjustment (only affects part of the image) or a global adjustment (affects the entire image). – READ MORE

How To Enhance Eyes In Lightroom – If eyes are the windows to the soul, you want those windows to be as bright and open as possible. In Adobe Lightroom, there’s a quick and easy way to enhance a subject’s eyes using just the brush tool and a bit of tinkering with saturation, brightness, and clarity. – READ MORE & VIEW VIDEO

How To Process A Landscape Photo In Lightroom –

Lightroom 5 – Exporting Images – Getting StartedCHECK OUT THIS VIDEO HERE


I have included here some free Lightroom 5 training videos developed and made available by Anthony Morganti. There are 58 videos in total – CHECK OUT A FULL LISTIN OF HIS LIGHTROOM VIDEOS HERE

The following are three specific videos presenting and discussing certain features within Lightroom.

September 2015 – Tutorials


For this month’s Tutorial webpage, I have selected articles and videos on some of the more popular photo editing applications used by new and intermediate photographers.  The more skilled and experienced photographers are using Photoshop CS6.  This application has a steep learning curve.  Consequently, the beginner and intermediate photographers seek a photo editing application which is easy to learn and has some impression features/options.

The decision on what application you purchase and use hinges on the easy of use and complexity of editing you wish to achieve.

If you are having difficulty in deciding on what application to use, I would encourage you to ask other photo club members for their recommendations.

Regardless on what application you use, it is important to become proficient with all it features.  Only then can you realize the true potential of the application and develop your editing skills.  Internet contains many free articles and videos on most of the applications described below.

AFFINITY PHOTO– Only Operations on Apple Operating Systems

This is a new photo editing application and contains some interesting features.  You can check out more details about this application here.

Serif’s Image Editing Application “Affinity Photo” Launches For Mac Computers -Professional image editing app Affinity Photo, created by the same team that’s behind the award-winning Affinity Designer app, is today launching in the Mac App Store. Affinity Photo is designed to allow photographers to enhance, edit, and retouch images and is the culmination of five years of work. – READ MORE AND VIEW VIDEOS

Hands-On: Affinity Photo Is The Photoshop Alternative You’ve Been Waiting For -The most affordable package option for the latest versions of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop costs $110 a year. If you are a photographer, you know that every cent you can reinvest back into your hobby or business is well worth it. With that being said, there may be an option on the market that is not only a better value compared to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, but also blows it out of the water in terms of performance – that piece of software is Affinity Photo for Mac. – READ MORE

Affinity Photo Review: It’s Amazing How Powerful This Program Is -We’ve been talking about it for months and today we’re happy to finally have our review of the Adobe Photoshop Competitor, Serif Affinity Photo. Through the whole process of their development of the platform, we’ve been really impressed by the Affinity developer’s desire to “get it right.” At every turn, it appears that they are really listening to customers and making changes to the platform. – READ MORE

ELEMENTS – Versions:11, 12 &13

This product is available at London Drugs Computer Department and the price is around the $100 mark.  It has several levels of editing your images.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 Review – Photoshop Elements is the basic alternative to Photoshop Creative Cloud (or CS) – but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a lot of power.

It’s now in its thirteenth iteration, and new features include an easier way to merge photos together, a new crop suggestion tool, extra effects and a way to create a combined Facebook profile and cover photo. More good news is that it’s now fully compatible with High DPI Windows monitors and has Retina support for Mac. – READ MORE

Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 Review – Photoshop Elements is a great choice for personal photo editing: for a reasonable price, it will handle everything from one-click fixes to advanced multilayer edits. It’s grown so powerful, in fact, that Adobe seems to be struggling to come up with further improvements. – READ MORE

LIGHTROOM – Versions: 5 & 6

Photoshop Vs Lightroom – When you’re ready to take your photo editing seriously, you’re faced with the question that every photographer eventually must answer: Photoshop vs Lightroom?
I’ve answered this question hundreds of times before with those who take my online Photoshop and Lightroom classes for beginners, so I’ll do my very best to explain it in a way that will be crystal clear. – READ MORE

5 Practical Lightroom Tips For Newbies – One of Lightroom’s most important assets is also its Achilles Heel. It is such a powerful program that many of its useful features can take a long time to discover, and are often hidden beneath a blanket of keyboard shortcuts and obscure menus. – READ MORE

How Understanding Clarity And Vibrance In Lightroom – Adobe Lightroom offers two excellent tools for increasing the apparent contrast and saturation of an image without resorting to taking everything to the max. These are the Clarity and Vibrance sliders found at the bottom of the Basic tab in the Develop module under Presence. Lets take a look at what they can do for your images. – READ MORE

The Ultimate List Of Keyboard Shortcuts For Lightroom – Photographers look to maximize the amount of time they spend behind the camera and minimize the amount of time spent in post-processing. But time spent post-processing is a fact of life; no point in fretting over it. Since it’s something that has to be done, why not aim to make your workflow as efficient as possible? This is where keyboard shortcuts can be of tremendous help. – READ MORE

ON1 PHOTO EDITING – Versions: 9.5 & forthoming 10 in October 2015

This application has evolved over the past several years and continues to be expanded.  It would appear that they have a goal of being an alternative to Photoshop.

At present, the application can operate as a standalone system or as a plugin with many of the Photoshop applications.  If you wish more details about this application and the forthcoming release of version 10, check out their website here.

OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 Review – Perfect Photo Suite is a collection of seven different photo editing apps which can be used as standalone programs, or as plug-ins accessed from within Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. The full, Premium version with plug-in compatibility has an RRP of $149.95 (£100), whilst an upgrade edition costs $99.95 (£67). Alternatively, the Basic edition works only as a standalone application and can be had for $79.99 (£53), or $49.95 (£33) if you’re upgrading from an older version of Perfect Photo Suite. – READ MORE

Processing Black And White Photos With OnOne Perfect B&W – Black and white photography is classy and powerful. When properly done, it can be enticing and dramatic. In fact, a great portion of fine art photography hanging in galleries is monochromatic. In the age of film, all it took was to load black and white film into your camera, but nowadays most digital camera sensors are recording images in color and with that, if you want to explore the black and white world, you’ll have to convert your images in the post-processing stage. – READ MORE


The Topaz suite of photo editing plugins can be accessed within many Photoshop applications such as: Photoshop CS6, Elements and Lightroom. However, they can operate as a stand application. To learn more about this product check out their website here.

Topaz Labs Review by James Brandon Photography – Topaz Labs is a company that distills the latest in imaging technology through the use of a wide variety of software programs and plug-ins. In layman’s terms, it’s a collection of Photoshop filters that really make your photos pop with detail and quality. They have a wide variety of options available (including options for videographers), but I strongly suggest purchasing the “Photoshop Bundle” because of it’s value and ease of use. The Photoshop bundle includes the three sets of filters that I use in probably 80% of my images: Topaz Adjust, Topaz ReMask and Topaz DeNoise. – READ MORE

Review Of Topaz Lab’s Clarity Plugin – Keith Cooper has been looking at Clarity, the latest of the image processing plugins from Topaz Labs.

Whilst we use Photoshop for image editing at Northlight, the Topaz plugins work with a wide variety of image editing packages, including Paintshop pro and iPhoto.

The range of functionality offered is so broad that the reviews are split up over several articles (we hope to cover all of them before long). – READ MORE