Ben Long has been producing the weekly Practicing Photographer video series on Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) for five years. To celebrate, LinkedIn is making the series available free to all viewers through May 28:
In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each one concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.
The series includes more 450 videos, with most of them well under 10 minutes in length. (You’ll need a full day—and then some—if you want to watch them all.) There is a list of topics on the Practicing Photographer home page.
For a number of years (2008 through 2013), I was the editor and publisher of Photoshop Elements Techniques, a magazine for Elements users (also known as PET). Sadly, the publication—and associated website—shut down in 2016, and I’ve been working on a way to make the back issues of the magazine (and videos) available online. I’m happy to announce that all the back issues (and associated example files) are now available as PDFs here on the CDP website, along with a searchable index.
The back issues page includes all 85 issues arranged in reverse chronological order, with the issue’s list of articles underneath it. You can easily download that issue and extras from the links underneath the cover. If you want to search for specific articles, the index page can be helpful (and you can save the index as a PDF).
If you wish to download all or most of the issues, please see the Magazine Downloads page, where you can get the issues in larger chunks, saving some wear and tear on our server.
For questions related to PET, see the FAQ page. Please remember that the articles and issues are copyrighted to CDP Press and the respective authors; please don’t post or redistribute these issues without talking to us first.
At this time, we have no plans to do anything more with PET, other than make some of the more popular videos available, but we wanted to make the tutorials available free of charge. If you would like to stay on top of any PET-specific changes, you can sign up for our low-volume, no-stress email list by clicking on this link, and making sure you click on the PET Subscribers check box.
Once we have the videos up, we’ll post an announcement on the primary PET Back Issues page.
Following up on the recent Lightroom announcements, Adobe’s Josh Haftel has posted a step-by-step video for making your own creative profiles for use with Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw. It is well worth watching, if you’re a bit technically inclined; even if you don’t think you’re going to make your own, it’s a fascinating look at what these profiles do.
And, if you’re a Lightroom user, the Lightroom team’s YouTube channel is an excellent source of videos on Lightroom topics. We’re big fans of Benjamin Warde’s Lightroom Coffee Break videos (playlist), which are short—most are 60 seconds or less—little tips for getting the most out of Lightroom. Warde is great at shedding light into a few of Lightroom’s hidden corners, like the recent one below, which shows how to selectively use Lightroom’s Auto setting in the Develop module.
This week, The New Yorker has an absolutely delightful photo essay, “Where the Amish Go on Vacation,” with photos by Dina Litovsky (and text by Alice Gregory) that capture a “place of brief leisure for people who consider work to be sacred”:
“Each winter, for close to a century now, hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families have travelled from their homes in icy quarters of the U.S. and Canada to Pinecraft, a small, sunny neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida. Arriving on chartered buses specializing in the transportation of ‘Plain people’ from areas such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Holmes County, Ohio, they rent modest bungalows and stay for weeks, or sometimes months, at a time. It’s vacation. For many, it’s the one time of the year that they spend with people from communities other than their own.”
Litovsky doesn’t gawk at or exploit her subjects; instead, she tells this story with respect and care, capturing her subjects as they are in this world. (My favorite photos are the shots of the volleyball game at night, but the entire piece is wonderful.)
The photographer, originally from the Ukraine, is now a resident of the U.S., and has a great eye for people in their environment. Her work has been in National Geographic, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and more. Her website is well worth perusing, especially if you are interested in telling stories through photography.
Adobe released simultaneous updates this week for Lightroom CC (desktop and mobile) and Lightroom Classic, with a number of new features and enhancements. The biggest feature is an expanded set of profiles for rendering raw files with camera-specific styles and artistic effects.
At their simplest, profiles are the initial transformation of tone and color characteristics to a raw image (before editing), and Adobe historically has applied a default profile (Adobe Standard) to every raw image processed in Lightroom. If people knew about profiles—which was rare—it was most often to apply a camera-specific profile to a photo inside Lightroom. These additional profiles would correspond to the image settings you would find in your camera; my Sony A7RII, for example, has built-in profiles, with names like Deep, Clear, Portrait, Landscape, and I could apply those profiles either in-camera or in Lightroom Classic. Adobe would add those profiles to Lightroom as part of regular Camera Raw updates, and those profiles were tied to the camera used to take the photo.
Profiles have been around for some time, buried at the bottom of the Lightroom Develop panel, in the Camera Calibration pane. Read more »
Lightroom 6 has reached the end of its road, so it’s all gravel lane from here on out. The last perpetual revision, Lightroom 6.14, was released on December 19, 2017, and Adobe isn’t going to update or support it going forward. The app still works fine, however, so if you’ve chosen it over Adobe’s subscription offerings (Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC), you shouldn’t see much of a difference for the time being.
Unless you buy a new camera.
If you’re shooting with a camera released after that date, Lightroom 6 won’t recognize those raw files. Camera manufacturers tweak the raw recipe for each camera model, which is why you frequently see updates to Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop and Lightroom that add new raw formats. Since Adobe ended support for Lightroom 6 at the end of 2017, the software will no longer receive those updates. Read more »
Start with a landscape, and then throw in a shock of color—something bright and contrasty to arrest the eye. It’s an easy way to get attention, but pull the same technique too many times and it can become a gimmick. If you’re a photographer with the skill of Melissa D. Jones, however, you use it to display the world in a unique and different way.
Many of the photos on Jones’s Instagram account, @rouxroamer, feature herself in various bright red (“roux,” in French) articles of clothing—a gown, hat, jacket, heels, umbrella—but they never come across as contrived or cheated. Her appearance in each shot deliberately works with the rest of the scene.
We’ve long advocated Photoshop Elements as the ideal non-subscription image editing app: it is cross-platform, has a decent Organizer, and almost all of the features found in the full version of Photoshop. Right now, through Feb. 20, Photoshop Elements is on sale for $70 on the Adobe site, which is 30% off the list price. And, if you’re interested in video editing as well, the Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements bundle is priced at $100 (it is normally $150).
With all the brouhaha over Lightroom CC from the fall, one message was clear: that many hobbyists don’t wish to spend anything on a subscription plan. And, at, $70, this is clearly a good deal on the latest version of Elements.
Joel Meyerowitz is one of the true giants of 20th century photography. His career has moved from street photography to impressionistic landscapes to portraits to still life subjects and more. His series of images taken in and around the World Trade Center site in the wake of 9/11 was wrenching, poignant and authentic: a brutally honest collection that captured the horror and sorrow of those terrible times with compassion and respect.
If you’re using adjustment brushes inside Lightroom (Classic or CC) or Adobe Camera Raw, check out Matt Kloskowski’s latest video tutorial, Advanced Brush Settings in Lightroom and Photoshop, which talks about how to use the Flow and Density settings to get better targeted adjustments during your editing sessions. Matt’s explanation of why you want to play with those (rarely discussed) settings is spot-on, and he even includes a sample file for you to follow along with his edits.
Matt is one of the best post-processing and photography instructors out there—as well as an excellent photographer, workshop leader and all-around good guy—and he’s worth following, especially if you’re inside the Adobe ecosystem. He regularly posts great short videos on his site and his Facebook page, and his Photoshop System and Lightroom System courses are the best comprehensive video courses in the market.