The phrase that comes to mind this week is...um..."better late than never". Recently, I am struggling to be a person at home and also run 4 websites. That is just a lot and increasingly I am feeling like I need to bring on more help.
Did I say I have a three year old person? Did I say I have a 14 year old...dog. And a 7 year old...dog. And a husband.
They all expect so much from me and they have to come first. Then sleep. Then work. And sometimes there is no sleep.
Last time I was traveling (which is nearly constant for me), my daughter lost her placement at school. For the last month we have been struggling to get back in and finally this week, they had space.
So here we are. 5 for $5.00 Friday is three days late. I apologize SO much, but I think (hope) we are back on track now. If you are checking in on Fridays and there is nothing there...please be patient with me, it will be there, even if it takes me three extra days.
Don't forget that this is number five in our Spring Series. Check out Spring I, Spring II, Spring III, & Spring IV! Don't forget that all of the Spring Series Actions, Overlays, Papers, and Digital Goods will be converted into one large set for a much higher price on June 21st.
Spring V: Blog Icons
It's officially here! Enjoy the longer days, warmer temperatures, and baby animals.
And white fluffy clouds.
Because they are all coming your way this Spring in the form of Overlays!
What spring would be complete without rainbows, butterflies, and sweet fluffy clouds to brighten our days...and images!
Magic & Light Collection
P. S. these are still perfect for summer!
P.P.S. these are perfect all year!
By the way...did you notice we got a nice little Spring facelift on the website? Yay. I am in love with it! Soon, we will be bringing you a whole page on the website dedicated to resources. This will be a page where you can browse our favorite fonts and other products to use in your business and on your website!
Let's go ahead and take a look at this brand new 5 for $5.00 product. Don't forget to stop by on Fridays to see what's new!
Spring Clean Base
Spring Clean Base will help you achieve a clean edit. A clean base on which to play your Actions or place your Overlays. This comprehensive Action boasts 9 layers and is our go-to tool for a clean edit all year.
A dreamy contrast Action designed to boost your colors, add contrast, and dreamy light all at the same time. This is one of our most used tools (all year).
Have you ever wondered how photographers convert colors to sweet, light, airy, pastels?
Here you go! Our Pastel-erator will do the work for you. Instant pastels this Spring!
Sweet Cream Haze
No Spring edit is complete with a sweet creamy haze. Our Sweet Cream Haze Action will give you instant soft, dreamy, vintage-like haze.
All Actions in this sweet little set are powerful tools that have full layer-masking capability and offer full control over each layer.
FOR USE WITH ADOBE® PHOTOSHOP® CS4-6 + CREATIVE CLOUD®
FOR USE WITH ADOBE® PHOTOSHOP® ELEMENTS® 11-13
Spring I Action Set: Tips & Tricks
Color Pop Brush: Use a white brush to brush on brilliant color. If you aren't sure how to use layer masks, see our tutorial here.
Spring Dreams: Adjust the opacity up or down as needed. You may need to brush off the effect on the skin, eyes, and possibly the hair. If you aren't sure how to use layer masks, see our tutorial here.
Pastel-erator: Adjust the opacity of each layer using the opacity slider. If the effect is too much, brush it off the skin and hair (if needed)
Sweet Cream Haze: Adjust the opacity of each layer using the opacity slider. Brush the effect off of the face if needed. View our tutorial on how to use layer masks here.
Step 1: Open Your Image
Step 2: Choose Your Font & Size
My two new favorite fonts!
Step 3: Start Applying Text
Step 4: Customize The Color Of The Text
More Photoshop Tutorials
Two Free New Effects for St. Patricks Day!
Limerick Action and Rainbow Overlay!
Available for Adobe® Photoshop® & Elements® 11-13
We have two effects for you. One is an Action named Limerick. This Action is amazing and complex with 7 fully editable, masked layers. It is smooth and almost vintage.
We recommend using it on Screen, Soft Light, or Overlay blending modes and then using the Move Tool to adjust it and manipulate it around your image.
This awesome little set is available for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements 11-13.
Here is a quick note about some changes at MLC: We are moving away from Facebook. In the past, we have released free products to Facebook users. We don't like what Facebook has done recently to businesses (find out more here) and we are moving away from their service.
Instead, we are offering our free products to subscribers of our mailing list. This is a better way for you to get news and more free products from MLC.
FREE St. Patricks Day Action and Overlay!
Here at MLC, we are gearing up for Spring and you know what that means! Beautiful, light, airy, Spring Actions and Overlays. Sweet Skies will be retiring in the next two weeks and it's replacement is nothing short of BEAUTIFULLY AMAZING! It has taken over a year to complete this new collection! For now, Sweet Skies is value priced for retirement!
This spring, we will have amazing real butterflies, clouds, word overlays, and so more to help you create magic for your clients. We are so excited to be bringing these new products to the MLC customers. We are so happy and proud to be a resource for photographers all over the world.
Let the countdown to Spring begin! -Amy, Founder
Take a moment, in the middle of the week to drink in the silence of dawn and be mesmerized by the worlds beauty.
Happy Tuesday! -Amy, Founder Magic & Light Collection
Step 1: Open the image you want to work with.
Step 2: Extend The Canvas Size
Choose Image>Canvas Size from the Menu at the top of the screen.
For my purposes, I want to extend my canvas to the right, I click on the left side of the Anchor box to push the canvas extension to the right. Make sure you click on the opposite of what you want to do. If you want to extend down, click the top of the box. If you want to extend left, make sure you click the right side of the box.
I want to change my dimensions to be double the original width. I multiplied the existing pixels by two, and typed the numbers in the box. Click Ok, and the canvas will expand.
This is the original size of my image. It is displayed in inches, but I want to see the dimensions in pixels.
Change your dimensions to pixels by clicking the box to the right of the height and width field and selecting pixels.
Step 3: Blend The Color Of The New Canvas Size
On a side note, I thought I would remind everyone that the 5 Tones Of Winter Action Set and 5 Winter Overlays will only be available until March 21st! That's only a few days away, so grab them up before their gone!
I don't do portraits anymore or take on commercial jobs and so I have been struggling to find my photo groove for the last year or so. I think I have finally found it in food photography and styling. I love it. Do you know what I love the most? There are no people involved. No skin tones to get right, no...people...to deal with. It's peaceful.
Here at MLC, we released Essential Food Photography (Action Set) about a month ago. This set is amazing. Editing food photography has truly never been easier or faster. In working with it everyday, I am always excited and amazed at how quickly I can process images.
"Editing food photography has never been easier or faster"
Notice that the shadows on the right side of the first plate are gone. That is thanks to the "Fill Flash Brush" included with the set. You simply brush on areas that need to be brightened! It is not simply a Light Brush, but rather a brush that brightens the shadows in the areas where you may have needed a reflector or...a fill flash (but don't ever use flash on your food photography)
A detailed list of all 33 Actions and 3 storyboards included is provided on the Essential Food Photography page, it is available for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements 11-13.
On this image, I also used the 5 for $5, Magic Finish© Actions to get that great color bar on the left of the image.
If you are interested in the food blog, head over to FoodieFoodster.com
Love the font? It is called Country Chic and you can find it at Creative Market!
I will tell you a little secret that I learned when I stopped taking portraits and started doing commercial.
"There are a million portrait photographers"
The opportunities for photographers that want to build their businesses and branch outside of portrait photography are endless!
Step 1: Open Your Image
Step 2: Select The Area You Want To Keep
Pictured, Quick Selection Tool
Using the Quick Selection Tool (pictured left) with the + selected at the top of the screen, begin to select the area you would like to keep by clicking the area and dragging the mouse. If you have gone too far, select the - at the top of the screen and repeat the same clicking and dragging motion. Continue to use the + and - until the area you have selected is correct.
Step 3: Remove The Background In One Click!
Two Brand new Mini Action Sets for Adobe Photoshop & Elements
Last night, we released two new products, Magic Smile and Magic Eyes. Both are derivatives of the larger Portrait Magic Action Set. Incidentally, both of these Magic Mini Sets are very easy to use. All you need to know is how to use layer masks. If you aren't sure what that means or how to use layer masks, we have provided tutorials here that work for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
As promised...an iPhone pic of ME!
I used Magic Eyes and Magic Smile. I even used the lash definer on my hair. I needed a last minute picture for one of my blogs and these two Magic Mini's really helped me take a quick pic and get it done.
Now stop laughing. I'm thinking it's time for a real headshot. -Amy
Before & After
For an in depth tutorial on how to use overlays visit the Video Library installation page.
5 Chilly Winter Overlays
AVAILABLE FOR PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS ALL VERSIONS
offer ends March 21, 2015
In post processing, I would shoot with my kit lens (18-55mm f5.6) and then use a blur filter to try to achieve the same results. In time, I learned that the beautiful out of focus backgrounds I was looking for were actually called Bokeh and simply blurring in post processing would never achieve the same results.
What is Bokeh?
What Is Blur?
The visual difference between Bokeh and Blur?
This is an example of one of my images taken using Manual Focus and is complete Bokeh. In comparing to the image on the right, you can see that the qualities are much different. When you look closely, you can see the points of light of rendered in much different way.
This image was taken in focus with a Gaussian Blur filter applied in Adobe Photoshop. The beautiful points of light achieved in the image to left are non-existent in this image.
How Do I Achieve Bokeh In My Images?
There are few ways to achieve beautiful bokeh in your image. My greatest advice is not to use your kit lens. Bokeh is achieved by narrowing your field of focus and opening up your aperture. The widest aperture on a kit lens is typically somewhere around 5.6. Unless you are getting very close to your subject with a kit lens, it isn't going to happen. You should instead, be on the lookout for a lens with a wide aperture. Keywords to look for would be f 1.4, f 1.2, f 1.8. Even at a reasonable distance you will achieve a beautiful bokeh and bring the focus to your subject. I have laid out some product recommendations at the end of this post.
My Own Out-Of-Focus Photography
Wide Aperture Lens Recommendations
| || || || |
INTRODUCING THE ESSENTIAL VINTAGE ACTION SET
Classic Vintage | Sweet Vintage | Flower Child | Soft Lomo Effect | Vintage Color | Vintage Black & White
Sweet Vintage: A subtle sweet vintage effect.
Flower Child: A high contrast beautiful vintage film effect.
Soft Lomo Effect: A quintessential Lomo effect but softened to fit your image perfectly.
Vintage Color: Soft desaturated vintage color.
Vintage Black & White: The perfect vintage film black and white complete with film grain.
1967 | 1969 | 1975 | Nostalgia
1969: A high contrast colorful film effect
1975: True 1975 washed out effect with contrast.
Nostalgia: Gorgeous stand-alone or finishing effect to give the perfect note of nostalgia.
Vintage A La Carte:
Afternoon Sun | Vintage Sunlight | Reduced Dynamic Range | Vintage Matte Finish | Warm Vignette | Cream Vintage Vignette
Vintage Sunlight: One click adds a vintage sunlight effect.
Reduced Dynamic Range: Create true film style by reducing the dynamic range.
Vintage Matte Finish: Add a quick vintage matte finish.
Cream Vintage Vignette: Lighten the edges in one click.
Color Boost | Light & Dark Brush | Dodge | Burn | Sharpen | Selective Sharpening
Light & Dark Brush: Brush on light and dark where needed.
Dodge: Give a pop of light where needed.
Burn: Burn where needed drawing attention to your subject.
Sharpen: Sharpen the entire image.
Selective Sharpening: Sharpen only where needed.
5 Light Leak Overlays:
Classic | Magenta | Rainbow | Pink | Teal
Essential Vintage Action Set
$29- special introductory pricing!
FOR USE WITH ADOBE® PHOTOSHOP® CS4-6 & CREATIVE CLOUD®
FOR USE WITH ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 11-13
Pin Your Favorite Image, Pretty Please!
6 Points To Consider When Buying A Dedicated Macro Lens
I am considering six points in my search for a dedicated Macro lens:
1. Does it have a 1:1 or greater magnification ratio?
2. Is it a Canon (insert your camera brand here)?
3. What is the minimum focusing distance?
4. Is it a prime lens or zoom lens?
5. Can I realistically achieve my goal images with this lens?
6. Is it autofocus or manual focus?
Let me just say this: While I do have a working knowledge of Macro photography along with the techniques and equipment needed, I am not an expert in things like...um....light refractory mechanisms, ring cupalators, and other things that I am literally just making up right now. I am not a nitty gritty techie, just an artist who loves photography.
And what I do know is that I want to take pictures like this. Seriously. How amazing. This would be my goal image as mentioned above.
Point 1: Does the lens have 1:1 or greater magnification
Point 2: Is it a Canon? (insert your camera brand here)
Point 3: What is the minimum focusing distance?
Point 4: Is it a prime or zoom lens?
Point 5: Will this lens help me achieve my goal image?
Point 6: Is the focus auto or manual?
LENSES THAT FIT MY CRITERIA
I have been trying to make this choice now for 2 weeks. What would you do? Let me know, I need help deciding!!!
Magic Light© Overlays
COMPATIBLE WITH ADOBE® PHOTOSHOP® & ELEMENTS®, ALL VERSIONS
Available For Instant Download
Magic Light© 5 Light Overlays
Warm Light | Heavens Light | Amberlight | Evening Shade | Light Flare
Heavens Light: A translucent soft hued, subtle light overlay perfect for every scene.
Amberlight: A translucent, amber colored light overlay that moves softly over your image.
Evening Shade: A translucent light overlay meant to perfectly evoke the tones of evening.
Light Flare: The perfect quintessential light flare, it can be manipulated for just about any flare effect.
Notes From Amy:
Tips On Using This Set:
Use a variety of blending modes. The best to use with this set are: Screen, Soft Light, & Multiply.
Other MLC products you might like:
a former commercial photographer turned Mom-tographer. I started Magic And Light Collection 8 years ago and have loved watching it grow over the years! I am currently working hard on raising those littles, and sharing all the Photoshop shortcuts that help me work smarter, and not harder!
5 For $5.00 Fridays
Free Photoshop Actions
Fun For Photography
My Photography Insight
Photo Editing Software
Watch Me Edit