One and Two-Day "Rick's Backyard" Digital Photography Classes in Croton-On-Hudson, NY

If you like travel and outdoor photography, as well as Lightroom and Photoshop, I offer two ways to explore your creative vision in Croton-on-Hudson, NY - just about one hour north of New York City.

My one-day workshop on May 25 offers fast paced learning and fun.

My two-day workshops in June and October offer much more in-depth learning at a slower pace and with more time for personal attention – in the field and on your computer.

I hope you can come to Croton for what I call my "Rick's Backyard Workshops."

Explore the Light,

Some thoughts on reality - and I really hope to see you at Photoshop World

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"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." - John Lennon.

I agree, and that is one of my favorite quotes on reality.

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Here is another cool quote on reality: "I am not interesting in accurate color, I am interested in my own color." Sorry, I don't remember who said that, but again, I agree.

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On my recent Florida Photo Caravan Workshop, I was having fun creating my own photo reality in Photoshop, using standard PS features as well as some plug-ins. All the plug-ins I use are listed here. All the images in this post were taken on the Caravan.

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I really  hope you can join me at Photoshop World in Atlanta in April, where I will be showing attendees how to alter reality - and create their own photo reality - using plug-ins.

I will also be giving presentations on travel photography and shooting in chilly conditions.

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Have fun this weekend creating your own reality.

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Explore the light,

P.S. I also help photographers create their own reality on my workshops. Good fun!

Awaken the Artist Within at Photoshop World – with Plug-ins & Some Basic Photoshop Enhancements

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I'm a big fan of plug-ins, because then can transform an OK image (below) into a much more creative image (above). Combined a plug-in effect with some basic Photohshop/Lightroom enhancement and you are on your way to awakening the artist within.

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I teach plug-ins on my workshops - and I am giving a seminar on plug-ins (Nik Sofware, onOne Software, Photomatix and Intensify Pro) at Photoshop World 2014 in Atlanta. So yes, HDR will be included. Sign up for Photohshop World today!

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Above, after. Below, before.


I am looking for 10 or so original images (straight shots) to play with during my plug-in class. I set up a new Google+ Community – Awaken Your Inner Artist – for just that purpose. Check it out, and post a picture if you plan to attend PSW.

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Hope to see you at PSW in Atlanta.

Until then, below is another before-and-after example of how a plug-in (Nik HDR Efex Pro) and few Photoshop enhancements turned a dull shot into a cool shot.

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All the plug-ins I use are on my Play and Save on Plug-ins page.

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Topaz simplify, just one of the plug-ins I use, is on sale for 50% off until the end of February. Use this code - febsimplify - and this link. I used that plug-in to create the image below.

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It's amazing how much we can pull out of a RAW file, and how plug-ins can be used to enhanced an image.

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The above image is the result of using some of the controls in Camera RAW and Nik's Color Efex Pro. . .  and then mostly the Spicify filter in Topaz Adjust. The image below is a screen shot of my RAW file in Camera RAW. If you don't have the Topaz Labs plug-ins, you can save a bundle on a bundle. Again, info on all my plug-ins here.

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Explore the light,

Swing By My Classes at Photoshop World In Atlanta - April 8 to 10

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I hope you can join me, and a team of super talented photographers and Photoshop/Lightroom experts at Photoshop World in Atlanta, April 8 to 10. Use this code - RSPSW414 - to save $50 when you register.

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My classes:

Shooting in Chilly Conditions - I'll take you to Alaska, Arctic, Antarctica and the sub-Artic – and show you how to make good images in challenging conditions.

Travel Photography - I will share my favorite images from my worldwide travels, along with some Lightroom and Photohsop tips.

Awaken the Artist Within With Plug-ins - I will show you how to create cool images, like the one below, with the plug-ins I use. HDR will be included. Speaking of HDR and plug-ins, check out my Nik Color Effects Pro app and my  iHDR app.

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See you there . . . I hope!

Explore the light,

Try Topaz DeNoise: A noise-cancelling plug-in

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I'm on the plane (again!!), playing with plug-ins in Photoshop, while wearing my noise-cancelling headphones. Ahhhh, the peace and quite. 

As you may know, noise-cancelling headphones don't totally cancel all noise. They reduce noise, to different degrees, depending on the noise level and your definition of noise. A baby crying, for example, is not considered noise. :-)

While thinking of noise, I opened a picture that I took with an early iPhone in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. That image, with a fair amount of noise, is below.

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To cancel the noise (actually greatly reduce the noise), I used Topaz DeNoise. I first used the sliders on the left to select the amount/type of noise to reduce. Then I used the slider on the right to fine-tune the noise reduction, in particular, in the shadow and highlight areas . . . somewhat independently.

By the way: all images have noise, even images shot at ISO 100 on a sunny day. 

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The result of using Topaz DeNoise is the image that opens this post. As you can see, the noise is greatly reduced.

Topaz DeNoise is only one of the plug-ins I suggest to my workshop students who want to improve their images. All the plug-ins I use are listed on my Save On Plug-ins page.

Explore the light,