Take Your Photography to the Next Level: Learn Photoshop

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Yes! Lightroom is awesome for image editing. But Photoshop is simply more powerful and versatile . . . and for some more fun.

I teach Photoshop (as well as Lightroom image editing) on my group and private workshops – on location and in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

If you want to take your photography to the next level, learn Photoshop.

The opening image for this post was created from the above image in Photoshop – with some help from Photomatix and Nik Color Efex Pro. I also teach how to use plug-ins artistically - and selectively.

Don't get me wrong. I love Lightroom. It's just that Photoshop offers more creative options for creative photographers.

Explore the light,

Plug Into Creativity with Perfect Photo Suite 8

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I love using all the plug-ins and stand-alone image editing programs that are available for creative photographers. They can help to awaken the artist within. That is why I teach this stuff on my workshops - as well, of course, how to get the best possible in-camera image.

The latest release in the world of stand-alone programs/plug-ins in onOne Software's Perfect Photo Suite 8, which includes Enhance, Portrait, Effects, B&W and Resize - along with Layers and Masks.

You can download this cool software from the onOne Software site.

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Here's a quick look at my first go-around with Perfect Photo Suite 8.

For the opening image in this post I selected Perfect Enhance and used the Cool Light effect, after which I added a custom border. What's cool about Enhance is that you can control the Brightness, Contrast, Vibrance, Temperature, Detail and Vignette – to name just few of the creative controls.

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When you remove the true color and sharpness from a scene, you remove some of the reality. when you remove some of the reality, a picture can look more artistic and creative. Plug-ins and digital imaging editing programs let you do just that, quickly and easily.

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I like creating new color images, but I am also having fun with Perfect B&W. Here's a tip when using Perfect Black&W: Experiment with the color filters - first - to see how they change the tones in your image. Start with filters and then play with the other creative controls.


Back to Perfect Enhance: I used it to enhance this image of the interior of a lounge car at the South East Railway Museum near Atlanta, GA.

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Sometimes, even subtle enhancements can create a more compelling image.

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A while back I wrote an article here on my blog, Goodbye HDR, Hello EDR. In the article I talked about the data we can pull out of RAW files.

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Check out the two images above. I created the image with more detail using the HDR Look effect in Perfect Effects.

Have fun with Perfect Photo Suite 8. Again, you can download the stand-alone program/plug-in from the onOne Software site.

I am teaching plug-ins (and travel photography) at Photoshop World 2014 in Atlanta. I hope to see you there!

All of the plug-ins I use are listed on my Play & Save on Creative Plug-ins page.

Explore the light,

Hey: Looking for some great prices on some great gear - for you or a loved one for the holidays? Click here.

Save 10% On Any Alien Skin Plug-in Until Aug 15th


Yes! I have been accused and convicted of using Performance Enhancing Plug-ins -  including plug-ins from Alien Skin Software. 

Alien Skin Software offers a bunch of cool plug-ins: Exposure 5, Blow Up 3, Snap Art 3, Bokeh 2 and Eye Candy 7.

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I used Exposure 5 to create the opening image for this post. You can save 10% on any Alien Skin plug-in until August 15th by using this code – RSA1308 – upon checkout from the Alien Skin web site.

Talk about variations! Exposure 5 offers endless creative options for photographers with Performance Enhancing Plug-in addictions. :-) 


Above is my original image.

Check out my Save on Plug-ins page for savings on all the plug-ins I use. 

Explore the light,

Get the Entire Nik Collection by Google for Only $149!

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Check this out! You can own the entire Nik Collection of awesome plug-ins for only $149! See my Save on Plug-in page for info. You'll find great deals on other plug-ins on that page, too. Above: Nik HDR Efex Pro.

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Above: Nik Silver Efex Pro.

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Above: Midnight filter in Nik Color Efex Pro.

I'm a big fan of plug-ins, as readers of my blog know. Plug-ins can help you awaken the artist within. 

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Above: Nik Dfine. 

Explore the light,


Announcing "Think Like a Painter – Shoot and Process Like an Artist" Digital Photogrpahy Workshops

Artistic image.

Artistic image.

Got a creative eye? Got Photoshop? Got Plug-ins? Want to shoot and process more creatively? Then my "Think Like a Painter, Shoot and Process Like an Artist" digital photography workshops may be for you.

Straight shot. 

Straight shot. 

We'll shoot in and around Croton-on-Hudson, NY, where I run my Rick's Backyard Workshops. We'll process our images and experiment with different creative effects.

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We'll also learn how to paint with light and create dramatic black-and-white portraits.

Artistic image. 

Artistic image. 

I teach artistic imaging on all my workshops, but this workshop will focus more on processing images in Photoshop and using creative plug-ins. So you'll need your laptop, Photoshop and the following plug-ins: Nik Collection by Google, Topaz Adjust, Topaz Perfectly Clear and Photomatix by HDR Soft. Info on these plug-ins on my Save on Plug-ins page.

Straight shot. 

Straight shot. 

Of course you can also use Lightroom if you are skilled at importing and exporting images to plug-ins and back. This is not a computer class. :-)

New Croton Dam.

New Croton Dam.

I am looking at dates for Spring 2014. Shoot me an email if you are interested in joining a small, fun group for a creative weekend. Private shooting/processing lessons in Croton-on-Hudson are also available. Private on-line portfolio reviews  - my Tough Love sessions - are also available.

Stay tuned for info, dates and cost. 

"Sunset in the park with Rick" - taken in my "backyard" along the Hudson River.

"Sunset in the park with Rick" - taken in my "backyard" along the Hudson River.

Explore the light,

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