My Photoshop Process : A Revealing Collaboration

Duggan's book DJ spread on Sky 6k

Recently, I received a little gift— a chance to slow down, reflect on my favorite creative Pho­toshop tech­niques and recall how my artistic style emerged from grade-school experiments.

This collaboration began with an email from artist/author/instructor Seán Duggan. We had met a few summers ago while both teaching Photography and Photoshop at Maine Media Workshops, and revealed that we admired each others’ work. In his email, he asked if I would like to con­tribute to “Pho­toshop Masking and Com­positing”, a new Pho­toshop book he was co-writing with digital artists Katrin Eismann and James Porto. more >>

The Creative Photographer: The Story of ‘The Haunted Tree’

The Haunted Tree

The Haunted Tree is my most published and collected photograph to date. It has evoked various responses from viewers and curators who have described it using adjectives including  ‘dreamy’, ‘mysterious’, ‘foreboding’, ‘cinematic’, ‘poetic’, ‘confrontational’, ‘powerful’, ‘spiritual’…and the list goes on. Haunted Tree is also my most plagiarized and ‘borrowed’ image to date. I enjoy knowing it feeds the thought of others, even though I find it online being used for heavy metal band merchandise, to accompany … more >>

Announcing Three New Creative Photoshop Workshops in Seattle!

After many requests, I am excited to be leading three new Creative Photoshop day-long workshops in downtown Seattle. Learn the creative potential of Photoshop by attending one (or all) of my three new workshops tailored to fit any artist or photographer’s abilities and goals. Creative Photoshop workshops are held in small groups of up to 10, so they’re more content-efficient and personalized than the larger classes at conferences and touring workshops. The day consists of on-screen … more >>

The Creative Photographer: Composition and Design

Composition and Design are as important in a successful photograph as are light, subject, story and timing. Looking for inspiration outside of your medium is often the key to learning something new. I believe that crossing mediums helps strengthen the random access of ideas that is key to our natural creative process. It’s a bit like loading your conceptual quiver the way a painter loads the palette.

My June photography workshop: “Imagination Vision and Voice”

I love to teach workshops in beautiful locations, and none are finer than the coast of Maine. This summer I return for my seventh year to Maine Media Workshops. I’ll teach a workshop called “Imagination Vision and Voice”. Last year this workshop was very well received, and I was fortunate to have a great group of students at all levels or experience. We have a helluva lot of fun too!  

Shooting For the Love of Design

When making photographs, I love to use strong design to compose the graphic elements within the viewfinder. My experience as a graphic designer and art director has influenced how I see the world, and how I compose the rectangle of every image. One particularly memorable weekend taught me a lot about designing within the frame. Back in the mid-80’s one of my co-workers invited me to join him for a road trip to the Hershey … more >>

Improving Winter Scenes with Lightroom 4

Sage, Snow, Sky

“I’ve just returned from back country skiing in Yellowstone National Park. I shot some images of snowy landscapes that need careful processing to bring out the beauty of the snow and features. Lightroom 4 can do it with ease.” Whiter whites: If skiing in fluffy pristine snow wasn’t enough excitement, Adobe just released the completed Lightroom 4, which has many features I’ve been wishing for. One of my favorites is that now there are separate sliders to … more >>

Photoshop, Pixels and Prizes, Oh my!

"Captive Wishes" by David Julian

  Our presentation at Adobe to about 175 artist members of SAPUG was a big success.  I truly enjoyed sharing my approach to Photoshop artistry using some of my most popular works as examples. A focus on my creative process and techniques filled out our two-hour meeting. It’s always a pleasure to meet fellow creatives eager to learn and push their abilities. We also raffled away some OnOne Software packs to some lucky members, and we’ll certainly do … more >>

Creative Photoshop: Montages & Lighting with Layers and Masks

I’m presenting to the Seattle Area Photoshop User Group on Tuesday, February 21st at Adobe’s Seattle Headquarters. The title of my presentation is: “Creative Photoshop: Montages & Lighting with Layers and Masks” We have 250 RSVPs. It will still be the largest turnout ever for any Photoshop-related Meetup. Read more about it here.

A Pre-visualization Collage Technique in Photoshop

          “Making a Photoshop collage is a defined yet flexible process.” One can approach this with complete spontaneity, like a child with a crayon, or with a methodical approach as seen here. For client work, I first create a sketch, then once approved, I begin to create or search for my existing visual elements. This technique is called ‘Pre-Visualization’, because one must first think of what one wants to create. It’s a … more >>