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.

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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 >>

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!  

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 >>

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 >>

Standing in The Shadows

“When your subject needs the human element, why not step into the composition?” While on the phone during a walking break, I saw these pleasing branch shapes casting shadows on a concrete wall. I liked the shadows but needed another element. I stepped into the photograph, recomposed, and took several shots with my iPhone 4s. I am sometimes amazed at how this little 8-megapixel iPhone camera can make such interesting photographs that might take over … more >>

Next workshop: Santa Fe Workshops in March 2012

“Creative Photography with Any Camera”  MARCH 14 – 17 :  Santa Fe, NM “Join me to capture the beauty, history, and nature in and around Santa Fe!”                   No matter what your photography experience is, this workshop will inspire and give you hands-on instruction to master camera settings, use intuition to capture the best moments, artfully compose shots, edit and organize images and create slide shows, prints and web galleries. You’ll … more >>

A Starry Night Sky Captured With a Pocket Camera

Starry-Night_2011-xmas-card1

  This year’s New Year Wish card is a starry night sky from a photo I made on compact camera. The scene is a very chilly night at pristine Lake George near the base of Mt. Rainier. Here’s the story:   My campout at the lake was a spontaneous decision made late in the day. I had just been camping with my sister and nieces. Something was tugging hard at my mind to solo on the mountain but I … more >>