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Browse through our blogs to read recaps of our speakers and event as well as any Photography related articles! Have something you will like to publish?  Send an email to

AVPP Workshop Wrap up: Michael Collins "Photoshop"

April 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

AVPP_WorkshopMar2018-7325AVPP_WorkshopMar2018-7325 Michael Collins was our Workshop instructor for our march 10th workshop.  Lasting from 10am-4pm, he was able to asses the group's skill level and adjust his instruction to suit the group. 

He began with his philosophy of  Keyboard shortcuts, and demonstrated throughout the class the wisdom of their efficient workflow. He went so far as to furnish printed index cards with the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts (Both sides of the card!). 


AVPP_WorkshopMar2018-7315AVPP_WorkshopMar2018-7315 He then walked us through the selection and cutout tools that photoshop is famous for, however he covered new features. For instance Quick selection has been round since CS 3 but now features a "Select Subject" option for medium to coarse selection; way faster and less tedious than Magic Wand. For the medium to fine selection of the same subject, he had us switch to Quick Mask for a more intuitive approach to isolating the subject.  Of course this was all done using his constant use of keyboard shortcuts, sharing some precious tidbits. For instance, hitting a tools keyboard shortcut and then hitting option lets you cycle nested tool options. Collective gasps heard everywhere!  




For our more beginner students, he went over setting and saving your photoshop workspace.  The differences of using the legacy and new "New Document" menu selection available in preferences. Also how to disable the "Start" workspace when no documents are open... which even fooled some of the more experienced users! 

Continuing on with creating more detailed selections, he utilized them to mask adjustment layer corrections. Then he graduated the selection to a Clipping mask for added flexibility.

This evolution from defining basic toolsets to using them in a goal oriented exercise helped show the tool's use in context rather than abstract. 

Of course no lesson in selections and cutout end without creating your own custom brush! 

Other areas covered were like extensive use of Adobe Bridge and Michael's experience of using Photoshop and Bridge in lieu of Lightroom. How disabling the scrubby zoom feature can save your vision! The importance of Color Depth resolution (8bit vs 16 bit) when editing an image. Of course a Michael Collins workshop doesn't end without a giveaway from his sponsor Millers Professional Imaging!  Walter Wright was the winner! 


The workshop format allowed more in-depth coverage of the App and allowed participants to help each other out. This helped users of varying skill sets to not feel lost while allowing the more advanced users to help out other students.  As many found out from this workshop, even our experienced users picked up tidbits that only come from being around an instructor, like Michael Collins, who have years of experience of not just using the app, but also teaching.  Whether its our past workshop instructor in macro photography, Fine Art photographer Monica Royal showing us indoor constant-light macro photography (So you can immediately see what you get). Or our recent Nick Seth Smith's Focus Stacking workshop which exposed us to the different applications from food photography to landscape photography, and also how software has allowed for a seamless composite of the stacked images. 



These workshops allow for some added camaraderie as well as a more in-depth look at the subject matter that our monthly meetings can only touch on.  Visit Michael Collins Website to see his galleries and what he's up to.  While on the subject or workshops, for more in-depth 5 day workshops visit PPC's West Coast School site.

1_2017_Enrique Santana speaker wrap up.

January 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Enrique Santana Speaker Wrap up!

Creating Advertising Videos for use on Social Media

Enrique Santana was our speaker for Wenesday, January 11th, discussing the use of social media platforms for video. He discussed how using various apps allows even a smart phone to become a broadcasting station! App such as Youtube Capture allows you to use a google account to sign in and start recording and uploading videos, simultaneously posting to Facebook, twitter google+ and Youtube. You can apply automated tools like color correction and stabilization (to fix camera shake), trim the start and finish as well as even add a soundtrack from a list of music styles. 

"This is the latest thing right now, everyone is into broadcasting. Its just another new form, latest form of social media interaction"

Enrique also talked about how to became a certified Youtube Partner, where they teach you to about monetizing your videos via building a subscription base of viewers; the predominate metric for youtube monetization.  He says to not be discourage if its a slow start.. its supposed to be.. you are building a subscriber base with your content. Getting 100 subscribers can be long but it represents a milestone. 

For Photographers, Enrique suggested that one records their photo editing techniques, effectively recording the work that you are already doing. 

Enrique walked us through the encoding progress as well as Youtube’s own online editing, color correcting, and stabilizing image processors to help get the best out of your videos. Enrique suggested to keep your videos less than 15 mins  as youtube caps the minutes for new subscribers. Since youtube is tied to Google, you get analytics to track viewing habits of your viewers. Enrique also emphasized the importance of Keywords. 

Enrique showed us some free apps to help with more elaborate broadcasts (2 or more cameras), one called Open Broadcasting Software. Another was called restream which is a cloud multi streaming service that allows its users to broadcast live content to multiple streaming platforms including Youtube, Twitch, Beam, and Ustream simultaneously.

Contact Enrique Santana if you will like to be consulted on how to start a streaming channel with your content, and enter the world of social media broadcasting!


Santana Is a Designer, Director,  Enrique SantanaEnrique Santana retail TV commercial producer, editor and animator with 10+ years experience in corporate marketing, Branding, rebranding, and Social media. He has deeply rooted advertising knowledge, including TV, Video Production, Motion graphics creation, animation, bring, corporate catalogs design, in-store Pop, corporate executive Powerpoint Specialist expert (Fortune 500 level), etc. 

Lightroom 6/CC information!

April 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Looks like the new Lightoom is out. Here are some details that may help.
For those who still want a stand alone Lightroom 6, as opposed to the subscription based CC, Adobe makes you work for it, especially if you are upgrading.
Follow the link below for instruction on how to find the standalone Lightroom 6 version or upgrade:
Also, the new Lightroom features acceleration via openGL, requiring libraries version 3.3 and up.
For mac users, here’s a list of recent macs with the openGL driver compatibility listed. The good news is that macs since 2007 could run openGL 3.3 and up:
Here’s  a quick summary of Lightroom 6 new features:
1) HDR Merge ability where the images are saved as full 16bit raw DNG files. This is one way you can increase the dynamic of an image but keep it in RAW. Features include Auto align,  a nondestructive auto tone, and a de-ghosting feature that forces LR to use a single exposure for areas of your HDR series that may cause ghosting b/c of alignment issues. The HDR is created thru a background task to allow you to multitask. The result is a fully editable HDR Lightroom DNG file.
2) Panorama Merge ability in RAW offering auto exposure matching with three projection options including Auto. The Panorama is created thru a background task to allow you to multitask. The result is a fully editable Panorama Lightroom DNG file.
3) Facial Recognition which can now be used as a search and filter tool. This was one of the most coveted features of apple iPhoto and Aperture. 
4) Filter Brush.  The ability to use the brush tool to add and erase (like a mask) to an existing grad or radial filter. This is big! 
5) Advanced Slideshows now allow for automatically syncing slideshows to the music of a selected song, with up to 10 songs per slideshow.
Panning and zooming adds motion to slideshows.
You can also preview slideshows at your current screen aspect ratio or your intended output aspect ratio. 
6) Mobile features now include the ability to push to Adobe Slate and Voice apps.
7) Lightroom now features a Red eye correction for pets!! Its right next to the red eye control. 
8) There are three new Gallery styles in the Web Module: Grid, Square and Track and they can work with both desktop and web browsers.
9) Support for touch enabled devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3
10) The adjustment Brush can now be repositioned by selecting and dragging its edit pins.  
11) New auto option in the crop tool
12) Under file handling, there is an auto mode for standard preview sizes that take into account your monitor size, so laptops may get a smaller preview size compared to a desktop with a 4K monitor. 
13) When importing files, Lightroom now can automatically add them to a new or existing collection, including a synchronized collection that will automatically synchronized. You an also filter collections now. 
14) If shooting tethered, lightroom will now warn you if your camera battery is running low or if your camera storage is full. 
I'm sure theres more but thats the bulk of it. 
Here are some additional resources:
Quick run thru of features if you just want to dive in and play:
Adobe's Lightroom Youtube complete with new tutorials!
Lightroom Queen's exhaustive walk thru of the new features complete with tips and pro/cons discussion:

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