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Find Out What Went On At The Adobe #PhotographyJam In London

Stuart Fawcett went along to Adobe's #PhotographyJam to pick up a few tips and chat with pro photographers.

|  Adobe Photoshop
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Adobe like to show you what can be done with its Lightroom and Photoshop photography tools; so on a very hot Thursday evening last week, they held a #PhotographyJam event in Shoreditch with two super new photographers, one amazing trainer, a niche stock site and Adobe's own solution consultant – Richard Curtis.

Richard showed us techniques from simple Lightroom things you'd use all the time, such as how to paint in or out more of a graduated filter effect with the brush tool (doh - I didn’t know this!). He also demonstrated the complex face aware liquify tool in Photoshop CC (2015.5). Yes, you can do these the old way but the new way is much faster if you regularly need these features.

The new crop tool allows rotation without losing the image edges as it refills in detail with a feature called content aware crop and the guided transform allows easy correction of both horizontal and vertical perspective with 2 loupe selects for each axis. Richard also reminded us to non-destructively edit with tools such as the healing brush to paint on a new layer but sample the layer below, usable on previous version such as CS6. Adobe has also been pushing Lightroom mobile for a while now, the new feature here is that RAW files can be edited on smartphones.  


Richard Curtis from Adobe explaining content aware crop.

Richard Curtis from Adobe explaining content aware crop


The second speaker was Mike Watson from Specialist stock site Robert Harding. He was asking us to consider how to take shots for market, who our customer is and how we might licence rights to them. The suggestion was that Adobe itself is also becoming a significant stock agency in its own right. Some of his observations were that as photographers, we need to find the detail in a common location that’s been shot many times before and that observational travel is still a good market. Some of the agencies, like his, will even do key-wording for you, but don’t forget you will always need people and building model releases whenever these feature predominantly in your shots.

The first of the new photographers introduced was Sophie Ebrard who came into photography relatively late by most standards, she had already been to business school and had a career in marketing running big product campaigns from the business side previously. However, opportunity and circumstance conspired to offer her a different career and with artistic skills from her childhood and her motto of ‘believing in yourself’ she did her first marketing shoot by hiring a photographer friend to be a second shooter, but actually he was speaking Spanish to guide her shots. With a few more lucky breaks and her passion to use film whenever possible, opportunities continued to come and she would take them all, each being a step to the next one. Sophie classifies herself as a documentary portrait photographer which led her onto her recent project called 'It’s just love' where for 4 years, she followed a porn director and got to know all the actors and photograph the human beauty in people.  Finally, to get this exhibition shown, she moved out of her house and redecorated it for the exhibition – going this extra mile itself helped make the exhibition a talking point.


Sophie Ebrard talking


Gavin Hoey, the enthusiastic and friendly photo trainer we must all have heard a tutorial from at least once, continued the Adobe training. Gavin actually spends hours in Lightroom / Photoshop and he further demonstrated the content aware crop feature with a superb demonstration that rebuilt the entire end of a train carriage that was not in the original shot.


Train photo editing


Gavin then went on to demonstrate the new transparency slider you can use in select and mask to refine edges. As Richard had before him, he again reminded us to use smart objects when editing for more control and adjustment capability. Another very effective demonstration was the new healing brush – a lot of the tools in this release were about re-creating missing pixels. Gavin himself was running his presentation on an i7 16G surface book, not an ipad. He loves panoramas and again, showed the missing pixel capabilities possible in Adobe camera RAW when stitching images together.

Bella Kotak was the last new photographer to talk and was introduced as a fine art fashion & conceptual photographer. As with Sophie, this is Bella’s second career after architecture. Bella is a very hard working girl that produces amazing ethereal compositional people and flower portraits. She shoots for herself to make sure that her style is recognisable and always tries to get the model to look to the light.  After throwing the model into a bush, Bella then shoots the model until she gets the facial expression she needs, before focusing on body shape. Following this, other flowers and components of the scene along with any smoke pellets she has lit etc. are added / captured. The final shot she wants to make is typically only fully realised during the shoot itself and uses a model release app on her phone when needed.


Bella Kotak photography


Bella Kotak photography


After capturing all of her shots, Bella gets to work on all of the photographic components; making the image composition over a few hours and liquefying any shapes as needed before cleaning up the image before moving on to colour toning and sharpening. 

While all the speakers were busy presenting, the Adobe #PhotographyJam assignment was also going on where 10 photographers had been invited to spend the day shooting and then they were given 2 hours to edit a photo sequence to show on the Adobe spark images blog.

The Brief was: "What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time," John Berger.


Photographers editing work


The popular winner, as voted by the audience, was Brett Field who had used a prism to present Shoreditch in a new light by combining different beams of light into one image to capture time. The image above and many others can be seen on Brett's Spark page.

Words and pictured by Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog)

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JackAllTog Plus
10 5.8k 58 United Kingdom
27 Jul 2016 1:05PM
Also 2nd in the competition was Michael Goldrei with

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