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Ben Long has posted Histograms Are the Best Photography Tool You Already Own: Part 2, that walks you through the use of histograms in Photoshop (download a free trial). From the into:

In the first part of this series, I introduced histograms: handy graphs generated by cameras and image-editing software that you can use to analyze a photo's exposure. Part 2 of this series will concentrate on using histograms as a tool for shooting better photographs.

Knowing what's wrong with your current exposure doesn't do you much good if you don't know how to fix your exposure. I'll s
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how you how to adjust exposure on almost any camera (and even some cell phones). But first, let's make sure we have the same idea of what exposure is and how it affects your photography.

What Is Exposure?
To understand exposure, sneak out of work right now and see a matinee at a movie theater. (If you get caught, tell your boss that it's professional development—part of your photography education.)

When the movie is over, leave the theater out of the back door. As you step from the dark movie theater into the bright afternoon light, you'll be momentarily blinded as your eyes adjust to the change in brightness. That's exposure.

Your eyes can adjust how much light they gather. If they gather too much, the world washes out to bright white. If they can't gather enough, you stumble around in the dark. To control how much light is gathered, the size of your pupil changes, opening wider to allow more light and closing down to reduce the amount of light.

Your camera works the same way. If there's too much light striking the sensor, the image has parts that are blown out to complete white. Too little light, and some parts will be complete black. In addition to losing detail in highlights and shadows when an image is over- or underexposed, the overall brightness of the photo can affect how colors look and the overall atmosphere of a scene.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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From Deke at lynda.com: One of my favorite flavors of Deke’s Techniques is the project that you can make yourself from nothing but Photoshop. This week, Deke shows you how to create a ‘talk-show’ curtain from pure pixels and a combination of Photoshop filters. This curtain may look familiar, having provided a visually textured background for the 3D pie chart that Deke made during last week’s Techniques episode. This week, Deke shows how he made it, starting with a completely new document, applying the Render > Fiber filter, adding a little blur and some layer effects, and ending up with a set
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of gently parted curtains that can serve as a background in your own artwork. Click here to watch Creating a ‘talk show’ curtain from thin (Photoshop) air.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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Here are the latest Adobe Online Store deals and coupons:

Instant US$100 off Lightroom 3
Get an instant US$100 discount off the full version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software. Act now — offer ends May 30, 2011. Enter code at checkout: 5LT100M

Save up to US$40 on select Elements 9 products
Save US$30 after instant discount and mail-in rebate with the purchase of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, or save US$40 after instant discount and mail-in rebate with the purchase of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Adobe Premiere Elements 9. Buy now — offer ends May 31, 2011. En
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ter code: ELEMENT11

Free shipping on CS5.5 products — only at Adobe.com
Get free ground shipping on commercial and education versions of CS5.5 products through the online Adobe Store. Discount will automatically be reflected in cart. Offer ends May 31, 2011

Get 15% off Lightroom 3 Student and Teacher Edition
Buy now and save 15% off Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Student and Teacher Edition when purchased with Adobe Photoshop CS5 Student and Teacher Edition, Photoshop CS5 Extended Student and Teacher Edition, or any Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Student and Teacher Edition containing Photoshop CS5 or Photoshop CS5 Extended. Hurry — offer ends May 22, 2011

Creative Suite 5.5 Subscriptions Available Worldwide
Subscription editions of Creative Suite software are just like regular Creative Suite products — they are installed on your computer and provide all the same features and functionality. Find out more about monthly or annual subscriptions. You can also download a free 30 day trial of any Adobe CSS product.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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From Tom Hogarty’s blog: "The Lightroom and Camera Raw team would like to inform you of a potentially severe bug that was introduced in the Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4 update. Please note that this bug only impacts customers who are saving metadata to JPEG files with a rare characteristic. (JPEG files must have an unusually large block of private camera data included in the file to be susceptible to the bug. To date we’ve only found one camera that generates these large blocks of private data, the HP PhotoSmart R607.)

"This scenario is so rare that we do not believe that it is
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necessary for customers who have already upgraded to revert to the previous version of Lightroom or Camera Raw. However, the bug could cause image corruption which falls within our highest severity category of bugs. The team believes it’s very important to notify you of the risk and provide an estimate of when we will be able to deliver a correction in the form of Lightroom 3.4.1 and Camera Raw 6.4.1. We intend to have these updates available by Friday, May 27th."

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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There are only 24 hours left to get HDR Express at a 20% Savings. Whether you're new to HDR photography or an expert, you'll be amazed by the power and ease of HDR Express for creating stunning High Dynamic Range images that will truly impress. onOne has partnered with Unified Color Technologies to offer HDR Express for only $79.95 (20% savings) through May 20th. HDR Express is the perfect complement to onOne's Perfect Photo Suite, giving you professional HDR results in the blink of an eye.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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Love the grunge pipes Bittbox has posted. Rick textures with a wild streak in them. Here's the backstory from BittBox: This week, I’ve got a set of guest textures from Dave. Dave wanted me to share some of his textures on BittBox, so here we go. The first set is some really grungy pipe images. (You can click on the images and get the full size ones from Flickr).

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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Visit BrushDirectory.com for some great free resources, including free Photoshop brushes, actions and patterns. Here's a collection of their top downloads:

Comic Balloons Photoshop Brushes
These are great for comic strips or doodles.

Smooth Waves Photoshop Brushes
They are great for abstract banners on backgrounds and user interfaces. Creates an illusion of depth with cool looking smooth waves

Gypsy Garden Photoshop Patterns
There are two .pat files in this pack, it's the same background, just two different resolutions.

Tech Screentone
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Photoshop Patterns
26 black and white or black and transparent patterns made with Photoshop 7.0. It gives you many different effects just experiment with layer styles.

Photo to Sketch Photoshop Action
This action will allow you to convert a photo into a sketch or pencil drawing like the effect shown in the image. Simple and very effective. xxx

HDR Effect Photoshop Action
Create a fake HDR effect on your photographs. This is similar to the HDR effect found in the new iPhone 4 update. HDR photography works by taking multiple images of the same scene and overlaying them. This action allows for this effect from one image.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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When you purchase Photoshop CS5 or Photoshop CS5 Extended you can receive 3 free online training sessions from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). This offer is available in the Adobe North America Store and Adobe Education Store only. After your purchase you will receive an e-mail with instructions for registering for the webinars within two weeks. This offer is available from May 19, 2011 until June 9, 2011

Class 1: Photoshop CS5 — Up and Running in No Time
Join Photoshop experts, “The Photoshop Guys,” for a live webcast designed to help new users quic
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kly get comfortable with Photoshop. This is detailed training, not just an overview, produced by the world's leading Photoshop trainers at NAPP. This class is designed for beginners just getting started with Photoshop and will cover the basic fundamentals. But, intermediate and advanced experts will benefit too and should walk away with tips and tricks.

Class 2: Cool Photoshop Skills — Effects and Retouching Anyone Can Do
This time, “The Photoshop Guys” explore the features and functions of Photoshop CS5 that let you quickly create and adjust images and designs. This in-depth training, is ideal for users with some level of familiarity with Photoshop. All skill levels will walk away with tips and tricks that allow you to get up and running on this latest version fast.

Class 3: Photoshop CS5 Street Smarts — Shortcuts, Killer Tips, and Next-Level Skills
You're already good at Photoshop but you want to do the latest, hottest design and retouching, in the least amount of time. Join “The Photoshop Guys” for a live webcast that will put you in a class by yourself. This class is ideal for users familiar with Photoshop, but all skill levels will walk away with tips and tricks to get up and running on the latest version fast.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)
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