Friday, September 01, 2006

Nikon D70s lesson 6

If you have been following these blogs for the Nokon D70 and the Nikon D70s, then get ready for somthing a little aff. We are going to shift gears and dive into some knee deep Photoshop watters.I feel the need to save you folks some time and a lot of money. Are you ready? Get your Nikon D70s out, and your Photoshop up, were blogging!

This is a template based image. As you read you will see how you make a template, and then drag and drop images into them.

Templates: how to use them, and how to make them.

If you find yourself editing images of a similar look, or feel, and you are doing a certain task to most, or all of the images, then you need to use a template. Templates will save you a lot of valuable time, which equals money, when using photoshop to finish a session. Since you do not get paid for setting at your computer, why stay any longer than you have to. You probably could use quite a few different templates in your day to day work flow. If you don’t think that templates will save you time and money right away, then stand by to be WOW’D!
What are templates, and how are the going to save time, and how are they going to make money? For the most part, templates are simply saved actions that you have stored in your computer. They are not images at all. They can be a color correction process that you enjoy using, or as intricate as a crop, vingette, and blur filter combination, or any series of effects limited only by your imagination. Templates contain the part of a finished effect or the part of a finished look that you like to apply to your images, and only that part. I love to use a template that simply inserts my watermark into my images.
A great example of a template would be one that added a vingette to any image that you dragged and dropped into the template. Vingetting is a name for darkening the edges of a photo in order to keep the viewers eyes locked onto the main part of the image, and away from the edges of the image. For the sake of an example, let’s say that you have one hundred vacation photos that you would like to add a vingette to, as they are all horizon shots.
Instead of opening each image separately and then going through the process of adding layers and then adding the vingette to each and every image, you should make a template that already has this certain vingette in it, and then let this new template to do the work.
A template is a blank document, or image, that only consists of a particular edit function in it. Start your own template by opening a blank document in photoshop, making sure to make it a “psd” document. Make sure that it remains a PSD document even as you save it, so that you can always adjust the contents to fit. With this blank image open, make a new layer and add the effect that you are looking to apply to every image in your vacation shots. Now, save this blank image (again, as a psd document) with a title that reflects the effect you applied. Perhaps in this case you would name it “vignette template”. Whatever it is you name it, save it as a template by adding “template” to the title of this psd document. You may also do more than one alteration to your templates, but they will become harder to use as the alterations pile up. Not every picture will need color correction, contrast adjustment, and a Gaussian blur, but these would all make great templates by themselves.

Now this is where the magic happens. Open this newly saved psd image titled “vingette template”, and then open one of your images that you need to apply a vignette to. Now, all you have to do is click on your image to be edited, and drag it into the template! That is it!
Some alterations will probably be needed, and this, too, is a snap. Remember that your template was saved as a psd document? Well, here is why. The psd image can be altered easily due to the fact that the layers are saved in t psd documents. This newly combined image can be adjusted by using the layers until it looks just as you need it. Each layer has one alteration, and you can use the opacity slider and the fill slider to adjust the amount of the layer you want to show.
Save this new image, and be careful to not save your template as a part of this new image. This template can be used time and time again, with only a click and drag of your mouse. How much time will this one template save? Think about all the other templates that are waiting for you to create them!
Now think about working all of these vacation images at once using a batch edit along with your new template.
As an example to apply with this whole article, I found myself editing a bunch of wedding pictures, all from the same wedding. Well, each one of these pictures needed to be edited with a brightness adjustment, a contrast adjustment, and last of all a darkened edge (a vingette) was needed. I opened a blank document and recorded these actions listed above, to separate layers, making them one at a time. Then I saved these layers on this blank document as a template.
This means that I saved it as a psd template document, so I could always go back and alter the layers as needed. I saved it with the name of “wedding template”, so I would recognize it from my list. Now, all I had to do was open this template along with a picture that needed editing, and drag the picture into the template. The complete alteration to every image could now be completed in one session. The amount of time required to edit each image was cut by over 50 percent! Behold the power of templates.
Now you can see how taking a moment and making your own template will save you hours behind your machine, and put dollars into your own pocket.
Check out some of my images at my website,, and look for the use of templates!

Have fun designing your templates, and keep an open mind when it comes to what project(s) should be a template. The rule of thumb is if it will save you time and work in the future, make it a template.

Have fun, and keep shooting those pictures!
- Steve Ramsdell


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