A lot of us are on a budget. We don’t have the money to splurge on expensive lighting or props for our still life photography. However, Alex Koloskov has put together a video outlining how you can spend $30 on a dimmable  LED light bulb and rig it to mimic expensive studio lighting. Check it out. koloskov

One minute it’s sunny…The next, it’s rainy… Sounds like spring to me! I found some interesting tips on how to capitalize on the season in order to get truly striking and unique spring landscapes. Check it out!

Spring-landscape-photography-tips-5-bluebells©Colin Varndell

If you’ve been cruising around ACDSee/ACDSee Pro, you’ve definitely come in contact with the File List pane. You know, that place in the middle of Manage mode with all of the thumbnails of the images in the folder you’re currently viewing?

From time to time, you’re going to come across what we call “overlay icons” on these thumbnails. These icons let you know relevant info about your photos at a glance.

Navigating the Complex World of Overlay Icons:

Ok, it’s not actually complicated at all. I just wanted to make it sound cool. Some icons are just to let you know stuff, whereas others are interactive. So, let’s break it down:

If your file displays a little red speaker, sound2 the file has embedded or associated audio. If the red speaker looks like this:sound1 , then that means you clicked the regular speaker icon and now the sound is playing at this very moment! (Just relax; it’s only sound. You’re not a chinchilla.)

A number on your thumbnail is the rating. You must have rated it at some point. If you want to rate your photo, do this: rating_process

A colored bar across the bottom of the thumbnail is a color label. If you want to assign your photo a color label, do this: color_label_process

If you see an adorable blue hamburger icon on your thumbnail, database that’s the Embed Pending icon. It appears if your file has ACDSee metadata stored in the  ACDSee database, but it hasn’t been written to the file yet. Metadata like what? Like you added a color label or rating, etc. To get rid of that icon, you can either embed the metadata, (write the metadata to the file), or clear the icon. For the former, right-click the thumbnail and select Embed ACDsee Metadata. For the latter, right-click the thumbnail and select Clear Embed Pending Flag. This gets rid of the icon, but doesn’t write the metadata to the file.

The file format icon lets you know what kind of file you’re dealing with. It doesn’t do much else, but if you left-click it, you’ll get a display of the file information, image attributes, and EXIF metadata summary on the File tab of the Properties pane. You can also get to this by left-clicking on the Embed Pending icon. file_tab

The icon that looks like a green label you’d find on a Christmas present categorize is to represent a file that has been categorized. You can left-click this icon to open the Categories section of the Organize tab on the Properties pane to identify/edit/whatever the category.

This eye getting rudely covered up by a postage stamp is the icon that tells you that that file is stored in an offline device: offline

The Don’t Play icon, (for all you Uno fans) excluded, represents files excluded from the ACDSee database.

The orange square with a checkmark represents a file that has been tagged.tagged To tag a thumbnail, click this: untagged1

The turquoise Ouija board planchette geotag means that your file has been geotagged. To investigate, left-click it to open the Map pane.

This purple rotate symbol appears if the file has been automatically rotated.rotate Left-click this symbol to rotate the image permanently and update the EXIF information.

The half moon represents a developed file, developed-16x16 (as in, you made changes in Develop mode).

And the blue crayon edited tells you that you have edited the file, (in Edit mode).

Overlay Icon Visibility:

If you’ve got some kind of beef with the overlay icons, — maybe overlay icons insulted your mother, — you don’t have to look at them. You can decide if you want them visible, visible in color, or if you just want specific ones in color.

At the top of the File List pane, click View | Toggle Overlay Mode to control the visibility and color. Toggle through the available modes with this ] key.

Alternatively, click View | Highlight Overlay to select which icons appear in color. Toggle through the modes with this [ key.

For more control over overlay icons, such as whether individual icons are displayed, go to Tools | Options. In the Options window, under File List, choose Thumbnail Info.

There! Not so complicated. Now you know what is up with those little icons on your photos.

 

As in, who knew they could be this accessible?  Well, if you did, you’re a smarty pants. Or, y’know, you already learned about them… But for those of you just getting started and feeling daunted by this weird graph thingy (“I don’t do math!”) and what it’s saying about your photo, Rick Nunn has come up with a very simple explanation to quell your fears.

New_11

:B

That’s “nerd face”. Now you know.

To all you speed demons, it may surprise you to know that a number of ACDSee commands have predefined keyboard shortcuts. These exist in Manage and View mode. This is to help you work quickly and efficiently, and to feel awesome as you look like a genius from a 90s hacker movie. I’m serious — the more you can get done using only the keyboard, the more people assume that you’re on top of things, a master, a ninja, etc. If the predefined presets aren’t enough for you and you want to maximize how little you have to touch your mouse, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to more commands. Or, if one of the existing shortcuts just doesn’t feel right to you/is cramping your style, you can assign a different keyboard shortcut as desired.

Some commands, such as Open and Copy, are available in both Manage mode and View mode. You can use the same keyboard shortcut for these commands in Manage mode and the View mode, or you can define different shortcuts.

So if you want to customize keyboard shortcuts, access the customize panel one of the following ways:

  • In Manage mode, click View | Toolbars, and then select Customize.
  • In Manage mode, click the drop-down arrow, located to the right of the Main toolbar or File List toolbar, and then select Customize.

customize

  • In View mode, click the drop-down arrow, located to the right of the bottom toolbar, select Add or Remove Buttons, and then select Customize.

customize2

In the Customize dialog box, click the Keyboard tab. From the Category drop-down menu, select a menu item, like File, Edit, or View. When you select a menu item, the command associated with that item will show up in the Commands list box. This is where you select the command that you want to assign a shortcut. If a command has a shortcut already assigned to it, it will display in the Current Keys box.

customize_currently_assigned

If a keyboard shortcut has not been defined for that command, the Current Keys box will be empty.

If you want to remove an existing keyboard shortcut, select the keyboard shortcut in the Current Keys box, and then click the Remove button.

If you want to assign a shortcut to a command, make sure you have the command selected in the Commands box. In the Press New Shortcut Key field, type in the shortcut you would like. Text under the field will let you know if the keyboard shortcut you’re trying to assign is already being used by another process or available.

assign_new

When you find a combination that works, click the Assign button.

If you’re feeling like you just need to wipe the slate clean, you can remove all custom keyboard shortcuts and restore the default keyboard shortcuts by clicking the Reset All button.

Click Close and you’re done. Now you know you can have your looking-cool-and-being-efficient cake and eat it too!

I don’t want to shock you, but there is definitely opportunity for your content to get ripped off on the Internet. Your amazing photo is just innocently sitting there on some site, minding its own business, then BAM! Stolen by a jerk! Not only is it stolen, but it’s re-posted without credit, perhaps even accredited to someone else.  A lot of time and effort went into making that photo the beauty that it is. Can your photo ever find its way home again? Not easily, if ever. Because of this phenomena, many artists watermark their images so that the whole world knows where they came from.

So, let’s walk through how you can add a watermark to your images. For this, you will need your name or logo as an image file, preferably with a transparent background.

In Manage mode, select the image you want to watermark, and click Edit mode. In the Add group, select Watermark.

add_watermark

Click Browse to find your watermark image. To stand in as my logo, I will be using this weird wee dog as the watermark for my photography business *wink wink*, Tiny Dog Photography.

add_tiny_dog

Drag the image to your desired area and resize as you like by dragging the marquee handles. Select Maintain aspect ratio when resizing if you want to resize the watermark image without distorting it.

If your watermark doesn’t have a transparent background, choose Apply Transparency. Then click the color in the watermark that you want to make transparent, or enter the RGB value.

Select an option from the Blending Mode drop-down list to specify how you want the watermark to blend into the underlying image. For this, you’ll just have to experiment with what looks best for your watermark.

select_blend_mode

Lastly, select your opacity level using the Opacity slider. This will determine how subtle you want your watermark to be. When satisfied, select Done and save your changes.

goat_watermark

To Add a Watermark to Series of Images at One Time:

Adding a watermark to one image at a time? Nobody has time for that. You can use Batch Edit to add your watermark to as many images at once as you want.

In Manage mode, select the images.

select_multiple_images

Go to Tools | Batch | Batch Edit. In the Batch Edit window, in the list on the left, click Watermark to see the watermark options. Now, it’s important to note that this is not the same as clicking the checkmark next to Watermark. You have to select the word “Watermark” to see the options, then select the checkbox next to it to say, yes, I actually want a watermark.

Once again, browse to find your watermark image. If the watermark does not appear on the preview, click the Position & Blending tab and then click back to the Image tab.

watermark_window

Configure the checkboxes on the Image tab as mentioned above. On the Position & Blending tab, you will find your Blending Mode drop-down menu, Opacity slider, and Location fields, which allow you to position your watermark precisely using percentage or pixels.

position_blending

(You can still position and size the watermark by dragging the marquee handles, as well, if you prefer.) You can then use the Image List tab to preview the look and position of the watermark on all the selected images in your batch.

When you are happy with the way the watermarks look, press Next on the bottom of the Batch Edit window. Under the Output Options, you can configure where you want these images to be placed, if you want to change the file names, or file format, etc. Press Next. ACDSee will then apply the watermark to the images and, when complete, you can find them in the location that you specified.

The final step is to share and set free your work as you desire, with a bit more peace of mind!

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