Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular and powerful tools for organizing an image library. But do you know how to get the most out of it?
In our new Coffee Break Course, Organize Your Images With Adobe Lightroom: Keywording, you'll learn how to add keywords to an image so that, later on, we can find images that match our search. This course is quick but comprehensive—it's designed to help you master keywording in Lightroom in just ten minutes.
Watch the introduction from course instructor Andrew Childress below to find out more.
You can take our new Coffee Break Course straight away with a free 10-day trial of our monthly subscription. If you decide to continue, it costs just $15 a month, and you’ll get access to hundreds of courses, with new ones added every week.
This is the first course in a series of quick, ten-minute courses, each covering a different aspect of Adobe Lightroom. Coming up soon are courses on:
color labels and flags
And if you want to unlock more time-saving strategies with Lightroom, check out the range of useful Lightroom presets on Envato Market, which allow you to create a wide variety of professional effects quickly and easily.
Making good video requires a lot of help, and the ideal video team consists of a range of people and talents. In high-budget productions, every role is delegated to an experienced professional. Normally, though, you don’t have the luxury of a big team when you’re getting started in the world of video or working on small productions.
At certain point in the growth of your video practice you'll need to build a small team to achieve a higher level of quality. One of the first responsibilities to delegate is sound recording and audio production. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to add a dedicated sound technician to your crew.
Sound Makes the Picture
A sound technician is
the ideal first member to add to your video team. Passing all audio
responsibilities onto somebody else has a number of benefits. Primarily,
it’s frees up time and lowers stress. Assigning audio gives you one
less thing for you to worry about, one less thing to go wrong, and more
time to concentrate on photography and directing.
The Buddy System
best sound is recorded with microphones close to the source, ideally
with a boom mic. This limits your options. In most situations it’s very
difficult to capture high-quality sound when you are also behind the
camera; it’s impossible to operate a boom mic and a camera at the same
As soon as you put somebody else in charge of sound
recording, the quality and dependability of your sound recordings will
increase considerably. With the extra brainpower freed up by letting
someone else worry about sound, so will the quality of your photography
Rolling With the Action
fluid team is important when filming documentaries and action scenes.
Without a dedicated sound technician who can quickly move around and
react with a boom microphone, this would not be possible. The classic
team-of-two relies on just two people: a director-photographer operating
the camera, and a producer-technician operating the audio equipment.
This setup is popular for cinéma vérité, observational cinema, direct
cinemaand other documentary styles where reaction time,
inconspicuousness, and portability are key. It also works well for
business, news, and event videography.
Responsibilities of The Sound Technician
Within a high-budget production, audio capture and production is delegated to a whole team of people. The boom operator is in charge of positioning and using boom microphones, ambient microphones and lavalier microphones. The sound mixer is in charge of controlling levels and recording the audio. The dialogue editor is in charge of editing dialogue and recording ADR (additional dialogue) and voice over. The sound designer is in charge of adding sound effects and foley. The mixer is in charge of balancing the dialogue, sound effects and music for the final production.
On a small budget, the sound technician must take on all of these roles. Sometimes post-production—editing, sound design and mixing—is left to the director or video editor. However, in most cases the sound technician will do it all.
Responsibilities the Small-Team Sound Technician
A professional sound technician working as part of a small team has to wear many hats. She will:
Consult with the director or producer to find the sound equipment requirements for each shoot.
Rent or provide audio equipment.
Assess the acoustics and noise levels of a recording location and consider other factors that could affect the audio recording.
Use the boom mic, set up ambient microphones (when needed), set up lavalier microphones and operate wireless audio transmitter systems.
Check levels and record audio to a portable recording device or transfer the audio signal to the camera.
Manage the master clocks and audio-video synchronization.
Anticipate and fix any problems with audio equipment.
Audio post-production and processing, including dialogue editing, ADR and voice over recording, sound design and foley, noise reduction and mixing.
You Don’t Always Need a Sound Technician (Until You Do)
There are some situations when having a dedicated sound technician might not be completely necessary. Wherever lavalier microphones are used exclusively (for example, in an interview) it might be easier to set these up yourself. Nevertheless, if you want to save some time and stress, a sound technician is still beneficial.
If you are on a low budget and can’t afford to hire a dedicated sound technician, you will need to resort to lavaliers, static microphones, and on-camera microphones. The range of shoots where this works well is limited, but still doable. It actually takes more experience to pull of direction, photography, and audio all at once, so in many ways it makes sense to work with a sound technician, even on small jobs, when you're starting out.
So, in theory, you might not always need a sound technician, but conditions on the ground change rapidly. Beyond being just a valuable creative collaborator and friend, your sound technician is a kind of insurance: they add a certain flexibility and resilience you just can't have when you work alone.
How To Hire a Sound Technician
Most positions are filled by word of mouth. Tap into your network and ask around for somebody who is interested in your project. In most areas, the film and television audio community is pretty small: once you know one sound technician, you know them all.
If you don’t know any sound technicians or industry professionals, artist-run media centres and independent filmmaker cooperatives are good places to look for connections. Most have job-boards or email newsletters that you can tap to get the word out that you're looking for someone.
If don’t have an friends in the industry, or are in a region without a media centre or coop, there are many places online where you can look for the right person. I have had success with Film and TV Pro, and I know others who have used Mandy. You can also try regular job boards.
Before hiring a technician, check their credits and show reel. Although major credits are impressive, quality is more important. Listen to their reel on good speakers or headphones, and focus on the quality of the audio. Can you hear everyone clearly? Is everything well balanced? If they don’t have a show reel, you could ask for a reference or request a sample of their work.
If you are building your portfolio and working on a video that will not make a profit, you could try reaching out to an inexperienced sound technician and see if they have an interest in joining you on the project. Otherwise, expect to pay at least $20 an hour for a technician on a low budget project.
A dedicated sound technician is the ideal addition to a small video team, and should be your first consideration. Delegating all audio responsibilities will result in clearer audio and dialogue. It will save you setup time and allow you to create a portable, fluid team. Recruit from your community, if you can. Look for technicians who have made quality recordings, even if they've only worked on smaller projects.
Here are links to the equipment I mention in the video.
Behringer Truth B1031A: A lot of bang for the buck with this monitor! Keep in mind these are priced individually.
Yamaha HS8: A more refined and balanced sound with a great price.
Monoprice 108323: One of my favorite headphones! Great performance at a fantastic price.
Sennheiser HD 380: Popular cans with replaceable parts and passive sound attenuation of 32dB.
Watch the Full Course
In a video production, audio is arguably a more important factor than picture. In the full course, Advanced Audio Processing for Video, you will learn how to edit, process, mix, and master audio for your video projects.
You will learn how to use essential audio plugins like EQs, compressors, gates, expanders, and de-essers. You'll learn how to clean up dialog tracks by fixing noise, reverb, and mouth clicks. You will also learn how to mix and process effects so that they sit in the mix. Finally, you will learn how to use some mastering plugins like compressors and limiters to keep your audio levels and tone in check.
By the end of this course, you will have the skills you need to be able to tackle the audio portion of your projects like a pro!
We all know that actions can be a great way to speed up your workflow and give your images a style that may not be achievable through your own editing process. Here, we look at 15 Photoshop actions for portraits that come in under $10 each.
Actions and Style
Before we start, a word on actions. You can take one portrait (or three, in this article’s case)
and create some very different end results just by using actions. We all aspire to have our own style, whether that’s making photographs, processing them, or both. Actions aren’t a substitute for your own style; they should,
if used properly, compliment your vision.
There may be a particular look that you have
in your head but don’t have the editing know-how to get that final image. This
is one way actions are useful: they can provide the base processing help you attain a complex, stylised look, with
enough flexibility for you to make changes and hone the image into what you see
in your mind.
For me, the best actions are the ones that break down into
many different parts or folders, that I can then tweak, brush on and off or hide altogether
in order to get the result I want.
In this article, I’ve selected a range of actions that are
good for use on portraits. Some of these require a little prep beforehand and
some are simple colour washes, but I’ll demonstrate each one so that you can
see the results.
I’ll be using three portraits; one with a lot of vibrant colour and style, one quite neutral and light; and the third with a darker background, skin tones and clothes.
This is a cross process effect and is ready to run once you've installed it; no preparation required.
There's only one action here. The initial run was too warm for me, so I hid the 'add warmth' layer and raised the opacity of the gradient fill layer, which added more of the blue, cool colour. I also darkened it a little by dropping the opacity of the 'lighten' layer.
As the name suggests, this action gives you a drop shadow effect. There are right and left options. The action comes with a help file and a video as it requires some work before running: a duplicate layer with the background removed and the subject in isolation.
Due to the nature of the action, it's only going to work properly on certain images and even then, will probably need refinement.
There are 5 options with this set and none require any prep beforehand. These are essentially colours laid over the top of your image, so there's very little option to adjust anything. What you see is pretty much what you get. I used Fade here, with a texture.
As my two example images are already edited, I chose a more natural image to demonstrate this set. The actions contain five options which focus on different parts of the face.
These need a very light touch or you'll end up with a doll-like plastic face. Some of the actions are masks and some are folders with several options broken down inside. There are no blush/colour in the cheeks options and nothing for edits to hair. It does include a couple of skin changes, eye 'pop' and teeth whitener.
Obviously you need two images for this or it wouldn't really be a double exposure. You have to open your portrait on
top of your other image for the best result and make sure you’re clicked on the
top image when you run the action.
I combined my portrait with a city. There several options and it's really hard to get right. I think a different type of portrait may work better; possible one in profile rather than face on.
You get three options here, for three canvas sizes: 1000px, 2000px and 3000px.
I ran this on an image 3000px long and it took a while. Everything was already on 100%, which is a shame really as there's no room to boost certain features. The colours/tones are quite similar for the other options but you do get a slightly different effect. Running the image again might help to further stylise it.
There are ten options with this pack and they're very quick to run. Essentially, these are colour gradients layered over your image, so there's a little variety in each option but little room to adjust.
You'll note the texture here, which requires the pattern file to be loaded in. It also needs a background selection called ‘area’
as a separate layer.
On the whole, the actions listed here are very flexible.
Some even come with a number of presets, which means you can get several looks
from one pack. Particularly with the stylised ones; they often need preparation
first, whether that’s a new layer or something else loading in, like a brush or
texture. This can seem like a faff, but the results are worth it to get
something really special and unique for your image.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be the only person using an
action; that’s why it’s important to dig down where possible and customise the
various options, so you get the look that’s right for you and that hopefully,
nobody else will have replicated.
For many photographers, WordPress is the tool of choice to showcase their portfolio. Coming from a full-featured digital asset management tool like Adobe Lightroom, however, the photography and media-management tools in Wordpress can feel a little disappointing. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way!
I use WP Real Media Library to organize all of the media for Preset Love, a website I created. Preset Love offers free Adobe Lightroom presets and is built on WordPress. It's a complex site: with a media library full of images and preset files, I needed some help to get organized and stay organized.
By the way, this tutorial is for users of WordPress installed on their own domain and webserver, also known as WordPress.org, not hosted sites on Wordpress.com.
Instal the Plugin
WP Real Media is available for purchase through the CodeCanyon marketplace. CodeCanyon is owned by Envato, the same people who bring you Tuts+, and offers many premium WordPress plugins. Although WordPress has many free plugins, I often turn to CodeCanyon because I know the plugins are carefully reviewed and often include support from the authors for a period of time. Check out the WP Real Media Library plugin and purchase it from CodeCanyon.
After purchasing the plugin, it will become available for download in your CodeCanyon account. The easiest way to download it is to return to the item page, where the plugin is now unlocked. Download it to your computer in a place that's easy to find like the Downloads folder or desktop. Then, unzip the file and find the real-media-library.zip file.
Now, login to the WordPress admin panel for your site (typically located at yourdomain.com/wp-admin) and find the Plugins menu on the left side. Choose Add New to jump to the Plugins panel. Then, click Upload Plugin at the top of the window.
Now, you'll need to browse to where we downloaded the plugin file. Select "real-media-library.zip" and then press Install Now. On the next page, make sure to press Activate.
That's it! You've now installed WP Real Media Library. To start using the plugin, just return to the standard Media Library from the admin sidebar that you're accustomed to.
Organize Media into Folders
One of my favorite features of WP Real Media Library is that it integrates seamlessly with WordPress. It simply replaces the stock Media Library that's built into WordPress. To start using WP Real Media Library, just return to the Media > Library option from the WordPress admin panel.
Create a Folder
First, let's create a folder. Folders can be used to organize files in your media library. In my case, I'm going to sort all of my preset preview images into one folder, and all of the downloadable presets (zip files) into another folder.
To create a folder, click on the folder with plus button icon in the upper left corner of the media library window. Once you click it, the plugin will create a new folder in the folder tree at the bottom. I've gone ahead and given it the name "Presets" to sort my preset files into.
By default, WP Real Media Library puts everything in an "Unorganized" category that you can see on the left side of the media library. When you click on "Unorganized", you'll see all images that aren't sorted into a folder. Eventually, we'll want to move every media file into a more specific folder so that our media library remains organized.
To move a piece of media into a folder, just drag and drop it from the unorganized list onto the new folder that you created. Spend some time working through the "Unorganized" category and migrate your media into a series of folders.
When you move an image into a folder, it doesn't change its location on your web server. This is important because it won't break the link in a post or anywhere that you've already used it. Folders are just a virtual organization tool for sorting your media.
It's easy to move several images at the same time as well. Just tick the checkboxes to the left of all the files you want to move together, and drag and drop them all at once.
Finally, you can use multiple levels of folders to create a highly organized media structure. With one folder selected in the media library, press the new folder button again to create a second level folder.
Collections and Galleries
WP Real Media Library also offers collections and galleries that you can insert into posts. Collections contain galleries, and individual galleries contain images. Think of these as similar to folders, but with the option to insert them into a stylized grid in a WordPress post. Let's create a collection, then a gallery, and put some images inside of it.
To create a Collection, press the new collection button (shown in the screenshot below) and give it a name.
Remember that collections hold galleries. Select the collection that we just created, and the icons at the top of the column will change. Then, press the right icon shown in the screenshot below to create a gallery inside of the collection.
Now that we've created a gallery, we can put some images inside of it. I'll return to the Unorganized section and drag and drop images into the gallery. I used the checkboxes to select 11 images, then dragged and dropped them all at once into the gallery.
All done! Now that we've added images to a gallery, let's go add that gallery to a WordPress post. Create a new WordPress post or jump over to an existing one. On the post editor, find the new Gallery button (it looks like four squares in a grid) on the toolbar and click it.
Now, you'll see some options for how to insert the gallery. You'll need to use the "Folder" dropdown to select the gallery you just created. You can also tweak the number of columns in the image gallery grid.
Once you press ok, WordPress will insert a shortcode that helps insert the gallery into your post draft. Let's press preview to see how it looks.
Very nice! Galleries are a great tool for adding images in a visually attractive way to your WordPress posts. In the process of getting organized, you can also bundle images and put them into galleries for easy showcases.
Recap and Keep Learning
The WP Real Media Library plugin is powerful for organizing your WordPress site. As your site's media library expands, you'll need a few folders to keep things sorted and organized and this plugin is the perfect solution.
If you're interested in learning more about WordPress, Tuts+ has a great selection of tutorials. This WordPress gallery roundup has a great list of plugins that can be used to show images in WordPress. You might also want to learn about CodeCanyon's selection of form plugins for interacting with your visitors. Finally, if you really want to get started with using the WordPress admin panel, Rachel McCollin offers a handy short course on creating content.
Welcome to our Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, in which you can
learn a Photoshop skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!
The Blur Gallery
Ever wanted to create those picturesque blurring effects found in photography? Well with Adobe Photoshop's Blur Gallery, you can explore depth of field and play with a wide range of motion and blur in only a few clicks.
With intuitive on image controls, you have more control over the range of blur than other traditional blur tools.
This is part of a new series
of quick video tutorials on Tuts+. We're aiming to introduce a range of
subjects, all in 60 seconds, just enough to whet your appetite. Let us
know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you'd
like to see explained in 60 seconds!
Panoramic images are a striking, but underappreciated, type of photography. In this tutorial we’ll look at what exactly
a panorama is, show you some inspirational panoramas and give you some tips to
take your own, stunning shots.
What is a Panorama?
photography is also known as wide format. In the days of film, you’d have to
buy a panoramic camera (I had one of these, it was a small red plastic box with
giant film) or spend a long time in the darkroom piecing together your images
by overlapping the exposures.
panoramic photography is so much easier to do, but the definition has become
more complex. A picture taken with a wide angle lens is not necessarily a
Generally, a panorama is considered to be an image with an aspect
ratio of 2:1 or larger: so at least twice as long as it is high. The
field of view that the image covers is equally as important. To be considered
panoramic, it should really show a scene that would be greater than that which we could
see with our eyes
things further, you could technically take an image with a wide angle lens, and
then crop it to a panoramic ratio. Today, though, the technique is mostly to
take a series of images and then digitally ‘stitch’ them together using editing
What You Need
With the digital stitching method, pretty much any lens will let you get
a great panoramic shot—it doesn’t have to be a wide angle! Experts often
consider a sharp prime lens, like the cheap and cheerful 50mm, perfect for
this kind of photography. The shorter the focal length, the more of the scene
you’ll be able to get, in fewer shots. Conversely, taking more images with a zoom lens, will allow you greater scope for cropping or zooming in later. This has all sorts of exposure and size
implications which I’ll touch on below.
A tripod isn’t essential but you’ll make your life a little
easier if you use one. As well as the stability, which is essential for
shake-free shots, you’ll want to make sure it has a flexible head (ideally with
a handle) so you can pan easily from left to right.
A shutter release is also helpful to ensure sharp shots, but again, something
you can manage without.
Photo Stitching Software
To make your
individual shots into one large one, you need software that can do a specific
task called stitching. This is where the programme takes recognisable areas of
an image called control points in order to understand where they should be
joined. For example, if you were taking a cityscape, the software would pick up
on a building in one shot, find the same building in the next shot in the
sequence and make the join there.
You don’t need
something expensive and bespoke to stitch images into a panorama. Many regular
image editors like Photoshop and Lightroom already have this function built in.
If you don’t have access to these, then there are free stitching programs such
and Hugin. These free pieces of
software will obviously limit you in some way, whether that’s the size of your
image or, in the case of a piece of software I used to use many years ago,
plastering a big smiling face watermark over the image.
bridge creates a nice leading line to Big Ben (the clock tower) in the background. It also breaks
up the water; I think without the bridge, this shot would have lost some of its
impact, there’d be too much river. Capturing this shot with a wide angle lens
would have put the main subject (the architecture) far too far away in the
background, and again we’d have seen too much river.
This is a nice
example of using a structure like a bridge to pull us into the panorama.The
central composition works well here and the sky and the sea are both broken up;
one by clouds and the other by a small boat and hut; I think this balances the
Cityscapes are really popular panoramic subjects. This one
has the added complexity of being a long exposure. Creating a long exposure probably
means the blending was trickier than that of a normal panorama and probably
some layering (as well as stictching) has occurred. The contrast between the
warm and light left side to the cool and darker right works really well.
I would guess that this has been post-processed this way rather than
using a filter, as the exposure isn’t very long; the water hasn’t smoothed out
at all. This could have been taken with a wide lens but the cropping certainly
makes this look panoramic.
Again, I’d guess at
this panorama being a cropped wide shot. It’s unlikely the fish would hold
still long enough to have taken multiple shots and it would become even harder
to blend with the busy background. Still, the cropped nature means the
photographer obviously wanted to create the panoramic look and I think this
works well; the added interest being that it is of course, underwater—something we don’t see all that often.
Which Mode to Shoot In?
I recommend you
stay away from auto when taking panoramic images. You’ll be capturing several
pictures across your scene, so if there are subtle changes in light, you don’t
really want the camera compensating for that automatically, or you’ll end up
with a hodge-podge of exposures to try and fix together.
choose your settings manually and lock them down. This might not be possible if
you are, for example, taking a panorama in which the sky is bright sunshine at
one side and has a storm moving in on the other. In that case, you’ll want to
make adjustments manually. The idea is to keep as close to the same settings as possible. I’d suggest noting down the changes you’ll need
before you start to shoot to make things easier for yourself. If you try and do
this while panning you might forget where you were up to or make a mistake, while all the while the conditions could be changing, meaning your earlier images no
longer match your later ones as well.
Remember that as
well as your settings being manual, you need to turn off auto-focus
too. You don’t want the camera changing focus or ‘hunting’ every time you try
to take your next shot.
Panorama images tend to be (although
aren’t exclusively) landscapes, or scenery. When shooting like this, the tendency
can be to hold your camera in landscape orientation, and why wouldn’t it? It’s what we’re
used to. However, I’ve actually found using the camera in portrait orientation much more
effective. When you’re taking your panorama photos you
need plenty of height as well as the width.
My recommendation is to do two passes using portrait orientation. First get plenty of
sky as and the top half of your scene or subject in one pass. Then move down and
capture the bottom half of your subject (with a healthy margin of overlap) and the ground. This
will give your chosen ‘stitching’ software lots of references when it’s
matching up what goes where and you can crop to suit, later.
Remember Your Basics
Remember to set up
your shot as you usually would, still thinking about things like composition.
It might be harder when you can’t see the representation of your finished image
in your viewfinder, but picture the whole scene in your mind. Mentally divide
it into grids if it helps and place points of interest logically. You don’t
have to be exact; especially if you take more than you need and give yourself
room to crop.
Making an image
that is deliberately designed to take in more than we usually could with the
naked eye can be tricky. The way we see objects from a certain
distance can be different depending on the angle: this is called parallax. A
perfect example is having my mother in the passenger seat of the car, telling
me I’m going too fast because the angle she’s at means the speedometer needle
looks different for her than it does for me. If you’re taking a photograph from
left to right, photographing an object from two slightly different perspectives
then you might end up with an anomaly in your finished image. Try to keep
everything at a decent distance to combat this, even if you crop in later.
Movement is a real
headache too; you don’t know pain until you’ve tried to stitch together a
sea-scape or a grove of trees on a windy day. In short, avoid movement if you
can. If you can’t, then try and get the pesky movers in one shot so you’re not stitching
two differently positioned items together,
Watch out for image
sizes. If you already have a camera that outputs to a large size and you shoot
in RAW, joining many of these together can cause your computer to grind to
a halt, or take forever for a result. Be prepared to wait a significant time
for large-scale panoramas to render. From experience, I find it’s best to
have everything else on the computer closed, and just let the software do its
Top Tips to Getting Great Panoramic Shots
you’ve been taking a lot of images through the day, can you remember where
your panorama starts and ends? Take a picture with the lens cap on or take
a picture of your hand as the first and last picture of each shot in the
series. It’ll make it easier for you to see which images group together.
to change your settings to manual: the last thing you want is your camera
bumping up the ISO in dark parts of the image, or altering the white
portrait for easier, added height. Why not try a vertical panorama?
you’re shooting hand-held, stay in the same place and only move the upper
part of your body.
to compose your image in your head before you start to shoot and know exactly
what you want.
Shooting Shallow DOF Panoramas: Shooting a shallow DOF panorama gives us a wide
perspective to capture the environment, and since we shoot a series of
fullsize frames, the shallow depth of field is preserved.
Panoramic shots stand out, no matter what their content. The nature of
their ‘odd’ ratio and unnatural field of view draw our eye and have us scanning
the image looking for details we might have missed on first glance.
Whether it’s an impressive city-scape from up high, or a simple
landscape, panoramas offer us the opportunity to showcase something from a
different perspective, something that not everyone is able to get. Nailing this
can be tricky, there are a lot of things to consider and you never really know
if it’s going to work how you pictured it until you’ve stitched it in your
When you’re taking your shots, remember to work out your composition and
any settings that might need changing, before you start to shoot. Photograph in
manual mode to prevent any auto-adjustment headaches later on and try shooting
in portrait orientation to get plenty of height. Avoid windy days where possible if you have
moving objects like trees; and try and keep any large subjects in the distance
to prevent parallax anomalies.
You’ve created a
compelling video about your business. You’ve invested time and money in the
content and messaging, and are confident it sells. How do you get people to
watch it when there’s so much competition for eyeballs online?
Uploading your video to YouTube is a no-brainer. But don’t stop there! You need to share that
video far and wide to maximize reach and engagement.
Here are ten ways
to share your business video, with tips and best practices for each.
YouTube is the
second largest search engine online after Google, so uploading your video here
is essential. YouTube is especially well suited for educational content such as
“how to” videos and product demonstrations. The downside? There are hundreds of
millions of hours of videos on YouTube, and getting found can be difficult. Bringing traffic back to your website is even harder still.
If you’re more
interested in a quality viewing experience than being found, upload your video
to Vimeo. This platform doesn't have nearly as big an audience as YouTube, but there are no banner or pre-roll ads or distracting cat videos. The other plus? Your video will plays in high definition without the viewer having to adjust
Tip: Create a
custom thumbnail image for your video after you've uploaded it. You can almost always do better than the
one selected automatically!
uploaded your video to YouTube or Vimeo, grab the embed code and post
it on your company’s website. Make your video a prominent size and place it “above
the fold” – in other words, high on a page instead of buried at the bottom.
You can host your own video, but specialized video hosting services, like Wistia (the service we use to host our course videos), VHX, and Uscreen offer solid advantages for certain kinds of business video. These "white label" hosts let you display video on your site without any unwanted branding (or with your own), provide robust metrics and engagment tools, and won't try and drive your traffic back to their platform.
Don't forget to write
a blog post about your video too!
Tip: Avoid auto
play. Most viewers like to have control over when or whether a video plays.
Social Media Sites
Social media sites
like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest are made for sharing. Post your video to
all of your company’s social media accounts – repeatedly. Keep in mind that not
everyone is going to see your video the first time you post it.
Whenever possible, upload your video directly to the platform in question, rather than posting a link to YouTube. Sites like Facebook give a higher priority to videos that are uploaded natively. Also, consider
making different versions of your video for different social media sites. For example,
you might want to create a 15-second teaser video for Instagram to drive traffic to the
full-length video on your website.
Tip: Use online tools
like Hootsuite to schedule your posts at different hours and on different days
to maximize viewing.
Add your video to
the next email blast or newsletter you send out to clients. They’re already
interested in the content you provide, so chances are you’ll have a high click
clients to share your video with others. Ask them what kind of video content
they’d like to see in the future.
Promote your video
in your email signature. Just write a line of text to tease the video, then add
a hyperlink. Here's a fictional example to illustrate what I'm talking about:
John Doe | Widgets Inc. | (555) 123-4567 Have you seen our
newest product line? Watch the video!
Tip: Change the
signature every time you release a new video.
releases are sent online these days, so it’s easy to link to a video. The next
time your business introduces a new product or service or wins an award, make
sure the press release includes a link to your video.
Tip: Include an
eye-catching thumbnail image to entice people to click on the video.
industry partners and ask if they’ll feature your video content on their blog
or social media sites. For example, one of my clients is a golf pro who created
a series of short tip videos. She has sponsors for clubs, tees, and clothing
that might be interested in sharing her videos because they serve the same
Tip: Offer to
promote some of their content in exchange.
Community Web Sites
have blogs or websites that profile local businesses and people, and they’re
usually hungry for free content. It’s worth searching online to see what’s out
there. Ask if they’d be interested in linking to your video or writing a blog
post about it.
Tip: Offer to
write a short introduction to the video to help make their job easier.
Stores, Trade Shows, Conferences
If you have a
bricks-and-mortar storefront, set up a flat screen monitor to play your video. Same goes for trade shows and conferences where your business
might have a booth.
Tip: Make a
version of your video with subtitles so you can play it without audio.
As you can see,
there are lots of ways to share your business video beyond YouTube. Which
methods you choose will depend on your business and the type of video you’ve
created. So start experimenting!
Music videos are often on the cutting edge of a culture's creative expression, both in terms of music and visual effects. They also serve as an excellent source of creative inspiration. In this series of tutorials, we will take a look at how to use Photoshop to reproduce some of the most eye-catching effects.
In this tutorial we go a bit beyond just creating the effect—we record the steps as a Photoshop action. Actions are an excellent resource for being able to quickly produce a complex effect at the press of a button. For example, just take a moment to browse through the impressive actions available on Envato Market.
1. Gather Resources
Let's begin by taking a look at the inspiration for this effect. It's the wonderfully poppy and colorful music video for Lush Life by Zara Larsson. The effect that we want to focus on is the colorful clones effect seen notably around 0:35, 1:04, 1:58, and 3:07.
Not only do we want to reproduce the effect, but we would like to create it as an action so it is easy to apply to other images.
The effect is relatively straightforward to accomplish in Photoshop. But if you want to create a reliable Action, some of the steps are not very intuitive. That's because the action needs to operate properly on images of different sizes, so some steps need to use relative size positioning instead of absolute pixel measurements. Otherwise, if an image is too small, the effect won't stay within the canvas size.
It should be specified that the action will also require that the starting image is a single background layer, and has an active selection around the model.
Make sure the file is only a single background layer. If not, go to Layer > Flatten Image. Then use the Quick Selection Tool (W) to create a selection around the model. This will be the starting point of any image the action is used for.
Open the Actions panel with Window > Actions (Alt-F9) and use the icon at the foot of the Actions panel to Create new action. Name the action "Colorful Clones". As soon as you hit the Record button, be mindful of every step you take as Photoshop is now recording your actions.
Go to Layer > New > Layer Via Copy (Control-J), double click on the layer name, and call it "Copy 1".
Create fourmore copies of the layer and name them in series "Copy 2", "Copy 3", "Copy 4" , and "Copy 5". Be sure to rename each layer as it is created; don't wait until after all the copies are made. This risks the action not being able to detect the correct layer to rename when it is played back.
The canvas needs to be extended to create room for the effect. Go to Image > Canvas Size (Alt-Control-C), set the measurements to percent, and enter 280% for the Width. Using percentages means that the action will work on images of multiple sizes, not only this exact pixel dimension. Set the anchor point to the right center and the Canvas extension color to White.
Go to Select> All (Control-A) to select the entire canvas. Then go to Select > Modify > Contract, contract the selection by 150 px,and enable the Apply effect at canvas bounds option. This insets the selection by 150 pixels.
Select the Copy 4 layer and go to Layer > Align Layers to Selection > Left Edges to move the copy to the far end of the canvas. Then go to Select > Deselect (Control-D) to cancel the selection.
Hold down the Control button and click on each of the Copy layers 1, 2, 3 and 5. So all five copy layers should be selected.
Note: Do not use the Shift-select method to select the group of them at once, as that method is not reliable with an action. Each layer must be specifically selected by name in the action script.
Go to Layer > Distribute > Horizontal Centers to arrange the layers across the canvas.
Set the Opacity setting for the layers as follows:
Copy 4: 50%
Copy 1: 60%
Copy 2: 70%
Copy 3: 80%
Use the Control-click method again to select each of the copy layers 1-4 and go to Layer > Merge Layers (Control-E) and rename the merged layer to "Clones".
Set the Foreground color to a hot pink (e50fed) and the Background color to a neon green: (30ff07). Then go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient, leave the name as the default "Gradient Fill 1", and use the following settings for the Gradient Fill:
Gradient Preset: Foreground to Background
Enable the Align with layer option
Set the Foreground color to a bright yellow (f7fa04) and the Background color to a neon blue (0719ff). Then go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient, leave the name as the default "Gradient Fill 2", and use the following settings for the Gradient Fill:
Gradient Preset: Foreground to Background
Enable the Align with layer option
Set the second gradient layer's blending mode to Hard Light to create this multi-colored quad-gradient effect. Then Control-select both gradient fill layers and merge them together with Layer > Merge Layers (Control-E). Rename the merged layer to "colorfill".
Go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G) to clip the colorfill layer to the Clones layer.
Select the Clones layer and create a new copy of it with Layer > New > Layer Via Copy (Control-J). This adds a new copy of the layer, but notice that the colorfill layer is now clipped to the copy.
The original clone layer needs to be repositioned over the colorfill layer, but reordering layers in the Layers panel is unreliable in actions. Instead, select the Clones layer and go to Layer > Arrange > Bring to Front (Shift-Control-]).
Now go to Layer > Arrange > Send Backward (Control-[) to move the Clones layer down one spot in the layer order. Then change the blending mode to Luminosity and reduce the Opacity to 65%.
In the actions panel, hit the Stop button to stop the recording.
3. Test and Edit the Action
The whole point of an action is to be able to use it to create this effect on other images quickly and easily. If the action doesn't have much flexibility, then its usefulness is severely limited.
Reopen the starting image that was used to create the action. Create a selection again with the Quick Selection Tool. In the Actions panel, find the top of the Colorful Clones action and press the Play button.
The end result should look identical to the result created while recording the action.
Open a different image and try it again. Ideally, the testing should be done with various sizes of images, as it is unlikely that you will always want to use the action on the same size image.
If you detect a problem with the action playback, go to the Actions panel menu and select Playback Options. Then change the Performance setting to Step by Step. This means the action will play back more slowly, so you can see where things might be going awry.
If something needs to be corrected, it doesn't mean you have to record the entire action all over again. Steps can be moved or deleted from the action script, or you can even begin recording new steps mid-action. Just select the step in the action script where the new procedure should occur and press the record button. Photoshop will insert any new steps right into the action script at that point. Then when finished, press the stop button and test the action again.
Enjoy the Finished Action
When the action is done, enjoy the freedom it brings. You can easily create this fun, colorful clones effect any time in just mere moments...