03Dec

Photoshop CS4 continued and my book on Amazon.com

Here’s a link to my book on Amazon.com – it’s out January 6th, 2009, and sellin’ like hot cakes.  If you want to learn all about photographic exposure, which includes many aspects of photography that will help you improve your skills, pre-order it today.  It’s less than $20 and with over 225 pages, 200 photos, diagrams, and lessons, it’s worth every dollar!

And if you live outside the United States, there are over 30 sites carrying the book, in places like Canada, Denmark, Finland, ItalyNorway, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom.

Moving back to Photoshop CS4, as I began to

 get up-to-speed on the recent release, my new favorite toy is the clone tool with now offers a preview of the clone before you ever click on an area in a photo – it’s fantastic!  Not only does it save you a step of cloning if the clone is wrong (in tone, color, subject matter, etc), but it also helps a ton with lines and patterns of any kind (branches, building, power lines, road markings, and so on).

More to come on all the new Adobe’s Photoshop CS4 features, as well as the rest of Adobe’s Master Collection!

21Nov

Affection for my Master Collection

I finally landed my copy of Adobe’s Master Collection which launched in late September, and I can’t wait to get started! Yahooie.


I’m mainly looking forward to using all the new jammin’ functions in Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2.1 (Lightroom doesn’t come with Master Collection), but Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection comes with a ton of programs:

From video to stills, graphics to design, audio to html, the Master Collection is everything a multi-media person could desire. I use Dreamweaver CS3 since moving over from GoLive CS2, but lookin’ forward to Dreamweaver CS4 for new updated web design. Photoshop CS4 Extended also has a new 3D object painting which sounds like a fantastic feature – who says we need to shoot all product colors from here out?! There’s many new aspects of Bridge and Camera Raw that simplify Photoshop functions, allowing you to get a ton of work done before even opening and processing the file.

There’s a ton to go through, but I hope to add updates over the next few months on all the new cool features. The main programs I’ll start with are Photoshop CS4, Bridge CS4, Dreamweaver CS4, and Indesign CS4.

Stay tuned groovy photo dudes and dudettes.

10Oct

Self Portrait via Photoshop’s artist tools

I’m rarely pleased with shots of myself these days…who is when you’re 40?!  And although I’m gettin’ back into better shape (that always helps with portraits), I still look at images from my 20s and think that same ol’ thing, “hey, I was thin and wasn’t bad looking back then!”.  


But every so often when I get a nice shot, I like to take it into Photoshop CS3 and trick it out a bit for fun, using Adobe’s artist filter tools like “Cut Out”, “Palette Knife” and “Dry Brush”.  I know what you’re thinkin’, “hey Sean, you should be using the Blur tool with the radius on 100 dude!”

(By the way, Adobe Photoshop CS4 is on the way and I’m sure it’s only going to get better- CS3 advancements with exposure, ACR, and HDR were amazing, so I’m eager to see what they’ve added and improved!).

But when you go into the filters, there’s a variety of options in each giving you tons of different outcomes depending on the shot itself, the lighting, the contrast, the detail and the color.  It’s a blast to mess around with, and the results can be cool lookin’. 
Here’s one to check out – a recent shot of me in Vegas, digitally altered in Photoshop using the Cut Out artistic filter to give me a “Reservoir Dog” feel….I’m Mr. Brown.


03Oct

My Flomax commercial…not really

Okay- here I was, up in the state of Washington heading over the border to British Columbia, shooting a few editorial magazine jobs in both areas- combining it with a sports / road trip, just happy to be with good friends – something I’ve needed for a long time.  


And as we drove from Seattle to Vancouver by way of Snohomish, I sat in the back seat (a place I’m definitely not use to) with a smile on my face and a slow heartbeat.  We joked about someday renting a convertible and being the guys in the flomax commercial.  As we headed up Interstate 5 towards the US/Canada border, we past a beautiful forested area near Bellingham and Mt Baker where I shot this image.

Although it was an impromptu capture of friends on a road trip, and a nice but not once-in-a-lifetime-photo, it still took all of my photographic exposure experience to meter the outdoor light, use my pop-up fill-flash to add detail in the backlit shaded interior (couldn’t use my strobe flash unit since it was just too large in the Acura TL we were riding in), chose a super wide-angle lens to frame the scene, all the while driving 70 MPH in the small sedan with the sun shining straight into my lens (an aspect I desired since I knew it would add an extra spark to the scene).

My exposure was f/5.6 @ 1/200 second in manual mode, spot metering, using ISO 100, fill-flash, and a 12mm lens…not that this would help a ton to reproduce the image – only the specs of what I chose for the particular situation.

Dope road trip – cool assignments – great sporting events and outdoor activities.  Maybe in 20 years I’ll try the same shot in our convertible, as our grey hair flows in the wind.  🙂

23Sep

Google Earth is the best, true that, double true!

Last week, while on my way to a Seattle Mariner game at Safeco Field, I was walking through downtown Seattle with a friend who pointed out the tallest building in Washington.  “It use to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi”, he stated.  Moving close to the front facade, I pointed my wide-angle lens up toward the sky and captured this image- we were trying to make the first pitch of the ball game, so I didn’t spend much time trying to find out more about the location, however I knew I could license the image to a publication or two at a later time, or turn it over to my stock agency to do the same.


Off we went and I didn’t think much about the image until it showed up on my computer in Adobe Bridge (Photoshop’s media manager for imagery and RAW digital files).  Opening the graphic shot, I came to like it more and realized I hadn’t gathered enough information for a solid caption.  Off to Google Earth an jammin’ free Mac/PC application that let’s you go anywhere on Earth- one of those scary I-hope-the-terrorists-don’t-get-into-this programs allowing you to fly over mountains, view any landscape at any angle and elevation, and navigate through cities past three-dimensional buildings.  It’s addicting for sure. 

So I typed in Seattle and in a few seconds found my original location of this photo- through links and information on the building I was able to gather all the facts and figures I needed.  

The Columbia Center, the building on the right (along Fourth & Fifth Avenues and Cherry & Columbia Streets) is the tallest skyscraper in the downtown Seattle skyline at 937 feet.  It is also the 19th tallest in the US- constructed in 1982 and completed in 1985. The building on the left is the Seattle Municipal Tower

, 62 stories high, completed in 1990 (designed by Bassetti Architects).

I hadn’t played around enough with the 3D city views in Google Earth and was so amazed by it, I decided to see if I could recreate the view I captured in this virtual globe platform. Sure enough, after a little finageling, I was able to get it pretty close- I’d say close enough.

Wow.  Our world in real-time, available for so many educational functions including a travel photographer gathering caption info for his commercial business.

19Sep

Seattle at sunrise


Being a night owl, I’m not a big morning person- although as an nature and travel photographer, I’ve had to get up at dawn a ton of times to catch and photograph sunrise.


Sunrise not only has a wonderful quality to it with beautiful light, but air is usually cleaner and clearer.  And although the first 15 minutes waking up is painful, I’m always glad I did so when I get out there.

Last Tuesday before returning to the Bay Area from the Pacific Northwest, I was due to photograph one of Jimmie Hendrix guitars at the Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle, Washington- one he smashed during a performance (for a Via magazine article).  The problem was I needed to reschedule my flight and didn’t want to pay the change fee – so I headed to the airport with a friend at 6am, booked myself on stand-by for a noon flight, and headed back to downtown Seattle with another friend (who works in the financial district).

After catching a cab to the EMP (a wonderful music museum founded by Paul Allen) arriving there at sunrise, I had a few hours to kill so I decided to photograph the the Space Needle which stands right next to EMP.  The light was beautiful and clear, there were few people around, 
and I spent the next two hours playing around documenting some of the amazing architecture with a few of my wide-angle lenses.  

Here are some of the images captured that morning with my Nikon D200 digital SLR camera– images I didn’t plan on taking, but was able to get due to certain circumstances, my experience understanding light, as well as creative play with no particular goal in mind.  “Chance favors the prepared mind” as Ansel Adams once wrote.

06Sep

My book, "The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure", will be out soon!

Hey photo-dudes and dudettes, just wanted to share info on my book, coming out this October 2008- here’s a description with links for orders and more…

DescriptionExposure. It’s essential to producing high-quality photographs, but mastering exposure is difficult. At last there’s the BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure, packed with Sean’s experience & knowledge, assignments, diagrams, tips, & illustrations, this 225-page book will put you on the right track towards photographic creativity & expertise. It’s like a full-scale photo course between the covers of the book–all taught the BetterPhoto way, just like photographers learn at the top photo-instruction website. There’s plenty of info on both digital & film photography, discussing how different file formats affect exposure, how to adjust digital files, dealing with difficult lighting, color correction, combining digital exposures, & much more. Hundreds of the author’s stunning full-color images make this hardworking guide as inspiring as it is instructive.

About the Author: Sean’s images have been featured in 250 publications & by 150 companies, including National Geographic & Microsoft. A commercial travel photographer & BetterPhoto instructor, he travels the globe & makes his home base in California.

My comments: I’m very proud of this book and believe it will help improve your photography by understanding so many aspects of exposure. Exposure is the basis of all great images, yet most are lost when it comes to knowing how to meter light. Once you read my book, you’ll have a great base to work from as well as a wonderful reference. Your images will improve & your post-capture Photoshop work will take considerably less time & look more realistic.

ORDERING MY BOOK:

Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/BetterPhoto-Guide-Sean-Arbabi/

Target: www.target.com/Sean_Arbabi

Yahoo!: www.yahoo.com/Sean_Arbabi

Amazon.de (Denmark): www.amazon.de/BetterPhoto-Guide-Sean-Arbabi/

Borders: www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=0817435549

Tower Books/ Tower.com: www.tower.com/details/details.cfm?wapi=111693950

Buy.com: www.buy.com/prod/the-betterphoto-guide-to-exposure/

AllBookStores.com: www.allbookstores.com/book/link/0817435549

PriceGrabber.com: www.pricegrabber.com/search.id=12228420

eCampus.com: www.ecampus.com/book/Sean_Arbabi

BAMM.com/ Books a Million: www.booksamillion.com/author&find=Arbabi,+Sean

Chapters.Indigo.ca (Canada): www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/The-BetterPhoto-Guide-Sean-Arbabi/

HeadHouse Books: www.headhousebooks.com/ISBN=0817435549

Blackwell: bookshop.blackwells.com/jsp/id/The_Betterphoto_Guide_to_Exposure

Munro’s Books (Canada): www.munrobooks.com/author.ARBABI_SEAN

Railroad Book Store: www.railroadbookstore.com/photography/Sean+Arbabi_Author


09Jul

My work in an Italian art mag


FeFe, an Italian art publication, ran a few of my images for their issue themed “If you don’t play, you can’t go home” – a mix of my work from the California coast to the Florida Keys, southern Utah to western Wyoming.  


To date, my images have run in many countries, on all continents around the globe – with the exception for Antarctica- some day I hope to land the cover of “Freezing to Death” magazine or at least have a fine art print hung in the Port Lockroy Museum on the Antarctic Peninsula.

🙂

09Jun

Acorns and memories


I love acorns- they remind me of my childhood walking around on Albany hill (overlooking the San Francisco Bay surrounded by Eucalyptus trees) or up in Tilden Park overlooking the entire Bay Area.  The smell of them brings back memories of the days of old, and their shape and design is a thing of beauty.


I was playing around one day after collecting a few in Tilden Park while my girls rode the historic carousel, and took a few shots back at home.

Here they are just to share…..I’ll probably have more to come someday.

26Feb

HDR, iPhone, Lightroom vs. Aperture, my life…

Another February blog/podcast discussing High Dynamic Range images, my iPhone (that I love more that life itself), as well as some comparison between Adobe’s Lightroom 1.3, and Apple’s Aperture.


Here’s a HDR photo captured up on Mt. Diablo State Park in the San Francisco Bay Area (Northern California) combining seven RAW image files to capture the 15-stop range from highlights to shadow detail.

Then I’ve included a screenshot of Adobe’s Lightroom software program displaying some of my images (all images © Sean Arbabi / Arbabi Imagery). 

In my podcast/ blog, I also share some upcoming assignments and plans in my photo business, as well as general thoughts and another fun quote.  Enjoy PhotoGuru-heads…

For more info on:
Sean & his photography: http://www.seanarbabi.com


Apple’s Aperture 2: http://www.apple.com/aperture

Adobe’s Lightroom: http://www.adobe.com/lightroom

Apple’s iPhone 8GB & 16Gb versions: http://www.apple/iphone

High Dynamic Range images: http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/hdr