Monthly Archives: June 2011

Never take another out of focus photo again!

Remember all those action photos you have taken that ended up being focused on the wrong player. What if you could change the focus to the player you originally were aiming for after you took that photo? The possibility might not be to far from reality. A startup company called Lytro is working on a consumer priced camera that allows you to actually change what is or is not in focus after the photograph has been taken.

Ren Ng, CEO of Lyton states the following.

This is achieved by inserting a microlens array between the sensor and main lens, creating a plenoptic camera. Each microlens measures not just the total amount of light deposited at that location, but how much light arrives along each ray. By re-sorting the measured rays of light to where they would have terminated in slightly different, synthetic cameras, we can compute sharp photographs focused at different depths.

Check out the following video for a demonstration on what the camera can actually do. You can also read more about the technical details of how light field photography works by checking out Ren’s tech report here.

Customizing your Photoshop workspace

Over the years Adobe has added more and more ways to customize the Photoshop workspace to fit your needs. You may be asking why would you want to change the default. One answer would be that everyone works differently and use different tools. Very few photographers will ever need or use all of the tools available in Photoshop. By customizing the workspace you can get rid of all the clutter and get access to the tools you use everyday. Let’s take a look at a few ways to get the right workspace for you.

default workspace

One of the first things you should do is either shrink or remove the pallets you don’t use. If you never use the navigator pallet why should you have it on your screen taking up space?

The next thing you can do to get rid of the extra stuff is to go into edit/menus and hide the menu items you don’t use. This can make finding the items you want much easier and quicker.

You can even change the font size that Photoshop uses. Just go to edit/preferences/general and change the options for UI Font Size.


Do you want to get a larger preview of your font choices? In the preferences menu switch to the Type item to the left and set the Font Preview Size to a larger size.

One last tip that is not so obvious to change is the background color that is displayed when you zoom out of a photo. By default it is a light gray color but if you select the paint bucket tool, change your foreground color to the color you would like to use. Now while holding the Shift key down left click somewhere on the light gray color and it will change to the color you selected. Below is an example of the color changed from the light gray to a darker gray.

darker background color

As you can see there are a number of ways to change the look and feel of the Photoshop workspace. I would encourage all Photoshop users to explore these options and make the changes that will make your photo editing quicker and easier.

Get a free copy of PhotoDirector 2011

CyberLink known for their media based software is currently offering beta testers a free copy of their new PhotoDirector 2011 software. All you have to do is sign up for the free beta, try out the software and fill out a short survey. They will then send you a free copy of the final version when it is released. You can go to the PhotoDirector beta sign up page to get started.


PhotoDirector appears to be a direct competitor to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It has a similar look and the toolset is also very similar. CyberLink is pricing PhotoDirector $200.00 lower than Adobe’s offering so it is much more affordable to the photographer who is getting started and isn’t making much money from their photography yet.

We will be taking a closer look at PhotoDirector and it’s feature set in the near future so stayed tuned.