Add Face Recognition to Lightroom w/ Picasa!


We teach clients how to manage their professional image libraries using a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Bridge. I typically don’t recommend iPhoto for most professional libraries.

Then Apple added Faces (facial recognition) in the latest version of iPhoto. I’m loath to give up my professional workflows, but easily keywording photo libraries with people’s names is a game changer for many businesses.

This week I started testing Picasa 3.5, free software from Google, which now includes face-matching. It works great, integrates easily with Lightroom or Bridge, and did I mention it’s free?… Read More

Drag Photoshop Selections Between Documents.


PhotoshopMoveSelections.pngI’m always delighted when I discover basic Photoshop techniques I missed along the way. We all know you can drag selected pixels from one window into another. Somehow I missed that if you drag that same selection while using one of Photoshop’s selection tools, you can drag the selection itself (with no pixels) over into a new document.

I must have known this at some point, but I’d obviously forgotten because I have a clumsy method I’ve used for years when I needed to copy selection outlines between documents. If this little tip saves anyone those extra steps, then revealing my personal ignorance was worth it.

Source: This is one of those little details I picked up during Jason Hoppe’s 5-Week Photoshop Fundamentals course. For as long as I’ve been using these tools, I still learn something new from almost every course I sit in on.

Photoshop’s 3D Postcard Feature.


Photoshop3DMenu.pngDid you spend the extra for an "Extended" version of Photoshop CS4? If so, your copy of Photoshop sports a new 3D menu that you’ve never touched. (Tip: If you bought the bundle of CS4 that included Flash and Dreamweaver, you got Photoshop Extended in the deal.)

You’ll get your money’s worth today. This 3D Postcard trick lets your extra Photoshop investment finally pay off. This is a great trick for adding a sense of dimension to your portfolio when you need to show off flat screenshots, webpages, or examples of printed projects. Adjust your flat object in 3D space, add an appropriate shadow and you’re set!… Read More

Free Photoshop, Photography, & Web Classes! (2009)


I just spent (yet another) weekend getting our September (2009) course list posted. The upcoming class calendar is pretty cool. Take a look through the slate of upcoming free classes, and sign up for a couple that catch your interest:

Link: Photoshop Course (6-Months!)

Link: Digital Photography Course (10-Weeks)

Link: Lightroom Course (10-Weeks)

Link: Dreamweaver Course (10-Weeks)

Here is the problem: I’m leaving for an extended family vacation in two days. I’m frankly a little concerned that with so many classes starting at once, we’re not going to get the number of people we need signed up by the end of August.

Help Spread The Word! Our free training model only works when we’re sharing with a large worldwide audience. Help us keep these classes free.


Finish My FLAH.


Every Flash project is different. Once you’ve covered the basics of moving around Flash, there is still so much more to learn. So, in the spirit of Retouch Tuesday we bring you our latest experiment in challenge-the-instructor-training: Finish My FLAH.

We’re asking you to send in your real-life Flash documents and concepts. If we find a couple good examples, we’ll invite a few couple participants from around the world to join Erik Fadiman for a personalized live Flash training session.

Send Your Files: CreativeTechs YourSendit Dropbox

Include a description of what you are trying to accomplish, and tell us challenges you are running into. Erik will pick interesting challenges and work one-on-one with a couple participants, while the rest of us get to watch and learn from the examples. This is an experiment. We know this concept works for Photoshop retouching. Will it work for Flash production too?

Illustrator Graphic Styles & Symbols!

Today’s Illustrator webinar was quite an adventure! Ten minutes before the start of class, our Internet connection suddenly dropped (apparently because of a nearby maintenance crew). Luckily we managed to switch over to our slower emergency connection without too much chaos.

Of all days, today was the day that we received a slew of new visitors from two big referral sources. So to make up for today’s Internet glitch, we’re posting the Illustrator Week 7 class free for everyone to enjoy.

In return we ask is that you help encourage more great referrals! Visit Adobe’s Facebook page and Vectip’s Twitter feed to say that you really appreciate them spreading the word about CreativeTechs training:

#1: The Adobe Illustrator Facebook Page! Tell them it was good!

#2: Vectips Twitter Feed – Reply to say thanks for the Tweet!

Quality and quantity both help here. Let’s show our appreciation with some great feedback to them. Thanks!

Craig Swanson

PS. Anyone interested in signing up for other free weekly classes should visit our training calendar. Or if you are interested in purchasing full recordings of our past courses, visit our course purchase page.

Build Puzzles using Excel & InDesign Tables.


At first glance, this tip may seem a little frivolous. Creating word-search puzzles isn’t a skill that is in high demand. Yet as we dig below the surface, this project is a great demonstration of InDesign’s ability to place Excel spreadsheets as a table. Which can be pretty handy for many types of information-heavy design projects.

This tip was written several years ago when one of our clients needed coaching in how to create word-search puzzles for a monthly magazine she produced.… Read More

Download PhotographyBB Magazine Free.

PhotographyBB-Magazine.jpgDigital photography fans can download the free monthly issues of PhotographyBB e-magazine in PDF format.

Link: PhotographyBB Online Magazine

PhotographyBB is a free online magazine composed by a hardworking team of volunteer contributing authors whose goal is to teach beginners all about digital photography and image processing.

The June 2009 edition features articles on photography techniques and issues facing today’s digital photographer. Readers will learn tips on composition and how keeping things simple can lead to great photography.

The issue also examines how to overcome photographer’s block when lack of inspiration occurs. Included is also a Photoshop® tutorial on creating an urban grunge type effect for dramatic impact.

Read More

Free 4-Week Photography Course! (2009)

I’m delighted to announce a new 4-week Digital Photography Course starting in two week! This special course is taught by photographer John Greengo from the PBS series Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge. This 8 minute video gives you a great overview of not only the content, but the style in which John teaches.

Want to enroll? Us this link to enroll: Digital Photography Course Enrollment.

July 15 (2009): Week 1 – Overview.
July 22 (2009): Week 2 – Your Camera.
July 29 (2009): Week 3 – Your Technique.
Aug 5 (2009): Week 4 – Composition Secrets.

I’ve watched John teach. He does a remarkable job making technical photography subjects relevant, understandable and yes, fun.

We are very fortunate to have John joining us.

Read on for an extended Q&A, and to ask your own questions in the comments. John is currently finishing the course content. If you have a topic you’d like to see him cover, mention it in the comments below.

Read More

Use the Photoshop Eyedropper Anywhere!

Eyedropper-Drag.pngI love uncovering basic tricks I should’ve already known. This is a great one that will save me time almost every day.

Need to match a color from a web page or something else while working in Photoshop? Just click with the eyedropper tool somewhere in your Photoshop file, and drag the cursor off to sample colors from anything visible on your screen.

That’s it!

This eyedropper trick has apparently worked since Photoshop 7. Wish I’d known that a few years and a couple thousand screenshots ago!