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Adding clouds to boring skies with Perfect Photo Suite

Recently I recorded a 30 minute video for onOne, Inc. on how to replace your boring skies using photo enhancement software Perfect Photo Suite.

Watch as I show you two different photos where I replaced a sky with one of my own cloud photo backgrounds. Using Perfect Layers and Perfect Enhance, learn some of the tips and techniques I use to replace a sky, and even how I add clouds to a reflection in the water in a photo where I replaced the sky.

 

 

Perfect Photo Suite includes a handful of cloud backgrounds in the program. You can also use your own cloud backgrounds. Be sure to also take a look at my popular high-resolution cloud backgrounds that you can purchase and download to use in any of your own photo compositions.

 

Interested in learning more about Perfect Photo Suite? Consider taking one of my 2-Day Perfect Photo Suite Crash Course workshops. If you can not make one of the many classes I offer each year then consider a private online one-on-one session via skype.

Zion by Moonlight

Many times the human eye sees things much better than what a camera can see. The eye has a much larger contrast ratio with a lot more dynamic range.

Other times the camera comes out on top and can see things that our eyes can not. This is one of those photos.

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 “Zion by Moonlight”
Zion National Park, Utah

Looking at this photo, one can see all of the detail in this landscape at Zion National Park in Utah. When I was photographing it, however, it was much, much darker than this.

The sun had set behind me almost 30 minutes prior to me taking this photograph. A nearly full moon had come up over the horizon in front providing some illumination. The rest of the illumination in this photo came from the light still present in the sky behind me after the sun had set.

A long exposure and higher ISO – 15 seconds at ISO 400 – was used to provide me with a photo that I couldn’t quite see with my own eyes but what the camera had no problems in helping me see.

Shoot first, setup tripod later

I arrived in Zion National Park, Utah on Sunday with my colleague Christine Hauber ahead of our 2014 Zion Fall Foliage Photo Workshop a few days ago under cloudy skies and a slight drizzle less than an hour of when the sun would be setting. By the looks of it there wasn’t going to be a sunset that night, but the clouds hanging low over the Watchman were still very striking and photogenic.

Hard to tell with this cloud cover that within 45 minutes a striking sunset will occur.

Hard to tell with this cloud cover that within 45 minutes a striking sunset will occur.

As we were parking my RV at the campground and removing her car from the dolly we noticed the clouds were starting to break – there was going to be a sunset this evening after all – and it was going to be impressive.

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The making of my Blood Moon over Abiquiu photo

Early morning on October 8th, 2014 I had the good fortune of photographing my second blood moon of the year. In April I was in North Scottsdale, Arizona when I photographed my “Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix” and this time I was in Abiquiu, New Mexico – about an hour north of Santa Fe. Here is how I created it.

Lunar eclipse blood moon starting at 3am in Abiquiu, New Mexico at La Santa Rosa de Lima - an old adobe church built in 1734 by Espanoles.

First the planning:

Two days prior to the eclipse I went scouting in the Abiquiu area with my colleague Christine Hauber. I had a very specific idea in mind and we spent all day looking for the perfect spot. I was looking for an old adobe building – preferably an old church – that I could use in the foreground of my photo. When people looked at the photo I wanted them to think of New Mexico.

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"Corvette Parking Only"

Just announced: Perfect Photo Suite 9 Crash Course in Tempe, AZ

After quickly selling out for our 2-Day Crash Course on Perfect Photo Suite 9 in Scottsdale, Arizona this November, we have added a second class date in Tempe, AZ on December 13 & 14, 2014.

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This will be our 4th Perfect Photo Suite crash course this year. The other two were in Phoenix, AZ and Santa Fe, NM.

Learn all about image enhancement and effects with onOne Software’s new Perfect Photo Suite 9 in a small classroom with 14 students and two teachers. There will be plenty of time for one-on-one help in-between demonstrations and lectures.

For full details you can visit the information and registration page.

Here are some testimonials from earlier classes:

Barbara - from MN who took the Tempe, AZ 2015 April class

"This really did exceed my expectations. First day was great but the second day was a WOW. I learned so much. The size of the workshop was perfect... I would highly recommend this workshop. Best workshop ever! I went from 0 to 60 in one weekend."

Steve H.

"[This class] exceeded my expectations. Getting 16 hours of instruction for less than $20 an hour is a real bargain...other than the folks at on1, I am confident that no one knows more about the actual use of the software."

Student from the Tempe AZ 2015 April class

"This met all of my expectations. Being relatively new to all of this, it's what I wanted... I think the 2-day training was right on. Your emphasis on important facets of on1 reflects your understanding of this great tool."

Randy - from AZ who took the Tempe, AZ 2015 class

"Great to get to work along instead of just watch. Great to have one-on-one help! Good job keeping the pace for the whole class - you managed the group and schedule well. Great work taking questions and addressing specific needs. I strongly recommend if you want to bake in your learning with live practice and one-on-one instruction."

Perfect Photo Suite class student

"It made me interested in going even further into photo editing than I had expected it would."

Richard - Tampa, FL

"This was the class I was looking for. I had been using Perfect Photo for about a year and had watched some of the video presentations but did not really have the feel I wanted for the program. I had been searching for several months for someone to teach a face-to-face class and finally came upon Matt after seeing a link through on1’s emails. This was a crash course but it was perfect. Great explanations and demonstrations with plenty of time to ask questions and receive one-on-one time when needed. Matt’s experience as photographers and users of the software was very evident. It’s nice to have someone who actually uses a program in real life situations instead of a company representative. After sitting through this class, I can now start to do more with my photos and use Matt’s and on1’s videos as refreshers to the class. I now have a better understanding of the capabilities of the program and what I want to do or need to do with my photos."

Perfect Photo Suite class student

"Great job – especially with patience. Some of my/our questions were repeats, but I greatly appreciate your patience and re-education where needed."

Jay M.

"After the course I came home and have been back through my India photos and reprocessed them all. I was able to really enhance my final output significantly. Kudos to you and your instruction."

Kim - from AZ who took the Tempe, AZ 2015 April class

"I have had the on1 software for years and have been looking for a workshop as I've tried the software and didn't stick with it. I will use it with my workflow now. Loved the demonstration and time to work on the photos. Love the teaching style. This is a very informative workshop on Perfect Photo Suite. The workshop is well paced and Matt is a very knowledgable instructor."

Student from Tempe, AZ April 2015 class

"You are near perfect in all aspects from teaching style, to preparation, to organization and materials. In that sense you exceeded my expectations. Great style, disposition and excellent command of the toolset. Thank you!"

Student from Tempe, AZ 2015 April class

"Workshop met my expectations. The teaching style was excellent, keeping me engaged throughout. Very good pace, allowing for coverage of a lot of material. Excellent teaching style and knowledge of the software. There were a lot of hands-on exercises which is the best way to learn. Very personable, good pace, plenty of work sessions."

Just how much faster is Perfect Photo Suite 9 than v8? Seeing is believing.

onOne Software’s upcoming Perfect Photo Suite 9 (available late October) promises speed gains over version 8.

In this video I will demonstrate the speed improvements using a folder containing 100 RAW images from the 36MP Sony a7R comparing browser speed between Perfect Photo Suite 8 and a beta of Perfect Photo Suite 9.

For more free tips on using Perfect Photo Suite 9 in addition to info on upcoming classes I will be teaching keep an eye out here on my blog at http://mattsuess.com/blog and to order Perfect Photo Suite 9 visit here.

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