Gems of Wisdom from John Gardner

On Monday evening 24th June a packed house at Brookhouse was treated to an insight into the processing techniques used by John to achieve the tremendous images we keep seeing (oh, it helps to start off with a great image in the camera!). John started by looking at “workflow” – the steps he goes through from putting the memory card into the computer to the finished image. First and foremost was backing up (when did you last backup all your images and where do you store them I wonder?). Importing from the card and making quick selections was vital when dealing with lots of images. Many of us were amazed at the way in which John could whittle down a set of images to just the ones he wanted to deal with. He mainly uses Lightroom for DAM (Digital Asset Management) so he can tag and rate images making the recall and selection of images in the future much faster. For dealing with the RAW images John, being a Nikon user, uses Nikon Capture NX2. He explained that Canon users can use Adobe Camera Raw as Canon give Adobe the information necessary to process the images correctly. John went on to demonstrate the adjustments he makes, emphasising that getting the image right in the camera makes processing quicker and easier. He then demonstrated the use of Nik Filters software, showing us a few of his favourites. After this came Photoshop itself, working with the jpeg file. John demostrated how he combines two images sometimes to get the effect he wants and how he uses a 50% grey layer to do dodging and burning.

In the second half John moved on to use Portrait Professional software for his model images. showing how work on the skin tones in particular can enhance the image greatly. In response to questions from members he also demonstrated vignettes and black and white conversions, again showing us is favourite effects.  It was a high speed, intensive evening, packed with useful guidance and it was almost inevitable that John ran out of time. Although not an evening for beginners, everyone both enjoyed it and took home some nuggets of wisdom and I’m sure that many of the ideas will be tried by members in the days to come.

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