About f64 – Blake Rudis

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About f64 Academy

I started EverydayHDR in September of 2010 after discussing HDR blog possibilities with Matt Kloskowski, Lightroom Guru and VP of Photography at on1, at Photoshop World in Las Vegas.  I knew I wanted to start an HDR blog, but I did not want the traditional blog format, you know the, “Hey this is my picture today, do you like it, leave comments”.

How does this relate to f64 Academy?  Keep reading :)

I wanted a blog that showed the everyday average Joe/Jane, not only my HDR images, but how he/she could make similar ones.  I wanted to showcase HDR beneficial products, interview other HDR artists, and make bang up photography tutorials that anyone could follow.  From there spawned the name, EverydayHDR, not an HDR image every day, but a way to show the average everyday photographer how to develop and hone their skills professionally with an emphasis on HDR imaging and post processing.

In early 2016, EverydayHDR changed to f64 Academy.  There are many reasons for this change, but the primary reason is the direction that my tutorials and writings were going.  They were slowly drifting away from just HDR Photography content and more in the realm of photography in general with an emphasis on art of photography rather than the act of photography.  This change of direction required a change in branding.

This is the f64 Academy Mission Statement:

It is our goal to bring you the finest Photoshop and Photography education.  As the aperture (f.64) implies, we deliver tack sharp, clear and concise education with a transparent mindset free of agendas and secrets.  As an Academy we distinguish ourselves as scholars called to a higher standard to continually innovate on the art of Photography.  We pledge to leave no photographer of any skill level behind in the process!

About Blake Rudis… Who is this guy anyway?Blake Rudis About f64

Blake Rudis is a self-published author and the host of f64 Academy. While his focus has been strong in HDR photography for the past 5 years or so, he is most passionate about post processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

Blake takes great pride in his Fine Art background. From Acrylic and Oil Painting to Printmaking and Sculpture he has had his hands in just about every art form. This has been paramount in shaping his ideologies on Photography and Post Processing. For Blake it is not about the act of photography, but the artistic process as a whole.


Significant Guest Posts and PodCasts with Blake Rudis on Other Sites


Guest Post on Scott Kelby’s Blog

 Digital Photography School: Contrast Checker

Interview with Andrew Kavanagh

Interview with Pixelobby

Zone Systems Podcast with jpeg2RAW

On1 Pro Series Interview with Matt Kloskowski


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  1. Blake,

    I was wondering if you can write a post on how you usually generate your HDR pictures. More like a step by step workflow. I think that will be very helpful for beginners like me. And maybe that can be one your page on the site too. Thank you.

    Good luck with the baby.

    • Thanks Bibek, the wife and I are excited! I have done a page on How to HDR, it is in the top menu bar under the title image. The direct link is here: http://f64academy.com/?page_id=109. I am not sure if that is what you are looking for, maybe I can see about a video tutorial in the future.

  2. I notice you use Photomatix. I’ve been trying it as well as the Nik HDR product. The control points in the Nik seem to be a real advantage. Can you comment on which product you think a beginning HDR person might find the best?

    • Hello Ron,

      While that may seem like a simple question, it is difficult to answer without some explanation. Everyone’s mind works differently, that is obvious, with that being said certain minds connect better with one HDR software than another. It is really the preference of the individual and how that individual responds to the software they are working with.

      I started with Photomatix and for that reason connect well with it. I love Photomatix but it took an immense amount of time to wrap my head around all of the sliders, the first 100 tone maps were horrible and I felt like I was guessing, now after processing thousands I connect with it and can predict what each slider movement is going to do. Is that something for a beginner? Not ideally, but if you get Photomatix down, the rest are a cake walk!

      HDR Efex Pro, on the other hand, is awesome for a beginner. Their presets are perfect and really only need mild tweaking, the slider are self explanatory, and the control point system is bar nun amazing! However, their is no option for batch processing which is a real pain if you go out and shoot 300 exposures with matching dynamic range. In Photomatix you can find the tone map you desire then run it on all the exposures automatically, after several minutes, all of your exposures are tone mapped. This saves a severe amount of time. the other downfall with HDR Efex Pro is that it is a Photoshop plug in which is pricey for those on a budget, 150 for HDR Efex Pro and 900 for Photoshop compared to Photomatix @ 99.

      Essentially what you have here are 2 of the best HDR processing software’s on the market. Photomatix is awesome for that grungy HDR look and can really give you what you need to not only tone map but understand the HDR process, if you can hammer through Photomatix, every other HDR program is a cake walk, trust me I have tried them all! HDR Efex Pro is awesome for doing one HDR Project at a time, but can be quite time consuming when you need to process a lot of images. I use both hand in hand. Photomatix for my batch processing and HDR Efex Pro for single quick images, or when I cannot get the HDR look desire from Photomatix, or when I want the convenience of an awesome HDR tone mapping program built right into Photoshop. So did I answer your question? Probably not, because there is no direct response, I will ultimately leave you to decide, one program will connect with you better than the other. But let me assure you, these are the 2 best HDR products on the market.


  3. Blake,
    In all my readings about HDR, most of those people who get involved swear by a tablet rather than a mouse or trackpad. Do you use a tablet and, if so, what would you suggest?
    These tend to be expensive and certainly have a learning/comfort curve.

    • Hello Ron,

      I do use a tablet and like many others I love it, but I prefer both mouse and tablet. MANY years ago my father would scold me for moving the mouse to the right side of the keyboard, due to him being left handed. Finally he put a stop to it and told me that if I wanted to use the computer I’d learn to use it left handed. I hated it at the time, but now I have the upper hand advantage over many photogs. I am left handed mouse and right handed tablet which works very well when post processing. I will use both at the same time, move mouse to desired tool, place pen on tablet, use tool, remove pen from tablet, use mouse, wash, rinse, and repeat.

      The advantage of a tablet is the ability to use pressure sensitive editing. Brush strokes are actually similar to real brush strokes. This makes masking awesome and gives you much more control over every aspect of post processing. I, like you, was skeptical so I bought the bamboo small tablet about 3 years ago to see if I liked it. I am still using it today, I am sure a bigger tablet would be nice, but this tablet has everything I need, mainly pressure sensitive editing. It really only takes about 5-10 minutes to get used to, if you have some background in drawing and/or painting. If not it may take you 20-30 minutes to get used to. I highly recommend a tablet!


    • Hello Michelle,
      Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the inspiring comment. I love hearing that I inspired you, that is what me and EverydayHDR are all about, inspiring HDRtist’s to do what they do best. I saw the image you made, very nice, very close perspective to the one I shot. I almost got run over by a cop shooting this one, it was about 4 AM and for some reason he wouldn’t stop, I had to pull my gear mid exposure to dodge him!

      Stop on by more often. Free tutorials every HDR Friday! Take care Michelle.


  4. Hello i photography and i leering my way in world of photography art,
    Sorry if i ask to much!
    But after you done your shooting , how hard /how much time/how much photoshop is the edit processes of photo you made?

    • No problem Vinko, I don’t mind the questions at all. The shooting literally takes seconds, framing/ composing the shot may take a few minutes depending on the scene. However, the most time consuming part is the post processing. I feel a good image deserves the justice of the digital darkroom (Photoshop). After processing my photos in Photomatix, which may take 2-5 minutes, I then pull them into Photoshop and do a lot of post processing. Nothing crazy or out of control, just some simple touch ups most of the time, with noise reduction, color correction, curves and sharpening. Sometimes I get really crazy with it and do some artistic work. To answer your question, I spend about 20 minutes per image in post processing.

  5. Hi. I’m a full-time stay at home mom by day, a nurse part time by night, and a (very) amateur photographer. I’m still trying to find myself when it comes to what it is I actually want to take pics of! There’s a whole world out there that’s beautiful….people, places, nature, macro details. I’ve been reading a ton on my own lately about photography (as going back to school again is not an option!!). I’ve found myself drawn into HDR images….that almost painted or airbrushed look. I came across your page when comparing HDR programs and I really appreciate all your info! I currently use PSE 10 and I downloaded the trial version of photomatix last night. I like it so far, but I’m also looking at Oloneo PhotoEngine…but it’s pricier. I hope to hone in on my inner talent soon! thanks.

  6. Hi Blake,
    I just learn HDR and your website it”s very helpful, eventhough my english is poor. If you don’t mind can you review some of the HDR software. Coz i haven’t decide it what’s suit me the best.
    – HDR Darkroom
    – HDR Photo Studio
    – Luminance HDR
    – Photomatix Pro
    – Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro
    – Picturenaut
    – TOPAZ
    – Photomatic 4
    Thanks Blake and pardon my poor english…

    • Thank you Taruna. I have done many product reviews, they are kind of all over the place right now, but I am working to remedy that. Here is the link to the reviews: http://f64academy.com/category/product-review/

      I have reviewed several of those programs and still find Photomatix to be my go to option. Check out the free trials for the programs you have in question and see which one matches your brain type the best. Have fun HDRing! Stop by often and if you need any assistance feel free to contact me! Take care Taruna!

  7. Blake:

    I was always puzzled by the HDR effect a specific picture that I took in NY.

    The issue was left unattended and unexplained in the back of my head until I read your wonderful blog and your brilliant and passionate written entries that I decided to write one on my own blog in the hope I could find some answers. Here it is:


    Do you think is it possible to explain it?



  8. Hi, Blake! Your website is great. it’s very helpful and inspirational! Congrats.

    • Thank you Alex! It sure has become a passion of mine and it makes me ecstatic to here that it is both helpful and inspiring!

  9. Do you have an email subscription service – I would like to follow your posts. Thanks

    • Thank you for your interest! I am currently trying to figure that one out. Once I get something up and running I will be sure to let you know.

      • I would also be interested in this.

  10. Hello Blake,

    Could you please tell me why you chose the Scott Kelbys Training program over that for example of Lynda.com ?

    Any other advice related to training programs would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.


    • Sure thing Sandra. I am a big fan of Scott Kelby’s training program and quite frankly anything by Kelby Media. I have read a bunch of books from him and those who write for him and have learned miles of helpful Photography information. I actually learned how to create a WordPress blog and the whole intimidating process through Kelby Training online. It made making a blog a breeze! I guess it also helps that I know many of these Kelby Instructors personally and really enjoy their company!

      As for Lynda.com, I cannot comment. I have not tried any of their training so I guess I am biased at this point.

  11. Hi Blake,

    I am glad that I read your “About Me” page. I too have lost interest in Photography after years of trying to produce a picture on the way I see them. Like you said, they were dull and washed out sky and just plain. I just discovered HDR last week and started doing the trial version of Photomatix. I came accross your website and I am really grateful to have seen your amazing photos. I am also thankful for your tutorial on HDR and most specially the post processing. I like what you said that the picture we processed in Photomatix is not the finished product but it is just the base for our work for more post processing in Photoshop. I watched your video on the it and I am very much grateful for sharing it here.
    Can you also please share your workflow for Portrait using HDR and photoshop post proessing.

    I really hope I could learn more about HDR. Thank you.

    • I am glad I could help Jhojay. It was a frustrating time, but after learning of HDR, my love for photography picked right back up and then into full gear! I do have a tutorial on Youtube about portrait and HDR, but it is quite old and for the most part, I don’t use HDR with portraiture much anymore. That is one place it doesn’t really look that great, it usually does on men with scruffy beards and neat facial characteristics, but even then a light touch is what looks best. I may do another more updated tutorial on this in the future.

      Take care!

  12. Hey Blake,

    Great site. I really have enjoyed your videos and tutorials. I noticed that two links on the Tutorial page are pointing to the same tut: “How to Fix Extreme Wide Angle Shots in Photoshop !NEW!” and the link beneath it, “How To Straighten Images With Photoshop CS 6” both point to the extreme wide angle shots tutorial page.

    Keep up the great work, man!

    • Thanks Chris, I appreciate the feedback and the heads up on the links, I fixed it as soon as I read this!

  13. Hello Blake,

    First of all thank you so much for your tutorials, they are really really great! I learned so much! The dodging and burning technique is simply brilliant!

    I have just a few questions:

    I saw in one of your videos the pet peeves of closing up the shadows. Could you have done that with dodging and burning also? Or do you use both in your processing for the shadows? (the dodge and burn and the closing up the shadows) Or using both will be too much?

    Also, do you have any tutorial (I couldn’t find one) on how to fix the hallows created by photomatix?

    Also, the manual ghost selection used by photomatix seems to not create a smooth transition, especially when selecting the -2 or -1 exposure (seems to be completly flat and black when selecting these exposures, only one of them seems “natural”), how do you do for the ghosting in your images?

    Sorry if these are too many questions or too trivial and thank you once again for your videos!

    Congratulations for your wonderfull work!


  14. I have looked at many tutorials, and most talk about photo-shop!!! well i can not affore photo-shop ( 2 children in college) to still creat great images can i use the new 4.2 pro photomax program? I have never hone HDR but want to start, so will this do the job for me? well i know i have to do the work but is this a good jumping off point to start. many thanks Joe Taylor

    • I am sorry to hear the, Photoshop is very expensive, but since you have kid sin College you could put it on one of their edu accounts and get it for 2-300 instead of 7-900. That is one option. However, you can do HDR photography with Photomatix alone. There are some post production settings in it now that allow for that. The best HDR photographs come from what you do after in say Photoshop or even Lightroom. Lightroom is another option, it retails for 150, but I believe the student version is 79 or something.

      You have a lot of options for post production work. There are free programs like Picasa as well, while not nearly as powerful as Photoshop or Lightroom, it can help with some essential adjustments.

  15. Thank you for the information, i do have lightroom, so i guess i may be on my way to some reat photos. It’s great when people give a helping hand like this ,many thanks sir: Joe Taylor

  16. I beg to differ with your definition of “when your love of photography” all began……I seem to remember giving a very young man an old fashioned SLR camera….the creativity in you was evident way back then (i.e. the photo you shot into your rearview camera…remember?). HDR is where you have come from those days way back when. You have evolved and found your niche!

    • That is very true! Mothers know best! I did find my passion for photography with that AE-1, I still take it out from time to time and admire it. Although, I cannot go back to film I am way in over my head with digital!

      I don’t know if I ever really thanked you for it like I should have. I never thought that would be the avenue to my future. Thanks Mom!

      • It is what Momma’s are for…..sometimes we actually do the right thing! I have several SLR’s….I cannot bring myself to get rid of them but won’t go back either. I fought it for a long time but was won over the first time I used TQ’s digital and compared the pics side by side. Done! That was my last roll of film….ever!

        So where did I go wrong with your brother??? Who knew Obei Won Kanobi would live on for sooooo many years! AE-1 ….. light saber…. Can’t win ’em all. (I love him anyway.)

  17. Blake, watched your Topaz webinar, great stuff. I bought your ebook on Amazon and it was only a Kindle version. I really wanted a pdf version. Do you sell it in that format?
    Thanks for your help.
    Dave Wills

    • Thank you for your purchase! I typically do not sell it in the .PDF format. That is reserved for special circumstances where Amazon.com limits me for promotional reasons. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  18. Blake,

    I am sitting in my office one day, and our Tech specialist guy, Mike T. comes in and tells me about this website that his friend has. I am a semi amateur photographer- a hobbyist who sometimes sells my work. He starts telling me about HDR. So I checked out your site and thought the work was really good. I looked at some of your tutorials and have started working in HDR. You were my intro to HDR. Thanks for the site and the great work!


    • Oh Good ol’ Mikey T! He was my roommate in college, but please don’t listen to any of the stories he tells you, they are all backwards. He has a way of saying I did things as an alternate ego named “Rudy” when actuality it was him… kinda like a Fight Club, Tyler Durden complex :)

      In all seriousness, I am very glad to hear you broke into HDR photography. It really changed my life and my artistic passion. It is hard to believe an art form can have such a grasp on your existence, be careful, this HDR stuff may overcome you! Take care, Tara!


  19. Blake,
    Very nice work, and great information. A couple questions. Your publications seem only to be available in the Kindle format, is it possible to get them in a pdf format. I prefer to try to keep my reading in only one or two places, namely iBooks and Goodreader, mainly for purposes of organization.
    The other question is your great video tutorials. I travel, and like to review things on the plane. YouTuibe is difficult to save to the iPad or laptop to view offline. Any thoughts on this. I have used an iPad app called Roadtrip, that allows videos to be saved for later viewing, but it cannot access Youtube.
    Thanks, and keep up the great work.

    • Hello John,

      Thank you very much for your feedback! I currently do not have them available in PDF, I am working on that issue currently. I can turn it into a PDF no problem, however, I am locked into Kindle Direct Publishing for a little bit more time. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast, but it may be on it’s way. You can download it for the Kindle App, I know that does not help your current situation and book organizing, but it is one way to get the book.

      As for videos, well, I am working on something :) I can’t go too deep into it, but something will be on its way hopefully soon! I appreciate your comments and feedback, and thank you very much for being a loyal visitor. Take care my HDR friend!


  20. Blake,

    Thanks for the dedication that you have clearly put into this labor of HDR love. I came across this site after reading your “11 things” book.

    There is one error in that text that I wanted to point out. You state that HDR Efex Pro (from NIK) is only available as a plug-in. While this may be true of some of the other tools in the NIK software suite, I can say for sure that I use HDR Efex Pro as a standalone program. They provided an .8bf plugin module as well as a standalone .exe. (Win7 32 and 64 bit). When you run the .exe, a simple File menu lets you import TIFF files, create the HDR, tone-map, and save the output back out. I use this approach over the plug-in because I only have Photoshop Elements which is limited to 8-bit color depth, whereas with the NIK standalone, I can use full 16-bit TIFF files for input and output. BTW, the NIK Control Point method of editing took a little while to get used to… but it was so worth it. I can now do almost of my HDR post-editing without ever needing to go into Photoshop and create masks. Thanks again for sharing this information… I’ve been thread-hopping quite a bit thanks to the links you provided. (Photographers are some of the nicest people on the web, aren’t they?)


    • Thanks Rob!

      I appreciate the correction. From what I have seen and heard from past experience that method was not recommended. Maybe some things have changed, as they always do in this fast paced market! I will look into it, thanks for the info!

      Photographers can be some of the nicest people on the web, it all depends on the market of photography! From my understanding, the education side is great but some of the small pocket communities of working photographers can be brutal! I have seen them eat other photogs alive on the forums instead of constructively criticize. That is a small group though, for the most part we are a good bunch of people who genuinely want to help each other out.

      Thanks again Rob!


      • Your quite welcome. You may be correct about that approach not being recommended, but I wonder if that’s just from a workflow perspective since it’s more “destructive” than creating a new layer. In any event, I’ve had no issues with it. And FWIW, when I was first looking into NIK software a few years ago (before they were bought by Google), I asked them if their filter plug-in (Color Efex) could run standalone. At that time they said that HDR Efex was the only application that they have that runs stand-alone, so they certainly didn’t have any reservations about stating that.

        I forgot to mention above that I enjoyed your book and will continue to watch your site. I will provide a favorable book review on Amazon at some point. (It’s just a little lower on my list of things to do right now.)

        • Awesome, thanks for that. I always appreciate reviews. They do help others decide what to buy, that is for sure. I know I use them religiously before purchasing a new book or photo product.

          I will have to update the book. I will give that method a shot and correct the book on the next revision. Thanks again Rob!


  21. Just watched your Topaz webinar on HDR – and went looking for your book “11 Things.” Is the Kindle edition the only format available? I don’t have a Kindle and couldn’t find another format to download. – Thanks.

    • Thanks for making it to the webinar! It is not available yet in PDF format, November 14th! You can still download a Kindle App for your PC, Mac, or phone and download it via Amazon.

  22. Hi Blake
    Tried to leave a message on another page but got deleted. Anyway question, how do I do batch processing with PhotoFXLab by keeping your settings according to your High Pass sharpening tutorial?

    • You know, I don’t think photoFXlab is capable of batch processing. Everytime you want to do the High Pass you would have to do it to the files individually.

  23. Hi Blake,

    I attended the last couple of Topaz Webinars that you presented and they were great! I did purchase your “11 Things. . .” from Amazon but I had a camera with a lot of limitations, a point and shoot that allowed some creativity, so I never read your ebook.

    With the availability of the Adobe Photoshop subscriptions, I was able to add Photoshop and Bridge to my Lightroom. I am a long time user of CorelDraw for graphic work. My business is actually blowing glass and sand-carving glass, the latter being the reason for the graphics knowledge.

    For some reason when I attended an Engraving and Award show, I became fascinated by the Dye-sublimation process which I later purchased. When I realized the competition in the area for screen printed items for schools and such, I realized that I wasted a lot of money for a process that I probably would never use.

    By some reason still unknown to myself, I came across Topaz and their webinars. I purchased all of their plugins and their photoFXlab to play around with the images from my Kodak, which actually is a pretty good camera for the money with quality well known German glass on the front end. Now I had everything to express my “artistic creativity” except for a good DSLR.

    I was an active photo hobbyist in the past century at an earlier time in my life, primarily shooting and processing Iiford B&W film. I used Minolta cameras purchasing Minolta’s 1st auto-focus 35mm camera body with a 28-85mm lens.

    Not so fast forward to the present, I just purchased a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with a 2 lens kit for a great price from B&H. I find that the HDR print sublimated on a number of different substrates will now be a viable addition to my business.

    One last thing! All of this really started when I became frustrated with taking photographs of my glass because of flair! I needed to use a polarizing filter and had no way of attaching the filter to the camera without fabricating some sort of mount. BTW, in my former life, I was a Microbiogist.

    Thanks for the use of your Forum!


    Ron Patten

    • Thanks for sharing your story Ron, I appreciate it! It is great seeing where people come from and how they adapt to HDR photography. I never blew glass in College, however, I did a LOT of Screen Printing, Ceramics, Wood working, and Steel Sculpture.

      I am glad you found the webinars useful and that you have been inspired to take up HDR photography! It is difficult at first and it has its tough times, but it is worth it in the end. Your final product will always fascinate you.

      A Microbiologist turned artist, that is awesome! There is a lot of art in science especially under a microscope.

      Take care my friend, if you need any help along the way me email has an open door policy!


  24. Hi Blake,

    Great site, I enjoyed your gallery and was very impressed by your images. I’ve used a lot of HDR programs – I tend to use photomatix. I’ve always been interested in doing hdr but I often find that when you have some moving subjects, it’s pretty annoying. I try to deghost but often I don’t get the results I want.

    People say to use single RAW when there is movement but I don’t think that faux hdr contains enough dynamic range. Anyway, so I tried a new program called hdrinstant (well, its a plug-in for Lightroom) that gets rid of ghosting even when things move. I thought i’d mention it considering that you know what you’re doing…

    In any case, great site.


  25. Hi Blake,

    I want to sign up for your “HDR Insiders” but can’t find the sign up location. Every time I hit the link on the right side of the page it just just looks back.

  26. Hi Blake! 9-20-14 8:00 P.M. PDT (Tacoma, Washington)

    I got a bit of a problem. Stupid me, I downloaded the NEW Topaz Impression plug in, ( I am on an IMac, OSX Maverick ) and I have many other Topaz Plug Ins, which are terrific. However, This NEW Impression plug in I noticed they changed the way they wanted us to download this, not like the other downloads, so I fumbled around with it, and I didn’t think it was loaded correctly. So I trashed the first download, then downloaded a second time, and fumbled around again, but got it to work, but when I closed down got out of PSCS6 then went back in I noticed it wasn’t showing up in my Topaz Plug In area where the other Plug ins are located. It was showing up before in the Filters, plug ins, fly out menu but not now. Don’t have a CLUE what happened here, never had any problems BEFORE loaded in the previous Topaz Plug Ins the regular way they always had us do it. But with this NEW way, I didn’t quite understand it, and now it isn’t showing up. I also have Topaz FX lab, and it isn’t there either, but I didn’t expect it to BE THERE anyway. But it isn’t in my PSCS6 Filters, area either where the other Topaz Plug Ins are located. Please advise, would I have to uninstall, then reinstall again? And if so, how would I go about properly “Uninstalling it?” step by step. And then a question then about “reinstalling,” since I already used the two downloads, would I need permission again since I already used the 2nd download? So sorry for my screw up, I sort of wished Topaz would have had us download the way we used to!
    Hugs! And Thanks so much. From what I got to do with the program , it seemed cool, I also saw your cool tutorial on it, I can really see the benefit for ME, as I am a photographer/digital painter, this Impression Plug IN willl be handy!
    Kari Nanstad – RNanstad@comcast.net

    • Hello Kari,

      Sounds like quite the conundrum! It is unfortunate that I did not have the same problem, I could have helped. I am not sure why you are having the issues you are having. I would take these concerns to Topaz Labs and see if they can help you through there support ticket system: https://support.topazlabs.com/hc/en-us

      I wish I could be of more assistance!

  27. Hi Blake,

    Thanks for the info, the guidance, and the inspiration. I have come to rely on your expertise so many of my edits.

    What tool or combination of tools do you recommend for removing power lines from photos before (ideally) and after using Photomatix? After is turning out to be disastrous, and my healing brush skills for pre-Photomatix work are not what they should be. I thought I remembered a Topaz product that was good for removing lines, but I can’t find which one it might have been. I have LR5 and PS2 (yeah, I know), and Elements 10, as well as Adjust and Detail. Do I have what I need and not realize it?

    Thanks (again), for your guidance.

    • No problem! I use a lot of things for cloning, mainly just the tools in Photoshop though. Between the clone stamp tool and the healing brush they both work great. I would have to see the image to give you an idea of what I’d use as there are many variables that would dictate my direction.

  28. Hi Blake,
    Have ever processed raw images from Fuji, there is a lot of contraversy about using Adobe’s LR and Photoshop CC with the Xtrans sensor. I am thinking of purchasing the XT-1, but I do not want to change my workflow and use another raw image processor like CaptureOne. Any thoughts?

    • I have not heard anything about this. That is funny, however, I know many who own the XT-1 and love it, so they must be able to work around that somehow.

  29. Hello,

    I’m such a novice and Photoshop beginner; eager to learn from your tutorials….I have a basic question; I downloaded your free Action (Walking Dead); however, since I’m so new to CS6 and this software, I don’t know how to get it into CS6 and how to apply it to an image. Can you get me started? Thank you for your time and any suggestions!

    • Not a problem! You may not have the Tilt-Shift Blur in CS 6, I am not sure. I can’t remember. But to install Actions it is a lot easier than many other things in the world of computers.

      1. Download the .zip
      2. Open the .zip and double click the .atn file (the action file)
      3. This should automatically open Photoshop
      4. Press ALT+F9 to open the Actions panel.
      5. The new action should be at the bottom.
      6. Open that Action folder and select the Action contained within it.
      7. Press the Play Icon in the panel.
      8. You must have a photo open for it to work.

  30. I truly enjoy your webinars (and, of course, your websites) and have been desperately searching for “Creative Flower Photography” which I missed last May. I tried Topaz’s links, emailing them, etc. but to no avail. Any ideas?

    Keep up the good work!

    An avid fan.

    • Thanks! I am not sure, that is one that Nichole created. She would be the best to contact on that one. Did you try searching their YouTube channel. It is filled with archived Video content.

  31. Hi Blake,

    I have almost finished reading your book DSLR Survival Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to Digital SLR Photography. I owe you the credit for helping me understand the basic concepts of DSLR photography. I just bought a Nikon D3300 camera (my first DSLR). It is because of understanding from your book that I knew what the terms like exposure bracketing, spot metering meant. As I was familiar with these terms, it made learning to use the camera easier. Your book covers all the basics in a clear and a simple manner. Also, the book is very thorough. It covers a whole lot of aspects that you need to know to get the most out of your camera. So thank you !!! 


    • That is great news! I am very glad I could help you with your camera. Knowing your gear is the first part of making great images! I set out to write that book to a level that beginners could understand, but more importantly breakdown the barriers of communication between you and your camera. I am ecstatic to hear I that this book helped you so much! You rock!

  32. I just purchased your workflow with ON One Perfects tutorials. After I create my 32 bit image in photoshop merge to HDR , make my adjustments in camera raw and then change my mode to 16 bit and choose the merge button in the ensuing dialog box , the camera raw filter comes up again instead of the HDR toning panel where you opted for exposure and gamma. The resulting image is not optimal to proceed with. Any thoughts why this is happening.

    • I am not quite sure why this is happening. What version of Photoshop are you running?

        • I found my answer. In the preferences in photoshop under file handling there is a box that if checked has camera raw convert the 32 bit image to 16 bit and thus camera raw opens up instead of the HDR dialog box

  33. Hello Mr. Blake, SIR!!! Super, wonderful webinar today. I have been photoing for a fair amount of years now and have three award winning books out. I am also in the Colorado high country 100 west of Denver right on I 70. If you are ever coming out this way I would certainly like to get with you and if you would want to travel the high country and old ghost towns and mining towns, etc. I would like to give you a tour and all. Meanwhile you have a grand day every day! Oh yes, I had a blast with the military a very long time ago. cheers, jon :-)
    And I have put a whole bunch of images on Facebook.

  34. Hello Blake,

    I own both the A6000 and the 6D. I agree with your comparisons. Sony is best as a light compact travel camera, 6D is best for most other purposes. One feature you did not consider however, is the sweep panorama function on A6000. When traveling sans time or a tripod, this is a very useful function. Of course, with time and tripod, building a panorama in raw is better. What one Sony or Zeiss lens would you recommend for building panoramas with the A6000?

  35. Hello! Are the two zone systems workable with PSE? Do you lose a lot compared to PS? Do they take a lot more work? I am very curious.


    • Hello Dave!

      They do not work with PSE. They are layer intensive and therfore only work in Photoshop CS4-CC 2015 (as of this writing). PSE can only handle so much and the Zone Systems are a bit too much for it to handle.

  36. Dear Blake,
    You need to know that there is a problem with the Project of the Month webpage.

    When I went into it earlier this month, I had no problem, but when I visited it tonight, my security software stopped me and gave me the following message:
    The requested URL cannot be provided
    Object URL: http://www.hdrinsider.com/december-2015s-project-of-the-month/
    Reason: object is infected by HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic

    You may want to look into this.
    — Yaakov

    • I am looking into this as we speak. Thank you!

  37. Blake,
    I’ve been going into Project of the Month during December with no problem, but last night I went in and was warned not to go in by my security software, which gave me the following warning:
    The requested URL cannot be provided
    Object URL: http://www.hdrinsider.com/december-2015s-project-of-the-month/
    Reason: object is infected by HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic

    Apparently, that page is infected by a Trojan virus … you might want to look into it.
    — Yaakov

  38. Congrats on the new site Blake!! It looks great, easy to get around in and a lot of great content. I’ll bet I have probably seen just about all of your videos over the past few years. They have been a tremendous help, I reference them all the time.

    I have been using the Zone Edit systems for a few years now, they are the foundation of my workflow. They help me produce great tone and color whether processing HDR or single exposure images.

    To all the new people visiting this site, I would say this: It is your lucky day, you just struck gold.

  39. Hi Blake,
    splendid …. a well thought through and motivated evolution …. very obvious thoughts.
    I always like the way you express yourself, clear and motivated.
    looking forward to the blogs, videos and critiques …….


    • So awesome to hear…. Phew… This rebrand has made me very nervous. Your comment is so reassuring, I cannot thank you enough.

  40. Congrats Blake… Site is crisp and professional. Q: with this evolution, what is the role of the other site, i.e., HDR Insider and will it too merged?


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