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Model
Pie Bear
omghi2u
Posts: 7,427
El Segundo, California, US


Rules:
This forum falls under the "Industry Forum" category and has a more strict set of rules than other forums.  Please view the Forum Rules for more information.  Other than that, there are no other unique rules.

Resources:
Here you can find useful threads created by members.

List of Pro Topic Threads - maintained by Ched

FAQ
Frequently asked questions in this forum!

How come there are no questions here?
Because a new forum mod will be taking this over shortly!
Jan 27 08 05:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

(More as people ask--what do YOU consider frequently asked?)

SITE OR FORUM SPECIFIC FAQs

PHOTOGRAPHY RELATED FAQs

Web-related

Camera-related

Digital and Computer Technology

Digital Post-production

Lighting and Studio

Misc.

Mar 08 08 04:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Resources - Reference threads

List of Pro Topic Threads
Maintained by Ched (Suggest a new thread)
Lists interesting threads relevant to the profession of photography
Getting Started, Inspiration, Rates, Copyright, Usage, Technical Issues, Representation, Fashion, Travel, Publications, Other list threads, and other key web sites.

Lighting Reference thread

Maintained by Kevin Connery (Suggest a new thread)
Lists existing lighting threads and other informational pages
Lighting Basics, What Lights to Buy, Lighting Equipment, Lighting Techniques, Ringlights, Portable Flash, and Studio threads

Photo Related Q & A Index

Maintained by Stephen Eastwood (Ask a new question)
Various advanced topics with answers from Stephen Eastwood

Color Calibration and Management Reference

Maintained by Kevin Connery (Suggest a new thread)
Lists key MM threads on calibration and color, other webpages discussing color management and colorspaces, and has some overview explanations on the topic.

Color Calibration and Display List

Maintained by Leo Lam (Suggest an addition)

Threads discussing how to choose a monitor and dealing with color calibration

lll's Photo Software List – Resources

Maintained by Leo Lam (Suggest an addition)
List of photography-related software.
Includes:
Photoshop Alternatives
Raw/Workflow software (Converters, DAM, etc.)
Noise Reduction software
Masking software
Skin Smoothing software

Studio Reference thread

Maintained by Kevin Connery (Suggest a new thread)
Lists existing Studio-related threads and other informational pages
Studios for Rent
Studio articles on the 'net
MM Studio threads
MM Background, Set, and Props threads
MM Studio equipment threads
Online Background and Prop Vendors

2257 for Dummies

Before starting a panic about the Federal (USA) recordkeeping Regulations commonly known as 2256 or 2257, take a look at this thread.

What do I need to know about a Gallery Show

Maintained by Chris Macan (Still in-progress)

Framing links
Other Resources
Framing myths
Market Research

Mar 08 08 04:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


How can I get answers to my question?
Why won't anyone answer my question?

Getting responses from forums first requires people to read the post. Thread titles like 'Help!', 'Has this ever happened to you', 'Fuzzy?', and other non-descriptive phrases don't encourage people to even open the thread. Try a clear and unambiguous title whenever possible: 'Comments on Nikon's SB800 flash', or 'How do you use a softbox' are good examples. (Misleading titles often result in a lot of side-chatter as well as fewer helpful answers.)

It also requires people to understand your post. Using netspeak or texting shortcuts rarely works well here.

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Oct 10 08 04:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


How can I get useful answers to my question?
Why were all the answers to my question so unhelpful?

Getting good responses from posts largely requires giving people enough information that they can help. "What did I do wrong with these 10 pictures" isn't going to get as focused an answer as "What's wrong with the lighting in these 10 pictures. I was trying to accomplish [something] and got [something else]." The more details you can provide about what you want(ed) and what you tried, the more help you'll probably get.

Weak:'What's a good light"
Better: "What's a good light under $500"
Even Better: "What's a good light under $1000 that I can use away from power outlets and works for groups up to 5 people."

As with getting any response, getting a good response requires people to understand your post. Using netspeak or texting shortcuts makes this harder, as does long, unbroken strings of sentences.

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Oct 10 08 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Why did my thread get locked?
Why did my thread get moved?


Industry forums are for serious topics only. Generalized rants, check-ins, trolling threads, and the like are liable to be closed or moved. Certain topics (e.g.  discussions of escorts, TFP is ruining the industry), or religious arguments (e.g. Canon/Nikon, Mac/PC, film/digital) are also likely candidates.

Retouching requests, either asking for images to retouch or for ask for retouching, belong in the Serious Retouch thread, or in the List of Retouchers on MM in MM Market

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Oct 10 08 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What can I do to make my images look good on ModelMayhem?
Start with a good original.  smile

Make a copy of your original and resize the copy. (Photoshop: Image > Image Size.) Make sure it's
* No more than 800 pixels wide
* no more than 800KB
Anything larger than that will be resized by MM, and quality will be lost. (400x600 is a decent size, or 500x750.) If using Photoshop, Bicubic or Bicubic Sharper should be used for the interpolation method unless you have a good reason otherwise.

Convert the image to sRGB. (Photoshop: Edit > Convert to Profile, make sure Black Point Compensation is enabled)

Sharpen using your favorite method. (Photoshop: Filter > Unsharp Mask at 100, .4 pixel, Threshold 2 is a decent starting point for many images at this size if Bicubic was used for the downsizing.)

Save As  using JPEG filetype, and compression of 7-9 so that it's under 500K in file size.

Upload to MM

That's NOT the only way, but it's one good sequence. If you use Photoshop, creating an Action to record these steps will save time, and help avoid missing steps.

For more information about the color issues, see the Color Calibration and Management Reference thread.

P.S. The DPI setting makes no difference. 72, 300, 1, 1000--it doesn't matter for the web.

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Oct 10 08 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Why do my images look different on the web than they do in Photoshop or Lightroom?
They keep coming out flat, off-color, desaturated and/or dull.

Most browsers don't understand color manaqement. Your images need to be converted to sRGB before uploading to the web.

See the Color on the Web section of the Color Calibration and Management Reference thread for more details

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Oct 10 08 05:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Which is better, JPEG or RAW

Either one, depending on the specific  circumstances. Please review these threads before asking again with more details.  Be wary of some of the absolutes claimed in those threads, however, by either Raw or JPEG proponents.

The very oversimplified answer is that Raw is the uninterpreted data from the sensor, and captures more data, permitting more flexibility and control, and has a larger color gamut, while JPEG is converted in-camera to a specific color setting and interpretation. Raw also requires additional 'processing' before it's ready to use, and the files take more space.

Properly handled, a Raw image will never look worse than the equivalent JPEG, and can often look better (the highest possible image quality comes from a properly converted Raw file), while a JPEG permits a faster turnaround because it requires no additional processing before delivery.

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Oct 10 08 05:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What is the best camera?
What camera should I buy?
Which is better, Nikon or Canon (or Olympus, or Sony, or...)


Without a lot of qualifying details--budget, subject matter, style, usage, output, etc--these questions are meaningless. Please review all of these threads before asking again with more specifics.

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Oct 10 08 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Which is better, Film or Digital

Either one, depending on the specific circumstances. Please do a forum search for this kind of thread (keywords: film digital), and try to narrow down the question before asking again.

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Oct 10 08 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Which is better, a Mac or a PC?
Should I buy a Mac or a PC?

Without a lot of qualifying details, these questions are meaningless. Please review these threads before asking elsewhere with more details.

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Oct 10 08 06:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What display/monitor do you recommend
This changes rapidly, but one short answer is that you do not want an LCD using a TN-film technology panel. (You can look up which panel a display uses in the TFTCentral.co.uk LCD Database)

Stephen Eastwood's CRT vs LCD? thread has some details you should know as well.

It's worth noting that there's only a handful of panel manufacturers who make the raw TFT panels for many different companies, and that the specific technology used for the panel has a big impact as well. Unfortunately, that's rarely mentioned by the vendor.

TN film displays are all (currently) 6-bit/channel devices. They're fast, and great for games, general presentation, and the like, but don't have a full 8-bits (or more) of output; they use dithering to give the impression of 8-bit/channel. These are NOT recommended for photographic use.

Theoretically, of the current technologies, H-IPS is the best, but S-IPS, IPS, PVA, MVA, and S-PVA can equal the results in the Real World. All of those (except for a very few PVA panels which 6-bit) are 8-bits/channel at the panel level.

Be aware that the same model of a display may change panel manufacturers without changing the model number. (Dell has done this in the past.) With that caveat, you can get a fairly current listing of what technology is used for a given display using the  tftcentral panel search mentioned above.

Beyond the panel limitations, there's also the way information is fed to the panel. Some units are now touting 10 to 14-bit DACs, for example, or use 10 or more bits of data in their color LUT (Look Up Table). That doesn't make the panel show any more data; it simply lets the data available be tweaked/tuned more cleanly before it's sent on to the panel itself.

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Oct 10 08 06:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What lights should I get?
What do you think about [some brand] of lights?


See the What to Buy section of the Lighting, Flash, Ring, & Battery Strobe Reference thread. (Or the Lighting Equipment section of that same thread.) If it doesn't answer the question, it should give you enough information to make a more specific question.

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Oct 10 08 06:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What do I need in a new studio? Home Studio?

See the Studio Reference post in the Studio Setups[/url] section of the Studio Reference thread. That should either provide answers or help you narrow down the question.

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Oct 10 08 06:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Where can I find a studio in [someplace]

There are some collected threads for East Coast, West Coast, Midwest/east, England and Canadian studios. They're not complete, but they might save you time if a studio is already listed.

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Oct 10 08 06:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


How do I get great-looking skin on a model?
Start with a model with great skin, use a great makeup artist, and you'll cut down your retouching tremendously while getting better results. smile

Once that's done...

Many retouching novices blur skin to achieve 'clean' results. Unfortunately, to an educated eye, this is extremely obvious and unrealistic; blurring skin is virtually never a good idea for commercial or high-level work where realistic results are required.

In some portrait or glamour situations where the clients are less demanding and the time/cost tradeoffs are different, however, judicious blurring may be acceptable. In those cases use of the healing brush, clone tool, followed by a light application of a blur (Gaussian/median/anisotropic/etc) to the skin may be acceptable. Tools like the Skin Smoothing Plug-ins listed in lll's lll's Photo Software List may save a little time over doing the blurring manually.

Angelo Lorenzo Photo's thread Basic Pore Smoothing Technique gives a step-by-step description of an effective blur-based approach.

A more time-consuming approach, but one which gives far more realistic looking results is described in Ronald Tan's Basic Pixel Level Dodging and Burning Tutorial MM thread. Another thread describing this technique is Christos' Understanding Skin Retouching Regarding LIGHT thread.

An offsite) guide from Glitterguru (Suzette Troche-Stapp) goes through this and more.

Also check out older threads on this topic. (Most of those discuss the less desirable blur-based techniques, however.)

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Oct 10 08 06:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Escorts
Should I allow my models to bring an escort?
How do I keep my model from bringing an escort?
I had a problem with an escort. What should I do?
What are your thoughts about escorts?

If you are really interested in this topic, a good starting point is Stephen Eastwood's OK, Escort issue solved easily thread in the Model forum.

If that's not sufficient, read at least a dozen of these threads, then consider asking it in a different forum. smile

A good starting point is Stephen Eastwood's OK, Escort issue solved easily thread in the Model forum.


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Oct 10 08 06:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What is different about the Industry forums?

In addition to the regular forum rules, there are two that apply specifically to Tier 3 Forums--Model Matters; Photography Talk; and Hair, Makeup & Styling.

(31) No BS: While this is Model Mayhem, we would like to keep a nice balance between the mayhem and being resourceful.    This is where the "Industry Forums" come in to play.  All forums under this header are meant to be used for serious discussion only.  Please think before you post and only hit the submit button if you have a well thought out contribution.  Junk posts/threads do not belong here.  These forums will be heavily moderated by the Forum Mods.  If they feel someone is too much of a nuisance, the offender could be banned from the forums.

(32) No drama: Keep the drama out of these forums.  If you get into it with someone, please at least keep it civil.  Or else both parties will be brigged.

The No BS and No Drama rules include posts similar to the following:

* "In before the lock"
* "Not this [bleep] again"
* "Popcorn"
* "Will that work with my digital camera?" in a film thread
* "Use Tri-X" in a thread about digitally converting to black-and-white
* "Buy a Canon" in a "How do I do [something] with my Nikon D3" thread
* "Buy a Mac" in a "The color on my Vista machine isn't right" thread
* "Shoot with a different model" in a retouching thread
* "Fix it in Photoshop" in a "How do I light this".

Other discouraged practices include posts that only complain about spelling or grammar or correcting someone else's corrections about spelling or grammar.

Such posts have a long history of disrupting threads, and fall under the No BS rule as well as the No Hijacking and Don't Troll site rules. Consider very carefully whether the post is a serious contribution before clicking on Reply.


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Oct 27 08 01:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Assisting / Assistants

Looking for an assistant? Want to volunteer as an assistant?

Check out the Thread of Willing/wanting to assist photographers thead. It's where you can volunteer to assist other photographers, or look to see if there is a volunteer in your area. (It's not to advertise that you're looking for a photographer; rather, it's a list of those who are available.


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Oct 31 08 05:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Digital Noise

Noise in digital files is due to physical limitations on the camera, primarily the sensor itself, but partially the rest of the processing system. It can be minimized by the choice of camera, ISO setting, camera settings, and, for Raw files, how it's converted.

How do I prevent noise in my images?

All else being equal, a larger sensor will have less noise. Small sensor point-and-shoot cameras will have more noise than the larger dSLR sensors, and those cameras will have more than the medium format backs. That's assuming the same pixel count, ISO setting, and technology used.

All else being equal, newer technology will have less noise. A new sensor design will have less noise than an older one of the same size and pixel count.

All else being equal, a properly exposed image at a lower ISO setting will have less noise than one using a higher ISO setting. Use the lowest ISO setting available to get the capture.

Underexposure increases noise. In almost every camera, a properly exposed image at ISO 400 will have less noise than one that's underexposed 1 stop at ISO 200.

Sharpening increases noise unless you sharpen using a tool which masks minor variations. Photoshop's Unsharp Mask filter permits this via the Threshold setting; a higher setting exaggerates noise less. Some other new sharpening tools also provide this option; most older or basic ones do not.

How do I correct noise in images I've already taken?

Depending on the noise, much of it can be dealt with in Photoshop. There are some excellent tutorials on noise-reduction techniques available. Here are some to start with.

Sean Duggan's excellent article from Layers Magazine covers many approaches, and discusses some Camera Raw settings to reduce noise as well.

Sue Chastain's overview of the Reduce Noise filter.

Mike Rodriguez' video using Photoshop's built-in Reduce Noise filter

Mikkel Aaland's descriptions of noise reduction techniques.

Many other advanced techniques are also available; a web search should find many options.

Aren't there tools which do this automatically?

Yes. Most only provide minor improvements advances over doing the work manually, but most can drastically reduce the amount of time and effort required.

There's a list of the major noise reduction tools and plug-ins in lll's Photo Software List - Resources


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Oct 31 08 05:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What DPI should I use for my images on the web?

A web image at 1, 100, 1000, and 10,000 dpi are the same on the web unless some specialized scripts are run. Using the standard tools, there is no difference.

These files have different DPI, yet display the same:

http://www.kevinconnery.com/imaging/samples/dpi_test_1dpi.jpg http://www.kevinconnery.com/imaging/samples/dpi_test_72dpi.jpg
http://www.kevinconnery.com/imaging/samples/dpi_test_300dpi.jpg http://www.kevinconnery.com/imaging/samples/dpi_test_1000dpi.jpg

The first is "1 DPI" and the last is "1000 DPI". Notice how tremendously different they appear--or don't. Notice how different the "72 DPI" image is displayed than the "300 DPI" image.

If you download the image, then place it in an application which pays attention to DPI, and then print them in a printing package where DPI isn't ignored, they will print at quite different sizes, but they'll have the same amount of information. No current web browser pays any attention to DPI, however, either for on-screen display or printing from the screen.


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Nov 16 08 06:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


What Should My Histogram Look Like?
What exactly am I supposed to be looking for when I check my histogram for proper exposure? What does a correct one look like?

The contents of a histogram simply reflect what was captured or is in the file. It's a graphical representation of how many pixels there are for each brightness level, scaled to fit the available space. The higher the peak, the more pixels of that brightness is there. Black is on the left, White is on the right, and everything else is in-between.  ("Middle Gray" will usually be around 110-130, depending on the gamma of the file; it doesn't have to be 127/128.)

What was captured or is in the file reflects what was in the scene combined with how it was exposed (and possibly colorspace).

A typical middle-key image will show that the majority of tones are in the midrange, with some darker and lighter areas.

http://www.kevinconnery.com/imaging/samples/histograms/data/histogram_01.gif

A high-key image, even properly exposed, may well have a significant fraction of the image at 255 (See the image and histogram with the white background), while a histogram like that could easily mean overexposure for a 'normal' or low-key image.

http://www.keradwc.com/outgoing_images/highkey_histogram.jpg

The opposite applies for a low-key image, where a lot of image data could be legitimately at 0. (This sample doesn't have a black background, but it does have a lot of black-without-detail.)

http://www.keradwc.com/outgoing_images/lowkey_histogram.jpg

That said, most 'normal' images with a lot of pixels at 0 or 255, or a lot of pixels crowded near one edge of the histogram and nothing or very little near the other, are usually improperly exposed or scanned.

If you keep in mind that ANYTHING at 0 or 255 is without detail, that'll help. There aren't that many other 'rules' that are universal. That also means that anytime that one channel has something at 0 or 255, you have less detail, and if there are two channels that way, you've lost a lot of detail. When all three are at 0 or 255*, you have no detail. (* That includes such examples as (0,255,0)--pure green, no detail; it doesn't have to be (0,0,0) or (255,255,255).

As an example of non-universal 'rules', different applications--and different cameras--treat composite histograms in different ways. Some show luminosity, some showing peak values per channel, and some show the green channel as if it was the composite. Additionally, most cameras display histograms based on the in-camera JPEG settings, which may not reflect what is captured in a Raw capture..

For most images, it's not critical to know that Luminosity and per-channel views are different; the differences are usually fairly minor. For images with very saturated colors, however, the two can give very different results, and knowing which is being displayed can help avoid problems.

Recent version of Photoshop let you choose how and what to display.

http://www.kevinconnery.com/imaging/samples/ps_histogram_options.gif

On my website, I've got some sample histograms which can be used to help visualize the contents of an image based on the histogram. Those samples emphasize the unusual, however, as many common histograms will look fairly mountain-like: high in the center, and low at the ends.

Histogram Quiz

All that said, from a working perspective, a 'good' histogram will have information stretching from as dark as you want anything in the image to be (usually a pure black), to as light as you want to have in the image (usually a pure white). A histogram which doesn't cover the full range is generally describing  a 'flat' or low contrast image; unless that's intentional, stretching the data via Curves or Levels will usually help.

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Jan 01 09 11:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Halcyon 7174 NYC
Posts: 20,109
New York, New York, US


Advanced Search: http://search.plasticpuppet.com/searches/

art, photography, and loosely-related quotations: http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=418667
Jan 10 09 08:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Where can I learn more about lighting?

Lighting Reference thread[
Lists existing lighting threads and other informational pages
Lighting Basics, What Lights to Buy, Lighting Equipment, Lighting Techniques, Ringlights, Portable Flash, and Studio threads

Lighting Setup Tutorials: basic to advanced
From lighting diagrams to studio examples to natural lighting examples; this is the collected "how to" / "how did you" thread on lighting.

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Mar 06 09 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Photoshop is acting funny. What should I do?

First off, you can help others help you by giving them something to work with.

Which version of Photoshop? v5,6, or 7? CS? CS2, CS3, or CS4? Extended or not Extended?
Which operating system is it running on?
What are the symptoms?
Did it behave that way before, or is it something new?
If there was an error message, what was the exact error text?

Some general troubleshooting things to look for:

Are you working on the layer you intend to work on?
Is that layer visible?
Is the opacity of that layer large enough to be visible?
Are you working on the image or on the mask?
Is the tool you're having trouble with in the mode you want?
Is the opacity of the tool large enough to have an effect?
Do you have a selection active while trying to work on another area?

A surprising number of Photoshop quirks can be resolved by resetting the preference file. This can be done by launching the application, and holding down Control+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS). That will bring up a dialog asking whether you want to clear the preferences: click Yes.

Note that reinstalling does NOT automatically clear your preferences, and is rarely an effective solution to Photoshop software issues.

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Mar 06 09 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
- Phil H -
Posts: 25,178
Bury Saint Edmunds, England, United Kingdom


Jun 07 11 02:36 am  Link  Quote 
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