Digital Group

Meets monthly, October to May.
Starts at 7:30pm for the beginners tutorial, then from 8pm for the main meeting.
No prior notice is required – just come along.

See the calendar for the dates of the Digital Group meetings.

This group trains and supports the majority of our members using digital techniques to produce their images. The subject is inevitably technical but we try not to be too ‘techy’. We spend much of the time discussing digital images produced by the group and the challenges that they have encountered.

Beginners

The first 30 mins, from 7:30 pm, of each meeting is dedicated to a tutorial for beginners. Over the course of every season (and repeating annually) we cover all the core skills that are required for basic proficiency. In the past, absolute computer novices have produced spectacular and successful images in a couple of seasons.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is our standard program and is highly recommended. The full professional version of the program Adobe Photoshop CC is ­not recommended. Apart from being hideously expensive, it is not aimed at beginners and can be obscure. Even if you are offered a ‘free’ copy I would highly recommend buying a current copy of Photoshop Elements.

Adobe Photoshop Elements distilled

The following documents accompany the Photoshop Elements tuition given at the APS Digital Group and are an attempt to distil just the key points on each topic. They are not intended to be comprehensive, but to provide just the essential skills necessary to competently present and manipulate photographs. A recent version of Elements is assumed but the principles will apply generally to older versions and to Photoshop CC. (The PDFs will open in a new window)

1. Viewing and Saving Files
2. Image Resolution, Size and Quality
3. Photo Printing
4. Tone and Colour Correction
5. Using Tools
6. Making Selections
7. Using layers in Photoshop Elements
8. Filters and Sharpening
9. Photoshop Elements Distilled (contains all of the above)

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Many members find that Lightroom is a great tool to both organise and adjust their images. It is ideal for those who aim to capture their images entirely in the camera and require no more than basic adjustments to crop and tweak the image for print or projection. Lightroom also suits those who consider themselves to be less technical or who have large quantities of images to manage. In recognition of this the Digital Group does spend some time on Lightroom. However – Lightroom provides only very limited control and is not a photo editor. By contrast Photoshop has been the world’s photographic editor of choice for more than two decades and gives absolute and total creative control over the image. There is a more detailed discussion of Adobe software on the APS Digital Group Notes December 2016.

Projected Digital Images

See the Calendar and Competitions links for competition dates and rules. Some images are more suitable for projection than for printing. This is a topic that comes up regularly and it can be instructive to see and obtain feedback on your images when projected at the Digital Group.

Colour Management

At first our prints didn’t match our screens. Then we bought a projector, e-mailed images, and posted them on the internet and the problem became worse. Over the years, we have really focussed on this issue and a combination of profiling and an understanding of the correct way to set up and use our systems has largely solved the problem.
The following two documents explain how to achieve print and screen matching and how to achieve consistent colour between different systems and with the club projector:

Print to Screen Matching – PDF
Achieving Consistent Colour – PDF

The club owns a X-Rite ‘ColorMunki Photo’ which enables profiling of monitors, printers and projectors.
If you wish to borrow it (free of charge to members), send a request to the ‘ColouMunki Keeper’ email address on the ‘Contact Us‘ page
A test image (614KB – right click and Save target as…) can help you to assess your system.

Further Information

As well as helping with individual members’ images, we cover a wide variety of subjects in the Digital Group. See the vast range of topics listed on the APS Forum Digital Group topic. For a search capability you will need to register and login.

If you need further information on any digital matters, please contact Steve Brabner, who can also advise on equipment and Photoshop problems. See ‘Digital Group Leader’ on the ‘Contact Us‘ page.


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