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028 – Removing an Object in Photoshop Using Content-Aware Fill

Sometimes you want to remove items from a photo that may be a distraction. Photoshop provides a variety of tools to do this but one of the most powerful of these tools is Content-Aware Fill. In this episode we look at removing an object using Content-Aware Fill and I compare that to using two of the other available tools for object removal.

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Sony DSC-QX30 Attachable SmartPhone Camera Review

The Sony DSC-QX30 is a compact camera with built in zoom that connects to your smartphone. It works with both iOS and Android devices. You can use it attached to your smartphone or unattached. Your phone becomes a viewfinder and menu for adjusting camera settings. When you take a photo, it’s automatically transferred to your phone so you can quickly share it on social media.

In this video I review the device and teach you how to use it.

Check out this product on Amazon: http://bit.ly/sonyqx30

For more reviews, tutorials and photography tips, make sure to check out our channel on YouTube.

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What’s Next for Ditch Auto?

Ditch Auto - Whats next in 2015

The last few months brought a lot of changes for Ditch Auto. After launching the Ditch Auto course on Udemy.com in 2013, I did not really plan to do much other than release a new course from time to time. As of writing this, the Ditch Auto course has just shy of 60,000 students. By the end of the day it will likely have surpassed that mark. In November I launched a Facebook Group to help students of Ditch Auto better connect on a platform most of us were using. I also launched the Ditch Auto Podcast which started out as a weekly video tutorial series which turned into a twice weekly series available on iTunes.

It has become quite obvious to me that there is a need for more instructional content. Even though there is a ton of photography education online, I’m told that much of it is hard to understand. I enjoy creating this content and plan to generate as much as I can while still affording to feed my family and the families of my employees. Some of the comments that have came through in the survey responses have been pretty amazing. I thought I would share a few of the recent ones here before going into detail on the future of Ditch Auto.

VERY well done!! About a month ago, I took a photography class with a photographer that I have admired for many years and I left the class in tears, feeling completely overwhelmed and haven’t picked up my camera since. After taking your course, I feel inspired again and the things that were so confusing to me make so much more sense now. You are a wonderful instructor!!! You seem very sincere, positive and full of life and I’m totally on board to take other courses that you may offer in the future. Thank you for taking the time to make this video!! Tawny

Thanks Jerad, I am an introverted photographer, but your comments regarding that made me feel more confident. I love landscape photography as I don’t have to deal a lot with people. I was recently asked to shoot a friends wedding and have turned down several in the past, but bit the bullet and did it. I wish I had seen your course before I did it. I explained to the couple that I am not comfortable doing the shoot but they said they didn’t want anything formal, just some lovely shots of their day. So it turned out quite well, I ended up just having fun! I think my expectations of myself are what holds me back the most. You have been real in your course, and given me a lot to think about. I think the most important and exciting thing in photography is that there is always going to be new experiences and something new to learn. Every day is different. I can’t thank you enough and look forward to your other courses. Kindest regards, Tracy

Those comments are extremely inspiring to me. Giving back to the photography community is obviously something I am very passionate about. I am glad to see that my style of explaining things resonates with some people. One student explained to me how after watching the course, was inspired to start a photography business and is now earning enough money to allow his wife to stay at home with their children. That just blew my mind. Being that my business has allowed me to do the same thing for my family, it was incredible to hear that someone else was able to create that freedom in the life of their family.

There is a time and a place for everything. When I launched the original Ditch Auto course, I did not have the time or flexibility to do much else other than get the course up and get back to my regular work. I am in a place now where I have some extra time and resources. Not as much extra time as I would like, but enough to start working toward delivering more content.

What’s Next for Ditch Auto in 2015?

Revised Ditch Auto – Start Shooting in Manual Course: The original course was shot just about all in one day. I knew that I wanted to get this course done and with a small window to do so, I filmed it and got it up. There are a few minor mistakes in the course and there are areas of the course I did not get to go deep enough into. After a lot of feedback, I have been able to learn what areas most people are interested in. I want to modernize the course, so I will start by filming the entire course over again. I have more resources available than I did when I first filmed the course as well as a lot more experience using mirrorless cameras. My studio is in a new location which gives me a lot more room to work. I plan to have the course completely redone by Spring 2015.

Ditch Auto Extended Courses: I plan to release topic specific courses on different types of photography. Some people are mostly interested in landscapes, while others are interested in portrait photography. My plan is to create and release topic specific courses. These courses will most likely have a cost as each one will take a lot of time to film and produce. The original Ditch Auto course seemed to have left everybody wanting more. These courses will fill in the gaps and help students learn specifically to the topic they are most interested in. I also plan to produce courses on specific aspects of post production starting with an in-depth course on Black and White Conversion in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Camera Specific Courses: There are a lot of different cameras out there that all have one thing in common: The manual that the camera came with is horrible. I am going to begin filming courses specific to the camera model. This will be a nice resource for those who want to learn more about their specific camera. These courses will have a reasonable cost. Understanding the in’s and out’s of your camera helps you be a better and more effective photographer.

Courses on shooting video: I have mentioned this before in the Ditch Auto Group. There is a need for courses on shooting video with DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. I will start by filming a Ditch Auto – Start Filming in Manual style course similar to the original photography course, but this course will be specific to shooting video. From there, I will release courses more specific to different aspects of filming.

The Ditch Auto Podcast: I will continue to produce the podcast with a goal of having two episodes each week. Tuesday’s episode is on an aspect of post production. Thursday’s episode is about cameras, gear, or technique. The podcast is available through iTunes or our Youtube channel. See the podcast page for more info.

Gear Reviews & Tutorials: Through the Youtube channel, I will be posting gear reviews and tutorials. I asked the Ditch Auto Facebook group if they would be interested in this and everybody responded positively. I can’t promise I will be posting reviews that often, but when I come across an interesting piece of equipment or a new camera I feel worth sharing about, I will film a review and post it to the Youtube channel.

Is that it? Most likely no. I am trying to get everything in line to make all of this happen. It comes down to time and is it available. I run an online marketing agency and am also a photographer myself, so I rely heavily being able to leave extra time in my schedule for filming. I also have to leave extra time in my employees schedules to help with the editing and posting of this content. I also have to feel well enough to film. So far this year each of my children have passed some sort of cold to me which has delayed my desire to start the year off running.

To keep up to date with what is going on, make sure to enter your email address in the box located in the sidebar of the DitchAuto.Com website. Big updates will always go to email subscribers first. You can also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or by subscribing to the Youtube channel. There is now a Ditch Auto Twitter account, Instagram profile and if you are on Facebook, you can also stay connected through the Facebook Group.

My goal is that whether you are wanting to learn more about photography to capture better photos of your kids or you plan to start a business using your camera to make money, that Ditch Auto would be there to help you be prepared and confident.

Here’s to 2015! What are your photography related goals for 2015? Share them in the comments section below.

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025 – Protecting Your Glass with UV Protection Filters

Protecting your investment is important. Lenses are expensive and easily broken. Protection filters help protect the exposed glass of your lens against the elements of the world and accidental impact. In this episode I discuss using uv protection filters to protect your lens against damage and show you a broken filter that saved my $2,000 lens from impending doom.

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024 – Automatically Open JPG Images in Photoshop Camera RAW

Camera RAW is a powerful tool for editing photos. It is a much faster process for making overall adjustments to images than using adjustment layers. Before getting into selective layer adjustments, I process images in Camera RAW. To streamline this process, I have Photoshop automatically open JPG images in Camera RAW. Here is how to set that as a default in Photoshop.

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021 – Checking Exposure with Internal Light Meter

Understanding how to use the lighting meter in your camera is key to using manual mode effectively. The light meter allows you to set proper exposure for your image. In this video, I discuss how to use the light meter and also some best practices for different situations.

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