Your Photoshop Workflow
How to make high-quality fine art images without the huge learning curve and frustration of failure.
Helpful Blending Options
The Layer Tools are extremely helpful as they can help you blend any layer in just a few clicks. Across the top two rows, are one click blending adjustments. Below them are Opacity and Fill. Followed by 4 helpful Blend Modes. With three or four clicks you are sure to be blending like a champ!
Every once in a while in your workflow, you will need some assistance from some complex actions. Blake has compiled a handful of intelligent tools that will fix all kinds of problems. From lighting issues with the Dodge and Burn to Repairing blown out highlights in clouds and waterfalls.
The last step in Blake's Workflow is Effects. In this tab, you can make some effective and unique effects at the click of a button. From vignettes to color grading and radiating glows, this panel has all of your essentials.
Zone System Express 6 Masks
The ZSE contains several ways to make a mask in Photoshop. Masked selections allow you to make more accurate edits because they restrict where the effect will take place. The ZSE can make Tone Masks, Color Masks, Selective Color Masks, and a brand new Blend If Mask!
These tools are extremely helpful. They allow you to make one click curve modifications to the luminance (RGB Curve) and all of the individual Color Curves. One click access to curves means no more fiddling around with the curve to get it right, these do all the heavy lifting for you.
The Heat Maps
The Heat Map Tab in the Zone System Express will help you assess your images tonal qualities. You can see, on a color-coded map, what areas might need more brightness very easily. You can also make masks from any of the tonal areas yo usee in the heat maps.
Batch Processing in the ZSE 6 in 3 Simple Steps
The Zone System Express 6 is the only Photoshop extension of its kind that allows for batch processing. The new techniques implemented in the masks allow one to batch process photos in two ways.
1. The Drag and Drop Method
2. The LUT workflow
Both methods are discussed in great detail in the education that accompanies the panel. Reproducible Fine Art quality edits in 3 simple steps!
Before and After the Zone System Express 6
The Flint Hills Came to Life
Without the Zone System Express, this image would have been next to impossible to pull off. There were a lot of elements to balance in this shot. From the lightning to the clouds, and the house in the foreground, the ZSE pulled through in minutes!
With this scene, it is all about how the ZSE handled the subtleties. The Clouds have the right amount of depth to complement the foreground without putting them in competition with one another.
Milky Way, So Sweet
This Milky Way shot was very difficult. It was composed of multiple images, a few for the foreground, one for the middle ground, and finally one for the Milky Way. The act of exposure blending is a typical process for night sky images, but it can be challenging to get them unified. With a few clicks of the ZSE6, this image came to life, just like I remember seeing it when I was on location. Clearing skies, Lightning, and Fireflies, what else can you ask for?
That Moment Revisited
After processing this photo, I am immediately brought back to this Cathedral in Arcachon, France. I can almost feel the cool air and smell the recently blown out candles. This is so refreshing.
Before I nailed down my workflow, I had collected all these memories, but I always felt the photos I took did not represent the way the scene felt when I was there. Luckily for me now, I can revisit those places through my post processing and allow the viewer to see what I saw and feel what I felt. I want the same for you!
The first thing everyone assumes is that this is for landscapes… nope! The Zone System Express and my accompanying workflow can be used on any photo because the workflow is broken down into elements and not genre specific you can use it anytime on any image!
The best part about the ZSE6 is the new modified batch processing workflow. With it, you can process one photo with the ZSE6 and use those settings to transform every picture in the series. This makes it a valuable asset for weddings, senior sessions, family portraits, or even event sessions.
What is included in the bundle?
The Zone System Express
An Extension for Photoshop CC
6 Video Modules, 1 Workbook, 1 Users Manual, All of my Gradients and 3 Workflow PDFs!
Follow Along Images
Everything you need to follow right along with me!
Meet Your Instructor
Blake is a self-published author and the founder of f.64 Academy. While he loves taking and making pictures, his true passion is in developing and refining the photographic workflow. Most importantly Blake enjoys helping other photographers make images they will take great pride in.
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.