Video – Before & After

Greetings from Dubai! I’m teaching at Gulf Photo Plus this week but I made sure I recorded a video before I left. It’s another one of those before/after videos and it takes one of my photos from a hot air balloon festival I shot last summer from start to finish. It just happens that this one required a lot of Photoshop work. I’m not sure why, but sometimes I still feel more comfortable with the Quick selection tool in Photoshop and a brush, rather than using the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom. Anyway, here it is.

Thanks for watching!

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the “Save As” option]


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  1. Matt just watched the video today 9/27, so sorry its been 6mo late – question on the step where you create sky and drag the layer mask into the sky – wasn’t that layer mask pre-spot removal? So the spots are still in the mask?

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  2. Thank you so much for such detailed teaching video and help to gain something that we may not find from the book.

    To create an additional top layer from the two layers being heard, “command-option-shift” for Mac, I tried it and the third layer haven’t come out, would anyone please to tell me please?

    Thank you!

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  3. Matt – Great video, thanks. Is there any chance you would consider posting the images you use, so that we can get some practice on the same subject? Thanks very much. Have fun at Photoshop World

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  4. hi – i love your killer tips..but…any idea why i keep getting the download your dubai video in the rss feed several times a day? i would hate to kill this feed, but …

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  5. great stuff matt!!!


    ps, nik rules !!!!!

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  6. Excellent tutorial Matt!

    Hope you’re having fun in Dubai. Seems like all the big dogs are there having a blast.

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  7. Matt;
    You packed a lot of good stuff in this one! I know I need to do a workshop with you so I can cram all that knowledge in my brain.
    Thanks, You Rule!

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  8. First of all great Tutorial!

    Maybe you could use catalogues as David mentions in combination with a service like dropbox ( But this means you would need a decent internet connection on every location you want to edit your images.

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  9. @Alex
    I think you could use catalogs as David says in combination with something like dropbox ( But this means you must have a decent internet connection.

    And of cause great tutrial.

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  10. sorry matt. I love your teaching skill, but i love to hear you talk about lightroom (lightroom killer tips) not photoshop. πŸ™‚

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  11. @alex

    I don’t do this, but I read about a guy who makes a new catalog for every job he does. He puts the catalog and the photos for that catalog in a new folder, and if he wants to work on it somewhere else, just copies it to a usb.. opens that catalog on the remote systems.. does the work.. brings it back home and overrides whats in the storage folder. Not perfect but he said it worked well for him.

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  12. Howdy. The blog changes look great! I have a general question. I have a laptop and a desktop that I like to work on. When I shoot a wedding, I find it’s easiest to edit the files in Lightroom on either my laptop or my desktop. I can’t seem to find a way to break it up and do both. For example if I want to work on some of the photos on my desktop, but then later in the day go to a coffee shop or sit in front of the TV at my house with my laptop and keep working. Is the only way to do this to export and import catalogs of the work I’ve done? Or is there an easier way? Is there a way I can set up a shared hard drive on my network at home where both laptop and desktop can access the same catalog (or sidecar files?)? I’ve thought about using a remote desktop application to just access Lightroom on my desktop via my laptop so everything is on the desktop, but I assume it’ll run slow and depend on whatever internet connection I have.

    Do you have any thoughts? Do you go between a laptop and desktop working on the same group of photos? Thanks!

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  13. Like what you did with killer tips site

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    • Thanks! I like to hi-jack sites that Matt posts to and completely change their look… he’ll be surprised when he returns from Dubai πŸ™‚

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  14. awesome Matt, where are the best places to find your tutorials? especially your photoshop tutorials. thanks

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  15. I am sure I have a decent amount of sensor dirt as I don’t have a self cleaning sensor, I will enjoy trying that tip

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  16. Matt – good video thanks.
    On the subject of sensor cleaning here’s my tip to test how dirty your sensor is:
    Photograph a bright sky, or your monitor with nothing but white on it. Use minimum f stop (biggest number) to give maximum depth of field to show up the sensor dirt, use a slow shutter speed and keep the camera moving to blur the lens image, but retain the sharpness of the sensor dirt. Exposure compensate in camera about +1.5 stops.

    Then in Lightroom look at the image and apply the following settings which you SHOULD CREATE AS A PRESET:
    Exposure -1
    Blacks and Clarity +100
    Vibrance and Saturation -100
    In the Detail panel crank Amount, Radius, Detail up to the max and Masking to 26

    This will show up your sensor dirt nicely. Having a preset makes this a fairly quick and easy test.

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  17. Matt

    Great tutorial ! I am a newbie to PS and are amazed at the power and capabilities of this program. I also use LR and is slowly learning how to use both programs at the same time to truly enhance my images.

    Again thank you for the great tutorials !!!!!

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  18. Matt,
    I for one spend a fair amount of time in both LR as well as PS.I very much enjoy a real workflow using both programs. Thanks again for another great tut! I got 4 or 5 useful tips Say Did I win the drawing to join you in Dubai ….I thought for sure I did ? have not seen my tickets yet……

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  19. Hi Matt,

    Another excellent tutorial!! Couple of things … I like the method of changing the sky (I’m going to watch that part again). The quick selection tool never works for me the way you do it … I’ve watch several of your tutorials, but I never get that same result. It jumps all over the place and I never get a quick selection. Takes me forever. Are there some option settings that make this work better? Any suggestion you have, would be greatly appreciated.

    Have a great trip in Dubai!


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  20. That’s another great tutorial. I really liked the way you brought back the sky. This trick will save many photos. Thanks!

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  21. Great tutorial again, Matt! And fun to see a ‘Dutch’ Beemster cheese balloon in your photo. Did you take this shot in Europe?

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  22. Matt, thanks for another great tutorial – I found the use of gradient tool with the colour picker especially helpful. Hope you get some good photos from your Dubai trip. Just watch out for the dust on your sensor whilst there πŸ˜‰

    BTW You do realise that, with such a teaching trip taking place so distant from the US / Canada, you & the other Photoshop Guys really have no excuses now for not travelling over here to the UK and holding some teaching classes πŸ˜‰

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