This one depends. If it’s my favorite camera, then it’s a Nikon D3. Realize that I’m using the term "my" lightly here. With the D3 weighing in at over $5,000 I can’t afford one so it’s not mine. So, my next favorite is the one I own. It’s a Nikon D300 and I absolutely love it. It’s the next best thing to the D3.
Fave Blend Mode
Overlay. Just duplicate your Background layer, change the layer blend mode to Overlay, and it almost always looks better. (Oh, and you can drop the opacity if it’s ever too strong.)
Fave Coolest Thing To Do With Windows Vista
Using gadgets is definitely it. Gadgets are so darn cool. In a nutshell, gadgets are mini programs that give you information or allow you to access cool tools without opening a bunch of programs. So, if you wanted to check the weather, see your calendar, and access a calculator without opening up three separate programs, then gadgets are the way to go.
Fave Feature in Elements 6
I love the Group Shot merge feature. It lets you take a few photos of a group, merge ’em all together, and take the best poses from each person.
Fave Photoshop (or Lightroom) Trick
Come on! That is so not fair. I make my living teaching Photoshop—I’ve got a million favorite tricks! (Editor's Note: It's true. He does. Check out the Photoshop Reference Guide to learn new ones on a weekly basis.) OK, here goes one that I use every day. Let’s say you want to work on a flattened version of your image, but you don’t really want to flatten all the layers in case you need one of them later. Try this. Click once on the top layer. Then, press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E (Mac: Cmd-Option-Shift-E).
I know, it’s a crazy shortcut, but it does two things at once. First, it creates a new layer on top of everything else. Then, it copies everything in your image and pastes it onto that one layer—all at once. So, essentially, you’re flattening your layers into one brand new layer but you get to leave all of your other layers intact in case you ever do need to go back to them. Whew! That was tough:)
As the education and curriculum developer for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Matt Kloskowski knows just about everything there is to know about Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom. And, he's written several insanely popular books to prove it, including The Photoshop Elements 6 Book for Digital Photographers and Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature.
Matt's also an expert on all the cool things you can do with Windows Vista, which is evidenced by his upcoming book, The Windows Vista Book: Doing Cool Things with Vista, Your Photos, Videos, Music, and More.
You can also find Matt on Peachpit.com in the Photoshop Reference Guide. As the Photoshop Reference Guide host, Matt creates a new tutorial each week on how to use Photoshop, and sometimes Lightroom. The tutorials are short, easy-to-follow and will improve how you use both of Adobe's professional image-editing programs. To find out what's new each week in the Photoshop Reference Guide, sign up for our free Photoshop newsletter.