Solstice Visuals

Entertainment for the creative mind.

Posts tagged with 'Mac'.

Photoshop Shortcut Stickers

This comes in today from photographer, Peter Hong ( 

Peter has done something pretty interesting. He has customized his keyboard with Photoshop shortcut keys to become more efficient with his workflow. Now, this is something I can get behind recommending. 

click to enlarge

Now that is Photoshop dedication. 

Peter, your iron clad dedication rivals that only to the Karate Kid. 

No, not the fake Karate Kid

The Real Deal. 

So go on with your ninja finger skills, these shortcut stickers are pretty awesome in regards to efficiency when you’re learning all your shortcuts. 

Although I have mine memorized (I don’t know if that is sad or awesome?), I would recommend this to anyone who needs to get familiar with the main ones. 

Oh, I can hear it now, you don’t want to learn the shortcuts for the corresponding tools, right? Do it, you’ll save so much time and these are only the basics if you don’t know these already. 

Good job Peter. However, be sure not to let me near your keyboard on April fools day, I’d be tempted to rearrange them and run away laughing. 


You can buy these stickers here

Deep Down, We’re All Apple Fans

 I have never owned an Apple product all of my life. Growing up, I was always into PCs. From school to home, that’s all I ever knew and saw. Even when I discovered Photoshop, I found it via a PC. Then computer gaming came about, which was another story on its own. It further got me attached to PCs. 

 Along the way, I saw Apple become increasingly popular. Sheltered into my own realm with PCs, I saw Apple products out of the corner of my eye and started to take notice. 

 We all know that regardless of what system you use, each person has an allegiance to one brand or another. We often bicker and banter back and forth about which system is better. However, even as a PC user, I know deep inside that the industry as a whole wouldn’t be where it is without Apple coming into the picture. 

 I mean, even the mouse, came into existence because of Apple. 

(Remember this guy?)

 If you look at technology today and see what’s out there, you’ll notice an entire lineup of tablets and smartphones, with their paths paved because of the iPhone, iPad, and the iMac. You can’t deny that if Apple never released the iPhone, smartphones would have looked like something else entirely. Would Android have come into existence? It happened because of the iPhone dominating everything, the Jesus Phone as they nicknamed it.  

 If the iPad hadn’t come out, would we have tablets at all? Would we even be talking about the Kindle Fire, and all the other companies even attempting to release products that look like watered down versions of the iPad? Even if you look at all these products, their design is imitated from Apple products. Steve Jobs was an innovator, everyone else just tried to replicate and follow along just to get a piece of the pie. And most of the time, Apple got it right on their first attempt. With their iPad, it was almost flawless coming out while everyone else is still trying to figure out how to make a good tablet. I mean, it even has an IPS panel display! That’s awesome (Are you listening, everyone else?)

 And sure, some devices may be even better after they had a chance to catch up, but the point is, had Apple not been around to push the market with innovative competition, we wouldn’t see such amazing products overall in our market place. 

 So sure, I never really owned an Apple product, but I really appreciate what they did for technology. I even learned how to work their operating system as I would teach most of my clients on Macs.

 I mean, they almost predicted a more advanced version of Siri in 1987 and how it would look today. They were pretty close and you can see the direction they were trying to go, and they stuck with it. 

 Oh, and guess what? If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs being with Pixar, we probably may have never had Toy Story. Can you imagine a world without Toy Story? 

 I’m afraid the future of technology may be a little less innovative now that he’s gone. 


Pratik Naik 

Share Your Pictures Anywhere with Adobe Carousel

Well, it looks like Adobe launches a new product, Carousel.


No, not that kind of Carousel (sorry you can’t relive your secret dreams of sitting on a bobbing pony. I won’t tell anyone, promise). 

Adobe decided to launch a program (yes, this time the real Carousel) which allows you to access your images everywhere. If you’re one of those people who has images sprinkled through all your devices, then this may bring some sort of uniformity to everything.  


The Adobe® Carousel app is the only photography solution that gives you access to your entire photo library from all your iPads, iPhones, and Macs — no storage issues, no manual syncing hassles. Enjoy your photos anywhere you are, and make them look terrific using the same powerful photo-processing technology as Adobe Photoshop® Lightroom® software.

So if you’re like that sad little creature (is that supposed to be a bear?), and you need a solution to obtain your files regardless of your location, then this is probably a tool that would be beneficial in some way.

Oh that’s right, except if you don’t own any Apple products! Thanks Adobe!

But seriously (yeah, who uses Android and Windows, right?), I can see the value in this.

How many times have you heard, “You have got to see that shot, too bad it’s at home.” This comes up anywhere, at a shoot, social function, with friends, or even at meetings where you’re talking about a storyboard and you have sample reference images you’d like to share. 

So, it’s a pretty nice way, or an attempt, at Adobe trying to get everything streamlined for you without having to try and sync every device together. Which could make it really simplified, as you will stop syncing your devices together and rely on Carousel entirely. 

Yours truely, 

A Windows User (I thought we were BFFs Adobe!) 

Original: The Importance of Talented Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists For Post Production

What role do makeup artists and hair stylists come in for the benefit of the retoucher? Or to be more specific, how important are talented makeup artists and hair stylists to have on set over an amateur? To carry on forward, I will label them in one term, ‘artists’, for the sake of brevity. 

Artists are the glue that holds the shoot together. They are essential to every shoot that transpires, from inception of an idea to the published print. Most of the photographer’s ideas are based around what makeup and hair the model will showcase, especially if it’s beauty. Now, the question isn’t if they are important, but how important they are, and how important are great ones in relation to mediocre ones. Are they worth the added costs? 

In short, yes, and allow me to explain. 

What makes it hard for the talented artists, especially the makeup artists, is that they are usually undercut by people proclaiming to be good at makeup, because they know how to apply it to themselves. Just because you apply makeup to your own face, doesn’t make you a talented artist, let’s get that out of the way! Same goes for hair. Secondly, most people can start working without the need to go to school for it. So that leaves us flooded with a mix of amateurs and professionals in a market where everything seems up for grabs these days.

The Trickle Down Effect

What this now boils down to is the affect it has on you and your team. 

Let’s say you’re doing a shoot where the artists become necessary. The question becomes, is it worth spending the additional money on talented and reputable artists for your shoot (hair and makeup) over beginners who may do it for TFP? 

The answer is YES

From personal experience, clients approach me and ask me for a quote on a job. Upon looking at the files, one of the worst things I find are that they cheaped out on makeup and hair, and they came to me because they didn’t have the ability to fix tremendous flaws the artists should have spotted on set. Peeling eyelashes, bleeding lip lines, uneven lip lines, improper blending of the eyeshadow, terribly clumped eyelashes, overfilled in eyebrows, face tone not matching neck and body tones due to bad makeup, uneven eyeliner, and the list goes on forever. Let’s not even talk about avant-garde looks. Did I mention that hair is the most expensive thing to fix due to the sheer time invested in digital combing out each strand of hair, one by one? Yes, it’s that brutal.

And in the end, after all that time and money spent in fixing these issues, you’re back to where you would have started out with it you hired someone who got it right in the first place. In effect, you may even scrap some really fantastic shots that the model gave you because it wasn’t fixable. You’ve now wasted your own time, and cost (depreciation, cost of time, space, etc). 

With cameras these days, every flaw will not only be seen, but magnified and showcased. And most of the time and money goes into fixing these flaws just to get back to where you started! So the cost incurred by the team becomes 10 fold of what it would cost to have hired great artists. 

In Conclusion

So yes, spend the extra money, the results will speak for itself, and they are truly worth the cost, it pays off for itself in post production if you have to do it yourself, or hand it off to your retoucher, he or she will love you for it! I know I do. 

Instead of saving $300+ by going TFP, you will save a lot more in time, energy, and money afterwards. And not only will it pay off for itself, you will profit from it. Your portfolio will look fantastic which adds further to interested clients and opens up doors to better talent you can now work with. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t have a strong team together, it makes everyone look bad. 

I can’t vouch how much I appreciate talented makeup and hair artists as a retoucher, I always take note of their work. I have a list of 10 that I can think of right off the top of my head, but I do not want to start naming them in fear of leaving a couple behind. So if you’re reading this, give yourself a pat on the back, the industry recognizes your talents and appreciates it more than you know. 

Let’s make this simple, here’s one formula to sum up everything I have said:

Do you remember your Algebra? 

The Dual Screen Laptop: Gscreen SpaceBook

Introducing, a dual screen laptop, or I should say, portable desktop (as you would need a desk to use it efficiently), that you can take anywhere and get the real estate screen space you need. Now only if they had an IPS panel screen equivalent, I would probably buy it to take on the road. Find out more at: