Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pixelated Matrix

Michael Freeman is an award-winning editorial photographer and best-selling author, and since taking up photography I have read a number of his books.

Apart from being very informative, these books are a good read and they have helped me in gaining a better understanding of photography and how to take better photographs.

The book I am currently reading is:

Exposure is the deceptively simple concept at the very heart of photography.  It has always been a subject of fascination to aspiring amateurs and professional photographers alike.  Recent developments in digital technology have transformed the ways in which exposures can be manipulated, and this in turn has forced photographers to think about what they can achieve by understanding the variables of aperture, ISO and time.

One concept the book introduces is the Pixelated Matrix.  By reducing an image to it’s tonal distribution it is a way of seeing the important tones, but without the content interfering.  It makes it easier to consider any exposure issues (after the event).


To create a pixelated matrix in Photoshop do the following:

  1. Create a duplicate of the image
    Image | Duplicate…
  2. If the duplicate is made of multiple layers, flatten it
    Layer | Flatten Image
  3. Reduce the duplicate in size to 1,200 pixels on the long side
    Image | Image Size…
  4. Desaturate the duplicate
    Image | Adjustments | Desaturate
  5. Apply a mosaic filter to the duplicate with a cell size of 67
    Filter | Pixelate | Mosaic…
    Cell Size: 67

I plan on using this technique quite often in the future to assist in making sure that I am not loosing any detail in the shadows and highlights, an area that competition judges like to pick up on.

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