Mark Heaps

Mark Heaps

Mark Heaps is the Executive Director for Heaps LLC, a digital communications studio. Mark has taken care of clients for over twenty years offering solutions for boutique businesses and top listed Fortune 500 clients alike. He’s an Adobe Community Professional and Certified Expert, an Adobe MAX Masters Award Recipient, a past Senior Instructor of Brooks College, a traveled musician, dad of two great kids, husband, dog owner, and foodie.

Color. Is it a big mystery? It seems like every week I come across a question on user forums, social media groups, etc., asking, “Why don’t I get the right color when I send my images to .” It seems that, as Adobe continues to make our tools simpler to use, the more that advanced and deep technical knowledge of those tools fades into history for many users. Don’t get me wrong, most of us don’t miss making clipping paths for Quark Express, or a lot of the other techniques we needed to know for older technologies! But understanding, or simplifying, color management is something that seems to ...

The Science of Color: Why Can’t I Get the Color of My Images to Come Out Right? close

Color. Is it a big mystery? It seems like every week I come across a question on user forums, social media groups, etc., asking, “Why don’t I get the right color when I send my images to .” It seems that, as Adobe continues to make our tools simpler to use, the more that advanced and deep technical knowledge of those tools fades into history for many users. Don’t get me wrong, most of us don’t miss making clipping paths for Quark Express, or a lot of the other techniques we needed to know for older technologies! But understanding, or simplifying, color management is something that seems to ...

Distorted Geometry

with Mark Heaps

In this selection series, we’ve talked a lot about the traditional means of making selections and offered lots of case studies about selecting by sampling color or luminosity . We’ve also discussed the popular approach of painting selections in masks, especially the Quick Mask mode. There’s also been the less popular, but extremely precise, use of the Pen tool to produce a selection. This month, however, we’re ignoring all of that. In fact, we’re going to get back to basics and use a little feature that’s less utilized than it probably should be. Geometric Selections with Transformations...

Distorted Geometry close

In this selection series, we’ve talked a lot about the traditional means of making selections and offered lots of case studies about selecting by sampling color or luminosity . We’ve also discussed the popular approach of painting selections in masks, especially the Quick Mask mode. There’s also been the less popular, but extremely precise, use of the Pen tool to produce a selection. This month, however, we’re ignoring all of that. In fact, we’re going to get back to basics and use a little feature that’s less utilized than it probably should be. Geometric Selections with Transformations...

For many users, making a selection is a simple act of sampling. We covered that in a previous article , and we’ve also covered the surgical precision approach of making selections using the Pen tool . Once you’ve made your selection, the process of refinement can involve many different techniques. We’ve also discussed refinement using the Quick Mask Mode where you can use paintbrush tools in a temporary mask mode to modify your selection. Being able to paint and adjust your selection is very intuitive, but it can be slow because of the accuracy you use to paint with the Brush tool. But, ...

Tweaking and Geeking Your Selections close

For many users, making a selection is a simple act of sampling. We covered that in a previous article , and we’ve also covered the surgical precision approach of making selections using the Pen tool . Once you’ve made your selection, the process of refinement can involve many different techniques. We’ve also discussed refinement using the Quick Mask Mode where you can use paintbrush tools in a temporary mask mode to modify your selection. Being able to paint and adjust your selection is very intuitive, but it can be slow because of the accuracy you use to paint with the Brush tool. But, ...

Technology is a wonderful thing because it makes our lives easier in so many ways. Tasks that were previously considered laborious or mundane have become simple and sometimes not much more involved than one click of a button. Automation, optimization, and other systematic approaches to industrial-scaled tasks are what turbocharged our evolution into a technologically driven society. Take the mindset of someone such as Henry Ford who was always looking for ways to streamline production, and we can see that same ethos trickle down into the most basic production roles today. Characteristically...

Select Subject: The Future Is Now, Sort Of… close

Technology is a wonderful thing because it makes our lives easier in so many ways. Tasks that were previously considered laborious or mundane have become simple and sometimes not much more involved than one click of a button. Automation, optimization, and other systematic approaches to industrial-scaled tasks are what turbocharged our evolution into a technologically driven society. Take the mindset of someone such as Henry Ford who was always looking for ways to streamline production, and we can see that same ethos trickle down into the most basic production roles today. Characteristically...

This is one of those selection techniques that has existed for decades but is still heavily under-utilized. Truth be told, it requires a certain amount of comfort with digital color theory and understanding luminance, but if you truly understand how it works, it can be powerful. As we break down images into simpler forms, basic information like black and white with 254 shades of gray between those two end points (256 total values on a scale of 0–255), Photoshop can use that information to build a mask or selection. (We’ve covered much of this in previous parts of this series.) A very han...

Quick-Click Selections, Luminance Masks, and Digital Color Theory close

This is one of those selection techniques that has existed for decades but is still heavily under-utilized. Truth be told, it requires a certain amount of comfort with digital color theory and understanding luminance, but if you truly understand how it works, it can be powerful. As we break down images into simpler forms, basic information like black and white with 254 shades of gray between those two end points (256 total values on a scale of 0–255), Photoshop can use that information to build a mask or selection. (We’ve covered much of this in previous parts of this series.) A very han...

So far in this column, we’ve looked at a lot of the various tools for making or altering selections. For a quick review, most selection-based tools in Photoshop will let you add to or subtract from a selection using either Shift or Option (PC: Alt), respectively. If you’re new to Photoshop, getting comfortable with this approach can be somewhat confusing and often stressful. Most users, however, quickly become comfortable with the simplicity of using the Brush tool. The idea of painting or erasing pixels is a very rudimentary concept. So this issue, we want to answer the question: What if y...

The Easiest Way to Edit a Selection: Paint It! close

So far in this column, we’ve looked at a lot of the various tools for making or altering selections. For a quick review, most selection-based tools in Photoshop will let you add to or subtract from a selection using either Shift or Option (PC: Alt), respectively. If you’re new to Photoshop, getting comfortable with this approach can be somewhat confusing and often stressful. Most users, however, quickly become comfortable with the simplicity of using the Brush tool. The idea of painting or erasing pixels is a very rudimentary concept. So this issue, we want to answer the question: What if y...

Let’s Get Surgical

with Mark Heaps

There are generally two different camps of thinking when it comes to making selections in Photoshop: really fast or really accurate. In this issue, we’re going to look at the tool most people use when they want surgical precision in their selections. So let’s introduce… The Pen Tool If you’re new to Photoshop, let’s meditate for a moment—breathe in, breathe out. You’ll need to stay calm while learning how to use the Pen tool. It isn’t that complicated, but unguided new users are generally very frustrated by it. It just doesn’t operate in a way that’s logical to most people outside the...

Let’s Get Surgical close

There are generally two different camps of thinking when it comes to making selections in Photoshop: really fast or really accurate. In this issue, we’re going to look at the tool most people use when they want surgical precision in their selections. So let’s introduce… The Pen Tool If you’re new to Photoshop, let’s meditate for a moment—breathe in, breathe out. You’ll need to stay calm while learning how to use the Pen tool. It isn’t that complicated, but unguided new users are generally very frustrated by it. It just doesn’t operate in a way that’s logical to most people outside the...

As we continue to dive into the fundamentals of selections in Photoshop, it’s inevitable that we discuss some of the more sensitive tools. Many of our tools have a sensitivity to data by appearance value. The type of data I’m referring to falls into two categories: Hue, which is color for the new users, and luminosity, which are tones often represented by shades of gray within Photoshop. As I’ve discussed in previous articles, there’s no one perfect selection tool that rules them all. Believe me, people have opinions on this, but at the end of the production day, it always gets decided by t...

A Bit Sensitive: Sample-Based Selections close

As we continue to dive into the fundamentals of selections in Photoshop, it’s inevitable that we discuss some of the more sensitive tools. Many of our tools have a sensitivity to data by appearance value. The type of data I’m referring to falls into two categories: Hue, which is color for the new users, and luminosity, which are tones often represented by shades of gray within Photoshop. As I’ve discussed in previous articles, there’s no one perfect selection tool that rules them all. Believe me, people have opinions on this, but at the end of the production day, it always gets decided by t...

Think differently about your business! Join Mark Heaps as shares tips and tricks for efficiency in Photoshop, while at the same time teaching you how to set yourself and your collaborators up for success. This class has two parts, and in the first half Mark demonstrates a number of Photoshop techniques to help you work smarter. In the second half he delves into more strategic concerns designed to help you grow your business, help you define who your customers are, learn key phrases and terms, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have a strong foundation for working as a great collaborator whether you are part of a team or an independent freelancer.

Photoshop for Business: Pro Techniques for Working Faster, Smarter, and Maximizing your Output close

Think differently about your business! Join Mark Heaps as shares tips and tricks for efficiency in Photoshop, while at the same time teaching you how to set yourself and your collaborators up for success. This class has two parts, and in the first half Mark demonstrates a number of Photoshop techniques to help you work smarter. In the second half he delves into more strategic concerns designed to help you grow your business, help you define who your customers are, learn key phrases and terms, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have a strong foundation for working as a great collaborator whether you are part of a team or an independent freelancer.

The Grand Marquee

with Mark Heaps

In our second article of this new series, we’re going to talk about the options available with the selection tools. But first, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we understand what the selection tools are. Specifically, we’re going to look at the shape-oriented selection tools: The Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools. When you’re selecting elements of an image in Photoshop, there are some general things that influence the process. Are you selecting a squarish thing, a roundish thing, an abstract or blobby thing, or a colorful thing? Terrible grammar and language aside, that’s of...

The Grand Marquee close

In our second article of this new series, we’re going to talk about the options available with the selection tools. But first, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we understand what the selection tools are. Specifically, we’re going to look at the shape-oriented selection tools: The Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools. When you’re selecting elements of an image in Photoshop, there are some general things that influence the process. Are you selecting a squarish thing, a roundish thing, an abstract or blobby thing, or a colorful thing? Terrible grammar and language aside, that’s of...

Understanding Selections

with Mark Heaps

Oh, I’ve heard it all when it comes to describing selections: “Marching ants,” “the blinky-dot thing,” “the dashed line area,” and my personal favorite, “the ghost frame.” Yes, I’ve heard these and many more over my years of using and teaching Photoshop. The team at Photoshop User magazine has listened to your recent feedback about wanting to know more about selections, so we’re kicking off a brand-new series all about selections. We’ll start with the fundamentals of how selections work, and then in each issue, we’ll go a little deeper into advanced areas, such as masks and much more, until...

Understanding Selections close

Oh, I’ve heard it all when it comes to describing selections: “Marching ants,” “the blinky-dot thing,” “the dashed line area,” and my personal favorite, “the ghost frame.” Yes, I’ve heard these and many more over my years of using and teaching Photoshop. The team at Photoshop User magazine has listened to your recent feedback about wanting to know more about selections, so we’re kicking off a brand-new series all about selections. We’ll start with the fundamentals of how selections work, and then in each issue, we’ll go a little deeper into advanced areas, such as masks and much more, until...

It’s true, presets are probably the last thing in the world that anyone wants to read, think, or talk about. But maybe after this article, you’ll give them a whirl and try adding them to your workflow. Presets save me loads of time every day. In fact, I can’t imagine not working with them because they’re so ingrained in my workflow. How to work happy, not harder, is always a goal when working in production. One of the most stressful parts of production isn’t understanding how to make something, but the repetition of making the same thing again, and again, and again. Now you may be thinki...

The Powerfully Unsexy World of Presets close

It’s true, presets are probably the last thing in the world that anyone wants to read, think, or talk about. But maybe after this article, you’ll give them a whirl and try adding them to your workflow. Presets save me loads of time every day. In fact, I can’t imagine not working with them because they’re so ingrained in my workflow. How to work happy, not harder, is always a goal when working in production. One of the most stressful parts of production isn’t understanding how to make something, but the repetition of making the same thing again, and again, and again. Now you may be thinki...

In this article we’ll be reviewing various ways to warp, distort, and transform pixels to help improve your images or refine your concepts. The piece shown here is an example of such a project, but first let’s review some of the fundamentals of warping, transforming, and Liquify! One of the best advantages we have in digital imaging vs. working in the old days of film is our ability to transform and manipulate the shape or form of a subject in an image. This was a really challenging task in the analog days of editing, and nearly impossible to do in a way that was convincing or “real” loo...

Transformations, Warps, and Liquify, oh My! close

In this article we’ll be reviewing various ways to warp, distort, and transform pixels to help improve your images or refine your concepts. The piece shown here is an example of such a project, but first let’s review some of the fundamentals of warping, transforming, and Liquify! One of the best advantages we have in digital imaging vs. working in the old days of film is our ability to transform and manipulate the shape or form of a subject in an image. This was a really challenging task in the analog days of editing, and nearly impossible to do in a way that was convincing or “real” loo...

A long time ago at Photoshop World, Jay Maisel gave a talk about his photographs. Jay is always a great speaker and his images are spectacular. One thing Jay said that stood out while he was giving advice that day was, “Don’t put words or letters in your pictures unless you want people to read them.” This was a simple, but very true, piece of advice. The human brain has a tendency to want to read the words that it sees. We are conditioned for it, and it’s almost impossible to look at a group of letters and not try to make words out of them. But what if those letters, or words, aren’t thi...

Dealing with Distracting Objects close

A long time ago at Photoshop World, Jay Maisel gave a talk about his photographs. Jay is always a great speaker and his images are spectacular. One thing Jay said that stood out while he was giving advice that day was, “Don’t put words or letters in your pictures unless you want people to read them.” This was a simple, but very true, piece of advice. The human brain has a tendency to want to read the words that it sees. We are conditioned for it, and it’s almost impossible to look at a group of letters and not try to make words out of them. But what if those letters, or words, aren’t thi...