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The most common question Brooks hears from readers is, "How do you get so much done?" The answer is often found in the tools — anything from ways of thinking, to software, to tips and tricks, from inspiration to organization — that help our productivity. Creative Labs are our way of sharing what we've learned.

About the Labs

These Creative Labs are shorter than our Visual Workshops — often just a single video or two. Topics are somewhat eclectic, often zeroing in on subjects of value to photography and the productive process not found elsewhere on the Internet. They all come from Brooks' direct experience as a fine art photographer and publisher. They are presented in their entirety (at no additional cost) as a LensWork Online membership benefit.


Brooks has a lengthy list of topics for upcoming Creative Labs tutorials, but if there is something specific you'd like to see him cover, drop us an email with your suggestions. We'd be happy to help if we can!

Depth of field, bokeh, and sensor size

Find out what depths of field are possible with your equipment.

Posted: 21 February 2019
Runtime: 13:01

Experiential Print Size

Based on your method of presentation, what does your audience actually see?

Posted: 13 February 2019
Runtime: 8:25

Previewing Post-processing

Use a post-processing technique to search for a project.

Posted: 8 January 2019
Runtime: 14:55

High ISO, Low Noise

Here's a marvelous technique to get low ISO results from a high ISO series of exposures.

Posted: 2 December 2017
Runtime: 23:43

Beyond What the Camera Captured

It's not always what your camera records that counts, but what you make of it.

Posted: 14 March 2017
Runtime: 23:48

Color Plus Split Toning in Lightroom

Split toning with a color image can create some very interesting effects.

Posted: 10 February 2016
Runtime: 4:23

Critical Whites and Blacks

Control the background color as you view your images.

Posted: 21 September 2015
Runtime: 5:31

The New Graduated Filter Brush in Lightroom

The graduated filter tool has been refined.

Posted: 24 June 2015
Runtime: 2:59

Virtual Copy Names in Lightroom

Copy names are a great tool to help organize your projects.

Posted: 17 June 2015
Runtime: 4:53

Blended Focus, Alternative Method

Use blended focus with your digital workflow to create an image that has greater depth of field.

Posted: 10 June 2015
Runtime: 14:35

Formatting Control in Lightroom Web Galleries

Posted: 13 March 2015
Runtime: 8:42

Using Epson Advanced Black and White to Tone Your Prints

Make a toned black-and-white print using Epson Advanced Black and White color options.

Posted: 29 Jan 2014
Runtime: 8:42

Market Day Video and PDF Production

Here is how I created two versions of the same slideshow: One as a video and one as a PDF with background audio.

Posted: 18 Dec 2013
Runtime: 14:15

Maybe You Don't Need That ICC Profile... Really!

Try using Epson's standard printer driver instead of customized ICC profiles when printing your images.

Posted: 17 Oct 2013
Runtime: 12:39

Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop and InDesign

Remap keys in a way that makes sense for you and save lots of time.

Posted: 10 Oct 2013
Runtime: 6:12

Basic Conversions to Black and White

Here's my general approach for doing conversions of color digital images into really creative black and white images.

Posted: 3 Oct 2013
Runtime: 12:13

My Noise Reduction Techniques

Tips to reduce noise just using Lightroom or using Lightroom and Noiseware Pro together.

Posted: 25 Sep 2013
Runtime: 13:57

Lightroom tricks in the Conversion to Black and White

Give your image a little more pizazz using these tricks.

Posted: 19 Sep 2013
Runtime: 4:48

Blended Focus

How to make a sharply-focused, blended image.

Posted: 12 Sep 2013
Runtime: 8:11

Photographs Off the Wall

Photographs Off the Wall
Folios, Chapbooks and Keepsakes
(audio only)

Brooks set out on the LensWork Road Show last month where he will be teaching four half-day seminars in 14 cities across the Western United States! Between the Portland and San Francisco seminars he had time to visit Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California where he kicked off the LensWork Photographs Off the Wall exhibition with a lecture. Here is the audio from that talk.

Posted: 8 May 2013
Runtime: 36:02

My Lightroom Ingestion Workflow

My Lightroom Ingestion Workflow

Here are seven steps I take in Lightroom before I begin the real artwork.

Posted: 7 February 2013
Runtime: 20:13

Bookmarks in InDesign

Bookmarks in InDesign

Create bookmarks in InDesign and they can be used as a table of contents or even as destination hyperlinks.

Posted: 24 January 2013
Runtime: 11:20

Multi-track Clean-up of a Skype Interview

Multi-track Clean-up of a Skype Interview

Use multi-track editing to improve audio.

Posted: 13 December 2012
Runtime: 6:55

Design Consistency with Styles

Design Consistency with Styles

Build your documents using styles and you'll find being consistent is easy.

Posted: 6 Dec 2012
Runtime: 10:24

Morphing Fonts

Morphing Fonts

Alter the look of fonts in InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator.

Posted: 15 Nov 2012
Runtime: 7:56

Simple DHTML Slideshows

Simple DHTML Slideshows

Support Files

A simple way to add a little bit of dynamic life to your otherwise static website.

Posted: 8 Nov 2012
Runtime: 10:27

Proof of Compounding Loss in JPG Compression

Proof of Compounding Loss in JPG Compression

Every JPG generation involves additional and compounding loss.

Posted: 26-Oct-2012
Runtime: 4:08

Lossy DNG for Secondary Exposures

Lossy DNG for Secondary Exposures

Use Lossy DNG compression on your secondary images so that you still have them but at a minimum cost of storage space.

Posted 22-Oct-2012
Runtime: 5:42

Lossy File Formats in the Real World

Lossy File Formats in the Real World - JPG and Lossy DNG

JPGs saved to maximum quality and Lossy DNG formats have no visual problems.

Posted 11-Oct-2012
Runtime: 13:50

ISO800 in Bright Light

ISO800 in Bright Light

It might be worth testing a high ISO in bright sunlight.

Posted 4-Oct-2012
Runtime: 10:03

Gradients in InDesign

Gradient Transitions in InDesign

Gradients can be a useful tool to create subtlety in backgrounds, text, and all kinds of graphics when you want to do something that's more interesting that just a solid color.

Posted 20-Sep-2012
Runtime: 9:07

Punching Clarity Even Further in Lightroom

Punching Clarity Even Further in Lightroom

Here's a trick to take a really flat image and punch it really hard.

Posted 13-Sep-2012
Runtime: 5:04

Written Signatures on Backgrounds

Written Signatures on Backgrounds in InDesign

Here are three variations of written signatures on backgrounds.

Posted 6-Sep-2012
Runtime: 8:12

Scaling Images in InDesign

Scaling Images in InDesign

Here are several ways to rescale images in InDesign.

Posted 30-Aug-2012
Runtime: 15:03

Different Page Sizes in a PDF from InDesign

Different Size Pages in a PDF from InDesign

If you have InDesign CS5 or greater, use the pages tool to make PDF publications that aren't constrained by a single document size.

Posted 9-Aug-2012
Runtime: 4:37

The Right Size Image in Photoshop

The Right Size Image in Photoshop

Here are four approaches to resizing images in Photoshop.

Posted 9-Aug-2012
Runtime: 13:55

Printer Templates

Printer Templates in InDesign

Once you have your printer templates set up it makes creating other projects incredibly easy and fast to produce.

Posted 3-Aug-2012
Runtime: 7:43

Image Sizes for Tablet-sized PDFs

Image Sizes for Tablet-sized PDFs

Once you get the math figured out, you can be assured that all of your images are going to fit your pages perfectly and have plenty of resolution to zoom in.

Posted 18-Jul-2012
Runtime: 14:21

Grabbing Colors in InDesign

Grabbing Colors from a Photograph in InDesign

Here are three ways you can colorize text easily using a harmonious color with the photograph you're using in your layout.

Posted 12-Jul-2012
Runtime: 8:57

Grids in InDesign

Grids in InDesign

Use the "make grid" script to create a grid of images.

Posted 5-Jul-2012
Runtime: 4:19

Variable Text in InDesign

Variable Text in InDesign

Pull information out of the metadata and have it preformatted by the text variable paragraph style definitions.

Posted 28-Jun-2012
Runtime: 13:38

Strokes and Gaps in InDesign

Strokes and Gaps in InDesign

By applying a stroke and determining the stroke's weight, definition, and gap color you can make almose any kind of stroke you want around an image.

Posted 22-Jun-2012
Runtime: 12:10

Customized Labels in Lightroom

Customized Labels in Lightroom

Labels can be unlimted by creating custom labels in the metadata.

Posted 7-Jun-2012
Runtime: 4:02

Creative Labs

Lightroom Web Gallery for Showing Publications Content

An easy way to present a publication in a web gallery.

Posted 31-May-2012
Runtime: 6:30

Creative Labs

Fixing Mixed Lighting Color Balance in Lightroom 4

Make color balance adjustments using this new tool.

Posted 24-May-2012
Runtime: 3:45

Color Replacements in Lightroom

Color Replacements in Lightroom

Use auto mask and color replacement in full desaturation mode to shift colors.

Posted 17-May-2012
Runtime: 6:42

Blog Templates Using OneNote

Blog Templates Using OneNote

Templates save time and allow you to get a lot more work done.

Posted 19-Apr-2012
Runtime: 8:15

Extended Lightrrom Web Gallery Info

Extended Lightroom Web Gallery Info

Create an entire website using a Lightroom Gallery.

Posted 13-Apr-2012
Runtime: 12:52

Undodging, Unburning

Undodging, Unburning

Control specific areas by dialing backwards once you've gone too far.

Posted 5-Apr-2012
Runtime: 4:09

Booksmarks Button Destinations

Bookmark Button Destinations in a PDF from InDesign

Hyperlink destinations and bookmarks — two different ways to get there, each with its own set of advantages.

Posted 29-Mar-2012
Runtime: 6:52

InDesign Captions from Metadata in the Image

InDesign Captions from Metadata in the Image

Creating captions in InDesign from the metadata in your photographs is an incredible time-saver.

Posted 22-Mar-2012
Runtime: 7:48

InDesign Snippets

InDesign Snippets

Make snippets out of elements that you use over and over again and save yourself a lot of time.

Posted 15-Mar-2012
Runtime: 4:29

Creative Labs

Jump to Page Links for PDFs from InDesign

Use hyperlink destinations in InDesign and make a button that jumps anywhere you want.

Posted 8-Mar-2012
Runtime: 8:53

Backgrounds in InDesign

Backgrounds in InDesign

Use transparency and blending in background layers.

iPad Compatible Video

Posted 29-Feb-2012
Runtime: 4:39
Media: Flash video and iPad video

Previewing and Repairing InDesign Files

Previewing and Repairing InDesign Files

A couple of handy tricks in InDesign.

Posted 16-Feb-2012
Runtime: 7:01

Lightroom Stacking

The First Step in Editing - Lightroom Stacking

The first step to finding the image you want to finish.

Posted 9-Feb-2012
Runtime: 7:52

The Size of the Image

What Size is the Image?

The only things that really counts is the total pixel width and the total pixel height.

Posted 3-Feb-2012
Runtime: 6:04


Ligatures in InDesign and Photoshop

Add finesse and sophistication to your typesetting.

Posted 27-Jan-2012
Runtime: 10:48

Full Bleeds

Full Bleeds

Get in the habit of using full bleeds and avoid mistakes.

Posted 20-Jan-2012
Runtime: 6:12

Normalizing and Hard Limiting Audio

Normalizing and Hard Limiting Audio

Two tools to use to get good audio quality.

Posted 13-Jan-2012
Runtime: 7:40

Metadata in a PDF

Metadata in a PDF

Add metadata in InDesign.

Posted 2-Jan-2012
Runtime: 5:26

Print Booklet in InDesign

Print Booklet in InDesign

Make a folded book in InDesign.

Posted 22-Dec-2011
Runtime: 4:39

Page Transitions in a PDF

Page Transitions in a PDF

Make page transitions in your PDF document in either Acrobat or InDesign.

Posted 15-Dec-2011
Runtime: 5:02

JPGs from InDesign

JPGs from InDesign

Create JPGs out of InDesign rather than Photoshop if what you're working on requires intensive layout and design.

Posted 09-Dec-2011
Runtime: 3:59

LensWork Warmtone in Lightroom

LensWork Warmtone in Lightroom

One of the questions we are asked most frequently is how to convert a color image to the "LensWork Warmtone" that you see so often. This short video will teach you how using Lightroom.

Posted 01-Dec-2011
Runtime: 3:28

Beyond the Rectangle

Why must photographs be squares or rectangles?

In this LensWork Creative Lab you’ll explore creative alternatives to the ubiquitous quadrilateral photograph. You’ll learn how to create circular, oval, or any regular shaped photographic image. Using these as a first step, you’ll go beyond regular shapes to learn how to create any free-form shaped photograph you can imagine.

Posted 22-Jul-2011
PDF-based with video content
88mb download

Includes the following 8 videos:
Intro to Bezier Curves
InDesign Frames, Containers, and Images
Snapping Bezier curves to guides
Photoshop Erasing
Photoshop cutouts
Reusing Photoshop paths

The Spectrum

In this three-part LensWork Creative Lab, the evolution of photography unfolds a changing world of technology that creates an entirely new set of options for us as we create our photographic artwork. Where photographers of previous generations had few choices about what they produced, we now have a spectrum of possibilities.

Posted 22-Jul-2011
PDF-based with video content

Includes the following 3 videos:
A Short History
A World of Possibilities
Case Study: Made of Steel