Until recently, I’ve felt a little left out when it comes to the Macphun line of photo editing and effects software. I’m a Windows guy, a sometimes lonely place to be in the oft Apple dominated world of graphic design and photography. Until this year Macphun software wasn’t available for us PC’s. I figured Macphun’s software would always remain out of reach until Macphun released Luminar for Windows earlier this year. So, I tried it. And liked it. A lot! Getting a chance to take the new Beta version of Aurora HDR for a spin, I was cautiously … [Read more...] about First Impressions of the New Aurora HDR 2018 for Windows
Whether you’re looking for a robust alternative to Adobe or you’ve already made the switch, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate should be a strong consideration. The complete tool offers a digital asset manager to keep your images organized, a raw conversion program to decode and develop raw files, as well as a robust, layered image editor. The package is GPU accelerated and I found it very fast for editing and browsing as well as adjusting images. The software is available with a perpetual license (no monthly fees) or a monthly … [Read more...] about A First Look at ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018
Digital model or property release forms make it easy for photographers to always have a release handy. Here’s how to setup a custom release form using an inexpensive application called Easy Release. Designed for both Android and iOS devices. Easy Release is designed for both Android and iOS devices. I have it installed on my iPad and Android phone. I prefer to use the larger iPad than my smaller Android phone. I keep it on my phone just in case I don’t have my iPad handy. As of this article date, Easy Release isn’t available for Windows … [Read more...] about Electronic Model Release Form
I frequently find myself walking away from my iMac when batch exporting images from Lightroom or rendering video. Before walking away, I want to make sure the computer doesn't go to sleep and stop exporting/rendering my files. I'm not a big fan of wasting time and nothing is worse than setting 10 videos to render and coming back in the morning to see that only 2 videos were successfully exported, while the rest are still processing. It's easy enough to go into the Apple menu on the top left, choose System Preferences, then choose Energy … [Read more...] about Caffeine – One of my Favorite Apps for Mac
Okay we admit that throughout the years we have been a bit ambivalent about memory cards. We buy them, we use them and we don’t think much about them. All the major card makers do a good job these days. But all of them also eventually fail. When they fail we're unhappy and may grouse about it for a while but at the end of the day everything man-made will fail. Generally, we have no specific evidence (after buying and testing more than 100 different sizes, types and brands of memory card) that any of the major brands are more or less prone to … [Read more...] about Lexar Professional 128 GB 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II Mini Review
Pretty much everyone reading this is all too familiar with JPEG's and the creation of large, small, printable, social media sized, etc images for clients. If you're like me and tend to shoot a fair number of weddings and events with LARGE, (sometimes obscenely so), catalogs of images, the delivery of these files to your clients can often be an absolute nightmare. Sharing online takes forever to upload and download....sometimes they want them on a Hard Drive or Thumb Drives and you just can't fit everything. Compile that with YOUR personal … [Read more...] about JPEGmini – Secret Weapon of The Photographer on the Move!
It’s been a pretty great December. I received an early Christmas gift of an iPad Air. I have owned iPads before and found them very useful for a couple of things such as watching a movie on an airplane, listening to music when I am traveling, or using it as a teleprompter and also as a photo portfolio or presentation device. It works extremely well for all those uses. But what if you want more? The iPad has been something I’ve always considered to be great at helping me consume media, but not so great at something I'd use to … [Read more...] about The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 For Photographers
https://youtu.be/Pw_IqRbCpWU Photoshop CC's New In-App Search allows you to quickly search Photoshop tools, panels, menus, Adobe Stock assets, help content and tutorials from within Photoshop using a new search panel that’s right at your fingertips. You can either hold down CMD+F (or Ctrl+F on Windows) to launch it, or click on the new search symbol in the upper right corner of the application frame to enable this new feature. Here's an additional video from Adobe Evangelist (and friend of Photofocus) Julieanne Kost explaining how she … [Read more...] about Photoshop CC (November 2016) Adds New In-App Search Tool
https://youtu.be/yaMjHn-RJYA Adobe has announced a new member of the Photoshop family, Project Felix. Project Felix gives designers easy-to-use 3D tools to help them create high quality images with photo-realistic effects without time-consuming workflows or 3D expertise. In the video above you can see the very easy workflow. In a nutshell, Project Felix delivers in 3 key areas: Easy access to assets. Project Felix comes with a library of models, materials and lights to help you get started the moment you open it on your desktop. Its … [Read more...] about Adobe Announces Project Felix
Adobe Portfolio, free with a Creative Cloud subscription, is a real gem. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your website, I recommend taking a look at it. For me, it’s a been a perfect tool to publish a broader selection of work while maintaining the narrow focus of my primary website—headshots. I’m of the opinion that you must be known for a specialization within photography. The website on your business card or in your Facebook Ads must make it very clear what you do. But marketing your speciality doesn’t mean you can’t publish other work … [Read more...] about Adobe Portfolio: Initial Impressions
Just under three months ago I was exposed to a new product called Plotagraph. The founders (Troy Plota and Sascha Scheider) spent time with me and the rest of the Photofocus team at Photoshop World in Las Vegas. We got a much deeper dive into the Plotagraph software and all I can say is WOW. As much as I was initially impressed I am even more so now. In the weeks since the company has moved from early BETA to nearly fully released software. Even when the product was officially in BETA status it was so well developed that it was really more … [Read more...] about An Update On Plotagraph
A few years back, Apple decided to slowly kill of Aperture and iPhoto. in their places emerged Photos for Mac. The app left something to be desired, but has kept maturing. One of its biggest changes was the support of Extensions (or what others would call plug-ins). Essentially these are small, dedicated apps that you can run on your Mac or as an add-on to the Photos app. LUCiD Apps/Extensions We're big fans of Perfectly Clear from Athentech. The tech behind this automated image correction is what powers these new LUCiD … [Read more...] about First Look: New LUCiD Plug-ins for Photos for Mac
In the article, One click Supermodel Results in Lightroom, we covered what images are great for a Supermodel look. Then, using the Lightroom version of Perfect Skin, we applied a superfast One-Click preset to produce a killer look. But sometimes an image may need a little editing first. Removing flyaway hairs or a blown-out highlight on the nose is what Photoshop was created for. Here’s how we are going to take a skin-damaged image and give it a Supermodel look. Getting our Photoshop workspace in order Let’s start by opening an image inside … [Read more...] about The New Perfect Skin: Supermodel Results in Photoshop
We all have wrinkles, blemishes and laugh lines. When these features are completely removed—with the exception of blemishes—the image instantly looks fake. The key is to make the retouch look natural by softening wrinkles, fading laugh lines and smoothing the skin. But sometimes you may want flawless, almost porcelain skin that screams SUPERMODEL. You could spend hours following along with tutorials on how to dodge, burn and soften skin or you can easily get amazing results with Athentech’s new Perfect Skin plug-in for Lightroom and … [Read more...] about The New Perfect Skin: One-Click Supermodel Results in Lightroom
Photoshop’s update is going to make a lot of photographers and retouchers happy with the boost in performance plus three improved tools--Selecting and Masking, Content-Aware Crop and Face-Aware Liquify. Performance Adobe has been focusing on increasing the speed of Photoshop. Faster startup time, removing unnecessary dialog boxes, warnings and clicks, as well as how fast a tool returns results. They have promised this in past versions, but in this version it has lead to a noticeable boost in performance. Selection and Masking Space gets its’ … [Read more...] about Adobe Creative Cloud Update Offers Great Features for Photographers!
If you’ve got a network-attached Drobo like a 5N or a B810n, one of the biggest problems was accessing your data outside of your local network. Unless you run a separate server like I do, remote access wasn’t possible. Knowing that this has been an issue, Drobo is proud to announce DroboAccess which aims to simplify remote file access and file sharing. It’s essentially letting you create your own personal “cloud” with end-to-end encryption. To be fair, for years Synology has offered a Quick Connect website to log in and remotely access your … [Read more...] about A First look at DroboAccess
Photoshop Mix is part of the Adobe CC mobile apps collection and allows you to make edits away from the desk. in this post I’ll be using Mix to replace a sky in an image; Opening an Image Because Photoshop Mix is part of the Creative Cloud I can access images from a variety of places. Tapping the + on the left opens up the image open choices; I’ve already Synchronised some collections from Lightroom, so I’ll head off and get an image from there by tapping on the Lightroom icon; There’s a collection called Demo Files, I’ll navigate … [Read more...] about Replacing A Sky with Adobe Photoshop Mix and Photoshop CC
Adobe announces technology previews for Lightroom on the web. Technology Previews These are a set of "test drives" for new features before they are released officially. Technology previews offer the opportunity to comment on a feature's functionality and to help "shape the feature." according to Josh Haftel of Adobe. Search Search is a technology preview announced today. It works with Adobe's image analysis algorithms with Lightroom for mobile, Lightroom on the web, or with Lightroom desktop via a synchronized collection. You can access … [Read more...] about Technology Preview: Search for Lightroom
Your footage does not exist until it exists in at least two other places than the source. Then, and only then, should you reuse source media. The adage above is as close to a truism as one can find in digital video production. At the start of my production career, Alex Lindsay hammered it into me on every shoot. Today, it is one of the first things I teach new folks. Nowhere is the risk of ignoring this adage greater than when one is in the field, away from ample electrical outlets and clean, flat surfaces. Even when power and workspace … [Read more...] about OFFLOAD = Peace of Mind
When youre running your own photography business, taking photos is really only about 25% of your job. You also have to find time for editing, marketing, client meetings, website maintenance, and bookkeeping. Come tax time each April, you may be looking for a few deductions to cut your tax bill. If you use your own car for your business, its an eligible tax deduction. Its also one more thing to keep track of. While I don't run a photography-specific business, I am a professional freelancer. Ive done everything from small photo shoots, to … [Read more...] about Running your Business – Tracking Mileage
Can I vent for a second about how frustrating it can be to retouch dark circles under the eyes? While I don't claim to be a master retoucher, I do think I can hold my own, except when it comes to those under eye circles. Matching tonality and texture has always been a difficult task for me. Remove too much and it looks super fake. Don't do it enough and it looks like a shoddy job. So usually I just end up leaving them. Enter: Perfectly Clear. I've recently been playing around with this new and handy software and discovered how amazingly it … [Read more...] about Dark Circle Quick Fix with Perfectly Clear
We have all seen beautiful portraits ruined by aggressive retouching. How can we tell if a portrait crosses the abusive retouching line? Its simple, if the persons own mother doesn't recognize them, youve gone too far. Thankfully there are many retouching programs that help us achieve pleasing results. My newest ally in the retouching battle is Perfectly Clear by Athentech. For years Photo labs and Photo Kiosks have been using Perfectly Clear (in fact 30 million prints a day on average). Its fast and does a great job at batch retouching. Most … [Read more...] about Apply the Right Amount of Retouching with Perfectly Clear
On Friday, September 25th, Apple released the next addition to their industry-shaking smartphone, the iPhone. Customers who were fast enough to preorder either the iPhone 6s and/or the iPhone 6s Plus either queued up in front of their local Apple Store or had a courier deliver their unit(s) to their doors. For the past year, I've used an unlocked 128Gb Silver iPhone 6 Plus and have been exceptionally pleased with it. So, when preorders for this next generation of smartphones went live, I stuck with what I knew and ordered an unlocked 128Gb … [Read more...] about A First Look: The Apple iPhone 6s Plus
When Corel, the people behind Corel Paint, announce that theyre releasing a Photoshop and Lightroom plugin it peaks ones interest, so I bought the Starter Pack and gave it a try. Starting image for this post comes from Fotolia Starter Pack As an online purchase the download was fast and the installation was quick and easy. The Starter Pack plugin comes with 11 different brushes and costs $49.99 (Appx 32.50 / 44.60). Full brush sets can be added for a 24.99 for me here in the UK, thats about $38, so I was in no rush to start filling my … [Read more...] about ParticleShop – First Look
I was recently given the new LG G4 smartphone to try out by my friends at ThreeUK. Theres a lot I could write about the software, shape etcetera, but Im a phoneographer so lets get straight to the camera. Go Manual The camera is good on this phone but really comes into its own when you opt to switch to Manual mode. Here you can opt to change; White Balance Focal depth Exposure compensation ISO Shutter speed All pretty cool and opens up some great photographic opportunities, but what really got me excited was the option to shoot jpg or DNG … [Read more...] about Shooting Raw on a Smartphone with the LG G4
This option is new to Lightroom CC, and Im still finding the right way to use it in my workflow. Basically, it gathers pictures together based on the faces it can recognize in the image. The more I think about it, the more I see some powerful uses for it. Enter the People view using the icon at the bottom of the Library screen (press T to show the tool bar) or by pressing the O key (P is already taken for flagging a picture as a pick). Lightroom begins automatically recognizing faces and stacking pictures together with the same faces; the same … [Read more...] about Organize Your Portraits and Group Shots: Using People View in Lightroom CC
You gotta join us live for our next Google+ Hangout, totally free of charge. Not only will you learn terrific techniques, but if you tune in live, you can be entered to win excellent prizes to help you in your work. (Note: MUST BE TUNED IN LIVE TO WIN). We kick off Wednesday 5/27, 4:00pm Eastern, 3:00pm Central, 2:00pm Mountain, and 1:00pm Pacific. 4:30pm in Newfoundland. RSVP here and it'll show your local time. If you like shooting the same subjects in the same way that have been shot for a hundred years...then this hangout is not for … [Read more...] about Lightroom Hangout: Diving into Cinemagraphs with Rob Knight
A look at Noiseless Pro by Macphun a standalone application that helps you reduce color and luminance noise in your images, and process raw images! … [Read more...] about Noiseless Pro Review
This morning Adobe announced a major update to Lightroom! The new version is called Lightroom CC, and is a part of the Creative Cloud. (For those of you not interested in using the Creative Cloud subscription service, it can still be downloaded as a standalone application, Lightroom 6.) The new update comes with some very much anticipated improvements, so let's take a look at some of the most impressive new feature's inside of Lightroom CC:HDR Merge Yes! Finally! We can merge HDR images inside of Lightroom! Photoshop is no longer a … [Read more...] about Say Hello to the NEW Adobe Lightroom CC!
The Challenge of Dynamic Range My next house I did end up photographing was a small townhouse. I think those are extra challenging to photograph as you are working to be creative in tiny places to get the entire room without too much distortion. A tripod is a must even when working in such a tiny space. I went to work and bracketed each room. The realtor sent me a text saying his clients were impressed and LOVED the pictures. I breathed a sigh of relief. After that praise I looked back through some photos and decided to play some more with … [Read more...] about What can Photomatix do for you?