Macphun has Updates on Luminar 2018 and Aurora 2018 plus Holiday Pricing

A bunch of Update were announced this week by Macphun Software (soon to be renamed “Skylum”) for both the very popular Luminar 2018 and Aurora 2018

The updates continue to improve on two great things

Below is the list of fixes and updates.

Continue reading »

Maybe we need to RETHINK how we think about Depth of Field

Maybe we need to RETHINK how we think about Depth of Field

It’s really about Magnification

We know some truths about Depth of Field (DOF). We know there are 3 things (actually 4 but the forth is controversial and not all agree and it would only apply if you switch cameras in between shots)

Anyway, there are 3 things that affect Depth of Field

  • Aperture
  • Distance to Subject
  • Focal Length

We know:

  • The Larger the aperture (lower f/ number),the shallower the Depth of Field
  • The closer we are to our subject, the shallower the Depth of Field
  • The longer the Focal Length, the shallower the Depth of Field

and of course the inverse of all would be true

All of these are facts, all are true. Except sometimes absolutes don’t fit into how we actually do things.

There is no doubt that aperture affects DOF. We really don’t have to worry about that. But the other two, we do. An interesting thing happens and for most of us it is a unconscious thing we are used to doing: When we change focal lengths…we move.

Think about it, You, have a 40mm lens on and you are taking a headshot of someone (The Subject) we use our knowledge and say to ourselves, Oh wait I want a shallower DOF, I’m going to put my 200mm Lens on. OK It’s on, let me just step back so I frame that person the same way…. and I GOT THE SHOT!

But look at what just happened there. We didn’t do one thing, we did two. We changed focal length and we also MOVED. So, we didn’t do one thing that affects DOF we did TWO!

And the funny thing is, they directly counteracted each other so the actual effect was NIL. The DOF did not change.

OK, I know. Prove it

This image was shot with a 40mm lens at f/4, 1/1600, ISO 100 on Camera Flash. The subject (Frosty) was 1’10” from the Film Plane


Using my Simple DOF phone App here is the DOF for the Image























This next Image was shot with a 200mm lens at f/4 1/1600 ISO 100 On-Camera Flash Shot 9’ 2” from the Film Plane


This is the DOF from the DOF App























As you can see, the framing of the Subject is exactly the same, the DOF is the same (sometimes there are slight variations but within a reasonably close amount) Both are 1.71” (Something that can change, depending on the combination of length and distance, is the distribution of DOF behind and in front of the plane of focus)

Now, I also know what you are saying, “Besides Frosty’s size, those two images don’t look anything alike!! ”

Well true, while the DOF is the same we have two wildly different Fields of View between the two lenses. Ah, you say. But Even the DOF does not look the same. Well that is simply an illusion. Since all you are seeing is the background magnified in the second image shot with the 200mm. The so called “Telephoto compression” But if we zoomed in on the 40mm we see the amount of Blur is essentially the same (remembering that each lens has different Bokeh)

This is zoomed in to the background on the 40mm shot

So this shows us a few things. That the DOF is the same but we can use different lenses for different effect. If we were doing an Environmental Portrait we may want to use a 24-40mm lens. Still have the shallow DOF but have a better idea of the environment. The image taken zoomed in to 200mm would be better if you really had a distracting background you wanted to get rid of you could see less of it zoomed in and still maintain a shallow DOF for isolation.

But one trick you can use by going to a longer focal length since it has an “apparent” if not actually, shallower DOF is you can use a Higher f/ stop on your lens for more DOF on your subject (getting their eyes AND nose within the field of focus). But still look isolated from the background

This one was shot at 200mm f/8.0. 1/400 ISO 100 On-Camera Flash from 9’2”

This is the DOF app






















If you look close, we doubled the DOF and put more of Frosty in Focus but still had him isolated in a shallow DOF

Frosty is about the size of a Human Head. So you can see how shallow the DOF would be if you were shooting that tight on someone’s head. If you moved back in both examples (less Magnification)to a full body length the DOF would be a lot deeper. If you increased the aperture you would get more in focus, decreasing the aperture would yield less DOF (shallower)

So, what is the take away here?

The more an object fills the frame, the shallower the Depth of Field will be

When we frame a subject equally regardless of focal length or distance, it is said they have equal Magnification and that is how we should look at DOF. The higher the magnification of our subject, the shallower the DOF. It’s as simple as that instead of thinking about two things, (Focal Length and Distance to Subject) we just think about one.

When we know that, we also know that the only true way to change the DOF (keeping the same magnification) is by changing our Aperture. The wider the aperture (lower number) the shallower the DOF. The tighter the aperture (higher number) the deeper the DOF.

All things being equal, a Headshot will have a shallower DOF than 1/2 Body than a full body. Use THAT to determine your aperture for the effect you want. i.e shoot wider open on a Full Body shot than a Headshot because a Full body shot is less magnified thus has a deeper DOF to begin with

Hope that helps


Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale save 50% on the Complete Collection

It’s that time of year again! From November 21st through November 28th, Topaz Labs is offering 75% off of all of our traditional plugins in the full Topaz Plugin Collection or the newest technology in Topaz Studio with the Topaz Studio Go Pro Pack. Whether you want to achieve stunning photography enhancements or apply artistic effects, either option has you covered.

The plugin Collection includes 17 Topaz Products including the Topaz Studio versions of Impression, Clarity, Detail and Simplify. (over $1000 individually) for only $249.99. As an added bonus you receive a few pro adjustments in Topaz Studio from Impression, Clarity, Detail and Simplify As well!! Can’t beat best of two worlds!

*(Detail: Precision Detail & Channel Mixer; Clarity: Precision Contrast & HSL Color Tuning; Impression; Simplify: Abstraction & Quad Tone & Edges)

Users can also save on the updated Go Pro Pack with all 20 currently available Pro Adjustments (over $450 individually) is on sale for just $113.75.

The savings aren’t just for new purchases either. Owners of the older Topaz Collections or older Pro Packs can take advantage of the savings as well! They will just need to log in to their accounts, then add the collection to their cart to claim their unique upgrade price for additional savings on the Collection or Go Pro Pack!

*Note that this discount does not apply to individual plugin or adjustment purchases, which are sold at full price.

The coupon code ‘BLACKFRIDAY17’, will be auto applied in either store when they add the Pro Pack or the collection to their cart (it will be activated as an auto coupon on Tuesday the 21st, but the coupon itself is active now).

Just Click the banner below or HERE to order. Remember the sale price will show in the cart!

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 NOW Available

ON1 software has announced that the new ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is out of Beta and now available for sale!

The 2018 version contains all these great updates to really make it a viable alternative to Subscription Software

  • New update includes HDR module, Pano module, tons of updates in masking (Luminosity mask, luminosity zone masks, global mask adjustments, color range masks and more)
  • Versions or virtual copies
  • New user interface
  • New color brushes
  • ON1 Photo for Mobile
  • A viable Lightroom® alternative available today

You can try before you buy with a 30 day trial and you can also upgrade from 2017 versions

Just click Below

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

You can watch an Overview Here

Macphun Software to become Skylum in 2018

Macphun Software announced today that they will be changing their name to “Skylum”.

The company feels that because of the recent addition of Windows OS editions of both Luminar and Aurora, Macphun doesn’t reflect that as well and may cause some customer confusion and with future offering of their ever expanding library of photo editing tools now for everyone.

You can read the entire Press release HERE

I think it’s a good idea and a nice new name

Good luck Skylum!



ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Public Beta 2 Now available

ON1 has released the 2nd of Public Betas for the Upcoming Photo RAW 2018, If you were part of the 1st Beta they have fixed some of the bugs, If you are new,  give it whirl and test out all the new features over 2017 edition. Including HDR and Pano capabilities

To Download the Beta 2

Click Here

On1 also has some special Pre-order Pricing. If you are an Existing Customer They have $20 off the regular Retail automatically. If you are a New Buyer, Use My Coupon code HDRIG17 for 20% off your purchase


On1 Photo RAW 2018 Public Beta Now Available

Today, ON1 Software released it’s Public Beta of Photo RAW 2018 with many new features that customers have asked for in their ongoing Public Feedback forum. They listen to YOU!

This is the Prerelease Beta version, The full version will be available tentatively the end of October. There are some know bugs (that’s why it’s a Beta) so give it a chance but this will let yiou explore all the new features which include:

Overview of What’s New in 2018 (
– HDR Merge
– Panorama Merge
– Masking Improvements
– New “Versions”
– Updated UI
– Improved Local Adjustments
– Folders Groups
– Additional Camera & Lens Support
– Important Bug Fixes
To download the Beta of ON1Photo RAW 2018 click the banner below
On1 Photo RAW 2018
I’m looking forward to trying out along iwth you the new HDR and Pano Features. I’ll let you know what I think.

New from ON1 – Resize 2017 – Special pricing

Introducing from ON1 Software – Resize 2017

With most people just posting their images on social media these days, the actual need for large Mega-pixel files might seem that great. Bit the truth is, people still want to hang Photographic Artwork on thier walls. Gone are the days fo 8 x 10 framed prints. People want big REALLY BIG. I know in my print sales the majority of prints I sell are 20 x 30″ or larger and I sell a LOT of 60″ wide prints. I’ve even sold wall size prints that measured 8′ x 12′! Now for some of them I have done multi image combined high resolution (100MP+) images so that I have the printer resolution needed. For fine art quality sometinmes this means 300ppi, but at the very least you will need 1o0ppi so some of your single images, especially those you shot a few years back, may not have the image resolution needed to print in the size you OR your custimer desires and we can’t always get out and reshoot a seen in high resolution.

Continue reading »

Aurora HDR 2018 for Mac AND PC available for pre-order

Airora 2018 Pre-orderThe folks over at Macphun Software have the new version of the HR Editing program Aurora HDR 2018 available to ship September 28th but you cam pre-order it starting TODAY

The great news for all of you Windows  PC users is that it is now compatible with YOUR operating system!

Here’s what is coming:

Continue reading »

Why not give ON1 Photo Raw a spin for free

So I’ve written a couple posts about the new (ish) ON1 Photo RAW 2017. Really a great set of Photo Editing software that can be everyting you want it to be.

But why just trust me and my opinion? Try it for yourself!

ON1 Offers an Month long full Function Copy for free. So download it for yourself, try it on YOUR photos. See how easy it is to organize and get to the final image YOU want quickly and completely

Just Click  thru HERE





And guess what.

They have MORE free stuff?

Want some Free Lightroom Plug-ins?

You can Get them HERE







AND, Want a Free Full Version of their popular ON1 Photo Effects 10

That’s right HERE





That’s a LOT of good free stuff for your After 4th Fun!


ON1 Releases big update to Photo RAW 2017

ON1 Photo RAW 2017.5ON 1 releases Photo RAW 2017.5

ON1 Software announced today the release of ON1 Photo RAW 2017.5, the first major update to their new and exciting RAW Photo editing system.

The update contains 6 added features as well as 2 program updates

What’s New in This Build

LENS CORRECTION — The new Lens Correction pane will automatically detect your lens and reduce distortion, chromatic aberration and peripheral fall-off.

COMPARE MODE — Select a series of photos and zoom and pan each of them at the same time.

DETAILS PANE — Sharpening and Noise Reduction is improved and has been merged into a new Details Pane for global corrections on raw photos giving better results in both areas.  Continue reading »

Exciting new Photo Editor from Topaz Labs and it’s Free!

Topaz Labs StudioExciting new Photo Editor from Topaz Labs and it’s Free!

Topaz Labs this week launched Topaz Labs Studio a full featured editor for your photos including many preset and editable filter effects and also as a host program for all your Topaz Labs Plug-ins, existing and future. Not only is it feature packed but it’s available at the best price…Free.

It has 24 Adjustment modules, all of which are active,10 are free and fully adjustable (the other 14 are active but full adjustability, if desired, are available separately or in pacs at additional cost) Along with that are 290 Preset Effects that are adjustable to taste, you can make your own presets and also share them in the community with others and pickup some of their shared effects also.

It is available in both Windows AND  Mac Os. Continue reading »

HDRsoft announces Photomatix 6

HDRsoft announces Photomatix 6

Yesterday HDRsoft announced the latest version of their ever popular HDR software PhotoMatix Pro 6

The new features are: Continue reading »

Update to story of Photoshop v Nik Plug-ins

I reported in this post   that some people were experiencing problems when using the Google/Nik Collection and the update to Photoshop CC 2017

Tonight (May11, 2017) Adobe Creative Cloud has issued an update to 2017 to correct “Various issues” and one of them, The bugginess of Nik Plug-ins has gone away. At least it has on my machine

Hopefully for everyone else that experienced the problem… and no, not all did

Also there was no problem if you exported from LR or used Nik as a Standalone. It was only when used on top of Photoshop (Plug-in) to be clear



Breaking the Rules -Why you are not the Rebel you think you are

The following is a repost from my Business and Portfolio Website and blog. Posting it here in the hopes of farther reach

Breaking the Rules

Why you are NOT the Rebel you think you are

The Rules

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear a fellow photographer proclaim: “I know the rules so I can break them” then they also add in “I’m a Rebel”. I mean, I see this so often it’s actually become an annoyance and it’s really turned into just group speak. Someone said it and then everyone just repeats it without actually thinking about what it means. Well, I have. So lets take a little trip and see, what what with this.

But first a note. This article assumes you make photographs as art. The “rules” don’t apply to other photographic genres. Photojournalism is about telling a story, Sports, about capturing the moment, Commercial, about selling the product. While they may possibly contain art, it’s not a necessity. Continue reading »