Category Archives: Editing

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 »

Nik Collection doesn’t play well with Photoshop CC 2017

There are many reports that I’ve confirmed on my copy of the Google/ Nik Collection. That it is no longer fully compatible with Photoshop  Version CC 2017

On Google/Nik’s website it states  “The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.”

Also note they say nothing about being compatible with Windows 10

https://support.google.com/nikcollection/answer/3000889?hl=en

If you can’t find your Nik collection iPlug ins ( Or any Plug-ins Photoshop CC2017 you need to make sure you move the Plug-ins  to the new default folder location for Adobe.

Continue reading »

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 Review – Part 1 – Why do I want this over LR-PS

Red Trees 250x250

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 Review

Part one: The Why

Full disclose per FTC. I am an affilate for ON1 Software

If you would like to see a quick video showing an overview of ON1 Photo RAW 2017 before proceeding, click this great video by ON1’s Dan Harlacher

I want to start this review of ON1 Photo RAW talking about… Adobe

?

Let me state this upfront, Personally (and of course arguably), I think the combination of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop is the most powerful photo editing combination you can use. Especially when you have to go beyond the norms that the average photographer needs and into some of the thing even few professionals may need. Other working spaces (CMYK), Graphics needs (integrating Bitmap with Vector) and a host of other things. It’s  the best and most powerful. I’ve been user since Photoshop 2,  and Lightroom before it was Lightroom (Raw Shooter). I know most of the ins and outs. I like using them.

Okay, wait. Why say that in a ON1 review? Are you saying it’s better? Then what is even the point of a review?

The Problems with using Lightroom and Photoshop

Here’s the problem(s). Not many people are are me (not saying that in a heady way) but the majority of photographers are not (i’ve been at this 50 years). Add into this the fact that when Adobe moved to a Subscription program, that turned off a lot of photographers – I actually think it is fine – but I’ve heard the complaints and the calls for something instead, I get it.

But going back to what I said about people not being me. Here is the real rub with using the LR/PS combo. And this comes in two important parts. Part One: The Learning Curve. I’ve been using them a long time. I know quite a bit but still learn new stuff all the time. Photoshop has a very steep and long learning curve to get past the basics and actually use ALL the power that it has. Lightroom on the other hand is pretty intuitive to use as an editor – it’s why it’s almost universally liked – but what throws people into a tizzy is the “Catalog” most people are used to file browsers and don’t really understand how a catalog differs from a browser and most people are even confused at where their images actually are.

So problem one is: The Learning Curve

But there is also another problem that isn’t talked about: Editing Vision. A lot of photographers may have good Photographic/Artistic vision. This enables them to Pre-visualize what they want from a photo. But there is a secondary step. Editing Vision. This is knowing where you want an image to go or be in the edit. A lot of people haven’t a clue about that (not saying it as a bad thing, just what is) So while they may understand a software product, they know what the sliders do. They don’t know where they want to go, so how do you know what to use to get there?

This is where enter, ON1 Photo RAW

Problems Solved

Now of course, as with all things new to people, there is a learning curve. So you will need to learn some things and become familiar with ON1 Photo RAW. Luckily they have a ton of Training Videos on their site and also a lot by big time users of ON1. That helps you get off to a quick start. But using ON1 Photo RAW is more akin to using Lightroom, which most photographers like better because it’s more intuitive and easier to navigate than Photoshop.

Almost everything you need is in the right hand panel and it’s modules. So then why is ON1 Photo RAW easier to use than Lightroom. Well because it eliminates the one thing that confuses and confounds people in Lightroom: The Catalog. ON1 Photo RAW does not use a catalog to select images. It simply use a File Browser that more people are accustomed to. Know where you have those pictures of that fall trip? Navigate to that folder, open and begin working.

ON1 Photo RAW can be quicker to do that also, because it just uses the embeded thumbnails to generate previews. In Lightroom, First, you must import the images into the catalog, then Lightroom – depending on how you set it in preferences – will generate Thumbnails. Depending on the quality  and quantity you choose, this can take some time for the full previews to be generated completely.

So, you start off with a file system you are more familiar with and it usually will load up a lot faster.

Then once you have an image to work on, like Lightroom, you have your Right Side panels and different modules to work with. But unlike Lightroom that only has Develop Modules, Photo RAW takes it beyond that and also has; Effects, Layers and Resize (plus Browse) All of which can be switched to at anytime without the need to export the file. So instead of like Lightroom, where you work on an image in Develop, but if you want to add an effect like those in ON1 Photo 10, or the Plug-in effects of your choice, you have to export that image as a Psd/tiff to that editor and then reimport that file to Lightroom. Photo RAW you can just click on effects, add effects and then jump back to the develop module and continue working there  or any other module. ALL, in a non destructive workspace. Meaning at any time you can go back and modify those adjustments or even eliminate them. Nothing is baked into the image and un-doable

Within each Module you can add varying tabs for the develop or effect needs you want to use and not add those tabs if you never use them. Less clutter, less confusion to the user. Develop has 11 different Tab choices. Every one of them can be applied globally or locally (via brushes, gradients and luminocity masks ) and every one fully adjustable with adjustable opacity.

In the Effects Module there are 24 sets of Effects that are available and again all of which you can apply globally or locally AND in Layers. Which of course you can’t do in Lightroom but would instead need to export the RAW file to Photoshop to do.

So as you can see, On1 Photo RAW has the ease of using Lightroom with the added power of most of what Photoshop has. All in one place, all non-destructively.

This means that ON1 solves almost all of Problem One. Ease of use with a much shorter learning curve compared to the LR/PS combo

Solving Problem Two

Like I said earlier a lot of people have a problem pre-visualizing what they want out of their edits. It may just be simple corrections of exposure, contrast and saturation or, of course, it could be things far beyond that. But they are just not sure in their mind’s eye what they want. BUT, they may know it when they see it. This is why Plug-in are so popular….Presets

If a person can press a preset, they can have an ACTUAL visualization of what they want or an approximation of what they want. For most people preset are a starting point or even the end point. This is why Nik Silver Effects Pro was so popular. Most people didn’t even know what their B & W’s should look like. A preset gave them an idea.

This is where ON1 Photo RAW has it all over Lightroom and Photoshop: Presets and… some really good ones.

You can start by going though the presets till you find a look you want. And either just  burn that in (on Export) or you can take it one or many steps further by customizing that preset and even adding more layers and tabs to it. What’s great is, when you select a preset, It opens all the Modules and Tabs that are used in that preset. And doesn’t show you the ones that aren’t. You can then go into each module and make further adjustments or even just turn on or off that tab/module/layer to see what it added to the image.

This is huge because it gives everyone equal footing. Whether you can per visualize or not you can use the software to get to your end game.

And, I’ll say it again. ALL non destructively. Everything is changeable and not baked in (until export)

So this segment answers the Why: Why would I want ON1 Photo 1 and not get Lightroom/ Photoshop?

Please note that ON1 Photo RAW is also completely integrate-able  with Lightroom and Photoshop. So if you want the best of all world, that is possible too

Beyond the above. if you look at it from a price perspective, the regular price for  SINGLE SEAT LR/PS would be $120 for a Year of the Photographer edition Creative Cloud subscription. ON1 Photo RAW Regular price is $119.99 ($99.99 Upgrade), but that is for a 5 Seat License but it’s an outright license, not a subscription so if you never want to upgrade and just use the software as long as you want, you can. 

Remember you can “Try” ON1 Photo RAW 2017 with the free trial to see for yourself. Or you can buy it. As an added Bonus for my readers you can use coupon code HDRIG17 at checkout for 20% off your purchase

ON1 Photo RAW 2017

ON1 Photo RAW 2017

 

 

ON1 Photo RAW is HERE!

ON1 Photo RAW Press Release:

Portland, OR – December 19, 2016 – ON1, Inc. today announced ON1 Photo RAW 2017 is available for immediate download. With modern code optimized for today’s super-megapixel cameras and high-performance computer graphics systems, Photo RAW is the world’s fastest, most flexible, and easiest-to-use raw processor and photo editor on the market.

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 is tuned for today’s sensors and graphics chips. It opens 50-megapixel images in a fraction of a second on a standard PC or Mac, and performs edits in real-time, without slider lag or frustrating waits for redraw.

Developed over the last several years, Photo RAW uses an all-new modern raw processing engine and image-processing pipeline built around ON1 Browse, the company’s lightning-fast photo browser. Photo RAW does not require photographers to import and catalog their photos; an often painful and time-consuming process required before editing can begin. ON1 Browse is an integral part of Photo RAW, offering quick and easy ways to tag, rate, make color and tone adjustments, or add effects to their photos. Without catalogs, professionals can edit and adjust photos stored in cloud or file servers and fellow colleagues can access and edit where they left off. This combination of a fast photo browser with instantaneous raw processing delivers a fluid, streamlined workflow to process any number of photos at once.

The instruction-based, non-destructive workflow in Photo RAW palso surpasses today’s raw processors in other key ways. In addition to customary re-editable adjustments such as exposure, contrast, color, shadows and highlights, Photo RAW offers non-destructive effects and portrait retouching. Being able to create layers, masks, and selectively apply filters and effects to raw photos in one app separates Photo RAW from other photo editors available today. In addition, the complex filters found in ON1 Effects—including Lens Blur, Skin Retouching, Dynamic Contrast, HDR Look and many more—are all available in the non-destructive workflow allowing for endless possibilities when looking to create your own photographic style.

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 works the way you want, and where you want. For photographers with established workflows, Photo RAW integrates seamlessly as a plug-in for Adobe® Lightroom® and Photoshop®. It also works as a standalone host app for Google® Nik Collection and other photo editors; or as an extension to Apple® Photos. Common file formats—including JPEG, TIF, PSD, PSB, PND, and DNG—are supported and benefit from the speed and performance of the app.

ON1 Isn’t Done Yet
To meet demands and requests from their users, ON1 adopted a new development process to enable updates to Photo RAW about every 4-6 weeks. They have several planned FREE updates to Photo RAW in the first half of 2017, which include: automatic lens correction, workspaces, compare mode, photo settings, a Lightroom migration tool, versions, groups (stacks), camera profiles (film looks), updates for new cameras, and much more.

Prioritizing user feedback is a top priority for the company. ON1 President Craig Keudell states, “Our users are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the features important to them. We’re taking a completely transparent approach to how we build Photo RAW. We want users to have a direct say in the software they choose to use for their photo editing.”

Today, ON1 users can go to The Photo RAW Project and submit their ideas and feature requests for Photo RAW. Every submission is reviewed and the more votes each idea or submission gets, the higher the likelihood it will get added into Photo RAW.

Price and Availability
ON1 Photo RAW 2017 is available today and has an introductory price of $99.99, regularly $119.99. Previous owners of ON1 can upgrade for just $79.99, regularly $99.99. For a limited time, ON1 Photo RAW 2017 is bundled with some excellent training materials which include: Four Photo RAW Master Courses by Matt Kloskowski, Creative Choices: ON1 Image Workflows from Start to Finish an eBook from Colby Brown, and the ON1 Guru Signature Collection with 60 presets and four additional videos. ON1 Photo RAW 2017 also includes activation via user accounts for up to five computers. A full-functioning 30-day free trial is also available for download from the ON1 website.

 

I will be doing a full review after I play with the Release version a bit. I’ve been only plating with the Pre-re;ease version an they haven’t had all the features active so I want to see them al in all their glory

To order ON1 Photo RAW Click the link  below to take advantage of the savings and bonuses. Use My Coupon Code HDRIG17 for 20% off purchases (some restrictions may apply)

ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW

Topaz Labs Updates Adjust and Simplify Programs

Updates to Topaz Adjust and Topaz Simplify

Topaz labs announced today two minor updates to their popular programs Adjust 5 (5.2.0)  and Simplify 4 (4.2.0)

About Adjust:
With Topaz Adjust you can give your images the soul and character you envisioned in the field! Unlike our eyes, a camera lens can’t compensate for all the tonal values we see right in front of us. If you shoot something bright, you’ll lose all the details in the shadows. If you shoot something dark, the highlights will be blown out. You can try to correct contrast, details, and vibrancy yourself, but it’s difficult to make images pop like you want.

Topaz Adjust is designed to enhance three characteristics: contrast, detail, and color. Specializing in producing vivid images, Adjust uses Topaz’s adaptive exposure, adaptive saturation, and even includes our cutting edge detail enhancement algorithms to give you the secret “oomph” ingredients that make your images stand out.

About Simplify:
Topaz Simplify gives you a set of tools to create art that only you can make. Build a wide assortment of effects such as watercolors, oil paintings, cartoons, charcoal drawings, sketches, and more. Make your art uniquely personal instead of using cookie-cutter filters and achieve better results faster with specialized digital art technology.

Simplify is designed to create cool graphical effects to quickly turn your images into sketches, watercolors, and a wide range of other graphical and artistic effects. With intelligent controls for edge tracing, details, large image features, and original image enhancement, the artistic effects and styles you can achieve are endless.

Major features introduced in the latest versions of Adjust and Simplify include:

  • High DPI Display Support for Windows.
    High DPI monitors now display Adjust and Simplify properly. The application GUI has been updated to display correctly on 4k monitors.
  • Preserve Image Metadata.
    Adjust and Simplify now preserve all image metadata.
  • Separation of User Data and Program Files.
    Computer user accounts now store saved effects separately for each computer user. User created presets are now saved in user specific data locations, in their own separate folder. Once you log off your computer user account, your custom effects stay private!
  • Import Your Custom Topaz Effects Easily.
    Adjust and Simplify automatically imports all of your saved effects from previous versions!

New Effects.

  • Adjust 5.2.0 comes with 18 new effects. New notable effects can be found in the Stylized Collection, the Vibrant Collection, and the Toned Section.
  • Simplify 4.2.0 has 12 new presets in the Detail Removal and Enhancement, Line and Ink, Painting, and Sketch Collections.

 

As always, updates for current users are free

To learn more, get free trials or buy, click the links below

Topaz Adjust 5

Topaz Simplify 4

Luminar – New Photo Editor from Macphun – Release and Review

Luminar – The new Photo Editor from Macphun (Mac OS ONLY)

Today, Macphun software introduced Luminar their new all in one photo editor. (sorry Mac OS only)

The key features are the ability to design the Workspace to how you work, Adding or subtracting Modules (filters) to show only the ones you find necessary and work with often but always having those other modules  available. The other key feature, if you want to call it that, is simply…price. At $69 normal price (there are some savings I will talk about at the end of the piece) That’s pretty darn inexpensive in the world of editing software especially when you consider how much power and versatility is built into Luminar. Now I’m a big Adobe fan and have been a user of Photoshop since Photoshop 2. so that’s quite a long time. And currently a membership to Photoshop CC/Lightroom is $9.99 a month. Now for a professional like me that’s a small expense relative to the other expenses of running a business. Not everyone is a professional but what if you could get software that offers Pro level performance at a price that’s greatly affordable to people that don’t do this to earn money. That’s where Luminar comes in and very strongly. Even a Pro may find the feature set to be everything they need. Continue reading »

By Starlight in ON1 Photo 10

By Star Light – Milky Way Astrophotography Composting in ON1 Photo 10  Final Composite Milky Way Image

Soooo, you know those amazing images you see of the Milky Way with that awesome foreground and the caption next to it says…Lit by Starlight. OK ehheemmm. OK sorry to break this to you but, well, They are 100% bull@#$%…Yep. Having spent many a night during a New Moon (No Moon) out in the middle of the desert. I can tell you, the stars don’t light up much. In fact you don’t really know how dark  dark is till you’ve done just that. Continue reading »

ON1 Photo 10 and Lightroom HDR

It’s no secret that Lightroom does a pretty darn good job with HDR, it makes a great NATURAL looking HDR which of course as my long time readers know, is my preferred look. But I’ve come to terms with the  fact that that is not the look everyone desires. Everyone has differing Artistic Visions and so they may want to deviate from a Natural Look to a mutitude of looks from mild to wild. The problem is besides a bit of use of the Clarity slider, there is not a lot you can do in Lightroom to push beyond Continue reading »

Pre-Order ON 1Photo 10 today

250x250Don’t forget you can still pre-order the new ON 1 Photo 10 suite of apps today for only $119.99 or $89.99 for the upgrade from version 9 plus get free training videos from Matt Kloskowski, a $50 value

ON 1 Photo 10 is A full-featured photo editor that works as a plug-in to Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®, or as a standalone application. Browse and manage your photos where they are stored; local, external, and network drives or cloud service. Version 10 includes the necessary tools to manage and edit your photos with non-destructive Smart Photo technology. Improve portraits, add effects, enlarge for large-format printing, share, and make complex selections or masks with minimal effort.

ON 1 Photo 10 will be available sometime late October, until them you get ON 1 Perfect Photo suite 9.5 (New Orders)to get you up and running

To Pre-order Click the banners

Photo 10
 

Preorder Macphun Creative Kit 2016 for only $89.99

 


Macphun Software (Mac only) maker of great photo editing apps like: Intensify, Tonality and Noiseless, has announced an amazing pre-order price on their new Creative Kit 6 for only $89.99 !

TIP #1: Why Pre-Order Creative Kit 2016 NOW:
  • Special pre-order price: $89.99 for 6 products (The SRP will be $149.95 after October 14).
  • You get the current version of Creative Kit right away + Creative Kit 2016 one day before the official release (PRO versions of Noiseless, Tonality, Snapheal, FX Photo Studio, Focus and Intensify)
  • A pack of exclusive photography bonuses, worth $175:

Bonus 1. Pro HD-video photography training by renowned photographer Serge Ramelli

Bonus 2. A premium selection of textures & presets for Intensify, Noiseless and Tonality

Bonus 3. Snapselect for Mac, to help you easily find the best photos & remove duplicates.

Bonus 4. Two acclaimed ebooks, covering Intensify and Tonality by Pro Photographer Ellen Anon

TIP #2: What’s New in Creative Kit 2016:
  • New software: FX Photo Studio Pro: a creative powerhouse with over 200 unique filters, frames, brushes and controls (this is the 6th app in the new Creative Kit)
  • Single installer & a single product key for a faster setup: the installer will automatically set-up the plug-ins, activate the software, put all applications into a separate folder and get you ready for awesome photo editing.
  • Batch processing in Tonality, Intensify, FX Photo Studio & Noiseless
  • El Capitan OS compatibility
  • Full cross-sharing of images across all apps

 

TIP #3: Benefits for current Creative Kit users or owners of Pro apps:

You get a free upgrade to the new Creative Kit 2016 (the latest versions of our apps + FX Photo Studio Pro) after the official release:

  • If you are a Creative Kit owner already
  • If you own 5 PRO apps by Macphun separately (Noiseless Pro, Snapheal Pro, Focus Pro, Tonality Pro, Intensify Pro)
  • NOTE: it makes sense to pre-order Creative Kit 2016 now even if you already have just a couple of Pro apps, since you get a huge saving anyway, and 4 bonuses worth $175 that only go with the Pre-Order!

Offer ends October 15th so HURRY



 

Are your Lightroom Plug-ins Keeping your Color Space?

Are your  Lightroom Plug-ins in your Color Space?

I came across s this other day and thought if it happened to me surely it happened to others.

We have Working Color Spaces for our image; sRGB, Adobe RGB,  ProPhoto RGB. Everyone has their preferences and this article won’t delve into which you should use. A problem comes when you install Plug-ins from different manufacturers,(Nik, Topaz, Macphun etc) when they install they may not install with the Color space you desire and you may not even know this is happening. For a lot of people this may not even matter but if you are s stickler like I am for Color Management, it’s very important. Continue reading »

HDRsoft’s Merge to 32 Bit. A simple and effective Lightroom HDR workflow

logo_hdrsoftHDRsoft, the makers of Photomatix Pro 5  the top selling HDR software, also make a Plug-in for Lightroom that allows you to select your exposures in Lightroom and then Merge those files into a 32-bit Floating Point Tiff file and automatically re-import back into Lightroom for all your Tone-mapping and finishing needs The plug-in; HDRSoft’s Merge to 32 Bit, makes the whole process easy, effective and pain free. So let’s look at the plug-in and then follow through with some thoughts on a quick and easy yet thorough workflow using Lightroom only. Continue reading »

Stop Buildings from Falling Over with your Bare Hands

Or …your mouse 

Many times when we shoot architecture, if we don’t have our camera perfectly level to the building, either shooting up on it or possibly down on it, we will get some geometric distortions or ”keystoning” effects to our image. This at its extreme may look like buildings leaning in on themselves or each other. Or it could just be an element of the building like a door or window that don’t appear square.

Possible fixes are to; well shoot with our camera level – which of course isn’t always possible. Or, we could shoot with a Tilt-Shift Lens( a specialized lens that the barrel twist and turns so the camera stays level but the lens itself points up at a building) But not many people have these expensive lenses in their kit (ha-ha I love to sound British and say “Kit” instead of Bag)

So the other choice is to use software instead. In this exercise I will show how top do it in Photoshop and also Lightroom/Adobe Camera RAW.

Continue reading »

Update your Video Card – Update your Video Card Drivers

Photo editing software these days is placing extraordinary demands upon your computer and it’s resources. Motherboards, CPUs Memory. But increasingly, Photo software companies are moving a lot of that load to your video card and it’s own memory and processors. Since the introduction  of Photoshop CS4, Adobe has shifted a lot of the work of editing photos over to the GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) rather than only the  CPU.  So much so that Adobe set about standards that Graphics boards needed to meet for their software to run at it’s optimum

A lot of Plug-in makers like Nik software, Topaz labs or onOne  rely heavily on Video cards and Open GL Continue reading »