Category Archives: HDR Lesson

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

 

PT

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 »

Aurora HDR Pro 2017 Performance Review

Macphun Software last week released the newest version of Aurora – Aurora HDR Pro 2017 a MUCH improved version of their Mac Only HDR Software

Now you may have noticed something, I never did a review of the Original Aurora HDR Pro, which may seem odd for a site dedicated to HDR. The reason was, it simply was not up to my standards and not ready for prime time. This really is not that unusual for 1st releases. The same was true when Nik Software released HDR Efex Pro. It just wasn’t good but when they ramped up to do release  2 and they consulted with the HDR crowd including me, they released a great, for the time, HDR software. So the fact that a first version wasn’t that good is pretty normal. Aurora certainly had the feature set right, but for me the only thing I am interested in is performance and it was there that it lacked.

All that has changed with the release of Aurora HDR Pro 2017. Continue reading »

New from Topaz Labs Texture Effects 2 with Discount Code

texture-box-3dTopaz Labs introduces Texture Effects 2

On September 27th Topaz Labs will introduce an update to their popular Texture program Texture Effects 2

Many peopel love the look of adding textures to their images. What they don’t like is the hassle and learning curve of doing so in Photoshop. Texture Effects allows you to add texture  effects in a snap and manipulate them in endless fashions of your choice and masking.

In the update in Texture Effects 2 they’ve taken it a step above with more lightning fast features, custom effects, and even professional textures from Hazel Meredith and 2 Lil Owls.

Not only that but from September 27th through October 30Th They are offering a Discount coupon worth $10 off the purchase price, Reg $69.99 now just $59.99. Just click on the banners and use coupon code ” TFX2 ”  As always the update is free for current users of Texture Effects

Here is a great Example of the power of Texture Effects 2 Order Now!

Topaz Labs Texture Effects 2

Before

Topaz Labs Texture Effects 2

After

affiliate_250x250_desert

 

Why Dynamic Range is NOT Tonal Range

Why Dynamic Range is NOT Tonal Range

Now, it could be…but it’s not

It’s like a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square…so let’s explore this

I recently was reading an article explaining dynamic range, in it, the author went on to explain when a camera has a limited dynamic range it will only show shades of gray not black and white. And I thought, no, that’s limited tonal range, not dynamic range.

Most everything we use in photography has a Full Tonal Range when lit with the same constant light source

  • Our Eyes; can see the full tonal range from Black to White
  • A High End Camera; can reproduce the full tonal range from Black to White
  • A Low End Consumer Camera; can reproduce the full tonal range from Black to White
  • Most decent LCD Monitors: Can produce a full range of tones from Black to White
  • Most Better Photo Printers: Can produce a NEAR full range of tones from black to white (Limited by Paper white {DMin} and Black Ink (DMax} )

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 »

ON1 to Release Photo RAW this Fall!

ON1 to release Photo RAW this Fall!

This should be VERY Interesting

Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW

 

Why On1 is SOOO much better than Free Software

I’ve been a user of ON1 Software since I think 2007/8 when they introduced Genuine Fractals (Now Perfect Resize) and since 2010 I’ve also been a Marketer for them (FTC Truth in Ad) We have always had a good relationship but it’s one that really is gonna get better. More on that in a bit.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that a big conglomerate has been giving away Photo Editing Software for free as of late. If you don’t know, just “Google™” it. Now that software was good software developed by great people working for another great company, a good number were my friends. Great People, doing great work..well except when Mr. conglomerate came along…120 of them all lost their jobs in the acquisition. Continue reading »

Topaz Labs introduces DeNoise 6 and Sale

Our friends at Topaz Labs have introduced a major update to their popular DeNoise Program (Noise Reduction)

and this is really a Major Overhaul. The most important new features are: 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 »

32-bit HDR Myths and Methods

32bit32 Bit  HDR Myths and Methods

A funny thing happened a couple years ago with the introduction of Lightroom 4.1. I started seeing people talking about NOW processing their HDRs in 32-bit. Now while it was true that something new happened – 32 Bit Tiff support for both Adobe Lightroom 4.1and ACR 7.1- many people seemed to think that 32-bit processing in any program was not possible before this and even the confusion that Lightroom and Photoshop ACR  (Adobe Camera RAW) were the ONLY programs that did work in 32-bit (Color Bit depth), which simply wasn’t true. All the Major HDR Programs do their processing in 32-bit, Photomatix Pro, Nik by Google HDR Efex Pro 2, Oloneo all of them work in 32 bit depth while in their Tonemapping/processing modules. Period Continue reading »

Updated HDR How to Section

I took today to update the HDR How To Page to reflect the changes made in HDRsoft’s Photomatix 5 Program

If you or someone you know are new to HDR and Shooting and Processing of HDR Images it’s a great resource to get you started and the the over 180 other articles in the blog can help you to take your HDRs to the next level (as much as I hate that tag line)

Check it out!

Tell a friend

PT

Photomatix HDR Tutorial Final Image

Photomatix HDR Tutorial Final Image

Using the Histogram to Ensure you have covered the Dynamic Range of a Scene

HisogramAs I discussed in this article: How many Exposures are enough the most important part of the -How many exposures do I shoot – is the fact that you need to cover the entire dynamic range of the scene. As the article pointed out the spacing between exposures was not AS important as covering the entire range.

In this article  Measure & Exposing for HDR I told you how to meter different areas of the scene to know the range of shutter speeds you would need to shoot to cover the dyanmic range. But even though it’s a good way to get you close, there still can be some margin of error because of course we know…sometimes the meter gets fooled. Continue reading »

Topaz Labs releases B & W Effects 2.1

bwbox_transparentToday Topaz Labs announced the realease of B & W Effects 2.1

As always the update is fre to anyone that owns B & W Effects

The new updates to B&W Effects 2.1 make it the most powerful and comprehensive black and white conversion software on the market. The two biggest additions are:

The Zone System Viewing Mode lets you see your image broken down into 11 zones that represent the full tonal scale going from 0 as black to 10 as white. Zones are shown in different highlight colors for easy viewing. This viewing mode helps you determine whether or not you have the full tonal range in your image and then make exposure adjustments in our conversion module to correct these tones.

Continue reading »

Why HDRs Don’t Look Real

10_MG_4458-blankWhy HDRs don’t look real  

Let’s start out by saying; you may not want your HDRs to look real, maybe that’s not your Artistic intent or vision. Or maybe you don’t even know what your artist intent or vision is and maybe you are just following what others do. And that’s OK, It all depends what you want out of something. But perhaps, if you want to take images beyond snapshots and work on Art you may want to delve into what your vision is. 

But on the pretense that you want your images to look real and natural, what is it that makes so many HDR images not look real at all? 

The quick answers is: lack of shadow. 

Continue reading »