While the practice of merging exposures is a topic of much debate, I don’t really care. If you’re not into it, I totally understand and respect that. I too enjoy capturing and processing final images using single frames for 90%+ of my own photography. For the other stuff though, I do love me a nicely balanced, merged exposure and have for many, many years. I find the ability to bracket and merge in post a valuable tool when needing to be in and out of a space in a shorter amount of time (as opposed to setting up multiple lights for each and every shot which can limit the total amount of finished shots in the same time period). I’d like to say that clients will happily pay for 4 or 5 hours while you set up and shoot, but I’ve not found many that will A) have that much down time to shoot unless I want to shoot at 3 in the morning, which I totally don’t) or B) have the budget for, or see the value in a photographer that takes that long to shoot a space. Time is money, and the more I can save myself (and price my time to the client accordingly) the better off I’ll be.
Over my personal journey with HDR, I’ve used quite a few programs (HDR Soft/Photomatix, Everimaging HDR, HDR Efex, Photoshop…) and when Macphun and Trey Ratcliff recently announced Aurora HDR for Mac users, I was very interested. Much of my actual paid photography work falls into the interior design and hospitality realm, working with that wonderful group of folks at the ELK Collective.
My goal has always been a natural representation of light and space, which as many know, can be tricky when tonemapping images through an HDR program. When shooting an interior space, I want to take advantage of the actual dynamic range, getting detail in the highlights and shadows when and where I feel necessary, not just tone mapping for a more dramatic effect. Well, I chose to process my most recent shoot using solely Aurora HDR Pro, and here’s what I found out about that program along the way… Continue reading
If I were to ask you, which black and white software do you feel is the best out right now, what would you say? NIK Silver Efex Pro? Alien Skin Exposure 6? OnOne Perfect B&W? Topaz B&W Effects? While I can, and would make arguments for a couple of these, I have to say that this question for Mac users just got a whole lot harder.
I may be speaking to a small audience on this one, but I cannot contain my momentary excitement, er, relief. For those GM1 shooters who’ve been using Lightroom or ACR, DXO or Silkypix, this news will be of little consequence. For those of us who use Apple’s Aperture, today is a good day. FINALLY (seriously Apple, this camera was announced last Fall and has been in shooters hands for almost 5 months!) Apple has decided to properly support the .RW2 RAW files from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1.
Along with the GM1, below are the cameras that are now supported in Apple’s most recent Digital Camera RAW Update 5.04:
- Fujifilm X-E2
- Fujifilm X-T1
- Nikon D3300
- Nikon 1 AW1
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1
- Pentax K-3
If you’re a shooter with any of the above cameras, and use Aperture as your Digital Asset Management software, you can download the new version of Digital Camera RAW v5.04 – HERE or just go to your Software Update and it should be sitting there ready to go.
I will be testing the RAW files from the GM1 shortly and will have an article posted in due time. In the mean time, if you’d like to receive that when it is posted, feel free to enter your email at the top right of the page to subscribe or find me on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’ve been waiting for an Alien Skin software sale, now may very well be the time. I’ve not ever seen them offer any more than 50% (I don’t even remember seeing a half off sale in the past!) so it is as good as I’ve seen it!
I like the AS plugins a lot, and have been absolutely loving the new Exposure 5. You can read my take on some of their plugins via the links below, and you can buy any of these directly from AlienSkin.com (click here). I get no kickbacks from Alien Skin, and have no monetary incentive to sell their plugins, I just really enjoy using them and for those who may also be interested, it won’t get much cheaper than this. Go get you some.
Exposure 5, the best gets better
Bokeh 2, blur it out
Snap Art 3, release your inner artist
With my blog’s second anniversary coming up, I wanted to thank everyone that has stopped by, commented and added to the content. It’s been a fun couple of years and has been far more educational for me than I’d ever thought it would have been. I wanted to make a list of my more popular posts as well as some that can help some of us who may be just stumbling into the fold. Any of us who have recently acquired a new camera and may be wanting to learn how to use it to its potential, or are looking to build up a few post processing techniques, I’ve compiled some of the more useful and popular posts below…
Using Topaz Glow in place of Topaz Clean gives me much better results.
No, the developers of Fractalius haven’t quite broken down and offered those of us using macs the plugin we’ve been pining for, but I have found a way to get similar results. You may have seen a very cool effect in the threads or photo pools in your favorite photography forum. I, like many, found myself attracted to the effect produced and became discouraged when I found out that the software that enabled the digital artists I’d been admiring, was a Windows only program. I’m no fanboy, nor do I get paid to push one brand over another so I in no way mean to stoke any ‘which is better’ type conversation, but merely pass along a work around that I’ve found to create a similar effect for very, very little money…
The program is called Topaz Glow, and it’s awesome (see it via Topaz Labs HERE).
You can see my new, user review on Topaz Glow HERE.
Enjoy and we’d love to see any examples in our flickr group HERE!
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,