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
I’ve slowly been crawling out from the pile of work I’ve created for myself and have gotten around to playing with MacPhun’s Focus 2 Pro. The beauty of this program is it’s ease and remarkably intuitive skill set. After playing with and reviewing Tonality Pro, I was very curious to see what else MacPhun had to offer. If you are a Mac OS user, have a look, download a trial and play around with this fun program. On sale through the 15th of March, you can download a free trial, or purchase it HERE. Normally $39.99, it is on sale for 25% off, or $29.99 for the next 10 days. Upgrades from Standard to Pro can be had for a mere $14.99 as well! Come on in to see some of what you get with Focus 2 Pro.
I’ve just recently come across the MacPhun software plugins, and have reviewed Tonality, their black and white conversion plugin. It’s my go to for black and white image conversion now and I’ve been loving it. Since my review, I’ve been in contact with the fine folks at MacPhun to do my user reviews on their other plugins here in the near future. If you’re a Mac user, I’d really suggest checking them out. MacPhun is offering their entire collection of plugins which include Tonality Pro, Snapheal Pro, Intensify Pro and Focus Pro for a whoppingly low $129 HERE. The collection at 40% off also includes a $25 gift card to either iTunes or Amazon as well!!! This promotion runs through December 25th, so I’ll do my best to write up some in depth reviews on the other plugins included in this deal, but if you’d like to see why I think Tonality Pro is the best black and white conversion plugin I’ve used, you can read more on that HERE. This also gives you plenty of time to download free trial versions HERE to test drive before buying. Stay tuned for more killer Black Friday software deals… Happy holidays and happy shooting, Tyson
I love photography. I love the journey that photography has taken me on, and I continue to enjoy exploring the possibilities available to appreciate the fruits of my photographic labor.
Last month, I tested and reviewed MacPhun’s Tonality Pro black and white conversion software (click here to read more on that). I really enjoyed talking with Alex and Kevin from MacPhun about their software, and getting some insight into both the software and the people behind it. Long story short, I consider it the best black and white conversion software I’ve personally used. Upon finishing my review, I was referred to one of their partners in Digital Silver Imaging, a unique print lab specializing in black and white printing. DSI offers a variety of printing solutions, but one in particular was fascinating to me. Using a laser enlarger, they convert and project your digital image file onto light sensitive, silver gelatin, black and white photo paper which is then processed in black and white photo chemistry. Why, and what benefit might this have for those of us that have moved into the digital realm? Come on in for more information about the process, and why I think it might be the best way to archive your favorite black and white, digital images.
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.