Software Reviews

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Edited by George Schaub  |  Sep 13, 2013  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Every year member magazines from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) gather to consider and vote on the top products of the year in 40 categories, ranging from cameras to tripods to software and printers. This year’s selections represent technological sophistication along with features and functionality that make them leaders in their respective categories.

John Brandon  |  Mar 01, 2010  |  0 comments

For the pro photographer, there are two possible scenarios in managing a photographic workflow. One is the scattershot method, the second approach features a clear organizational method.

John Brandon  |  Jul 05, 2012  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2012  |  4 comments

With each successive release of ACDSee Pro, the photo management suite adds ever-more-powerful features. In this review I hope to help you decide whether or not its features match up with your own workflow, meet your needs, or even improve on existing features to enhance your photographic creations.


In my own workflow, the new version, ACDSee Pro 5, smoothed over a few rough edges in the editing process and made my management chores a bit less time-consuming. The release is not so groundbreaking that it might make you consider abandoning Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture altogether, but there are some pro-level additions that are definitely worth considering. The program never crashed and operated quickly for just about any task on a standard desktop PC. Note I said PC—there is no Mac version available or considered at this point.

The Editors  |  Feb 27, 2001  |  5 comments

Improvements in capabilities and ease of use make the most popular pro image-editing program even better

Adobe Photoshop was introduced 11 years ago this month, and it's been the photo-editing tool of choice for most serious photographers and desktop-publishing professionals ever since. Does that make it the right one for you? Well, if you're serious about digital...

John Brandon  |  Mar 12, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  2 comments

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 caters to the entry-level crowd, but is imbued with several professional-level tools. Even when a feature is not really intended for serious photographers, there is a goldmine of functionality that could save countless hours. The app is celebrating 10 years on the market. Adobe has slowly revised the workflow, and it’s getting much better.


In this version, you’ll first see a start-up screen with two buttons, one for organizing photos and one for editing. It makes more sense to click the button to organize images first, especially if you’re not even sure which images need editing.

When you do, one of the first prompts you’ll see asks how you normally import photos. That’s handy, because even the most experienced pro has to get photos off the camera somehow. You might typically load images onto a network drive, or prefer loading directly off the camera. (An option to scan images seems woefully dated these days.) Whatever option you choose, you can always go back and select a different import default. For now, it just means, when you start Elements 10, the app will automatically look for that specific source.

Jon Canfield  |  Aug 09, 2011  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2011  |  1 comments

Mention digital image editing and it’s likely that the first word you’ll hear is Photoshop. It’s become a general term, like Xerox. For many, the full-blown version of Photoshop (currently at CS5) is either overkill, with features that you’ll never need or use, or just too expensive. Adobe realizes this and has produced a more streamlined version for years. This “entry-level” version of Photoshop, named Elements, is priced like a basic editing program, but filled with features you’d expect to pay quite a bit more for. The latest version, Elements 9 has added several new features that photographers have been requesting for years, making this release an even more attractive option, and further blurring the line between CS and Elements features.

What’s New
There are normally a couple of new features in each release that make upgrading an attractive option for current users, and in this regard Elements 9 adds some interesting items in the sharing area, and a major feature that has been requested for years. Let’s take a look at what is new in Version 9.

Jack Neubart  |  Jul 07, 2015  |  0 comments

Lightroom has been always available as retail standalone software that you buy, install, update, and pay to upgrade when applicable. Well, that has changed, in part, thanks to the Adobe Creative Cloud, which unleashed a torrent of cloud-integrated apps, among them Lightroom CC.

John Brandon  |  Sep 01, 2010  |  0 comments

If a computer is part of your photographic workflow, then you’re probably already using Adobe’s Photoshop. The program has become standard for serious pros, erstwhile amateurs, and even those who just want to add some flair to their Facebook profile.

David B. Brooks  |  Mar 01, 2010  |  0 comments

Adobe’s Photoshop Elements favors the majority of the photo community, those who often get involved with the craft as they begin the family portion of their lives.

Jon Canfield  |  Nov 01, 2010  |  0 comments

The latest version of Lightroom is coming into full use as more and more plug-ins and export options come into play. This month Jon Canfield takes a look at the essential ingredients; next month we have another opinion about the latest version of Lightroom that takes a different point of view.

John Brandon  |  Dec 01, 2010  |  0 comments

A smooth workflow makes the job of photography feel more like a passion. You release the shutter button and next thing you know you’re holding a framed comp for a client.

Jack Neubart  |  Jul 22, 2015  |  0 comments

I’ve worked with Adobe Photoshop since it was first introduced. While it wasn’t my favorite image editing software initially, Photoshop grew on me as its capabilities grew, and it has become my go-to editor outside Lightroom.

Howard Millard  |  Oct 11, 2011  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2011  |  1 comments

Whether you yearn for a subtle fine-tuning or an over-the-top effect, Exposure 3 lays out a fully stocked film vault for you. Do you yearn for the gritty look of pushed Tri-X, or the impressionistic color that is characteristic of a faded Polaroid? To add the organic look of specific film types to your photos, or transform them with a wide range of processing and darkroom effects, try one of the 500 presets available in the third generation of Alien Skin’s Photoshop plug-in, Exposure 3, up from 300 presets in Version 2.


Exposure 3 gives you access to effects from many stages of the photographic process: blur from cheap plastic lenses, color shifts from cross processing, grain and contrast from push processing, and warped vignettes from low-end cameras or from the printing process. Exposure 3 renders looks that span the entire experience of film back to the earliest days of photography.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Dec 11, 2015  |  0 comments

Just in time to add some nostalgic film effects to our holiday photos, Alien Skin has released Exposure X, a greatly enhanced refinement of its popular imaging software package. In its latest incarnation, Exposure X is designed to deliver image organization and editing—and it does an elegant job of both. But its greatest strength, as I see it, still lies in accurately emulating the look of film of all types, vintage and modern. Here is a close up view of how that works.

Jack Neubart  |  Jan 27, 2017  |  0 comments

I’ve worked with all the popular film emulators and black-and-white conversion plug-ins, looking for the one that met my workflow and esthetic requirements. After countless hours, I’m still not fully convinced of their efficacy as such. Still, they are fun to use and do fill a niche. So far, I’ve found Alien Skin’s Exposure X2 does the most convincing job so that I feel comfortable enough within my own alien skin—see what I did there?—that I’ll continue to use it, so to speak.