Software Reviews

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Jon Canfield  |  Jul 13, 2012  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Photographers, especially those dealing with large numbers of images, are always looking for ways to speed up the workflow and spend less time in front of a computer and more time behind a camera. Applications like Lightroom have improved the process tremendously, making cataloging and image adjustments easier and faster than before. If you have adjustments that you apply frequently, you can use presets to make it a single-click process, applying a number of adjustments in one operation.

 

Kevin Kubota has been providing presets and tools for both Photoshop and Lightroom users for quite a while now, and one of his products is a combination of a package of presets for Lightroom and a mini keyboard from RPG Keys that looks much like a numeric keypad on your keyboard. Available as a bundle for $349, or as a rental for $19.95 per month after a $49 setup fee, you get over 100 presets that do everything from black-and-white conversions to skin tone enhancements (and a number of interesting edge effects).

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jul 30, 2017  |  2 comments

Maybe you can’t fool Mother Nature—but who says you can’t give her a facelift? 

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jun 16, 2016  |  0 comments

The folks who brought you PortraitPro, the software that turns average looking men and women into superstars (or as John Oliver might say, “Turns ones into tens faster than a South American counterfeiter”) now brings you LandscapePro, a similar application you should think of as “cosmetic surgery for Mother Nature.” But is this a case of “liking what you get,” or “getting exactly what you like?” That, my friends, is the $59 question

Joe Farace  |  Nov 06, 2015  |  0 comments

There’s more to black-and-white photography than simply a lack of color. Maybe we wouldn’t feel this way if the first photographs were made in color but that didn’t happen and I grew up admiring the works of W. Eugene Smith and other photojournalists who photographed people at work, play, or being themselves in glorious black and white.

Jon Canfield  |  Mar 28, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  1 comments

Digital black and white has probably never been more popular than it is today. All of the major editing programs like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture support black-and-white conversions natively, and at a much higher quality than just a few years ago. While all of these programs can do black and white you can take your monochrome imagery to the next level with plug-ins, specific task programs that use the architecture of the main program to get the work done. These plug-ins (which may be available as “stand-alones” as well) produce some amazing work, letting you emulate various film types, grain patterns, and more, usually working with “presets” (image looks) that can be modified with ease to customize every image. Combined with the improved output from recent inkjet printers, there has never been a better time to explore digital black and white than today.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 24, 2017  |  0 comments

There’s more to black-and-white photography than an absence of color. One reason purists refer to black-and-white images as “monochrome” is that it’s a more precise term covering photographs made in sepia and other tones.

Dan Havlik  |  Jan 23, 2015  |  0 comments

The multi-device image management service known as Mylio made quite a splash when it launched at the PhotoPlus Expo show last fall. Spearheaded by former Microsoft Chief Technical Officer David Vaskevitch, Mylio stands for “My Life Is Organized,” which is a cute way of saying that most of our lives are really a complete digital mess. Even non-photographers like, for instance, my mom, capture way too many photos on cameras and smartphones and iPads, which they have no idea what do with or how to find.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Feb 27, 2020  |  0 comments

The folks at DxO just released their second major upgrade to the popular Nik Collection of plug-ins for Photoshop. Here’s the rundown on what’s new in version 2.5 of this popular photo editing software and some examples of the new filters.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jun 03, 2020  |  0 comments

DxO just released their third major upgrade to the popular Nik plug-ins for Photoshop. Here’s what’s new in Nik Collection 3.

Joe Farace  |  Mar 20, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  2 comments

Color Efex Pro 4 is Nik Software’s (www.niksoftware.com) latest version of its digital photographic filter plug-ins for retouching and creative enhancements. It is Mac OS and Windows compatible and installs as a 32-bit and 64-bit plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS4 or later, Lightroom 2.6 or later, Photoshop Elements 8 or later, or Apple Aperture 2.1.4 or later. The installer searches for all of the hosts that are on your computer and if you already have Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture installed, as I do, it will install Color Efex Pro 4 for all of the host applications.

 

What’s New
One of the biggest improvements in Color Efex Pro 4 is the ability to use Filter Combinations that let you stack multiple filters, adjust each one’s opacity, and make selective adjustments to get the desired look. Each filter contains single-click starting points, making it possible to explore different options. Shades of Emeril Lagasse, there are Filter Recipes that let you customize and share filter combinations with others. Bam! Reminiscent of HDR Efex Pro, the 10 recipes that are part of the package are a quick way to get started using Color Efex Pro 4 and more are available for download on Nik Software’s website.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 28, 2011  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 is a major upgrade to an already great product and introduces many new features that offer you even more control over an image’s detail, contrast, and tonality, making it easy to transform color files into stunning black-and-white photographs. Silver Efex Pro 2 now includes controls for Dynamic Brightness, Amplify Blacks, Amplify Whites, Soft Contrast, Fine Structure, Image Borders, Selective Colorization, as well as a History Browser and many speed and quality improvements. All of Silver Efex Pro 2’s new features also play nice with Nik’s U Point technology, giving you selective control over an image instead of globally applying an effect, although that option is available, too.

Joe Farace  |  Mar 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Everybody knows the basic concept and conceit of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging but first let’s get rid of yet another unnecessary acronym. What does HDRI—High Dynamic Range Imaging—add to the discussion other than just another letter?

Howard Millard  |  Oct 01, 2010  |  0 comments

Whether you work in Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, or Aperture, V2 enables you to quickly select the areas you want to change by pointing, clicking, and dragging without the need to create time-consuming selections and masks.

Shutterbug Staff  |  Mar 08, 2021  |  0 comments

Nikon just released NX Studio, a new all-in-one software application that integrates functions from Nikon ViewNX-i and Nikon Capture NX-D. It’s available as a free download and you don’t have to shoot with Nikon to use it.

George Schaub  |  Mar 08, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Operating as a plug-in for Lightroom, Aperture, or as a stand-alone workspace, Perfect Layers from onOne Software distills down and codifies the often-complex task of working in Layers to a fairly simple task, offering various Blend modes, composite shortcuts and tools that might otherwise pose a steep learning curve. You can use numerous source files, including Raw, TIFF, and JPEG formats, and scale and move the various layers as required. In short, Perfect Layers poses an effective tool for those who have wanted to work in Layers out of Aperture and Lightroom and opens up new doors to image creation.

 

The onOne workspace contains toolbars on the left and modifications and working options on the right, #1. Once you have selected an image or images from an organizer such as the Library in Lightroom, they load as separate Layers in the center screen. You choose the images to be used by selecting them from the Library or Browser, then going to File>Plug-In Extras>Perfect Layers. Here’s the selection process shown in Lightroom 3, #2.

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