Review: MacPhun Noiseless Pro Plug-in for Adobe Lightroom

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Very few programs and plug-ins make me shout “Whoa!” at the top my lungs to the point where the neighbors in my Brooklyn apartment bang on the wall to get me to shut up, but that record has been shattered by MacPhun’s Noiseless Pro. But seriously, what more would you expect from some of the team that created Nik software?

Noiseless is a plug-in for Lightroom, Photoshop, Aperture or a stand alone program that looks at images and finds a way to get rid of the image noise. Sure, Lightroom can do that and so can other programs–but nothing can do it as well as MacPhun’s Noiseless while making the interface both simple and complicated at the same time.

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Review: Adobe Lightroom 6 / Adobe Lightroom CC

Lightroom CC logo

Since Adobe announced their movement to the Creative Cloud, many photographers were hoping that Adobe Lightroom didn’t make the move. Today, Adobe is giving consumers and professional photographers alike a new option. Photographers can either go for the new Adobe Lightroom 6 (most likely for the amateurs) or Adobe Lightroom CC (most likely for the working pros with a Creative Cloud account.) For the most part, they’re the same pieces of software.

Adobe’s Sharad Mangalick told us that both programs will receive updates at the same time when the patches and release candidates are available for download. New to Adobe Lightroom are four big features: enhanced performance for the editing of all RAW file types, a new filter brush that works in conjunction with gradients, HDR merge, Panoramic merge, and a couple of new additions for folks that make slideshows such as syncing to music and changing the pace of the image progression to the beat of the music.

All of these features are standard to Adobe Lightroom 6; and Adobe Lightroom CC’s major differences come with its integration with the Creative Cloud and with Lightroom Mobile for iPad and Android. Adobe Lightroom CC is also included in the Photography package for $9.99/month.

If you’re a landscape photographer, the upgrade to Lightroom 6 seems like a no brainer and if you’re a pro, the CC upgrade just makes so much sense.

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Review: RNI All Films 3.0 for Lightroom

Fuji Instax Mini

Fuji Instax Mini

I first came to understand filters and presets through Instagram and VSCO Cam. Admittedly, my time using Instagram’s filters was short-lived as they were largely limited in scope. VSCO Cam’s been my main bag for a while now, at least until an email came in about a new set of film presets for Lightroom from a company called Really Nice Images. They go by RNI for short, which sounds nicer and less forward than Really Nice Images. I imagine the name is largely to get the point across, and after using the 3.0 preset pack, I can safely say that they do help create really nice images.

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Review: LiveBlend (iOS)

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LiveBlend is an app that promises to make multiple exposures in a super fun way with live preview. It also bills itself as the only app that does that. Multiple exposures aren’t something I typically make, as I haven’t had the experience with film, and I only marginally explored that feature with my X-Pro1. I thought I’d give it a spin with my phone. It can be useful, but it does have its hangups.

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Review: Adobe Lightroom Mobile for Android

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adobe Lightroom Mobile for Android product images (3 of 3)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 5.0

Adobe released Lightroom Mobile for tablets then phones last year, and it was only a matter of time until the popular image editing software came to Android devices. Earlier today, the company announced Adobe Lightroom Mobile for Android–something that was in the works for a very long time. Since then, Android has evolved to become what is arguably the most advanced platform for image taking due to manual controls and RAW DNG output capabilities with certain devices.

While the app in no way is terrible, it surely hasn’t made any major advancements. In fact, many of the big mobile editors are still ahead.

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Review: Mylio Cloud Sync Storage

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Back around Photo Plus 2014, a new kid on the block popped up and started to turn heads of photographers everywhere like Kim Kardashian with a Belfie stick. They’re called Mylio–and they delivered a very bold product that aims to be the solution to all of your organizational and cloud storage needs for photos. But Mylio doesn’t necessarily need the cloud to sync your images, it can do it across your devices or over the web.

Though the company states that they’re targeting folks from all walks of life, we feel that Mylio will appeal most of the enthusiast and the professional. The product has many layers of use and in some ways can be seen as a more premium offering than EyeFi Cloud–but with more of an emphasis on the desktop, tablet and phone.

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Review: Alien Skin Exposure 7

Agfa APX 25

Agfa APX 25. Perhaps one of my favorite black and white films.

Film emulsion rendering software is not a new concept, but each offering has their own strengths and weaknesses. Alien Skin has been in this industry for years, and recently updated their flagship software, Exposure, to the 7th edition. Exposure 7 can be used as a standalone software or in conjunction with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Alien Skin, like VSCO, focuses more on an artistic way of doing things and also focuses on just delivering the best images that it can in a simplified way–which is on the other side of the spectrum of DxO. DxO uses loads and loads of science and lab tests.

For the enthusiast, Exposure 7 may be a great option to get the best from your images quickly.

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Review: VSCO Cam 4.0 for iPad

 

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VSCO has made waves on iOS and Android for its smooth interface and impressive array of film-like filters, most of which are available in affordable bundles in the store. With its 4.0 update last week, VSCO Cam just got a lot bigger for folks on iOS 8. The app is now available on iPad, a substantial step up from its iPhone counterpart. The device upgrade also comes with the announcement of VSCO Journal, a publishing platform for longer projects. Think of it as an expanded VSCO Grid. Of course, since it’s just been released, we’ve only had so much time to use it, so here’s our first impressions.


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Review: Manual (iOS 8)

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Shooting with my iPhone 5 has always been a hassle. That was largely because of the lack of control, and I could never seem to get the images quite right. Having spent years with a variety of cameras, I’m predisposed towards buttons and dials. Then I saw a video for an app called Manual by a company called Little Pixels. It promised control of shutter speed, ISO and a number of other things all for the price of $1.99. More over, it didn’t have that dreaded “Offers in-app purchases.” For two bucks, I could essentially unlock the features of my phone that Apple kept hidden away.


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Review: 1-Hour Photo (iOS)

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It was shortly after I arrived in Istanbul that I read about an app that holds your images for an hour before letting you see them. The app is called 1-Hour Photo, and it renders your images in black and white. It’s predicated on a very simple concept: what if you had to wait an hour to see the photos you take with your phone–just like you used to when getting your film developed. This is a reality for anyone who’s shot and still shoots film, but for those who haven’t had the experience of shooting film, it’s something brand new. I shot film for several years before transitioning to digital, and have only managed to sporadically shoot film the past few years. So, 1-Hour Photo was a welcome addition to my phone, but it surely was not without its hiccups.

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Review: Lightroom Mobile (iPhone)

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Editor’s Note: You can save images to the camera roll. We were incorrect in stating otherwise. 

The pocketable Lightroom was the next logical step in the expanding Lightroom ecosystem, and it arrives on the heels of the iPad version. Both the iPhone and iPad versions offer, more or less, the same degree of functionality, and in order to use Lightroom Mobile, you’ll need to be plugged into the Creative Cloud subscription universe. Lightroom, on the whole, is ideal for those working with images en masse, as opposed to longer retouching sessions where a program like Photoshop would be the better choice. Lightroom Mobile for iPhone, like its iPad variant, is a scaled down version of the full editing suite.

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An Updated Review of Instagram 6.0 (Android)

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Instagram has changed itself many times over the year and even more so after being bought by Facebook and trying to compete with Vine. The app allows you to a take a snapshot on the go with a nostalgic filter. You can use your camera phone or a proper camera that works with your phone to create images. It has filters that can stylize your images the way you want with further customization that has come over time. Version 6.0 was recently released. This version added a tray of photo editing tools to the app. We have been using it heavily since it was released and it’s very much the best Instagram yet.

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Review: Totally Rad! Replichrome II (Adobe Lightroom)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Replichrome Totally Rad Slide film II review images (20 of 20)ISO 1001-400 sec at f - 9.0

Kodak E100G

When it comes to creating film emulsions in digital photography, there are loads of options out there. Many embrace a very Instagram-like ideal (VSCO) while others take a scientific approach (DxOMark.) Totally Rad!’s Replichrome II is another scientific option. This is a new batch of film renderings from their first Replichrome preset pack, and includes some of the world’s most loved film’s like EG100 and Velvia.

And when you really think about the way that the company approached the product, it only makes a lot more sense.

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Review: EyeFi Mobi Cloud

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When EyeFi first launched the Mobi card, it seemed as if they greatly improved the service. The Mobi card was centered around transferring JPEG images to your phone quickly and easily through a two step process. If you wanted to send RAW images, you’d need to go with something else like the Eye-Fi Pro card.

Today though, the company is announcing not only a rebranding but a new service in EyeFi Cloud. The cloud is a premium service that they are pitching to those that use multiple devices. EyeFi Cloud enables someone to shoot and image, send it to their phone (or other device) which then in turn beams the images into the cloud. When the images hit the cloud, they’re accessible from your other devices such as your computer, tablet, or phone.

But we’re not sure that it’s for everyone.

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Review: Adobe Lightroom Mobile

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Earlier last year, we had a peek at Adobe Lightroom Mobile behind closed doors. It was in an Alpha stage at that point but had most of the functionality that the company wanted to get out with its release today. Fast forward to last week, and we were invited to sit with Digital Imaging Product Manager Sharad Mangalick to be briefed about the new Adobe Lightroom Mobile. If you’re the type of person that does some very minor edits to their photos (as most users seem to do) then you’re in for a real treat. While the mobile version of the product isn’t as robust as its desktop brother, it still gives the user quite a bit of control over their images as well syncing  with the also announced Adobe Lightroom 5.4.

At the moment, Adobe Lightroom Mobile is only available for the iPad. Sharad tells us that they’re focusing on the iOS version right now that the Android version will be done afterwards. Working with Android provides a host of problems, the least of which are the different screen sizes.

Coupled with calibration software like those from Spyder and X-Rite, Lightroom Mobile can be a great use to photographers that have a need for it. And like the full version of Photoshop vs Photoshop Elements, not everyone needs it.

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Review: Really Nice Images Film Presets for Lightroom

Iconic Films: Agfa Chrome 1978

Iconic Films: Agfa Chrome 1978

If you like the look of photographic film, but don’t care for the hassle that comes with the analog workflow, there’s a simple and effective recipe: film simulation tools. There are a lot of them out there, but finding a really good one that accurately reproduces the look of specific types of film is not an easy task. We’ve reviewed a couple film simulation tools here at The Phoblographer before, including DxO Film Pack 3 (which also included a comparison with Nik ColorEfex Pro 3) and the VSCO Film Packs 03 and 04. Today, we take a look at another contender: the Really Nice Images Film Presets for Lightroom.

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Review: Flixel Cinemagraph Pro–The Simple Way to Create Cinemagraphs

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When we first heard about cinemagraphs, we were quite excited about how they would change the industry despite how trippy the looks were. They can be attributed to Jamie Beck, who in collaboration with her husband created a sensation that made them the most in-demand creative team for a while. Their method took lots of work both technically and creatively. And now, Flixel lets you create cinemagraphs simply.

And to be quite honest, this is the program that we believe that more photographers should pick up and have in their standard kits along with Adobe Lightroom.

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Review: Chris Martin’s Fashion Presets (Adobe Lightroom)

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Chris Martin has released presets before for film lovers, but for the specialized fashion shooter you can never have too many presets to help speed up your workflow. With that said, shortly after we announced the recent Fashion preset package, we decided to give them a go. Since I’ve done fashion work before, I put myself into the mentality of needing to deliver images super fast to clients. But in this case, it was instead to give the models I work with another way to display images of themselves for their own portfolio. With that said, retouching wasn’t done to the images–but in these situations they didn’t really need them.

What I found is something that you’ll either scoff at or praise.

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How to Edit a Photo in VSCO Cam

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Image taken from Chris Gampat’s VSCO Grid.

With VSCO Cam recently opening its doors to the Android world, lots of new users have joined but not everyone (even iOS users) know how to use the app. There is a lot more that you can do than just apply some beautiful filters. Indeed, your images can be  massaged to become beautiful showcases.

In this post, we’re going to show you a quick guide to what all the terminology means.

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Review: Google Nik Analog Efex Pro

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When Google acquired Nik Software in late 2012, I was among those photographers who wondered what this would mean for the future of the software suite of plug-ins. Silver Efex Pro II, Color Efex Pro, Sharpener and the other plugins had become an integral part of my workflow. So, I not only wondered whether the plugins would continue to be updated but also would there be any new plug-ins in the future?

Well, it seems that both questions have been answered with the latest addition of Analog Efex Pro to the Google Nik Collection which gathers together 7 plugins  for$149.00.

The new plugin that simulates a variety of cameras, films and lenses is not a revolutionary introduction. There are other plugins on the market  that have covered similar territory. However, Analog Efex Pro provides a unique editing experience that complements the other apps found in the collection.

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