Luminar AI Update 3 – Just How Good Is the Update?

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In addition to native support for Apple’s new M1 machines, the latest update to Luminar AI promises improvements for a handful of features. Enhancements to their Sky AI algorithm are at the top of the list to provide more realistic looks and greater control for your sky replacement cravings. There’s also better sky detection and separate controls for moving your replaced sky and its reflection (if any). Augmented Sky AI is a new tool added to help with the addition of objects to your sky. Keep reading to see how these updates fared in our tests.

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DxO Brings a New Perspective to Their Plugins: Nik Collection 3 Review

Nik Collection 3 by DxO introduces a redesigned and more user-friendly user interface alongside the new Perspective Efex plugin.

It’s been nearly a year since DxO released version 2 of their popular Nik Collection of plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, and DxO PhotoLab. Today, the French software company is announcing the release of Nik Collection 3. Photographers that want to further reduce their dependency on Adobe will be glad to know that Nik Collection 3 now supports Serif Affinity Photo 1.8 as well. This new release also includes a number of changes, including an updated Nik Selective Tool, the introduction of non-destructive workflows (sort of), the addition of the Perspective Efex plugin, as well as the ability to simulate tilt-shift lens effects. They’re more or press taking the features from their previous Perspective program and merging it into Nik. But there’s more! We had the opportunity to test out Nik Collection 3 prior to its public release to see how these new additions fared.

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Alien Skin Exposure X4 RAW Photo Editor Adds LUT Support

If you’ve been waiting for new features for the Exposure X4 by Alien Skin Software, you’ll be pleased to know that a major update now has that covered.

Today, Alien Skin Software announced that the Exposure X4.5 update to their non-destructive RAW photo editor and organizer is now available. It’s been a while since we had a look at what the film-inspired, photo editing alternative offers. According to their announcement, the major feature from this update is the addition of LUT support to the Exposure X4. This now opens up more creative possibilities and tools, as users can now import LUT effects available online or produced by other photo and video applications to Exposure. Photographers can make further adjustments to the effects and their results using the software’s advanced editing and layering tools.

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PaintShop Pro 2019 Promises to Get Budget-Conscious Photographers Beyond the Photo

Feature-packed PaintShop Pro 2019 could be the next best option for those considering a cheaper alternative to Adobe Photoshop. 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard about PaintShop Pro, given all the other more popular Photoshop and Lightroom alternatives out there. The photo editing suite has recently been updated with a number of advanced features and tools geared towards budget-conscious photographers and content creators. If you’re still looking for an alternative image editing software to try, PaintShop Pro 2019 could very well be worth checking out.

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Macphun’s Luminar Photo-Editing Software Adds Support for Macbook Pro Touchbar

Macphun, the folks behind Aurora HD and the Creative Suite, have released an update to its new Luminar app, adding support for the 2016 Macbook Pro’s Touch Bar. Apple rolled out the laptop in November and developers have quickly been adding features to their software to take advantage of the unique touch bar. Luminar follows suit and offers easy to access features such as: adding photo filters, quickly comparing photos, copying and pasting effects to a group of images, adjusting the size of the editing brush, and more.  Continue reading…

Grab a Free Copy of DxO FilmPack 3 Today

DxO FilmPack 3

Lovers of the film look will want to act fast and grab this free copy of DxO FilmPack 3, a piece of film simulation software that also plugs in seamlessly with Lightroom. The offer is good from now until August 15th and all users need to submit is their email address.

DxO FilmPack 3 isn’t quite as swanky as the latest mark 4 version, but from our time reviewing the application does an excellent job of emulating the look of film. It offers an excellent set of color and black-and-white film presets including Fuji Provia 100. Kodachrome 64, and Kodak Tri-X 400. The software also gave us plenty of controls to fine-tune various film presets and further enhancing the look of our processed image.

For those we want to create the best looking images and even more film styles we recommend users pick up the Nik Collection of plugins from Google. But those just starting out DxO FilmPack 3 is a great way to get your feet wet in the film simulation world and its free! Also for our German readers here’s a free subscription to Digital Photo Magazine you can nab until September 30th.

Via Reddit

Make Kickass Black and White Photos with the Tonality Image Editor

Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Tonality Product Images-7Converting everyday photos into monochromatic images requires a lot of fiddling around even in easy to use editors like Adobe Lightroom. The good new is that Macphun Software is out with a new piece of software called Tonality that helps users automatically create gorgeous looking monochromatic images.

Macphun Software claims it has developed a specialized 16-bit RAW processing engine that will intelligently process color images into contrast filled black and white frames. There won’t just be one preset look; Tonality includes a wide range of image styles and 20 types of emulated film. Plus the software promises to do this by adjusting the contrast and also the actual exposure in parts of the image for the best results.

On top of all the automatic assists, users will have a large set of tools to add their own textures plus pressure sensitive brushes and masking tools for precise edits. Users can blend multiple effect layers together with separate opacity controls and blending modes, all whilst preserving the color data of the original image.

Tonality is available now as a standalone app on Macphun’s web store or the Mac App store now for $24.99. Users can also opt for Pro version of Tonality for $69.99, which adds the option to use the software as a plugin with Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture plus more custom controls and tools. Hit the jump to see more images of Tonality in action.

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Here’s a Focus Stacking Guide to Great Macro Photography


Macro photography can be one of the most arduous things to capture requiring lots of gear and patience, but luckily photographer Peter Bargh is here to teach about a simpler solution called focus stacking. Similar to stitching together a panorama except on a micro-scale where shooters will take multiple shots of the same object at different focusing distances. Effectively this combines frames with different parts of the subject in focus to produce one highly detailed picture–which also prevents diffraction when your lens is stopped down too far.

Bargh starts off the video explaining the pitfalls of using the smallest aperture when lenses designed to shoot best at f8. Using a miniscule aperture also means you’ll need a tripod to keep the camera steady for long shutter speeds or invest in a ring light, which can introduce unwanted light streaks. As Bargh highlights going with a wider aperture also allows bokeh to invade most of the frame.

This is where focus stacking comes to save the day. All shooters have to do is keep the camera steady with a tripod or in hand whilst they take multiple images of the subject at different focusing distances. Once users have the images they can migrate the images over to piece of software. There are a few programs that will stitch together images including Zerene Stacker and Photoshop, but Bargh suggests Helicon Focus as the best paid solution.

The video is admittedly somewhat dated but the advice Bargh gives is timeless and still useful to this day. Check it out past the break. Continue reading…