January 2016 – Software Applications & Updates

yellow flower by Sheldon Boles

For this month, I have included some recent photo editing software update notices and tips on how to use various editing software applications used by our club members.


Macphun Released A Major Update V1.2 To Their Aurora HDR Pro Software – Macphun released a major update v1.2 to their Aurora HDR Pro software. The new version brings support for Photos for Mac extensions, better RAW file handling for a variety of cameras and improved performance when used as a plug-in to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. – READ MORE


The Three Rules Of Noise Reduction – One of the main problems of any HDR workflow that involves tone-mapping is noise. The most widely used tone-mapping operators are based on local contrast enhancement. Unfortunately, they also “enhance” the noise in your images. Thus, noise reduction (NR) is imperative. But what is the best way of doing this, and at which point of your workflow should you apply NR? In this recipe, I will show you the best way of reducing noise. I will present three simple rules that help you optimize your own workflow, and I will show you the results of a series of experiments in order to prove my point. – READ MORE

ADOBE ELEMENTS (Mac & Windows)

Brighten Eyes In Photoshop Elements – First, you need to open your file and to do this you go to File>Open, find the image you want to work on and either double click on it or click the Open button.

As we want to work on the eyes and not the whole face zooming in will make editing the image a little easier and there are several ways to do this: One, click the Magnifying tool and then click on the image to zoom in, two, press Z (On a PC) on the keyboard to select the Magnifying tool and then click on the image, three, go to the View menu and click zoom in or four, press the Control key with the +/= key. Whichever method you prefer, zooming in to about 100% will be enough to see the areas you want to edit. – READ MORE

4 Photoshop Elements Tricks To Make An Average Landscape Stunning – Your digital camera can produce landscape shots with wonderful colours and contrast. But even if you get all your camera settings spot-on, you’ll sometimes find that images lack punch, especially if the contrast is strong and the camera overexposes shadows or underexposes highlights as a result.

Take our landscape image for example: it looks flat and dull, and certainly doesn’t do the dramatic subject justice. – READ MORE

Elements: Resizing Images – The image size (or pixel dimensions) of an image is a measure of the number of pixels along an image’s width and height. For example, your digital camera may take a photo that is 1500 pixels wide and 1000 pixels high. These two measurements indicate the amount of image data in a photo and determine the file size.

Resolution is the amount of image data in a given space. It is measured in pixels per inch (ppi). The more pixels per inch, the greater the resolution. Generally, the higher the resolution of your image, the better the printed image quality. Resolution determines the fineness of detail you can see in an image.

Although a digital image contains a specific amount of image data, it doesn’t have a specific physical output size or resolution. As you change the resolution of an image, its physical dimensions change, and as you change the width or height of an image, its resolution changes. – READ MORE


5 Lightroom Develop Module Secrets Revealed – When you’re new to Lightroom, some features of the program aren’t immediately apparent, or easily discoverable. In this article I’ll introduce you to five Lightroom Develop module secrets that will help you get more out of photo editing in Lightroom. – READ MORE

Four Ways To Improve Your Photos With Clarity Slider In Lightroom – The Clarity slider is one of the most useful in Lightroom when it comes to giving your images extra punch and impact. Today I’m going to show you several ways you can use it to improve your photos. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what the Clarity slider does, and how it differs from its cousin the Contrast slider. – READ MORE

How To Isolate Your Subject In Lightroom – One of my favourite portrait techniques is to isolate the model by using a short telephoto lens and a wide aperture. The idea is to throw the background out of focus and keep the subject sharp, so there is a clear distinction between the two. This creates beautiful bokeh and the illusion of depth. – READ MORE

How To Easily Improve Your Skies In Adobe Lightroom – It’s a fact that even the most beautifully composed image will fall apart if it includes a dull, lifeless sky. A great sky, on the other hand, can boost the impact of an image immensely. The problem is that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature and she is not always forthcoming about giving us the sky we need. Of course this being the digital age, there are things that we can do about it and today we are going to look at some ways to improve your skies using Lightroom. – READ MORE

This Is How To Achieve A Blue Sky Using HSL And Filters In Lightroom – In the days of analogue photography, it was a necessity to use a filter in order to achieve a quality deep-blue sky. The filter types varied depending on the lens and the type of film, but a graduated neutral density filter was usually the filter of choice.

Nowadays, with digital photography, you have three choices: Use a neutral density filter, a circular polarizing filter, or using Lightroom to edit the sky to a deeper blue. – READ MORE

On1 Photo 10 (Mac & Windows)

In-Depth Review On On1 Photo 10 Software – Last April, Contrastly took an in-depth look at OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.5. You can find that review here. The software scored high and was packed with features geared toward photographers of all skill levels.
Six months later, OnOne is back with an updated offering of their already very capable Perfect Photo Suite 9.5. The update brings some heavy hitting improvements that deserve some attention. You spoke up about what you liked and didn’t like about the 9.5 build and the developers at OnOne were listening. In this review, we’ll take a close look at version 10 and show you some key features you might or might not like in this latest offering from On1. – READ MORE

Macphun Software (Mac Computers Only)

Intensify Pro – Intensify Pro is a photo editing app and plugin for the Mac. It can be used stand alone or as a plugin to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture or Photoshop Elements. A free trail is available from the Macphun.com website.

Intensify is great for boosting detail, structure and colour in your photographs. It can take a dull looking image and really make it pop. It’s something I’m very happy to have in my toolkit and I’m already working it into my regular workflow. – READ MORE & VIEW VIDEOS

Tonality – Welcome to Tonality! Tonality is the most advanced and feature rich black & white image editor on Mac OS. With a fantastic and wholly complete set of darkroom-inspired features, Tonality allows you to easily create amazing fine art monochrome photos.

Tonality is sold in two versions: one is available from the Mac App Store and works as a standalone app only. The other, Tonality CK, is a key part of Macphun’s Creative Kit and works as a standalone app for Mac OS, runs as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom as well as Apple Aperture, and also operates as an editing extension within Photos for Mac. There are also a number of additional capabilities only available in Tonality CK which are discussed elsewhere. – READ MORE

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