Software

Organize your Photos with software

Software tip for managing out of control photo collections.

This is just a tip for those who are trying to make sense out of a mixed up collection of photos on your PC or Mac.  You know you have lots of photos on your machine but you also know that you have a lot of duplicates.  Web versions, slideshow versions etc. as well as your full sized out of the camera JPG or RAW files.

Here are links to some software that may help tame the mess.


NUMBER ONE THING,    BACKUP.

Be sure you have a complete backup of your photos before attempting to clean them up.  Hard drives are cheap and  a good backup can prevent a lot of hair pulling and teeth grinding.


Duplicate finders

Windows  

Best one that I have used is a free one (donations welcome.

Visipics   http://www.fosshub.com/VisiPics.html

Sorts and finds duplicates, easy to use and has Autoselect to choose duplicates with an easy to use slider to determine how exact the match is.  Not fast but very accurate.
I found it so good that I went to the trouble of copying all my images from Mac to a
Windows Fat 32 formatted hard drive so I could run this program. After sorting I will copy them back to the Mac and update Lightroom catalogs.

Mac

Several good ones but all of the Mac versions tend to find duplicates that are not really duplicates, eg: multi frame shots where the image only changes by a fraction etc.  You have to go through and check the found set to ensure there are no errors.  Easy to do as they display images side by side and one click can cancel the marking.

Unik  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unik-duplicate-image-finder/id431820180?mt=12
Photo Sweeper   https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photosweeper/id463362050?mt=12


Photo sorters, File sorters

Mac

File sorter
Big Mean Folder Machine  http://www.publicspace.net/BigMeanFolderMachine/

Will sort from multiple folders to single folder or from single folder to a folder structure based on size, name, etc.  Can rename or just add a series letter or number when encountering duplicate file names.

Beautiful Backup   http://www.beautifulbackup.com/

Will sort your photos based on the metadata within as well as videos.  It can create any kind of folder structure you wish based on templates.  It can also be set to filter out small images (you decide on size) and place them in a separate folder on your destination.

I use this one to collect images into Year/Year/Month/Day format and then read them directly into Lightroom.

Windows

I know there are some out there.  Send me some links if you have used them and I will add them to the list.

Remember rule number one,   BACKUP

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.

UPDATES

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

GENERAL

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

ADOBE LIGHTROOM (Mac & Windows)

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

NEW SOFTWARE UPGRADES AVAILABLE

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As with most new and intermediate photographers, we wonder which photo editing application is right for us.  The decision hinges on the amount of time you are willing to devote to learning the full features and potential of the respective application.

The decision on selecting the right editing application is compounded by the many applications available.  Over the past year, I have purchased many of these applications and have discovered the strengths and weaknesses of each one. All of these application continue to evolve with the newest and greatest features.  Each company competing for your hard earned money.

I have listed below some of these applications which new and intermediate photographers are considering or currently using:

  • MacPhun – provides a number of photo editing applications which can be used as a standalone or as a plug-in within Adobe Elements, Lightroom and/or Photoshop CS6.  The MacPhun applications include: Noiseless Pro, Tonality Pro, Focus Pro, Intensify Pro, Snapheal and FX Photo Studio. Applications can be purchased individually or as a bundle package. These applications are only available for Mac computers.

SPECIAL NOTE: New Creative Kit 2016 is available right now for only $119.99 (Canadian) and this special represents a saving over $500.  – Check out the details on pre-ordering the Creative Kit 2016 here.

MY COMMENT: This application is ideal for new photographers who want to quickly edit a single or small group of images.  These applications are relatively easy to learn and use. There are many good free Youtube tutorials on each of the MacPhun applications.

Once a user has become proficient with the MacPhun applications, user would then migrate to either Photoshop Elements or Lightroom or On1 Photo.

  • Google Nik Collections (Version 1.2.11 – July 16, 2015) – Google purchased this suite of applications from Nik software in September 2012.  Cost of this Collection is $169.00 Canadian. This application contains several applications which include: Analog Efex Pro; Silver Efex Pro; Colour Efex Pro; Viveca; HDR Efex Pro; Sharpener Pro and Dfine.  To view more details about this suite of applications check out their website here;

The Silver Efex Pro and HDR Efex have been recognized as some of the top features within this collection.

Nik Collections can operate with Elements, Lightroom and Photoshop CS6 as as plugin.

MY COMMENT: This suite of applications has been around for sometime and is popular with the more established photographers.  There are suggestions that software engineers from Nik Software were hired by MacPhun. 

It appears that Nik’s competitor is Topaz Labs which has a wider selection of applications.  The Nik Collection hasn’t been expanded since being taken over by Google.  However, the existing applications in the Collections continue to be updated.

  • Topaz Labs – also provide a number of photo editing applications which can operate as a plugin for Adobe Elements, Lightroom and Photoshop.  You can purchase their entire suite of applications or individual applications.

Their applications include:

Adjust; InFocus; DeNoise; DeJPEG; B&W Effects; Adjust; Clarity; Lens Effect; Clean; Simplify; Star Effects; Remask; Details; Glow and Impressions.

Cost for the complete suite of Topaz applications is $469.99 (US).  However, they occasionally have a special sale of 40 to 60% off. You can also purchase individual applications. Check out the prices of individual applications here.

The key benefit of the Topaz Labs applications is that the upgrades are free of charge.  

A few of the Topaz applications are rated quite high and are recommended: B&W Effects; DeNoise; DeMask (Version 5); and Detail. You can read reviews of the Topaz Labs here.

MY COMMENT: For most new photographers, the Adjust application will address the majority of our editing needs. This application contains sharpening, editing and many other features.  Remaining Topaz applications build upon the Adjust application. Check out this video on the Adjust application here.

Each Topaz Labs applications contain a number of presets which provides the user with quick editing options which they can refine to further enhance the image.  These presets greatly speeds up the editing process.

Their most recent upgrade for Remask 5 is most impressive and is one that individuals who do detailed masking should examine and consider.

Many intermediate and high level photographs use specific Topaz applications as a plugin for Photoshop CS6.

  • NEW – Adobe Elements 14 – earlier this week, Adobe announced the release of version 14 of Elements.  Cost $119 (US) or upgrade for $89.59 (US). Application can be used on both Windows based computers and Apple computers.

To some proficient photographers, the Elements program appears to be quite simplistic.  However, the application contains many features found in Photoshop CS6 but Elements have a different interface to these features.  Elements is designed for a wide range of photographs from the new to advanced users.

This upgrade includes several interesting features:

Auto Haze Removal & Manual Adjustments of Haze Removal;

Shake Reduction;

New Tutorial features; and

eLife Examples to enhance photo editing.

Check out more details about this new application here.

MY COMMENT: Yesterday, I purchased an upgrade to Element 14.  In reviewing the new features, I must say that I am most impressed.  The most interesting new component is the Haze Removal.  This feature is only included in the Lightroom 6 on the Adobe’s Creative Cloud monthly subscription and not in the Lightroom 6 standalone version.

Element 14 is designed to be a photo editing application for a wide range of individuals: new photographers, intermediate and experts.  For the new photographers, there are the guided features and the Quick menus.  For the more advanced editing, you can use the Expert menu with or without layers.

In my view, Elements 14 is a good means of learning about photo editing and a transition to Photoshop CS6.

It would appear that Adobe Element will continue to be sold as a standalone application and an introduction application to the Adobe Creative Cloud applications.

As noted above, third party plugins such as: Nik Collections, Topaz Labs, On1 Photo, MacPhun can be accessed within Elements and Lightroom.

  • On1 Photo – Version 10 – is an application firm based in Portland Oregon and supported by many notable photographers.  At present, their Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 is their current suite of applications but is being upgraded in late October 2015.

SPECIAL NOTE: You can pre-order this new application for only $99.00 US now. Check out the details here.

MY COMMENT: This suite of application continues to evolve and impress many.  Each year, the firm strives to significantly increase the application’s features and presets.   Their presets are quite amazing and a key component in the popularity of this application.  I would encourage you to examine some of their Youtube videos.

From my perspective, this application could be viewed as an alternative to Adobe Elements 14 with the future potential of competing with Photoshop CS6.  However, On1 Photo can be used as a plugin for Elements, Lightroom and Photoshop CS6.  

This application is a bit more powerful that MacPhun but does have a bit more of a learning curve.  However, there are many Youtube videos to assist with learning this application.

This application would be more appropriate for an intermediate photograph with some experience with photo editing. The use of presets in Topaz Labs are similar to what is found in On1 Photo.

  • RELATIVELY NEW – Affinity Photo Version 1 – has been released recently and is available for only $57.99 (US) and is only available on Apple computers.

This application is quite impressive but does have a steep learning curve.  Clearly, the developers of this application are targeting at going head-to-head with Adobe Photoshop CS6.

MY COMMENT: My first impression of this application was that it contained many interesting and unique features.   Some reviews of this application are critical of the features it is lacking.  One must realize is that the current application is only in version 1 and it is amazing what they have included.  I am confident that further versions will make significant enhancements which will impress all. 

This application is more appropriate for individuals who are intermediate and more advanced photographers with some previous editing experience.    However, if you are curious about explore some of these creative features, check out their website here.

  • Lightroom 6 – Lightroom continues to be the standard for photo editing.  Version 6 contains basically the same features of Lightroom 5.  Many third party photo editing firms have plugins which provide features not available within Lightroom or take edited image to the next left or have a more innovative editing feature.  These third party editing firms are listed above.

Adobe is heavily promoting their Creative Cloud for current and future users with a monthly cost of $9.99 (US) per month.  The Creative Cloud version for Lightroom 6 has features not available in the standalone version.  Check out the different features between versions 5, 6 and Creative Cloud here.

Check out the different Creative Cloud application options here.

It would appear that standalone versions of Lightroom will be terminated in the near future. You can purchase an upgrade to Lightroom 6 as a standalone version by following the instructions found here.  Alternatively, you can purchase a new version of Lightroom 6 at London Drugs for $199.99.

CLOSING COMMENTS

I hope that the above information has been of some benefit to you.

Regardless of the editing application(s) or package you select, you must devote the time to use and comprehend the full potential of the application(s).  Only through your dedicated efforts and prolonged usage will you realize your true potential in photo editing abilities.