Adobe makes big strides with new easier-to-learn and use Lightroom

This year’s big Lightroom update is out. Instead of the usual arm-length feature list, most of the news is about usability. The new version packs Examples and Tutorials for both the mobile and Cloud version (Lightroom CC), and they should be coming to Classic soon. The one major new image processing feature is a Texture slider, which combined with warming is an interesting alternative to my favorite Nik Tonal Contrast filter. .

Mobile photography workflow: Updated for 2019

Even those of us who consider ourselves serious photographers don’t always want to deal with lugging a large camera and laptop everywhere. Each year smartphones become a more-capable alternative, but making the most out of mobile photography still takes some careful planning and decisions about your workflow. The last 12 months have introduced new tools, and new smartphone camera features, so we’re pleased to present a new version of our .

AirMagic: Fix your drone photos with one click

IBefore and after of an Alaskan aerialf you’re a drone photographer you know that drone photos suffer from a fairly-predictable set of issues. Haze affecting sky color and contrast, noise due to the small sensor on consumer drones, lack of shadow detail, and often lifeless colors. If you’re shooting Raw (typically DNG for drones), then you’ve also got to deal with fixing lens distortion. All of that is doable in a good photo editing app, and something . But now there is a super-simple way to get excellent quality from your drone photos with a single click. Skylum (makers of Luminar and Aurora HDR) have launched AirMagic. At $39, it’s definitely worth trying out to see if it should be part of your arsenal. Pre-orders before March 21 also receive some additional goodies. You can .

Smartphones' secret weapon: Multiple cameras

It’s no secret that smartphone’s are now by far the most popular cameras worldwide, as they become increasingly capable. While improvements in image processing, sensors, and optics have helped them catch up to more traditional cameras, many of their recent gains can be attributed to the creative use of multiple camera modules. That’s an option that standalone camera makers have experimented with (stereo and 360-degree models, for example), but have never pushed very far. .

Editing Video? Hearing assist from Nuheara or Audera may help

Until the last few years most still photographers didn’t have much to do with video. A few major trends have changed all that. First, almost all modern cameras can now do a competent job of capturing video, especially when coupled with the right lenses and microphones. Second, phones have become a dominant force in photography, and nearly all of them make it just as easy to capture video as stills (here to, though, add-on microphones and gimbals are very helpful). Third, drones make it possible to capture some unique video perspectives. Finally, and perhaps most important, most creative content is now being consumed digitally. That means it is almost as easy to watch a video as look at an image – very different from when watching a video meant sitting people down in front of a TV or projector.

Valley of Fire captured with Google Pixel 3 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro phone cameras

I’ve always wanted to visit the Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas. But somehow I never got around to it until this week, when it zoomed to the top of our daughter’s must-see destination list. So after a hectic week of CES, we headed out there for a morning, and I’m really glad we did. After tweaking my back carrying too much gear in a messenger bag at the show, I decided to travel light and simply use my two favorite smartphone cameras – a Google Pixel 3 and a Huawei Mate 20 Pro – to capture the scenery.

2018 has brought us more alternatives to Photoshop and Premiere Pro

For many years the most-often cited alternative to Photoshop was GIMP, a powerful, free, tool, but one that wasn’t to everyone’s liking. That has changed drastically over the last year. For starters, Adobe’s own Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements 2019 versions are remarkably full-featured, and not very expensive. We did a . Cyberlink has also upped its game with an aggressively priced new . One impressive new competitor to Lightroom is (formerly MacPhun). What I’m really looking forward to from Skylum is the soon-to-be-released, somewhat-delayed, version of Luminar that will extend it to include image cataloging.

It’s hard to believe, but it has also been .

Working with the latest updates to Adobe's Creative Cloud

Adobe Premiere Rush is designed to be cross-platformWe’re a little late posting this, but as part of Adobe’s MAX conference last month, we covered many of the most important updates to Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications. We’ll be working with them and writing about them in more detail over the coming months, but .

Primer on drone photography

Datacolor just published an article I wrote for them on how to get great photographs (including 360-degree panoramas) with your drone, and especially how to get the best color you can out of those images. You c

My thoughts on DJI's Osmo Mobile 2 smartphone gimbal

DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Smartphone GimbalI’ve been using an Osmo Mobile 2 off and on for a couple months now, and have . The TL;DR version is that it works quite well, but certainly ruins the convenience of simply pulling a smartphone out of your pocket, so it’s definitely a niche product. One reason to consider it is if you’re thinking of taking the plunge on a Ronin for your big camera you can get a relatively-inexpensive taste of using a gimbal, as the .

Nikon gets serious about mirrorless with Z 6, Z 7, and lenses

Finally Nikon has done something to staunch the flow of defections from its DSLRs to Sony mirrorless cameras – and to make life easier for those of us who want to get the benefits of mirrorless, including a smart EVF, fast AF for video, better focus area coverage, and potentially-silent operation, without leaving behind our current Nikon gear and our love for the handling of Nikon’s DSLRs. The Nikon Z 7 is basically the mirrorless equivalent of the , and the Z 6 is very much like the Nikon D750 (although with a much higher frame rate). You can see .

Hands-on with new Loupedeck+: The quickest way to get faster with Adobe Lightroom adds Skylum and others

Adobe Lightroom is an amazing product. However, since the original interface was built for a simple RAW converter, more and more functionality has been squeezed into limited space. Lightroom Mobile, and to some extent the cloud-first Lightroom CC, have started to deal with this situation, but for traditional users of Lightroom Classic CC, it is just painful to find and adjust the endless variety of tiny sliders. Loupedeck aimed to fix that with a custom input device that was pre-mapped to allow instant access to dozens of popular Lightroom functions. The initial version was lauded for its functionality, but dinged by some for build quality and lack of support for other applications. The new addresses both of these shortcomings. I’ve been lucky enough to get a pre-release version to use, and so far I’m impressed…

Benq ScreenBar LED Monitor Light: A great addition to any studio computer

One of the first pieces of advice for anyone doing serious image editing or color correction gets is to keep your working area fairly dark. That provides the best environment for accurate assessment of on-screen colors. Unfortunately, that can also make it hard to see the things you need to see that aren’t on the screen. That includes your keyboard (unless you are an awesome typist), other accessories like a LoupeDeck, or even proof prints that need to be compared to the displayed image. There are a number of lights on the market that are designed to address this shortcoming, but monitor-maker Benq has just released its one of the nicest. I’ve been using one for a couple months and am happy to share my experiences.

Zephyr Drone Simulator Adds Cinematography Training Modules

We’ve . It is a powerful platform for learning how to fly your drone, either for fun or for professionally. Since for many of us our drones are basically flying cameras, it makes perfect sense that Little Arms has added a set of modules designed to train you on how to perform the types of moves that are common in creating video footage. The modules were designed by Skip Fredericks, the Emmy-award winning cinematographer and drone video pioneer. I’ve been working with them a bit over the last couple weeks.

Top-off your travels with a slideshow using ProShow

One of everyone’s favorite parts of our photo safaris is the participant slideshow on the last evening. Everyone gets to relive the trip – which always goes by too quickly – while looking at their images on the big screen for the first time. Each of us also gets to marvel at how many different ways there are to look at the same scene. Set to an appropriate sound track, with some professional-looking touches, the show is popular enough that we normally need to run it twice. Best of all, because it is pre-timed and self-running, it doesn’t bog down the way presentations can if a presenter narrates every image. I always get compliments about putting the show together, but at the risk of spoiling the magic, the secret is simple: . Whether you lead a group or simply want to chronicle a trip with friends or family, it is absolutely worth it to put together a show as a great finale.

Pages