Since I have replaced my workflow using Nik Plugins with the new Luminar photo editing tool, I have to say personally, after weeks of review, I am loving Luminar. Coming from Photoshop with Nik plugins background and not Lightroom. I feel like, for some photos, you can't really get there color-wise with Nik. Nik is great but Luminar is blowing them out of the water. I am impressed!
Just for fun I was going through some of my old photos, shot in 2009. These photos I just skipped by because they were shot dark and lifeless. I thought I would run some of them through Luminar to see what it could do with them. See for yourself:
I feel like there was a reason for me to take this photo. I just don't point and shoot just to take a photo. I think the dark, lifeless photo is the result of the raw camera file and just lack of light. I'm sure it looked better in person or I wouldn't have taken the shot.
If you are looking for a great alternative to editing your photos why not give Luminar a try, just download the free trial and see if it works for you. That's what I did!
I have paid for and been using Nik plugins for 15 plus years, I can't even remember when I started. I want to say maybe 2002??? I have used Nik plugins in my workflow ever since. I remember when Google bought out Nik and then gave the software to everyone for free 🤬. Now DxO has purchased Nik and wants me to re-purchase what I already bought years ago. I don't think Nik has changed much by the way.
In my journey to completely replace my Adobe Suite I found Affinity Photo 1.6 to replace Photoshop. It works great, better than Photoshop, for me, I absolutely love it. Affinity Photo released it's update to 1.7 and the Nik plugins don't work in 1.7 which is a bummer. Knowing this before I updated I also found a replacement for Nik.
For around the same price as Nik pluggins I decided to purchase Luminar by Skylum. It's an Adobe Lightroom Alternative. But for me, it's basically 90% Nik software, but better. You are getting Lightroom and Nik all in one. But wait, it gets better. Tooling around inside Luminar under plugins I found my Nik Plugins. THEY WORK inside Luminar. (I am using the latest version of Luminar)
This just might be best of both worlds! If you want to use your older Google Nik Collection Plugins with Adobe Alternatives, check out Luminar by Skylum and see if it will work for your workflow as it does for me.
I upgraded my copy of Affinity Photo today. I had to test out the new features. I was excited to see free stock offerings from 3 different companies built right into Affinity Photo. I noticed the "refine selection" tool is much faster and precise. I was able to find a killer lion photo on the free stock images and decided I would create a cool baseball poster. Upgrading is worth it, it's free if you already purchased 1.6. My AP 1.6 was great but 1.7 is bad ass!
A couple weeks ago I was driving down the road, stopped at a four way, and took off when it was my turn to go. My phone was in my front pocket and as soon as I hit the gas it flew out with such force that it broke my screen. What does this have to do with editing photos? Well, with my old phone, I use to have great editing tools that just came with the phone. These editing tools were the same Nik plugins I use in Photoshop. So when I had to get a new phone, those same editing tools were gone. So, I searched out new editing tools in Google playbook. What I found was "snapseed". Google had made an app with those same editing features plus a lot more. I am back in business.
This is such a great tool for when you're on the go, or if you don't have a need for Photoshop. I can even wirelessly transfer my photos from my Sony camera to my phone for editing. This photo example below was shot with a cell phone camera and edited with "snapseed" to create a kind of old African safari postcard. You can download this great app for free. So get it, edit, and have fun with your photos.
My dad recently bought the Sony RX100 III professional point and shoot camera. Recently, I had done a review of the Sony RX100 II and found it was an excellent camera, so I recommended it. We met up recently and I gave him some photo pointers and told him about my W.I.S.E. settings: (White Balance, ISO, Scene Selection, Exposure Compensation) to help him remember what settings to look after. Even though we got some pretty nice shots with the camera in scene mode I was trying to tell him that its not the end result. If you want the most out of your photos, you will need to edit them in Lightroom, Photoshop, or iPhoto, which ever you want to learn to create better photos.
As professional shooters, we sometimes fool amateurs into thinking that what they see in a our photos is exactly what we captured or we were at the right place at the right time to capture such magic. The truth is, and what I tried to explain to my dad, is that the photo process doesn't just end after the click of the shutter, there is still work to do to create that magic. The problem is, unless you take the time to create custom shooting settings to render your photos (basically Photoshop within your camera) then you have to post process. Most (ALL) cameras shoot flat. Meaning: no contrast (and other things). Even though you capture a great shot, and you say wow, you can make shots look even better.
Here are some before and after examples from the Sony RX100 III:
One thing I have noticed with Sony is that when you shoot around greenery the color cast in the photo gets really green. I've seen this in portraits as well. I don't see that too much in my Nikon, It's not necessarily a bad thing it just needs to be corrected. In the above photos I did basic contrast and color correcting.
Looking at this scene above with the old architecture and clouds would make a great black & white.
To make the above photo a bit more creepy I performed the basic corrections but also added a neat filter from the google nik plugins.
In this set of photos you can really see the flatness of the photo in the original. Adding correct contrast, color saturation and sharpness it really pops the image and creates a little more drama.
So just remember, with any camera: what you see is not always what you can get. Polish off your photos with a little post processing and make that snapshot a finished masterpiece.
Another great product to add to your base camp. A pump up solar shower that you can take camping. You can check it out here http://duckworksbbs.com
Free Online Photo Editor for Your GoPro images: http://www.photoshop.com/tools
How To: The GoPro Hero Video and Photos are shot with a flat profile. This is to capture the most dynamic range in the scene. To get your GoPro photos to look even better you need to edit them. Adobe photoshop has a great free resource that allows anyone to upload and edit their photos online. Have fun with it and play around! Brett
I shot this photo with my GoPro Hero B.E. Handheld @ 1pm - middle of the day.
This is a real world review based on how most people will use this camera. I used this camera in Manual Mode, Scene Mode, Full Auto, Program Mode. I didn't have the manual I just started shooting. The menu system is outrageous. It's basically got photoshop built in.
A friend at work just bought the Sony RX100 II and was nice enough to let me borrow it for a few days. I will say right off the bat, this is the best point & shoot camera I have ever used. If I put up shots from the Sony RX100 II and a Nikon D700 most people wouldn't be able to tell what camera took which picture, and the prints are amazing as well.
* On a side note, I was surprised at how long the battery lasted on this camera using the flash all the time. Usually, you take one shot with the flash and your battery indicator reduces by one bar. I think I took 20 something photos with the flash before the battery started going down.
I am going to put the original photo next to a photo edited in photoshop using Nik Photo Plugins to see how well the image holds up to editing. I will put a link to the original file so you can download, edit, and see for yourself.
Let's look at some sample images. All shot JPEG Finest quality. All shot hand held.
"UP" was filmed at the Descanso Gardens in La Canada, California. I filmed 100% on the gopro hero 3 black edition 2.7k 24p cin mode and edited in 1080p24. Hope you like it, enjoy!
More Info Here: http://goo.gl/8hbgK
In this episode of Useful tools for photographers we take a look at the Trekkor fold a privy privacy shelter for use as a portable wardrobe changing room, bathroom, and camping shower. I will be using this item for all of the above. This is most helpful to all the women out there that have to deal with dirty nasty public bathrooms. Hope this review is helpful.
Shot this during my lunch hour. Set the gopro camera directly on the ground pointing it at the mid day sun. I'm very surprised at how well this camera handles bright mid day sun. Shot at 1080p60 slapped down in a 720p24 timeline.
The first video was so much fun we decided to shoot another one. Love this little camera
I finally got my GoPro Hero 3 this weekend.
I wanted to shoot and share some handheld test shots and process them in photoshop to see how the photo files took the processing. I also wanted to see how well the metering system worked. I would say its just ok but good enough for what it is point and shoot. I shot with the case on.
So far I am very pleased with my GoPro Hero 3. I have to say it's one of the best pieces of electronics I've ever owned, for what it is. IT'S TRULY AMAZING! I can't wait to get out and shoot more with it so stay tuned!
NOTE: The images in the video are cropped to fit in the 1920x1080 video aspect ratio.
Watch and learn photography. You can now watch Brett's DVD for free on youtube:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0HKGARO8ZvayDbpxpsgtVgoOKA9MOQct
January 1, 2010 – Photographer Brett Higgins of Capturing the Elements has released a new photography DVD entitled Capturing the Elements: Forks, a 42-minute how-to photography program for digital camera users of all levels of experience, featuring the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography, a system created by Higgins to help people learn to take better photos by choosing a series of settings on any point-and-shoot digital camera.Filmed in Forks, Washington (setting of the Twilight saga) the how-to photography DVD contains footage of professional photographer Brett Higgins (Magnolia) and top model Cherie Wimberly (Star Search, General Hospital) taking photos using a dSLR and point-and-shoot camera, respectively, as they explore the beaches, waterfalls, and rainforest areas surrounding Forks, WA and Olympic National Park.
The Capturing the Elements team first produced an original photography video series, Beyond the Photograph (2006 -2008), seen worldwide over the web at an average of 15,000 viewers per month.
"Before I had even heard of Twilight we were slated to film the Hoh Rainforest near Forks back in 2007 for the web series," said Higgins, "but everything was put on hold while developing the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography. So when it came time to choose a setting for the DVD, we looked at places with the most diverse scenery in one location and Forks was our number one choice."
Developed from his own personal experiences of teaching others to take better photos, the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography is a technique Higgins hopes will help people take control of their image results at a time when digital technology has made nature photography more popular than ever.
"I remember when there were very few people taking photos in the backcountry," Brett said, "people used to stare at my camera like they had never seen anything like it. Now, digital cameras out on the trail are as common as hiking boots, but there hasn't been much progress in teaching people how to use them."
Now available on Amazon.com for a retail price of 19.99, the Capturing the Elements: Forks DVD contains several tips on basic digital photography, along with a lesson on dSLR exposure settings, plus Brett's trademarked W.I.S.E. Method of Photography and bonus footage of the original Capturing the Elements video series Beyond the Photograph filmed in Joshua Tree and Paramount Ranch, California.
Capturing the Elements and the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography are trademarks of Brett Higgins. All rights reserved.