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!
I've never heard of LCD Soundsystem before I saw this video and despite being a pretty good song I was really blown away at the story being told. Why is this important? Story telling is missing in a lot of our photography and videos today. For me, I don't see it a lot. Why? Because I think it's not easy to do. When I do see a great story, whether in a single image or a video, it stops me and makes me think and feel. It's hard to explain but you probably know what I mean. In the music video, oh baby, I feel like I just watched a full blown movie with a beginning and an end and it leaves me wanting more.
Telling a story is easier said than done. I try to apply this in my own work Country Lady, The Prospector, Surfing Santas.
Using a little imagination, thinking about your shot a little more, what do you want to portray/project. What is the story you are trying to tell? How do you want people to think/feel about your work? Try to find elements other than just taking a snapshot makes for interesting imagery and you will make people feel and think too.
Photographing kids with special needs, especially autism spectrum disorder, is very challenging when it come to how to light. These kids are very sensitive to light. Once a flash goes off, that's it! They don't want to open their eyes or they squint, which everyone knows, doesn't make for great photos. Using available light in their comfort zone is the best option. This creates other challenges, but sometimes I just say, any photo is better than no photos. You don't want to go through life wishing you had tried to get more photographs when your kids were younger.
Made in Photoshop: Masked out the individual team members. Create a fancy background. Add a cool quote. Baseball Little League Poster.
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.
Saving a memory captured with a bad exposure: When you're a parent with kids in sports, capturing those moments can be difficult. Most games are played in the middle of the day, and of course, that is the worst time of day to snap photos. There just isn't much you can do but capture the moment. A bad photo is still better than no photo. So what can you do? If you don't want to do it yourself you can contact me or you can try an online editor like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB553S2OZnQ
For an easy DIY online photo editor click here http://shrsl.com/?~d5mh
Photo Examples Below:
Above is the original photo. The camera clearly exposed for the bright background, while it looks like there is some sun flare hitting the front of the lens creating a ghost affect. It's difficult to create light where there is none. Below, I edited with Photoshop giving it a bronze warming look to help with the gray skin tones.
Edited photo using Photoshop to enhance the photo and create a more pleasant memory to look at.
Masking out action shots in Photoshop, adding a little design elements in the background and dropping in some logos creates a nice collage keepsake for all of the team members.
It's been a while since I did this, hopefully I'm not leaving anything out.
The flashes only work manually, which sucks, but it's still better than buying all new flash equipment.
I connected each FlexTT5 pocket wizard to the software. I made sure each one was set to the same channel. Then make sure each Plus III or Mini pocket wizard is set to that channel. (also make sure all the firmware is up to date)
Click on Misc Tab, check "Basic Trigger" this turns them into manual triggers.
Then just set your Nikon Flashes to Manual. Adjust your power manually and you should have reliable flash system.
These work better this way on my sony a6000 than it did on my Nikon D700 with TTL or Manual. I get very few if any false triggers. Very happy that I don't have to buy new equipment.
Banyan trees are so cool to look at. The main trunks have roots growing down to form new trees and looks like wax dripping down. I wanted to get a nice wide shot to showcase the length of the trees and also the roots that grow off of them.