News: Capture One 20 Release – A New Version of the Powerful RAW Editor

The post News: Capture One 20 Release – A New Version of the Powerful RAW Editor appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

capture-one-20-release

Phase One has just released the next version in their Capture One software lineup, which will replace the old Capture One 12, and will undoubtedly maintain Phase One’s position as a high-end Lightroom alternative.

Capture One 20 promises the same set of tools as Capture One 12, but better (and with a few extra functions that you’ll want to check out).

Let’s take a look at some of the improvements from Capture One 12 to Capture One 20:

First, Capture One 20 features upgraded color editing tools, so that it’s possible to make selective color adjustments on the fly. Capture One 12 was already known for its selective color tools, but Capture One 20 offers speedier adjustments and increased functionality.

Second, Capture One 20 includes a new high dynamic range tool, which will allow for improved contrast adjustments. As Phase One promises: “Recover highlights, boost shadows, darken the blacks or boost the brightest areas of your photo – all in one tool.” While you’ll want to try this HDR tool to determine how valuable it is for your workflow, it could certainly come in handy for plenty of photographers.

Third, every photographer, beginner and professional alike, jumps at the chance to use top-of-the-line noise reduction algorithms. Capture One 20 developers have clearly kept this in mind, offering an enhanced noise reduction tool for noise-free photos at higher ISOs.

One of the reasons why you might consider Capture One over Lightroom is the layer and masking functions. These make it possible to produce local adjustments and carry out advanced editing. Fortunately, Capture One 20 has continued to develop these features, adding a new Copy function that will make working with masks and layers even easier.

Now, Capture One 20’s most obvious weakness is its price, which remains far above that of many other Lightroom alternatives. But the additional power and customizability may be worth it, especially for experienced enthusiasts and professionals.

Plus, for those who already own Capture One 12, Phase One promises a lower rate if you decide to upgrade to Capture One 20. And Capture One can also be purchased as part of a subscription package; for those who are on a subscription plan, head over to the Capture One website to download your new Capture One 20 software.

For everyone else, you can purchase a Capture One license or subscription, or you can try the software for free!

Do you plan on getting Capture One 20? And what do you think about Capture One compared to Lightroom? Share your thoughts in the comments!

capture-one-20-release

The post News: Capture One 20 Release – A New Version of the Powerful RAW Editor appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2)

The post Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Nisha Ramroop.

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained-part-2

Part 1 of How to Use Photoshop Adjustment Layers introduced you to the first eight of the adjustment layer type editing tools, which allow you to work non-destructively. Here, we continue to look at some of the other tools available as Adjustment Layers.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2)

1. Photo Filter

Did you know that there are colored filters that you place in front of your camera lens that alter the color temperature and balance of your final image? Well, the Photo Filter adjustment layer adds a color filter to your image similar to this.

There are many preset photo filters in Photoshop, but the most common are those that make your image warm or cool. You can further tweak each preset to your liking. For instance, you can change the density of the effect easily using the Density slider. There is also the Preserve Luminosity box to check so that the applied filter does not darken your image.

You can also choose an exact color that you would like to overlay as a filter by clicking on “color” and chosing from the color menu or by using the eyedropper tool to chose a color from your image.

Image: Warm (oranges) and Cool (Blues) Photo filters applied to the image above

Warm (oranges) and Cool (Blues) Photo filters applied to the image above

2. Channel Mixer

The Channel Mixer Photoshop Adjustment Layer is another great tool to create stunning black and white and tinted images.

The principle is similar to that used by the Black and White Adjustment Layer. In each of these, you can adjust the displayed grayscale image by changing the tonal values of the color elements of the image.

There are three channels in the RGB view: red, green and blue. Note: The source channel is the one that defaults to 100%. The Channel Mixer, therefore, allows you to combine and mix the best of each channel. It does this by adding (or subtracting) grayscale data from your source channel to another channel.

Also, of note, adding more color to a channel gives you a negative value and vice versa. Hence, at the end of your edit, it is advisable that all your numbers total 100%.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2)

The Channel Mixer also allows you to exaggerate color and make creative color adjustments to your image.

3. Color Lookup

The Color Lookup adjustment layer uses presets to instantly color grade or change the “look” of your image. The presets are called LUTs or lookup tables. Each lookup table contains specific instructions for Photoshop to remap the colors in your image to a different set of colors to create the selected look.

Image: Applying the Late Sunset LUT creates a dramatic finish

Applying the Late Sunset LUT creates a dramatic finish

When you choose the Color Lookup Adjustment Layer, three options are available to you: 3DLUT File, Abstract and Device Link.

Most of the presets reside under the 3DLUT File option. Of note, 3D (in 3DLUT) refers to Photoshop’s RGB color channels (and not three-dimension).

Image: Late Sunset LUT applied at 60% opacity for a more realistic finish

Late Sunset LUT applied at 60% opacity for a more realistic finish

Furthermore, LUTS are available for download from various websites or you can create your own LUT.

4. Invert

The Invert Photoshop Adjustment Layer is self-explanatory. It inverts the colors and is an easy way to make a negative of your image for an interesting effect.

Image: The first image with colors inverted gives a surreal otherworldly effect

The first image with colors inverted gives a surreal otherworldly effect

5. Posterize

Looking for a flat, poster-like finish? The Posterize Adjustment Layer gives you that by reducing the number of brightness values available in your image.

You can make an image have as much or as little detail as you like by selecting the number in the levels slider. The higher the number, the more detail your image has. The lower the number, the less detail your image has.

This can come in handy when you want to screenprint your image. You can limit the tones of black and white. This is also true of the Threshold Adjustment Layer.

Image: Posterize Adjustment Layer

Posterize Adjustment Layer

6. Threshold

When you select Threshold from your Photoshop Adjustment Layers list, your image changes to black and white. By changing the Threshold Level value, you control the number of pixels that are black or white.

Image: Threshold Adjustment Layer

Threshold Adjustment Layer

7. Gradient Map

The Gradient Map lets you map different colors to different tones in your image. The gradient fill, therefore, sets the colors representing both the shadow tones on one end and highlight tones on the other end of the gradient.

Likewise, checking the “Reverse” box swaps around the colors of your gradient. This means that the shadow colors are moved to the highlights end and vice versa.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your shadows dark and your highlights brighter for ease of reference.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2)

Your gradient map also makes available many presets that are adjustable via the gradient editor window. Additionally, you can also define/create your own gradients by changing the slider colors.

8. Selective Color

Use the Selective Color Adjustment Layer to modify specific amounts of a primary color without modifying other primary colors in your image. Check the Absolute box if you want to adjust the color in absolute values.

Example: If you have a pixel that is 50% yellow and you add 10%, you are now at a 60% total. The Relative box is a little more complicated as it would adjust the yellow pixel only by the percentage it contributes to the total. Using the same example, if you add 10% to the yellow slider (with relative checked), it actually adds 50% of the 10%, which brings your total to 55%. Relative, therefore, gives you a more subtle effect.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2)

However, when it comes to this editing tool, the potential is far beyond this simplistic edit technique. You can use it to correct skin tones and for general toning.

While selective color adjustments are similar to hue/saturation adjustments, there are subtle differences. Selective Color allows you to subtract/add color values, whereas Hue/Saturation does not.

The Hue/Saturation adjustment allows you to work with a range of hues that are included with the six color ranges in Selective Color, so there is more control there if you need it.

Conclusion

These basic examples of how to use the Photoshop Adjustment Layers tools merely scratch the surface of their capabilities. Certainly, you will appreciate editing non-destructively, whether you are just starting out or advanced with adjustment layers.

Some of the adjustment layers seem similar, but each has its differences and its pros and cons. Either way, there are many possibilities of playing around with your image, while preserving the original.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 in this series.

Do you use Photoshop Adjustment Layers? If so, which ones do you use and why? Share with us in the comments.

The post Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 2) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Nisha Ramroop.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

The post The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

top-photoshop-tools-for-still-life-photography

Even if you do most of your editing in Lightroom, you’ll still find that you need Photoshop to really finesse your photos. Because it’s a pixel editor, Photoshop offers you more retouching tools and gives you further control than you can obtain from Lightroom.

In still life photography, like food and product, every aspect of your image needs to hold up to scrutiny for maximum impact. It needs to look clean and perfect.

There are certain tools in Photoshop that will help you tweak the best out of your images.

Although this article won’t go in-depth for every single tool – you’d need several articles for that – it will get you up and running in applying some basic treatments to your still life photography.

So without further ado, here are the most useful Photoshop tools for still life photography.

Photoshop for still life photography

1. Spot Healing Tool

The Spot Healing tool is one Photoshop tool that you’ll use on every still life image you retouch in Photoshop. This tool has improved greatly over the years.

Similar to the Healing Brush tool, it samples pixels from the surrounding areas to correct blemishes and imperfections. However, unlike the Healing Brush, it automatically samples the pixels without your having to specify where they should come from.

Why is this so great? Because the Spot Healing brush does this way better than it used to. This means you can remove dust and small marks very quickly.

If you’ve ever tried the Spot Removal tool in Lightroom, you’ll know that clicking on it repeatedly will quickly slow down Lightroom’s performance. Photoshop will give you better results, more quickly.

When you’re dealing with still life photography, remember that you want a clean-looking image. Zooming in on your photo at 100% and cleaning up any dust or blemishes will make a big difference in the overall aesthetic.

To use the Spot Healing tool, select it from the tool menu or hit J.

Zoom into your image and simply click on the blemish you wish to correct. It will automatically sample from an appropriate area and apply the pixels.

You can also clean up a larger area by brushing over it.

One thing to note is that if you use it repeatedly in a small area, the pixels can start looking unnatural and plastic-like.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

2. Patch Tool

The Patch tool is another Photoshop tool for still life photography that you’ll most likely use on the majority of your images.

It works great on small areas by creating a selection and replacing the pixels with other pixels of your choosing. It considers lighting, shade and texture when sampling an area.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

In the image below, I wanted to get rid of the yellow filament from my flower because I found it distracting.

There are many ways to do this in Photoshop, but I find the patch tool quick and seamless for this type of correction.

To use the tool, select it from the toolbar.

Draw a selection around the area that you wish to correct.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

Click on your mouse and drag the selection to an area that you would like to replace the selected pixels with. Let go of the cursor.

Press Command D to undo the selection.

To have greater control over the final result, make sure you have Content-Aware selected in the tool menu and play with the Structure and Color to further influence the edges.

Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

3. Content-Aware Fill

Content-Aware Fill is sort of like the Patch tool on steroids.

It was first introduced in CS5 as a fill option in the Fill Dialog box. In 2019, Adobe improved this tool by leaps and bounds.

Content-Aware analyzes the pixels from a chosen area to determine what pixels it should use to remove unwanted objects. With the improvement, it allows you to choose exactly where you want it to sample the pixels from. It gives you so much more control and also allows you to rotate, scale or resize your selection, and preview the results.

To use Content-Aware Fill, draw a selection around the area you would like to correct. The Lasso tool makes a nice, versatile tool, but I often use the Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee tools.

Go to Edit and choosing Content-Aware Fill from the dropdown menu.

Photoshop tools for still life photography

This opens up the Content-Aware task space.

Photoshop tools for still life photography

On the right-hand side of the task space, you’ll see a Preview area that will show you how the changes are affecting your image.

If required, resize the sampling area with the Sampling Brush Tool.

You can find the tools for Content-Aware Fill in the left-hand corner of the workspace. The Brush tool is the first one on the top and the one you’ll most often use.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

You’ll also notice on the right-hand side of the workspace that you can make adjustments to the opacity.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

Save your changes as a Duplicate Layer.

I often use Content-Aware Fill to even-out my still life photography backgrounds, which tend to look less even in color and texture as I would like.

In this image of a salad, I wanted to even-out the left-hand corner of the image, which was looking too dark, despite my removing vignetting. I used the Rectangular Marquee tool to select the part that I wanted to change and brushed out the parts of the image I didn’t want sampled from.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

I played around with the opacity until I got something that looked good, which in this case was 66%.

4. Clone Stamp Tool

Can anyone live without the Clone Stamp tool?

No matter what kind of photography you do, you probably use the Clone Stamp tool a lot. Great retouching is largely about cleaning up the little things, which all come together for a powerful, transformative effect. Clone Stamp is one of the crucial Photoshop tools for still life photography.

The Clone Stamp tool allows you to copy pixels to a different part of the image to another. It’s great on areas where you have texture and pattern, or an edge. However, with this tool there is no real blending, so you often have to use it with other tools to get a more seamless-looking result.

Note that if you work with the Clone Stamp tool on its own layer, you can use it with other tools such as Free Transform to make further adjustments to the cloned areas.

Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

In the image above, I used a surface that was textured and knotty, but I wanted it to look smoother. I did this (achieving the image on the right) by cloning smoother areas over the bumpy areas.

To utilize the Clone Stamp tool, select it from the toolbar by hitting S for the shortcut, or hit Cmd/Ctrl+S 

Photoshop for still life photography

Select the area that you wish to paint the pixels from by choosing Opt/Alt. The selection point will be indicted by the crosshairs.

Paint with your cursor over the area you want to correct while making sure the crosshairs don’t pick up any pixels you don’t want.

Photoshop tolls for still life photography

5. Transform

Transform is another of the useful Photoshop tools for still life photography because it allows you to make changes and adjustments to objects in your image, like straightening and shaping.

For example, I decided to make a change to the olive oil bottle in the image below. I wanted to adjust the direction the handle was facing and to make the bottle appear larger in scale. I did this easily and quickly with Transform.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

Start with your background layer or your top layer. Use the appropriate tool to make a selection. In this case, I used the Lasso tool but I could have also used the Quick Selection tool.

photoshop tools for still life photography

Copy the selection onto another layer by hitting Ctrl/Cmd+J.

The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography

Then hit Ctrl/Cmd+T to bring up Transform, or go to Edit and choose Transform from the Menu.

Make the adjustment by manually rotating or expanding the Transform box by clicking on the white points/squares.

photoshop tools for still life photography

Hit Enter to accept the adjustment.

Always make sure to constrain proportions when necessary.

6. Focus Stacking

If you’re shooting a product, you’ll usually need your subject to be sharp throughout. This means using a high F-stop number like F/13 or F/16. However, this requires a lot of power if you’re using flash.

You can also get lens diffraction at these higher numbers, which will degrade the quality of your photo.

The answer to shooting with a wider aperture and still getting a sharp image is to focus stack in Photoshop.

This is when you take two or three images with different focus points and blend them together to create one image file that is sharply in focus throughout. It’s a quick process and isn’t anywhere near as complicated as it sounds.

To utilize focus stacking, make sure your images have the same exposure and alignment.

Export PSD files into a folder or onto your desktop where you can easily navigate to them. 

Follow these steps:

  • Open Photoshop.
  • Go to File and choose Scripts.
  • Select Load Files into Stack.
  • Click Browse and select all the images from where you saved them initially.
  • Check the Box for Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images.
  • Click OK. Each of the images will open as a new layer in Photoshop.
  • Hold down Shift and click on the top layer in the Layers panel to highlight all the layers.
  • Under Edit, select Auto Blend-Layers.
  • Check the box for Stack Images and also for Seamless Tones and Colors. DO NOT check ‘Content-Aware.’ Click OK.
  • Save the final image.

If you have uploaded a lot of images, flatten the final image by selecting Layer -> Flatten Image -> Save.

photoshop tools for still life photography

Three images focus-stacked in Photoshop

Conclusion

Photoshop is a powerhouse of a program and there are many tools that can help you retouch your photography. The tools mentioned here are my top Photoshop tools for still life photography. They are easy to learn and utilize, and will quickly take your images to the next level.

Do you have any other Photoshop tools for still life photography that you’d like to share? Do so in the comments section!

The post The 6 Top Photoshop Tools for Still Life Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1)

The post Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Nisha Ramroop.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1)

If you use Photoshop, you probably already know that layers are a great non-destructive way to edit. Within the realm of layers, there exists a group of very useful editing tools called Adjustment Layers that allows for easy editing of your images. As with most Photoshop tools, there are several ways to achieve the same result. When you use Photoshop adjustment layers (as with other layer types), you can make changes, save it as a Photoshop file (PSD) and undo/change it many years later. Since no pixels are destroyed or changed, your original image stays intact. Let’s take a look at the basics of using Photoshop Adjustment Layers.

Accessing Photoshop Adjustment Layers

There are two ways to access Photoshop Adjustment Layers.

1. To access via the Layers Menu; choose Layer->New Adjustment Layer, and choose one of the many adjustment types (which are expanded upon below).

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained

2. To access via the Layers Panel; click on the half black/half white circle at the bottom of the Layers Panel, and choose the adjustment type you want to work with.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1)

Adjustment Layer Types

1. Brightness and Contrast

Brightness and Contrast allow you to make simple adjustments to the brightness and contrast levels within your photo. When you adjust brightness, the overall lightness (or darkness) of each pixel in your frame is changed. To increase a photo’s tonal values and increase the highlights, slide the Brightness to the right. To decrease a photo’s tonal values and increase the shadows, slide the Brightness to the left.

Contrast, however, adjusts the difference between the brightness of the elements in your image.  Thus, if you increase brightness you make every pixel lighter, whereas if you increase contrast you make the light areas lighter and the dark areas darker.

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained

2. Levels

The levels tool adjusts the tonal range and color balance of your image. It does this by adjusting the intensity levels of the shadows, mid-tones, and highlights in your image. Levels Presets can be saved and then easily applied to further images.

Of note, if you use the Image menu to open the levels tool (Image->Adjustments->Levels) a separate layer will not be created and the changes will be committed directly (destructively) to your image layer. Thus, I recommend using the Adjustment Layers menu (as shown above)  to access this very useful tool.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1)

3. Curves

While the Levels adjustment allows you to adjust all the tones proportionally in your image, the Curves adjustment lets you choose the section of the tonal scale you want to change. On the Levels graph, the upper-right area represents the highlights, while the lower-left area represents the shadows.

Use either of these adjustments (levels or curves) to correct your tone when your image’s contrast is off (either too low or high).

The Levels Adjustment works well if you need to apply a global adjustment to your tone. To apply more selective adjustments, you are better off using Curves. This includes adjustments to just a small section of the tonal range or if you only want to adjust light or dark tones.

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained

4. Exposure

When you think of exposing an image properly, you are concerned with capturing the ideal brightness, which will give you details in both the highlights and shadows. In Photoshop Adjustment Layers, the Exposure Adjustment has three sliders that adjust Exposure, Offset and Gamma.

Use the Exposure slider to adjust the highlights of the image, the Offset slider for the mid-tones and the Gamma to target the dark tones only.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1)

5. Vibrance

Use the Vibrance Adjustment Layer to boost the duller colors in your image. The great thing about increasing vibrance is that it focuses on the less-saturated areas and does not affect colors that are already saturated.

Image: Vibrance adjusts only the duller colors in an image

Vibrance adjusts only the duller colors in an image

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained

Look at the difference in the greens between this image and the one above. Saturation adjusts all the colors (and tonal range) in an image.

6. Hue/Saturation

Hue and Saturation, allows you to change the overall color hue of your image, as well as how saturated the color is.

You can change the hue (color) of your entire image by keeping “Master” selected in the dropdown (this is set by default). Alternatively, you can pinpoint the color you would like to change the hue of. You can choose from Reds, Yellows, Greens, Cyan, Blues or Magentas.

In addition to adjusting the obvious hue and color saturation of your image, this Photoshop Adjustment Layer allows you to adjust the lightness of your entire image as well as work with specified colors. Keep in mind that changing the overall saturation of an image affects your tonal range.

Image: Use the Hue Adjustment to get creative

Use the Hue Adjustment to get creative

Color Balance

The Color Balance Adjustment layer is used to change the overall mixture of colors in an image and works well for color correction.

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained

Color Balance adjusted for the mid-tones to include more red

You first need to select either Shadows, Midtones or Highlights, to choose the tonal range you want to change.

Check the Preserve Luminosity box to preserve your luminosity values (brightness or darkness) and maintain the tonal balance as you change the color in your image. Move your slider toward the color you want to increase and away from the color you wish to decrease.

Black and White

As the name implies, the Black and White adjustment layer allows you to easily take your images to a grayscale version or apply a color tint entirely.

There are many ways to achieve black and white image processing. The Black and White Photoshop Adjustment Layer is one of the better ones. It allows you to lighten or darken specific color ranges to enhance your black and white conversion. Example: If you want the blues of your color image to stand out more when converted to black and white, simply toggle that slider. You can add more or less contrast by making particular colors lighter or darker.

photoshop-adjustment-layers-explained

1. When you choose the Black & White Adjustment Layer, you get a default black & white conversion 2. You can tweak the image based on selective colors. In this example, the blues and yellows were adjusted 3. You can apply a tint (of any color) over the entire image by ticking the Tint box and selecting the color you wish to overlay.

Important Note: While most of these adjustments are available under the Image menu (Image->Adjustments), using them from there does not work the same. The main difference is that these are applied directly to the image (destructively) as opposed to when done under Adjustment Layers. When done under Adjustment Layers, you can turn the adjustment on and off by selecting and deselecting the “eye” in the layers panel.

Conclusion

Photoshop Adjustment Layers are a great group of tools that allow you to smartly edit your image in a non-destructive way. Your original pixels are preserved, so you are able to come back and change your edits years later. Thus, they give you the power to undo easier and work more efficiently.

Photoshop Adjustment Layers group together the most common editing tasks, along with a few others to help you bring your images to life.

In Part 2, we will explore some other tools in the Adjustment suite.

Share with us in the comments your favorite adjustment tool and how you use them.

The post Photoshop Adjustment Layers Explained and How to Use Them (Part 1) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Nisha Ramroop.

How to Print a Professional Portfolio So You Can Impress Your Clients

The post How to Print a Professional Portfolio So You Can Impress Your Clients appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

how-to-print-a-professional-portfolio

Marketing yourself as a commercial or editorial photographer means that you need to print a professional portfolio and promotional materials to show clients such as ad agencies, magazines, and major brands that you want to work with.

There seems to be a perception out there that marketing is done solely online these days and that photographers no longer need to print a professional portfolio.

This is not true.

How to Print a Professional Portfolio So You Can Impress Your Clients

Some established photographers have a roster of repeat clients that they rely on to keep their businesses afloat. But if you’re looking for new clients, or just entering the industry, you need a printed book to show prospective clients your work. 

Yes, a website is an important selling tool, but bringing an iPad to an agency meeting can be perceived as amateurish.

These kinds of top-echelon clients want to see how your work holds up in print, which is far less forgiving than a computer screen. They also enjoy experiencing your work directly through a tangible medium like a printed book.

Maybe you’re not a commercial photographer but shoot consumer, like wedding or portrait photography. In this case, having prints or a printed book to show your clients can also have a positive impact. It can drive your client to buy from you and they are likely to perceive you as a photographer who is head and shoulders above the rest.

how-to-print-a-professional-portfolio

Types of books

Before we dive into the variables around printing your work, let’s talk about the portfolio itself.

As a commercial photographer, your best bet is to purchase a screw-post portfolio where you can add and subtract pages every time you update it with new work.

My portfolio, pictured above, is a bamboo cover screw-post portfolio manufactured by Shrapnel Design. The company is based in Vancouver, Canada, but ship to most countries via FedEx or TNT.

Other companies make similar portfolios for photographers, so do your research and find the best one for you.

The point is that you want to be able to update your portfolio periodically by printing pages of new work and swapping them out.

You can also get a portfolio printed in a photo book. This is a less expensive option, but you’ll need to re-do the whole thing if you want to update your portfolio. Which you should do periodically.

Just be sure to get a high-quality book printed. The design and paper are very important. It needs to be a visual and tactile experience.

A couple of suggestions are the books by Artifact Uprising and Saal Digital.

Get a lay-flat book in landscape orientation and in a large size, such as 14X11.

how-to-print-a-professional-portfolio

Choice of paper

Your choice of paper for your printed book is very important.

The type of paper you choose will really depend on the genre you shoot and which paper will show your work to the best advantage. There are a variety of finishes and weights available.

For my portfolio, I used Smooth Matte Pina Zangaro paper by MOAB. It’s scored and punched for use in all standard format screw-post binders. The paper is archival quality, pH neutral and water-resistant.

Archival quality paper is meant to last. Your prints will not fade and shift quickly when exposed to light.

Some might argue that archival paper is not necessary because you’ll be routinely swapping out your pages if you get a screw-post portfolio. But most good papers are archival quality anyway. Archival paper is more important when you’re selling prints to hang on a wall.

Before you settle on a paper, order some samples from the supplier to check quality or go to the printer you wish to use and take a look at their papers.

Also, make sure that they’ll punch and score the paper for you if it doesn’t already come that way. Otherwise, you can make a mess out of your prints if you don’t know how to do this yourself.

If you purchase a photo book, Eggshell matte paper, like Mohawk Superfine, is a great choice.

how-to-print-a-professional-portfolio

Where to print

Unless you’re already a printing dynamo and have an awesome printer that you paid at least $1K for, get your book printed by a professional printer that caters to photographers.

Do your research and, if you can, ask other photographers you might know in your community for their recommendations.

It’s important that you don’t spare expense. Get the best quality printing that you can. The quality of inks can make a big difference in the portrayal of your work.

There are a lot of great online services, but a professional printer in your community can give you personalized service that will make the difference in how your prints turn out. They can advise on papers and inks and any potential problems.

Make sure that you print one of the spreads as a proof before committing to handing over the whole project.

how-to-print-a-professional-portfolio

Monitor calibration

Before you start designing your portfolio, you have to prepare your images.

It goes without saying that you should be working on a calibrated monitor.

This is a step that a lot of people tend to skip, but unless you’re working on a monitor that is rendering colors correctly, you can end up with tones and colors that are way off base once you print them.

Each device will display colors differently. Calibrating your monitor will make sure what you’re seeing is correct, and that you and your printer are both following a standard that will ensure the same result.

A color calibration device like Color Munki is easy to use. Calibrate your screen regularly and definitely before you print anything or send images to clients. If they complain that the images don’t look right, you’ll know that what you sent them is correct.

How to Print a Professional Portfolio So You Can Impress Your Clients

Color management and resolution

You need to prepare your images properly when sending them to a printer.

Always check with your printer before preparing your files. Ask them the format and color space that they need your files in.

This will be dependent on the type of printer they use. If they use a printing press, they will likely require your file in CMYK.

However, if they use large format printers with up to 10-inks, they may require anything from Adobe RGB through to ProPhoto.

Using the TIFF file format is usually better than using the JPG format, as it does not compress the image data. But again, check with your printer.

You’ll also need to send the printer high-resolution images, with at least 300 dpi (dots-per-inch). The more dots, the higher the quality of the print in terms of detail and sharpness.

For more in-depth information on this, read: How to Prepare Images For Publication – Part One

How to Print a Professional Portfolio So You Can Impress Your Clients

Conclusion

To print a professional portfolio can be very costly. This is a case where you need to spend money to make money. If you want to attract the clients with the deeper pockets, you’ll need to get in front of them with a professional-looking book that shows your beautiful photography in the best light.

Do you have any other tips on how to print a professional portfolio that you’d like to share? Do so in the comments section!

 

The post How to Print a Professional Portfolio So You Can Impress Your Clients appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Why Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a Good Idea (and How to Set Them Up)

The post Why Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a Good Idea (and How to Set Them Up) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

smart-previews-in-lightroom-cc

Smart Previews in Lightroom CC will help enhance your workflow. They are a smaller file you can work with rather than working on full-sized RAW files.

One of the biggest advantages of using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is when you work remotely. You can store your RAW files on your main hard drive and keep the smart previews on your portable drive. So if you have your RAW files imported to your main computer hard disk, you can make smart previews for your laptop or external drive. You can even store them on a flash memory device like a thumb drive, SD card, or the cloud.

Smart Previews Lightroom CC

How to use Smart Previews in Lightroom CC

Creating Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is easy and can be done when you import your files or at a later time. Lightroom makes a smaller DNG file (an Adobe Digital Negative RAW image file.) These are compressed and take up a fraction of the space RAW files do. The DNG files are located in a separate folder than the RAW files of the same images.

To configure Lightroom CC to create Smart Previews when you import photos, go to the File Handling panel. This is on the right of your screen after you have clicked on the Import button. Make sure that the Build Smart Previews box is checked.

Smart Previews Lightroom CC

You can create Smart Previews in Lightroom CC when you’ve already imported your photos.

Select the files you want to make Smart Previews of in the Grid mode. Go to Library in the top menu and choose Previews->Build Smart Previews. When an image has a Smart Preview, there is an icon indicating this in the Histogram window.

Why Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a Good Idea (and How to Set Them Up)

Working on a smart preview in the Lightroom Develop Module, you will be working on the compressed DNG file. This means your computer will run faster. To ensure you have this enabled, go to Edit->Preferences. Check the box ‘Use Smart Previews instead of Originals for image editing.’

Why Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a Good Idea (and How to Set Them Up)

What are the main advantages of Smart Previews

The three main advantages of using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC are:

  1. Speed up your workflow
  2. Save hard drive space
  3. Easier remote editing

Once you have created the Smart Previews, your computer manages the image files using fewer hardware resources. The file sizes are smaller, so they draw less of the computer’s CPU, GPU and RAM.

Working with Lightroom CC on a laptop or with an external drive is better with Smart Previews. You do not need to have all your RAW files on a remote hard drive to be able to keep editing. Your edits will be auto-synced (keep reading to learn how to do this).

Remote editing from a laptop or classroom computer is much easier. This is because catalogs with smart previews are so much smaller. By only exporting the DNG files with your catalogs, you are saving a huge amount of space.

Smart Previews Lightroom CC

How to export and re-sync using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC

Once you have imported your photos and created Smart Previews in a Lightroom CC catalog, you can export the catalog or part of it. Simply go to File->Export as catalog and make sure to check these boxes:

  • Export selected photos only
  • Build/Include Smart Previews
  • Include Available Previews

You don’t have to check the ‘Include Available Previews’. But if you have already made adjustments to some images, it’s a good idea to.

Uncheck the ‘Export Negative Files’ box.

NOTE: If you leave this one checked, you’ll be including all the RAW files. This is what you are wanting to avoid.

Why Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a Good Idea (and How to Set Them Up)

Save the file where you can locate it again easily. Now you can copy it to another storage device or the cloud.

When opening Lightroom on your laptop or another computer, select the catalog from your storage device. You can work from your device or copy the catalog to the drive of the computer you are working on.

If you open the catalog from where it’s stored, all the changes you make in Lightroom will be saved there. Copying the catalog file to the hard drive of the computer you are now working on requires you to export it again when you’re finished.

To bring the files you have worked on back to your main computer, simply connect the portable storage. Copy the Lightroom catalog with the images you’ve been working on back onto your main computer’s hard drive.

To do this, go to File->Import from Another Catalog. Now locate the catalog from your portable storage. From the drop-down box, select ‘Replace: metadata and develop settings only.’ Click OK. Your Smart Previews will appear in your catalog, including the changes you made.

Smart Previews Lightroom CC

Conclusion

Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a game-changer if you often work on your photos from more than one computer. Being able to make use of your laptop because the file sizes are smaller and more portable is a great advantage. It may seem like a little more work to set up to use Smart Previews, but once you have done it a few times, it will seamlessly become part of your post-processing workflow.

Do you use Smart Previews? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments.

 

The post Why Using Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is a Good Idea (and How to Set Them Up) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

6 Tips for a Faster Lightroom Workflow So You Can Get Back to Taking Photos!

The post 6 Tips for a Faster Lightroom Workflow So You Can Get Back to Taking Photos! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

faster-lightroom-workflow-tips

Many photographers rely on Lightroom to organize, edit and share their photos. While this software has a vast array of tools to help people in several key areas, it has not always been known for speed. Recent updates and GPU acceleration have helped, but if you really want to have a faster Lightroom workflow, there are some simple things you can do to supercharge your post-processing. These aren’t hacks or plugins, but simple tweaks to Lightroom that can make your life a lot easier.

6 Tips for a Faster Lightroom Workflow So You Can Get Back to Taking Photos!

1. Apply a preset when importing images

The first thing you can do for a faster Lightroom workflow is to apply a preset when importing images.

Lightroom has a mind-boggling number of options and sliders to adjust when editing images. If you find yourself using the same types of edits on most of your pictures, you can use Presets to shave hours off your editing. Most people already know this, but you might not be aware that you can apply Presets when initially importing your files.

On the right side of the Import screen, there is an option for “Apply During Import.” Use this to select one of the many presets built into Lightroom (or select one of your own that you may have saved) and have it automatically applied to your pictures as you import them.

faster Lightroom workflow

In the screenshot above, you can also see an option called Nikon RAW import. That’s a custom preset I made that contains specific adjustments I like to apply to my Nikon RAW files, which gets me to a good starting point when editing. That alone has helped me with a faster Lightroom workflow, but applying it to a batch of photos on import is even more of a speed boost.

Don’t worry about messing anything up if you apply presets on import. Like everything else in Lightroom, they are non-destructive, meaning you can always go back and change things later.

2. Sync settings across multiple images

If you have spent any time editing multiple similar images in Lightroom, particularly from an event or photo session with clients, you have no doubt found the Copy/Paste Settings to be useful. Right-click on any image in the Develop module and choose “Develop Settings->Copy Settings…” Then check the boxes next to any (or all!) the settings you want to copy.

Finally, go to another photo, right-click, and choose “Develop Settings->Paste Settings.” Or better yet, use Ctrl+C (cmd+C on mac) and Ctrl+V (cmd+V on mac) like you would on any word processor.

faster Lightroom workflow

I shot dozens of pictures of this wasp. The Sync Settings option let me instantly edit a single image and then apply those edits to all my other images in an instant.

This process works great, but what if you want to paste your settings on to five, ten, or a hundred images? Even the fast method of using Ctrl+V starts to feel like a chore.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

faster Lightroom workflow

Image 21 is selected, and Images 17-20 are also highlighted. After clicking the Sync… button, all the edits from 21 will be applied to 17-20.

In the Develop module, select a single picture in the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. Then hold down the [shift] key and select more images. Finally, click the “Sync…” button to synchronize any (or all) of your edits on the original image to the rest that are selected.

When I discovered this trick, I almost fell out of my chair! I didn’t just speed up my Lightroom editing. It supercharged my editing.

3. Straighten your pictures with the Auto button

I’m always a little leery of anything that says Auto when I’m editing pictures. I don’t need my computer to do what it thinks is best – I want my computer to do what I think is best! At best, I use some Auto options, like when setting white balance on RAW files, as a rough draft that I go and refine.

However, there is one Auto setting that I have learned to use over and over again. Learning to embrace Auto for straightening my photos has saved me a lot of time and really led to an overall faster Lightroom workflow.

Image: The Auto button in the Crop & Straighten panel can really help make things go faster when...

The Auto button in the Crop & Straighten panel can really help make things go faster when you need to straighten your photos.

The reason Auto works so well for straightening images is that it doesn’t try to make a guess which affects the artistic goals of the photographer. It simply looks for straight lines such as light poles, buildings, or horizons, and then adjusts images accordingly. It works far more than I initially thought. Plus, it can really speed things up when editing in Lightroom.

faster Lightroom workflow

My tripod was askew when I shot this, but Lightroom fixed it with a simple click of the Auto button.

4. Automatically organize with smart collections

Collections in Lightroom are an easy way to organize your images. You can create as many collections as you want, and one photo can exist in multiple collections. What you may not realize is that Lightroom lets you create Smart Collections, which are populated dynamically according to rules you specify.

To create a Smart Collection, choose the + button at the top-left of the Collections panel. Then select “Create Smart Collection…” and specify your parameters for the Smart Collection.

faster Lightroom workflow

As an example of how this can lead to a faster Lightroom workflow, I create Smart Collections to sort my photos by month for an entire year. I do this each January, and for the rest of the year my photos are automatically sorted month-by-month without me having to do anything.

Image: I create Smart Collections for my personal images at the beginning of each year. My images ar...

I create Smart Collections for my personal images at the beginning of each year. My images are then sorted automatically.

These Smart Collections also do not include any photos with the keyword “PhotoSession” which I apply to all images that I take for clients. Photos with that keyword go in another set of Smart Collections that I use to keep client images separate from personal photos.

Smart Collections can contain dozens of parameters including Rating, Pick Flag, Color Label, Keyword, even metadata such as camera model or focal length. They are an incredibly powerful but very simple way to make your day-to-day Lightroom editing significantly faster.

5. Multi-Batch Export

Lightroom has long offered customizable export presets. These allow you to export photos with certain parameters specified such as file type, image size, quality setting, and even specifying custom names.

faster Lightroom workflow

New in the November 2019 update to Lightroom Classic is the option to perform a single export operation that utilizes multiple Presets. This means you no longer have to do an export operation for full-size JPGs at 100% quality, another export for low-resolution proofs at 80% quality, and so on.

Just check any boxes in the Export dialog box for the presets you want, and Lightroom will take care of the rest!

Image: The November 2019 update to Lightroom Classic lets you select multiple presets for a single e...

The November 2019 update to Lightroom Classic lets you select multiple presets for a single export operation.

This is a great way to save time when you are ready to export your images. It’s not the kind of workflow addition that will change your life, but it’s another simple but highly effective process you can utilize to shave precious minutes from your editing. And as someone who exports a lot of photos regularly, those minutes add up.

6. Cull on Lightroom Mobile

One of my favorite aspects of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan is the synchronization between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Mobile. While the mobile version of Lightroom isn’t as full-featured as its desktop-based big brother, it does one thing incredibly well that has made a huge difference for me when editing photos for clients.

Click the checkbox next to any Collection to sync those photos with Lightroom CC. This means you can access low-resolution previews of all those images on the web, your phone, or tablet. (Note that this does not work with Smart Collections, only regular Collections.)

6 Tips for a Faster Lightroom Workflow So You Can Get Back to Taking Photos!

I don’t find Lightroom Mobile particularly useful for detailed editing, but it absolutely runs circles around the desktop version when it comes to culling operations. If you have an iPad, this could honestly change your entire approach to culling your images. It also works pretty well on other mobile devices too.

Load a picture in any collection that you have synced to Lightroom CC and then click the Star icon in the lower-right corner. This switches to a mode where you can quickly assign star ratings or flags to any picture. Tap one of the Flag or Star icons at the bottom of the screen to change the status of the image. A quick swipe of your finger will load the next image.

faster Lightroom workflow

Tap the star icon in the lower-right corner of Lightroom Mobile to quickly assign Flags and Star Ratings with a swipe of your finger.

This is all well and good, but there’s one trick here that will send your culling into overdrive.

Slide a finger up or down on the right side of the photo to change the Flag status. Slide a finger up or down on the left side to assign a Star rating. Then swipe to the next image and repeat.

All your edits on Lightroom Mobile, including Star ratings and Flag statuses, are instantly synced back to Lightroom Classic on your computer.

I’m not kidding about the speed of this operation, either.

I used to dread the culling process, but now it takes a fraction of the time it used to. A few weeks ago, I returned from a photo session with over 1,100 images. In about an hour, I was able to cull them to a fraction of that amount, thanks to Lightroom Mobile.

Image: There were hundreds of images from this session that I had to sort through. Lightroom Desktop...

There were hundreds of images from this session that I had to sort through. Lightroom Desktop makes this a burden, but Lightroom Mobile makes it a breeze.

All six of these tips have saved me a huge amount of time over the years. I hope they are useful to you as well.

If you have any other tricks or suggestions for a faster Lightroom workflow, leave them in the comments below!

The post 6 Tips for a Faster Lightroom Workflow So You Can Get Back to Taking Photos! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide)

The post Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

reflections-in-photoshop

Attractive reflections can be challenging to capture naturally in your photographs. Sometimes it’s easier to create reflections in Photoshop. You will have more control over how the photo looks and you can avoid the difficulties that photographing reflections can bring.

Often you can’t find just the right place to stand to catch the best reflection. Sometimes the light is wrong and a natural reflection will look too dark. Choosing to make reflections in Photoshop gives you much more flexibility to get the look you want.

It’s really not that difficult to do. In this article, I’ll walk you through a series of steps you can use to make a mirror image in Photoshop.

Reflections in Photoshop

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Step 1: Selecting your photo

When making reflections in Photoshop, it’s important to start out by choosing a photo that’s suitable. Not every photo will look good or natural when you make a mirror image of it.

When you’re looking for a photo to use with this technique, think about how it will look. You ideally want to use a photo where the main subject has a distinct line along where the reflection will appear.

Open your photo in Photoshop. You may need to crop the bottom of the photo to create a clean line where the reflection can be placed.

Step 2: Adjust the canvas size

You need to adjust the canvas size to make room for the reflection you will create.

Go to the top menu and select Image->Canvas Size. In the pop-up that appears in the box next to the Height option, click the drop-down and choose Percent. Make the Height percentage 200.

Click the top center of the Anchor options grid. This will force the new canvas space you are creating to appear underneath your photo.

Click OK.

Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 3: Duplicate the layer

In the Layers panel, unlock the base layer. To do this, click on the padlock icon. Now you can duplicate this layer by going to the top menu and selecting Layer->New->Layer Via Copy.

Convert both the layers to Smart Objects by right-clicking on each of them and selecting Convert To Smart Object. Now rename both layers to make it easier to keep track of which one is which.

Reflections in Photoshop

Step 4: Position the new layer

Drag the new layer to the space you created under your main image.

Now you need to flip the lower layer. This will be your reflection. From the top menu select Edit->Transform->Flip Vertical and press Enter.

Reflections in Photoshop

Step 5: Add blur to the reflection layer

With your reflection layer selected, from the top menu select Filter->Blur->Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 90-degrees and use the Distance slider to add a suitable amount of blur. How much you add is up to you and will vary depending on the resolution of the photo you are working with. In my example, I have set it to 30.

You may need to reposition your reflection layer by nudging it up slightly if a gap has appeared between your two layers.

Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 6: Make a new file

Duplicate your file by going to the top menu and selecting Image->Duplicate. Crop the image so you are left only with the reflection.

Delete one layer so you are left with a blank canvas. Resize the canvas to 30%, otherwise, it will be too big to manage easily. Select the paint bucket and fill the image with black.

This file you have created will be added to the reflection layer to make it look more realistic like water.

Reflections in Photoshop

Step 7: Add blur and noise for texture

From the top menu select Filter->Noise->Add Noise. Make the amount 350% and check the boxes Uniform and Monochromatic. Click OK.

Now add some blur. Select Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur from the top menu and set the Radius to 1.5 pixels and click OK.

Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 8: Emboss your texture

In the Channels panel click on the Red channel.

Next, go to the top menu again and select Filter->Stylize->Emboss. Set the Angle to 90, the Height to 5, and the Amount to 500. Of course, you can experiment with any of these amounts. Click OK.

Now select the Green channel and Filter->Stylize->Emboss from the top menu. Set the Angle to 0, the Height to 5, and the Amount to 500. Click OK.

Turn on all the channels by clicking RGB. Go back to your Layers Panel, right-click the layer and Convert To Smart Object.

Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 9: Stretch the perspective of the distortion

Select Edit->Free Transform from the top menu. Right-click inside the image and select Perspective. Make sure you are zoomed out a long way so your image is small in the center of your monitor.

Click on one of the bottom corners of the frame and drag it out horizontally. This will stretch and distort the lower part of the texture. Don’t worry if it looks weird, once you incorporate it into your reflection it will make it look more natural.

Zoom back to 100%. Save this image as a .PSD where you can find it easily and name it something recognizable.

Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 10: Make an adjustment layer on your main image

Click on the reflection layer on your main image and duplicate it by pressing Ctrl (Cmd)+j on your keyboard. Name it “Reflection Copy.” With the new layer selected (which should be above the other reflection layer), from the top menu, choose Filter->Distort->Displace. Set the vertical and horizontal scales to about 10.

You may need to alter these if it does not look good, depending on your image size and resolution. Click OK.

From the window that opens, find and select the distortion image you just created and saved. This will use the texture image as a displacement layer. If the ripple effect is too large or too small, undo that step. Redo the step again, but this time choose a higher or lower number for the displacement scale.

Experiment with this until you are satisfied with the way it looks. It’s entirely up to your taste.

Reflections in Photoshop

Step 11: Adjust the reflection

With your Reflection Copy layer selected, click on the layer mask icon, which is at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Select the Brush tool with the color set to Black and a large brush size and Hardness of 0%.

From the options panel above your image, set the brush opacity to 20%. Select your layer mask, not the main reflection layer. Paint from side to side over the top half of your reflection layer, where it meets the top layer until it looks natural.

What you are doing is erasing 20% of the distortion each time you paint. You want to make the reflection look smoother in what appears to be the distance.

Reflections in Photoshop

Step 12: Merge the reflection layers

Select both the reflection layers in the Layers Panel. Right-click on one of them and select Merge Layers. Make sure your main image is not selected. You should now have one reflection layer and your main layer.

Step 13: Darken the reflection

With the reflection layer selected, go to your top menu and choose Image->Adjustments->Curves. Click in the middle of the curves adjustment line and drag it down to darken the reflection. Adjust it until it looks natural. A reflection in water is typically darker than the scene it’s reflecting.

Reflections in Photoshop

Conclusion

Follow through these steps a few times and experiment with the variables. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Your personal preference and the photos you choose will determine the outcome.

You will find reflections in Photoshop look better on some images than on others.

Try out this technique for making reflections in Photoshop, and share your images with us in the comments below!

The post Create Awesome Reflections in Photoshop with Ease (Step-by-Step Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released

The post News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released

ACDSee has just released its latest post-processing software, Photo Studio Ultimate 2020. ACDSee’s software is meant to pose a challenge to some of the big-name programs out there, most notably Lightroom and Photoshop, though Ultimate 2020 is somewhat unique in that it aims to take on both programs at once.

While Adobe’s Lightroom plus Photoshop package has remained a favorite of photographers over the past few years, programs like ACDSee continue to give them a run for their money. Especially when you can do with a single program that Lightroom and Photoshop can only do in conjunction.

ACDSee Ultimate 2020 isn’t just a full-fledged photo editor (like Photoshop), nor does it confine itself to digital asset management with moderate processing capabilities (like Lightroom). Instead, it offers both file management and advanced, layer-based editing for those photographers who’d like to keep their workflow all in one place.

ACDSee Ultimate 2020 promises a host of new and upgraded features in order to improve both organization and editing workflows, including:

  • Enhanced face detection features, which allow you to easily find photos of specific people within the ACDSee database
  • An HDR function that allows you to combine several exposures to create one high-quality HDR image
  • Focus stacking capabilities, in order to produce a deep depth of field image out of several photos focused at different distances
  • And a Blended Clone tool, which allows you to quickly and efficiently remove distracting areas from your photos for a seamless result

ACDSee Ultimate 2020 also offers RAW support for a slew of additional cameras, including Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, and Canon bodies.

The most unfortunate thing about ACDSee Ultimate 2020 is that it’s only available for Windows. But if you’re already a PC user, there’s a lot to love about this program. You can download a copy of ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 for $150 USD, or for $69 per year as part of a subscription program.

Now I’d like to know your thoughts:

Are you planning on purchasing ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020? If not, what is your favorite photo editor, and why? Do you think that single programs like ACDSee will ever be able to take the reigns from Lightroom and Photoshop?

The post News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format?

The post HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

HEIF files

During a recent meeting about the recently announced Canon 1D X Mark III with Digital Camera World, Canon product intelligence specialist David Parry dropped a bombshell:

“We’ve moved on to HEIF files,” Parry said.

While Canon later walked back the statement, claiming that they “have no plans to abandon JPEGs,” but instead wish to “give users a new image option” in the Canon 1D X Mark III, the comment got plenty of people talking. And the reason is clear: If Canon is adopting HEIF files alongside its JPEGs, might we soon see the company scrap JPEGs entirely? And what about Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Olympus?

In other words, does Canon’s move to HEIF files signal the end of JPEGs?

For photographers who have been using JPEGs for decades, this might come as a shock. While HEIF files have been in the media for the past couple of years, ever since Apple added them to their iOS devices and Macs, no major camera manufacturer has adopted HEIF files – until now.

And while some users may dismiss HEIF files as another overhyped “JPEG killer” which will disappear in a few years, there is reason to believe that HEIF files are here to stay.

To understand why, let’s take a closer look at HEIF files and what they offer over JPEGs.

HEIF files vs JPEGs

The biggest difference between HEIF files and JPEGs is their respective file sizes:

JPEGs are small, but HEIF files are tiny.

In fact, HEIF files are often billed as half the size of JPEGs, but with the same (or better) quality. This means that you can store far more HEIF files on a device than you can JPEGs, without a loss in quality.

How is this possible?

Simply put, compression has improved. JPEG files debuted way back in the 1990s, whereas HEIF is a relatively new image file format. So when it comes to compression, what a JPEG can do, a HEIF file can do better.

And this results in smaller files with limited quality loss.

Compression isn’t the only area where HEIF files shine. HEIF files can also store more color information than JPEGs, which means that your HEIF photos will look better, and can avoid the unpleasant color-banding effects that sometimes come with JPEGs.

And what about compatibility? Surely JPEGs are far more established than HEIF files, given their universal popularity?

Back in 2017, when Apple adopted HEIF files, this was a real discussion. Some applications couldn’t deal with HEIF files, and that was a problem.

But now, two years later…

HEIF files can be used by pretty much any program you’d need. The compatibility issues are gone, and we’re left with a file format that just seems all-around superior to JPEGs.

So while JPEGs are the file format of the present and the past, HEIF files are likely the format of the future.

Now I’d like to know your thoughts:

Do you think HEIF files will replace JPEGs? And how do you feel about this change? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And respond to our poll regarding whether you’re happy about the shift to HEIF files: 

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

The post HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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