Author: Rod Lawton

Serif Affinity Photo 1.5 review

Serif continues to surprise photographers and creatives with its Affinity apps, especially Serif Affinity Photo 1.5. Five years in the making, it was built from the ground up to be a fast, powerful, professional rival to Adobe Photoshop, but sold with a regular ‘perpetual’ licence and at a fraction of the original cost of Photoshop. Apple was impressed enough to award it Best Mac App of 2015. Version 1.5 brings a substantial price reduction, down £10/$10 to £29.99 in the UK and £39.99 in the US. But that’s not the only bombshell. Launched as a Mac-only app with no immediate...

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Saturday Spotlight: Black and white filters

Why would you use colour filters when you’re shooting in black and white? It’s so that you can control the way different colours translate into shades of grey. For example, if you shoot through a red filter, it blocks colours other than red, so that opposite colours, like blue skies, for example, come out much darker in the black and white image. Red filters give very dramatic dark skies (as long as they’re blue, not a neutral grey) and create strong contrast in bright sunlight, yellow filters make blue skies darker and foliage lighter (foliage contains a lot of...

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Friday photo news: Serif Affinity Photo 1.5 for Mac and Windows

Affinity Photo 1.5 is launched This happened fast! We only reported on the public beta last week, but now Serif Affinity Photo 1.5 is here, and there are two major stories. The first is that it’s now available for both Windows and Mac users – previously this was a Mac-only program – and the second is that Serif has dropped the price from £39.99 to £29.99 which, for a program with this kind of power, is just plain crazy. There are lots of new features in version 1.5 too, including full HDR merging tools, 36-degree image-editing, recordable macros, batch...

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8 free Lightroom presets part 3: Mistical

Part 3: ‘Mistical’ Welcome to part 2 of an 8-part series on Lightroom presets and how they work. To go with this I’ve created 8 free Lightroom presets you can download right now. Click here for a Dropbox link. You don’t need to have a Dropbox account – just click the ‘Download’ button at the top right. Depending on your browser, the presets will download either as a folder, or as a zip file you have to unzip into a folder. Once you’ve done that, launch Lightroom, open an image in Develop mode and then right-click anywhere in the Presets panel and choose...

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Shadow and Highlight recovery in Lightroom

It’s very easy to lose extreme shadow or highlight detail when you’re shooting high-contrast scenes, and that’s one of the reasons for shooting raw files – they contain additional highlight detail, especially, that you may be able to bring out during processing. Shadow and highlight recovery is not always possible, but I usually reckon that decent cameras have about 1EV of extra highlight detail you can bring back in Lightroom, Capture One Pro or any other decent raw converter. At the same time you’ll often discover a lot more detail in the shadows than you ever suspected existed. Here, the...

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About this site

Rod_Lawton_circle Photoshop is not the only image-editor in the world. It's not even the best. This site is where the alternatives get a proper shout. Rod Lawton, Head of Testing, Future plc Photography Division

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