Author: Rod Lawton

How to dodge and burn in Aperture

Aperture can be used to create localised adjustments, but at first glance it doesn’t seem terribly effective. You can ‘brush in’ adjustments via a pop-up menu, but they aren’t particularly powerful and they do quickly get complicated as you to try to juggle additional tools in the adjustments panel on the left. But there is a simpler approach that can produce much more powerful results, and you can use this to ‘dodge and burn’ your images to make them much more effective. This used to be a standard technique in black and white, but it works just as well...

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Polar panoramas… on an iPhone?

Polar panoramas are ordinary landscapes turned into miniature spherical planets. Usually, you create them by first shooting a 360-degree panorama as a sequence of overlapping shots and then combining them using Photoshop or some dedicated panoramic stitching software. The polar panorama I’ve created here, though, was produced in about thirty seconds from a single everyday photograph using a £1.49 app on my iPhone. In fact I took the original picture my iPhone, too, and here it is. I didn’t have to use a picture shot on my iPhone, though. I can access my the photo library on my Mac...

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Using Perfect Photo Suite effects

I really like the idea of OnOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite. Thanks to its extensive layers, effects and focus tools, it seems to offer a lot of the features of Photoshop without having to get Photoshop itself. You can use it as a standalone app, or as a plug-in for Aperture or Lightroom (or Photoshop itself, for that matter). The only problem is that the Effects section of the suite is a bit of a disappointment compared to Google Color Efex Pro 4. I can’t find as many effects I like, and those I do find tend to be...

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Create a grainy black and white effect in Lightroom

You tend to think of Lightroom as an image cataloguing program with some image-editing tools thrown in, but actually Lightroom 5 can do many of the jobs that Photoshop can. It’s especially good at building effects from a series of different adjustments – and you can then save these effects as a preset you can apply to other images with a single click. Black and white is my favourite medium, and I’m going to use Lightroom to create a traditional high-contrast, grainy look. There are a number of steps, but you don’t have to follow all of them –...

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Create a one-click polariser effect in Aperture

Polarising filters are used by landscape photographers to intensify blue skies, and you can achieve a similar result in image-editing software, though by a slightly different route. To be honest, it’s not really possible  to properly duplicate the effects of a polarising filter in sofware because they use an optical phenomenon you can’t reproduce later – polarisers also subdue reflections in water and glossy surfaces. But you can intensify blue skies simply by adjusting that particular colour in the image. It sounds like it might involve complicated selections, but it’s actually a lot simpler than that. Aperture can isolate...

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About this site

Welcome to Life after Photoshop! It's a site dedicated to alternative image editors, photography techniques and camera gear.

Rod Lawton – photographer, writer and Head of Testing for Digital Camera, PhotoPlus and N-Photo at Future plc.