Author: Rod Lawton

Straighten up your shots with the DxO Force Rectangle tool

DxO Optics Pro uses custom-made lens correction profiles to fix the distortion issues inherent in nearly all lenses, but it goes further than that – it can also correct the perspective distortion created when you photograph a rectangular object at a slight angle, thanks to the DxO Force Rectangle tool . You often don’t notice this kind of misalignment at the time, only later on when you’re looking at the picture on your computer. • Note that the latest versions of DxO Optics Pro do not have perspective correction built in – you now have to buy the separate...

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How to use the the Lightroom Snapshot feature to compare editing techniques

If you’ve used Photoshop and Elements, you’ll probably have noticed the History palette. This keeps track of everything you’ve done since you opened the image, so if something goes wrong you can backtrack to an earlier state. Photoshop goes one better than Elements by adding a Snapshot feature, where you can separately record specific image states, then go back to these snapshots later on rather than having to trawl through your entire history. But the Lightroom Snapshot feature beats them both. The problem with Photoshop and Elements is that the history (and snapshots) are lost when you close the...

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Batch process your photos with the Aperture Lift and Stamp tool

Sometimes you can come back from a photo shoot with a whole bunch of pictures taken at the wrong settings – or at least pictures which are all going to need the same adjustments. Fixing each one individually will prove extremely time-consuming, especially when it’s the same set of tweaks every time. After all, you’ll almost certainly want all the photos in the batch to retain a consistent look. At the same time, it’s hardly worth setting up a custom preset effect for a set of adjustments you may only want once. The solution is Aperture’s Lift and Stamp...

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Discover the power of the Silver Efex Pro 2 soft contrast control

The Soft Contrast slider is one of the new features introduced in Silver Efex Pro 2, and its effects are quite different to the regular Contrast control. At first it can seem quite difficult to work out a use for it, but you’ll soon discover when you start digging around in the presets that it keeps on cropping up. So here’s an example where its effects can be seen very clearly. I call this my ‘Stalingrad’ picture because as soon as I saw this scene it reminded me of the desolation I’d seen in photographs I’d seen of the...

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How to boost contrast in Photoshop Elements with overlay mode

Photoshop Elements does not have the curves feature found in Photoshop itself and many other image-editing programs, and many people cite this as one of its limitations. I don’t really agree. There’s always more than one way to do anything, including modifying the contrast, and I find this ‘overlay’ method so quick and useful I often use it in Photoshop in preference to the regular curves tool. I’ve started with this shot of a sticker stuck to a car park wall. I’d no idea what it was, but it looked interesting (it turns out it’s a promo for a...

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