Author: Rod Lawton

Give your images Clarity in Lightroom

The technical explanation of Lightroom’s Clarity slider is  that it increases localised contrast to make objects, shapes and outlines stand out more clearly. The pictorial effect is that your images gain extra ‘punch’, but without pushing the overall contrast levels too high. It’s especially effective when the lighting is quite flat and lifeless, and I’m going to use it on this shot I took during an early-morning dog walk one autumn. The frost on the grass, the early morning light and the faint pink tinge in the sky made a wonderful picture… or at least they would have done...

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Capture One Pro 7’s offline mode springs a surprise

Capture One Pro 7 is a big upgrade on the previous version, and one of the biggest additions is the built-in library function. It now works just like Adobe Lightroom, storing all your images in a searchable database, complete with Lightroom-style Collections and Smart Collections. You can also use it in offline mode. This means that you keep the database on your computer’s internal hard disk, but all your high-res images can be stored on an external drive. Capture One will store previews of your photos in its internal database, so you can browse, and organise your photos even...

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Layers without Photoshop: Perfect Layers in action

It’s all very well talking about life after Photoshop, and there are plenty of programs and plug-ins which can do magical things with your images… but you still need Photoshop (or Elements) to create layer montages. Don’t you? Actually, no. OnOne’s Perfect Layers, part of its Perfect Photo Suite, can manage layers, and layer masks too. Here’s a quick guide to how it works, using a landscape shot on Dartmoor at the end of the day. The landscape is fine, but the sky is blown out, so I need to merge in a new sky. 01 Add the sky...

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Better sunsets with Color Efex Pro Bi-Color Filters

In the days of film you could rely on emulsions like Fuji Velvia and Kodachrome to exaggerate and intensify the colours of a sunset, but today’s digital cameras deliver a more accurate rendition… which can also be quite disappointing. This picture is a good example. Admittedly, the conditions weren’t ideal for sunsets – it was one of those days where the sun goes down without a whole lot of colour. A meteorologist might be able to explain why this happens – it’s probably to do with dust in the atmosphere and light scatter. In any event, this shot needs...

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Lightroom 5’s new Upright tool

Lightroom looks and feels a lot like Lightroom 4, but there are some key new features. One of these is the new Upright tool, which can automatically correct perspective problems in shots of buildings and other rectangular objects. The first thing is that this tool is easy to miss! It’s been integrated into the Lens Correction panel in the Develop module, rather than getting a tool or a panel of its own. The second is that it works really well! It looks for lines in your image which it thinks should be horizontal or vertical, then applies the necessary...

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