Author: Rod Lawton

How to get the most from the Capture One High Dynamic Range controls

Capture One Pro 7 is not just an excellent RAW converter. Like Adobe Lightroom it has some quite sophisticated adjustment controls. In particular, the Capture One High Dynamic Range sliders are very good at extracting the maximum latent highlight and shadow detail in RAW files. This is not HDR in the usual sense, where you combine shots at different exposures – it’s simply a way of extracting the maximum tonal range from a single image. Capture One Pro is already very good at extracting shadow detail, and this example shows just how much more there is available to be...

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Better landscapes with Color Efex Pro’s Contrast Color Range tool

Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4, now owned by Google, is a single plug-in that consists of a huge library of special effects – these are displayed in a long vertical list on the left side of the screen. And in true Nik (now Google) style, it shows you how your pictures can look before you even start to work on them. The Contrast Color Range tool is one of my favourite effects because of what it can do for your landscapes. Like many Nik (now Google) effects, it has little to do with conventional Photoshop processes, but operates...

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Dramatic skies with Silver Efex Pro 2

I love Silver Efex Pro 2. It’s a black and white photography plug-in developed by Nik Software and now part of the Google Nik Collection. What makes it great is that it recaptures the look and feel of traditional darkroom black and white in a way that other plug-ins don’t. The preset effects down the left side give you a whole range of ‘looks’ which you can apply with a single click and then modify using the tools panel on the right. I’ll show you a simple example with this statue of Sir Francis Drake on Plymouth Hoe, UK....

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It’s the end of Photoshop as we know it!

On May 6th 2013 Adobe announced Photoshop CC, the replacement for Photoshop CS6. Adobe also announced that Photoshop CC would be a subscription-only application provided as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud online ecosystem. This means CS6 is the last version of Photoshop to be offered with a ‘perpetual licence’, and from now on you’ll have to rent your copy of Photoshop instead of buying it. You can click on the image above to visit Adobe’s Photoshop CC web page, or click here to see the official press release. The move has already created a storm of protest amongst photographers and the implications are far-reaching. I’ll be looking at these more closely in future posts, but that’s not only what this new website is about. Life after Photoshop started out as a simple idea, a website for photographers who don’t want to use Photoshop any more, perhaps prompted by Adobe’s new business model, and who don’t know where to turn to find equivalent tools from other publishers. So I’m going to be taking a look at all the possible Photoshop alternatives on the market and, at the same time, showing how many of them offer a wider range of tools, greater innovation, smarter ideas or just better ways of working than that great old grandaddy of image-editing that we’ve taken for granted for so long. That’s it for now. My magazine...

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