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Mel Martin
Tucson, AZ

Articles written by Mel Martin

Skylum Now Adds Even More AI to Luminar Neo

Just a few weeks ago, Skylum added GenErase to the Neo platform, a smart AI erase and fill feature. Now, they are adding the second part of their trilogy of AI tech: this one is GenSwap.

Here Comes Another Low-Priced, High-Quality Astrophotography Telescope

It hasn't been long since I reviewed that Dwarf II portable telescope/camera combo. I found it reasonably priced, ($595 with filters, tripod, extra battery and carry bag), easy to use, and something that was going to excite people of all ages who have longed to take good astrophotographs without spending a fortune or having to learn a lot of complicated science and processing skills.

Luminar Neo Adds Generative AI to Its Photo Editing Software

It was inevitable considering the evolution of photo editing, so Skylum is adding key AI features to its very popular Luminar Neo editing software. The new features include GenErase, GenExpand, and GenSwap. The new tools will be released one by one throughout October, November, and December, starting with GenErase on October 26, 2023.

Radiant Photo Mobile Gives You a Powerful Editor in Your Pocket

We've looked at the Radiant Photo Editor for Mac and PC in the past. It was created by some professional photographers to speed your editing process by making some smart decisions about your image and making intelligent changes. It was infinitely variable, and some good improved photos could result from the process.

We Review The Sigma 14mm f/1.4 DG DN Art: Astrophotographers Will Fall in Love

I've been through a lot of fast and wide lenses for my nighttime photography — cheap bargains, expensive highly touted lenses. But I've never been as happy as I am with the Sigma 14mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens. Designed specifically for Milky Way and star field photography, it's by far the best lens I've used and evaluated.
Peakto Announces Luminar Neo Advanced Compatibility

Luminar Neo is one of my top editors, and Peakto is my very favorite cataloging app. Bringing the two together is a win-win for editors because one of the weaknesses of Neo is their catalog/database. It's been improved some, but it certainly can't compete with Lightroom or even Adobe Bridge.

The Dwarf II Smart Telescope Is One Amazing Gadget

I've been an amateur astronomer since I was around 11 years old. I had an uncle, a retired engineer, who had a small reflecting telescope, and when I saw Saturn for the first time I was hooked. Photography through a telescope came much later for me, and it was a very difficult undertaking in the film days. I remember taking some star shots to the drugstore for processing, and they told me they threw them away because there were just a bunch of white spots on them, and I should take better care to learn how to take pictures. Oh well.

DXO Is Back With a Solid Update to Nik Collection Version 6.3

I go way back with the Nik Tools software. I bought the set before Google snapped it up, then they let it sit virtually idle. DXO got it six years ago and have added their own deep knowledge of photo editing and, I think, fulfilled the dream of what the Nik Collection should be.

More Impressive AI Coming to Luminar Neo

I remember vividly in July of 2019 when Skylum announced Luminar 4, software that featured Sky Replacement. A ho-hum feature for some, it was seen as a major gift by many photographers who wanted an easy way to replace a bland or cloudless sky.

Astro Panel X Pro's Latest Version Should Please Astro and Landscape Photographers

I've taken a look at some earlier iterations of Astro Panel over the years, a plug-in designed for automating and enhancing both astrophotography and landscape photos. I found it a powerful addition to my editing arsenal, and it was easy to use but could do some very sophisticated editing. This new version from photographer Angelo Perrone adds more than 80 new astrophotography and landscape functions, as well as some features to support portrait editing.

Is Photography Dead? The Relentless March of AI

With Adobe's latest beta offering what they call Generative Fill, we're given a very powerful feature that lets us create or undo what is in our images. And I think features like Generative Fill are causing another round of soil searching, praise, and panic from photographers. I've tried to put my own thoughts in order, so I'm humbly sharing them, even though my thoughts will continue to evolve, or maybe devolve. I also wanted to create a forum in comments for your more recent thoughts as AI becomes more and more mainstream.
Nik Collection 6 Is Out With Some Solid Updates

Today, DxO is releasing a revamped collection of editing tools that works as either a Photoshop plugin or as a standalone app. They also can function with Lightroom Classic, Affinity Photo and, of course, DxO PhotoLab.

Mylio Photos Is Relaunching as a Free App

Mylio Photos is about to be reborn as a free app with some options that will have a price attached. Mylio Photos is a complete photo management solution that allows users to easily collect, organize, browse, search, and share their media files, including photos, videos, and documents.

Luminar Neo Delivers a Stealth Update With Some Powerful Features

Current Luminar Neo users are in for a treat the next time they open the app, which has quietly hit version 1.8.0. Some of the updates are evolutionary, and there's the usual gaggle of bug fixes, but there are some really nice updates here that will please Neo users.

Peakto Integrates Pixelmator Pro, With DXO Links on the Way

I gave a favorable review to Peakto a couple of weeks ago, and one thing I noticed is that they do frequent updates, which is a positive thing in my view. Bug fixes and new features are frequent. Today, they've offered an update to Peakto that includes integration with Pixelmator Pro, a popular photo editor. Peakto, please note, is a Mac-only application.