Articles written by Mel Martin
Have you noticed it's been almost impossible to miss all the discussions, arguments, praise, and ads about Skylum's new AI-based software editor, LuminarAI? It's available for purchase now, and people will get a chance to see how it measures up to their expectations.
Has it been 25 years? Amazing. I remember when Nils Kokemohr founded Nik Multimedia in 1995, which later became Nik Software in 2006. The package included plugins for color management and editing, another for enhancing or creating black and white images, sharpening tools, and later HDR software to help photographers increase the dynamic range of their images.
Photoshop has a lot of power, but for many editors, some of the features are arcane, involve multiple steps, or are too complicated to bother with. That's where Photoshop Extensions come in. It's an architecture that Adobe provides that falls between a plug-in and a Photoshop Action. As a result, some experienced Photoshop users with programming skills have created some really useful extensions that are useful to both beginner editors and pros.
Serious and pro photographers can't help but notice that AI is creeping into our craft. Maybe "creeping in" is not the correct metaphor. It's actually rushing toward just about every software application we use. Luminar was an early adopter, and their upcoming Luminar AI, well, it has AI in its name.
Today, DxO is taking the wraps off their latest update to their PhotoLab series, PhotoLab 4. It's a major update of its multiple award-winning photo-editing software. This latest version features DxO DeepPRIME, a revolutionary demosaicing and denoising technology based on artificial intelligence and trained with deep learning.
I took a look at Topaz DeNoise AI earlier this year and found it effective at removing noise without killing the details in your images. My only complaint was that it was not a speed demon. On some large images, I had to wait almost a minute before the image was cleaned up. Is that better in the latest version?
Luminar software from Skylum has had a tremendous impact with many photo editors, bringing a lot of Photoshop and Lightroom-esque features along with some one-of-a-kind capabilities like one-click sky replacement and AI-based features for landscape and portrait photographers.
How often is it that you miss that great selfie expression, kid photo, or sports play because you didn't have your camera running at the right time? It happens to me a lot, but a new app for iOS and very soon coming to Android called SnipBack has some good ideas to fix this issue, and it makes me think that our pro gear could learn a few lessons here.
Last year, I took a look at Astro Panel, a Photoshop plugin designed to enhance Milky Way and other astronomical images. At the time, I was happy with what it did, but the author had a security scheme that forced you to log into the app every couple of weeks, which I thought was burdensome and downright silly.
I'm mainly an Arizona based golden time landscape photographer, and I also mix in Milky Way and telescope based astronomical photography of galaxies and nebulas. On June 5th, a lightning storm struck the Catalina Mountains near Tucson, and almost literally, all hell broke loose.
Mac users with a need to migrate image catalogs to another hosting app have found that process difficult to impossible. Help is here, in the form of a new app called Avalanche Unlimited from CYME Software. The app can deal with migration from Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, Luminar 4, Capture One, and Apple Photos. The latter two are coming soon as a free update.
It was about a year ago I reviewed the NIK Collection 2, a rebirth of popular Adobe plugins that laid fallow while its new owner, Google, tried to figure out what to do with them until DXO bought the software in 2017 and continually upgraded the collection. They have now added a feature that is really going to excite photographers.
Like most of you, I'm cooped up at home other than occasional forage for groceries. As a landscape photographer in Arizona, there's plenty of landscape, but I'm doing my best to abide by the stay at home rules. So basically, the landscapes are in one place, I'm looking at 4 walls.