Late last month I did a post on my ongoing problems with Adobe and the Creative Cloud software and apps. I sometimes find Photoshop unreliable, as well as Bridge. I've also had numerous crashes with the Creative Cloud app too. There were a lot of good comments on my piece, and I also attracted some of the good folks at Adobe who were anxious to weigh in on my experience, which I welcomed.
Articles written by Mel Martin
Photoshop and I go way back. I had the first version in 1990, and it has served me well as a photo editor for both my landscape and deep sky work. Over the last couple of years, though, every time I use Photoshop or Lightroom in their Creative Cloud versions I can't help thinking something is wrong.
If you spend a lot of time under the night sky, you already understand the challenges: weather, setting up in the dark, and processing. Astro Panel 2.0 is a nifty Photoshop Plug-in that can automatically ease a lot of processing challenges and greatly improve your night sky photos.
I thought I'd seen iPhone camera capabilities stretched just about as far as they could go with add-on apps, but I was wrong. Focos for iOS does a bunch of interesting things, including real bokeh effects, focusing a photo after shooting it which mimics light field photography, and selective diaphragms to give you different bokeh spot effects and 3D lighting, far more powerful and sophisticated than what Apple provides.
This is a really good idea, and as far as I know it's an original one. The folks at Skylum, who have given us the Luminar and Aurora image editors, are today offering AirMagic, a Mac or PC app designed to apply AI (artificial intelligence) to any drone or aerial-based image you drop into the app, either a single image or a bunch of images. The app will be released March 21, but I got an early review copy and I'll share my impressions below.
I do mostly outdoor photography and anyone who does this can get bitten by the night sky bug. All those beautiful stars and the dramatic Milky Way beckon, but for many beginners it seems an impossible task. They think of needing tracking mounts, ultra-long exposures, and complicated processing. The good news is, it's not all that hard to get started with a fairly modest investment.
There was quite a bit of buzz about the Arsenal Smart Camera Assistant some months ago. It's a hardware device that can plug into many DSLR or mirrorless cameras (though there are some important exceptions which I'll detail later.) It's designed to automate a lot of shooting situations, and make AI based decisions about camera settings to get you the best possible images.
I'm a big user of Content Aware Fill in Photoshop. It's hard to take a photo and not want to remove something. But if I'm shooting with my smartphone, I usually don't want to transfer an image to my computer for serious editing unless I have to. My smartphone photos are usually casual and quick, but often retouching is needed on those photos too.
The long awaited version 3 of Luminar from Skylum arrived this month. It held the promise of new features, and digital assets management tools (DAM) that would rival Lightroom. That's important, because some percentage of photographers don't like the Adobe subscription model, and while powerful, Lightroom's Library management can be a pain. Of course others love it, and would never switch.
Living in the Southwest, I'm always out with my camera, looking for that great new vista just beyond the next curve in the road. For years, I didn't pay much attention to photo apps, because I was seeing stupid apps that put hats on people or distorted their faces, or worse.