Saturday, March 25, 2017

Aurora HDR 2017 offer

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Macphun produce a range of creative software products for the Mac such as Luminar, Noiseless, Tonality and Aurora. The latest version of the latter, Aurora HDR 2017 is now available. At the moment you can get it along with Trey Ratcliff's Complete HDR Tutorial 3.0 with 55% off. For UK buyers that's just £84.

Trey Ratcliff is a respected travel photographer who is well-known for his HDR images. You can read more about him here. It's worth visiting his site has he has free HDR tutorials and plenty of reviews and tips. He has also created several presets for Aurora and now Aurora HDR 2017.

So, what can you do with Aurora HDR 2017? Well, we have all taken photographs and felt somewhat disappointed with the results. Somehow they don't seem as real what we saw through our own eyes at the time. Often our reaction is to reach for Photoshop (or any other image editing software) and try and improve the digital file. Now, how that goes depends on our level of expertise with the software in question. However, even if we are very competent at image editing, it can be very time consuming to get even close to what we feel is the right image. Software like Aurora HDR 2017 helps to make the whole process simpler and more importantly, faster.

You can use just one image and let the software does its magic or give it additional images of the same scene at different exposures to arrive at HDR version of your image. If you are not sure what an HDR image is, here is an example of the difference it makes:

Some people don't like HDR images because they seem, well a bit too realistic. However, you can adjust the settings easily to have a more subtle result. Bear in mind too that the software has over 100 different tools you can use to get just the effect you want, from either a single image or multiple bracketed images. You can use the software alone or as a plugin for Photoshop or Lightroom.

Also, if you purchase now, you will get Trey Ratcliff's tutorials fro free. Included is over ten hours of instruction, some of Trey's RAW images and 5 bonus videos.


Affiliate declaration: I am an affiliate of the developers. If you click on the link above and purchase Aurora HDR 2017, you won't be charged anything extra but you will be supporting this blog. I only choose to be an affiliate of those products I actually use and when reviewing products I always give my own experience and honest opinion.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Photolemur 2.0 coming!




Photolemur is a photo editor with a difference. It uses artificial intelligence and, say it's developers,  a bit of magic! You load the photos, Photolemur does the rest. After 15 months of development and with the help of more than 40 000 beta testers, Photolemur 2.0 is about to go live. Photolemur 2.0 will be available at the end of March but the new website will be available from the 25th of March. Join the revolution! Visit the website now.

You can purchase Photolemur 1.0 (Mac) now for just $39 (about £31.15 or 36.17 EUR). If you are a Windows user or wish to wait for version 2.0, visit the site now and register for news and updates. The new version will be only available via a subscription model. Photolemur 2.0 will work on a subscription model. During the first month, it will be available on an annual subscription only, at a discounted price. The price with the discount will be about $2.99/month.

Affiliate declaration: I am an affiliate of the developers. If you click on the link above and purchase Photolemur, you won't be charged anything extra but you will be supporting this blog. I only choose to be an affiliate of those products I actually use and when reviewing products I always give my own experience and honest opinion.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The war-weary British Tommy



This is an interpretation, of sorts, of the sculpture at Seaham, of a British Tommy, by local artist Ray Lonsdale. It sits on the seafront at Seaham in Country Durham to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. It was erected in 2014 and was, I believe, meant to be a temporary installation. However, it was still there in 2016 when I took some photos of it. As it weighs 1.2 tonnes and is made of metal I can't see it ever being moved!

Its meant to represent the weariness of war, or even post-traumatic stress (combat stress) and is inspired by the story of a local man who served in the Great War. 

On the day I tool my photos it was a very windy and cloudy day, somewhat bleak. I was quite moved by the sculpture on that windswept seafront and it brought back memories of my two grandfathers, who both fought in and were wounded, in the Great War. Both had traumatic experiences of the war, though they spoke little of it, it nevertheless had left visible and mental scars on them which even I as a young child could perceive.

The photo is a composite of two images taken on the same day in the same general location. I combined them by removing the original sky and replacing it with another one taken just up the coast. I then edited them in Photoshop before finishing things off in Luminar. If you would like to know more about combat stress and support the work of an excellent charity supporting those who have served and suffer from combat stress, why not check out http://combatstress.org.uk.

Note: The link to Macphun, creators of Luminar and other great software, is an affiliate link. By clicking on it, you will be helping me in a small way to cover the costs of this blog.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Behance page

A lot of creative types, of which I suppose I am one, use Adobe Creative Cloud. As a user, you get a free Behance account and a free site as part of Adobe Portfolio. As I am not a working professional (such as designer, photographer or artist) I have tended to neglect my Adobe Portfolio site and Behance account. However, in an effort to be more focused I have decided to pay more time and attention to both. As a result of this process, I have decided to make my Adobe Portfolio (and Behance page) my primary repository for my photography. Likewise, I have decided to make my blog here on Blogger my sole blog on all things related to photography. I will also be doing some archiving of my other blogs on Blogger too as I don't have the time to maintain lots of separate blogs.

My current site at www.newbeltane.net will become a business site for my soon to be launched web design and hosting agency.

Behance is a great way to discover the creative works of so many artists and I have started to use it much more than I did previously. I have been a member since 4th May 2010, so it will soon be 7 years! What have been doing in all that time? Good question but maybe I'll reflect on that in another post around the anniversary.

So, if you are interested in discovering what other artists are doing, why not visit my Behance page and use it as a starting-off point for your explorations. Check out the artists I follow (mainly photographers) as I think you might like their work too.

Macphun, developers of Luminar, Creative Kit and Aurora HDR, have a special promotion available at the moment. You get: Luminar,...