Software Reviews

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Jack Neubart  |  Jan 27, 2017  |  0 comments

I’ve worked with all the popular film emulators and black-and-white conversion plug-ins, looking for the one that met my workflow and esthetic requirements. After countless hours, I’m still not fully convinced of their efficacy as such. Still, they are fun to use and do fill a niche. So far, I’ve found Alien Skin’s Exposure X2 does the most convincing job so that I feel comfortable enough within my own alien skin—see what I did there?—that I’ll continue to use it, so to speak.

Steve Bedell  |  Dec 06, 2016  |  0 comments

It appears our friends at Anthropics Technology are at it again! Not content with software that can practically take the face of Fido and turn it into Angelina Jolie using PortraitPro, the London-based company has introduced PortraitPro Body, an image editing program that can potentially transform that wimpy teenager down the block into Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, or add curves to any woman that would make a Kardashian green with envy.

Joe Farace  |  Nov 08, 2016  |  0 comments

Proving you can, in fact, change your tune; Paul Simon revised the lyrics to “Kodachrome” when performing the song in Central Park in 1991 to “everything looks better in black and white.” Picky photographers insist “monochrome” is more precise because it covers images made using sepia, blue, or other tones, while images using only shades of gray are black and white.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 06, 2016  |  0 comments

The monochrome mode on most digital cameras is a convenience that is best avoided. Conventional wisdom says that it’s far, far better to shoot Raw and convert to monochrome—or at least to start with a color JPEG. But Fujifilm suggests that their ACROS film simulation mode might even top the best Raw converters. Does it? 

George Schaub  |  Sep 13, 2016  |  0 comments

Creating a web page for your images these days is fairly easy, and there are numerous web apps available that offer a wide variety of colors and backgrounds. But organizing your images before you even consider the template (or “skin” as it is called in the trade) is perhaps the biggest challenge, given the proliferation of images we all have made with various cameras and mobile devices stored on flash drives, hard drives, and even memory cards.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Aug 25, 2016  |  0 comments

The moon was full last week, and two lunatic things happened to friends of mine. One got a bad case of ransomware on her Mac (yes, that’s Mac as in MacBook Air). The other had a microSD card self-destruct in his Android cell phone. Bad things happen in threes and, oh yes, I hit a curb and blew out a tire.

The difference was this: I had a spare in my trunk. I didn’t wait until the curb bit me to prepare for the disaster. My two friends? Well…

George Schaub  |  Aug 23, 2016  |  1 comments

The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines recently convened for their General Assembly to vote for the best photo and imaging products launched by the industry in the last 12 months. The voting took place during the General Assembly that was held in spring 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Aug 05, 2016  |  0 comments

Adobe Photoshop Elements is a budget-friendly image editing package that’s designed for casual users and amateurs. Under the hood, however, there are dozens of advanced features and hidden capabilities that are accessible via plug-ins. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could unlock, say, 130 of those features with one add-on product that costs less than fifty bucks? Then here’s good news: you can. 

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jun 16, 2016  |  0 comments

The folks who brought you PortraitPro, the software that turns average looking men and women into superstars (or as John Oliver might say, “Turns ones into tens faster than a South American counterfeiter”) now brings you LandscapePro, a similar application you should think of as “cosmetic surgery for Mother Nature.” But is this a case of “liking what you get,” or “getting exactly what you like?” That, my friends, is the $59 question

George Schaub  |  Jun 07, 2016  |  1 comments

Digital Ice and similar dust and scratch cleanup tools for scanning color negative and non-Kodachrome slides was a boon for those looking to archive/digitize their film files. This software/hardware solution worked with numerous scanners by isolating the offending dust and scratches on a separate infrared channel that it then dumped when the final scan was made.

Seth Shostak  |  May 31, 2016  |  0 comments

Panoramas are easy to wish for, but, until recently, were not easy to get. To shoot high-quality panos often required special cameras that could rotate their lens while simultaneously advancing an aperture slit across a curved film plane.

Howard Millard  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments

HDR, as most photographers know, stands for High Dynamic Range, allowing you to capture a wider range of highlight and shadow detail than you could in a single frame. You create an HDR image by shooting several identically framed shots of the same scene at different exposures, often with three brackets such as -2, 0, and +2 EV. The newest kid on the HDR block is Aurora HDR Pro from Macphun, currently for Mac only, but with a Windows version in the works.

Steve Bedell  |  Mar 11, 2016  |  0 comments

The first thing I thought when I saw this new update to PortraitPro was “What happened to Versions 13 and 14? I’m still on Version 12 and never saw anything about any other updates.” That’s because there aren’t any. Maybe Anthropics Software is superstitious about the number 13 and just decided to skip 14 as well. Who knows! We’re on to PortraitPro 15 now.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Dec 11, 2015  |  0 comments

Just in time to add some nostalgic film effects to our holiday photos, Alien Skin has released Exposure X, a greatly enhanced refinement of its popular imaging software package. In its latest incarnation, Exposure X is designed to deliver image organization and editing—and it does an elegant job of both. But its greatest strength, as I see it, still lies in accurately emulating the look of film of all types, vintage and modern. Here is a close up view of how that works.

Joe Farace  |  Nov 06, 2015  |  0 comments

There’s more to black-and-white photography than simply a lack of color. Maybe we wouldn’t feel this way if the first photographs were made in color but that didn’t happen and I grew up admiring the works of W. Eugene Smith and other photojournalists who photographed people at work, play, or being themselves in glorious black and white.

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