Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Switch to Aurora HDR for only $79 (with bonus items included)

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The folks at MacPhun are so serious about getting you to switch to Aurora HDR that they are almost giving it away! With this latest special offer, you can get Aurora HDR along with a bunch of bonus offerings for only $79 when you simply send a screen shot of the HDR software you are using today.

But what if I don't have any HDR software already?

Well guess what, you can download free HDR software from Google here, and odds are you are using a version of Photoshop or Lightroom which also features HDR support - so you have lots of products to choose from.

Ron’s Aurora Review & Tutorial

I’m no Trey Ratcliff, but I’ll give you my 2 cents in this 30 minute tutorial where I demonstrate how I use Aurora and my thoughts about it along the way:

The cool thing about this video is that there’s no smoke and mirrors and it’s done on a 2010 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and 512KB video, but it performs very well.

Where to learn more or order?

CLICK HERE to learn more about Aurora HDR and this special offer.

Want to know more about this product? Check out my full review and video tutorial.

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Topaz Labs Impression 2.0 - Faster & Better (Special Offer)

I liked the results I got from Topaz Labs Impression 1.0, but it was painfully slow on my system so I never took advantage of all it had to offer. I wanted to, but I just wasn’t that patient.

Thankfully, all of the goodness that was added to Topaz Labs Texture Effects has made its away into Impression 2.0 resulting in a much faster and user friendly product. Here’s a list of some of the improvements:

  • 30+ New effects - Impression 2 now comes with over 140 effects!
  • Larger Brush Panel - no more squinting to find the brush you need
  • Masking - Impression 2 now includes masking in application! Using a brush, color range, luminosity range, or spot masking, the masking panel even includes our color aware tool.
  • Topaz Community - now you can share your created effects with the other users of Impression 2 with a click of a button. Not seeing an effect you like? Browse the Topaz Community to surf an ocean of custom user made effects.
  • New brush customization options:
    • “Number of strokes” options to change the number of strokes applied to the image.
    • “Large Brush Volume” that adjust paint volume in large areas of color to help focus on the details.
    • “Stroke “Rotation Variation” to add randomness to your effect strokes.
    • Highlight and Shadow control in the lighting menu.
    • Support for High DPI (4k) monitors in Windows 7/8/10

Topaz Impression generates natural painterly effects by painting brush strokes one at a time. (It just does this very fast!) Impression can paint over 10,000 brushstrokes in less than a second, all while completely following your artistic direction, making truly personal art that you can call your own.

Impression 2 requires Windows 7+, Mac OSX 10.9+, and a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or higher.

CLICK HERE to learn more or order today, and don’t forget to visit my discount coupon codes page for the latest discount on ANY Topaz Labs products and more!

Now, for a limited, time Topaz Labs is offering Impression 2 for only $59.99 using the coupon code 2IMPRESS

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Monday, June 20, 2016

Over $3000 worth of products for $99 until July 4th–The Big Deal 2016

Click to learn more

In an industry flooded with training and software-  finding what works for your photography workflow can be time consuming and expensive.  Unless - you can cut through all of that with a bundle that gives you access to top notch training from industry experts and software for one low price. 

That’s exactly what you’ll get in The Big Deal 2016.

The largest online photography bundle is back- bringing you the best in education, presets and resources from top trainers like Joe McNally, Peter Hurley, Matt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion, Renee Robyn, Corey Barker, Tamara Lackey, Kristi Sherk and more. In fact you can even get a free copy of my Printing 101 eBook in this deal:

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This year, they are adding powerful software like Photo Mechanic 5, Particle Shop, Topaz Clarity, and Perfectly Clear to your toolbox.  Hours and hours of training and software that would cost thousands of dollars if you purchased them all separately, are now part of the The Big Deal 2016 for just $99.

You’ll get the training and the tools to create jaw dropping Black & White photographs, incredible landscape images, beautiful portraits and exceptional wildlife photos.  You’ll learn essential Photoshop techniques and get brushes, presets and actions to help you create stunning images.  You can turn every shot into a printable, shareable work of art.  Plus the key component to make every photographer’s life easier - how to organize and work with your image library in Lightroom CC. 

Here’s a short video where you can learn more about what is included:

Learn More

Click here to learn more.

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

REVIEW: Athentech Perfectly Clear 2.0 (DISCOUNT OFFER)

Athentech Perfectly Clear Special Offer
Save 10% off Athentech Perfectly Clear by Clicking Here

While I enjoy editing photos, the sad reality is that it just takes too long to put my loving touch on every photo. As a result I have hundreds of thousands of photos that have never seen the light of day (much to my wife's chagrin) due to lack of time needed to make them look the way I want them to look before anyone else sees them. This self defeating practice of image hording is common amongst photographers, and despite great products like Lightroom and Topaz ReStyle which can greatly decrease the time required to make your images look great – the reality is that it always take longer than we admit to others.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a product that could do a very good job for a majority of our photos with as little as one click?

The promise of one click greatness has been promised for a long time but I’ve never seen any product deliver on it. What’s more, my images are my art so I want my finishing touches so how could any respectable photographer trust software to do this critical part of the creative process for them?

I’m here to tell you that the day has arrive where you have a new tool to add to your editing arsenal that will make your unedited images look great while still giving your edited images that extra oomph to make them look better. That product is Perfectly Clear and it rocks!

Here’s a common example of a shot that looks good straight out of the camera but it jumps off the screen (or print) when you do a one click edit with the details preset:


One click fix in seconds with the Details Preset

This preset works well for most images which allows you plow trough tons of old images quickly to make them look great. In fact, Photoshop’s Ctrl+F / Cmd+F features lets you replay back the last filter you ran for zero click editing of images that can use your last preset settings.

Simply put, this is a game changer folks so I encourage you to check out my video and try it out. A free trial is available so if you don’t like it then you’ve lost nothing, but I suspect people who take the time to learn it will find they love it – a lot.

Have you tried it before and hated it? Me too! If so, try it again as this latest version is the one that finally got it right – and it is very good!

Video Demonstration on 8 Images

This product works so well so quickly that it is easier to just show you than to write a lot about what it does. If you have a minute at least watch the first couple minutes of this video to see Perfectly Clear in action:


As the demo shows, this is the fastest and easiest way to make your images look great in seconds. I highly recommend you try it out (at least via the Free Trial version).

User Interface

Athentech Imaging Perfectly Clear User Interface
Athentech Imaging Perfectly Clear User Interface

This product is about as simple as it gets. You simply load it from Photoshop or Lightroom and choose a preset. The big squares are the ones provided with the product and the dropdown list below are these plus ones that you have optionally created by making changes on the Adjustment panel shown below:

Athentech Imaging Perfectly Clear Adjust Panel
Adjust Panel

Often times it is one click and you are done as you’ll see in the samples in the next section, but sometimes (as shown in my video) you need to make a few adjustments. You can make your adjustments and be done or you can take a moment to create a new preset with them, but either way you don’t spend much time in this UI.

Simply put, it just works!

More Before and After Samples


One click fix in seconds with the Landscape Preset


Landscape preset with minor adjustments


One click fix in seconds with the Landscape Preset


Beautify+ Preset with minor adjustments


Beautify+ Preset with minor adjustments

NOTE: Effects exaggerated to show possibilities – less garish looks possible with simple adjustments

Conclusion

When I first heard about this product a few years back and tried to play around with it, I thought it was garbage. Its algorithms weren’t as mature as they are today so I felt like I needed more control over what it was doing. The product I’ve been using for the last month has worked on a large number of images I’ve thrown at it so I’ve began to trust it. In some cases it does make a mistake so I’ve learned to turn off settings which appear to have no effect as sometimes they can do something very unexpected (like red eye removal removing red from an area that isn’t an eye). It’s rare, but it does happen.

Aside from this one quirk, I’ve really become addicted to this product for those hundreds of thousands of images that I need to edit but will never get around to with my commercial photography workflow. I still need professional results as the edits represent my work to friends and family, but the ability to get great results quickly is pushing me harder than ever to get more things right in camera to speed up my workflow.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this product as it really has changed my life. I find that I even try it out as a last step on images that I’ve painstakingly edited because it does such a great job at final highlight and shadow detail adjustments. I do often skip the sharpening unless its for a private family photo, but other than that I trust it.

Where to order at a discount

Click here to learn more about Perfectly Clear, try the free demo or purchase your copy today. The Photoshop and Lightroom versions are sold separately so either pick the product you use the most or take advantage of the special bundle pricing for both versions.

Upgrades are also available for users of previous versions.

SPECIAL OFFER

YOU MUST CLICK HERE to save 10% to get on the special landing page shown below:

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Please note that coupon codes can change so visit my discount coupon code page or contact me if you have any problems with my code.

iOS Versions

While the best experience is on the desktop, while you are at for a few bucks more you can enjoy one click editing on your iOS Devices:

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If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Sunday, June 19, 2016

REVIEW: Athentech LUCiD 1.0 vs Perfectly Clear (Discount Offer)

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LUCiD’s user interface is smooth and responsive, yet familiar to Perfectly Clear users

LUCiD is a stand-alone product designed for users who want simple one click photo editing with great results. At first that may seem like a snake oil salesman promise, but it’s true! Check out this video where I show how it does exactly that:

Beyond One Click

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Simplified Adjustments, Crop and Save options are still possible

What if the one click enhancement isn’t exactly what you want? Well the good news is that there’s an Adjust panel that allows you to make some basic changes from what you get with the presets. If you find those still a little too limiting then you’ll want to check out the more advanced version called Perfectly Clear.

How is LUCiD different from Perfectly Clear?

Perfectly Clear is NOT a stand alone product as it’s is designed for integration with Lightroom and Photoshop where you’ll have things like RAW support, layers, healing brushes, etc…

Perfectly clear offers the same presets as LUCiD but it allows you to much more flexibly in the Adjust panel. Here’s a comparison of the two side by side:

Lucid (left) vs Perfectly Clear (right)
Lucid Adjustments Panel (left) vs Perfectly Clear (right)

LUCiD will not run as a plug-in to Photoshop or Lightroom  so if you want that functionality then you are going to need to get Perfectly Clear.  or just edit your photo in LUCiD’s stand alone UI (which supports JPG, TIF, PNG and BMP file formats – sorry, no RAW).

Perfectly Clear is for the geek who really wants more sliders to fiddle with for the ultimate in fine grain control AND the ability to create your own presets. For more info on how it works check out my Perfectly Clear review which includes a video tutorial as well.

Before and After Examples

If you didn’t watch the video then you missed out on some good before and after examples. Here’s a few:


One click fix in seconds with the Details Preset
+ Crop


One click fix in seconds with the Landscape Preset

Beautify+ Preset
Beautify+ Preset

Conclusion

This is a great product for beginners, but I think anyone with Lightroom and/or Photoshop would probably be better served to spend a little more to get Perfectly Clear. While the simplicity and batch processing support are nice, the limitations on the Adjust panel were just too limiting for me. Then again, I’m not the target demographic for this product either, so if you just want to focus on photography and want simple one click “auto” editing of your photos, then you will be quite happy.

Where to order

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CLICK HERE to get a 10% discount applied – your cart should look like this

Click here to get my 10% discount and/or  learn more or order on the Athentech web site. See my Perfectly Clear review for a discount on it as well. Visit my discount coupon code page if you have any troubles with the discount in this article and to learn about other great deals.

iOS Versions

While the best experience is on the desktop, while you are at for a few bucks more you can enjoy one click editing on your iOS Devices:

Other articles you may enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:

  • Perfectly Clear Review
  • Aurora HDR – NEW (and awesome)
  • Ron’s Recommendations 
  • Topaz Labs Glow 1.0
  • Topaz Labs Texture Effects
  • Topaz Labs ReMask 5.0
  • Topaz Labs Restyle 1.0
  • Topaz Labs Simplify 4
  • Topaz Impression (Review coming soon, see discount page for Topaz coupon code)

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    Disclosure

    If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

  • If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

    Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

    The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity