06b pixelmator truck edited after

Looking for an image editor on the Mac but don’t need the full power (or cost) of Adobe Photoshop? In Macworld, I just reviewed Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon, a great $30 alternative. This new version focuses on the application’s selection tools, adding a Quick Selection tool and a Magnetic Selection tool to make it easier to select and edit specific areas of an image.

It also adds a new Photos Editing Extension called Pixelmator Retouch, which gives you the ability to do retouching edits—like lightening or darkening specific areas, selective sharpening, and more—to images right in the Photos app, without exporting them to Pixelmator proper.

Read the review here: Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon review: Better selective editing and a new Apple Photos extension.

I edited the photo up above entirely in Pixelmator. Here’s the original version for comparison:

06a pixelmator truck edited before

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Lightroom for iOS 2.4

Adobe just released a significant update for the iOS version of Lightroom, bringing two features mobile photographers are going to love: raw import and editing, and linear and radial graduated adjustments. The first could change how we work with photos in the field, and the second is a feature I use more and more on the desktop and have in the past resorted to interesting workarounds to implement on the iPad.

I need to dig more into this release, but it looks promising. Photos you import using Apple’s Lightning adapters are brought into the Photos app Camera Roll, and then recognized by Lightroom as raw. (Oh, but now I lament Apple’s choice of sticking with USB 2.0 speed for photo import on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.) This could mean no longer needing to shoot in Raw+JPEG just to get a high-resolution JPEG to work with on the device.

(Remember, until now Lightroom wouldn’t even display raw images when importing them from the Camera Roll, and in most apps, the JPEG preview the camera creates to display on its LCD is what’s used for editing.)

Adobe says the app supports all the same raw formats that Lightroom on the desktop supports; I had no trouble opening and editing a handful of raw .RAF files from my Fuji X-T1.

Lightroom ios 2 4 raw badges

I’ll be writing more about this, looking at how Lightroom syncs the raw files back to the desktop, whether it’s practical to import a lot of images or just selected ones, and what this means for Apple’s upcoming raw image support in iOS 10.

For now, here’s more information from Adobe: Lightroom for Mobile July Releases.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

macworld_photos_glenn.png

Glenn Fleishman at Macworld does a great job running down the new features in the Photos app under the upcoming macOS Sierra and iOS 10 (both available in beta to developers and via public beta). Read it here: Hands on with the new Photos features in macOS Sierra and iOS 10.

Valley of Light

My wife and I spent the weekend near Leavenworth, Washington at a cozy cabin with this as the view. Although I didn’t know if there would be much of a sunset the first night, the sun shone horizontally down a nearby valley for a wonderful show. Having a glass of wine at hand didn’t hurt, either. (Click to view the image larger.)

About the photo: I merged three exposures using Lightroom’s built-in HDR tool and then edited it further in Lightroom.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Sunflower Sunset

Usually when I visit my mom at the farm, I take it real easy. And I certainly did that on this week’s visit. But I also told myself I would try to do some photographing while here. One evening, my mom and I headed to a field of sunflowers in time to catch the sunset. Except for almost losing a shoe in a muddy stretch of irrigation at the edge of the field, it was a nice little excursion.

About the photo: Single shot captured on a tripod, 12mm at 1/30 second at f/2.8. Normally I’d use a narrower aperture to get more detail in focus in the background, but the light was fading pretty quickly, so I left this lens wide open. I exposed for the sunset so it wouldn’t be blown out, and brought up the detail in the field using a graduated filter in Lightroom.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

For July Fourth, my mom took me, my daughter, and my niece on a new adventure: the city of Dixon’s fireworks show. The parking turned out to be full at Hall Park, but a generous man directing traffic advised us to head down to the Dixon High School parking lot. The school is where the show’s explosives were being launched from, and when we arrived there were plenty of open spaces—and plenty of folks setting off their own firecrackers. I wandered with my camera before the main show started (which was a pretty great display!).

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Independence Day

July 4, 2016 — Leave a comment

Happy Fourth, my friends! This year’s Independence Day seems to carry more weight, largely because it’s an election year (make sure you vote! It’s important), but also because I’ve spent the last eight months being captivated by Hamilton, the Musical and, in turn, the stories of the people who founded the United States. I’m still reading the Chernow biography of Hamilton and am frequently amazed at the parallels between what we see today in politics and leadership and what was happening at the birth of our country.

Have a safe and happy celebration, wherever you are.

(Photo from July 4, 2015 in Seattle.)

In my latest column for The Seattle Times, I look at Apple’s WWDC announcements with a mixture of excitement—some very cool things are coming—and cynicism—how will Apple make some things work well?

Read it here: Apple offers a look at coming operating system updates.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

My pal Glenn Fleishman writes the Mac 911 column at Macworld, so occasionally when I run into a snag with my Mac or iOS devices, I shoot him a message with possible fodder for future articles. Today, he relays my frustrating attempt to block numbers from “Telemarketer Bastards.”

At some point I read that you could add spammy phone numbers to a single contact and block that contact (hence the entry in my Contacts for Telemarketer Bastards). However, that stopped working. Instead, whenever one of those numbers called my phone, I’d see Telemarketer Bastards as the Caller ID—which made it easy to decline the call and send them to voicemail.

(This is also one of my favorite features of the Apple Watch. I decline calls all the time via the watch without having to pick up the iPhone at all. Because unsolicited calls have become such a problem, I never answer the phone unless it’s a call from someone I know. Even answering a telemarketer call tells them you’re likely to pick up and will lead to more unwanted calls. Telemarketer bastards have ruined calling for everyone.)

But I don’t want even that step, since I’ve already identified those numbers as unwanted calls. Glenn explains that Apple blocks based on individual numbers, not contacts. So, I’ve since just blocked those individual numbers.

But it tickles me that “Telemarketer Bastards” made it into Macworld.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Well now, this is interesting. PetaPixel spotted a feature in one of the slides during yesterday’s WWDC keynote that reads: “RAW photo editing.” We don’t yet know the details, but if iOS finally supports raw images, that could be a giant leap for mobile photo workflows. Raw is typically where the iPad has thrown a wrench into the works (as I describe in my book and elsewhere).

iOS 10 is available now to developers, with a public beta coming in July. The update will be available for everyone in the fall when we’ll see new iPhone models. I would bet (and the PetaPixel article brings up) that we’ll see some sort of raw capture on the new iPhones and perhaps the iPad, too.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.