Archives For macworld

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

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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.

My pal Glenn Fleishman bit off more than he was expecting when a Macworld reader asked why some photos weren’t correctly oriented after importing them into his photo software. It turns out that rotating image files is a lot more complicated—and interesting—than you’d expect!

Read about it here: How to solve incorrect photo rotation after sync or upload.

Over at Macworld, Jared Newman writes about the findings of DisplayMate Technologies regarding the 9.7-inch iPad’s color accuracy, which is “virtually indistinguishable from perfect.”

Soneira was especially impressed with the new iPad Pro’s color accuracy. While the 12.9-inch iPad Pro got edged out by Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 last year in terms of noticeable color differences, the smaller iPad Pro has retaken the throne. “It is visually indistinguishable from perfect, and is very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have,” Soneira wrote.

They also noted that the screen reflectance is the best of any iPad or smartphone.

IPad Pro with SD Adapter top

The iPad Pro has a lot going for it, so I took a look specifically in terms of how it can be used by photographers for a new article at Macworld: How the iPad Pro Stacks Up as a Photographer’s Tool.

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Photos ext tonality

The version of Photos for OS X that shipped with OS X El Capitan adds a new capability to Apple’s built-in photo management software: editing extensions. Although the adjustment tools in Photos are surprisingly sophisticated, they’re still fairly limited (and you still can’t edit an image in another application without exporting it first, a feature I liked in iPhoto and Aperture).

Editing extensions allow other developers to include their editing tools within Photos. For example, in the photo above, I’m still inside Photos but I’m applying MacPhun’s Tonality extension to make the image black and white using more options than are found in Photos’ own tool.

Over at Macworld, I explain how to install editing extensions and look at the ones currently on the market: Make Apple Photos for OS X more powerful with an editing extension.

I also included what I (humbly) think is one of my most amusing lines in an article of late; see if you can spot it. I’d forgotten I’d written it until I ran across it when proofing the final article and it made me chuckle.

(To learn more about how to use Photos for OS X, buy my book Photos for OS X and iOS, available now!)

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Redwoods Bridge Noiseless final

Have you ever left your camera’s ISO setting at a high level from shooting dark situations the night before, and then forgotten to change it before shooting the next day? Guilty as charged. The result is a lot of excessive digital noise in the next photos. That’s what happened to me in the photo above, one of my favorite shots during my photo workshop in May.

Modern camera sensors are much better at dealing with noise, but sometimes you need to push the ISO to get a shot. Or, if you’re using a smartphone’s camera, you don’t have a choice and the camera increases the sensor’s sensitivity, which adds the noise.

Macworld just published my review of MacPhun’s Noiseless and Noiseless Pro apps, which use algorithms and a lot of optional manual controls to minimize or reduce that noise without turning an image into a smeary mess. Noiseless also now includes an editing extension for Photos for OS X, so you don’t need to leave Photos to take advantage of the tool.

Read the article here: Noiseless and Noiseless Pro review: Clean up your photos shot in low-light conditions.

Noiseless bridge balanced

[By the way, you can order the top photo as a print! Contact me at jeff@jeffcarlson.com.]

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At Macworld, Glenn Fleishman reviews PowerPhotos 1.0, a companion utility for Photos for OS X that can find duplicates, easily manage multiple Photos libraries, and help migrate iPhoto and Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

The software does not merge Photos libraries; if you specifically want that feature, pick up iPhoto Library Manager by the same developer, Fat Cat Software. (According to the company’s blog, “This is something I’d like to add to PowerPhotos, though I can’t make any concrete promises, since doing so partially depends on whether Photos itself adds a few necessary enhancements.”)

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Photos for OS X is a consumer application, replacing iPhoto, but you’ll be surprised at how capable it is as a photo editor. In my latest article for Macworld, I look at several unexpected ways the editing features are more powerful than it appears, from keyboard shortcuts to the sophisticated Levels tool.

Read it here: The Hidden Editing Power of Photos for OS X

(Fair warning: the Macworld page includes an annoying auto-playing video. In fact, as I write this, all the comments in the article are about the video. Macworld’s editors can’t do anything about it, unfortunately: it’s a business decision made higher up. I know first-hand that the editors have tried for years to get rid of the autoplay videos.)

Speaking of Photos for OS X, my new book is now available!

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Adobe released Lightroom CC today, and you can read my review of it at Macworld right now: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015 review: New features and major performance gains. There are a few very cool features—like in-app HDR merging to create raw DNG files—but what I find most interesting is that Lightroom now takes advantage of the GPU (graphics processing unit) to speed up performance. The amount depends on your hardware, but let me just say that I now desperately wish I had an iMac with 5K Retina Display.

Lightroom CC is part of the $10 per month Creative Cloud Photography plan (the least expensive CC option), which also gets you the latest version of Photoshop CC (still 2014). However, if you don’t want to jump into the subscription model, Adobe is also making a standalone version called Lightroom 6 and selling it for $149.

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