Lightroom Classic vs Alien Skin Exposure X3

In the coming weeks, we are planning to review many Lightroom alternatives at Photography Life and figure out which ones are potential replacements. The first on our list is Alien Skin Exposure X3. This software, originally a film simulation plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop, has grown to a standalone software that mimics Lightroom’s post-processing and organization options in many ways. This article covers the differences and similarities between Adobe Lightroom CC Classic and Alien Skin Exposure X3, including which one you might want to choose for your own photography.

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Lightroom 6.14 vs CC 7.1 vs 7.2 Performance Comparison

Adobe Lightroom is known to be a disappointingly slow post-processing tool, especially when it comes to basic operations such as importing, preview generation and image culling, as well as more advanced operations that involve using features such as spot healing. Adobe’s development team is aware of these issues and the company says that it is committed in delivering updates that will make Lightroom faster. The latest version of Lightroom Classic CC 7.2 has been delivered a couple of days ago and it seems like this release is mostly focused on improving Lightroom performance. I decided to see how much faster Lightroom has actually gotten by measuring its performance on a typical laptop, as well as on a desktop PC. Let’s take a look at how Lightroom 6 and CC 7.1 stack up against the most current version CC 7.2.

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What is GPU Accelerated in Lightroom?

A while ago, Adobe finally added Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Acceleration to its Lightroom post-processing software. It was exciting news, as many photographers could not wait to take advantage of their fast GPU cards in order to speed up Lightroom, which was getting painfully slower with each new release. Unfortunately, GPU acceleration turned out to be a painful feature for many Lightroom users overtime, because they either saw no benefit at all, or saw very few improvements of it in their post-processing work. In this article, we will explore GPU acceleration in more detail and explain what it is used for and when it is of no use.

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Switching From Lightroom to Capture One Pro

It seems only a short while ago when I was undecided on the RAW processing software that would replace Lightroom. I shortlisted several potential alternatives – Capture One Pro, RawTherapee, DxO Optics and Darktable among others – but was able to try out only Capture One Pro properly. A demo version 10 of Capture One gave me 30 days to test it, after which I was able to continue evaluation by signing up for a beta copy of version 11. After using Capture One for several weeks, I made a decision to stick with it despite its hefty price tag. Now seems to be the right time to publish this, with the last standalone version of Lightroom 6.14, having just been released. Needless to say, my attempts at using other software I listed earlier were quite lukewarm. So to the reader who is here expecting a comparison between different alternatives to Lightroom, this post is unfortunately not it. Instead this post documents my migration from Lightroom to Capture One.

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Why Capture One Cannot Replace Adobe Lightroom

Many photographers, including our team at PL, have been frustrated with Adobe’s latest move to discontinue the standalone version of Lightroom, something Adobe said it would not do in the past. As a result, a number of us (including myself) have been looking for alternative post-processing tools that can replace Lightroom completely. For the past few years, I have owned Phase One’s Capture One Pro software, which I found to be very capable when it comes to post-processing images. Some of Capture One Pro’s capabilities (such as color adjustments, adjustment layers, etc) are light years ahead of Lightroom, and performance-wise, Lightroom has only been getting worse year after year, with things like adjustment brush slowing down even some of the most powerful desktop computers, whereas you can stack layers and layers of adjustments on images in Capture One without slowing anything down. Because of this, I have been running Capture One for some time now, hoping that I can fully transition to it at some point in the future. However, the biggest reason why I have not been able to fully transition, is the lack of Fuji GFX 50S camera support, something I was hoping I would see in the new version of Capture One 11 that was just announced today. After looking at the release notes of Capture One Pro 11, I came to conclusion that Phase One has no plans to support the GFX 50S or any other medium format camera on the market to protect its own medium format system. For this reason alone, Capture One could never replace Lightroom as post-processing software for many photographers out there.

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Adobe Makes It Difficult to Get Lightroom 6

A friend of mine texted me with a question on how he can upgrade from his Lightroom 5 copy to Lightroom 6 this weekend. He told me that he was frustrated with his online Adobe experience, since he could not find the standalone version – every search lead him to the Creative Cloud (CC) subscription model, which he did not want to buy. I immediately thought that he was simply overlooking something, so I decided to give it a quick go on my mobile phone. I typed “Adobe Lightroom 6 Upgrade” in Google, which took me to all kinds of places, none of which offered an upgrade option to Lightroom 6, only CC offers.

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Five Easy Steps to Improve Your Photos via Post-Processing

One of the most frequently asked questions I often get at Photography Life, is related to post-processing images. Specifically, our readers want to find out how they can make their images look good without spending too much time post-processing them. After-all, not everyone has the skills or the patience to learn how to use the many different tools in different software packages like Lightroom and Photoshop. I thought of things that I normally do to my images when I want to make quick edits and came up with a few steps that I consistently apply to all of my images. In this article, I will provide these steps, so that you can quickly make changes to your images and make them look good without having to go through a lot of learning. I will highlight the steps using Lightroom and Photoshop, but you should be able to imitate similar steps using other post-processing software as well.

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Lightroom Before and After

When editing a photograph in Lightroom, it is often useful to compare what the image looked like when you started out (the “Before”), to the changes you have made so far (the “After”). This way, you can keep track of your edits and understand how the different sliders and check marks within Lightroom affect your image. Thankfully, Adobe made it easy to switch between the Before and After screens and provided a number of different ways to view both vertical and horizontal images in a single window. Let’s take a look at this great feature in detail.

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Snapshot vs Virtual Copy in Lightroom

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a snapshot and a virtual copy in Lightroom? They are both options that you can use to preserve image settings, but they work in very different ways. A while back I posted an article and video titled how to create a Lightroom snapshot that briefly explained what a snapshot is. We’ve also posted an article about virtual copies before. In this article, I want to explain the differences between a virtual copy and a snapshot in Lightroom, the benefits of each one, and when you might want to use one instead of the other.

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Infrared Photography: Getting More Color From Your 720nm Filter

I recently decided to upgrade from my current infrared-converted Nikon D7100 to a Nikon D7200, taking advantage of Kolari Vision‘s Anti-Reflective coated glass (article to follow). In the process, I once again considered my filter choices. Although I had some decent results from a 665nm filter from another infrared conversion house, I was not satisfied with the overall results and had Kolari Vision swap the 665nm out and install a 720nm filter. I always thought the 720nm filter provided the best overall balance of bright white vegetation and false color processing capabilities, but admit suffering from occasional bouts of ICE – Infrared Color Envy. Some of the photos taken with the 590nm filter are… well… rather gaudy. But I have also come across some that are jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

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