Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Review

Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery D800e

One of the worst feelings as a photographer is to realize that you have accidentally deleted one of your photos, and you have no way to recover it. Most photographers have horror stories about such situations — I once nearly lost all my photos from a trip to San Francisco — but it is often possible to recover deleted photos using special software. One such software is Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery, which claims to be able to recover images from memory cards or hard drives, even after reformatting the drive or deleting an image.

[Read more…]

Affinity Photo: Possible Photoshop Alternative?

Serif Affinity Photo

Adobe has been enjoying their place in the software industry for a very long time now. It’s a monopoly, isn’t it? Despite the effort made by Corel, DxO, PhaseOne and others, the benchmark is still Photoshop and Lightroom (even if the latter does not actually lead in every area). In fact, Photoshop has actually become a synonym to the word “post-process” or “edit”. “To photoshop something”, how many times have you heard someone say it? Exactly. And all of this is well deserved, because there simply isn’t any better alternatives. But for us, the users, monopoly is not such a good thing. Lack of proper competition puts the developer in a rather lazy state. Fortunately, an alternative might be in the works, called Affinity Photo (currently in Beta stage). Unfortunately, it is only available for Mac at this time.

[Read more…]

Why Bother Shooting RAW If You Are Culling JPEGs?


What do you think is the possibility, when you are choosing and sorting images based on the JPEG previews, that you are going to discard the better-quality image, and keep the lesser-quality one? Let’s take a look at a typical “training” shot for a holiday – noon of a sunny day, blue Ionian sea, bright white limestone pebbles, bushes with dark-green, high-detail leaves (which lose all detail if the shot is underexposed), deep shadows under the bushes. These types of scenes typically have a very wide dynamic range. We will see later, however, that the real range of the shot we are examining is pretty much only 8 EV, if the exposure is technically correct.

[Read more…]

DxO ClearView Anti-Haze Adjustment First Impressions

DxO ClearView PL Image 3

The purpose of this article is to share my initial impressions of the DxO ClearView anti-haze function which is contained in the Elite Version of DxO OpticsPro 10 software. As many Photography Life readers know, I’ve been using DxO OpticsPro as my main RAW processor for some time. I started out using DxO OpticsPro 8, then upgraded to 9 in order to get the PRIME noise reduction function, then upgraded again to OpticsPro 10 in order to get speed improvements with PRIME, some enhanced Smart Lighting presets, and the new ClearView anti-haze function. With each upgrade I felt my money was well spent.

[Read more…]

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.2 and Camera RAW 8.2 Released

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

A while ago, Adobe has made the Lightroom 5.2 and Camera RAW 8.2 Release Candidate version update available. I restrained from updating my Lightroom 5 version to the RC update and decided to wait for the full release. Today, final Lightroom 5.2 and Camera RAW 8.2 updates are finally available for download and fix a number of bugs while also adding support for several newest cameras. New Camera RAW features are only available for Photoshop CC users. CS6 users are also eligible for the update, but Camera RAW 8.2 for Photoshop CS6 only adds new camera/lens support and fixes bugs. It does not add new features.

[Read more…]

VSCO FILM 01 Review

Kodak T-MAX 3200+ Grain+ (3)

You know how things sometimes just… click together? You hear a new soundtrack and, out of nowhere, it takes you away. You meet a new client or a friend and it feels as if you were meant to work together or help each other. Click. Just like that. You read a book, watch a movie, start a project, fall in love, get a job you never knew you wanted – click, click, click. It’s perfect. Nothing else feels quite like it – so bizarre and, at the same time, so obvious, you can’t help but smile as broadly as you possibly can. Ever since I made a switch from Photoshop to Lightroom, I’ve been looking back awestruck at how easy and quick my post-processing has become. All in one place with no permanent, destructive changes – it was a revelation. If previously, I considered using professional post-production services just to save time, Lightroom made the whole process hassle-free and I could do everything myself. Mind you, I am not Adobe’s spokesperson and would never promote their product like that without good reason. But Lightroom, despite all the frustrating bits…just clicked.

[Read more…]

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Review

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

Adobe’s recent change of license strategy for most of its Photoshop family software tools has introduced a lot of doubt among the previously happy customers. Because of Photoshop CC, many owners of Lightroom 3 and 4 have started looking for alternatives, fearing that despite Adobe’s claims, there is a possibility that Lightroom will also be moved to a subscription-based license in the future. Such fears are further complimented by the fact that the older versions of Lightroom will never gain support for the newest mirrorless and DSLR cameras, or new lens profiles. For this reason, Adobe had to make sure Lightroom 5 was so good, it would keep its customer base happy and tempted by the new features despite the recent changes in license strategy of its other products. The pressure is made worse by rivals always breathing down Lightroom’s neck.

[Read more…]

Lightroom vs Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements 11

After my “Photoshop vs Photoshop Elements” article, many of our readers suggested a comparison between Photoshop Elements (PSE) and Lightroom would be more useful. I must admit, I found such requests to be a little strange, because I believe both of these programs to be very different. The difference lies in both targeted user base as well as complexity and overall functionality. On the other hand, some features are shared between Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as between Lightroom and PSE. In this article, I will describe similarities and differences between these two popular post-processing applications by Adobe to see whether one can serve as a replacement or an alternative for the other.

[Read more…]

Lightroom to Avoid CC’s Subscription-Only License

Adobe Lightroom 4

A short while ago, Adobe made an announcement many photographers (among other Adobe’s software users) found to be rather shocking. Adobe decided to stop developing Adobe Creative Suite and focus on its CC software. CC stands for Creative Cloud. Obviously, it doesn’t mean they will stop developing Photoshop and other popular programs, many of which are among the best on the market. However, CC will carry a number of changes, and, while we can safely assume most of them will be welcome, there is a huge catch. Adobe CC package will be available as subscription-only. That means, in order to use Photoshop and other CC package software, you will need to pay a monthly fee and connect to internet at least once a month (there a several varying conditions), which, for me, sounds much like… renting. We wrote an article on the topic where we discuss Adobe’s decision in more detail – suffice to say, we weren’t exactly thrilled with excitement. I must admit, though, Photoshop wasn’t the main reason for me worrying. After all, I like CS5 and CS6 fine and, with the exception of RAW support, don’t see why I’d need to update anytime soon. What I was worried about most is Lightroom. Was it to undergo the same changes?

[Read more…]

Adobe Lightroom 4.4 and Camera RAW 7.4 Release Candidates Available

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe has made their almost-finished versions of Lightroom 4.4 and Camera RAW 7.4 available for download. These Release Candidates (RC) have been thoroughly tested, but are subject to improvement over the next few months before final versions are available. So far, Lightroom 4.4 RC is a free download for all current Lightroom 4 customers and will expire by 31st of May. Adobe Camera RAW 7.4 RC will expire on 30th of April. Why are these RC updates important? Well, first of all because of the added support for newest camera models:

[Read more…]