anysia: (Dark Sorceress)
You know, everyone goes on and on ad nauseum about Adobe Products. Why? It's not like they are the end all be all of image development/editing. 'Industry standard'? Adobe itself labeled themselves that, and it stuck.

Here is a list of equal, if not better, programs to use. True, not all the Adobe plugins work with them, but many do (mostly the ones that were made to be used on more than one photo editing program)

Affinity - Non-destructive (you know, technically, as long as you don't SAVE the image, overwriting the original, they are all non-destructive) editing program, has both Mac and Windows version. Has features that you have to buy plugins to get the same result. Mixed bag on plugins made for Adobe products (ie Nik tools, they work but with cavaets) Full on camera raw editing, updated by Serif when new raw formats are available. You do have to make a new 'pixel layer' when you want to do multiple edits on different layers, as Affinity doesn't do it automatically.

TopazStudio - Fully featured, non-destructive, camera raw editing. Has a free and a pro version. Works perfectly with TopazLabs plugins, as you would expect. TopazLaps and StudioPro isn't free, BUT you buy it once, and all your updates are free, even to new versions.

Alienskin Exposure X2 - again, non-destructive camera raw editor (I donated 5Ds, 5D4, 7D2 raw files to during development) Fully featured, and again works flawlessly with Alienskin Plugins.

TwistedBrush Pro Studio - Not only an excellent art program, but a much underrated photo editing software. Again, I helped by testing and donating CR2/ORF/RAW files to improve the camera raw edits. You can use some adobe compatible plugins, but alas only 32bit. Because of that 32bit limit, file size can cause the program to crash. Ken Carlino is looking into getting a 64bit version written.

ON1 Photo RAW 2017 - Crammed packed with features. Not only a raw editor, but great as a stand along photo processing/editing program. With layers, brushes, gradient tools, filters and presets, even a way to make your own custom presets and filters, you could use On1 as a plugin for Photoshop, or use it as a stand alone. It's latest version even has lens profiles to correct for aberrations and distortions, BUT unlike DxO Optics, you can choose to not apply the lens correction (DxO forces correction for fisheye lenses) You can, if you choose, do all your edits and effects, and punt a high res JPG to a different photo edition if you want to use a specific plugin in a photo editing program.

Capture One - Also a fully loaded editor that until the latest version was so so slow. Again, non-destructive layer editing, and as great as CO is, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Corel PaintShop Pro X9 - Non destructive layer editing, but you do have to make new layer as it doesn't make them automatically. (import image, duplicate layer, use a plugin. Duplicate result on another layer to keep doing other edits) Many of the plugins made for Adobe will work with PSPX9, but again, with a few cavaets. As with Affinity, you can use plugins that were made for generally any photo editing programs.

I know I've left a few out, but that was because I had iffy results, or that they decided to go the Adobe "rent me" method.
anysia: (Sca Anysia)
This was an image that I knew had issues. Noisy, lighting all over the place because of cloudy skies during a rainy sunrise.

On1 develop the raw image. I made sure I had clipping visible, and reduced the white levels, but not entirely, as it is a sunrise image, so a small bright spot is to be expected. I then went to Lens Correction. On1, like Adobe Camera Raw, picked the wrong lens. The lens used was the Tamron 24-70, but they both seem to want to choose the Sigma 24-70. Easy enough to manually select the Tamron. All distortion and chromatic aberrations gone without any need of extra adjusting.

Noise Reduction: I have to say I am finally satisfied with how On1 handles noise reduction. Used the Luminescence/Details to reduce the noise.

Then I went into EFFECTS. Used Dynamic Contrast, customized setting. Used Local Settings, a brush, to boost the details in the center of the rocks, making a more detailed path to the ocean. Another brush, to darken the clouds just a slight amount to bring out some details. Last was a Local adjustment, gradient, on the rocks to give them a bit of warmth.

Exported high res jpg into Photoshop, resized and watermarked. Saved.

I am quite pleased with the results.

anysia: (South Park - Grin)
It seems that even Topaz Labs is getting on board with putting out their own Camera Raw editor.

Welcome "Topaz Studio". A full featured camera raw or DNG editor that will easily replace adobe Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw. And unlike other ACR competitors (sorry, On1, but at this time, this is true) it comes with lens correction that you can use or not., unlike DxO which will apply lens correction whether you want it or not (when I use a fish eye lens, I use it to get the fish eye effect, and don't want it removed).

And, it's easy enough that beginners will have no problem using it, but advanced features will satisfy the more experienced

Edits are non-destructive, and you can view the original and edited with a click of the button, or set it up to see it side by side/ over and under if you want.

You can also use all your current Topaz Labs Plugins in the editor. I haven't found a way to 'punt' edited image into other photo editor, but with all the tools included with Topaz Studio, you might not need to. Even if you do it's easy enough to SAVE AS, and then open in other editing program.

Topaz Studio is free to use, but if you want there is an "Adjustment Pack Pro", that a pre-release is being offered for 70% for current TopazLabs users. This does mean you have to have an account with TopazLabs, but if you own the software, you already do have the account. The Adjustment Pro Pack coupon code, funnily enough, 'presale' (without the quotes). The discount goes to 50% off when it goes on sale to the general public.
anysia: (Photography)
Or be forced to double up on HD space by converting everything to DNGs.

Alienskin Exposure X2

After installation, go to Edit/Preferences and select what photo editor you want to punt the Raw edited image to. (Used CS5 for this example) And you can select what format to export. PSD, TIFF or JPG.

It does non-destructive edits to your images, and has a wider library of available editing tools than Adobe Camera Raw.  Here's one image, that I adjusted clarity, brightness, whites,  and am applying a 'Bokeh' edit. 

Right click on image, and click on editor you configured X2 to use

Since I had done all my RAW edits in X2, I chose "Save Image" option in the bottom left corner, saved it as a JPG, then opened it in CS5 to continue.

EDIT: It seems with CS5 you have to EDIT IT and have preferences set to TIFF file. It will open up Adobe Camera Raw 6.7.1, then you have to select SAVE IMAGE on bottom left corner and save it as a high res JPG, as it's Photoshop itself that won't open the TIFF/PSD/JPG directly from X2.

However if you're using CS6, this doesn't seem to be an issue.
anysia: (South Park - Mellow)
Can almost hear the waves, yes?

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