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Review: HDR Efex Pro 2

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Summary: HDR Efex Pro 2 is a major improvement over the original version. Not only is it much faster, the presets are usable right out of the box. Finally, Photomatix has competition. I highly recommend upgrading. If you already own HDR Efex Pro, the upgrade cost is only $49.

Review: I seldom used the original HDR Efex Pro. It was deadly slow and, quite frankly, I hated the presets. Version 2 fixes all that and more. I could now find HDR Efex Pro 2 my go-to program for HDR. The new presets are extremely usable and the program is now speedy. Click to continue »

The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The Photographer’s Ephemeris is an application that will let you know when the sun and moon rise and set plus a lot more than you might expect. Here is a list of key features:

  • Time and direction of sunrise and sunset
  • Time and direction of moonrise and moonset
  • Phase of the moon and % illumination
  • Times of civil, nautical and astronomical twilight
  • Graphical display on a map
  • Save any location you want – no fixed lists
  • Automatic time zone detection for any location on earth
  • Determines elevation above sea level
  • View azimuth and altitude of sun/moon for any time of day/night
  • Distance, bearing and elevation angle between any two points
  • Find when the sun/moon will appear from behind a hill
  • Compensation for atmospheric refraction
  • Compensation for elevation above the horizon
  • Does not require network connection for rise/set times and azimuths. (Note: maps and elevation do require a data connection)

Being able to see the direction that the sun and moon will rise and set is extremely helpful. Rather than scanning the horizon, you know in advance where to look. It is also helpful that The Photographer’s Ephemeris takes into account your elevation. The higher you are, the sooner you will see the sun and moon rise and the longer they will be visible when they set. Being able to save locations is another feature that I appreciate.

The desktop application of The Photographer’s Ephemeris is free. The iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch version is $8.99 via iTunes and the Android version is $4.99 through the Android Market. I don’t know why they have such a price difference between the iOS and Android versions. I have an iPhone and iPad so ponied up the $8.99 and am glad I did. It runs well and solves some frustrations when I am trying to shoot the moon and sun. I can now plan way ahead and predict exactly where the sun and moon will be on the horizon. If you only occationally need information about the sun and moon, you can stick with PhotoBuddy on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and just download the free version of The Photographer’s Ephemeris.

Video: PhotoBuddy

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

PhotoBuddy is an iPhone/iPad app that is a Swiss army knife of photographic functions.

Review: PhotoBuddy

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Summary: PhotoBuddy runs on the iPhone or iPad and is a Swiss army knife of photographic functions that would be helpful to any digital photographer. At $1.99, it’s a bargain.

In his book, The HDR Book: Unlocking the Pros’ Hottest Post-Processing Techniques, Rafael “RC” Concepcion, suggested PhotoBuddy because it has the ability to calculate the number of shots and exposures needed for an HDR photograph. That feature is actually buried under the More button. I’m not complaining about that — just making an observation. The reality is that there are so many features in PhotoBuddy, there would be no way to easily make them all available from the home screen. It has become my favorite iPhone photo app. Click to continue »

Enhance Google Searches for Photography

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Google has a new service to enhance Google searches.

In order to use Google Subscribed Links, you must create a new Google Account or sign in with an existing Google Account.

Review: Serif’s PanoramaPlus X4

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Summary: In a word…fantastic! Creates correctly aligned panoramas from photos that stumped Hugin and Photoshop. PanoramaPlus X4 creates horizontal, vertical, and 360×180 degree panoramas. Click to continue »

Review: Nik Silver Efex Pro 2

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Summary: Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 is a Photoshop plugin that is used to convert color images to B/W. Silver Efex Pro 2 now works with the 64-bit version of Photoshop. If you are serious about converting color photos to B/W, Silver Efex Pro 2 won’t disappoint. Click to continue »