Photo tools

Been taking lots of photos. Both in Sydney and recently at Skagit, so here’s an update of cool digital tools to use:
Photomatix. Try image fusion which isn’t HDR, but uses multiple exposures. More natural. Need to check to see if Photomatix is still the best HDR utility. Here are some notes from Kevin McNeal.

Exposure Fusion processing times takes much less due to a absence of a intermediate HDR image that must be created before one can tone map a HDR image. Thus, processing times are twice as fast when transferring back into Photoshop. The most important advantage in Exposure Fusion is the lack of halos that appear around objects that occur with HDR. Often when combining images HDR produces a very three-dimensional image that looks very impactful but when viewed closer the halos become more evident. As a side note eliminating those halos in HDR can be quite difficult and time consuming. To get around the problem of halos in HDR layer masks and careful brushing is essential.

One very important advantage of Exposure Fusion is that it can combine a series of bracketed images with different depths of field that extend the Depth Of Field in an image and give the perception of more three-dimensional qualities in the image. This presents an advantage to many obstacles when it comes to nature photography. For example, shooting a wide perspective of a scene with wildflowers and a mountain in the distance would normally require a f/16 at least to get everything in focus. The problem arises if there is strong wind or low light and a faster shutter speed is needed to freeze the detail in the foreground wildflowers. It is then necessary to shoot at f/8 for the foreground and combine it with the rest of the images which can be shoot at f/16 to capture the background mountains. Before Exposure Fusion combining a series of images with different Depths Of Fields was limited to only those with the best of 


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  • InFocus. I had been using Focusmagic, but they don’t have a Mac version ;-( so checking reviews, Ron Martinsen recommends InFocus by Topaz over FocusMagic
  • Noise Ninja. Truthfully, I don’t see much noise in my photos and this thing is inconvenient because it needs a huge TIFF, so need to look for another that uses idealy Canon Raw.
  • DxO. Been using this for quite a while to get rid of image distortion. It is lense and camera specific. Photoshop has these features now, so need to check it there is better stuff out there.
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