Luminar 4 is Skylum’s most AI-driven app until now. It has a plethora of features that no longer depend on your masking or layer blending skills without – much to my surprise – taking out the creativity completely. What Luminar 4 does help you with, is to automate the work that requires you to painstakingly draw selections and blend layers to correct luminosity errors.
DxO released its third upgrade of Photolabs, the former Optics Pro. The new version has a new repair and clone tool, a new local adjustments mask manager and a new colour wheel. And finally, after so many years, the metadata module has been updated as well, albeit with a very modest support for a keywords, author name and copyright field.
Did you know the people at Serif have written, edited and published their own books for learning Affinity Designer and Photo? Well, they have and they’re both excellent books for learning the two apps. At the very least, you should seriously consider them as they contain invaluable information and tear-out cheat sheets.
Serif, the developers of Affinity Photo and Designer, last week released their much-anticipated publishing app, Affinity Publisher. The new layout design app comes with a good deal of unique and very clever features, including “StudioLink”, an integration system – that re-defines the adjective “seamless” – between Publisher and their Designer and Photo apps.
DxO recently released a brand new version of NIK Collection. NIK Collection 2 now includes Analog Efex Pro 2, Color Efex Pro 4, Dfine 2, HDR Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3 Output and Sharpener Pro 3 Raw Presharpening, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Viveza 2. DxO created over 40 new presets, includes U Point local adjustment RAW editing capabilities and adds support for HiDPI displays — which is interesting for Windows users only.
Starting with Affinity Photo and Designer, these two apps have been updated to version 1.7 as you undoubtedly know by now. The updates have a lot in common and bring a much improved and certainly faster RAW processing engine. On my iMac 5K Retina mid-2017, they load my Sony Alpha 700 images much faster than before. The update also comes with a new demosaicing algorithm that is a bit more accurate in rendering the colours and sharpness of my old camera’s files. It should also be more effective at reducing noise and hot pixel removal, but I haven’t tested that yet. Another new feature is that you now get access to a wider colour space in Affinity Photo (great for HDR). The brush engine was rewritten as well and all-new multi-brushes were added. My personal favourite is the new symmetry mode that works with up to 32 “divisions”. Batch processing has been improved, a new assets panel is available for quick drag and drop of commonly used elements, and the layers panel has had a …
HoudahGeo 5 is a geolocation app for photos. It has several features that allow you to tag your images with geographical metadata in a number of ways – no GPS tracker needed, even. And it has a helpful interface.
The EU Parliament has given its blessing to the new Copyright Directive which aims to strengthen the position of EU-based creators – filmmakers, actors, musicians, journalists and writers – when negotiating with publishers and producers. It should lead to a fairer system of exploitation of their works and performances, but a lot of people, including academics who have reported on this issue, seem to believe the Directive will actually lead to less available content, legal confusion that can be taken advantage of, and more censorship within Europe.
The management app for professional photographers and photojournalists, Photo Mechanic 6, has been upgraded to version 6. It has a lot of new features and should be much faster than version 5.
On the Mac, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a newcomer, but the application suite has been around for many years on the Windows platform. The Mac version is a successful port in terms of feature set, but it probably won’t dethrone Adobe apps, nor kill the Affinity Photo and Designer apps. Corel has waited a bit too long and hasn’t fit out the Corel apps with a streamlined enough interface for that to happen, in my opinion.