Why, only just the other day….

iPad Pro

There’s a back catalog of hundreds of drawings, paintings and prints that belong to the body of work produced; along with photographic media, over the years that encompass my creative practice. For whatever reason now seems to be as good a time as any to start to include them here.

Adobe Lightroom 5 Beta


Adobe Lightroom 5 splash screen courtesy of Adobe.com

There’s a lot of talk about some of the new features in Lightroom 5 that are available for preview in the current Beta version. However what’s impressed me the most is the inclusion of editable book templates. Of the features in Lightroom 4, the inability to edit templates when creating books is the biggest drawback and one that constantly sends me back to the Blurb App on my desktop. While the ability to soft proof inside Lightroom 4 using Blurb’s profile is a nicer option than having to install the Blurb ICC profile in Photoshop and soft proof from there when using Blurb’s installed software, it wasn’t enough to win my loyalty in that area. So I look forward to having a true Blurb workflow inside Lightroom 5.

Read the Beta release notes here.

And at the Lightroom Journal here

Photoshop Touch Comparison

So how good is Photoshop Touch? I put it through its paces doing the hard yards of converting an image to black and white against Nik SilverEffex Pro 2. In Photoshop Touch I converted the image to B&W, duplicated the layer, blended the layers using Overlay mode @ 62%, flattened the layers and finalized the image with a shadow / highlights adjustment. Some ‘add structure’ capability as opposed to ‘sharpening’ would certainly lift the game for Photoshop Touch. But, keep in mind that PS Touch is designed to be a pre-processing app that allows you to make some early editing decisions on the go, and then finalize them later;  as Adobe says “Work with images on your tablet, and then take them further on your PC or Mac in Photoshop” @http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-touch.html.

I have to admit that in hindsight I probably could have done a levels / curves adjustment in PS Touch to pull up the mid tone contrast, (would love to see Adobe include an eyedropper/info tool with these) but there you go, can’t catch all the fish at once.

Well, pretty good results for a tablet app.

Check it out.

Here’s a slide-show with the original unprocessed image directly off the phone (using 6×7 app) followed by the B&W conversions.

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Photoshop Touch for IOS

image courtesy of Petapixel

It was a long wait but worth it. Whilst Android users have had access to this for some time, Photoshop Touch has remained painfully out of reach for IOS users, the logic of which defied me completely, given the sheer volume  of the market share for iPads as opposed to Android tablets. However it’s here and comes with an impressive arsenal. The only weak area for me is the 1600px output, but who am I to complain. The rest is more than you could want from a first release. I’ve spent some time this morning putting it through it’s paces and it was certainly better than I had expected, no glitches and some very pleasant surprises.  Good job Adobe.

You can get the blurb material here, here and here

And my run through here

Dustin Farrell | Timelapse

I simply had to re post this after viewing it on Planet 5D.

Some stunning time lapse photography here and best of all a very concise overview of the process by the man himself. Read it here


Red Giant strikes back

Red Giant have come out with all guns blazing with the release of Plastic Bullet Version 2, a new update for V 1.0 / 1.2 for iPhone. Version 2 also introduces support for iPad. So far the results on both platforms are pretty spectacular. There’s an extensive list of feature updates at the site but what impressed me most of all on both iPhone and iPad was the ability to maintain aspect ratios. Previously if you used an image with a square aspect, panoramic, 16:9 horizontal or vertical, Plastic Bullet defaulted to a standard aspect (4:3) rectangular crop. Now if you import a square format shot, e.g., Hipstamatic, Lomora, Retro Camera or a panoramic image, Plastic Bullet maintains the original image aspect.

As previously mentioned, Version 2 is also available for iPad. The added screen real estate of the iPad makes editing on the go a pleasure. Options for 4 or 9 render previews follows the same layout as the OSX version.

The real surprise came when I downloaded the Mac version from the App Store. Within a few minutes I had discovered that I could drag images directly from iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom. Plastic Bullet also supports RAW format files. I was able to open and process NEF and CRW files without any problems. I have not found the maximum resolution for exporting yet, but file sizes of 5000 x 5000 (working from Hipstamatic) seem to be achieved easily

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Maximum import size supported is 36megapixels.

Read the full promo for OSX here

FL Studio Mobile

Great to see FL Studio availalble as a mobile app. I’ve been using FL Studio since version 5 and back then, this was an impossible dream. Anyone who has worked with FL Studio will know why its as popular as it is. I use it alongside Cubase and Logic and this development is about as good as it gets in the mobile arena. Will certainly be enjoying the screen real estate available on iPad2.

Great work @Image Line, everything works as advertised.

read all about it here and download the app from the iTunes store

All’s well that ends well, or is it?

At long last the issues with Aperture have settled down and the app is behaving normally. I read periodically on forums that users are still unsure of the viability of installing 3.1. The only caution I would mention is just be aware that once your libraries are updated you cannot revert to a previos version of Aperture, it’s a one way street, and if you get stuck, heaven help you. Having said that the 3.1.1 update has it’s merits and is worth the effort. Although in the interim when Aperture was down I discovered that Lightroom is no lightweight and is a serious contender. Apple beware, Adobe are doing their homework.

The update solution and now obviously the crash solution are posted here for reference.