I keep telling myself I’m going to buy an old wooden camera with a brass barrel lens and take one of those workshops where I learn some 19th-century photographic process. But I know myself. The steps are exacting and tedious, the chemistry complicated and my patience and attention for such details could fit in a pixel.
So when imaging software company Macphun developed a beautiful set of one-click presets that emulate tintypes and other old photo finishes, I felt like I found a process I could master.
Musicians who can’t read sheet music play by ear. What about a photographer who doesn’t fully understand the science behind imaging software?
That’s me and I’d call myself a fiddler. When it comes to toning an image in Adobe Photoshop, I don’t analyze the spikes on a histogram or adjust pixel color values. I fiddle with a picture until it looks right.
Macphun seems to design photo imaging programs with my brain in mind. Its newest app, an all-in-one program called Luminar lets photographers of all levels quickly improve the look of a photograph without even knowing how certain tools work.
If Apple has made photography for the masses easy, then Macphun wants to knock down remaining barriers that might keep some from using software to bring creative style to those photos.
It’s latest Mac-based photo editing software, Luminar, is its first all-in-one app that will include a variety of features to help photographers of all levels make corrections and bring creative finishing to their images.
The iris in the human eye sees more than what your camera records. Photo-imaging software company Macphun seemed to solve this problem last year with Aurora HDR, an easy-to-use tool that gives a final photograph the luminosity experienced by your eye.
On Wednesday, Macphun rolled out a new version of the software that can make a single natural-looking image from three exposures in as little as one click.
Dave Keene had colon cancer and wouldn’t be sure until after surgery whether it would kill him. What he did know for sure was if it did, his young son would eventually forget the sound of his voice.
Keene, a veteran engineer in the gaming industry, used his time before surgery to develop an iOS app that would change that. He created everyStory, a kind of digital photo album that includes audio attached to each photo.
You don’t need a formal photography education to make a pretty good snap. But sometimes, it would be nice to have a simple fix for a technical challenge without requiring a textbook or expensive software.
Take noise. In non-scientific terms, it’s the appearance that your pictures were taken in a sandstorm. It generally happens when you are shooting in low light. Lots of microscopic bits of colorful grain across your images.
The team at Macphun has created new software for Mac users with a series of simple sliders that let you take noise out of your photos. The aptly named Noiseless can have photos looking better with just a couple of intuitive steps.
This post is brought to you by Macphun, creator of Noiseless.
iPhones double as great cameras, but they do have limitations, especially when you’re taking pictures at night or simply in low-light conditions. The photos can appear grainy when viewed later, enlarged on your pristine Mac screen.
Dream your way into space with the new IFTTT NASA channel, put notifications and widgets on your desktop with Übersicht and make the perfect cup of coffee with the latest AeroPress timer. This week we even have an app just for processing B&W photos.
Listary, my favorite iPhone list app, now syncs with Dropbox instead of Simplenote (which in turn means no easy nvALT syncing), adds smart lists, a URL scheme that lets you ad tasks from apps like Drafts, icon badges and sharing. It’s also free, with an in-app purchase to unlock advanced features. $Free
IFTTT Space Channel
Now you can get an iPhone notification eery time an astronaut enters space. This radness is thanks to the new NASA IFTTT channel, which offers seven triggers that can feed their info into other IFFFT actions. Want to flash the Wi-Fi-controlled lights in your house every time the International Space Station passes overhead? No problem! And best of all it’s free – you just need an IFTTT account. $Free
Now Vox, the Mac app that streams music from internet radio along with pretty much any music format stored on your Mac (it integrates with your iTunes library too), now works with SoundCloud, which is the place all the cool kids publish their music these days. It supports SoundCloud queues and Collections, and grabs the highest-quality stream available. It’s free, with an in-app purchase to unlock the good stuff. $Free/$3
MediaFire for iOS
MediaFire, the service that forces you to click and load way too many web pages just to get an image from your email, has relaunched its iOS app as a photo-sharing, media-streaming powerhouse. v2.0 now auto-syncs your iPhone and iPad photos to its servers, along with improved streaming of audio and video. The service also adds a new pricing plan, starting at $25 per year for a terabyte of storage. Take that, Dropbox! $Free
JoliCloud’s Drive is both a front-end for the privacy-focussed Norwegian cloud storage service (which I use and love), as well as a place to combine all your other cloud accounts. You can access Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, MediaFire and more, plus the amazing cloud torrent service Put.io. You can also use it to view and edit photos, watch movies, edit photos, listen to music and even read ebooks. Now the web app is even better thanks to a new large-icon grid view for your files. How much? Amazingly, it’s $Free.
Tonality takes your boring old color photos and turns then into amazing B&W images. It works with most images, RAW and JPG included, and does most of what Adobe’s Lightroom does, only it’s focussed on monochrome images and doesn’t do anything for color. You can tweak the color channels to really play with the B&W result, and there’s even gimmicky a one-touch-HDR feature. But the best part is layers, letting you save yourself to a bigger app like photoshop. I like it quite a lot, but I miss Lightroom’s built-in cataloging features. Regular or Pro for $20/$60
Learnist for iPad
You know how cool the TED talks are, where super-smart folks tell you about awesome things? Well Learnist is kind of like that, only instead of lectures it curates lessons, and now it comes on the iPad too. People like Gus Van Sant add lessons, along with qualified teachers concentrating on specific subjects. It’s also free to download and browse. $Free
If you don’t have an AeroPress then go out and buy one right now. Pick up a burr grinder while you’re at it, and some delicious, freshly-roasted beans. Got it? Good. Now you can enjoy the free AeroPress Timer app, new and improved and at version 2. The app provides a whole slew of recipes, with extra recipe packs for $2, available as in-app purchases. Choose a recipe, get your gear set, your water hot and your coffee ground, and hit Go. The timer will count you down to the perfect cup. $Free.