Fake AI skies look amazing, but not everybody’s thrilled

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sky replacement tool in Luminar 4
Pick a sky that wasn't there when you took the photo.
Photo: Skylum

Imaging software company Skylum markets its photo editing tools as huge time savers. Just click a preset look or move a few slider bars and you have a beautifully styled final image within minutes.

Skylum was on message when it announced an upcoming AI tool for instantly replacing the sky. The company declared, “The days of spending a lot of time manually creating a complicated mask to replace skies in an image are over.”

Yet the debate over artificial intelligence’s role in photography is only beginning. In the week since Skylum announced and demoed AI Sky Replacement, photographers have spent considerable time in online forums drawing lines between ethics and creativity.

Adobe rebuilds Lightroom from scratch

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Lightroom CC
Adobe's new Lightroom CC seamlessly syncs across all devices.
Photo: Adobe

Adobe rolled out a rebranded Lightroom software Wednesday and photographers should rejoice because it will mean less time processing and organizing their images.

At the heart of the big update is an all-new Lightroom CC, a cloud-based app that will work more seamlessly to sync RAW images, edits and metadata across all devices, from iMac to iPhone. Original images are automatically stored or backed up, rather than having to select images for cloud storage.

Macphun tools will make photos look like tintype relics

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macphun
HEADING
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

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.

Picktorial 3 is the upgrade your photos need

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If you miss Aperture, trying editing your images with Picktorial 3.
If you miss Aperture, trying editing your images with Picktorial 3.
Photo: Picktorial

Many professional photographers collectively groaned in 2014 when Apple discontinued the popular photo editing software Aperture. Shooters loved how they could edit and organize with one powerful program.

But some software companies stepped up to aid anxious Mac-centric photographers. One was an Israel-based startup called Picktorial, which released an updated version today.

Photo app Luminar blends power and simplicity [Review]

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Luminar will help you replace the picture you took with the picture you saw.
Luminar will help you replace the picture you took with the picture you saw.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

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.

Macphun makes its HDR app more dynamic

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Aurora HDR 2017 pulls a beautiful and natural image from the brink of dullness.
Aurora HDR 2017 pulls a beautiful and natural image from the brink of dullness.
Photo: Serge Ramelli/Macphun

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.