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macOS High Sierra Release Today

Photographers who have been patiently waiting to see the final version of Photos for macOS High Sierra should get their opportunity today. We anticipate the latest OS from Apple to be available by 6PM.

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Changes to the Photos app include a refreshed UI with persistent sidebar, new filtering options to find your images faster, new editing tools (curves and selective color), and a host of minor refinements.

In my testing with the beta version of the new Photos, I found it to be a good iCloud citizen with no disruption to my multi-Mac and iOS workflow. In fact, in general, High Sierra feels like an upgrade that you can embrace sooner than later. Some exceptions include those with Fusion drives and older versions of Final Cut, who should to do some research first.

I'll report more on the upgrade process as soon as Apple posts it, and I have a chance to go through the standard process.

Book or Videos: Photos for macOS

Explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Luminar and macOS High Sierra

I've been testing Photos for macOS High Sierra with many of my favorite editing extensions. And for the most part, things have moved along quite smoothly. Those who favor Luminar as an extension for Photos will be happy to read that there are no discernible hiccups. Standalone Luminar photographers only have one minor issue that I've discovered. I'll cover that in a minute.

choose-luminar-photos.png The Luminar editing extension worked well in Photos for High Sierra.

Using Luminar as an editing extension, I selected it from the new popup menu, worked on the image in Luminar, then saved it back to Photos without a hitch. I was then able to open the picture (thanks to iCloud) on another Mac running Sierra, and continued working on the photograph. Everything seemed good.

luminar-returned-photos.jpg My Luminar processed image was then opened on another Mac running Sierra. Looks terrific!

Working in Luminar as a standalone app seems OK as well performance wise, but I am having an issue with the interface, seeing artifacts appear in the top toolbar area. This doesn't seem to affect functionality. But it is a visual distraction.

luminar-in-high-sierra.jpg A few artifacts in the Luminar standalone interface in High Sierra.

I contacted Macphun, and they've already tackled the issue. We'll see a fix for it soon. Since I've only tested on my machines, I don't know if the issue will appear for you or not. But all things being equal, if you use Luminar as a standalone app, you might want to hold off a few days on that High Sierra update.

Luminar Pro Techniques Nimble Classroom, Sept. 23

If you want to master Luminar, you may be interested in my Luminar Pro Techniques Nimble Class on Saturday, Sept. 23. It's online, interactive, and you'll learn new tips and techniques. Plus, I send you the videos from the class too, so you can refer to them as often as you wish. We have a couple seats open, so sign up today.

Photos for macOS as Your Digital Darkroom

You can learn more about using Luminar as an editing extension in my lynda.com training, Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions.

And if you'd prefer to cozy up with a book, check out The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features chapters on basic editing, advanced post processing, and editing extensions.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Apple will release macOS High Sierra (10.13) on Sept. 25. The photography highlight is Photos 3 that continues to evolve with UI refinements, more intelligence, and a few new tools. The good news is, the transition seems very smooth. And if you're an iPhone photographer, Photos 3 is the perfect complement.

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I've been running a beta version of High Sierra on a test laptop, working in Photos 3, and seeing how it interacts with my overall Apple ecosystem. Even during the betas, handoffs were smooth to my iOS devices and other Photos libraries.

The new tools, such as selective color editing and curves are quite powerful and provide more editing horsepower within the app itself.

My primary editing extensions have also been working well with the betas. And in fact, there's even easier access to them in Photos 3.

Tools to Help You Get Up to Speed

First, stay tuned to thedigitalstory.com. I'll continue with my regular posts about Apple technologies. I've also opened up a second online Nimble Classroom for Photos 3 on Saturday, November 4 (the first session sold out). It's fun and you'll learn a lot.

Later this year, my Photos 3 title will be released by lynda/LinkedIn Learning. And after that, the Second Edition to Apple Photos Book for Photographers will hit the shelves.

If you enjoy iPhone photography, Photos is the perfect companion to organize and enhance your images. And with the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X coming out, all of this is going to get even better.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Much of the video I capture these days is either from the iPhone or my DJI Spark. In both cases, the content is managed in Photos for macOS. To be honest, it's just more convenient than the other options.

One of the wonderful aspects of HD and 4K movies is the ability to pull a single frame from the footage and use it as a standalone photograph. The quality is quite good, especially for web publishing. And it's easy to do in Photos. Here's a short video on the technique.

Essentially, all you have to do is scrub to the frame you want, then click on the gear icon in the controller. Choose "Export Frame to Pictures" from the popup menu. Photos will send a high quality Tiff file to your Pictures folder.

export-single-frame.png Exporting a single frame from video captured with the DJI Spark. Photo by Derrick Story.

At that point, you can bring the image back into Photos, convert it to a Jpeg with Preview, or make a print. Its file name will be the actual frame number from the video, so you might want to change that. And I recommend bringing the image back into Photos where you can add some metadata and keep it with the original movie.

Exporting a single frame from video is a great option to have as we continue to capture movies with our portable devices. And it's really easy to do in Photos for macOS.

Mastering Photos for macOS

I added a new Nimble Class on Mastering Photos for macOS to my ongoing Nimble Classroom Series. The first session sold out, but seats are available for the November 4th class.

You can also explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a training video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Selective Color Editing in Photos 3

In addition to the new Curves Adjustment coming to Photos 3 for macOS, we also get selective color. This is a nicely implemented tool that I think you're going to enjoy. Here's a preliminary peek at how it works.

VW-Before-Edit.jpg Classic VW Bug. Photo by Derrick Story.

Let's say that we wanted to change the red VW above to something a bit wilder. Maybe lavender? It's easy enough to do.

First, open Selective Color in the Adjust tab of Photos 3. Then click on the dropper and select the red color of the car. Now, play with the Hue, Saturation, Luminance, and Range sliders until you get the look you want.

VW-After-Edit.jpgVW Bug after Selective Color edit.

You can hold down the M key to see the before and after. And you can uncheck the blue circle in the Selective Color box to turn on and off the adjustment.

Photos 3 will ship with macOS High Sierra this coming Fall. The application is evolving nicely as we work with in through the beta builds. And I think Mac users are really going to enjoy this latest version of the software.

IMG_4225.jpg Here's the final version of the image.

New Nimble Classroom for Photos 3 Added!

My first Nimble Classroom for Photos 3 sold out. So, I've added another session for Nov. 4. If you want to learn this app inside and out, plus its wonderful editing extensions, you may want to sign up for the November class. We're going to have a blast!

Book or Videos: Photos for macOS

Explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Photos for macOS version 3 will ship with High Sierra. As part of the public beta, we're getting a chance to look at this app and some of its new features. One that I think a lot of photographers will be interested in is Curves.

after-curves-2.jpg Image after applying Curves in Photos 3. Image by Derrick Story.

As it stands now, this implementation of Curves is on the basic side in terms of features (no presets, etc.), but effective. We have highlights, midpoint, and shadows droppers. We can target specific tones and add them to the adjustment curve. And we can work in individual channels, or all channels rolled up in RGB view.

before-curves.jpg Before the Curves adjustment in Photos 3

There are also the normal controls that you would expect such as Auto Curves, reset adjustment, and the ability to turn it on and off without affecting the other sliders.

processed-image.jpg Final image output from Photos 3. Picture by Derrick Story.

Sometimes it's handy to target a specific tone and make an adjustment. In Photos 3, we'll be able to do just that with Curves.

Book, Videos, or Live Classroom: Photos for macOS

I'll be covering Curves and all the new Photos features in my upcoming Nimble Classroom on Photos for macOS, October 7. Interact with me and others from the comfort of your home.

You might also be interested in exploring the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Recently I wrote about ACDSee Pro for iOS and how easy it is to shoot in RAW with an iPhone.

clouds-over-aurora-1024.jpg "Clouds Over Aurora" captured with an iPhone 6S and ACDSee Pro. Photo by Derrick Story.

One of the subjects I was looking forward to capturing in RAW was the landscape from above while flying. I wasn't disappointed.

Using ACDSee Pro, my images were stored as both Jpegs and DNGs. I saved the RAW files to my Camera Roll, which added them to iCloud as well. Once I reached my hotel room, I opened the images in Photos for macOS and quickly processed them using Luminar Neptune and the native tools in Photos.

And this is just quick and dirty stuff. Later on, if I want to apply noise reduction or other advanced adjustments, those RAWs will hold together nicely while doing so.

Having those DNGs, instead of Jpegs, for challenging subjects like this made my iPhone all the more valuable as a travel camera. I really like this workflow.

Photos for macOS as Your Digital Darkroom

You can learn more about using Luminar as an editing extension in my lynda.com training, Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions.

And if you'd prefer to cozy up with a book, check out The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features chapters on basic editing, advanced post processing, and editing extensions.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

With the introduction of the Accent AI filter in Luminar Neptune, you can create what Macphun calls the "Quick and Awesome" workflow that yields beautiful images quickly.

looking-down-19th.jpg

Photos for macOS users have it even better because Luminar is also an editing extension for their host application. So not only do you get the built-in tools in Photos, but you can tap the additional power of the rapidly evolving Luminar. Here are the steps.

  • Open your image in Photos, then press the Return key to enter Edit mode.
  • If you have a Jpeg/RAW stack, switch to RAW mode via Image > Use RAW as Original.
  • Click on Extensions at the bottom of the tools panel, and choose Luminar from the popup menu.
  • Once the file opens in Luminar, choose the Quick & Awesome Workspace (as shown in the illustration below).
  • Use the Boost slider in the Accent - AI filter to adjust your image.
  • Tap Save Changes to return to Edit mode in Photos.

quick-awesome.jpg

Once you back in Photos, you can use the M key to toggle the before and after. You can continue to refine the image, let's say adding Definition or Sharpness, if desired. But it probably won't need much.

Then, thanks to iCloud, your awesome photo will be updated and live on all of your devices.

This is a wonderful, powerful, and to be honest, fun workflow. If you haven't explored Luminar Neptune yet, I highly recommend it.

Photos for macOS as Your Digital Darkroom

You can learn more about using Luminar as an editing extension in my lynda.com training, Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions.

And if you'd prefer to cozy up with a book, check out The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features chapters on basic editing, advanced post processing, and editing extensions.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

mac-os-high-sierra.jpg

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, and the rest of the cast kept the audience waiting a few extra minutes before walking out on stage. But once Tim jogged into the spotlight, he and his crew had plenty to say.

"We have six important announcements to share with you this morning," the CEO remarked. He then rolled right into Apple TV, noting that Amazon Prime Video will be joining the family. (Yay!)

The next topic was Apple Watch. Kevin Lynch took the stage and introduced watchOS 4. Machine Learning makes a substantive appearance with the predictive Siri watch face. The watchface dynamically updates, depending on time of day and the data the watch knows about you. Plus, there's lots of new fitness stuff, as you would expect, and a redesigned Music app. But there was nothing specifically about Photos for watchOS 4 (maybe next time). Free upgrade for Apple Watch owners coming this Fall.

Next up, was the Mac. The next macOS will be named High Sierra, with an updated Safari that features auto-blocking video (yay!). Safari will also apply machine learning to incorporate Intelligent Tracking Prevention. So those creepy ads that follow you all over the Internet can be eliminated. macOS High Sierra with launch a public beta soon, then be available for all users this Fall. If will run on any machine that can currently run Sierra.

Updated Photos for macOS

photos-mac-os-high-sierra.jpg

Much to my delight, Photos received a reasonable amount of airtime on stage. More machine learning organization, as I anticipated. But a few unexpected surprises included the addition of curves, selective color editing, and synchronized adjustments with third party apps. Apple has also upped its game with photo books.

The UI for Photos for macOS also receives some polishing, as you can examine for yourself with the above illustration. All in all, this looks like a solid update to Photos. I'm looking forward to learning more of the finer details.

Beefy iMacs

As the keynote rolled on, Apple covered updates to the iMacs, MacBook Pros, with a new configuration for the 13" MacBook Pro that starts at $1,399. The MacBook Air seems to be sticking around as well.

We also got a sneak peek at the upcoming iMac Pro (the most powerful Mac Apple has ever created). Will ship with 8-Core, 10-Core, or 18-Core Xeon Processor options. This workstation will be a blast for photo and video editing. The new iMac Pros will ship at the end of the year, starting at $4,999.

iOS 11 is Crazy Good

On the iOS front, ApplePay will now work for person to person payments. Siri will be using on-device learning to start suggesting things that we would like.

The Camera in iOS also gets an upgrade. On the photo front, HEIF provides better compression and quality (still sharable). Better low light capability for the camera as well.

Photos for iOS sees plenty of improvement. We can select the frame we want in Live Photos to be the key image. Apple has also added effects, like long exposure, loop, and bounce, to our image editing options for Live Photos. Memories movies can be viewed in portrait orientation as well as landscape. And Apple has added more categories to Memories, such as pets, sporting events, night out, anniversary, and more.

The introduction of AR kit will provide developers with sophisticated augmented reality tools, enabling them to develop apps and incorporate this technology into their existing software.

iPad Pro 10.5"

A new tablet joins the family, the 10.5" Retina Display iPad Pro. Lots of performance improvements, including the new ProMotion, with refresh rate at 120Hz. You will be able to choose the refresh rate you want, depending on the task at hand and how much battery you want to use. This also makes the Apple Pencil even more responsive and natural.

The Serif software chief walked into the spotlight, with an iPad Pro demo showing off their Infinity Photo software that performed every bit as well as something that you would see on a desktop workstation, but with the portability and tactile experience of a tablet. Serif demonstrated blend modes, lighting effects, and object selection (including hair!).

The new iPad Pro will start shipping soon for $649 to $949. And with iOS 11 for the iPad, which is coming this Fall, users will get a Dock, a new App Switcher, and drag and drop functionality. A new app called Files will make organization so much smarter, not only on the device itself, but across iCloud and the other file sharing systems. And the Notes app gets a huge upgrade as well, thanks in large part to the enhanced integration of Apple Pencil.

Apple Reinvents Music for the Home

Phil Schiller returned to the stage to introduce HomePod. "Just like iPod reinvented music in our pockets, HomePod will change it in our homes." Crazy speaker technology controlled by an Apple A8 chip, that provides real-time acoustic modeling. No matter the design of the room, the HomePod will provide a tailored music experience.

The speaker system can interact directly with Apple Music via audio commands ("Hey Siri"). It can provide all sorts of music-related information, what Apple calls a built-in Musicologist. Additional, the HomePod can play our podcasts, control our home, and provide general information. HomePod will set you back $349 when it ships.

All in all, it was a marathon keynote presentation (2.5 hours), will plenty for photographers to sink their teeth in to.

Book or Videos: Photos for macOS

Explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

On Monday, many of us will fire up our Apple devices and tune in to the WWDC Keynote Address. Rumors of new MacBooks and iPads have been swirling around for some time. But this is a developer conference, so software enjoys a spotlight as well. And for photographers, there may be a few unanticipated cameos.

san-jose-in-photos.png

Among the predictions of more integrated Artificial Intelligence in Apple technologies, few are talking about the ongoing evolution of Photos for macOS, an application that already leverages AI, and is bound to increase its role on that platform.

As Photos helps us make the transition from manual organization (star ratings, color labels, etc.) to object recognition, facial awareness, automatic geotagging (iPhones, et al), and intelligent grouping, we most likely won't see many UI changes, but will indeed experience greater depth in capability. And that's why this software is such a dark horse.

Experienced users know what I'm talking about. If I enter "San Jose" in the search box for my Photos app, it displays all the shots from that city. I've never used a San Jose keyword, caption, album, or anything else. But I do record an iPhone image or two that has a nearby timestamp with my other cameras, and Photos puts it all together. As it does with search words such as ocean, building, car, and hundreds of others. I don't spend time organizing stuff in this app. That's its job.

Yet, unless there's something really big in the works, I doubt that Photos will get much airtime on stage Monday. Maybe a mention. Something like, "and Photos is much smarter too." Somehow, that seems fitting for this little gem on an intelligent app.

Book or Videos: Photos for macOS

Explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.