Recently in Photos for OS X

  Page 3 of 8 in Photos for OS X  

There are two basic ways to tap the power of Luminar. One is to use is as a standalone app (and there are advantages to that). Or you can tap its power as a plugin/editing extension (Lightroom, Photoshop, Photos for macOS). When would you choose one over the other?

The primary reason for going the standalone route would be if you wanted to go back and fine tune a layered document. I explain exactly how this works in the following video.

Most of the time I'm using Luminar as a plugin/editing extension. But for my special projects, I go the standalone route so that I can continue to refine the image without any loss of quality. This is particularly fun for ongoing projects.

Limited Special Offer Plus Coupon

Luminar Hot Deal

If this is a workflow that you're interested in, the timing couldn't be better. Macphun is offering a sweetheart of a deal for Luminar. This offer is valid until Saturday, Feb. 18th. Here are the details. For $69 you'll get:

  • Luminar, super-charged photo software for any Mac photographer (standalone version plus plugins and editing extension).
  • Vivid Wonderland Luminar preset pack.
  • Pose like the Pros: Family Photos - eBook.
  • Top 25 Places to Shoot the Most Romantic Photos - eBook (I think this is the Valentine's day part :-)
  • Creative Sky Overlays (include 166 Color Sky Overlays, 69 Landscape & Ocean overlays).

And a Coupon for an Additional $10 Savings

luminar-feb2017.png

In addition to this special offer of Luminar plus bonuses for only $69 (total value $139 Savings of 50 percent), I can save you another $10 if you use coupon code: THEDIGITALSTORY at checkout. That lowers the price for the entire package to $59.

With this offer, you get the standalone version of the app, and all of its plugins, including for Lightroom, Photoshop, and Photos for macOS. This gives you maximum flexibility in how you use Luminar's powerful editing tools.

I'm having a blast editing my images with Luminar. I hope you give it a try.

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.

I met Frederick Van Johnson last night at Oracle Arena to take-in a Warriors game. At one point he said to me, "What's missing here?" We both looked at each other, and neither had a camera other than our iPhones. "Times have changed, haven't they?"

Oracle-Noise-Reduction.jpg Oracle Arena at Twilight. Photo by Derrick Story captured with an iPhone 6S and processed in Photos for macOS with Luminar editing extension.

Obviously, I still shoot with dedicated cameras most of the time. But there are those moments, such as going through security at Oracle Arena, where just having an iPhone is so convenient.

But I do notice, that with shots like this one of the arena at twilight, that the iPhone produces a little more noise in the sky than I like. Since my smartphone images go directly into Photos for macOS, this isn't much of a problem because I have the excellent noise reduction of Luminar waiting as an editing extension. (Luminar noise reduction is far more powerful than the noise reduction slider built into Photos.)

noise-reduction-web.jpg The noise reduction tool built into Luminar.

All I have to do is open the shot in Photos, then choose the Luminar editing extension. Its noise reduction tool provides many options allowing me to apply just the right amount. Plus, it puts the adjustment on its own layer. Nice. I then save the image, and it appears back in Photos, and it's shared across all of my devices.

The process is totally non-destructive, so I can view or revert to the original at any time. And having a robust noise reduction tool to complement my iPhone photography makes it that much easier to travel super light, yet still capture important moments as they present themselves.

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.

Check out this list of killer software: Luminar, DxO Optics Pro, Pixelmator, Affinity Photo, and Polarr - they are all explained in my latest title for lynda.com, Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions. Here's the overview movie.

All of this software is available in the Mac App Store and provides you with standalone versions or can be integrated into Photos for macOS as editing extensions. I show you how to use each of these great apps in one complete title.

luminar-in-adv-ext.png

If you want to supercharge your post production using the latest technology available, and have a blast doing so, check out Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions. I think you're going to love it.

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.

When I'm out in nature taking pictures, one of the things that I look for are compositions for my fine art greeting cards. I've found that simple, elegant images make are perfect for printing on card stock.

Fine-Art-Card.jpg Washed up Bat Star on a beach in Pacific Grove, CA. Photo and card design by Derrick Story.

I add to the challenge by resisting the urge to move elements in the photograph, and try to stick with the compositions that nature presents me. Such was the case with this series of beach portraits after a storm in Pacific Grove, CA.

I try to find 6-8 compositions that work well together so I can produce a set of cards with a theme. Once I've settled on the shots I want, I design the cards in Photos for macOS, using the variety of templates and tools available in that app.

Then I can send off an order for the cards, or I can print them myself using Red River Paper greeting card stock. (I show how to do this in my latest book, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers).

Regardless of how you output, keep in mind that capturing these elegant, natural compositions when exploring the great outdoors can help you produce some handsome greeting cards when you return home.

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.

Crashing Waves with Luminar and Photos

The long overdue storm season in California is producing dramatic landscapes once again. I made a stop in Monterey yesterday for a bite to eat and to capture some of the action with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Crashing Waves

Originally I opted for video to record the tumultuous sea. But then I wanted a few stills too. So I switched to RAW mode and worked with the Panasonic Lumix G II 20mm, F1.7 lens. I kept the shutter speed at a conservative 1/60th of a second to capture a little motion with the crashing waves.

You might think at this point that I would open the RAW in Lightroom or Capture One Pro. But I'm on vacation and wanted to play. So the images went into Photos for macOS. Then I used the Luminar editing extension to pull the drama that I knew lurked in that RAW file. And Luminar did just that.

Want to see the difference? Take a look at this before/after view in the Luminar editing extension.

luminar-edit.jpg

Back in Photos, I added a dash of Brilliance, then viewed the image in full screen mode on my MacBook Pro. Lovely. So wonderful to have this weather in California again...

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.

Impressive RAW Power App for Photos

One of the features that I miss from Aperture is the ability to customize the decoding of my RAW files. Now, thanks to the $10 editing extension (and standalone app) RAW Power, I have those tools again. And they are wonderful.

001-RAW-Process.jpg The key to this app is the RAW Processing panel, that gives me control over the actual decoding of the RAW file.

the-raw-process-panel.png

I purchased RAW Power from the Mac App Store, then tried it as a standalone. I usually do that first with editing extensions to make sure everything works OK. And indeed it does. I so enjoy having control again on how software interprets my RAW files.

The key to this editing extension is the RAW Processing panel that contains all the sliders you need to customize the file's decoding, including the ultra-cool boost sliders. Getting these adjustments just right makes everything that follows so much more effective.

I then fired up Photos for macOS and used RAW Power as an editing extension. Same controls, same wonderful results. This file, for example, was captured in existing light with an Olympus TG-4 compact camera. Yet, I was able to take that RAW file and make it shine. Compare the decoded top image to the original (without RAW Power processing) below.

002-Original.jpg Original file before decoding with RAW Power.

RAW Power does include plenty of adjustment tools too, such as shadows/highlights, curves, white balance, and sharpen, just to name a few. So after you decode the file, you can spruce it up a bit too.

But my workflow has been to get the basic image in good shape, then return to Photos for finishing touches such as color cast, vignette, definition, and sharpening.

003-Finishing-Touch.jpg Now for the finishing touches in Photos for macOS.

RAW Power is a wonderful addition to Photos, as well as a strong standalone app. Most of the files that circulate through Photos for macOS are Jpegs from my iPhone shooting. But I do have a surprising number of RAWs also, especially from the Olympus TG-4. How wonderful to finally have a set of pro tools to work on them, and have the results automatically shared across all of my devices.

Master 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.

What a great time of year for creating slideshows to share with others. Whether it's a wrap-up of the holidays, or the entire year, these short videos are a perfect way to tell your story.

If you're an iPhone shooter, you have a robust slideshow editor on your laptop that can tap into all of those great images on your phone. Photos for macOS makes it easy to author and share these presentations. And if you want to take your movie to the next level, customize your title screens using this simple tip. Here's a video that walks you through the steps.

That's right - the greeting card tool in Photos for macOS can also be used for creating professional title screens for your slideshows. And everything you need is right there under one roof.

Instead of printing the card, you output it to digital and add it to your presentation. The look absolutely great because you have all of the high-end design tools in the greeting card creator at your disposal.

digital-output.png Output to digital to use your design in a slideshow.

A few of these handsome titles will make your video shine. Also, keep the overall presentation short - about 1.5 to 2 minutes - and add some audio as appropriate. Your fans will love it.

But Wait, There's More!

If you'd like to cozy up to more helpful videos, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training. Tons of tips to help you bring out your inner artist.

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

Supercharge Your Notes with Photos

Apple Notes in macOS Sierra has evolved into a very useful app for those who like checklists, reminders, and journals. And its integration with Photos for macOS has added a welcomed visual component that's seamless to use.

IMG_2564.jpg

Images in your Camera Roll and in Photos for macOS can be easily added to an existing note, or used to create a brand new entry. They can be annotated with the Markup Tool, shared, and of course are propagated across all of your devices. Here's an short video that walks you through the steps (and possibilities).

My typical workflow starts with taking a picture with my iPhone, sharing it to Notes, then annotating the entry for future reference. I can use this system for field notes, reminders, and ToDo lists.

notes-and-photos.jpg

And the best part is, all of this data is automatically backed up via iCloud. So you'll never lose another vital piece of information. (Consider it your second, more reliable brain!)

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.

New lynda Title - Photos for macOS

The latest version of Photos that shipped with macOS Sierra is the iceberg of imaging applications: simple elegance above the waterline, and a heavyweight beneath it. And if you join me for Photos for macOS Essential Training, I'll take you on a deep dive to explore its many wonders.

photos-derrick-story.jpg

And now that we have robust editing extensions, such as Luminar, wireless file transfer using Cascable, and seamless iCloud connectivity for sharing our images across all devices, Photos has evolved into an essential app, especially for mobile photographers.

Here's the introduction movie to give you an overview of the course.

Set aside some time to learn how you can incorporate Photos for macOS in to your photography life.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Not long ago, I wrote about the frustrations of connecting our digital cameras directly to a Mac. But new software to the rescue. Cascable Transfer is in beta, and you can use it right now to send Jpegs, RAWs, or both to your macOS computer.

transfer-to-folder.png

The procedure is simple. Turn on WiFi with your camera, connect to it with your computer, then launch Cascable. If your camera is one that is supported, then the screen soon fills with thumbnails from the memory card.

Choose the shots you want, decide if you want to bring over the RAW, Jpeg, or both, then initiate the copy process. You can send the files to a folder, import to Photos for macOS, or put them inside of Lightroom. I had the best success with folders and Photos. The Lightroom transfer still needs a little work.

photos-app-album.png

With Photos, my RAW files went right into the app, plus Cascable created an import album too so I can review all the shots that came into the app wirelessly. Everything was intact and looked great.

Because wireless transfer isn't as fast as plugging a memory card directly into the computer, this isn't a method that you'd want to use for hundreds of RAW files. But for a dozen or so images, the 5-6 minute wait time is reasonable.

You can try to beta version of Cascable now for free. And if you preorder your final copy, you can save 50 percent off the $14.99 price when it's released. I'm going to order mine now.

Master Photos for macOS

Apple's Photos for macOS app was designed from the ground up to help you organize, edit, and share your pictures and videos. While the interface appears simple, finding the hidden nuances of Photos is not so straightforward. There's more to this app than initially meets the eye.

For photographers who are more than just casual snapshooters, or who are making the transition from Aperture or iPhoto, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers shines a light on the true sophistication of this app and the ecosystem it taps into. From the point of view of a working photographer, Derrick provides everything you need to know to get the most out of the imaging tools built into macOS and iCloud.

This book is up to date with the current version of Photos that shipped with macOS Sierra. It includes discussions on Memories and object recognition, plus all of the tools that make this a compelling application for Mac-toting photographers.

You can order your own copy directly from the publisher, Rocky Nook. Use coupon code DSAPPLE35 for a 35 percent discount. We recommend the Print & eBook Bundle that gives you the Kindle, iBook, and PDF versions, plus the lovely print edition.

You can also order your copy on Amazon.com

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