In the digital age we also use digital tools to help us. Section one of this blog will cover iPhone apps which I have found to be very helpful:
- MotionX-GPS. This is not a free app, but how much is your life worth to you. This app tracks your every step so that you can find your way back to the car. Now you may say that you have never gotten lost, but what will you do once it happens? It only takes once to possibily kill you. Have you ever wondered in sand dunes, they can all look the same. It is just safe to have a GPS guide to get you to your car. The app works even without cell phone reception.
- LeeProGlass. This is a free app that helps you to calculate the proper exposure when using a neutral density filter. It is super easy and simple to operate and it work well.
- Tides Near Me. This is useful to plan seascape shoots.
- Star Walk 2. This app tells you were the milky way and other constellations are for night photography.
- Weather apps with weather radar. This is perhaps the most important app of all. It shows you how the rain is moving so that you can plan accordingly.
- Lightning detector.
- Focalware. This app shows you where the sun or moon is going to be at a given time. It also tells you the sunrise and sunset times and moonrise and moonset times.
Let's get talking about image editing software. Please note that everybody have their own preferences and these are just mine. I am not saying that my choices are the best, their are what is working for me and what I know best. I use four different image editing programs:
- PureRaw 2 or PhotoLab 5 from DXO. I realize that these programs are expensive but their "Deep Prime" noise reduction is wonderful. They also fix lens distortion very well (in my opinion, much better than Adobe Camera Raw). Sometimes I also like "Clearview" to remove haze and mist. I run my images through DXO's offering before I go to the next program. This software exports a DNG file which Adobe Camera Raw will treat as a raw file. My only two complaints about the software are the cost and the output file size.
- Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw. Yes, yes, I know that most photographers love Lightroom. Most people love Lightroom for their image catalogue feature. I have HATED that feature from day one and have never gone back. I know that it is now more refined and all the initial issues have been solved but I just know and love Photoshop. After running my files through DXO I bring them into Photoshop.
- Luminar*. After processing my file in Adobe Camera Raw I quickly do a few small things in Photoshop and then I call up Luminar (from Skylum)(as a plug-in). Luminar does a few things quickly and well. The software is easy to learn and makes quite a different. Once this is done I go back into Adobe Camera Raw to reset the image's black and white points and make a few other local adjustments.
- Eurora*. When I do HDR work, my go to program is Eurora (from Skylum). My workflow changes here. I still start with DXO and follow that up with Adobe Camera Raw. Here I make sure that the white balance for the sequence of image are all the same. Now I export the files as Tiff files. These are the files that I take into Eurora. Once done with Eurora, I go to Photoshop and then Luminar.
Photo editing is very important and can make a huge difference.
* Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Skylum. Click on affiliate links to get a discount code if you choose to buy the software. I get a small commission without costing you anything extra (in fact, you get a discount). I use Skylum's software on every single one of my images.