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adamhanlon

Wetpixel Live: New Image Editing Tools

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Lightroom Classic 11 and Photoshop 2022 offer some great new tools that are very useful for underwater image-makers.  @Alex_Mustard and @adamhanlon overview these and provide insights into how these might be utilized to enhance underwater photographs. Along with offering some ideas on how they might be used, they also suggest that like all powerful tools, they should be used with discretion! To see complete tutorials about using the new selection and masking tools, head on over to Go Ask Erin.(https://www.goaskerin.com/)

 

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Thanks Alex and Adam.  I've always been an advocate for not doing anything more than subtle corrections on a selected area when processing in Photoshop.  In the early day I had a friend who was always telling me not to draw on my images and that there were more subtle ways to make selective adjustments and he could pick it at a glance.  These days I will generally select the subject with the quick selection tool and only use the selection to restrict sharpening to the main subject.  My preferred approach is to use luminosity masks which use a processed version of the image to make a mask that restricts your adjustments to shadows, midtones or highlights. 

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Is anyone using the alternatives to Adobe software for underwater photography, for example Capture One Pro, Photo Ninja, Topaz or Luninar?

Yes I know I've spent thousands on equipment but I don't like spending £X a month on software - I want to buy it. As a result I have my Photoshop 6 and Lightroom Classic as the last stand alone licences Adobe produced.

I get that Adobe softare is great value for the people who always want to upgrade or the pros, but for me the numbers don't stack up. I've been happy with my aging products for some time; I'm only now thinking that new products seem to be doing better things with ISO noise etc.

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I use Capture One Pro for raw conversion and export the resulting file to CS-6 to finish processing.  Capture One does a pretty good job on raw conversion.  Capture One allows quite a range of adjustments - mainly global and including levels to be included in the Raw conversion.  It can do some local work and masks, but I find I can do that quicker and more precisely in CS-6.  The Capture One learning curve can be a little steep and it does have some quirks but they have decent tutorials - and you can buy a licence.  I initially bought it to use with my new Olympus cameras and found I quite liked the results.

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5 hours ago, MTH said:

Is anyone using the alternatives to Adobe software for underwater photography, for example Capture One Pro, Photo Ninja, Topaz or Luninar?

Yes I know I've spent thousands on equipment but I don't like spending £X a month on software - I want to buy it. As a result I have my Photoshop 6 and Lightroom Classic as the last stand alone licences Adobe produced.

I get that Adobe softare is great value for the people who always want to upgrade or the pros, but for me the numbers don't stack up. I've been happy with my aging products for some time; I'm only now thinking that new products seem to be doing better things with ISO noise etc.

The rate of improvements delivered in Photoshop and Lightroom over the last several years has really accelerated. For hobbyists that spend thousands of dollars a year on camera gear, dive gear, trips, and excursions, $120 a year for the LR/PS subscription is a pretty good deal. Just this month Lightroom Classic got some amazing AI based masking and removal features that have top of my wishlist for years. Ancient versions of PS/LR won't take advantage of modern computer hardware or import from many modern cameras. On the Apple side of the ecosystem, they won't run at all anymore. 

I understand that plenty of people bristle at the idea of subscription software, but it's the de-facto model of the software and technology companies today. Gaming, Streaming video, even Car ownership is going this route. I would suggest dipping your toes in to give it a try. You can always cancel if you don't like it. 

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I'm with Dave. I don't like the subscription model much either. But the Adobe package is an exception for me. It's an excellent deal and as Dave says, frequent and impressive updates.

Dave is right, we spend thousand on gear. $120 a year for LR and PS?

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Thanks all for the useful comments. I acknowledge the contrariness of my stand point, but to be honest I've been very happy not chasing the latest update to PS. And while you are right on the cost of gear and diving, I'd like to choose where I spend my money not be made to continue paying even if the gains are great. For a few years I might prefer to stick with what I have and spend £300 or £400 on a new "to me lens" or diving holiday in the UK or just save it (I know a strange concept for a person that dives and takes pictures). I bought PS CS6 about 10 years ago and then bought one of the last LR standalones about 6-7 years ago. Can't remember the price of CS 6 but I guess about at about £500 pounds (I think) and LR at just over £100 (I'm pretty sure). So £600 that I can still use (PC based for me). That is about half price of the £1200 it would have cost to be on Adobe's gravy train. Yes I didn't get all the updates but I've not known what I'm missing and been happy enough.

I'm not a major manipulator of pictures (try to get my pictures as good as I can in camera and then do as little as I can get away with or can be bothered with) and I take pictures for my own entertainment not to win awards or anything special.

I may also be a lot less well off than many here as I find a housing at £3000-4000 and a camera at £2000-£3000 a lot of money. I've just upgraded to a D500 which I got with only 3000 click for £800 and a housing for £2500 from Wetpixel classified with other useful bits, but that was after living with my D7000 and housing for over 10 years.

I mostly dive in the UK with weeks in the beautiful Scilly Isles or trips to Mull (I don't do much photography for my weekend diving as that tends to be more deep and DARK, or I'm taking in beginners). Every few years my wife and I are fortunate enough to get a trip to somewhere lovely we are off to Cenderawasih next year after our last Maldives trip in 2019.

Finally, I just like to buy something and be in control, not open to the whims of Adobe. It's an old fashioned view point but one that I prefer.

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All perfectly fair points, MTH. It's your money, your choices. :good:

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On 11/24/2022 at 3:19 AM, MTH said:

Is anyone using the alternatives to Adobe software for underwater photography, for example Capture One Pro, Photo Ninja, Topaz or Luninar?

Yes I know I've spent thousands on equipment but I don't like spending £X a month on software - I want to buy it. As a result I have my Photoshop 6 and Lightroom Classic as the last stand alone licences Adobe produced.

I get that Adobe softare is great value for the people who always want to upgrade or the pros, but for me the numbers don't stack up. I've been happy with my aging products for some time; I'm only now thinking that new products seem to be doing better things with ISO noise etc.

I'm using On1 Photo Raw.  I use it for as a replacement for Lightroom, I never really used Photoshop so it seemed silly to pay for it. 

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On 11/26/2022 at 2:42 AM, MTH said:

Thanks all for the useful comments. I acknowledge the contrariness of my stand point, but to be honest I've been very happy not chasing the latest update to PS. And while you are right on the cost of gear and diving, I'd like to choose where I spend my money not be made to continue paying even if the gains are great. For a few years I might prefer to stick with what I have and spend £300 or £400 on a new "to me lens" or diving holiday in the UK or just save it (I know a strange concept for a person that dives and takes pictures). I bought PS CS6 about 10 years ago and then bought one of the last LR standalones about 6-7 years ago. Can't remember the price of CS 6 but I guess about at about £500 pounds (I think) and LR at just over £100 (I'm pretty sure). So £600 that I can still use (PC based for me). That is about half price of the £1200 it would have cost to be on Adobe's gravy train. Yes I didn't get all the updates but I've not known what I'm missing and been happy enough.

I'm not a major manipulator of pictures (try to get my pictures as good as I can in camera and then do as little as I can get away with or can be bothered with) and I take pictures for my own entertainment not to win awards or anything special.

I may also be a lot less well off than many here as I find a housing at £3000-4000 and a camera at £2000-£3000 a lot of money. I've just upgraded to a D500 which I got with only 3000 click for £800 and a housing for £2500 from Wetpixel classified with other useful bits, but that was after living with my D7000 and housing for over 10 years.

I mostly dive in the UK with weeks in the beautiful Scilly Isles or trips to Mull (I don't do much photography for my weekend diving as that tends to be more deep and DARK, or I'm taking in beginners). Every few years my wife and I are fortunate enough to get a trip to somewhere lovely we are off to Cenderawasih next year after our last Maldives trip in 2019.

Finally, I just like to buy something and be in control, not open to the whims of Adobe. It's an old fashioned view point but one that I prefer.

It's your money and you don't need to defend not spending it.  I'm still on CS-6 as I said and see no need to upgrade.  The new tools are nice but really apart from AI selection tools you can do most of what the new tools do with the basics levels and curves, masking is done by manipulating a copy of the image itself, I use the Tony Kuyper luminosity masks which work perfectly with CS-6 - the free version gives you all the masking you'll ever need ( https://goodlight.us/writing/luminositymasks/luminositymasks-1.html)   

The only one I can't readily emulate is the new subject selection tools, but as I only ever use selections to confine sharpening to the subject and noise reduction to the background the tools I have are perfectly adequate - using selections to isolate tonal adjustments if a big no-no for me too easy to create problems. 

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