Luminar and Looks
If you’re a Passport member, today you’ll see how I’ve changed the way I stitch together my panoramas, especially for these shots that are made from the drone.
Creating this photo took quite a while, so I decided to split it up into two videos! In this first one, you’ll see how I prep the photos before I make the panorama and then the final stitching process. In the next video (next Sunday), I’ll show how I use Aurora HDR for the final touches.
It was a perfect day a few weeks ago on the drive back, so I got the new Mavic 2 Zoom up in the air to take this panorama. It’s kind of annoying, in a way, that when the Mavic zooms into the sky, it doesn’t do any exposure adjustment. That always requires a little bit of cleanup.
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Grab the new Luminar here and get cracking with some of these hot tips! In today’s video, I show how to use “LUTs” which stands for “Look Up Tables” – I find this to be a very geeky acronym that mostly just confuses people. Despite its geekiness, it’s quite fun and powerful!
Here’s that little island that sits in the middle of Lake Wanaka. From the shore, it looks like a little perfect fairy island… a perfect little secret island to go have some adventures on. It also looks like you could swim out to it, except you’d defo die from hypothermia in transit. I think people are always surprised when they visit the South Island at how cold the water actually is. Some people are really into swimming in cold water, but I think those people might be kinda crazy.
There’s another quirky thing about New Zealand (this might be the case in Aussie as well). Anyway, you know that “heart” shape that we use to describe the shape that is, well, a heart? Well the Kiwis call it a “love heart” shape. I think that’s kind of a nice quirky thing about it… now my little girls say that, and sometimes even with a Kiwi accent!
If you don’t have Luminar, grab it here! Today’s tip shows how to remove that color cast you may not know is there and how to use the AI-Accent slider.
Here’s a photo I took on my three-hour hike around the lake. I think it only takes half that time, but I was really going slow and getting distracted. I didn’t see another human soul the entire time, so it was sort of surreal. A lot of the Queenstown and Arrowtown area is overrun with tourists, so it’s rare to spend times like this alone. I have a rough plan to come back here after a fresh snow, because I think it will look incredible!
Here’s another tip for one of my favorite editing programs, Luminar. This one has to do with De-haze!
I’ve made the flight back and forth to Auckland probably 20 times now. It’s a beautiful 1.5 hour flight where you get to sail across the top of New Zealand. About half of the way, you only see ocean, but it can make for some amazing clouds as they form on the coast. We get a warm wet wind that blows in from Australia across the Tasman Sea. When it collides with the NZ coastline, you get all kinds of fancy clouds like this.
This is a video that shows how I enhance reflections using Aurora HDR 2018. I took this photo at a cool outdoor shopping area in Singapore. Believe it or not, they air-condition the OUTSIDE, which seems like a ridiculous waste of money… but hey, Singapore is a pretty wealthy spot!
It was fun to spend some time with Liz out of New Zealand! She joined me as part of the #80Stays tour in Kuala Lumpur. Boy, was it hot while we were there! It was probably over 90 degrees when we went into this mosque where we had to put on these heavy robes. Outside, there was a little bit of a breeze, at least. It had recently rained and left a thin layer of water on the marble… so it made for a nice reflection shot. Find out more about Liz’s story from her visit on her blog.
Here’s another how-to video showing how to enhance details in your photos using Aurora HDR 2018. This particular tool, as you’ll see, can only be detected when you are zoomed into 100% or 200% on the image.
Here’s my friend Katie Ann out enjoying the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She came down with her boyfriend to meet me for the day and take some fun photos. I don’t do a lot of this sort of thing, but I was getting a little bored of JUST taking photos of sand and water and clouds. Don’t get me wrong, I love that sort of thing, but after several thousand, I wanted to mix it up a little. She’s not a professional model or anything, just a cool gal with giant buns.
If you don’t have it, you can grab Aurora HDR 2018 right here! In this video, I show how to take it to a bit more of an extreme to give a photo that almost crosses the line into an illustration.
Who knew Tibetan monks were into cruising? These two were all over the ship, monking it up. This was part of that Summit at Sea cruise I did. Think of it like a TED on the water. One thing that was pretty funny (well, to me) was what happened right when we launched the ship. I’m pretty apolitical, and I really don’t get involved in either side, which is a nice benefit of living in New Zealand. But, as you can guess, these events draw a lot of extreme Left-leaning people. Well, the day we left the port in Miami was the same day Trump was elected. The next day there were all these announcements that some of the meeting rooms had been converted into “recuperation” rooms where people could go and weep and heal. You can’t write this stuff. But, much like me, the monks didn’t seem terribly bothered by any of this and just enjoyed looking at the ocean.
I thought I’d write a little analysis that has more questions than answers. So, I guess it’s not really an analysis; perhaps an analysis of good questions!
I’ve speculated (with all honesty and openness) about why the adoption rate has been slower with Windows users, especially when they were so vocally angry about it being a Mac-only product for years. It’s racked up over 3 million downloads, has been used to make over 150,000,000 images (data collected anonymously), and has been a huge success in our partnership with Skylum. It’s honestly the BEST photo processing software out there to create dynamic light images. Note, although you may know, I teamed up with them to make this product. Also, note they are no longer Macphun, but now Skylum, after changing their name to indicate they are not just a Mac company. I think it’s pronounced Skyloooom or something, but all that is beside the point.
Of the various speculations below, maybe the best is #5 (in short, Windows peeps still use Photomatix because it is “good enough”) and they don’t want to spend the extra $99 on a new product. Well, let me tell you right away, that we are offering a 10% discount to existing Windows Photomatix users for Aurora HDR 2018 or my Bonus package that includes a full-length video tutorial and sample files. And, even better, if you don’t like it, you can have 100% of your money back. It’s literally a 0% downside / 100% upside deal. You don’t get those every day. So there, this is clearly logically unassailable, so go get it now!
Now, before we get to the sales, let’s look at some hard stats.
On the blog, nearly twice as many people visit on Windows vs. Mac OS. Worldwide for desktop/laptop users, Windows has an 83% market share compared to 17% for Mac (gs.statcounter.com)
In the Stranger Things upside-down-world, Aurora 2018 is almost exactly flipped with 75% of sales for Mac and 25% for PC. Hmmm.
So I began to noodle my noodle and wonder… And I always remember on photo walks, online, and other events, people were begging me to pressure Skylum to make a Windows version. I wanted a Windows version too, since I used both operating systems.
Anyway, this led to some honest speculation. Note these are just ideas, so don’t take any offence, unless you are just one of those internet people that is sitting around waiting to be upset. If you’re one of those people, oh well.
Okay, did you decide to go for it? Need some help getting started? Here are two free tutorials I made to get you going. You can also get the whole package which includes the Aurora HDR 2018 software + tutorial + sample files.
Click “PLAYLIST” in the upper left corner of the video to browse the entire playlist.
Anyway, maybe you fall outside of one of those speculations? I guess maybe you might just use Lightroom or something and consider that good enough. I agree Lightroom is good (I use it a lot), but I still use Aurora HDR to do about 10 things that LR can’t. Anyway, pour your heart out in the comments below and let us know! I’ll be sure to share with the development team at Skylum!