HDR Efex Pro Review, Part 1

David Salahi HDR 6 Comments

Update 10/8/11: I’ve taken a second, more comprehensive look at HDR Efex Pro and have posted a second review.

Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro

HDR Efex Pro is a favorite of RC Concepcion and other notables in the digital photography world and when I learned this I wondered if I had made a mistake by purchasing Photomatix Pro. But after testing HDR Efex Pro during a two-week free trial I came to the conclusion that I probably purchased the right software for my needs. I’ll be adding a review of Photomatix Pro soon so check back for that.

Attractive User Interface but with Annoyances

HDR Efex Pro has a more polished interface than Photomatix Pro and is more attractive and nicer to work with. Being able to hide the preset and adjustment panels is handy to give you more screen real estate. There is also an ability to choose single image, split preview, and side-by-side previews. Initially, I was puzzled about what the latter two display modes are actually comparing and the manual was no help. Read More

Photo Ethics

David Salahi Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I want to say a few words about retouching and photo ethics. I could probably write 10,000 words on the subject but that would be overkill because my philosophy is pretty simple. I’m making images for my own enjoyment and, hopefully, yours. I’m not trying to document the way Half Dome looked on September 18, 2011. I’m not a photojournalist. Those guys have a strict set of rules for a good reason—they are trying to document how something looked or what happened at a given point in time.

I’m’ not. So, for me, anything goes. Remove dust specks? Absolutely. Remove a power line or a tree branch? Sure (in Photoshop—not the actual power line or branch!). Change the sky? Yes, if it makes a better image. I’m trying to create interesting and pleasing images so whatever serves that goal is just another tool in my toolbox. I’ll use anything from the healing brush to Alien Skin SnapArt.

After all, it’s clear that all photography is interpretation starting with what to include in the frame and what to omit.Read More

Review: The HDR Book by Rafael “RC” Concepcion

David Salahi Books, HDR 5 Comments

a review of The HDR Book by Rafael "RC" Concepcion

Sadly, this is not the review I wanted to write. I heard RC Concepcion on the Typical Shutterbug podcast recently talking about HDR photography and his new book and got all excited and ran right out and bought the book. However, after spending some time with it I found it lacking and I will explain why below. But, first I have to say that I hesitated in writing a negative review of a book by RC because I’ve been reading his articles in Photoshop User for years and I know he’s a major contributor in the world of digital photography. Still, I have to call ’em the way I see ’em. Read More