Lightroom adjustment sliders are nice and all, but wouldn’t it be neat if fine adjustments could be made using our hands and physical sliders rather than a mouse and virtual ones? There’s an open source program called PADDY for Lightroom that allows you to map adjustment settings in Lightroom to external devices, including MIDI faders with sliders and knobs. Here’s the description:
Paddy radically improves the workflow in Lightroom 3.0 by allowing you assign any adjustment setting – including moving the sliders and applying a preset – to keys, your number keypad, external keypads, or a MIDI controller. This gives you all editing (and some other) tools of Lightroom at the push of one button. You do not need the mouse any more to get to presets or to adjust the sliders.
The software is completely free and open source, and can be downloaded here. Sadly, it’s currently only available for Windows. Read more…
It’s almost a given for new Canon DSLRs to have an HD video recording mode, but older Canons can also capture HD video with the open source software EOS Camera Movie Record. The program allows you to shoot HD 720p video with any Canon EOS camera that has LiveView capabilities. The software runs off of your computer and captures HD video from the LiveView of a tethered camera.
Obviously, the fact that your camera has to remain tethered limits use of this video feature largely to studio use, but it’s a neat workaround for Canon owners. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Canon program has been in the works for over a year, there’s still no Nikon equivalent.
French company Oloneo has just released a free beta for their product, PhotoEngine. The software is a straightforward HDR creator and non-destructive editor that allows you to quickly merge HDR photos. Additionally, it has features that can adjust specific light sources in the photo, to change the white balance or the exposure. This could come in handy when shooting HDR frames that have a variety of different light sources with different temperatures.
Unshake is a free program available for all operating systems that takes your blurry photographs and attempts to make them clearer. While it’s not miraculous or perfect, it does in fact help in making photographs more usable, especially at lower resolutions (i.e. for the web).
Here’s a before-and-after example using a quick snapshot I took this past weekend with an outdated point-and-shoot camera:
If you have problems using the program on a Mac, try opening the Unshake.jar file directly at the last step. Larger photographs might also take much longer to “unshake”, while lower-res (i.e. 500px wide) photos were completed very quickly.
If you’re not naturally an organized person, then figuring out where certain photos are on your computer or external hard drive might be a pain. Adebis Photo Sorter [now defunct] is a free Windows program that uses the EXIF data in image files to automatically rename and/or organize your image files in a new directory, leaving the originals untouched. It supports pretty much all the popular image formats, from JPEG to Raw image formats, and can even help you include EXIF data in the new filenames.
For those of you who have been itching to try the new Content Aware Fill and Puppet Warp features in Adobe Photoshop CS5, today’s your lucky day. CS5 became available for purchase through the Adobe website, and you can now download a 30-day free trial of the software just to play around with the amazing new features if you’re not sure yet you want to upgrade.
If you’ve tried it out already, do you think the new features live up to the hype?
Photo Magician is a free and lightweight (less than 1MB) program for Windows that allows you to batch convert a directory of photographs. It’s similar in functionality to Photoshop’s “Image Processor” feature, with one difference being you can’t select the output quality like you can using Photoshop.
The program also features a “Quick Convert Mode”, which minimizes the program to a little box onto which you can drag and drop folders of images. If you’ve been looking for a quick way to resize images in Vista (like the Image Resize PowerToy allowed you to do in XP), then you might want to check out this program.
Easy Release is a new iPhone app designed to make it easy for you to secure model and property releases.
It was designed by Robert Giroux, a photographer of over 24 years who spent eight years on the staff of Getty Images, and uses the same format and legal language as the release forms used by major photo agencies.
The application replaces traditional paper based releases you would otherwise have to carry around with you by packing all of the forms and required fields inside an iPhone application. All the necessary fields are presented in a step-by-step wizard-style interface, and the signatures are entered directly into the application via the touch screen.
Once the release forms are completed, you can email a PDF or JPEG version of the form to yourself.
One of the best online photo editors is now completely free to use. Aviary has decided to offer its entire suite of online apps for free, including its popular Phoenix image editor.
The application used to cost $25 per year, and those who subscribed in the past 30 days can request refunds. While there has always been a free version of Phoenix, everyone can now save files privately on Aviary’s servers, watermark their images, and access the tutorials that previously required a subscription.
Offering the service for free should help Aviary better compete with Adobe, which offers its online version of Photoshop for free as well (up to 2GBs).
I wonder if (or when) online editors will rival traditional programs in terms of power and functionality. Any guesses?
We’re not sure whether it’s worth it in terms of cost, but here’s a way to print your own gigantic photograph posters using your ordinary photo printer. Easy Poster Printer is a free program by GD Software that automatically prints out a poster of any size (maximum is 20×20 meters) in individual pieces using your photo printer.
Obviously you could do the same thing using an ordinary program like Photoshop, but this program takes all the work out of the process, doing all the slicing and printing for you. The 6MB program is for Windows only (sorry Mac people!) and can be downloaded by clicking here [Update: the program is no longer available].