Tag Archives: MacPhun

Black Friday online sales


ibks

CreativeTech in iBooks — Black Friday pre-Christmas sale on all CreativeTech books until Sunday 27th November.
Prices are across all 51 territories with discounts commensurate to the following in local currencies:
Parcels From Home: The Prisoner of War Parcel Scheme and the New Zealand Red Cross in World War Two, now NZ99¢/Australian-US99¢/UK49p (usually NZ$11.99)
Parcels From Home: Jack’s War by Steve Bolton (historical graphic novel telling the NZ WWII Red Cross Parcel story) now NZ$1.99/Aus-US 99¢/UK49p (usually NZ$17.99)
Parcels From Home: The Prisoner of War Parcel Scheme and the New Zealand Red Cross in World War Two (Trainspotter Edition), now NZ$2.99/Aus-US$1.99/UK99p (usually NZ$17.99)
Friendship, Foes and Feathers: June, Anne and the Great War by Lynda Johansson Nunweek, now NZ99¢/Aus-US99¢/UK49p (usually NZ$7.99)
Four Immeasurable States and What Is Nirvana? Traleg Rinpoche, now NZ99¢/Aus-US99¢/UK49p (usually NZ$9.99)

lumin

MacPhun — Luminar (offer available until December 1st)
Price for Macphun Users: US$49
Price for New Users: US$59
Buy before December 1st to receive the following Black Friday Bonuses:
Africa with Athena Video by Athena Carey ($60 value)
Cameras in the Wild ebook by Contrastly ($29 value)
Making the Image ebook by Dan Bailey ($25 value)
Luminar Presets pack ($25 value)
Aurora HDR 2017 (offer available until December 1st )
Upgrade Price for existing Aurora HDR Pro Owners: US$49
Price for existing Aurora HDR Owners: US$79
Price for New Users: US$89
Buy before December 1st to receive the following Black Friday Bonuses:
The Essentials of Street Photography & The New York Photographer’s Travel Guide by James Maher (US$25 value)
20 Minute Video Training from Trey Ratcliff (US$20 value)
Holiday Preset Pack (US$25 value)

Review ~ Luminar by MacPhun is comprehensive photo improvement software


luminarinterface

MacPhun seems to have been making Mac image apps for ages, and had a real success with last year’s Aurora HD (which was recently updated in an excellent new version for 2017, available now; I have already reviewed this) but is also known for the very handy Snapheal cloning tool – it has powerful erasing and healing tools for removing things you don’t want in images, as well as standard editing tools.
In the CreativeKit, MacPhun bundles six handy photo apps, including Snapheal and FX Studio Pro … this company knows what it’s doing. (Luminar pretty much has all of these in the one place, though.)

Luminar will be available soon, as it just went on presale, is a non-destructive RAW photo editor, built from the ground up around two things: simplicity and creativity. I’ve been trying software like this for a while, as I resent Adobe’s new subscription policy. If I thought I could replace it with a standalone app that did what I use Photoshop for, I’d get it. So, will this be the one ..?
Luminar is designed to be usable right out of the (virtual) box, without a steep learning curve, but to then adapt as your use becomes more sophisticated to offer more capabilities. Luminar’s user interface adjust to your skill level and preferences: you can use a one-click fix (like the magic wand in Photos) or you can develop away with 35 filters, all with their own settings faders, plus tools, layers, blend modes, brushes, masking and more. Add to that Layers, Custom Textures, Brushes, Masking (including automatic Luminosity, Gradient and Radial Masks), Noise Reduction, a Healing tool, Crop & Transform, History Panel, Selective Top & Bottom adjustments, plug-in support
I used to really like Aperture until Apple killed it off, as its non-destructive tools were excellent. It was better than Photoshop at fixing up scans of old photographs, of which I have quite a collection. And I tried Adobe’s Lightroom but I found it deeply irksome that it followed a darkroom of old as a sort of digital workflow method. This might sound weird coming from a former darkroom technician, but I’d fully embraced digital and I didn’t see the point of going through ‘stages’ of a process artificially to get where I wanted.
Luminar has perhaps the best of both worlds as it it uses workspaces you can tailor to your preference. They can be set up to feature only the tools most suitable for your type of photography, saved into sets of different filters. The defaults are Portrait, Black & White, Landscape and Street. You can add different filters to these workspaces or build your own.

Interface — This looks a lot like Aurora in that the image loads into the large space in the middle to the left edge, with features down the right edge and presets along the bottom. The presets are Clarity Booster, Classic B&W, Detailed, Fix Dark Photo, Foggy Day (adds fog), Foreground Brightener, Gloomy Morning, Image Enhancer, Mid Image Enhancer, Sharp & Crisp, Sky Enhancer, Soft & Airy, Vivid, 60s B&W, Center of Attention (sic), Cold Morning, Enhanced Reality, Noble, Only Yellow, Peruvian desert, Subway, Abandoned Place, Auto Smart Sharpener, Bright Day, Colors of the Fall (sic), Daydreams, Fix Dark Landscape, Misty Land, B&W Fashion Magazine, Enhanced Portrait, Glamour, Mysterious Girl, Noble Beauty, Portrait Soft Glow, Smooth Portrait, Dark Moon, Dull No More, Explore Dark Alleys, Final Frontier, Ghost Ship, Happy Memories, Impressive, Marco Polo, New Discovery, Silver Crystals, Sleepy Valley, Vivid Dreams, Warm Sunset, Artistic Copper Strong, Bloody Mary, Cold Mood, Dramatic Grungy, Dramatic Look, Enigmatic Vision, Film Noir, Lost Soul, Mood Enhancer, Tears in the Rain and Vintage Look. I count 56!
Clicking on any preset resets all the sliders in the tool strip from scratch, and each preset area has its own intensity slider so you can choose how much of the combination of controls you apply. A second or two and the effects are applied to the image so you can see it full screen. Rolling the mouse or stroking your trackpad over the main image zooms it in and out. You can click a little star at lower right of each preset to make it a favourite, which might be a good way to start working out what you’ll want in a customised workspace.

The tools — The tools down the right side have group buttons on the right-most edge: Hand, Brush, Gradient, Radiant Mask, Rectangular Marquee tool, Stamp (clicking on this initiates a 3-second ‘Preparing’ operation), Eraser, Denoise (which immediately zooms in so you can inspect the effect) and Crop (with rule-of-thirds grid). The first four keep the sliders in the rest of the right vertical strip visible, but the next batch of five don’t.
To the left of these, but still in the right vertical strip, there’s Levels at the top, Layers, Filters (click to make a menu appear with 35 filters in it), the Workspace menu (Custom, Clear, Default, B&W, Landscape, Portrait and Street) and then there are different sliders that appear below this section depending on the workspace you choose – for example, under Street there are Colour Temperature sliders and below that Tone (Exposure, Contrast, Smart Tone, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks) and beneath that in turn, Saturation/Vibrance sliders, Clarity, Structure, Soft Focus, Curves, Cross Processing, Texture Overlay, Vignette and Grain. And then, in case that’s not enough, an Add Filter button that shows those above-mentioned 35 filters. Other of these include Bi-Color Toning, Channel Mixer, Foliage Enhancer, and Orton Effect … So do you have plenty of variations available? Goodness yes.
The feature of customisable workspaces means that if you find yourself using specific filters on particular types of photos, you can create a custom Workspace for them. For instance, for landscapes you may want to always use Clarity, Saturation (or Vibrance), Polarizing Filter, Brightness and Contrast.

wiper

But wait, there’s more — There are also options along the top of the work space: from left to right, there’s a folder icon for Open, then Share; plus, minus and the zoom amount is displayed; Quick Preview (click and hold to see the ‘Before’ state of the image); the cool Wiper tool found in Aurora (shown above, where you can also see the intensity slider on the preset itself – click the image for a larger view). With the wiper, turn it on with the upper central button then then drag the vertical line on the image to see Before and After states side by side.
Then there’s Undo, Redo, History, buttons to flip on the Layers vertical right-hand toolbar or the Filters one, and buttons to turn on or off the Prestes strip along the bottom and/or the Tools strip on the right hand side.
A lot of this may strike you as familiar to Aurora, but Luminar is a single-exposure editor and not an HDR editor (like Aurora). Luminar does not have the ability to merge exposure brackets to HDR and then flexibly control those ranges.
Luminar also has Layers, Custom Textures, Brushes and Masking (including automatic Luminosity, Gradient and Radial Masks), Noise Reduction, a Healing tool, a History Panel, Selective Top & Bottom adjustments, supports plug-ins and more. The only thing really missing is the ability to make selections and paths, and that’s a shame, because they’re the only tools I keep having to go back to Photoshop for.

What’s great — The workspaces are all fine, but what’s really great are the image controls which are full featured, very variable and very comprehensive. It’s pretty great you can use it as a plugin for Lightroom, which it installs by default, but I suspect most users will want to add this to Photos.
extensionHere’s how: install Luminar (and/or Aurora), open Photos, select an image, click the Adjustment button at top right (it looks like three sliders), find Extensions at the bottom of the list of adjustment controls (under Retouch), click it’s three dots in a circle icon, choose More then tick Luminar (and/or Aurora). Awesome! Now you can use the magic right from within Photos when its own tools prove insufficient by going into this area (above) to improve a photo.
What’s not — It’s a bit clunky getting though the presets at the bottom as the keyboard arrows don’t do it, there’s no left and right arrow. You can swipe left and right using the trackpad (and some mice) but with some mice, the only way is to grab the little scrollbar at the bottom and drag it left and right. I also had a strange glitch in my pre-release version that let you roll the scroll-wheel to zoom in, but when I hit max zoom, the same motion zoomed out. I really wish there were selection tools like Paths and Feather.
Needs — Anyone for whom Aurora is too specific; also works well as a companion to Aurora.

Luminar pre-order from November 2nd; launch is scheduled for November 17th; US$59 (about NZ$83). If you already own a Macphun app for Mac, you pay only US$49 (about NZ$69) to get Luminar along with some exclusive bonuses.

System — Intel Core 2 Duo from late 2009 or newer; minimum 4GB RAM; OS X 10.10.5 or newer; 2GB free space on hard drive; display resolution 1280 x 800 or higher (Retina displays supported).

More info — MacPhun’s Luminar page.

Connecting AirPlay speakers, El Capitan’s Spotlight, Photos extensions


MacPhun has updated its apps to become Extensions in Photos for El Capitan
MacPhun has updated its apps to become Extensions in Photos for El Capitan

How to connect AirPlay speakers to your Mac — If you have speakers such as Moshi’s Spatia that are designed to be used with Apple’s AirPlay technology (which lets you wirelessly stream what’s on your iOS devices and Macs to an HDTV and speakers), here’s how you connect them to a Mac.

OS X El Capitan Beta: Finding Web Videos with Spotlight — There are quite a few new things you’ll be able to do with El Capitan’s version of Spotlight (the ability to drag its window out of the goshdarned way being my absolute favorite), but one of the coolest features is that we can now search for videos on the Web.

Four popular Macphun photo editing tools updated to become El Capitan Photos for Mac editing extensions — There are very few photos that are taken for reviews here at Apple World Today that don’t get at least some editing done, and Macphun’s Noiseless (US$14.99), Tonality (US$17.99), Intensify (US$14.99) and Snapheal (US$14.99) are some of the apps we use to make the photos the best they can be. Today, Macphun announced that these four applications have been updated to become Photos for Mac editing extensions once OS X El Capitan is released.

Black Friday – RED deals, Yosemite disaster relief, CarPlay vs Android, hols freeze


CarPlay in a Hyundai Sonata
CarPlay in a Hyundai Sonata

Apple reveals Black Friday partnership with Product (RED) for gift card sale — Shoppers purchasing some of Apple’s most popular products on Friday will also receive Product (RED) gift cards that can be used on the  iTunes Store, Mac App Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. There is more information online about Apple’s World AIDS Day 2014 campaign, including Apps for (RED). Mac and iPhone purchases will net substantial App Store gift cards.

MacPhun specials — This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Macphun Team is offering you a US$80 discount over all four of its photography apps (Focus Pro, Snapheal Pro, Tonality Pro and Intensify Pro) plus a FREE $25 App Store or Amazon Gift Card.

Solving a Yosemite post-install disaster — Updating to a major new version of OS X can seem akin to walking through a mine field, albeit one with relatively few mines. In most instances, you’ll be fine. But you never know when disaster may strike – this Macworld article tells you how to cope.

Hands on with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata — Sarah Jacobsson Purewal went to the LA Auto Show in search of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Google and Apple’s bids to bring your smartphone’s screen to your car. CarPlay has so far appeared only in a Ferrari and a Pioneer aftermarket line, while Android Auto is still in beta. Still, at a small Hyundai booth in the South Hall, two separate 2015 Hyundai Sonatas demonstrated the technologies.

Apple confirms annual holiday freeze on iTunes and App Store submissions — Apple is alerting iBooks publishers on iTunes that the iTunes Connect service will be unavailable during the holiday season. The hiatus will begin December 22 and last until December 29. This notice is addressed only to iBooks authors, but this shutdown also applies to iOS developers, OS X developers and other publishers.