Tag Archives: DxO

Red Sails with DxO – Guest blog written by Chris Jameson

DXO_new

As part of my support for local charities, I print and sell images. So I was pleased to win the confidence of a local business to produce a print for their new client room.

Earlier in the year I had captured a few images of a very misty estuary and sailboat, the lighting conditions were unusual because the mist was producing a red cast similar to sunset but whiter highlights on the water.

The client chose this image for the calm serenity that it portrayed.

The sample print had been A4 size and the client wanted an A3, my main concern was getting both the colour temperature accurate to the conditions and keeping what little detail there was in the image, especially at A3 size.

Fortunately help was at hand in the form of DxO Optics Pro v10. I had recently seen a demonstration of the software at the Wilkinson’s Digital Splash exhibition. I was convinced that the software was going to have an impact on my digital workflow.

Optics Pro software looks at the camera body and lens combination you have used to capture an image (works best in RAW) using the EXIF data. It then makes a series of complicated mathematical calculations to adjust the image for any optical & physical corrections required to bring image closer to your intended capture (it won’t correct human errors such as poor focus etc).

The software is straightforward to use with a very intuitive interface, after interrogating your EXIF file the software goes online to get the camera and lens profile combination used from a large database of files (painstakingly created by testing the majority of lens & camera combinations – check if yours are supported).

After a very short time, I had a result which I was quite pleased with, the options of output are quite wide with file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, DNG supported. There is even a plug-in to write directly into Lightroom.

If you want to start customising how your image file is processed, then there is a section to achieve this which has all the attributes that can be tweaked in logical groups: Essential Tools, Light, Colour, Detail and Geometry. Again all of these areas are quite intuitive but if you do require assistance, the help files are excellent – there are online links, tutorials and much more.

There are options to copy the correction settings you have achieved and also to make your own presets.

I like the option to append output files with DxO – as this helps me understand how I have processed an image.

Preparing the image for printing was the next task which was assisted by the use of the X-Rite ColorMunki hardware and software solution.

For any important project like this, I take the precaution of re-calibrating my monitor/screen and then performing a paper/colour profile (ensuring that ink tanks are all sufficient, as any replacement will change the colour output).

It’s very important for me to get the best print without any problems or errors to keep the printing cost as low as possible, this ensures that I can maximise the donation to the chosen charity for which the project is helping.

Most of my images are landscape, wildlife or RNLI action – so I don’t usually have the opportunity to use a X-Rite ColourChecker Passport at the start of any photography but it will be something that I will definitely look at if I start doing people or groups because of the help it can offer in achieving the desired finished print.

My goal is to grow my photography ability and support for charities, spending more time capturing images with a smoother digital workflow to output helps give me the confidence to push my ability and camera to the limit.

Below are the two images

Red Sails

Left is the RAW file after standard conversion in Adobe Lightroom
Right is the image after import and standard DxO preset application.

There is an improvement in details, especially in the shadows and the colour profile is much warmer – as it was when originally captured.

I now understand the message that DxO quote on the introduction splash screen “Push the limits of your Camera” as it is difficult to actually start finding the limits, if you can’t accurately see what you are capturing.

Written by Chris Jameson @photo_cj

Chris has worked for a number of charities such as Trinity and RNLI. He donates his time and images to local and regional fundraising groups and often sells images, with the proceeds going to supporting charities.

Exploring the new DxO FilmPack 4

DxO FilmPack 4 Review

This week at CC HQ we had the pleasure of welcoming Hector Martinez from DxO Image Science. He was here to overview the new features of DxO FilmPack 4, which you can now get as a free upgrade from FilmPack 3 if you purchase/(d) from March 1st 2013.

The overall concept is the same: emulating the features and characteristics of traditional film to your digital images. You also get the same ‘essentials’ and ‘expert’ versions of the software as in FilmPack 3.

Rediscover the magic of analog film

courtesy of www.DxO.com

courtesy of www.DxO.com

Give your digital photos all the quality and emotion of Fine Art photography, perfectly reproducing the quality, style, colour and grain of the most famous analog films over the years.

The black and white film renderings are arguably the flagship feature of FilmPack 4 (and perhaps the closest match to the excellent Silver Efex Pro we’ve seen since the departure of Nik Software).

FilmPack reproduces numerous black and white films such as Kodak, Tri-X, Fuji, Neopan and Polaroid. Depending on what style of black and white rendering you like, you can select a film effect based on contrast, grain or grey nuances. There are 26 black and white film styles at your disposal, each customisable to suit your creativity.

So what’s new in FilmPack 4?

  1. Textures – A large variety of textures, scratches, grains, spots and ‘paper’ effects are available for that classic ‘vintage’ look 
  2. Light Leaks – Simulate light leaks caused by accidental exposure of film to direct light, causing areas of overexposure or saturation
  3. Frames – Make your image stand out. White, black, mat, darkroom, slide, snapshot, glass, old-style, paper frames are all available to draw attention to your images.
  4. Blur Vignetting – Apply blurred effects to draw attention or focus down on specific areas of your image, simulating the loss of depth of field
  5. Snapshots – (Expert Edition) A Snapshot features allows you to take a /snapshot’ of your images during the course of processing, allowing you to revisit corrections applied later on or for side-by-side comparisons
  6. Favourite Presets – Find and save your favourite or most-used presets and styles for easy application to other digital images
  7. Printing – You can now print directly from the application using the icon
  8. Redesigned Interface – The whole interface had been redesigned to make it easy to explore and apply the styles and settings you want

So what are you waiting for? Get editing now!

The DxO Academy is also worth a mention for those wanting extra videos, images and webinar tutorials, for the entire DxO range. Well worth a look if you want some extra help or guidance for the new products.

If you’d like to watch a full-featured webinar about FilmPack , check the below video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNzVaxwdlSg]

TIPA Award-winning Optics Pro 8

Congratulations to DxO!

As we tweeted a few days ago, Optics Pro 8 from DxO Labs has picked up the TIPA 2013 prize for “best photo software”.

The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) is composed of the biggest photography magazines in the industry said;

“When you combine the expertise of DxO Labs in image quality with a full-featured Raw converter and image processor, photographers will discover a powerful software tool for image enhancement in one workspace.”

You can read the full release here.

We’ve had DxO as part of our product range for a few months now as we strive to fill the hole left by Nik Software. You may well have seen us demoing it at this year’s Focus on Imaging.

DxO Optics Pro

DxO – particularly Optics Pro 8 – works in harmony with your camera and lens combinations. The software will automatically recognise your camera and lens to provide image corrections based on your kit. Downloadable corrections can also be sourced.

Think of Optics Pro 8 as precision image correction meets creative effects. The idea is to spend more time perusing your passion (taking photographs) and less time in front of your screen editing images.

The DxO website gives a fantastic overview of the product, with lots of interactive demo images and examples.

You can also pick your copy up from us here.

No more boxed Nik Software – what do we get now?

With Nik Software going to download only, what are your choices if you still want boxed photo editing solutions?

(p.s. desktop Snapseed is also going too).

These three are your most comparable matches:

onOne Software

See: Perfect Photo Suite 7 – probably the closest comparison to ‘Complete Collection’ with some arguably more intuitive and useful features.

Perfect Photo Suite 7 includes the entire onOne range from black & white and filter effects to image resizing and layers. With a seamless integration into Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, or as a standalone product in its own right, onOne is a very good accompaniment to any image editing photographer. Good for RAW and JPG images too.

Star feature: Paint-in brush tool to work on specific areas of an image

DxO Labs

See: Optics Pro 8 Elite

Software that works in harmony with your camera and lens combination(s) to provide automatic image corrections. Optics Pro is an excellent combination of precision image correction (RAW and JPG) and creative effects. Sophistication meets creativity with very satisfying results.

Star feature: Downloadable corrections for a specific camera and lenses

Franzis HDR

See: Franzis Projects Platinum

The most natural ‘replacement’ for Nik HDR Efex Pro, Projects Platinum offers the latest in High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing. You can apply effects to a single image, or upload your RAW camera bracketing directly for tailored effects and editing. Preset effects give you a good base which can be customised and saved to suit your needs.

Star feature: The automatic ghosting removal feature is a huge benefit when working on bracketing images

Focused on imaging

So there we go, another Focus On Imaging done and dusted.

It was a very good show for us this year. Our NEC Monitor area was very popular and our presentation area was also full throughout.

With great support from our colleagues at DxO, Franzis, X-Rite, Tecco and NEC, we hope all those who visited our stand came away with more insight into the sometimes daunting world of colour management.

One thing is for sure – lots of people will be going away and calibrating their screens which is great to hear. You’re all on your way to accurate colour!

We hope you’ll agree our stand was a big improvement on last years design too. We were extremely pleased with it.

Take a look at our gallery from the show:

It’s Focus time!

Only one week (and a bit) to go…

Focus 2012

… until Europe’s largest photographic and imaging show Focus On Imaging will open its doors.

So who wants to know what we’re up to then?

Over the year’s both the company and our stand evolve and grow with new colour management solutions, and this year is now exception. Focus gives us a unique opportunity to talk to our customers in-person; getting to know them, what camera they use, what they like shooting, and more importantly, what challenges they’re currently facing with their current workflow. After all, we’re here to help!

So if you have a burning colour management issue you need resolving, come and see us at the show.

Here’s a taste of what we’ve got on:

  • Expert demonstrations and profiling solutions from market leaders X-Rite – come and see the new ColorMunki Smile in action
  • This year we have a dedicated NEC Monitor wall with NEC technical staff on stand to guide you through which monitor is best for you
  • Our ever-popular Tecco stand has been given an overhaul so you can see just how good Tecco paper really is in the flesh
  • We will be officially launching two all-new software brands to the UK; DxO Image Science and Franzis HDR (we’ve been playing with them this week, they really are something to get excited about!) – both of which are perfectly placed to fill the hole left by Nik Software’s move to Google
  • We’ve scheduled an even better presentation timetable this year having been inundated with attendees and last year’s show, details can be found here
  • Our technical team, as well as brand experts from NEC, X-Rite, Tecco, DxO, Franzis, and many more will be on-hand throughout the show to give live demonstrations and answer your questions

Full details can be found on our Focus microsite, and if you want a flavour of previous shows, you can read our blog posts from the last two shows here.

We’re quite excited about this year – we hope you come and see us!

P.S.

If you pre-register for the show you can save yourself 20% off the normal admission fee. Details here.