Aurora HDR 2019: A Review by Allister Jenks (@zkarj)

Let me start out by describing myself. I am a keen amateur photographer and I love to play with technology. I am expert in neither discipline, but I’ve been doing both for quite a lot of years now. As such, software like Aurora HDR 2019 is right up my alley — cool technology applied to photography.

I’ve dabbled in HDR photography in the past and know the basic principles of tone mapping, but I’ve not spent a lot of time making HDR images. I own a license for the original Aurora HDR Pro, now referred to as Aurora HDR 2016, and I’ve used it to create a number of pleasing results such as this vivid shot of one of my favourite buildings, made from 5 bracketed exposures.

AH2019 0 Aurora HDR 2019: A Review by Allister Jenks (@zkarj)

So when the opportunity came up to review Skylum’s Aurora HDR 2019, I was keen. I wondered how far the product had come in the intervening three years.

Continue reading → Aurora HDR 2019: A Review by Allister Jenks (@zkarj)

Essential Apple Podcast 108: Slap a sticker on it!

This week the Bloomberg story rumbled on, but Donny and I decide to just summarise that and concentrate on things like the Apple 11% drop in Q3 Sales. Alleged info on the upcoming iPad Pro. Apple’s TV streaming plans and a wireless charger that intrigues both of us but we just think is too good to be true.
Why not come and join the Slack community? You can now just click on this Slackroom Link to sign up and join in the chatter!
DONT FORGET THE JOE KISSELL OFFER… 30% any Take Control purchase before November 30th with this link 30% Off or use the code ESSENTIALAPPLE at checkout.
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Continue reading → Essential Apple Podcast 108: Slap a sticker on it!

Essential Apple Podcast 107: Chinese Reds Under The Bed & Other Scary Tales!

Well that was a week that was (as they say). Indonesia can’t catch a break as the earthquake not only caused a deadly tsunami but set off a volcanic eruption. Haiti was struck with an earthquake and South Korea by a typhoon. As if that wasn’t enough Bloomberg came out with a scary story about a hardware hack that has turned into a massive mystery. Microsoft pulled their Windows 10 update, Simon discovered a big downside to Apple News on Mac and A company’s data containing 212 million contact listings as well as nine billion data points related to companies and organisations wasn’t secured!
DONT FORGET THE JOE KISSELL OFFER… 30% any Take Control purchase before November 30th with this link 30% Off or use the code ESSENTIALAPPLE at checkout.
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Continue reading → Essential Apple Podcast 107: Chinese Reds Under The Bed & Other Scary Tales!

Do you care about the chapters in the podcast?

OPINION POLL

For a while now I have been inserting Chapters and Chapter Art into the podcast. I like the professional feel that it brings BUT there is a downside, they take a moderate amount of time to do, and definitely slow down the editing and production/posting time for the show. So I want to know “does anyone really care about the chapters?”

I am asking because if in reality none of you, the listeners, is actually using them, or is bothered much about them, then to be honest I’d rather stop doing them, and be able to get the show out quicker…

Please do the poll for me so I can try and gauge how many of you actually care about them. Thanks – Simon (Podcast Host)

Press Release from Skylum: Aurora HDR 2019

HDR Photography Takes a Quantum Leap Forward with Skylum’s Aurora HDR 2019 and New Patent-Pending AI Technology

Enhancements to Apple’s reigning Mac App of the Year delivers an HDR photo editor that blends power and intelligent tech with intuition and seamless workflow

Bellevue, WA – October 4, 2018 — Skylum Software is now shipping Aurora HDR 2019, its fourth generation, high dynamic range editor, whose predecessor is the current Mac App of the Year. Skylum’s goal is to give photographers a powerful tool to create vivid, captivating, and true-to-life high dynamic range images. Skylum’s AI Lab analyzed thousands of images from professional photographers to create a custom algorithm that would deliver optimal results automatically, drastically reducing editing time. In addition to landscape photographers, real estate, architecture, environmental portrait, food and street photographers will all benefit fromAurora HDR 2019.

“Aurora uses its Quantum HDR Engine with AI technology to analyze and extrapolate the best details from each bracketed image to create a single file that renders more details in the shadows, highlights and midrange than ever possible before,” explains Alex Tsepko, CEO of Skylum Software. “Leveraging advances in RAW file technology, photographers who create single exposures can also recover hidden details from their photos using Aurora HDR.”

HDR Smart Structure is a new feature that lets users add contrast, depth, and definition to areas in an image using a single intelligent slider. And, it does this without creating unwanted halos, noise, color spotting or artifacts most noticeable in areas of sky, clouds, and smooth surfaces.

Aurora HDR 2019 also incorporates LUT mapping, an industry standard in photography, cinema, and television to help photographers jumpstart their creative color process by allowing them to apply color grading and film stock simulations.

Aurora HDR Looks is another new feature that allows photographers to use their own combination of filters and LUTs to quickly fix or adjust their images. It also enables quick edits and batch processing of images shot under similar lighting conditions. Skylum partnered with top pros to create signature Aurora HDR Looks to inspire professionals and help new users easily achieve finished images.

Continue reading → Press Release from Skylum: Aurora HDR 2019

Essential Apple Podcast 106: Teething toubles & falling down

Sorry it’s late – life and work kind of intervened… Also sorry about last week – neither Donny or I were feeling up to scratch so we decided that if we both felt ill it was best to just abandon it. Meanwhile the stories kept piling up – an awful lot of it “security and privacy’ related to be honest.
DONT FORGET THE JOE KISSELL OFFER… 30% any Take Control purchase before November 30th with this link 30% Off or use the code ESSENTIALAPPLE at checkout.
And just quick reminder that Indonesia was struck with a 7.7 earthquake resulting in a massive Tsunami… Please consider donating to a reputable aid agency if you can.
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ProtonVPN: How to protect your personal data on public Wi-Fi

Airports, cafes, hotels – we are surrounded by free hotspots. While they are convenient, if you are not careful, public WiFi connections can put your device and personal data at risk to hackers. Here are some steps you can take to secure your connection and your personal data.

We have all done it: connected to a free public WiFi network we did not know to check emails, read the news, or scroll Instagram. What we often do not think about is that the same convenience that makes public WiFi so easy to use is also what makes it so attractive to hackers. Since most public WiFi services lack a strong password, they are vulnerable to a number of techniques that hackers can use to observe your online activity, collect your personal and financial data, or even break into your device.

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Cancelled due to illness

Sorry everybody but Simon and Donny were both under the weather Sunday… Nick was available but in the end we decided to “take a sickie” and abort the show. If things work out we may try and get a show out later in the week, but we should be back to normal service next week whatever happens.

Essential Apple Podcast 105: The Shiny Objects Edition

Well this week was of course the Apple event… 3 new iPhones and a new Apple Watch. I think many of us were a touch disappointed that was “all” there was. Does this mean another event later for some iPads and/or Macs? Who knows? I am joined once again by Donny and we talk about what we made of it… and a few other stories. Meanwhile Hurricane Florence flooded parts of the US, a Category 5 Typhoon hammered the Philippines and is bearing down on Hong Kong and China…
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Affinity Photo for iPad updated

The iPad App of the Year is now better than ever

When we launched Affinity Photo for iPad last year we broke new ground in being the first to bring a desktop-class professional photo editing tool to iPad. It’s been quite a ride for us so far – announcing the launch on-stage at WWDC, being named as Apple’s App of the Year, and just this week reaching a quarter of a million users worldwide!

As we’ve talked to our users, witnessed the incredible work they create and understood more about their workflows, it’s inspired us to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on a mobile device.

And today, we’re thrilled to announce we’ve launched another big update to the app (to version 1.6.9), which introduces:

  • Massively-expanded support for touch gesture control
  • Refined UI and much improved brush management
  • A new Export persona, allowing instant export of multiple slices and layers
  • Many performance and other improvements

If you already own the app, you can download the updated version free of charge from the App Store now. Because we have made various changes to the UI and gestures we’d definitely recommend you check out our all-new set of tutorials which you can find here.

Continue reading → Affinity Photo for iPad updated

Take Control Special Offer for Essential Apple listeners

Joe Kissell has offered all the Essential Apple Listeners a special deal (which is valid till the 30th November) on his range of Take Control publications.

Joe writes:

I’ve created a coupon code (ESSENTIALAPPLE) that’s good for 30% off any purchase from us, and valid through November 30. Listeners can enter that code manually at checkout, or they can use this link, which has the coupon code built in: TAKE CONTROL OFFER

Thank you Joe, and I hope that if any of you fancy one of Joe’s fine books you make use of his generosity.

Essential Apple Podcast 104: Curse you 9 to 5 Mac!

This week I am joined by regular co-host Donny Yankellow to yet again try and avoid all the rumours and leakers as we approach the big event. But of course no one can have missed the 9to5 Mac “scoop” that has revealed at least two iPhones and the look of the new Apple watch. With speculation rife we try to find some other stories to talk about. A shorter than usual show unsurprisingly as we all await the big reveals (and hope 9 to 5 Mac haven’t ruined all the fun).
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Continue reading → Essential Apple Podcast 104: Curse you 9 to 5 Mac!

Essential Apple Podcast 103: Take Control with Joe Kissell

This week I am joined by regular co-host Nick Riley, and guest Joe Kissell (of Take Control books). As ever we try to avoid all the pre 12th September event rumours and speculation and focus on things that happened this week. Including an Apple autonomous test car getting rear ended, Apple buying an AR glasses/lenses company, and women demanding that fitness apps and products have a “pregnancy mode”…
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Essential Apple Podcast 102: It goes through a LOT of cheese!

This week I am joined once again by Mark. We do our best to avoid all the rumours and speculation about the upcoming (yet to be officially announced) Apple autumn event and exactly what hardware etc will be released to focus on “actual stories” but somehow we end up at Business Insider and Mark loses his cool over one of their stories…
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Continue reading → Essential Apple Podcast 102: It goes through a LOT of cheese!