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As a photographer, it is essential to brand your photography business. The right kind of branding will help you to grow your photography business, be it any photography type.

I will list out 8 important things that will definitely help you for branding photography business.

8 Stuffs for Branding Photography Business 1. Brand Name

Like in any business, you should get a Brand Name when you are into the photography business. It is the first step of branding photography business.

You can either use your name as the Brand Name or any particular name of your choice.

Whatever you do with your Brand name make sure that it only improves your Brand value and not worsen it.

2. Logo

You should have a logo associated with your brand name. If you don’t have the technical expertise to create a logo, then you can hire a graphics designer to design a logo for you.

If you are looking to hire one, then Fiverr and Upwork are two good platforms where you can hire good logo designers. Here you can get the design done within your budget and taste.

Don’t go for complicated logos. Keep it simple, and it should have some meaning related to your Brand name and photography. Simple logos will be easier to get printed on both Black and White as well as Color.

3. Visiting Card

Whenever you meet your clients, then it is a good practice to give your visiting card to them so that it looks professional.

Be creative with your visiting card designs. Don’t put too much of artworks or text on to it.

You can even add a Barcode onto it so that they can quickly scan and save your details in their smartphone.

4. Responsive Website

Just, getting a brand name and logo alone will not help you in improving your photography business.

You need to have a presence on the internet, and the best way to do it by showcasing your photography works and services through your website.

You should ensure that your website is a responsive one. By a responsive website, I mean, it should load properly on desktop, laptop, mobile phone or tablet.

Nowadays, more people make use of their smartphones to browse the internet. So, your website should be optimized for smartphones too. It ensures that you give a good user experience.

In order to build your website, you need to buy a domain name, preferably your brand name and a domain hosting.

Once this is done, you can either make use of a website developer to build your website or by yourself.

The easy way of doing is to install a CMS like WordPress and upload a Theme into it. You can get both paid as well as free WordPress themes.

5. Social Media Presence

Just like having a responsive website, it is essential to show your Brand’s presence in social media. More than 60 percent of people visit social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram daily.

So, you need to have your Brand accounts in these social media sites and make it a habit to post good quality content daily. It will definitely help you to gain more clients.

Link your social media sites to your website too.

6. Logo Stickers for Branding Photography Business

Logo stickers are an excellent way to showcase your Brand name and Logo in multiple ways. So, get some logo stickers printed in multiple sizes so that you can use it on various objects.

If you need many stickers of the same size, then instead of using logo stickers, you can better go for roll labels. You can easily carry it like a tape roll in your bag and stick the labels wherever necessary.

You can stick it on your laptop, desktop, camera gears and accessories. When you are shipping your photo prints, you can attach the label on the cover. So, the possibilities are endless.

If you want to make some photo stickers of your favorite images, then you can do it. You can get it printed in any size and shape. It will help you to send customized gifts to your clients and even to your friends and loved ones.

7. Wall Decals

If you have an office workspace, then it is essential to showcase your brand in your office. Here, you need to have high quality bigger logos and designs.

So, you can make use of wall decals, which are large vinyl stickers.

You can make use of any online wall decal printing service to print your designs. It won’t cost you big money.

8. Custom Packing Tapes

Whenever you ship your photo prints, the usual procedure is to sign in the picture to give it a more personal touch.

Here, you have the option of using custom packing tapes for your outer casing. You can use it with a hard case or tube roll. Custom packing tapes with your logo will not cost you much. You can easily order it online.

Conclusion

So, make use of this eight useful stuff to build your photography brand and business.

If you feel that there are other useful stuff which can help in the branding photography business, then feel free to share in the comments section.

The post 8 Stuffs for Branding Photography Business appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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Topaz Labs have released Topaz DeNoise AI – Image De-noiser integrated with AI Algorithm. I am a big fan of Topaz DeNoise (old version without AI) which does an excellent job in removing the noise from the image.

The other AI-powered tools from Topaz Labs like Gigapixel AI, Sharpen AI and JPEG to RAW AI are standalone tools.

You can use Topaz DeNoise AI as a standalone version as well as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, or Topaz Studio. So, Topaz Labs have made the tool flexible for all the users.

Topaz DeNoise AI supports both Windows and Macintosh OS.

I will use the 30-day Trial version for this Topaz DeNoise AI Review.

I will use my 13” MacBook Air for review.

How to use Topaz DeNoise AI?

1. Download and Install Topaz DeNoise AI. Enter your email id to get the download link via mail. The downloaded installation file will be around 13 MB. Once you start the installation process, it will download few more packages for installation.

2. You can see the standalone version in the applications. If you have already installed Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop or Topaz Studio, then you can see it as a plugin over there.

3. I will do the noise removal alone for multiple images in the standalone version to see its performance.

3.1 Standalone Version 

3.1.1 I will open one of my image of Golden-fronted Leafbird, which is already processed in Lightroom. This image was taken using my Canon 7D camera at ISO800. This image is grainy, and noise reduction is required for this image. So, I will open it in Topaz DeNoise AI to remove image noise.

3.1.2 You need to drag and drop the image or make use of the “Open” folder option in the bottom Toolbar.

3.1.3 The processing starts automatically once the image gets loaded. The software generates the processed image preview with the basic settings.

3.1.4 In the top toolbar, you have the provision to see the Split screen view of Before and After image. This one is followed by the full view of Before/After Image. You can also zoom in the image to 100% or 200% or 400%. This setting is handy to view the proper noise reduction in the picture.

3.1.5 On the Top right part, they have provided the full view of the actual image with a square box for selected zoom in view in the Preview window on the left side.

3.1.6 Below this, you can see the “Auto Brighten Preview” option which comes with three settings: “Off,” “Normal,” and “Strong.” Initially, I got confused as I thought this setting would make the Brightness adjustment of the image. But, I was completely wrong. This setting is an interesting one. It just brightens the image in the Preview window. This brightening will help you to view the noise in the Shadows and the Darks in the picture. No brightness adjustment is made on the actual image. I found this pretty useful.

Settings To Play with

3.1.7 Now, comes the three sliders. “Remove Noise” for de-noising. “Enhance Sharpness” to control the sharpness of the image. “Restore Detail” slide for restoring the Details. By Default, the first two sliders will be set to “0.15” and the Restore Detail slider to “0.10”. The first two sliders can be adjusted in levels of +/- 0.01. But the Restore Detail slider can be increased or decreased in multiples of 0.05.

3.1.8 Whenever you make any changes to the first two sliders then the Preview window goes for an update, which takes around 5 seconds. If you find this irritating, then you can set the “Automatic Update Preview” to “No.” Once you set it to “No” then a new button “Update Preview” pops up, just above this slider. So, you need to click this button after making the slider changes to see the preview of the processed image with those settings.

3.1.9 After playing around with the sliders, I found that the following slider values are suitable for this image of the Leafbird. So, you need to play around with these sliders to get your perfect noise removal settings without losing image sharpness. It varies for different images.

3.1.10 Now, you can click the “Save As” button in the bottom right corner to save the final image. You can save it any of the six image formats: JPG, JPEG, PNG, DNG, TIF, TIFF. Filename, compression, bit depth, and Color profile can be set in this window. You can also set the “Path” for storing the final processed image.

3.1.11 Let us see the Before and After versions of this image.

Topaz DeNoise AI as Lightroom Plugin

The main advantage of Topaz DeNoise AI is its plugin feature. If you are using Lightroom for post-processing, then you can right click on the image and select the “Edit in” option. Here you can see the Topaz DeNoise AI option.
You can click on it to transfer your photo to the DeNoise AI.

Once you do the noise removal, click save button to return to Lightroom Develop Module.

Topaz DeNoise AI Plugin for Photoshop

If you are a Photoshop user, then you can see the Topaz DeNoise AI option in the Filters section under Topaz.

It helps to save a good amount of time in your workflow, for fixing the noise part in the image.

Topaz DeNoise AI Before/After Images

Now, let us see some more Topaz DeNoise AI Before/After Images.  

Here, the software does a good job of removing noise from the image without losing details in the Gray Langur’s face. 

The above image of Red-headed Tit bird was shot at ISO2500 with canon 1DX MarkII and the image is noisy. It is clearly visible in the form of grains in the background. The noise has disappeared completely after taking it through Topaz DeNoise AI. 

In the above image of Cheer Pheasant, you can see lots of noise since it is shot at ISO4000. Even at high ISOs the software is capable of removing the noise without affecting the details in the image. 

For the baby elephant picture, I have bumped the Exposure by 1 stop in Lightroom and ISO800 was used for this image. Here, when I applied the noise removal, the recovery is good even though the software has removed some of the details on the elephants body.

Conclusion

The fact that Topaz DeNoise AI comes as a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop makes it more attractive. If it was a standalone product alone, as some of Topaz Lab’s other AI-powered products then it will be a time-consuming process to take the processed pictures separately to this software for noise removal.

After testing with many types of images, one thing I found out was it works best with RAW photos than with the JPEGs.

If you are using it as a Lightroom plugin, then I recommend you to apply the camera calibration settings to the image first. It should be followed by the denoising with the Topaz DeNoise AI. You can play with the rest of the parameters like Exposure and White Balance after Noise Removal.

The old Topaz DeNoise comes with multiple setting options, and it will only do the noise removal part. But the new Topaz DeNoise AI does Image sharpening along with removing noise in the image. It is an added advantage.

One more improvement which I see is that Topaz DeNoise AI removes the noise from the image without affecting the sharpness in the focused part of the picture. If you compare Topaz DeNoise AI with Topaz AI Clear (discontinued by Topaz Labs) then there is only a slight improvement in the performance (no drastic changes).

So, if you were using the old Topaz DeNoise, then I think you can make the switch over to the new Topaz DeNoise AI. Topaz Labs have discontinued Topaz AI Clear, DeNoise, and Remove Noise. So, the new DeNoise AI is the replacement for these software applications.

If you already own AI Clear or the old DeNoise software, then you can get the Topaz DeNoise AI for free.

Topaz DeNoise comes at $79.99. Now, you can get it for $59.99 ($20 discount). This offer is valid only for a limited period, up to May 3rd, 2019.

The post Topaz DeNoise AI Review- Is it Effective? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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Have you accidentally erased some photos from your memory card? If yes, then you would want to recover those deleted photos badly. So, Is it possible or not? Don’t worry, it is possible.

The memory card can be of any type. It can be an SD card, Compact Flash card, XQD card, or a micro SD card.

These are the commonly used storage medium in a Digital camera/ DSLR camera/ Mirrorless camera.

Before getting into SD card recovery, you need to ensure the following things.

1. No Further Data Writing

If you have accidentally deleted photos or if you have formatted the memory card then you shouldn’t do any further writing on to the SD card.

In other words, you must not use this memory card for anymore recording purpose.

The immediate step which you must take should be to recover deleted pictures from SD card. Only after performing the SD card recovery, you should use the same memory card for further recording purpose.

Otherwise, the new image recorded on the memory card may overwrite the accidentally deleted images. It will reduce your chance of image recovery from SD card.

For example, if you are using a 32 GB SD card in your camera and you have used half of the storage space for image recording, which comes to around 16 GB.

Suppose, you have accidentally erased four images from the SD card. But unfortunately, you captured a few more pictures with the same SD card, making use of 75% of the storage space, which comes to around 24 GB.

In this case, when you try to recover the deleted images, then you may or may not be able to recover all the four deleted images. If you are not able to recover any or few of the pictures, then it will be due to the reason that the accidentally deleted images got overwritten by the new image files.

Even though I have mentioned image recovery from SD card as the memory storage medium. It is the same for all other types of photo storage memory.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from Memory card?

There are many photo rescue software applications available online. I will be using Disk Drill from Cleverfiles for the image recovery from the memory card.

It is available for both Mac and Windows Operating System. I will be using the Disk Drill for Mac since I am using my 13” MacBook Air for the recovery.

Both Free version and Paid versions are available for this software. The free version will only allow you to view the recovered files; you cannot save the images. To save images, you need to upgrade it to Pro.

There are two paid versions. Pro version comes for $89 and the Enterprise version at $399. Pro version is for a single user, and the Enterprise version supports up to 10 users.

1. Download and install Disk Drill image rescue software.

2. Let me take some pictures using my camera. I will use my Canon 7D Mark II camera for capturing the images in a 16 GB SanDisk SD Card .

3. I have captured 5 five random pictures in RAW format.

4. Now, I will delete three image files out of these five pictures (in-camera).

Memory Card to Computer for Image Recovery

5. Let me take out the SD card from the camera and connect it to my computer. MacBook Air comes with an inbuilt SD card slot. So, I will insert the SD card into it. If your computer doesn’t come with an SD card reader, then you can use an external memory card reader. If you are using any other types of memory card, then you need to use the respective card readers.

6. Now, I will open the Disk Drill application.

7. Disk Drill will show the different Hard Drives and storage mediums connected to the computer. I will select the “EOS_DIGITAL” Drive option from the Menu (I have formatted the SD card in Canon camera) and Click the “Recover” button.

8. Now, you will be taken to the scanning window, where the Disk Drill application will start scanning for files. It gives you the option to set the particular type of files, file size limit and the date of creation for scanning. Setting these parameters will help you to save your scan time. If you don’t wish to set any of these fields, then the software will scan for all possible files which it can recover.

9. For me, it took around 6 minutes to scan the SD card memory for deleted images. I can see the file names of three deleted images on the Disk Drill software, once the scan gets completed. We can set the Target recovery folder to store the recovered photos.

10. I will select the folder containing the three images and click the “Recover” button on the top right corner to recover deleted pictures.

11. You can see the three recovered deleted photos from SD card in the Target recovery folder.

Conclusion

So, make use of Disk Drill software like in this tutorial if you are looking to recover deleted photos from SD card or any other types of memory.

Recover the images immediately before you start using the same memory card again for recording.

Consider reading, Digital Photo Protection Tips to know more about safeguarding your pictures.

The post How to Recover Deleted Photos from Memory Card? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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Are your photos safe on your memory cards or Digital storage mediums? No system is entirely flawless; so is the case with the digital images stored in memory cards and Hard Disks. So, I will share some tips which can help you to protect Digital photos.

As a photographer, you will have to put lots of effort, time and money in capturing those lovely moments. So, you don’t want to end up in a corrupt image file later.

How to Protect Digital Photos? 1. Buy Good Quality Memory Cards

I recommend you to invest in good quality memory cards. So, what are good quality memory cards?

Memory cards are one of the essential parts of digital photography. So, you should ensure that you use memory cards from well-known manufacturers.

SD card, Compact Flash card, C Fast card, XQD card, and micro SD card are some of the most commonly used types of memory cards.

So, whenever you are purchasing memory cards, make sure that you buy memory cards from good Brands like Lexar, Kingston, and SanDisk.

2. Check Online for any Known Issues

These memory cards will come in many series. Always make sure that the memory card you choose matches with the writing speed of your camera.

Before making the purchase, it would be a good idea to check online for any known issues with the card you are planning to buy. You can Google it to get the reviews or ask the question in any good photography forums.

3. Multiple Backups

Whenever you are storing the final files after the shoot, I highly recommend creating multiple storage backups.

You should store the image files in at least in two separate external portable Hard Disks.

These two Hard disks should be from two separate companies. It is to ensure that you don’t suffer a data loss due to that particular series or brand of hard drives.

You should keep the two Hard Disks in two separate places. It is to ensure that the data is safe even in the case of fire or other natural calamities.

4. Create an Online Photo Storage Back up

Nowadays, you have the luxury of storing your photos in cloud storage facilities. Both paid and free online storage options are available.

I recommend creating a third back up of your photos online. Free online photo storage will come with size restrictions.

So, if you are not looking for a paid back up, then you must only store selected image files (important images) in online storage.

5. Invest in a Good Memory Cards Carrying case

When you are doing a photo shoot, you would be carrying additional memory cards in your pocket.

Don’t drop the memory card just like that in your pockets or with the plastic casing which comes along with the memory cards.

If you bend or fall, then the memory cards may get damaged due to the mechanical stress. So, make use of a reliable memory card carrying case which can store multiple memory cards at a time and can go inside your pocket.

If you are into Nature and Wildlife photography, then invest in one which is rugged as well as waterproof.

6. Take the Dual Slot Advantage

Most of the medium and high-end DSLR and mirrorless cameras come with Dual memory slots. Whenever you are doing any important photo shoots, make use of this dual slot advantage.

Use the same capacity memory cards on both the slots and make the second memory card as the backup copy of the first one. So, whenever you record a picture on the first memory cards, the same file gets written to the second one too.

Thus, you can ensure that the photos are safe even if one of the memory cards gets corrupt.

7. In-Camera Formatting

You will be either connecting the camera to a computer or taking out the memory card from the camera to transfer the photos.

After transferring photos, you will have to format the memory card to free the space.

Each camera manufacturer will have a specific folder structure to store the image files into the memory card. So, I recommend formatting the memory card in the camera rather than using a computer for formatting.

If you format using the computer, then your card may not get formatted properly. It may result in erroneous writing of the image file on to the memory card.

8. Don’t carry too many Memory Cards

Carrying too many memory cards when you are doing photography will not be a good idea. It will create lots of confusion like which one is full and which one is empty.

So, instead of carrying multiple memory cards with small capacity, take cards with higher capacity. Make sure that the camera supports the high capacity memory cards.

For example, instead of carrying Eight 16 GB memory cards, take four 32 GB or two 64 GB memory cards. Lesser the memory cards, easier to maintain.

Conclusion

These tips will help you to protect your digital photos. Thus, you can minimize your data loss.

If you have any additional tips to protect digital photos, which you have found useful, feel free to share it in the comments section below.

The post How to Protect Digital Photos? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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If you are looking for a fully automated software for processing your photos, then PhotoLemur3 from Skylum can be a good option.

So, let us review PhotoLemur 3 and see whether it does a good job or not.

This award-winning software makes use of Artificial Intelligence for post-processing the photos automatically. So, we have to Drag and Drop images into PhotoLemur to get the final processed pictures.

I will use my 13 MacBook Air to run PhotoLemur 3.

After installing the software, you will get a popup option to install it as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom.

How to use PhotoLemur 3?

1.Open PhotoLemur 3.

2. You can either drag your photos or click on the Open button to import photos. You can also Drag and drop the folder containing the images. It supports RAW, JPEG, TIFF and PNG file formats.


3.Once you click on one of the imported photos, then the automated AI processing will start. It took around 30 seconds to process the 20MB RAW image. You can see the Before/After slider, once the automated processing completes.


4.There is Brush Slider on the bottom of the window. You can use it to increase or decrease the amount of processing. By default, it would be in 100%. There are two more settings on the left corner of the brush panel. One is for Auto Lens correction and other for Face enhancement. You can enable the face enhancement if you wish to soften your skin.


5.Just like Skylum AirMagic and Aurora HDR 2019, PhotoLemur 3 also comes with Styles option for color grading. Apollo, Fall, Noble, Spirited, and Mono free Style options. You can also download paid styles from their website.

6.You can save the final image on to your hard disk or upload directly to email, Facebook, Smugmug, Flickr, and Twitter.

7. You can save the image in any of the popular file formats which include JPEG, TIFF, Photoshop, PNG, JPEG-2000, and PDF. You can also vary the quality of the image output.


8.Now, let us see the Before and After effect on this picture.

PhotoLemur 3 Before/After Images

We will use PhotoLemur 3 on more images to see its effect.

Let us start with a noisy image. A RAW file of the noisy image is used. Even though Reducing Noise gets displayed while the image gets processed automatically, I dont see any noise reduction happening to the actual image.

So, the performance is not so good for a grainy image. So, you need to remove the noise separately using some other software and then use PhotoLemur to enhance the image.

Conclusion

Now, the question is, who should go for Photolemur? If you are a person who is interested in clicking pictures, but not interested in post-processing, then PhotoLemur would be a good choice.

When you go for a vacation with your family, you would be capturing lots of images on your phone and DSLR or any other digital camera.

You can use PhotoLemur to turn your ordinary images to extraordinary. Dont forget to use the Styles feature to color grade your photos if you are a fan of color grading.

Nowadays many of the photo editing software comes with a monthly subscription fee. PhotoLemur comes with a one-time fee of $35.

If you are a photographer who is serious about your photography, then PhotoLemur wont be a good option for you. As a photographer, you should be post-processing your photos using any good editing tools like Lightroom or Luminar or Photoshop.

If you have already used PhotoLemur then feel free to share your experience or photos in the comments section below.

The post PhotoLemur 3- Are you looking for an Automated Photo Editor? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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I have been getting lots of emails and messages through social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, enquiring, what is in my camera Bag?

So, I have decided to write an article to share the camera gear which I use and carry all the time.

What is in My Camera Bag? 1. Camera Body

I carry two camera bodies and two camera lenses most of the time when I go for wildlife photography.

I use full frame camera body, Canon 1DX Mark II as my main camera body. Wherever I go for photography, I ensure that this one is there in my bag.

Canon 7D Mark II, the APS-C body from Canon, is another camera body which I take with me.

2. Camera Lenses

When it comes to lenses, I carry the super Telephoto lens; Canon 500mm f4 L IS II USM Lens for Wildlife photography.

Most of the time, I will be using Canon 1DX Mark II with this 500mm lens and 1.4x extender combination.

I will switch to 7D Mark II only when I am looking for more reach (the 1.6x crop factor of the 7D Mark II helps to get closer to the subject). Thus, I can get an effective focal length of 1120mm.

Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS USM lens, and Sigma 10-20mm lens are the two other lenses which I use. I carry either of these lenses.

If the location where I am going is good for Landscapes, then I take the ultra-wide angle 10-20mm lens from Sigma.

Otherwise, in most of the situation, it will be the 70-200mm lens. It helps to shoot when the animal or bird gets close or when I want to capture a habitat shot, along with the animal or the bird.

3. Memory Cards

I carry a few additional CF cards and SD cards for storage.

4. Tripod

I shoot mostly handheld. So, only in very few situations, I carry a tripod along with me. I use a Manfrotto 055X Pro B, a four-section tripod made of Aluminium with a center column.

5. Monopod

I prefer Monopod over Tripod when I do Bird photography. Most of my Bird photography trips involve Treks. So, it is difficult to carry a tripod along with me. Manfrotto 680B (a 4 section monopod) is my current monopod model.

Previously, I was using a three-section monopod from Manfrotto. I found it difficult to carry it along in my bag because of its height in folded condition. So, I went for the four sections one.

6. Action Camera

I always carry YI 4K Action camera in my pocket.

Taking my DSLR camera with the wide-angle lens may not be possible in all situations. So, a GoPro type camera is useful in such scenarios.

I use it for recording short Time-lapse videos and normal videos also.

7. Camera Cleaning Kit

It is essential to take the camera cleaning kit since I am into Wildlife photography. The camera gear will be continuously exposed to dust and dirt. So, regular cleaning is required.

Camera Cleaning cloth made of muslin, Lens wipes and Lens Pen are the three things in my camera bag for the cleaning purpose.

I found Lenspen very useful for cleaning both camera body and lens. It has got a brush on one side and a carbon tip on the other. The carbon tip side is to remove dust and fingerprints which cannot be removed by the brush.

8. Spare Camera Batteries

You never know when you run out of batteries. The places I visit to photograph wildlife and birds are remote areas.

So, it is not necessary that I may get the provision to charge my camera batteries. So, I carry a fully charged extra battery for each camera body, along with the respective chargers.

So, these are the camera gears which I take along with me when I go for photography.

9. Filters

I carry a couple of camera Filters with me, one Neutral Density Filter and a CPL Filter, both from Hoya.

Both the filters have 67mm thread size. So, it goes with the 70-200mm lens. I use a Step up converter ring (67mm to 77mm) to use the same filter with my wide angle lens.

I use the ND filter for cutting the extra stops of light for long exposure shots and recording videos.

CPL filter is used to cut off the reflection from water or to saturate the colors in the scene (provided the Sun is in the favourable direction).

10. Camera Battery Charger

Chargers of both the camera bodies will always be there in my camera bag.

11. Teleconverter

I also make use of the Canon 1.4x III EF Extender (11), especially when I am doing Bird photography. It helps me to give the extra reach of 200mm when attached to the 500mm telephoto lens.

12. Memory Card Case

I use a hard case for carrying memory cards. It can take 8 CF cards and 16 SD cards. It is shockproof and waterproof. So, the memory cards are safe inside it.

13. Tripod Head

I use Manfrotto’s 498RC2 ball head along with my tripod.

What is my Camera Bag?

Now, you know the camera gears and accessories I own. So, you will be interested to see the camera bag which I use.

Lowepro Flipside 500AW is my current camera backpack.It can hold my 500mm super Telephoto lens along with two camera bodies, Tele-converter and one more lens.

Feel free to share your questions in the comment section if you have any.

The post What is in my Camera bag? – Govind Vijayakumar appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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Skylum has announced a new plugin software, “Luminar Flex.” It goes with Lightroom Classic, Photoshop and Photos (Mac software).

So, Is this plugin going to be a game changer? Let us find out.

I got a prerelease version of Luminar Flex from Skylum to test. So, I will share my opinion on this software plugin based on this version.

It is available for both Mac as well as Windows OS.

System Used

I will be using my 13” MacBook Air with the following specifications to review this software plugin.

1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor with 4GB  DDR3 Memory, and Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB Graphics

How to Use Luminar Flex?

1. Install Luminar Flex. The software automatically detects the installed versions of Lightroom or Photoshop or any of the other compatible host software and automatically select the checkboxes during the installation process.

If you don’t want to add it as a plugin to all the compatible software, then you can unselect the corresponding tick box.

2. I will use it as a plugin with Adobe Lightroom for this review.

3.Open Adobe Lightroom. I have selected one of my wildlife images for processing, Deer flock in the rain, photographed from Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, India.

I will do the basic editing in Lightroom. It includes Exposure and White Balance Correction, noise removal and sharpening.

4. Now, I will open the image in Luminar Flex plugin . Make sure that you are in the Develop module of Lightroom. Right click on the image and select “Edit in Luminar Flex” option to open the image in the plugin.

5. I will do the rest of the edits in Luminar Flex. I will use the the Looks and Filter options to enhance my image.

These are the two things which attract photographers to this plugin. Looks option allows you to color grade your image. It’s like the LUTs.

6. I liked two types of looks for this image. One with the AI Landscape Enhance Looks and the other one with Dramatic Landscape Look.

So, whenever you are editing with Luminar Flex, try out all the different Styles/Looks effect and see which ones suit the best. It varies with the feel and mood of the image.

You can even create your custom Looks to get your signature style color graded photos. So, it is like the presets in Lightroom.

7. Click on Apply button on the top right corner of the this plugin window to apply your Luminar settings to the image. Now, the plugin window will close, and the image can be seen in Lightroom with the applied Luminar settings. You can export the photo from here to save the final image. You can even do some more fine tuning in Lightroom if needed. But, I prefer to do the initial edits in Lightroom and the final ones in Luminar Flex and export the final file from Lightroom.

8. Now, let us see the Before and After images. This Before image is after editing the image in Lightroom. 

In the above image, I have applied the AI Landscape Enhancer Looks to the image.

I liked the Dramatic Landscape Look also, shown in the above image. So, which one did you like? You can share it in the comments section.

Luminar Flex Before/After Images

I have applied the Dehaze look to this elephant image, which was covered with the early morning fog. 

AI Sky Enhancer Looks used for the above image of the Himalayan Blue sheep with sky in the background. 

I have used the DeHaze look for the above image of Indian Gaur photographed from Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, India.

Conclusion

Now, the question would be, Is Luminar Flex For you?

If you are very much attached to Lightroom or Photoshop or any of the other Luminar Flex supported host post-processing software then you won’t be interested in switching to standalone Luminar software.

But, if you love the variety of adjustments and effects which Luminar provides, then you may want to add these features to your Lightroom or Photoshop. If you are in such a situation, then this plugin will be a good addition.

With AI integration, this software plugin is capable of reducing your effective processing time.

So, you can use software like Lightroom for basic adjustments and make use of Luminar Flex plugin for color grading and other advance filter effects and looks to your photos. Thus, you can speed up your post-processing.

So, I would say that Luminar Flex is a Flexible version of Luminar which fits some of the best post-processing tools in the market. Thus, making these photo editing tools more powerful.

Luminar Flex Coupon Code

It comes at a one-time price of $59. If you are interested to give a try then use this link, Try Luminar Flex Plugin.

Don’t forget to use my coupon code “PHOTOGRAPHYAXIS10” to get a $10 discount on your purchase.

Another good news is that it is free for all users who have already purchased Luminar 2018 and Luminar 3. 

The post Luminar Flex- Is it an All in One Plugin? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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Skylum has come up with yet another post-processing tool, the AirMagic. This time they have targeted the Drone photographers.

So, if you are into Drone photography, then this is an exciting software worth checking out. Today we will be reviewing the Skylum AirMagic and see whether their magic works or not.

This software works as a standalone application as well as a plugin for photo editing software like Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Photos. We will be using the standalone version in our review.

It is available for both Windows as well as Mac and it supports RAW format.

I am running AirMagic on Apple’s 13” MacBook Air with the following specifications:

1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor

4GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Memory

Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB Graphics

I want to thank my friend Raghupati Vasanth for sharing the photos which he has taken using his drone, DJI Phantom 4 Pro.

How to use Skylum AirMagic

Let us start by processing a picture taken using Drone in AirMagic.

1.Double click on the AirMagic icon to open the application. This application is capable of doing batch processing as well as single image processing.

2. Let us try with one image for the time being. Once the export is done the system takes some time to process the image (which is shown in the GUI) and the final image with the Before/After image window is displayed.

3. The bottom panel has got the style menu for the user in the bottom left corner. The user can select any of these styles to their photo. Skylum has also provided the option to add additional Styles. It comes with five basic styles: Chinook, Cinematic, Emotional, Sandstorm, and Zephyr. If you are interested in more styles they you can download the paid styles from their website. I have applied Cinematic style to the above image.

4. There is a brush icon next to the Export button. Once you click the brush, then you will get the option to Enable/Disable the Lens corrections, and you can vary the amount of processing by pushing the slider. If you push the slide to right then, you will get more saturated colors.

5. Click the Export button to save your final image after setting your desired Style. You have the option to export the final image to your computer hard disk or mail, or you can upload it directly to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Smugmug. You can save it in JPEG, PNG, TIFF, JPEG-2000, Photoshop, and pdf format. User can adjust the quality of the final image.

6. If you are looking to change the color profile or naming conventions or image resizing then click on the advance settings options.

7. Let us have a Before/After look of this image.

AirMagic Before/After Images

So, let us have a look at some Before/After images to see the Skylum AirMagic effect.

Conclusion

So, if you are looking for a fully automated software, where you open your drone shots and apply the style you want and export the final image, then Skylum’s AirMagic is a good option. 

If you are lazy to spend your time on photo edits, then AirMagic can do the job for you in just three steps: Open, Apply Style, and Export. It comes at a price of $39 and can be used in two systems. If you are planning to buy this software, don’t forget to use my code “PHOTOGRAPHYAXIS10” to get a 20% discount.

Consider reading Drone Photography Guide to learn more about drone photography.

The post Skylum AirMagic Review- Does the Magic Work? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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In this article, we will go through the different Camera Metering modes. It will help you to understand each mode, and after reading this, you will be able to set the right metering mode for different lighting conditions.

In the early days of photography, photographers made use of external light meters to get the incident light falling on the subject. Later, digital cameras came with inbuilt light meters. It has made life so easy for a photographer.

But, still, there are many photographers, who make use of a light meter to get the correct light reading on the subject. It is because, the camera’s inbuilt light meter will give you only the reflected light data, not the incident light.

So, if you use incident light for calculating your image exposure, then you will have to go for an external light meter.

Before starting, let us see, what Camera metering is all about.

What is Camera Metering?

Camera metering is one of the essential camera settings that help in correctly exposing the image. The inbuilt light meter in the camera reads the reflected light from the subject to calculate the exposure.

When you are shooting in Auto mode or semi-automatic modes like the Aperture Priority mode or Shutter Priority mode, then metering plays a vital role in getting the exposure settings.

But, when it comes to Manual mode then, metering is just the light meter reading, given as a feedback to the user, indicating where the exposure would be.

Different Camera Metering Modes

Light intensity varies from Shadows to Midtones to Highlights in different conditions. So, a single metering mode may not be sufficient to capture the scene in the desired exposure. Hence, multiple camera metering modes are enabled in the camera to help the photographer.

So, let us go through the different camera metering modes.

1. Evaluative/ Matrix/ Zone Metering Mode

It is the most popular and commonly used metering mode in a camera. You will get the exposure right in 80% of the situation. So, you can set this metering mode to be the default one and change to other modes when required.

Here, the camera’s light meter takes the subject in focus into account along with the whole picture frame to calculate the exposure.

They are known by different names, according to various camera manufacturers. Evaluative metering in the case of Canon cameras and Matrix metering in the case of Nikon cameras.

2. Centre-Weighted Metering

As the name suggests, Centre-weighted metering divides the frame into two zones, and it takes into account the centre portion of the frame for metering.

The rest of the frame is also considered into account for the metering. But the weightage will be more for the centre portion.

3. Spot Metering Mode

Spot Metering mode only takes 3 percent of the frame area to take the meter reading. So, you will get a precise reading from a small area in the scene.

In most of the cameras, this metering area will be around the active focus point.

4. Partial Metering Mode

Partial metering is a kind of extended Spot metering, as it takes around 10 per cent of the area into account for metering.

Here also, this metering area will be around the active autofocus point.

Conclusion

Now, you know the different camera metering modes. So, start playing with each metering mode and see the change.

The post Camera Metering Modes Explained appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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This time, we are reviewing the awarding winning HDR software, Aurora HDR 2019 from Skylum. There are many good HDR software programs in the market. So, it is really tough to pick the right one.

You can even use Adobe Photoshop to create an HDR image. So, Let us see, what makes Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 different from rest of the tools. Is it really good?If you are interested to learn more about HDR photography, consider reading , HDR Photography Guide.

How to use Aurora HDR 2019?

If you want to give a try, then you can download the 14-day free trial version through this link: Download Trial Version of Aurora HDR 2019

I will be running this software on my 13” MacBook Air with the following specifications:

1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor

4GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Memory

Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB Graphics

Aurora HDR 2019 is also available in the Windows platform, and the Workflow is the same as that of Mac OS software.

1. Open Aurora HDR 2019 software.

2. You will have the option do a single HDR conversion or Batch Conversion. Aurora HDR 2019 is capable of generating an HDR image from a single picture as well as multi-exposure photos of the same frame.

3. Click the “Open Image” to generate a single HDR image. You can select multiple photos taken at different exposures or a single image. All the required images need to be under a single folder for selection.

4. Now, you can see the thumbnail preview of the three images with their Exposure values mention below. There is a settings button on the bottom left corner of this window. Click on this button, and you will see the different options: “Ghost Reduction, “Color Denoise,” and “Chromatic Aberration Reduction” options.

  • Ghost reduction is only available if multiple images are used for generating the HDR. It is for removing the Ghosting effect at the edges of objects due to the overlap of multiple pictures. You can set the reference image as the one with zero exposure value.
  • Color Denoise is to remove the color noise that will occur when you combine your bracketed shots. This option is only available when you use RAW files as inout to Aurora HDR 2019. In the above screenshot, Color Denoise option is not visible since the three images are in JPEG format.
  • Chromatic Aberration Reduction is to remove the purple and green fringing in your photos. I recommend checking all these three checkboxes for the HDR creation. Once this is done, click the “Create HDR” option.

5. You will be moved on to the next main window, and it will take some time to load the HDR preview image. The time depends on the number of input images, their size and the CPU speed. A basic HDR image will be generated.

6. Before getting into more settings, let us just get familiarized with the Aurora HDR 2019 toolbars and different settings.

7. We have a toolbar at the top. It comes with the option to zoom in/zoom out the image, Before/After preview and Crop options. The two squares separated by a line button can be used to view the Before/After effect. If you press and hold the eye button next to it, you can see the Before image. You can click the “Crop” option if you want to crop and Resize the image.

8. On the right-side panel, we have the settings for tweaking. Skylum has named this panel as the Filter panel. The image Histogram and the EXIF data can be viewed on the top of this panel. There is an option to add layers in between the Filter panel and the Histogram. You can make use of it to work with layers.

9. The different submodules in the Filter Panel are HDR Basic, Color, HDR Enhance, HDR Denoise, LUT Mapping, Image Radiance, Polarizing Filter, HDR Details Boost, Glow, Adjustable Gradient, Tone Curve, HSL, Color Toning, Dodge & Burn, and Vignette.
HDR Basic module is for setting the White Balance and the Exposure Settings.
Another exciting aspect of Aurora HDR 2019 is the LUT Mapping. It allows you to load Custom LUT File to your image for Color Grading. I liked this feature.

10. Skylum has provided an interesting Bottom Panel which shows the thumbnail previews of different Aurora HDR Looks Collection. It comes with multiple options in different modes like Essential, Landscape, Architecture, Dramatic, Artistic and many more Looks from well-known photographers in the industry. You can select any of these looks if you want to give it a different tone and feel. The intensity of each of the looks will be 100 percent by default. We can reduce the intensity if needed.

11. Once you are done with all the settings, you have the option to save the final file in the native Aurora HDR file or the regular image formats like JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PSD, and PDF. The advantage of saving in native Aurora format is that all the history details and the setting will be saved along with the file. So, at a later point of time, we can open this file and modify the settings if required. You can click the bottom right corner button to save the file in native Aurora format, or you can select the same option from the File dropdown menu. If you want to keep it in any of the regular image formats, you need to choose the Export option from the File drop-down menu. Here you can set the color profile, image dimensions, and picture quality.

Aurora HDR 2019 Before After Images

Now, Let us have a look at the Before/After images with Aurora HDR 2019.

Let us try with a single Architecture image and see how the final HDR is.

The result is really good because the software has used only a single image to generate the HDR image.

Now, we will see how a Wildlife image looks with an HDR effect added to it.

I did an experiment to see the performance of RAW Vs JPEG image, as input to Aurora HDR 2019. I converted a RAW image directly to JPEG without any post-processing and converted the images to HDR with the same settings using this software. From the final HDR image it is quite clear that RAW as a input produces an image with a better dynamic range than a JPEG one. So, I recommend to use your RAW images to generate good HDR shots.

Let us have more Aurora HDR 2019 Before/After Images to see the effect.

Conclusion

I was not a big fan of HDR photography before I started to use this software. I used to feel that most of the HDR photos are unrealistic or too much dreamy.

Aurora HDR 2019 gives better control over the final HDR photo with multiple looks and settings to control. So, it is capable of controlling the level of HDR to a picture, and you can give a subtle effect as well as high-end effect. There is no limit to your creativity.

Now, the question is whether to go for it or not? If you are into HDR photography or is interested in creating some excellent HDR images, then Aurora HDR 2019 is a good choice.

If you have decided to buy it then you can buy it through my link, Buy Aurora HDR 2019. Don’t forget to use my exclusive coupon code “PHOTOGRAPHYAXIS10“to avail a 10$ additional discount.

The post Aurora HDR 2019 Review: Is this for you? appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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