Topaz to release Glow 2. Get it early! Free upgrade, or on sale at 30% off for new users w/ @topazlabs

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Have you used Topaz Glow yet?  If not, please go to Topaz’ website HERE and download the full free trial of the newly updated, and not quite yet publicly available Glow 2.  It’s okay, we’ll wait.  Free upgrade (as is Topaz’ awesome policy on every update they offer) and available on sale for 30% off using code “GLOW2” at checkout for new users (normally $69.99 on sale for $48.99).  There are a few effects in the digital photography realm that are instant attention grabbers.   The Glow effect is one of them.

Glow 2 will not be officially released until Tuesday the 16th, but as a Topaz affiliate, I’m able to share the release with readers early.  Go HERE, and you can either try or buy Glow 2.0, 5 days early.

I was a giddy fan when Glow was originally released, and it provided me with a true (and superior) alternative to Fractalius, being a Mac user.  So much so, that my original article Fractalius for Mac needed to be updated to replace my designed effect through Topaz Clean 3, to Topaz Glow to replicate the effect for us Mac OS users.  Since then, I’ve had a ton of fun with Glow, and find even more pleasure using the free update in Glow 2.

C’mon in to see more…

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*Topaz Impression 2, a major upgrade to a radical digital painting conversion program. w/ @topazlabs

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Summer is upon us, and so too are the deals and updates showering us with their bounty.  If you’ve been around for a little while, you may have seen my article written after getting to beta the original Topaz Impression.  (spoiler: I loved it).  Now, Topaz has released Impression 2 with new tools and filters, and get this, it’s free for those of us who bought the original Impression.  If you’ve not yet updated, or you’d like to give it a free trial, you can go directly to Topaz Labs Website HERE.  If you’d like to buy it, use this link, and input “2IMPRESS” at checkout to get the normally priced $99 program for 40% off ($59.99!).

If you’d like to see more from me, and read more about why I love Impression, c’mon in…

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*@Topazlabs ReMask Prime?! A powerful standalone quick selection app for Mac users + FREE GIVEAWAY! (not an April Fools Joke)

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Firstly, this is not an April Fools ruse.  I am giving away activation codes for this new software 🙂 Technology can be embraced or ignored, it can be celebrated or feared, or it can fumble somewhere in between all those things.  I myself, really enjoy much of what is on offer, especially as a photographer.  I totally appreciate those that take a purist approach, but for me, I love playing with digital imagery using various software applications, and here my friends, is a very cool, very affordable piece of remarkable software.  Enter, Topaz ReMask Prime (click here to see in in the Mac App Store).  A fully functional, standalone desktop version of the irreplaceable ReMask software.  If you already own ReMask and run it as a plugin for PS, you’ll probably not need a standalone version (although, I’m starting to see a benefit), but for those who do not, this is a very cheap way to see the power of ReMask in all its glory.

Come on in to see some info and examples from Topaz ReMask Prime, a new standalone app built on the standard ReMask plugin…

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*Holy S#!† The new FW updates for the @Sony a7II and #Metabones EF smart adapter have created a monster.

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Sorry for my dirty, foul mouth. I’m just blown away by how much better my a7II and Canon EF lens setup has become overnight.  Long overdue, the Sony a7II got the much ballyhooed Uncompressed 14 bit RAW update (as opposed to that weird 11/7 compressed stuff, which is still nicely, an option) along with the return of the on sensor Phase Detection AF to the a7, pro-sumer camera with third party lenses.  Why they kept this out to begin with is beyond me, and really one of my gripes with the Sony approach as a whole, but now that it’s here, it is friggin’ amazing.  It is like I have an entirely new camera.  C’mon in for firmware update links, and a video comparison between the auto focus speed and performance from the original firmware on the a7II and Metabones mark IV adapter, and now that they’ve both very recently been updated…

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*From the hip. A retouch tutorial, using @alienskin Exposure, October 2015 with Billyburg.

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Hi all!  Welcome to a new, recurring feature on the blog here.  I’m partnering with Alien Skin software to work through the processing of images using their Exposure software.  Alien Skin Exposure is one of the most complete software processing solutions that I use, and I just love it.  With each new release, the functionality and depth become greater and more streamlined.  Exposure X is in its final beta, and should be ready to go very soon.  You can download a free trial of Exposure HERE if you’d like, and follow along with one of your own images as we explore what Exposure has to offer, together.  (if you’re looking for a discount code, you can get 10% off any Alien Skin software using the code “tysonrobichaud” so have at it).

Using images submitted by readers, I will retouch, process and in general, just have fun playing around with them as I might one of my own images, sharing my process step by step along the way.  I’ll be using Exposure X today (which may look a little different compared to the screenshots below, when finalized) to process a submitted image from my friend, Billyburg (see more from him on flickr here).  

Without further ado…

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*Moving onward and upward! A new recurring retouching project for the blog w/ @alienskin software.

IMG_7323As many of you have figured out, we stopped our monthly flicker photo blog challenge, much to my dismay.  Flickr’s desire to dumb itself down, into little more than a mobile app proved to be the death rattle for our monthly project which was going really well, bringing in hundreds of submissions for our monthly contests.  C’est la vie.

Well, with these lemons, I’d like to make lemonade because lemonade is awesome, especially if you only use half the recommended sugar and watch your unsuspecting friends, and young children drink it.  

I’ve been in conversation with my friends at Alien Skin Software, and have had the great fortune to be both a contributor to their blog, and a beta tester for many of their programs over the years, the newest of which is the yet to be released, Exposure update.  As a long time fan of Exposure, I’m excited to see the final version.  With this new project, I’d like to gauge interest in having a retouching tutorial, where by I process and retouch submitted images using Exposure, which may then be shared with many, many thousands of viewers here and through the Alien Skin blog.  Come on in for more details, and my hope for this collaboration…

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*Should we continue to do the monthly Flickr challenges? It’s up to you guys, w/ @mirrorlessons

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I know that the umpteenth Flickr redesign last month made it really hard to use, or even find the best part of Flickr in the community discussions inside the various groups.  A few days after the redesign, Yahoo finally realized they’d pissed (probably) millions of users off by ignoring the biggest and best part of Flickr, by trying to turn it into an Instagram knockoff, but from what I’ve seen, it may have turned many of us off, and has since seen a near halt in our monthly challenges.

We’ve noticed that for the first time, our monthly Flickr Photo Blog Challenge Theme thread for this month has died on the vine and it has led Heather, Mat and myself to question if we really want to continue to do this.  Is it just a hiccup, or are people just not into Flickr in the same way anymore?  The theme, released in June (and subsequently carried over into July due to minimal activity) is “Friendship” and has, in nearly two months, provided a fraction of the normal amount of submissions that we’ve seen on any other given month prior.  Do you guys want to keep doing this?

I ask because it is quite a bit of work for us to keep up with it, posting various threads and polls throughout each month. I also have invested a lot of time into relationships with various companies that are cool, and kind enough to give me things to give away for these challenges.  Obviously, if we’re not interested in it, I can redirect that energy into putting something together that folks will be interested in, I just don’t want to waste your, nor our time, so I ask, should we continue the monthly Flickr Photo Blog Challenges?  

If yes, just revisit the Flickr group threads (TRP Group Thread HERE, and Mirrorlessons Group Thread HERE) and submit an image for this month’s theme.  If we see enough interest, we’ll continue, but if not, I think we’ll have to call it quits.  I’d like to at least get through this run of 6 monthly winners (we’re three in, with three more to go) so as to giveaway the software, camera straps, and who knows what else I will have to our third 6 month champion, but that will be entirely up to you guys and gals.

I’ve loved doing these, seeing and showcasing the wonderful photography from so many readers, friends and cohorts.  I know that the Flickr redesign made it tougher to go about finding things the way we had prior, but if we’re gonna keep doing this, we need to know folks are still interested in us doing so.  

Let us know, and thank you to everyone who has made our nearly year and a half long project so fun, and (up to this point) successful in sharing your photography with the greater TRP and Mirrorlessons community.

Keep on keepin’ on, and happy shooting!

Tyson