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

DSC02696 1 1

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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*Times, they just keep getting better. @alienskin offering total package for 30% off through end of June!


Hello dear friends.  Long time no see!  I’ve been so wrapped up with the launch of the Nauti Straps stuff (and all the work from the ‘real’ job) that my blogging has suffered.  For that I am sorry.  Good news though!  For those who’ve been waiting for a sale on Exposure X, Alien Skin has been working toward combining all of their photo apps into one super monster of a program, for a while now, and it now lives in the Exposure X Bundle.  First it was a beautifully integrated Bokeh module into Exposure (while Exposure stayed the same price), and now, with the release of the Exposure X Bundle, it has added Blow Up 3 and Snap Art 4, all as a super group of software.  You can see more info on all, download free trials or go for the gold and buy it over at Alien Skin software’s website HERE.

I’ve certainly shilled at length for Alien Skin in the past, but c’mon in for a little on why I use, and don’t ever want to get by without, Exposure X.

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*ZY Optics, Zhong Yi Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95 lens for Micro 4/3 user review

ZY Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95

Small, sharp, fast, relatively light and comparably inexpensive.  All things I love in a lens.  ZY Optics has produced yet another ultra fast option for micro 4/3 shooters, but a first option available in a dedicated mount, faster than f/1.4, new for under $400. 

The question now stands, how does this fit in with all the other standard/normal lens offerings within the micro 4/3 landscape?  Well, more easily than you might think.  While not perfect, it definitely has enough going for it to justify a look.  C’mon in for my thoughts and some tests against the Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux…

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*Congratulations to Gonzalo Broto, our winner for “Textures” with @Mirrorlessons

Water caprice

Congratulations to Gonzalo Broto (see more from him HERE) for winning our fifteenth monthly challenge for the theme “Textures” during the month of May.  See more from Gonzalo on his Blog HERE.  Stop by, say hi and give him a follow.

Thanks as always to Heather and Mat from Mirrorlessons for co-hosting.  We know that the recent flickr redesign has made it a bit trickier to stay abreast of the goings on through the groups there, but thank you to everyone that made the effort and submitted this month.  Hopefully Yahoo will leave flickr alone for a little while and let us get used to where everything is as opposed to continuing the attempted transformation into a boiled down, instagram clone.

Stay tuned for our soon to be announced theme for June, as chosen by Gonzalo, and keep up with all our challenges, reviews, specials and tutorials via the socials, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram and if you’re into the email thing, feel free to add your email address at the top right of the page here.  You’ll get email alerts as new articles are released.

Thanks for the read and happy shooting,


*Monthly Flickr Photo Blog Challenge #12; “Architecture” with @Mirrorlessons

Fred and Ginger, Prague

Welcome to our 12th monthly Flickr Photo Blog Challenge.  This month’s theme marks our one year anniversary and the end of our second semi-annual chunk of winners with this month’s theme providing our winner the last spot in our semi-annual giveaway.  It’s easy.  All you have to do is submit your image to our themed Flickr threads and at the end of the month, Heather, Mat and I will choose our three favorites from the submissions which will then be showcased on the site here, and on Mat and Heather’s site, Mirrorlessons.  The vote runs for 5 days at which point, the winner tallying the most total votes between the two polls will get to choose next month’s theme, and will join our 5 previous monthly winners in our champion’s vote where the winner will receive gifts aplenty.  Last time, our winner Billyburg received a custom built handstrap and a Topaz plugin of his choice.  This time around should offer even more.

The rules are simple.

Submit an image taken by you, based on your interpretation of our theme, in this case “architecture” into our flickr theme threads:

TRP Flickr Group Thread HERE

Mirrorlessons Flickr Group Thread HERE

That’s that.

Submit away, good luck and happy shooting.


*Lensbaby Composer Pro for MILC Cameras, a system within a system.

April 2nd, 2012 – Lensbaby has announced it’s second MILC dedicated product which now gives the MILC (Mirror-less Interchangeable Lens Compact) systems, micro 4/3, NEX, and NX users access to every optic and add on in the Lensbaby system.  Where the Tilt Transformer  for Micro 4/3 and NEX cameras allowed for the Composer Front to be used, it was limited to the Lensbaby optics that were compatible.  Now, the Sweet 35, Fisheye, Edge 80, Macro Converters and all standard optic swap inserts are entirely compatible!  It’s like immediately gaining access to a bunch of new lenses for these young systems clamoring for more affordable and diverse options.  More after the jump…

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*Tiffen Dfx 3, one plugin to rule them all?

There are no shortages of plugins to help photographers and digital artists streamline their workflow and help fine tune their look. Tiffen Dfx-3 offers an amazing amount of digital filters and user manipulatable options in one plugin. Is it useful to have this many options in one plugin, or is it too much? Well, depending on your needs and budget, this may be the only photoshop plugin you’d ever require. Read on for examples and my tip of the iceberg review on this amazingly filter packed plugin…

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