*Save the drama for your images. 5 clicks to killer images via Exposure 7 w/ @alienskin

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Hi all!  I’m now a contributing writer for the Alien Skin website via their blog (read HERE), and this article was my first published tutorial showcasing a simple trick to add drama to any image.  It is a very cool, very easy and arguably effective trick to use for just about any type of image that might benefit from a little contrast based depth and drama.  I’ve employed this trick for as long as I’ve been using Exposure which has to be going on about 6 years now, and it is one of my go to’s whenever I want a bit more edge in my images.

C’mon in and follow along…

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*Congratulations to Giorgio Lumaconi, our second, semi-annual Flickr Photo Blog Challenge Champion!

bookmark

It came down to a foot race at the end, and Giorgio Lumaconi emerged victorious with his image “bookmark”.  Congratulations to Giorgio and I’ll be in contact to get you your free stuff!

Please visit Giorgio HERE to see more of his work, and to connect, say hi, make friends with, follow… you know.

Thank you so much, to Jimmy and the folks at Alien Skin Software, and Darcy and the team at Topaz Software for generously providing us the ability to give away killer photography software, and to Keri and crew at Lensbaby my friends and hometown lens manufacturing gurus, for the LM10 smartphone, selective focus optic!  All wonderful people and companies, that have always been awesome in their support of me and my blogging adventures.  I chose to contact them while still in my blog infancy because I loved their products.  I choose to continue to buy from, use their wares and shill for them because I know them and how hard they work for and within the greater photographic community, so thank you all.  

Giorgio will also receive a brand new Cascade style wrist strap.  I am working on having these available to purchase very soon and will be an addition to the Garda style wrist straps currently available HERE.

Finally, thank you to Heather and Mat at Mirrorlessons, my partners in crime for these monthly challenges.  We have really enjoyed being able to grow the community through these theme based photo challenges and look forward to continuing to.

If you’re new to the monthly flickr photo blog challenges, visit us on Flickr –

Keep an eye out for our monthly theme threads.  It’s a fun, free way to connect with other photographers worldwide, it can be fun motivation to get out and shoot, and get your photography seen by an ever growing audience. 

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram . To stay posted on new articles, 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.

Keep on keepin’ on, and happy shooting.

Tyson

*Choose the Champion of our semi-annual Photo blog challenge winners!

champions round 2

Alright, we have successfully crowned 6 more, monthly challenge winners, and the time has come to choose your overall favorite.  The winner gets free software from Alien Skin and Topaz Labs, an LM-10 smartphone, selective focus optic from Lensbaby and a brand new, yet to be released TRP camera wrist strap that I’ve been working on.  Please vote for your favorite, tell friends, and remember to visit Mirrorlessons HERE as well to vote there too!  This vote will run for a week, and we will tally the total amount of votes between this poll and the poll at Mirrorlessons with the overall winner receiving all the free stuff and title of our second, semi annual champion.

Thanks as always to everyone who has, and continues to contribute to these monthly themes.  Thanks to Heather and Mat from Mirrorlessons for co-hosting all of these cool challenges with me, and helping promote so many cool photographers through these monthly photographic contests.

These challenges are entirely free to enter, and we’ve created them as a way to both provide motivation to get out and shoot with fun new themes each month, and help showcase much of the awesome photography from all of you guys and gals.  All you need to do is find us on Flickr (TRP HERE and Mirrorlessons HERE) to submit your images to the monthly theme threads.  Because we’ve been able to build up steam with it as time has gone on, we have companies that are excited to sponsor these challenges by offering stuff for our semi-annual giveaways.  

Thank you so much to Alien Skin Software, Topaz Labs Software and Lensbaby for being so awesome.  I’ve had the good fortune of working with these three companies for years doing reviews and beta testing and I strongly stand behind them as companies.  Great folks, great products and while I wish my wrist straps would be a cool enough draw, these challenges are so much better because of their gracious gifting so that we can sweeten the pot.

We have 6 wonderful options from the winners of our 6 previous monthly themes.  View all 6, and choose your favorite in the poll at the end.  In chronological order they are as follows…

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*Topaz B&W Effects On Sale! A simply powerful B&W conversion plugin for $20 off.

Toni & Guy

Topaz is offering their streamlined black and white conversion software plugin, Black and White Effects 2 on sale for $39.99 (normally $59.99) through March 31st when using code “MARBW” on Topaz Labs Website HERE. You can download a free trial via this link above as well if you’d like to try it out or follow along.

Come on in for a little walkthrough on a great bang for the buck, black and white plugin.

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*Focus on this. MacPhun Focus 2 Pro on sale for 25% off w/ @wearemacphun

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I’ve slowly been crawling out from the pile of work I’ve created for myself and have gotten around to playing with MacPhun’s Focus 2 Pro.  The beauty of this program is it’s ease and remarkably intuitive skill set.  After playing with and reviewing Tonality Pro, I was very curious to see what else MacPhun had to offer.  If you are a Mac OS user, have a look, download a trial and play around with this fun program.  On sale through the 15th of March, you can download a free trial, or purchase it HERE.  Normally $39.99, it is on sale for 25% off, or $29.99 for the next 10 days.  Upgrades from Standard to Pro can be had for a mere $14.99 as well!  Come on in to see some of what you get with Focus 2 Pro.

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*Topaz ReStyle, your image, your vision, restyled and on sale!

topaz restyle

Topaz ReStyle is a unique plugin, and I’ll be honest, when first announced a year and a half ago or so, I saw it as kind of kitschy.  With an image opened in ReStyle, you’re presented with a ton of re-toning filters which take the existing tones throughout your image, and shift them to produce some very cool effects.  While some were not a great fit for a particular image, I found it kind of tough to really know how to search through the multitude of available tone shifting filters.  I liked it, but when originally reviewing it, I don’t think I paid enough attention to the power of the adjustments.  This time around, I’m finding it a much more useful plugin.  It’s on sale, and you can download a full free trial to follow along by going HERE.  For those merely looking for a discount code, use “FEBRESTYLE” and go to TopazLabs HERE to download the software, and input the code in the coupon field at checkout to get $20 off.  Normally $59.99, it is on sale through the end of the month for $39.99.

For those interested in seeing a bit more, and reading about why I’m enjoying it more this time around, come on in…

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*Alien Skin Valentines Sale, 35% off Everything!

valentines day sale

Alien Skin is offering 35% off everything this week, or over 50% off of the whole Photo Bundle!  Their sale runs through Valentine’s day and if you’ve been thinking about picking up Exposure 7, Blowup 3, Snap Art 4 or even Eye Candy 7 for those designers out there, now may be a good time to check them out. The current discounts bring these programs down as follows:

Exposure 7 – $96.85 (normally $149)

Blowup 3 – $64.35 (normally $99)

Snapart 4 – $64.35 (normally $99)

or all three in the Photo Bundle for $129.35 (normally $299!!!)

Eye Candy, which is not included in the Photo Bundle, is on sale for $83.85 (normally $129).  I’ve not used Eye Candy, so I can’t personally speak about it, but if it is anything like the other programs, I’m confident that it does what it does well.

Visit Alien Skin’s website HERE.  Unfortunately, my discount code (tysonrobichaud) won’t give you an extra 10% off, but this is a far better deal anyway :)  I just recently reviewed Exposure 7 which I love.  Feel free to read a bit more about it HERE if interested.

I’d suggest downloading free trials via the same link above to test them out, and if you do like them, buy ’em before this sale ends.  The whole bundle going for less than Exposure alone is pretty cool.

Happy shooting,

t