What a crazy busy week it was last week. I was so busy with everything that happens at Photoshop World that I didn’t even get a chance to talk about a lot of other things that were going on. Here’s my take on some things that surfaced last week, with some that you have probably heard, and maybe a few that you didn’t.
Adobe Releases LR Beta 3.2
Like I said, you have probably already heard about this already but it does bare repeating. I got a chance to download the latest beta while I was in Orlando and then once again when I returned home. I am now running it on 3 different computing platforms, my MacBook Pro with OS 10.6, my home desktop PC running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional, and my little Netbook with the less than mighty Intel Atom processor. As you can see, I am giving the beta a thorough going over and if there is a bug, I am most certain to run across it.
One thing I found interesting about the new beta was all of the instructors that were using it in their classes. I’m not just talking about Lightroom classes but people using it for one of its newest, best features, tethered shooting. Zach Arias used it for his first class and he had just downloaded it. That’s a lot of confidence and I can tell you that it didn’t let him down. Myself, I have been blown away by the new noise reduction features that were finally unleashed. I might still use a noise reduction plug-in every now and then but it will be significantly less than I used to, that’s for sure.
There are other updates to the beta but it’s always more fun to discover on your own. In fact, if you haven’t already, why not head over to the Adobe Labs download page and get yourself a copy now. It is free after all. Just remember this, any libraries that you create will not be imported into the final shipping version of Lightroom 3. It is a beta after all and they don’t want you bringing anything that might be buggy into the final version.
As Long As We Are Talking Adobe…
It was announced late last week that Adobe will be announcing Photoshop CS5, which is really weird because they made an announcement about when they are going to announce. It’s all very confusing but what isn’t so confusing is that the next version (oh wait, I can now sort of officially call it CS5) will have some really amazing stuff inside. There are some video clips about one of the features but since I am a beta tester (yes, I am one of the lucky ones) I can’t discuss any features. I can show you some of my work that I have done but I can’t tell you how I did it. Oooh, it’s so suspenseful, isn’t it?
The official launch will take place on April 12th at 11:00 A.M. Eastern. And speaking of things I can’t talk about, check out this amazing little video for a very cool sneak peek into one of the features that I can not officially confirm or deny. Click here for the YouTube link.
Oh, and since I can, here’s a before and after image that I made in CS5 using the really cool (fill in the blank) tool.
UNIFIED COLOR LAUNCHES “TRUE VISION HDR PHOTO CONTEST”
Finally today, I thought I would tell you about a very cool contest that will be held throughout the year with some very cool prizes for the winners. So here’s the deal, Unified Color Technologies, announced the Unified Color “True Vision HDR Photo Contest.” Photographers of all experience levels are invited to submit their finest images created using Unified Color Technology’s HDR PhotoStudio software. Contest participants have a chance to win prizes totaling more than $30,000 including a Grand Prize of a photo workshop through National Geographic Expeditions and a 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Unified Color’s True Vision HDR Photo Contest will award the most creative and technically beautiful HDR images. Judged by a panel of HDR experts and renowned photographers, the contest will be held in three cycles throughout the year with the grand prize to be selected at the end by public voting. There is no limit to the number of images a photographer may submit and no purchase is necessary to participate. Starting today, photographers can submit their images in one of three categories, architecture, nature and “freestyle,” on www.unifiedcolor.com/contest.
Using HDR PhotoStudio (a free download available at www.unifiedcolor.com), photographers create their HDR images and submit the .BEF file (HDR PhotoStudio native format) for consideration to http://www.unifiedcolor.com/contest-submit-photo. Images can be submitted in one of three categories: nature, architecture or “freestyle,” an open category for any image that does not qualify for one of the other categories.
Awards and prizes will be presented in each category three times throughout the year followed by a grand prize announced on December 1. All the winning images from the three cycles will be considered for a grand prize which will be decided by public vote.
The first round of awards will be announced in mid-May and entries should be submitted by May 12, 2010. Photographers are encouraged to submit as many images as they like. There is no entry fee to participate.
So if you really love making HDR images and would like to score a little bling for your efforts, download a copy and get cranking.