Apple this morning has released Aperture 2, a new version of its pro imaging application for Mac that boasts over 100 new features. The application is available for the cost of shipping to those who purchased Aperture after January 1, 2008; otherwise it’s a US$99 upgrade, or US$199 for a new license.
Mac OS X 10.5.2, released today as a free update to the current version of the Mac operating system, adds support for RAW files from the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon PowerShot G9, Hasselblad CF-22, Hasselblad CF-39, Leaf Aptus 75s, Nikon D3, Nikon D300 and Sony Alpha DSLR A700.
Once installed, applications such as Apple’s Aperture, iPhoto and Preview should be able to view and convert RAW files from these cameras. Non-Apple applications that draw on the same OS-level code may be able to as well, though some may require updates of their own to utilize the expanded RAW file support.
GridIron Flow, a new workflow management technology designed to work with Photoshop, the Creative Suite, and other tools. Since then the product picked up a Best in Show nod at Macworld, and now you can see it in action in a video on their site. In it company CEO Steve Forde shows Flow managing a workflow spreading across Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and InDesign.
Automated tools like Mr. Baldassi’s are changing the editing of photography by making it possible for anyone to tweak a picture, delete unwanted items or even combine the best aspects of several similar pictures into one.
The image adjustment technology, which first appeared in Nikon Capture NX and is that program’s standout feature because of how much simpler it makes the process of applying selective corrections to a photo, will soon be available for both Mac and Windows versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements in the form of a plug-in called Viveza.
Extensis has released updates to its Portfolio suite of photo cataloging and web publishing applications. Portfolio v8.5.1 and Portfolio Server v8.5.1 for Windows and Mac add support for the RAW files from the Canon EOS 40D, EOS-1Ds Mark III, Nikon D300, D3 and other models, plus improved import and use of XMP-format metadata. The Mac version also introduces full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 and later.
PicLens instantly transforms your browser into a full-screen slideshow experience. With just one click, PicLens makes photos come to life via a cinematic presentation that goes beyond the confines of the traditional browser window. With PicLens, browsing and viewing images on the web will never be the same again.
Why mundanely flip through online photo galleries or squint at thumbnails from Google Image Search when you can sit back and get an immersive, full-screen experience instead? Come on and let yourself “be transported to a wonderful and magical world.” (Review by Lifehacker)
Several times now I’ve expressed my appreciation for PicLens, a beautiful (and free) little browser plug-in that enables full-screen, hardware-accelerated slideshows from Google Images, Flickr, MySpace, deviantART, and other sites. It’s changed my whole online photo viewing experience.
For those not familiar with DNG, it’s the archival raw format that Adobe created to address the proliferation of proprietary raw formats. With hundreds of undocumented formats introduced since the advent of raw capture, it’s no wonder that the concept of a raw standard has elicited quite a bit of discussion. Much of the discussion revolves around the topic of file format obsolescence: Will I be able to open my raw files in 50 to 75 years from now? This is a good question and a valid reason why photographers choose to use the openly documented DNG format but there are other more immediate benefits to using a DNG workflow:
The other Mac software news this month is more exciting.
For years, the industry’s most amazing speech-recognition program has been Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Windows. In its latest version, I got 98.9 percent accuracy right out of the box, without even reading the training scripts.
On the Mac, though, the only speech-recognition option was a program called iListen, which was built on far less sophisticated speech technology from Philips. Seven years ago, I asked iListen’s creator, a former Dragon engineer named Andrew Taylor, why on earth he’d based his Mac program on the Philips software instead of Dragon’s.
The answer, it turns out, was that the Dragon technology would cost too much, and the conditions for using it were too onerous, in Mr. Taylor’s view. He went with the Philips software, but never gave up his dream of bringing Dragon technology to the Mac.
Eventually, the Mac’s popularity rose, new bosses took over at Nuance (the current owner of the Dragon technology) and Mr. Taylor finally landed a deal.
The new program, MacSpeech Dictate ($200 with headset), is a big deal, especially for the thousands of Mac lovers who have been running Windows all these years just so they could use Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
The next version of the pro photo browser introduces a smorgasbord of user-requested changes big and small, including such welcome features as five-star ratings, drag-and-drop thumbnail sorting, the ability to automatically display in slide show fashion new pictures arriving in a folder (including from a wirelessly-connected camera), beefed up web page generation (with support for AutoViewer, SimpleViewer and PostcardViewer galleries), user-customizable hierarchical keywording, Unicode IPTC support, snazzier-looking contact sheets and more.
Photoshop engineer Geoff Scott spotted a beautiful black & white image from photographer Moose Peterson, made with the help of Photoshop CS3. (Too bad the online version isn’t larger.) Moose writes, “I’ve always loved B&W photography but until recent developments such at the Epson 3800 and 7800 and B&W conversion in Photoshop, B&W was downright painful. With amazing paper like Epson’s UltraSmooth Fine Art and the ease of B&W conversion in CS3, why wouldn’t someone enjoy the amazing old art of B&W photography.”
For more info, check out Russell Brown’s 4-minute video intro to the Black & White dialog, where he shows off the ability to click and drag on color regions to adjust them, as well as a technique for hand-tinting the results. Russell produced some great B&W presets for Camera Raw in CS2, so I’m sure he’ll offer more good info, tips, and settings for the much-improved B&W controls in CS3’s Camera Raw 4.0. I had fun using the new split toning functions, together with Photoshop’s venerable Lighting Effects dialog, to show my wife contemplating a “Portrait of the Governor as a Young Man” on New Year’s Eve. (It was a weird party. ;-))
The man who, after Jobs, is most responsible for Apple’s amazing ability to dazzle and delight with its famous products, chose instead to talk about process — what he called “the craft of design.” He spoke passionately about his small team and how they work together. He talked about focusing on only what is important and limiting the number of projects. He spoke about having a deep understanding of how a product is made: its materials, its tooling, its purpose. Mostly, he focused on the need to care deeply about the work.
After graduating, Ive joined Grinyer in 1989 in a London startup, Tangerine Design. But he couldn’t get British companies to appreciate his work. When a company mothballed a bathroom sink he’d spent months working on, “he was dejected and depressed,” says Grinyer. “He had poured himself into working for people who really didn’t care.” Ive admits he wasn’t cut out to be a design consultant, where salesmanship is the most essential skill. “I was terrible at running a design business, and I really wanted to just focus on the craft of design,” he told Pearlman.
Photoshop CS2 (aka v9.0) for Windows and Mac has been updated to v9.0.1. The free update is comprised mostly of bug fixes and minor tweaks; the download page for each platform, linked to below, lists the changes. Note that the Mac updater is for English copies of the application only, whereas the Windows updater covers all languages.
The latest release of the pro photo browser from Camera Bits adds uploading to a PhotoShelter account from within the application, viewing and processing of RAW files (Mac version only; OS X 10.4.6 required), more flexible CD/DVD writing, the ability to read code replacement data out of multiple text files, several new variables (includes one that returns a camera’s total shutter actuations) and many other improvements and fixes. Here.
Camera Bits today has released a public beta version of Photo Mechanic 4.4.3, the next release of the pro photo browsing software for Mac and Windows. Highlighting the list of changes is the ability to upload directly to a PhotoShelter account in Photo Mechanic on both platforms, improved CD/DVD burning in the Windows version and numerous other fixes and enhancements.
The Mac version of 4.4.3 also marks the return of RAW conversion to the program after a several-year absence, this time utilizing the RAW support built into the Mac OS.
Canon has posted updaters or installers for several of its digital SLR software applications. Available for download are Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 2.1, EOS Utility 1.0, CameraWindow DSLR 5.3R2 (Windows), ZoomBrowser EX 5.6.0 (Windows) and ImageBrowser 5.6.1a (Mac).