Monday, 19 May 2014

Intensify gets a facelift - Review

Intensify Version 1.0.2 - Review


My name is John Barrow and I live at the bottom of the South Island, New Zealand. Most of my working life I have been a cameraman, shooting magazine shows and documentaries for television. I'm familiar with video editing and colour grading software but until recently I have never used photo editing software.

In December 2013 my family and I moved to a very small village on a beautiful beach and I started taking photos of the area with an old DSLR camera.


Photo Editing

I knew enough to know that shooting a great shot was just the beginning and the basic software I had could only do so much. I tried different software but it seemed to be either too basic or too complicated. I then found Intensify Pro, a layers based app that gave me a huge amount of control of contrast, structure, details and sharpness over different tonal ranges.

Long exposure shot of the ocean
Got my boots wet getting this shot

Intensify Pro

I immediately fell in love with Intensify Pro, I didn't have any problems with learning how to use it and it worked as a plug-in to Apple Aperture. It also works with Adobe Photoshop and others but I haven't tried it with these.

I'm not a professional photographer and I don't have the best gear but I love creating images. The MacPhun photo editing products, Intensify Pro, Snapheal Pro and Focus2 Pro, have make a world of difference to the look and feel of the photos I'm taking.

Photo of a seal pup resting on a rock
Seal pup resting on a rock

So what's new in this version?

Intensify Version 1.0.2 has added some really cool features, including -

Raw file support for more cameras, its native processor supports 16 bit images and it opens them fast.

Because of some of the video editing software I use is not supported in later versions I'm still using Mac OS X v 10.7.5. I've had absolutely no problems using any of the MacPhun products. For those of you who like to stay up to date, this version fully integrates with some of the powerful features from Mavericks OS.

I'm really excited about are the printing and sharing options that have been added to this version. You can now order Postcards, Gallery and Canvas Prints directly from Intensify. Just click the button and send your photos off to the MacPhun Print Lab (powered by MILK Books). Wow!

You can also export images from Intensify directly to SmugMug, one of the worlds leading photography communities. This is a great addition to the already impressive sharing capabilities of Intensify.
It doesn't matter if you're an amateur like me or a seasoned pro, I think you'll find Intensify will quickly become one of your favourite secret tools in your editing toolbox.

Don't take my word for it, have a look for yourself - Intensify

Happy Shooting 
John Barrow
P.S. Follow me on Flickr

Friday, 9 May 2014

Removing Unwanted Objects From A Photo

 Removing Unwanted Objects From a Photo

Editing the Photo

I took this photo of a New Zealand native bird, the Tui. It was feeding on the nectar found in Flax flowers.
photo of a Tui on Flax Flower
Tui on Flax Flower
I really like this photo but it needs a little work. The Tui needs lightening and a lot of it's colour and detail needs to be emphasized. I also think the Flax stalk and flowers on the left of the frame are distracting, so I want to remove them. 

The first thing I'll do is make some adjustments to the photo in Intensify Pro.
Screen shot of Basic Tune in Intensify Pro
Basic Tune in Intensify Pro
A few Basic Tune and Pro Contrast adjustments ad a bit of overall richness to the photo. I did this on 2 layers but it could have been done on one. I always leave the first layer for the original photo and I don't make major adjustments to that layer. 

Screen Shot of Layer 3 Mask
Tui Mask
I now want to make a few adjustments on the Tui itself. To do this I simply create a mask on a new layer. This is very easy to do using a simple paint tool.

I then play with the Pro Contrast adjustments to the Shadows and increased the Small Global Details and Micro Sharpness. This just sharpens the details in the feathers and the pollen on the beak of the Tui. It also lightens the dark areas on the neck.

Before and After shot of this adjustment
Before and After Adjusting the Tui mask layer

Removing the Unwanted Object

Ok, now its time to remove the unwanted flower and stalk from the photo. From Intensify Pro I can export the photo directly to SnapHeal Pro.

From here I can use a paint tool, similar to the one I used to make the mask in Intensify Pro, to paint the object I want to remove. You will want to be as accurate a possible when painting the object as you don't want to remove unnecessary pixels.
Screenshot of Painting the Remove Mask
Painting the Remove Mask
Screen shot of the Erase Tool
Erase Tool
This is where it gets interesting. The Erase Tool has 3 modes, Global, Local and Dynamic. Each mode has 3 settings, Normal, High, and Highest.
These setting all have different algorithms to erase the object. You can mouse over the different modes to get an overview of what each mode works best with.

In this case I found the Global and the Highest setting worked best. You can click through the different setting to find the one that works best.

It's done, as easy as that.

Screen shot The Erase Tool left a few lines
The Erase Tool left a few lines and odd shapes

There were a few lines and odd shapes left but a few clicks with the Clone Tool quickly fixed the problem.
The Final Result photo
The Final Result
The Original Photo
The Original Photo
From SnapHeal Pro you can export the image back to Intensify Pro or save it to any format you choose.

Intensify Pro and SnapHeal Pro both work as add-ons to Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture but most important they work just as well as stand-alone programs.

If you are interested in purchasing both Intensify Pro and SnapHeal Pro you can save 20% or get more information about these and other photo editing programs.

You can sign up to receive tutorials, specials, competitions and much more or just click the skip button.

Happy Shooting 
John Barrow
P.S. Follow me on Google+