For the last seven years, an amazing bundle of software, e-books and video training has been made available for just 5 Days. It’s called The Complete Photography Bundle from 5daydeal.com and this year, it has an estimated value of just under $3000 for just $89 (there are some upgrades with more content that are also available). Last year was the first year I became a partner with the company who puts the bundle together, which means that I receive a commission on sales when I share my referral link to the main page for the bundle.
Here’s a quick overview image of the people and companies who are contributing:
A $10,000 GIVEAWAY AND A FREE APPLICATION FROM SKYLUM SOFTWARE
Because the bundle is so highly discounted (nearly $3,000 in value for just $89), I believe that if you find just one valuable item from the bundle, it will be worth investing it. Whether or not you decide to purchase the bundle, you can enter a $10,000 giveaway that includes a free copy of a piece of software FOR EVERYONE WHO ENTERS from Skylum Software called AirMagic (here’s a link to a quick overview video tutorial of the application). Just look for the entry form toward the bottom of the 2019 Bundle Page. It looks like this:
10% of all the proceeds goes to charities (over $1.5 million has been raised thus far), which you can select. I usually choose to give an equal amount to the charities they have selected. About 100,000 people have purchased the bundles over the last seven years, and I’ve bought at least four of them. In a word, the content is AMAZING! If you’d like to check out what’s inside the bundle (and it’s A LOT), visit THIS PAGE.
P.S.: I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a dedicated external hard drive (or making some space on a drive you own) for all of the files that you will probably be downloading if you purchase the bundle. That way, you can move the content from computer to computer and not worry about filling up your internal hard drive (if space is an issue on your internal hard drive(s)). You may even want to purchase two relatively small hard drives (512GB or 1TB) so that you can use one as a backup. They can be found for $50-75 each online or in camera stores/office supply stores like Staples.
All the best!
Editor, The Imaging Buffet
Whenever a new high-end inkjet printer is released, I am excited to learn more about it and share the news with the world. It’s still amazing to me that humans have created machines that can transform an image from a screen into a piece of artwork on a wide range of different media in just a few minutes.
On October 1, 2019, Epson formally announced two new wide-format printers: the 24-inch Epson SureColor P7570 and 44-inch SureColor P9570. I saw quite a few print samples from one of the printers and saw the SureColor P9570 up close at a press briefing a few months ago. I was extremely impressed by the detail, color saturation and especially the increase in density of the black that’s possible on semi-gloss and glossy papers using the new print mode described in the feature list below. Prints on matte paper were equally stunning, both in color and monotone.
Some of the features of both printers are as follows:
• A new 2.6″ PrecisionCore® printhead, with speeds up to 2.4 times faster than Epson’s previous generation of wide-format printers (that would include the SureColor P7000 and P9000);
• A calibrated LED light inside the area where the head moves back and forth (you can now put your flashlight away!);
• The ability to cover 99 percent of the PANTONE® FORMULA GUIDE solid-coated standard;
• A new print mode called “Black Enhanced Overcoat” that helps create a higher DMAX in the dark areas on semi-gloss, glossy and metallic papers. Here is some text about it from the company’s press materials: “Black Enhanced Overcoat delivers improved DMAX for a wider contrast ratio, excellent black density, outstanding clarity, improved sharpness, and reduced gloss differential on glossy and metallic media.”;
• 12 ink channels with an updated pigment ink (UltraChrome® PRO12), including a violet ink that helps to expand the color gamut; and wait for it…;
• Dedicated channels for matte and photo black! In other words, there is no need to swap between the black inks to optimize the black ink density on matte and glossy/semi-gloss papers.
The last one is a big deal, and something that I always hope for when a new pigment ink printer is released (from any company). I never like waiting for the switch to happen, and I especially don’t like wasting ink (even though it’s a relatively small amount).
Estimated pricing of the SureColor P7570 (24-inch-wide) and P9570 (44-inch-wide) printers will be $4,695 MSRP and $6,595 MSRP, respectively, and they will start shipping in December of 2019.
To see all the specs for the new printers, including estimated print speeds, and much more, visit THIS PAGE. I was told that the previous generation of wide-format printers will continue to be sold, but I would ask your dealer or contact Epson regarding exactly which models are going to be available for the foreseeable future.
MY 40 DAY EMAIL CHALLENGE IS IN FULL GEAR!
If you are not currently receiving my preferred email news and tips, I welcome you to subscribe HERE. You will instantly receive an e-book with 25 pages from my award-winning photo tips book, Focus & Filter, as well as some Lightroom videos. I’m also in the middle of a 40 Day Challenge in which I’ve been sharing tips and advice on many topics, including inkjet printing, portrait photography, travel and much more. I hope to see you there!
GRAB THIS BUNDLE AT 96% OFF BEFORE IT ENDS ON 10/8 at NOON PST!
For the last four years or so I’ve purchased this bundle, and for the last two years I’ve been a partner because I believe so much in what the folks at 5 Day Deal do each year. You can save up to 96% on the Photography Bundle 2019 while helping raise hundreds of thousands for charity. The bundle is just $89 for over $2800 in video tutorials, eBooks and digital tools and much more. The opportunity to pick up this bundle ENDS TODAY (NOON PST Tues 10/8). Also Included: Skylum’s AURORA HDR 2019 (a $99 value). GRAB THE BUNDLE NOW and Take Your Skills to the NEXT LEVEL!
It’s truly an amazing time to be a photographer. There is no shortage of incredible tools to edit just about any scanned or digitally-captured image, whether it be a Raw file or many other file types. In September of 2018 I posted an overview of Alien Skin Exposure X3 as well as some of the new features that were coming to Exposure X4. You can find that article here. Recently, the company released Exposure X4.
I was impressed then with the speed and feature set of Exposure X3, and I’m even more impressed now with Exposure X4.5. There are many effects in the application/plug-in that just can’t be found on other non-destructive image editors.
Some of the things that stand out for me in Exposure X4 and X4.5 are as follows:
• LUTs: (short for Look-Up Tables) are small files that allow you to apply certain “looks” or color grading non-destructively to your images inside of Exposure X4. This is an excellent article on the topic that shows a number of examples, with a link to some free downloadable LUTs from Lutify.me.
• Preset thumbnails: (allow you to see and apply many different effects, such as film simulations), are able to be resized by dragging the panel where they are located. This is extremely helpful when choosing different looks. Like all of the panels, you can even customize where they are located.
• Hovering effect for presets is very fast (I tested it on a 2013 MacBook Pro with an i7 Processor). This feature allows you to hover your mouse over a preset, and the image in the center window will temporarily apply that preset, making it very fast and easy to test out different looks.
• The “IR” tools are nothing short of amazing. This tool allows you to create different types of “glow effects” that simulate the look of infrared (or you can use them to just add a softer look) in your images. As they say, you have to see it to believe it!
• The Bokeh tool (used to create creative blur effects) could be an application all by itself. It’s just mind-blowing.
• Tethered Shooting and Non-destructive Layers: Here is a link to a tutorial that shows some of what Exposure X4.5 can do, especially when put in the hands of a skilled image maker:
• User Configurable Keyboard Shortcuts, including one option that makes it easier for Lightroom users to either use Exposure X4.5 as an additional editing tool (standalone or as a plug-in), or for those who want to make the transition from Lightroom Classic to Alien Skin Exposure X4.5.
And here are a few of the newest features that have been added to Exposure X4.5 (from the company’s press materials)
MODIFYING KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS – A Real World Example
I try to use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible to save time, and two that I constantly use in Lightroom are the “-” and “=” keys to make thumbnails larger or smaller in the Library Module. With that in mind, I was able to change the default keyboard shortcut in Exposure X4.5 for those keys (they were previously assigned to “Toggle Pick Flag” and “Toggle Reject Flag”. Now the keyboard shortcuts match between both applications.
NEW VISUAL BROWSING OPTION FOR CARD IMPORTS
I found the new visual browsing option when copying photos from a card to be very well designed and easy to use. The thumbnails can be made quite large (almost full screen if you like), which is great for quickly making selections. Here’s what it looks like (click on image to see it larger):
Alien Skin Software has an excellent collection of tutorials to help anyone get started or hone their skills with their applications. Here is a link to the tutorial page for Exposure X4.5, and here is a link to their YouTube channel.
I would be remiss not to include at at least one screen shot from my testing. I praised this feature in my review of Alien Skin Exposure X3, but this tool never ceases to amaze me. It’s the Overlays panel, and if you like the idea of being able to create a wide variety of custom borders for your images, I would reserve a few hours for yourself to dig in and enjoy!
EXPOSURE X4.5 PRICING and 30 DAY FREE TRIAL
Alien Skin Exposure X4.5 is free to all owners of Exposure X4, and is available in two configurations for Mac and Windows OS:
• Exposure X4 (US $119). I should note that this is a $30 savings compared with the previous price of Exposure X3.
• Exposure X4 Bundle (US $149), a $50 savings compared with the previous Exposure X3 bundle. It includes Exposure X4, Snap Art, and Blow Up. As I noted in my other article, Blow Up is an amazing application that can enlarge your images quite a bit while retaining good detail and minimal or no visible artifacts. Snap Art’s forte is transforming photos or other artwork in many different ways. Effects include many different looks, including pastel, oil painting and watercolor. For more on Snap Art, visit this page, or see the the video below:
and here is a quick video overview of Exposure X4:
• Re: upgrades, the cost to upgrade from previous versions of Exposure to Exposure X4.5 is $79. The company also frequently releases updates to support the raw files of new cameras, make bug fixes, etc.
I highly recommend downloading a copy of Alien Skin Exposure X4.5 and giving it a test drive. Even if you are happy with your current Raw processing app or other image editor, you may find that some of the tools are well worth the cost of the application. If you’d like to try out Exposure X4.5 for free for 30 days, visit this page.