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Topaz B&W Effects 2 Review (WITH PROMOTION)

Black and white photography is hard, and doing a good black and white conversion in post processing can be even harder. Photoshop is the most powerful B&W conversion tool, but for sure it isn’t easy to use.

In the last few years software houses have come up with some tools that help with this task, starting from Google Silver Efex Pro, which has since been considered the standard. Now there are at least a couple of contenders to the title of best B&W conversion tool: onOne Software Perfect B&W and Topaz B&W Effects.

Topaz Labs is running a 50% sale on B&W Effects 2 from November 5th through November 19th (promo code NOVBW), so I think it’s the right time to write a little about this plugin.

Intensify Pro for Mac by MacPhun Software Review

I had the opportunity to test a new software released today by MacPhun Software named Intensify Pro. According to MacPhun Software:

Intensify enables photographers of all skill levels to create powerful images using precision tools for enhancing detail. By offering superb control of contrast, structure, detail and sharpening across tonal ranges, Intensify is able to reveal otherwise hidden details and deliver the highest quality results no matter the style of image.

Lab Vibrance Boost in Photoshop Tutorial

Photoshop and Lightroom/CameraRAW have a great way to control colours in your images: vibrance. What vibrance does is to enhance the saturation of desaturated colours in your image, leaving alone already saturated colours. What it doesn’t is to add colour variation. In this tutorial I’ll explain a technique I came …

Topaz Clarity Review

It is a few days since I’m experimenting with the new Topaz Clarity plugin, and I think it is the time to write down my thoughts about this package. Topaz Clarity is a new tool that promises to easily manipulate the contrast and clarity of your images without creating those nasty halos typical of contrast and clarity adjustments.

People of the Grand Bazar

It as been over a month since I’m back from Istanbul, and I am sorry that I still have to write about it. Visiting Istanbul has been a great experience, and I had one of the most mesmerizing moments photographing the Grand Bazar (Kapalıçarşı), the greatest suk of the world. In these images I wanted to portray the people of the Grand Bazar rather than its goods.

Aya Sofia at Dusk

It’s a few days since I’m back from Istanbul, and I have to say I already miss it. Istanbul is one of those places in the world that capture your soul.
One of the places I enjoyed the most in Istanbul was Aya Sophia.
Aya Sofia (or Hagia …

Sunset over the Sant’Angelo bridge in Rome

The Sant’Angelo Bridge links the Sant’Angelo Castle (former Mausoleum of Hadrian) to the left side of the Tevere river. It was built in the year 137 by the roman emperor Hadrian, in front of his mausoleum. In the background you can see the Basilica of St. Peter with its huge dome, designed by Michelangelo, and completed in just two years in 1587.

Is Steve McCurry’s photography technically “flown”?

There are are “rules” that are considered almost like dogmas in photography. Images have to be in tack sharp focus, especially on the eyes of the subject; children should be photographed from their height and never from above; portraits have to be taken using long lenses to not distort the subject; never shoot into the light etc. All these “rules” make sense, but what if we break them?

A couple of weeks ago I turned 33 years old, and my friends gave me a collection of Steve McCurry photo books as a present. I’m really enjoying them and I’m studying them every day. The books are The Unguarded Moment, Portraits, Looking East and Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor. I can’t recommend them more.

Photo: Panorama of Castelmezzano at Dusk

Castelmezzano is a village in the south of Italy, near Potenza. The town is perched on what is known as The Lucanian Dolomites, named after the famous Dolomites in northern Italy. The site is particularly attractive at dusk, when the artificial illumination makes the mountains seem on fire.

Video: Paolo Pellegrin and the incomplete image

The last addition to the Magnum photographers pool is Paolo Pellegrin, member since 2005. He is from Italy like me, that’s why I’m particularly carried by his work, which I find superb. In this video you have a glimpse of his photojournalism. Paolo Pellegrin makes powerful, strong images. His black and …

Video: The work of Sebastiao Salgado

Among the photographers I appreciate the most, there is Sebastiao Salgado, and I’d like to share with you this beautiful video slideshow featuring his work.

One of the rules a beginner photographer has to learn is to never shoot towards the light. Always have it on your side or your back. But…

We encourage you to submit photographs that are real. We want to see the world through your eyes, not through photo editing tools.

National Geographic's Director of Photography
National Geographic Pyramids cover

Manipulated image on NG cover

National Geographic doesn’t like photographic filters, and this totally makes sense to me. In a message from the Director of Photography of National Geographic, it is clearly stated about digital filters: “please stop”.

In an article I wrote a few weeks ago, I said that I’m favorable to post processing, and to some extent, to photo manipulation. In that article I divided photography in two broad categories: documentary and fine art.

In fine art photography, the artist is allowed to do everything he wants to his images, because it is his vision and his interpretation of reality that he transmits to his audience. Much like a painter, as long as he’s honest to himself, he can do anything he wants.

When we speak of documentary and photojournalism, the photographer expresses his vision in a different way. He has to report an event or a place, and he has to show how something looks like.

Travel Planning: What to put in your camera bag

Deciding what to put in your travel camera bag can be a daunting task. In this field, there’s a law that always apply: the Murphy’s law. What we can do is choosing the gear to bring with a little planning, just to minimize the Murphy’s law effect. We can’t just avoid it!

During our travel planning series, we have crafted a well thought travel shot list. With this shot list in mind, we can start to think what gear will be necessary to our purpose.