Verdict: 4.5 stars DxO PhotoLab 4 is superb at RAW processing and lens corrections, often transforming the results from even average camera gear. The improvements in PhotoLab 4, particularly DxO’s new DeepPRIME technology, are impressive, and offer stunning results from high-ISO images. PhotoLab 4 is quite technical, it’s not cheap if you buy the Elite version (recommended) and the ViewPoint and FilmPack add-ons, and its organising tools are pretty basic – and it doesn’t work with Fujifilm X-Trans files. Otherwise, for image processing perfectionists, it’s quite superb.
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Verdict: 4.5 stars Exposure X6 remains one of the best tools for recreating atmospheric analog looks and has a large catalog of very good preset effects. It’s also a very good all-round non-destructive image-editor, and offers very good integrated image cataloguing which offers an excellent hybrid approach between ‘live’ folder browsing and quite powerful search and album tools.
Balancing rocks on Poltesco beach, Exposure X5: When I saw this balancing pile of rocks, I was sure I could make a picture out of it, with the pebble beach in the foreground and the silvery sea and sky in the background.
The radial filter tool in Capture One, Lightroom and other image editors is great for ‘relighting’ scenes to add drama and depth.
Almost any photographic expert will tell you that you should shoot RAW files not JPEGs, and that RAW files are innately superior. The trouble with this kind of wisdom is that it’s repeated and passed on without question.
Porthleven power lines in Lightroom: one LUT, three graduated filters. How a series of tools and effects can be used in combination towards an overall ‘look’.
Photo retouching is one of a handful of basic and necessary adjustments for photos that photographers will rely on repeatedly to correct flaws or faults ahead of any creative adjustments or ‘looks’.
Perspective correction is not necessary for most photos, but there are times when it will make the difference between an image that looks professional and one that just looks amateurish.
BAN (Basic And Necessary) adjustments are for fixing obvious flaws in your photos. They will help you decide if images have the potential to be ‘keepers’ and prepare them properly for creative effects later.
You’re probably used to digital images being in the RGB mode, where the full range of colors is generated with red, green and blue color ‘channels’. But most photo editing programs offer a color editing mode based around the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) color model, and this is where it gets really interesting.