Tag Archives: Jimmy Mcintyre

Raya Pro 2.0 is coming!

It was a hard slog at work this week and the comfort of a single malt was not awaiting me this Friday night… the dieting enforcer is in town!

Luckily I had something grand to look forward to… Raya Pro version 2.0 – the super efficient and powerful Photoshop plugin by world renowned Jimmy Mcintyre. If you know what HDR and blending are about then you will certainly know this Scotsman come exposure blending guru.

Version 1.1 had those “luminosity masks”, that some of us whisper about, made easy to understand with various other blending modes and many other useful post processing features. Read more here.

Version 2.0, soon to be released, has a host of other features which make this must-have plugin even more powerful and a .45 on the hip when navigating Photoshop especially in the landscape area (but I would be keen to shoot the inside of a mansion / building and test the images with Raya).

I tried the new Precision masks / Auto Dark Blend and “boom” out came an evenly blended image (I chose one of the 5/6 or so options / created masks it offered to suit my liking). I noticed a new feature called Fix Blend but will need the tutorial for that.

In summary that’s now five (5) different blending modes (if I’m counting correctly) in one plugin that has the potential to make any Joe Soap a master blender.

Jimmy always seems to mention image degradation (something the old style HDR software packages were good at doing) and his plugin clearly cruises the golden mile to effortlessly blend images without turning them into a horror that would make your blind grandma turn in her grave.

I’m sure Glen Phillips and chaps from FISHING DBN will enjoy this blended photo taken at sunrise on Poenskop looking North across the Nkadusweni River Mouth (it’s the favourite Port St Johns Tourism fishing spot of many a fisherman with tall tales).

poenskop-view-2017-copy-large

Base image F10, 0.5 sec. ISO 100 Canon 6D 24-105 mm L

Nik HDR Efex vs. Photomatix

Nik vs Photomatix 1-12-13 Desktop (Large)If you don’t know what HDR photography is then read here. It’s my healthy addiction.

The photos above are a result of my experimenting; the results of which I initially thought were conclusive.But, just when you believe that one software package is superior to the other, then you find that the “loser” is able is do something that the “winner” is incapable of.

Trial software can be downloaded here:

Play with both, try, experiment and then when you get to an advanced stage start thinking about manual blending without either software package. Christopher O’Donnell kindly offers a free e-book in this regard – click here.

Want to learn from one of the HDR masters I follow closely? Then click here to get some free tutorials from Jimmy McIntyre.

Andy is Greatly Inspired

My skills have gone up one notch at least. I’m still not super hot at my HDR processing but damn it dude – I’m certainly improving slowly but surely. I’m in the middle and going up!

I recently had a good chuckle when looking through my first Photomatix attempts from about one year ago. Stars Wars stuff I tell you.

If you want to get inspired like I am (in life and specifically with photography) then watch the Social Network and Steve Jobs movies, be mutually in love with a caring partner and follow the work / tutorials of Jimmy Mcintyre, Klaus Herrmann and Chris Arson. That should help you off to a good start at worst.

It was possibly after the sixth person in as so many weeks asked me how much money I would sell one of my photos for that I thought why not. The cost is minute so why do it?

It’s not for the money at all; it’s to fuel my passion even more.

One of my colleagues will soon have an A2 canvas stretched print of one of my photos (him and his cars) on his wall. An ex-colleague will soon have one of my seascapes behind his bar. These were the “free” ones.

I have some older photos that I will post in the weeks / months to come but for now please enjoy one of my recent efforts (Winklespruit Beach, South Africa). I like this photo as it was the moment that something sparked and I thought “You’ve improved Andy. You’re not as good as the best but you are slowly but surely getting better”.

Winkelspruit_4c (Large)Dedicated to my dear Mother Margaret Rose Harvard, and my loving partner Timol