Photography News Issue 36

Photography News | Issue 36 | absolutephoto.com

55 First tests

Anthropics LandscapePro Studio £49.95

Specs

After

Prices LandscapePro Standard edition (launch price £29.95, normally £59.90), Studio edition (launch price £49.95, normally £99.90). Free trial available Features Studio edition supports Raw files, works in 16-bit, can be used as a plug-in in Lightroom and Photoshop, and supports colour profiles System requirements Windows: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP Mac: OSX 10.7 or later Contact landscapepro.pics

Unlike some software, the adjustments are made instantly on the image, which is good, and their names are clear

Before

colour toning they divide the picture into foreground, mid-ground and background, and they worked well, adding good colour contrast. You can also fog the distance for atmosphere. Further down the list you come to settings for the areas you labelled, so onmy image it was Tree, Building and Sky. Herein, tone and colour can be controlled for those areas alone, and as before there are also presets. The most interesting of these is Sky, where you can add clouds from a library, or use your own. Being one of the most common but quite demanding edits to make in Photoshop, here it works quite effortlessly, though the quality of the finish all depends on how good your selection is, and how well the clouds suit the scene. After adding clouds, I returned to the Add & Edit Areas controls to improve the join. Finally, there’s Lighting and Fixes. Lighting adds Shadows, mimicking the angle and colour of the sun. I couldn’t fault the amount of options, but found it difficult to create a balance which improved the image. That’s not to say it doesn’t work, just that, like other processing effects, some will like it and some won’t. Fixes offers simple straightening and noise reduction options. Outputting the final image is streamlined; you just hit the Save button and select the file type (which includes ‘Session files’ – .lp – a bit like saving a layered document as a PSD in Photoshop). KS Left Because it uses selections on which to base editing, LandscapePro allows very targeted adjustments, including the ability to add new skies from either a preset library or your own shots.

or more extravagant effects like Sunrise or Night, which also insert a sky. The simpler effects are fine, but those which sought to change the time of day or sky detail looked unrealistic across the range of images I tried. That’s not to say they won’t work on some subjects, but you also have to ask yourself whether using preset cloud formations is something you want to do to your images anyway. Far better are the Whole Picture options (which don’t apply to the selected areas). These, like the sliders you’d get in Lightroom or Photoshop’s Camera Raw, allow a good level of editing, tackling tonal range and colour. Unlike some software, the adjustments are made instantly on the image, which is good. Their names are clear and the effects are welcome, such as Fill Light which lightens shadows and Presence Contrast which beefs up textures. There are also colour presets that are good (Fall, Spring etc.), and the level of these can be controlled a bit like setting the Opacity of an Adjustment layer. More options The next set of options is Style, which includes Black & White and Sepia, Vignette and Depth of Field effects. The first two of these are really good, offering plenty of control. Depth of Field adds a tilt-shift look, but I found it looked quite unnatural. The Depth options are interesting; via

This new software is designed specifically for editing landscape photos and comes from the makers of Portrait Professional. It’s available in PC and Mac versions and in two packages, Studio (at a launch price of £49.95) and Standard (launch price £29.95). The former offers additional features including Raw file support, exporting in 16-bit, changing colour space, and using the package as a plug-in within Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Lightroom. Like Portrait Professional, effects are added in a very different fashion from Photoshop; so how does it stack up? On loading the software you get an intro screenwith icons to Open Image, Load Example Shots to practise on (a good idea), watch tutorials, visit a Help FAQ and give feedback. Open an image (as I was reviewing the Studio version, I used a Raw file) and you start editing by labelling parts of the picture under a heading called Add & Edit Areas. If you’re familiar with Photoshop, this is like selecting parts of a picture before working on them to keep adjustments separate, but you do it all in one go at the start. Labels are dragged onto the image such as Sky, Mountain, Grass and so on, and this gives the software an idea how to treat them. Once you de- Photoshop your way of thinking, it’s a simple and quite effective process. On the example image here, I dragged out Sky, Tree and Building labels.

Next, the image is overlaid with coloured areas showing the different sections, and it’s here you need make some refinements to the selection. This is done using a Pull tool, which involves dragging one colour over another, all of which helps the software learn what’s in the picture via its shape and colour range, separating it before adjustments are made. The Pull tool works swiftly, but for a finer degree of accuracy you can switch to the Soften/Unsoften, Tree & Sky, Object in Sky and Small Objects tools. The Tree & Sky tool for instance is used on intricate edges of foliage, while Object in Sky and Small Objects deselect areas jutting into others. The whole thing is reminiscent of Photoshop’s Refine Edge/Select and Mask feature, and while it’s probably easier to understand for a beginner, it doesn’t feel as precise. After a few minutes I got what I thought was an accurate selection and moved on to setting the horizon. After that you’re into the main editing area, but the selected parts can still be adjusted later on. One issue I did find was, after using the Small Objects tool, it was difficult to remove the effect (other than hitting Undo, which doesn’t help a long way down the line). All the options are arranged in a clean and tidy way on the left of the interface and the first of them is Global Presets; a range of quick effects either applying simple colour changes

LandscapePro has a lot of innovative features, it’s easy to understand and quick to use. The adaptive controls and selection tools mean it’ll work with any image or style you want to create and there are lots of presets to suit different tastes. If you’ve been put off by the complexity of Photoshop, it’s well worth a look via the free trial option. Pricing is keen, too, with the Studio version currently half price at £49.95. your image, telling the software, broadly, which part of the image is the sky, a tree, a building and so on. Each area is then shown by a colour and it can be dragged around to adjust what it covers. Other tools are used to tweak the look, such as around the edges of leaves. Having selected the areas you can then adjust each of them individually, and the Sky heading allows a huge range of colour and tonal editing. Pros Fast, simple and easy to use, good range of effects, lots of control and editable presets Cons Detailed subjects require time-consuming selections, some effects look very artificial Verdict Below left In LandscapePro you begin by adding labels to

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by