In the latest release of ACDSee, ACDSee Pro, and ACDSee Ultimate, a nifty little feature was added for the creative on the go.

So you’re browsing your images in View mode, making decisions about the fate of the shots in that particular album. For example, could some of these look great with a special effect? You’re thinking that maybe a certain photo might look decent in black and white. Ordinarily, you would take that image into Edit or Develop mode to find out for sure. But now, you get a sense of how it will look on the fly, without having to leave View mode. Here’s how:

With your image open in View mode, press the Auto Lens button. auto_lens_button

auto_lens

Then, select the filter you want to try out. It’s worth mentioning that this is a commitment-free preview of what these effects would look like. You are not applying the filter to the file.

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If you want to try out this effect on a number of photos, use the Filmstrip or Previous/Next button to preview more images with your selected filter. The Lens will remain turned on in View mode until you turn it off.

To turn off your selected filter, press the Auto Lens button and select None.

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There is also another button following the same concept but for an exposure boost. It’s called Auto EQ and it’s located right next to the Auto Lens button. auto_eq_button Before Auto EQ:

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After Auto EQ:

after_eq

This tool takes the guesswork out of assessing an image’s exposure. And, perhaps in some cases, helps to quickly establish which ones are worth the time of actually adjusting. Hurray! Time saving!

 

Well here it is: The definitive aperture, shutter speed, and ISO guidance!

photography

 

 

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Turns out there’s a blog out there for all of us anal, OCD-types, but for photography inspiration! Check out Things Organized Neatly.

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In Edit mode, I used Lens Distortion Correction to alter the perspective and give the clouds more of a presence.

Then, in Lighting on the Equalizer tab, I used the Auto button. And then darkened the clouds by dragging on the photo.

Then in Advanced Color, I upped the Vibrance and Saturation sliders slightly to give the photo more interest. I didn’t go crazy on this, though, because I wanted the colors to remain natural-looking.

Then in the Clarity tool, I upped the slider to give the sand more definition.

And that is that! Five minutes later, my image is completely transformed.

before_after

As you may or may not recall, a while back I posted a tutorial taking a look at Pixel Targeting. At the end of that tutorial, I did promise that we would eventually look at a variety of Pixel Targeting applications. Well, we took a break to look at some other functions, but we’re back! Let us now explore!

As a quick reminder, Pixel Targeting allows you to target distinct tones, colors, and skin tones, and then select any number of Edit mode adjustments and apply them to those targeted colors, tones, or skin tone.

I find this picture pretty drab. It probably doesn’t help that I was there and my eyes told me it was pretty spectacular.

IMG_2465

I would like to make the colors pop a bit, but I also want it to still look realistic, and not like a fantasy seascape. (Fantasy seascape has its place, but that’s just not what I’m into today.) So I open the image in Edit mode, and then enter Advanced Color. If I indiscriminately pump up the Saturation and Vibrance, it gets a bit much. It doesn’t look very realistic… It looks a bit insane. Look at those umbrellas! It’s like a carnival.

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It’s true that you could just up the color value on the blues and greens by dragging your cursor up on the water and the trees, for example.

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But then all of the greens and blues in the image are heightened, which leaves the rocks looking pretty green and the sky a bit nutty. Maybe you’re thinking I’m getting a bit picky. But what I’m thinking is: it’s Pixel Targeting Time. At the top of the panel on the left side, I press the Pixel Targeting button. Under Targeted Tones, I press Min. This deselects all tones. Then under Targeted Colors, I press Min. This deselects all colors. Now I can choose only the specific colors I want to target. In other words, I can choose to ignore the lightest or darkest version of a specific color, or any tone in between. Just stay with me, it’ll make sense.

Here we are with everything at neutral. Note that the Target Mask is black, which means that nothing is being targeted.

neutral

Say, for argument’s sake, I wanted to just target the blue of the sky, while ignoring the blue of the ocean and the accents on the boats and houses and such. In the Targeted Tones section, I turn the lightest value up to Max, and on the Targeted Colors section, I turn the blue value up to Max. You can see on the Target Mask that the sky is displayed in white. The white illustrates which part of the photo is being targeted. The sky is the lightest blue value in the photo, hence, it’s targeted.

target_mask_light_blue

Now if I expand the Targeted Tones to include more light values, you’ll notice that more areas are lit up in the Target Mask. That part of the water matches the criteria of being blue, (which we’ve targeted), and an almost mid-range lightness.

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Now that we’ve acquainted ourselves with the concepts behind using Advanced Color with Pixel Targeting, let’s move on. My goal is to target just the ocean and the trees. But I want to leave the sky alone, as I’ve already discovered that nothing natural looking has come from me messing with it. So I experiment with targeting different tones until I find the one that displays the ocean in white in the Target Mask — directly in the middle. I now add green to the Targeted Colors to target the trees. Then I use the Saturation and Vibrance sliders to make the colors pop specifically in the targeted areas. I even drag my cursor up on the trees for more green. This didn’t affect the seaweed, as it would without Pixel Targeting, because the seaweed isn’t within the tonal ranges targeted. Et Voilà! Observe how the colors of the ocean and trees stand out, but the colors of the rocks are still natural. This, I feel, makes the difference between something vibrant, yet still realistic-looking, versus the circus-and-sequins catastrophe above, when I just indiscriminately raised the saturation and vibrance across the entire photo.

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Let’s compare this with the original.

before_after_colour

It’s subtle, but a definite improvement, I think.

Pixel Targeting can be used in a variety of ways—some very subtle, some much less subtle. Happy playing!

I’d like to take a quick look at a nifty little feature that was added to ACDSee back around the release of ACDSee 18 and Pro 8, and is also found in Ultimate 8. It’s possible that it could slip under the radar because, unlike other new features, PicaView is not actually visible inside ACDSee. I know, sounds devious. But, in fact, PicaView couldn’t be more transparent. That is, in a way, its function. ACDSee PicaView is a quick file viewer add-on for File Explorer. Well, what the heck does that mean? It means that when you’re browsing away in Windows Explorer and you’re trying to find that one specific file, you’re going to save quite a bit of time.

Before PicaView, I found it particularly bad when I was looking for a certain image, but it was in a folder full of several hundred similar images all taken in the same setting, at the same time. With PicaView, you can simply right-click an image and see a larger version of it in your context menu, reducing the wild goose chase to a very tame duck chase….not even a chase. You just find it. You “catch” the duck before it even started waddling away.

picaview

PicaView will allow you to identify the image you’re looking for without having to launch it in a viewing application. It saves so much time! You can use it on any image file type supported by ACDSee.  This works on RAW files, too. And, in addition to viewing a preview of the image, you can also view the EXIF information.

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Did the flash fire on that pic? Well, let me just check on that. Right-click!

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Why, no. No, it did not. How easy was that?

If I want to launch the image in ACDSee, I just need to click the preview.

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I can also customize the size that the image previews in, what version of the image displays, etc. To reach the options, right-click an image file. At the top of the preview, click ACDSee PicaView | Options. In the Options dialog, you can elect to have it so that when you right-click, your image displays in a sub-menu, rather than the main menu. You can also choose a size for the image preview.

 

Small small
Medium medium
Large large
Extra Large extra_large

You can also select the Show Original checkbox, and what this does is ensures that even if you’re viewing images that have been edited or developed, you will see a preview of the original.

Lastly, you can toggle the Show EXIF Information checkbox. You would turn off this checkbox if you only wanted to see a preview of the image and didn’t care to see the EXIF info.

And that’s all there is to it. Hope you enjoy this quick previewing feature designed to make life just that little bit easier.

 

Here’s a quick look at how to use gradients and special effects to change the emotion of an image. In this video, we give an image verging on being a nightscape a bright daytime look.