photoshop artistic actions webinar

photoshop watercolor action from gavin phillips
Here’s a watercolor action. I find they are a great starting place for working on the next level of your images.

Webinar with Gavin Phillips

I’ll be teaming up with UK photographer Gavin Phillips to share a Photoshop webinar on artistic Photoshop plug-ins that he has designed for creating watercolors and paintings from your photographs. When you sign up for the webinar you’ll get two backgrounds as a bonus. If you can’t make the live event you’ll be able to view the recorded version. Learn more and sign up here.

oil paint photoshop action
Oil paint Photoshop action designed by Gavin Phillips.

April 5th 2023

Even if you can’t make the live event you get a link to watch the webinar at your leisure. Hope you can join us on April 5th at 11AM pacific and 2PM eastern time. If you have any questions give me a shout or drop me an IM.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob

new luminar software version

new luminar software version

Luminar Software Update and Deal
Luminar 3

Some nice things are happening in the Skylum software camp. A new version of Luminar is being polished up for release that includes a Library Module for keeping track of your images. Also, new ‘Looks’ (formerly called presets) are being developed and made available. Here’s the deal. This software is not quite ready for primetime. They are cleaning up bugs and finishing off new features as happens with all new software. But you can get in on the ground floor with a bunch of bonuses (including an extra $10 off if you use the code COATES) This deal will be available through December 19th. You can download Luminar 2018 immediately. I would wait a little bit downloading the Luminar 3 for a little while, but this will get you in on the ground floor pricing.

luminar 3 graphic

Here’s the skinny.

Luminar 2018 and Luminar three software Gets you to the full info page.

You’ll be able to download Luminar 2018 immediately and start using it. I use it as a plug-in in Adobe Photoshop It adds the capability of 53 filters. Think NIK filters that have even more control than ever. The details enhancer is terrific. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence in things such as enhancing skies, vegetation or just an overall filter I have subtitled “Just make this image look good quick!”

SPECIAL OFFER: Luminar 2018 AI Sky Enhancer + FREE Luminar 3 with Libraries
It’s your double win! Get Luminar 2018 with the all-new AI Sky Enhancer now and update to
Luminar 3 with Libraries for FREE. Plus, you get a bunch of exclusive extras worth US$222!

1) ViewBug: 3-Month Pro Membership (US$42 value)
Join the ultimate photo community for a shot to win prizes, create own challenges, get unlimited
photo uploads, sell your images, enjoy a new website, and much more!

2) KelbyOne: 2-Month Pro Membership (US$40 value)
Supercharging your knowledge with KelbyOne Pro is as easy as pressing the shutter button.
Enjoy free access to weekly courses, private webcasts, creative toolkits, and other freebies!

3) Rocky Nook: Choice of ANY e-book (US$40 value)
Hurry to get your hands on a free eBook by Rocky Nook! Master your techniques, find
inspiration, and hone your craft to create best-looking images!

4) Daniel Kordan: Awesome Landscapes Tutorial (US$80 value)
Need to brush up your skills? We’ve got you covered. Watch extensive tutorials by Daniel
Kordan and create truly jaw-dropping landscape images!

5) Manfrotto, Gitzo, Joby or Lowepro: US$20 Gift card with US$120 purchase (US$20 Value) Looking for extreme savings on your favorite gear? Save US$20 on any purchase over
US$120 from our friends at the Vitec Group.

6) US $300 OFF Iceland Photo Tours (US $300 Value)
Save US$300 on any multi-day (3+ day) Iceland Photo Tours workshop.

snadhill crane in flight photo

Here’s an image processed very quickly in Luminar 2018. AI, Details Enhancer and Crop. It makes the feathers sing.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – here’s the link again. Luminar 2018 and Luminar 3 software

Don’t forget the code COATES for the extra 10 bucks off

skylum luminar

skylum luminar

It’s Deal Time with Luminar Software

If you haven’t given Skylum’s  Luminar a chance as yet it might be time. It sells for $69 (or if you use coupon code COATES $59) It works as a stand-alone program or as a plug-in on MAC and PCs. This software can be a great time-saver and/or artistic tool. Lot of goods stuff including… Ah, I don’t need to ‘splain it to you. Check out the link it’s all there and worth a look!

luminar graphicClick here or the image above

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

PS – This Black Friday deal comes with other goodies too!

two minute respite oak creek sedona

Two Minutes to Relax
Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona

I am a water person.

I have a preference for ocean sounds after having lived in the Caribbean for 20 years but any water sounds are helpful with calming my mind. I spent about an hour on Oak Creek at Cathedral Rock capturing small moments of the creek experience. I took some time this morning editing the footage so that you can enjoy the experience as well.

The video is two minutes long and shows some of the different water patterns along this section of the creek.

Take a couple minutes and kick back with me on Oak Creek

I didn’t have myfull video kit with tripod and fluid head for proper zooming and panning. Did the best I could with a tiny little five-inch tripod that I keep with me in my shooting bag for just such an occasion. The occasion being I didn’t want to hike with the full tripod kit. With the light weight of Lumix gear, a small tripod can come in quite handy! The camera was Lumix G9 with the Leica DG Vario-ELMARIT Professional Lens, 12-60MM, F2.8-4.0 Lens. Sound was also recorded from the mic that is built in to the camera. Shot in 4K 24p mode.

I edited the footage with a screen capture program that is for MAC computers called ScreenFlow from TeleStream.

The video was captured in the middle of September when there is some monsoon water flow.

I hope you enjoy the quiet time.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob


excire search

Excire Search – Lightroom AI software

My friend, Skip Cohen who you may know from Marketing Monday here on Successful-Photographer, is working with a new software company that uses artificial intelligence to help you find your images in Adobe’s Lightroom. I don’t use LR, so I’m going to share a video with Suzette Allen who shows a demo of how this software works. It’s pretty freaking amazing. Remember in Suzette’s video she has never keyworded her catalog!!

suzette allenSuzette Allen’s Video on her first look at Excire software

Excire Search Pro is an AI-based plug-in for Lightroom that identifies image content without the need for keywording. If you are interested in checking out Excire, please visit the website, read the system requirements and download the trial.  Please note that the product is currently available for Lightroom Classic CC, and not the cloud-based Lightroom CC.

excire features bannerExcire features banner

The Excire Search Lightroom plugin is a high-performance search engine that runs locally on your computer and does not require any cloud services. After installing the plugin and initializing your Lightroom catalog, you are ready to perform some useful search tasks.

To search by example, you select one or more reference images, and Excire Search will then automatically and quickly generate a Lightroom collection with images similar to the selected reference images.

Search by keyword you select a keyword, such as “beach,” and Excire Search will then automatically and quickly generate a Lightroom collection with images of beaches. Excire Search provides 125 well-structured keywords that will help you sort your photos.

Search for faces; you start the intuitive face-analysis interface. Here you may choose between various options such as one, two, or more faces. You can then refine the choices by choosing an age group (Baby/Toddler, Child, Teenager, Adult, Elderly) and gender (Female, Male). You can further constrain the search to find only faces of people who smile.

The above search functions can also be used in combination to narrow the search down to the desired photos quickly. Besides providing efficient search results, Excire Search will let you better interact with your images and have fun: many customers have reported the joy of finding photos they thought had been lost in the complexity of their Lightroom catalog.

There’s also a pro version with even more features.

Happy searching!

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

PS – FYI I am not an affiliate for Excire, so I’m sharing this ’cause I think it will be a big help to LR users in finding images in their catalog.

lumix g9 tether

lumix g9 tether

Tether the Lumix G9 Camera

I was working on a commercial job photographing product for the Crystal Magic website today. I’ve got to tell you the tethering experience with this camera was sublime. I know that is some pretty intense emotion for working with a camera. But, if you’ve worked with other systems that don’t hook up quickly to the computer or drop the connection in the middle of a shoot, numerous times, you know exactly how I feel.

crstal magic bead imageHere’s one of the finished beauty shots of the bracelets showing the detail and closeup color.

I’ve been shooting with this set-up for a while and realized I hadn’t shared the ease of this and how wonderful it is when you are working on set with a designer or other creative. When they can see exactly what is happening with the live view, it speeds the setup time immensely. And, then immediately see the finished exposure seconds later, while moving RAW files, well what can I say? Wahoo!

I was working with Molly from, and we were shooting a large number of bracelets that needed multiple shots of each. With Molly getting confirmation on each Item and angle as we worked it sped up the process immensely.

lumix g9 tether screenScreen showing Live View from the  with Adobe Bridge on the right with the captured photo

With the free download of Lumix Tether which you can get with Lumix G9 camera ownership, you can control the camera, use Live View and move images to your computer in a snap via a USB cord. I shoot to a folder on my desktop and link Adobe Bridge to that folder. When an image is photographed, you can see it almost immediately.

photo of lumix g9Lumix G9 on set. Note that the camera is set to show what the image will look like in a square format.

All images on the website are to be square aspect ratio. The camera is set to show that to make it easier to determine composition. It’s a great feature, but in case you want to view the entire image in 2/3 or 4/3 format after the fact you can strip away the crop and see all of the photos, but only if you shoot in RAW. If you shoot in jpeg, the crop factor is baked into the file.

In a couple of weeks I will be doing a video on the full use and ease of setup on the G9 and Lumix Tether system.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob