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Don’t Make These Mistakes!

2013-10-08 18:49:16 GMT

When you’re new to photography and learning by experience, avoiding these mistakes will help you learn great photo composition.

Unknown Subject.
Have you ever looked at an image and not known exactly what you’re supposed to be looking at? Make sure your subject is clearly the main focus. Zoom in or ensure there isn’t a lot of clutter around the main point of the photo.

Bad Lighting.
Try to eliminate multiple light sources. For example, if you are taking a photo indoors, you could have light coming from multiple directions, the window, the ceiling light, the TV, etc. this leaves you with clashing light colors. Try using the flash or reflectors to remedy the unevenly lit scene.

Red Eye.
Red eye is caused by light from a flash that is close to the lens entering the subjects pupils and bouncing off the rear of the eye back into the lens. The best way to prevent this is to point the flash towards a wall or ceiling, this prevents direct flashback.

Too much photo editing.
Over-saturation is a big no-no. Yes, I am sure there was a time, when the fad was funky over-saturated photos, but you should be going for timeless. The only thing that should give away what year the photo was taken is the subjects clothing styles! Also, be careful when working with contrast, especially if you are shooting on a bright sunny day. Take a couple photos with slightly different settings to see what makes the difference.

One of the top complaints from new photographers is that some of their images come out blurry. This is usually because there isn’t enough light reaching the sensor, so the camera struggles to take a sharp image. Another cause for blurry photos is an unsteady hand. A couple good solutions include, choosing a higher ISO setting and using a tripod.


Your New Favorite Feature in ACDSee Pro 7 is….

2013-10-02 22:28:11 GMT

… Drum roll please… the new Repair Tool! Now, normally I wouldn’t tell you what your favorite features would be. But this time around, there is no denying it! ACDSee Pro 7’s new Repair Tool is like a dream come true for many photographers.

There are two options available for the Repair Tool: the Healing Brush and the Cloning Brush.

When you select the Healing Brush, the Repair Tool copies pixels from one area of a photo to another, but it analyzes the pixels in the source area before copying them. It also analyzes the pixels in the target area, and then blends the pixels of both source and target, to match the surrounding area. This ensures that the lighting and color of the replacement pixels integrate with the surrounding area. The Healing Brush works particularly well with photos that involve complicated textures like skin or fur.

When you select the Cloning Brush, the Repair Tool copies the exact pixels from one area of a photo to another, creating an identical image area. The Cloning Brush is more effective for photos that have strong, simple textures or uniform colors, as it is more difficult to identify the copied pixels in the finished photo.

Some flaws you might want to get rid of with the Repair Tool could include:

  • Skin blemishes
  • Telephone wires and other unwanted objects
  • Flash flares from snowflakes or windows
  • Lens scratches and water drops

Here are step-by-step instructions to help you remove those flaws from a photo:

  1. In Edit mode, in the Repair group click Repair Tool.
  2. Select one of the following: Heal or Clone.
  3. Drag the Nib Width and Feathering sliders.
    Note: Nib Width sets the width of the brush. The maximum brush width is relative to the size of your image. Feathering sets the amount to feather on the edge of the brush to prevent sharp transitions between the original and healed part of the photo.
  4. Right-click the image to set a source location. Pixels will be copied from this location and used in the target location.
  5. Click and drag over the area that you want to cover. if you selected the healing brush, ACDSee Pro analyzes and replaces the pixels when you release the mouse button.
  6. Do one of the following:
    - Click Done to apply your changes and close the tool.
    - Click Cancel to discard all changes and close the tool.

QUICK TIP! Scroll with your mouse to adjust the brush size on the fly, or press the SHIFT key while you scroll to adjust feathering.

Have fun making your photos flawless!



2013-09-27 22:17:30 GMT

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2013 - ACD Systems International Inc. announced the availability of ACDSee 365, a membership-based desktop and web application that will bring together everything users need to edit, manage, share, and access their entire photo and video library in one place.

“Packed with the latest and greatest in photo editing and management software, video conversion and sharing, — not to mention the ability to organize and store in the cloud,” said Doug Vanderkerkhove, Founder and CEO of ACD Systems, “ACDSee 365 puts the most technology in your hands for the best value.”

Membership Plans
ACDSee 365 consists of three membership plans. The Basic membership gives access to ACDSee 365, and advanced stats and analytics. The ACDSee 365 Family Plan membership offers the best value; it includes the same as the Basic membership along with the most current ACDSee software, with free upgrades for one year. The ACDSee Free membership gives users unlimited enjoyment of the Family Plan for 15 days. All memberships have the option to purchase storage plans up to 100GB.

Designed to act as an online extension of a user’s ACDSee application experience, ACDSee 365 securely preserves images in the cloud. Its clean, advertising-free interface puts the user’s images in the spotlight without distractions.

ACDSee 365 Family Plan allows access to all the latest in ACDSee software, including the company’s newest releases, ACDSee Pro 7 and ACDSee 17.

ACDSee Pro 7 
Professional photo management at its best, ACDSee Pro 7 empowers users with the ability to catalog, organize, perform advanced edits, and share photos — all in one complete, speedy application. Some new features include:

  • Lighting and Contrast Enhancement - Photographers are able to rescue photos that are too light or too dark with ACDSee’s patented LCE technology. This allows them to instantly lighten shadows and reduce highlights in one click, or adjust individual sliders to fine tune every aspect.
  • Non-destructive repair tool - Users will now be introduced to the ability to non-destructively erase flaws, blemishes and other unwanted objects with powerful Heal and Clone options. They can even copy and paste an adjustment — such as the removal of dust spots — onto multiple similar images.
  • Radial and Linear Gradient tools - Photographers can non-destructively apply a radial or linear gradient as they correct exposure, saturation, fill light, contrast, and clarity, to gradually progress outward from a center point or subtly across a photo. They can also copy and paste settings from one photo to another or apply in batches, and blend multiple gradients for even more compelling results.
  • Non-destructive Sharpen/Blur brush - Photographers can utilize brushes to non-destructively blur or sharpen specific areas of images. They can choose their brush size and the amount of feathering, and add a linear or radial gradient to help achieve exactly the look they want.
  • Info Palette - Users can access key shooting information while working with their photos. The Info Palette will conveniently display a host of data alongside an image, including white balance, metering mode, exposure program, and whether the flash fired. Plus the ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, exposure compensation, focal length, and more are all visible in one spot.
  • Copy and paste metadata - Users will be pleased at being able to save time by copying and pasting metadata on the fly, from one image to another. They can easily select among IPTC, GPS, and ACDSee metadata.
  • Secondary monitor support - The viewing real estate is now increased. With added support for a secondary monitor, users can see a large preview of any image they select during the review process, without missing a beat.

ACDSee 17
Photographers will now find that managing a growing photo collection has never been so easy. And with so many ways to edit shots like a professional, they will be proud to share their best. What’s new in ACDSee 17:

  • Lighting and Contrast Enhancement - Photographers can rescue photos that are too light or too dark with ACDSee’s patented LCE technology. They will find that they can instantly lighten shadows and reduce highlights in one click, or adjust individual sliders to fine tune every aspect.
  • Radial Gradient tool - Users can apply radial gradients to any editing effect to subtly progress across the photo. They can create off-center vignette effects or multiple vignetted areas, or draw focus to a specific object.
  • Switch between databases - Now users can create as many ACDSee databases as they like, and quickly and easily switch between them.
  • Improved interface - The look and feel of ACDSee has been revamped in order to showcase photos as the clear center of attention.
  • Find the unfindable - Photographers can easily search and filter for photos that have no keywords assigned to them.
  • WebP support - Users working with webP files will be happy to know that ACDSee supports viewing and converting to this new image format.
  • Better access to metadata tools - Users can conveniently access any metadata function in the new Metadata sub menu via Tools.

About ACD Systems
Founded in Texas in 1993 by imaging visionary Doug Vanderkerkhove, ACD Systems is one of the largest and most respected independent digital editing and management companies in the world. Doug foresaw the importance of the convergence of analog and digital (print, photos, scans, video and metadata).
The company’s products include ACDSee Pro 6, ACDSee 15, Canvas 14 and Canvas 14 +GIS, which helps Fortune 500 companies enhance, manage and disseminate their valuable digital assets. Customers include General Motors, Caterpillar, Boeing, The New York City Fire Department, NASA, CNN and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Today ACD holds six patents and millions of ACDSee products are in use throughout the world. In fact, ACDSee products are so popular in Asia that they are second only to Louis Vuitton in product piracy.

Show Off Your Photos With A Desktop Slideshow!

2013-09-12 22:14:37 GMT

Let’s say you’re crazy busy working away at your computer, and you feel like you need a little visual pick-me-up or a quick distraction. Why not set up a little slideshow to appear in the corner of your screen that doesn’t take you away from your work?

Here’s how with ACDSee 16:

  1. In Manage mode, navigate to a folder containing images that you want to add to the desktop slideshow.
  2. Do one of the following:

  • Click Tools | Create | ACDSee Showroom.
  • Click Start | Programs | ACD Systems | ACDSee Showroom.

The slideshow starts immediately and the ACDSee Showroom icon appears in the taskbar.

It’s almost as easy as that! Did you notice all the controls in the Showroom? There are a number of slideshow controls in the ACDSee Showroom window:

Using the ACDSee Showroom Slideshow Controls:

  • Click the Back or Forward buttons to display the previous or next photos in the slideshow.
  • Click the Pause button to pause the slideshow while a particular photo is displayed.

Note: If you cannot see these slideshow controls in the ACDSee Showroom window, click anywhere in the window. The controls disappear while the slideshow is playing so you can fully enjoy your photos.

Do you have a lot of photos and want to create multiple slideshows?

To Create More Than One ACDSee Showroom:

With ACDSee Showroom open, do one of the following:

  • Click Close in the ACDSee Showroom window.
  • Click the ACDSee Showroom icon in the taskbar and select Exit ACDSee Showroom.

Note: If you have configured ACDSee Showroom to open when you start your computer, it will automatically open the next time you start your computer.

Another cool thing about the ACDSee Showroom window, is that is goes transparent when the mouse is not hovering over it. Keeping your desktop icons or other windows still slightly visible underneath.


Photography Basics A-Z (Part 3)

2013-09-10 17:28:00 GMT

The third and final portion of the ABC’s of photography basics. Need a chance to catch up? Read part one and part two and you’ll be set!

Quick. Be quick with your camera! You don’t want to miss a thing. Learn the ins and outs of your specific camera so you aren’t wasting time changing settings.

Ring Light. Not every photographer uses a ring light, but there are a lot of unique ways to incorporate it into your work. For example, the right light can be used for framing, for a subtle fill, for macro, to catch interesting reflections, the options are limitless!

Shutter Speed. We have covered shutter speed numerous times on this blog. But it’s one thing that could never be talked about too much. Shutter speed is the time while the sensor is exposed to the light while the curtain is open. If we think of it as a window, it is the time while the window is open. Usually, we express the shutter’s speed in seconds or fractions of a second.

Tone can mean one of two things in colour photography: the overall lightness or darkness of an area ofa n image; or the colour of all or part of the image, usually in relation to its warmth.

Uploading your images with ACDSee has never been easier. You don’t even have to import them straight from you camera or storage device. ACDSee also makes sharing easy by uploading to social media sites such as Facebook, Flikr, and

Viewfinder. Often new photographers question if they should use the LCD screen or the viewfinder on their camera. Well, there are arguments for both: LCD - size, instant playback, easier for those who wear glasses. OR the Viewfinder - doesn’t kill the battery, less camera shake, and most DSLR’s don’t even give you the option to use the LCD as a viewfinder at all.

photo from

Workflow, another topic that we have covered a few times in this blog. There are a million ways for photographers to speed up their workflow and find a good routine. Just take your time and try them all to find out which works best for you.

X and Y… Well, those are really hard letters to think of photography terms for… check back later!

zoo. Let’s have some fun with this one. Go to the zoo! Get out there and find new things to take photos of. Test your skills and learn some new ones.