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Capturing the New Year!

2014-12-17 17:39:35 GMT

For many people a large part of ringing in the New Year includes checking out the community fireworks.

Here are 5 things to try while you’re out celebrating the start of a New Year:

Keep your camera still. This is the number 1 rule to capturing a great firework display! The best practice would be to use a tripod and a remote release. Touching your camera adds shake and will blur your image. If you don’t have a remote release the self timer will work as well.

Aperture. A common misconception with photographing fireworks is that you need a fast lens to get them! But this is not true, fireworks emite a lot of bright light. Apertures in the mid to small range tend to work best, around f/8 and f/16.

Shutter Speed. This is equally as important as aperture, if not more! To get the full effect you’ll want to use a slow shutter speed. Often photographers choose to use the Bulb mode, allowing them to control the shutter manually (best to use with a remote release). Press the shutter as the firework is launching and hold it down until the blast has faded away, typically a few seconds.

No Flash! The flash works best to light the few feet in front of you. This isn’t the most beneficial when trying to capture fireworks! So, turn off your flash and set your camera to Manual mode. Adjust the aperture and ISO and shoot away. If you notice your images are looking a little dim, vary your shutter speed without changing the aperture.

Focal Length. It’s hard to focus your camera at the right part of the sky and at the right time, especially when there is so much going on around you. Try using a wider focal length and zoom in for a few shots. There is always the opportunity to crop your images during post production to create the tight bright impact you are hoping for.

Vertical or Horizontal? Portrait or landscape? Both work for firework photography, just depends what style you are going for. If you want to have the horizon in the image or a cityscape etc. you’re best to be horizontal. Vertical is always fun too because fireworks naturally have the upward motion and you can really focus on the firework itself.


Photo courtesy of Rallygallery.com


We want to see your firework images!
Login or create your ACDSee 365 account and upload your best shots or share them with us on our Facebook page.

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ACD Systems Video

Want to know more about layers? Here is a quick tutorial!

The first digital asset management software with layers, ACDSee Ultimate 8 is able to answer an unparalleled number of creative graphic and image composition needs.

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ACDSee Mac Pro 3 & OS X Yosemite

2014-10-20 21:56:26 GMT

Dear ACDSee Users,

Our development team has been working hard to try to resolve the issues that have arisen with the latest update to OS X Yosemite when running ACDSee Mac Pro 3.

We are aware that some users have expressed frustration when posting on the forums and on social media. Please do not be concerned that your posts are lost or being ignored, or that no one is reading them. We can promise that they are being read. We hear and understand your frustrations. We are taking the feedback you provide to us and are relaying it to the dev team.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused, and thank you for all your patience as we work to resolve these issues.

The Team at ACDSee

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Filter on the Fly

2014-10-20 18:16:00 GMT

For that oft-needed dash of quirkiness or nostalgia, apply a variety of brand new effects without needing to go through a cumbersome, technical multi-step process.

ACDSee Pro 8 and ACDSee 18 have a bunch of new filters and effects, including our favorite the Bob Ross effect:


It’s a happy little tree!


Other new filters include:
  • Cartoon
  • Dramatic
  • Somber
  • Purple Haze
  • Seventies
  • Blue Steel
  • Childhood


A while back we posted a tutorial called "How to Hipster", essntially we showed you how to turn a so-so photo into something different. Such as these:









It’s so easy to do!

Here’s how in 3 easy steps:

Step 1:Find a photo that you think deserves (more) attention. From Manage mode, select the photo and click Edit to enter Edit mode.

Step 2: In Edit mode, in the Add group, choose Special Effect. From the list choose your desired special effect.

Step 3: Configure the settings until you see your desired effect.
The Color Distortion slider is exactly what is sounds like, and depending on the color pixels in the image, you may get more blue/purple hues, or yellow/green. The Vignette Strength controls how much darkness curves into the photo from the edges for that bulb-is-about-to-burn-out-in-the-kinetoscope look.

Et voilia! You’ve turned something simple into something different.

For the whole “How to Hipster” tutorial go here.
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Photography in the dark

2014-10-17 18:10:00 GMT

In the spirit of Halloween we want you to get out there and take some spooky night photos!

Tips to shooting in the dark:
Be Prepared.
Before you go out and dabble in the art of night photography, you should have all the right equipment and know how to use it beforehand. But don’t be afraid to experiment!


Photo courtesy of ACDSee photographer Serge Timacheff


Tools needed for shooting in the dark:
Tripod
- A shaky camera just won’t do! Shooting in the dark requires long exposures and having a steady camera is key to getting your best shot. If you don’t have access to a tripod you can get resourceful and use a flat surface to rest your camera on, but a tripod is a good investment.

Cable release - This will also help to keep your camera steady during those long exposures. A cable release (wired or wireless) will minimize any camera shake caused by pressing the shutter release button. If you don’t have access to a cable release, most cameras have a timer that you can set for a few seconds, long enough that you are no longer touching the camera by the time the shutter goes.

Flash - If you must use a flash, use an external flash. Point the flash up at a 45-degree angle - this is called a ‘bounce flash’, and gives a softer, more pleasing effect. If this is the style of photo you are going for, feel free to try experimenting by using diffusers or covering the flash with a tissue or handkerchief.

Wide angle lens - This is the best choice for shooting night skies, and a zoom lens makes it even more versatile. Ideally your lens should have an infinity focusing mode.


Photo courtesy of ACDSee photographer Serge Timacheff


Camera settings for shooting in the dark:
Manual Mode
- It’s always best to use your camera’s manual mode when shooting at night.

ISO - Set your camera to the lowest possible ISO; for many cameras this is 100 ISO.

Aperture - Adjust your aperture to let int he most light possible. This is done by adjusting your settings to the lowest f-stop; in most cameras this is f3.5.

Shutter speed - For quality night shots your shutter should be set at a slow speed, without increasing your ISO setting. This allows enough time to let light into the sensor. There is no magic shutter speed to suit every situation, so try testing a few shots at 5-10 seconts, then 20 and 30 seconds. View the images on your LCD display to judge which shutter speed works best for that particular night.

Now get out there after dark and get shooting! Don’t forget to share your images on ACDSee 365 for your chance to be a featured photographer on www.acdsee.com - just be sure your images are marked “public”.
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