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Topaz Labs Huge Update to Sharpen AI v2.1

Topaz Labs last week released a huge update to one of my favorite programs of theirs, Sharpen AI v2.1.

This update is free for current users of Sharpen AI – and if you don’t have it they are running a great special now through Friday, August 7, 2020, along with with EVEN MORE SAVINGS using my coupon code “mattsuess” (more on that in just a bit).

Check out the before/after on this image of an elk using all Auto Settings!

WHAT’S NEW

First up is an “auto-detect mode” which allows Sharpen AI to select the best processing mode for your particular image (the Focus, Stabilize, and Sharpen Modes). Simply let the AI choose not only which Mode to use, but you can also opt to have the AI automatically add what it believes is the correct amount of Sharpness and Noise Suppression.

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Webinar Recording with NPEG on Sky Replacement with Luminar 4

On May 11, 2020 I did a free webinar for the National Photography Enthusiasts Group (NPEG) showing how to use Luminar 4 for Sky Replacement.

In the webinar I showed the AI Sky Replacement Tool as well as the new AI Augmented Sky Tool in action on a number of photos using clouds & skies from my 3 Cloud Kits.

This is a recording of that webinar.

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Disclosure about product links and affiliations: Some of the links I provide are affiliate links which means I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you, if you click it and end up buying something. It helps me provide free educational resources and articles. So if you use them, thank you! My affiliations however never influence my opinions on any products/services and I am only affiliated with companies whose products/services I personally use.

Skylum Announces AI-Powered Portrait and Skin Enhancement Tools for Luminar 4

Today Skylum continues to unwrap new features for the upcoming Luminar 4 by announcing new AI-powered portrait and skin enhancement tools. Portrait photographers – and really anyone who photographs people – are sure to be excited about these new tools to quickly enhance the look of people in their photos.

While I have not yet been able to use this hands-on, I have watched a presentation on these new tools working on a beta version of Luminar 4 and I have to be honest, the presentation was quite impressive making quick work of portrait enhancements such as smoothing of the skin, blemish removal, along with eye & teeth & lip enhancements.

AI Skin Enhancer

Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology Luminar 4 can automatically detect faces & skin in your photos. The AI Skin Enhancer will allow for the automatic removal of various skin imperfections like acne, freckles, and moles all while smoothing the skin. It does this while also keeping small details like hair & eyelashes & skin pores preserved.

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New Blog Post From Skylum Shows Their Excitement for AI – Are You Excited?

Skylum just posted a new blog article from the Chief Product Manager of Skylum talking a little bit more about the upcoming Luminar 4. No new features have been announced outside of the previously mentioned AI Sky Replacement filter, but the article does mention that Skylum is heavily invested in Artificial Intelligence to make our photos better.

No AI was used in the creation of this photo – rather a number of manual adjustments were made by myself, including a lot of dodging & burning.

Some interesting quotes from the article: “The secret sauce is how Luminar 4 uses Artificial Intelligence to give users professional quality results in a much simpler, quicker, and more natural way…So Pam (and others like her) can stop being shy about letting her art shine through. So you can use Luminar 4 to grow as a photography artist, not to get tripped up by the most tedious parts of photo editing…We are helping Pam become a photo artist and enjoy the entirety of that process. How cool is that?”

How cool is that? I have no idea, as Skylum hasn’t mentioned anything yet besides the AI Sky Replacement filter, which from what I understand might not allow us to use our own sky photos.

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Green Grass and Montana Skies

Ahh Montana you continue to to both surprise me and impress me. And how can you not be impressed with the crazy light we can get here at times!

It seems like almost every afternoon we have a storm roll through, which has been keeping the grass here just outside of Bozeman very green. This was photographed last week just before sunset with yet another storm rolling by.

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Montana Sunset and Storm Clouds

Last night I had the opportunity to do some photography with fellow Olympus shooter Eric Rock exploring some areas new to both of us just outside of Bozeman, Montana, and we were treated to some great light!


Finding this particular spot at just the right moment, there was no time for tripods and even if we had remembered to bring our split neutral density filters, there would have been no time to get those set up either. We barely had enough time to jump out of my car and scramble down a small hill and start firing away.

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