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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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An Afternoon at the Ballpark with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Yesterday I went to the Oakland A’s preseason spring training baseball game against the visiting Los Angles Dodgers at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Arizona.

I used to shoot professional sports as a photojournalist back in the day and haven’t had a chance to seriously photograph any sports since 2006. It’s the thing I miss the most from my photojournalism days. I was a little rusty, but it was just like riding a bike ☺️

There was no media pass for me this time out and all photos seen here were shot from either my seat along the first base side (see red circle in map) or from standing along the walkway (see arrows in map).

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An Evening of Bull Riding with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 3 and iPad Pro

A few nights ago I took the newly announced Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 3 camera to a small bull riding event behind one of the local saloons in Cave Creek, Arizona to test the camera with some action shots in really poor lighting conditions.

Well the lousy lighting didn’t disappoint, nor did the camera.

Did I mention the light here was terrible?? Look at the color difference between hi-speed shots. I even caught someone’s use of flash in one of mine. This is from the OI Share app where I selected the best photos to import to my iPad Pro.


I also wanted to check out using a complete mobile workflow. All the photos you see here from the Mark 3 were wirelessly sent from the camera to my iPad Pro via the Olympus OI Share app. Lightroom Mobile was used to edit the RAW files, size them for web, and to add a watermark.

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Unboxing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Unboxing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III – Watch on Youtube

On February 12, 2020 Olympus announced the new OM-D E-M1 Mark III camera.

I have been shooting with a pre-production version for a couple weeks prior to the announcement. When I first received the camera from Olympus I videotaped an unboxing of it and this is that video posted here.

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MindShift Gear BackLight 18L Backpack from Think Tank Photo Preview

My friends from Think Tank Photo just sent me for review a MindShift Gear BackLight 18L Backpack just in time for a 10-day trip to Cody and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming I am about ready to leave for. I’ll be sure to do a field review once I return, but in the meantime here are my first impressions.

First off, Think Tank Photo has been a favorite of mine for years. I already own four of their bags and I have a feeling my collection is about to grow. Built by photographers for photographers, I have always been impressed with their quality and attention to detail. Their bags perform great and are built to last.

Their MindShift Gear is designed for those who love to “Engage with Nature” and their BackLight series is especially geared for that. And one feature in particular that I am very interested in trying out in the field is their rear-panel compartment for photo gear, which allows you to access your gear without taking off the backpack!

While I don’t have any photos yet of that specific feature in-action, here’s a couple quick photos of just some of the gear I’m able to fit in the 18L version. (They also have 26L and 36L sizes too).

 

How much of that Olympus gear can I get inside of the BackLight 18L?

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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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