All posts by Jason Odell

Moving to Macphun: Tips for Nik Users

Luminar from Macphun can be used to create dramatic effects and is an effective replacement for many Nik Collection plug-ins.

With the recent announcement that Google will no longer support the Nik Collection, I’ve started using Macphun’s suite of editing tools more and more frequently. Most specifically, I’ve jumped feet-first into their newest editor, Luminar. I’ve found it to be an excellent choice for photographers who are familiar with the Nik Collection suite. You can read my initial thoughts on Luminar here.

Here’s why I’m moving to Macphun:

  • Macphun Software applications use the latest technologies for image adjustments and special effects
  • Macphun products are compatible with Lightroom and Photoshop, plus you can use Luminar as a stand-alone editor (it even opens most RAW files)
  • Luminar offers a full complement of tools and effects filters that in many cases replace multiple Nik plug-ins, including Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2.
  • Built-in layer support for selective editing and effects partitioning.
  • Smart “erase” and noise-reduction tools, along with clone stamp
  • Smart Filter support in Adobe Photoshop
  • Luminar for Windows will be released this fall
  • It’s a full-featured image editor with lots of effects filters for under $60

Get Luminar for Mac Here
Get Luminar Public Beta for Windows Here

Learning to Love Luminar

While there are several Macphun software plug-ins available for Mac users (and they are excellent), Luminar is so incredibly flexible that it can take the place of most of the other filters, provided you know where to look. Because Luminar is coming to Windows, too, it’s the one Macphun product I think you should be familiar with. Here are some tips for getting the most out of Luminar. Continue reading Moving to Macphun: Tips for Nik Users

A Homemade Solar Filter

The sun, photographed with my Nikon D500 and 200-500mm VR Nikkor lens.

I’m not a total die-hard when it comes to solar photography, but I’m going to be close enough to the 2017 solar eclipse event that I figured I’d at least try to get some photos. But first, I had to construct a solar filter. Here’s how I made mine for about $45.

First, decide on which lens you want to use for photographing the sun. I chose my Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 VR lens, because it’s versatile and I can shoot it hand-held if I want to. I also chose this lens because it has a front filter thread, which will allow me to easily mount the solar filter to it. Continue reading A Homemade Solar Filter

Holland Spring Photo Tour Announced!

8-Day Photo Tour From Amsterdam, April 15-23, 2018
Photograph tulips and windmills in Holland with me April 15-23, 2018

I’m excited to announce that I’ve arranged a spring photo tour to Holland for April 15-23, 2018 for the incredible tulip festival. On this 8-day, small-group tour, we will explore the Dutch countryside, tulip fields, windmills, and more.

Read the announcement here

Our itinerary includes five nights in Amsterdam, plus three nights in the countryside exploring smaller towns and the coast. We will of course visit the world-famous Kerkenhof Gardens during the tulip bloom, and tour the windmill village of Kinderdijk. Our private tour includes a 16-passenger coach and local, English speaking guides to put us in the best spots for photography along the way.

After driving north into the countryside, we’ll stay in the “Venetian” town of Gierthoorn, which has canals but no roads. We also have a ferry to the island of Schiermonikoog, where we’ll have photograph  scenes and colorful lighthouses.

We’ll then return to Amsterdam for three nights. Our final two days will be filled with photo walks in Amsterdam as well as free time to explore the gardens, canals, and museums as you see fit.

This tour is limited to 8 photographers! To book, please call my travel partner, Pat Hand at +1 (404) 913-4386

See you in Amsterdam!

Fall Safaris Are Go!

Join me in South Dakota to photograph the beauty of the Badlands

I’m pleased to announce that my fall instructional photo safaris to South Dakota and the Oregon Coast are moving forward as planned!

I have a handful of openings for these upcoming trips:

  • South Dakota Badlands: Sept. 17-21 (RSVP by August 15th)
    Get Tickets
  • Oregon Coast (Bandon Beach): Oct. 3-8 (RSVP by Sept. 1)
    Get Tickets
  • White Sands, New Mexico: November 1-4 (RSVP by Oct 1)
    Get Tickets

These safaris are limited to eight (8) photographers, and include field and classroom instruction, post-processing sessions, and image critique.

Full Schedule Here

Nikon D850 Speculation Thread

Coming soon: Nikon D850

Yesterday, Nikon announced that development is underway for the long-awaited successor to the wildly popular D810 FX DSLR, the Nikon D850.

Other than a beautifully produced time-lapse video and the mention of 8k video capability, details on the new D850 were particularly vague:

“The D850 will exceed the expectations of the vast range of photographers that seek the high resolution and high-speed capabilities that only a Nikon of this caliber complemented by NIKKOR lenses can offer.” — Nikon D850 Press Release

So, we’re left to speculate on what exactly the Nikon D850 will deliver in terms of specifications. Right now, the D810 is essentially the finest Nikon camera I’ve used, but there are a few features that I’d like to see improved. After using the D810 for the last three years and recently using the D500, here’s what I’d really like to see in the D810 successor: Continue reading Nikon D850 Speculation Thread