Take control of your digital darkroom with Scarab Darkroom

Scarab DarkroomI love digital photography. Unfortunately, I was bitten by the camera bug quite a while back, and I am constantly on the lookout for a new lens, new picture tweaking or developing software and new information to help my pictures become more professional looking. Tools like Scarab Darkroom really fit the bill, too. This Windows based app is something that most every owner of a supported camera should have.

Scarab Darkroom is a digital camera file converter with support for over 100 different camera models. Many digital cameras can take pictures and save them directly as a JPG or other compressed file format, but doing so really limits your ability with what you can do to the file, post production. Many cameras have their own native formats, often called RAW. Most image editing apps don’t support them out of the box. Scarab Darkroom does.

Scarab-Darkroom

The compression algorithm in JPG’s is popular as a storage format – files are usually small and easily transported from one computing system to another. JPG’s are also very popular with web sites like Facebook , Flickr, and Shutterbug. However, when you try to tweak a JPG, you lose a lot of information and detail.

Scarab Darkroom provides support and tools for editing RAW files directly. It allows you to edit fill light, brightness, contrast and black levels and provides a way to edit simple tone curve adjustments. You can also tweak color temperatures and gives you the ability to pick white balance from a gray area in the picture, among other editing options. When you’re done, it provides a lightning fast conversion with excellent detail rendition using a proprietary demosaic algorithm. Basic editing options – crop, resize, etc. are also supported.

Scarab Darkroom is a decent application. Its support for many RAW file formats from Nikon, Sony, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and others is something that can provide value to a great many enthusiasts. The anticipated Pro version is said to have all of the freemium features as well as others including more color controls, a grayscale mixer and noise reduction, among others. A Mac version is also anticipated next year.

Download Scarab Darkroom

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TiltShift Generator

Tiltshift Generator is an application designed to lend an artistic quality to miniature  objects in pictures.

In order to understand the application you need to have a clear understanding of tilt-shift photography. The concept has grown out of the basic principle of tilting (or rotating) the lens while shifting (or horizontally moving) the lens. This process creates a very distinct blur in the periphery of the photograph whilst keeping the object of the shot in very sharp focus.

For installation and operation on a PC or tablet you will first need to install Adobe AIR. The original format iPhone App doesn’t require any additional software and will run directly on installation.

The software is very straightforward to use and, for a keen photographer, it saves on the need to buy expensive lenses that are required to generate this sort of effect in pictures. There is some debate in the artistic community as to the relative quality achieved by the app when compared with photographs that have been taken with tilt-shift lenses by skilled cameramen. For the uninitiated, however, it is very difficult to tell whether a photograph has been adapted by the app, or snapped by a professional.

The software allows you to adapt pictures in a linear and radial perspective. Linear adjustments are made between parallel lines, while radial effects can be added within a circle inside the image. For the best results with an image the subject of the picture should be not be in the same plane as its surroundings.

The software also allows you to adjust elements of the image including; Colour, Saturation, Contrast, Brightness and Vignette (which allows you to adjust the corners of the image).

This is a fun piece of software and can be used to create a brilliant effect on images, if you know what you are doing. For a photographer who doesn’t want to splash out on expensive kit this an excellent way of making the image that you want quickly and simply.

download TiltShift Generator

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