Photomerge Compose is a new feature
found in the Elements 13 menu located
in the Enhance>Photomerge menu in the
top menu bar. You must open the two
images you want to compose together
before using Photomerge Compose. A
panel opens on the right of the screen and
guides you through the process. Once you
have successfully merged the two images,
clicking Auto Match Color Tone automatically analyzes the images and balances the
color and density. Manual adjustment is
then possible using the sliders.
A new Black and White guided edit walks
you through the process of creating a monochrome image from a color original. You can
also convert part of the image to monochrome while the rest remains in color.
Other enhancements in Photoshop Elements 13 are aimed at making it easier to
sync photos from your mobile devices, improving the process of creating photo books
and scrapbooks, and providing pre-sized
photo templates to easily share photos on
Facebook and other social media platforms.
ADOBE PREMIERE ELEMENTS 13
Premiere Elements 13 is a powerful yet
easy-to-use video editor for professional
still photographers discovering the video
capabilities of their cameras, as well as
for enthusiasts. Several new features in
the latest version are of particular interest to this crowd.
One of these features, Video Story, solves
a problem common to all users who want
to create a video from a set of related
clips: where to start. With themes covering
birthday, graduation, travel and wedding,
and numerous templates included for each
theme, Video Story gets you started import-
ing, arranging and editing clips.
When you choose a video story template,
Premiere Elements downloads the appropriate template. The birthday party template,
for example, is about a 225MB download.
It suggests a logical chapter order for the
clips, but gives you total control over which
chapters to include or delete, and the ability
to create your own chapters. Once you drag
clips into the appropriate chapter, Premiere
Elements 13 automatically analyzes them to
select the “good stuff” and trims away the
rest. The end result is a finished video.
Another new feature, Shake Stabilizer, is
brought in from Adobe Premiere Pro, but
in a form that is far easier to use. Shake
Stabilizer is also found in the Quick and
Expert workspace, in the Adjust tools at
the top of the right panel. With most videos
being captured on cell phones, GoPros
and handheld DSLRs, camera shake is a
near-universal problem. Shake reduction
is handled automatically and does a really
good job. You can also make manual adjustments by clicking the Detailed button.
The Guided menu walks you through
two new edits: Video in Title and Effects
Mask. Video in Title guides you through
the process of adding a video behind your
title. Effects Mask walks you through the
process of adding effects to just a part of
your video. Also available in the Guided
menu are other edits to help those completely new to video editing.
NIKON CAPTURE NX-D
New from Nikon is Capture NX-D soft-
ware for processing and adjusting RAW
digital cameras. The application can
also be used to adjust a TIFF or JPEG
file from any manufacturer’s camera or
from a previously processed RAW file
from any source. With the release of
Capture NX-D, Nikon will drop support
for Capture NX 2.
Capture NX-D presents an entirely
new user interface. The soft gray background and workspace layout of previous
versions are replaced with a dark gray
and black interface and white type. The
auto-closing tool palettes create a clean,
modern, user-adjustable workspace. You
can also float the tool palettes and drag
them to a separate monitor.
There is a full complement of image
adjustment tools, including lens corrections,
although I was a little surprised that there are
no individual corrections for Nikkor lenses.
Instead, you can create custom lens corrections for your own lenses and store them as
presets. For example, you could create a preset that eliminates vignetting and distortion
for the wide-angle end of your zoom lens,
and a different correction for the telephoto
end, and then apply these as appropriate.
Missing, however, are spot- and dust-removal
tools, other than Nikon’s dust-off photo application, and healing or clone tools.
You still need Nikon ViewNX 2 or other
means to import images to your computer,
but Capture NX-D includes excellent
image-browsing views along with the ability to flag and rate images. There are also
several ways to batch-process images.
For Nikon DSLR, Nikon 1 and Nikon
Coolpix photographers, Nikon NX-D is all
the software they need to process RAW,
TIFF and JPEG captures. Best of all, it’s a
free download from Nikon.
Below: Video Story in Premiere Elements
gets you started in creating common types of
videos by presenting templates with “chapters.”
You drag and drop assets in the appropriate
chapters and Premiere Elements automatically
creates the video.
Above: Nikon NX-D sports an entirely redesigned contemporary interface as well as including
all of the tools Nikon photographers reasonably need to adjust and process their RAW files.