Skip to main content

Review - Landscape Pro Studio

Like most people these days I take a lot of photographs on my phone, and the quality can be excellent - but particularly with landscapes it's easy to get a result that's disappointing. On the other hand, I don't have time to spend hours touching up each photo - I want something that will enhance a landscape photo quickly and easily.

It was a pleasure, then, to try out Landscape Pro, as it does some heavy duty work, but with relatively little effort.

As a test, I used this image of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, where I gave a talk a few weeks ago:


It's a gorgeous building (not helped, obviously, by the scaffolding), but my photo did not do it justice.

First step on loading the photo into the program is to identify key areas, which can be handled as one. This is done by dropping markers on them, then adjusting the coloured area to cover the edges. This a simple dragging mechanism, which copes with most boundaries well, though occasionally you may need to go with a more fine detail tool. Here I'm just completing identifying the building with the statue on the dome still to be included:


Then it's a matter of adjusting presets and sliders to enhance your selected areas. You can also, for example change the lighting on an area. The main changes I made were to improve the dull-looking sky, brighten up the building (and give it a subtle touch of sunlight on the top left of the dome), and to play around with the appearance of the car slightly (though I eventually left it much as it was):


Photo significantly improved in five minutes. Of course, I could have done far more (for example, in my hurry I failed to spot I'd lost the pyramidal glass roofs on the two sides of the building). But for me, the importance of this kind of software to someone who isn't a pro is what you can do quickly - and I was very impressed.

Another image I had a go at was to be used as a backdrop of the header of the website:


I wanted to put white text on top of the image, so I needed to darken the sky. I tried this in Pixelmator, my image editor of choice, but I couldn't get the border between the people's heads and the sky clean enough. It was alway very obviously edited. But five minutes with Landscape Pro Studio and it became the perfect backdrop. The sky colour looks a little unnatural, but it's what I wanted for the purpose:


There are a number of tutorial videos to help you get started, but I found it mostly easy enough to simply play with it and find out how to use it. If there's one things I would have liked included that isn't there, it's a facility to remove unwanted objects, such as the horrible street sign in the Glasgow image. I can do that separately with Pixelmator, but it would have been nice to have the facility here. Photoshop users can get the combined effect as there is a plug-in for the software.

Overall, Landscape Pro does what it's supposed to do, very well and a reasonable price, running on both Windows and Mac. You can pay up to £99.95 for the Studio Max version, but for all I need, the basic version at £29.95 does the job just fine. See the website for more details.

Comments

  1. The software is fine, but the company -- not so much. I bought V1, used it, and liked it enough that when V2 came out and there was an attractive upgrade price, i bought it. Went to open one of my files from V1 to see how the new, improved tools would let me improve it, and ... it didn't show in the open dialog. I checked with Anthropics, and no, V2 won't load V1 files. No explanation or apology, just "Nope."

    To give them some credit, they allowed me to return it. Now V3 is out, and they won't even answer my question about backward compatibility. I've been a software developer for over 30 years, and I know how easy it would be to write a converter -- without having to do much testing: you already have the code to read V1 and write V2, you just have to map from the V1 internal data structure to the V2 version.

    I'd have been fine if they'd said "We changed things so much that V1 data is totally incompatible with V2 data," but they simply said "Nope." Even the 800-lb gorillas of the software world -- M$ and Adobe -- make their new versions backward-compatible with AT LEAST the previous version. There's no excuse for not doing this -- or at least Anthropics wasn't willing to provide one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - very fair point. I have only seen this version and not attempted to transfer files between versions.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope