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Going Against The Grain

By Gene McCullagh
July 3, 2010

There was a time when film grain was a problem for some photographers. That concern translated into a concern with digital noise. Many words have been written on the techniques in many applications to remove or lessen digital noise or grain in modern images. Some even seek to find ways to remove the grain from old film photographs. Despite all of this, grain has its place in modern digital photography. Grain now brings with it the charm and nostalgia of bygone film days. When compositing images, grain can be the unifying effect bringing different images from different times together for a great composite. Adding grain to a black and white or sepia image can add a pleasing artistic texture to the work. Whatever the reason, many photographers add grain to an image. Sometimes after working diligently to remove digital noise! But, then, grain isn't noise.

Watermarks Take A Big Leap Forward

By Gene McCullagh
April 7, 2010

Since the beginning of Lightroom we've wanted a watermarking capability that was more powerful and more flexible than the anemic watermark of Lightroom 1.x or Lightroom 2.x. We had some creative possibilities with the identity plate feature but even that was limited and quirky. With the release of Lightroom 3 Beta 1 we saw the beginning of a new watermarking feature. A welcome change but still not much better. Now, Lightroom 3 Beta 2 bring the watermark a long way! There is still some way to go but this new feature is great.

Get To The Point!

By Gene McCullagh
April 5, 2010

Tired of only having a parametric curve at your disposal? Good news! Lightroom 3 Beta 2 introduces a point curve to the Develop module! That is fantastic news! Many users asked for point curve capabilities in Lightroom and Adobe has delivered. Lightroom's parametric curve has some great features. I like the visual feedback it gives for the logical limits of each tonal range (Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows). While it has many uses and some strong points it does limit your ability to make adjustments by forcing you to stay within the boundaries of each tonal range. That's where a true point curve shines! It gives you the creative freedom to adjust at will and to any extent your vision requires.

Lightroom 3 Beta 2 Is Here!

By Gene McCullagh
April 4, 2010

It's here! Adobe released Lightroom 3 Beta 2 recently and there are some nice goodies to play with in Beta 2. Grab it from Adobe Labs now! And if history teaches us anything, Adobe is saving a few tricks up their sleeves for the final release of Lightroom 3. There's still no official information regarding the release date for the final version or what the eventual pricing might be. But in the meantime we have new features to try out. One place to watch and get up to date Lightroom information is over on the Lightroom Journal Blog published by the Lightroom team. Stop by for news.

A Live Edition for Learning Rails

By Simon St. Laurent
February 17, 2010

One of the best things about Rails is that it's under constant development. With the Live Edition of Learning Rails, the book will be able to track that progress and give beginners better access to the latest and greatest Rails has to offer.

Summer of Flash Episode 2 - Flash Builder

By Garth Braithwaite
July 29, 2009

Same gang, new application. In this episode Leif Wells and Zach Stepek joined me to take a closer look at the Flash Builder Beta. We discuss some of the lesser known features and its integration with Flash CS4 and Flash Catalyst.

Exploring New Features in CF9 Beta: PPT Generation

By Andrew Trice
July 23, 2009

There are a lot of new features in the ColdFusion 9 beta on that was recently released on Adobe Labs. One of the things that caught my attention is the ability to read and generate MS Office documents on the fly, including PowerPoint Presentation files. Read on to see a brief example showing how to generate PPT files using the ColdFusion 9 beta.

Adobe Releases ColdFusion 9 on Labs

By Andrew Trice
July 17, 2009

In case you missed it earlier this week, Adobe has recently released ColdFusion 9 beta on Adobe Labs and ColdFusion Builder on Adobe Labs. I was lucky enough to catch a presentation of the new features at last night's DC Flex User Group by Adam Lehman (CF Product Manager), and I have to say, it certainly looks intriguing and very promising.

Flash Catalyst Beta 1 [Top Branch Demo Part 2]

By Garth Braithwaite
May 28, 2009

In the second half of this two part screencast I demonstrate some of the more advanced features of Flash Catalyst Beta 1. Specifically I show how to import images and artwork into an existing project, how to create a data list component, and how to import and export a fxpl library.

Flash Catalyst Beta 1 [Top Branch Demo Part 1]

By Garth Braithwaite
May 28, 2009

In this two part screencast I show some of the neat new features of the Flash Catalyst Beta 1 available on I also demonstrate some good practices for preparing a file in Adobe Illustrator and how to keep yourself organized in Catalyst.

Using Windows 7 Beta on a Mac with VMware Fusion

By Todd Ogasawara
January 14, 2009

Windows 7 Beta runs surprisingly well on Mac with only 512MB virtual RAM allocated to Windows 7 by VMware Fusion. VirtualBox also works but has more quirks. If you need Windows on a Mac for a specific app, read on...

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 Released

By Andre Charland
August 28, 2008

Yesterday Microsoft released IE 8 Beta 2. It's likely the most anticipated release of the browser to date, for developers anyway. This is because they've done a lot to support CSS 2.1 and HTML 5 standards, which is everyone agrees is a good thing. It might not be perfect yet but they seem to be making good progress.

Adobe Releases Dreamweaver and Fireworks CS4 Betas

By Andre Charland
May 29, 2008

RIA developers, of the Ajax variety in particular, should be excited to see what's coming down the pipe from Adobe's Creative Suite Teams. Dreamweaver has been waiting for a massive overhaul for some time now. It looks like it will really start to fill the void in Ajax tool space. The Live View I think might be the start of that, out of the box code hinting for a few popular Ajax libraries doesn't hurt either. It looks like they're trying to give us some nice prototyping features in Fireworks which sounds kind of interesting too.

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