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Friday, March 23, 2007

LightZone for Aperture and Lightroom

[Press release]

Light Crafts delivers best-of-breed photo editing to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and Apple iPhoto users

Award-winning LightZone adds visual photo editing to photo management suites

PALO ALTO, CA—March 19, 2007—Light Crafts, creators of LightZone photoediting software, today announced the integration of LightZone with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture and Apple iPhoto. Beginning today, Light Crafts will offer LightZone Basic, its best-of-breed photo-editing package, for the discounted rate of $99.95 (regular price: $149.95) to Lightroom and Aperture users, enabling them to take advantage of patented visual editing technology seamlessly within these proprietary photo databases.

As the premier photo editing software for both amateur and professional photographers, LightZone empowers users to edit photographs the way they shoot them—visually. Unlike traditional photo-editing software, LightZone enables users to retouch and enhance photos in a simple and natural way, without the need to learn a new editing language or mathematical representations that have no meaning to most photographers.

"Light Crafts is fundamentally changing digital photo editing to reduce complexity and return control to photographers," said Georges van Hoegaerden, chief executive officer, Light Crafts. "We’re introducing the power of visual photo editing to all photographers, independent of their photo management software environment." Users simply select LightZone as the external photo editor from the preferences menu within Lightroom, Aperture or iPhoto to get started. From editing RAW photographs or JPEG, TIFF or DNG photos, LightZone's intelligent editing features help adjust exposures, boost overall color, correct color shifts and white balance errors, selectively sharpen or blur images or parts of images, remove dust spots and reduce the noise often found in high-ISO digital images.

LightZone is available in two versions, LightZone 2.0 and LightZone Basic. LightZone Basic is a best-of-breed photo editor. LightZone 2.0 is a complete photo editing and photo management suite, incorporating all the features of LightZone Basic, plus comprehensive workflow and photo management capabilities. LightZone Basic and LightZone 2.0 are currently available for download at LightZone Basic is offered at an introductory price of $99.95 to eligible Lightroom and Aperture users until June 30, 2007. LightZone 2.0 is offered at $249.95.



Blogger John said...

Much though I like LZ, the "integration of LightZone with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture" is somewhat misleading. In Lightroom you set up LZ as an external editor. That's "integration"??? And LZ preserves its work as a new layer and - hold the front page now - stores its editing instructions in the TIF file's metadata. That's "integration"? I wish LZ success, but this is very loose marketing hype.

9:48 AM  
Blogger dasmb said...

At the risk of sounding curt, I use Aperture and love it. What does LightZone offer me that's worth $100? I'm not too impressed by their web shpiel and their term "Visual Editing" is kind of vague (to think all this time I've been editing my photos by smell!).

If the answer is simply a great or novel interface, that might be enough for me to check it out. That is, after all, what drove me to Aperture in the first place after years of Photoshop.

11:02 AM  
Blogger John said...

Well the main thing is selective adjustment, so if you wanted to dodge and burn a b&w, or add a ND look to a colour image. It does this really well, and in metadata too. It's something we'll see in LR or Aperture before long.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Robert Roaldi said...

I recently began a migration to MAC. I was a Picture Windows Pro user on Windows but they don't have a MAC version (no plans either, unfortunately). There aren't many 16-bit photo editors for MAC (I am not spending $1000 Cdn on photoshop.) and LZ seems to fit into the Bibble workflow in an acceptable fashion.

LZ offers masks and a number of features that aren't available on more modest packages. Aperture and Lighroom may add those features eventually but I am not likely to buy either of those either. They are targeted at pros who require their unique features that I don't need.

More power to LZ and the PWP pro people for creating a comprehensive photo editor without the graphics-related baggage of PS. Nothing wrong with those graphics tools, of course, but I am loath to spend money on something I don't use, industry standard or not.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Christian said...

To answer your question dasmb: for me the main benefit from Lightzone is its intuitive selective editing capabilities.

Each tool behaves like a photoshop adjustment layer. You can select regions to apply adjustments to by drawing polygonal, bezier, or spline shapes. You can use multiple selection shapes in one layer, each has a visually adjustable feathering region, and the results of each adjustment can be turned on and off.

Basically editing becomes closer to what you would do in a traditional wet darkroom.

In addition to its editing capabilities, Lightzone also provides what they call a zone mapper. There are luminance regions, ranging from white to black, like you would find in the zone system. Mousing over these regions highlights where in the image they occur. These regions can then be expanded or contracted. This is essentially a different interface for curves, and one that is a bit easier to understand.

4:22 PM  

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