8 Tips for Using ACDSee Ultimate 10 for Seamless Photo Processing
Manfred Baumann maintains a career that exemplifies photographic success with a knack for balance: one day he’s photographing celebrities like Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Lionel Richie, John Malkovich, or Angelina Jolie; the next day he’s working with top models; another day he’s prepping his work for an international exhibition. But every professional photographer understands that the work doesn’t end when a shoot is over. He may be adept at juggling various projects, but it doesn’t mean he wants a complex post-production workflow.
The secret to keeping his sanity when he’s in high demand is streamlining his editing process. For the past ten years, this has meant using ACDSee, the Windows-based digital photo editing software that acts as an all-in-one solution to the multiple applications once used for data asset management, RAW image processing, and retouching.
We caught up with Baumann to hear his tips for using the most recent edition of the software, Ultimate 10, which he calls, “the perfect partner for every photographer.”
It’s not an uphill battle—recognizable tools equal an intuitive interface
Baumann says learning the software was easy from the beginning. With familiar selection tools, like the paintbrush, healing brush, magic wand, lasso, and stamp, the learning curve was minimal, but the quality did not disappoint. “With even more options and solutions, ACDSee completely replaces Adobe’s Bridge and Lightroom,” Baumann says.
Take advantage of ACDSee’s speed
Unlike other RAW editing software, which often creates a separate library of images, ACDSee syncs images directly with your computer’s hard drive so you can view, arrange, and edit your files directly, and in real time. This capability, as well as the software’s GPU-enhanced layers engine, makes managing and updating an image catalog a model of efficiency.
For advanced editing, create instructions in Develop mode
ACDSee’s Develop mode is where all the magic of RAW image processing happens. “It allows me to create instructions for adjustments,” Baumann explains, “rather than adjusting the pixels themselves in RAW, JPEG, and TIFF.”
Get creative; adjustments aren’t permanent
The software’s parametric image manipulation is non-destructive to the original pixels, thus preserving the image’s integrity and allowing for a range of artistic experimentation, like playing with color overlays, mapping colors to shadows and highlights, and applying filters to images in Develop mode.
Fine-tune images in Edit mode
“I really love this software and use it to make changes to brightness, saturation, hue, and resolution in Edit mode,” Baumann says. Light EQ, ACDSee’s patented exposure technology, allows him the ability to adjust the lighting of a specific area of an image or an image as a whole in as little as one click. He also uses the updated capabilities of the smart brush to select specific color and brightness ranges with various tools “in just a few key strokes”. A simple right-click allows him to toggle between foreground and background colors in a single image. He makes edits to his images through individual layers, finally adding his watermark before compressing them with just a few clicks.
Automate your editing process, and then sit back and relax
In Edit mode, Baumann can record his edits step by step, and then use his instructions to batch process a shoot. This means he’s able to spend more time behind the camera instead of behind the screen.
Digital asset management is your friend
Baumann often uses the DAM software to add location data to his images—an action especially helpful to a busy photographer producing and juggling several shoots and projects at a time.
Support for Photoshop plugins and secondary monitors creates a flawless workflow
“I appreciate that I no longer need to purchase and run multiple applications,” Baumann says of using ACDSee for both developing and editing many of his images. But he makes use of ACDSee’s integrated support for Photoshop plugins for some of his shoots. Connecting ACDSee directly with Photoshop, “makes the workflow seamless,” he says. In addition, he’s also able to run two EIZO screens.
Learn more about ACDSee Ultimate 10 here.
–Sponsored by ACD Systems