Tag Archives: Perfectly Clear


If you get up early enough, and you should, the streets of Havana are quiet and void of activity. And then, as you roam the vacant streets with dawn approaching, you’ll encounter small groups on their way to work, or to catch a ride, or to catch the bus, or to get a cup of coffee. It is during these early hours that you’ll likely find little vignettes such as this one.  Of course I was drawn to the wonderful red car with tons of character, but then the door opened and the woman poked her head out. Then she stepped out, obviously waiting for her ride. An already good image now a better one. And then, after she left, a neighbor stepped out of his home and shared that the car was his and did not run. It too is waiting, waiting for another talented, industrious Cuban to come and fix it, so it will ride again.


I’d like to draw your attention to a very special new tour that Dan and I are offering in January of 2016.  A full week at The Hideout Dude Ranch in Wyoming!  Lots of details can be found on my tour page here!  (scroll down to the bottom when you get there.)  We are VERY excited about this one!

[Tweet “Cuba – Waiting”]

Posted in Cuba, Tour, Workshop Also tagged , , , , |

Perfectly Clear BLACK FRIDAY DEAL!!

As most of you know by now, I am a big fan of Perfectly Clear software. Because I’m an affiliate, I am able to offer an additional 5% off of their already great deal of 40% for Black Friday. Click on THIS LINK and then use the code BARCLAY at check out for the extra savings.

Seriously folks, this is a “no brainer” deal on software that is truly remarkable. Remember, Perfectly Clear is not an image enhancement piece of software, rather it is an image correction piece of software. Meaning, it is overcoming the limitations of your sensor and not altering color, hue, etc. It should be used on an unedited RAW file first, then you can use other enhancement software such as Nik, MacPhun, Topaz, etc.  

The example below is as good as it gets to show what this software can do. The top image was run through Perfectly Clear and the bottom is the RAW file. Are you going to see such dramatic results from each image you process?  No, but you will see an improvement. And you will save TONS of time in your processing.  





Posted in Uncategorized Also tagged |

Homage to Michael Kahn – New Software from Perfectly Clear and Topaz


I (we) had the good fortune of accidentally running into Michael Kahn, a wonderful B&W film photographer, specializing in boats and seascapes. I had just seen his work at the Focus Gallery in Chatham and was very impressed. We were shooting in Chatham, when he and his wife stopped while riding their bicycles to engage our group and enquire as to what we were doing. What impressed me most about Michael, was his humble demeanor. What a wonderful, engaging, and nice person. Before we knew who he was, someone had asked if he was a photographer too. His reply was something like, “yes, I like to make photographs” No bragging about being in the high end gallery or anything like that. Just that he too loved to make photographs. He shoots with 4×5 and medium format film cameras and prints all of his prints in a wet darkroom. They are a sight to behold in person!

I purchased his terrific book “The Spirit of Sailing” at the gallery and was inspired to make the image presented in my post today. Yes this is the same yellow Dory that I’ve posted previously. If you like sailing or boats, I highly recommend his book which can be purchased at the Focus Gallery online.

My friends at Topaz Labs have released a wonderful new product called Impression. Impression is a faux painting program and is quite good. If you purchase before the end of the month you’ll save 25% using the code SEPIMPRESSION at checkout.  Click this link to take you to the site. If you like a painterly look to your images you’ll like this new product.

Athentech the makers of Perfectly Clear have just released version 2.0 of their fine software that I’ve been using and blogging about recently. With the new release, they have lowered the purchase price and if you click this link you’ll save an additional 10%.

[Tweet “Homage to Michael Kahn – Yellow Dory in B&W”]

Posted in Perfectly Clear, Topaz Software Also tagged , , , , |

Last Light on Steptoe Butte

I continue to be amazed at just how good Perfectly Clear is as a first step in my post-processing workflow. For this image, I used Perfectly Clear first. Then I did a little bit of work in Lightroom to bring out the shadows just a bit. I then darkened the overall feel of the image as it was a tad too bright and did not have the feeling of last light. Lastly, I warmed it up just a touch to match the gold quality of the light that I remember.


Posted in Palouse, Perfectly Clear Also tagged , |

Wrong time, what do you do?



When we arrived at this location, it really was not the right time of day to include the barn. The sun was behind the barn leaving the front side in shadow. It would have been nice to have some light on the barn, however, the sky was working and so were the cloud shadows raking across the fields. I also liked the fence leading to the barn. So, rather than be discouraged, I began working the scene. As I looked back on what I took, I made 10 different compositions. I went in tight, I included more, I waited for the cloud formation to change, I waited for the rolling shadows to change. I finally settled on this spot with just part of the barn. My first composition included two windows. It felt a bit static, so I included three in my next composition. Then I waited until the roof of the barn would sit in blue sky rather than white clouds. Last but not least, I waited for the cloud shadows to roll through the image to give depth. In the RAW file the front of the barn was indeed dark, however, I knew I could work on this in post. Once again, Perfectly Clear was applied first and then I worked the file further in Lightroom and a bit more in Photoshop along with Nik Viveza.

I’ve posted and alternate composition below just for fun. While it does not have the nice cloud shadows in the field, I do like the lines created by the fence, grain and dirt.

If you did not see my recent post about Perfectly Clear, I think its worth a look. Click here.

Don’t forget we are heading back to Death Valley, Valley of Fire and a night in Las Vegas with Chuck Kimmerle in February.  Spots are filling up for this unique opportunity to spend time with a master b&w photographer. Chuck is great fun to be around too! More information is available on my tour page.




[Tweet “Wrong time? What do you do?”]

Posted in Chuck Kimmerle, Palouse Also tagged , , , |

Perfectly Clear Plug-In

Perfectly Clear is not an image enhancement plug-in. Rather, Perfectly Clear is an image optimization or correction plug-in. It should not be thought of as your “creative” editor, this is what Nik, Topaz, Alien Skin and OnOne are for. Perfectly clear has a very different purpose. Its job is to overcome the limitations of your camera and sensor technology.  And it does this on the pixel level. So, rather than apply Perfectly Clear after your RAW or creative processing, it is recommended that you run your un-edited RAW files through Perfectly Clear first, and then do your “normal” enhancement to achieve your creative look if you desire.

Lets take a look at a few examples that should help you understand how Perfectly Clear works and just how powerful it really is.

The first image below is what the RAW image looked like straight out of camera with no adjustment whatsoever. Pretty drab and flat. (remember you can click the image to make it bigger and then scroll through all images.)


The next image has been run through Perfectly Clear using the “default” setting while making just a couple of tweaks to the exposure and contrast sliders. There are not many sliders in Perfectly Clear, so not much to worry about. (see screen capture below) The mulit-patented technology behind the scenes is doing a very good job. It is important to let Perfectly Clear work on the un-edited RAW file (meaning all sliders zero’ed out). It does a better job and will never clip or blow out shadows or highlights if you do. A pretty big difference!




For the last image, I felt the Perfectly Clear version was a tad bright, all I did was use a Curves Adjustment layer to bring down the mid tones and then add a slight “S” curve to enhance the contrast just a touch.


Lets look at another, this from the streets of Havana. Again the first image is an un-edited RAW file.


Next is the file run through Perfectly Clear. This time the difference is more subtle as the RAW capture from the Fuji is pretty good to start with. Still, look at the color of the car, the pink on the walls, the tones in the street and the overall depth that PC gave the image. It feels more alive to me.


And the last image below was created in Alien Skin Exposure 6 as a creative old film look from the Perfectly Clear optimized file.



One last example. When I processed this image two years ago, I blended two exposures to get what I needed. This time with Perfectly Clear, I used just one with better results. The first image is the RAW file unprocessed. 



And the next with Perfectly Clear applied using the “fix dark” preset and then tweaking the exposure and contrast sliders just a touch.  Wow!  I’d say that is a big improvement. And please notice the true colors. I really appreciate that Perfectly Clear does not alter my colors, in fact it restores them to what they should be!  



And the last image below was finished with Lightroom only. I used the adjustment brush for the sky, shadow slider to open up the shadows a bit and the highlight slider to reign in the brights.  A touch of vibrance and clarity and I was done.




Armed with this new knowledge, the first thing I will be using on my images is Perfectly Clear first. Is it perfect software? Does it work perfectly every time? No, there have been a few, very few images where I did not like the result. 

You should know that you can batch process your images using Perfectly Clear. This makes a lot of sense when you have a lot of images from a a specific shoot like a wedding or portrait session etc.  And you can create a preset in Perfectly Clear that can be applied to the entire set of images that are being group processed. This is a huge time saver and another big benefit of this plug-in.

I would suggest this VIDEO on Youtube for more details about batch processing using Lightroom. And this VIDEO is an excellent overview of what Perfectly Clear does and why.  

If you can’t tell, I’ve had a paradigm shift about Perfectly Clear after learning what is really going on and when to use it in my workflow.  I highly recommend it!  Click on this link to give it a try and SAVE 20%.

Posted in Perfectly Clear

Cades Cove Does Color Too – Perfectly Clear 50% off Mothers Day Sale



The other day, a blog reader asked that I show the color version when I post a b&w image so she could compare. I posted a different version of this scene the other day in b&w. For the color version here, I’ve added the gravel road and trees on the right to my composition. 

The last thing I used for my processing of this image was Perfectly Clear from Athentech. If you are interested in this great piece of software, twice a year they offer it at 1/2 price.  Starting this Friday the 9th and ending on the morning of Monday the 12th, simply click this link and you’ll be sent to a page where you’ll be able to pick up your preferred version for 1/2 off.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good this program is. A “no-brainer” at half price.

Posted in Color, Perfectly Clear Also tagged , , |