I'm pleased to report that Light Crafts is offering a 10% discount on LightZone 2.0 for any and all T.O.P. readers—all you need to do to take advantage of the offer is click on the ad on this page and use the code when ordering. LightZone was already inexpensive for such a powerful RAW converter with so many unique and useful image manipulation controls.
We've long been preoccupied with the distinction between how to do something and figuring out what you want to do, which are really two different problems. For me personally, where LightZone excels is in allowing me to explore my pictorial effects visually in ways I might never even think of trying in other programs. Recently, I've been working on two separate, very different pictures that both came alive only after I experimented with a variety of interpretations in LightZone. I was able to arrive at creative interpretations I would never have seen using other software.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON
Featured Comment by Simon Griffee: Some features of Lightzone which I enjoy:
• The focus on working with and developing photographs and nothing else. Photoshop has become a behemoth with so many tools and effects for doing anything and everything—you lose your concentration on the image itself.
• The ease of creating masks and modifying their feathering so you can develop only certain sections of a photograph. Drawing bezier curves is much easier than in any other software I've tried.
• All your editing work on a photograph is saved in a small file (around 100 kilobytes) which is applied and linked to the original JPG/RAW/DNG file, which remains untouched. The harddisk space savings are substantial.
Lightzone has a more "tactile" feel to it, an intuitive, visual approach of working with an image. Hard to explain, but if you take a bit of time to try the software, and read a couple of tutorials (such as here and here), you will likely love it.
It's the most exciting photographic development software I've used in a long time, and certainly helped give me the confidence to launch my site this year. I encourage you to download the trial and check it out!
I also love The Online Photographer—thanks for writing, Mike!