Hey everyone! My name is Jack Fusco, I’m a time-lapse / landscape-astrophotographer currently based out of San Diego, California. I first found my way into photography simply as a means to document my travels while playing guitar in a touring band. After moving on from the touring life, photography became my main form of creative expression. Over the last few years, my work has been featured by National Geographic, NASA APOD, LA Times, and many other outlets. During this time, I knew I needed a reliable and professional looking platform for showing off my work and offering prints online. Having the worry taken away from how my work is represented online, and how my print orders are handled, makes me proud to be part of the SmugMug family for so long.
Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park, Photo by Jack Fusco
Throughout my career, I’ve constantly looked for different tools that I can use to take my work to the next level. That can range from new gear to a new planning tool or something new in the digital darkroom. There’s often as much error as trial in these situations, but I truly believe that to continue evolving as an artist and stand out in a very crowded field, this needs to be an ongoing process.
Delivering high-quality content, be it on your own personal platforms or to one of your clients, has always and will always be important. What has been changing is the need to deliver that content in an almost immediate timeframe. Editing while on the road has never been something I would consider convenient or desirable. Not only does it cut into your valuable travel time, but the quality of work also tends to suffer. In the past, I’ve often opted for waiting until returning from my trip to share a photo and potentially missed out on a wave of excitement surrounding something like a meteor shower or an unexpected show of the Northern lights. Simply adding a disclaimer that something is a “quick edit from the road” always felt like it takes away from the impact that the final image would otherwise have had. So, I’m excited to share a way that I feel like helps bridge that gap between a subpar edit and something you’re ready to upload to both social media and your SmugMug portfolio.
Recently, I had been beta testing Luminar from Macphun, which is a brand new all-in-one photo editor from the award-winning developers of Aurora HDR, Tonality, etc., and a feature called Workspaces really caught my attention. What this feature does is allow you save any of the filters that you may use for your edits in a unique group or workspace. The idea is that not only do you save valuable time with quick access to only the tools you need, but the quality of your edit doesn’t suffer as a result.
Editing on the road doesn’t have to be painful
I was able to put this feature to the test during a recent trip to the Annual Dark Sky Festival in Jasper National Park.
Before leaving for my trip, I spent a bit of time setting up my custom workspace in Luminar so it would be ready on the road. I knew I would be shooting some nights with a bit of moonlight that lit up the landscape and others with no moonlight at all. So, I went through all of the filters I would normally use to edit my night sky images and created two different workspaces. I took filters like advanced contrast, color balance, and curves, and saved it as “Starry Skies” and then went through and added a few others, like Top & Bottom lighting, to save in my “Moonlit” workspace.
Once you have an image loaded into Luminar and your custom workspace selected, you’re not just limited to those tools. Advanced editing is easily done through luminosity masks and brushes to very selectively adjust fine details in your shot. Again, it’s having all of these options quickly available that makes editing from the road less of a daunting task.
Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Photo by Jack Fusco
While in Jasper, having both of these workspaces ended up helping in more ways than I initially thought. Not only was I sharing new, finished images during the dark sky festival on my Instagram and Facebook, I was also uploading them right to SmugMug. This allowed me to let people I was meeting know that the photos I took last night were already available as prints on my site. This was huge! I didn’t have to hope that when I handed someone my card and said “I should have all these photos up next week!” that they would remember and return to check it out. They could pull up my site on their phone and purchase a print of a photo that I took just a few hours earlier. It felt great to have the confidence of knowing my edit was solid and wasn’t something I posted to cater to the sense of urgency while sacrificing quality.
Macphun is running a special pre-order campaign to celebrate the “go-live” launch of the software on November 17, 2016. From November 2-16, you can pre-order the software at a discount and receive some great bonuses.
I’ve really enjoyed using Luminar on my Mac and am pretty sure you’ll like it too. Check out Macphun’s pre-order page to learn more.