Experimenting with AfterShot Pro 3

There are lots of editing programs available to photographers today. I know numerous photographers who use something other than Adobe products for editing their work. I will admit I’ve been an Adobe fan for years now. I pay my subscription fees for the Creative Cloud. I love the program and use Adobe products religiously. For me, there was no other program.

But then the other day I ran across one photographer that only used Google Nik Efex to edit his work. Yes, he opened and imported his images using another editing program but over the years he came to rely solely on Nik Efex to edit his work. He told me the program suited his style. This got me thinking, and I decided it was time to expand my horizons.

So being the adventurous type I began to dabble with the program AfterShot Pro 3 by Corel, (a Canadian company). I was surprised at the functionality and simplicity of the program, and I thought I would share with you guys some of the tricks and tips I learned while using this program.

 

The Library Mode

Here you can see how similar the rating system is to Adobe Lightroom

 

 

If you’re anything like me you take a lot more photographs, then you will ever show to friends and family or clients for that matter. It’s not uncommon for me to shoot over 100 frames during a family portrait session. After the session is complete, I need to upload my images to my computer and begin editing.

Unlike Lightroom, AfterShot Pro 3 doesn’t force you to import your images into a catalogue just to work with them. Easily access your photos in your existing file structure, including on a network or on a memory card. If you wish, you can create catalogues and manage your photos in the same manner as the catalogue system available in Lightroom. I was able to click on the sidebar menu after importing and access each image.

Just like Lightroom, After Shot Pro 3 allows you to rate and flag your images as well create metadata, design keyword sets, and add watermarks. Its functionality was very similar to that of Lightroom. The one thing I did notice is that there was no delay in viewing my images.

In Lightroom, I often have to wait for my thumbnails to load. In AfterShot there was no delay. I was surprised just how quickly the program worked. I later learned that After Shot’s USP is 4x faster than Lightroom. Other than this difference I didn’t find that AfterShot lacked any functionality.

To give you a clearer idea of how the program works. Here’s a description of workflow during the import stage, using AfterShot Pro 3.

 

Sorting Images

Here you can see how easy it is to cull your images.

One of the first things I like to do is sift through my images and delete the ones that have no potential whatsoever. I used the flagging system to do this. Each blurry or unfocused image was marked with a rejection flag. It was quite simple to scroll through my images using the options available in the top left-hand corner. I could click on each image, apply my rating and also view the files using 1:1 ratio to ensure sharpness. I then sort all of my rejects and delete them from my files.

There’s no need to save all those images you will never work use. I will sort photos the photos using the filter options available on the top left of the screen. It was then easy to delete all of my rejected images. After that, I took a short break and then came back to continue rating my images. I used the star system to rate images I know I will show to clients. These are the sure things. These are the shots that I know they will love.

Editing Images

Once I completed rating my images, it was time to edit my 5-star images. AfterShot Pro comes equipped with all the usual adjustment options. I like to begin my editing by calibrating the camera settings for my images. Just like Lightroom the program comes equipped with “Lens Correction”. I like to start by using these options to correct any issues within the image.

After using the “Lens Correction” tools, I like to start adjusting the blacks and whites in my images. I always adjust my work so that there are small flecks of pure black as well as pure white within each image. I went back into the “Standard” tab and adjusted the blacks and the highlights. The “Standard” tab allows you to adjust many different settings including exposure, contrast, fill light, and saturation.

The sliders for basic adjustments are very similar to Adobe Lightroom.

All of the basic tools were present. AfterShot Pro also places some tools on the bottom left corner of the screen you will find the layers tab, cloning options and cropping tools easily available in this area of the screen. I was able to quickly and easily edit my image. I was satisfied with the results and spent some time playing around with the automatic adjustment options I found when I clicked on the “Perfectly Clear” and “Auto Level” options.

It was also easy to start over by clicking on the “Reset All button located in the bottom-right corner of the screen. I found this easier than scrolling through the history option in Lightroom.

AfterShot Pro also allows you to use Presets, edit images using plugins and you can then take files easily into programs like PaintShop Pro and Photoshop to continue the editing process.

Here’s an example of the image in full screen mode.

Conclusion

AfterShot Pro 3 is an easy to use and extremely functional program. The interface, while different from Lightroom is easy to navigate and learn. I was able to access many different tutorials on the Learning Centre web page and quickly figured out how to use the program in quick order. I didn’t find the task to be daunting in any way.

Editing images is always about personal preference. Each photographer has their workflow and their tastes when editing work. I know people who love to organise images using Photo Mechanic, while others prefer to use options within their editing software. I think we should have the option to choose the program that best suits our needs. I say experiment see what each program has to offer and find the one that makes you happy. We should always have options available.

Here’s the original unedited file.

 

Here’s the finished file. It was edited using AfterShot Pro 3

I would like to thank that lovely photographer who only used Nik Efex. He first opened my eyes to the world of possibilities available for editing images. I’ve decided to keep experimenting and see what else is out there. I love Lightroom but there are lots of choices and who knows what I might settle on using. Maybe depending on the situation and the image I use them all equally.

To help you on your way to discovery we’ve teamed up with Corel this month and would like to offer everyone the chance to experiment and discover.

 

Get your free copy of AfterShot 3

Easy-to-Learn RAW conversion, non-destructive photo editing and complete photo management.

Turn your passion for photography into unforgettable photos—without spending hours at the computer. Corel® AfterShot™ 3 is the simple, affordable way to learn professional-grade photo editing quickly. Make easy corrections and enhancements, and apply adjustments to one or thousands of photos at once with batch processing tools.

About the author

Erin Fitzgibbon

Erin FitzGibbon is a Portrait, Sport, Fine Art Photographer and Writer from Ontario, Canada. When she's not taking photographs or writing articles she loves to escape to the backcountry for week long adventures with her family.

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