Photography

CyberLink PowerDirector Giveaway Weekend

Video editing has made great leaps in recent years, thanks to more powerful personal computers. No longer the domain of studios, professional-quality video creation is now accessible to all.

That is why, for this weekend only, CyberLink is offering free licenses to its widely-praised PowerDirector 11. A robust video and audio editor, PowerDirector offers the tools you need to create professional quality movies in full HD. Get this special free edition of PowerDirector now by signing up on the Giveaway Page with your email, using the code PDR4CNET.

PowerDirector 11 Special Edition's highlights:

Free to use: Completely free video … Read more

Capture and share your screen with HyperCam 3

Whether you're trying to create a presentation, capture video game footage, or record a Skype call, HyperCam will help you accomplish your goal. A screencast and editing multitool, HyperCam can be used to create basic screencast clips or produce professional-quality videos. Capture both video and audio content and convert them to AVI, WMV, or ASF formats quickly and easily with the all-new HyperCam 3. For a limited time, you can get this advanced screencast editor for half the regular price -- that's only $19.97.

New features in HyperCam 3:

Record Skype video and audio calls. New UI. … Read more

Get Ashampoo Photo Commander for half off

Few photo editors can fulfill most users' needs. Editing software is often either too limited even for beginners or an overwhelming set of tools that would intimidate most pros. Ashampoo rises above the rest by offering something for everyone in one convenient application. Get this highly rated universal toolkit for half off the regular price -- at only $24.99.

If Paint.Net and Adobe Lightroom created a product, it would aspire to be as cool as Photo Commander. With Ashampoo, you'll be able to edit, add effects, perform automated fixes, and share all of your photos and images … Read more

Get Zoner Photo Studio for free

Update May 16, 2014: This offer has been extended until Sunday, May 18, 2014, thanks to the folks over at Zoner!

For the next48 hours, you can grab a copy of Zoner Photo Studio 15 PRO for free. A popular full-featured suite, Photo Studio is a regular favorite with our editors and audience. Both professional and amateur photographers can greatly benefit from this easy-to-learn image manager and editor. With a plethora of tools, settings, and customizability, Photo Studio is a great alternative to Lightroom. Read more here.

Features:

Advanced photo manager supports searches & sorting for keywords, GPS, and more. … Read more

Simple smartphone photo tips

Today's smartphone cameras have become nearly as complex and feature-laden as the compact cameras they replaced. It's easy to get overwhelmed, but here are four simple tips for better photos that will work with virtually any modern smartphone.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Most smartphones now have an option called HDR, which is short for High Dynamic Range.

When you take an HDR photo, your camera actually shoots three photos at three different exposures: low, standard, and high. Then, your phone stacks all those photos to create one composite image that's super sharp and looks closer to what … Read more

How to mount your smartphone on a tripod (DIY)

This five-minute DIY project is the simple solution to shooting time-lapse videos, getting steady shots, and even capturing group selfies. It's a simple way to securely mount your smartphone to a tripod, and it only costs about $15. Assuming you already own the tripod.

The solution is easy. I used an L-shaped bracket to prop up the phone and secure it to a standard tripod. The secret is in using a 1/4-inch nut, a trick used in the stringpod and the gliding camera strap.

You'll need:

A 1-inch L-shape corner bracket Some kind of adhesive (epoxy … Read more

How to shoot eye-catching food photos with your phone

Roll your eyes, but I'm one of "those" people who launches her smartphone camera at the sight of food. Sometimes, it's to catalog the delicious (or maybe not-so-delicious) meals I've had; other times, it's to share those experiences on Instagram.

But there's an art to capturing food photos. A simple lighting error can make your soup look like something post-digestion, while a slight tilt of the camera can make it look magazine-worthy.

If you want to know what techniques make food photos stand out from the ones that look like this, here are … Read more

Insider tips for smartphone photography

When we set out to tackle an episode all about photography, we knew one thing for sure: most of us leave our dedicated cameras at home in favor of our smartphones.

In honor of that tradition, this week's episode is all about getting more out of your phone's camera.

To kick things off, Eric explains exactly what makes smartphone cameras so advanced and tips you off on what to look for the next time you're shopping for a phone.

Then, Donald and I show you how to use some of the best (and lesser-known) built-in camera features, … Read more

This is the best diet ever

Happy Friday! Just in time for a beautiful weekend here in San Francisco, we are giving away free copies of Cyberlink PhotoDirector 4 that normally MSRPs for $99.99. You all know by now that I take gazillion photos of my baby everyday, but you should also know that I sometimes have to take fifty photos to get one awesome photo, especially when she's constantly on the move like she is now. So, having a great photo editing and sharing tools are important to me, so I can easily put together a collage or do a quick edit before … Read more

Add special effects to your smartphone movies

In my youth, I wanted nothing more than to make movies. But the tools just weren't available -- not on my budget, anyway. And even if I'd had a movie camera, special effects were out of the question. UFO invasions, dinosaur attacks, bomb explosions -- these were the purview of Industrial Light & Magic, not little Ricky Broida.

Oh, to be a kid again. Armed with nothing more than a smartphone and the right apps, you can shoot in razor-sharp HD and add all kinds of startlingly good special effects.

You handle the storyboarding and final edits; I'… Read more