Tag Archives: free

Get Photo-News with the PhotoVerse App

Last week, the developers of an iPhone/iPad app contacted me about using my RSS feed to pull content for their new application. It’s a pretty cool idea, so I said “go for it!”

PhotoVerse collects photography related news and blog posts like any RSS reader, and makes it handy for anybody interested in photography to keep up on their reading while also allowing them to share the articles on social media networks. In essence, it’s a preloaded feed reader just for the photography nuts.

The developers also asked me if I would like to test out the application… but I’m on Android, so no luck. Instead, I asked if you guys could have some freebies or discounts. Here’s what we have to hand out.

ENTER FOR A FREE COPY OF PHOTOVERSE

I have 5 coupon codes for a free copy of the app. It goes for $0.99 in the iTunes store, so you can go buy it if you don’t want to wait for the raffle.

If you do want a free copy, watch the Epic Edits Twitter account for the start of the raffle. I’ll do it within the day, and the first 5 to reply will get the coupon.

Anybody out there have this app already? How is it?

Filter Forge Photoshop Plugin Review (And Giveaway)

Filter Forge - an advanced Photoshop plugin

[tweetmeme]The folks at Filter Forge contacted me about reviewing their advanced Photoshop plugin software. I’m always interested in checking out new things, so they provided me with a review license of the software and I started exploring it. I must admit that it’s an impressive piece of software.

Read on for my review and be sure to check the details at the bottom about the contest and prize giveaway. This review contains affiliate links.

WHAT IS FILTER FORGE?

Filter Forge is a Photoshop plugin with a huge variety of filter and texture options for photographers and designers. The plugin contains over 7500 textures and filters, most of which are user generated. And that’s another key feature of the software — you can generate your own filters and make them available to other users.

The real strong point of the Filter Forge software is the extensive library of user generated filters and textures. There is a seemingly endless supply of options out there, and the library is constantly growing. The folks at filter forge also offer an incentive to create and promote new filters, handing out reward points for the more popular filters created. Those reward points can earn you discounts and free software.

There are two sides of Filter Forge — textures and effects. If you’re into applied textures, this software will keep you occupied for quite a while. At the time of writing this review, there are nearly 4000 textures available. Filters, or creative effects, are also in abundance with over 3600 options. You can search and browse through the filters at the Filter Forge website.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH IT?

Applying filters is relatively simple. You start up Photoshop, pull in your image, and start Filter Forge from the Filters menu. Once inside Filter Forge, you can select the textures or effects you want to apply, check out a few presets, or modify the settings for that particular filter. After you apply the filter or texture, you’re back in Photoshop. That’s pretty much it.

Creating filters is a little more complicated, but the interface is still fairly simple. You can start from scratch or modify an existing filter by using the components available in the filter editor. These components include things you would find in Photoshop: brightness, gamma, hue, saturation, threshold, invert, levels, curves, gradients, blurs, blends, and a whole bunch of other tools you won’t find in Photoshop. The process is very similar to creating a Photoshop action, but more visual and self explanatory.

Enough talk, here are a few of my own photos with various applied filters. Click on the image to see the originals at Flickr.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

This is certainly a handy piece of software for the folks that apply textures and filters on a regular basis. The sheer quantity of options is staggering. If you’re a “naturalist” with your photography, maybe this isn’t for you. But other photographers, and even graphic designers, should check it out if it sounds remotely interesting.

Filter Forge can be downloaded as a 30 day free trial with no other limitations (and check out the free plugin packs on the same page that don’t require the Filter Forge software). If you want to buy the software and continue to have access to the full library, you have three price options: basic, standard, and professional editions. The basic edition only allows you to use the filters, the standard edition allow you to create your own, and the professional edition has a bunch of other bells and whistles. Check the website for prices because they may change in the future.

WHO WANTS A FREE COPY?

Now for the fun part — I have three licenses for the basic edition of Filter Forge to give out! We’ll run this as a photo contest using the Filter Forge plugin (and if you don’t have Photoshop, you can use it as a standalone software). Here’s what you need to do to enter:

STEP 1. Download a free copy of Filter Forge and install it.

STEP 2. Choose any photo of your own and apply your favorite filter.

STEP 3. Email your photo to blog@epicedits.com. Size it to 1000px on the long edge, make sure to include your name, and tell me which filter(s) you used.

DEADLINE: October 10 13, 2010

One entry per person and the photo used must be your own. By entering the contest you only give Epic Edits the right to display your image as a contest entry no larger than 500px. You retain all rights to your photo.

After the deadline, I’ll size the images to 500px and post them here on the blog along with your name and the name of the filter used. I’ll choose the three winners myself (or I’ll have a couple of guest judges help me out).

Link Roundup 06-19-2010

Link Roundup 05-28-2010

Link Roundup 05-23-2010

Win Photography Props from Baby & Me Boutique

Hi Epic Edits readers. I’m excited to be here and have the chance to introduce myself and my shop. My name is Jill and my shop is called Baby & Me Boutique. I sell a variety of crocheted items, but what I would like to share with you today are my photography props. I make all sorts of fun props for baby photo shoots: cocoons, hammocks, beanies, booties, and more! Many of my products are available in sizes for young children as well.

Good props are an essential for every child photographer. I love photography, although I’ll be the first to admit I’m not that great at it. However, with props like these even I can take a good picture. My props add a creative and professional touch to photos. And in the hands of a true professional (such as the talanted Shanda Leigh who provided the pictures you see here, and many of you I’m sure) they make the most gorgeous photos! Cocoons in particular are a growing trend and I offer several types in my shop.


I truly enjoy making the things I sell, which lets me keep my prices low and feel good about it. I love to see my products go to good use and create beautiful pictures. I hope you’ll stop by and take a peek! http://womenwhodoitall.etsy.com

GIVEAWAY CONTEST DETAILS

[tweetmeme][Brian here] First of all, a big thanks to Jill for offering up some free product to the readers of Epic Edits! She’s offered to give two winners any single item from her shop, so we have two ways that you can enter the contest (you can enter both ways and we’ll pick one winner from each).

DEADLINE: May 13, 2010

  1. POST YOUR BEST BABY/CHILD PHOTO
    Place a photo (or link to a photo) in the comments below of your best baby/child photo. Post only one photo, and it must be your own. This is a judged competition, so post your very best.
  2. TELL US WHICH ITEM YOU LIKE BEST
    Hop over to Jill’s shop and browse through her products. Then leave a comment below telling us which item(s) you like best. The winner will be a random selection (and be sure to leave this as a separate comment if you’re entering a photo too).

So there you go — two ways to enter for a chance at some free props!

“The Contact Sheet” Book Winners

Book Review: The Contact Sheet

Last week, I did a book review of The Contact Sheet and we had a couple of extra copies to give out. A big thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and helped promote the contest — we had a good number of entries in just a few days.

The winners were chosen randomly, one from the reTweets and one from the comments over at FeelingNegative.com. I contacted both of them last week right after the contest and they both accepted the prize, so that’s that! Here are our winners:

Bill Wolff for the Twitter entry
Marc Hodges for the comment entry

If you didn’t win and you still want a copy of the book, you can buy one directly from AMMO Books or through Amazon.com (affiliate link). For how good the book is, the price is very low and totally worth it.

And stay tuned for more free stuff coming down the pipeline. We have another small contest coming up tomorrow (not for books though… something totally different).

Want Some Free Stuff? DIYPhotography.net Has It!

I try to give out freebies here when I can, but Udi has gone over the top with his latest contest/giveaway! Head over to DIYPhotography.net and check out the giant Bag O’ Goodies that he has up for grabs.

This is a judged photo contest split into three parts. Part 1 has been announced and the topic is “food”.

This will be a three-part assignment. In each part you will be asked to take a picture and submit it to the contest. Here is the thing, you must use one of the techniques portrayed in DIYP to take that picture.

Seriously… check out the prizes that are up for grabs. He’s got over $870 worth of stuff to give out — all very cool stuff.

On a side note, props to Udi for quitting the day job and going “problogger”. He’s doing an awesome job at ramping up the blog, and I’m quite envious.

Book Review: The Contact Sheet

[tweetmeme]If you don’t know by now, or if you’re new around here, I’m a HUGE fan of good photo books. I love looking at great photos and I can appreciate the effort that goes into making a book full of them.

I’m also into film photography and I like seeing photo books that exhibit some old-school stuff. And with any photo book, it’s unusual to see additional photos that weren’t selected for display or publication — so this book is pretty special since it breaks that boundary.

AMMO Books contacted me about a 2nd edition printing of a pretty awesome book, and I couldn’t pass it up! Contact sheets from famous photographers, full-page selections, and photographer backgrounds… this has greatness written all over it.

The Contact Sheet (ISBN 978-0978607692) can be purchased directly from AMMO Books or through Amazon.com. The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Contact Sheet is a hardcover book containing 192 pages of photographer bios, contact sheets, and photos from 44 well known photographers. The book is of average size measuring in at 10.4×8.4 inches and around 1 inch thick. Each photographer is given a minimum of a background/bio, a contact sheet, and a final selection from that contact sheet (some are given a bit more than this). In addition, the written portions are published in English, French, German, and Spanish.

The thing that hits you about this book is that there are some really iconic photos (and photographers) contained within. Some of my favorite and other well-known photographers appear, such as Elliott Erwitt, Jerry Uelsmann, Dorothea Lange, Pete Turner, Anton Corbijn, William Wegman, and many others.

As I mentioned, some of the photos are recognizable icons — photos of people such as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Allen Gainsberg, August Sander, Marilyn Monroe, Aretha Franklin, Richard Nixon, “Migrant Mother”, Jim Morrison, and… need I go on? You’ve probably seen a good handful of these legendary photos somewhere in your travels.

Aside from all the icons and legends, the REALLY neat thing about this book is the fact that you get to see the whole contact sheet that the image came from. So you get to see all the different poses, takes, and trials that went into it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Crist is the publisher of AMMO Books and has also personally edited and created outstanding titles such as GONZO, The Curse of Lono, Marilyn, Jazz Life, Steve McQueen, and The Polaroid Book.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

The Contact Sheet is a very worthwhile book for art and photography enthusiasts. After reading the photographer bios and viewing the contact sheets, you’ll view the selected photos in a whole different light. On one hand, you see that it took more than one shot to get the final photo and not every shot on the roll was a “keeper”. On the other hand, you gain a deeper respect for the selected photo when you see just how special it is.

The Contact Sheet (ISBN 978-0978607692) can be purchased directly from Ammo Books or through Amazon.com. The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

WANT A FREE COPY? WE HAVE TWO!

[UPDATE 5/7/10] The contest deadline is over. I’ll pick out the winners soon and post an update to the blog. Thanks to all the folks who entered!

[UPDATE 5/10/10] The winners have been announced.

This is going to be a quick one, so pay attention. You have two ways to enter for a free book, and you can enter both ways to increase your chances.

  1. [tweetmeme]DO THE RETWEET
    Just post this little gem to your Twitter status: “RT @epicedits Book Review: The Contact Sheet http://bit.ly/bcCTFj” or hit the green “retweet” button on this post. (one entry per person)
  2. COMMENT ON MY FILM BLOG
    Since the book is all about film photos and contact sheets, head over to my film photography blog and leave a (thoughtful) comment on any of the posts — include the phrase “THECONTACTSHEET” in your comment to be eligible for a free book. (one entry per person)

So get on it — I’ll cut off the entries at the end of May 6, 2010 and pick out the random winners. Each winner will receive a free copy of The Contact Sheet book, courtesy of AMMO Books.

Link Roundup 05-01-2010