Tag Archive for: software

5 Day deal time !!!

YES it’s that time of the year, the famous 5DayDeal.
Every year the 5DayDeal is jam-packed with e-books, software, presets, plugins, LUT, tutorials and loads more for an insane low price.

This year we are talking about over $5500.00 in value for only…. are you sitting down?
$98.00 😀

The 5DayDeal also includes my e-book about speedlights and the whole tutorial about the same subject.
If you use our link https://bit.ly/3EXq8FK you also support all the work we do for you guys, so we appreciate a share or order via the link 😀

I made a small video about the 5DayDeal, check it out here to see what’s included.

Bring some Hollywood in your images

Sometimes you come across software that is truly unique.

Most software that you find online are variants of each other, eg Lightroom, Photoshop or they are focused on a specific part of the workflow such as tinting, skin processing, etc. But there is always a variant of a variant to be found. That’s why I was really surprised by BorisFX Optics.

As a big film lover I regularly see light effects of which you as a photographer know that it is as fake as can be… but oh how beautiful it is in the context of the film, think of the beautiful glow around street lighting in the fog on a warm summer evening, realize that there was no fog at all but it was added through special effects….

When we think of special effects we often think of space ships, talking mice, etc. but what we often don’t think about is that special effects are also used to add fog, glow, lens flares, smoke, etc. to a scene to increase the atmosphere. in a movie, and it’s just often easier to add it later than to fog up an entire street perfectly.

But also fire and particles are part of special effects, just think of a scene where someone walks into a burning house, all those small fire particles of burning paper/material… huge chance that these are all special effects.

The software that is used a lot for this could be labeled as the big brother of BorisFX Optics. And this is also very clear by the huge amount of options and very realistic looks.

There is a lot of software where you can work with overlays for smoke, for example, but I have never seen software where you can literally let the smoke pass by like a movie via a multitude of sliders and choose EXACTLY where you want the smoke, and even then you can still change a staggering amount of things building the perfect smoke. And believe it or not but almost every effect you choose has a similar slider choice, if you don’t get the desired effect with this I wouldn’t know what to do.

Anyway, isn’t this “cheating”?
Yes and no.
What I personally have trouble with is when people make no effort at all for correct lighting or styling and then try to make a photo interesting through all kinds of filters, and although sometimes you can get some very nice results, it is a completely different result if what I have in mind when I shoot a scene.

Of course you can always say that if it is not caught by the camera, it is not real… but…. then I wonder how do you see a black mist filter, which makes a lens flare clearly stronger?

And that’s basically how I see BorisFX Optics too.
I’m still trying to get the photo 100% correct in the camera, I build the whole set, put the lighting in the right places, use smoke etc. etc. But after the shoot I use BorisFX Optics to turn everything “on”, the lens flare is already in the photo, but in the retouch process you can enhance it with eg BorisFX Optics and really give it your look and feel. The same applies to turning on a spot just a little bit extra, it is there, but you make it just a bit clearer, or enhance the glow of an old tube amp…  I personally have no problem with that at all.

And let’s be honest, in the end we still made the photo ourselves and went through the entire process in the software and that is a completely creative process, only instead of just colors we now also add atmosphere in a photo which otherwise would not have been possible, and this makes it possible for me as a film enthusiast to give photos a much more film look.

In the coming months I will make several videos about BorisFX Optics, you can find them on our YouTube channel and of course from this site.

► Get 20% off Boris FX Optics via https://bit.ly/3zpQLzZ and use coupon code: doorhof-optics22

Products of the year

As usual at the end of the year I show you a small list of the products that really caught my attention.


Let’s start with the most obvious one:


Sony A7RII
Some cameras are updated on a yearly basis, some on 3-4-5 years and Sony… well does it all very quickly, now one would expect that the upgrade would be minor but nothing was less true. The A7RII rocketed the A7R towards perfection. New sensor technology, great image quality, 4K video on the card, better viewfinder (wow), faster performance, more frames per second, 42MP, better noise control, a build in tether solution against port damage and a lot more. This makes the A7RII for me without a doubt the surprise of 2015 and my personal favorite camera (it might even be the best camera in the world).


And to see the images you of course need a good monitor, in the past this meant spending a lot of money on an Adobe RGB monitor and calibrator but this year BenQ released a new line of monitors that really blew my mind, and in fact I’m using their 27″ (SW2700PT) version right now in our studio for all my retouching. Seeing the fact this monitor is sold for EU699.00 including a hood makes it a great option for everyone that is serious about their photography. So make sure to check it out you will LOVE them. Bundle it with an X-rite analyzer that is supported by the software and you will also benefit from hardware calibration for better accuracy and smoothness.


But next to cameras and monitors there was a lot more going on, and one device really changed my life, and I know it sounds dramatic but it really did, and I’m talking about the iPad Pro. You’ve heard me rave about it before so I won’t go into all the details again but let me put it this way, I was not waiting for a bigger iPad, but the Apple Pencil was exactly what I didn’t miss until I got it. It triggered me to start drawing again and that alone makes the iPad pro for me one of the products of the year because if a product makes you do things creatively that you normally didn’t do… well that’s cool.


Because of the iPad pro I also was looking for a new workflow for on the road and let’s look at some apps that really made me go… “oh that’s cool”.


If you’re looking for a cool retouch tool this might very well be it.
It’s far from perfect (like all apps at the moment) but if you are satisfied with storing PSDs in the cloud and JPG on your device it’s one of the most complete retouching apps out there, I love it.


Same goes for Enlight, in fact I’m using both Pixelmator and Enlight in my workflow, switching between them. In Enlight I like the looks a bit more than in Pixelmator and the skin retouching is much easier because it supports layer masks, but overall both are just amazing, and seeing the pricing.. well get them both.


Never saw myself drawing again, I drew a lot when I was a kid on paper but the iPad pro really triggered this again and you can’t go wrong with ProCreate, GREAT software, GREAT performance and an awesome playback function.


MediBang paint:
If you want it free… check out medibang paint, it’s like Procreate a drawing app but it’s so much more, it looks a bit cluttered but for people drawing cartoons/manga etc. it’s an awesome awesome tool and hopefully a look forward on what Photoshop will look like on the iPad.


And the final app is Astropad:
Every longed for that Wacom Cintiq?
Well with Astropad you can add a lot of the performance and usability to your iPhone/iPad or iPad Pro, it works wirelessly and with lighting and it just got a MAJOR update for the Apple Pencil, without a doubt my ALL time favorite app of 2015.


For using the iPad pro I would like to mention the Logitec Create keyboard and the great cover buddy by SwitchEasy (a wonderful case for your iPad pro with a pencil holder)


For flash I have a really cool new product from Rogue Expo Imaging :
The Flashbender XL silver (Frank Doorhof signature series)
Yep you read that correctly it’s a new flash bender that was designed with my ideas for the material incorporated. I love the flash bender products but found out that I mostly used the silver coating and not the white, just to give a bit more edge to the light and also to get a bit more output, so I asked them to create one just for me and instead of making just one…. well they will be released very soon so make sure to pick one up, I’m 100% sure you’re gonna love it.


Another really cool flash product is the new Elinchrom Skyport which makes it possible to break the 1/125 barrier found in many cameras and actually boost this all the way up to 1/8000. At the moment they are only available for Canon and Nikon but a Sony version will follow next year. I played with the Canon version and absolutely love the effect, the cool thing is that is also works on your older Elinchrom strobes.

Manon April 25 2015 0090

Staying with Elinchrom I also have to mention the new Fresnel spot they released. I fell in love with it many years ago but couldn’t afford one and by the time I could they were not making them anymore…. well they are now and they called it the FS30 so make sure to check it out if you love that old look that a Fresnel can give you, you’ll love it.


If you’re working on location also make sure to check out the Elinchrom ELB quadra, a revamped Quadra and in combination with the new HS head and skyport a combination that will be incredibly versatile and will probably allow us to leave our Rangers at home.


Now the next product of the year is no surprise because it could be mentioned every year.
Adobe Creative Cloud:
And no I don’t say this because I’m an Adobe influencer, the CC subscription was a stroke of genius from Adobe, which was (and still is) very misunderstood by a lot of people. In Essence you can get everything you will ever need for your photography for on average 10.00 a month (that’s 1x less starbucks a month). Now you didn’t see me mentioned any Adobe Apps in the previous part because I wanted to mention them here.
Lightroom mobile and the whole collection of apps are not “toys” anymore they can really fit in a professional workflow and will make your life as a photographer/videographer a lot easier. Also they are releasing new apps and updates almost constantly making the usability grow and expand with every update and thanks to the cloud you have the updates automatically added and without ever having to worry about paying more or upgrading.


For education I can only think about one website that I always consider product of the year and that’s KelbyOne.
Yeah I know I’m part of it and that’s why I mention it, but that’s not true.
With the subscription to KelbyOne you don’t just get access to some amazing eduction and a cool app for on the road (now also supports offline viewing) but you also get a lot more benefits like discounts, a very nice magazine, Photoshop World discounts and a lot lot more. It’s literally your one stop place to refuel your creativity.


Now if you are a PC user and don’t care about all that Mac talk… well this might come as a surprise but another product that REALLY got my attention this year was the Microsoft Surfacebook or Surface pro 4. I’m still waiting to get my hands on one to test it out, but it looks like the perfect solution for all you photographers and videographers out there that are using Windows. It makes my mouth water when I look at the SurfaceBook to be honest and I can’t wait for Apple to bring something like that to the market. Imagine an iPad pro that is a tablet, but as you plug it on the keyboard becomes a display for the laptop…. yep would love that (better even if Apple updates it’s MacOs for full touch.


Another cool product I found out about recently is the  Contour Shuttle Pro2:
I use this next to my keyboard to zoom in and out more easily and change my brush sizes quick, but it also makes it possible to program ANY key combination you would ever need into the software and it will switch with the software you are using. Highly recommend it.


Next up is the new Magic Touchpad from Apple:
I always used the mouse, but I did buy a Magic touchpad when it was released, however it ended up in the closet after a few weeks (which is pretty unique for an Apple product), a few months ago I picked it up again after installing the new OS and really loved it, so I switched to the new one with force touch and the bigger size, love the fact it doesn’t need batteries anymore and the larger size is really nice. So if you want to loose that mouse and give your hands some more “rest” check it out.


On the phone side it must be the new iPhone 6s Plus:
I was not planning on switching to the new one but I did for the 4K video, now it might sound ridiculous but to be honest the video quality is actually very good and because Annewiek films everything in 4K it’s just easier to incorporate this material into the videos. And of course the new camera is also a nice addition for a photographer 😀

Oude haven schokland 19 - August 22, 2015-Edit

On the “gadget” side it’s without a doubt the Yuneec Q5004K quadcopter:
I have been looking at drones/quadcopters for quite some time and was actually looking for DJI until someone pointed me towards the Yuneec and I was sold. The main thing for me was the sound level and stability of the gimbal. I’ve heard some DJI’s from close by and far away and …. well they are noisy, the Yuneec is hardly heard when it’s let’s say 20mtr away and that for me is a big plus, add to this the really nice and stable video and photos in RAW and you understand why we went for the Yuneec.


On the Home Theater front it has to be the new Sony VW520 projector, a full 4K projector with a lot of light output and it’s all ready for the new HDR content, which in my opinion will be the main big jump for home theater lovers out there.


However without a player… how do you play 4K material?
Well also there this year we found a cool small player called the PopCornHour Vten which works like a charm in our setup and plays most 4K streams straight over the network and only needs a harddrive for the really high quality streams.


Also on the Home Theater front of course the software iRule which makes it possible to control your whole house and Home Theater from your favorite smart device.


Now on the more boring, but very important part I have to mention the Synology NAS we use in our studio and Home Theater. Synology has been active with NAS systems for many years and never really let us down, it’s blazingly fast and very reliable, some NAS units we had problems with speed on our Mac’s but the Synology is very fast and works like a charm. Now backups is a boring topic but trust me…. when you don’t take care of it it will not be a boring topic but a real frustration and sad topic one day. So make sure that you have this in order and we trust our data best on the Synology 😀


Now let’s do a side step to health.
As you probably know I love to sport and watch what I eat, but sometimes I also love some “junk food” but we actually never did make it because we didn’t own a deep frier (wasn’t used for years so we threw it out), thanks to a tip from a friend of us we bought an AirFryer from Philips (do get the XL one) and this changed the way we cook. Because it uses hot air there are no bad things like grease or oil, you literally fry the product as natural as possible, sometimes just add a teaspoon of oil and that’s it. A GREAT thing for the kitchen and therefore in the list for this years discoveries and products.


Another gadget I fell in love with is the new Suunto smart sensor, a smaller heartbelt that meters your heartbeat during sports and does it with the same precision as the older Suunto ones (I always used Suunto), the main thing is that it doesn’t need a watch anymore but just connects to your iPhone or Android device.


Of course the list can go on and on because as a gadget freak a lot of cool stuff was released this year and probably more are coming next year, but we have to make a selection and for me these products really took the crown, feel free to add your own in the comments below.




Tonality from MacPhun video

One of the things I always love it playing with new software, being it plugins or apps, it’s always nice to see if a piece of software can give you a boost in workflow or simply give you a new/better/faster way to make your images stand out.


Now there are some great BW converters out there, I love Alien Skin Exposure, SilverFx and DxO filmpack so when the guys from MacPhun asked me to testrun their newest app called Tonality (in base a BW convertor) I was very curious what they could add to the market with their app, but after some weeks of test-driving Tonality I can tell you that it ROCKS, the interface is very easy to understand but most of all the options you have to really custom make the look you want for your image is awesome. I’m 100% sure you’re gonna love it.

As with all MacPhun software it’s for Mac only, it will work as a plugin in for Lr, Photoshop but also as a standalone.

You can order it here :

Congratulations to our buddies at MacPhun for releasing another awesome app.


And here is my video on Tonality Pro.
As you can see I don’t use the layers option, this is something I do use in Photoshop, but if you want it in the software it’s there.