Mpix $5,000 Giveaway. Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 First Impressions. $200 Mac Upgrades.Picking A Complementary Color In Photoshop.

First up is a great giveaway from the good folks over at highly-regarded print house Mpix. As in $5,000 great! Now many of you might have seen this opportunity already because it was mentioned yesterday by RC Concepcion on Scott kelby’s blog (that link is here). But for those of you who get their news here, Mpix is offering YOU a chance to to win $5,000 worth of Mpix prints (YOUR PRINTS) with which to decorate your home. All you have to do is click here to enter (it means giving up your email address and waiting around until September 5th to see if you will be the grand prize winner). I gotta tell you – this giveaway is so great that I hope you decide not to enter (it will give me just a little bit more of a chance). Thank you, Mpix!

Then an exciting program update from one of my favorite and most-used software companies – Nik Software. I am a Photomatix fan for processing HDRs from way back. And I really like their latest update, with its updated presets. But Nik just released HDR Efex Pro 2, and it is a heckuva update. My wife and I and several friends have been giving it a thorough workout over the past three days. The unanimous verdict is that this program is a winner. The interface is easier to understand and use. The program is faster. The results are much smoother in a sense than version one’s. It is sort of a cross between what you saw with version one and what you get with Photomatix. It is really easy to tweak images in version 2. This is by no means even a suggestion of a review of the program; these are first impressions only. But they are first impressions from a group of fairly experienced users who have been hitting it pretty hard the past three days. This is a nice upgrade that is very worthy of your consideration. Click here to read all the details and go through as many Nik videos as you like over at their site. And if you like what you see as much as we do here, use the coupon code STUCKINCUSTOMS when checking out (you’ll save a cool 15% on whatever you purchase).

Own a Mac (new or old)? Especially if it is an older model you may want to investigate boosting its performance, given the size of modern-day photo files and the complexity of many new software programs. And you certainly would like to do it as inexpensively as possible. Well, I have just the guy for you – Cheap Shot’s Larry Becker (a big part of the Kelby team). I have recommended Larry to¬†you many times for his cheap … make that “penurious” ways of expanding his inventory of camera equipment. He has a recent list of upgrades you can make to your Mac for perhaps less than you might expect (like maxing out your RAM for between $40 and $80). If you are a Mac owner you should take a look at Larry’s suggestions by clicking here.

Finally today, a tip from about my very best favorite Photoshop re-toucher, Glyn Dewis. He has a very quick but most valuable tip for all of us who spend time in Photoshop, either compositing images or blending colors to make those images look their very best. In a nutshell it is how to find quickly and accurately a color that complements another. Glyn’s tip involves a simple addition or subtraction equation (hint: if you can add or subtract two numbers you can do this). Click here to learn the tip from Glyn himself, a very fine instructor.

Whew! That’s a lot for Tuesday, but it is really good stuff. Good luck with all of it.

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