10 Best Photography Apps for Mac in 2017

With the rise of digital cameras and high quality camera phones, more people than ever have become interested in photography. While learning proper shooting techniques will take you a long way towards capturing great photos, it’s important to have the proper editing tools as well. Here are the current ten best photography apps for Mac, sorted by price (least expensive to most expensive).


PriceFree download.

One of the photography apps for Mac that is a direct competitor of Photoshop, GIMP provides many of the powerful features of you find in Photoshop without the monthly price tag. There is a learning curve if you’re used to working with Photoshop, but this app is worth the trouble if you’re looking for an all-inclusive pro editing tool.


  • Customizable interface;
  • Layer selection;
  • Supports a wide range of file formats;
  • Text and brush options.

Gimp for Mac

2. Fotor Photo Editor

Price: Free for basic app or online access; upgrade to Fotor Pro monthly subscription ($8.99/month or $39.99/year).

Fotor is unusual among the available photography apps for Mac in that you can download in through the App Store or use it online. Either way you choose to use it, the software provides reliable, basic editing features like rotating, cropping, and recoloring images. It also has a few nifty features like refocusing, slimming down your subjects, and taking away wrinkles.


  • Solid editing basics;
  • Focus;
  • Effects and borders;
  • Textures;
  • Save, share & print.

Fotor Photo Editor for Mac

3. ACDsee

PriceFree download (upgrade to monthly subscription to store photos).

A version of this photo software has been around in the mid-90s, and its longevity is due to its easy of use and fun features. In addition to the editing standards, this software allows you to quickly fix your photos and then upload them to your favorite social media site. There’s no need to download to your computer first, which is handy for prolific Facebook and Instagram sharers. If you want to save the photos for later use without downloading them to your computer, you’ll need to pay for a monthly subscription.


  • Cropping, recoloring, saturation, and sharpening;
  • Easy to use organizational features;
  • GPU-accelerated adjustment layers;
  • Seamless sharing to social media sites.

ACDsee for Mac

4. Google Photos

PriceFree download (can purchase Google Drive space for uploads over 15 GB).

Google Photos is an excellent replacement for now defunct Mac Photos software. If you love photography, but don’t want to splash out on expensive photography apps for Mac, Google Photos is a great basic editor. In addition to typical editing software offerings like recoloring, enhancement, and cropping, Google Photos also offers the ability to search your library by subject matter (so, search for “dog” to get all of your photos of your family pet).


  • Motion stills;
  • Content-aware filters, adjust lighting, and more;
  • Smart automatic albums;
  • Share up to 1,500 from the app.

5. Photozoom

PriceFree trial ($169 for full version).

One of the best photography apps for Mac, Photozoom allows users to focus in on the details of their captures without distorting or pixelating the image. Beyond the main feature of zooming capabilities, Photozoom has basic editing tools like rotating, sharpening, and resizing images. It’s not the most comprehensive of editing programs, but it does well with what it offers.


  • Excellent for zooming and cropping;
  • Two-stage sharpening;
  • Self-timer;
  • Instant uploading on the photos on social media.

Photozoom for Mac

6. InPaint


If you want to take your photo editing skills beyond the typical cropping and rotating, but aren’t ready to take on a pro software yet, InPaint might hit that sweet spot. The software includes handy retouching tools that allow you to remove background noise or watermarks. That might come in handy for your vacation photos: take out all of the other visitors in your photo of the Eiffel Tower! It’s also helpful in restoring old photos or giving your subjects perfect blemish and wrinkle-free skin.


  • Digital facial retouching;
  • Watermark removal;
  • Eraser tools;
  • Fill black areas tool.

InPaint for Mac

7. Pixelmator

Price: $29.99.

Now on its 3rd version, Pixelmator is a tried-and-true photo editor that includes everything that the standard photographer would need from an editor tool. Use one of the 160 effects to enhance your photo and use the color correcting tool for crisp hues.


  • Vast retouching and painting options;
  • Drawing tools;
  • 160 effects;
  • Pixelmator Team-designed layer styles presets
  • Full support for Photoshop files.

Pixelmator for Mac

8. Capture One

Price$99 (Express version), $299 (Pro version).

Created by a digital camera company, the Capture One software is an excellent choice if you do collaborative, interactive or on-set photo shoots. It allows you to upload and share your photos in real time so clients or art directors get immediate access to how the shoot is going.


  • Custom-made color profiles for more than 400 cameras;
  • Color balance tool;
  • Black & White tool;
  • Skin tone editor;
  • Supports 250 RAW formats.

Capture One for Mac

9. Photoshop Elements

Price: $99.99.

If you want photography apps for Mac that incorporate the best of Photoshop Apeture or Lightroom without the monthly fees, Elements is a great place to start. The selection tools suggest up to 5 alternatives for each effect you’re considering, which makes for quick, simple editing work. You can also make Facebook covers and photos with the templates provided.


  • In-program editing suggestions from Elements Live;
  • Easy photo correction;
  • Collage and slideshow creator;
  • Photo organizer.

Photoshop Elements for Mac

10. AfterShot Pro

Price$100 (free 30-day demo available).

This is an excellent option for professional level photographers who shoot in RAW. Easily recolor your photos or add a watermark for sharing files with clients. The program is responsive, intuitive, and has multiple shortcuts for easy touch ups.


  • Easy-to-use editing sliders;
  • Preview photos quickly below main editing panel;
  • Watermarking;
  • Enhanced Highlight Recovery;
  • Blemish Remover tools.

AfterShot Pro for Mac

Summing Up

Whether you’re a parent looking to improve your favorite family photos or a photographer polishing your skills, these apps will make all of your photos album ready. Choose from basic editors like Google Photos if you’re a beginner. Some, like InPaint and Photozoom, allow you to focus on one particular type of editing if you’re not a prolific editor yet. There are also top of the line apps like Elements, GIMP, and Capture One for the professional photographer, so you can choose what’s best for your skill level.

GoPro Hero 4 Camera Review: Pros, Cons, Best Features

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys action and is constantly on the move, and want to film your adventures in the best way possible, then you have every qualification to be a GoPro owner. In case you’re not familiar with what a GoPro is, we must mention that it’s the world’s most famous action camera. An action camera is a type of camera that you can take with you when you go surfboarding, snowboarding, and doing all sorts of activities where you wouldn’t dare to use your phone or another type of camera to film.

the GoPro Hero 4 camera from three angles

If you’re interested in buying such an action camera, today’s review is going to be particularly useful to you. We’re going to look at the GoPro Hero 4 action camera and talk about some of its best features, and its pros and cons.

GoPro Hero 4 Action Camera Review

Main Features

The GoPro Hero 4 shoots 4K full frame, and its resolution is an impressive Ultra HD 3,840 x 2,160. But these aren’t the only shooting options you have. You can also choose to shoot with 2.7K at a resolution of 2,704 x 1,520, and with 2.7K 4:3 at a resolution of 2,702 x 2,028. The resolution settings on this GoPro are truly amazing, as it’s quite obvious from the examples above. You also have some high-speed options such as 1080p (1,920 x 1,080), 1,440p (1,920 x 1,440), or 720p (1,280 x 720).

Another cool feature of the GoPro Hero 4 is the time lapse which you can control according to your needs, from 0.5 to 60 seconds. If you want to use your GoPro when you’re riding your bike (by placing it on your helmet) or when you’re in your car (by putting it on the dashboard), you’re free to turn on looping for a high-quality image and the possibility of multitasking while filming. With this mode, you don’t have to worry about the camera stopping because its memory is full. The new files will replace the old ones in case this happens.

One of the most notable features of the GoPro Hero 4 is its SuperView mode, which is perfect for when you want to shoot wider frames. In this mode, the angle of vision is of 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p. However, we must mention that the image will be a bit more distorted than what you would normally expect from a GoPro Hero 4.

If you’re looking for a camera that allows you to take pictures while also shooting video, then you’ll be happy to hear that this GoPro allows you to take both time-lapse pictures and 12-megapixel pictures while filming at 1,440p, 1,080p, and 720p. Moreover, the burst mode allows you to take up to 30 shots per second. This 12-megapixel CMOS is an improved version of the GoPro Hero 3.

If you’re wondering how you’re going to mount your GoPro Hero 4 in order to use it on your adventures, you should know that you have more than one mounting option. The adhesive bases you can use are both flat and curved, to fit any type of surface. You can also mount your camera with clips, which come in two different lengths, and add a link extender as well, in case you want the camera to rotate and capture a 90-degree view. The camera comes with two such extenders, that you can also use together, since they help you manufacture a pivot arm.

As with most action cameras that are designed to stand extreme weather elements and adventurous activities, this one too has a waterproof housing that works up to 131 feet deep.

GoPro Hero 4 camera placed under water

GoPro Hero 4 Pros

Among the most important pros that we have to single out in today’s review is the quality of the images you shoot with the GoPro Hero 4. The details are pretty spectacular, and so are the colors. The audio is also really great, and the camera does a good job even in situations where there isn’t that much light. Then, the 1.7-inch touchscreen LCD is definitely something that is worthy of our attention, and an important factor in deciding what kind of action camera to purchase. We should also mention the ProTune mode, which provides better control and quality, as well as an impressive range of peripherals, mounts, cases, and so on. Plus, all you need is the mobile app and WiFi in order to control the camera. Finally, another important pro is the fact that this camera is suited both for people who are more experienced with this kind of technology, and for people who are just getting started.

GoPro Hero 4 Cons

While there aren’t many cons when it comes to the GoPro Hero 4, we should mention a couple of things that could be improved. For instance, in some cases, the photos and videos can come out looking a bit hazy. Moreover, the case tends to sometimes muffle the audio. Another thing that we’re not particularly excited about is the fact that the LCD panel is an optional extra. The camera wouldn’t be waterproof if it weren’t for the housing, and this is something that can bother some people. Finally, we should also mention the battery. First of all, you can’t use any of your old GoPro batteries for this camera. This means that you run the risk of being left with no battery to film something you’re interested in. For instance, just to give you an idea of how much battery life you should expect, let us tell you that if you shoot at 1080p 30fps, you only have around 100 minutes of footage before the battery dies.

The Final Verdict

Overall, we are highly impressed by GoPro Hero 4’s quality, especially considering its affordable price. All the features it comes with, as well as the multiple accessories, make it one of the best action cameras on the market. It’s definitely better than the GoPro Hero 3+ Black, and we strongly recommend it to people who are looking for a compact device to help them capture their daily adventures.

Image Source: 1,2

Nikon D3300 Camera Review: Pros, Cons and Top Features

A lot of people would answer Nikon when asked what kind of camera they most like to use when taking professional photographs. That’s because the Nikon brand has managed to establish itself as one of the leading creators and developers of high-performance cameras, and with good reason. Nikon’s dedication to provide people with many camera options that can satisfy their highest expectations shows in the number of cameras they have on the market. One such camera is the Nikon D3300, which we’re going to talk about today. In our Nikon D3300 review, we’re going to touch upon its main features, what makes it shine, and what could have been made better.

a nikon d3300 camera on a table

Nikon D3300 Review


Naturally, the first thing we should discuss when it comes to a Nikon D3300 review is the way this camera performs. In this respect, the Nikon D3300 doesn’t disappoint, especially if we were to compare it with its predecessor, the Nikon D3200, or with other competitors. If you’re wondering how long it will take for you to power it on, focus on a particular subject and then shoot, the answer is about half a second, which is definitely impressive. Of course, the amount of time you’ll have to wait also depends on whether or not you’re shooting with the flash, whether it’s dark outside or not, and so on.

When it comes to Live View, this takes much more to focus and shoot, which can be regarded as an obstacle by some people. Still, there are other things that make up for it, such as the fact that if you use your Nikon D3300 with a 95MB/sec SD card, you will get a 5.1fps burst, which is indeed amazing. We should also mention that its LCD is the same as in the case of older Nikon models, but this is a good thing, since it’s visible even when the sun shines bright, and it also has a perfect size.

Top Features and Design

Next, let’s focus our Nikon D3300 review on some of its most impressive features. First of all, whenever you take a picture, you can choose between the Easy Operation and Advanced Mode options. The Easy Operation one is similar to Auto and it provides you with a limited number of features that you can use. The Advanced Mode is more suitable for people who have more experience using this camera. This one suggests what settings would work best for the scenario you chose. Plus, it also allows you to edit those setting if you want to.

Another impressive feature is the Fn button that you can use to control ISO sensitivity, image quality, Active D-Lighting menus, or white balance. The SD card is not in its usual place, having been moved to a more convenient one, namely the grip-side location. Nikon also implemented the interactive display in this model, and we’re loving it. You can now simply adjust the options by looking under the setting readout.

The Nikon D3300 looks almost identical to its predecessor. However, there are a couple of improvements that we should mention. For instance, it feels lighter and it’s much easier to hold for longer periods of time, which can be a great plus if you’re a professional photographer who takes pictures on a daily basis. Right on top of the grip, you’ll notice the shutter button and the power switch, and three more buttons behind them. Those three buttons are a record one, an info display one, and an exposure compensation one. The back of the camera includes the Menu, Review, Zoom in, Zoom out, and “i” buttons.

person holding a nikon camera

Finally, we should mention that the Nikon D3300 also comes with a collapsible kit lens that you have to pay an extra $50 to get. Even if this could be an interesting addition for some people, it’s absolutely not necessary to buy it if you just want to take high-quality pictures. You can do that just as well with the basic Nikon D3300 camera. Something that we wish we could see in this model is bracketing, both for flash exposure and simple exposure, but this is not an option that the D3300 has.


The most important pro that we should mention in our Nikon D3300 review is the image quality, which is really impressive. If you want your images to be full of details, then this is a great camera for you. Then, another pro is the fact that the ISO performance is very good, and the dynamic range as well. This camera has a high pixel count and a really great Guide Mode that is easy to use. When it comes to JPEGs, the Nikon D3300 has a really nice buffer capacity. Finally, some other things that impressed us were the uncompressed HDMI output, the 5fps continuous shooting rate, and the 1080/60p video.


While there aren’t many significant cons that we can identify when testing the Nikon D3300, especially if we keep in mind its price, competitors, and target audience, there are a few things that we should mention under this category too. For instance, there’s a lot of image noise that users are complaining about. Plus, there’s no built-in Nikon D3300 WiFi, no AE bracketing, and a slow contrast-detect in Live View. When the natural light is not strong, you might have to struggle a bit more with taking a high-quality photo, and if the flash overheats, it will shut down. The automatic video autofocus could also be better, but this is not something that particularly bothers us.

man setting up camera to take pictures at night

Final Verdict

Finally, we would say that the Nikon D3300 is one of the finest DSLRs for beginners, because it comes with great features and it’s easy to use. Both compared to older Nikon models, and to several other competitors, the D3300 promises and delivers a lot of high-quality features for a really affordable price. We’re definitely most impressed by the quality of the Nikon D3300 photos, and we’re sure you’re going to be as well, once you test it out.

We hope this Nikon D3300 review was useful to you. All in all, if you want to experiment with your first DSLR, we strongly recommend this one.

Image Source: 1,2,3

Top 5 Prestigious Photography Classes Worth Completing

If you’ve always been passionate about photography and you want to learn more about how to take breathtaking pictures, you should consider attending a photography class. Since photography is a discipline that is studied by people all over the world, it makes sense that there are a lot of course options available to you, depending on what it is that you want to learn. From free online courses, to classes that you have to pay for and attend in person, the choices really are endless. Because we want to help you out, we’ve devised a list of 5 of the most convenient and well-regarded photography classes that you could attend. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Photographer taking a picture with a professional camera

5 Amazing Photography Classes Worth Taking

1. World of EOS Learn from Canon

Canon is definitely one of the best camera manufacturers in the world, which is why Canon photography classes appeal to so many people. This class is made even more appealing by the fact that it’s absolutely free to attend. The World of EOS Learn is divided into two main sections, each of them containing several online tutorials that you can find on YouTube.

The first section is called Getting Started and it’s perfect for people who don’t have any knowledge of photography and want to learn the basics in an easy and interactive way. For instance, here, you can learn more about how a camera actually works. The second section is called Get Creative and this is where the fun begins. You’ll learn all about different types of lenses, you’ll be given advice on how to shoot portraits, you’ll understand what low light photography is and how you can use it, and so on.

2. The Art of Photography from Open2Study

Photography is indeed an art, and this is precisely what Shane Hulbert, this course’s instructor wants to help you understand. You will learn how to look at photography as a contemporary visual art, by looking at contemporary artists and their work, in hopes that this will inspire you to create your own photographic art.

If you’re concerned that this class is more about theory than practice, then you should put your worries aside. You’ll also get to explore some practical skills that you’re going to need as a photographer and that can make you unleash your creativity when taking pictures. Moreover, this course will teach you all about the main features of a camera and how to use them, as well as how to use image editing software to enhance the look of your pictures.

3. History of Photography Podcast from Jeff Curto

There’s no reason why photography classes can’t come in the shape of podcasts as well. In fact, podcasts are some of the most exciting and appealing ways in which you can learn new things, since you can simply listen to them while on your way to work or when you’re cooking dinner. Jeff Curto is passionate about both history and photography, and you can easily notice that when listening to his podcast.

This podcast is perfect for people who have an interest in learning more about how photography evolved into what we know it to be today. If you’re hoping that this class is going to teach how to take pictures, then you’re in the wrong place. But if you’re hoping to get to learn more about the fascinating world of photography, the evolution of different types of cameras, and so on, then you’re definitely in the right place and should start listening to Curto’s podcast.

two large spotlights used for photography

4. Lectures on Digital Photography from Marc Levoy

If you’re looking for more extensive photography classes taught by experts in the field, then this series of lectures coming from Marc Levoy might become your new favorite thing. Marc Levoy is a Principal Engineer at Google and Profession Emeritus at Stanford, where he teaches Computer Science. His experience is quite obvious from the amount of detailed information that his lectures contain.

They’re absolutely free to access, fit both for people who are photography beginners and people who’ve worked with a camera before, and they cover almost every imaginable aspect of photography. You’re going to learn how cameras work, what you can find inside of a digital camera, how you can use all of the camera features to take amazing photographs, and so on. This is an online resource that you won’t regret accessing if you’re interested in taking some photography classes.

5. Photography Beginner’s Bundle from CreativeLive

Even if this class is not free, as are the other photography classes discussed above, it’s also not as expensive as to create a large gap in your budget. The Photography Beginner’s Bundle costs $299 and it includes 4 classes, exclusive access to some bonus materials, and on-demand access. The website claims that if you were to purchase all of these features separately, you would have to pay $606, which definitely makes this bundle a great bargain.

The 4 courses that you’re going to get if you buy this class bundle are: Fundamentals of Photography, Adobe Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide, Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics, and Understanding Light. As you can see, this bundle tries to offer people a little bit of everything, which makes it one of the best photography classes for beginners. You don’t only get to learn about the basics of it, but also about more specific things such as how light works in photography and how to edit your images using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

collage of two pictures showing the before and after of using Photoshop

Summing It All Up

There’s no doubt that the world of photography is a complex one. Professional photographers have a deep understanding of how to use their equipment, how to frame their subjects, how to use their surroundings in their favor, and many other things. Whether you want to become a professional photographer yourself, or you simply like taking pictures as a hobby and you want to be able to do it in a more professional way, the 5 photography classes we provided you with above will definitely make that happen. Don’t hesitate to check them out as soon as possible!

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SDHC vs SDXC Cards: Which Is Best for You?

If you have a DSLR and you need a new memory card where you can stock all of your pictures, your best bet are the San Disk memory cards. The problem is that there’s more than one type of memory card that you can purchase, and the options might seem confusing, especially for someone who is not an expert in the world of photography and technology. Because we want to make sure you make the best possible choice for your type of camera and your needs, we thought we’d provide you with a guide to some of the most popular types of memory cards, namely the SDHC and the SDXC. Let’s see what we can find out from a SDHC vs SDXC comparison!

sdhc memory card front and back view


First of all, we should have a look at the terminology of these two types of memory cards. SD comes from Secure Digital. Thus, SDHC means Secure Digital High Capacity, while SDXC means Secure Digital eXtended Capacity. Second of all, we should mention that there are no major differences between the two, which is what can make matters so confusing.

One of the main differences that stand out when talking about SDXC vs SDHC is the fact that the latter usually has a capacity of 4GB up to 32GB. The former can be much larger, but it’s also more expensive. So it all depends on your budget and your needs. If you don’t want to invest that much money in a memory card, then you can opt for the SDHC. If you need a lot of space on your DSLR, then you might want to purchase a SDXC.

All SD cards have a number on them, next to the logo. This number can be 2,4,6, or 10. The number refers to the class, which in turn references the transfer speed with which you can read and write images from and to your memory card. This speed is measured in megabytes per second. If you’re the kind of person who also shoots videos with their DSLR, you should know that this rating is not as important when it comes to videos. That’s because the format of the video is one of a smaller “fixed stream”, and this doesn’t take up the entire data pipe.

The way to read these class numbers is not at all complicated. The class number corresponds to the number of megabytes per second of the transfer rate. That means that a memory card inscribed with class 2 sustains a minimum transfer rate of 2 MB/s. Consequently, class 10 cards sustain a minimum of 10 MB/s.

three sdhc memory cards with different class ratings

Now that we’ve explained how to read the class rating number on a SD card, it’s time to explain what the differences between different class numbers mean for your DSLR. The Rated Speed is the maximum speed with which you can expect your memory card to read and writes files stored on it. This speed is important whenever you take a picture, because it shows you how much time you have to wait until your camera is ready to take another one. This is specifically relevant when you take still photographs, especially if they’re high-resolution. It’s also useful whenever you save pictures in RAW formats if they’re extremely large.

Consequently, if you get a faster card, you’re going to be able to take pictures faster. The speed difference is highly noticeable when it comes to taking multi-shot burst pictures on high-megapixel DSLR cameras. If you usually take a lot of still photos, and you also want to be able to transfer them to and from your memory card really fast, then you’re going to want to purchase a card that has a higher speed.

The Speed Class is what you should expect a minimum speed to be under the worst possible circumstances. This feature is more relevant when you shoot videos, because that’s the moment when your DSLR has to save a continuous stream of data. The amount of such data that the device saves is dependent a lot on the format and resolution of the video. The minimum speed we mentioned above is exactly what you need to make sure your camera records the video evenly and that there are no dropped frames to worry about.

So, even if video shooting doesn’t require a high Rated Speed, it does require a minimum Speed Class which should be compatible with your device’s specifications. No matter the kind of device you have, you’re going to find the minimum class rating required of a SDHC and SDXC.

The UHS Speed Class was first used in 2009 by the SD Association. They designed it both for SDHC and SDXC cards, so if this is an important criterion for you when choosing your memory card, you should know that both types of cards that make the topic of today’s article have it. One thing you should pay attention to is the fact that UHS memory cards only work if you have an UHS host device. If your device can’t be used as an UHS host, then it will simply use the standard Speed Class rating, not the UHS one. We advise you to purchase UHS memory cards, since they record better, have the ability to capture HD videos, and preserve a great video quality.

samsung memory card specifications

Samsung EVO memory card with the UHS feature.

Summing It All Up

We hope today’s guide to SDHC vs SDXC memory cards has proven useful in helping you decide what kind of card is better for your DSLR. Basically, there aren’t many differences between the SDHC and the SDXC cards, especially in what concerns newer technology such as the UHS Speed Class rating. The main difference between the two is the fact that the SDXC has a larger capacity than the SDHC. However, this also means that it’s pricier.

Some photographers might want their memory card to be larger, but most people can do just fine with a smaller one, such as the SDHC. In conclusion, unless you’re a professional photographer (and even if you are one, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a memory card), a SDHC memory card is the best option for your camera.

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GIMP Photo Editor Overview: Is It Better than Photoshop?

GIMP photo editor is one of the most popular editing software out there. While it may never succeed in surpassing the almighty Adobe Photoshop, it’s one of the best alternatives you can find. And we’ll go as far as saying that it could very well be a better solution than Photoshop for some users.

And you may wonder why. First, because not everyone can afford spending thousands of dollar to get a copy of a post-processing program. Secondly, because you may find you do not need all the complex functions that other software have to offer.

And let’s get to the best part – the GIMP photo editor is FREE. That’s right. You get to edit your photographs without spending a dime. As an aspiring, amateur photographer, it may very well be all you need. Even professional photographer may find in GIMP the ideal photo editor.

GIMP photo editor logo

What is GIMP Photo Editor?

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GNU consists of a group of programmers that were willing to create an editing software for everyone – a completely free, open-sourced OS. The developers are affiliated with the Free Software Foundation.

GIMP offers many of the tools and capabilities of Adobe Photoshop. You will find plenty of filters, effects, and tools that are quite similar to those in Photoshop. However, you won’t be charged one penny to use the features.

It is typically used for things such as:

  • Retouching photographs.
  • Advanced photo manipulation.
  • Resizing graphics.
  • Creating logos.
  • Creating photo collages.
  • Producing graphical design elements.
  • Scanning pictures.
  • Creating animated GIFs.
  • Exporting graphics to a Web format.

gimp editor on windows 10 image retouching mountainscape

Why is GIMP Software Better than Photoshop

  1. Gimp is FREE.
  2. GIMP is fast and stable. If you’re running an old computer, you will notice that Photoshop will sometimes slow down up to the point of freezing. This is because Photoshop takes a lot of hardware resources while GIMP takes less hard drive.
  3. Free updates. In addition to being free to download and to install, GIMP updates are also free. Photoshop users sadly have to pay for any new changes.
  4. It handles any file format. If you want to use GIMP AND Photoshop, then it’s totally fine because the free software does not discriminate. It can handle .PSD files and many other file formats.
  5. GIMP is portable. GIMP is about twenty times smaller than Adobe Photoshop. But that’s not all. The editing program can be loaded on a USB flash drive, allowing image editing anytime and anywhere.

GIMP Tools

The GIMP editor is filled with useful features. And if you played around in Photoshop, you’ll be familiar with many of the tools. Here are the software’s main features:

  • Painting tools: brush, airbrush, pencil, cloning tool, and more.
  • Selection tools: ellipse, rectangle, bezier, fuzzy, free, intelligent scissors.
  • Transformation tools: rotate, flip, scale, shear.
  • Layers.
  • Channels.
  • Advanced scripting.
  • Plugins.

painting of a man done in GIMP using GIMP painting tools


Dive into the layers

Beginners may be scared of Layers, but will find they are one of the most useful features of the GIMP photo editor. This tool allows for non-destructive editing. Any move you make can be undone, and you can go back to the original picture anytime. Layers are transparent, and every edit you make on a specific layer will not tamper with the ones above or below the working layer.

Red eye removal

You can’t always take your DSLR out, and with a less performant camera, we are often left with the creepy “red eye” look. The good thing is, GIMP packs the red eye removal tool in the filter menu. Just select the area that needs editing, then go to Filters>Enhance, and select the tool.

Creating a watermark

Every photographer should protect their art and add a watermark to their pictures. Making one in GIMP is easy as pie. A watermark may either be a text or a logo. To create a text watermark, all you need to do is use the Text tool and draw a text bar in which you can type the text. Then tweak the Opacity slider until you get the ideal effect.

If you would rather use a logo, then open the logo and add it to the photograph as a layer. Resize and position it, then play with the Opacity slider once more to have it blend in nicely with the image.


Just as Photoshop, GIMP photo editor comes with a bundle of brush presets. But some editing needs call out for more personalized brushes. This is why users have the option of creating their own custom brushes. The Brush sidebar features a selection of sliders that can be used to create a new brush.

Creating a GIF

GIFs are so in right now. And did you know you can create on in the GIMP editor? And it’s quite easy.

First, you need to gather all the images you wish to incorporate in the GIF file. Then, you must open the first image as a layer and continue to add the following pictures also as layers. Once you have all the images stacked up, go to Filter>Animation and choose Playback. And you’re done!


GIMP plugin registry filter plugin

Plugins are extensions that add plenty of extra functionality to programs. Just as many others, GIMP also enjoys a wide range of extensions ranging from filters, animation tools, scripts, to a movie modifier. You can find the plugins on GIMP’s Plugin Registry web page.


The nice people at GIMP have thought of everything. Despite the fact that the GIMP photo editor is a free software, its functions are quite complex and may appear as overwhelming to beginners. This is why you can find tutorials that will boost your proficiency and skill level on the official GIMP website.

Saving files in GIMP editor

By default, the software will save all images as .XCF files, both on Windows and on Linux. But many would rather have the pictures saved in a .JPG or .PNG file format because it is ideal for the Web. So remember to go to the menu bar and choose File>Export as… and pick the desired format.


New Photography Contests 2016 and 2017

Photography contests are a great opportunity to both be recognized for your talent and to earn some money. What can be more fulfilling than being able to make some cash out of what you love doing? And although some of you may say that you only do art for yourself, let’s face it – it’s also a great way to boost your income.

After developing a portfolio and getting your work out there, photography contests are probably the second best way to promote yourself. You have no idea how many unknown, amateur photographers have managed to make a name for themselves by simply submitting a few pictures in the right places.

Photography contests man photographing landscape tripod

You have a lot of options when it comes to photo contests, but be careful. There are also a vast number of shady websites that ask for an entry fee but are not worth the effort nor the money. Pick your contests wisely and look for reliable photography competitions.

We’ve scouted the Web for some of the most appreciated online photography contests. Here’s what we came up with.

2016 and 2017 Photography Contests

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

If you’re into wildlife photography you will surely enjoy this fun photo contest. It’s all about funny animal photographs, as the name so clearly suggests. The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is free to enter.

To enter the competition, just visit www.comedywildlifephoto.com and complete the entry form. Upload your pictures prior the deadline, and hope for the best. Photographers can enter up to three images per category. There’s also a Video Clip Category, which might also be of interest for some of you. Up to two short clips can be submitted.

Deadline: 1st of October, 2016.

Prizes: The overall will receive a one-week safari trip to Kenya. All expenses are, of course, paid by the organizers. The winner will be flown to Africa together with their partner of choice (spouse, friend, partner, etc.). Category winners will each receive a trophy made by people with disabilities at the WonderWorkshop.

Monochrome Photography Awards

black and white picture of a shipwreck

Both amateur and professional photographers are welcomed to participate in the Monochrome Photography Awards competition. It’s all about black and white, so we hope you enjoy shooting monochrome pictures. We think it’s a great opportunity to make use of light and shadow to create stunning B&W photographs.

There are many categories to which you can submit your entry. This being said, everyone stands a chance to display what they’re most good at. Photographers can enter their work in the following sections: abstract, architecture, conceptual, fashion, fine art, landscape, nature, nude, people, photomanipulation, portrait, wildlife.

Deadline: 20th of November, 2016.

Prizes: The overall professional winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize and other benefits. The overall amateur winner will be given a $1,000 cash prize and other goodies.

Smithsonian Photo Contest

The Smithsonian Photo Contest has made quite a name for itself. It may not be as popular as the National Geographic Photo Contest, but it’s an exceptional launching point. All photographers who are 18 or older are free to enter the photo contest.

There are seven categories into which participants can “pour” their creations: Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Mobile, Altered Images, and Sustainable Travel. Bear in mind that if you want to submit an image which has already won other photo contests, you must reconsider it because it is forbidden. So pick a stunning image which has yet to shine on the Web or go out and start shooting new photographs as soon as possible.

Deadline: 30th of November, 2016

Prizes: The Grand Prize consists of $2,500, but there are also other eight smaller prizes.

Travel Photo Contest

Candi Sewu Buddhst temple Indonesia

If you’re both a traveler and a photographer, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Since travel and photography go hand-in-hand, we are positively sure you already have some breathtaking pictures in your portfolio that should make their way to the Travel Photo Contest. Participants from all over the world are invited to take their chance and send their best travel snapshot.

There are no categories, which means that photographers are not restricted in any way.

Deadline: 31st of December, 2016.

Prizes: The Grand Prize winner stands to receive $100, the second place winner will take home $25, while the third place only gets $10. It’s not much, but you never know who’s going to notice your talent.

Photo Pills Awards

If you want to go big, say hello to one of the most generous photography contests you can find. It’s free to enter (which we love), and submitting your entries is as easy as pie. However, it’s not exactly everybody’s cup of tea, and let’s see why.

The Photo Pills Awards is open to all photographers who have what it takes to shoot for the starts. Basically, you have three big categories: Night, Moon, and Sun. This means that photographers have to submit pictures of the Moon, Supermoons, moonrises, moonsets, solar eclipses, sunsets, sunrises, sun silhouettes, the Milky Way, star trails, meteor shower, and pretty much all other celestial subjects.

Deadline: 31st of December, 2016.

Prizes: The overall annual winner will be awarded a $3,000 cash prize. Furthermore, each month you stand the chance of winning $100 regardless of the category you entered.

Embracing Our Differences Art Competition

Embracing Our Differences is a photography contest created to celebrate diversity and individuality. And what better way to embrace our unique personas than through the voice of art? To become a part of the change, photographers are invited to submit a digital art file with a short (up to 200 words) Artist Statement.

Deadline: 10th of January, 2017.

Prizes: $3,000 worth of prizes will be awarded to three winners.

RHS Photographic Competition

RHS Photography Competition 2014 entry photography competition

The RHS Photographic Competition addresses both the young and the older participants. Encouraging individuals of all ages to go outdoors with their camera, it’s one of the few photography contests dedicated to plant lovers. You might begin to look at your garden differently once you see it as a potential subject for your pictures.

There are nine categories: Celebrating RHS Gardens, Welcoming Garden Wildlife, Pure Plants, Abstract and Details, Greening Grey Britain, Social Media, Young Photographer (age 11-17), Children’s Photographer (under 11), and Portfolio.

Deadline: 28th of February, 2017.

Prizes: the RHS Photographer of the Year will receive a whopping £5,000, while the RHS Young Photographer of the Year will be given £750 worth of Wex Photographic vouchers.


Circular Polarizer – When and How to Use a Polarizing Filter

Looking to buy a circular polarizer? Then we gather you’re a landscape photographer wanting to stock up on the essentials. Because you should know that a circular polarizer is one of the first filters a nature photographer buys. It will greatly improve the quality of the photographs, adding a vividness that will truly make the images pop.

circular polarizer sky saturation

So if you don’t have a polarizer filter, we recommend considering buying one. We’ll go through all the reasons why and how to use it.

What Is a Circular Polarizer?

A circular polarizer is a filter that in most cases is placed in front of the camera lens. They are used to:

  • Generate circularly polarized light.
  • Absorb or transfer the circularly polarized light clockwise and counter-clockwise.
  • Reduce oblique reflections.

In photography, this type of filter blocks the light that is reflected towards the lens. And you need to be able to control this because you can reduce the glare and the appearance of haze. It can make the colors in your picture more vibrant and it will boost the contrast for stunning imagery.

How to Use a Polarizing Filter

To make the best use of your circular polarizer, then your subject must be orientated at a 90-degree angle to where the sun is. One of the ways most photographers go about figuring this out is using their finger. Basically, point at the sun with your index finger and stick the thumb out while rotating the wrist. Keep your index finger always pointing at the sun. The areas where the thumb is pointing will be the part of your frame where the polarizer filter will have the maximal effect.

Now going to the action itself, here’s how it works. You’ll see that the circular polarizer features two rings. Place your fingers on the front ring and twist it. See what it does to the appearance of your frame. It should block certain light waves, keeping them from entering the camera lens. Your photograph will become reflection-free and the contrast will be significantly increased.

Remember that polarizers are not that useful in dull light, but when you take them out in bright light you should see the effect instantly. They only work at a 90-degree angle from the sun. If you take a picture at another angle you most likely won’t get polarization.

Another mistake that some photographers do is stacking two filters or shooting with the lens hood on. Use the circular polarizer on its own, and take off the lens hood. You should also shoot at a smaller aperture when using a polarizer. Otherwise, you will get a vignetting effect or light bands. Generally, the vignetting will most likely disappear when shooting at f/8 or smaller.

And another useful tip: don’t buy a cheaper one. They use aluminum rings which can damage your lens because of the way it sticks to them. They are also not multi-coated and can cause ghosting and flare.

Do You Need a Polarizer?

with and without a polarizing filter image comparison

AF SLR users should definitely take advantage of circular polarization. Many photographers will tell you that if they had to choose just one filter for their bag, then a polarizing filter would be the best pick. Because the way they work make them a universal tool, unlike other filters. And we’ll go through all the pros just below.

When to Use a Polarizer Filter?

When you want to remove reflections

This is what polarizing filters are best known for. We’re talking reflections coming from a non-metallic surface such as water. You are probably familiar with the frustration of wanting to shoot a highly reflective surface and not being able to get all the details inside the picture.

When you want to bring out the sky

A polarizing filter will darken the sky, making it more dramatic. It’s especially good when you have a cloudy sky because it will create a brilliant contrast between the clouds and the background.

When gearing your camera with a wide-angle lens, you can use the polarizer to have a part of the sky lit while the other darkened. Some photographer like the effect, so it’s worth considering giving it a try.

When shooting through glass

Portraits shot through glass have a unique feel about them, but the effect is sometimes too obvious. Or you may want to fully eliminate the reflection and fool the viewer’s eye. When you want to keep it more discreet, you can place a circular polarizer over your lens and give it a run. It will eliminate the reflections on the glass surface and your subject will appear sharper in the picture. If the window is clean enough, the viewers may not even notice that the frame was shot through glass.

When you need high contrast

polarizer increases contrastv

Highly contrasting images will always capture everyone’s eye better than others. Most photographers will open the file in an editing software and increase the contrast and the saturation there. However, you may not have to go through all that trouble if you use this filter. Polarizers are a great tool for increasing color saturation. And this is also due to the primary effect of the circular polarizer – reducing glare and reflection. Because once the reflections are gone, the color intensifies.

When you want to get rid of haze

When shooting distant subjects, especially landscapes and cityscapes, haze is a common issue. Luckily, the polarizer does its job in reducing the haze for clearer, crisper photographs.

The Disadvantages of Polarizing Filters

Although we highly recommend you purchase a circular polarizer for your kit, you should also be aware of some disadvantages. Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Polarizers are the most expensive kind of filters.
  • You always have to be careful to hit just the right angle for maximal effect.
  • Twisting the ring to get the frame just right can be time-consuming.
  • The filter must always be cleaned; otherwise, it can reduce the quality of the image.
  • It’s more difficult to use the viewfinder with this filter on.
  • Most often, stitched panoramic photos shot through a polarizer will disappoint.
  • It is not ideal for sunsets and rainbows.


Canon Pancake Lens – What Are Your Best Options

A tiny Canon pancake lens is a good way to keep your gear on the light and ultra-portable-side. You don’t have to switch to a mirrorless camera just because they are the smaller alternative to a DSLR.

DSLRs can also be fitted with exceptional pancakes. We’ve rounded up Canon’s two extremely thin lenses that will take your skills to a new level.

canon pancake lens 24mm and 50mm

What Is a Pancake Lens?

Why do they call them pancake lenses and why should be consider getting one? It’s not food – this much we know. Well, it all lies in the shape and weight of these flattened barrel-shaped lenses.

The most obvious description would be that this type of lenses is shorter than it is wide. This results in smaller and lighter lens than the standard ones that can get quite long and heavy. They are valued for their high-quality optics and low manufacturing costs that make them quite affordable.

Another characteristic is their fixed focal length. This means that pancake lenses do not offer zoom capabilities. This could be an impediment, indeed, but the fact is that we don’t always need a zoom. Photographers can rethink their composition and shoot extremely sharp images with these fun lenses.

Pancake lenses also provide fast apertures when compared to the standard kit lenses. This makes them perfect for capturing moving subjects or to shoot portraits with a lovely bokeh. Some of these lenses also possess close focusing capabilities, which allows for dramatic macro shots.

They enjoy a wide popularity, especially among mirrorless camera designs. However, pair them up with a DSLR, and you can make the camera as pocketable as it can get. Pancake lenses should be a traveler’s first choice, as you can pack lightly and still get those high-quality photographs you’re hoping for.

The history of these lenses dates back to the early 1900s when Zeiss came up with the famous Tessar lens design. The first Canon pancake lens was produced in 2012 and, chances are, you’ve heard some great things about the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM lens.

canon 40mm f2.8 pancake lens

EF 40mm f/2.8 STM – The First Canon Pancake Lens

The Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM is not much larger than a lens cap but it offers unbeatable optics. The less weighs around 4.6 ounces and is less than an inch deep. The build is of superior quality, coming in with a metal lens mount that will outlast any plastic mount. It is optimized for full-frame digital SLRs and it works with every EOS camera ever made.

Why go for a 40mm focal length? This figure is quite the novelty, as most prime lenses are 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, or 100mm. However, a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera might be too wide. Additionally, the 50mm might provide a little too long results. And that’s when the necessity for a 40mm comes in – the middle ground length that many are looking for.

It’s one of the first lenses to be equipped with an STM focusing motor – a faster and less noisy alternative to the conventional micro motors. The motor can continuously autofocus during both video recording or live-view photography.

Another thing worth mentioning in terms of focusing is that the minimum focusing distance of the Canon 40mm lens is less than 12 inches. This means that photographers can get very close to their subjects and still keep a sharp focus.

At maximum aperture, the sharpness it excellent. The resistance to chromatic aberrations is also very good and corner shading is inexistent at any aperture other than f/2.8. When it comes to distortion, you will find a slight amount of barrel distortion but will only be evident in the corners.

canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Let’s look at the specs:

  • Focal length – 40 mm
  • Format – FF, APS-C
  • Maximum aperture – f/2.8
  • Aperture blades – 7
  • Filters – 52 mm
  • Reproduction ratio – 0.18x
  • Stabilization – No
  • Focus – Lens AF motor
  • Internal AF – Yes
  • Full-Time MF – Yes
  • Tripod ring – No

Being priced around $200, it is well worth the money. The features that Canon has managed to offer in such a small package are quite impressive.

EF 24mm f/2.8 STM – The Latest Canon Pancake Lens

The Canon 24mm f/2.8 lens is even smaller than its full-frame 40mm sibling. Weighing in around four and a half ounces and being less than an inch deep, you can easily fit it in your pocket and carry it around with you anywhere. It has a durable metal mount and matte black plastic filter threads.

This new wide-angle pancake lens from Canon is designed for APS-C DSLR cameras. The Canon 24mm f/2.8 pancake lens is a quick performer when it comes to auto-focusing. It takes around 0.15 seconds for it to lock onto your subject. It uses Canon’s Stepping Motor Technology focusing system that allows for a more smooth and silent focus.

For its price range, the 24mm f/2.8 is unexpectedly sharp. A trace of corner softness is present when shooting at f/2.8 but stepping down to f/4 ensures total sharpness across the frame. The chromatic aberrations are well controlled, and you will most likely experience them as purple fringes along the edges.

When opening the aperture to f/2.8 there will be some shading in the corners and a mild barrel distortion, just as with any wide-angle lens. However, the latest APS-C bodies will automatically correct the light fall-off when shooting JPEGs, so it isn’t a too big of an issue.

Unlike the EF 40mm f/2.8 lens, this new Canon pancake lens can actually double up as a macro lens.  it delivers a 0.27x magnification at a minimum focusing distance of just over six inches.

canon 24mm f2.8 STM pancake lens

Here are a few notable specs:

  • Focal length – 24mm
  • Maximum aperture – f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture – f/22
  • Minimum focusing – 6.3 inches
  • Maximum magnification – 0.27x
  • Internal focusing – No
  • Stabilized – No
  • Blades – 7
  • Elements – 6
  • Groups – 5

Priced at around $150, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Canon 24mm pancake lens is great for just about anything. Every shot will be sharp and clear, and consider how much money you could save. It’s the ultimate travel lens for those who can’t afford to bring too much gear with them while wandering the world.


Panoramic Photography – How to Shoot Panoramas

Panoramic photography used to be a complex, time-consuming, and costly type of photography back in the film era. Now, in the digital age we’re living in, creating a panorama is as simple as buying a decent camera and downloading a specialized software. That is basically all the gear you need if you want to keep it simple. But we’ll show you how to shoot for more than just the ordinary.

What is Panoramic Photography?

seaview panoramic photography

Panoramic photography depicts a field of view significantly wider than what we would achieve by shooting just one exposure. Panoramas tell a complex story of the scene and make the viewer feel as if it was there. The term “panorama” has Greek origins, and it translates into “all sight”.

This type of photography uses techniques that stitch up a multitude of images from the same camera and of the same scene (usually a landscape) to form just one wide photograph that can either be horizontal or vertical.

Film photographers used to spend extended hours in the darkroom to put the images together by overlapping the exposures onto the photo paper. Now, anyone with a digital camera or a smartphone can easily create panoramic pictures thanks to the advances in software. Furthermore, it is now possible to stitch hundreds of high-resolution photographs to create “gigapixel” panoramas.

In our day and age, this kind of photography is extremely popular among either amateur photographers and travelers, but also among professional landscape and architectural photographers.

Types of Panoramic Photography

Inner-Cylinder Panorama

When taking an inner-cylinder panorama, the camera’s setting remains fixed while shooting. The final image is then formed by post-processing the pictures taken by turning the camera. The pictures must be placed inwards from end to end as to form a cylinder, and this is why we call this an “inner-cylinder” panorama.

Outer-Cylinder Panorama

In the case of the outer-cylinder panorama, the subject stays fixed and pictures of the whole circle around the subject are taken. When processing the photographs, the images are also placed end-to-end but this time, they should be put outwards. This way, you get an “outer-cylinder” panorama.

Inner-Sphere Panorama

The easiest way to shoot inner-sphere panoramas is to use a fish-eye lens and then stitch the photographs together in an editing program.

Outer-Sphere Panorama

Equirectangular projection sphere panorama

As the name suggest, the subject is similar in shape to a sphere. When shooting this type of panorama, the camera should be rotated around the subject. Then, the photographs have to be put together to form a sphere with the images placed outwards.

Planar Panorama

A planar panorama is characterized by the representation of less than half of the full scene. As a rule, this type of panorama must have a less than 180-degrees field of view.

Equipment – What to Bring with You

mount elbrus panorama

Camera. You will, of course, need a decent camera to get work done. Generally, speaking any type of digital camera should do, even a smartphone. However, it is ideal you shoot with a DSLR in full Manual mode.

Lens. If you have a DSLR, any wide lens should do perfectly when shooting panoramas.

Tripod. You also need a sturdy tripod to keep your subject in place.

Shutter release cable. A shutter release will prevent camera shake and increase the picture’s sharpness. Having both tripod and shutter release will ensure the minimum blur possible.

Tips on Taking Panoramic Photographs

  1. Put your camera on Panoramic mode. Almost any digital camera, be it a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, has a Panoramic mode. It prevents the camera from changing the exposure settings between the shots which will ease the process of stitching the photographs.
  2. Choose the subject wisely. Not everything is meant to be shoot for the sole purpose of creating a panorama. As a rule of the thumb, try to take pictures of subjects that don’t move. While you may enjoy the hustle and bustle of a big city, putting together the images of moving cars and people will be a pain. The final picture will look nothing more than a kid’s play if there’s too much movement going on.

It is not surprising why most photographers prefer to go outside the cities and shoot nature scenes. Landscape photography goes hand in hand with panoramas.

Panorama Lake District

  1. Check the weather. As previously discussed, movement is bound to ruin your panorama. When doing panoramic photography, you must also avoid shooting in area where the wind blows in various directions. The wind will disrupt the grass, tree branches, and other elements in your picture, and when you finally stitch them together, it might result in a not so visually pleasing image.
  2. Shoot vertical panoramas. We usually shoot horizontal panoramas because that’s what we mostly see and are accustomed to. However, vertical panoramas should not be neglected, as they’re the spice to this kind of photography. Don’t worry about being harder because you must follow the same principles as with the horizontal shots.

Very tall buildings are a good subject to get started on, and then you can get moving and shoot waterfalls, mountain ranges, or other subjects in a more natural environment.

Stitching Photographs

Now that you have taken a multitude of shots, it is time you place them all together to form a single image. This is done by using editing software that can handle panoramas.

Every so often, we turn to the familiar Adobe Photoshop.

Open up Photoshop and go to File>Automate>Photomerge. Then, click Browse and select your photographs. Check the “Blend Images Together” and “Geometric Distortion Correction” boxed and click OK. This will get the merging process going and your panorama will be ready in just seconds.

If using Lightroom to manage your photographs, you need to select all your pictures, then click right and go to Edit In>Merge to Panorama in Photoshop.

Additionally, you can use PTGui. This is a specialized software developed specially to meet the needs of panoramic photographers. You get more stitching options than with Photoshop, and it supports all lenses. The program can create spherical, gigapixel, or HDR panoramas, as well as Tiny Planet photographs.

Whatever software you choose to work with, the end result will be depended on the quality of the shots you take. This is where you most need to invest time and effort in order to put together a stunning panorama.