Shoot now, AfterShot later

Hi, my name is Joao Bettencourt and I am a semi tech geek who does Quality Assurance for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.

I got involved with photography many, many moons ago as a way to meet girls (yep, that worked very well…). My first camera was a beaming AGFA 720c, less than one megapixel, which I recently found in the hands of my 2 year old nephew. I then went from that, through another AGFA, 2 Sonys, both digital, one Canon, and finally my second Canon, a 5D Mk II, aka “my other wife”. We’ve been inseparable ever since. I take her with me everywhere I go.

Soon enough it became a matter of “Hey, you have a camera, can you take a picture of…?” And all of a sudden I was being invited to all kinds of events; me, myself and the other wife. There was this one time that I was invited to a baptism that didn’t start until I got there 30 minutes late. And there I was thinking I was a guest. That’s when the light bulb turned on and my pupils went $$.

A couple of weddings later, I gained experience and the confidence to say that I can do this. Photography is now my passion, hobby, cardio workout, excuse not to do my workout, and I am proud to say that it is becoming a second career, which I enjoy like there’s no tomorrow. Not to mention the fact that it’s paying for my new lens and if everything goes well, a cruise with my family next year.

If you have a second career, you probably understand the challenges one faces with time management. Juggling a full time job, a wife, a son and house chores, is no joke, so for me, I will use every tool and trick to take full advantage of the little time I have.

Meet AfterShot Pro, a tool to fix most common imperfections in my photos.

Let me start by explaining my approach to a shot:

“Do as much as possible when taking the picture”:

  • Composition – check
  • White balance – check
  • ISO, aperture, shutter – check, check, check

Basically, set it up as best as possible from the beginning, taking a handful of shots to ensure the best results. Always try to do as much then, in order to do less later.

When you can’t do everything up front, AfterShot Pro comes in very handy post processing. From crop, exposure and saturation, to white balance, layers and noise reduction, the quicker I am done the sooner I can get back and shoot a bit more.

My latest gigs included a spring wedding, a bachelorette party (yes, I had to deal with a group of some 10 gracious and well behaved ladies for the whole night), a new born photo shoot, and a family portrait.

Speaking of the spring wedding, the bride and groom were travelling to Argentina the following Wednesday, 4 days after the wedding. Thanks to AfterShot Pro, I was able to retouch and process a good 600 photos in time for them to bring a DVD full of pictures on the trip.

Like most photographers, I try to use the best hardware and software whenever possible. I was a LightRoom user for 3 years, and one day I was asked to spend 2 or 3 hours evaluating and comparing a RAW workflow application that I was not familiar with. That was the last time I opened Light Room.

Are you spending too much of your precious time in post processing with Light Room or Aperture? Take the AfterShot Pro Challenge, and tell me about your experience.

About Joao Bettencourt

I am a Quality Assurance specialist working on CorelDRAW, making sure that vector and bitmap print alike. I’m also an avid photographer who enjoys capturing everything that moves but especially what does not. For me, photography has been an 8 year journey with no intention of stopping.
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8 Responses to Shoot now, AfterShot later

  1. Gary Pavlosky says:

    Hi,
    I liked your post. I also like photograpy and amvery limited on time, 5 kids, one special needs, fulltime job etc. I have a canon, use paint shop pro and am self taught(frustrating to want to do something and takes long time to find out how to do it). I have a bit more time and enjoying it. My goal is to shoot pictures and get into selling pictures, canvas prints etc for both personal and office art. My down fall is getting a web site and learing how to edit more(never worked with Raw).
    You have some nice pictures, and it was a good article. want to talk more or offer advice greatly appreciated! bpavlo@aol.com. Best of luck in future.
    Gary

    • Joao Bettencourt says:

      Hi Gary,
      Thank you for your comment. I feel your pain, everything I have learned in photography has also been self-taught.
      It takes time to find the right process and the right tools to make that picture reflect your vision of it. YouTube is actually a good place to start. You can find short and targeted videos on most types of editing, perfect when you only have a few minutes. Check out

      RAW can be a life changing tool in your process. Kind of like having a 2nd take at your image (how often is that possible). I find that when conditions are not perfect I can re-think my shot and “re-take it” completely changing the outcome.

      I hope this works please let me know if you need more of anything else…

      Regards,
      Joao

  2. Hello,

    I am a Corel user for a few years; I have used Video Studio for an extensive period of time for my clients. Nowadays after taking many pictures for two years with my FF DSLR withiot ever touching toa single pixel of them, I am considering to bring this hobby to commercial level. For that reason I am giving a try for AfterShot Pro, I am on my trial period and I really love the speed and the ability to skip importing (this definitely saves the headache). Quality of the software is well assured. Thank you.

    But, before investing in such software I wonder if it shall ever have multi-monitor-supporting user interface? I would love the have the preview of the picture on one large screen (horizontal or vertical) and all the settings, library and adjustment stuff on the other. Do not get me wrong, I do not mean that the current layout is not neat. But dual FullHD IPS panels are not that expensive to get and you just wish your software can utilize them both in a logical manner.

    I shall go buy AfterShot Pro soon, it is inevitable after seeing the performance. But, wishes, wishes, wishes… You know. :)

    Reagards.

  3. Charlene says:

    I love Aftershot Pro. Using on a Mac with Snow Leopard. Want to know if it will be updated so it is compatible with Mountain Lion that will be out this Fall.

  4. I want to have Corel AfterShot for canon 1dx with the quality ‘of Bibble 5.2 thanks.

  5. Ron Yorko says:

    It’s a shame that development and support for ASP has stalled. There are many upset users that aren’t happy that Corel has so severely dropped the ball on this potentially great program. The last update on 12/20/2012 did include some newer camera support, but the gpu acceleration feature causes crashes with some tools and other bugs weren’t fixed. Issues for some with update dropping Noise Ninja support. Program is a good alternative to Lightroom as you don’t have to use the catalog system. I hope Corel will devote the resources to keep this program on track.

  6. I purchased Aftershot Pro a few months ago in lieu of the more expensive Adobe Lightroom. While I love how the program works (even making use of the Quadro 770 card in my laptop to speed things up quite a bit), I find the support very much lacking. In the few updates I have gotten, they were all just to support new cameras as far as I can tell. None added new feature, speed, or stability. However the latest update to come out really messed things up for me. It now says my registration isn’t valid! I then signed into my account, and my registered software no longer shows up, so I can’t even collect the support token (that I never got when I registered). I can’t register it again, since now the key isn’t valid(?)!. I can’t talk to support about this as they want $20 just to start a conversation with me. For now I’ve rolled back to the latest version that worked with my registration, and am saving up to get Lightroom 5, unless somebody from Corel would like to reach out to me and change my mind on that front.

    • Michaela Schreiter says:

      Hi Matt,
      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Our Customer Support team has started a case for you. Someone will be in touch shortly.
      Thank you,
      Michaela

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