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Capturing the New Year!

2014-12-17 17:39:35 GMT

For many people a large part of ringing in the New Year includes checking out the community fireworks.

Here are 5 things to try while you’re out celebrating the start of a New Year:

Keep your camera still. This is the number 1 rule to capturing a great firework display! The best practice would be to use a tripod and a remote release. Touching your camera adds shake and will blur your image. If you don’t have a remote release the self timer will work as well.

Aperture. A common misconception with photographing fireworks is that you need a fast lens to get them! But this is not true, fireworks emite a lot of bright light. Apertures in the mid to small range tend to work best, around f/8 and f/16.

Shutter Speed. This is equally as important as aperture, if not more! To get the full effect you’ll want to use a slow shutter speed. Often photographers choose to use the Bulb mode, allowing them to control the shutter manually (best to use with a remote release). Press the shutter as the firework is launching and hold it down until the blast has faded away, typically a few seconds.

No Flash! The flash works best to light the few feet in front of you. This isn’t the most beneficial when trying to capture fireworks! So, turn off your flash and set your camera to Manual mode. Adjust the aperture and ISO and shoot away. If you notice your images are looking a little dim, vary your shutter speed without changing the aperture.

Focal Length. It’s hard to focus your camera at the right part of the sky and at the right time, especially when there is so much going on around you. Try using a wider focal length and zoom in for a few shots. There is always the opportunity to crop your images during post production to create the tight bright impact you are hoping for.

Vertical or Horizontal? Portrait or landscape? Both work for firework photography, just depends what style you are going for. If you want to have the horizon in the image or a cityscape etc. you’re best to be horizontal. Vertical is always fun too because fireworks naturally have the upward motion and you can really focus on the firework itself.

Photo courtesy of

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ACD Systems Video

Want to know more about layers? Here is a quick tutorial!

The first digital asset management software with layers, ACDSee Ultimate 8 is able to answer an unparalleled number of creative graphic and image composition needs.


ACD Systems Announces First All-in-One Digital Asset Manager and Layered Editor

2014-12-11 17:30:11 GMT

ACDSee Ultimate 8 Eliminates the Need to Use Multiple Image Editing Products to Achieve Professional Results

Seattle, Wash. and Victoria, Canada – December 11, 2014— ACD Systems International Inc., today announced the first all-in-one digital asset manager and layered editor, ACDSee Ultimate 8. This product is the first to combine powerful Digital Asset Management (DAM) software with a layered editor, providing photographers and graphic designers with professional photo manipulation capabilities. Until today, photographers would have to run multiple, expensive applications to edit and achieve professional results. Now, professionals and sophisticated amateurs can rely on one product for an unparalleled number of creative graphic and image composition needs.

ACDSee Ultimate 8 combines layers, GPU-accelerated image processing and support for 32-bit and 64-bit transparency with all of the photo adjustment and management capabilities available in ACDSee Pro 8 and ACDSee 18 products. These advanced capabilities give users more control over the images they manipulate by being able to merge photos together, add text, apply effects and edit each layer individually.

“As the photography industry continues to shift, we’ve noticed that there’s a void for an easy to use photo editor and management solution with advanced capabilities,” said Doug Vanderkerkhove, Founder and CEO of ACD Systems. “We wanted to address that need and that’s why we developed ACDSee Ultimate 8. For the first time our customers have the intuitive photo editing and management support they’ve always trusted from ACD Systems, combined with the advanced functionality of layers. Everybody from sophisticated amateur photographers to advanced graphic designers can utilize ACDSee Ultimate 8 and achieve spectacular results.”

“I switched to the ACDSee Pro product from a competitive product years ago and it has become my ‘go-to’ finishing tool for both my raw and jpg photos,” said Glen Barrington, photographer and ACDSee customer. “I am now using ACDSee Ultimate because with the addition of the new layers toolset, my editing possibilities expand considerably. I no longer have to use a separate standalone bit mapped editor for complex editing tasks, and I can merge images, apply special effects, and more, without leaving the familiar productive environment I prefer.”

ACDSee Ultimate 8 offers the following capabilities:
  • Create, reorder, merge and manipulate layers individually
  • Manipulate individual parts of an image without affecting another area for more precise editing
  • Apply Pixel Targeting to layers
  • Add new images as layers to create collages and image compostions
  • Support for transparency (32-bit and 34-bit images)

Availability and Pricing
ACDSee Ultimate 8 is available for $149.99. Additional information, including full system requirements can be found online at

About ACD Systems
Founded in Texas in 1993 by imaging visionary Doug Vandekerkhove, ACD Systems is one of the largest and most respected independent digital editing and management companies in the world. Doug foresaw the importance of the convergence of analog and digital (print, photos, scans, video and metadata). The company’s products include ACDSee, and CANVAS X, which helps Fortune 500 companies enhance, manage and disseminate their valuable digital assets. Customers include General Motors, Caterpillar, Boeing, The New York City Fire Department, NASA, CNN and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Today ACD Systems holds six patents and millions of ACDSee and CANVAS X products are currently in use throughout the world.

Canvas, Canvas logo, Canvas X and Canvas X logo are trademarks of Canvas X Software, Inc. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. ACD, ACD Systems are trademarks of ACD Systems International Inc. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions.


2014-11-26 18:33:05 GMT

Canvas X Pro 16 Features Upgraded Core Engine and Improved Performance for Technical Illustrators

Seattle, Washington and Victoria, B.C. – November 25, 2014 ACD Systems today released a powerful version of its popular Canvas illustration product that supports 64-bit technology and is tuned for improved performance. Canvas X Pro 16 allows a wide range of professionals—from graphics designers to engineers– to analyze, enhance and share illustrations with ease and precision. The upgraded technology allows for more memory, faster performance and is DPI-aware to take advantage of today’s most advanced hardware. The result is drastically increased document speed and the best graphics available on the market. Canvas X Pro 16 also includes a new modernized interface for an enriched user experience.

Canvas X Pro 16’s unique and integrated design environment makes it possible for users to work with and combine all graphical elements and apply high-end effects in a single document. Technical illustrators can now open and manipulate documents with over one million objects in seconds vs. minutes. Common operations are improved for a more streamlined experience.

“Canvas has enjoyed a broad and loyal following for over 20 years based on our ability to deliver the highest quality illustration capabilities,” said Doug Vandekerkhove, President of ACD Systems. ”Our millions of users continue to be our biggest advocates. Now anyone can take advantage of the mix of incredible power combined with an easy to use, clean interface. Whether you’re producing a poster, website, a floor plan or the inside of a Boeing aircraft, we offer any feature you need, yet you don’t have to spend a lot of time designing and sharing with others.”

Canvas X Pro 16 is the most complete high-end technical illustration tool available. It contains a large assortment of technical drawing tools, PDF editing and publishing, support for technical file formats, markup/ annotation of technical documents and the ability to add transparency and filter effects to any type of object. Users can create and edit various types of graphical elements in a single application rather than having to purchase and switch between multiple products, saving time and money. Canvas is the only product that offers a high level of edit-ability to all types of graphical elements.

Canvas X Pro 16 key features include:
  • PDF editing—Canvas Pro allows for round trip editing of PDF files and is easier to use than existing solutions such as Acrobat.
  • Support for numerous advanced file formats—MS Office, Visio, PDF, AutoCad, DXF, CGM, TIFF, JPG, etc.
  • High precision drawing—Canvas users can create very small or very large documents with a high level of accuracy.
  • Makeup/ annotation of technical documents—It’s easy to import various file formats and markup, annotate and add comments.
  • Greatest number and quality of edit capabilities - The only application that allows a high level of edit-ability to all types of graphical elements in one product, saving on time and cost.
  • Lens feature—Allows the creation of a lens that can magnify or perform various types of filters on a specified region of a document. For example, in a technical illustration you can easily create a lens to magnify and colorize a specific region of your illustration.
  • Extensive special effects – The ability to add transparency and filter effects to any type of object.

Canvas X Pro 16 is available now for $599 MSRP at Upgrades are available for $299.


Your Favorite Photo App Now Available on iPhone

2014-11-20 18:23:08 GMT

Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo editor, and a convenient collage maker with all the tools you need for a great mobile photography experience.

Take better pictures with a better camera
Innovative camera for taking better pictures. Specialized shooting modes, video capture, manual controls for exposure/focus/white balance, real-time filters and adjustments, multiple flash modes, separate exposure and focus points, 6x digital zoom, a horizon level, and more.

Perfect your photos with a powerful photo editor
Powerful photo editor for perfecting your photos. Apply adjustments and effects. Add light leaks. Adjust shadows, exposure, contrast, white balance, saturation, vibrance, sharpening, and more. Crop, rotate, mirror, or straighten your photos. Non-destructive editing.

Share your memories with a convenient collage maker
Convenient collage maker for sharing your memories. Quickly combine multiple photos into a single image for easy sharing. Choose from over 100 layouts. Stitch photos together into horizontal or vertical strips.

Learn more about each of the ACDSee for iPhone app features here.