If you're reading this blog, chances are that you are into photography, postprocessing or probably even both. Well, I've got some interesting news for you! There's a new photography bundle out, The Big Deal. I'll immediately cut to the chase: this bundle, which is only available until July 4th, contains photography software, video tutorials, eBooks, Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions. The combined value of all the goodies in the bundle is over $3.000, yet it's priced at $99... and that's really a steal!
Generally, there's a lot of 'filler' content in these bundles: stuff that you even would not want to get for free, let alone pay for it. But the Big Deal is much more about 'killer content' than it is about 'filler content'.
Let's have a look at what's inside. I won't list everything - there's a full list available over here - just my personal highlights.
Although there's a lot more software in The Big Deal, I've limited myself to my personal top-3:
1. Photo Mechanic 5
More and more high-volume photographers who are using Lightroom, are starting to use Photo Mechanic as a front-end to Lightroom. Instead of waiting forever for Lightroom to build 1:1 previews, they use Photo Mechanic for the culling (selection) of the best images and then import only the selected ones into Lightroom. Ratings and Color Labels applied in Photo Mechanic can be read by Lightroom.
If you want to speed up your Lightroom workflow, Photo Mechanic is the way to go. In fact, Photo Mechanic only has one disadvantage: at $150, it's more expensive than Lightroom itself. If you get The Big Deal, it's included in the $99 bundle. For some of you, this should be enough to go for the 'Buy Now' button, so I've included one below, just for your convenience :-) By the way, if you want to see a video on how I use Lightroom and Photo Mechanic together and how it could speed up your workflow, check out this recent blog post of mine.
2. Tonality by Macphun
After Silver Efex Pro, Tonality by Macphun is probably the best Black & White software out there. It's got tonnes of presets and what I especially like is that it has built-in layer capabilities: this allows you for example to blend what one preset does to the sky and what another preset does to the foreground
Normally, it's about $60, now it's included in The Big Deal.
3. Clarity by Topaz Labs
If you like the Clarity slider in Lightroom, you'll love Clarity by Topaz Labs: it's like a whole plug-in dedicated to creative sharpening effects. It's one of the favorite plug-ins of master retoucher and compositer Glyn Dewis, whose videos are also included in the bundle!
Clarity is normally around $50, now it's included in The Big Deal.
There is a plethora of video tutorials included in The Big Deal. Below is my personal top-3. Just as with the software, some of these tutorials cost more if you buy them separately than if you get them in the bundle.
1. Language of Light, Volume 1 by Joe McNally
If you want to learn about off-camera flash, no better source than Joe McNally. I've bought this tutorial myself a couple of years ago and it's worth every penny of its $120 price tag. So this is another example of a tutorial that by itself costs more than the whole bundle itself!
2. Retouching and Compositing Video Bundle by Glyn Dewis
If you're into compositing, British guru Glyn Dewis is your man. I own his book on compositing and it's excellent. I've also seen him live on a couple of occasions and the man knows his Photoshop stuff and he's witty to boot. This bundle contains several of training and again, when purchased separately, would cost more than the whole Big Deal Bundle.
3. Photoshop Training with Dave Cross
Dave Cross is another one of those Photoshop giants. He's got three courses in The Big Deal: one on working non-destructively, one on selections, channels and masks and one on automating Photoshop.
This is just my personal top-3, but there's also Lightroom training by RC Concepcion, a video tutorial on how to use Photoshop for video editing and lots more. Again, you can see the whole list here.
Presets and actions
Finally, there's a bunch of Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions in the bundle as well, like Lighroom guru Jared Platt's comprehensive preset pack, by itself a $115 value.
Conclusion. Is it worth it?
There's lots more interesting stuff than what I've listed in this post but ultimately, you're the only one who can decide on whether this bundle is worth it or not. What I generally do in cases like this, is have a look at the entire list (scroll down a bit in this link), and check what stuff is in there that I'm really interested in. In this particular case, that would be well over $1.000. So the way I look at it is I get a 90 percent discount on the stuff that really interests me, and I get all the other stuff thrown in for free, in which there will probably be some hidden gems, too!
But that's just me and my rational approach. You could just go and say '$3.000 worth of photo stuff for $99?' That's a no-brainer :-)
In the interest of full disclosure: the above links are affiliate links. If you purchase the Big Deal through the links in this blog post, MoreThanWords receives a commission that is paid for by the seller. In other words, it does not cost you anything extra and it helps me pay the bills of running this site and all the free content and videos that are on it. Rest assured that I don't simply advise this bundle because I'm an affiliate. In fact, I have the opportunity to promote bundles like this one quite regularly, but there's a lot of chaff amongst the wheat. So, I only promote the ones that I think are interesting, like this one. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.