Creative Tools for Ministry: Theotek Podcast #103

If you work on a website for your church or ministry or if you create images, videos or art for worship, then this podcast is for you. We talked about the creative tools that we use and what we think of Adobe’s recent update to their Creative Cloud suite. Plus watch the podcast to find out about alternatives if you don’t like the subscription model of paying for your creative apps.

If you’re interested in the new tools from Adobe, check out their website to learn more. We talked mainly about photography programs Lightroom and Photoshop since that’s what we use most. But the other apps got some love and they added a new subscription storage option.

Alternatives to Adobe Creative Tools for Ministry

luminar 2018

MacPhun does a great job with some of their new apps. They now offers something called Luminar 2018 and it works on both Mac and Windows. Luminar does Raw photo file editing. It has the advanced features of Photoshop and Lightroom built into Luminar. Pre-order for $60 or upgrade from $40. And for HDR tools check out MacPhun’s Aurora package. These are both great creative tools for ministry.

For iPad and Mac users Pixelmator does a nice job. They also will offer Pixelmator Pro which give you a single window interface and it does what it does really fast. It’s not as good at text and Lightroom may do a better job with some adjustments, but the app on iPad and on Mac is a great option.

apple final cut pro
Apple Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro from Apple is an expensive alternative. It’s a one time only fee, but the price is $300. However, that’s 6 months of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. It only runs on a Mac.

lumafusion for ipad
LumaFusion brings professional editing to the iPad and iPhone.

LumaFusion on iPad gives the user a great user interface, a powerful video editor and lets you edit with a finger. That gives me precision editing that I can’t get with my mouse. It includes a multi-track editing interface. You can have 3 tracks for video, audio and images. Then add 3 more audio tracks for things like voice overs or music.

Most people think of Camtasia as a screen recorder. It is, but it also allows for simple video editing with simple titles and call-outs. It’s great for creating videos of software.

On the audio editing side of things Adobe offers Adobe Audition. However, Ferrite is in iOS audio editor that we can use for some great audio projects.

For Windows and Mac, use the free and open source program called Audacity. It’s powerful and simple at the same time. The supporting community makes a lot of plug-ins.

On the Mac there’s Sound Studio by Felt Tip Software. It’s an excellent option for sound creative tools users.

Those who need to create websites might user Dreamweaver form Adobe. However, we mentioned a few alternatives for web design.

  • WordPress is a content management system and a web host, although you can self host using the files from WordPress.org.
  • Rapid Weaver for Mac is the most like Dreamweaver. It’s a piece of software on your Mac that creates websites.
  • Squarespace is like WordPress because it’s a content management system. You’ll have to use their servers as your host and it costs a little.

Our Favorite Things

We’ve got a few more recommendations. We always offer “Our Favorite Things” which are recommendations from the Theotek team. Here’s the list of Our Favorite Things.

Antoine visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. Here’s their own description of the museum.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

bbedit

People who need a great text editor for Mac will love BBedit. Mark Allison recommends it for text editing and for programming.

Rick didn’t recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 he got to test out Accordance Bible on Android because he hates the limitations of Android tablets and Samsung’s launcher. Samsung puts an overlay on top of Android called TouchWiz on his tablet and now it’s called Samsung Experience on their latest phones. Since he does a lot of the training for Accordance, he wanted to share his screen to record help videos for their new Accordance Android app. Samsung doesn’t let you connect an HDMI adapter like other devices. So he found a tool called AirServer Connect in the Google Play Store that lets him share the screen to Reflector. It tricks Reflector into thinking the Android device is an iPad or iPhone. Reflector tricks the device into thinking your computer’s an Apple TV. There’s also a version for iOS and on the Amazon App Store.

Wes decided to “waste time” with his pic. He chose the Stranger Things video game based on the hit Netflix Original series that recently released in season two. It’s a fun time waster on Android and iOS.

kindle fire 10

My pick this week was the new Kindle Fire. I got the 10-inch version, but they offer an 7 and 8 inch mode. It’s faster than the earlier version and seriously fun. You can also install the Google Play Store with some tricks found here. The 10-inch starts at $150 but you can get the 7-inch for only $50 and the 8-inch for $80. They have a durable 7-inch version for kids that starts at $100 and comes with a 2-year warranty that lets you replace it even if the kid drops and breaks the screen. I really love mine.

A Thankful Tech Heart: Theotek Podcast #047

What technology are you thankful for this year. We did our favorite tech of the year using thanksgiving as our theme since we recorded the podcast the day after Thanksgiving.

The Tech we're thankful for this year!
The Tech we’re thankful for this year!

We welcomed my son Michael Purcell to the Theotek team for this week’s podcast. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelJ_Purcel.

Here’s our list of our favorite tech for 2015 that we’re thankful for.

google translate for android
Google Translate helps Wes communicate with the Brazilian pastor he works with.

Wes shared Google Translate, which takes voice input from someone and lets him easily translate it to English. He talks to the pastor of an ethnic congregation that’s now part of his church using the app. Find it for iOS and Android.

wifi bible
Antoine likes Wi-Fi Bible which serves up the Bible over Wi-Fi in many formats.

Antoine talked about Wi-Fi Bible, which he shared a few podcasts ago when he returned from Australia.

lg v10 phone
Michael likes his new phone, the LG V10.

Michael Purcell just got the new LG V10. He claimed the battery was bigger. It’s not, but it seems to last longer for him. It’s a rugged phone with a great camera and nice fingerprint reader on the back. The headline about this phone is the second screen where he stores app shortcuts, his name and notifications.

ipad pro apple pencil

My first favorite tool is the iPad Pro. I wrote about how it changed the way I work over at GottaBeMobile.

Next Wes talked about his love for Adobe Creative Cloud’s photo plan, which gives users access to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for just $10/month. It’s a great deal and he loves using it. It’s awesome for editing photos and organizing them as well in Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile.

See my post about editing photos on the iPad Pro.

verse3 ipad app

A few weeks ago we talked about a new Bible app. Antoine’s a real fan of this little app called Verse3 for iOS. We talked to the developer recently.

Michael's thankful for ChromeOS and really wants a Chromebook Pixel.
Michael’s thankful for ChromeOS and really wants a Chromebook Pixel.

Michael’s second pick was not as much a thing he’s thankful for, but one he’s longing for. He loves ChromeOS and wants a Google Chromebook Pixel. He adjusted his pick to say he’s thankful for ChromeOS, but still really wants one of these. He’s not going get it from me because it’s ridiculously priced at $999 or more.

For Antoine’s second pick he chose FaceTime. That’s Apple’s video chat technology and he enjoys using it to communicate with family.

Black Friday Stroll

Wes’s last pick is his DSLR camera. His form of visual art comes from his Nikon D7000. Check out one of his gallaries at Flickr, “A Black Friday Stroll”.

surface pro 4 type cover
The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover includes a fingerprint in the more expensive version.

The Surface Pro 3 is a great tablet that I love. When Microsoft released the Surface Pro 4 I didn’t think it had enough to warrant an upgrade. I may do some hand-me-down with the 3 and get the 4 next year. Until then, I grabbed the new accessories. The Surface Pen generation 4 and the Surface Type Cover with the fingerprint reader. I love the Pen’s tips which give you a different writing experience. The keyboard is a better keyboard and the fingerprint reader is a nice addition.

The last pick came from Michael. He hopes to go into ministry with the deaf. So he chose an app that helps you communicate with the deaf even if you don’t know sign. The Deaf Bible app includes videos showing someone signing each verse of the Bible. Watch the same above.