Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cool Plug-in Can Expand Your Photographic Horizons

Nik Software's Color Efex Pro Midnight Filter (Right)

Plug-ins expand the capabilities of Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc. They also expand your creative horizons. 

Here are my favorite plug-ins, favorite plug-in images, and favorite plug-in tips.

Plug-ins are relatively inexpensive - and you can even save a few bucks by using my special code below.

Photmatix combined with Topaz Adjust
The image above was created with Photomatix - with a touch of Topaz Adjust. You can save 15% when you order Photomatix by using this code: ricksammon. 

Photomatix tip: Adjust the White Point and Black Point sliders first. If your highlights are washed out with even with the White Point slider moved all the way to the left, you missed capturing the entire dynamic range of the scene with your original HDR sequence.
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HDR Efex Pro
Nik HDR Efex Pro combined with Topaz Adjust
Nik's HDR Efex Pro
My latest, favorite plug-in: Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro. Save 15% if you use this code: RSAMMON upon check-out on the Nik web site. Actually, you can save 15% on all Nik plug-ins - including Color Efex Pro! Just use the same code. I created the two images above with HDR Efex Pro – and then used a touch of Topaz Adjust on my Cuba car image.

HDR Efex Pro tip: Use the Control Points and Curves to fine-tune your image – and to save time touching up your images in Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
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Topaz Adjust
Topaz Adjust 

Topaz Adjust is just too cool. Above I used the Spicify Effect. Below I used the same effect, but greatly reduced the noise. Click here to order Topaz Adjust. Hey, save a bundle when you order a Topaz bundle.

Topaz Adjust tip:  Press the Reset tab each time you work on an image - unless you want your previous effect applied to your current image.

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Topaz InFocus
Topaz InFocus
Topaz InFocus (Before and After)
Topaz InFocus is a relatively new plug-in from Topaz Labs. Click here to read about InFocus.

InFocus tip: Don't over-sharpen your images. The more you sharpen, the more noise you'll get in your images.
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Original shot.
Check this out. Want to turn a picture like the one above into a picture like the one below?

It's fast and easy with Alien Skin's Bokeh 2. You can save 15% when you order any AlienSkin plug-in by using this code upon checkout: RSA0901.

Bokeh tip: Spend the time in Photoshop making a VERY careful selection.

 Aline Skin makes more cool plug-ins. Click here for info.

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Nik Silver Efex Pro

Nik Silver Efex Pro
Hands down, the coolest way to create a black and white digital images is with Nik Silver Efex Pro. Save 15% off if you use this code: RSAMMON upon check-out on the Nik web site.

Silver Efex Pro tip: Experiment with the different color filters to see how they can enhance the tones in your images.

For more on HDR photography, see my HDR book!

1 comment:

Shirokumajapan said...

I agree that silver efexs pro is worth the money.