Check out these programs that will help you get more from your digital photography
Interest in black-and-white photography has made an amazing comeback. More photographers are appreciating the classic look of monochrome images as a beautiful option for fine-art prints.
For black-and-white conversion, there’s nothing like Nik Software Silver Efex Pro. It does an outstanding job of converting color to black-and-white in multiple ways, plus it includes over 20 preset styles to let you quickly try different looks for your images. In addition, it includes the Structure control, which offers superb definition of midtone details. List Price: $199.
Alien Skin Bokeh has received some great new features in its recent upgrade to Version 2. The program simulates the distinctive blurring and out-of-focus highlight look of a real lens and now works in 64-bit. Blurring can affect noise characteristics of an image, so Version 2 renders film grain to match the original photo. Its new interface makes it easy to place focus regions in order to control sharp and out-of-focus parts of the photo. List Price: $199.
onOne FocalPoint 2 just came out a year ago and offers the ability to create terrific blur effects around your subject that mimic the look of specialized and expensive lenses such as tilt-shift lenses. This 64-bit program is like having a virtual special-effects lens inside of Photoshop. List Price: $159.
A great way to work with portraits is to shoot them against a simple background, then cut them out and add new backgrounds. Cutting out a subject from a background also gives you the ability to process a background separated from the subject. Specialty masking programs allow you to quickly and easily isolate your subject from the background with clean, good-looking edges.
Vertus Fluid Mask 3 is still the same, excellent program it was last year and works well with even detailed photos that make edges hard to find. The program includes a special hair-blending feature that helps with portrait photography. List Price: $149.
onOne Mask Pro 4 is also unchanged from last year and includes 12 separate tools to make masking a subject from the background more effective. These tools work with everything from large background removal to fine-detail masking in hard-to-mask areas. List Price: $159.
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