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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Awaken The Artist Within

Plug in to the creative power of plug-ins

Labels: SoftwareHow To

This Article Features Photo Zoom

AFTER Photoframe Professional Edition
Color Efex Pro
The name of this plug-in, Color Efex Pro, also from Nik Software, doesn’t mean that it’s designed exclusively for pros. Anyone can take advantage of the hundreds of color effects, which can be fine-tuned with the control sliders.

I like my straight-out-of-the-camera shot of a Himba woman, whom I photographed in Namibia. But I wanted it to look different from all the pictures my work-shop students took of the same woman. I applied the Bleach Bypass filter, which resulted in a striking image.

PhotoFrame Professional Edition
Adding a digital frame to a picture makes it stand out on a web page or a printed page. It dresses up a picture and gives an image a unique and creative look.

ORIGINAL and AFTER Phototools Professional Edition
With PhotoFrame Professional from onOne Software (www.ononesoftware.com), you can quickly and easily see how a frame can enhance an image because thumbnail previews are provided for a quick pick. Once a frame is selected, you have many more creative options, such as controlling the background, edge, border, glow and shadow.

Frame sets include Art Supplies, Photographic, Digital, Texture Overlays and Man Made. Here, I used one of the Acid Burn filters to intensify one of my favorite Kenya sunrise images. Man, that’s hot!

Professional Edition
Portrait, landscape, wildlife, nature and travel photographers (did I leave anyone out?) will find hundreds of image-enhancing effects in this plug-in, also from onOne Software. PhotoTools Professional Edition can simulate many in-camera effects, such as using different films and filters, to many postprocessing techniques, including cross-processing and print tinting.

To soften the skin of the model in this image, I applied the Kubota-Angel Glow A2 effect—and then faded it slightly. When you apply any filter, go to the Fade slider to fine-tune the effect. More fun and creativity await you.

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