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Monday, June 30, 2008

Favorite Plug-Ins

Try this software solution for a jolt of creative inspiration

This Article Features Photo Zoom

quick fixPhotoshop and Photoshop Elements, in addition to other digital image-editing programs, offer photographers many filters and adjustments to expand their creative horizons. The creative process can be enhanced further by using plug-ins.

In Photoshop, plug-ins usually show up at the bottom of the Filter menu. However, you may find the loaded plug-in in the Automate menu (File > Automate), as is the case with onOne Software's PhotoTools (more on this plug-in shortly), or even in the Save As menu, as is the case with Genuine Fractals (used to upsize an image without losing detail).

quickfix In this column, I'd like to share a few of my favorite creative plug-ins, which I used to enhance some images that I took during Carnevale 2008 in Venice, Italy.


quick fix Here's the original image of one of the Carnevale participants (above), and the results of applying the Dreamy Photo effect in DREAMSUITE SERIES TWO Two from Auto FX Software (www.autofx.com). With this plug-in, you have control over blur, ghosting, tint and color, to name a few creative options. I like the straight shot, but the plug-in creates a dreamy, ethereal effect.

In Photoshop, an image is really never finished. That's especially true when working with plug-ins. In the following sequence, I've added two more plug-in effects to the opening image.

quick fixFLAMING PEAR (www.flamingpear.com) offers dozens of plug-ins, some as free trials on their website. Melancholytron, one of my favorites, further enhanced my ghostly image by changing the focus and adding a nice color to the image. With many plug-ins, including this one, there are a variety of creative choices that let you customize your image.

quick fixPHOTOFRAME 3.1 from onOne Software (www.ononesoftware.com). To dress up my image, I applied one of the Brush frames in PhotoFrame 3.1. If you take into consideration all the options for selecting a frame and changing the background, border, frame and texture, you'd have thousands of digital frames from which to choose.


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