Archive for plugin

Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Posted in Software/Hardware with tags , , , , , on September 15, 2011 by bayouphoto

Nik software is announcing the next version of it’s award winning software Color Efex Pro 4

I’m excited because it finally addresses one of the issues I have with most plug in software. Except for onOne they all required  you to open, save and re open to add each effect. You could not open and add multiple effects until now. With this version you can stack multiple effects (ie. tonal contrast/brilliance and warmth) and preview the effect before applying. You are now able to  see the interaction of each effect and  how it relates to the final process.

Although, to me, this is the best feature there are many new filters and effects to make the upgrade worth while. I took forward to trying out the demo when it is released.

Topaz B&W Effects

Posted in Software/Hardware with tags , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2011 by bayouphoto

Topaz Labs makers of the fine editing software Adjust and Details just came out with their first B&W conversion software, B&W Effects. If you don’t have a B&W plug in converter it is a steal at $59.99 but for a limited time (Sept. 18) you can get it for the unheard of price $29.99. Now that is a great deal. Just use code bwandbeyond. I will try to get an overview video up soon.

On another note my nephew has finished his cancer radiation treatments, so I won’t have to be staying in Shreveport during the week. Maybe with the cooler weather and more time I can get back into the blogging swing.

Bald river falls redeux

Posted in Software/Hardware with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2011 by bayouphoto

I shot this last fall on my Tn/NC camping trip. It is Bald river falls off of the Cherohala Skyway about 8 miles from Tellico plains on the Old River road.. I used some new plug ins from Onone software. I was mostly looking forward to using the new plugin Perfect Layers. This gives you the capability of working with layers right from Lightroom. This was one of the features that Lightroom lacked and now makes my workflow more Lightroom specific. There are a lot of training videos here. I will be doing a tutorial on it and some more of the Onone plugins in the next few weeks.

I am really excited about being able to use layers and mask right from Lightroom. Check it out and download the trial.

Nik Filters HDR Efex Pro

Posted in HDR, Software/Hardware, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by bayouphoto

I have used Photomatix pro, since it came out, for all my HDR processing. However, since Nike filters came out with HDR Efex Pro I thought I would give it a chance. I have used and liked Nik filters since I started using Photoshop 10 years ago. I especially like the newer versions interface and intuitive layout. I downloaded the free trial and set to work. I run Vista home basic with 2 GB’s of ram. This seems to be the minimum for HDR Efex. I did notice it took longer to load, from Lightroom. Yes, it automatically becomes a plug in for Photoshop and Lightroom.I exported from LightroomOnce the images loaded and were processed the interface opened. There are a myriad of user friendly presets already installed. Chances are one of them will be just what you wanted. I chose Realistic strong.

You can make tweaks with the adjustment sliders. The whole process is quite easy to grasp.
You can hide the preset panel to get a larger previewThere is a histogram also. Once you are happy click save. On my computer it took a full 3 minutes for the photo to show up in Lightroom.

Would I spend the money to go from Photomatix 4 to this? No because I would need at least 4 GB’s of ram and I already have Photomatix. If I did not have an HDR program I would be all over this. As I said I love the Nik filters interface and technology. Is it the best for you? The only way I can answer is get the trial version and see. If you have a newer computer with lots of RAM it would be fantastic.

I do think I like the default image better than the Photomatix one, and in fairness it does seem easier to use and understand.

Tech Tuesday: Fractalius tutorial

Posted in Software/Hardware, Tech Tuesday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by bayouphoto

Before I get to todays tutorial I wanted to post a video of on of the funniest comedians of all time being very serious.

Today we will look at a fun Photoshop plug in. Fractalius by Redfield. It uses algorithims to produce various light patterns from photos.

I first read about it on the places2explore blog. I thought it was fascinating. I had played with fractals before but they mostly created art from scratch. This one let’s you play with your photographs. You can read more about Fractals here and here. I don’t care for all that technical stuff. I just like to create cool things LOL

So let the games begin:

First thing this plug in will only work with Windows and then only on photoshop in 32 bit mode with photos in 8 bit TIFF or JPEG. So if you are in 64 bit mode or your photo is in higher than 8 bit you must convert it.

Click the photo to see it larger

Open the photo in Photoshop or other compatible editing software. I am using CS3.

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Go to Image>Mode>8 Bit and check it

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Then go to Filters>Redfield> Fractalius

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If you have used it before it will open the interface in the last used mode.

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You can select from a drop down list of pre-set options.

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Here I have selected one. Then play with the many sliders to see what they do. Move them from one extreme to the other. When you are done just click the green check mark to apply.

Now for my only complaint. It seems to take forever on my computer with a dual core, 2GB’s RAM and an Ninvidia graphics card.

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and the finished product.

Now for a few more.

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and my favorite so far.

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Give it a try and see what you think

Tech Tuesday:Xero

Posted in Software/Hardware, Tech Tuesday with tags , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by bayouphoto

Here is a neat little freeware program that works great with photoshop

Xero

Tech Tuesday: Topaz Adjust

Posted in Software/Hardware, Tech Tuesday with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by bayouphoto

Welcome to the next installment of Tech Tuesday, where we explore new technology in post processing. For the next several weeks I will be exploring the various photoshop plug ins, I use.

Today we will look at Topaz adjust and specifically the latest version, Topaz 4

You can learn more by clicking the link and checking out the website. You can also see some examples by customers HERE.

Basically it is a psuedo HDR program but it is much more. I use it for landscapes a lot.

After download and installation you access it by first opening photoshop, with a photo open go to filters>Topaz Labs>Topaz adjust. It will open your photo in a new interface.

Once you have your image up in photoshop, selecting the plugin will open up a very friendly window that could not be any more simple. The Topaz team has created an amazing simple (and fun!) UI.

Over on the left, there are dozens of presets. Normally, I hate presets and I can never find a single one to meet my needs. However, there is such a nice variety that you can get a cool first adjustment. Something that is very smart about these previews is that they show little thumbnails. Clicking on one of them quickly shows the larger version on the right. VERY quickly. I’m used to having plugin options churn away forever just to get a preview. It’s not like that with Topaz; it’s almost immediate!

After you choose one of the presets from the left, you can then make a bunch of micro-adjustments with the sliders on the bottom. There are so many things you can do… it is simply amazing. The names are strange because the effects are strange. Much like other tools, I recommend you play with them a lot to get familiar with them. I don’t plan on talking about each feature… but for example, the “Boost” slider seems to really pump up the “HDR” effect.

here is a screenshot from Topaz 3 to see the old interfaceAs you can see the pre sets are on the left and the control sliders are at the bottom. While I liked it it was not as user friendly.

Now Version 4Now we have a much more Lightroom, like interface. You can scroll down the pre set list to see previews just like in Lightroom Develop. Once you choose a ore set or just adjust the sliders to your liking, you click ok and wait for it to take effect.

BTW that photo has had the preset Painting Venice applied.

here are some more examples of photos I used Adjust on.Photo pop preset

Download the free trial and see what you think.

As always click the photos to see a larger version

PS: I will be starting a new weekly post called Tip Thursday where I will give a photography tip or technique. Look for the first one this Thursday.