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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Faster And Easier Image Processing

Software plug-ins make computer work more efficient for nature photographers

This Article Features Photo Zoom

onOne PhotoTools 2
onOne Software
I’m a big fan of FocalPoint. One of the photographic tools we’ve always used is limited depth of field. When you can isolate a subject from the rest of the photo, you can make it stand out in the composition. This is especially useful for flower and wildlife photography. FocalPoint lets you define what’s sharp and what’s not in your photo and do it with very natural (i.e., photographic) results.

Many photographers have been intrigued by the results they get with a tilt-shift lens used to minimize, rather than maximize, depth of field. FocalPoint gives you the ability to do that sort of effect with a great deal of control on the final image. That gives you an advantage over using the lens, as the lens only gives you one result.

onOne PhotoTune
A complete set of 181 filters comes with PhotoTools 2 (add another 112 for the pro edition). If you’re an effects junkie, this definitely will please you. For most nature photographers, however, check out the Landscape Enhance and Image Optimize categories for effective ways of adjusting nature photos quickly. Truly, this could allow you to do sophisticated Photoshop effects without being a Photoshop expert—and even if you don’t own Photoshop! It works with Lightroom and Aperture. I really like the way this plug-in lets you stack effects, too.

onOne FocalPoint
If you like making prints, look into PhotoFrame 4. This plug-in gives you some interesting effects on the edges of your image for printing. These include edge effects that look like traditional film and darkroom effects, torn paper, painted edges and so forth. They can take a standard print and turn it into something unique that gets noticed.

For photographers who find working at the computer a struggle, check out PhotoTune 2. You don’t have to know anything about Photoshop or similar programs in order to get the most from your images. This plug-in lets you compare images, sort of like going to the eye doctor (“Which is better? A or B?”); you choose the best and allow the program to find better adjustments for you.

Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter Software v2
Dfx Digital Filter Software
Tiffen has long been part of the traditional camera filter world. With Dfx Digital Filter Software v2, Tiffen has a complete package of digital filters as plug-ins. It also comes as a stand-alone package.

Dfx filters are easy to use and geared toward photographers. There are more than 2,000 filters and special lighting effects (including a library of specific colors) and simulation of classic Tiffen glass filters. If you liked working with filters with film, you’ll love this part of Dfx.


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