TRYING OUT THE UPDATE TO PHOTOSHOP PLUGINS
This week just sharing a few images using some of the new programs that are out there. It seems you just have to try them all out and push the sliders to the limits to see what you get. I have been really pleased with all the ones used in these images. Note that all the shown plugin/software websites are linked in the sidebar of my Tidbits Blog.
On1 Photo Raw 2019
The above macro shot is of some Plumbago blooms growing in my backyard. Very little was done to this image in On1 Photo Raw 2019, but what it did was significant. I really like how sharp and clear this image is. The Effects tab was opened and the image was warmed up a little using the Color Adjustment Filter’s Yellow button, then the Default Sunshine filter, and the Dynamic Contrast (my favorite On1 filter) that just sharpened up the image beautifully. Last thing done was to open up the Local Adjustments tab and add some Detail Structure set to 40 and paint on the petals in a mask. This was all done while using this program as a plug-in to Lightroom. The image was finalized in PS so that I could put a signature block on it and a layer style stroke around the outside for posting. I am really starting to love the update they have made to this program.
This image was first worked on in Lightroom – used one of Serge Ramelli’s presets from his Welcome Kit called Bad Weather 4 – it gave a good place to start adjusting the image. His preset uses a lot of Gradient Filters and Radial Filters that need to be adjusted and moved for each image so that was done here to get the beautiful lighting effect. In PS, the new Content Aware-Fill command was used to clean up the background which had several buildings sprinkled around. The secret sauce in this image was using Skylum’s Luminar 2018. To get the really sharp effect, Skylum’s free download category called Joel Grimes Preset Pack was selected – I love this set of presets. (Here’s the link to download them directly – they are called Pro Photographer and Artist Presets – then go to File -> Add Custom Presets Pack and select them to add in). The Detailed Warmth preset was selected and set to 39% opacity. A New Layer was added above and the AI Filter Boost was set to 40, and the new AI Sky Enhancer Boost set to 33. The Image Radiance filter was set to an Amount of 38 and an overall filter Amount of 89. Back in PS, a Curves Adjustment Layer and Flypaper Bird Brushes Crows 3 were added at 43% layer opacity. So the birds look natural, I always clip (ALT+click between the layers) a Pattern Adjustment Layer to them – in this case a dark brown pattern set to 100% scale. On a New Layer set to Overlay blend mode was added on top – with a soft low opacity black brush, the foreground was painted in lightly to darken it slightly. That was it. Luminar does such a beautiful job on landscapes. Definitely their strong point!
Aurora HDR 2019
I have loved this program from the moment I tried it out. I like the fact that it does not create that sort of exaggerated HDR effect that was so popular a while back. And I love that just one photo works fine in the software. This image was taken somewhere in the highlands of Scotland – I was wishing I was on the sailboat when I took this image. Not a lot was done in Aurora – just applied a preset that really caught my attention in the Dramatic Collection called Sleepy Drama. In PS a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer was added and my favorite preset called Foggy Night was added and the opacity was set to 60%. On a New Layer the Sharpen Tool was used on the Sailboat. The biggest problem with this image was the sky. On another New Layer one of my very favorite brush sets, Grut’s FX Cloud Brushes, was opened and the Cloud Lumens Hi was selected using a touch of gray color to it to add into the clouds – the layer was then set to 76% opacity. These brushes are just excellent for these kind of quick touch ups! Last step was to add a Curves Adjustment Layer the add a little more contrast into the image. The original image was in tones of blues and green and looked very dreary. It is amazing what this plugin did for this image.
I am slowly figuring out which software works for which type of image I am going to using. If the image does not look good with my first choice, it is great to have several other choices to try out. I totally love the AI Clear in Topaz Studio, which I did not show in this blog, but use on almost all my images now. It does a remarkable job of just doing a very subtle sharpening. But then I find that On1’s Dynamic Contrast is awfully close and I use it quite a bit too. Both seem to do a slightly better job of sharpening than Lightroom. And sometimes I do both, even though I am not supposed to – I find it works okay. I hope this gave you a little more to think about when using these plugins and making a decision as to which you want. I really enjoy all of them so this is hard for me to choose the best one. Have a good week…..Digital Lady Syd