A few blogs back I talked about the role of software in the future of photography. The bottom line was that some understanding (and useage) of software tools is essential to a photographer in the digital age. So in this entry, I thought I would show another before and after of an image where I applied some of the great tools available. The first blog image is actually the final image after processing. The second image shows the initial shot. While the initial shot composition and subject was good, the lighting and tonal spread was not. This resulted in a less than exciting image - but not bad.
To create the final image, I first brought the image up in Topaz Lab's Simplify ($39). This is where I created the painterly effect. The image at this stage was much more interesting but I decided to play with it more. Next I applied a "Bleach Bypass" filter in NikSoft's ColorEfxPro. Finally, I applied a touch of "Glamour glow". While the possibilities are endless, some definitely work better than others - experiment and have fun. In the end, using the tools is an art!
This might give you the impression that if you only had all these tools you could create great images. Let me reiterate that the underlying image must still be fundamentally strong: well composed, have a good defined subject, etc.