Friday, August 15, 2008
It is always a quest for a single useful piece of editing software that somehow exacerbates my techno-ADD.
Initially, the search was for an app to edit and convert RAW files to JPEG. This, because the Nikon D80 kit does not come with software to edit RAW, though it does come with a RAW viewer.
O' course, that is neither here nor there. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, I ended up fooling around with various plug-ins for Photoshop 5.5, just for the heck of it. The planets pic and starry background was crafted out of lunarcell and glitterato filters found on FlamingPear.com. I'm going to miss those plugins when my 30 day trial is up. But, if I really like 'em, I can purchase the plugins for a small fee.
The rose was altered with Pseudo-IR freeware from Cybia Digital Resource Studio. Pseudo-IR simulates infrared photography. Tints can be added to the image, as well. The plug-in can be used with Photoshop and some other graphic programs. Pretty cool. Especially since I've been looking for an alternative to infrared film, which can be a bit tricky to use.
I did eventually find an acceptable free RAW converter tool. SilkyPix Developer Studio 3.0 Free Version works just fine. And, if I really like the software, I can purchase the full app later. ((this is starting to sound familiar))
There's a method to my madness. Editing RAW images then converting to JPEG seems to work better than only editing a JPEG. RAW pics can be sharpened, white-balanced, and contrast-corrected without boogering up the pixels. JPEGs seem to get fouled up when altered too much.
Okay, I know the key is to take a good photo to begin with, so all this editing wouldn't be necessary. But nobody's perfect.
For example, the following pic is indeed a pretty bad attempt at photography on my part. Luckily, it was saved in RAW as well as JPEG, thus room for improvement.
This second image is the result of some work done with the SilkyPix app. Better, but could use a bit of improvement. Unfortunately, I only have the free version software, so that's all I could do. I saved the result as a JPEG.
Because I felt the blue TV glare next to the glass was bothersome, I opened the saved JPEG in Photoshop 5.5 and attempted to fix the problem by adjusting the curves and color balance. The result is the following pic.
I'm not fond of the yellow-orange hues, but the blue cast is nearly gone. And it looks better than the original. With a little more fiddling and time, I might have found an easier Photoshop trick.
Me thinks I should just spring for the SilkyPix Developer Studio 3.0 full version software!