Plug-in image editing software

Last year, trying to save money, I bought a used dSLR. It developed a series of problems over the course of the year until it wouldn’t even turn on. I’ve had several other Canon cameras (which I purchased new) and never had any issues at all, even after 10+ years, so I suspect this one was abused.

I sold it for parts and replaced it with a new EOS 7D. So I am excited and leaning very heavily into the photography side of my hobbies right now. I am feeling a bit overloaded with information, learning a new piece of gear along with learning more about post processing. Right now I am playing around with some plug-ins for Apple Aperture (or Photoshop, or Lightroom, if you prefer).

Olympia Brewery

Olympia Brewery

This is a picture I took, and then used a plug-in to edit inside of Aperture. The advantage to this is that you can save the finished product easily into your Aperture library and make additional adjustments to it using Aperture itself. The plug-in allows you to do things with your photos that you wouldn’t be able to do with a simple photo editor like Aperture and Lightroom.

Each photographer has their own style, and I tend to like sharp, contrasty photos which have bold colors. I noticed this affects the looks I like to see when I am post processing, so I am trying to vary the style and trying to create different looks.

Barns

Barns

For example, the above photo has an unsaturated, softer look than how I usually edit.  It also has a painting effect applied, and I usually prefer more true-to-life and realistic. The goal is that I want to explore more possibilities and become a more versatile photographer and artist.

Capital Lake

Capital Lake

This photo is more like my typical style. Bright and saturated colors with sharp details, but I used a plug-in preset to add effects which give the photo a more “processed” look than the simple enhancing adjustments I normally do.

Golden Panes

Golden Panes

This photo combines two things that seem to make for interesting photos: a repeating pattern and reflections. Another plug-in preset helped to give the photo a different look.

Spring Grass, Winter Trees

Spring Grass, Winter Trees

I am still getting the hang of this, but I do like painting style effects on some photos. And as I said before, I like contrasty photos, so this look appealed to me.

Olympia Brewery - B&W

Olympia Brewery – B&W

This is the same building which is in the first photo in this post, but what a different appearance! I shot black and white film when I was taking photography classes and developing my own prints (more than 10 years ago). What I need to learn now is how to spot which of my photographs would make good black and white images. Fortunately, with digital non-destructive editing, I can try things and “undo” if I don’t like the look.

In Aperture, I can have multiple versions of the same photo with different adjustments applied. The space taken up in the Aperture library is still only one master file. When I use plug-in software, though, it saves an additional TIFF file in my Aperture library, so more storage space is taken. Just thought I should make that clarification.

Smooth Sailing

Smooth Sailing

This is a combination of a blue colorization and a vignette effect. It took a drab duck on brown water and turned it into a much more interesting photo.

These plug-ins are like Photoshop filters, only with more flexibility because of all the different adjustments that can be made. It’s a fun challenge to take a rather unimpressive photo and try to give it more punch or impact.

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