Discovering Plugins

Thursday 26th June saw the club discussing and discovering software plugins.

Plugins are items of software designed to be used within other software, so you might get plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements. They quite often offer a faster alternative to achieve a specific look than using the processing software on its own. Some plugins must be used within the processing software, others can be used as standalone programmes.

Many of the results achievable with plugins can be achieved within the original software, but it might take significantly longer to do using Photoshop, for instance, on its own when the plugins can reach the same result with just a couple of button clicks.

Club member Rob Fairhead demonstrated how he uses the Topaz collection of plugins, showing examples of what some of the plugins are used for and how he uses them to get the processing results he is after.

Garry Neesam then showed members several other plugins, Nik Software, Imagenomic, RadLab and others and the specific uses they fulfill.

You can find out more about the plugins some of us use below. (click on the Plugin title to go to the website) Most companies offer a free trial period before deciding whether to purchase.

Topaz Labs
Collection of individual plugins which can be bought as a complete pack. Prices Range from $29 – $99 each or $499 for the complete collection. Look out for special offers. Topaz is demonstrated and heavily discounted each year at the Photography Show in Birmingham, and probably other shows around the UK too.

Includes:
Adjust / B&W Effects / Clarity / Clean / DeJPG / DeNoise / Detail / Glow / Impression / InFocus / Lens Effects / PhotoFXLab / Remask / Restyle / >Simpilfy / Star Effects / Texture Effects

Nik Collection
Collection of individual plugins used to be available separately. Bought by Google who packaged them all together and sold them as a package at a greatly reduced price. Spring 2016 Google announced they were giving away the whole package for free, so well worth a download even if you never use them again after trying them out.

Includes:
Analog FX Pro / Color FX Pro / Silver FX Pro / Viveza / HDR FX Pro / Sharpener Pro / Dfine

Akvis
Vast collection of plugins, lost of ‘arty’ ones. Prices vary but around $39 – $49 per plugin, with discounts for various ‘bundles’

Includes:
Airbrush / Artsuite / Artwork / Chameleon / Charcoal / Coloriage / Decorator / Draw / Enhancer / Frames / HDR Factory / Lightshop / Magnifier / Makeup / Multibrush / NatureArt / Neon / Noisebuster / OilPaint / Pastel / Points / Refocus / Retoucher / Sketch /SmartMask

Imagenomic
Three plugins which can be bought separately for between $80 and $100 or as a package.

Includes:
Noiseware / Portraiture / Realgrain

Tiffen Dfx
Software which replicates over 2,000 of Tiffen’s glass filters. $130

Includes:
Plugin and standalone version

OnOne Photo 10
A complete image editing package which can be used either standalone or as a plugin. $90 – $120

Includes:
Effects / Resize / Browse / Enhance / Portrait / Layers

RadLab
An image processing laboratory with styles and recipies for different processing effects. You can download recipies from other users and add them to Radlab.

Includes:

Dxo
Processing software and plugins. Viewpoint is a neat plugin for correcting verticals. £59 – £99 or the whole suite for £149.

Includes:
Optics Pro / FilmPack / Viewpoint / Photosuite

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