Author: Rod Lawton

Discover the secrets of the Aperture Spot and Patch tool

Spots, blemishes and messy details can spoil otherwise great shots, but you can fix them without ever leaving Aperture. You’ve probably spotted the Retouch tool on the bottom toolbar, and this does a decent enough job on minor problems, but have you tried the Aperture Spot and Patch tool in the main tools panel? Maybe you didn’t even know it was  there…? The Retouch tool can dab away spots and smaller objects, but it doesn’t offer much control. You can leave Aperture to select the clone source automatically or choose the source yourself, but what you get is a...

Read More

How to bring out textures with the Silver Efex Pro Structure slider

The Structure tool is one of Silver Efex Pro’s secret weapons. It helps to give black and white images that indefinable ‘bite’ that we’re always trying to recapture with our digital images. You can think of the Silver Efex Pro Structure control it as a kind of ‘coarse sharpening’, which acts over a slightly larger radius than conventional sharpening tools. It exaggerates the ‘micro-contrast’ around outlines and details – though I suspect there’s a little more to it than that because I’ve never been able to replicate it directly with regular sharpening tools. Strong structure settings can produce halos...

Read More

Create a two-shot Elements Photomerge panorama!

When you hear the word ‘panorama’, you usually think of sweeping, letterbox-shaped vistas which are about ten times wider than they are high. Panoramas this wide, however, are very difficult to print and display effectively, and often lack the visual impact you meant them to have. In fact, traditional ‘panoramic’ cameras didn’t always go this wide. The celebrated Hasselblad XPan camera, for example, produced images 65mm wide and 24mm high, which is just under twice the with as wide as the 3:2 ratio of a 35mm camera or digital SLR. It created images with a wide enough ratio to...

Read More

How to get started with OnOne Perfect Portrait

To be honest, I don’t use portrait enhancement plug-ins that much. It’s too easy to end up with something that looks like a porcelain doll rather than a real person. However, I do like shooting portraits, and I do realise that sometimes the lighting or your own technique doesn’t do your subject any favours – so I thought it would be a good idea to take a proper look at OnOne Perfect Portrait, which is included as part of the Perfect Photo Suite. The first question to ask is whether its enhancements really do make your subjects look better –...

Read More

Add drama to your shots with the Dark Contrasts filter in Color Efex Pro

Nik (Google) Color Efex Pro 4 has a number of contrast enhancing filter effects which work in subtly different ways. The Tonal Contrasts filter boosts contrast within specific tonal ranges, while the Detail Extractor can be used to produce HDR style effects. And at first glance, so does the Dark Contrasts filter, though the net result is a darker looking image… I’ve tried this out on lots of different pictures, and I’ve decided the best way to characterise this filter is to think of it as an ‘adaptive darkening’ filter. It applies a darkening effect to the highlights and...

Read More

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,353 other subscribers