Last week MacPhun announced a free extension for Apple Photos. Filters for Photos has 30 different effects, and while the controls might appear pretty basic, you can use the built-in masking tools to apply these filters much more subtly than you might expect. Here’s how it works. 01 Choose your filter So here I’ve chosen the Color Sunlight Spot filter. It’s not subtle, but it does add a kind of lo-fi retro appeal to this shot of a bike at sunset. I can use the Amount slider on the right to reduce the strength, but the really interesting option is...Read More
OnOne Software’s Perfect Effects plug-in offers a huge selection of special effects which you can also combine and stack as layers. What’s more, each layer comes with its own layer mask which you can use to control the areas of the image affected. You can ‘paint in’ a mask using regular brush tools, but Perfect Effects also has a clever gadget called the Masking Bug for creating gradient mask effects, which are often a faster and more effective approach. To show how this works I’ve chosen this everyday landscape shot, which I’ll give a more dramatic ‘arty’ look with...Read More
Photoshop Elements is usually seen as the poor relation to Photoshop itself, but it offers many of the same high-end features if you know where to look! Photoshop has alpha channels, but Elements has ‘saved selections’… You can get by perfectly well most of the time just working with one selection at a time, but there are situations where you need to combine them to create a particular effect. It’s also useful to know how selections and layer masks are related and how you can use them both together. I’ve chosen this image to show a situation where this...Read More
Capture One provides a system of internal adjustment layers so that you can make localised adjustments to your pictures. These aren’t directly compatible with the adjustment layers in Photoshop and Elements – they just share the same name – but they are saved with your images in the Capture One library, so you can go back to them later and change or remove them if you want to. I’m going to use two adjustment layers to fix the picture below. It’s a common problem – you’re shooting on a sunny day, so you’ve got a bright sky in the...Read More
It’s all very well talking about life after Photoshop, and there are plenty of programs and plug-ins which can do magical things with your images… but you still need Photoshop (or Elements) to create layer montages. Don’t you? Actually, no. OnOne’s Perfect Layers, part of its Perfect Photo Suite, can manage layers, and layer masks too. Here’s a quick guide to how it works, using a landscape shot on Dartmoor at the end of the day. The landscape is fine, but the sky is blown out, so I need to merge in a new sky. 01 Add the sky...Read More
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