Welcome to this occasional ‘Preset Picks’ series, which showcases the best preset image effects from different programs and then takes them apart to see just how they were done. This is the MacArthur preset in ON1 Photo RAW 2019’s Texture Combos preset category. It gives a strongly-textured print-like appearance and a faded warm patina that suggests an old photograph taken … [Read more...] about Preset picks: ON1 MacArthur preset
Textures are a great way to add an 'analog' feel to a digital image. They can be relatively subtle, such as adding a 'paper' texture that simulates the fine pattern or fibres of art paper, or more dramatic, simulating the look of an old photographic 'wet plate' or unusual printing materials like tin or wood. Textures can also replicate the appearance of a scratched, stained or faded print.
To add them manually you need an image editor that supports layers and a selection of texture files – you can photograph textures yourself and build a collection.
Alternatively, you can use software with filters for blending in texture files (Skylum Luminar) or programs with a library of textures built in, such as Alien Skin Exposure X, ON1 Photo RAW or Analog Efex Pro (DxO Nik Collection).
DxO PhotoLab can create superb black and white imagery, both in terms of image quality and in creative control, but you need to get the DxO FilmPack 5 Elite add-on to do it. • DxO PhotoLab 2.1 review This does make things more expensive, and it does feel a bit like you’re paying for some things that other programs offer as standard. DxO FilmPack 5 Elite currently costs … [Read more...] about How to get great black and white in DxO PhotoLab… but you’ll need FilmPack 5
Digital images don’t have much texture. Your subjects might, of course, but the way cameras render tones is glassy-smooth (at low ISO settings anyway) and sometimes a little sterile. Adding a texture digitally can make a picture look more interesting, more tactile and more ‘hand made’. Textures can be very subtle, like the fine texture of a canvas printing paper. The texture … [Read more...] about How to add age and drama with texture effects
ON1 Photo RAW has a huge library of preset effects and you can try them all out just by browsing through the categories and clicking on the ones you like the look of. But that doesn’t really get you any closer to figuring out how its effects filters work and how you can use them to build your own effects. So here’s a quick project that uses just two of ON1’s filters – … [Read more...] about How to use the ON1 Photo Texture and Border filters
Modern cameras can reproduce the world with utter, clinical accuracy. The trouble is, it turns out that's not what we wanted after all. A lot of the time, what we actually want is the faded, distressed, imperfect look of analog photography. So here are six top tips for getting that analog film effect 'look' with digital images and software. I'm using Analog Efex Pro in the … [Read more...] about 6 tips for getting an authentic analog film effect
I am a huge fan of Google Snapseed. I'm not a huge fan of what Google has done with it, dropping the desktop Snapseed app and then the online Snapseed editing tools built into Google+ Photos. This has been replaced by a separate Google Photos option with much simpler editing tools. Thankfully, Snapseed still exists as an iOS and Android app, and while it's still around I aim … [Read more...] about Did you know you can stack filters in Google Snapseed?
Analog Efex Pro is a brand new addition to the Google Nik Collection, the set of plug-ins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and Aperture that Google took over when it bought out Nik Software. You can find out more at the Google Nik Collection website. I rate this as the best set of plug-ins ever made, and practically a must-have for digital image-editing fans. (Note: The Nik … [Read more...] about How to use the Google Nik Collection Analog Efex Pro Camera Kit
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 … [Read more...] about Mask your effects with the Perfect Effects Masking Bug
Photographers are never happy. We couldn't stop complaining about our dirty, faded colour transparencies when they were all we had, and we couldn't wait to swap to nice, clean, everlasting digital images... only now they're the norm, we miss our grubby old transparencies. So I'm going to use Perfect Effects to try to recreate that old transparency look, complete with the … [Read more...] about Create a dirty Kodachrome with Perfect Photo Suite!
I really like the idea of OnOne Software's Perfect Photo Suite. Thanks to its extensive layers, effects and focus tools, it seems to offer a lot of the features of Photoshop without having to get Photoshop itself. You can use it as a standalone app, or as a plug-in for Aperture or Lightroom (or Photoshop itself, for that matter). The only problem is that the Effects section … [Read more...] about Using Perfect Photo Suite effects