This project turns a regular color RAW file into a strong black and white image in Exposure X5. It uses a number of different tools so it’s a good chance to see how these work and how they can be used together. It’s also a good example the kind of image which works well in […]
Borders and frames
Borders and frames are a great way to 'finish' off a picture for printing or display, and they've come a long way since the unconvicing fake 'wooden' frames (and others) that you get in entry-level programs like Photoshop Elements.
A solid black keyline against a white border can really finish off a black and white image, for example, enclosing the space so that the picture feels fully contained and doesn't just drift off to nothingness at he edge of the frame.
More and more programs, though, are adding roughened, distressed and antique border effects that can give digital images a worn and hand-crafted look. My own favourites are negative or filmstrip borders that make your pictures look like unmounted transparencies or large format slides.
They're not fooling anyone of course, but they nevertheless echo the feel of traditional analog materials and can help give your pictures an ambience and a feel that's so often missing in the clinical accuracy of digital imaging.
Verdict: 5 stars Analog Efex Pro2 goes way beyond most analog photography filters, offering not just film styles, grain effects and borders, but creative vignetting, bokeh, lens blur, lens distortion, double-exposures, motion blur and more.
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. This does make things more expensive, and it does feel a bit like you’re paying for some things that other programs offer […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. It’s now been taken over by DxO. I rate this as the best set of plug-ins ever made, and practically a must-have […]
OnOne Software’s Perfect Effects is just like Nik (Google) Color Efex Pro, offering a range of different filter effects from a single interface. Where Color Efex Pro lets you ‘stack’ filter effects, Perfect Effects lets you do even more, with a Photoshop-style system of layers, complete with different blend modes. This means you can combine […]
Fine art can mean a whole lot of different things, but here I’m just going to show how to turn a colour image into a simple graphic composition that could work quite nicely when you hang it on your wall. There are two things you need in order for this to work. One is an […]
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 […]