In the November club meeting the topic/presentation was on software plug-ins. Software plug-ins can be used with Aperture, Lightroom, or Photoshop. They offer ways to enhance your photos and make them look great. Club President Guy Stephens along with club member T.O. Galloway gave a great presentation on the various software plug-ins available and how effective they can be.
Prior to the meeting, I never used any software plug-ins in my post processing. I only used Lightroom 4 and I felt it did a pretty good job. I read about them and had seen other photographers use them but I never tried them out. After the meeting, I decided to download some of these plug-ins and try them out.
I started off by downloading Perfect Effects 4 from OnOne. It was a free download from their site and the software was very easy to install. I went through the setup wizard and when I opened Lightroom the software was there for me. For a free program I was impressed with the filters that were available. There were 70 filters to choose from.
I also decided to download a free trial of Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro. I was immediately impressed with the software. I can see why it was so popular. I was able to manipulate some of my good photos into great photos. I was also able to get more creative with some of photos and manipulate them to look like paintings.
Like OnOne Pefect Effects, the Nik trial software was easy to download and install. When I opened Lightroom, the plug-in was already installed and ready for me to use. The bad part about using the trial software is that you get the annoying splash screen reminding you how many days you have left for the trial. It pops up every time you launch the software.
I ended up getting an early Christmas present and got the Nik Software Complete Collection. It came with Dfine 2.0, Viveza 2, HDR Efex Pro 2, Silver Efex 2, Color Efex 2, and Sharpener Pro 3.0. I’ve already used all of these programs in some fashion in processing my pictures. I absolutely love the software. I’m thankful Guy and T.O. did the presentation. Otherwise I may never have gotten the software.
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