If you are anything like me and serious about photography and use Photoshop or one of the other image programs then you probably use plugins.
For those who don’t know plugins are small programs which are used within the host program to create different effects upon the photo you are working on. You may want to correct an exposure problem of a photo you have taken or correct the focus or one of so many other things or even convert the color photo to Black and White. To do any of those operations on the photo you can use the host program but many times the host program does not do a good enough job so you use a plugin to do the finer work on the photo.
I realize my explanation may not be the best but in general that is what a plugin does. It works within a host program. Sometimes it is to just do funky stuff to the photo to make it look radically different from the original photo. Each plugin usually does something that the host program can’t do as well as the specialty plugin can do.
I use plugins to correct exposure, focus, add light to areas of a photo that need the extra light or other corrections that once were done in a darkroom. Now you can do way more within Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro than I could ever do or did in a darkroom. Some say that to work on a photo in Photoshop or any other image program is wrong. I see some saying they will not or do not want you to post a photo that is Photoshopped. I worked in a darkroom and in there we corrected exposure and other things which most people do not think about. So their pure photo may not be so pure.
Many of the plugins are free for use and others are sold for a few dollars up to hundreds of dollars. I’ve found some that do the work I want to achieve with my photos that are reasonably priced. I also get to beta test for a friend who develops plugins that are used with Photoshop or compatible programs. So I sometimes get to play around with the newest plugin he is developing as I have gotten to do with the latest one he has developed and will soon be available on the market place.
It is called Contrast Master and corrects the contrast of a photo. But just to say that is all it does is not fair to the plugin as it does way more than that. I have included with this article some of the different things I have done to one photo, eight different effects on one photo to be exact. Each of the different effects were saved as a preset within the plugin so I or anyone can go back and recreate them over and over as well as you can experiment with the settings to come up with your own presets and save them.
In Photoshop you open a photo which you want to work on whether it be to correct exposure or contrast or whatever else it may be. You click on filters and select which filter you want to use, the filter is what most call plugins. Within a preview window in the filter/plugin you see what has been done to the photo. When you have obtained the result you want then you click OK as it usual in most filters/plugins. The result is applied to your photo and you save and of print it.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Compared to what you had to do in an old darkroom it is simple. Besides you can do more with a plugin in Photoshop than I could have ever done in a darkroom and in way less time and without wasting sheets of precious paper to see if what I wanted to happen had happened. Many long nights in a darkroom and not getting the final result I wanted happened more often than not. Now you can see the results within seconds usually in Photoshop even before you print it out on paper.
Let me know what you think of the results of my experimenting on my photograph. I would really like to know what you think.