I don’t use many plug-ins with my photo editing software, in fact, I only have two, NIK Color Efex and Topaz Adjust. I don’t always use them but sometimes I look at an image and think it could do with something more to finish it. Take the one below. It has balanced light throughout the whole image but I’d like to darken down the background area and lighten up the foreground just a little to give a bit more emphasis to that big rock.
I could play around with dodge and burn or maybe gradients but fortunately NIK Color Efex Pro has just the filter I need. It’s called Graduated Neutral Density and is one of a range of filters for colour correction, retouching and creative enhancements.
The effect of the filter is quite subtle as you can see above but you can be more creative should you wish with the possibility of using many of the stylistic options offered by the 55 filters (Pro version).
Topaz Adjust has been one of may favourite filters for a long time. I use it mainly for exposure and color balance but it can also be used for subtle photo pops, HDR effects, grungy styles and more. In the image below I have used Topaz Adjust to darken down the whole image.
That about wraps this one up but what about you. Do you have a favourite plug-in? Could you work with your photo’s without it? I know I don’t use my plug-ins all the time but I would be unhappy if I didn’t have them.