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Thread started 27 Apr 2011 (Wednesday) 08:21
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Attitudes towards third party Photoshop plugins

 
ChasP505
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Apr 29, 2011 09:08 |  #31

René Damkot wrote in post #12315279 (external link)
...I do think however, that you should know where you want to go, and not more or less randomly use some preset / action / plugin.

Yep... Thus the quote in my sig.


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tkerr
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Apr 29, 2011 09:45 |  #32

BrandonSi wrote in post #12315579 (external link)
the 3rd.. w/ Topaz.

IMHO, It might look clean and noise free, but the noise reduction has blurred everything so much any detail has been lost.

When you applied the Remove Noise filter did you work the overall image or Per channel?
Have you tried working in Channels (in the layers panel) applying a Dust and Scratches filter or a Surface Blur to the individual colors and only as much as necessary to each? Only takes a couple minute and can preserve a lot of detail.
Then if necessary you can apply sharpening without adding noise again, either using smart sharpen or another method that actually requires using the Gaussian Blur. Again, it only takes a couple minutes.

Nevertheless, To quote René Damkot
"it doesn't matter how you reach the result you want, as long as you get there...
I do think however, that you should know where you want to go, and not more or less randomly use some preset / action / plugin."

And if you have dozens or even hundreds of pictures to PP, either record and save your own ATN, or use a plugin to speed things up.

Additionally, I apologize to the OP and everyone for ranting and possibly getting off topic. I think the point has been made. Unlike the Plugin snobs described by the OP, I am not against using them myself. The only thing I would advise to anyone is to take the time to learn PS and its abilities, and be careful of what you are buying.


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kirkt
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Apr 29, 2011 10:02 |  #33

With respect to something like noise removal, recording an action with PS tools may not necessarily work for a batch of images unless they all possess similar noise and similar frequency content of the details you choose to preserve. I have used Neat Image for years for particularly difficult NR issues and the plug-in analyzes noise on a per channel (Y Cr Cb) basis, and at High, Medium and Low frequencies relative to the image size. You can profile your camera at various ISO and save these profiles for use in automatic NR actions. Thus, Neat Image is built to be image-specific and adaptable as part of an action, should you choose to use it that way. A considerable amount of time would have to be spent with PS tools to achieve the same result, and then that action would somehow have to be modified to account for the various types of images, ISO and noise characteristics in the batch you intended to process. An action will automate a process, but the recorded process may not be optimal for all of the images in a batch.

So, as has been reiterated above, you need to know what you want to do and then decide what workflow works for you. Actions are great, scripts work even better if you have the know-how to program them - in this regard, plug-ins usually fill the void between automation and programming/decision making based on the image data.

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BrandonSi
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Apr 29, 2011 10:37 |  #34

tkerr wrote in post #12316018 (external link)
IMHO, It might look clean and noise free, but the noise reduction has blurred everything so much any detail has been lost.

When you applied the Remove Noise filter did you work the overall image or Per channel?
Have you tried working in Channels (in the layers panel) applying a Dust and Scratches filter or a Surface Blur to the individual colors and only as much as necessary to each? Only takes a couple minute and can preserve a lot of detail.
Then if necessary you can apply sharpening without adding noise again, either using smart sharpen or another method that actually requires using the Gaussian Blur. Again, it only takes a couple minutes.

I did go through the channels... and of course I didn't use surface blur and dust and scratch removal, I just did a quick adjustment with the noise removal filter.. just like I didn't optimize Topaz Denoise either, I chose a single preset.

My point was just confirming your previous point, that there are instances where plugin technology has superseded Adobe's own technology within Photoshop.

As far as "learning photoshop", a case could be made that if I had enough time I could do a better job of noise removal using MS Paint at the pixel level than either topaz or Photoshop, and that we should all use MS Paint since its' free with Windows, so be careful before you spend money on photoshop. :)

"it doesn't matter how you reach the result you want, as long as you get there...

Agree, 100%.

I do think however, that you should know where you want to go, and not more or less randomly use some preset / action / plugin."

Disagree 100%, but that's another thread.


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tkerr
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Apr 29, 2011 10:52 |  #35

BrandonSi wrote in post #12316355 (external link)
I did go through the channels... and of course I didn't use surface blur and dust and scratch removal, I just did a quick adjustment with the noise removal filter.. just like I didn't optimize Topaz Denoise either, I chose a single preset.

My point was just confirming your previous point, that there are instances where plugin technology has superseded Adobe's own technology within Photoshop.

As far as "learning photoshop", a case could be made that if I had enough time I could do a better job of noise removal using MS Paint at the pixel level than either topaz or Photoshop, and that we should all use MS Paint since its' free with Windows, so be careful before you spend money on photoshop. :)


Agree, 100%.


Disagree 100%, but that's another thread.

I'll just refer to a previous comment I made earlier in this thread and this will be my last reply in this thread.

"Why should I pay $699.00 for software only to spend more money later on down the road simply because I don't want or I'm too lazy to learn how to do something myself?
If it's just a simple matter of saving time, perhaps then a person should consider why buy something like Photoshop in the first place if they aren't going to learn how to use it themselves.
After a while those $29 plug-ins can add up.

Having said that, If it is a plug-in that can go above and beyond the capabilities of Photoshop then I am all for it. There are many great plug-ins that do just that.
"


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czynot
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Apr 29, 2011 17:44 as a reply to  @ tkerr's post |  #36

Its like buying a car. It will get you from point A to Point B. Why do I buy bigger intake and exhaust? Why I pay few thousand dollars to add a turbo to it?
Well.. Simple. I want to get there in 1 min instead of 2hrs!


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Apr 30, 2011 22:00 |  #37

Personally I think all these plugins out there are companies just trying to make money. Now using alot of well known photogs to push them on people too. While I have a couple myself I try not to use them. If theres a certain look I want I'll use my photoshop experience to acheive it if possible, if not, I'll look for a plug in. But this is very rare for me.

To me, photography is getting away from itself and what it used to be. Alot of stuff you see nowadays is pure manipulated garbage posted by people who lack the creativity and talent to do it without these so called plugins.


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Apr 30, 2011 22:43 |  #38

Bob Hasty wrote in post #12324843 (external link)
Personally I think all these plugins out there are companies just trying to make money. Now using alot of well known photogs to push them on people too. While I have a couple myself I try not to use them. If theres a certain look I want I'll use my photoshop experience to acheive it if possible, if not, I'll look for a plug in. But this is very rare for me.

To me, photography is getting away from itself and what it used to be. Alot of stuff you see nowadays is pure manipulated garbage posted by people who lack the creativity and talent to do it without these so called plugins.

Hmm, feeling a little cranky? It's OK to have a viewpoint, but, well, to many "purists" are a bit too sanctimonious toward others who don't have the same viewpoint or practices, whether it be in photography or, well, just about any field, especially in the fields that have some mix of skill and creativity...


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Damian75
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May 01, 2011 05:51 |  #39

I am a bit of a purist in that I think you should try to create as much of the image in the camera as possible before moving to manipulation. But this applies to digital and film the better the original the better the end result. That said once in the darkroom, digital or otherwise you use what tools work for you. Contrast filters in the darkroom were the original plugin. I think some peoples dislike for plugins comes from one of 2 places, they have seen them abused, people stacking plugin effect on top of plugin with no real idea of what they are doing, and second they saw an image that was made with the help of plugins and they were envious they didn't know how to do it.


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bohdank
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May 01, 2011 09:52 |  #40

I am with the "results" crowd. It really doesn't matter how you get there as mentioned. A crap image lovingly worked on with "craftsmanship" is still a crap image. The fact that it was all done manually has no redeeming value, imo.

Now, if you have some personal interest in doing it step-by-step, all the more power to you but people are still going to judge the results and not how they were obtained.

So, whether one method is better than an another should only be judged in the the context of the result desired.

Don't get too caught up in the mechanics until you know where you want to go (final image).

There are other forces that affect how we do things such as lack of time but there are always compromises, for the most of us, not least of which is not knowing how to use the tools available. I definitely fall into both those categories.


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May 01, 2011 15:18 |  #41

You could say I'm a "purist" in practice, in that I set out to take photos that are meant for some "digital darkroom" development in my Raw processor and are then ready to be used -- I rarely mess with a photo in Photoshop these days.

That being said, I think it's just silly to "judge" the use of plug-ins or in fact of any level of graphical development as well (two different things). Why bother? The graphical arts have overlapped photography all through the history of photography. Some may specialize in one craft, some in the other, some strive for excellence in both. Who am I to judge which skill set is "better"?

As to photo plug-ins such as Nik, Topaz, whatever -- I admit I've never used them. For one thing, like I said, all my processing tends to be with Raw files in my Raw processor. Even though there are plug-ins available for, say, Lightroom, for the type of photography I do they just don't have a compelling appeal, plus I am not financially set to shell out several hundred dollars on apps that don't actually meet a vital need. Oh well -- I did get Noise Ninja a few years ago -- as a Lightroom 1 user it didn't have a well-working plug-in, so I believe I got the version that had the stand-alone app as well as the Photoshop plug-in. Well, guess what? I've never used it:)!

But, well, anyone who is happy with the results they get from a plug-in, I'm happy for! And anyone who gets "cool" graphic manipulations of their photos in their pixel editor, I'll check 'em out and be fine with that. And, over the years of just using Photoshop, I did my time learning what I could -- cloning and compositing and such, came out with some "nice" results, I just don't really have the time and motivation anymore for that "creative" type of work! Ah well...


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ChasP505
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May 01, 2011 15:27 |  #42

Bob Hasty wrote in post #12324843 (external link)
Personally I think all these plugins out there are companies just trying to make money....


Heaven forbid! They should all take an example from more altruistic companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe.


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May 05, 2011 21:18 |  #43

What's up with snobs? The whole point is to produce images that you love. Who cares how you get there? The one's your using, NIK and onOne, are excellent. Take a look at Topaz Labs' stuff, too. And Photomatix for HDR. Carry on, and to the snobs? Screw 'em.


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TGrundvig
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May 05, 2011 21:31 |  #44

Bob Hasty wrote in post #12324843 (external link)
Personally I think all these plugins out there are companies just trying to make money. Now using alot of well known photogs to push them on people too. While I have a couple myself I try not to use them. If theres a certain look I want I'll use my photoshop experience to acheive it if possible, if not, I'll look for a plug in. But this is very rare for me.

To me, photography is getting away from itself and what it used to be. Alot of stuff you see nowadays is pure manipulated garbage posted by people who lack the creativity and talent to do it without these so called plugins.

Umm....you realize Ansel Adams did some of the same things these software do, he just did it in a dark room....you do know that, right? Dodging and burning, HDR, etc.....these are old school techniques that have been transferred from darkroom to digital. Filters were used like crazy back in the film days, those too were replaced by software.

Usually when people go off on rants like this it is because they have no idea just how many things the film photogs used to get the images they ended up with. Those images didn't come right off the negative like that, they were manipulated with filters and in the darkroom. Manipulated to deliver an image that would sell. Don't kid yourself by thinking this is some new age thing, this stuff has been done for decades.


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May 05, 2011 22:56 |  #45

I would be willing to bet more than half of the snobs got some plugins If not all of them.


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Attitudes towards third party Photoshop plugins
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