Adobe Photoshop is one of the best and most powerful applications photographers can use in post-processing their images (on both Windows and Mac operating systems). What it does as a photo editor, is allow both novice and professional photographers alike the tools, filters, and effects needed to create extraordinary images.
Along with Photoshop’s default features, it also comes equipped to handle third-party plugins — meaning you can enhance and further extend the software’s already exceptional functionality with your chosen plugin. There are hundreds of add-ons (both free and paid) out there and available for download –– and they all seem to offer a wide array of possibilities when it comes to taking your photos to the next level.
From an introduction to Photoshop, to a list of the most popular tools, to what plugins to use for better results —we’ll cover all the basics and help to give you a broad understanding of Photoshop plugins.
image courtesy adobe.com
What is Photoshop and How is it Used?
You’ve heard the phrase, “to Photoshop an image” — in which “Photoshop” has become such a massive word in the photo editing industry, that it’s actually turned itself into a verb.
Adobe Photoshop offers an easy-to-use and complete set of professional photography tools that help you retouch your photos, remove objects, combine multiple images and more.
Perform simple adjustments, experiment with advanced controls and keep your images organized — that’s the name of the game in Photoshop.
What Tools Are Most Popular?
When it comes to Photoshop education, there are a wide assortment of popular and creative tools that photographers enjoy using to enhance their images.
Here are some examples:
image courtesy adobe.com
1. Brush Tool
The Brush Tool comes in handy because it allows you to blend layers together — in other words, take one layer and lower its opacity, allowing the layer underneath to show through.
2. Selection Tool
The Selection Tool allows you to select specific areas of your images in order to cut them out, transform them, duplicate them and more.
3. Spot Healing Brush Tool
The Spot Healing Brush Tool removes elements like skin imperfections and shadow spots.
4. Clone Tool
Like the brush tool, the clone tool helps to adjust the opacity, the brush diameter, and the hardness level. It can work on a duplicate layer and allow you to mask in the effects.
How Can We Use Plugins to Get Better Results?
Photoshop plugins can be used on specific tasks to produce incredible end results. What a plugin does, is provide specific photo effects to your image. These are a mix of technical effects and creative effects — but all will yield specific end results.
Here are some of the most useful ways to use plugins in your images.
Removing Unnecessary Objects
Removing unnecessary elements and objects in your images is possible using traditional Photoshop tools like the Clone Tool and the Healing Brush Tool mentioned above. More professional users can use layers and complex masking, though these tools can prove difficult to master.
To make the process easier and more effective, opt for a special Photoshop plugin like Snapheal. With Snapheal, you can remove unwanted objects from your photos by simply moving your mouse and highlighting what’s unnecessary.
In addition, you can also heal skin imperfections with the help of Snapheal’s “Retouch” mode. You’ll also enjoy control over color, contrast, tone, sharpness and more — to give you the easy-to-use power to create stunning photos.
Removing Digital Noise
In Adobe Photoshop, professional users pinpoint exactly where the noise is causing trouble in their images by using the RGB channels. From there, they can apply certain Photoshop filters on the different channels and work to reduce the noise of their image.
Noiseless takes this same idea — but makes it easy. It’s an amazing professional plugin for Photoshop that works to make your photos look smooth and natural by removing the randomly colored pixels and bringing forth the original sharpness of your image.
You can even adjust the level of denoise — from Extreme Effect for night images and Soft Effect for photos taken during the brightness of day.
Adding Vibrancy To Your Images
In Photoshop, vibrancy and depth of color can be added through traditional tools and layers.
This is where a plugin like Intensify takes photos to the next level. With Intensify, you can enhance any detail of your photo by selecting one of seven given presets (Architecture, Black & White, Creative, Detail Enhancement, Image Tune, Landscape or Soft). These presets work to change the colors, contrast, sharpness, shadows, highlights and more and add vibrant layers of depth and emotion to your images.
Fixing Photos in a Single Click
In Adobe Photoshop, professional and experienced users know just what tools to use to adjust their image’s color, shape and sharpness.
The FX Photo Studio plugin enables users to do the same — while also providing the ability to “roll the dice” and adjust over 200 random presets, frames and effects, giving you beautiful results in a short amount of time. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this plugin proves to be creative, fun and effective.
Adjusting Lens and Blur Effects
Photoshop used to require the use of multiple channels, gradients and editing steps to get that perfect sort of blurring effect. Today, The Lens Blur filter offers that same sort of feel (though the filter may process slowly on a large image).
The Focus plugin offers five unique presets that make your edits playful and enjoyable in just a click. You can experiment with and explore Portrait, Nature, Architecture, Macro and Tilt-Shift for radically powerful lens and blur effects. From there, adjust Masking, Blur details, Motion amount and Focus details with all file formats for creative end results.
Creating Black and White Photos
In Adobe Photoshop, the pros use a variety of black and white conversion techniques to achieve that perfectly classic B&W image (the Hue/Saturation tool, the LAB color method technique, gradient map tool and more).
Using Tonality as a plugin, you’ll achieve that sophisticated black and white look instantly. You have the power to adjust the effects manually or leave it up to the presets. Reveal lines, shapes, structures, light and shadows while also adding more expression and style.
Experimenting with HDR Photography
Photoshop does offer HDR exposure and toning, though with the Aurora HDR plugin, you’ll find a simple, advanced (and #1 selling) HDR editor co-developed with Trey Ratcliff (the world’s most famous HDR photographer).
Aurora contains every imaginable tool needed for photographers of all skills levels to create incredible HDR images — and offers revolutionary tone mapping technology, effect masking, powerful tools and features and more.
Easy Professional-Looking Edits
Whereas Photoshop edits can often require a learning curve and time spent with a user’s manual, with the Luminar plugin comes the revolution of professional photo editing.
It takes the complexity out of photo edits by offering creative filters, layers, masking, presets, customized workspaces, and more — all the while adjusting to your skill level and style. It boasts 40 filters, 300 powerful tools and 70 unique presets — giving you stunning results, fast.
When it comes to complete sets of tools and seemingly boundless creative freedom — Adobe Photoshop is certainly one of the pioneers and experts of photo editing and enhancement.
But when it comes to exploring the world of plugins, Creative Kit offers something that not many others do. The Creative Kit plugin provides 6 extremely powerful photography apps (and 500 creative tools) inside one single and easy-to-use pack. Experiment with some of the plugins listed above (Tonality, Intensify, Focus, Noiseless, FX Photo Studio, and Snapheal) and enjoy amazing end results.
It’s easy. It’s all there. And it’s ready to take your photos to the realm of infinite possibility.
Installing Photoshop Plugins for Mac
The installation process is simple and quick. Follow the steps below and enjoy all that these fantastic presets have to offer.
Download and Installation:
Download Creative Kit or a single product
Install the application(s)
Launch the application(s)
In the upper left corner click on the name of the app
Click Install Plugins
Click Install near Photoshop
Editing and Saving:
File – Open – click on the photo – Open
Filter – Macphun Creative Kit – select the application
Do necessary adjustments
Photoshop is no doubt one of the most fascinating and incredible tools for photographers on creative market. And when it is combined with the power of these plugins, you’ll enjoy stunning photo effects, easy-to-use tools, fantastic filters, and endless creative possibilities — giving you exceptional images in a short amount of time.