We’ve all suffered these blunders and we have a choice we can make – hit the delete key or we can actually try something new to rescue it or give an image new life. Please bear in mind I like to play around with my images - sometimes you just never know what might happen as you start goofing around with creative filters.
There are several programs or plug-ins out there that can be either bought and downloaded or are free to download and use. Of course, free is best. Who doesn’t like free? For the purpose of this post, I thought I would introduce a few of these options I’ve become familiar with. Images within this article have been taken with a digital SLR (either my previous Canon Rebel 6.1 MP or my newer Canon 50D. I treat the images taken as best as I can within the Canon Digital Photo Professional program my cameras came with.
However, there are times - well, let's just admit it - I messed up with my settings. Now, what to do?
Pretty yucky looking, right? Well, enter a plugin from Redfield called Fractalius.
It’s certainly a far cry from the original version and I called this new image “Night Heron” because it gave me the impression of a bird hunkered down for the evening with the moonlight splashing over him. I can expand my visual picture in my mind thinking the moon is full and shining high off to the left. Just in running this poor image through a digital filter, a whole new story developed around this image.
Here are a few more images run through with different options in Fractalius:
Another hum drum image that just seemed to lack some life despite the beauty of the scene and the blue sky. Hum... what to do with this one?
Let’s try Fotosketcher. This program is a free download and has several effects from pencil sketches to watercolor effects or even adding frames and canvas like textures.
For this image, I chose the “oil painting” filter, canvas texture and heavier brushstrokes. I truly believe this is my favorite image I have ever made - either straight out of the camera or digitally altered. This image seemed to have had some life breathed into it with brighter colors and the look of a painting. Actually, this inspires me to want to break out a real canvas and paints!
Beside the full image is a detail crop showing the brush strokes and texture effect.
Here's my favorite monarch images. It's a nice image just as it is out of the camera with minimal adjustments - maybe just a touch of contrast and sharpening but nothing more. However, there are times I just cannot leave well enough alone and want to play.
Here are a couple other versions of the same image using different filters in that plug-in.
If you have other programs or plugins you'd like to suggest, feel free to contact me!