And still on the editing theme, I thought i'd go into more detail on some editing software i mentioned the other day - RadLab. If you haven't heard of this before, it's a Plug-In for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements that allows you to edit your photos very quickly, creatively and easily. It really does make editing such a breeze, it's almost sinful :)
Here's how it works. When you open up a photo in PS/Elements, you have the option to take it into RadLab, either just by pressing the RadLab button (this is installed when you install RadLab) or going to FILTER > Radlab. When you do, this opens up the RadLab Interface.
You'll instantly see visuals of all the different editing options available, like in the picture below. On the left is my original image, and in the middle is my image with an edit applied (you don't have to have the original showing - I just wanted to show this here) On the left is thumbnails of the affects you can apply to your images and on the far right is the sliders you can use to fine tune each of these affects.
Each one of these affects is called a "stylet" and you can combine as many of these as you want to give you a perfect look. You can also adjust the strength and look of each stylet, simply by moving the sliders to achieve the look you want.
That's right - no more wondering if the image will look better a little warmer, or with a vintage feel, or in black and white - you can see all the various options instantly! All you need to do is hover over the stylet, and you'll get a preview of how the image will look if that were applied.
It's ridiculously easy to use - you simply click on the thumbnail of the affect you want to add to your photo and it does it for you! Even if you had never opened up Photoshop Elements or Photoshop before you would be off and running in under a minute.
In the screenshot above you can see my original image on the left, and then an image preview of how it looks with my adjustments applied. On the far left are all the thumbnails that show how my image will look with that "stylet" applied, and next to it (on the farthest left) is a list of the ones I have applied, with the sliders underneath to allow me to fine tune each one to my taste (I always lower them way down) or take them off again if I decide I don't like them. The whole interface is ridiculously easy to use, that I pretty much guarantee you'll love it.
If you want a black and white, there are several to choose from, and again you are done in a couple of clicks.
Here's the image I worked on SOOC and the two edits I did (both start to finish in RadLab)
So, how does RadLab compare to traditional actions? Well, unlike actions (where you have to play each action to see the affect) RadLab shows you a "preview" of each affect - so you can see whether you like that affect or not BEFORE you apply it. For me, this is the best part of RadLab since I don't always have time to run an action, see if I like it, try another, and so on.
Anyway, that's RadLab! If you like the sound of it you can try it out for free (you used to be able to get the full version for a month, but it looks like you get a sample of it now)
As an aside, I've also just downloaded the sample pack of Replichrome (by the same people, Get Totally Rad) which is meant to give you the look of film on your digital images. I will let you know how that goes later!