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Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

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Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby cat_rose_97 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:29 pm

Hello,

I am a relatively new PSP user. I'm currently in the midst of photographing and retouching outdoor pictures of my daughter for her to use for her high school senior portrait.

This project has been a great learning experience in both outdoor photography and portrait processing. I have gotten pretty good and touching up the portraits, but they still seem (to me) to lack the extra sparkle that I see on portraits from professional photographers.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend some plugins that would work well with outdoor portraits. I currently have PSP X8 and run Windows 10.

Thank you so much!
Kristy
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby Jean-Luc » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:42 pm

IMHO, it is not a matter of plugin but of mastering the light during the photography. If the light is bad or not well used, no plugin will improve the fail. "Photo-graphy" means "write with light". It needs sometime months before to master this domain.
You could perhaps give us a sample of what you have and ask here if someone may improve your picture. It is difficult to give advice without to "see" the photo. 8)
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby trueblue » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:04 am

Hi cat_rose, you could try Topaz Adjust. It's a very good plugin for photography. It's not free, but very much worth it.
https://www.topazlabs.com/adjust
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby cat_rose_97 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:41 pm

Jean-Luc and Trueblue,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my rather awkwardly-worded question. As someone new to PSP, I was finding it difficult to put my question into words.

I have spent the past few days reading up on PSP scripts and plugins. While researching, I have discovered products like Florabella and Paint the Moon. Now I understand how some photographers are getting that "look".

Not that I am not intrigued by the products, but my budget is small and I kind of like the idea of figuring out how to do my own retouching. Also, I do want to try and keep my portraits fairly natural - enhanced, but not TOO enhanced (which can be a hard boundary to find, I think). So I won't be buying anything...yet. :)

I am practicing a lot and coming up with my own fairly decent workflow. And, my daughter is happy with how the pictures look.

Thank you!
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby rvk82 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:00 pm

Portrait Pro and Portraiture are 2 popular plugins that help improve your portrait shots. They are pretty expensive though, however free trials are available.
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby cat_rose_97 » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:38 am

Thank you rvk82, I got the free trials you suggested, along with a Topaz free trial (thank you, Trueblue).

I am wondering if there is a PSP forum where users post before and after pictures and get constructive criticism of their photo editing.
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby Jean-Luc » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:07 pm

cat_rose_97 wrote:
I am wondering if there is a PSP forum where users post before and after pictures and get constructive criticism of their photo editing.

As I said in my first message, you could put a sample here...
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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby JoeB » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:40 am

Further to what others have said, the Athentech Perfectly Clear plugin is very good IMHO. Version 2 of the plugin is free with X8 but unfortunately it lacks the filter which is most important for portrait work - i.e., the Beautify filter. A good filter does things that you can actually do with PSP but does it much faster and with a few clicks.

That said, I note that you said you are now learning a bit about how professionals get the effects they get when enhancing photos. When doing portraiture one of the most important elements is the eye or the eyes of the subject of the portrait, as that is what generally attracts the viewer's attention first. You should google portrait eye enhancement and portrait eye highlights to get more info. Basically, little tricks like adding a glint to the eyes helps a lot, and ensuring that the eyes are clear and sharp is another. Filters like Perfectly Clear's Beautify even allow you to make some adjustments to the size of the eye by raising the eyelids, etc., which can have a dramatic effect with only small adjustments. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any free or really inexpensive plugins that do really good portrait enhancements. And unless you have the finances and time to afford working with several flashes, umbrellas, sync systems, etc., then for most of us the enhancements do have to be done with software rather than "in the field".

Outside of portraits, there are free and inexpensive plugins that can enhance the look of outdoor photography, and these things can usually be done relatively easily in PSP with a bit of practice. Images in travel magazines have "pop" because of use of HDR, clarity and local contrast filters, etc. These effects can be done with native PSP tools, effects and filters but just take more effort and time than a plugin dedicated to those operations. And unlike portrait photography, where you have some control over a limited environment for your subject, landscape photography doesn't allow you that luxury because you are at the mercy - to a large extent - of the ambient lighting of the landscape. And that is even more limited by the time you have available to shoot the landscape when the ambient lighting (morning, evening, stormy, etc.) is at its best for the effect you want to achieve. So software is really almost always needed to get that "sparkle" or "pop" that you see in magazines like National Geographic and travel mags.
Regards,

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Re: Plugins for outdoor portrait photography

Postby arleneandreea » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:18 am

I think you can search online about plugins and contact with expert photographer who can tell you about best plugins for your portrait photography.
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