I was experimenting with silhouettes early one morning in Kauai, HI. The camera was triggered with a wireless shutter release (was thankful I didn’t have to scramble back and forth through the sand and rocks using the self-timer). I’m sure that someone thinks that there’s only one right way to shoot silhouettes but my preference is to error on the side of slightly overexposing relative to a completely black silhouette. This varies based on the background but I want to make sure to get enough detail in the non-silhouetted portions of the photo. Of course I could composite multiple exposures but I find it simpler to use Lightroom and/or Photoshop to reduce the exposure in the appropriate areas to get a complete silhouette if that’s what I’m after. Often there’s no need for this extra work though — I usually can get I what I want in-camera (I did with this one). Shooting brackets isn’t a bad idea either if you’re unsure. The textures were added via OnOne Perfect Photo Suite.
A recent sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico along Padre Island National Seashore. The image was processed with 4 or 5 different textures in OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite. After that I did a few Photoshop curves adjustments…that’s it.
Some time ago I took the plunge and purchased OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite 6. I finally got time to try it out so I grabbed the image (original below) of some cows in pasture to try it out OnOne’s tools. It was a very small jpg (only 344k) but it was conveniently sitting around on my desktop. [Regarding the shot itself: I was traveling in east Texas recently and while heading out to work early one morning saw these cows and took the shot. I liked the peaceful, foggy scene.].
I opened up this image in Perfect Photo Suite 6 in the software’s standalone mode (previous versions required opening from Photoshop I believe). I first used the Effects panel and the Textures sub-panel to add several texture layers (there are layer and masking capabilities similar to Photoshop) , adjusting “strength”, masking out a few spots, and changing blending modes. There are additional settings as well. For instance, you can select “normal”, “subtle”, “lighter”, and “darker” options in a “Mode” drop down which change the initial effect.
I then went into the Frames panel and added the film border which included the decay effect along the edges. There are roughly 1500 individual frames to choose from and a myriad of options which can be tweaked for each. Of course you can combine effects as well…ENDLESS options.
My impression based on this 15-minute experimental session? Good stuff. There are some things which will take getting used to regarding the particulars of using the masks and such. I’m not implying anything negative though — I’m just used to Photoshop and it will take a little practice to become proficient in the subtleties of OnOne’s tools. There is clearly a lot of potential and I will definitely be digging into Perfect Photo Suite 6 more deeply.