Continued from page 1
The software is called “PhotoKit” and is available from Pixel Genius for only $49.95. I bought Mac version and it is wonderful. I have played around with it now and have found that you can get varying degrees of whatever you want that looks similar to what you used to be able to do with your old lens filters and drop-down tools. Even more possibilities are now available to you. One of my favorites is ability to lasso areas and “clear” results of diffusion keeping eyes and teeth sparkly and sharp.
Now that you are no longer needing actual lens filters you may make same mistake I did originally and not have your lens hood or bellows shade on digital camera. This is a mistake especially with digital; you still need to shade your lens from any ambient light even more than you did when you used film as exposure latitude is not as great as it was with film and milky images are even more devastating with digital capture. You will get vignetting from shading device at wider angles but just do what you did before you had access to zoom lenses and take hood off when using wide angles. (Most pros using medium format film cameras did not have zoom lenses.) You shouldn’t use anything below a normal lens for portraits anyway. (The 35mm lens setting with digital cameras).
If there is a downside to doing your diffusion in computer now it’s that customer can’t really see results on proof, so they have to “trust” your artistic license. But it was like this with retouching too so there will be a short new education curve for your clientele to learn, or to save yourself from disaster you might offer a second proof appointment to show customer a proof of their selected images with added softening or diffusion. It’s going to take more time and you’ll end up with having to rework some things more than you want so I’d only recommend this for customers like mine who’s initial concern was diffusion issue. You may also consider adding fees for “enhancement” to your price list just like you did for retouching and put such things as vignetting, softening and retouching all under heading of “enhancement”. You can even charge a proofing fee for those who want to proof how finished results will look, or else they “sign-off” that they accept any modifications sight-unseen.
In summary, softening and diffusion can be done effectively and professionally but it’s not as easy as it used to be when you’d just pick filter you wanted and pop it over lens. Your old on-camera lens filters will often turn your digital images to “mush” or images of weak contrast that may or may not be salvageable.
-Tom Ray is a Certified Professional Photographer through the Professional Photographers of America. If you are interested in his full story please go to: www.rayphotography.com/EbookAD.html