As most know I am not a fan of Adobe software. I have used Paint Shop Pro since it was shareware many, many years ago. Even though I own versions X3 and X4 I still X2. When I installed X3 it just seemed to be more trouble to set up all the custom settings that I had in X2. I didn’t give it much of a chance. It is still installed and I do occasionally use it but X2 is still my primary imaging software—well except for Nikon Capture NX2 which I use for eighty percent of my post processing. I purchased X4 but I never installed it.
Some months ago I became aware that Nik had Color Efex Pro available as a plug in for Capture NX2. Someone posted a link to a 30 day trial download and I gave it a shot. I loved it but before I decided to purchase it Nik discontinued selling it for Capture. I was really hacked because now all the files that I manipulated no longer work. I have considered purchasing Elements or Lightroom just so that I would have access to CEP—neither were ideas that I liked. I am trying to teach Alcy Elements and I hate the program and we had a demo of Lightroom at the club a couple of weeks ago—I would rather give up photography first. I really do not like Adobe software. Anyway, a few days ago a friend gave me a copy of Rangerfinder which had a review of PSP X4 Ultimate. It was a pretty favorable review and what makes Untimate different from the X4 that I already own is that it includes CEP. I checked the site and I could purchase it for under $50 as an upgrade—I did. List price is $70 or $80 but if you watch, it is frequently on sale. I got a copy for Alcy for $60. That compares to Elements (without CEP) at $80 or Lightroom at $260 and then an additional $180 to add CEP to either one (don’t tell me that Adobe hasn’t created a cottage industry designed to rip off their customers.) You know me, I’m cheap!
My flies from Capture still do not work but at least I have a fun program.
Of course I have to admit that I am a little strange. I loudly denigrate using actions. I think it is cheating and most often the results are less than stellar. I also said that I would upchuck if I ever had to look at another sunset photograph and yet I make photographs of sunsets and here I sit at the computer using actions and am as happy as a lark. Go figure.
I’m working on the current Journal and wanted a “vintage” photo of the 1860 Prairie Home at George Ranch for the book so it was my first project.
I imagine that the most use I will get from CEP is on the model shoots. So most of what I am playing with are from the Photoshoots of Houston models group. I am about the only photographer in the group that doesn’t do actions so maybe I will fit in a little better. I also tried the Object Extractor—removing Caesar and Melody from studio shots and placing them in different backgrounds. Works amazingly well and very easy.