The above After image was manipulated with the current version of Perfect Effects 8 that is being offered for free. There are 10 filters I used, one on top of the other. In January of this year I had been offered a free, promotional copy and grabbed it- not really knowing what I would get, only that I would get it for free. After putting this post together, I wanted to replace these images with something that showed a flashier transformation, not so subtle a change. But I had already submitted the photos and a short paragraph to Stacy. So at the end of this, I will add two more images. After and Before.
I love Perfect Effects 8. At least, I loved it until I mentioned that I would do a post about it. Big mouth me! Several people have checked out the free version (upon my recommendation) and can not understand what my enthusiasm is all about. That might be because the version they currently offer for free is a stripped down version of the promotional copy I received in January.
“… download Perfect Effects 8 Free Edition – it’s yours to keep forever! With more than 125 free photo effects, Perfect Effects 8 Free Edition gives you a great way to instantly add subtle to striking effects to your photos.” 125 free photo effects? Well, sure. I guess. If you count the sliders that affect the 9 presets that are available you might be able to come up with 125 variables. But with such reasoning, the full version I have (which normally costs $100) would give one approximately 400 to 500 free photo effects. I can not say I am very pleased with what feels like bait and switch. And I’m sure they have very good reasons for no longer offering the full version for free. After all, they are a business and I do not begrudge them making a profit.
Though Perfect Effects 8 can be used as a stand alone app, I would not recommend doing so. The image above could not be straightened, nor are there the variety of tools such as Lightroom has. What I find very much to my liking is how PE8 improves the quality of sharpness of my images. I have an inexpensive Canon kit lens that I have never been happy with. Now, I feel as if a layer of gauze (I almost said a film) has been lifted from my images or my eyes. My photos are so much crisper and cleaner now. Yes, I know I went overboard quite a bit in the beginning. And I do not promise that from time to time I might not do so again. But with two such powerful processing tools now in my arsenal, I often feel as if I must push and push and push.
And then, push a little more.
My virtual friend Justin of J.T. Avery Photography wrote: “I also took a look at the Perfect Effects 8 software and can’t help but laugh at their marketing ploy, which is the same as many other software companies. I like how they always take great shots and make them look more appealing which gives a false sense that if anyone uses this software that they can make their snapshots look like professional shots with just the click of the mouse. It would be nice if they showed some decently composed shots before processing that look kind of so-so and then apply some settings from the software that make it pop.” He gave me permission to reprint that quote by telling me: “You can quote whatever you want as long as it doesn’t make me look bad. 🙂 “
So if he looks bad, I look bad, too, because I agree with him. Up to a point. I believe that what he is describing in their advertising is a ploy practiced by all companies when promoting their product! So I really don’t fault them for that. But they do show you what can be done with their full version of Perfect Effects *, not the free version. As I said, I love Perfect Effects 8. My full version. The free version I would have a hard time endorsing!
OK, now for dessert- if I may be so bold. An original, straight from the camera, image! The real reason we ended up at Cold Creek was for the wild horses that come down from the mountains each day for food and drink.
In Lightroom I straightened the shot balanced the whites and blacks, highlights and shadows, then exported to Lightroom where I used an HDR Look filter, then a Color Enhancer filter, A Sunshine filter, and a Tone Enhancer filter. All, gobbledygook, right? Take my word for it, They all work to improve the image. Then I transferred back into Lightroom and colored the water blue then added a vignette.
So thanks Stacy of Visual Venturing for continuing to chaperone this dance week after week and I apologize if I do not attend every week. Still, you graciously allow me to come back again and again!