Falling In Love with HDR and other “Special Effects”
The story starts around the year 2005, with one of my great if not greatest examples of photography: Trey Radcliff
At the time, it was mainly because of his breathtaking HDR images that gave me a completely new perspective on digital photography, actually it was not especially about the HDR but more about the “effect” that made his photos special and stand out from normal digital images.
And of course also today his photos are unbelievably beautiful, more, they are extraordinary.
You can visit his site and blog at https://stuckincustoms.com/ and check out his jaw dropping images at https://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/
The Software problem
My first steps into HDR, and thus applying an effect to an image, was with HDR Essentials, which I had purchased over the internet. The software worked reasonably well, although it was limited in its capabilities, but the major disaster was that its creator stopped further development, and the software became worthless. Being an IT specialist myself, I realized all too well that I was very dependent on the software to achieve an effect. It would not be the first time in software world where you build something over time, and through an update or renewal can start from scratch. And usually all those image editing software is expensive, and continue to cost money.
Over the years, and with a switch from Windows to Linux, I have started working more and more with open source software such as Gimp, Luminance HDR, Hugin and Rawtherapee.
Rawtherapee has also improved a lot over the years, but in the possibility to use presets and Haldclut’s (Luts), I saw an opportunity to create and capture image effects, which would also be useful in later versions of RawTherapee and even in other image editing software, Thus, creating an effect independent of its software !
With the first version of PictureFX the intention was to show that you could create nice effects with one click, in the background the idea was to obtain a kind of NIK software effect, and surprisingly there was interest ! the effects were nice enough to show up in Gmic – Thank You David Tschumperlé ! and the Free Online Film Emulator made by Jonas Wagner, Thanks Jonas ! Today, about 5 years later, we are back, film simulation has become super popular, and the range of film recipes is very large. Many photographers are fascinated by the atmosphere of real film, and today you can find just about any film emulsion ever produced in a recipe / lut or preset. But that’s not what I want to achieve, I want to specialize in “special effects” and if possible to provoke a Wow effect with one click.
Through the years, the experience gained, and by using and combining the strength of Rawtherapee / Luminance and Hugin it is possible to obtain exceptional results.
and so PictureFX v3.0 was born. So, although it is usually a one click effect, adjustments may be required to get the desired result.
And the name? I think that is obvious? picture effects = Picture FX = PictureFX
So, a new series of HaldCluts, Cluts or Luts, whatever you want to call them – and some new presets or profiles for RawTherapee too.
HaldClut’s – Lut’s : in RawTherapee, Darktable, and via G’MIC-Qt plugin also in Gimp, Paint.net, Krita, Digikam…
PictureFX Mystical Series :
PictureFX Mystical Series – seven Lut’s, fourteen presets, for color and black and white.
More information about PictureFX Mystical Series : https://marcrphoto.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/new-picturefx-mystical-series/https://marcrphoto.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/new-picturefx-mystical-series/
click on the logo to download :
PictureFX B&W :
PictureFX B&W – four Lut’s, each with a built-in filter : Red, Blue, Green and Yellow.
For more information click here.
PictureFX NOIR :
PictureFX NOIR – three sets Lut’s for “NOIR” simulation
For more information click here.
PictureFX Faux Infrared :
PictureFX Faux Infrared, six Luts – five different IR colors, many gradations possible.
Also available in the G’MIC-Qt plugin, and thus in Gimp, Krita, Paint.net, Digikam
More information about PictureFX Faux Infrared click here.
Against all expectations I still made a “real 35mm film” simulation, the PictureFX version of the famous Fujifilm camera simulation series :
PictureFX Fujifilm Provia :
The first, and not everything went as expected. But after some setbacks, here’s a first version
PictureFX Fujifilm Classic Chrome :
The Classic Chrome, although this Fuji simulation never existed as a “real” 35mm film, it is probably their most used simulation and praised by many photographers.
PictureFX Fujifilm Velvia
PictureFX Fujifilm Astia
PictureFX Fujifilm Acros :
And here is the legendary Fujifilm Acros, at least the PictureFX version of it 🙂
And more to come!
As we write I’m busy with developing more “effects”, maybe not all so “extreme”, but useful for any photographer I think.
- Color Corrections: filters to make mood or color adjustments in one or a whole series of photos at once
- Cinematic FX: mimic cinematic effects such as Comedy, Crime Scene and Adventure, as in the French Amelie, or James Bond seventies movies, Iron Man and the French Connection. filter series to make atmosphere / mood adjustments.