In today's digital photography age, it's easy to spend countless hours on the computer fixing images. Personally, I would rather spend my time capturing photos; therefore, I'm always searching for products that make my post-production process easier. I found two such products from Image Trends: ShineOff and PearlyWhites plug-in filters.
I was introduced to ShineOff and PearlyWhites last year and found both to be indispensable tools in my workflow. Just as a makeup artist would tone down shiny skin using face powder, ShineOff digitally removes unwanted shine on my subject's skin without affecting other highlights that show dimension in my images. Essentially, ShineOff is my post-production makeup artist. The PearlyWhites filter, on the other hand, automatically whitens teeth, giving my subjects a natural look. As an added bonus, the whites of the eyes are whitened slightly.
If you've used earlier versions, there are free upgrades that feature a slider so you can control the amount of cosmetic correction to your images without having to use a layer mask. Both filters can be used on individual images or as a Photoshop action to batch-process multiple images.
Since we're visual artists, the before-and-after photos illustrate the beauty of both filters. In the images below, a combination of both the PearlyWhites and ShineOff filters was used. Model Sara Nash was photographed in my studio for a cover of a magazine (bottom left). Though a makeup artist was present, the warm temperature outside, coupled with my studio lights, created unwanted shine on Sara's face. Using ShineOff at 60% on the custom slider proved to be just enough "face powder" for this model. In the final image (bottom right), notice how Sara's teeth and the whites of her eyes are slightly "whitened," producing a striking photograph that looks very natural and not overdone.
The added beauty of ShineOff and PearlyWhites is they both work very well with multiple subjects and large groups. The "before" photograph (top right) of Michael Johnson and Michelle Lopez shows excessive facial shine on the skin. Notice the highlights on the nose and forehead area of both models. After applying ShineOff and adjusting the slider to 70%, Michael and Michelle are both beautifully retouched in a matter of minutes (at right). If you look at the before-and-after photos, you will see the remarkable natural application of "face powder" that ShineOff produces.
You can't afford to be without these two easy-to-use and valuable filters. The small investment you make for ShineOff and PearlyWhites will certainly save you hours of retouching, allowing you to shoot more photos and increase your bottom line.
For more information on Image Trends' ShineOff and PearlyWhites plug-ins, go to the website at www.imagetrendsinc.com.
Allison Earnest (www.allisonearnestphotography.com), Colorado Springs and Denver, CO, has been a commercial, advertising photographer for more than 23 years. Specializing in fashion, beauty, advertising, executive portraits, and fine art, her clientele includes Boeing International, NASA, US Army, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Sy-Coleman/L3Com, Estes-Cox, Centinela Medical Hospital, and Phillip Morris. Her images have appeared in multiple publications.