BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Posts Tagged ‘Adobe Photoshop

Software Test Drive II: Tiffen’s Dfx Version 2

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This is the second installment of the Tiffen Dfx Version 2 test drive

I used to hate editing digital photos. I trained in the “film” days and preferred working in the darkroom versus in the “digital darkroom” aka a Mac computer and Adobe’s Photoshop version 4.0.

Original image (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Original image (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Now, things have changed. I use Apple’s Aperture 2.0, Adobe’s Photoshop CS4 Extended and a host of plug-in software that makes editing a little easier and a little less cumbersome.

"Faded" filter

"Faded" filter

So, I’m always excited to try out a new piece of software. After seeing the ads for Tiffen’s Dfx software in numerous photo magazines, I decided to give it a look. Then, I wrote a media release about the software and posted to this Website. Now, I want to show you some quick edits you can make using the program.

Yes, you can do these effects yourself in Photoshop but using the plugin software is way easier … it’s a click of the button versus the trial-and-error process in Photoshop. Plus, once you’ve selected the filter, you can still tweak it out in Photoshop to make the look completely yours.

You can go to the Tiffen Website and downloaded a free 15-day trial of the program as a plugin for Photoshop.

"Antique" filter

"Antique" filter

There are 110 individual filters with thousands of customizable presets. The interface is extremely easy to navigate but I wished the gallery was a little more simplified.

I really like the fact the program supports 16-bit image processing and RAW files (I’m shooting RAW images with a Canon 5D Mark II) and I really like the layering feature so multiple filter effects can be layered.

As a whole, I will give the program a three-out-of-five stars.

Quick Look:
Product: Tiffen Dfx Version 2
Price: $299.95 for Photoshop and Aperture plugin; $99.95 standalone
Rating: ✭✭✭✰✰


Photo Critique 11: ‘Untitled,’ by Renier.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Renier, my former student in Miami, Florida.

"Untitled," by Renier DP, Miami, Florida.

"Untitled," by Renier DP, Miami, Florida.

General Overview:
Renier, this image is outside of the typical photographs you take and I always like to see you try new things. It’s always good to break out of your comfort zone, especially as a student. The concept for this image is great … it creates the setting of a story and has a real reminiscent feel to it. You set a nice tone with the image.

Good job.

Here are a few improvements I think will make the image better: First, the highlights are a bit too overexposed, causing a loss of color in the sky and in the ocean. On camera fix would be either to purchase a polarizing filter or a split density filter. In computer fixes may include toning down the highlights and brining out more shadow.

Secondly, I wouldn’t mind seeing this image a little closer to the dog. I think if the dog was closer (which would make it appear bigger) and occupying the bottom corner of the frame, it would give a little more depth to the image.

Next, there’s a person popping through in the grassline on the upper right side. Remove the person in editing. If you planned the person being there, it didn’t work in the image because they, as the secondary subject, were not tied in well with the primary subject – the dog.

A quick edit: Changed the saturation levels, added some more clouds, cropped the image and removed the person via Photoshop (Photo Credit: Renier DP, edit by Jeremy W. Schneider)

A quick edit: Changed the saturation levels, added some more clouds, cropped the image and removed the person via Photoshop (Photo Credit: Renier DP, edit by Jeremy W. Schneider)

Finally, I think I would enhance the colors just a little bit. I think the greens would look better if they “popped” more.

Renier, keep up the good work and keep trying new concepts.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at

Written by jeremyparce

April 14, 2009 at 7:27 am