Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Photoshop Corner #011

"Power-Retouche Photoshop Filters"

by Uwe Steinmueller


More and more of very useful task for our photo editing is done using Photoshop plug-ins. Photoshop was more created for graphics designers and the use by photographers was more an afterthought.
A few days ago I got form Jan Esmann (from Denmark) knowledge of his Photoshop plug-ins for photographers. The surprising thing is that Esmann is not a photographer, he is a painter. But this should raise our attention because good painters are very sensitive to color.

The Power-Retouche plug-in set (all 16-bit) consists of filters for:

  • Lens (lens corrections)
  • Noise removal
  • Colourstich (subtle WB corrections)
  • Exposure
  • Sharpness
  • Saturation
  • Contrast
  • Color
  • Transparency
  • Brightness

It seems that you can do mostly with Photoshop. May be. But it is far more complicated and not always the same quality as you get with Power-Retouche.

You can find more description on the Power-Retouche(PR) home page. Filters are sold as set or single filter. I looks as if the sample downloads are blocked at this time but you can download the manual pages for all filters (download from each filter description page).

In this issue of the Photoshop Corner I only will show you two of these filters.


Sharpening is a never ending story and using Photoshop's USM filter is not the best way to go.

Some better approaches are:

Sharpening has to deal with a lot of compromises and that makes good sharpening a tough issue.

One of the main goals of the Power-Retouche sharpening is to avoid halos (white borders) which alwasy indicate bad sharpening.


Before/after the use of PR sharpening

This is a photo from the Canon EOS-1D + 400mm f/4 DO + 1.4x (~728mm) @ f/8, 1/250, ISO 320 (tripos and natural light).

If you see the right crop in the context of the full image (a crop of 1300x1156) it even looks quite sharp. You are invited to get such sharp result from any other digital camera on the market (and low RAW conversion sharpening). But you also can see that PR sharpening improves the photo a lot without any halo.

The sharpneing process takes some time on larger images but is worth the wait. I think the results are very impressive without even playing with all the options provided by PR's sharpening editor.

01/22/2002: The performance got improved in the latest version.
Colorstich (WB corrections)
For along time I was looking for some easy WB correction in Photoshop. I think I have found it now: PR'r Colorstich filter.
It works in terms of the photographic KB20-KR20 filters. The juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron looks a bit cold. This gets easily fixed using the obove settings.
At some later time I probably will discuss some of the other filters too. Very intersting filters indeed.


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