When Is A Plug-In Not A Plug-In?
When it's Pixel Genius' (www.pixelgenius.com)
PhotoKit. Showing up in Photoshop CS' File>Automate menu tree, the
$49.95 PhotoKit is a photographer's toolkit that includes 141 effects
offering digital versions of traditional analog photographic effects that range
from automatic burning and dodging, to toning, to adding black edges to your
images. A simple dialog calls up the PhotoKit tool sets, but there is no real
plug-in interface, no sliders, and no preview window. The process may be
off-putting at first but you'll get used to it as you begin to love what
PhotoKit does for your images. PhotoKit is optimized for images between 8-18MB
and is useful on larger sizes, but some of the effects don't translate
to small web-sized files. You can download a fully operational Mac OS or Windows
version and try it for seven days. While at the Pixel Genius website, check
out PhotoKit Sharpener. It's a versatile sharpening workflow and along
with PhotoKit is an indispensable set of
plug-ins available to the serious photographer and Photoshop user.
Pixel Genius' PhotoKit Sharpener intelligently produces
the optimum sharpness on any image, from any source, reproduced
on any output device and provides the creative controls to address
the requirements of individual images and users' individual
Pixel Genius' PhotoKit may not look like a Photoshop compatible
plug-in but it's a useful photographer's toolkit that
includes 141 effects that offer accurate digital versions of traditional
photographic and darkroom techniques and is the best implementation
of these effects that I have
Transfer Image Files Fast!
Tired of sluggish USB card readers? Can't find an affordable FireWire
reader? Bunky, your worries are over after you install Belkin's (www.belkin.com)
Hi-Speed 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer. It uses USB 2.0 to transfer image
files at speeds of up to 480Mbps and handles 15 media types, including XD Picture
Card, CompactFlash, CompactFlash II, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, Mini Secure
Digital (Mini SD), MultiMediaCard, RSMMC, Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick
Duo, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick MagicGate, and Memory
Stick MagicGate Duo. Phew! Belkin's 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer
also lets you transfer files from one media card to another, or simultaneously
copy files from four different kinds of media cards to your hard drive.
Belkin's Hi-Speed 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer transfers
image files to your computer and even lets you simultaneously
copy files from one media card to another, or transfer files from
four different kinds of media cards.
I must confess to buying whatever CD-R discs are on sale, but when I started
burning DVD-Rs full of raw files, I wanted something a little more rugged. TDK's
(www.tdk.com) Armor Plated
DVDs use a technology that provides, they claim, 100 times more scratch resistance
than standard media and produces fewer read/write errors. The disc's surface
is dirt resistant and is easy to wipe off finger marks and even accidental food
and drink spills without damaging it. The discs include proprietary UV protection
that's said to prove 3 times greater resistance to damaging UV light.
These are tough discs and are now my choice for recording bulletproof image