Software programs for imaging can be simple or complex. The complex ones offer a steep learning curve and allow you to refine images to your heart’s content. Simple programs, although complex under the hood, allow you to make quick choices to create a wide variety of looks. And while they can be used for “instant” art, they also allow for nuances that multiply your options a thousand fold, using sliders that modify each look from the menu. One such “simple” program is Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 (www.alienskin.com
, $199 or $99 for an upgrade from previous versions). This is a plug-in and a standalone program, which means it works within the architecture of Adobe’s Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements as well as other image processing programs so you can create Layers from the work that can be further refined (leading to many more options) or within Snap Art 3 alone.