Adobe's Photoshop software is a very powerful image editing program that is by far the market leader for editing image files. I use Photoshop extensively when creating, and editing images for the web sites that I design. Almost all professional photographers and printers also use Photoshop to create all of the wonderful images that appear in magazines, billboards, and even on television. I am not the best artist in the world, but with Photoshop I have enough power to create brilliant images with tools that are built-in to the software.
The coolest thing about Photoshop is that even as powerful as it is out of the box, there are many different plug-ins to make Photoshop even more powerful. The Photoshop plug-ins can be grouped into a few major categories which include 3D, color management, digital asset management, photographic, retouching, and special effects.
The Photoshop plug-ins which are available can help perform tasks much faster and more efficiently than performing these tasks by hand. The 3D plug-ins are used to create 3D images and type very quickly and elegantly. The color management Photoshop plug-ins can create new colors to correspond to the printer that you are using, or the monitor that you are using to create your graphics. The digital asset management plug-ins are used to organize all of the digital images that you have created so that finding the correct image is much easier than without it. The photographic ones give many different professional lens techniques that you can apply to any picture to create amazing effects.
The retouching plug-ins can intelligently change the contrast, color, sharpness, and many other common filters to make a picture look as crisp as possible. The special effects plug-ins are my favorite, because they can make a rather plain image into something fantastic. If you use Photoshop on a regular basis, then you need to look at some of the plug-ins that are available, because they can make your life much easier, and your graphics look much better.
Several special effects plug-ins come preinstalled with Photoshop and are automatically available inside the Photoshop plug-ins folder. Photoshop tutorials can teach you how to find new plug-ins and install them to Photoshop. Photoshop plug-ins allow you to actually add the features available in other photo editing programs to Photoshop without having to open and use the other program.
You can find Photoshop plug-ins that allow you to use various filters for the purpose of special effects or tint or tonal adjustments. These plug-ins work just like the filters you can purchase to add to your camera lens. You can find plug-ins that will turn your photo to black and white, increase or decrease contrast, soften details, enrich black tones, increase or decrease saturation, restore details or make an image appear old using sepia tones.
The benefit of using plug-ins for special effects is that you can quickly produce very professional results that would otherwise require multiple editing steps. Plug-ins are popular not because Photoshop is not capable of all of these effects but because the plug-ins simplify the process by combining more difficult steps into an easy to use interface.
Whether you want to create the appearance of hand-tinted photographs or simply increase the vibrancy of colors in your image, by using Photoshop plug-ins you will quickly be creating amazing images like a professional photographer or graphic artist.