Paint Shop Trial Update


23 days left and counting….

I decided to download the trial version of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro X4 (Photo). I had lost my Photoshop disc and since it was such an old version of the software, I figured it was time to check out what else is out there.

The software

Paint Shop’s user interface is pretty easy to follow (if you’re used to using creative software). I haven’t used many of the features except for the editing abilities. This software also offers a Manage feature and an Adjust feature which are tabs across the top middle of the interface. The screenshot shows the main interface…

I don’t spend a lot of time playing on my computer…relatively speaking that is. So, I haven’t gotten into the Manage feature too much and the Adjust feature is also available as part of the photo editing.

Editing photos

Because my camera is a simple point’n shoot, I like the idea of being able to enhance my photos to try and get them to the point of clarity and brilliance that I see in photos shot by digital SLRs. I know that my photos still lack the brilliance, but they get close enough for me.

The other day, I decided to play with the editing features in Paint Shop just a little more to see what I could come up with.

The first set of photos shows the Selective Focus feature…

In Edit mode, click the Effects  menu > Photo Effects > Selective Focus…

Since the dialog window previews your photo, you can play around with the adjustments until you get the look you are going for. I wanted the foreground in focus, so I move the lines on the left photo down and then adjusted the Feather edge amount…and done!

That’s all it took. Nothing complicated. Nothing fancy, just two adjustments and I got the look I wanted.

The next set of photos shows how the Image and Adjust modes work…

After you have opened the photo, click the Image menu  > Greyscale. This adjusted the photo by taking out the color and leaving only the grey tones. Next, click the Ajdust menu > Brightness and Contrast > Local Tone Mapping

This feature allows you to preview the adjustments you make to the photo in real-time. If you don’t like the adjustments, or don’t like the feature at all, then click Cancel and your photo returns to the original greyscale photo. You can select Local Tone Mapping for color photos, as well.

Trialing software

I’ve got a lot more playing around to do, but not much time. I’ve also got to find time to play around with my trial version of Photoshop Lightbox. I’m thinking I downloaded that trial software just a tad too early. So take note….if you are considering purchasing software, then check to see if there is a trial version of the software online. Typically, the trials last 30 days. That should be enough time to play around with the software features. If you want to try out more than one software package then try them out in succession and not simultaneously.

It’s picture-taking time!

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