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Plug-ins Work Magic With Digital Photos

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If you're playing with digital photos, plug-ins can work magic. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. People are taking more and more pictures these days….using everything from mobile phone cameras to pocket sized point and shoots. And sales of digital SLR cameras have been among the hottest categories, with more consumers getting serious about photography as a hobby. That has meant more business for Alien Skin, a company that has been in the business of making what are called plug-ins for Adobe's Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Founder and CEO Jeff Butterworth…

"Some of our stuff is really fancy special effects like fire and lightning. But our more recent products are really all about photography and they're a lot more subtle. They do things like clean up photos, that's what Image Doctor does…or turn a photo into an oil painting or simulate film."

That's done with Exposure 2. SnapArt can turn your digital photos into what look like professional sketches, pastels, water colors or oil paintings. You can find examples at Alienskin.com. With Image Doctor…retouching tasks that might take lots of skill and time….become simple…

"It can remove anything from a photo from a pimple or scar or tattoo all the way to something big like an ex-husband."

Pricing starts at about 150 dollars. And remember you'll need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements as well…for either a PC or a Mac. Alien Skin offers free trial versions so you can see if the investment is worthwhile. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.