Software Reviews

 

Photo Galaxy

Photo Galaxy is a set of 5 cds (over 5,400 pictures total). My first thought was "So many cds and so many pictures, all royalty free for the low cost, there has to be something wrong with them". Well I was totally wrong! This photo collection is very well put together. I have purchased several photo collections that cost quite a bit more, only to find low resolution or poor quality pictures. You will not find that on these cds. The photos are high resolution (1760x1168 or 1600x1200 pixels which print around 4x6 inches at 300dpi) and quality pictures. Most of them were taken in countries I can only dream of going to. All of the pictures are arranged by category which makes it really easy to find what you are looking for. There are also contact sheets of each category to make browsing effortless. The CD includes demos of The Edge and Frame Galaxy and Plugin Galaxy. Also included on the cd are Plugin Commander Light and Harry's Freeware filters. I highly recommend this collection for anyone doing web design or even print projects. This photo collection has become an incredible resource for me.



 

ColorWasher

This is a very handy plugin for most major graphics applications. Every photographer (whether you use digital photography or scan your pictures in) should have this in their collection. It really makes the long tedious job of correcting underexposed or overexposed photos, a lot easier with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Not only is it great at correcting photos, it can also be used to add dramatic effects to photos and graphics. I do have to say, I would be totally lost without ColorWasher at this point. It used to take me anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour getting a photo just right, now it takes me about 10-20 seconds, sometimes slightly more or less depending on the photo. Basically you get an entire darkroom for a very low cost. Very useful and fun. Harry put a lot of work into this plugin and it certainly shows.

Here is a screenshot of ColorWasher at work:


 


HyperTyle

The HyperTyle interface is very well laid out. You can control pretty much every aspect of the program. The thing I like most about HyperTyle is its versatility... and that it has a built in tutorial mode, which really helps in the beginning. The cd version comes with 1100 seamless textures to start you out, which is great, but you can also use any jpgs, bmps, psds, tifs, and many other file types for your textures. The results you can achieve with this plugin are unlimited. This plugin offers a lot of bang for your buck. Once you use HyperTyle, you will probably never use another texture filter. It comes with plenty of presets and you can save your own presets. I love being able to save my presets for future use or to share with other users. This filter is incredible and I recommend it highly for all graphics enthusiasts. This is one plugin I would not want to do without.

Here is a screenshot of HyperTyle at work:


 


Plugin Galaxy

This is a set of 20 plugins for PhotoShop and other graphics applications. Personally I use PhotoImpact, Paint Shop Pro, and Painter 7 for most of my graphics and the plugins work great in these programs. I find this set of plugins very handy. They provide endless practical and creative effects for your images. One of my favorites in this collection is the Instant Mirror. I find that I use this a lot! This set is loaded with filters that come in very handy and the price is great. You could easily pay a lot more for a set like this that won't come close quality wise. This is another filter set I would highly recommend to all graphics enthusiasts. You have another winner here, Harry.

See some screenshots here.  Warning:  Page will take a while to load.  There are 21 screenshots :-)
 


Edge and Frame Galaxy

This is a wonderful set of edges and frames for pretty much all graphics applications that support bmp and jpg images. I have always loved masks. This collection provides over 1400 photo edges (same thing as masks) and over 150 colored frames. All those frames and edges sound a little overwhelming at first but when you get the cd, you will notice how they are all laid out in categories that make finding the right edge or frame almost effortless. Not only do you get all the edges and frames on the cd, you also get PhotoShop actions to help in applying them. The actions don't work in other programs, but if you know how to use masks in your program, you are all set. Even if you don't know how to use masks, there are wonderful tutorials on the cd telling you how to use the edges and frames. If that wasn't enough on the cd, there is also extra freeware edges and other goodies for graphics programs. You certainly won't be bored with this collection. You get a lot of great frames and edges for a great price. I think Harry could charge a whole lot more for this collection, but I'm kind of glad he doesn't. *grin* You get edges in several shapes and styles so you will have an edge for all of your needs. This is another "tool" I use almost every day and can't imagine not having it in my collection. This gets a big thumbs up from me :-)