Iowa Barn Copyright 2005 Jeff Wignall
One of the first things that most folks do the minute they have successfully loaded Photoshop (or any other image-editing program) into their computers is - you guessed it - to start playing with filters. Let's face it, until you know what you're doing with most programs, filters are a fun and simple way to create some cool-looking effects. The fun of filters is hard to resist.
The problem is that the glamour wears off pretty quickly because, unless you're very talented at using them (and some photographers are), you can see the effects a mile away. And, of course, if you're relying on filters to make a bad photo a better photo, well, it usually doesn't work. Usually.
Filters can infuse a session at the computer with a bit of creative juice at times, though. The important thing is not to simply sneer at filters and walk away but to use them when the need or the mood calls for them.
Speaking of which, I recently started playing with a new filter (new to me, it's been on the market for quite a while) from Fo2PIX.com (www.fo2pix.com) called BuZZ.X (that's the Mac version, the PC version is called buZZ.Pro 3) that I'm having a blast getting to know. And I make no excuses: This filter is an easy-to-use quick creative fix that I think has the potential to have some awesome creative and technical applications.