View Full Version : Your PS CS6 and LR4 "Must have" plugins for your work flow

John Marks
02-09-2013, 08:20 PM
Hi All

I use Photoshop and Lightroom, and I have used PS for years for graphics, but am fairly new to using it for post processing.

That being said, I find that the very vast selection of plugins for both programs to be overwhelming. There are SO many choices, (many that do similar functions and many you can do in PS without the plugin) that someone new to Post such as me is lost in a plethora of plugins with little idea what is best for what purposes.

So my question....What are your GOTO plugins that you simply MUST have in your work flow, and how did you decide that those were "it", and what particular function in that plugin set is most valued.

I'm trying to get a feel here for what are the ones I should have and in what capacity I'm going to use them. ATM I have the full NIX suite, but haven't actually used any of them yet. Besides that, PS and LR are un-altered.

Looking forward to hearing replys :)

02-09-2013, 08:53 PM
Well, if you have the full Nik Suite then that's a great start. I'm using Color Efex Pro4, Silver Efex Pro 2. I've got HDR Efex, but don't care much for it. With google's purchase of Nik Software, it might be time for me to consider OnOne's suite. I hear some pretty good things about it.

02-10-2013, 06:48 PM
I'm well pleased with Topaz plugins. I bought the bundle a few years back. You can just purchase their individual plugins also if that's what you desire.

02-11-2013, 05:48 PM
Personally I am using Photoshop CS6 with Color Efex Pro 4 (I find I mainly use this for tonal contrast adjustments), Silver Efex Pro2 & HDR Efex Pro2 (my preferred HDR software).

By using Bridge & with the recent improvements to Adobe Camera Raw to undertake basic adjustments, I haven't found the need for Lightroom.

Forgot to say - Welcome to the forum John

John Marks
02-11-2013, 09:12 PM
THanks :)

02-12-2013, 12:51 AM
I haven't found the need for Lightroom.

I can't figure out why I continue to buy the latest version of Lightroom every time they release one. I guess its just because everyone says its "the program" to have. In fact, when they put layer mask in Elements, I dumped CS 5. If I ever find a need for smart objects and smart filters, then I may have to bite the bullet once again. But until then...

02-12-2013, 01:06 AM
I love my Lightroom, especially so now that it works with both Topaz and Silver Fx, Color Fx. I also use Elements 10, which for its price is one of the best deals out there. (Actually with LR, you can upgrade, with Elements you have to install a whole new program every time.)

John Marks
02-12-2013, 01:13 AM
Well I got LR mainly because I will be shooting weddings eventually and I was under the impression that when you have 2 - 300 images to do PP on, it's the best one for the job. I do not want to be spending a week doing Post on one event.
PS does batch, but not the same kind of flow as LR. I know PS fairly well, but I find LR has a learning curve to it just because though it does the same job and just as we'll, it handles differently.
Personally, i hate the entire library module, but that could be just because I'm not use to it yet.
Still trying to decide what will work best for me, LR or PS and Bridge.

02-12-2013, 02:14 AM
Lightroom is very quick for such things as straightening, cropping, adjusting exposure. There are various presets available and you can make your own preset as well. If you like to give most of your photos a bit of a pop, you can select "Punch" and all photos will be given a "Punch" as you upload them. Also, it is easy to name jobs and insert metadata.

02-12-2013, 09:04 AM
I use Lightroom for cataloguing, that's where it truly shines imo and that's where it outshines Bridge.
Bridge (which comes free with Photoshop) can do pretty much whatever Lightroom does in order to correct photos... except it can't catalogue as well.
I also like Silver FX2 and I've played with Topaz Adjust which is cool.