Almost every product photographer, and any other type of commercial photographer for that matter will utilise Photoshop and Lightroom when creating beautiful images for their clients. Whilst there are other pieces of software out there that will do the job, few can compare with the popularity and performance of these from the giants at Adobe.
It is important to note that many of the processes that these plugins help with, can be done with the standard versions of Photoshop. However, if you’re looking for a plugin to truly transform high dynamic range (HDR) images then Skylum Aurora HDR is the way to go. As a product photographer, it may not be the most frequently used plugin but most commercial photographers will require the ability to merge and tone map individual RAW files as part of a particular project. This plugin is easier to use than many of its rivals and the level of quality really makes a difference.
Artificial intelligence continues to play a bigger role in the world and this is evidenced in the range of plugins that are available for Lightroom and Photoshop. We’ve selected Skylum Luminar AI as it has grown significantly in popularity, thanks to connecting so well to Adobes systems. It will offer even the most inexperienced product photographer a pathway to beautiful product photos thanks to smart templates that it has created by analysing the photo. For an experienced commercial photographer, it can help speed up those minor tasks and tweaks that you often need to make.
The power of the DxO PureRAW plugin will make you step back and realise just what you’ve been missing all this time. It is a feature that forms part of a more comprehensive package but you can get this single plugin that uses AI to correct noise, vignetting and many other issues that occur with RAW files. One reason for this standing out from competitors is that it tackles these issues whilst the RAW image is being demosaiced and not after. It should be noted that these files are larger than normal so do be aware that you may use up your storage pretty quickly.
A product photographer will often need to upscale a product image, whether that is because you’re cropping it and want greater detail or your client wishes to produce larger prints. As such, one of the most highly recommended plugins for upscaling is Topaz Gigapixel AI, yet another AI-powered piece of software that can deliver up to 600% without harming the quality of the photograph. You may note that Adobe has its own, simpler version of this that will probably do the job for many of you but where this plugin stands out is that it offers greater flexibility and options, as well as reduces noise.
We have listed just a handful of plugins that are worth investigating if you’re a commercial photographer wanting to deliver exceptional results in editing. Whilst many of these plugins come at a premium, they can often help you take that next step that your clients will love. Take the time to explore what features and benefits of Photoshop and Lightroom you most rely on and then decide whether you feel improvements can be made.