Dave's Favorites: Correct Your Lighting With Light Artist
I wish I could carry a box of strobes, accent lights, fill flashes, and a remote-controlled slave flash around with me all the time. In reality, I'm usually standing around with nothing more than my digital camera when I find that my cat has crawled into an unusually strange place and I need to document it for The Ages. Invariably, the lighting is awful. That's why I was excited by Light Artist, from VicMan Software.
Light Artist is an image editing program of a very unusual and specific sort. Rather than changing overall brightness and contrast or using selection tools to adjust the color, Light Artist lets you position a variety of virtual light sources in your photo. You can drag and drop them anywhere you like, then adjust their direction, brightness, and even their color. The result can change the mood, contrast, and even the overall texture of your pictures.
Light Artists is fun to noodle around with. You can add spot lights or omni-directional lighting sources, change the color balance of your scene by choosing what color light to throw into the picture, and more. It's not a tool for someone who wants to quickly adjust a photo, though--if you don't like to experiment, stick with the one-click tools in your favorite image editor. More adventurous folks will want to download a 30-day trial of the $30 Light Artist.