Digital photography has brought many advances, both through the use of digital camera hardware, but especially through the ability of software to extend the vision of photographers into new realms. The advances seem to come faster and faster. Take, for instance, the new IPad 4's 360 degree 3D display, or the Flytro "wavefront' camera that lets you compose the picture after the picture has been taken.
There are dozens of photo apps for the iPhone and the iPad that let you jazz up otherwise ordinary photographic efforts. It seems that more and more emphasis is being placed on technology and software, and less and less on the aesthetics of the actual work.
But things may have reached their logical conclusion with the new "Sky Dream Ultimate" Photoshop plug-in from the folks at the renowned Wilkington-Smythe. They have pushed the envelope, so to speak, to the point where the actual photograph is no longer of any importance. This plug-in will take the most ordinary photographic effort (their press release uses the word "crappy") and turn it into something magnificent.
To test this plug-in, I went through my trash barrel to find some likely candidates and the results are shown here. The image above was created from a snapshot of the sunset on my porch. And the image below was a trivial picture of the stairway at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. (Hence the title "Stairway to the Stars.")
The press release from Wilkington-Smythe gives few additional details, omitting for the time being such things as the price and the system requirements for this plug-in. The only thing they state for certain is that the plug-in will be available as of April 1.