Hands down, my favorite Photoshop plug-in is Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. With SEP 2, photographers can create amazing black-and-white images quickly, including vignettes, borders, and toning. This works wonderfully for me, since I prefer many of my images in black-and-white. But sometimes I want selective colorization on those images, and SEP 2′s new selective color feature makes that a lot easier. Of course, as with everything in Photoshop, there’s more than one way to achieve the results you want.
As I‘ve mentioned before, the photography portion of my website resides on PhotoShelter, which I love. However, PhotoShelter doesn’t offer extra pages, so I needed an easy, affordable way to create the writing portion of my site. Another photographer suggested I try SiteGrinder, a Photoshop plug-in which allows the user to design a website in Photoshop without needing to know any coding. So I downloaded a trial version of SiteGrinder 2, and it turned out to be exactly what I needed.
Anyone who regularly uses Photoshop will find working with SiteGrinder easy. You create your website all in one file, using layer comps to define each page. (If you’re working on a large site, you can also split it into multiple files if necessary.) Hints added after a layer name tell SiteGrinder how to treat that layer. For instance, a layer with the tag “-text” means that SiteGrinder will output the layer as HTML text; without that hint, the layer’s text will output as graphics instead. This is an important distinction, since graphics aren’t recognized by search engines. The biggest change I made to my site’s design was to move my navigation bar up and add drop-down menus for “Photography” and “Writing” so that visitors can access all the pages on my site from anywhere. (Once it’s also configured on PhotoShelter, my site integration will be complete.)