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Software Review: Kubota Bor-Tex Pak from Kubota Image Tools

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The Kubota Bor-Tex Pak is a bundled package of products that contains three separate tools from Kevin Kubota’s professional image collection for Adobe Photoshop. This package includes the Kubota Sloppy Borders, and two Kubota Texture Tools — Industrial Pak and the Earth Pak. It also comes with its own Dashboard so you can find everything you need right in one place.

Who is Kevin Kubota and what makes his products so special? Well first off he was named one of the top ten wedding photographers of 2007 by Popular Photography Magazine for giving his customers more than they expect by capturing fresh, expressive images. He has now taken that philosophy to Photoshop processing by providing the same techniques to you via his image tools.

Kubota Pro Pak

Kubota Texture Tools – Industrial Pak
In this pack you will find a variety of industrial textures that you can use to give texture and feel to your images. In fact in the 50 textures that come with the Industrial Pak can give you everything from techno-industrial to the grunge look that will enhance your senior pictures

Some of the textures included in this pack include Aluminum, Barium, Bubblize, Cobalt, Fingernails, Fluorine, Gold, Potassium, Selenium, Silver, Xenon, Zinc, and Zirconium. They are all industrial in nature and they give you the ability to mix them up to get many types of combinations so that you can get just the look that you want.

The way you use these is to take a finished image that you want to add some texture to. Sometimes it may be to a whole image, other times it may just be a part of an image. In the case of the one shown here, the back wall was a bit bland and I wanted to give it a grungier feel.

I first started out using the Barium texture. Once you apply the texture, part of the process allows you to resize the texture to cover just what area you want. I wanted to cover the back wall and so I resized it so that it covered just into the grass area. The next part then lets you paint away, where you do not want the texture to be applied. I erased it from the face, skin, and clothing where it may have been in contact. I also removed it from the grassy area.

I then added the Silver texture and Fingernails texture as well and performed the same procedures. Once I had all three, in place, I then began to play with the opacity of each layer until I had the look I wanted. From there I added a sloppy border (more on these below) and was done.

Kubota Texture Tools – Earth Pak
Like the Industrial Pak, the Earth Pak were built to set your images apart from the pack. From the warming tones of textures like “Congo”, “La Mata”, and “Orange Juice” to the dimensional detail you’re looking for with “Sabanitas”, “Olive”, and “Dirty Shoe”, these Earth textures will take your images to a whole new level of character and effect.

Kubota Pro Pak

This set works just the same as the other texture tools except now these are more natural textures. You apply the texture as before and then paint it away from where you don’t want to see the effect. Usually it is around the skin and clothes or other smooth surfaces.

In the image below the background in general was rather bland so I wanted bring out more detail so I first did my work on the basic image. Then to warm things up a bit I used the Ustupo texture which was a smooth tan colored texture. Then to offset that I added back some darkening with Night which has a gradation nighttime blue feel to it. As before I painted in where I wanted the look. I then manipulated the percentages to get just the feel I wanted. Added a sloppy border and was done.

Kubota Sloppy Borders
The Kubota Sloppy Borders Pak brings to you over 125 separate types of borders that you can choose from to frame you images giving them that finished look. From elegant thin borders, to eye-catching medium borders, to heavy borders for a bold statement, this Pak adds the finishing touch to your tweaks.

Sloppy Borders have been around since the days of film when the labs would zoom out on a photo to include some of the black negative border. Now in the days of digital, and with Kubota Sloppy Borders, you can create your own sloppy borders to give your pictures that lab look style.

These Sloppy Borders were created by Kevin Kubota and Craig Strong, (of Strong Photography and Lensbaby, LLC,) when they went into the darkroom and individually printed the borders, using a variety of filed out negative carriers (the traditional way). Then, they were scanned at high resolution, and digitally prepared for overlay on any image.

These borders are excellent for any presentation from slide shows to wedding book presentation. You can make the borders impose on the image itself or you can make the border grow around the image. You can even adjust the color to what would look good for a particular shot.

Kubota Pro Pak

Along with the Kubota Bor-Tex Pak, you also get the Bor-Tex Dashboard that lets you see each of the textures and borders before you apply them. You also have the ability to search using the dashboard as well as undoing an action if you decide that you don’t like it.

The biggest problem I see with having all of these effects is knowing what to use and when to use it. Obviously, the final results will come from experimentation and trial and error. One thing that helps is that the samples from the Kubota site are a great starting point as well as the tutorials. If you want to see some additional uses for this package, there are examples of Kubota Borders and Textures Pak on the Kubota Image Site.

If you are a professional photographer, especially one who does weddings, portraits, or graduations, you really owe it to yourself to check into the Kubota Bor-Tex Pak, or any of the Kubota products for the photographer. They will allow you to get the maximum productivity with the least amount of effort. Even if you only use a small portion of the effects, they will pay for themselves in time savings and customer satisfaction over and over again. I highly recommend this product.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.