Atlantic Light Works has released PercepTool, a tone mapping plugin for Photoshop CS3 and CS4 that attempts to mimic the brain's interpretation of light and shade. Developed with photographer George DeWolfe, it takes either mono or color images and re-maps the tone response to offer a more 'realistic' rendition with greater depth. It is available priced at $89.95 or for trial download, for both Windows and Mac platforms.

Click here for more information and to download the plug-in

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Press Release:

PercepTool™ from Atlantic Light Works

May 2009: George DeWolfe, renowned black and white and landscape photographer, proudly presents PercepTool™, a software plugin for Photoshop CS3 and CS4, that duplicates the percept of the human brain from a 2D image. Unlike other HDR software, PercepTool™ takes the luminance image formed by the camera and adds special high level algorithms that mimic what happens in the visual section of the brain. The image is transformed from a flat image to one that has amazing depth, tonal quality, and presence.

30 years in the experimental stage and 3 years in development, the PercpTool™ is like no other plugin or technique in Photoshop. No Photoshop tool can render an image like PercepTool™. Began as an experiment from a challenge by Dr. Edwin Land, the inventor of Polaroid, DeWolfe and Chris Russ invented the plugin to change the image received from the camera to one that we actually see in our brain. Research in recent lightness perception science and visual cortex biology drove the main thrust of the development.

Available now for both Windows and Mac platforms, PercepTool™ is also a companion software to George DeWolfe's new book, B&W Printing: Creating The Digital Master Print, published by Lark Books and available on

Purchase the PercepTool™ at for $89.95.

How does PercepTool work?

PercepTool takes the image made in the digital camera sensor (also called luminance image) and changes it into what our brain actually perceives. The luminance image consists of 2 sub (intrinsic) images: reflection and illumination. The reflection and illumination images are separated from the luminance image in the visual cortex of the brain, processed and recombined into what is known as the percept, or the image that we actually perceive. We call this image luminosity. Most of the changes are due to differential recombination of the edges in the image and optimization of tonal values. 

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