However, sometimes an atmospheric image can be improved further with a push towards the art world, using specialist painting software.
Akvis ArtWork 7 claims to turn your photos into impressive works of art that, in some instances, can turn a mediocre shot into an atmospheric image that's worth framing and sticking on the wall.
This latest upgrade introduces Gouche - a versatile painting technique that uses dense and intensive colours. Its characteristics are brilliance and opacity. Akvis ArtWork's opacity feature and covering power will, the developer claims, enable you to create outstanding effects that can't be achieved with watercolour paints.
Gouache technique is widely used in decorative painting and when creating colour sketches and drawings.
Akvis ArtWork 7 is available for both PC and Mac platforms, or you can use it as a plug-in for Photoshop. The basic idea is to turn a photo into a painting. The program goes a stage further than the Artistic filters built in to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, which haven't been updated or extended for many years.
Other effects on offer from ArtWork include Oil, Watercolor, Comics, Pen & Ink, Linocut and Pastel. There are even some extra arty touches such as canvas textures and stylised signatures to add a little flourish to your masterpiece.
Of course, software to turn photos into art is nothing new. Corel Painter has been around for years, but at £279/$429 and with a fairly steep learning curve, it isn't for everyone.
Akvis ArtWork 7 sells for £93/$99 and the latest version includes a Preview feature so you can tweak and assess your opus magnum before printing it out. Version 7 sounds like it could be a fairly essential upgrade, and should have you on your way to the Royal Academy in no time at all.
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