Thursday, April 7, 2011

Color Efex Pro 3.0 from Nik Software

I got the complete collection of Nik software as a Christmas present last year.  

Software included in the collection:
  • Define 2.0 for noise reduction
  • Vivenza for selective light and color control
  • HDR Efex Pro for, you guessed it HDR
  • Silver Efex Pro for converting to B&W
  • Sharpener Pro for image sharpening
  • Color Efex Pro with over 250 filters for special effects.
This is great digital imaging software.   I had Define 2.0 before and had used it extensively.   Since I got this collection I've been playing with each package.  I've started to come around to creating HDR now that I can create HDR images that look realistic and not like cartoons.   I haven't spent much time in Sharpener Pro or Silver Efex and am still using Adobe Lightroom for B&W conversion and sharpening.   Nothing against the Nik software, I just haven't had time to learn how to use these packages.

Lately I've been using one filter in Color Efex Pro - Glamour Glow.   Based on the name, I suspect this was designed to be used on portraits to smooth skin and give a person's face a soft glowing effect.   Here's an example from the Nik website.    I've used it a couple times on portraits and it can make even one of my portraits look good.   After seeing images from professionals like Tony Sweet using this filter on landscapes I gave it a try.  I really like the the effect you can get.  

Here's a few examples of photos before and after the Glamour Glow effect was applied.  To really see the effect you need to click on each pair of images to zoom in and then click again to zoom in even more.  

This last one is a little extreme.  I was going for a dreamy look.   You can adjust how much glow you apply, plus the warmth of the image.   

This filter blurs the sharp edges without losing a lot of detail.  It also puts a glow on the edges.    The end result almost never looks like reality, but it's a cool effect.  I'm trying to branch out and get out of the rut of "it must look like it did when I took the picture".   That still applies to most of my photos, but sometimes I want a different look.

1 comment:

  1. Great shots just made a little better Richard I have been thinking about purchasing this software for awhile...I might just have too do it now for sure !!