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Monday, May 09 2011 @ 06:35 AM EDT
Nik Software and Me
 
by Richard P Schoettger
 
This Silver Efx Pro Antique Plate II filter is a dangerous one in that I tend to overuse this one....it produces some really nice effects when doing monochrome images.  The Antique Plate II places mostly a lighten edging to the frame while Antique Plate I does the opposite with a dark edge.   As with many filters, adjustments are available to further edit the image.
 
Chinese Portrait - After Applying Antique Plate II Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:48AM
Comments 0
Views 27
 
 
Chinese Portrait - After Applying Pro Contrast Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:48AM
Comments 0
Views 20
 
 
Chinese Portrait - After Applying Classical Soft Focus Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:47AM
Comments 0
Views 27
 
This is something I normally do not do, but to show another filter in Color Efx Pro, I decided to simply apply the Indian Summer filter and adjusted the slider.  This basically makes summer time look like autumn...and the resulting colors.  Therefore, the greens in the background turned more rust/orange without adjusting the other colors.  This made the image wrap around a common color theme with the browns/rust on his face too.
 
Chinese Portrait - After Applying Indian Summer Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:47AM
Comments 0
Views 32
 
 
Chinese Portrait - After Applying Darken/Lighten Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:47AM
Comments 0
Views 24
 
 
Chinese Portrait - After Applying Viveza
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:47AM
Comments 0
Views 31
 
 
Chinese Portrait - Original Image
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 05:54AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:46AM
Comments 0
Views 28
 
As another way to illustrate Nik Software, I went ahead and created this monochrome look with Silver Efx Pro using the Tintype filter.  It allowed for many adjustments, including a darkening of the edges and grain, for which I generously used here.   I would actually go back and do a simple Viveza to brighten the image up a little as too dark, but hopefully you see the effect.
 
Chinese Farmer - After Applying Tintype filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 04:56AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:46AM
Comments 0
Views 25
 
One of my last thoughts was that the image was too flat and/or blue.  To give it more of the daytime richness, Color Efx Pro has a sunlight filter that is very simple.   My adjusting one slider it can bring into the image the correct amount of sunshine to warm up the picture.  In this case, it was quite subtle, but I believe enriched the image.  Although I would end up and actually work his face and body more to bring out more of that area, this is the final copy of a full color image.
 
Chinese Farmer - After Applying Sunlight Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 04:56AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:45AM
Comments 0
Views 22
 
 
Chinese Farmer - After Applying Foliage Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 04:56AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:45AM
Comments 0
Views 22
 
 
Chinese Farmer - After Applying Viveza
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 04:56AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:45AM
Comments 0
Views 21
 
I immediately wanted to direct the eye to him and no distracting light in the back, so I used Nik Software's Color Efx Pro Darken/Lighten filter to do this.   Although a little heavy at this time, additional work will make this less noticeable.
 
Chinese Farmer - After Applying Darken/ Lighten Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 04:56AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:44AM
Comments 0
Views 27
 
While in Yangshao, near Guilin, China, I was hiking through the country side and discovered this man doing his daily farming duties.
 
Chinese Farmer - Original Image
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Oct 02, '10 04:56AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:44AM
Comments 0
Views 26
 
 
Lemur at Singapore - After Applying Viveza
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 11, '11 06:35AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:43AM
Comments 0
Views 29
 
 
Lemur at Singapore - After Applying Sepia
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 11, '11 06:35AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:43AM
Comments 0
Views 30
 
 
Lemur at Singapore Zoo - Original Image
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 11, '11 06:35AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:43AM
Comments 0
Views 25
 
As another option, I took the final image (before Moonlight filter) and applied the Color Efx Pro Bleach Bypass filter.  This comes up very strong, so most sliders must be slid down to keep an effective level of adjustment.
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - After Applying Bleach Bypass
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 05:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:43AM
Comments 0
Views 24
 
Just to present some more unique filters in Color Efx Pro, I continued with the image by applying the Midnight filter.  I find this a fascinating filter in certain conditions as it gives the heavy moon-lit quality to an image if done well.   When the filter is opened, it is very dark, so normally I adjust the Color and Brightness to the far right and continue with more minor adjustments to the Contrast and Blur sliders.
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - After applying Midnight Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 05:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:42AM
Comments 0
Views 23
 
Again, as I normally do, I add a final kick to the colors using a slight adjustment with the Color Efx Pro Glamour Glow filter.    In this case, it was very slight to emphasize the saturation and not soften or "glow" the image to take away from the work done by the tonal contrast filter.  I would then normally consider this my final color image to keep.
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - After applying Glamour Glow
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 04:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:42AM
Comments 0
Views 23
 
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - After applying Darken/Lighten Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 05:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:41AM
Comments 0
Views 23
 
Typically I use Viveza to do all the work, but I wanted to show another strong filter in Color Efx Pro that I like a lot.   To add even more depth, color and edge to the complex colors in the buildings and statue, I used the Color Efx Pro Tonal Contrast filter.   Four sliders are available here to adjust the amount of contrast you want at three different levels and the saturation.  As with this, I typically bring down the sliders to around 10 or under to not give it too much adjustment.
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - After applying Tonal Contrast
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 05:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:41AM
Comments 0
Views 24
 
With my standard workflow (unless I crop and straighten), I used Viveza here just to bring out the colors and texture of the buildings by using the saturation, contrast and structure sliders.   I also did not like the original upper left corner with the bland sky, so I placed a Control Point over that and quickly darkened it along with sliding the Warm down and adding to the Blue slider.
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - After applying Viveza
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 04:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:40AM
Comments 0
Views 21
 
 
Grand Palace in Bangkok - Original Image
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 05:55AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:40AM
Comments 0
Views 20
 
 
Crowned Crane - After Applying Viveza
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 04, '11 03:50AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:39AM
Comments 0
Views 22
 
After the Glamour Glow, I decided I really wanted to have the image concentrate on the crowned crane more to emphasize the richness of his colors and isolate this away from the background more.  I did this with the simple Color Efx Pro Darken/Lighten filter, again one of my favorite to bring the eye's attention to the subject.
 
Crowned Crane - After Applying Darken/ Lighten Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 04, '11 04:50AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:39AM
Comments 0
Views 19
 
 
Crowned Crane - After Applying Glamour Glow
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 04, '11 04:50AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:39AM
Comments 0
Views 20
 
 
Crowned Crane - Original Image
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Fri Feb 04, '11 04:50AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:39AM
Comments 0
Views 17
 
Using Adobe Bridge, I selected the prior three raw images and via Tools, selected the Nik Software HDR plug-in.   It first prompts with a window to see if you want to align and adjust for movement.  Once hitting OK, then the software will take a few seconds to merge the image resulting in a window opened in Photoshop.  Within the window there are about 20 or more filters that offer a variety of merging techniques.   I selected the Balanced filter and adjusted some sliders to bring out the satuation and contrast a little more.  The sliders are available to also control the "realism" of the image to try not give it the HDR look, but in this case, I stlil preferred to leave a little bit of the HDR effect as I liked it better.  You can then continue with the workflow process.
 
Esplanade in Singapore - Merged HDR Image Using Nik Software HDR
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Tue Aug 03, '10 02:25PM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:38AM
Comments 0
Views 31
 
 
Esplanade in Singapore - Third of 3 images +1
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Tue Aug 03, '10 01:25PM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:38AM
Comments 0
Views 22
 
 
Esplanade in Singapore - Second of 3 images -1
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Tue Aug 03, '10 01:25PM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:37AM
Comments 0
Views 20
 
 
Esplanade in Singapore - First of 3 images Exposure -0
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Tue Aug 03, '10 01:25PM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 01:37AM
Comments 0
Views 20
 
 
Flower - After Applying Silver Efx Pro High Structure Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 09:31AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 12:33AM
Comments 0
Views 21
 
One of my favorite Color Efx Pro filters is Glamour Glow.  Extremely effective on portraits, I use it a lot on images with flowers such as this as it really brings our the colors and creates a nice, soft glow.   The three sliders are very effective to manage the glow, saturation and warmness of the image.  Typically this is one of the last filters I use in the workflow.
 
Flower - Applying Color Efx Pro Glamour Glow
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 10:31AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 12:33AM
Comments 0
Views 20
 
A popular filter amongst many photographers that I use occasionally is the Nik Software's Color Efx Pro Contrast Range Filter.   It allows so much to be applied to the image to bring out the colors and contrast according to the color spectrum.  In this case, I still wanted to bring out the contrast in the veins more in the flower, therefore applying three sliders to quickly adjust the image.   This is a filter that when you first click on it, it does not present itself well.   You have to get used to adjusting the sliders to benefit from this filter, but once you get acclimated, it is quite powerful.
 
Flower - After Applying Color Efx Pro Contrast Range Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 09:31AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 12:33AM
Comments 0
Views 28
 
One of my favorite filters in the Nik Software Color Efx Pro is the Darkening/Lightning filter.  By simply using a single Control Point, you can control the light to better bring out what you intend in the image.   I use this in most of my images to insure that the eye goes to where I want the eye to go to and many times is a very subtle, but effective change.  In this case, I wanted to even bring out the flower more by placing the control point over the flower and then adjusting the Darkening slider down.   This took my less than 10 seconds to adjust and I like this much better then vignetting.
 
Flower - Applying Color Efx Pro Darkening/Lightening Filter
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 08:31AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 12:32AM
Comments 0
Views 21
 
Typically one of the first steps I take is to process the image through Nik Software's Viveza, a powerful tool to manage the satuation, brightness, structure, colors and weave them together to bring out what you want in the image without masking.  In this case, I softened the background by darkening it and using a Structure slider to soften by using their Control Point process.   I then applied a second Control Point to the flower and gave it more structure and saturation to bring out the veins and contrasts.  This process took me less than 20 seconds.
 
Flower - After applying Viveza
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 10:31AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 12:32AM
Comments 0
Views 19
 
 
Flower - Original image
Photograph © Richard P Schoettger
Captured Sat Apr 02, '11 10:31AM
Posted Sat Apr 16, '11 12:31AM
Comments 0
Views 24
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