Posts Tagged ‘post-processing’

Testing Out Nik Color Efex Pro 3

March 25th, 2011 No comments

Nik Color Efex Pro 3 is a suite of plugins for Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop and Nikon's Capture NX 2. There are 52 filters available, each having extensive tweaking and customizing capabilities.

I've heard a lot of good things about the software, so I downloaded the 15 day trial of the Mac version from Nik Software to see for myself. It's a fully functional version, but expires after 15 days. I used it extensively during the 15 days and enjoyed it. It worked seamlessly with Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS4 and was easy to learn. I was able to get great results quickly, and the large variety of filters was a lot of fun to explore! I especially liked the dynamic skin softener, which was fast and gave very natural results. I also like the bicolor and lighten/darken center filters.

Here are a couple photos that I edited with the help of Nik Efex (in conjunction with Lighrooom and Photoshop).

I used the dynamic skin softener, bicolor and vignette filters for this sugar skull photo:

Model: Tia Guzzo.Makeup: Jennifer Ruth.Hair Styling: Rhi Yee.Fashion stylist: Jihan Amer.Set decorator: Guen Gianfranchi.Photography: Lloyd K. Barnes (Lloyd Barnes)

I used the custom bicolor filter on this image:

Model: Genkai.Makeup: Jennifer Ruth.Fashion stylist: Jihan Amer.Set decorator: Guen Gianfranchi.Photography: Lloyd K. Barnes (Lloyd Barnes)

I'm considering buying the full version, but will wait to see if a new version will be coming out soon, since the current version has been out for a few years now. I find the price to be a little high ($299) for the complete set of 52 filters mainly because I'm able to get similar results with Lightroom and Photoshop - although not always a quickly.

Do you use Nik Color Efex Pro 3? Let me know what you think! Is it worth the price tag?

Here are some reviews:

Review of Nik Color Efex Pro 3

Using Nik Color Efex Pro 3 to draw the viewer into your image by using the Vignette and Darken/Lighten Center filters

Review of Nik Color Efex Pro 3

Example of Nik Efex bi-color filter

5 Free Tutorials on Split Toning Using Lightroom

September 18th, 2010 3 comments

Photographers have always pushed the limits, trying to go beyond simply capturing a realistic image of the scene or portrait. The goal is to express emotion and creativity and to impact the viewer on a deeper level. In the days of film photography, split toning was a darkroom technique for giving different colours and tones to an image by using a variety of papers and chemicals during processing. With Lightroom, photographers can use the Split Toning panel in the Develop Module to reproduce the darkroom effects, and to go beyond them, creating new colour effects that would have been much more difficult to do in the darkroom.

For example, I used split toning in this image to add blue tones to the shadow areas. I like the way the blue interacted with the darker tones on the background, the eye makeup and the model's hair. I did the split toning on the camera raw image using Lightroom 3.2, then finished the retouching in Photoshop.

Orignal raw image

Before: original raw image


After: split toned and retouched

Split toning is very simple to do in Lightroom. Once you have created a split tone effect that you like, you can save it as a preset and use it quickly on other photos. You can also download presets for all sorts of split tone effects. Here are five free tutorials about using Lightroom for split toning.

1. Split Toning Color Images in Adobe Lightroom

Split Toning Color Images in Adobe Lightroom from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

2.Using the split toning panel to change colours in a photo

RAW Processing Concentrate - Split Toning - Lightroom Tutorial from Rob & Lauren on Vimeo.

3 . Split toning for a tinting effect in Lightroom - Step by step tutorial for split toning black and white images.

4. A demo showing how to improve a photo using split toning

5. Using the split toning panel in Lightroom