The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Plug-ins

After finding out how wonderful a plug-in can be and how great the black and white conversion plug-in was -- I had to try the color...

Not long after I posted the last blog I downloaded the trial versions of Color Efex and Viveza from the Nik website. At first I thought I would only want one of them and the download was to try them both out to decide which one would be more beneficial. So guess what -- I found that I had to have them both!

Color Efex Pro 3.0 is a myriad of filters that you will love to have at your fingertips. Even thought I own a graduated neutral density filter -- I have already used the filter provided in this plug-in twice. If this list of filters seems overwhelming -- you have tabs to the left that separates the list into filters used for certain types of photography (portrait, landscape, etc.). The filters all come with sliders that appear on the right side of the screen to give you almost too many options to tweak the photo to get just the look you are after. Also found on the right side of the screen are some of the control points that make the Nik plug ins so cool. You get two control points -- one adds the effect to certain areas of a photo and the other point takes the effect away. I have been playing with black and white photos in Elements for a long time -- using layers and masking out to bring a little color pop into that black and white photo. This plug in allows me to convert the photo to black and white and then by strategically placing the control points to add color back and make sure it stays out of certain parts of my photo. It is easy and fast.

Just as the Silver Efex plug in had the list of popular black and white films to achieve the look of the film type with your digital image -- Color Efex has a list of well-know color films. For those of you lamenting the days of using Fuji Velvia to get the wonderful saturated colors that can make a landscape extra special -- you can get the look of Velvia with one click of a mouse! The film effects feature offers the look of over 30 film types.

OK -- so enough about Color Efex -- let's talk about Viveza. What is this and why would you want it? Viveza gives you the most precise control over light and color in your photo. The control points that are so wonderful in the other plug in products now give you major control over specific colors. The control point allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, red, green, blue, and warmth for the specific color you select by placing the point on the color. After downloading this product to compliment Color Efex -- well -- I like it. I have used Color Efex and then used Viveza on the same photo to tweak the brightness in very specific areas of the photo to get just the look I wanted.

So like I said with Silver Efex Pro -- go to the Nik Software website to view the lesson videos and download the 15-day trial of the plug in to give them a try. The photo with this blog was processed using both Color Efex and Viveza. I used film effects to give this photo the look of Velvia and then used Viveza to highlight even more the sunlight on the leaves in the upper right part of the photo.

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