Welcome to the fourth and final part of this mini-series on Google’s brand new film and camera simulation plug-in, Analog Efex Pro. It joins the existing plug-ins in the Nik Collection, now owned and distributed by DxO. Note: Following many requests, I’m republishing this article with the download link restored but the content unchanged. This […]
DxO Nik Collection
With the launch of the DxO Nik Collection 3, the Collection now consists of eight different plug-ins, including four of the best creative tools for photographers you can buy today. Silver Efex Pro is still unrivalled for its black and white photography effects, Color Efex Pro has a dazzling array of photographic effects, Analog Efex Pro is superb at evoking classic analog film and darkroom effects and HDR Efex Pro makes HDR merging and editing easy enough for anyone to get great results straight out of the box. The new plug in, Perspective Efex, corrects perspective distortion and more.
Usually, HDR images are pretty obvious. The technique is part of the ‘look’. But it’s also possible to use HDR to enhance regular images to add depth and drama, but winding the effect back just a little so that it’s no longer center stage. So for this shot I used DxO PhotoLab and HDR Efex […]
Verdict: 3 stars Sharpener Pro’s output sharpening tools are a reminder that images need to be optimised to look their best on different printers, and at different sizes. However, its ‘capture sharpening’ tools feel like they’re just a little too late in the workflow, when most of us would apply sharpening during RAW processing, or in the ‘host’ application used to launch Sharpener Pro.
Verdict: 2.5 stars Dfine feels like an old-fashioned solution to a problem that has changed. There are now many ways of controlling noise in-camera or in RAW software, and the real issue these days is not just finding a tool that can do it well, but doing it at the right point in your workflow.
Verdict: 4 stars HDR Efex Pro 2 manages to make HDR relatively easy, and it produces ‘good’ HDR which is dynamic, rich and exciting. It still wraps it up in a bit too much jargon, but it does produce a good variety of ready-made HDR presets so that you don’t have to get caught up in the manual adjustments if you don’t want to.
Verdict: 5 stars . Colour Efex Pro initially looks a little dated, but dig deeper and you’ll find its best filters are very useful indeed and the ability to combine filters into Recipes dramatically expands its potential.
It does seem a bit perverse, adding colour to a black and white image which used to be colour in the first place, but hand-coloured (or digitally-coloured) black and white has a very particular ‘look’ that colour images just don’t have. So this image (below) is one I originally shot in colour but then reworked […]
Zoom blur is a popular bit tricky little technique where you zoom the lens during the exposure so that you get a kind of radial blur from the centre of the picture. This means using a shutter speed long enough to capture this rapid zoom movement, which usually means you get plenty of regular blur […]
You normally associate soft focus effects with portraits, but they can work on all kinds of images, adding a romantic, dreamy feel to an everyday scene. Landscapes, for example, are often given a dramatic, brooding look when sometimes the emotion we feel is much lighter. Here’s an example. This tree-lined avenue felt bright, airy and […]
Infra red photography creates an unusual and surreal view of the world that can also be very beautiful. You can do it in black and white or colour, but the techniques used today with digital cameras are rather different to those used with film. Infra red film photography is relatively straightforward – you simply use […]