11 Nov 2011 Podcast 308 : Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 Walkthrough
Today I walk you through the updated Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software. As you’ll see, this gives you amazing control over the look of your images, and I only touch the surface with regards to the available filters. I owned Color Efex Pro 3, as part of the Complete Collection that I bought a few years ago, but I never really used it. I just didn’t find it that useful, but now, with the ability to apply multiple filters and save your filter combinations and effects as recipes, this software really has become incredibly useful.
I often use Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 when I feel that the color gets in the way, or when black and white would enhance the image, and I often shoot with black and white in mind. I love the high contrast and often heavy skies I can get with Silver Efex Pro 2. Sometimes though, I feel as though I’m throwing something out when I get rid of the color, but now, with Color Efex Pro 4, I can create those amazing heavy skies and high contrast images without throwing out the color.
I certainly don’t think you need to use these filters on every image, but sometimes there’s more potential in an image than we are able to bring out with the camera and Lightroom or Photoshop alone. I find these plugins a great addition to my post processing toolbox.
Note that in addition to using a white vignette as I show in the video, you can also use the Vignette Lens filter to lighten the edges of a photo.
Don’t forget to hit the full-screen button in the video window. If the full-screen button isn’t available, click on the Vimeo link and go full-screen from there.
Note that there is an iPod/iPhone version of this video in iTunes, but when watching on a computer, the video above is better.
Here are a few example conversions from the video. The Ship on Shore conversion is how I would use Color Efex Pro 4 here, not how we left on in the example in the video. Click a thumbnail to view the images. Once the image has opened, you can navigate back and forth by clicking the image.