NIK Silver Efex Pro

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Seems MORE hassle with Aperture, not less

I'm an Aperture user and I've been looking at Silver EFEX Pro. But from watching a few of their videos, it looks like you basically have to leave Aperture to edit the file with the program (through the "edit with:" function) and then it brings it back as an Aperture version once you're done. And frankly, the only thing I'm aware I can do with Silver EFEX Pro that I can't already do to my satisfaction with Aperture is to control the grain. Which I admit would be really nice - I sometimes luck into a nice grain pattern with my stuff, but its nothing I can do on purpose. EFEX seems to have a really nice set of controls for that. But other than that, I have trouble seeing spending as much again as I spent on Aperture for something that's going to add a step to my workflow. I already have access to a zillion nice presets in Aperture, of which I really like about half a dozen, and they're tweakable and editable from there. I know Silver EFEX Pro lets you do some cool stuff - I'm just not sure they're things I need to do for the most part...

-Ray
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
On another thread, Ray asked me about something specific on a black and white photo I had just posted.
...While I'm at it, a question about the processing - Silver Efex has a a great tool for modifying the size and structure of the grain in a shot. But on that one, it looks like you're using a much heavier grain pattern in the rainy area than you are in the foreground or up higher in the clouds. AFAIK, the grain can't be applied differently to different parts of the image, so how did you do that? Is it just adding more contrast and structure to that particular area through a control point to bring out the grain more in that part, rather than the grain adjustments themselves? Or is there some other trick I don't know about?

-Ray
Here at this link is the photo in question. And the answer is that yes, Ray, I used the control points in Silver Efex for this. I did not use the "grain" control at all. I decided that I wanted to make the sky even more dramatic than it was in color when I switched to black and white and enhance the rain back there, as well. I tried it more than a few different ways, too. Can we spell obsessive?:wink:
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
And the answer is that yes, Ray, I used the control points in Silver Efex for this. I did not use the "grain" control at all. I decided that I wanted to make the sky even more dramatic than it was in color when I switched to black and white and enhance the rain back there, as well. I tried it more than a few different ways, too. Can we spell obsessive?:wink:
Thanks for the explanation. And, yes, I can spell obsessive quite well, thanks very much! But I'm also lazy so I put a time limit on my obsessions. Which either works well to counter the impulse or drives me flat crazy, depending on the day and on one's perspective.

-Ray
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Briar, aka Karen, recently posted two photographs that she had thought initially weren't worth much. Then she tried out her 15 day trial of Silver Efex Pro 2: https://www.photographerslounge.org/f23/black-white-monotone-sepia-words-no-words-184/index63.html#post16818 take a look see.

For all of you who have yet to try this software out, do yourselves a big favor and give it a go. I do not believe you'll be disappointed.

Many spend on their GAS but don't think they need good software. Well, it was a revelation to me when I finally saw the difference it can make. Don urged me from the get go. But I was new to digital and first on iPhoto and thought everything was fine...then I went to Aperture and switched to Lightroom - both of which are compatible with the Nik software plugins such as Silver Efex Pro 2 - and then finally I got it together and paid my money. I got a good deal on the complete Nik package but predominately use Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex. (I'm sure I am missing out on more in the others, even as I type.)

Try it and I think you'll realize that this expense makes all those cameras and lenses even better.:drinks:
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Before and After

Here is an example of what a difference some magic of Silver Efex - in this case Silver Efex Pro 2 can make.

Thanks to Pelao's win the Kelby LR3 book contest , I finally decided to try to reprocess one of my favorite photos. I've posted both the original and the SEP2 version elsewhere on two different threads, but thought it might be helpful to show a before and after here.

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Before - I believe I used Aperture back then but definitely no Silver Efex Pro.


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After SEP2, in this case using Lightroom.
 

deirdre

Top Veteran
Sep 26, 2010
103
I'm beginning to come around on black and white. For my street photos of Morocco, I found that a black-and-white conversion allowed me to bring up shadow detail better without distorting color. I'm going to post three out-of-camera-color photos alongside their black-and-white conversions (with Nik Silver Efex Pro and no other post, not even the dust cleaning I did later) so you can see how different the photos look.

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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
deirdre, these are great to see in both versions - you're so right about the details a tonal range you've achieved with the Silver Efex in black and white! What a difference in feeling, especially with that first image! The photograph really has so much more intensity and power in black and white.
 

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