Photo of the Day: Hope

"Hope" Norwalk, CT

I dusted off another shot I captured a few years ago, this time during a trip to Connecticut. I was hanging out with a good friend of mine who lived in the area, so we went on a photo walk to the harbor in Norwalk. Anyway, here’s a quick illustration of how effects filters can improve an image, even if you aren’t going to take things to the extreme.

The original shot is OK, but the light is already getting kind of harsh. I did a low-contrast conversion in Capture NX2 and sent the resulting TIFF to Photoshop CS5, where I converted the background layer to a Smart Object (Smart Objects let you save filter effects non-destructibly). I then used the following three filters in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4:

  • Contrast Only (for base contrast and color corrections)
  • Pro Contrast (the Dynamic Contrast slider makes the clouds pop)
  • Sunlight (adds warmth and soft light to the boat)

Here’s the screen grab from Color Efex Pro 4:

Before (left) and after (right)

Join me for an online Color Efex Pro 4 workshop on March 13th

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8 thoughts on “Photo of the Day: Hope”

  1. I cannot make this workshop Jason although I’m considering Color Efex Pro 4. But tell me please, if you’re going to use it in Photoshop as you describe, what’s the format used to save the file when you’re done? PSD? If so is that something you can see and export form in Photo Mechanic?

  2. Jason,
    Do you remember if a polarizer was used originally for this shot?
    Thanks for the info about running CEP & SEP as standalones with
    CNX2, this was quite an eye opener for me.
    Currently I’m demo-ing them both and having alot of fun.

  3. I understand this workflow so far so good. Can you tell us where does the sharpening process take place. Do you send the tiff file back to CNX and apply output sharpening? Or did you do that in CS5?

  4. Tim-
    What I’m doing right now is applying a very mild USM step in my RAW conversion process. I use a setting of 26/6/4 in Capture NX2 when batching out TIFFs for Photoshop work.
    You don’t want to over-sharpen the original images; just apply enough so that the edges are defined when you view at 100%.

  5. Okay I see. Last week I started off reading your ebook NX2 and watching the video Sharpening technics NX2. Using USM and High Pass you get amazing results. But I have to practice a lot though :). Thanks for sharing your knowledge! – Tim

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