Tag Archives: Silver Efex Pro 2

My Descent into Infrared, Part 2: Choosing a Conversion Type

Afternoon clouds near Cañon City, Colorado. Super-color infrared image converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2.
Afternoon clouds near Cañon City, Colorado. Super-color infrared image converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2. If you have the right tools, a Super-Color infrared conversion is probably the most versatile choice for the creative photographer.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I selected a “Super Color” conversion for my Nikon 1 V1 camera. Today, I’ll dive a little deeper into my rationale for this conversion and provide some examples for why I think it was a good choice for what I do. Considering that most infrared conversions cost between $250-$325, you want to be sure you’re making a choice that you’ll be happy with. Your choice of conversion will determine what look or looks you’ll be able to get with your camera.

I based my rationale for choosing a “super color” conversion, which allows some visible light to reach the sensor, on two key points. First, I like the creative options afforded to me by having some color information. Second, I own Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro 2, and I’m fairly proficient with those products. Had I not owned those two programs, I may have chosen a different conversion style (likely standard IR). Continue reading My Descent into Infrared, Part 2: Choosing a Conversion Type

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Window to Your Soul

Historical building in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Nikon D800e; monochrome conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.
Historical building in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Nikon D800e; monochrome conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Here’s another image from my recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg. On our first morning at the historical area, this house immediately caught the attention of our group. We probably spent 15-20 minutes photographing it. Because there were 12 of us there, wide shots weren’t feasible. Instead, I switched to my 70-200mm AFS G VRII Nikkor and went looking for tighter compositions.

I really loved the textures and shadows in this image, and while the color photo was nice, I really wanted the shadows and textures to be the dominant elements. I therefore chose to convert the image to monochrome. To do this, I used Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection (now part of Google).

Why Silver Efex Pro 2 is My Choice for Monochrome

There are lots of options for converting your images to monochrome, including on-board conversion in your RAW converter. While you can get reasonable results using those tools, a dedicated monochrome tool like Silver Efex Pro 2 offers some seriously better control options. Continue reading Window to Your Soul

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Photo of the Day: Big Boy Locomotive

The Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotive 4005 at the Forney Museum of Transportation, Denver, Colorado. I used several different editing applications and techniques to produce the final image.
The Union Pacific “Big Boy” locomotive 4005 at the Forney Museum of Transportation, Denver, Colorado. I used several different editing applications and techniques to produce the final image. Click to enlarge (it looks much better when viewed big).

This is the Union Pacific “Big Boy” 4005 at the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver. The shooting conditions in the museum, especially of this train, are extremely difficult. First, you have extreme backlighting due to the large window. Second, the train is black and lit only with incandescent lamps. That means you have a difficult exposure and also mixed lighting. I decided this situation called for some creative processing.

Read on to learn the steps I used to create this interesting image, using multiple tools and the Google Nik Collection. Continue reading Photo of the Day: Big Boy Locomotive

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Photo of the Day: Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NYC. 25-second exposure and Silver Efex Pro 2 conversion to monochrome.

Bethesda Fountain is one of the larger fountains in New York’s Central Park. I used a 25-second exposure to soften the water. I then converted the image to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2, where I was able to create the soft look in the sky.

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Photo of the Day: Lonesome George

George Washington, Silver Efex Pro 2 version

I shot this image of Mount Rushmore in 2005 while on the Nikonians Annual Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT). I converted this image to black and white two different ways: first, in Nikon’s Capture NX 2 with my Black and White Action Pack and Color Efex Pro 3.0. The second conversion was with a beta version of the just announced Silver Efex Pro 2.0 from Nik Software.

If you use Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop, I highly recommend using Silver Efex Pro for black and white. It’s just that powerful. But as you can see, Capture NX 2 users need not fret about the fact that SEP isn’t available for them as a native plug-in. You can do very well with Capture NX 2; even better if you have Color Efex Pro 3.0 installed.

Lonesome George, Capture NX 2-style
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