Our next selection of blog entries investigates all things image editing with Nik Software plug-in, with a detailed look at each plug in, and how it could benefit you.
Why Nik Software, and who are they?
Adobe Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom; arguably the cornerstones of image editing that enable you to apply sophisticated and highly complex techniques. To some extent, to fully benefit from professional control and results can take months, or even years of regular uses. This can mean you develop the skills of a professional Photoshop user, rather than that of a professional photographer! However, without good knowledge of these systems, you may not be able to achieve what you want to.
This is where the Nik Software range of plug-ins becomes invaluable.
Nik provide a range of plug-ins that allow the user to apply filters and effects to images in a far more intuitive way than other applications. What could be a time-consuming and complex task in Photoshop becomes more straight-forward using a Nik plug-in.
These plug-ins also include techniques which can’t be done through Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture alone – extending the capability of your main photo-editing application.
The Nik collections is made up of 6 plug-ins – you can either get individually, or as a full collection – which together form a logical photographic workflow. They all share an interface with the same look and feel. They work by creating a separate layer in Photoshop or copy in Lightroom and Aperture, so the original image always remains.
How does it work?
Nik use a feature called ‘Upoint Technology’. Basically, this allows you to adjust and edit your images using control points which are selectively placed on your image. Multiple control points can be placed on the image to enable the range of effects or filters to be increased, or decreased based on your requirements.
So, that’s how they work, now let’s have a look at each Plug-in to see what they do… This week we look at Dfine 2.0 and Viveza 2.
Dfine essentially removes noise from digital photographs. All digital cameras exhibit noise which can increase with higher ISO (sensitivity) settings. Noise usually displays itself as speckled colour and contrast effects, which in turn causes loss of clarity and detail.
Dfine smooths out this noise without harming the original image quality. It is particularly useful for photographers shooting in low light environments where you may need to increase camera sensitivity.
Viveza 2 is all about complex colour adjustments. Placing a control point on an area (see UPoint Technology above) allows you to edit the underlying colour with a set of sliders. These sliders allow you to adjust the contrast, brightness, saturation and structure of that particular colour.
The coverage of this effect and how far it spreads can also be controlled, allowing you to be really precise. In Photoshop, this can only be done with a combination of masks, selections and dodge.burn techniques. Viveza 2 is much simpler, and more accurate.
Next week we look at Color Efex Pro 3 and HDR Efex Pro.