Anyone who follows this blog knows that I use Nik software products as a regular part of my image processing workflow. In fact, almost all images that I post on my blog have been ‘sharpened’ using Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex 3.0. Tonal Contrast was not designed to be a ‘sharpening’ plug-in but for me it makes web-sized JPEGS pop off the screen. I prefer this method over all other sharpening methods I have tried! For example, check out the two images below, one sharpened using Smart Sharpen in Photoshop, the other using Color Efex (both images are 35mm film captures from my Canon EOS-1n, a 70-200mm lens and Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film).
©Darwin Wiggett - Smart Sharpen in Photoshop
©Darwin Wiggett - Sharpened with Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex 3.0
My other favorite Nik product that I am head over heals about is Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I thought the original Silver Efex software was good but version 2 is even better (I could go on and on about why and likely will in future posts!) but for now just know that Silver Efex Pro 2 makes black-n-white imagery easy and creative!
Anyone familiar with Fabulous Film Fridays knows that Samantha and I love our Holgas , Beep and Bop (yes we named our cameras) which are medium format toy cameras. We scan in our negatives from the Holgas and then do minimal post-processing to get the scans to look like the film. But sometimes, taking the Holga colour film scans and funking them up in Silver Efex Pro 2.0 adds just an extra touch of mood to take the image to the next level.
For example, the image below is a typical vignetted, soft dreamy Holga shot (photographed with Bop). But by adding a little Nik Silver Efex spice, using the Film Noir 1 preset, I got a shot that is moody and artsy. My Holga, Bop meets Nik. Bop and Nik, a match made in heaven!
©Darwin Wiggett - Silver Efec Pro 2.0 with Film Noir 1 preset
As a final example here is a straight shot from Bop the Holga using Fujicolor Reala 100 film. A nice shot but lacks a little pizazz.
©Darwin Wiggett - Film scan from a Holga
And here is the same photo run through Silver Efex Pro 2.o using the Yellowed 1 preset. A single touch of a button and wow now we have art!
©Darwin Wiggett - Nik Silver Efex 2.0 with Yellowed 1 preset
If you are interested in getting any Nik software just use the discount code DARWIN to get 15% off anything Nik sells! Thanks Nik!
And consider this your last reminder if you want to participate in our Holga Hustle and Print show on May 7 in Banff National Park. To sign up email me at firstname.lastname@example.org We have a few spots left and anyone with any film camera is welcome to come. All results will be posted on Samantha and my blogs!