Fabulous Film Friday – April 29, 2011

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 wiggett@telusplanet.net 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!


8 Responses to “Fabulous Film Friday – April 29, 2011”

  1. […] Go here to see the original: Fabulous Film Friday – April 29, 2011 […]

  2. Interesting to read your use of Tonal Contrast to sharpen, Darwin.

    Do you only apply this method to your web jpegs, or is this something that you also do with your larger files? If you use something different for larger images, why?

  3. First, nice shots and mini-tutorial Darwin. But…

    I have to chime about Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEP2). Last year, I downloaded a trial copy of SEP1 because of some B&W images you posted here. I used it once and immediately bought it. LOVED IT! STILL LOVE IT! When I got the Nik email about the SEP2 release I jumped right on it and pre-ordered. Before the SEP2 key arrived I was about half way through the 15 day trial with Color Efex 3. SEP2 was released and I received my product key very shortly thereafter. I was totally stoked about the upgrade (note: I use SEP1 all the time). So I downloaded SEP2, installed, registered, and… The window launched in Photoshop, but when I tried to load an image it hung on the “Precalculating…” phase. “Hung” as in I had to force quit Photoshop. I tried again, same problem. I uninstalled and reinstalled, same problem. Sent a ticket into Nik tech support and got a runaround (realize, I’m a programmer by profession with a pretty buff home machine and I know how to test stuff [FTR, I’m a Mac user at home]). I hit the forums and found out that there are a LOT of weird problems with SEP2 (on some machines, both Mac and PC, old and new, all different configs, it runs fine. On others it doesn’t. I’m sure the issues are nightmarish to the developers, but the bottom line is that I think SEP2 was released before it was ready. Alas. So, needless to say, I didn’t buy Color Efex 3 and won’t until they fix Silver Efex Pro 2.

    Given all that I would not hesitate to recommend SEP1. Fantastic tool!! I just hope the folks at Nik iron out the bugs in SEP2 SOON because I’m dying to put it to use.

    Follow the link and read about the issues if you’re thinking about SEP2: http://www.nikforums.com/

    • I actually have the exact opposite problem that you have! With Silver Efex I can process about 5 or 6 images and then the program crashes. Most annoying! I hoped they solved the issue with Silver Efex Pro 2. I have processed about 100 imag4es so far with it and it has never failed. But it is much slower than Silver Efex 1.

      Thanks so much for the info on the software bugs. I could not run their HDR program on my machine until they released the latest upgrade, now it runs fine.


  4. Sorry Darwin. I didn’t get down to the discount thing until after I posted–but I would have posted what I said anyway because it’s true. SEP2 has issues.


  5. I actually prefer the first example of sharpening. In the second one the foreground and midground look a bit washed out.

  6. Linda Schettle Says:

    I love your images and I love Nik as well. Have you tired Nik’s HDR software yet? It’s the only one I haven’t tired.

  7. Bill Martin Says:

    Nik Dfine 2.0 has been kicking butt on my drum scans over the past couple days. Thanks for the recommendation Darwin! This is really going to help me out.

    Funny though – I tried the Nik sharpening software but did not have much success with it for landscapes. Although it’s probably the user not the software. Anyone else having success with it?

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