Author: Rod Lawton

How to create a red filter effect in Silver Efex Pro

Nik Software must have discovered some unknown digital alchemy when it developed Silver Efex Pro. Suddenly, here was a digital imaging tool that really could replicate the look, feel and even the ‘soul’ of silver-based black and white. And one of the favourite tools of traditional black and white photographers was the ‘contrast’ filter. These mostly came in yellow, orange, red or green varieties. The idea of using a coloured filter might seem odd when shooting in black and white, but they worked by making some colours appear darker – and some lighter – when recorded as shades of...

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Did you know you can save and combine selections in Elements?

Photoshop Elements is usually seen as the poor relation to Photoshop itself, but it offers many of the same high-end features if you know where to look! Photoshop has alpha channels, but Elements has ‘saved selections’… You can get by perfectly well most of the time just working with one selection at a time, but there are situations where you need to combine them to create a particular effect. It’s also useful to know how selections and layer masks are related and how you can use them both together. I’ve chosen this image to show a situation where this...

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How to get perfect cutouts with Perfect Photo Suite!

OnOne Software doesn’t just provide one plug-in in Perfect Photo Suite, but several. Perfect Mask is the main tool for this tutorial, but the Perfect Effects plug-in finishes it off beautifully! I’ve got two confessions to make. One is that I wasn’t a huge fan of Perfect Photo Suite initially because I found it quite clunky and confusing. I’m changing my mind. There are still things I find awkward, but I’m starting to think it really is worth the effort, because this suite of plug-ins is really rather impressive. My other confession is that this is a super-long walkthrough...

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How to create your own processing recipe in Color Efex Pro 4

Color Efex Pro 4 doesn’t just boast a huge list of great filter effects, it also lets you ‘stack’ them in combination and then save your own, unique style as a ‘Recipe’. Nik Software really pulled out all the stops with Color Efex Pro 4. There were many useful additions and tweaks to the filters, but the really big thing was the new ability to ‘stack’ filter effects in combination – and then save them as user ‘recipes’ for re-use in the future. Now that Google has bought out Nik Software,  I really hope Color Efex Pro 4 doesn’t...

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How to use gradient masks in Capture One to improve outdoor shots

Capture One provides a system of internal adjustment layers so that you can make localised adjustments to your pictures. These aren’t directly compatible with the adjustment layers in Photoshop and Elements – they just share the same name – but they are saved with your images in the Capture One library, so you can go back to them later and change or remove them if you want to. I’m going to use two adjustment layers to fix the picture below. It’s a common problem – you’re shooting on a sunny day, so you’ve got a bright sky in the...

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