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 disappear like the desktop version of Snapseed – this is another software gem the image-editing world can’t afford to be without!

Color Efex Pro recipe

So anyway, in this tutorial I want to show how easy it is to stack effects and then save your own recipes. I’m using this portrait shot I took on an iPhone 5, which I like a lot already, but I want to use Color Efex Pro to give it a hazy summery snapshot feel.

01 Film: Vintage effect

Color Efex Pro recipe

This is my starting point. Color Efex Pro has a whole range of film effects, and I’ve chosen one from the Vintage category. It gives the picture a kind of sunny warmth, and the subtle fade-out vignette effect in the corners adds a timeless feel.

02 Adding a border

Color Efex Pro recipe

I want to create the feeling of old holiday prints, and in my head that means a white border around the picture. To add one, I need to click the ‘+ Add Filter’ button under the current filter tools on the right hand side. This is important – if you don’t remember to click this button, Colour Efex Pro will simply replace the current filter with the next one.

Color Efex Pro’s Image Borders filter has a long list of border types to choose from, but it’s the last – number 14 – that gives the effect I’m looking for here. As ever with Color Efex Pro 4 filters, you can use the tools in the panel on the right to modify the appearance of the presets – I’ve made this border slightly wider.