03 Adding a grain effect
I’m going to add one more filter: Film Grain. This will help tone down any remaining ‘digital’ feel about the image and give it a rough-and-ready ‘analog’ look. Color Efex Pro’s grain effects are really good, and to make this one a little stronger I’ve moved the ‘Grain per pixel’ slider to the left – this makes the grain look coarser.
04 Saving the Recipe
Now you can see all three filter effects stacked up in the tools panel on the right. You can still adjust any one of them – if you click the heading, its adjustment panel will open.
I’m happy with the result, though, so now I click the ‘Save Recipe’ button underneath. The Custom Recipe window appears, prompting me to choose a name. I’ll call this ‘Retro Snapshot’.
05 Using the new recipe
Now I can open up any other image in Color Efex Pro 4, click the ‘Recipes’ heading in the panel on the left and then the ‘Custom’ section. My new recipe will be there, along with any others I’ve created previously, and the image I’ve just opened is used for the live preview.
06 The finished picture
I really like this result. I’ve just the kind of summery, retro feel I’m looking for and, as always, Color Efex Pro 4 has produced a powerful but beautifully natural effect.
From a creative point of view, I think image effects like these are important because they enable you to get away from the very ‘literal’ look of digital images. I started with a picture of a particular girl on a particular day, but what I wanted was an archetypal shot of those happy, sunny, summer days we all carry round in our memories.