Silver Efex Pro is one of the best-known plug ins in the Nik Collection and widely regarded as the premier tools for fans of black and white photography. There are lots of really good ways to create black and white images in all sorts of software, but even now Silver Efex Pro has a magic […]
Black and white filters explained
It does seem a bit crazy that black and white photographers use coloured filters, but there is a reason for this. When you shoot in black and white, the camera or the film is converting different colours into shades of grey. When you use a coloured filter, you’re shifting and changing the brightness of the different colours in the scene, and this changes their shade of grey in the photograph. This is why they’re sometimes called ‘contrast’ filters too. For example, a red filter allows red light through but blocks light of other colours. Anything red in the scene becomes proportionally much brighter, anything opposite to red, like a blue sky, comes out a much darker shade of grey – nearly black, sometimes.
With just a couple of exceptions, all digital cameras capture in colour, so if you want black and white you can either use the camera’s monochrome mode, which will simply convert the image in-camera, or you can carry out the conversion on a computer. But which conversion method works best?
Why would you use colour filters when you’re shooting in black and white? It’s so that you can control the way different colours translate into shades of grey. For example, if you shoot through a red filter, it blocks colours other than red, so that opposite colours, like blue skies, for example, come out much […]
You can use Silver Efex Pro perfectly effectively by choosing a preset and then modifying the settings as necessary using the tools panel. What you may not realise is that Silver Efex Pro simulates specific film types very closely. In fact, you can choose your film manually in the Film Types panel. And if that’s […]
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 […]