You can learn a lot from experimenting with manual adjustments and individual filters in a program like Color Efex Pro, but you can learn even more by dismantling a preset to see how its individual parts work together.
Color Efex Pro (Nik Collection)
Color Efex Pro is one of the plug-ins in the Nik Collection, now owned and published by DxO. It offers more than 50 filters which can be used individually or combined into a practically limitless array of 'recipes'. Both can be used to create single-click preset effects.
The best Nik Collection plug ins are so deep you might never completely get to the bottom of what they do. Here’s a series of tips and ideas for Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Analog Efex Pro and Viveza.
Verdict: 5 stars The Nik Collection is an evergreen plug-in suite that’s as fresh, varied and exciting now as when it was first launched a decade ago. The new Perspective Efex plug-in is a major bonus and the new ‘non-destructive workflow’ is rather clever.
Verdict: 5 stars . Colour Efex Pro initially looks a little dated, but dig deeper and you’ll find its best filters are very useful indeed and the ability to combine filters into Recipes dramatically expands its potential.
It does seem a bit perverse, adding colour to a black and white image which used to be colour in the first place, but hand-coloured (or digitally-coloured) black and white has a very particular ‘look’ that colour images just don’t have. So this image (below) is one I originally shot in colour but then reworked […]
You normally associate soft focus effects with portraits, but they can work on all kinds of images, adding a romantic, dreamy feel to an everyday scene. Landscapes, for example, are often given a dramatic, brooding look when sometimes the emotion we feel is much lighter. Here’s an example. This tree-lined avenue felt bright, airy and […]
Infra red photography creates an unusual and surreal view of the world that can also be very beautiful. You can do it in black and white or colour, but the techniques used today with digital cameras are rather different to those used with film. Infra red film photography is relatively straightforward – you simply use […]
Maybe you wouldn’t normally think of Capture One Pro as an image-editor. It’s a superb RAW converter and general image enhancement tool, but most of the time you’d probably swap to a plug-in or an external editor for really detailed effects work – especially any that required localised adjustments. But I’ve been spending some time with Capture One […]
It’s that time of year when autumn leaves produce a riot of colour, and you’ve only got a short window of time to get out there and get pictures. But the results don’t always match your expectations, and this shot is a prime example. The reds and yellows of the leaves were striking, but they […]
Color Efex Pro, part of the DxO Nik Collection, is a terrific plug-in with an amazing array of filter effects, each of which has its own controls. Some of them have uses which are obvious straight away, but some… well, not so much. So now and again I have a trawl through the list to […]