Verdict: 5 stars Analog Efex Pro2 goes way beyond most analog photography filters, offering not just film styles, grain effects and borders, but creative vignetting, bokeh, lens blur, lens distortion, double-exposures, motion blur and more.
Film simulation, and why it's popular
Digital imaging has transformed photography, making it quicker, cheaper and more accessible to everyone. But something has been lost, too, and that’s the imperfect, random and fragile nature of film. We can admire digital images for their accuracy and permanence, but film creates an emotional engagement of a different kind.
Film imposes its own character on a scene, prints fade and stain over time, cheap cameras have light leaks and soft lenses that add their own layer of personality to an image. Some might consider these to be irritating and unnecessary imperfections, but for a lot of people they spark memories and associations that add another layer of complexity to an image.
So software that replicates film ‘looks’ is increasingly popular and it’s also possible to create film or analog looks manually once you recognise the characteristics that make them stand out.
DxO PhotoLab can create superb black and white imagery, both in terms of image quality and in creative control, but you need to get the DxO FilmPack 5 Elite add-on to do it. This does make things more expensive, and it does feel a bit like you’re paying for some things that other programs offer […]
Is Capture One now the best RAW converter of all for Fujifilm owners? Phase One has added support for the Fujifilm GFX, launched a new, free Capture One Express Fujifilm app, and Capture One 12 now adds Fujifilm Film Simulation modes.
Modern cameras can reproduce the world with utter, clinical accuracy. The trouble is, it turns out that’s not what we wanted after all. A lot of the time, what we actually want is the faded, distressed, imperfect look of analog photography. So here are six top tips for getting that analog film effect ‘look’ with […]
I love film. It’s what I grew up with, and it’s what I made most of my photographic discoveries – and mistakes – with. I love its richness, depth, unpredictability and character. So I’m especially interested in any film simulation software which promises to replicate the look and feel of traditional silver-based films. But I’m […]
Normally, if you want to create any kind of black and white effect with the DxO Nik Collection, you’d go straight to Silver Efex Pro. However, Color Efex Pro has some black and white effects of its own. The effects are different to Silver Efex Pro’s, so although the tools aren’t quite as sophisticated, you […]
Analog Efex Pro is a brand new addition to the Google Nik Collection, the set of plug-ins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and Aperture that Google took over when it bought out Nik Software. It’s now been taken over by DxO. I rate this as the best set of plug-ins ever made, and practically a must-have […]
OnOne Software’s B&W tool doesn’t just create black and white pictures! You can use it to recreate a whole range of delicately-coloured vintage effects too, like this digital version of the gum bichromate process. To be honest, digital versions of old chemical processes do take some liberties with the look and feel of the original […]
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, […]
Photographers are never happy. We couldn’t stop complaining about our dirty, faded colour transparencies when they were all we had, and we couldn’t wait to swap to nice, clean, everlasting digital images… only now they’re the norm, we miss our grubby old transparencies. So I’m going to use Perfect Effects to try to recreate that […]