Dabbling with Color Efex Pro 4 and sharing some photography recipes!


How do recipes and photography go together? Stand by and I will tell you but first lets talk about how I am using a photograph from 2011 to help me explore my latest piece of post processing software from Nik – Color Efex Pro 4.
My basic photography workflow goes something like this-

  1. Shoot picture with camera, capture .jpeg and RAW files, bracketed 2/3 ev steps apart.
  2. Import files into Adobe Photoshop Elements Organizer, creating a new catalog for each shoot.
  3. Look over the files and selected one that looks interesting.
  4. Open the 3 bracketed .jpeg’s in Nik HDR Efex Pro and apply preset.
  5. Open in Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and play around with filters and plugins.
  6. If result is “cool” and “acceptable” upload to 500px.com – OR –
  7. Create the same image using the RAW file instead, faux bracketing 4 more exposures using Adobe Camera RAW.

Color Efex Pro gets used during step 5 of the above process, along with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, Topaz’s Remask, Adjust & Lens Effects plugins as well as Redfields Fractalius plugin.

Color Efex is one of the more creative plugins with not one thing in mind like a Black and White conversion or enhancing details or simulating different lenses. It has many options for affecting the look of your image.

So this morning I went on the hunt through 2012′s archives for my last photograph of the year  posted to 500px.com. As I scrolled down I ended up into 2011 and rediscovered one of my own favorite images, one taken at the highlands Hammock State Park on the Cypress Boardwalk. I consider it a pretty good photograph even to this day ( I find as I progress in photography that most of my older images no longer appeal to me as much!).

So I opened it in Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and found Color Efex Pro on the filter menu and open the image inside the plugin’s window. One of the neat things with Color Efex is that you can stack presets to create compounded effects, once you put some together you can save the results as a – RECIPE !

Have fun with photography!