Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Silver Efex Pro 2–Comparison of a Few Photographs

Crab Boat at Piney Point-Edit

I have been viewing Silver Efex Pro with a touch of envy for quite some time.  Recently, Nik Software released Silver Efex Pro 2, and I finally made the commitment.  I am so happy I did.

Crab Boat at Piney Point

For the regular readers, my bias toward black and white photography is no great surprise.  After having played with Silver Efex Pro for just a few minutes (literally!), I can’t believe I was so cheap that I did not purchase this software earlier.

Black Stinger-Edit-Edit

Until now, all my black and white conversions were accomplished in Adobe Lightroom.  I have been pleased with the results.  But this satisfaction is like having enjoyed hamburgers your entire life without the knowledge of the bliss that comes from adding sautéed onions, mushrooms, and cheese.  With these new ingredients, you can never return to a plain hamburger.

Black Stinger

The real case for Silver Efex Pro 2 is the incredible level of control it provides during the conversion to black and white.  This post is not intended to be a tutorial or review of all the Silver Efex Pro 2 features, but suffice it to say the possibilities are accessible, expansive, and exciting.

Dock to Saint Clement's Island-Edit

I have included two versions of each photograph to highlight some of the capabilities of Silver Effex Pro 2.  In each case, I have placed the version from Silver Efex Pro 2 first, and the original Adobe Lightroom conversion second.

Dock to Saint Clement's Island

in each case, I spent less than two minutes in Silver Effex Pro 2.  I selected one of the presets, applied a couple of global adjustments, and one or two local adjustments.  Local adjustments are accomplished through “control points” that allow a great deal of local flexibility including easy dodging and burning.

Union Station Great Hall Silver

I am looking forward to spending some satisfying time learning the real capabilities of Silver Effex Pro 2. In the mean time, I am extremely pleased with the ability to improve my black and white conversions with very little effort and knowledge.

Union Station Great Hall

If you are a fan of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro 2 is definitely a tool you will want.  Even the round trip from Lightroom to Silver Efex Pro 2 will not be an annoyance once you experience your new level of black and white conversion control.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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