Having used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2, among other plugins for around a year and a half now, I have been meaning to talk more about this amazing plugin for some time. So today, we’re going to touch on some of the times that I reach for Silver Efex Pro, and I’m also going to walk you through a black and white conversion as well today.
You can also view the embedded video right here on your iPad, thanks to a recent Vimeo update!
Note that there is an iPod/iPhone version of this video in iTunes, but watching on a computer, the video above is better.
Here are the images that we looked at in the video, just for reference.
UPDATE: Silver Efex Pro 2 is now in its second version, and if you decide to buy a copy, use this link, or the code MBP15, for a 15% discount. [Discount code no longer valid]
Music created and produced by UniqueTracks.
Nice walk-through of Silver Efex Pro. I thought I’d mention a really effective use of Silver Efex Pro for color images that I picked up from some other random blog. One of the great features of Silver Efex Pro is the Structure control. For images that have a lot of texture or need to have some, well, “structure” pulled out of them, perform a Silver Efex Pro conversion using something along the lines of the “High Structure” preset, and then selectively apply that with Luminosity blending mode, masking and adjusting opacity as needed. I often do several Silver Efex Pro conversions with different Structure settings and color filters and apply those to different portions of the (color or B&W) image.
I’ve found that this simple technique replaces a lot of work that I used to do with selectively applied contrast, local contrast, sharpening, and curves adjustment layers.
In general, it is worth noting the value of performing multiple B&W conversions (often one roughly along the lines of “High Structure” preset and another more neutral) and combining them.
Hi Martin, really enjoyed the silver efx pro walkthrough. I bought this a while ago and have enjoyed using it so much. I followed you and bought viveza2, are you likely to do a similar beginners guide for this as i am sure that I’m not getting the most out of the software. As you have tried the hdr, how does it compare to photomatrix?
I found the episode on signing your work very informative as I have been approached to provide some photographs for an area at work and the episode was very well timed. Keep up the excellent work
I have bee using Silver Effects for several months and like the results but I learned a few new techniques which adds to my knowledge. So thank you. sr
Sorry for the late reply! I somehow didn’t see this.
Glad you enjoyed the work-through. I actually don’t have Viveza 2 yet, though I’d like it. I didn’t upgrade because I haven’t really used Viveza 1, that came with the complete set that I bought originally. I’m thinking that I will be good until Nik releases another full set with upgrades for everything.
I did try the HDR plugin, but for now I actually went back to Photomatix, as I couldn’t get the results I wanted quickly enough. I’m kind of impatient with these plugins, and if it requires much time to figure things out I go back to my tried and tested method until I can make time to play.
Glad you liked the episode on signing prints too. It’s a subject I’ve not seen many tackle, so I thought I’d give it a bash.
I’m glad you learned a few new techniques with this too. I was using SEP for over a year before I learned some of these techniques, so I totally understand.
I’ve been using silver efex pro for a while, BUT thank you for First showing me some BEAUTIFUL photography with your lensbabys (which I have – but seldom use – need to dust those off!)
and, second, you explained some features in silver efex that I never quite understood – so I hope you do some more of these pod casts.. great job!!!
Nice video. And I’m finding your Lightroom 3 book very helpful.
Thanks Debi! I’m pleased this was useful, and thanks for the kind words about my work! I’ll certainly do more of these, intermingled with my regular audio podcast episodes.
Thanks Alan too. I haven’t actually released a Lightroom 3 book (I wish I had!) so you might be mixing me up with someone else, which I appreciate. 🙂