I finally got my hands on Nik Software’s Complete Collection yesterday, which was pretty exciting, as I’d heard only good things about these products, and the black and white converter I’d tried as a demo is excellent.
So, for a first test run, I’d thought I’d revisit Photo of the Day #20, my shot of the Venetian lagoon from the island of Burano, and see if I could improve it with this suite of new technological wizardry.
Here’s the original picture, with post-processing done in Aperture 3, which consisted of a bit of edge sharpening, some level adjustments, saturation and contrast tweaks. Click on the picture to see a bigger version.
I reverted back to the original JPEG (yes, folks, I don’t shoot RAW), then worked my way through the suggested workflow for the Complete Collection.
First up, I put it through Dfine 2.0, a noise reduction utility. To be honest, I couldn’t really notice any difference afterwards – perhaps because the photo was shot at ISO 100 and so wasn’t too noisy to begin with?
Next came Viveza 2.0, a tool for selectively adjusting colour and light. I think I just darkened the sky a bit.
Next, the main event – Color Efex Pro 3.0, an amazing collection of digital filters. I guessed some kind of graduated filter would help to enhance the sky, and after playing around with various configurations, I came up with something that I think adds impact without being too unnatural.
Finally, I launched Sharpener Pro 3.0 and cranked things up a bit: I think I may actually have over done it, but never mind.
Here’s the result. Better? Or too over the top? I’ll let you decide…Click on the picture to see a bigger version.
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