Tag Archives: Nik software

Lily Pads Resting Before Night Fall

 Lily Pads Resting Before Night Fall

 

I like to show the emotion and beauty of what I discover. Last summer I spent a full day in a Oka National Park chasing flowers and insects with a macro lens. It was extremely difficult to shoot these subjects as it was a windy day. I got a few shots that were ok but my overall crop of that day resumed in a few pictures that were acceptable. So instead of leaving early that day, I decided to go to a small pond in that park  hoping that the wind would subside before night fall and hoping that I could capture  a few insects or nice lily pads before sundown.

I did not see or find anything interesting to shoot at. But something caught my attention it was a group of lily pads on that pond and what I really notice was the contrast of the leaves laying on the water. I shot them and looking at the image on the screen after shooting seemed pretty ordinary to me.

Lily Pad

Lily Pad Resting Before Night Fall

Once I got home I opened the raw file and work on it with Nik Software, I darkened the water and use a filter in Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4 called Monday Morning. It applies a smear and desaturated the light green color to my liking. Monday Morning filter is my favorite because it gives a dreamy look to pictures. So the lesson in all this is do not believe your screen wait and try a few of your favorite filters before deleting a picture.

 

Lily Pads Resting In The Stillness Of Water

 
Michel Nadeau
 

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Finally Kept My Word And Shot That Scene

Today, I new I had about an hour to shoot an area that I have been promising myself to photograph for years in St-Jérôme, QC. Everytime I go by that bridge, I look at my right and see that river surrounded by trees and a bridge at the other end. To me, this scene would make a perfect peaceful dreamy landscape. Well this is exactly what I did this morning, took 7 exposures with a 1 stop increment and processed it with Photomatix 4.2 and re-process it again through Nik Software Color Efex 4.0 with a few filters that I thought would give some sort of a dreamy feeling and look to that scene.

Here is the unprocessed  raw file with the normal exposure

This is the look that I got after processing it through Photomatix & Nik Software.

The result is OK but could of been much better if I had a bit of clouds to create a more dramatic scene. I will go back again until I create the shot that I like and it may not be a HDR shot this time. Many times in the past I have shot subjects and areas that did not please me or satisfied me after my first shoot. I have learned over the years that if you are not satisfied, go back and shoot it again if it is  possible until your are completely satisfied. There is always something new that you will see when you go back, better light, better perspective etc… Finally after that shoot, I drove to that bridge in the scene and took   this very grungy  shot of the river under the bridge. After all I was using my new toy ” Promote Control ” and I had to experiment with it to understand it’s potential and weakness.

Hope you have enjoyed this post
 
Michel Nadeau
 

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Why I Like Nik Software

 The Power of Nik Software

Last night working with Lightroom, as I was  in the middle of deleting files that I never intended to processed and keep, I came upon this rejected picture and before deleting it, I wondered if I could get something out of that poor capture and see what Nik software is really capable of.

First, just keep in mind that the file I used was a raw file shot with my Canon 40D and was not even process through Lightrom, it simply exported to Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4 and processed with 3 filters. The nice thing about the version 4 is that you can now combine filters in one step rather than the version 3 where you had to save and reload to apply the other filters.

First let’s look at the unprocess raw file

Nik Software

Now look at the results i got when processed with Color Efex Pro 4.o with the following filters

  1. Bleach Bypass
  2. B/W Conversion
  3. Vignette Blur

Some of the filters have a choice of presets that you can use and  adjust to your liking. The only one that I to adjusted was the vignette Blur. You can aslo save the final adjusted filter in you own presets. Nik software is extremely powerful and versatile, now I am not saying that a bad picture can be saved with software, we should always try to get the best capture to start with. Now imagine if my original capture was well framed, well exposed and pre-process properly. I really like Nik software for it’s rapidness and simplicity of use. You can find more about Nik software plugins products on their website.

Here is the process file with Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4.o.

 
Nik Software

Welcome to the Nik Software Education Portal

You can find more information about Nik Software on their website. There is also a section under the educational portal where they provide some video training on the Nik family of plugins. Subscribe to their newsletter and get the latest information about their great products.

 
Michel Nadeau
 

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