Today’s post is not really a tutorial, but it will be tutorial like. I thought I would show you what Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software looks like and some of the possibilities that can be done with it.
First of all we need to select an image. We might start by doing one of the cycling images.
The image needs to be opened in Photoshop as Silver Efex Pro 2 is a plugin and you can get it for Photoshop or Lightroom.
You can see there how to open up Silver Efex, go to Filters, then down to Nik Software, click on Silver Efex Pro 2.
This is what it looks like in Silver Efex. The image is changed to Black and White straight away. I have highlighted in red, on the left, all the presets that come with Silver Efex. There are many more, but you have to keep scrolling down to see them.
I have selected High Key 1 for this, just to show you a different one. It obviously isn’t any good for this image, so I will change it.
I have decided to go with Low Key 1, which is one of my favourites. Once the preset you want to use is chosen, then you can make more adjustments about what you want. I have shown in red where you can make some global adjustments. I have made a few adjustment.
Another thing you can do is make Selective Adjustments, so select an area to make adjustments too. To show this better I have darkened the entire image and I am going to attempt to lighten just one section.
This is to show you what you see on the screen a little better.
You can see the area with the circle, that is the area Silver Efex will work in, you can make it smaller or larger, using the slider that extends from yellow dot, that you can see in the previous image. A video tutorial would show it better.
Under the yellow dot are the Brightness, Contrast and Structure.
Hopefully you can see how I have lightened that middle rider so she stands out more than the others.
On the right side there are more changes. You can add a color filter, which doesn’t give the image any colour, but it will change the colours that were in the image. Again, it is a matter of playing around and seeing what you get. I haven’t change any for this image.
One of the things people have loved about film is the different effects you could get from the different films. Silver Efex allows you to have some of that again. You can select a film type and the effect of that film will be given to your image. I recommend you try them all and see what you think. If you want to go back then merely select none.
You can change the Levels and Curves. To demonstrate I made it darker, then changed it back, I was fine with how the image was.
Now we can start looking at some of the Finishing Adjustments.
You can add a tone, where that yellow part in the side bar is, if you click on there. There are a number of tones to choose from. You can decide on how strong you want it, and if you decide you don’t want it, then just click off. I did that. I don’t really want the image toned.
You can add vignetting, choose which type, black or white. The you can decide the Amount, Circle and Size. Again, if you choose you don’t want, then simply select off and it goes away.
There is a selection of borders that you can add. Again, you make decisions abut the size, spread, and clean. It is good to play. With all the drop down menus you only have to hover over them and you will be given a preview of the selection. I decided on off for Border.
That was pretty much all the selections I did.
Once OK is pressed then the image is opened up in Photoshop. It is saved, resized and ready for you to look at.
The final image. I don’t know about a black and white version of this. I have never been that enthralled with cycling photos done in black and white. One of the wonderful things about the sport are the colours that they wear. It is so colourful, so it always seems a shame to take the colour out of it.
I hope those of you considering Silver Efex have enjoyed this tutorial. I will be doing a video tutorial of this later today, so if you are interested then keep an eye on this page, Video Tutorials.