I've spoken about filters and Nik filters in particular, in the past. I have played around with the Color Efex Pro 4 app quite a bit and am very pleased to say that it can save a bucket load of time in post processing where one is trying to achieve a particular effect.
Of course all of these effects can be produced in Photoshop and saved as "Actions" so that they can be replicated time and again but before I start getting into that type of commentary I have a little more practising to do.
I want to fiddle around with real ND filters, Graduated Filters and the like on camera but whilst I am doing this with new photographs, on days that I don't get out and about to try these filters I am using the software filters to become familiar with them on some of my older shots.
Over the last couple of days I have been using Lightroom 4, Photoshop and Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2 app to produce the same result with some Black and White photo's. I have to say that for me, Photoshop is the most versatile particularly if you want to be able to go back and alter one small aspect of an image but if it's a quick do once and post a final image then the Nik Collection is the one for me.
I'll put up 4 samples of the same image, (San Francisco's Trams) the original is in colour followed by a B&W, a Bluish tone B&W and a sepia tone B&W - The colour image has had a little tonal adjustment in Lr 4 and the B&W copy was also created with Lr 4. Both the Bluish and Sepia tones were an enhancement of the B&W image with Silver Efex Pro 2.
Personally I prefer the second image, there is something refreshing, crisp and clear with a Black and White image that just doesn't seem to come through on the others. What do you think?
Till next time, "Capturing Inspiration".