Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Editing with NIK software
#1
Hi all

It was for me a bit of journey. You will know that NIK software is now freely downloadable. But a previous trial version I used would not allow the new free version to download. After seeking help from Ed, I succeeded and Ed has encouraged me to float a few examples. Here's one for starters taken in Stratford tube and DLR station near the Olympic Stadium - you may know it?). Hopefully I shall improve (an initial example posted in the competition thread as it was a highly blue sundown image).

Please share any thoughts or experience on using NIK software.

Regards

Jeff



Attached Files Image(s)
   
Reply

#2
I am sorry, but I am not a great lover of heavily processed HDR images.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#3
Hi John

Give it a try perhaps? The NIK editing software is widely recommended, and includes an array of facilities including sharpening, noise reduction and conversion to mono. The use of HDR facility is not a requirement of course.

All the best

Jeff



Reply
#4
I use Nik Software for all my post processing. My wife BOUGHT it for my Christmas, last year! I think their Noise Reduction and Sharpening software is the best available. It is just that the over produced images most photographers associate with HDR is not for me. This HDR image of mine, posted previously on the Critique thread, uses the effect to increase the dynamic range and nothing else.

   
This HDR image was Merged in Lightroom 6.5.1.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#5
Jeff, i am with John on this, very much.
Your "other" image, cottage blue, is much better, more "Subtle", going in the right direction, to me.
Again, to me, most HDR pics I see, are Digital Images, not Pics. Simplistically, If a pic I see cannot seen with the naked eye, at some time, then it becomes a Digital Image. Open to criticism!!
You seem to have settled into NIK quickly, I have looked, will keep it, was free, but will stick with P/S for all I do anyway.
Keep at it, there is a big difference on your pics since you joined. Regards. Ed.
To each his own!
Reply
#6
Jeff, I too have downloaded the Nik software with the intention of playing with it on a cold and rainy day but like all good processing software, I think that it requires a lot of learning and practice to use properly. Your image of the loco is nice, but there is something "odd" about the sky.

I agree with John in that an image, to be a photograph, must look natural (any enhancement should not detract from the scene) but if it looks obviously processed in some way (HDR, HCC, single colour, etc) then to me it is an illustration, not a photograph.

I processed this image from my street photography portfolio, (not using Nik software) and I now consider it as an illustration. What do you guys think?
   
GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply

#7
Graham, I tend to agree with you and John in preferring realism. This one feels quite different from what would usually be regarded as a photograph, and is more like a painting by a skilled artist.

There is a problem with misuse of terms. For example, HDR photography should simply mean applying techniques to fit the range of brightness of tones that human vision would normally perceive in the actual scene, into the final photographic image that we produce from the captured light, in order to make it look more realistic by revealing detail in shadows and highlights. In my view it has, unfortunately in many minds, come to mean producing images with the exaggerated and strange colours, saturation, and contrast, that often result from the more extreme use of those same techniques. HDR applied well should not be obvious.

Cheers.
Philip
Reply
#8
Hi Graham

Your illustration would do very well in a Worcestershire Camera Club competition. There are various categories of photograph which they recognise and provide specialist groups for, including creative, digital, and contemporary. I hope the forum can embrace the wider range?

Each to his own then?

My aim in attempting NIK editing is to broaden my scope and options a bit.

I tried something different today - here it is. This is a water rail, a secretive bird giving only brief glimpses generally speaking. I had about a second or two with this rail in view and it was gone. Maybe a little over sharpened?

Many thanks to Jocko and Ed for helpful comments - would welcome info from Jocko on which parts of NIK he uses most and how.

Regards all



Attached Files Image(s)
   
Reply
#9
Super capture Jeff, not seeing the original, don't think you far out. Ed.
To each his own!
Reply
#10
Jeff,
I do my conversion from raw using Lightroom 6.5.1. I have all the noise reduction and sharpening switched off in Lightroom and I have all sharpening switched off in camera.
My first edit in Nik is Dfine 2 Noise Reduction. I do all my Nik processing in TIFF, ProPhoto RGB, 16 bit and 300 resolution. I find that the default setting for Dfine is perfect for all bar noisy images. I then use Sharpener Pro 3: RAW Presharpener. I usually use the default setting, but sometimes I increase the Adaptive Sharpening to 55 or 60% and may also increase the Sharpen edges.
I use Viveza 2 if I have an area I want to either increase or decrease the Structure. I use Structure decrease to throw background that little bit out of focus.
I use Color Efex Pro 4 quite a bit for the Graduated ND filter. Great for slightly darkening the top of the sky (or sometimes the immediate foreground). I sometimes use the colour Grad filter for sky effects.
Silver Efex Pro 2 is great for creating Black and White conversions. Or for "old fashioned" looks and making images look like old faded images.
To finish off I use Sharpener Pro 3: Output Sharpener. I use this in two stages. I do any Creative Sharpening first, turning Output Sharpening off altogether. I then export that image as a 16 bit TIFF file. This is my default storage.
When I come to use the image, either for printing, for display, or for posting here, I first resize it for the use I intend it for, then, using Sharpener Pro 3: Output Sharpener, I sharpen it for the output medium (usually display). I then convert to JPEG, and use that image for the output.
John.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#11
Philip, I agree totally with what you have said. Jeff, that's a superb capture, never mind the sharpening.
GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply

#12
(May 2, 2016, 14:13)Freeman Wrote: Hi Graham

Your illustration would do very well in a Worcestershire Camera Club competition. There are various categories of photograph which they recognise and provide specialist groups for, including creative, digital, and contemporary. I hope the forum can embrace the wider range?

Each to his own then?

My aim in attempting NIK editing is to broaden my scope and options a bit.

I tried something different today - here it is. This is a water rail, a secretive bird giving only brief glimpses generally speaking. I had about a second or two with this rail in view and it was gone. Maybe a little over sharpened?

Many thanks to Jocko and Ed for helpful comments - would welcome info from Jocko on which parts of NIK he uses most and how.

Regards all

Hi Jeff,

An absolutely wonderful capture, from an obviously talented photographer. There are so many talented 'clickers' on here, it's a difficult task to chose one over another. Smile

I really must consider this NIK software. Only as has been said, 'another learning curve to negotiate'.

Best regards.

Phil.
Reply
#13
Interesting debate - I had similar on a few occasions.

It seems to me this is about realism vs. creativity? Some use multiple exposures for HDR, others for exposure blending to increase dynamic range. Some, gasp! use black and white and yet there is no landscape or person I have ever seen that is absolutely pure black and white. So why are some black and white images raved about while HDR is not?

Surely creativity / interpretation begins in the camera with choice of lens for perspective, camera position for background, time of day for lighting, aperture or shutter speed for depth of field or deliberate blurring or not etc. etc. In fact deliberate efforts to record as visually 'natural' an image as possible could be argued to be a creative choice?

What's so different about creativity choices in post processing?

If I am working on documentary imagery (eg news reporting/ historical recording) I would consider it unforgivable to manipulate the final result in an effort to maneuver the perspective of the viewer. Except for that, all bets are off! I'll experiment with anything.

If not, then photography is merely a recording medium and should not be used as a creative tool. I think you'll have a lot of very famous 'image takers' taking issue with that Smile
Reply
#14
oh, and on the subject of Nik software.

Aren't Google nice to make a £100 product available free Smile - or was it because they really only wanted mobile app Snapseed, and offering the PS plugins free means they don't need to be supported/ upgraded in future? Just a thought but time will tell....
Reply
#15
(May 3, 2016, 02:03)dave1712 Wrote: photography is merely a recording medium and should not be used as a creative tool.
I use photography as a recording medium. I do not think it is not a creative tool but that is not how I use it. Hence my preference for styles. I love the work of Don Schaeffer, regularly posted here, which is very creative. It is just some things float my boat, and others, less so.

Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#16
I agree wholeheartedly Jocko - some things work for me and others don't. It merely depends on what I'm trying to achieve. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I just consider that part of the creative process whether in the camera or in post.

BTW my original comment was 'If not, photography is merely a recording medium ..


interestingly many famous photographers consider themselves artists first, who just happen to use a camera. David Bailey - definitely a creative artist in my book - once commented when asked about camera equipment he used commented if there were Polaroid paints [instant drying] he would have painted more [than using a camera]

Reply

#17
(May 3, 2016, 02:03)dave1712 Wrote: It seems to me this is about realism vs. creativity?

My earlier point about the meaning of "HDR" was simply to clarify. Many people dismiss HDR not for what it actually is, but for the way that the term has come to represent what it is not.

I also wrote that my preference is for realism in photographs, but that statement is not anti-creativity. Realism is to do with the appearance of the image and/or the things within the image - my preference is for the content of an image to appear as human vision would perceive it.

Back in March, I was in the churchyard in Marlow just before sunset, when the sunlight was almost horizontal, and it had that bright orange evening glow. I was attracted by an old wooden bench and considered a shot. However, I thought that this was even more interesting:

Shrub and Bench:
   

Processing has been applied to the camera image - slight cropping, perspective correction, small adjustments to colour, saturation, brightness, contrast, clarity, sharpness - all with the purpose of enhancing the realism of the shot. But is the resulting image not also an example of creative photography?

[ Pentax K-5 IIs at ISO 400; 18-135 zoom lens at 68mm and f/16; 1/60s; -0.7EV; editing in PaintShop Pro X8 ]

Cheers.
Philip
Reply
#18
Very creative, Philip. And a lovely shot.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#19
Super Pic Philip, and, a pic, not a digital image. "Darkroom" techniques skillfully applied. A scene that could be observed by a passersby. Great. Ed.
To each his own!
Reply
#20
Jeff,
Here is an image of Dysart harbour which I will show using the various steps I go through in Nik Software. The raw image was taken 20-4-2016 using my Nikon D80 with 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens. Manual mode, 1/400 sec, f11, ISO 250, 105mm lens equivalent.

This is the image, straight from the camera.
   

And here it is after processing in Lightroom 6.5.1.
   

This next one is after noise reduction, using Dfine 2.
   

Now it has been sharpened using RAW Presharpener.
   
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#21
This image is after using Viveza 2 to add a bit of Structure.
   

I used Creative Output Sharpener to add a little Edge Contrast.
   

And then the final image. This was resized for posting here, then final Output Sharpening for Display.

   

I have done this so many times now that it literally takes no more than 5 minutes to run through all the Nik Software stages.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply

#22
Re. "Shrub and Bench" - thank you, John and Ed.

John, that is a good series to show your work-flow, together with a pleasing final result.

Cheers.
Philip
Reply
#23
This is an HDR composite of three images bracketed -2, 0, +1, processed in Photoshop CS5. This is typical of the type of subject that I would choose to use HDR, without "over cooking" the final result.

Canon 7D, Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 USM, hand held.

   

GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply
#24
That is how I like to see my HDR images, Graham.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#25
Another good Pic. Ed.
To each his own!
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Photo Editing Software, what do you use? EnglishBob 33 9,713 Jul 15, 2019, 02:21
Last Post: jogesh12345
  One click portrait editing option or die-hard Photoshop? shuttercloud 5 3,722 Aug 16, 2016, 22:07
Last Post: pixelmaker
Question Confused about Photo Editing options. Tom Forrest 9 3,675 Mar 28, 2016, 06:12
Last Post: Jocko

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)