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Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools



Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools

Tony L. Corbell, Joshua A. Haftel

ISBN: 978-1-118-23622-2 December 2011 352 Pages


Learn all the features and functionality of the complete Nik family of products

Styled in such a way as to resemble the way photographers think, Nik Software Captured aims to help you learn to apply all the features and functionality of the Nik software products. With Nik Software Captured, authors and Nik Software, Inc. insiders Tony Corbell and Josh Haftel help you use after-capture software products easier and more creatively. Their sole aim is to ensure that you can apply the techniques discussed in the book while gaining a thorough understanding of the capabilities of programs such as Dfine 2.0, Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro 4.0, Silver Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3.0, and HDR Efex Pro.

  • Helps you learn all the features and functionality of the Nik family of products
  • Shares tips and techniques on retouching and exposure
  • Offers a solid understanding of the importance of light
  • Explores ways to save time in the digital workflow
  • Answers the demand from readers to compile a variety of techniques conceived to help when using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple's Aperture

With Nik Software Captured, you'll quickly benefit from the array of helpful techniques featured in this single resource.

About the Authors vii

Introduction xvi

About This Book xvii

Two Points of View xvii

Why This Book and Why Now xviii

Conventions Used in This Book xviii

Chapter 1: Editing Basics 2

Fundamental Editing Techniques 3

Evaluating an image before editing 3

Planning your edits based on the human visual system 5

Editing Terminology 10

Chapter 2: The Digital Workflow 18

A Basic Workflow 19

Use the correct settings 19

Organize your images 19

Identify images to edit 21

Apply any RAW-based adjustments 22

Apply lens-based enhancements 23

Crop the image 23

Apply noise reduction 25

Do panorama stitching or HDR merging and tone mapping 25

Retouch dust or other imperfections 25

Use Viveza 2 to balance light and color 25

Stylize with Color Efex Pro or Silver Efex Pro 27

Make a final round of clean-up 27

For Photoshop only: Save a master version 27

For Photoshop only: Resize based on output 28

Sharpen based on output 29

For Photoshop only: Save your sharpened working file 29

Print or upload your masterpiece 29

Creating a Custom Workflow 31

Noise reduction 31

Resizing 32

Cropping 32

RAW presharpening versus sharpening 32

Output sharpening 33

Living in the land of 2 percent versus the real world 34

Your Personal Workflow 35

Chapter 3: The Nik Software Editing Environment 36

Differences in Host Applications 37

Adobe Photoshop 37

Adobe Photoshop Elements 39

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 42

Aperture 43

Standalone Nik Software plug-ins 44

Other Host Applications 45

Which Host Application to Use? 46

Standardized user interface 47

Left pane 47

Top toolbar 48

Right pane 48

Bottom toolbar 48

Image area 50

Batch Processing in Photoshop 50

Chapter 4: UPoint 54

U Point Technology Explained 55

How U Point Technology Works 58

Using Anchor Control Points 61

The Different Uses of U Point Technology 61

What Is Noise? 67

Chapter 5: Dfine 2.0 68

How Dfine 2.0 Works 70

Step 1: Measuring Noise 71

Step 2: Reducing Noise 72

Reducing noise globally and selectively with control points 74

Reducing noise globally and selectively with color ranges 77

Using the Advanced Noise Reduction tools77

Using the Modes Popup Menu to Review the Noise and Selection Masks 82

When to Use Dfine 2.0 to Reduce Noise85

Chapter 6: Viveza 2 88

The Viveza 2 Interface 90

Adding control points 90

Grouping and ungrouping 90

Global and selective indicators 91

Expand and Collapse buttons 92

Enhancement sliders 92

Color picker and Eyedropper tool 94

Control Point List 95

Levels and Curves control 96

Applying Viveza 2 to Your Photographs 97

Working with landscape images98

Working with portrait images103

Chapter 7: HDR Efex Pro 3.0 110

HDR Imaging Explained 111

The two stages of HDR image processing 112

How to Capture and Process the Image Series for Best Results 117

Reducing motion 117

Optimal camera settings 118

Processing a series of images 118

Working with HDR Efex Pro 120

Merging with HDR Efex Pro 120

Alignment and ghost-reduction settings 124

Tone mapping with HDR Efex Pro 128

HDR panoramas 136

Setting up to shoot an HDR panorama 137

Creating the panoramas 137

Create the HDR panorama 139

Chapter 8: Color Efex Pro 4 140

Working with the Filter List and Presets141

Basic Controls144

Taking Advantage of Recipes149

Th e Powerful History Browser151

Example Images and Enhancements152

Example 1: A portrait photo152

Example 2: A landscape photo156

Example 3: An architectural photo159

Chapter 9: Silver Efex Pro 2 162

Creating Amazing Black-and-White Images 163

Working with Silver Efex Pro 2 164

Starting with presets 164

Brightness controls 165

Contrast controls 168

Structure controls 170

Selective Adjustments section 173

Color filters 176

Film types 178

Finishing Adjustments section 179

Loupe & Histogram section 181

History Browser 183

Image Workflows 184

Example 1: A portrait image 185

Example 2: A portrait image 187

Example 3: A landscape image 189

Chapter 10: Sharpener Pro 3.0 196

Th e Importance of Sharpening Digital Images 197

Detail loss during capture 197

Detail loss during image processing 199

Detail loss during output 199

Removing the Guesswork from a Complicated Task 200

How Sharpener Pro 3.0 Works 203

Applying Sharpener Pro to Your Images 204

RAW Presharpening 204

Output-based sharpening 209

Creative sharpening 212

Important Controls in the Settings 217

Default Control Point Settings 217

Image Size sliders 219

Chapter 11: Portraits Start to Finish 220

Example 1: Candace 221

What we did in Viveza 2 223

What we did in Color Efex Pro 4 227

What we did in Sharpener Pro 3.0 227

Example 2: Lori 232

What we did in Viveza 2 233

What we did in Color Efex Pro 4 235

What we did in Sharpener Pro 3.0 238

Chapter 12: Landscapes Start to Finish 244

Example 1: Trees of Peterhof 245

What we did in Dfi ne 2.0 245

What we did in Silver Efex Pro 2 245

What we did in Sharpener Pro 3.0 251

Example 2: Cliff Jump 253

What we did in Dfine 2.0 253

What we did in Viveza 2 254

What we did in Color Efex Pro 4 255

Example 3: Black-and-White HDR 258

What we did in HDR Efex Pro 261

What we did in Silver Efex Pro 2 262

Appendix A: The Rise of Digital Photography and the History of Nik 270

The Rise of Digital Photography 271

The History of Nik Software 272

Appendix B: Index 276