GRD2 + Aperture + Silver Efex --> Film-like results without tears

Started Oct 28, 2008 | Discussions thread
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GRD2 + Aperture + Silver Efex --> Film-like results without tears
Oct 28, 2008

In a recent thread in which I posted some GRD2 street photographs I wrote that I shot the picture in RAW and that I used the combination of Aperture 2 and Nik SilverEfexPro for Aperture. Previously I had used Aperture whenever I needed to recover highlights because it had the best highlight recovery facility of the software that I had tried.

The Apertute-SiverEfexPro combination can give very film-like results easily. Mind you, I'm not after producing film-like results as such; rather, I'm after a certain tonal look, which varies for different type of pictures, but it just happens that these type of looks are film-like. (Does that sound like sophistry?)

Below is a picture taken from the inside of a noodle shop into very harsh, high-contrast light that would have been difficult to process, which, using other tools, I would have processed to a much higher contrast look. But using the "Pull N-1" preset in SilverEfexPro makes it easy to tame the harshness and then applying a film type — I don't recall whether I used Agfa 100 or Fuji Acros 100 in this case — easily gave the look I wanted. I also applied a red filter to improve the separation of tones in the background around the shop sign and in the foreground figures.

It's particularly easy in SilverEfexPro to get towards the look one wants by apply successively various of the preset together with alternative film type and filters, all of which update almost instantly, to get towards the look one wants, to which one can then make adjustments. SilverEfex also has the Nik U-Point technology, which is great for selective burning and dodging; it also has vignetting and edge burning facilities. Many people speak highly about Alien Skin, but I've never to that programme, Here's the picture:

The only problem with SilverEfexPro is that, after you save the picture back into Aperture, all the history of the editing steps disappear. I really would like Nik Software to create a version of SilverEfexPro for use with Capture NX, for which there is a version of Color Efex, which would have all the steps available for editing each time you open the file.

And here are three more pictures for which I would have had much more difficulty to get the look I wanted using other tools because of the light conditions:

And finally, here's a picture reposted from the other thread, of which I really like the tonality, using the Kodak Panatomic X ISO 32 film type. I particularly like the tones in the background on the wrecked truck:


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