Creativity Doesn’t End With The Click Of The Shutter…

While I do believe in getting it right in the camera…exposure, composition, lighting…I know there are so many creative possibilities in the digital darkroom. Enter my favorite creative plug-ins…from NIK Software. Not one of my images goes through the digital darkroom to be finished without seeing a NIK product or two applied. Noise? No worries with NIK Dfine…and no loss of detail in the process. Sharpen for output? NIK Sharpener Pro 2.0 is my sharpener of choice with it’s selective sharpening for paper type and image size. Selective control over exposure or color? The new Viveza is oh, so powerful and oh so easy to use. But, my personal favorite is the NIK ColorEfex 3.0 filter set. I can get lost for hours playing with the different filters and learning their strengths, when to use which filter for a certain look. And sometimes, I find one image that looks great with a variety of NIK filters applied…

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Image as shot…no adjustments applied. A nice, soft light image of a Great Egret in early morning light.

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NIK ColorEfex 3.0 Contrast Color Range filter makes the Great Egret pop from the blue background.

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Apply the NIK Midnight filter to add drama to the image.

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And, my personal favorite…the NIK B&W Infrared filter.

While I have a good idea of how I am going to finish my images when I am in the field, it’s those happy surprises back in the digital darkroom that really light my fires. B&W Infrared was not on my mind when I was creating this image a few weeks ago at Fort DeSoto. I was simply allowing myself time to play, let the creative juices flow when I clicked on the B&W Infrared filter in this image. To say it knocked my socks off was an understatement. While the image has a lovely color and softness to it in the original, it’s the very dramatic look of B&W Infrared that really speaks to me in this image.

If you don;t already own the NIK Creative Suite of filters, you owe it to your creative side to give them a try.

Image captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 200-400mm, TC-17E on Lexar Digital Media