Tech Tuesday: Silver Efex Pro

I love B&W, I guess it goes back to my early days of photography. I was in the high school photo club, we had a darkroom and Kodak Tri-X. I learned with a Yashica Mat 124 and developing my own.

here is the first photo I ever took and developed, on my own. Taken with my sisters Kodak Brownie.It is a photo of my dad, sometime around 1970 or ’71. I didn’t have an exposure meter so I just guessed.

Anyway, back to the plug-in. Most B&W conversions were done using the channel mixer, in photoshop. As good as this is there are no ways to replicate the look of traditional B&W films.

Now there is. Nik filter Silver Efex Pro .

I love this software, ease of use, great interface and replicates all types of film.

Here is my workflow using it. I first open Lightroom

Select the photo you want to convert. Right click>edit in> photoshop ( since this is a plug-in and not stand-alone.

It will then open in your editing software ( Photoshop, elements or Paint shop pro). Make any necessary adjustments then send it to Silver Efex

When it opens you will see a list of pre sets on the left, scrolling through shows a preview, on the main image. Since it was a photo of main street in the old town of Delhi, I wanted the old look.

I selected Antique plate II.

On the right are adjustments for exposure, color filters, film type and styles, such as vignettes.Here I selected the blue filter.Here I went to the film style drop down and selected Tri-X, when you scroll over it shows a preview.

Here is the stylizer, showing the different vignettes and colors. Once again scroll for a preview.and the adjustments for style. When you are happy click ok.

It will take you back to photoshop where the effect is now in a new layer. If you want to try this software they have a trial for download.

For B&W I don’t think it can be beat. IMHO.

As always click the photos for a larger version.

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