Tag: NIK software

Google Acquires Nik Software & Snapseed.

Google Acquires Nik Software & Snapseed. Good or Bad for Photography? tutorial.

If you are a regular reader here at SpeedDemon2 then you know I am a big fan of NIK software. I hope that the acquisition of NIK by Google doesn’t radically change the way that NIK develops and updates it’s software. NIK has been very good about keeping it’s users up to date with the software and offering updates as they improved their products.

The statement from the NIK Software Team is encouraging and leaves the door open for future products from them. I hope that Snapseed remains in the lineup and keeps pace with the Apple IOS. It would be a shame to lose this app or to have it become outdated due to the Google vs Apple dynamic.

I suppose that the resources of Google will allow even greater development in the tradition that NIK have been known for over the past 17 years. Only time will tell whether this acquisition will help or hinder the NIK Software Team. I’m keeping an open mind as well as keeping my fingers crossed that the acquisition is just the beginnings of ever more awesome NIK products for photographers.

Jason Odell’s NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 eBook Review

As many of you know I have been using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 since it was first released. I think it is the best HDR plugin on the market today and I wanted to see how another photographer found using it. I found Jason Odell’s eBook on NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did.

I had the opportunity this past week to read  Jason Odell’s eBook “The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro 2” I found it to be well written and very instructive. Jason does an excellent job of guiding anyone new to NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 in setting up and using the software. His instructions are complete and concise and make getting started with NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 a simple task. He goes into detail about the use of each slider and feature so that the reader can understand and predict what each one will do once they start using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.

Jason covers the anti-ghosting feature very well and offers tips that help the reader make good decisions about when and how much anti-ghosting to apply. His observations parallel my own experience with the anti-ghosting feature which is that it isn’t always desirable to apply the anti-ghosting  at 100%; doing so can produce unwanted results with some images. I, like Jason, often find that using it at 20% is effective and eliminates  unwanted results in some images such as those with a lot of sky.

Jason includes several examples of images that he used NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 on and explains which settings he used and why he used them. He shows his readers how to create everything from realistic HDR images through surrealistic HDR images and offers excellent commentary on the subjects.

As an added perk he includes 40 presets that he has developed and he also goes into great detail about how the reader can expand on or develop their own presets too.

All in all I think “The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro 2” is an excellent manual for anyone interested in learning how to use NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and well worth the price. I’m glad I read it and have it as a reference book when I need to figure out how to use NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 more effectively.

If you are looking for a great book on NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 then by all means get this one you won’t be sorry.

You can find the book at http://www.luminescentphoto.com/hdrguide.html and download it to your computer in minutes. There is also a link to Jason’s order page in the sidebar under the Blogroll and Training tabs.

Vendome Copper and Brass Works, Louisville, KY

Yesterday I downloaded the newest version of NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 which just came out this week. I had seen a webinar by NIK that showed the newest features of the app and I wanted to try it out. I am very impressed with the upgrade; the new version is much more refined than it’s predecessor which I already thought was the best HDR app I had used.

Today’s image was taken at Vendome Copper and Brass works here in Louisville. Vendome Copper and Brass Works is the main manufacturer of distilling equipment in the USA and the opportunity to photograph there was wonderful. They use a lot of copper to build these stills and distilling columns which made the place a fantastic place to photograph. I have several more images that I took while there and will be sharing them over the next few days.

This photo was processed from 5 frames taken at +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, Exposure Values. I could have just as easily used shutter speed to bracket the shots but my method is to adjust EV when shooting HDR brackets. I then took the images into NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I merged them and then applied the Realistic (Deep) preset and did some minor tweaking of the settings. After that I returned the image to Aperture 3 for sharpening and final output. If you are looking for an app for HDR processing I highly recommend NIK’s app, like everything else from NIK it is loaded with features and performs flawlessly.


Ohio River Bridges Panorama


Today’s shot is stitched together from two frames I shot from Waterfront Park. I used Photoshop CS5 to stitch them together and then finished the image in NIK HDR Efex Pro. I like the way the silhouettes of the bridges give structure to the scene.

I like shooting panoramas because they allow me to include so much more of the scene than one image usually can accomplish. Panoramas take a little more time to setup and shoot but the end results are almost always greater than I could accomplish by simply cropping into a single image to produce the panorama format.