Bitter Grounds Magazine

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Written by catpaw

March 26, 2016

NIK filters and a mediocre photo

Yesterday I told you about NIK plugins for Adobe Photoshop (as well as Elements and Lightroom) being offered up free by Google.  I’ve been poking around with the plugins, seeing what they can do. I pulled up the rather mediocre (bordering on bad) photo I took the other night after the freezing rain storm we had here in Toronto. I grabbed a couple of shots that night, but didn’t put a lot of effort into them, which shows. They are slightly off focus, and the light didn’t do justice to the glowing halo around the tree.

I wondered if the NIK sharpen plugin would help. So here’s the original:

Ice storm 24 Mar originial image

As I said, it’s a not focused, slightly blurred.  I sharpened a little bit. I also brushed out the irritating little light spot just above the tree. It’s interesting how it keeps pulling the eye there first, rather than the tree. Using the Sharpener Pro plugin, I was able to clean up the branches, defining their edges.  I used a combination of Adaptive Sharpening, Local Contrast and Output Sharpening, nudged up just a little. Made the ice glary again.  The blacks are now much sharper as well.

After I finished with the sharpening I decided to have a bit of fun and fired up the Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin.  The first one was Classic Camera filter 2, which brought up the shininess of the road and sidewalk ice. Then I applied another filter to the original, Classic Camera 4 with a nice blue hue.

Ice storm 23Mar plugins OldCamera plainIce storm 23Mar plugins oldCamera

I like how the light breaks up on the sides now. I layered the filter 2 over the 4 filter and used multiply, then I adjusted the highlights and shadows and now it looks like it did that night:

Ice storm 23Mar plugin Shadows Highlights NIK filters

Lots of experimenting to do with the plugins. I’ll pull up different photos and see what I can do with them, but they certainly helped clean up the original photo.

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