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Film effects


From:

Learning Silver Efex Pro 2

with Tim Grey

Video: Film effects

I think it's fair to say that many photographers when they're converting images from color to black and white are thinking about their days of black and white film photography. And so it certainly makes sense that we may want to apply some film type effects to our black and white images. In Silver Efex Pro, those options are found in the film-types section of the right panel. Let's take a look at the options that are available there. To begin with, we have a pop-up where we can choose a particular film type. And you'll find actual films listed here so that you can mimic the effect that you would achieve capturing an image on those films.
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Watch the Online Video Course Learning Silver Efex Pro 2
56m 40s Appropriate for all Jun 05, 2014

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This course guides you through the features and options available for producing creative black-and-white interpretations of your photos in Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection from Google. Author Tim Grey takes a look at all the darkroom-inspired controls, including selective adjustments, film effects, color toning, vignettes, and borders.

This course was created by Tim Grey. We are honored to host this training in our library.

Subject:
Photography
Software:
Silver Efex Pro
Author:
Tim Grey

Film effects

I think it's fair to say that many photographers when they're converting images from color to black and white are thinking about their days of black and white film photography. And so it certainly makes sense that we may want to apply some film type effects to our black and white images. In Silver Efex Pro, those options are found in the film-types section of the right panel. Let's take a look at the options that are available there. To begin with, we have a pop-up where we can choose a particular film type. And you'll find actual films listed here so that you can mimic the effect that you would achieve capturing an image on those films.

I'll go ahead and select, for example, a 3200 ISO film. You can see that this particular Ilford film has a relatively large grain structure owing to the 3200 speed and also relatively high contrast. When I choose that option of course the effect is applied within the image but then I can fine tune the various adjustments related to that film type. We'll start off with the grain section, I'll click the arrow to open up that section and we can adjust the overall grain level, in other words is it. Fine or coarse grained and or the transitions of contrast for that grained structure, soft or hard.

If you increase the value of grain per pixel, you'll find that the grain essentially goes away because we now have a very fine grain structure. In other words, the individual grain elements are very, very small. If we reduce the value, you'll see that we get a more coarse grained structure. And then we can also adjust the intensity, as it were, of that effect using a maximum hard-value, for example, you'll see that that grain structure has a bit more contrast, the transitions are a bit more abrupt. And, of course, that means that the image doesn't look quite as smooth as it otherwise would.

And if we reduce that value you'll see that essentially it's like that grain got blurred just a little bit. We can also adjust the individual sensitivity for individual color values in the original scene. In other words, we can lighten and darken specific areas of the photo based on their color value. The settings that you see here are based on the preset I initially selected for that particular type of film. But I can then adjust each of the sliders, brightening and darkening areas of the image that used to be read for example. Or brightening and darkening the areas that were yellow.

And I can continue in this way. For all of the available colors. And you'll see that the image updates on the fly as I make those adjustments. I'll scroll down a little further, and we'll find the levels and curves section. And here again, you can see that an adjustment has been applied based on the preset that I selected. I can drag the black point inward if I want to increase contrast by darkening up the dark areas, and potentially clipping shadow detail. I can also bring the white point in if I want to brighten up the bright areas and once again potentially clip those highlights.

I can also adjust the overall brightness of the midtones, dragging to the right will darken the image and dragging to the left will brighten the image. But I can also adjust individual anchor points on the curve, you'll notice here for example we have a transition from dark to the midtones. And those tonal values in the image are being darkened. But I can drag an anchor point upward to brighten in those particular tonal ranges of the photo or drag downward to darken. I can also add additional anchor points just by clicking on the curve itself and then dragging up or down.

To brighten or darken. So, dragging downward darkens, and dragging upward brightens but that adjustment is focused on a specific tonal range represented by the curve, where the left is black and the right is white and of course all the shades of gray fall in between. So with all these various adjustments, we of course have tremendous control over this ability to mimic the behavior of particular films or to essentially define our own custom made specialized film.

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