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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.
The first step to working with an image in Silver Efex Pro is of course to open that image in Silver Efex Pro. And because Silver Efex Pro is not a stand-alone application, that means you're going to involve another application, a host application, where you'll select the image that you want to work with and send it to Silver Efex Pro. I utilize Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to manage my images and so I use Lightroom as the host application for Silver Efex Pro.
You can also, though, utilize Photoshop or Adobe Bridge as your host application for Silver Efex Pro or the other applications in the Nik Collection. If you're using Photoshop as your host application, you can first open an image, and then choose Filter > Nik Collection > Silver Efex Pro 2 from the menu. That will launch Silver Efex Pro with your image active. If you're managing your images with Adobe Bridge, you can select an image and then choose Tools > Nik Collection > Silver Efex Pro 2 from the menu.
And here in Lightroom the process is very similar. I'll select an image that I want to process with Silver Efex Pro, and then from the Photo menu, I'll choose Edit In followed by > Silver Efex Pro 2. When I choose that menu command, I'll be asked if I want to edit a copy with my Lightroom adjustments intact. And that's the option I utilize. I may have applied some basic adjustments in Lightroom's develop module before I'm ready to work with the image in Silver Efex Pro, and I certainly want those adjustments to be applied. I can also choose to edit a copy of the original and that will cause the Lightroom adjustments to not be visible and I can also edit the original provided that original is not a RAW capture.
But again, in that case, the Lightroom adjustments will not be visible. So, I always use the Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments option. We can also adjust the settings for that duplicate file. I'll go ahead and expand the Copy File Options section. And you can see that I can specify the File Format, I can choose between TIFF, PSD, and JPEG. I can also choose the Color Space, the Bit Depth and the Resolution, as well as, in the case of a TIFF file, the Compression to be applied. I'll go ahead and leave these values at their defaults and then I'll simply click the Edit button in order to open this image with Silver Efex Pro.
Once I've applied any adjustments I'd like within Silver Efex Pro, I can click Save to complete processing of that image. And in a case of Lightroom, you'll see that I then have an additional image in my catalog, the black and white version of the color original. And you'll also notice that the black and white version of the image is in a stack with the original. You can see that there's a two on the image. If I mouse over, it indicates one of two. And if I mouse over the other image, you'll see that it indicates two of two, but there are two images in the stack.
And so I can see the images right next to each other, essentially grouped together, so I always know that there's more than one version of that image. In Photoshop, the basic process would be very similar. We would simply end up with a processed image within Photoshop. And if you're using Bridge, Photoshop is still technically the host application and so similarly you would end up with that black and white interpretation of the image within Photoshop itself. But of course, opening an image in Silver Efex Pro is just the beginning. Once you have an image opened in Silver Efex Pro, you can, of course, adjust that image with a wide variety of options to help improve the final image.
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