Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with the Silver Efex plugin for Photoshop , part of Lightroom and Photoshop: Black-and-White Photography.
- Okay, so we've looked at just how far you can go with Lightroom and Photoshop. You can do just about anything in black and white, to your images. But, the truth is, there's even more out there and I wanted to talk about one of my very favorite plugins. I think part of what makes Photoshop Photoshop, is that it's extensible. So, this is a plugin by a company called Nik. You could go to Google site, they actually purchased this years ago. If you just Google Silver Efex, E-F-E-X, it'll take you to this collection.
They have all sorts of plugins here. You can buy these. They're really really powerful. What's great is you can also try them. There's trial link here and you can pull down a Free Trial period of Silver Efex. It's available as a plugin for Lightroom in Photoshop, and it's also available as it's own stand-alone product. Let me show you how it works within the context of Photoshop, since that's where we've been spending so much of our time. Okay, so here's a flat image, just the way it came off the camera. And rather than going through Camera Raw or go through Layers, let me show you the workflow for Silver Efex Pro.
It's installed here, right in my filters. I've got all of these different plugins and Silver Efex Pro is dedicated to black and white. And once this loads, you see that it's very similar to Lightroom, which is to say that on the left hand side, I've got a bunch of presets. And they're all called WYSIWYG, or What You See Is What You Get presets. I can click on the one I want, and then I refine the image on the right, just like I would in Lightroom. So, if I want that to be a little brighter, a little less contrast.
Structure is an eliquis to clarity, it's mid-tone contrast, it gives that punch. I'm gonna come down here, I even have some selective controls, but I'm not gonna show you those. I don't have a filter on here right now, but these work like filters in traditional black and white photography. So, my guess if if I were to choose the red one, the sky would pop even more. That's exactly what happens. The sky goes dark. And if I come over to say, green, I bet that's the one I'm going to like the most in this case because there's a lot of foliage, there's a really dark blue sky.
A green filter would look great on an image like that. So, for those of you with a background in black and white photography, this is going to be somewhat familiar to you. You can even come in here and you can replicate different types of film. And so, they've got all sorts of film grain here. It's almost like a time machine and you can see all of the different grain structures and the personality of those films. So, that's another way to replicate those. If I click OK, what'll happen is, the Nik plugin will convert this to a layer in Photoshop.
It takes just a moment 'cause again, we're working with a full sized file. But, what we'll be left with is that flexibility of our layer based workflow. So, I can turn this off or on and I get a really, really nice result. It's really easy to use and the place where I'll often use that, is if I hit a creative rut, and I just can't get the look that I'm after, and I want to see a lot of options right in front of me. Or, if I just want something really, really fast. It's a great plugin. You can try it for free. I think you'll really enjoy it.
- Why black and white?
- Shooting with black and white in mind
- Preparing color images
- Black-and-white mixing and adding toning
- Utilizing presets effectively
- Creating black-and-white HDR images with Lightroom and Photoshop
- Taking advantage of black-and-white adjustment layers
- Adjusting the toning of images
- Working with the Silver Efex plugin
- Converting to black and white on the go