Getting the Look - part 5 of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

by Mike McNamee Published 01/07/2016


Nik Filters
All of this discussion leads naturally to other methods of achieving the look and the most exciting candidate at the moment is Nik Filters because they have recently been made available completely free of charge by Google. As the set of filters was once priced at £550 this seems like a remarkable deal even if the price had fallen since Google bought them out. The applications include: Dfine, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Color EFex Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Sharpener Pro - quite a tool chest!

One of the writer's favourites is the Color Efex Bleach By-pass filter. This too is a cinematic approach which pre-dates digital and was created by leaving out the Colour Bleaching tank in the film processing. The basic Photoshop technique is described here and this tutorial was originally made in response to the Nik filters introduction. The 'hardening ' effect is created with a duplicate image overlay in which the duplicated image is HDR processed and then blended in by varying its opacity. With Nik filters being free it will make more sense to some users to go back to it rather than the 'first-principles' method of Photoshop.


Richie Walton has long been an exponent of various looks, producing a style which is all his own and instantly recognisable. Like all shakers and movers, he has progressed since he created his Fellowship panel. If you look at his panel in the round there are a variety of techniques; the recessive background, for example has been created by deliberate use of lighting arrangements or by compositing the foreground subject onto a dark ground. Richie has used single image HDR to 'harden up' his images, previously with both Photomatics and Nik Efex. More recently he has moved towards using both Viveza and Nik Efex almost exclusively and has to some extent moved away from HDR effects. He is a big fan of Nik EFex Tonal Contrast also.

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1st Published 01/07/2016
last update 21/07/2022 10:39:56

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