Nik’s Color Efex Pro Now Compatible with Lightroom

Color Efex Pro

Nik Software announced Tuesday that Color Efex Pro, their popular digital photographic plug-in filter suite is now available for Lightroom 2 and that the update is free to current owners.

Color Efex Pro installs as a plug-in filter for Lightroom 2 and is accessible from the Photo>Edit In… menu. Edits made using the plug-in within Lightroom are non-destructive in nature, and are applied automatically to a newly generated TIFF and not the original RAW file.

Nik Software also said that they plan to make all their popular Photoshop plug-ins including Silver Efex Pro, Dfine and Sharpener Pro compatible with Lightroom later this year. Good news for those of us using these wonderful plug-ins!

Urban Photography – One Tall Building

Urban landscapes can be quite a challenge to photograph. There is so much all “clutter” in an urban surrounding that its difficult to isolate your subject and present a compelling image. Other times all you have to do to find a great shot is look up!

Be sure to click on the image below and look at the larger version. The scale is amazing!

One Tall Building

One Tall Building
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 50D hand-held, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM at 22mm, f/9.5 for 1/125th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2, Photoshop Elements and Noise Ninja. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Shooting with Canon’s Best Walk Around Lens!

Here’s another image to prove just how well the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM performs in the real world. This time with no HDR “slight of hand”, just a single hand-held exposure at 85mm, f/ll for 1/45th of a second.

In the past I would have said this exposure (85mm at 1/45th second) would have been impossible without a tripod but the image stabilization in this lens is superb! Will I throw out my main landscape lens (EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM) and tripod? No, but I may not bring them along hiking anymore and the savings in weight alone (bless my aching back) is substantial.

David Ziser was right. This really is an all around great lens!

Bridge Bound for Nowhere

Bridge Bound for Nowhere
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D hand-held, EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM at 85mm, f/11 for 1/45th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and in Photoshop Elements using Nik’s Color Efex Pro filters. Click on the image above for a larger version.

And yes, that is the color of the water slowly flowing down the Colorado river in East Texas.

The Lazy River

The weather last weekend was incredible and I just had to try out my new Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. This is my first non L Series lens and since I wasn’t sure what to expect from the image quality I decided to buy this from Adorama’s “Refurbished by Canon” inventory. This Canon gear is discounted nicely, refurbished by Canon USA and comes with a 90 day warranty from Adorama.

The Lazy River

The Lazy River
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shots taken with a Canon 40D hand-held, EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM at 17mm, f/11 at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. The HDR file was made from three RAW images tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro. All other processing was done in Lightroom 2 and in Photoshop Elements using Nik’s ColorEfx Pro filters. Click on the image above for a larger version.

 

As you can see from the image above, the image quality is quite good for a consumer grade lens and the image stabilization is superb. I was able to hand hold the three bracketed exposures that made up this HDR image by using the Canon 40D’s burst mode. This technique called High Speed HDR, really seems to work with image stabilized lenses like the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. Very cool indeed!

Field of Dreams

Here’s one more image taken during last Friday’s trip to the Texas hill country. It’s been a hot, dry summer for much of the hill country and as you can see, a little rain would go a long way.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shots taken with a Canon 40D tripod mounted, 17-40mm f/4L USM at 40mm, f/16 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2’s develop module and in Color Efex Pro. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Leading By Example

This is exactly what Josh Bradley does in his new book The Official Nik Software Image Enhancement Guide. Throughout the book you’ll find beautiful and inspiring images shot by Josh and enhanced by Nik Software’s five tremendous filters for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements; Dfine 2.0, Viveza, Sharpener Pro 2.0, Color Efex Pro 3.0 and Silver Efex Pro. Josh uses his vast experience in photography to not only teach us about Nik Software’s products but also to inspire us to use these products to improve our own images. 

Each chapter covers a different filter in detail with real-world examples demonstrating how to use the product to create stunning visual effects in our own work. Josh explains things in simple, down-to-earth language that will resonate with photographers worldwide, whether professional or amateur. It’s like you’re standing next to Josh and he’s explaining it just as he would to a friend or colleague. It’s this style of writing along with the incredible images included in the book that make it a winner for me.

Another great feature of this book is that it comes with a CD-ROM that includes trial versions of all Nik Software’s products along with the images used in the book. For a photographer, there’s nothing better than learning by doing and Josh’s book makes it easy.