Look. See. Imagine. Create. Nik’s SilverEffects and ColorEffects Pro

Windmill near...
Windmill processed in SilverEffects Pro “high structure and contrast” with a red filter to make the sky black

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  Thomas Edison

I agree with old TE as this quote applies quite well to photography.  I will add that of the 99%, most of it is expended in the field planning and executing on making the photograph, but a good portion of the final image quality is based on decisions you make while processing.  I was reminded of this the other day when I tried several interesting effects on this windmill.

SilverEffects and ColorEffects Pro are excellent processing plugins from Nik (now owned by Goggle).  Mary and I really love all of the great pre-set options and also like the flexibility to make myriad adjustments once you pick a pre-set.

About this shot

As Mary, her Dad, I were driving out of Creede, CO on Highway 149, we stopped at Freeman’s General Store for lunch.  This windmill was next door in an open field.  I love ALL windmills – old. new, big, little.  I will always stop the car for one.  I liked the basic composition, but there was not a lot of “feeling” to it.  Because were were shooting at mid-day, I did not have interesting light; there was really no foreground or background.  But I did have a good subject and I had the clouds.  My initial thought in the field was black and white.  See cover photo.


Here is a lightly processed image from what I saw
Here is what I saw


I really liked the windmill against the sky and mountains. I thought black and white in the field, but also “bleach bypass” might look good as I sat at the computer


Old photo
Then I started clicking through the pre-sets in ColorEffects.  In this one I used Old Photo and played with the color saturation and contrast


My favorite is below.  The look made me feel nostalgic for when farming was the main industry in America.  The yellow in it made me feel warm.  It is a bit washed out and not very colorful.  This usually makes for a poor photo, especially nowadays with all of the eye popping color we see.  However, the look invokes feeling, and that is what I was looking for.

Old Photo
Here is a different composition with Old Photo with even less saturation and a yellow tinge.

The best advice is always to make the best image you can in the field that is sharp, well composed and has correct exposure.  But don’t forget to use all of the tools available to us via software.  Photographers have never had this much power and flexibility to customize their own vision of their photos…and it’s fun.

Which one do you like best?  Let me know.

To see and buy our images, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

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