I’m sure you have heard about the Google Nik software suite offer by now. …no? well then, get this… It turns out that Google has reduced the price on the entire Nik software suite to an affordable $149. The Suite includes all the famous and popular plugins: Define 2, Sharpner Pro 3, HDR Efex 2, Silver Efex Pro 2,Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro 4. Works with Adobe Photoshop CS, Adobe Lightroom and Aperture.
Even better, if you already own a earlier version of the suite or just one of the 6 plug-ins, you can get the entire suite for free. If you have registered your product, you should have a mail from google by now in you inbox with a download link. If you don’t, check your spam folder, that’s where i found my email from Google.
I really look forward to take some time and play with the different plugs in from Nik.
Most of my images takes a trip through this suite in one way or another. I use Perfect Effects for the final tweaks and stylization. I particularly like Tonal Contrast, the Big Softy and HDR look Natural. I have used Perfect Resize with greats success a few times. And Perfect Black & White is quite amazing if you ask me. This version works of course with Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. But even better, this suite also is a stand-alone collection of software, meaning you can use this with out Photoshop etc. Just launch Perfect Layers and you are good to go. It’s a great plugin to have and I recommend you at least give it a trial – free of course. Prices starts at $79. Actually, now you can download Perfect Effects 4 for free!! And a bunch of cool presets as well. No charge. Gotta love that!
The last plugin I use is one I found recently. Its made by the good folks at HDRsoft who makes the well-known and highly recommended Photomatix HDR software. This little plug-in is made for Lightroom 4, and what it does is combining your selected brackets to a 32 bit tif file, that you can edit in Lightroom, making your Lighroom 4 software a great tool for HDR shots. It does that without going into the main Photomatix program or Photoshop for that matter. Lightroom 4 has the ability to work with 32 bit files. The advantage of a 32 bit file is that it gives you a +10/-10 f-stop range, that you can control in great detail by using the brush adjustment tool in Lightroom. It’s quick to use, and gives a result that looks better than what Photoshop CS6 can do in my opinon.
The plugin costs $29 but if you already own Photomatix, you get it for free.
Click the headings for a link to the download site.
Shortly after returning home from my holidays, I was going on a trip that would take me deep into the bush. Well, deep is probably an exaggeration to some, but about 20 clicks up an unknown gravel road is far enough for me at this time of year. I have to say that this road was an extremely well maintained one of the kind. In fact that particular day, this gravel road, – this snow-covered gravel road, was the best road I drove on that day.
Highway 11 which is a main 4 lane high way had a lot icy sections mainly in the right hand lane. Which made it a bit of a dicey drive especially when other cars and trucks were passing. A couple of cars had indeed ended up in the ditch due to the road conditions. The reason for the icy roads was due to a bit of a warm spell a couple of days before – thaw, freezing rain, and then some flash freezing and just to make it really interesting – a nice dump of snow to cover it all up. This day, the temperature was well below -25°C / -13°F, so road salt wouldn’t have made any difference what so ever.
After finishing my call at my customer, I headed back down the gravel road. The sun was higher in the sky, and some ice fog or mist was forming between the trees. I was so happy i had brought my camera that day, because it was absolutely gorgeous in there. Extremely cold, fresh snow on the trees, well-groomed road, no wind, blue sky and sunshine – perfect conditions for a winter shot. I made a few different shots on my way back to civilization, and this is one of them.
Now, I can’t really decide which one I like the best. Black & White or color. Scroll down to see the colored version. I like both, but I chose to feature the black and white – in my opinion it has a slight edge over the other one. The reason for trying the black and white conversion was the almost given due to the almost colorless scene, even with the blue sky, and I think it turned out pretty good. B/W conversion was done in the Perfect B & W module of the OnOne Perfect Suite 7. Final tweaks done in LR4.
Feel free to click on the images for a large view.
Oh, one more thing before I forget. As you probably have noticed, my blogging is not exactly regular, (some would say very irregular, but I’m trying…).
Please know that I really do value your visit, your comments, input and critiques, so please consider subscribing to my blog and you will get a reminder in your inbox when a new post is up. The subscription box is on the bottom of this post.
Hello folks. Yes I know its been awhile, and I’m kicking my self for not getting it done. Here’s the beginning of attempting to post more regularly.
So spring time in Northern Ontario is to me, one of the most interesting times of the year. The colors of the landscape goes from brownish grey/black to a more vibrant green color. The mood of people changes as the light returns, days are getting longer, and warmer. Of course this is the time of year where people with allergies suffer – I know I do. For about 6-8 weeks my nose and eyes will be itchy, runny. I’ll be sneezing up a storm, but it’s still my favorite time of year.
And at times, nature likes to throw a curve ball, and she did just that a couple of weeks ago. We had an amazing record-breaking March, with temperatures up to 25°C for almost a week. – That’s
pretty good frigggin awesome for N. Ontario standards. So of course every tree, bush and weed plant gets a wake up call – alrighty then, it’s that time of year, let’s get started. So the buds are budding weeks before normal, that grass is green at a time when it supposed to be, some flowers are already out, such as tulips, which turned out to be a really bad idea.
Summer in march is not gonna last, not up here, and of course, Blammo – A week with cold temperature below freezing puts an efficient hold on everything growing. On top of that, 10-15 cm of wet snow to really push progress down again. Tulips dies, fruit trees are very vulnerable at this time of year, and I’m sure many fruit growers has been hit bad. Time will tell.
The image above is shot with my 105mm macro lens, the subject is my lilac bush, and as usual, a click on the images will make it even bigger.