Color Efex Pro Available for Free Download – Outdoor Photographer
The advent of consumer digital cameras produced a new demand for HDR imaging to improve the light response of digital camera sensors, which had a much smaller dynamic range than film. Second, convert this image array, using local neighborhood processing tone-remapping, etc. The image array generated by the first step of Mann’s process is called a lightspace image , lightspace picture , or radiance map. Another benefit of global-HDR imaging is that it provides access to the intermediate light or radiance map, which has been used for computer vision , and other image processing operations.
In February , the Dynamic Ranger technique was demonstrated, using multiple photos with different exposure levels to accomplish high dynamic range similar to the naked eye. In the early s, several scholarly research efforts used consumer-grade sensors and cameras. The “x” channel can be merged with the normal channel in post production software. The Arri Alexa camera uses a dual-gain architecture to generate an HDR image from two exposures captured at the same time.
With the advent of low-cost consumer digital cameras, many amateurs began posting tone-mapped HDR time-lapse videos on the Internet, essentially a sequence of still photographs in quick succession. In , the independent studio Soviet Montage produced an example of HDR video from disparately exposed video streams using a beam splitter and consumer grade HD video cameras.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Technique to capture HDR images and videos. For the technology related to HDR displays, see High-dynamic-range video. For other uses, see High dynamic range. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. Please help improve it to make it understandable to non-experts , without removing the technical details.
February Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs to be updated. The reason given is: Most of the material and sourcing in this dates to around the — period.. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. June See also: Exposure fusion. This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. November Main article: Tone mapping. See also: Computational photography.
ISBN Images that store a depiction of the scene in a range of intensities commensurate with the scene are what we call HDR, or ‘radiance maps’. On the other hand, we call images suitable for display with current display technology LDR. Cambridge in Colour. Retrieved December 30, DxO Labs. Retrieved February 2, SPIE press. HDR Photography Resources. February 28, Retrieved June 12, Anyhere Software. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Archived from the original on January 28, GPU Gems. Boston: Addison-Wesley. Archived from the original on April 12, — via Developer.
Max Planck Institute for Informatics. Adorama Learning Center. Archived from the original on December 23, Retrieved 18 August Digital Trends.
Nikon Learn and Explore. Retrieved August 2, Google Play. Archived from the original on Retrieved Cloudy Nights. Retrieved 6 April High Dynamic Range. Focal Press. Archived from the original on 1 August Cameras are limited in their dynamic range. This means that you cannot expose for the highlights and shadows at the same time.
One of them will suffer. Exposing for highlights will make your shadows too dark. And exposing for the shadows will make your highlights too bright. HDR photography uses technology to overcome this problem. Instead of taking one photo, with high-dynamic range, you take many pictures of the same scene at different exposures. The images are then combined in post-processing to create a HDR photo. The final image highlights the best parts of each picture.
You need to take at least three photos: One to expose for the shadows, one to expose for the highlights, and one neutral shot right in the middle. Many cameras have a built-in bracketing tool. You can also manually adjust the exposure compensation dial will achieve similar results. You need three images when creating an HDR picture, but some photographers take five or seven exposures. In Lightroom, the tool is very basic, but it does combine exposures and do ghost removal.
Ghost removal aligns the images and reconciles any element that might have moved between the exposures. For instance, clouds or trees. This tool is more advanced than the HDR software in Lightroom. You can adjust edge glow, tone curve, and color. These change how Photoshop layers the exposures.
That is when presets can help you to enhance your image. Luminance HDR is an intuitive program with an easy-to-use interface. The most recent edition features many useful tools to bring out the best in your HDR photography. Luminance is available for Windows and Mac. Picturenaut 3 is another free HDR software tool. Picturenaut is by HDRLabs, a project established to create free software for various processes.
Picturenaut is a very light software program. Touted as one of the best free HDR software solutions out there, Picturenaut is just as intuitive as Luminance but functions a little bit differently. The tool also includes Alpha channel view, auto-cropping, and is one of the fastest at tone mapping.
The open-source API is also publicly available for programmers interested in tweaking the program for even better results. This German program is ever-changing with new intelligence added every day.
It can often get your creative juices flowing and improve your images. There’s little to dislike here. If you’re familiar with the Nik Collection, you’ll find much to like in the update. If you’re not, you’ll likely embrace the clever U-Point masking feature and the presets, which I consider a good and quick starting point for image editing. While the package does not run natively on new Mac silicon, but DXO says it is well-behaved on the new processor.
The company is not committing to a date for a Mac silicon update, but says it is coming. I feel DXO is a bit late with M1 native code. Photographers with Macs are flocking to M1 hardware, and M1 desktops and laptops have been out more than a year. Adobe is M1 native in both Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s a basic version of the DXO editor, and users may want to update the Elite Edition for more features, but it is a good value for DXO to include this in the package. A fully functional, one-month trial version of Nik Collection 5 is available on the DxO website.
I use the Nik Collection in a large percentage of my editing sessions, and I know a lot of satisfied users, so it’s worth a close look if you aren’t already familiar with it. I know I could download the trial version but I really don’t want to spend any time on that considering how long they have waited to do that.
Annual updates are a way of life, so to speak. Why shouldn’t a developer be paid for major updates? Completely agree. Their support said “there has been a great deal of time and effort from our developers to bring a software that was abandoned and not maintained for many years up-to-date”.
Guess they didn’t have any problem selling “abandoned” software knowingly for years. Even now, only 2 apps have been updated, so I guess the other 6 are still “abandoned and not maintained” yet being sold until they want to charge for the next “major” release.
Yeah, no thank you. This is a money grab for something that should have been a point release or given to those that purchased 4 in the last year. When they upgrade to a native software I might upgrade then.
Nik Color Efex – Apply stunning and imaginative effects – Using Nik Collection 5
The Nik Collection is a set of photo editing plugins that have been trusted by photographers for more than a decade. Those who have used their tools since the beginning might remember it being acquired and made free by Google in , then later to be discontinued until DxO acquired it in Version 3 and 4 have been a favorite amongst many photographers for years but what about Nik Collection 5? Is it worth purchasing? Is it worth upgrading to? In this Nik Collection 5 review, we will take a closer look at what the collection has to offer and whether or not it should be part of your post-processing workflow.
Note: A day free trial version is available and allows you to properly test all the tools before making a final decision. Both beginning and advanced photographers will find the different plugins useful.
The collection includes everything from basic one-click filters to advanced adjustments and precise masking techniques. All are built with the same advanced technology. The full list of plug-ins found in the Nik Collection 5 is:. We will take a closer look at each of these plugins later in this Nik Collection review and in their own separate articles. The Nik Collection plugins should work without a problem on the majority of modern computers and laptops. Some users have found certain tools to work somewhat slowly and this might be the case for older computers.
For those that are interested, here are the setup requirements provided by DxO to run the Nik Collection tools in When using the Nik Collection tools you have the option to either use them as standalone photo editors or as a plugin on one of the following software:. No worries. All eight tools work just as well on their own.
The only benefit of using it as a plugin is that it becomes part of your already existing workflow. More on that later. Start by purchasing or downloading the free day trial from the Nik Collection website.
Note that you are not limited in any way when using the trial version. It is the full version and you have access to all the tools right away. From here, simply follow the on-screen instructions.
After a few quick clicks, the Nik Collection tools are installed and ready to be used both as plug-ins and standalone editors. No Nik Collection review is complete without looking at the things that actually matter. Personally, I find some more useful than others. Some have a crucial role in my post-processing workflow while others have rarely been opened.
As with anything, it takes time to develop your own workflow. What works for some, might not work for others. With Analog Efex Pro you can simulate vintage cameras and shooting techniques to give your images a nostalgic old-school feel. It contains an abundance of filters that instantly make your image look like it was shot on specific cameras but you also have the option to manually apply adjustments to create your own looks.
Its purpose is mainly to create a vintage look. Most landscape photographers find Color Efex Pro to be the number one reason for using the Nik Collection. The tool includes an extensive library of filters that are used to instantly apply creative effects and looks. As of writing, there are 55 filters that can be applied to your photos.
Control Points are used to create advanced masks that allow you to apply the adjustments to specific places only. Those that have used Color Efex Pro in older versions will notice that the interface has been re-designed in Nik Collection 5. It took me some clicking around but I find it easier to use than previous versions. The overall feel is a lot better which makes the experience smoother.
Color Efex Pro is itself a reason enough to get the Nik Collection. This tool is designed to remove digital noise color and contrast noise and it does so very well. Noise reduction is often a scary topic as there are a lot of confusing terminologies but Dfine is as straightforward as it gets. They have removed all the clutter and made what by many is referred to as the best noise reduction software out there. There are two noise reduction methods to choose between: Automatic and Manual.
A single-file HDR is created by mainly extracting details from shadows and recovering them in the highlights, while a multiple-image HDR is created by merging images of different exposures into one well-balanced file. Personally, the outputs give me a Photomatix vibe. The filters often give a grungy look to the image and there are many elements that I find ruin the image instead of improving it.
I know this is a matter of taste but there are certain things that just look… bad. That being said, it is possible to use the sliders to adjust and improve the output. HDR Efex Pro is good for those who want a quick and easy way to create HDR images but I believe there are much better methods for those who are slightly more advanced in their Photoshop skills such as manually blending images using Luminosity Masks.
In addition to distortion correction, you can use this tool to correct vignetting and chromatic aberration. It comes with a huge library of modules for specific lenses and cameras, meaning you can make optical corrections with just a single click.
This means that you can easily fix common distortion issues related to your gear. In fact, there are two types of sharpening that should be done: input — and output sharpening. This is exactly what you can do in Sharpener Pro 3. Sharpener Pro consists of two separate modules: RAW Presharpener for preliminary sharpening and Output Sharpener for output sharpening. If not slightly better. Sharpening is something that you should always be careful with as pulling too much in the sliders will lead to artifacts.
That is also the case in Sharpener Pro; too aggressive sharpening will result in unwanted artifacts. There are many great tools for sharpening out there take a look at The Best Web Sharpeners for Photoshop here but I believe that Sharpener Pro is amongst the better options currently available.
As of writing this, the tool consists of 64 ready-to-go presets. Simply scroll through the list, find one you like, and click to apply it.
Viveza is the final of the eight tools found in Nik Collection 5. Its purpose is to adjust the saturation, contrast, and luminosity of the photo. Also here you can use Control Points to apply the adjustments to only specific parts of the image. There you have better control and more adjustments to choose between.
Most photographers will use the Nik Collection as a plugin for either Photoshop, Lightroom, or Affinity. You can open an image from Photoshop and to a Nik plugin at any stage of your workflow. For example, you can apply various adjustment layers in Photoshop , open the image in Color Efex Pro 3 to apply a filter, go back to Photoshop for a few more adjustments, move to Sharpener Pro 3: Output Sharpener, and then back to Photoshop to save the file.
All of that can be done without having to save the file, locating it in your folders, opening it in a plugin, saving it again, etc.
Everything takes place directly within Photoshop the same goes for Lightroom and Affinity too. During the installation process, you were asked which Host Applications you wanted to use the Nik Collection with. After the installation is complete, the tools will automatically appear in these.
From here, you can choose the one you want to use. Make sure to create a Stamp Visible Layer before opening a tool. Consider converting it to a Smart Object as well if you want the possibility of going back into it to make adjustments later on. Now you are ready to open the Nik Collection tool you want to use.
When you are finished applying the filters, click Done and the effect will be visible on your layer in Photoshop. Using the Nik Collection in Lightroom works more or less the same way as in Photoshop. Also here you can use multiple plugins for the same photo.
Then you can simply reduce the amount of Structure, click done, and the image is updated in Lightroom. Also here you can hop back and forth between the tools while everything is being updated in your main photo editor.
The installation process is a little more complicated, though. Hopefully, installing the Nik Collection to Affinity Photo will be easier in the future. But, for now, this is the only way. I first installed the Nik Collection onto my computer back in All the photographers I was looking up to were always talking about how great it was as a Photoshop plugin, so I saved up the bucks to try it myself.
Sometime later, I was struggling with noise in an image and after doing a lot of manual work in Photoshop, I decided to see if Dfine could do a better job.
There are still some minor bugs and issues that need to be solved but overall the Nik Collection plugins have come a long way since I first started using them. Many of the filters and adjustments are still there but their performance, interface, and speed can barely be compared with what it once was.
For me, the Nik Collection particularly the plugins just mentioned is irreplaceable. I view it as a necessity and a crucial part of my Photoshop workflow. The Nik Collection plugins have been an integral part of my workflow for a decade but is it the right choice for you?
Is it worth the price tag? The answer is yes. Most photographers will find at least one of the plugins useful. This is a big bonus for those who will use the Nik Collection plugins as standalone products. Keep in mind that you get full access in the free day trial period.