I don’t often review PC Software, I have done Smart Phone Apps, but Lightroom and Photoshop have been well and truly done, and by people who know far more than me. I while ago I trialled some Nik Software, HDR Pro 4, Silver Effects Pro 2 and Colour Efex Pro 4. I adored them, HDR only got used a few times, but it was fabulous, especially the B&W HDR effects! However when my trial ran out, I did miss them, but they were expensive and money only goes so far, right? Then I had heard that it been bought out and taken over by Google (is it me or are they spreading their wings, this isn’t a bid for world domination is it? ), and they have re packaged it as the Google Nik Collection, you get everything by Nik for one reasonable cost AUD$169.00, but there is a free trial if you are not sure.
Anyway, I recently decided to spread my creative wings and play with one such Program I had never used Analog Efex Pro 2. There is a brief blurb and some videos about it here. Wow, this is such a cool program, I had no idea. This gives me access at my fingertips to really old style camera effects, wet plates, blur, double exposure, light leaks and other cool stuff.
It is loaded into Photoshop or Lightroom as a plug in and then you can access add filters to the image from within those programs. This is what it looks like once launched. There are presets, tools, tool combinations (that also had presets) and then on the right is all the additional adjustments you can make; noise, light leaks, dust & scratches, lens vignette and more.
One you have the effect you like (ie Wet Plate) you can select various pre sets, add additional elements (Light leak) and then you can adjust elements and filters, so you can for instance choose from various different Dust & scratches, they each have a drop down mean and you can adjust the strength of each as well, making a truly unique filter; which you can then save as your own preset.
Now I get these are not for everyone, but for anyone interested in digital art, or adding some cool FX to an otherwise possibly boring image, then this maybe for you. Below is a sample of just a fraction of the hundreds of FX you can achieve in this program; Motion Blur, Double Exposure, Multi Lens, Wet Plate. You can also add film types and frames too
Original Base Image
Here is one I did, using all custom settings………….I think I used most of them!
Wet Plate, Blur, Motion, Light Leak, Lens Distortion, Bokeh, Photo Plate, Dirt and Scratches, and a film strip frame. It kind of looks like a photo from the 70’s huh? That damaged Kodachrome from a bad instamatic camera……….OK so it does kind of ruin the original image, but it is a lot of fun!
Well I have had fun and I am sure you will see plenty more images using this program in the future, I loved it. Til next time, happy snapping…