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How are people using Silver Efex Pro 2?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by WT21, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I've been using Lightroom for B&W conversion, but I see a lot of people use Silver Efex.

    I just downloaded a trial copy. Just curious - how are people using Silver Efex? Are you using the presets on the left mainly (if so, which ones?) are you using the film emulation (again, which ones) or are you hand tweaking.

    Thanks for any replies.
     
  2. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I edit my images using Photoshop as normal using a little more colour saturation than normal to help the conversion, I then use SFX to convert to B&W (I have it as a plug in).

    If I want the image to look powerful or emphasize clouds, I will go for the High Structure option from the left hand option menu, you can then tweak exposure/contrast/structure using the sliders - occasionally I will also bring a touch of colour back into the image using the selective colour tool (a circular object in the right hadn menu that allows you to select and area of the image).
    Once I am happy I then use the vignette options and borders options on the bottom of the right hand menu then finsih and it returns the image to Photoshop and converts to B&W with the options selcted, once I have merged the layers I can then tweak the exposure if I need to and finally use Unsharp mask - Finish.

    Good luck, It is a great tool:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Thanks Ian.

    You mention you edit in PS first. What are you doing in PS first? cropping, alignment, etc. of course, but it sounds like you are also doing saturation? Do you play with the levels in general (contrast, highlights, shadows, etc.)?

    If yes to the above, in what ways do you see Silver Efex helping? Does it produce output that you CAN'T replicate in PS, or is it just a great set of pre-sets that allows you to drop into the results you want, with a couple of slider tweaks afterward.

    Again, thanks for the help and response!
     
  4. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I tend to crop/straighten then use the levels/contrast/saturation in PS then open image in SFX, get the result I am happy with then open up again in PS for final tweaks and sharpening.
    I used to do my conversion to B&W in PS using channels but SFX is faster, easier and gives me much better results.
     
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'll try a couple of ways, but it's very useful to have someone with experience share their workflow. Thanks so much!

    Hope others might chime in, too???
     
  6. Ccasey

    Ccasey Mu-43 Regular

    157
    Jul 29, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Chris
    There's a plugin for Lightroom, too, or some way to have it added as an external editor. I generally do all of my adjustments in LR as I would normally to make a color image I'm happy with (exp/wb/contrast/sharpening/vignette) and then send the edited file to Silver Efex for the conversion. You may want to skip sharpening prior to the export if you're going for a noise-free look, and you can of course do some of the processing in Silver Efex instead (vignette, contrast, etc, for example).

    I'm sure there are some folks that start with just the unprocessed file and do all of the work in Silver Efex... I'm still relatively new to both LR and Silver Efex so my workflow may evolve, but so far I'm pretty happy with some of the results I'm getting.

    [​IMG]

    Now if only an E-P3-aware LR update would be released!!!

    -Chris
     
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  7. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Here are a couple from the weekend using the GF1+20mm and converted in SFX.
    Yer_nicked.
    Nancy.
     
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