My Current NICA-TONE Process

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Robert Watcher, May 22, 2014.

  1. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    This year I have kind of settled on a look that works with the edgier, character filled city that I am living in - - - that being Leon, Nicaragua in Central America. I'm sure that some will dislike the appearance and some have found it appealing to their eyes.

    It is simply a choice that I make as a creative photographer. Even if I am shooting noise-free, clean low ISO images - - - in general I do not choose to present them that way. I organize and process my travel and street images, almost exclusively in Adobe Lightroom and seldom open up Photoshop for anything other than compositing.

    For video, my software is Final Cut Pro and for panoramics it's Autopano Giga 3. All accomplished on my Basic Apple 1.3 GHz Macbook Air with 4GB of RAM running OS X Version 10.9.2. My cameras are the minuscule Olympus Pen models with kit lenses.


    So I figured that screen captures may be of more use than typing all the steps involved. To start with I will show the final processed image - - - then follow with the process.



    These first 3 screen shots are my normal process for most of my grunged up colour images in Nicaragua. I don't spend a lot of time other than a bit of dodging and burning using the Lightroom tools - - - and then clicking my Basic Nica preset that I have created. Normally these would be the only steps I take and then move on to the next.

    This is from the camera with the square crop

    I take away and add emphasis on specific areas of the frame using the Adjustment Brush and/or Graduated Filter - - - mostly dropping or raising the exposure on the selected areas

    My Basic Nica preset gives me starting levels of adjustment with Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation as well as a Split Tone that adds yellow tonality and then Post Crop Vignetting

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  2. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    For some of my shots, I have added a bit more texture by using Nic Color Efex Filters like Detail Extractor - but I don't use the defaults - preferring to dial in to own visual preference.

    From with Lightroom, I Edit a copy of my photo with Lightroom Adjustments - using Color Efex Pro. This filter is Detail Extractor

    After Saving back into Lightroom, I finish off the image to taste, adding Clarity, Tonal changes with Curves and anything else needed. These steps are shown in the left History Panel.

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  3. cdecurtis

    cdecurtis Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2012
    Marietta, Georgia, USA
    Real Name:
    This would work well around the old fishing docks I haunted as a kid.
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Very nice. You should trip the Dynamic Contrast filter in Perfect Effects which is part of OnOneSoftware's Perfect Photo 8.5 Suite. Highly recommended.
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Looking at the before and after shots it's clear that this is a perfect PP technique for the subjects you are shooting. The effect is very dramatic. I like it. :2thumbs:
  6. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Real Name:
    Mike Kaplan
    I really think your PP work is well suited to the image you posted - would like to see others....
  7. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Thank you all for your replies.

    Actually the reason that I made this post, was because different ones were curious about my images treatments in my running post here: