Devil in the Details

phoyo by Derek Pell

I’ve mentioned that my favorite plug-in suite is Nik Color Efex Pro, and by favorite I mean it’s the one I most often turn to for post-processing images. For example, for flattering portraits I’ll usually apply a dose of Glamour Glow. I also love the Bi-Color User Defined and Midnight filters.

Well the new version, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 has just been released with some new filters added, including Detail Extractor which I used on the above photo of a train in Utah which was badly in need of contrast and detail. I chose the filter’s most extreme preset which resembles a High Dynamic Range image.

Below is a screen shot showing a comparison view. The thumbnails at left display a sample of the presets for each filter. (Click on the image for a larger view.)


However, what makes the new version really shine are not the additional new filters, but the ability to apply multiple effects to an image and save your results as a “recipe.” You can also turn the various adjustable parameters off and on to test different combinations.

In the previous version if you wanted to apply additional filters you had to exit the plug-in, save the file in Photoshop, and then re-launch Color Efex.

There’s a lot more to rave about but I’ll save it for my forthcoming  review in Zoom Street.