All too often, we end up in a location when the light isn’t quite what we’d call ideal. It’s in these situations where using creative filters can really help transform otherwise uninspiring scenes into powerful images. Take this example of a sod shed in the South Dakota prairie. I took my class there but the weather had been foggy all morning. By the time the fog cleared, we were stuck with a combination of clouds and harsh sun. These are exactly the kind of conditions that produce “snapshot” images; those shots that you take just to say you saw something.
I turned to my digital bag of tricks, and knew that this scene would be a perfect test for Silver Efex Pro 2. One of the new filters is called “Soft Contrast,” and it can do amazing things with landscapes when used properly.
The color image, as you might expect, is totally uninspiring.
I opened the image into Silver Efex Pro 2, and the default settings were equally boring, just in monochrome.
The next step was to make global and contrast adjustments using one of my custom landscape presets.
Lastly, I used the Soft Contrast slider in the Global Adjustments, Contrast section. Moving the slider to the left creates a unique effect that I have not been able to replicate with traditional tools
The final image has an impact quite unlike what I would have gotten from just a simple “snapshot!”
For up-to-the-minute news and education about Nik Software, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Listen to pro photographers around the world talk about their work and inspiration on the weekly Nik Radio show.