“Sil­ver Efex Pro 2 is one of the most pop­u­lar tools for repli­cat­ing the dark­room”

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -


BA­SIC ED­ITS The RAW file is opened in Adobe Cam­era Raw. Lens Cor­rec­tions are ap­plied then the Auto tab un­der the Ba­sic menu is checked. Clar­ity is in­creased then the im­age is opened in Pho­to­shop and saved as a TIFF file. The im­age is en­larged to 100% and sen­sor blem­ishes are re­moved us­ing the Heal­ing Brush Tool.


SIL­VER EFEX PRO 2 This is used for con­vert­ing to mono. The High Struc­ture (Smooth) pre­set is se­lected from the pre­sets on the left of the screen, then Con­trast and Bright­ness are ad­justed us­ing slid­ers on the right of the screen.


BACK TO PHO­TO­SHOP The im­age is opened again in Pho­to­shop and a du­pli­cate layer is made. The Polyg­o­nal Lasso Tool is se­lected, feath­er­ing set to 1 pixel, the im­age is en­larged to 400% and the out­line of the sky­line and sky is care­fully se­lected us­ing the Lasso Tool.


DARKEN THE SKY The sky is dark­ened us­ing Im­age> Ad­just­ments> Curves to add drama and im­pact and also make the build­ings on the sky­line stand out. The im­age is again en­larged to 100% and the sky checked for sen­sor blem­ishes.


BRIGHTEN The wa­ter in the fore­ground of the im­age looks quite drab. Us­ing the Polyg­o­nal Lasso Tool set to a feath­er­ing of 20 pix­els, this area of the im­age is se­lected. Next, the wa­ter is bright­ened us­ing Im­age> Ad­just­ments> Lev­els and drag­ging the Midtone slider to the left.


IN­CREASE CON­TRAST The im­age is start­ing to take shape, but it’s still lack­ing drama. Con­trast is boosted across the en­tire im­age us­ing Im­age> Ad­just­ments> Curves then se­lect­ing the Medium Con­trast pre­set from the drop-down menu in the Curves win­dow.


ADD AT­MOS­PHERE An­other du­pli­cate layer is cre­ated then us­ing the Polyg­o­nal Lasso Tool again, set to a feath­er­ing of 1 pixel, in­di­vid­ual build­ings on the sky­line are se­lected and con­trast/ex­po­sure ad­just­ments are made us­ing Lev­els or Curves. This is done to taste to give the im­age a slightly sur­real look.


DODGE AND BURN The Dodge/Burn tools in Pho­to­shop can also be used on images like this, to selec­tively lighten or darken parts of the im­age to en­hance the look even more. You need to keep the Ex­po­sure set quite low (15% or lower) and build up the ef­fect slowly, oth­er­wise you’ll leave tell-tale signs on the im­age.


AF­TER MAN­HAT­TAN FROM LIBERTY STATE PARK, NEW YORK it took around 60 min­utes of com­puter work to process and edit this im­age from start to fin­ish

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