Color Efex Pro Review

NIK COLOR EFEX PRO REVIEW

Nik Color Efex Pro Review

You can pick it up from the developers website: Niksoftware

Looks like the price has gone down recently. You can get the full package for $199.95. And by the way Nik is owned by Google now.

I have no affiliation with Nik. I only review products that I really like and use and think other people would find useful.

INITIAL THOUGHTS:

When I first picked up this program I didn’t really like it much. I didn’t like having to leave Lightroom to alter my photos. It added steps in my workflow and made additional tif files of each photo which were huge. Plus it was slow and requires a lot of ram. I felt it was really just a program of filters, most of which can just be achieved if you know Lightroom or Photoshop very well. So I hardly used it.

Then I went through this phase where I really wanted a few looks with my photos that I could not figure out how to get with Lightroom and Photoshop. So I started playing around with Nik's Color Efex Pro a lot more and its various filters. That’s when I discovered its power.

It’s now a staple software I use on almost all of my photos. Here is why.

THE RECIPES:

The most powerful feature of Color Efex Pro is by far its recipes. You can create and save different combinations of filters and their settings to form custom looks that you can use over and over. So now there are certain styles and looks I have in, for example my night photos, or my Landscape photos. All of which use similar filters and settings that I’ve built and that work for what I want.

MY WORKFLOW USING COLOR EFEX PRO

So now my workflow goes something like this. Adjust the lens profiles in Lightroom, clean up the photo a little bit and export for Color Efex Pro 4. I load up some of my custom recipes until I find the one I like. From there, do a few tweaks. Export back to Lightroom for final color or sharpness, which sometimes I’ll do in Photoshop. My HDR workflow is a little different. It always create the HDR file before going into Color Efex Pro.

EXAMPLES OF SOME GREAT FILTERS

THE CROSS BALANCE FILTER:

This filter has an interesting way of creating Tungsten to Daylight or visa versa. It has a few different tools that can create a really cool look that I like for my night cities photos.

Shanghai City Lights, China, HDR photography

THE DETAIL EXTRACTOR FILTER:

This filter pulls out detail. It’s got a few great settings to refine and give you the look you’re going for. This is why many of my photos look so crisp.

Bali Rice Fields

THE SUNLIGHT FILTER:

I like to use this one on my Landscape. It can be used to add a nice warmth-like glow to the photo which makes the overall mood of the image feel a bit brighter and alive.

Autumn in Japan at the Takachiho Gorge, Gokase-gawa River

SOME GREAT FILTERS I USE REGULARLY:

CROSS PROCESS:

Gives you that shifted colors look.

VINTAGE:

Can be used to shifting the colors or creating an old film look.

PRO CONTRAST:

Amazing contrast tool. I could do a full several page post just about how great this tool is and what it does. You’ll just have to play with it.

BI-COLOR USER DEFINED:

Adds color gradients to your photos.

MORE SAMPLE PHOTOS

Manai Falls at the Takachiho Gorge

Kawabata Street Fukuoka Japan

Yutoku Inari Shrine, Japan, HDR photography

If you want to know more about me or my photography be sure to check out the About Me section on my site.