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Nik Software is the company behind the U-point technology used in Nikon Capture NX, which is also available in the comapny's own Viveza software - a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture.
Nik has its own products, mainly in the form of plugins for photo editing programs such as Photoshop, Capture NX and Aperture.
Nik has just released Silver Efex Pro, which is an advanced B/W conversion program, that can take your color or existing B/W photos and transform them into exceptionally beautiful B/W photos.
I have downloaded the 2 week trial and taken it for a ride, and while it's fun to make Cyanotypes and Holga versions of your pictures, the program really excels in recreating the tonality, grain and colorcast of certain film and paper types. You can create your own profiles by adjusting structure, paper color, silver grain color and many other aspects, and of course select and adjust film characters from a list of the most common current and old B/W films. This adjustment includes such exotic features as fine tuning the color sensitivity of each of six colors and setting the tone curve of the "virtual film".
It's an amazing piece of software and for an old film buff like myself, going down the Tri-X or HP5 lane again does bring out a lot of memories. And if I want to add a yellow filter and press it a stop or two in development? Well, Silver Efex Pro lets me do it - as close as I can get in this digital world.
And now I'm on Technorati too
No, it's not like I shoot film. I did go 100% digital the moment I acquired my first DSLR. But my photographic upbringing was in film, and that still marks my way of thinking and shooting.
I come from a film background. My photo career has consisted of 30 years of shooting film and 5 years of shooting digital. So my deep dwelling shooting habits are film-habits.
Of course the arrival of the digital age has changed the way I shoot quite a lot. Today I don't bother nearly as much about the number of frames I shoot. I know that each frame will not cost money, eat into my film stock or leave me with significantly less images in the camera. Back in the old days, I would constantly glint at the frame counter, and like a western gunslinger, I would count my shots and always know how many bullets I had left in the drum.
Think about it. You started out with 36 frames, and could be down to 10 within minutes. In situations where things were happening fast, you had to think about every single frame you exposed. And sometimes you had to skip a good moment in order to save images for an even better one that could come... or not. Continue reading I'm a film shooter.