Experiments with Post Processing Software

I have watched Leanne Cole blog about her experimenting with Nik Color Efex and Silver Efex software with great interest.  These two software programs have a good reputation in several of the forums I follow and I have seen work done with them that was excellent.

My biggest issue is the price – the bundle is excellent value but at $299 US its expensive – closer to $400 for me depending on the exchange rate.

I was lucky enough to attend a Post Processing Workshop run by the fabulous Trey Ratcliff last week and I was very interested to see how he used the software, I got many good ideas that made me think I was going to have to make the purchase.  However there is a contender against Nik, and it is On One.  Their range is not as extensive as Nik and the pricing reflects that.

I finally got around to downloading the demos of each option and here are some test images I have made with Color Efex and Perfect Effects – would LOVE some feedback on which one you like and don’t like and why.

ORIGINAL image edited in LR4

On One Perfect Effects version

Nik Color Efex version

Above is the original edited in LR4 (which I felt was a little flat and needed some POP!) then the same image edited in Nik Color Efex and OnOne Perfect Effects.

Do you see any difference?

Which one do you prefer?  Why?

Anything you don’t like?

I would really appreciate feedback as this is a big decision for me, both financially and also a commitment to using the software I purchase.  I want to make the right choice 🙂

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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9 Responses to Experiments with Post Processing Software

  1. Hi

    I don’t know anything about post processing. I’ve tried using GIMP but don’t like it. So, I am curious about these two. I don’t see much of a difference between the first and second photo. The third one, the colors in the rocks and foliage stand out more, and the detail on the tree trunk comes out too. However, (here is where I play devil’s advocate) what is it that you want to focus on? In the first photo, even though it is much more muted, you (I) really pay more attention to the seal. The last photo, there is a lot more going on and even though the seal is still the focus – it feels like not as much. (What would happen if you did B&W?)

    Also, you might want to check out e-bay for the software.

    Good luck!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Apologies for the delay in replying, have been busy with Xmas functions and catching up after a weekend away, and also still experimenting with the software. I agree with your comments about the different images, I guess I felt the original one just lacked a bit of oomph and having seen the amazing things possible in a workshop recently, struggled to replicate it with my limited skills.
      I am going to put much more time into it this weekend and also play with B&W and post the results. Thanks for the ebay tip, will keep it in mind 🙂

      • Good luck to you – I will be very interested in seeing what you come up with. I agree – Leanne Cole does some AMAZING things with her photos. I too, like you, would enjoy being able to do that! Don’t know if this is a possible option for you, but I actually stumbled upon a photography club yesterday and will be going to their next meeting. Can’t wait!

        I am really looking forward to seeing what you end up with!

      • lensaddiction says:

        I am a member of a couple of photography clubs but not a lot of emphasis on post processing. I will have to put the effort in myself and see what happens. Will certainly post the results once I have some 🙂

      • I guess that would be a completely different subject – I hadn’t thought about that. Community college that offers a course on Photoshop?

        Have a great weekend – I look forward to seeing your results!

  2. Ronald Lawrence says:

    Did you make a choice?

  3. I’m currently using the photo-gallery post software as supplied and need to upgrade very soon. What made you decide to switch to Viveza over LR4. Up to now I had not heard or read about this one and would love to know the reasons why (if covered elsewhere – sorry)
    I have yet to go through your complete blog but why the absence of people/portrait photo’s? If I was to give one piece of feedback I feel your blog needs a human element to help balance it all up a bit (this coming from someone who only just started – what do I know!!)

    Your growing skills and obvious natural talent would create some stunning shots.

    If you ever fancy dropping-in would really appreciate any advice to help me on my way.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Wow someone reading all my posts from the beginning! Dedication, I am impressed 🙂 To answer your questions, I use LR4 for all my main processing and when an image warrants or inspires it I may process further with other software. I haven’t committed money to it yet but I am likely to purchase Nik Silver Efex and Viveza as I found them the easiest to use and was most satisfied with the results.

      Re people photography, I do have a bit in my Flickr stream but most of it was done before I started the blog. People don’t interest me as a subject as much as nature and scenery, tho I do have a new lens which is much admired for its portrait quality so I may have to diverisfy. Have had a quick look at your blog, will spend some more time in the weekend and leave some comments 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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