Here I show my experiment in processing with the Nik efex processing adds-ins for photoshop. The Nik collection is detailed and available from their website. My objective for this particular image was to create a stylised version of a colour street photograph that would add drama to the scene.
Here is the straight RAW file, with only basic corrections made in Lightroom. The image was shot for 1/125 sec at f/8 with a 28mm (efl) Fujinon lens.
There is action in the shot, but its business and distance from the camera makes it difficult to distinguish and for the eye to follow. My approach with the Nik software was to load an unsharpened version of the file into Photoshop and create a smart-object layer in which to apply various Nik filters. I used the following filters Dfine for noise reduction, Sharpener Pro for basic global sharpening, and Colour efex pro to add colour filters and targeted adjustments.
The adjusted image is below. It has a heavily stylised, unnatural feel but I find its graphic quality more compelling than the straight Lightroom image.
This raises questions in my mind on how post-processing might be perceived by the viewer – a welcome graphical adjustment or an obvious disconnect from reality, rather than a more subtle disconnect represented by light post-processing.
I’ll explore this with my contemporaries in the OCA level1 Facebook group.
Nik collection website [online]. https://www.google.com/nikcollection/ [accessed 23.6.15]