Sunday, February 10, 2013

Post-processing a Snow Image in Lightroom and NIK Color Efex Pro 4

As I was reviewing my pictures that I took after the blizzard, the one thing I notice was that the images were flat and without any depth.  I had set my camera with a +1 EV to keep the snow white rather than middle gray.,  Looking at my histogram and the camera, the histogram was pushed to the right, but not touching the right side and there were no blinkies.  As I was walking around and hand-holding the camera.  I had the ISO set on 400, so I would have enough speed to prevent camera shake.  Because of a flat, looking images, I post processed the images in Lightroom and in NIK Color Efex Pro 4.  Today, I Am going to show you the the process I used to create the final image.

Here is the initial image opened in Lightroom 4 and the first thing I did was to set the lens profile to the lens that I was using and the camera calibration profile to landscape.
Next, I checked the histogram, which showed that it was not touching the right edge and then I set the white and black points in the picture.
I then opened the picture in NIK Color Efex Pro 4, first utilizing the Detail Extractor Filter and then with the sliders adjusted it to start giving some depth to the picture.
At this point I was not happy with the sky and wanted to decrease the amount of depth in the sky, so utilizing a control point and decreased the opacity to what pleased me.
 Next, I clicked the add filter button to bring up a new filter.
 The filter, I chose was Tonal Contrast and then I adjusted the filter.  Utilizing the sliders to give me the effect that I wanted.
Having obtained the effects that I wanted, I then compared in Color Efex Pro 4, the original and the adjusted versions side-by-side.
After the finished version was saved in Lightroom, on my review of the picture, I noticed a large dust spot in the right upper quadrant in the sky.  I then opened the spot removal tool in Lightroom and easily removed the offending spot.
 Here is the final image.