Sky and Waimea Point- More Nik Silver Efex Pro Testing


Sky and Waimea Point


I took this photo at sunrise from the beach at Waimea Bay, Hawaii.  Waimea is one of my favorite beaches in the entire world, and even though waking up for a sunrise photo shoot was very, very painful for me, I still got more than I deserved out of it.  This sky was incredible.  See my photo “Waimea Bay Sunrise, Cropped” if you want to see a color version of an image from the same shoot. “Sky and Sea HDR” was also from the same shoot.

I took a long time to process this image, wanting several elements to come together.  Even with an HDR photo, with lots of light information available, I still had to use lots of trial and error to make the image work.  The sky ended up being the HDR image, finished in Photoshop and using Topaz Adjust, Noiseware Professional AND Topaz DeNoise (more on the noiseware process later).  I could not find a way to remove all the grain from the image, but it also works well with the shifting clouds.  Luckily I could blur a lot of the noise- you can’t always do that, but with sky and clouds you can make it work sometimes.  The sea came from the lightest exposure of the scene, and the land also came from the same shot, but at different times and different masks- I told you it was lots of trial and error, didn’t I?

I was really happy that this worked so well with Nik Silver Efex Pro, as I am trying that plug-in out and really like lots of the effects.  The cost is pretty prohibitive, though.  I’m hoping that the coupon is substantial.  I could probably do all that Silver Efex Pro does for my images, but even in trying that I got more noise and problems than I was willing to deal with.  Plug-in’s can be very, very worth it!  I have realized that my photos look best when I do some processing before combining them- otherwise you are left with lots more masking and still some problems possible.  So I put each element through Silver Efex Pro before bringing it into Photoshop. I also noticed that with one of the plug-in looks I could get a sort of mirror-like, reflective, almost HDR look to the water.  So that was great to add in, because it looked like it belonged.

I just realized that I could probably square this off, which might really look good.  I think I will do that now and post it at the bottom of the posting….  Here!


Sky and Waimea Point, Squared


Well, that was fun.  What do you think?  Which edit appeals more?  I was looking for an excuse to do an non-basic size for a photo, glad this one fits.  I tried to keep the horizon at exactly 1/3 of the image, and conveniently the tip of the land is also at 1/3 of the image…  It’s a big crop though, and I miss some of the clouds majesty.  Hmm.  Gotta think about this one!

See them big at  Enjoy the rest of my work there as well.

*Future events: This weekend I will be at the Durango Fall Art Walk, which I’m excited about.  There is also a Photography workshop that I may attend- I’ll post the details tomorrow.  And on postings… I will be showing more Silver Efex Pro test photos, as well as comparing Noiseware Professional and Topaz DeNoise as the two premier noiseware products out there.  I had a great time editing a photo using both programs today, so come back tomorrow to see the results of that!


About Kelley B.

I am a Durango, CO photographer who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. My business is Kelley Bard Photography. You can find me around town, gardening, or on my website at View all posts by Kelley B.

2 responses to “Sky and Waimea Point- More Nik Silver Efex Pro Testing

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