Wedding Photos! Trial of Nik Color Efex Pro

First Kiss- Dan and Gretchen

Bride with Umbrella, Sunkissed

Here are some photos from a wedding I shot this summer.  When I thought of where to start with some trial photos, using Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro product, wedding photos was what came to mind.  I had not processed these images before, so I started off with some basic exposure/sharpening checks.  With portraits I really, really enjoy using Imagenomic’s product, Portraiture.  It does a great job.  And easy, too!  Mostly I don’t even change the sliders, which isn’t true for most other products.  I do tend to lighten the opacity of the layer after processing with Portraiture, it’s an easy way to get the skin to come back a bit.  I like normal, not airbrushed, which isn’t much of a problem with Portraiture but sometimes I want more pores and less smoothing.  ANYWAYS… Color Efex Pro is what I was really jazzed about with these photos, so after the basic adjustments, I put each image into the Nik plug-in.

The first image was shot in the sun, and had a bit of a reflection problem off some of the brides skin and blowing out the dress a bit.  The colorful trees and river in the background were also distracting.  When I found this filter, Duplex, I really liked the effect.  I think I adjusted it slightly but not much.  I also did a slight bit of sharpening after the fact, to bring back the hair ornament, the grooms hair, and the brides eyes.  Portraiture plus the Duplex filter really softened the image, I like my pictures a bit sharper usually.

My final adjustment was a bit of an unusual crop.  The original situated the couple more in the center (boring!) and the grooms butt was pretty, um, noticeable.  NOT big, or anything wrong, but it was shining in the sun and at the right spot in the image (the magic 1/3 in composition terms) where your eyes are drawn.  Not really the thing you want in a first kiss photo with a radiant bride!  So I adjusted a bit radically, cropping the photo up, bringing the brides eyes to the 1/3 line, and moving everything over so the kiss was also close to the vertical 1/3 area.  It also shows off the natural, beautiful background without being overpowered by it, I think.  LOVE some comments and thoughts on this, though.  I’ll be posting it to flickr as well, so hopefully I will get some thoughts there.

The second photo was processed in much the same way, without a troublesome crop.  I removed the tattoo from the brides arm and did some flattering stuff to her face, helping to perk up her eyes a bit.  Then Portraiture, then Color Efex Pro.  The original was very pink, as you can imagine, sun coming through the umbrella like that.  So I was looking for a color filter.  “Ink” helped tremendously.  It gave a great aged, sorta 70’s vibe to the photo and warmed up the brides face a lot.  It also kept the sharpness, which was nice.  I may have adjusted that, now that I think about it, though.  You can make lots of adjustments to each filter.  I could probably mask back some of the original background- I like the warm tone the filter gave, but it also lightened it up a bit too much.

Both of these will be on my flickr page (I’ve been doing lots with flickr lately and really enjoying the feedback I get), and on my website in the wedding portfolio.  Enjoy my work if you go check it out!


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.

3 responses to “Wedding Photos! Trial of Nik Color Efex Pro

  • Kevin La Rue

    Hi Kelley – have you tried using the Dynamic Skin Softener or Tonal Contrast filters in Color Efex Pro 3.0 for skin retouching? Just wondering what you think of those vs. Portraiture.

    Thanks, Kevin (from Nik)

    • Kelley Bard Photography

      I’ll try them out, definitely! I’m really excited to see how they compare. I’m enjoying trying out different software and plug-ins, it’s making me much more conscious of my photography and the fine details of it. Thanks for bringing those to my attention. I know I tried every filter out last night but I didn’t do that on a raw image, so I didn’t see an effect I needed… next time I’ll compare both products. That is always fun!

  • Kevin La Rue

    Hi Kelley – love the enthusiasm – really shows up in your photos! With Dynamic Skin Softener, be sure to use the “eye dropper” and click on a representative color on the subject’s face (I usually click on the forehead between the eyes or on a cheek).


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