I shot this photo with the Canon EOS 7D in May 2013 from a ferry heading to Seattle. I never did anything with it because I didn’t see anything eye catching about the photo. Nothing wrong with the composition or image quality, it just didn’t catch my eye. So after running it through NIK Software’s Analog Efex Pro 2, does it have more to offer? Well, the “wet plate” effect adds some detail to the sky and the old sepia film effect helps create a vintage look.
I did a similar edit on this photo of the West Point Lighthouse near Seattle. It was taken in September 2014 with the EOS 6D and EF 35mm f/2 IS. It just wasn’t that great as a straight travel photo. But the vintage look adds something that I really like.
Analog Efex Pro has a lot of effects that can make photos look older, or like they were taken with old film cameras. Lens distortion and vignette, dust and scratches, film types, light leaks, motion blur and bokeh, the list goes on. Since I spend so much time (and money) trying to get excellent image quality, a piece of software like this is hard for me to use. Almost everything degrades image quality in some way. I zero out the grain settings on the film types and don’t use dust and scratches… What I did here was simply apply the plate effect and balance the film type adjustments with the basic adjustments. Sometimes after I apply a film effect, I want to go back and re-adjust contrast or brightness, because of what the film effect has done to my original adjustments.
What I love about NIK’s software editing tools is that many different types of photographers can use them according to their own tastes. They’re very flexible and user friendly. You just need the patience to try different things and learn what you like.