Well Jason P. Odell has done it again. After writing two really great online manuals for those of us Nikon folks fortunate enough to have a copy of either Capture NX (which I got included in my purchase of my D-300 more than a year ago) or Capture NX2 (which I also bought and printed out – with permission – all 375 pages which I’ve read from cover to cover) he’s outdone himself with another downloadable PDF book on NIK Software’s excellent black and white convertor software Silver Efex Pro.
So what’s so great about Capture NX2 and Silver Efex Pro?
Well Capture NX2 is one of the best RAW convertors for Nikon NEF RAW files. It uses dedicated and special technology to open and change these files in ways that other software (including Photoshop CS4) can’t do. It’s really quite wonderful software and very easy to use. Doesn’t get much better than that. Add Jason’s terrific online manual and you’ve got an unbeatable combination to get the best out of your Nikon RAW files.
So what’s with NIK Software’s Silver Efex Pro? Well it uses the same technology as Capture NX2 but it converts your colour images into wet-darkroom quality black and white images. So why not just shoot in black and white or desaturate your colours in the standard software? You could but the tonal range and grain effects that you get won’t compare to what you can get easily in Silver Efex Pro.
Since my days as a photojournalist I’ve loved shooting in black and white. Right now I’m shooting my own project that has me taking photos of some of the old homes in Oakville south of the downtown strip just along the north shore of Lake Ontario. With Silver Efex Pro I’m getting fabulous black and white images and now with Jason’s help I can really dig into my images and get the very best out of them. From there, it’s over to my printer (Epson 3800) which can do real justice to black and whites.