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Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools [Paperback]

Tony L. Corbell , Joshua A. Haftel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 15, 2011 111802222X 978-1118022221 1
Learn all the features and functionality of the complete Nik family of products

Styled in such a way as to resemble the way photographers think, Nik Software Captured aims to help you learn to apply all the features and functionality of the Nik software products. With Nik Software Captured, authors and Nik Software, Inc. insiders Tony Corbell and Josh Haftel help you use after-capture software products easier and more creatively. Their sole aim is to ensure that you can apply the techniques discussed in the book while gaining a thorough understanding of the capabilities of programs such as Dfine 2.0, Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro 4.0, Silver Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3.0, and HDR Efex Pro.

  • Helps you learn all the features and functionality of the Nik family of products
  • Shares tips and techniques on retouching and exposure
  • Offers a solid understanding of the importance of light
  • Explores ways to save time in the digital workflow
  • Answers the demand from readers to compile a variety of techniques conceived to help when using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple's Aperture

With Nik Software Captured, you'll quickly benefit from the array of helpful techniques featured in this single resource.

Frequently Bought Together

Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools + Plug In with Nik: A Photographer's Guide to Creating Dynamic Images with Nik Software + Plug In with onOne Software: A Photographer's Guide to Vision and Creative Expression
Price for all three: $79.14

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Editorial Reviews Review

Sample Photos from the Authors: Yosemite, California

Color Version
(Click on photo to zoom)
Black and White Version
(Click on photo to zoom)

This recent image taken in is a good example of how an understanding of techniques within the digital workflow can change the outcome of your image in the most positive ways. Here is a color image which based on the tonality was pre-determined to make a nice black and white. In this case we used Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 to change the photograph into a black and white fine art image that might sell in a gallery. First we moved the Dynamic Brightness to a lower value and increased the Soft Contrast to an increase of 30 percent. And finally we increase the Structure slider to increase localized details and give the look of more textures.

Sample Photos from the Authors: Portrait

(Click on photo to zoom)
(Click on photo to zoom)

Often a portrait needs a simple enhancement. Here we added a little help from Nik Software Coor Efex Pro 4. First, we direct the viewer’s attention by adding Darken Lighten Center to lower the brightness of the edges. Next, we added the filter called Remove Color Cast to reduce the warmth in the image. Finally, Image Border was added suing selection #4 in the default position.

Sample Photos from the Authors: Los Angeles, California Building

(Click on photo to zoom)
(Click on photo to zoom)

This beautiful structure in Los Angeles was the perfect example of how a little increase in control can elevate image quality. Here we again use Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4 and a filter called Brilliance and Warmth. First we moved the saturation slider to the right to increase the value and then also increased the warmth slider by moving to the right. We finished it off by sliding the newest feature, Perceptual Saturation, to the right to add a unique color value to the image. The difference from before to after shows an increase in image quality and took a total editing time about approximately twenty seconds.


'Good enough to be considered essential, even if you only own one of the tools covered.' (Digital Photography Enthusiast, Febuary 2012)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111802222X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118022221
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In some ways, this should have been the software manual December 20, 2011
By S. Tang
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book, because I found the Nik Software Collection's built-in help to be very perfunctory. The built-in help summarizes what a particular tool does and briefly describes the controls. However, it doesn't always describe what the ramifications of changing those controls do to the photo. That is why I wanted to buy this book. However, the book ends up being a mixed bag.

1) The first chapter covers some aspects of capturing photos and selecting photos to edit in post-processing. I felt that this chapter was unnecessary, because its space could have been used to talk more about the software. There are plenty of other books dedicated to the topic of capturing photos (composition, etc.) and selecting photos. Even this book states that this topic "could fill volumes" (page 3). The book may have been better off providing a short bibliography for such topics.

2) The images that show off the Nik Software interface are too small, as other reviewers have mentioned. For a book about teaching the reader how to use the software, it is essential that the images of the software interface be readable. Not everybody has good vision. In addition, the authors do not highlight parts of the interface when talking about a particular function like other photography software books. For example, the author would talk about a function and then refer to Figure X.Y. When you go look at Figure X.Y, it's hard to tell what in the interface has changed. The book should circle the area in question, use a callout, or some similar technique.

3) My main interest was in learning about all of Color Efex Pro 4's controls. On page 144, it says "With 55 filters and a pretty good online help system, we won't go into what each slider does in this book.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointing November 23, 2011
Many photographers, after learning to use image processing software, start to think about getting a further edge in picture improvements. Quite often they turn to the filtering software of NIK Software, Inc. Unfortunately, the various pieces of software don't provide robust help facilities and the NIK website has plenty of training videos but most don't have a lot of depth.

It's into this vacuum that Cobell and Haftel have stepped. The book opens with chapters on editing basics and digital workflow and then reviews the editing environment (including host software Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Aperture). There is a discussion of NIK's standardized interface and its special feature, U Point technology. Chapters, which included examples, followed on NIK's programs: Dfine 2.0; Viveza 2; HDR Efex Pro 3.0; Color Efex Pro 4; Silver Efex Pro 2; and Sharpener Pro 3.0. The authors present several examples of the joint application of several of the programs and then provide a brief history of digital photography and the history of NIK.

My experience has been primarily with HDR Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro 4, so my review of the software chapters emphasized those. The overall description of the interface, U Point technology and the individual interfaces for HDR Efex and Color Efex was far more comprehensive than anything I'd been able to learn from NIK's online help, including its extensive collection of videos. I certainly learned a few new tricks, especially about control points. On the other hand I wanted more, particularly about the 55 individual filters in Color Efex. Each of these filters has a different effect, and creates different results with their particular sliders.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete coverage of Nik Software tools December 31, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nik's software plug-ins are fantastic tools, although documentation is sorely lacking, and the online videos only give hints at what functionality is available or how the tools can (and should) be used. "Nik Software Captured" does a good job filling this gap to provide the insights into the Nik Software plug-ins that you will have a hard time finding described elsewhere.

The book starts off discussing digital editing and workflow. One thing I found particularly valuable was a description of the pros/cons between the Lightroom/Aperture plug-ins and the Photoshop plug-ins. Had I known this earlier, I might have made a different purchasing decision. It's actually somewhat sad that this information isn't made more obvious in Nik Software's own website.

A good description of the overall interface, and the crown jewel of the Nik Software tools (U point technology) comes next. I found it refreshing to get a more technical description of how U Point works, and some commentary on how it should be used. Again, it's disappointing this information isn't really described well in other sources from Nik itself.

The next several chapters discuss each of the various tools Nik offers, with a tour of the interface and examples on how to use each product. The weakest of these chapters is probably the one on Sharpener Pro. Although there was some detail given motivating the need for the tool, I didn't find the explanations on when to use pre-sharpening vs. output sharpening very clear. It's still ambiguous to me after reading the descriptions given.

The final chapters give example sessions/workflow on example portrait and landscape photos. There are a few good ideas given, but there was nothing particularly remarkable about these topics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
The best book and software for editing I've ever used. Its quantum leaps over Photoshop or Lightroom. Do yourself and your photographs a big favor and get them both.
Published 4 months ago by susan Wallis
1.0 out of 5 stars No Step-by-Step instructions!
This book is so frustrating! The chapters are written in lengthy paragraph form with most of the emphasis on HOW the software works not how to use it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lorena Rybick
4.0 out of 5 stars Good explanation
It gives a good explanation how to use NIK software. All the different tools are dicussed one by one. It gave me the answers I had sofar using NIK sofware.
Published 6 months ago by Ruud den Haan
4.0 out of 5 stars Want a guide to NIK plugins and to learn the product? Buy this book
Good guide from the developers. I bought books from John Batdorff and Vincent Versace. Buy Versace's book if you really, really want to get into the science of Black and White... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sanford Lavine
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Nik software collection
Excellent reference, very easy & clear to read, well written, topically arranged by general topics (e.g. editing, workflow, etc.) and by software package.
Published 7 months ago by J. Neff
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT LACKING DETAILS
The book lacked some of the detailed information i had hoped to get. The book left some of my questions unanswered.
Published 8 months ago by Bob Jaquess
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introductory to NIX book
After reading most all of the reviews on this book, I hesitated to purchase this book. I am through page 165 of 282 and I learned my money's worth already. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Time Alloy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reference on NIK
NIK is my absolute favorite plugin for Lightroom. And, this desk reference is an absolute necessity to get all that NIK has to offer (which is a lot) into your captures. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Photonut
4.0 out of 5 stars observations on Nik software
I work a great deal in B/W and I read about it in Scott Kelby`s Photoshop book. It has lived up to expectations
I have not yet used all aspects of it, but continue to find... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ronald Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book! Five Stars.
Nik Software Captured is simply a magnificent book. I'm a serious nature photographer, and I generally use Lightroom to edit my images. Read more
Published 9 months ago by eugene
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