My typical workflow involves Lightroom and Photoshop but occasionally I like to mix things up and add some specific effects to photos that I think could benefit from a little creativity. Last summer I bought Nik Software’s Complete Collection which integrates nicely into Lightroom. At first glance, their set of plugins are a lot to take in. As if Lightroom didn’t have enough settings to learn, the settings within Nik’s plugins are equally comprehensive – but each serve their purpose and all of them are amazing (ok, so far I’ve only use Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Viveza but I’m sure I’ll find the others to be amazing too once I get to them!).

Nik’s website offers a lot of great webinars – both recorded and live – so I started out with a few of those to get acquainted. They also offer a lot of pre-built presets and recipes that you can download and install. But for me, doing is the best way to learn.

One thing about post-processing, and photography in general, is that everyone has their own tastes and preferences — and with that, their own opinions! Just visit any photography forum and you will see exactly what I mean.

On a recent photo shoot for Ava Rose Designs, in addition to shots specifically styled and posed to show off the clothing designs, I took some to use creatively in collateral other than the web site product pages. One particular setup that I used was the model laying on a rustic wooden bench in a darkened hallway. While I liked the color version of the shot, I wanted to add a vintage feel using brown / cream tints as the base. Here’s the original that was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop followed by a custom Silver Efex Pro preset that I created:

Before Nik SIlver Efex Pro Preset


After Nik SIlver Efex Pro Preset


As I mentioned above, everyone has their own tastes and preferences and opinions so I’m not expecting everyone, or ANYone for that matter, to like what I did to the picture above but it was the look I was going for so I like it!

If you like the preset too, you can download by clicking here. I named it Brown Vintage. Enjoy.

ps. if you don’t know how to import a preset after downloading it, Nik explains it on their website here.