I guess it’s old news now, but last week Google announced that it would no longer charge its usual $149 for the Nik Collection of image-editing plugins. Now, you can download it for free. Personally, I ignore most plugins because the effects they produce tend to be cheesy. They’re one-off novelties that lose their interest almost as fast as a Rob Ford funeral. However, I do like to play with black and white conversion tools. So I downloaded the collection and applied the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin to a few images. Here are three samples, each using a different effect:
The first image comes from the Yonge/Dundas intersection. As far as I know, the intersection is one of only two remaining all-way crossings in Toronto. I managed to capture three people moving in three different directions, all moving outward from the centre of the street. The woman in the centre is staring directly at me as she approaches. I think it’s a photo that probably works better in a large format, maybe a 16×24 print. I applied the “fine art” setting in Silver Efex.
I shot the second image at a crosswalk on Sherbourne Street after an April snowstorm. In keeping with the wet, reflective asphalt, I applied the “wet rocks” filter.
The third image comes from the intersection of Bloor and Sherbourne where there’s always a long lineup to catch the 75 bus downtown. I liked the dissonance of the smiling effusive ad face against all the gloomy people in their dark coats waiting to board the bus. I applied the “low key” setting.