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Capture NX 2: Lesson 8

Master your use of Black and White Control Points to bring out the details in the shadows and…

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4.8 Rating
The Anatomy of a Powerful Image

Jerry Ghionis on creating powerful wedding imagery

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3.5 Rating
VR Image Stabilization

VR image stabilization technology detects vertical and horizontal movement and offsets it by…

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3.4 Rating
Taking Better Photos of Your Kids at Play

Taking photos of your kids while at play make great images; next time you’re…

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How Can you Improve your Photography

Robin Layton discusses making images better

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Photo Editing with Nikon's Capture NX 2

Learn to use editing features of Capture NX 2 software to get the most from your…

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Nikon Capture NX-D Software

Overview of Nikon's software for image processing and editing

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Jim Richardson: Why Fast Lenses Make All the Difference

When You’re Constantly on the Move, Fast Glass Makes Tough Shots…

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Mothers' Days: Good Timing and Great Locations Result in Memorable Maternity Photographs

Beth Wade discusses tips for…

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4.7 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Bounce Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights wirelessly for pleasing portrait illumination

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4.5 Rating
Taking Better Photographs on the Water

Harbors, bays, oceans and rivers all have one thing in common—interesting and…

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3.8 Rating
You’re the Guest: How to Capture Unique Photos at a Wedding

Abby Liga discusses getting great photos when you're a…

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4.6 Rating
How-To Take Great Photos at the Aquarium

Tips for photographing the fish and creatures that live under water

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3.1 Rating
Shooting Wirelessly with Nikon Digital Cameras and Wi-Fi Adapters

Enjoy wireless transfer of images with Wi-Fi compatible…

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3.7 Rating
Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon in which light rays passing through a lens focus at different…

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4.2 Rating
Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Capturing the action of a sporting event is easy when you follow a few simple…

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4.7 Rating
Using Auto FP High-Speed Sync to Illuminate Fast Sports Action

Dave Black on using high-speed flash sync for sports…

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4.5 Rating
Using the D810A DSLR for Deep Space and Nebulae Astrophotography

Photographing Nebulae and other celestial objects with…

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4.5 Rating
Six Steps to Lighting Magic with Joe McNally

Follow lighting expert Joe McNally's instructions for easy flash photography…

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4.7 Rating
Photographing the Night Sky

Astrophotography: tips for making great images of the stars, moon and night sky time-lapse

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3.1 Rating
Wired and Wireless File Transfer

Wired or wireless options lets you transfer image files from the camera to computer when…

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Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 2 - Control of Color

Go on location with Joe McNally for a video tutorial on lighting…

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3.5 Rating
Understanding Nikon Wireless Connectivity

Learn how to connect your camera and compatible smart device wirelessly

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4.0 Rating
The Importance of Composition When Shooting Nature

Pat O'Hara had to go far from home to really appreciate the…

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Benefits of Using Fast Lenses in Low Light

A tip from Nikon Ambassador Lucas Gilman

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Camera Tips: Using the Multi Selector Center Button Controls

Customize your DSLR to to check focus in playback and more

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Joey Terrill

Commercial photographer Joey Terrill is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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Vibration Reduction

Vibration Reduction (VR) is an image stabilization technology that minimizes blur caused by camera…

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3.2 Rating
Smart Portrait System

Nikon’s Smart Portrait System incorporates into COOLPIX cameras a series of automatic functions,…

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4.8 Rating
10 Tips on How To Leverage Social Media in Your Photography Business

Dixie Dixon on leveraging social media for your…

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4.4 Rating
Flash Photography the Easy Way

David Tejada's easy-does-it flash tips

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4.6 Rating
The Challenge of Bird Photography

Moose Peterson tells why photographing birds in the field is well worth the challenge.

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4.2 Rating
Getting Creative with Photos and Video

Tell better stories using the myriad of fun and artistic features built into Nikon…

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Understanding Focal Length

Focal length, usually represented in millimeters (mm), is the basic description of a…

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3.5 Rating
Have Fun Shooting Selfies (Self-Portrait) Photos

Tips and tricks for taking great Selfies

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20 Tips for Great Graduation Day Photos

Tips for taking great photos of your young graduate on their big day

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Getting the "Cool" Look

My daughter, Kiara, wanted some pictures of herself with her new guitar. She was looking for some “cool pictures that showed off the new guitar and didn’t look normal.” It was the perfect excuse to play with some new lighting and Capture NX 2 techniques.

One of the things I wanted to do in creating the final image was to have a background that spoke to the music Kiara likes to play on her guitar. I was able to create a PowerPoint slide from some sheet music I found online. I connected my laptop to my LCD projector and propped up the projector at the angle I wanted for the background.

Now that my background was set, I needed to set up my lights. I used a SB-900 Speedlight fired into an umbrella to light Kiara's face and an SB-600 aimed through a large diffusion panel to add the soft light for her body and guitar. (Like Joe McNally does on the Nikon Lighting DVD, I used a bed sheet for my diffusion panel.) I mounted the AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4 to my D90. The D90's built-in flash controlled the SB-900 and SB-600 via the wireless commander mode. The last step in the set-up was to ensure that I was creating a NEF file. I knew this would give me the most control possible once I got the image into my computer.

Once I got the NEF opened in Capture NX 2 (left image) I saw that there were a couple of things that could be improved:

  • The background had a green colorcast and was a bit flat looking
  • The overall image was a bit too flat
  • The side lighting caught the small bumps and imperfections on Kiara’s face
  • The image needed a more stylized look

My first step was to adjust the levels just a bit (right image). This bumped up the contrast of the overall image. However it made the issue with Kiara’s facial imperfections stand out a bit more.

To smooth out her face and add some stylization to the image, I opted for applying Noise Reduction. My NR settings were:

  • Intensity - 80%
  • Sharpness - #4
  • Method - Best

I really liked the Noise Reduction effect except on the eyes and brows. The effect makes the eyes look too soft (left image). To fix this, I selected the – (minus) brush, set the opacity to 50% and adjusted the brush size to fit the eyes/brows. I then carefully subtracted the NR effect from the eyes and brows. I also enlarged the brush and subtracted a bit of the NR effect from Kiara's hair (right image).

Next I wanted to tackle the colorcast in the background (left image). I chose to convert the entire image to black and white. This made for a dramatic photo and fixed the colorcast at the same time. The BW conversion setting was:

  • Filter Hue – 60
  • Color Filter Strength – 40
  • Brightness – 0
  • Contrast – 0

Because of the 60 setting in the filter hue, the background went flatter (right image). To fix that I added a Control Point to the black coloring of one of the background notes. The contrast was adjusted to maximum. I then duplicated the CP and dragged it to the other side of the frame making sure it landed on a black stripe in the background. As a result, the contrast was increased in the background but NOT in Kiara’s face.

I almost finished the image there, but Kiara had asked for something that was very stylish and “not normal” looking. So I thought that a mono/multi chromatic image might fit the bill (left image). I wanted to add the color back into her face without affecting the background. To make this happen I went to my toolbox on the far right side of my screen and selected the Black and White Conversion box (my step #2) and set three CPs on Kiara’s face and neck to pull the original color back into view (right image).

 

To really push the “not normal” look of the image, I pulled out the optional Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2, Glamour Glow Filter (left image). This really bumped up the “look." A couple of final CPs—on her guitar head, her hand holding the guitar (right image) and the small piece of background trapped between the guitar neck and her face—were needed to pull the last little bit of color from them.

The final "not normal looking" image that Kiara wanted.

 

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