Looking for a way to selectively make edits within a photo? Viveza might be the answer!
Nik Software has an awesome product in their Viveza 2 - I highly recommend this product! It gives you fine-grained control over adjustments in specific portions of your photos, which makes it so much easier to enhance your image to get the final result you imagine in your head. I have never been a huge user of Photoshop, and frankly find it a little cumbersome, so when I realized everything that was possible with Nik Software I was pretty excited to say the least. Now, I rarely open Photoshop. I am not an expert in this stuff, just a regular user, hobby-photographer and photo blogger, but I can see how anyone from amateur to pro could benefit from using Nik Software's Viveza. I also shoot a lot of HDR images, which if you have looked around my site you have probably already figured out. I find that Nik's products really help me get the look I want.
For starters, I use Aperture 3.0 and Viveza acts as a plug-in to Aperture. So, I select the image I want to work on and then go to the top menu and click Photos>Edit with Plug-In>Viveza 2. That will load the photo into Viveza 2 and then I get to the main Viveza 2 landing page. The main page is basically your image in the center, and some menus off to the right side. The power of this product is in their U-Point Technology. You use what is known as a Control Point which lets you selectively make adjustments within the photo.
So, here is how it works...
I decided to use an image that I took at the beach in La Jolla, CA during sunset. I was shooting a lot of shots and this one was a little too dark and did not convey all the color that was in the sky, so it seemed like a perfect image to run through Viveza. Here is the original image:
Here is the first section of the Viveza menu on the landing page:
Once you click on "Add Control Point", it will let you drop the control point at any place in the photo. You can also adjust the size of the control point so you control what area is getting what sort of changes.
Here is the image with some control points in it. Each little circle represents a control point. You can tell that I have brought back a lot of the red/sunset color by using the control points in various spots across the sky. The cool thing is that once you finish with one control point and get the color and look you want, you can just copy and paste that control point in other areas and it carries all those settings with it. That is very helpful when you are making adjustments like I did across the entire sky, because it is hard for someone like me to remember exactly how far I went with each slider! Just copy and paste and BAM! Viveza instantly applies those same adjustments to the new spot. You can then further adjust if needed, or change the size of the adjusted area very easily.
Also, in the rocky section at the bottom left, I have clicked on the control point so you can see that when you do, it produces a drop-down menu which gives you several things you can adjust...
To make it easier to see, here is a closeup of the control point menu:
I made it fairly large so you can clearly see each adjustment lever. Here is what they represent:
The very top is a circle, and that is for the size of the area you want to adjust. To the right of the circle is a little slider. All you do is slide the slider left or right to adjust the size of the area you want to work on. Same with the other sliders, but instead of size they adjust intensity. Here is what they stand for:
Br = brightness
Co = contrast
Sa = saturation
St = structure (increases/decreases detail and intensity - this is a fun slider!)
Sh = shadows
Wa = warmth
R = red
G = green
B = blue
Hu = hue
That's really about it. You just drop control points anywhere in the image that you want to work on, and then move the sliders left or right to get the image looking the way you envision it.
Once I save the image, it drops right back into Aperture, next to the original. I made a couple more minor adjustments to the image in Aperture, and here is the final result:
Check out all of Nik Software's wonderful products at: http://www.niksoftware.com
I use quite a few of them and find they are intuitive, easy to use, and very powerful! Enjoy!