Simplicity and the X100S

One of my favorite things about shooting with the X100, and now the X100S, is the simplicity that these cameras bring. By embracing the constraints that come with using a single focal length, I can focus completely on subject and composition. This is exactly what I needed this morning when I headed down to Corona del Mar with the X100S and a 10 stop ND filter. Here are three images from today's exercise in simplicity. 

Experimenting with Color Efex Pro

A lot of the images I've been sharing recently have been black and white conversions from Silver Efex Pro. Partly because I've been trying to refine my conversions with the new plugin and partly because I've been quite focused on long exposure photography. To give myself a break from the black and white conversions, I did a bit of experimenting with one of the other plugins from the Nik Collection I purchased back in March; Color Efex Pro 4. 

Editing in Color Efex Pro 4  

As you can see, the interface of Color Efex Pro is very similar to Silver Efex Pro. The difference is that Color Efex Pro allows you to stack multiple filters, much like Nik's mobile app; Snapseed. Having used Snapseed for a while now, I felt right at home making adjustments and adding filters in Color Efex Pro. The great thing about Nik's plugins is that they let me get in and out of them quickly. Since the interface is simple and straightforward, I can make my edits in a few minutes and be back in Lightroom to fine tune my images for export.

I must admit I was a little overwhelmed at first with all the filters available in Color Efex Pro. But after I narrowed my selection down to the filters in the Landscape category, I was able to find some that worked well for the images I was editing. A couple of my favorites thus far are the Detail Extractor and Sunlight filters. I've only spent a few hours with Color Efex Pro, but now that I've given it a chance, I'm sure I'll be using it more and more. Here are a few photographs from a recent trip to Corona del Mar that I edited in Color Efex Pro this evening.