Since the release of Black & White with Capture NX 2, I’ve been peppered with questions as to which application is better for black and white digital images. If you are familiar with my other reviews, you’ll know that the answer is rarely “black & white.” That being said, I’ll try to quickly take a look at the major differences in black and white digital conversion with these two applications.
If you use Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop, I highly recommend using Silver Efex Pro for black and white. It’s just that powerful. But as you can see, Capture NX 2 users need not fret about the fact that SEP isn’t available for them as a native plug-in. You can do very well with Capture NX 2; even better if you have Color Efex Pro 3.0 installed.
Here’s another one that I converted to black and white in Nikon’s Capture NX 2. This time, I used Color Efex Pro 3 Tonal Contrast to really get the textures in the rocks to pop out. Normally, the main attraction at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands is the arch itself. But it gets crowded there, and there are other cool spots nearby. Like right to the right of the arch. The overlook is amazing and the drop-off is stunning. I thought these rocks had great texture for a black and white image.
I shot this photo in 2007, and I just love the way it converts to black and white. I used settings from my Black & White Action Pack for Capture NX 2 to do the conversion to monochrome. I used a yellow color filter to darken the sky, and Color Control Points to adjust local brightness and contrast. I finished with an ISO 100 Film Grain effect from Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2.
I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of my newest instructional guide, Black & White with Capture NX 2. This guide will teach you how to create stunning black and white images without having to leave Capture NX 2. The workflow advantage here is extreme– you get fully non-destructive black and white effects (something you can’t do with Silver Efex Pro for Lightroom or Aperture) applied directly into your NEF images.
Dramatic Recipes for Black & White in a Non-Destructive Workflow
My step by-step instructions will show you how to create the following effects without the need for any 3rd-party plug-ins.
Standard Black & White Recipe
Infrared Film (two styles)
High-Key Bleached Color
Selective Black & White Techniques
Black & White Actions for Capture NX 2 and Color Efex Pro 3
When you purchase Black & White for Capture NX 2, the file download includes a set of 46 custom actions that work in Capture NX 2. These actions include all the effects described in the eBook; 31 for Capture NX 2 (stand-alone), and 15 more for Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2. In addition to the recipe actions, you’ll also get color toning, vignette, and film grain effects.