Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Workflow Technique #037

Nik Color Efex 2.0: B/W Infrared

review note by Uwe Steinmueller


We use now Nik Color Efex 1.0 since November 2000 and still find it one of the nicest set of effect filters around. We even feature the use of some filters in our e-book DOP2101 (Sample Workflow Sessions).

Now we just got the version 2.0 and we can say it is a very worthy upgrade. Here are some of the improvements:

  • Filters now all 16bit
  • New effects
  • Enhanced control of the effects

The only complaint we have is that we would like to see larger previews as most effects cannot be properly judged on a small preview. But once you found your settings you can save and recall them at any time later.

Rather than looking at the wealth of filters we will feature some of the filters we like most in separate articles.


You cannot fully simulate the effect of IR photography with digital filters but the Color Efex simulation is one of the finest we have seen so far.

Alviso Gate

This is a classic California shot at noon with unforgiving sun. The gate is nice but the sky is really boring.

The main IR B/W dialog

We won't describe the sliders as you have to experience them yourself. But there are multiple modes to render B/W IR:

IR modes (we used mode 3)

A very powerful new enhancement is provided by the "Advanced" tab:

Advanced tab

The red bar in the histogram shows blown highlights and a green bar possibly blocked shadows. You can use the "Protect" sliders to correct some of the problems.

Protect Highlights at 100%

Here is the resulting image:

IR simulation

The Color Efex B/W IR filter is fun to use.

Nik Color Efex filters are not cheap:

  • Standard $99,95 (19 filters)
  • Select Edition $159.95 (45 filters)
  • Pro Complete Edition $299 (75 filters)

But these filters are not the "me too" type of filters and we think worth even the steep price. Get yourself a demo.

Highly Recommended


For more info visit Nik Multimedia.

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