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Photographer John Batdorff Answers Your Questions about the Nik Collection

During John Batdorff’s presentation on a recent Peachpit Photo Club, many of you had loads of questions about the Nik Collection by Google.

While we couldn’t get to all of the questions during the live event, John took some time to answer the remaining questions here for you.

Can you use control panels to block changes by other control points to get more local control?

You can use Neutral Control points to help isolate the effects of a control point. An example would be if you wish to increase the saturation of a person's eyes but don't wish to increase the saturation around the eye. You would create a small control point and place it on the eye and increase the saturation but you might get a tad bit of what I call spill over to the adjacent pixels. To isolate or mask-off the effects of the saturation control point, you would need to place another a neutral control point (a control point with no adjustments made to it) on the area where you don't wish to have saturation increased. By taking these steps you can isolate the effects of control points.
John, you mentioned that you don’t use the Curve tool because it would be become baked in.

Could you not use Smart Objects? What would be the disadvantage of using Smart Objects?

You absolutely could use Smart Objects. The only downside to doing so is that the file gets quite large fairly quickly.

Does Viveza2 work with Lightroom 5 and Radial filters?

As far as I'm aware. Viveza works fine with Lightroom 5 and you can apply Radial filters before or after you've processed the image.

So it is ok to use noise reduction once at beginning and again at or near end of processing if felt needed?

Noise reduction should be applied at the beginning of your editing process, especially if you're shooting HDR. Noise reduction can be applied again at the end if you feel it's necessary, but generally speaking it's best to apply it at the beginning of the process. I'll make select adjustments to noise at the end of my process only when the processing itself has created unwanted color or noise artifacts (this can happen with an HDR image).


Can you control the range of colors that a control point will affect? For example, in the sky how wide is the range of blue you select when setting a control point?

You can control what colors you effect by placing the control point on the color you're trying to manipulate and creating a boundary circle that encompasses only those areas you wish to effect.

How do you see the histogram in HDR Efex?

Curves is located in the right panel under Levels and Curves.

Want more? You can check out the whole recording, and sign up for future events here, and check out John’s book that covers all of this and more here!